Amazing Race
Five Continents, 25 Cities, and More Than 40,000 Miles

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Miss Alli: B- | Grade It Now!
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As they celebrate victory, they announce that they'll be trying for the baby. A guy yelling, "In vitro, here we come!" on the mat is a little unconventional, but okay. And then, of course, he gives the shout-out for adoption. Also a great plan. They thank all the other teams. Unsurprisingly and disgustingly, you can hear Lynn trying to hog the attention going, "You guys are good people." Ugh, that is so revolting. That guy shutting the fuck up is just about the best thing about the end of the season, for me. Joyce announces that they heard everyone praying that they would win.

Rob and Amber run up, and the other teams are sure to chill them out and clap half-assedly, just to make their point one more time. I'm not sure what the hating is about -- apparently, it's not the part where they bribed the bus driver not to open the door, because you'll remember that Uchenna and Joyce were in on that, so...huh. Very interesting. Anyway, Phil congratulates Rob and Amber on being very competitive. Rob says they gave it their all, but he says, "Hats off to Uchenna and Joyce." Amber says she's excited about getting married and starting a family. "We finished second," Rob says, "but I wouldn't change a thing. I got Amber, so I'm in first place in my book." They smooch. Later, we welcome Ron and Kelly. Phil asks them how the relationship is. Kelly: "I think I'm pretty much the typical woman who's just ready to get married, and walk down the aisle and start a family, and Ron to me is just kind of that typical guy who's not ready to get into a serious commitment, and I think we're on different paths right now." Blah blah blah, time will tell, blah blah. Ron calls it "the adventure of a lifetime." (He wore a "Free Ron" button at TARcon. Because he fucking rocks, and he needs a girl who fucking rocks, and I hope he finds one.) Uchenna interviews that he's so proud of Joyce, and they've overcome barriers and so forth. "I love him so much," Joyce says. I certainly hope that will all stick. They are lovely, lovely people.

I have to explain: I loved Uchenna and Joyce for most of the season. So awesome. So awesome. But I hated where this season went, because I've watched this show for a long time, and I've known a lot of people who participated in it, and I've never seen a season generate into such a bitchy, moralizing, self-righteous morass, and it's not Rob and Amber who made that happen. It's primarily Lynn and Alex, with help from Meredith and Gretchen, Ron and Kelly, and -- unfortunately -- Uchenna and Joyce. This show does not prove who the nicest person is. It doesn't show who has the best karma, or who God chooses to "bless" over others. It's a game show. The entire reason that part of me does dig Rob, in spite of the fact that he's the Thattiest That Guy who ever walked the earth and I have about as much in common with him as I do with the Travelocity gnome, is that Rob doesn't think winning this show would prove he's a better human being than any of the rest of these people. He thinks it would mean he beat them at this game, and he's right. I have sat through far too many tribal councils that turned into referenda on everyone's goodness, and it's absolute bullshit. Every single time.

The irony is that everybody thought Rob would introduce bad things from Survivor -- scheming, lying, plotting -- to this show. Guess what? The stupidest shit from Survivor got imported by the whiny jackholes like Lynn and Alex who couldn't shut up about their own moral superiority. And it dragged in other people -- Patrick, for instance -- whom I am almost certain I otherwise would have liked. But it turned into...this. Winning reality shows is not about your goodness, and winning this one isn't about your goodness, either. It's about getting out of the airport fast, and working flight attendants, and being fit, and thinking on your feet in a very particular way that doesn't even necessarily have all that many practical applications. And it's about being lucky at the right times and not being unlucky at the wrong times. I could go on for several pages on this point, but...I won't.

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Amazing Race

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