Hi everyone, first off, I’m sick today and I hate it. Fever and Stomach issues = FUN. Honestly though, today has just been a good opportunity to take it easy, take some occasional naps, and catch up on some of last week’s TV!
Broad City, Season 3, Episode 1 – “Two Chainz”: Abbi & Ilana came back just as funny as ever, and this crazy ordeal of their around NYC while trying to find a bathroom, release Ilana from her chains, and eventually get to Abbi’s friend’s gallery showing was absolutely amazing. It just feels right that Broad City is back.
Survivor – Season 32 (Brawn vs Brains vs Beauty 2): Holy shit this first episode was loaded with brutality. Whether it was everyone getting pummeled by the weather by Day 2, the woman who got a worm crawling around in her ear, the other woman who was having an anxiety attack, and some of the terrible moves by some players (looking for an Idol way too obviously; dropping the snorkeling mask immediately during the Immunity Challenge) – this was a very engaging episode. We shall see if the claim this is the most intense season ever holds true, but if this episode is any indication, YEAH, IT IS.
Amazing Race – Youtubers Edition: I’ve actually been enjoying this season a lot more than I expected to. The cast are all characters and there’s some very entertaining hotness to keep me occupied. Man, some of the stupid things that racers have been doing! Not buying plane tickets at the airport; not taking your taxi to the beach and having to run a mile each way; totally not reading the clues….yeah, I guess that kind of stuff happens every season!
So yeah, television has been interesting so far.
Anyway, very exciting yesterday was getting to have dinner with Sharon, my former NBC coworker and who lives in Israel but is in town for work. Love her to pieces and it was great to go to The Misfit in Santa Monica and enjoy catching up. Here are the pics I took with us all getting back together (including George!).
A little earlier in the week, we had a PwC worknight excursion to a Korean BBQ restaurant to celebrate getting through busy season. Larry & I had been to previous KBBQ joints that the NBC crew had found and they were a bit different than this one, as the others were pretty much all all-you-can-eat and you grilled your own food. This week’s version was not unlimited and they cooked for you…not altogether a bad way to go, but certainly surprising!
Tomorrow is going to be a cool day – it’s our Engagement Photo session. Here’s hoping I’ll be feeling closer to 100% than I am right now. And here’s hoping I don’t like a goddamn mess in these photos. But who am I kidding?
Amazing Race 27 – Episode 1: “A Little Too Much Beefcake”
I do declare that quote to be horrendously inaccurate. There’s never enough beefcake, dammit! NEVER. And with these FOINE gentlemen on the race this season, I am quite content:
I have no doubt that by the end of the season, we’ll find out they’re really a couple. Because come on, look at that. Trust that there will be more screencaps of Tanner & Josh. Trust.
Where’d Everyone Travel To This Episode?
Starting Point: Venice, CA Pit Stop for the Leg: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Starting at Venice
I am having an internal struggle about whether to bother profiling the 11 teams, and I frankly don’t really care all that much about them individually yet. You know, here’s what I’ll do…broad categorizations!
Seems Like They’ll Have a Shot:
Cannon Fodder For the Mid-Race:
No Chance In Hell:
So yeah, that about sums up what I’ve got in terms of feelings about these teams. Obviously one of the “No Chance In Hell” teams, the TMZ team, is out after this first leg because they completely blew it at the Detour. It was a little surprising to see that bad of a performance so soon – it’s a freakin’ SLIDE PUZZLE. Come ON. Anyway, I have now jumped the gun. Let’s talk about Venice!
Phil, who I must say I’ve missed since skipping the last season, welcomed our 11 new teams while out on the Venice beach. He immediately told them that Rio was their next destination and also told them that an upcoming “bike race” in nearby Marina Del Rey would determine who would get on the first flight out. Only the winner of that race would be on that flight too. STRESS!
So with his patented eyebrow arch, Phil set our new contestants off into the world, with everyone having a waiting taxi ready to take them to the first challenge.
Turns out, the “bike ride” was actually a water bike. The hotnessDuo, Tanner & Josh, were so hot that they broke their bike and ended up coming in LAST at this point. I suddenly got sad as I was like, of course, the hot guys are going to be stupid and mess up immediately. In the meantime, WeepyMcGee (aka Justin) & Diana took the lead and the win (but just barely as Denise & James Earl were right behind them) and earned that sole spot on the first flight, which was supposed to give them a 30-minute advantage.
Sposeda is the cool way to write “supposed to” and what I’m using here to indicate that WeepyMcGee & Diana’s 30-minute lead evaporated due to flight times down to a 5-minute lead. The other teams got in quicker than expected, so that advantage withered away. They were still in the lead though and got to the clue box first, where a Fast Forward beckoned teams to take the chance.
The Fast Forward would have involved hang-gliders if not for the dangerous winds, and as a hyper-competitive team would be expected to do, Justin & Diana went for it. That of course backfired as the Fast Forward was cancelled and this put them automatically in the back of the pack. Wah wah. Justin should be lucky I was nice and didn’t screencap when he was full-sob. He should feel LUCKY!
