Amazing Race
If They're Screwing The Helmet To My Head, It Can't Be Good

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Barbarians at Hell's Gate

Music: "Brrrrrring!" Here we are in busy, crowded Calcutta, and not on an episode of Survivor: Delhi as the music would suggest. As Phil explains, this was once a small village, and is now one of the most tightly packed cities in the world. And not just because it's currently chock full of reality show contestants and crew guys and people who will later post on spoiler threads under names like "KraazyRacerGirl4621AndByTheWayClayAikenRuuulz" about how they saw some dude with frizzy blond hair running around the city with a camera guy and praying for money. Oh, and this big building, the dome of which will remind you of the U.S. Capitol? It's not the actual Capitol. The flowers are far too pretty, and there aren't enough protesters. It's actually the Victoria Memorial, where teams are panting with anticipation, eager to be released from the pit stop by Phil, who has apparently come down with a terrible disease that forces him to wear a lot of white pants. Phil, you were doing so well with the looking hot early in the season. And you even managed to stop wearing sweaters that looked like a twelve-year-old knitted them on a plastic Fisher-Price loom. There's no need to start dressing like the Good Humor man or the bottom half of Colonel Sanders. At the pit stop hotel, there is eating, there is sleeping, there is mingling. Nicole appears to be mingling by telling a story called, "The Day I Flushed An Old-Fashioned Toilet By Pulling A Chain Above My Head." And, of course, in Brandon and Nicole's case, after the eating and whatnot, there is the obligatory fretting about money, because they don't have any.

In the first installment of Shiftless Christian Hobos Gone Wild, Brandon asks Nicole whether she wants to ask for money or wants him to, as if we don't all know the answer to that question. And indeed, before you know it, there's old Brandon, ignoring the friendly hotel piano player tootling in the background and begging money off of some unseen hotel guest who, fortunately for him or her (hard to tell from the voice), has only traveler's checks. Ah, dodging reality show bums: just another reason to never carry cash. As they continue begging around what appears to be their hotel, Brandon voices over that they're not really crazy about asking people for money, but in this situation, they don't have a lot of choice. My favorites of the people they encounter are the ones who listen to Brandon's spiel, chuckle, and tell him that they'll "think about it." That's an interesting response to panhandling. Kind of a Magic 8-Ball thing, really. "Ask Again Later." Brandon admits as they close out what looks like a fairly unsuccessful poverty-busting session that he feels a little anxious about this leg, on account of the poverty. Wouldn't it be ironic if his only option turned out to be selling his hair? To be dyed and used to make Justin Guarini dolls? Oh, wait. Brandon is already more famous than Justin Guarini. By the way, if you were a person who had really, really hated Justin Guarini and predicted he'd never be a huge star, I guess you'd be feeling pretty satisfied right about now, wouldn't you? Oh, yes. You would. And you'd be saying, "Watch out, Li'l Opie, my predictive powers are coming for you next."

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Amazing Race

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