Monday, May 2, 2011

I Would've Left His Ass Down There!

The Matterhorn. That resplendent show off of the Swiss Alps. Home to the elusive Yetis of lore. Pointy and majestic it beckons you to come closer. "Come, traipse on my beautious backside," it says. It looks innocent enough. It sounds innocent enough. But frolic into it's seductive grasp and you might find yourself the sad legless victim of a violent avalanche. Enter into it's mythical world where the Yetis roam free and you could end up roasting over a giant spit with a red-eyed sweaty-toothed behemoth sprinkling paprika on your ass. The Matterhorn is not for the faint of heart my friends. Over 500 people have already given their lives to this beguiling pyramid in the sky and, this week, our five remaining Amazing Race duos prepare to brave it's treacherous peak. Will they blow off the side of the mountain like tiny little insignificant specks of dust? Will they tumble into a seemingly bottomless crevasse never to be heard from again? Or, will they finally return home to their ancestors where a dazzling man sweater is not only embraced, but celebrated? I guess you'll just have to read the rest of this blog to find out. Let's recap, shall we?

As Zev & Justin were the first to arrive, they are once again the first team to depart. Heading into the unknown, teams must now make their way to the air rescue heliport to sign up for flights leaving at five minute intervals. Justin tells us that the reason they've done so well and won so many damn prizes this time around is because of the adorable cap his 12 year old little sister, Camryn, knitted for him. As lovely as that sounds, only I know the real truth behind the hat. She didn't knit it to give Justin luck. That enterprising little munchkin was looking for some free publicity and now you too can buy your very own hat in Amazing Race colors. Tweet this future Martha Stewart at @camrynkanew and she'll work her fingers to the bone to make you look just as hairy... I mean, charming, as her older brother. She'll have to drop out of school and forfeit her education spending all of her time surrounded by yarn balls and knitting needles, but I think it's worth it. She's at that age where the wonders of debauchery might tempt her so let's just lock her away in the basement and keep her an innocent young lamb. Who cares if she'll eventually only have nubs for fingers? As long as she stays off the pole. That's all that matters. So anyhow, Team Ass Burgers scurries to the heliport and is first on the list. Hooray.

Next to depart is Team Pee Pee (Kisha & Jen). Kisha is horrified at the thought of riding in a helicopter, but Jen is excited, very excited. You know as soon as they get in the air, Jen is going to hang out the window skrieking, "No hands! No hands!" while Kisha pukes into a barf bag. Ahhh sisters... lovely. Up next is Team Banshee (Kent & Vyxsin). Not only are they wearing extra glitter, but they're happier now. Light and fluffy, generous and kind, medicated and numb. If only all couples could be like Kent & Vyxsin - a kerfluffle of eyeliner and delusion, a colorful duo of whine and roses, a yipping pet and it's premenstrual master. Young love! The newly happy Team Banshee tries to find a cab to the heliport, but can only halfheartedly wave to passing taxis while sneering into the frigid air. Vyxsin refuses to freak out while Kent imagines shoving his steel-toed boot up various Swiss asses. More happiness pills for everyone! Finally, bringing up the rear are Gary & Mallory and Flight Time & Big Easy. Mallory does her requisite cheer/guffaw and I did my requisite "throw the gin bottle at the screen". It's become a weekly ritual for me. You should see the mountain of glass lying underneath my television. It's about 3 ft high now, but I imagine it'll be as tall as the Matterhorn if Mallory is ever cast on another CBS reality show.

A new day dawns and it's off to the Matterhorn we go. Prior to the helicopters departing, teams are given a Detour: Search or Rescue. In Search, teams must brave extreme wind conditions and use an avalanche beacon to help locate a training dummy that has been buried somewhere on the glacier. Once they've located the dummy, they must dig him up to receive the next clue. In Rescue, teams use a unique device specifically designed for crevasses to rescue a stranded mountaineer. One team member must rappel into a narrow crevasse and clip some stranded dude to the rescue line. The other team member will then use a pulley system to bring him back to the surface where they'll then work together to complete the rescue. Team Ass Burgers and Team Christ (Gary & Mallory) choose Search while the other smarter teams chose Rescue. Actually, I probably would have chosen Search too. Something about dangling from a rope in between two mammoth hunks of ice doesn't sound like a very good time whereas shoveling some snow doesn't seem so hard, right?

