The Amazing Race is one of my favorite TV shows. The last couple of seasons have kind of sucked, but I am still a loyal fan. I think that this video clip from the upcoming Amazing Race 17 shows what makes the show so good. It brings people out of their comfort zones and puts them in situations where they may get hurt. I love the slow motion replay too. TAR 17 premieres on September 26th.

Boston Rob and Amber Mariano of “Survivor” and later “Amazing Race” fame had a baby girl earlier this month.  Still no word on what the hell happened to Rob Mariano’s super reality TV show, “Tontine,” with it’s fancy schmancy $10 million prize.  According to Rob’s Wikipedia page, the show was cast and supposed to film in early 2008 and air in the Fall of 2008.  Neither has happened and it is probably fair to say that “Tontine” is more like “Saltines” at this point.  I guess that congrats on the baby and condolences on the TV show are in order.

Ari & Staella Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way from Los Angeles to a small island off the coast of Ireland which was definitely the perfect Irish countryside. At the end of the day, it was a couple of stubborn donkeys that determined the outcome of this leg. Ari & Staella and Nathan & Jennifer got two donkeys that refused to move, but I am sure it had something to do with the teams personalities and how they treated the donkeys too. The moral of the story: treat donkeys right and they’ll treat you right.

Ari & Staella completely alienated their donkey and ended up paying the price. Who knows if they ever led their donkey across the finish line. Maybe the producers let them off the hook when they realized all of the other teams had finished. We’ll never know. As much as I don’t like Kynt & Vyxsin, they were scrappy enough to get a second place finish in this leg. Ultimately, it was Azaria & Hendekea which came in first place.

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The Amazing Race won a 5th consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Reality-Competition program! Big ups to the team that makes the show possible.

The Amazing Race 12 will drop the non-elimination legs that have stripped teams of clothing and money, and most recently “marked them for elimination.” Phil will finally get to say that the last team to arrive *will* be eliminated. None of this “may” crap.

CBS has renewed The Amazing Race for at least one more season. The Amazing Race 12 was listed in their 2007-2008 schedule as a mid-season returning show, which means that it will likely air in early 2008. An exact air date has not been announced. This is a change from the two seasons per year pace that The Amazing Race has been on in the last few years. Perhaps CBS has decided to air The Race only in the mid-season and will not schedule it in the fall any more.

Wikipedia has an incredible page of Amazing Race stats and trivia. Check it.

Eric & Danielle Win

In this final episode, teams made their way from Guam to Hawaii. The last three teams left the final Pit Stop with only one hour and forty minutes separating the first place team (the Beauty Queens) and the third place team (Team Schmirna).

All three teams were supposed to be on the same connecting flight to Honolulu, but Charla & Mirna hustled to get on another connecting flight that was scheduled to land 40 minutes ahead of the other teams. It was a pretty ballsy move, considering that had they failed to board that flight, they would have almost certainly missed the second flight as well since it was at a different terminal.

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Team Prada Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way from Macau to Guam. Team Prada was marked for elimination but missed the earlier flight to Tokyo. They got on a later flight to Tokyo hoping to make the connection. Of course, they totally made the flight to Guam despite the drama created by the producers of the show through editing. It would have been lame if they were eliminated by missing a flight!

Teams bunched up leading into the first task, but they felt safe knowing that they would have a half hour cushion as long as Team Prada did not come in first place. Team Schmirna was in last place leaving the Detour, but passed Team Prada on the way to the Roadblock because they got lost, yet again. It would have been nearly impossible for them to gain thirty minutes on Team Schmirna anyway.

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Team Prada Marked

In this episode, teams made their way from Hong Kong to Macau and did several tasks, including an amazing Roadblock at the Macau Tower. There were no long plane trips or airports on this leg of the race, just good old fashioned hustle to get from one place to another. Teams were at the mercy of navigational skills for this entire leg, whether their own or their taxi drivers’.

Eric & Danielle who were marked for elimination and yielded on this leg managed to miraculously make up the time. Danny & Oswald were completely screwed by their incompetent taxi driver. The taxi driver drove them to the wrong location on the Detour and the wrong park for the Pit Stop. Danny & Oswald were to blame as well. They wasted a lot of time unable to find the Dragon Detour destination on foot.

Danny & Oswald were lucky to find the last non-elimination leg. Instead they are now marked for elimination, but somehow I doubt that they will be able to run a flawless leg to get to first place. They also will not run a leg like the one Eric & Danielle just ran. Team Prada is likely to go next, but I hope it’s Team Schmirna that goes.

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Eric & Danielle Marked for Elimination

In this episode, teams made their way from Malaysia to Hong Kong. Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong must be the New York to Boston connection in Southeast Asia, because most flights there were booked. Danny & Oswald hustled to get on the first flight, the Beauty Queens and the Schminas got on the second flight, and Eric & Danielle trailed three hours behind on the third flight. At this point, I thought for sure that they were gone.

