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The Amazing Race 11: All Stars

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I was flabbergasted that so many people took the cookie challenge AND that none of them realized they didn't have to EAT any of the cookies. Break them in two, crumble them with your fingers, drop 'em on the ground and chop 'em with the edge of a box lid ... so many methods would've been more efficient than biting.
At first I was thinking that too, but later I thought I heard one of the racers say that the instructions mentioned "biting" the cookies. If those were the instructions, it would explain why everyone used the same method of breaking them in half with their mouth and then spitting the cookie out.

I was disappointed that U&J choose to take the risk with their flights. I wonder if they checked what their other options would be in Frankfurt in case they didn't make the connection. The risk versus the reward just did not seem worth it to me.

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There was ONE cookie in the whole stack of 600 boxes that had a licorice center. That's what Oswald couldn't make Danny understand.

At first I was thinking that too, but later I thought I heard one of the racers say that the instructions mentioned "biting" the cookies.

If they didn't know the difference between one cookie in thousands and one box in 600, what makes you think they understood the rest of the directions properly?

Edited by mrmando

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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At first I was thinking that too, but later I thought I heard one of the racers say that the instructions mentioned "biting" the cookies.

If they didn't know the difference between one cookie in thousands and one box in 600, what makes you think they understood the rest of the directions properly?

That's a good point for Danny but everyone else understood that they were looking for one cookie, not one box.

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Well, sorry, but Eric and Danielle aren't the sharpest tools in the shed either, although I must acknowledge that Eric actually found the cookie. I don't recall the word "bite" being used in the voiceover script.


Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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I don't recall the word "bite" being used in the voiceover script.

I think it was, though. I already deleted it from the DVR, but am pretty sure the instructions said racers had to "bite into" the cookie. In fact, I rewound that part, because I wanted to be sure Phil said 600 boxes (!!), and am almost certain "biting" was part of the clue and I was thinking, no way could I bite 600 cookies ... but my memory is rubbish, so I could be wrong.


"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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It ain't in the episode recap on the CBS Web site, FWIW. Just says "search."

Anyway, I woulda done the batik and not bothered with the cookies.


Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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Anyway, I woulda done the batik and not bothered with the cookies.

Ditto. Those searches would make me insane. I'd rather carry a bloody slab of meat like the Schmirnas had to do their first go-round, than search through hundreds of cookies, dolls, etc.


"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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Anyway, I woulda done the batik and not bothered with the cookies.

Ditto. Those searches would make me insane. I'd rather carry a bloody slab of meat like the Schmirnas had to do their first go-round, than search through hundreds of cookies, dolls, etc.

You mean like the Schmirnas threatened to quit repeatedly while doing, right? :) The Schmirnas are living examples of the old adage that the consistent life is not worth living... :)


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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If the Schmirnas had a dollar for every time they've threatened to quit ...

then they could quit and still walk away with a million bucks.


Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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Remember the time the contestants had to unroll hay bales to find the clue, and that great sister-sister team got eliminated because, though she had unrolled well over a hundred bales of hay, the one sister had luck against her and never found a clue? Phil had to go to the field to tell them not to bother, they had both been eliminated from the Race.

She NEVER GAVE UP, by the way. Now THAT was an All-Star worthy team.


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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ANOTHER non-elimination leg! I did NOT see that coming.

Very exciting. Go BQs.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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ANOTHER non-elimination leg! I did NOT see that coming.

Very exciting. Go BQs.

Yeah, that was the only disheartening part of last night's episode. I thought the idea was to eliminate the racers, one by one (okay, actualy two by two). One non-elimination episode is okay from time to time. But two in a row is pushing the boundaries of my patience. Next week we'll send the end of the Schmirnas. Mark my words.

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ANOTHER non-elimination leg! I did NOT see that coming.

Very exciting. Go BQs.

Yeah, that was the only disheartening part of last night's episode. I thought the idea was to eliminate the racers, one by one (okay, actualy two by two). One non-elimination episode is okay from time to time. But two in a row is pushing the boundaries of my patience. Next week we'll send the end of the Schmirnas. Mark my words.

From your lips to God's ears...

Actually, it seemed like ALL the Racers found religion last night - dang, that was a lot of praying and God-invoking! It was very tense editing at the end. I'm not confident it was as close as it looked. But I was hoping Danny and Oswald would show up in time to eliminate Dumb and Dumber. No such luck! Ah, well.

At least the entire episode was not comprised of people finagling to get on standby at the airport! :)

GO, BQ's! You gals rock!


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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Doesn't it seem that an episode with a Yield is usually a non-elimination leg? I'm not surprised at the second non-elimination leg in a row this week, because if the NEL was next week, the marked-for-elimination penalty would be irrelvelant in the final episode anyway.

It was an exciting finish for this week (NEL notwithstanding): watching the clock counting down on Eric and Danielle while waiting for the final team to come in (although I don't think they were really that close behind).

Danny and Ozzy seem to be losing their racing senses over the last few weeks, from their confusion over the cookie detour last week to their navigation problems this week. Not good for them. I was impressed with Eric and Danielle's racing this week, in overcoming the Yield and 30-minute penalty (less impressed with Eric's overall attitude). I think they're the only team left that poses a real threat to the BQs.

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Am I the only one rooting against the Barbies?

I mean: Sure, if it doesn't matter at all HOW you race, and if the goal is winning at all costs, then sure, go BQs. Rah rah. But to the extent that I'm interested in the ethical and moral choices made by the racers, and not just strategic choices, bleached teeth and hair, and fake boobs--I'm still rooting for the (admittedly annoying and preachy) Schmirnas. What you see is what you get. I wouldn't put *anything* past the blondes. That's why they get along so well: They have no standards.

Well, I don't see the BQs as the diabolical schemers that you do, Alan. Granted, they've stuck it to Eric and Danielle twice now. But the Yield strategy employed last night (stick it to the team that 1) is a strong racing team, and 2) is most likely to be eliminated by employing the Yield) seemed like a reasonable approach to me. It would have worked if Danny and Ozzie and the Schmirnas weren't so inept.

The Yield is, by definition, not a strategy that's going to win you big points in the Moral and Ethical Derby. Somebody's going to get unfairly penalized. But given that, and given the fact that the BQs have been on the penalizing end both times, I haven't really seen behavior that I would deem to be immoral or unethical. The BQs seem pretty likeable to me. And how do you know the boobs are fake? TAR is full of natural wonders. Maybe my cynicism will eventually kick in, but it hasn't yet.

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Don't games constitute, in a way, their own moral universe?

In the real world, the miserable ^&$#(&*#@$ who stole a brand-new digital video camera out of my car a week before Christmas is a criminal. Even though I left the car unlocked.

But in chess, it's perfectly acceptable -- and expected, even -- for my opponent to capture my knight if I leave it unprotected.

So as long as the BQ's decisions are within the rules of the game, is it really fair to apply real-world moral and ethical standards to those decisions?

What's a bigger ethical lapse, offering a bribe to protect yourself (BQs), or accepting that bribe (O&D)?

The more I watch, the less inclined I am to rule out the Schmirnas. What they lack in brains, courtesy and decency, they often make up for in guts and determination.

Oh, and if legs with yields usually turn out to be non-elimination legs, then the strategy should change. In that case, the only reason to use a yield is to reduce your own chances of coming in last.

Edited by mrmando

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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I mean: Sure, if it doesn't matter at all HOW you race, and if the goal is winning at all costs, then sure, go BQs. Rah rah. But to the extent that I'm interested in the ethical and moral choices made by the racers, and not just strategic choices, bleached teeth and hair, and fake boobs--I'm still rooting for the (admittedly annoying and preachy) Schmirnas. What you see is what you get. I wouldn't put *anything* past the blondes. That's why they get along so well: They have no standards.

Boy, I see the BQ's 180-degrees away from what you see them as. I'm VERY interested in the ethical choices of the Racers. The BQ's have used the Yield strategically rather than as an instrument for revenge or to sic a team they didn't like. The BQ's handle disappointment and setbacks with grace and determination. They never complain, they Race hard, and they are kind to one another and their opponents beyond what I would deem reasonable. The BQ's have no standards? Where do you get that from?

Mirna and Charla are constantly calling their opponents names, complaining, false-moralizing, and treating the people working for them (at airports, in cabs, and everywhere) with disrespect.

You can root for the Schmirnas all you want, Alan. More power to ya. But I can't stand 'em, and I see the BQ's as perhaps the best - in terms of Racing ability, courage, and attitude - Racers ever.


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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I agree whole-heartedly with most of what's already been written about the Barbies and the alternative moral universe of playing a game. They play offense very well, without being, well, offensive. That said, they did disappoint by lying to Eric & Danielle that they paid Danny & Oswald to yield another team of D&O's choice, when in fact the Barbies specified E&D as the yield-ees. I would have been more impressed if they owned up to their part in the yield and admitted they wanted to yield E&D because they are the stronger opponents.

And the Schmirnas really aren't all that "what-you-see-is-what-you-get." Last week's episode was classic Mirna - accusing the Barbies of foul play for using a yield, and then urging the ticket agent at the airport to bump another team from the flight and let the Schmirnas on. If Mirna took the slightest amount of responsibility for her own actions instead of blaming Charla and the other racers for EVERYTHING, I could have more respect for them as a team. (Notice how this week she blamed Charla for not learning to drive stick, when it was Mirna who crashed the car?) That said, I agree with mrmando that they are not to be ruled out ... I expect them to be a final three team.

As for Eric & Danielle - Eric is infantile, and Danielle isn't all that smart, but I was rooting for them to beat the hour glass this week, just for their ability to keep things together and keep on racing against seemingly poor odds. (Big kudos to the editors of this week's show! CrimsonLine is right, methinks, that it wasn't nearly as close as it seemed, but when Eric & Danielle looked over the edge and said they saw a car coming, wow, that was a heart-racing moment.) Danielle is much less annoying than she was in her first go-round, when she and her partner vowed to "use their boobs" to win the race; and despite Eric's locker-room behavior, he's a smart racer. They've shown much more perseverance than expected.

MrMando also makes a good point about who is more ethically impure in the yield scenario, Danny & Oswald or the Barbies? Haven't D&O watched previous editions of TAR, when broke racers begged people at the airport or in the streets for money, and came away with enough to get them through the leg? Did they make any effort to get the money by other means, or jump on an easy opportunity to "sell" their yield power to the Barbies?


"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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I agree whole-heartedly with most of what's already been written about the Barbies and the alternative moral universe of playing a game. They play offense very well, without being, well, offensive. That said, they did disappoint by lying to Eric & Danielle that they paid Danny & Oswald to yield another team of D&O's choice, when in fact the Barbies specified E&D as the yield-ees. I would have been more impressed if they owned up to their part in the yield and admitted they wanted to yield E&D because they are the stronger opponents.

And that lie, significantly, was OUTSIDE the "alternative moral universe" of the Race, which made it more disappointing. Frankly, that was a no-win conversation no matter which way it went. They should have just not given any input into that subject. When E&D said that they had been Yielded by D&O, the BQ's should have just said, "well, you certainly caught up a whole lot!" or something like that.

And the Schmirnas really aren't all that "what-you-see-is-what-you-get." Last week's episode was classic Mirna - accusing the Barbies of foul play for using a yield, and then urging the ticket agent at the airport to bump another team from the flight and let the Schmirnas on. If Mirna took the slightest amount of responsibility for her own actions instead of blaming Charla and the other racers for EVERYTHING, I could have more respect for them as a team. (Notice how this week she blamed Charla for not learning to drive stick, when it was Mirna who crashed the car?) That said, I agree with mrmando that they are not to be ruled out ... I expect them to be a final three team.

Let me heartily recommend the Insider Videos at CBS.com in their Amazing Race section, especially "Charla Lightens Her Load" this week, and "Mirna Sets Charla Straight." Compare those videos to "The Beauty Queens Want to Be Loved" and tell me who the phonies are.


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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That said, they did disappoint by lying to Eric & Danielle that they paid Danny & Oswald to yield another team of D&O's choice, when in fact the Barbies specified E&D as the yield-ees. I would have been more impressed if they owned up to their part in the yield and admitted they wanted to yield E&D because they are the stronger opponents.

And that lie, significantly, was OUTSIDE the "alternative moral universe" of the Race, which made it more disappointing.

Ah, I missed the first part of the episode, so I wasn't sure about that. And again, I think the BQs underestimate the Schmirnas.

Schmirnas & D&O both have relationships that will survive this ordeal. Not sure I can say the same for E&D.

Here's a question: when you get a taxi driver who isn't helpful, why stick with him through the whole epsiode (D&O)?

Edited by mrmando

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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Eric might be a smart racer, but of the eight remaining, he's by far the meanest. Say what you will about airhead Charla, but she doesn't annoy me nearly as much as Eric.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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That said, they did disappoint by lying to Eric & Danielle that they paid Danny & Oswald to yield another team of D&O's choice, when in fact the Barbies specified E&D as the yield-ees. I would have been more impressed if they owned up to their part in the yield and admitted they wanted to yield E&D because they are the stronger opponents.

And that lie, significantly, was OUTSIDE the "alternative moral universe" of the Race, which made it more disappointing.

Ah, I missed the first part of the episode, so I wasn't sure about that. And again, I think the BQs underestimate the Schmirnas.

Here's a question: when you get a taxi driver who isn't helpful, why stick with him through the whole epsiode (D&O)?

Well, the LIE was outside of the Race - it happened after the check-in of both teams. That happened at the end of the episode. The bargaining and bribery happened within the Race, and I have no problem with that.

Why stick with a bad cabbie? KILLER FATIGUE. That's the only explanation of this leg for Danny & Oswald that makes any sense to me.


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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Why stick with a bad cabbie? KILLER FATIGUE. That's the only explanation of this leg for Danny & Oswald that makes any sense to me.

Well, come to think of it, in many countries you can engage a driver for a whole day for a flat rate. They might have done that, and since the only money they had was what they got from the BQs in exchange for their souls, they couldn't afford to ditch their driver.


Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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I'm not sure what the big deal is about the yield. If it had been me, I'd have yielded E&D too. It seemed like a no-brainer to me -- a team marked for elimination, already at the back of the pack. This week was not about coming in first, it was about not coming in last. E&D were the most vulnerable team. Piling on was appropriate.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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MrMando also makes a good point about who is more ethically impure in the yield scenario, Danny & Oswald or the Barbies? Haven't D&O watched previous editions of TAR, when broke racers begged people at the airport or in the streets for money, and came away with enough to get them through the leg? Did they make any effort to get the money by other means, or jump on an easy opportunity to "sell" their yield power to the Barbies?
Did they actually have any yield power at the point they made the deal? The Barbies snatched that 1rst ticket to get on the elevator, which did not matter because there was room for all three teams. It seemed to me that there was still a race to the actual Yield stand that a team other than D&O could have won. No matter which of those three teams made it first, they should have yielded E&D for the reasons others have mentioned.

I was disappointed that the Barbies were dishonest with E&D at the mat. It would have been better to say nothing, since E&D did not ask them what had happened. E&D should have understood the yield both as smart strategy and as a sign that the other teams view them as a threat, but I doubt they would. If they are going to be angry about being yielded, their anger should be directed at the producers who include that feature in the game, not the teams that who are playing the game the way it was designed to be played.

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