I'm dedicating today's blog to my dad who passed away one week ago today. It's been a difficult roller coaster of a week and I want to thank everyone on Twitter, Facebook, and at the Bitchy Network for their kind words and constant support. My dad was absolutely hysterical and I credit him with honing my gift for the ridiculous. From a very young age he turned me on to Saturday Night Live and David Letterman. He also loved to sing and would make up songs about anything and everything. If he lost the remote control, he had a song about it. If he was drinking a cup of coffee, he had a song about it. If I had friends over... much to my horror, he had a song about it. Always, always, always singing. He even sang the theme song to a classic movie that still sometimes airs on TCM. We'd all laugh when he'd get his royalty check and it was for $0.25. We went to the theatre often and, to this day, my favorite birthday was my 12th. There was a snowstorm in D.C. and we had tickets to Les Miserables. He booked a suite close to the National, took my mom and I out to dinner, and then surprised me afterwards by taking me to the Les Miserables cast party. I have no idea how he pulled it off, but I got Jean Valjean, Javert, Fantine, Marius and Eponine to sign my program. It's because of him I was able to travel all over Europe which hopefully colors my TAR blog a little with tiny bits of truth. Music, movies, TV, theatre, travel, golf... these were his passions and they were all enormous influences on me as a child. Actually, he was the one who told me to watch Survivor that very first season. I think we even bet on who'd win (I totally won). He loved making bets on everything. Our last one was the Oscars. He was convinced I had secret intel on the winners because almost every year I made a clean sweep with my picks. He was a fun guy who left this world way too early. Thank you for everything dad. I miss you.
Let's recap, shall we?
We last left off in a tiny quaint French village. Loaves of bread on the window sills, cafe au laits in giant cups, children wandering around in striped shirts and berets, Vianne packaging her chocolate seashells just so... As Team Undercover (Louie & Michael) were the first to arrive, they're the first to depart. The clue tells them to drive to Reims and find Catherine Deneuve sitting underneath the Joan of Arc statue playing a jackhammer or a screwdriver or something. Team Baseball (Steve & Allie) and Team Cowpat (Jet & Cord) leave shortly thereafter. Jet's first instinct is to find a Sept-Onze to grab a cherry slushie, some BQ corn nuts, and ask directions. Team Jooj (Dan & Gay Jordan), next to depart, decides to ask a lady on the street (her name was Lancome I think) how to get to Reims. Gay Jordan asks, "Can you can-can-can?" Lancome says, "Oui, Cathy Drone," You know who Cathy Drone is, don't you? I think she revolutionized pret-a-porter, invented cake, gave birth to Johnny Depp's kids, and sang with Serge Gainsbourg, but don't quote me on that.
Team Baseball manages to reach Deneuve first. She was smoking a cigarette and flicking drill bits with a pair of very chic pliers I think. Anyhow, she hands Steve a cork... this is the type of thing that only happens in Steve's dreams - a beautiful French woman and an open invitation to alcohol. Color Steve stoked! The cork reads "Champagne" and Steve knows immediately he's gonna rock this challenge - as long as there's drinking involved. Gay Jordan, on the other hand, doesn't understand what the big deal with champagne is. I mean, isn't it just wine and club soda? Yeah I'm quite sure Dom Perignon spent years in the abbey wine cellar with a 2 liter bottle of Canada Dry Club Soda trying to get his new fizzy concoction just so. Club Soda was the most popular drink in France in the 1700's I think. That, and Zima.
The last team to depart is our beloved Team Big Brother (Jeff & Jordan). It's a miracle Jordan is even awake, but she is and they somehow manage to read the clue telling them to find the Joan of Arc statue. Joan of Arc... the woman who gathered up all those animals in France and set sail for America or something. Hey, didn't she also chisel some rules into stone and say the sun revolved around the Earth? I'm pretty sure I'm right about that. Jordan thinks so too. That Joan was a multi-tasker. Jeff just stands there with his jaw on the ground staring at Jordan. Did she just confuse Joan with Noah? Yes, my friend, she did. Shaneequah, sensing Jeff's inner hatred for Jordan growing, shouts to him, "Say your line! Say your line jive turkey!" Jeff just sighs, straps on his condom hat, and says, "Alright let's dance!"
Team Undercover and Team Jooj have arrived at their destination and found the Road Block. It reads, "Who's ready to cave in?" Teams have to party like it's 1799 by rappeling into a underground wine cellar to find a specially marked champagne bottle. Once they find the bottle they have to open it with a saber and out a clue will go flying. The sky was all purple, there were people runnin' everywhere... I think. Gay Jordan and Mike decide to do the challenge. When they finish they're instructed to find the Taittinger villa for their next clue. *sigh* My dad gave me a bottle of Taittinger one year for my birthday. I was so excited because it was the same brand J. Lo served at that wedding she planned. You know, the one where Fran Donolly showed up and caught J. Lo feeding the speech to the best man. Mrs. Donolly asked, "D.P.?" and J. Lo says, "No, Taittinger." When I opened my bottle I made my friend play Mrs. Donolly and I played J. Lo. We giggled and champagne came shooting out of our noses. Good times.