Luckily for them, this was a non-elimination leg and they were able to stay in the race. The producers edited the leg to build up tension, but everybody knew that even with all of Charla & Mirna’s mistaked that Eric & Danielle were really far behind them. Still, through the magic of editing they almost made it look close. We’ll have to wait for next week to see who’ll be in the final three.

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Uchenna & Joyce Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way from Poland to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. All teams chose sensible connections through Paris except for Uchenna & Joyce which chose a connection with only a one-hour layover in Frankfurt. You would think that after hearing the horror story from the last episode that they would have shied away from the tight connection. Instead they went for it, and it cost them dearly.

Uchenna & Joyce were so far back after missing their connection that the entire episode was about the remaining four teams. I totally forgot about Uchenna & Joyce stuck in Frankfurt until the very end of the episode. At least the race organizers sent them straight to the Pit Stop after landing in Malaysia to put them out of their misery. Surely it was because Phil needed to start heading to the next Pit Stop.

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Team Guido Eliminated

In this double-sized episode, teams had to make their way from Zanzibar to Poland. All of the teams were given tickets on a flight that landed in Poland the next morning at 11:25AM. This was quite an equalizer. Some teams were at the travel agency for about four hours trying to book better flights. Amazingly, Team Guido left the Pit Stop almost a full 15 hours behind the first place team.

Luckily for them, Eric & Danielle were unable to book flights earlier than their pre-arranged flight. Those two teams were tied for last place. In Kilimanjaro, they missed their connecting flight and fell even further behind the other teams. Teams fell so far behind in fact that in the following leg teams started the next leg before those two teams even finished.

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Teri & Ian Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way from Mozambique to Tanzania. Getting to Tanzania however was no easy task. There was one direct flight from Mozambique to Tanzania that was full so all of the teams except Charla & Mirna decided to get on standby for that flight. Charla & Mirna went to Johannesburg to get a connecting flight to Tanzania. When the other teams failed to get on standby, Charla & Mirna looked like geniuses for heading to Johannesburg.

All of the teams now had to make their way to Tanzania through Johannesburg, but connecting flights were all running at near capacity. Teams were on standby lists on these flights, but only a few teams got on the connecting flights. Charla & Mirna, Uchenna & Joyce, the Beauty Queens, and Oswald & Danny all made it to Tanzania the first day.

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Uchenna & Joyce Marked for Elimination

At the beginning of this episode, teams were immediately bunched up waiting for a chair lift to take them up to a glacier in the morning. I hate it when this happens. Teams that were five hours ahead all of the sudden have their lead taken away. Teams searched through a glacier for buried avalanche beacons to find their next clue. Even though Danny & Oswald were first to leave the Pit Stop, they were the last team to find the clue at the glacier.

The clue at the glacier advised all teams to travel to Maputo, Mozambique. And wouldn’t you know it!? Teams were again bunched up on the same flight to Africa! That just pisses me off! There’s no reason why the race producers can’t let teams maintain some of the bigger leads. I’d like to see the faster teams with 12-hour plus leads on the other teams. That would be pretty cool.

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Rob & Amber Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way to the city of Punta Arenas, Chile. Rob & Amber are the team to beat and the producers made it a point to have several teams say that on the pre-race interviews. This led me to believe that they were vulnerable on this episode. Call it a premonition or something, but I just knew something bad was going to happen to Rob & Amber. Unfortunately, I didn’t think that they would come in last place and be eliminated.

Rob & Amber chose to perform the Sign It Detour because Rob said “I’m good at building things.” Well, not really. Amber asked him to switch the task early in the Detour and Rob wanted to prove something by doing it. This was shocking to me because the Navigate It task seemed so much easier. All of the teams that chose that task were the first ones at the airport for the chartered flight to Argentina. Surely this would be an omen of things to come for Rob & Amber.

Mirna had a near mental breakdown doing the Sign It Detour and just ripped Charla a new one. Interestingly, Mirna wants to control exactly how things are done and lacks the emotional maturity to communicate to her cousin as an adult. I felt bad for the midget in this one. Mirna turned into a crazy bitch while yelling at Charla.

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Coal Miners Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way to another city in Chile called Puerto Montt. Rob & Amber had almost a full hour lead ahead of the pack of other teams. The Beauty Queens made an uneasy alliance with Teri & Ian. The Coal Miners were teary-eyed in the pre-leg interview thinking about the Cho Brothers. Please! It’s a race not summer camp!

Rob & Amber got some locals to help them find an Internet connection almost immediately. They actually found a travel agent slash internet café that was open all night and were able to get on the earliest flight connection. They booked their tickets before all of the other teams. All of the other teams headed over to the airport directly and ended up confirmed on a connection that was an hour later.

