Monday, October 11, 2010

I Think We Have To Circle Small African Children

Ghana. *sigh* We're still in Ghana when we should have been gone-a. The phrase "race around the world" implies that one should be constantly on the move, you know, racing. Instead we're treated to an episode of jump roping where teams hardly advanced in distance at all. And, can we please address how this show is always starting late? If I wasn't so OCD about covering all three CBS reality shows, I would have bailed on The Amazing Race a long time ago. It's hard to write about, it's never reliable, and, more often than not, I'm just plain bored. I'm in a bit of a hurry this morning so I'm totally phoning this in. I admit it. I own it. I roll around naked in it. The Amazing Race sucks and so will this blog post. Let's recap, shall we?

OK so we're in Ghana and Ghana is where we're gonna stay. As Team Blood Diamond (Brook & Clair) was the first team to finish, they're now the first to depart. The clue tells them to skip down the road apiece to some Boxing Academy. I sat up a little straighter in hopes that I'd get to to see Clair beat the crap out of Brook. Seriously, you just know she wants to. Don't you also think it's weird that both of their names are oddly absent of E's? It's not BrookE, it's Brook and it's not ClairE, it's Clair. Did they sail over from the old country where the E's were dropped in the ocean because Ellis Island simply couldn't take the extra letters? I don't know. It's always bugged me and I'm in a bad mood this morning so... there ya go.

After some jumping up and down on Brook's part - men were boxing and this excited her - the team encounters a Road Block. One team member has to wrap their hands with that boxing tape stuff properly, hit a speed bag for 60 seconds, and then jump rope for 60 more seconds before they can get their next clue. Really Amazing Race, really? That's the best you can come up with? You're in a country with elephants, lions, and castles and the best you can do is skip rope? God, I hate you. So Brook, refusing to let Potato Clair doing anything that affects the game in any way, shape, or form, insists on doing the challenge herself. Brook also spies all the strapping young African men ripe for kissing. If girlfriend can finagle a kiss from anyone with a penis then girlfriend is over the moon.

The Road Block begins and Brook is doing that over-narrating, talking to us like we're children thing she does. She wiggles her hips as she punches, she squeals as she jumps, and I'm pretty sure she slipped her trainer the tongue when he handed her the next clue. With mashed potato Clair in tow, they head to a supply depot for their next clue. Meanwhile, Teem Gleek (Connor & Jonathan) are making normal everyday chitchat with their cab driver Samson. They ask Samson where he's from (Ghana, duh), what he does for a living (cab driver, duh), and can he pretty please drive like the wind? Well Nerdy Nerds, today is your lucky day because Samson just happens to be Ghana's most decorated cabbie. He can weave in and out of traffic, pass herds of goats, and barrell down a dirt road like nobody's business. In gratitude, Team Gleek belts out another medley that goes something like this, "Pleeeease drive fasssssteeeer/Pleassse driiiive fasteeeeer/We loooooove Samsoooooon". It was charming and I want it for my ringtone.

The rest of the teams begin departing, but one sticks out more than any other. It's Team Woo (Michael & Kevin) - boring, uninteresting, not nearly as funny as I thought they'd be - Team Woo. They're at the boxing challenge and Baby Wu, like Brook, is refusing to let his partner participate in anything. He's so sure his dad completely sucks ass that he won't even let him consider lifting a finger. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't teams have to share the challenges? I distinctly remember in past seasons that team members had to do an even number of challenges. Anyhow, Baby Wu thinks that at 19 he can outdo his elderly 59 year old father at everything in life. First off, 59 is hardly elderly. Secondly, Papa Wu looks more like he's 79 than 59. Thirdly, how the hell is Baby Wu on this show in the first place if he's not even 21? If you can't tell already, I just don't like this team at all. For people who do comedy videos online, they're dreadfully boring and it pisses me off. I feel like asking for my money back. Alright so Baby Wu does the challenge and, of course, he screws it up. I giggled when his father told him to concentrate harder and then I went right back to hating them.

After the boxing challenge, teams had to load wheelbarrows with all sorts of construction stuff and then deliver them to a foreman at a school. Team Blood Diamond arrives first where Brook promptly snatches the clue out of Clair's hand and insists on doing the task all by herself. Little does Brook know that the clue calls for both team members to push wheelbarrows and no matter how hard she tries she just can't make Clair evaporate into thin air. Potatoes are carbs Brook. They sit around and linger until you burn them off. Next time try lighting Poor Clair on fire. That might work. Bossy Brook delivers her one wheelbarrow only to discover that, drat!, that stupid hunk of potato salad was supposed to participate after all. They head back to the start while Clair sprinkles herself with a dash of paprika.