At this point Team Cowpat is totally lost, Team Such As is stopping at random statues asking them if their name is Joan, Team Big Brother is trying to decipher the secret code "find a statue", and Carol of Team L Word is busy shoving Brandy down the hole to the caves. I've decided that I think Carol pretty much just wants to bump off Brandy. Any challenge that will elevate Brandy's heart rate and have the possibility for permanent maiming tickles Carol pink. Either Carol wants Brandy to lose a limb or Carol is just lazy beyond belief. Brandy is understandably pissed she has to do another height challenge, but I think you and I both know that Carol spent last night shredding Brandy's rapeling ropes with her pocket knife. As Brandy prepares to go down the hole, Carols shouts down to her "You'll have a blast!" and then mutters to herself, "Yeah, a blast plunging to your death.... mwahahaha!"
OK so Team Undercover and Team Jooj have popped their corks and now they're looking for the Taittinger villa. Amelie tells Team Jooj to drive back to Reims. That Amelie is so precocious! The cops, on the other hand, run into Luc, a Porsche driving guy who just wants to grow his vine into a great vineyard while Meg Ryan gets over that chinless fiance of hers. Luc no longer grifts so he tells the cops that the city they want to go to is Pierry not Reims. Meg's goodness has rubbed off on him so much that he even offers to drive the cops straight to their destination, but not after he offers them some sage advice, "When people tell me they are happy, my ass begins to twitch." The cops look at each other confused and think that just must be something French people say. Meanwhile Team Cowpat, like Team Jooj, is also getting the wrong directions. L'Oreal, a tiny wisp of a woman wearing every single piece of jewelry she owns all at once, tells the cowboys to drive back to Riems. What's the deal with there being two Taittinger places? Very clever CBS... very clever.
Luc drops the cops off at the Taittinger villa and they encounter a Detour. Tower or Terra. In Tower, teams have to construct a 15 level tower of 680 champagne glasses and then do that thing where you pour the champagne into the top glass and it trickles down to all the others. In Terra, teams have to search a vineyard for some grapes with the Amazing Race colors. Team Undercover wisely chooses Terra. Why anyone would choose Tower is a mystery to me. You have to have a steady hand, patience, time, counting skills, and the luck of the Irish... err I mean French on your side. Only an idiot would willingly choose Tower.
While driving to the Taittinger villa Team Baseball had a little mishap with the car. You see, there was this guy, a big guy, a sturdy large bellied croissant eating French guy named Depardieu. For some reason he was in the middle of the street eating a Monte Cristo and smoking a cigar at the same time. He just found out his daughter, Isobel Stevens, had been telling everyone that she was his lover. He sang "Thank Heaven For Little Girls" in front of a group of people and it was just all so awkward and weird that I seriously can't believe it was made into a movie. Steve just happened to see that movie and he didn't appreciate it either so he pretty much ran right over Depardieu and completely fucked up the car. The front bumper was scraping against the tires and it was just a big mess. Luckily, Mrs. Steve conveniently packed some duct tape into Steve's backpack. Seriously? Is she a mystic? Can I make an appointment with her? I'm due for a tarot card reading and anyone who has the foresight to pack duct tape for her husband just "in case" he needs it, is someone I'd pay good money to see. He must break stuff all the time at home or something. I'm envisioning his toaster, blender, toilet seat, remote control, framed photos of his children all held together by massive amounts of duct tape. If you're ever in California you'll know which house is his by the duct tape mailbox out front. After several minutes and some clever taping, Steve manages to put the car back together and they drive without a hitch to the Detour where they choose Terra. Steve was tempted to choose Tower simply because he could duct tape the glasses together, but Guerlain told him that would be cheating so Terra it is.
At the Taittinger villa, the cops have found the grapes and are now off to L'Orrica which is the next Pit Stop. They come in first again... blah blah blah... boring. Meanwhile Team L Word is still out in the field thinking French children must be much happier than other types of children. Clearly, they were raised on champagne and fancy cheeses so how could they not be happier? Eventually, the lesbos find their grapes and off they go to L'Orrica. This brings me to my favorite part of the episode. Team Such As, still thinking Joan Of Arc is a dude, sees Team L Word and decides to follow them.... nevermind the fact that Team Such As still hasn't done the Detour and Team L Word is headed for the Pit Stop. Rules shmules. Details shmetails. Hell, someone should just tell Such As right now where the race ends and they'll meet you there. It'll save everyone a bunch of time. Anyhow, the lesbionic twins arrive in 2nd place while Caite lurking in the background slowly tiptoes up to the mat trying to place in third. Phil looks at her, shakes his head, and simply points a finger back to the road. That's the SECOND TIME Team Such As has tried to skipped a task and sidle up to the finish line. For a team who's so paranoid about breaking the rules, they sure do break the rules a lot.