The leading teams landing in Puerto Montt were Rob & Amber, Team Guido, Uchenna & Joyce, and Eric & Danielle. The teams that were one hour behind managed to catch the other teams at the Roadblock, which was pretty brutal. One team member had to carry stinky fish for over an hour, not cool. Leaving the Roadblock, the order of the leading teams were Uchenna & Joyce, Team Guido, Rob & Amber, and Eric & Danielle.

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Kevin & Drew Eliminated

The first thing we find out on this episode of the race is that during the Pit Stop, Drew couldn’t catch his breath and needed to get oxygen a total of four times due to altitude sickness. It’s funny that they mentioned this, showed Drew getting oxygen for about 20 seconds, and abruptly continued with the race. You can tell that the producers are concerned that Drew may knock himself out of the race for medical reasons.

The first clue advised the teams to make their way from Ecuador to Santiago, Chile. All teams made their way through to a flight from Lima, Peru to Santiago, but Rob & Amber and Team Prada did not make the flight due to a delay in their connecting flight. This essentially took Rob & Amber from first place to last place. All of the teams went to a Roadblock that was open in the middle of the night. Awesome!

The Roadblock was a hard ass puzzle that allowed Team Prada and Rob & Amber to get to sixth and seventh place. Ultimately it didn’t matter since all of the teams were bunched up on the same flight to Calama, Chile. The interesting thing about this is that it didn’t allow the teams to sleep through the night. It was a flight, followed by a Roadblock, and immediately followed by another flight.

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John Vito & Jill Eliminated

Within the first minutes of this first episode, the teams were all introduced. Kevin & Drew admitted that they are “five years older, five years more out of shape.” Rob & Amber claimed that they have new tricks in store that will help them win the race. Uchenna & Joyce admitted to having problems in their relationship because of their failed attempts at having a child through in vitro fertilization. Teri & Ian looked like they are in way better shape than before, kicking ass on some bikes. We’ll see.

The start of the race was some park in Miami. Phil warned everyone not to take anyone else for granted. Duh!? The pre-race speech was nothing special. The same thing that everyone has heard before was said. Then “travel safe, go!” Teams found that they needed to make their way to Ecuador. As the teams ran to the cars, Charla was actually ahead of Drew. That has to be a bad omen for them—they are out of shape!

Teams got to Ecuador on two flights that were two hours apart. The first flight had the lead five teams which included Rob & Amber, Teri & Ian, Oswald & Danny, Charla & Mirna, and John Vito & Jill. The teams were sleeping on cots under a tent in a restaurant terrace! This seemed strange because the teams normally stay at hotels and seems to stay in separate rooms. Maybe the All-Stars edition is about keeping the teams in closer proximity than usual in between legs. If teams can’t get private time at the leg stops, prepare to see some fireworks.

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There are no race “virgins” here. Everybody has been on the race once before and knows what to expect. I don’t foresee any alliances, except maybe the Coal Miners attempting to make friends. They may make friends, but I doubt that there will be any team waiting for another like in the last race, that means you lame ass Cho Brothers!

There will be some secret weapons too! According to Charla, she will be wearing “heelies,” the roller shoes that little kids wear with wheels on the heels. According to the pre-race interview, Charla expects Mirna to pull her through airports and other places on these “skates.” At least they admit that Charla may break her leg or get hurt in the process. That will be some crazy shit to see.

Oh, and Teri & Ian claim to be using disposable underwear that they don’t have to carry around once they use them. Surely we won’t see them, but the fact that they admitted this in the pre-race interview is proof that they are uninhibited, or crazy.

This is a reminder that the Amazing Race 11, the All-Stars edition, will debut this Sunday night at 8:00 pm on CBS. In a recent TV Guide interview, Phil Keoghan revealed that the challenges are much more difficult and overall they are “wanting to push things a little harder because they’ve done it before.” Be sure not to miss it.

The full team list for Amazing Race 11 (aka Amazing Race: All-Stars) was revealed on the CBS website last week. Some of my favorite teams returning are Team Guido from the original race, Team Prada (Oswald & Danny) from season 2, Rob & Amber from season 7, and Team Miss America from season 10.

As I looked through the team bios, I noticed the villains from season 3, Teri & Ian. Teri looks like a completely different person! Her face is so stretched after her apparent face lift that it’s a wonder her ears don’t touch on the back of her head. She looks really jacked on the group picture with all the teams. Also of note, Eric from the Frat Boy team and Danielle from Team Pink Hoes of season 9 have teamed up to form a new team which I’ve dubbed Team Frathoe.

One item of note is that even though the race is being dubbed as an All Stars edition, only one winning team is represented, Uchenna & Joyce. The only other teams that even cracked the final three in their respective seasons are runners-up Rob & Amber, Teri & Ian, and Eric (1/2 of the Frathoe team). None of the third place finishers are in the race. Either way, the mix of strong personalities almost surely guarantees a confrontation that will be fun to watch.

