Oct 2, 2008, Ep 1: “If I Had a Million Dollars for Every Time I’d Heard That…”

The Amazing Race 13 Insider, Episode 1: “If I Had a Million Dollars for Every Time I’d Heard That…”

AR13_Ep1Stereotypes is the name of the game as we see in the extra footage from the first episode of the Amazing Race 13. Some teams are willing to use stereotypes to trick the others while a few teams will do whatever they can to prevent their competition from thinking that they may fit into ‘weak’ stereotypes. Plus, Phil hears a common theme over and over again at the Pit Stop.

I am going to happily suffer through infinite 15- and 30-second ads (again..and again) so that I can catch you up on the many videos that CBS posted on the official site for The Amazing Race, because it looks like they’re not posting the whole episodes. You can find these if you click through the main CBS Amazing Race site and then on the VIDEOS link. See the most popular or click on View All to see absolutely everything – it’s a wonder we get an hour-long show at all with the tons of video footage here!

There are lots of clips up for viewing, including some clips already seen on the show (which I’ll skip), Pit Stop chats with Phil by all the teams, and extra scenes from throughout the first leg of the race. The Elimination Station video show you what the eliminated contestants are up to when they leave the race, and Phil’s Video Diary gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the production of the show.

On the Pit Stop Mat

The Beekeepers’ Bad Day: I initially read this as the Beekeepers’ Bad HAIR Day… my bad. So, it’s really hot and humid in Brazil. It looks like the hippies packed completely wrong for this trip – apparently they thought it was the Amazing Race…through the Northern Passage, as they mostly packed woolen materials, because in Oregon it is a lot cooler. Ah, exotic Oregon, barometer of the world. After Phil wonders if Arthur considered shaving to cool off, Arthur reveals he hasn’t shaved his beard since 1974! Wha? That’s longer than how long many of the other contestants have lived. Phil then asks if they have any idea where they are… Phil, they’re not senile! Okay, he just wants to see what they got out of the experience, and sweetly, they say it was amazing, the others were so friendly, but they never forgot to step back and remember love. Aww… It would’ve been nice if they could’ve hung in longer as they seem like a very cool couple.

Down, But Not Out: “Did I just see you throw up over there?” Phil asks Marisa (or Brooke, not sure yet), then scolds her with “There’s no throwing up in The Amazing Race!” All right, that last quote didn’t happen; Phil is a class act. Lesson to learn: Dehydration is bad, as are heavy backpacks. Marisa & Brooke and Anthony & Stephanie proceed to fawn all over each other with compliments and praise – but be warned, 9th and 10th place teams – this love fest is gonna be over soon when you both realize you’re now fighting out of last place! And the Backpackers name gets resurrected… uh oh. Phil pumps up their spirit, though, and asks them to pass on some of their lessons-so-far to America: ‘Amazing Race is hard’ – news at 11. Duh. And an apparently long-simmering mystery is solved: Marisa & Brooke’s matching necklaces are good-luck gifts from their moms. No way.

No Comics Standing: 7th and 8th place teams, Aja & Ty and Andrew & Dan are at the Pit Stop with Phil. Ty seems a bit down on their performance this leg, and Phil gently reminds him that the Race. Just. Started. So man up and race harder! Yet we do get some gossip about the previous night when the teams all camped out in the Brazilian forest: First, Mark & Bill are cheesy joke tellers – do tell! Mark & Bill also already have a nickname: the Mythbusters (I can see the resemblance)! Furthermore, we find out that Terence didn’t like Dan, as at the start of the race, Dan remarked that Phil’s jacket was nice, then Terence then said directly to Phil, “Nice jacket, Phil!” How could a frat guy let that slide, and the natural response made was “coughsuckupcough.” I guess Terence doesn’t appreciate classic humor and has frozen Andrew & Dan out. Yet we see that Sarah’s attempts to be nice haven’t been in vain, as the teams do like her. Phil becomes Dr. Phil and asks what is Sarah doing with Terence? Who knew Phil was so… nosy? More discussion about it not being fun to be in the back pack but at least if they’re at the front of that rear pack, it’s all good… to which Aja alerts Dan that Toni & Dallas already have that distinction. D’oh!

