Amazing Race
4 Continents, 24 Cities, 40,000 Miles

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Back to the (sucking) Windy City
Previously on This Year's Model: Well, there was fighting. And occasional racing, but mostly fighting, and bitching, and complaining, and crying, and have I mentioned fighting? Because it was just oh, so satisfying, and it was oh, so much fun to watch. In better news, Phil's description in the previouslys of "[El Hornio's] fear of almost everything he encountered" is by far the biggest burn this show has ever explicitly put on anybody, and while it's a little bit mean, it's also really funny, particularly when combined with footage of El Hornio floating around in the scuba outfit like a bloated, deceased sea creature of some kind. Incidentally, ahead of the party recap, I want to shout out the fact that despite the fact that the season was Asshole-Enhanced For Your Non-Enjoyment near the end, these racers in person were some of the nicest and friendliest ever, including Kris and Jon (who both indulged me in prattling on about how pretty he was, because they just plain fucking rock, and would even if he hadn't let me pat his prickly hair), Hera (who is so cool to talk to that I could probably have spent another half-hour doing it), Meredith and Maria (awesome and funny), Lena and Kristy (again, awesome and funny), Hornio (good sports, way more than necessary under the circumstances), and Aaron (who is taaaaaaaaall). Others in attendance were reportedly also very sweet, but those are the ones I personally met. So thanks to all.

Credits. In the credits of my imagination, Jonathan and Victoria aren't there. It occurs to me that if Industrial Light and Magic could erase people from real events like it can erase them from video, they would actually be more powerful than Yoda. Do you think that qualifies as irony? I do.

Commercials. What do you get if you cross horrific boredom with wretched excess? Yes, that's right. You get Survivor: Palau. Join us beginning next week for a whole new season of the same old crap. And with that, I have officially become the Creaky Old Grandpa of Recapping, all, "Damn kids and their tribal council and their wah-wah-wah, don't know how to build a fire."

We return to Shanghai, which Phil promises is the largest city in China. In fact, it's -- wait for it -- a "bustling metropolis." I wonder if it has crowded streets and a chaotic marketplace. Oh, the days of yore. What Shanghai most definitely does have is the ironically named Peace Hotel South, where peace-loving teams like...Hornio...and Aaron and Hayden...and Nuance...will be departing for this next leg. I do appreciate Phil wearing the striped shirt he stole from the lost and found at the Shanghai Recreational Center For Wrinkly Old Accountants. I'm telling you, Phil is so cute, it's just a travesty what they do to him with the wardrobe stuff. It's like when a really hot car goes by and it's blasting, like, Celine Dion. Anyway, Phil reminds us again that it was non-elimination, so Hornio lost its money but was not Philiminated. He wonders aloud whether their "determination" will carry them through to the end. He also wonders whether Hayden and Aaron will keep up the strong finishes, as we watch Aaron in pit stop footage making a sort of "ay yi yi" face, which means somebody probably just reminded him that the chick sitting next to him is his girlfriend.

11:20 PM. Here go Hayden and Aaron. Her spaghetti-strap top is even more low-hanging than usual, so that's a hell of a lot of boob for the beginning of a long day. She reads the clue, which, if you believe her, tells them to head for "Exxon." I'm tempted to suggest that the next challenge will be oil spill cleanup, but then it occurs to me that that reference is older than Methuselah's grandmother, and maybe I should make a more relevant one about corporate meddling in national energy policy instead. Fortunately for my non-desire to do current-events research, it turns out that in fact, the clue tells them to go to Xi'an, pronounced more like "shee-ahn," as Phil immediately corrects in his explanation. As I've said before, I love the explanations where you can almost hear Phil pronouncing the name of the city emphatically, barely restraining himself from starting with, "AHEM." When they get to Xi'an, teams will take a taxi to Drum Tower to find another clue. Hayden explains in an interview that she and Aaron expect to have an advantage due to their "cohesiveness." They are so going to utilize synergy. They hop in a cab and head for the train station.

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Amazing Race

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