Tune into the start of the race on Sunday, February 18th at 8:00 PM on CBS!

Apparently, Amazing Race 11 will be an all-star edition of the race that will feature past winners and notable teams invited at the discretion of the CBS producers. Apparently past winners Chip & Kim and BJ & Tyler (the Hippies) were not invited to be in the new race and are complaining on their own websites and blogs about it like a bunch of sore losers. BJ writes at one point that they were the “winningest winners ever to win.” Whatever, dude! If I never see those shaggy bastards again it will be fine by me!

Variety reports that Rob & Amber (aka Romber) will be in the all-star edition, as will David & Mary, the Coal Miners from Kentucky from the most recent season of the race. Luckily for all of us, nobody from the family edition of the race was invited. It seems that the producers are trying to forget that lame ass edition as much as the rest of us. The new edition of the race is set to air early next year.

Druggies Win The Race

For the first time in years, I was way too busy to write episode summaries for all of the episodes of the Amazing Race 10. I didn’t stop watching the show though! However, I couldn’t really call myself a fan if I didn’t write a synopsis of the thirteenth and final episode. First of all, I was sad to see Miss America eliminated fourth. I had thought that if those two made it into the final three they would have been the first all female team to win the race. They were the “great blonde hope.”

Although they were eliminated, Team Alabama was able to post a new achievement, as they were the first all female team to reach the final three. They were scrappy. Unfortunately, they were not strong enough to win the race and were relegated to finish a disappointing third well behind the other two teams. Ultimately, it was the Druggies that were able to pull it off. They had the most first place finishes of any other team on this race and came in first when it counted–at the finish line.

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Triathletes Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way from India to Kuwait. That’s right, just one small border cross away from Iraq, where U.S. troops are blown up daily. All the teams were bunched up in Mumbai and arrived in Kuwait at the same time.

Kuwait proved to be a hard place to navigate, with many teams getting lost in between tasks. Team Alabama, the Asian Brothers, and the Coal Miners had an alliance and consider themselves friends. So much so that the Asian Brothers let the Coal Miners “take” the Fast Forward because the Coal Miners were marked for elimination. Dumb move.

The Coal Miners came in first with the Fast Forward. I thought for sure that the Asian Brothers would be gone after their mistake, but ultimately it was the Triathletes inability to read a map that would eventually do them in. I’m sad to see Sarah go, but Peter was such a dick that I’m glad he’s gone. Buh-bye!

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Coal Miners in Last Place

In this episode, teams made their way from Vietnam to India. Teams were immediately all bunched up on a train on the way to Hanoi, Vietnam. On the train, the Asian Brothers decided to annoy the hell out of Peter of the Triathletes team by faking that they were using a cell phone to book flights. While this *did* annoy Peter, it inspired to find a real cell phone to arrange for reservations. The Triathletes and Miss America called ahead to a hotel travel agency to book tickets to Chennai, India. There was a lot of drama with all of the teams making different flight arrangements to get to Chennai.

Ultimately, the Asian Brothers got the earliest booked flights to Chennai through Hong Kong and Dehli that put them into Chennai three hours before other teams. The Asian Brothers quickly shared their information with the Coal Miners and Alabama, who changed their reservations at the airport to get to Dehli and fly standby to Chennai. This proved to be a good move, but they didn’t beat Miss America and the Triathletes who got better flights to Chennai from Bangkok.

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Bitches Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way from Vac, Vietnam to Hanoi, Vietnam. A first for the race, teams had to “listen” for their clue rather than find a clue box for their first task. This proved to be difficult for some of the teams because they couldn’t write down the names of their next destinations. The language (or literacy) barrier proved to be a pretty funny situation. Sadly, all the teams bunched up after the taxi ride waiting for a bus.

Teams then made their way via bus to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam to get to their next Roadblock. The Roadblock was to use an ascender to go up a cliff using a single rope. No big deal right, except all of the sudden it was like “What!?” Peter made Sarah do the Roadblock even though she only has one leg and climbing is about leg strength more than it is about arm strength—everybody knows that. People with two legs could alternate between their two legs to do the climb, Sarah couldn’t.

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Team Lesbian Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way from Mongolia to Hanoi, Vietnam. It was interesting that the teams started with zero dollars for this leg of the race. So teams that had not been frugal up to this point in the race were immediately at a disadvantage.

Team Lesbian had very little money and thought that it would be a good idea to befriend a Vietnamese woman on the plane to show them where the Hanoi Hilton was. They actually waited for her to get her baggage from the plane before heading out in a taxi. They deserved elimination just for that dumb move!

Once in the taxi, the woman took them a half hour out of the way so that the taxi would take her to her brother’s house before taking the Lesbian team to the Hanoi Hilton. Idiots! Adding insult to injury, they didn’t have enough to pay the taxi, which the taxi driver forgave, but left them without any money for the next taxi ride the following morning.