Dallas’ Big Guns: Phil moons over 6th place Dallas’ ‘big guns’ and wonders if they’re going to use his artillery as an asset to help with the race and to even use on the ladies, who’ve obviously noticed the big guy. Exhausted mom Toni is the puppetmaster of Dallas’ guns: she aims, he fires. We’ll see how far that gets this team. And we’ll see just how awkward this relationship can get, I guess.

Tough Girls: 5th place Kelly & Christy are wearing makeup, which Phil immediately notices. The race was not what they expected, as it is definitely harder than how it looks on TV (never heard that before)! They think that they’ll be underestimated because while they do put on makeup, they’re still covered in sweat and are there to race. When Phil asks who they want out, they wisely keep the answer to themselves. Perhaps this will be a team to reckon with!

Not As Easy As It Looks: 4th place Mythbusters Mark & Bill are here at the Pit Stop with Phil (and by the title of the video alone, I sense a running theme to these interviews), who refuses a hug! He’ll give one though if the hug is accompanied with him giving them a million bucks. He is concerned with the buckets of sweat pouring off of them, but they reassure him that they aren’t giving up. They relate to the TV viewing audience’s typical “I Could Do That” sentiment and guarantee that “it’s not as easy as it looks.” Phil then waxes greedily: “If I had a million dollars for every time I’ve heard that, I’d be a multi-millionaire!” Yes, Phil, I bet you already are. Good analogy though.

Terence is Happy…For Now: Terence & Sarah love the number 3. Okay, only some times. And they want to be top 3 here, but top 1 there, but top 3 is fine overall, except at the end, where it’s Top 1. Uh, yes, Governor Palin? They then recall the critical mistake that cost them the lead when they took the wrong elevator shaft at the cargo net tower, with some good humor. It’s been a whirlwind, but Terence wishes that there had been a Roadblock so Sarah could use her Portuguese… umm, presumptuous about the challenges much? And just when Phil is ready for his hug from Sarah, she cuts him off due to sweat. Maybe next time, Phil.

Ken & Tina’s Packed Packs: 2nd place team Ken & Tina are carrying very heavy packs, which Ken jokingly says is filled ¾ with Tina’s makeup. He’s just kidding with her, but Phil isn’t swayed, thinking she’s wearing some makeup right now, although it turns out to be only tinted sunscreen (what’s that?) and lip gloss. Phil asks whether this is like Ken’s former occupation in football. Ken compares it to two-a-days because it’s so hot and exhausting. When pressed to reveal who they’re keeping an eye on, Ken & Tina reveal that Starr & Nick and Mark & Bill have made it on their radar.

Siblings On Top: First leg winners Nick & Starr reveal they’re the youngest team (in terms of combined ages) ever on the race. Because they’re in good shape, they feel great and very confident about their performance, and are excited to finally be on the show and begin such an amazing experience. Winning the first leg and the experience they’ve acquired to get that win has given them the confidence to do well in the future. They think that their complementary and supportive personalities are going to be a key asset to success in the race, and I have to agree.

Extra Scenes

Anita & Arthur’s Final Thoughts: In separate interviews, we first learn that Arthur is surprised, in a good way, that he is as emotional as he has become now that the race is over and that he possibly let people down. He does feel embarrassed, which surprises him too. Even though it was such a short experience, the preparation before the race, such as the physical training, did more for them and how they live that he thinks they’ll do more similar activity in the future. Anita’s incredible feelings of everybody on the Earth down to everyone in one country is more than she can tell about and if everyone in the world were to do this, everyone could finally connect. Kumbaya.

