Welcome back to the show that once was, and it's about damn time. Eleven teams of two, racing around the world! That sounds like a great idea; I wonder why they didn't think of that last season. Anyway, from Denver, everyone heads to Brazil, where they do not bunch for an entire two hours. Instead, they are repeatedly shuffled based on their skills and decision-making. I KNOW! Teams performing well include: Eric and Jeremy and BJ and Tyler, two pairs of guys who are irritatingly image-obsessed and lack self-awareness to exactly the same degree, but in opposite directions; Wanda and Desiree, who are adorable; and David and Lori, who are so adorable that their greatest drawback may be becoming too adorable. Sort of in the middle are Lake and Michelle, because a season entirely lacking in personality disorders just wouldn't be any fun; Joseph and Monica, who are dead to me at the "MoJo" T-shirts; and Ray and Yolanda, who are funny and gorgeous and who I hope will start racing better. Lagging behind for most of the trip to varying degrees: Danielle and Dani, who make some stupid and hate-worthy decisions, but who score big when they find Eric and Jeremy to be charmless tools; Fran and Barry, who discuss their certain Philimination so often that I wind up wishing for it, especially after they stroll by the clue box repeatedly and later declare that perhaps it wasn't there when they were looking for it before; Lisa and Joni, who need to settle down but still amuse me somehow; and John and Scott, who become the first team out after they spend all day either sitting in traffic or bickering unproductively.
Included: Helicopters, running through the airport, taxi drivers who don't speak English, awesome locals, dickweed locals, cultural enrichment, a very hard Detour option that two teams don't even finish, actual strategizing, unsafe driving, and a punk getting screwed because he didn't read the clue. Also, hilarious deployment of the nickname "Scott Peterson." Not included: American history lessons, campers, trailer showrooms, party bikes, really big chairs, evangelizing, picture day, being used as ballast, AOL, and dressing up in historically accurate costumes. The feeling of relief is substantial.
Previously on Our Show's Foot! It's Getting Away! Shoot It! Shoot It!: Being forced to dislike a grieving widow, being forced to cheer for a bunch of fratty That Guys, and being forced to abandon deeply held anti-moppet convictions. All part of a little piece of history we like to call Jerry Bruckheimer's New Coke Theater.
The first thing we see is a giant mountain in what appears to be the American west, which makes me instantly afraid that we are going to spend the entire goddamn season at a succession of isolated cattle ranches trying to wring conflict out of obstinate cows and attempting a three-point turn in your grandparents' RV without knocking the "Footprints" wall hanging off the wood paneling. But once we inspect a couple of sweeping vistas, we are in the city, and then there is Phil, strolling it old-school on the roof of a big black building, telling us that we are in Denver, Colorado. Phil explains, for those of you who won prizes at the Ma Weaver Geography Bee, that we are at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and that from here, "eleven teams will embark on a…racearoundtheworld." Only it comes out more like, "racearoundthe-world," because Phil knows that you are pissed off, and he is sorry, because he is no more responsible for the horror that was last season than it is responsible for his pants. He actually looks relatively normal at this point, although they should never put him in those big turtleneck sweaters, because of previously discussed soft-boiled-egg issues.
We now return to the mountain and its winding road, up which the teams are traveling in the backs of pickup trucks. Isn't that exactly the way you are sort of not supposed to ride in a pickup truck? Bumpy terrain, sitting at the edge...this entire thing could have a very early elimination not related to arrival at the mat, if you see my point. The teams are traveling to the starting line, which happens to be at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which you may know from a wide variety of live albums, because "Red Rocks" is the coolest thing you can put in your live album title. Except Sin-e.) Aaaanyway, you will be happy to know that each team contains two people. Two! Not two people and another two people, not two people and a bunny, not two people and a member of Congress. Two people. Who know each other. IMAGINE THAT. Perhaps we should meet them.