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Cheerleaders Eliminated

In this episode, teams needed to make their way by bus and train to Mongolia. Once there, they dealt with crappy trucks, semi-wild horses, crazy yaks, and flaming arrows. After it was all said and done, the Triathletes were first, Druggies were second, Lesbian was third, Bitches were fourth, Miss America was fifth, the Yellers (Rob & Kimberly) were sixth, Cole Miners were seventh, Asian Brothers were eighth, and Alabama was ninth.

The Cheerleaders could not overcome driving the wrong way, not once, but twice on the same leg. They literally lacked direction and that forced them to arrive at the Roadblock well behind the other teams. Adding insult to injury, they were unable to even finish the Roadblock due to sheer exhaustion. They were eliminated from the race.

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Muslims and Team Karma Eliminated

In this premiere episode of the race, teams made their way from Seattle, Washington to Beijing, China. The first stumbling block was of course, reading the first clue correctly. The teams had to go to Thrifty Airport Parking, but a bunch of them went to Thrifty Rental Car Return. Rookie mistakes. Ultimately, the planes did not land too far apart from each other due to a delay with the first flight.

After the race’s first Roadblock, teams made their way to the Forbidden City and picked departure times off a board. The Muslims came in as the “Last Team” and had to meet Phil on a mat, while all the other teams didn’t. Phil told them, “You are the last team to arrive at this point in the race. Even though this is not a Pit Stop, I am sorry to tell you that you’ve both been eliminated from the race.” I guess maybe praying four times a day was a bad idea. I thought it was unusual that there were twelve teams instead of eleven teams this time around. Well, the mystery of the twelfth team has been solved. The Muslims were eliminated and it was only half way through the episode!

The next morning, the Triathletes noticed that Sarah’s leg was leaking hydraulic fluid, which is bad news because apparently this is something that Peter can’t fix in the field. I was shocked that McGyver couldn’t just mix some chocolate milk with spit to refill the fluid. Whatever. Teams headed to the race’s first Detour. Surprisingly, almost all of the teams chose to do the more physical of the two challenges, including the Triathletes, even though the leg was leaking. After the Detour, teams needed to make their way to the Pit Stop at the foot of the Great Wall. The big twist for this race was a physical challenge, teams needed to climb the side of the wall to get access to the Pit Stop.

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Looking at the Amazing Race 10 site I noticed that the teams for the next installment of the race are listed on the website and the premiere date has been scheduled for Sunday, September 17th. Taking a quick look at the teams it is clear that the team composition for this race is very different than in races past. Missing from the race are an evangelical Christian team, a gay team, and an old fart team. These team types, particularly the gay teams, have been a part of the race since inception and made famous by Team Guido in the first race.

The first cool team is The Muslims, two best friends that grew up in Cleveland, Ohio that surely hope to show the country that not all Muslims are fundamentalists. The required gay team has been replaced by a straight father that is racing with his estranged lesbian daughter, which I am dubbing Team Lez. The old farts have been replaced by a team that includes a triathlete with a prosthetic leg, The Triathletes.

It’s a really diverse group! Amazingly, there are also Asian Brothers from San Francisco and an Indian Couple from Florida in the race to go along with the first Muslim team. The show producers are certainly trying to diversify the race and remove some of the white and blond from races past, so that’s exciting. I mean the racers are still mostly white, but it is more diverse. As in every race, there are plenty of models and pageant winners, or eye candy, to go around. There are three all female teams that hope to vie for the “first all female team to win” title, one being the token African American team. I wish them luck. They’re going to need it, since female teams tend to go out early.

In any case, the film has been shot, the teams have been listed, the episodes are surely being edited right now, and the race will air in only four short weeks.

Sorry for the crude title, but I just couldn’t resist the rhyme. Lance Bass, former ‘N Sync singer and teenage heartthrob, came out of the closet today by announcing his gayness and undying love for Reichen Lehmkuhl. Reichen of course was half of the Reichen & Chip team that won the Amazing Race 4. Reichen & Chip split shortly after winning the race and supposedly are still really good friends. Whatever. Reichen is back in the news because of Lance. Now, let’s get back to our daily lives and forget about both of these guys again.

According to Entertainment Weekly, a new show called Trasure Hunters will premiere on June 18th on NBC. The format of the show seems eerily familiar. Ten teams of three will search the globe for clues that will lead them to a secret treasure. Clues will be linked to tasks like hiking on glaciers or scuba diving. The contents of the secret treasure have not been revealed, but let me guess, it’s probably worth $1 million. I hope that it isn’t completely lame so that it may satisfy my fix for the race until the next Amazing Race season. Tune in and see.