A Change of Strategy: After the first leg, Anthony & Stephanie reveal that their upcoming strategy will be about READING the clue card and really weighing the pros and cons of the Detour options. Hmm…brilliant. Now tell me, why does it look like they are in a Brazilian jail cell, including having a guard posted behind them. The Amazing Race really IS hard.

Ken’s Career: In a pre-show interview clip, we learn that Ken was in the NFL starting in 1978 with the Cardinals and then the Chargers as a Safety until the mid ‘80s, when he got involved in building. His success in the NFL was a huge deal for him, his family, and his hometown, especially as a 1st round draft pick and Rookie of the Year. His career finally ended in San Diego with shoulder injuries. If I knew more about football, I’d elaborate further. Alas, that is not the case.

Nick & Starr’s Turning Point: A pre-show interview clip that reveals that while growing up, this brother and sister did not get along well at all. But right before Nick headed to NYU, the two of them really started communicating and they opened up to each other, and are best friends. Of the four siblings, Nick & Starr have the closest relationship, although it took several years for this fondness to happen. Both are attention-grabbers and get irked when attention is drawn away from one or the other. But the transition to college apparently matured them and now everything is good.

Geeks With a Plan: Pre-show, Mark & Bill reveal that they aren’t here to make friends and will happily misdirect other teams. “In order to win, everyone else has to lose.” Yes, you speak the truth. Mark reveals that they will gladly play into the nerd stereotype too in order for the teams to automatically discount their abilities. While they are nerds, they’re also very successful in their day jobs. Because who is threatened by the comic book guys? Good point. For your sake, I hope you don’t fall into that same trap with the others though. Based on the “Tough Girls” video above, it seems many people are ready to let stereotypes fool everyone.

Husbands vs. Huuusbands: Pre-show, we learn the difference between a Husband and a Huuuusband from Kelly & Christy. Married, Suburban-driving, kids-having men are ‘Husbands.’ Stay with me. But hot guys (not sure if they have to be single by this video expose) at the car wash are Huuuusbands. Take two as needed. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t think any guy who is just dating a girl wants to be referred to as a Huuusband. Just sayin’.

Ken & Tina Make New Friends: While Ken chats up pretty girls Kelly & Christy at Los Angeles International, Tina lets him know that the girls are the same age as their oldest child. Tina then reminds the girls that they’re old and that they could be their parents (subtext: Ken, don’t you even think about looking at those girls again; Girls, Ken is not to be flirted with, however innocently). Marriage situations are discussed, with everyone realizing separations and divorces are in the air. Suddenly it becomes a lot friendlier. Christy’s marriage was over and done within six months. “Smart move,” Tina reflects. Kelly’s ended after two years. When the dating question comes up, neither is dating anyone. Ken resumes interest again and rejoins the conversation. Kelly & Christy leave, after which Tina leans over and instructs Ken to not give any information out about their personal lives again. It’s no one’s business and the situation could be exploited. Ken agrees readily, after being the one who spilled the beans in the first place!

Anita & Arthur Lose It: While riding in a Brazilian cab, Anita can’t find the money. It’s not in their pocketbook, nor in pockets, and while she rummages through every pocket in the cool Amazing Race bag… EVERY pocket… yep, every pocket, and we even see the sunlight dramatically change so I don’t think this video is one seamless shot, after which finally the money turns out to be in Arthur’s pocket. Okay, just by this alone, it seems pretty clear they were not going to be long on this race.

Scenes From a Campout: Will we see the previously-referenced cheesy joke-telling? Let’s see! Not so far… it’s Marisa & Brooke’s fear of the movie Anaconda and making the best of living in the mosquito nets at the military base, which includes only flossing and being itchy. Over at the Toni & Dallas mosquito net, Dallas continues the Gun Show and also admits that Mom is on the outside of the net where the creepy crawlies can get her first. I’m pretty sure (or hoping) that’s sarcasm. But they do discuss the last time they slept close like this (3rd grade), and I think that’s all about that I need to hear. The Fratboys are living recklessly, hanging out outside of the mosquito nets and telling the camera that it’s fun, yet dangerous. The Beekeepers still can’t believe the Race is happening and all the sounds and the smells of the dirt. They did enjoy the ‘60s and ‘70s. The whole experience is beyond words for them. While they do similar camping outside at home, it’s not quite the same as this.

