Amazing Race
Cheaters Never Win — And They Cheated!

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Miss Alli: A | Grade It Now!
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Again with the racing

Debra and Steve are married parents from Indiana. Now, wait. That is three Steves. What is this, a damn Dr. Seuss book? Anyway, Debra and IndianaSteve are what we might refer to as "plus-sized," but I would point out that Debra, in particular, isn't as "plus" in body as she looks in the face. They tell us that they're "fat, forty, and fun." And functionally alliterate! IndianaSteve tells us that they won't be able to get ahead physically, so they'll have to get ahead mentally. It's good to know your strengths. Come to think of it, it's a shame that teams rarely have the self-awareness to say, "It's a good thing we run fast, because we are as dumb as a can of creamed corn."

Jon and Al are clowns. No, really. They're literally clowns. Oh, and also? Yes, that's two Jons. Sigh. (Likelihood that a guy on The Amazing Race 4 is named David, Steve, or Jon: 46.7 percent.) ClownJon (as opposed to BuffJon) is, as it turns out, a human cannonball in the Barnum & Bailey circus. Look, there he is, getting shot out of a cannon and landing in a net. We see them clowning with their clown makeup, actually doing that thing where one of them whaps the other one with a powder puff. Clown clown clown. You just can't stop saying it, really. Clown! Also, they juggle! That'll come in handy!

The teams stroll onto what looks like shallow centerfield as Phil gives his usual speech about who among these people will prove to have the necessary "brains, brawn, and teamwork" to win. "These are the questions waiting to be answered as we get ready to begin..." Phil pauses to let you observe his suave hosting skills. "The Amazing Race." With that, Phil walks over toward the edge of the building he's standing on. Phil, don't do it! You have so much to live for! Fortunately, Phil does not jump. That was almost a really sad and abrupt ending there. I really don't want the first Roadblock to involve helping wash Phil off the sidewalk.

Back in shallow center (which seems oddly appropriate for some of these teams), Phil explains that there will be thirteen legs, and there will be tasks, and money is limited, and so on. Phil explains that it's important to get to the pit stops quickly, because at nine of them, if you get there last, you'll be -- eyebrow-pop -- eliminated. He asks them if they understand, and everybody nods. Phil explains that their first clue is waiting with their luggage. Once they get their bags and read their clues, they can exit through the center field fence, run to the SUVs that are waiting, take one, and get going. "Everybody ready?" Phil says. They all go, "Wooo!" and clap. Because you have to. If you stop Phil and say, "Wait, how many legs are there again?" you will lose your psychological edge. "The world is waiting for you," Phil says rakishly. "Good luck...travel safe...go!" Screaming, they all fly past Phil in a pack, and he leans back as if being blown by a stiff wind. Man, Phil is so cool. Can you believe Survivor blew him off for freaking Probst? Idiots. Everyone streams across centerfield in a drop-dead sprint until they reach their luggage and open their first clue. I always think it's interesting to note how the opening sprint goes, and you know who kicked its ass, other than the people you might have spotted? Monica. She smoked that sucker. Anyway, the clue tells them to get themselves to Milan, Italy on one of three flights -- a SwissAir flight, a Lufthansa flight, or a KLM flight. Seats are, of course, first come, first served, and they have $200 for the leg.

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Amazing Race

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