The Amazing Race 10 has been announced on the CBS Fall Schedule to air on Sunday nights at 8:00PM. This time slot is much more kid friendly than Tuesdays at 10:00PM. Hopefully this change will help the race improve its ratings by gaining back its youngest audience. Also according to the New York Times, the show “has been renewed for one more edition, and is in negotiations for more.”

I hope that one of those in negotiation is an All-Star edition of the Amazing Race. Eligibility to this All-Star version of the race should be determined by a minimum amount of first place finishes in the legs of the race. That way you invite back not only those that have won the race, but those that finished consistently in first place but didn’t win. I for one would love to see Rob & Amber battle it out with the Hippies and the Jocks of this last edition.

Another interesting twist for the dream All-Star edition would be to start the race with 15 teams and the bottom five get eliminated in a gargantuan two-hour premiere initial leg. Or maybe they could elimintate the bottom two teams for the first three episodes. Something like that would be really cool and would change things up a bit. I mean Survivor has exile island and Donald Trump sometimes fires three mofos at a time. So why can’t the race eliminate two or more at a time? That would be awesome!

In any case, the filming of the Amazing Race 10 starts next month and this will be my last Amazing Race entry until the Amazing Race 10 teams are announced in the early Fall. As always, I can hardly wait for the next race!

Hippies Win the Race

After 59,000 miles, 9 countries, and 5 continents, the Hippies edged out the Jocks and the Tokens to win this 9th edition of the Amazing Race. Although like Cartman I hated the Hippies throughout the race, I have to give them props for going from last to first two legs before the end and keeping their lead through the finish. They also beat the Jocks in the paddleboat sprint, which showed that they were not only smart, but a physical threat if need be. Their win is well deserved.

In this episode, teams made their way from Thailand to Tokyo, Japan on the first leg. Surprisingly, Tyler from the Hippies team revealed that he spoke Japanese, who would have thunk it? Well, that didn’t help the Hippies get on the first flight out of Thailand. Ray & Yolanda and the Jocks made it out of Thailand on the first flight, while the Hippies were left behind. So they were bringing up the rear, but had the language advantage.

Immediately after arriving in Tokyo, teams were given their own cars and started driving towards Shibuya Crossing. That’s dangerous. Let me tell you, driving in Japan on the wrong side of the street is not an easy task. It is scary as all hell as a passenger because you tend to forget that you are on the wrong side and freak out every time you make a turn onto a divided highway.

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Ken & Barbie Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way from Darwin, Australia, in the middle of the Australian Outback to Bangkok, Thailand. The story of the race was that one of the Hippies, BJ, had no pants or shoes. Yolanda, of the Tokens, was nice enough to give BJ a pair of pants and the hotel lost and found box yielded a pair of flip flops for him. It’s the first time ever that a team member was without shoes, even if for a brief time.

It seemed that all of the teams were bunched up at the airport and on the same flight. This gave the Hippies the opportunity to go to downtown Darwin to beg for cash. When they got back they couldn’t get on the same flight as the other teams. But they managed to get a flight that was to land within 15 minutes of the other teams.

Upon landing in Bangkok, Ken & Barbie had a little breakdown because Ken was in a bad mood and acting pissy because Bangkok looked “shady.” Grow some balls man! Once they got to the bus terminal they decided to ask the guard about where to buy tickets to their destination city instead of asking the people at the ticket booth. The guard told them they couldn’t buy them at that booth and they missed the midnight bus to Lopburi. So dumb!

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Hippies in Last Place

In this episode, the final four teams made immediately made their way to the Swan Bells tower in Perth, Australia. The sucky thing was that the tower didn’t open until the morning, causing the final four teams to bunch up almost immediately. The animosity between Ken & Barbie and the Hippies was high from the start, and you just knew that some shit was going to go down later in the leg.

Teams slept outside. After they woke up they all called for taxi pickups outside the tower to pick them up after they picked up their clue. Eric from the Jocks canceled the taxis for the Hippies and the Tokens. This was both smart and mean, but not against the rules of the race. The Jocks coincidentally booked their taxi under the name Doug Brubaker. Sneaky fuckers!

The funny thing is that the Jocks’ taxi didn’t show up. So the only taxi that showed was the one for Ken & Barbie. The Hippies and the Tokens assumed that it was them that canceled their taxis and immediately set their sights on Ken & Barbie. Now there’s all this animosity from all the teams towards Ken & Barbie instead the Jocks.

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Old Farts Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way from Jabreen, Oman to Perth, Australia. Right from the start the Old Farts were gloating about how their travel experience will get them past the other teams on the race. Right! This is their first time in first place and they are talking smack. Whatever!

All the teams except for The Jocks and Ken & Barbie actually left money for The Hippies as a good will gesture. The Jocks left a $100 IOU payable to the Hippies after the race, which was smarter than not leaving anything at all. The Hippies vowed to go after Ken & Barbie for their insolence. We’ll see what happens. It’s a win-win if either one of those teams go.