Brother’s Calming Influence: Starr is tense in the cab and Nick advises her to just keep calm. This behavior is how they work with each other, and as long as they keep each other in check, I bet they’ll be one of the main teams to beat. Nick continues to reiterate that as long as they to stay calm, speak slowly, and learn their lessons, like airport travelling, they’ll do well in the race. He is counting on lackadaisical behavior of the other teams while Nick & Starr keep their wits about them.

Mom and Son Almost in Sync: After the first day, Toni and Dallas both realize that while their normal relationship is more based on him telling her what to do, that behavior is not going to help them win the race. Better trust has to be there, and a hard race requires them to pull it together. Recounting their experience pushing the candy cart around, they learned lessons about cooperation, the initial lack thereof, and that only working as a team will make them successful in future challenges.

Kelly & Christy Get Quizzed: Mark & Bill and Terence & Sarah (mostly Sarah, obviously) chat up Kelly & Christy at LAX, asking what they do for a living. They reveal that they are pharmaceutical reps, but they are curious what people thought they did. Mark tells them he thought they were models (smooth, Mark), while Sarah says cheerleaders, which apparently is what they did do in college. After that, Terence wants to leave (most likely to have another talk with Sarah about not getting attention or something), so Sarah & Terence leave the area. Further investigation of the girls’ living situations ensues, where we learn they’re from Texas. The conversation now redirects back onto Mark & Bill, as the girls notice a lot of tattooed words on Mark’s forearm. The words are names, and after who knows how long of a guessing game, the girls give up as once they saw the name ‘Husband’ on there, they were thrown for a loop. Mark explains it’s the names of dead astronauts, from Apollo I, the Challenger and Columbia, because he loves space and it is his way to memorialize those folks. That’s kinda cool.

Mark’s Tattoo: Didn’t we already see this video? Hmmm…. Terence & Sarah have returned, and now Mark’s tattoo is the talk of the Race. Sarah almost blurts out what Terence thinks it is and he quickly cuts her off, as he doesn’t want… something, but I think it comes down to being potentially wrong. So now Terence & Sarah stare intently at Mark’s arm, and Sarah makes the breakthrough, first identifying that they’re astronauts, and after some prodding by Mark, that they’re all dead astronauts. Terence has a brilliant follow-up question, which is “Are you guys astronauts?” Not to be too rude, but I do believe that anyone who can see could put it together that they’re not… But then again, Terence isn’t a lawyer, he’s a running coach, so I’ll cut him some slack.

The conversation turns to day jobs. Like Mark & Bill mentioned in the video “Geeks With a Plan,” they have no intention of revealing that, so they tell them they run the San Diego ComicCon. Terence says that he is so happy because he has so many comics he wants to get rid of. Wow, in a spirit much friendlier than mine, Mark & Bill actually tell him they’ll help out with that effort! Nice deflection. After some more small talk about comics and ‘ink’ (tattoos), Sarah points out that Mark was trying to show off the tattoo to the “Cheerleaders,” who Mark thought they were models (to which I start thinking, oh, this video happened before the one I wrote about above – tricky CBS website!). Sarah claims that’s a promotion, as they’re probably dancers (code for strippers!). Ah, NYC folks. Living in New York, I know this kind of attitude well. Sarah admits they actually haven’t talked to them, but that certainly doesn’t stop any assumptions. Because if you stretch all weird and bendy-like, you have to be a “dancer.” Oy. This season is going to be good. Sarah keeps obsessing about the “glamorous gymnasts,” and everyone talks around what they really think Kelly & Christy do.

