Amazing Race
My Alarm Clock Didn't Go Off!

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I'm leaving on a jet plane...if I can find one

Previously, on Dude, Where's My Wallet?: Teams left the Rio yacht and did a little ass-wiggling with the feather dancers on their way to Iguacu Falls. Not everyone really felt like hang gliding, what with the significant potential for plunging to your death and the bugs in your teeth and the clinging desperately to your sweaty instructor and everything, but in the end, everybody did it. Even Peggy. Gary did an Official Nerd-o-rific Face-Plant in the sand while attempting to play volleyball, and it's honestly hard to say whether that's more heartbreaking if he did it on purpose or if he didn't. Shola and Doyin burned their Fast Forward, largely to give a rest to their injured extremities, and then they went straight to the "jungle camp" pit stop. Speaking of which, Phil just could not stop saying "jungle camp." A very, very, very long bus ride full of flat tires, mechanical difficulties, and map-copying intrigue served to shuffle the deck to the point where Hope and Norm, recently in the middle of the pack but now aced out by the impoverished but undeterred Blake and Paige, were eliminated. A half-assed alliance began to form between Team Boston and Tarawil, but Wil seemed about as interested in maintaining it as he is in shirts without nauseating flowery patterns on them. Peggy and Claire avoided being eliminated, although they certainly didn't avoid talking about being eliminated until their lips turned blue and fell off. Now with nine teams left, Phil wonders who will be eliminated tonight.

Credits. Sing along, won't you? "Skate! Surf! Glide! Or take a ta-xi ride! There is a place! To! Go! You fell behind? Oh! No!...Take! Your! Time! The bunching is! Su-blime! You'll catch up then! Don't take...too long...that would...be wrong...so wrong...Time! Has! Come! To shout out where! Phil's! From! New Zealand! [BOMP.]"

We open this week with stunning establishing shots of Iguacu Falls, provided by cameramen who are slightly less drunk than usual. The budget for booze and speed for the entire production staff appears to have been reduced this season, actually, because as a general matter, I don't find myself going through quite as much Dramamine as I did in the fall. Phil explains that Iguacu Falls is three times the width of Niagara, although I'm sure Iguacu would ask him to clarify that at this scale, the camera adds a thousand pounds. In reminding us where we are, Phil says "jungle camp" yet again, which leads me to believe it is definitely some kind of CIA code word, and that every time he says it, an undercover agent in France nods gravely, puffs his cigar, and uses a satellite to beam out digital video of international bureaucratic underlings visiting strip clubs. Anyway, over film of Peggy and Claire not being eliminated (much to their most tiresome surprise), Phil explains that everyone is resting here at the you-know-what pit stop. Wil taking a shower. Alex taking a shower. Wow, reality television hasn't offered this much footage of wet soapy men since Making the Band. There's also a great shot of Tara and Alex talking, with Gary over to the side. It gives me a total Breakfast Club library vibe, like they're about to ask Gary why he needs a fake ID, and he's going to say it's so he can vote. Phil tells us that the teams have to figure things out for themselves, route markers, red and yellow McFlags, yakkety yak. You know, now I'm not sure these are different Exposition Hands. The shape of those oddly hairless thumbs with their perfectly manicured thumbnails is familiar. They may just have lost weight.

10:34 PM. Good evening, Team Xerox. The clue tells them to take a trail from the camp to a waiting cab that will in turn take them to the airport, where they're to fly to Cape Town, South Africa via Sao Paolo. Once in Cape Town, they will need to find the cell where Nelson Mandela was held. You know, they seem to be handing the teams their cabs on a silver platter -- they did this with the last leg, too. I'm not happy about this, because there's not nearly as much potential for cab-related conflict, which was one of our best sources of drama and pettiness last time around. Where would we have been without the EDG Bust-Up, Amie and Light Hair's Fat-Bitch Smackdown, and Paul's Angry Cluttering Of The French Countryside? That's not even mentioning the reported (but not shown) Fratsquire Shouting Match. I'm not sure they should make it this easy -- it gives me a sinking feeling that it's part of a dumbing-down of a race that's always played to intelligence in the past. Anyway, off goes Xerox in the direction of the spoon-fed cabs. Phil repeats the clue as usual, in case you were reading or drinking or making out with your boyfriend while Xerox was reading it to you. Thank you so much, Phil. I never know when I might want to take a break and...well, drink.

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Amazing Race

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