Amazing Race
Desert Storm

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Miss Alli: B+ | Grade It Now!
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I'd walk a mile for a Camel

Previously on Reality TV (Reality Sold Separately): Big castles loomed in the south of France. The racers visited Tunisia, which Phil, drawing on his limitless experience with travel, astutely described as "crowded." The insistently ground-level footage suggests it is crowded, however, primarily with feet and legs, so there should be plenty of room to wave your arms. According to Phil, "one team betrayed another," and the editing kind of suggests that Rob and Brennan betrayed Frank and Margarita. Not! I'm the first to pick on the lawyers when they need it, but the EDG breakdown is on Loud Pushy Frank's head, not Esquire's. (Some unfortunate things are on Esquire's heads, but we'll get to that.) Amie and Paul bickered, but it was nothing compared to Lenny and Karyn, who seemed destined to explore the groundbreaking legal question of whether you can obtain a very bitter divorce without actually getting married. The Frat/Momily friendship warmed hearts. The Coliseum was very confusing, and no one did a particularly adept job of navigating it. Davey and Margaretta -- grandparents, pilots, and just plain lovely folks -- were eliminated, thus dropping the total amount of class in the group to about a tenth of what it previously possessed.

Credits. Music borrowed from the upcoming film, Dante, the Crime-Fighting Pilates Instructor.

Fade up on the usual atmospheric drunken careening of cameras, this week at the Coliseum. (Not that Coliseum, this isn't Rome -- we're talking about the El-Jem Coliseum. Tunisia, people -- keep up!) Phil informs us that the Coliseum is 2,000 years old, and was once the site of battles between gladiators and lions. (Yeah, but so was the worst movie ever to win Best Picture, so don't go bragging.) Still, with all of its rich history, only now is this historical landmark fulfilling its potential by acting as a pit stop on a race around the world shown on TV. Somewhat surprisingly, we see a shot of the teams relaxing together during the twelve-hour layover. They're sort of sitting around drinking and yakking and acting like goofs -- hey, this could be an MBTV staff meeting!

This is a good time to point out something I've been meaning to mention, and it goes under the category In Fairness To Team Guido (I know, I know, try to contain your shock). In case you haven't noticed, the teams have clearly been encouraged to coordinate their clothes, at least to some degree. Momily has matching green jackets, Lenny and Karyn's black-and-blue jackets match, Paul and Amie's jackets are roughly the same color…I'm not defending the Guidos; I'm just saying they probably don't match every day in real life like total weirdos, and they just took the show's instructions to a ridiculous extreme. It doesn't excuse their entire labeled clothing line, but it's something to hang on to the next time you wonder whether they've gone completely mad.

Whew. That pained me. Anyway, Phil Phills us in on the rules as he does every week, and he explains that, in this round, the first clue they have once they leave the Coliseum is a picture of a monument with the word "Tataouine" written on it. I immediately think to myself, "Wait a minute. Isn't Tattooine a Star Wars planet?" Then I think about what an uncultured buffoon I am. As thwappa-thwappa music plays, Phil tells us that this monument is 300 miles away -- in other words, Standard Amazing Race Taxi Distance. Believe it or not, Phil exposits that the two possibilities are that the teams in front will stay in front, or the teams in back will move up. Yeah, thanks, Phil. Where would I be without you?

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Amazing Race

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