The Hippies actually picked up a hitchhiker on the way to the airport, which was a really cool gesture. The amazing thing is that they still made the flight with apparently just minutes to spare. The other teams were really bummed to see them board the plane. It reminded me of the episode a couple of races ago when Boston Rob boarded the plane much to the dismay of all the other teams.

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Hippies in Last Place

In this episode, teams made their way from Rio, Greece to Muscat, Oman. The Hippies started the race just 9 minutes before the departure of the first bus, so they were the only team on the second bus to the airport and an hour behind all of the other teams. It was funny that all of the other teams were ecstatic to see the Hippies walking while they were on the first bus. But it didn’t matter; all of the teams would eventually bunch up at the first task in Oman.

In this episode the Tokens had a little breakdown. They started out teasing each other and ended up giving each other the bird. Then they made up, then they started fighting on the way to the Pit Stop. It’s amazing how fast relationships can break down with the stress of the race. Especially true for these two, since before the race they had never spent more than four straight days together. Ouch!

By the way, Oman is a beautiful country. The urban centers look incredibly clean, with opulent temples and palaces. The rural areas have breathtaking scenery and the people seem really nice. I bet that it’s a beautiful place to visit for a couple of weeks, as long as you are not digging Shuwa.

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Asshole Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way from Aretusa, Italy to Rome via train. Unfortunately, the earliest transportation caused all of the teams to bunch up on the way to Rome. Once in Rome, teams found a couple of clue boxes and then headed to the airport to head to Athens, Greece. And again, all teams were bunched up on the same flight into Athens.

The Jocks found the Fast Forward almost immediately and headed to the Pit Stop. The other teams needed to fend for themselves by heading to a bungee jump Roadblock. The story of the Roadblock was Fran, of the Old Fart team, that seemed to freeze when she reached the end of the platform. But she managed to do an awkward almost feet-first jump that I thought would break her neck, but she survived.

Lake & Michelle had a little breakdown in the car on the way to the Detour. Michelle threw the map at Lake, who was driving, and he threw it back at her violently. It reminded me of the Jonathan & Victoria moment of a few races past. Lake is such a dick to his wife it pisses me off. I couldn’t wait until his ass was eliminated, even if his wife is an innocent victim in this scenario.

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Nerds Eliminated

In this episode of the race, teams initially made their way to the city of Catania, Italy on the island of Sicily to find their first clue. Thankfully, only the Hippies and the Jocks made it to the amphitheatre when it opened and all the teams didn’t “bunch up” like they normally do. Everyone knows how much “bunching up” makes the race almost unbearable to watch.

The ride to Catania was a long one. By the time the other teams got to the city there was an obscene amount of traffic in the city. It seems that the first two teams managed to get a huge advantage over the other teams by allowing them to complete the Detour and leave the city before morning rush hour. The Jocks managed to make their way back into first place by driving faster than the Hippies to the Roadblock in Syracusa.

All in all, I have to say that this episode was pretty boring. I mean, Sicily is beautiful and all. But the teams didn’t so any tasks that were very adventurous or exciting. I am looking forward to the teams getting to leave Italy and do something a little more exciting. Thankfully, the previews for next week show that teams will be in Greece doing Olympic events and doing bungee jumping. That’s more like it!

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The eliminated Pink Hoes completely deny hooking up with the Jocks on the Amazing Race. They claim to have only flirted and cuddled with the guys and that’s it. According to them, not even a kiss was exchanged. Uh huh, yeah right!

I just saw a commercial and noticed that the Amazing Race 9 is moving to Wednesdays at 8:00PM, which is its old night, but not its old time slot. Apparently the ratings for the show have been pretty low on Tuesdays at 10:00PM, averaging less than 10 million viewers per episode. For those without TiVo, 10:00PM is awful late to watch the race and I am glad that the race is moving back to Wednesdays at a much more reasonable hour. Watch it damn it!

Pink Hoes Eliminated

In this episode, teams made their way from Munich, Germany to Palermo, Italy on the island of Sicily. They needed to go to the famous Palermo Opera House, of Godfather III fame, to find their next clue. At the start of the leg one thing was clear to me: I really don’t like the Hippies, BJ & Tyler. Their antics and attempts to be funny are killing me. Again, I repeat, they must die.

Teams arrived in Palermo and went to the Detour and then the Roadblock, where a Yield was available. The Old Farts were the story of this race. Why is it that old people on the race always miss the clue boxes? The clue boxes are bright yellow and red you blind geezers!

The Laundry task was easy for team members that pulled clothing off the line as they went along. Then there were the Nerds, who were initially pinning the clothes back onto the line after they inspected them. Are they retarded? It was only after other teams arrived that they realized they could just simply pull the articles of clothing off the line.