Fly, fly, fly, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland... ploop! The Matterhorn. Team Ass Burgers lands on the frozen tundra and it's far from getting your name stitched on the back of some mouse ears. This is Alive. It's eat the pilots and don't look back. It's Ethan Hawke before his smoker's teeth and the affair with the nanny. It's arctic, glacial, impotent and whatever other words that mean frigid. Just watching the wind fling the snow all around made me want to reach for my Snuggie. I also began to wonder to myself which member of Team Ass Burgers would eat the other one first? As Justin probably takes forever to pluck, I'm going to say that Zev would be the unfortunate meal. So, there you go, an excessive amount of body hair could quite possibly save you from cannibals. Good to know. OK so the boys get their avalanche beacon thingie and ding, ding, ding it goes. Go forward, go right, go forward, go left, Justin, looking alarmingly like Scuba Steve, pinpoints the body and now it's time to dig.

Just as Team Ass Burgers begins digging for their buried body, Team Pee Pee arrives at the crevasse. Jen decides to take the plunge since she's not afraid of heights and Kisha couldn't be more thrilled. No way girlfriend was going down a dark scary hole to rescue some random Swiss dude. Let little sister do it if she wants to. Besides it looks like Narnia down there. There's no telling what sorts of mythical creatures and evil witches are lurking in the darkness. Let Jen deal with it. Kisha will stay up top where it's safe thank you very much. So, as Jen slowly descended into Inner Earth, Kisha stayed in safety and laughed that charmingly lilting laugh of hers. It's a staccato-y gunfire sort of a laugh with a hint of a cackle and a smidgeon of a giggle. I'm pretty sure if she did it loud enough she could set off a whole string of avalanches and lose her sister forever. As a matter of fact the new mountaineering guidelines say, "Always climb with a partner, acclimate yourself slowly to the altitude and no laughing Kisha!" It's right there in black and white.

Back on the side of the mountain, Team Ass Burgers is furiously digging in the snow. Well, Justin is furiously digging into the snow. He's using two hands and his putting his whole body into it while Zev just kind of flicked his mountaineering pole back and forth and hoped for the best. Meanwhile, Gary & Mallory have landed and are already trying to pinpoint their body. Justin sees Team Christ approaching and dives head first into the snow while Zev switches it up and decides to use a feather duster to dig. Swish, swish, swish, poor dead body underneath. That unfortunate bastard is a Klondike bar right about now. Sir Edmund Hillary and his faithful sherpa these two are not. They're more like Romy & Michelle or Laverne & Shirley - delightful and witty, but not reaching the summit anytime soon.

At this point Team Pee Pee has begun their ascension with Kisha ferociously turning her pulley while simultaneously laughing in the wind. Always cheerful, always happy - that's Kisha. If Kisha were a stuffed doll, you could squeeze her tummy and out would come that signature laugh of hers. Conversely, if Kent & Vyxsin were dolls they'd join up at the witching hour and then kill you in your sleep. *shivers* Anyhow, Team Banshee begins their descent with Kent imagining what it must be like for a stranded mountain climber or skier to see the likes of him saving the day. I laughed heartily at that too as the only thing Kent is likely to save is that last little bit of eyeliner on the pencil. It may not be long enough to do a proper cat's eye, but it'll do for a beauty mark and, seriously, what little girl doesn't want a beauty mark when she's wearing fuschia and glitter? The Globetrotters arrive so Team Banshee begins to pick up their pace. Kent requests more rope and Vyxsin reluctantly obliges. Anything to get that pointy little ferret to shut up I guess. Eventually, Kent gets more than enough rope and shrieks for Vyxsin to stop, but, you know what? She's already started. She's got a good rhythm going. Just a little bit more and down into Narnia Kent will go forever and ever. Nevermore will she have to hear him whine. Nevermore will they have to split a box of Tampax together. She'll just keep spinning that pulley while humming to herself and hopefully no one will notice that the icy mouth below has gobbled up her pixie boyfriend. *shrugs shoulders* Oh well. Hum hum hum... deedle dee... la dee da. Buh bye you squirrely manchild. Buh. Bye.