After the wheelbarrow thing where Team Blood Diamond wasn't the only team who forgot both 'barrows, teams then have to sit in a school classroom and guess where Ghana is on the map of Africa. I'd love to make fun of all them for being idiots, but even I had no clue where Ghana was. I knew it was in the West and on the water, but that's about it. Then again, if I was stuck on a flight from England to Ghana and wasn't allowed to read a book or play on my laptop, I probably would have read the inflight literature from cover to cover where, chances are, a map of Africa would have been clearly printed. I take it back then - they're all idiots. They definitely should have known where Ghana was. After several tries and their parents regretting the hundreds of thousands of dollars they're spending on an Ivy League education, Team Gleek finally figures out where Ghana is. They swear to the African children that Princeton is a good school. Of course Princeton is a good school. Brooke Shields went there! When I was 8 years old I dreamt of going to Princeton so I could be friends with Brooke. I don't know why, but I just assumed she'd keep failing and would still be there by the time I arrived. In the end, Brooke didn't fail (wasn't she valedictorian?) and I never even applied. Turns out Princeton didn't have an adequate Department in Bitching - plus it was in New Jersey. No thanks.

Now we arrive at the Detour: Bicycle Parts or Language Arts. In Bicycle Parts, teams have to play a children's game where they roll a bike rim down rough terrain without letting it fall. In Language Arts, teams have to choose a proverb containing 8 highlighted phrases. They have to find the symbols to the 8 phrases on some giant mural wallpaper thing and circle them with a piece of chalk on the end of a wand. Team Gleek chooses the Language Arts detour and very methodically and logically they use the decoder, hunt for the symbols, and accurately circle the phrase that pays. In a stunning turn of events, Team Gleek actually reaches the Pit Stop first and they each win $5000. Good for them. They're paying attention, singing their way through difficult situations, and proving to be much more entertaining than that lame Team Woo.

Speaking of Team Woo, they also forgot one of their wheelbarrows and I'm going to go ahead and blame it on Baby Wu. He's got a touch of the Brook in him and I'm sure in his haste to do everything himself he just couldn't let daddy contribute at all. Conversely, Team Dumb Ass (Nick & Vicki) were actually working together quite well. Vicki was reading off the list, Nick was loading the wheelbarrows, and all seemed fluffy and covered in marshmallows. I smiled at the tattooed duo as they were finally making up for that miserable showing in England. I sat at home with smug satisfaction and toyed with the idea of changing their name back to Team Bad Ass.

As I imagined my beloved Team Dumb Ass enrolling into Princeton after this silly race was all said and done, something materialized that made me reconsider everything I know to be sacred in the world (glitter and gin). It turns out that Vicki misread the list and they loaded two cement bags instead of one. Instead of goofily laughing and smacking his head, Nick must have secretly drank that concoction that Dr. Jeckyll drank way back when in the olden timey days because I'm at a loss for what happened next. Nick, quite plainly, turned into Dick and all hell broke loose. Out of nowhere, he starts yelling at Vicki for being stupid. He tells her to shut up, calls her a moron, and even says she's not even as smart as a fifth grader. (Hey wait, isn't that a Fox show?) I was sad as I watched Vicki just sigh and take it. I got that icky feeling in my tummy that told me this Nick/Dick behavior was nothing new and something Vicki was used to hearing.

Dear Vicki, You seem like a lovely girl. You have big dreams and an even bigger heart. Please, I beg of you, please kick that dirtbag to the curb! No one should ever, not even in anger, tell you you're stupid or make fun of you. Honey, he was doing it on NATIONAL TELEVISION! It's not acceptable and, quite frankly, a little humiliating if you stay with him. I understand that people sometimes get frustrated and angry, but the way he did it really gave me, and every other woman out here, the creeps. I don't know. It made me sad to watch him try to hurt and belittle you like that. It was done with such venom that it physically made me cringe. I have no idea if you're reading this, but you deserve better. Get out while you can. An asshole like that will only hold you back in life and make you feel like you're not worth it. Even Chad of Team Fisticuffs, who I joke probably beats Stephanie, never yelled at her with as much hate as Nick/Dick yelled at you. That's all. Just had to let you know how disturbing the whole thing truly was. Love, Lala

So while Dick was throwing verbal stones at Vicki, Team Miss Depends (Gary & Mallory) are just happy not have another broken car this time around. They're more dismayed at the state of the schools in Ghana, but you know what? I thought those children seemed really happy. They were dressed in uniforms, had lovely teachers, and were enthusiastic and excited. They took great pleasure in laughing at the silly Americans who guessed Ghana wrong on the map and that tells me they had a certain sense of superiority that comes with the thrill of knowledge. Just because something is different doesn't necessarily mean it's bad.