Ty Coaches Aja: In the taxi, Ty basically tells Aja all the things (like being tired) that they need to ignore when running, and unless a leg is broken, there’s no stopping. So where can you rest? According to Ty, you can rest in the cab, so you better keep running. And Ty doesn’t want to have to wait on Aja while running either, as he previously would have (accidentally) left her if he hadn’t looked back. Aja, better keep up!

Aja & Ty Watch Their Backs: Ty discusses the degree of untrustworthiness of the other teams, and reveals that Ken(ny) is smack dab at the top of it. Why? Ken’s friendly, but to Ty, the friendliness doesn’t mask the competitive edge beneath it all. Aja says that she mostly doesn’t trust Nick & Starr, but basically it comes to them not really trusting anyone because of where they’re from (Detroit). And Aja & Ty recognize Terence & Sarah as the competitors to beat in order to stay in the race. Personally, I think Terence & Sarah will cause their own defeat, so Aja & Ty just need to seize the timing when it’s right.

A First For Ty: While at LAX, it turns out that Ty has never been on a red-eye/overnight flight before, but Aja is excited about the dinner and breakfast being provided and shows it with a Paris Hilton quote, “That’s hot.” The conversation then turns to strategy, with Aja believing that if they’re going to ask questions, the team should discuss what them before actually asking. Ty normally just wants to go ahead and ask, but that usually involves Aja being left behind and clueless. They know they’ll figure out the best methods though for effective communication, which includes a discussion of blanket lint on Ty’s shirt.

Dan Tries To Cut a Deal: On the final boat ride to the floating castle, Dan talks to Aja & Ty about the crazy cab rides there and smoothly tries to take the goodwill from the polite small talk and convert it to a working alliance between the two teams, since neither are in last place right now. Without even a moment’s hesitation, Aja shakes her head vigorously. Dan mentions that there could be a truce or something, because neither are first or last, but Aja points out there’s only a minute between them and there’s really no need for a truce at this time. Dan quickly changes tack in the conversation to the fact that he & Andrew had run out of money at the end there, having to shove 2 dollars and whatever was left of their Brazilian money to get some tickets and pay the cab. Ty & Aja also ran out of money too, and it looks like these teams are realizing money is definitely a rare commodity in the Amazing Race! Dan & Andrew discuss their choice of Detour and the fact that they had to do it twice.

The Belles’ Backpacks: At LAX, Brooke & Marisa recount how, at the airline ticket counter, the agent was going to require them to check in their backpacks because of how big they are. Being girls, they considered turning on the waterworks but instead cajoled and pleaded with the agent to let them bring them on. Even though their bags were way overweight, the agent agreed. This would never happen for two guys.

The Perfect Match: Just looking at the screen cap makes me sigh ‘oh boy’ to myself, so now let’s see this video. It turns out this video is from the LAX parking lot shuttle that Marisa & Brooke and Dan & Andrew are sharing. Kisses are promised (and withheld, in Dan’s case) if the driver does not stop for anybody else wearing packs. After committing a successful bribe, introductions are made, Dan begins his charming act and learns where they’re from. We hear about their thoughts on party colleges and what they think Brazil will be like (Marisa contributes, “they speak Portuguese!”), and I believe I hear Dan say that he is in ‘International Tourism’ at college… huh? Dan segues into travel agent shtick, offering to book their tickets because of his intricate knowledge of the American Airlines hub system. Then a left hook comes as Brooke reveals she knows Swahili (or at least a semester’s worth of it), so she’s hoping that comes in handy (and it very may well!), and she reads Hebrew too. Hmm. Dan & Andrew suggest that the girls ‘sex it up’ if need be to get a better position in the ticket line, to which Brooke happily agrees and Marisa kinda stares at Brooke as if she has no idea who she is.

