Amazing Race
The Race Begins

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: B+ | 3 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
Swing, you fat bastard!

The couples all gather in Central Park, and Phil muses about which of them will have the combination of "brains, brawn, and teamwork" necessary to win. I think we've established in these, the first three minutes or so, that none of these teams actually have any of those things, so it will perhaps be a matter of having the least grievous deficits, but hey -- it's a million dollars. I could fake all three of those things if you gave me a million dollars. Phil informs the contestants of the basic rules of the game, but I struggle to concentrate because I'm distracted by his knee-length black coat, which, in combination with his too-spiky hair, causes him to look like the long-lost kid brother of that mean, mean lady from The Weakest Link. Most importantly for plot purposes, Phil tells us that there are eight elimination points along the way, and that at each of those points, whoever's in last place will be out of the Race. The first one will happen tonight, so whoever is last at the end of tonight's show, we will never see again. I like a nice, efficient thinning of the herd, so that's good with me. Phil now tells them that when he gives the signal, they can run for their luggage, which is attached to little black travel bags that contain instructions and a little money. After a few good-luck-ish remarks, Phil gives a hearty "Go!", and they all take off up a flight of stone steps toward their stuff. It is at this point, as they're running, that I unexpectedly start sort of…liking the show. Sure that it will pass, I ignore the feeling.

As the couples open their travel bags, they learn that they have to get to Johannesburg, South Africa, and that they have a choice of three flights -- Alitalia, Swiss Air, and South African Air. Dave wins my everlasting affection by chuckling with excitement as he says, "Johannesburg, South Africa." That's it, people! Enjoy it, fer cryin' out loud! Frank takes this opportunity, while Margarita is opening the information packet, to stake out his first claim to the territory he will now occupy for the next hour (that would be Arrogant Prickville, for those of you who don't have your world atlases handy). Specifically, he yells at Margarita, "Come on, come on!" in this incredibly rude voice that would IMMEDIATELY get him a mark on his face shaped like my hand, complete with imprint of my college ring, which I don't even wear anymore but would PUT ON in honor of the occasion.

Ah, now we finally get credits. The expected informative voice-over, racer identity refresher, and hyped-up graphics that make my head hurt. Stop assaulting me, Bruckheimer.

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Amazing Race

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