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Boricuas Eliminated

In this episode, teams continued the leg from the mat and headed from Moscow, Russia to Stuttgart, Germany. Surprisingly, the Old Farts are still well in the race. The teams that chose to wash the trolleys were definitely trailing near the end of the pack. And as I predicted, the Nerds were pulling up the rear.

The best news for this episode, the teams didn’t all bunch up at the airport. Three teams: the Jocks, the Nutty Dentist, and the Hippies, made it out of Moscow the same night as they touched the mat. All of the other teams had to wait until the following morning to catch flights out of Moscow, putting them 10-12 hours behind the lead teams.

The test drive at the Mercedes-Benz factory looked sweet! Teams were driven by a professional driver on a closed course that included the “wall of death,” an amazing 80-degree banked turn. The speed at which the car took the turn looked incredible. Surely to experience the gravity of that turn in a production car was a once in a lifetime experience.

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Jocks in First Place

The big story of this episode is that the Pink Hoes and the Jocks “hooked up” during the last Pit Stop. The show didn’t really elaborate, but they did show two peeps, Eric and Danielle, cozying up on a hammock. So, an alliance has been established. We’ll see what happens as the race goes on. It’s a long race and the chances of both of these teams being in the final three are pretty slim.

Ten minutes into the episode, as the Nutty Dentist team left the Pit Stop, Lake snapped on Michelle and told her to “Shut up!” Surely this is an omen of things to come. A breakdown is eminent with these two, I can feel it. They literally got lost leaving the farm because Lake just thought he couldn’t be wrong about how to get back to the highway. Idiot.

The Hippies thought it would be funny to jump out in front of other team cars going into the first task. All I kept thinking was “God, please let at least one of them get hit by a car.” Those Hippies are not funny, but they think they’re funny. That’s the worst kind of hippie. They are acting up for the cameras with their fucking antics and are clearly not naturally funny. It is clear that they must die.

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Grandmas Eliminated

In this leg of the race, teams made their way from São Paolo the rural area of Brotas, Brazil. No planes were boarded on this leg; teams simply took a bus ride from one side of the country to the other. The bus ride was followed by a couple of tasks that the teams had to do while driving old junky Volkswagen bugs.

All of the teams bunched up at the beginning of the race right before the Roadblock, but the physical Roadblock determined three staggered departure times on the buses which broke the teams up into three packs. I hate when the teams bunch up like that, but what can you do? The bunching up coupled with the lack of air travel made for a pretty boring episode.

At the beginning of the race, Dave said of Lori, “She’s my hottie-boom-body with the naughty Pilates.” Dave said this in not so much a cute way, but a downright creepy way that scared me. The Nerds are fucking creepy with their constant dork-in-love-fest that they got going on. They are starting to bug me.

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Gay Guys Eliminated

In this first episode of the race, the teams started the race near Denver, Colorado, at the foot of the Rockies, at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. As far as I can remember, this was the first time that the race has started this far inland. It has typically started in a coastal city, except for the start in Chicago for the last race. Teams immediately made their way to São Paolo, Brazil.

Surprisingly, BJ & Tyler
(the Hippies) got the hole shot out of the start and were able to run to their car in first place. They seemed not too concerned about the altitude as they ran and are in better shape than their looks would have you believe. They
could be sleepers in physical challenges later in the race.

Lake & Michelle (the Nutty Dentist) almost immediately proved why Mississippi gets low reading comprehension scores. Lake decided to stop and make phone reservations for their flight even though the clue explicitly said not to do
so. Lake didn’t even admit he was to blame and said “I was partially responsible for that.” No Lake, you were solely responsible, and you are an idiot.

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The Amazing Race 9 will premiere tonight at 9:00PM on CBS. Don’t miss it!

The Amazing Race 9 teams were revealed yesterday with little fanfare on the CBS website. The most exciting part of this race is the return of the 2-person team format. CBS officials have already confirmed that the Family Edition of the race will not return, ever. That’s good. Thankfully, this season doesn’t have too many teams that list their occupation as “models.” That’s not to say that there isn’t the obligatory eye candy, but it seems to have been diminished. This will again be “real” people running the race.

Based on the bios, all of the teams seem evenly matched and all the race cliches are represented. In commemoration of the original “Team Guido,” there’s one gay team, but they appear to be friends and not a couple. There’s one pair of middle-aged ladies that are twins, that’s pretty cool. There’s one geek team, and it will be painfully obvious as to who they are. There’s one older couple, as always. There’s several married and dating couples (too many to link), one of which is African-American. There’s one cutesy team of young girl friends. There’s one cutesy team of young guy friends. There’s no father-son team, but there is one mother-daughter team.

I am rooting for the mother-daughter team because they are Puerto Ricans from New York. Since they are representin’, I am going to have to put them down as my favorite. However, the odds are stacked against them since no two-female team has ever won the race. Tune in on February 28th for the two-hour premiere and let the race begin.