Amazing Race
Think Like An Office Chair

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: C | 4 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Sawing logs, indeed

The Linzes arrive at the Really Big Chair. If they didn't make a joke here about the kind of a wide load that would sit in a chair like this, I'm very disappointed in them. Once they have their clue and are back in the car, Nick comments that he's going to go home and build an office chair a tiny bit bigger than that one, just to say he's got the biggest one. Heh. Wit! That was nearly wit! We have a sighting! I'm sure it won't last.

The Schroeders find the chair, and as Hunter climbs up, Mark comments, "What a lame-o office chair." I have to say, Mark, that when it comes to a lame-o, it takes one to know one. Mark has a voice as melodic and soothing as a garbage disposal attempting to digest pork-chop bones. They head back toward Talladega.

The pinks find the office chair and they also head to Talladega.

Wally and the Tonyas find the Hall of Fame and, inside, the clue box. When they rip the clue, it says that they have to make one lap around the track at the Talladega Super Speedway. Phil explains that this is "the biggest motor sport facility in the world." He says that what they don't know, however, is that their method of going around the track is going to be a party bike -- one of those things where you all sit in a circle and pedal. They'll go around the inside lip of the track once, and then they'll get their clue. I have to say, when I saw this, it just made no sense to me. It made sense they'd do something NASCAR-related -- the popularity of NASCAR almost requires it, if you're going to do U.S.-based activities. And it makes sense that it would be Talladega, if that is indeed the biggest facility of all. But they sent these teams all the way to Talladega, and while they were there, they had them do nothing having anything to do with cars? When no Roadblock turned up in the episode as aired, I got to wondering. If you had your route planned out in advance, and then you wound up with the Weavers in your cast...it would probably be too late to change the route, but might you not choose not to force anyone to, for instance, be raced around the track with a NASCAR driver, if that had been the original plan? Might you not conclude that that would simply come across as too preposterously cruel? And might you instead decide that you'd have the teams pedal around harmlessly, thus capitalizing on the Weaver drama and throwing a bone to NASCAR likers without going over the top? It just isn't plausible to me that they'd bring the teams to Talladega and this would be all they would do there. No shots of cars whizzing around the tracks, no vroom-vrooming of engines...it doesn't wash. If this was what they had in mind all along, it's a mighty poor piece of planning, like taking teams to the Grand Canyon and never showing them anywhere but inside the Visitor Center. "Drive yourselves to Fenway Park, and walk around in a circle in the parking lot." You know what I mean?

At any rate, for whatever reason, party bikes it is. The Bransens head for the speedway as the Linzes are pulling into the Hall of Fame and getting their clue. The Schroeders follow. Out on the track, Wally and the Tonyas are the first team to get on their way on their bike. I bet when you first became a fan of this show, you really hoped that you would one day get to watch three blondes and their dad wringing all the excitement they possibly could out of pedaling a novelty bike around in a big circle at an empty racetrack with no particular sense of urgency. Admit it; this is way better than people desperately trying to find their way out of the crowded streets of a chaotic Indian marketplace. "I seriously feel like clowns," says a Tonya, and...she has a point. I'm not surprised that they haven't needed the Horns of Perseverance very much this season, so much as the Whimsical Deedle-Deedle Of Pride-Swallowing. Someone else notes that perhaps the party bike is a "halftime show" at Talladega, and...first of all, I don't think NASCAR has halftime shows, because I don't think it has halftime, and second of all, I think racing fans forced to endure a bunch of nitwits pedaling around the track would make their feelings known through the hurling of aluminum cans.

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