*shakes off the good and happy thoughts* Alright so where were we? Oh yes, Team Blood Diamond is trying to figure out where Ghana is and, for some reason, Clair keeps screaming, "Go Bam! You got this Bamma!" to Brook. Did I miss something? Since when did Brook become Bam or Bamma? Clair shouted the phrase so damn much that it almost felt prompted to me. Like, oh I don't know, maybe the night before in a dimly lit hotel room Brook held a Swiss Army Knife under Clair's chin and demanded a nickname that'll follow her through time for kingdom come. Something about it seemed very out of place and forced. Did anyone else notice this or was I tipping the gin too much last night?

Team Jack & Jill (Jill & Thomas), who got very little air time, somehow managed to guess where Ghana was but then got stuck at the proverb challenge. They had the proverb and could see the giant mural of symbols, but they couldn't find the decoder. Jack starts shaking unsuspecting African children upside down hoping something was lurking down their shirts. He rips apart the one textbook for the entire village and then systematically shreds the school's paper allowance for the entire year. No wonder teams had to stick around an extra day and do some rebuilding. Jack, in a matter of minutes, annihilated the entire Ghanian school budget for 2010! Meahwhile off in another corner of the schoolyard, in an effort to solve the proverb, Clair was rounding up random children and encircling them in chalk. Frightened innocent eyes looked to the camera man for help while a strange potato lady performed some weird Western ritual. I don't know if Clair was planning her next meal or what, but, for some reason, a giant decoder on the side of the building was like a needle in a haystack last night.

Just when every woman in America had heard about enough out of Team Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, Dick is now in the classroom calling Vicki stupid for not guessing Ghana right. In a turn of divine providence, Dick also guesses Ghana wrong. I so wanted Vicki to stand up at that moment, point at him, and shout, "Loser! God, you're so stupid!" Instead she coddled him and told him it was ok. Dick spat in her face or something and I somehow knew right then and there that Vicki is never going to leave that douchebag. They moved on to the bicycle challenge where again Vicki offered moral support only to get vitriol and some kicks to the ovaries in return. When Vicki finally crumbled into a full blown asthma attack, Dick started to get pangs of those pesky things called "feelings". He tells us how brave she is and how he should respect her yadda yadda yadda. Give me a fucking break! Look asshole, it's your fucking fault she had the asthma attack in the first place. I have no doubt that Vicki is one confused jumbled ball of anxiety whenever Dick is within 10 yards of her. Add on top of that a race, lots of yelling, and unbelievable heat and you've got a recipe for a breakdown. Dick is disgusting. He's like those assholes who hit their women and then hug them afterwards saying they never meant to do it. It's gross.

I'm going to just skip forward a little bit because I've gone and made myself all angry now. All the teams including Team Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde end up finishing at some point or another except for Team Woo and Team Propofol (Nat & Kat). Team Propofol, although boring and annoying, had always seemed to be pretty tough in the past. This time around though everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. They had a cab driver who drove them to Kenya and, for some reason, they interpreted a clue saying "proceed on foot" as "follow the footpath" and ended up halfway to god knows where. So while Team Propofol was crossing the Egyptian border, Team Woo was struggling at the bicycle challenge. Papa Wu just about had a heart attack because his boring untrusting son kept making him run when the poor guy just wanted to walk. Medics were brought in and Baby Wu got a twinge of that Dick asthma attack guilt thing. Eventually, Papa Wu got his strength back and was able to finish the challenge and with some clever editing we were led to believe that it was a close foot race between Team Propofol and Team Woo for final two. In the end, it didn't matter because even though Team Woo came in last, it was a nonelimination leg and we're forced to endure them for at least another week.

So, what did you think of last night's episode? You think Dick smacks around Vicki in his spare time? Where the hell did the name "Bam" come from? Will we ever leave Ghana? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!

Again, sorry this sucked today. I have to housesit for my mom and her 8 thousand dogs this week and I'm running very late this morning. While I'm busy picking up poop, you might want to head on over to The Cake. It just launched last night and my first article is up. It's properly punctuated and everything. So exciting!