Amazing Race

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In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

As a pair of large military helicopters roar in over the Pacific Ocean -- presumably with 22 Amazing Racers inside them -- Phil gets into the spirit of the teams' mode of transportation towards the starting line: "0700 hours," he intones, "and the dawn of a new adventure." He tells us that the teams are headed for the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, California (not Los Alamedos, as my ignorant ass spelled it in the recaplet). Apparently some kind of race is about to start.

So it's time to meet the teams. We're starting with the blondes. There's always a pair of blondes, so we might as well get them out of the way. But in this case, at least they have a hook that isn't wearing pink all the time. Christie and Jodi are a pair of flight attendants who plan to use the travel knowledge they've amassed in their careers in order to do well in the race. I approve of that, even if "Flight Attendants" is harder to type than "Blondes." One of them also says that in foreign countries, "Blonde women can get away with murder," which they plan to take advantage of. I approve of that rather less. If that's how they're going to play it, it's going to take very little screwing up on their part to convince me to demote them to "Blondes Mark 14."

Tammy and Victor are siblings and lawyers, who apparently share a loft apartment and play the piano together a lot. Tammy explains that they both went to Harvard Law School, although not at the same time, since Victor is a decade older. "Nine years," Victor corrects fussily. Victor seems a little on the fussy side, if you know what I mean. He says that he's used to seeing his sister as the attention-seeking three-year-old she used to be, and she's hoping to show him that he can rely on her. First get him to stop shoving you off the piano bench, missy.

Margie and Luke are mother and son, and Luke is completely deaf. He also does not lip-read, so his mother is his translator. They demonstrate how this works for the interview cameras, as he uses American Sign Language to say that he's on the Race to show that deaf people can do it too while Margie translates. I don't understand ASL, but my wife Trash does, and I will be calling on her periodically throughout the season to make sure Luke is really saying what everyone says he is.

Steve and Linda are from Virginia, and are aware that they might fit some people's stereotypes of what Steve calls "hicks from the sticks." We see them hanging out in the front yard of what looks like a pretty isolated home, and doing some fly-fishing (they're at least sophisticated enough to own hip-waders) as Linda says that's fine, and Steve says it's also probably true. I'll not only try to avoid easy jokes predicated on hillbilly stereotypes, I'll also be the first to say that it's not Steve's fault that he bears a certain physical resemblance to Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel.

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Amazing Race

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