Bienvenidos to Rio de Janeiro!
Everybody else ended up racing to a heliport where they would get flown over and around the city. Most were stunned by the sheer enormity of the housing and congestion mixed in with the stunning natural beauty of the area. My friend went there and had an amazing time as it really is like another world. A very fun, exotic world, but completely different from us in the U.S. They got to buzz Christ the Redeemer and that was key to remember, as they were quizzed upon landing to name the landmark.
Off to the Detour!
There were puzzles and there was volleyball. I’m sooooooo glad the HotnessDuo chose volleyball. It was like Top Gun up in here.
HOLY HELL. These two are ridiculous. They came into their own in this Detour and pretty much annihilated it. Also, Jazmine & Danielle came on strong here and made an impression. Unfortunately for them, I like gawking at dudes and not the ladies, so alas, no screenshots of them. But I do anticipate they’ll be around awhile so eventually you’ll see them!
On the sidewalk near the beach, the other Detour option was the slide puzzle. It proved remarkably challenging for most. I don’t get it.
Those who chose this option pretty much all got frustrated at it. But those who persevered and didn’t panic and understood how puzzles work made it through while these two teams here had major issues getting through this. A slide puzzle. a 4×3 slide puzzle. ZOMG. The TMZ girls ended up losing to the Cheerleaders and they noted astutely that they’ll never live this down – the timer in the corner when they finally solved it? 3 hours and 45 minutes. WTF.
Winner Winner, My God They’re Hot
Phil welcomed the HotnessDuo with his Rio co-host and she was appropriately impressed with the specimens in front of her. That’s because she’s not blind. Tanner & Josh not only were first but they also won this season’s Express Pass. Phil explained that it had to be used by the end of the fifth leg (that seems earlier than previous seasons), and when they do use it, they then are required to give it to another team who has to use it in the next leg. Hmmm…strategy! It will be interesting to see how that Pass plays out.
And the TMZ women were so far behind when they finally solved the slide puzzle Detour that they didn’t actually have to go to the Pit Stop as Phil came to them. No non-elimination this leg. Honestly, they showed a super-catty side earlier in the leg and it wasn’t a fun catty – it was mean catty. So I’m not sad to see them go. Best of luck to them back at TMZ though. They’re going to be annihilated.
I wasn’t able to stay away, after all. This last show was incredibly well-edited and the challenges were fun and the race at the end to avoid elimination was nerve-wracking. This episode was a defining example of why I love the show and I ended up wanting to write about it again.
For now though, it’s going to be a transition period – no maps and none of my custom screenshots and graphics, except for the standings listings as I LOVE those. Maybe next week’s post I’ll be back to full-Hobie on these posts, but for now, let’s just hit some highlights while using CBS-provided screenshots!
Flying to Singapore from Malta
There was an interesting tidbit noted by Jim in this episode: once a flight has been booked, you’re committed to it. That’s an interesting way to really make sure racers are ready to truly commit to a flight and a great source of drama, as it means you could see what happens when you find out your flight wasn’t the first to arrive. Case in point, when Misti & Jim happily signed up for the same flight as Adam & Bethany without doing their own legwork and then being present for when Kym & Alli simply ask the question to the travel agent if there’s anything faster. Turns out there was! 40 minutes earlier and now Kym & Alli were going to be out in front.
Oof, this turned out to be a terrible decision, in hindsight. Kym & Alli arrived in Singapore on the first flight along with Brooke & Robbie and Amy & Maya. The first clue included a Fast Forward (for the first time in quite a while!) and Kym & Alli were feeling confident. Unfortunately for them, this challenge was custom-made for Adam & Bethany….but maybe Kym & Alli could pull off staying up on a surfboard in this environment for 2 minutes? Turns out they couldn’t, and in the process of trying repeatedly, Adam & Bethany’s flight arrived and they immediately knew that they had to at least go for it as they’re freaking SURFERS. Smart, reckless move that paid off as Kym & Alli were still there. And sure enough, Adam & Bethany completed the challenge on their second try, meaning Kym & Alli were now in dead last. D’oh!
Roadblock in the Clouds
Maybe not the clouds, but it was certainly very high up. At a spectacular hotel where there’s a huge platform atop it on the 60th floor with a giant park, infinity pool, etc, the Roadblock was to cross from one tower to another on a spread cable. It was nauseating.
Detours of Pain and Suffering
Both of these Detours had the teams dealing with some type of pain and suffering.
In the Cupping challenge, you had to get some brutal deep-tissue massaging with gleeful masseuses having their way with the racers – it looked brutal. Especially when they started scraping the skin and then applying the fire cups to the back. What the hell? While Amy & Maya were the most visibly in pain and Brooke kind of delighted in their agony, even she couldn’t hold out cries of pain as it looked intense.
The other option was to crack open an endless stream of hot crabs in order to get 2 pounds of crab meat. The crabs were super hot though meaning burnt fingers while there were festival musicians tormenting Misti & Jim with clanging cymbals and noisemakers right behind them. Maybe this pain was a bit more bearable than the other?
Find the Right Mer-Lion / Double U-Turn Ahead!
Here’s where it looked like there was hope for Kym & Alli. After they left the Fast Forward, they made quick work of the Roadblock and Detour. They didn’t actually catch up to the other teams, but the editing made it seem close. The problem was that there was just one more task to do before the Pit Stop, which was to find a clue box at one of 5 different Mer-Lion sculptures around the city. Clearly Kym & Alli’s fate was sealed – but then Brooke & Robbie and Amy & Maya had a bit of a clash.
At the Double U-Turn this leg (which yet again ended up having no impact just like the one earlier this season), the plan was to ensure Kym & Alli’s elimination. Once both Kym & Alli and Adam & Bethany went for the Fast Forward though, no one knew who would win out. Everyone assumed Kym & Alli would succeed before Adam & Bethany made it there. Regardless, the plan was to U-Turn both of those teams. So Amy & Maya U-Turn Adam & Bethany, while the plan was for Brooke & Robbie to U-Turn Kym & Alli. Easy, right? Nope – Brooke & Robbie decide not to U-Turn anybody figuring Adam & Bethany was all that was needed. The wrestlers are amusing but they are kind of clueless? stupid? So Amy & Maya get a little pissy with them after finding out what happened while they look for the Mer-Lion together at the first and closest location. Brooke doesn’t take that attitude very well. At the 2nd Mer-Lion location, Brooke & Robbie get there first and find the clue – Amy & Maya arrive in their taxi as Brooke & Robbie are leaving. Amy & Maya ask if the clue was there and Brooke tells them “no.” Oh damn!
So off Amy & Maya go to the other 3 locations, blissfully unaware they just got played. It seemed that now Kym & Alli had a chance – if they could find the clue first and get to the Pit Stop, maybe this leg wasn’t a total disaster. I’d love to have seen how close this actually was…but I’m guessing it wasn’t. While Kym & Alli did choose the right location on the first try, it couldn’t overcome their huge deficit in the race, and sadly, the Cyclists were eliminated. Boo!
Thoughts on Kym & Alli’s Gamble
It was a gamble to go for the Fast Forward, especially considering they knew it would involve a bit of surfing. I think that having that 40-minute lead on Adam & Bethany and Misti & Jim gave Kym & Alli a bit of confidence. Obviously they very likely could have gotten lucky and made it, but 40 minutes is not a lot of time. I think Alli’s gut was the right call (obviously) as if they had pursued the main race path this leg, they would easily have stayed in the race. My biggest gripe is that this Fast Forward was COMPLETELY geared towards the strengths of just one of these teams: Adam & Bethany. That’s patently unfair to everyone else. If it had been something athletic but not also someone’s primary occupation – then I’d have been on board. But this was tailor-made to keep Adam & Bethany in the game. I’m biased in that I liked Kym & Alli FAR more than Adam & Bethany – but still. It’s some bullshit!
Alright, I know I sound a bit bitter about how the Fast Forward was blatantly up Adam & Bethany’s alley, and I still am. Yet I do recognize they have been outstanding competitors and have been fairly strategic with their use of advantages. And hell, Bethany has ONE ARM – and still is a beast in Roadblocks and Detours. So I do congratulate this team while still thinking that Fast Forward was a bit o’ bullshit.
I’ve been losing interest in blogging about the Amazing Race this season. I think it’s due in small part to “The Save” twist which I loathe, while also that some of the teams just leave me indifferent. Also, I realize that I’m writing this for myself and I end up asking myself, why? If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? If I write a blog about Amazing Race but no one reads it, who gives a shit? So yeah, I’m done for now in terms of all those maps and charts and screencaps. We did just watch this past Friday’s episode set in Malta and it was very enjoyable – I allllmost was thinking it would be fun to write up a post. But then again, I thought, why? I’ll probably come back to the show next season once some other shit in my life has calmed down and I care a bit more, but for now, I bid my recaps adieu.
Many apologies to all none of you who read this here site but this week is one in which I just didn’t have the time or motivation to do this leg properly. Even more, they didn’t go anywhere else and remained in Marrakesh, while an unsurprising team lost and an unsurprising team got back to the top. We’ll see if the remainder of the race is as predictable.
Honestly, I’m not sure if it has to do with the move to Friday nights or if it’s just the caliber of the racers, but I’m really not feeling this season at all. I’m enjoying Kym & Alli and Brooke & Robbie, but seriously, the other teams are just eh? Misti & Jim are too much and will likely win but it’s just not fun when there’s really not much competition.
Anyway, this week’s post is just some recap charts and that’s it. Next week, I’ll be back!
Camp: Set up a tent OR
Cream: Milk goats and then make goat cheese
Zipline across a canyon, put together a puzzle, zipline back