Terence & Sarah Get in the Groove: I doubt this is a Madonna tribute video. At LAX, Terence explains how he & Sarah have a way of fist-bumping that is all about making sure the grooves of the knuckles join up smoothly and not bone-to-bone; as he begins to elaborate on his point about special interactions they have, he tells about how they look each other in the eyes when they kiss, at which point Sarah starts to giggle and smile. Bad move! Terence immediately gets taken aback, “What, am I a joke?” (oh boy!) He then continues and now Sarah is tightly clenching her mouth together to prevent from smiling or laughing (as you know, when you kiss, happy emotions are NOT allowed). They both freely admit that there is a great likelihood of self-implosion during the race as they just are always moving 1,000 miles a minute and if a clue is dropped, by the time they realize it, it’ll be miles behind. Furthermore, they know they have to resist the blame game which is very easy for them to fall into, and so if it does start to happen, just calm down, say that they love each other, and let the blame fall away. (Good luck with that)

Terence & Sarah Size ‘Em Up: While driving to LAX at the start of the race, Sarah thinks that they underestimated the “Camo Team” (Nick & Starr) and is intimidated by the “Green Team” guy’s build (Ken). But lest the attention get too focused on the others, Terence mentions he is very disappointed that he was 3rd up to the top of the stairs, even though his favorite number is 3, which saves his placement from being an utter failure. Sarah has to reassure him that it’s okay, as even though Nick and Dallas beat him, their teammates (Starr & Toni) were way behind her, which only mildly placates him. He now thinks that at least people are going to think he’s not that quick, and I think simply that the others really aren’t giving him that much thought just yet.

Elimination Station

Adventure in Acapulco: So here is where we get to see what people do once they’ve been eliminated from the race! In this first installment, we get to see what Anita & Arthur were occupied with while waiting for the rest of the race to finish. It was off to Acapulco, Mexico, for them, which is certainly not a bad place to go! While in the very comfortable SUV taxi to their hotel, they both admit that while it’s probably going to be a nice vacation now, they’re still pretty sad that the Race is over. Anita verges on tears during the ride there.

Once they see the beautiful coastal view though, spirits are lifted. At the Villa Legoria hotel, they happily admire the luxury they now find themselves in, with a beautiful pool, gorgeous flowers, and a breathtaking view of the bay. Their hotel room is unlike anything they’ve ever seen in their lives, and now that they’re settled in, they’re actually quite content as they get to relax there for another three weeks or so. When they first get in their room, they do a backwards fall onto the bed, which looks like a mistake, as it seems like a fairly hard mattress. On the balcony, Anita & Arthur gaze at the gorgeous sunset and wonder where everyone else has headed to on the Race and what people they’re meeting. Anita did love Dallas & Toni, as Dallas always made time for hugs (awwww… Gun Show Hugs), and after some more near-tears, they both mention that regardless, life is good.

Phil’s Video Diary

Episode 1 – Los Angeles, CA: The intro to the video shows that while the show gets cameramen, Phil’s Video Diary is all self-shot. With that knowledge, we learn this first video is about Los Angeles, California. It’s morning at the LA Coliseum and Phil is standing at the top of the stands, giving us the lowdown on its role in TWO Olympic Games (1932 & 1984). He’s up there while the crew is filming the various entry shots of the teams, and we see Marisa & Brooke’s running entrance into the Coliseum from his vantage point. He then points out the concrete slab (the initial starting mat of the Race) as well as the unofficial first challenge (the stairs). Phil then reveals the next sequence of events that will lead the contestants to the airport, who of course have no idea where they’re headed to first. Phil reveals that indeed they’re headed to South America. Some different (from the TV edit) angles are shown of the racers as they run to their bags at the outside of the Coliseum and jump in the Mercedes awaiting them on their drive to LAX. Finally Phil shakes his head and just can’t believe this is the thirteenth time that they’re doing this race around the world!

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