Back up on the mountain in the avalanche zone, Zev worries that his dummy might be beyond saving. Surely, he's a popsicle by now. Justin ignores the jokes and continues to dig what looks a lot like a grave while Zev shimmies up above and knocks more snow down into the very hole that Justin is digging. Zev peeks over Justin's shoulders and shouts, "I think I see something!" and then he stabs Justin's foot with a mountaineering pole. No biggie. I think toes on fabled creatures grow back when severed. Meanwhile, Gary is a tenacious little monkey talking up a storm and digging like crazy while Mallory, uncharacteristically, sits mute. Could it be that snow is the one thing that shuts her up? Mallory, here's a one way ticket to Antarctica. Enjoy!

Kisha finally pulls Jen up while Vyxsin's plan to drop Kent into the center of the Earth is foiled. Begrudgingly, she pulls him back up with Big Easy hoisting Flight Time up at the same time. Back on the tundra, Gary is unearthing his dummy with a certain vim and vigor that I can only describe as "doing The Justin". Basically, "The Justin" is a lot of grunting and growling at inanimate objects. Be it a wooden dinosaur or a rubber dummy. Just grit your teeth, stare at it and then howl a lot. I'm not exactly sure what the point of "The Justin" is, but for you guys it means DRINK! Yup, thanks to the suggestion of a loyal follower on Twitter, we're adding grunting to the drinking game. So, Gary is all like, "Grrrr, ughh, rowr!" (drink) and then he rips his dummy in half with it's legs still stuck in the snow. Call me crazy, but if I'm stuck in the snow and your only chance to rescue me is to rip me in half, just leave me there. Seriously, just go back to the lodge and let me freeze. I'll be fine. Freezing isn't half as bad as having my intestines and lady parts strewn all over the snow. That sounds pretty... lady parts in the snow. Someone somewhere should write a poem entitled Lady Parts In The Snow and then that someone should leave it in my blog comments where I can read it and enjoy.

OK so Team Pee Pee has finished their Detour and now they must take a helicopter to a ski resort, find a nearby train and head back down to Zermatt. From there, they'll make their way to La Petite Cervin where they'll find their next clue. Back at the crevasse, Kent has emerged from the deep dark crack *dammit!* and now Vyxsin is trying to persuade him to help her finish the rescue of the trapped mountaineer. He pouts and insists he can't right now. Instead, he's going to sit in a runny-nosed lump and whine. Throwing her hands in the air and cursing the fact she didn't leave Kent flailing in the crack, Vyxsin completes the rescue, orders Kent to wipe his nose and then drags him off in search of a helicopter. Team Globetrotter finishes shortly behind them and now we're left with only Team Christ and Team Ass Burgers digging their little hearts out.

Out on the tundra it's a festival of grunts. (drink) Justin beats at the snow with his fists, Gary yanks another limb off his dummy, Justin kicks his dummy in the head, Gary beats on his chest in the direction of the sun. In any other environment it might have been an exercise in manliness, but, in the snow, it was all just kind of precious and cute. I don't think I'd be remiss in suggesting that the next time someone has to save a dummy buried in the snow, they do it wearing an elf costume and shoes with bells on their toes. Throw in some pointy ears and we just might be onto something. So, the chorus of growls continues with Team Ass Burgers getting absolutely nowhere and getting there fast. Justin is trying to shovel the snow out of the hole, but Zev keeps hurling it right back in. I realize Zev doesn't like the cold, but come on! Justin would have been better off doing the challenge alone like Gary did. Shortly after he starting digging, Gary told Mallory to get the hell out of his way and that seemed to be his ticket to success. Team Christ finishes the Detour and heads off to the heliport leaving Justin stunned and furious at just how badly this leg is going.

Every team save Team Ass Burgers boards the train to Zermatt and it's not looking good for the boys in red. Justin begins to beat his dummy into submission while Zev curls up with a sno-cone and flings some more snow on Justin's head just for the hell of it. Again, if I'm trapped in the snow and you feel the need to beat me about the head with a shovel, don't. Just leave me be. I'm ok. You go back and get yourself a cup of hot chocolate. Really. It's all good. I won't hold it against you. Just please don't pound my head in. That's all I ask. A slow and excruciatingly painful death of turning blue and having all of my internal organs shut down one by one is fine by me. Anyhow, exhausted and spent from pulverizing his dummy, Justin leans back and it's apparent this race is taking a toll on the poor boy. His beard is now white (from age I suspect) and he can't seem to figure out how to get the damn dummy out of the snow. Yelling at it didn't work. Beating it didn't work. What to do, what to do... Oh, I know! Dig outward so you're not digging a 6 ft body out of a 3 ft hole. Dig, dig, dig... voila! Oh sure, the dummy is beaten beyond recognition, but they did it. On to the Road Block...

Road Block: Who wants to make a new friend? Using olden timey Swiss methods, including using snow as a cooling agent, teams must create a Travelocity roaming gnome entirely out of chocolate. When the Mistress Of Chocolate approves their creations, teams will be given a real gnome and their next clue. Vyxsin, Flight Time, Mallory and Jen decide to do the task. Vyxsin begins to carefully paint the inside of her gnome while Kent yells at her from the sidelines, in between bites of chocolate, to hurry up. It was a painstaking process with many many steps so I can't blame Vyxsin for trying to get it just right. Kent didn't care though. As soon as he saw Flight Time put half of his gnome into the freezer, he started to panic. "We should be putting ours in the oven too," he whined. Oh shut up Veruca. Even Mallory, that incessant ball of sunshine, was getting annoyed. You know it's bad if you've managed to anger Mallory. Mallory will cheer through the fiery bowels of hell. She could have burning embers in her hair and grotesque goblins scratching at her feet and the girl will still be smiling.

Team Ass Burgers finally shows up and Zev decides to do the challenge. Actually, he kind of has to do the challenge. Up til now, Justin has done most of the work and I think teams have to split the number of challenges they do. Don't quote me on that. I could have quite possibly just made that up. So, paint, paint, paint, Kent keeps on keeping on. "Do it quick!", "Keep it fast babe!", "Fast, fast, honey!", "Show your teacher!" Oh for Christ's sake, SHUT UP! Shut up, shut up, shut up. How about you never speak again until the end of time? Thank you.

OK so Vyxsin puts half of her gnome on the bottom of the freezer and then goes back to working on her other half. Flight Time goes to get his gnome half out of the freezer, but doesn't see it where he left it so he decides that the half on the bottom (Vyxsin's) must be his. At home we knew it wasn't his gnome, but the way Vyxsin burbled out "Oh yeah, that one, umm, it quite possibly, maybe, could be, oh I don't know, mine." made her look not only guilty, but like she was up to something sinister. Rewatching it again right now, I still don't know what happened to Flight Time's half. Mallory swears she didn't take it, Jen swears she didn't take it, Zev had only just started and Vyxsin was working so slow that she hadn't even put both of her halves in the freezer yet. What I do know is that Big Easy threw a big fuss and Vyxsin ended up crying. Now, I like the Globetrotters and all, but given their track record for shirking challenges I'm not entirely sure Flight Time didn't just steal a half that was more finished than his own. Perhaps Flight Time was in the wrong all along? How is it that he eventually found another half in the freezer to work on? How did he not find that half before? Going back through this season, show me a challenge that Flight Time has done all on his own. Seriously. The Globetrotters are slackers and at this point in the game I don't want to see anymore teams helping each other out. We're at a moment where the cash prize is beginning to become a reality and I would hate for someone like the Globetrotters (whom Justin has helped out on numerous occasions) to win while another more deserving team loses. THIS is why helping each other is awful and bad and evil. You could help each other all the way out of YOU winning a million dollars.

OK so paint, paint, paint, Flight Time finishes his gnome first and the chocolate lady starts filling it with chocolate. Flight has to make sure the chocolate gets everywhere inside the gnome so he starts dancing and shaking his hips and turning it into a big joke. Usually, I'm enchanted by the Globetrotters, but this time I was just annoyed. I'm getting a hamming-it-up-for-the-cameras Mallory vibe from them and it's bugging me more than it is entertaining me. The first time they sang or danced, I was delighted. The second time, I laughed. The fifteenth time, I'm over it. I don't know. I watch a lot of reality tv and I'd like to think that I can tell when someone isn't being genuine. The second I get a whiff of something phony, I'm turned off. I'm uninterested. I check out and there's no way to win me back. Sorry dear Globetrotters, but I'm over you now. It's been real.

Now the teams have to put their gnomes in the snow for at least a half an hour. Zev, being the last one to arrive, is at a huge disadvantage. All the other teams gnomes are already chilling (literally) in the snow while Zev is only just now filling his with chocolate. The chocolate lady kindly warns him that the gnome will get heavy because she's filling it with chocolate. Zev replies, "Thanks Captain Obvious" and I gotta admit I sort of cringed. The lady was just being nice. English probably isn't even her first language. No need to be a dick about it. I think Justin agreed with me as he yelled, "Zev, be nice!". By the time Zev finishes filling his gnome with chocolate and severing all treaties the US has with Switzerland, the other teams are releasing their gnomes and retrieving their next clue.

Teams must now travel on foot to some cabin where Heidi lives. The last team to arrive will be eliminated. Team Banshee departs first proving that careful attention to details always pays off. Armed with smugness and a careless confidence, the goths zip up and down the streets of Switzerland in search of a taxi. In fact, all of the teams are in search of a taxi. Even though the instructions say "on foot" teams are searching for taxis in order to get directions. With a lower lip tremble, I took off my Team Ass Burgers and hurled it into the fireplace. I watched it burn, burn, burn knowing that the team I've taken such great pleasure in making fun of was going home. I wondered to myself if I really had to finish out the season and blog next week's episode and then I got ready to fire off an angry email to Justin for giving out so many damn answers. Bouncing back and forth between sadness and anger, I almost didn't notice what was happening on the screen. Kent and Vyxsin were CLIMBING INTO A CAB!!! In one swift movement, I rescued my smoldering Team Ass Burgers t-shirt, deleted the email with all the f-words in it, took down the dartboard with Justin's face in the middle and got back to taking my notes. This isn't over yet!

Zev digs his gnome out of the snow completely unaware that the one of the dumbest moves in TAR history is going on outside and I got that familiar Amazing Race anxiety that I haven't felt in a very long time. With the music thumping and the teams running in the streets, I prayed there was enough time for Zev & Justin to catch up. The Globetrotters arrive at the Pit Stop first and win a trip to Cook Islands. I was kind of jealous about that one as the vastly superior Survivor was once filmed there, but nevermind. All that matters now is that Team Banshee is sitting in a cab and a penalty is imminent. Vyxsin knows deep down that something isn't right, but she can't put her finger on it. Kent says he doesn't care. He's got blinders on (sparkly glittery blinders) and he doesn't care what the hell Vyxsin is feeling.

Team Pee Pee finishes in second while Team Ass Burgers is just now looking for the Pit Stop. Team Banshee rolls up in third and, sorry suckers, 30 minute penalty. Bam! You bitches were supposed to travel on foot now go sit in the corner and berate each other. Race, race, race, Gary & Mallory roll up in third. Blech. Race, race, race, Zev & Justin go to the WRONG location! Oh Jesus Christ... no! Race, race, race, time is running out on the clock. Zev falls on the ice, some lady tells them to back down a hill, the music is getting louder and I just can't stand it anymore. Those two pink idiots are in the corner bickering and then, in what has to be the singular most bestest craziest awesomest moment in TAR history, Zev & Justin come flying around the corner of Heidi's cabin and leap into Phil's arms just in time to kick Team Banshee out of the race. *glitter falls from the sky* Berries. Gumdrops and lollipops. Fluffy puppies and big giant bottles of gin. That's all I have to say about that.

So, what did you guys think about last night's episode? Were you freaking out like I was? Who stole Flight Time's gnome? Do the CBS gods have a direct antenna into my brain (chest waxing next week!)? And finally, who do you want to win The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!

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