I think it's time we check on Team Big Brother. It appears as if Jordan is kind of fet up with having to do all the challenges herself so she flat out refuses to go down into the wine caves. Jeff pouts and barks out something about rabies. He doesn't want to get rabies, but it's ok for Jordan to get them. What a lovely guy. Miraculously, Jeff actually manages to find the proper bottle without breaking anything or accidentally ending up in Luxembourg. He slices off the cork and does what no other team dared to do - he tries to slurp up all the champagne before getting back to racing and, you know, trying to win a million dollars. Jordan is horrified, Jacques Pepin refused to cook, Yves Saint Laurent turned over in his grave, and I'm quite sure Sylvia Beach threatened to close her book shop. It's as if France shut down in that very moment. No wonder they hate Americans. Oblivious to tact, manners, and etiquette Jeff wipes the bubbles off his face, probably mutters, "Let's dance!", and takes off in search of the Taittinger villa. Out on the street Jejo stop a man named Vuitton and ask him for directions. He may make great luggage, but he can't read a map to save his life so he tells the dimwitted twosome to head to Riems. Awesome. Thank you Vuitton.
Inside the villa, Team Jooj has actually decided to build the tower. Gay Jordan firmly believes that polka dots will always be in style and that between luck and skill, you always choose skill. Apparently, stacking glasses is a skill. Who knew? I know counting is a skill and I know it's a skill Gay Jordan doesn't have because somehow they end up using all their glasses by the time they've reached level 12. They're supposed to reach level 15. In the end, the just stack 3 inividual glasses on top of one another. I don't know how and I don't know why, but their tower stayed together and they finish the race in 5th place behind Team Baseball and Team Cowpat.
Team Such As, having exhausted every method of cheating possible, is now at the villa and, much to Caite's chagrin, they choose Terra. Caite, like all idiots, somehow thinks Tower would have been much easier. She bitches and moans instead of looking for the damn grapes in the damn field. Personally, I think she just wanted to pull a Jeff and start guzzling the champagne that's obviously lurking somewhere inside. Not able to deal with her bitching any longer, Brent finally throws up his hands and agrees to do Tower. Once inside Caite insists on doing all the stacking herself. Brent calls her Ms. Perfect or Ms. Shut The Fuck You're Driving Me Nuts... I'm not sure which one it was. So they stack their glasses and get ready to pour the champagne. Caite keeps pestering Brent to pour slower and in, what I'm sure was an act of complete defiance, Brent pours faster and probably nudged the tower with his knee. Kaboom! The glasses, they go a' smashin'. Brent does his "I told you so" dance - a dance I know well - and they go back outside leaving poor Voltaire to clean up the mess.
Just as Team Such As is heading back outside, Team Big Brother pulls up to the villa. In a moment of divine providence, Jeff concludes that since Team Such As is still outside doing Terra, Tower must be the way to go. Yes, go with that logic Jeff. Works for me. Like I said, all idiots choose Tower. *pause* Ok so I just went to check out that lame chat with them and they wouldn't take any of my questions. It's perfectly normal for me to wonder why Jeff wore a condom on his head throughout the race. I also see no problem with asking Jeff how much I have to pay him to stop saying, "let's dance!" all the time. They kept taking questions from their psycho fan contingent who kept telling Jeff he's handsome. Worst. Chat. Ever.
Ugh I'm so disgusted. My heart just isn't into this anymore. We all know how it ends. Jeff knocks over the tower of glasses with his giant ego, Team Such As finds their grapes, and Jejo end up in Australia trying to find the Pit Stop. Finally, the poster children for why education is so important are finally gone. Good riddance. May I never see you on another reality show again. I'm serious about that by the way. Please just go live your lives without a camera around. Should a camera pop up to document whatever the hell it is you morons are doing, I will be there... waiting... with my keyboard and a tumbler of gin.
What did you guys think of last night's episode? Are you glad Team Big Brother is finally gone? Are Team Such As next? Comment it out bitches and have a great day! Sorry this was so short today, but, as I'm sure you can understand, I've got a bunch of other stuff going on right now.
Please to enjoy Elimination Station where Jordan's voice drives me insane and Jeff won't shut up about the money and losing: