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CrimsonLine

The Amazing Race 13

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I have a hard time figuring who was/is more annoying: the whiney frat boys who can't read clues, or the supremely stupid Terence (I'm a friggin' staunch vegatarian! Hey, let's go to some unknown restaurant!). At least after next week the frat boys will be gone, and the three remaining teams will all be somewhat deserving and likeable.

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Who thinks the preview for next week's episode, in which a disoriented, panicked Star says, "I just don't want to come in last," is nothing but a dirty trick to keep people invested in their defeat watching?

Maybe I'll be OK with their ultimate victory if they don't come in first on one more leg of the race before the final leg.

Does the final leg begin with four teams or three? We've got one more non-elim leg, I think, which would have to be next week, right? And then the finale?

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Who thinks the preview for next week's episode, in which a disoriented, panicked Star says, "I just don't want to come in last," is nothing but a dirty trick to keep people invested in their defeat watching?

Or people invested in their victory, no?

The thing is, one bad leg can screw up even the best of teams.

Does the final leg begin with four teams or three? We've got one more non-elim leg, I think, which would have to be next week, right? And then the finale?

The final leg begins with three teams. The non-elimination leg is either this coming week or the following week.

If the Wonder Twins ever gets made into a live-action movie, Nick and Starr could, um, star. Every week I keep waiting for them to bump their fists together and say: "Wonder Twin powers, activate!"

Hee hee! Never thought of that, but it's right on!

I've also figured out who Sarah reminds me of: Mary Katherine Gallagher (SNL character played by Molly Shannon).

Oooh. Deadly accurate.

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Nick and Starr actually did the fist bump this week. LOL!

What I miss this season is the occasional extra long leg, when teams arrived at the check-in mat only to hear Phil tell them that the leg is not yet over and then he gives them the next clue.

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The frat boys must not be eliminated. They must make it to the final leg of the race. Of course, they'll never win it. They are among the least physically fit and mentally acute contestants ever in the long history of this show. They can barely read or walk. But they are, I'm figuring out, the real stars of this race. Watching Frat Boy #1 (who is either Dan or Andrew, I can never keep them straight) swing his arms in an exaggerated fashion and march like Woody Allen in Love and Death was the funniest thing I've seen since, well, probably Woody Allen in Love and Death. I mean I was rolling on the floor and gasping for breath.

Let Ken and Tina go. God bless 'em, and I hope they patch up their marriage, but they just don't have the clout of Dan and Andrew. Dan and Andrew must make it to the final leg.

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Hm. Andy's comment is making me reconsider what I said back to the TV at the end of this leg of the Race.

Dan (or Andrew) said, "We like being the underdogs. Everybody likes to root for the underdogs." My response, "unless it's you guys."

But maybe I'll amend that to say, "Okay, Andy Whitman'll root for ya." :)

In other news, based on the previews, we now understand what the producers were talking about in their pre-airing interviews, when they said that one team will not make it to the finish line. According to the previews for the next episode, one team will

lose their passport and all their money

. That would sure make you unable to finish the Race at all.

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Crow   

I'm just amazed that an airport in Kazakhstan has a 24-hour shoe store. :-"

Edited by Crow

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That blew me away, too.

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Hm. Andy's comment is making me reconsider what I said back to the TV at the end of this leg of the Race.

Dan (or Andrew) said, "We like being the underdogs. Everybody likes to root for the underdogs." My response, "unless it's you guys."

But maybe I'll amend that to say, "Okay, Andy Whitman'll root for ya." :)

In other news, based on the previews, we now understand what the producers were talking about in their pre-airing interviews, when they said that one team will not make it to the finish line. According to the previews for the next episode, one team will

lose their passport and all their money

. That would sure make you unable to finish the Race at all.

Well, I'll root for them to make buffoons of themselves. No way will I root for them to win. But I don't think we need to worry about that.

But they're great buffoons. That was easily the worst/funniest military marching since Bill Murray in Stripes, and maybe going back to Woody Allen in Love and Death. And it was real, and not intended to be funny, which made it truly hilarious. They tried so hard.

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It seemed to me like they gave him all their money, which was about half of what they owed.

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Best episode ever. Surprising plot twists! Stalin! (or was that Lenin?) Lenin! (or was that Stalin?) Phil leaving the cozy confines of the pit stop! Traditional Russian Kalinka from the frat boys!

I feel bad for Toni and Dallas, who seemed like decent human beings. But I am so happy that the frat boys have survived, presaging possible marching and/or dance routines in other European locales. I am hoping for flamenco in Cadiz.

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Crow   

I'm sad to see what happened to Toni and Dallas. I can see how all that travel and sleep deprivation can mess with people, where Dallas left his money and his passports in the cab as it drove away. Of course, that meant that they were totally screwed, since they couldn't go anywhere without their passports. Then again, if Tina hadn't helped Dallas out at the bookstore, Dallas would have been there all day long guessing numbers at random, and he never would have made it to that taxi.

Toni is a sweet mother who loves her son, but I'm amazed that she sent him out to look at statues of Lenin and Stalin when he had no idea who those people were.

Dan and Andrew did manage to capitalize on the critical mistakes made by two of the other teams, by managing not to screw up. And they did much better at Russian dancing rather than military marching. I expect at least one of those two to show up on Dancing with the Stars next season.

For next week's finale, seeing Dan and Andrew in a competition where they are clearly unqualified and not in the same league as Nick and Starr should be amusing. Like watching Mizzou in the Big 12 Championship game.

Edited by Crow

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The clues/tasks were amazingly complex last night. I am sorry to see Toni and Dallas gone, and more sorry to see the 2 idiots taking up room in the finals.

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It was a fun and tragic leg.

OTOH, the dominance of Nick and Starr continues, and continues to amaze.

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They didn't show the time of departure in this leg, so I wasn't sure how much of a head start the lead time had. Nor am I sure how far ahead of the others Nick and Brenda Starr finished. Do you think the producers will tip us off at the beginning of the final leg?

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You folks are way too hard on the frat boys. Yes, they're idiots. Yes, they have no business being in the final leg of the race. But they're the only source of comic relief on a show that sometimes badly needs comic relief. Granted, the comic relief only comes when they attempt physical coordination, and not when they open their mouths. But I predict we'll see more Dancing with the Wannabe Stars before the end of this season.

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Seeing those frat boys make the final leg, reminds me of an old jalopy going 35 miles in the fast lane, with the bumper sticker "Yes, I'm slow. But I'm ahead of YOU."

Consider that they not only advanced from last place, with an extra task to boot, to second? It's not just Dallas' mortal error that brought them in the fold, but they also advanced ahead of Ken and Tina. That says something.

I'll be rooting for Nick & Starr, not because they're the ones to beat, that it's theirs to lose... but because I rooted for Toni & Dallas (after the cow episode), and I know that they will be rooting for Nick & Starr.

As for the frat boys--if ever there was existance of a God, it's that these two have made the finals...

Nick

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mrmando   

Wow. At this stage it's amazing to see a leg being won or lost, not on cleverness or speed or luck, but on basic travel skills:

1) Your passport and money should be carried in a money belt or passport bag that never leaves your person unless you are taking a shower. (I could tell you a related story about an unsuccessful attempt on my part to climb a drainpipe to get into a second-floor window in Edinburgh. Or another story about my making a flight from Venice to Rome for the sole purpose of returning a passport my friend Jane left behind in the hotel safe. But I won't bore you with the details.)

2) Metro trains are faster than buses. (But it's good to finally see an Amazing Race that gets into a Metro system.)

Intellectually, I guess I can believe that 3 out of 4 Americans can't tell Lenin from Stalin, but actually watching it happen still leaves me dumbstruck.

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M. Leary   
But I predict we'll see more Dancing with the Wannabe Stars before the end of this season.

I just pretend they are the two guys from Superbad and enjoy the show. I wonder if they will turn this success into some kind of internet stardom. Or their own G4TV travel show.

1) Your passport and money should be carried in a money belt or passport bag that never leaves your person unless you are taking a shower.

Indeed. I always slip a few large denomination bills into the passport and then keep it in my front pocket. And I may be overly suspicious, but I can never bring myself to use hotel safes. But... I did lose my wallet on a train in France once, so my wife got a kick out of this last episode.

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Okay, poll time! What do you think will be the final finishing order? I've listed these possibilities in alphabetical order, so as not to influence the voting.

A. Team Dandrew (1); Team Ken/Tina (2); Team Spangler (3)

B. Team Dandrew (1); Team Spangler (2); Team Ken/Tina (3)

C. Team Ken/Tina (1); Team Dandrew (2); Team Spangler (3)

D. Team Ken/Tina (1); Team Spangler (2); Team Dandrew (3)

E. Team Spangler (1); Team Dandrew (2); Team Ken/Tina (3)

F. Team Spangler (1); Team Ken/Tina (2); Team Dandrew (3)

My guess is, all other things being equal, that result F is the most likely. Dandrew was able to beat Ken and Tina to the mat this past leg, but Dandrew was having their best leg ever (i.e. a minimum of incompetence). I think they are unlikely to repeat that performance. Even having their best leg ever, Dandrew was unable to beat Nick and Starr having an average leg for them (i.e. no incompetence, performed tasks well, finished first). That means that, all other things being equal, only D, E, or F are strong probabilities. Also, in the last few Races, the final task has been of monumental difficulty, requiring a strong memory, organizational skill, and logic to solve it. In that kind of situation, I give the edge heavily to the Spanglers. They have chewed up and spit out every task in this Race, having their only difficulties in travel snafus. They will rule the final task. Between options E and F, I'd give the edge to F, because I think Ken and Tina are generally a more competent team than Dandrew.

Of course, on the Race anything can happen. I'd have not thought Dallas and Toni would have been out of the running. But that's my prediction based on past performance.

What do the rest of you think is going to happen?

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A. Team Dandrew (1); Team Ken/Tina (2); Team Spangler (3)

B. Team Dandrew (1); Team Spangler (2); Team Ken/Tina (3)

C. Team Ken/Tina (1); Team Dandrew (2); Team Spangler (3)

D. Team Ken/Tina (1); Team Spangler (2); Team Dandrew (3)

E. Team Spangler (1); Team Dandrew (2); Team Ken/Tina (3)

F. Team Spangler (1); Team Ken/Tina (2); Team Dandrew (3)

The smart money is on F. I would harbor that there's a 50% chance that F will happen, and 50% chance that all-others-combined (A-E) will happen.

I'm hoping for unpredictability. Makes for more exciting viewing.

But as I wrote earlier, I suspect that Toni/Dallas (the team I rooted for after the cow episode) will be rooting for Team Spangler. So why shouldn't I?

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Okay, poll time! What do you think will be the final finishing order? I've listed these possibilities in alphabetical order, so as not to influence the voting.

A. Team Dandrew (1); Team Ken/Tina (2); Team Spangler (3)

B. Team Dandrew (1); Team Spangler (2); Team Ken/Tina (3)

C. Team Ken/Tina (1); Team Dandrew (2); Team Spangler (3)

D. Team Ken/Tina (1); Team Spangler (2); Team Dandrew (3)

E. Team Spangler (1); Team Dandrew (2); Team Ken/Tina (3)

F. Team Spangler (1); Team Ken/Tina (2); Team Dandrew (3)

I can't imagine that it will be anything but F. But, as you note, the race is unpredictable.

D is possible, but unlikely. Anything involving the frat boys finishing other than last is impossible. I still hope they march, dance, do shadow puppets, or something involving physical movement during the final leg.

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W00t!

I know, it's perhaps superfluous to cheer for

Nick and Starr

, but this was a well-run Race, and I am delighted at their win.

The memory task was grueling physically as well as mentally, and the run through Portland's streets looked immensely challenging. I find myself wondering if

Team Dandrew

was allowed to skip the city tasks, as it looked like the Race was probably over before they reached the city.

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