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Crow

The Amazing Race 16

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Here we go again. This one snuck up on me, but first episode is tonight!

The teams. I think we've seen all these teams before, except the cowboys. I wonder if they'll wear their hats throughout the entire race.

The sneak preview looks amusing, though. Teams are going to use public transportation in L.A.? Is there such a thing?

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That was a tough road block right out of the gate. I felt sorry for the guy who couldn't make it. I think he gave it his all. And his wife was kind about it.

The team that everybody was making fun of came in first, right? I kind of like the cowboys and the cops but neither of them seem to come off too bright in the first episode.

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Loved it! It was amazing to see the cowboys go from last to third (or were they second?).

Is Miss South Carolina the woman who made that "I truly believe, that all U.S. Americans ..." speech that I've heard quoted, in snippets, for a couple of years on the radio? Or is she another beauty contestant who gave an embarrassing answer to a question? I know the answer they showed on last night's episode had to do with Iraq and with maps. I'm just wondering if that's the same contestant and a different snippet of the same garbled answer I've heard excepted as a punchline on various programs. Sorry I can't be more specific.

I like it that she and her boyfriend settled the issue of their intelligence, at least in terms of the race, in that first leg.

I always root for the 71-year-old contestants, who usually last no more than three or four weeks.

This year we have a gay brother will not stop talking! Does he have to offer his commentary on every aspect of the race? He never shuts up. He's fingernails on a chalkboard, so no doubt he'll be around until the very end, right?

Edited by Christian

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Loved it! It was amazing to see the cowboys go from last to third (or were they second?).

I really enjoyed the episode as well. The cowboys come across as genuinely likeable guys. I wondered what happened between the last detour and the finish, since a couple of teams that were far behind at the painting task wound up finishing higher up. Did some teams get lost along the way?

It was one of the funniest moments ever on the Amazing Race when the coach and his daughter walked into the wrong house and started painting their walls. The reactions from the people from the house were priceless.

Is Miss South Carolina the woman who made that "I truly believe, that all U.S. Americans ..." speech that I've heard quoted, in snippets, for a couple of years on the radio? Or is she another beauty contestant who gave an embarrassing answer to a question? I know the answer they showed on last night's episode had to do with Iraq and with maps. I'm just wondering if that's the same contestant and a different snippet of the same garbled answer I've heard excepted as a punchline on various programs. Sorry I can't be more specific.

I like it that she and her boyfriend settled the issue of their intelligence, at least in terms of the race, in that first leg.

Yep, she's the YouTube sensation all right. I think she'll surprise a lot of people by being smarter than they will think (provided she and her boyfriend remember to read their clues properly). But I hope the producers don't make a habit of casting YouTube stars from now on. I really don't want to see that "Leave Britney Spears alone" guy on the race.

I always root for the 71-year-old contestants, who usually last no more than three or four weeks.

This year we have a gay brother will not stop talking! Does he have to offer his commentary on every aspect of the race? He never shuts up. He's fingernails on a chalkboard, so no doubt he'll be around until the very end, right?

I can respect a grandma that could kick my butt. Hopefully she and her granddaughter will stick around for a little while. I agree that the gay brother is annoying. Yes, we all saw that YouTube video with Miss South Carolina, we don't need to hear him quoting it repeatedly.

The lesbian couple have the potential to get annoying, given their remarks about missing valet parking and designer shoes. I hate to think what their reaction would be to seeing African or Indian poverty. But I'm willing to withhold judgment for the time being.

But these teams are generally likeable, even if the collective IQ on display won't be among the highest we've seen on this show.

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It was one of the funniest moments ever on the Amazing Race when the coach and his daughter walked into the wrong house and started painting their walls. The reactions from the people from the house were priceless.

That was fantastic! But then we were puzzled. Did they actually find the right red wall, or did they get a free pass for being as hysterical as possible. The subtitles were priceless: "I have no idea why they are here."

"We have no idea what they are doing."

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How about those cowboys? Both of the challenges were right up their alley, though. You have to give them props for the whole bus thing.

I am disappointed in the detectives. Not seeing the name on the sign of the kuchen stop seems pretty lame for detectives. I'm sorry granny got kicked in the head by the cow and had to start milking all over. They might have beat the detectives otherwise.

By the way, I had kuchen once at a German restaurant in Fredericksberg, TX. One of the best desserts I have ever eaten.

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Pretty pedestrian leg (npi).

I like the cowboys!

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I like the cowboys, too. They have a great sense of humor and don't seem to be taking things too seriously. You definitely have to give the guy credit for doing the bungee jump with his hat ON. I was sure it was going to come off. But it stayed put. My cowboy hat will come flying off when I am just walking across the field.

I was also glad to see the detectives step up a bit.

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We like the cowboys as well, but I was bummed that they had to drink beer to finish that leg. I wish they had been given an option, such as drinking the same amount of a different fluid.

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What may be my favorite line of the season: Cord, We aren't in the Bible Belt anymore.

My wife wondered about the beer task. Do they screen contestants to keep out recovering alcoholics? Or did it taste so bad because they were using something like O'Doul's?

Edited by Darrel Manson

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What may be my favorite line of the season: Cord, We aren't in the Bible Belt anymore.

My wife wondered about the beer task. Do they screen contestants to keep out recovering alcoholics?

They must either screen them to avoid such contestants, or make sure that they don't pose such challenges to people with that issue in their past. I can't imagine the liability costs involved if this wasn't the case.

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Mixed feelings about what's left of the season. Can't deny that there was a certain amount of schadenfreude in seeing the least-likable team eliminated thanks to a U-Turn by an only slightly more likable team. Despite not winning any legs, Carol/Brandy actually had a higher average placement than the cops (who have won a few legs). So they might have posed more of a threat than Brandy was willing to admit. Brandy seems curiously devoid of self-awareness; she genuinely has no idea of how she comes across to other people.

Anyway, the models and the brothers are two of the weakest teams ever to reach the final four. When the cowboys are on their game, they're capable of mopping the floor with any remaining team ... but as we've seen, the cowboys have some wild-card tendencies and aren't always on their game. I'm still rooting for them, since the other teams are by turns stupid, annoying, or Machiavellian. But I'm worried.

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Mixed feelings about what's left of the season. Can't deny that there was a certain amount of schadenfreude in seeing the least-likable team eliminated thanks to a U-Turn by an only slightly more likable team. Despite not winning any legs, Carol/Brandy actually had a higher average placement than the cops (who have won a few legs). So they might have posed more of a threat than Brandy was willing to admit. Brandy seems curiously devoid of self-awareness; she genuinely has no idea of how she comes across to other people.

Anyway, the models and the brothers are two of the weakest teams ever to reach the final four. When the cowboys are on their game, they're capable of mopping the floor with any remaining team ... but as we've seen, the cowboys have some wild-card tendencies and aren't always on their game. I'm still rooting for them, since the other teams are by turns stupid, annoying, or Machiavellian. But I'm worried.

Other than the cowboys, the remaining teams are less than thrilling. And, as you note, the cowboys have their issues too, although they remain thoroughly likeable. The only team I outright dislike is the Machiavellian model and her fratboy boyfriend. Still, this has been a weak season. It's hard to imagine any of the remaining teams competing well with some of the winners from previous seasons.

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Yeah, the cops and the cowboys are root-able. The brothers and the models are not. I went in to the season TRYING to give Caite the benefit of the doubt. Her pageant performance was hysterical but also brought out my sympathy for her, and when Carol and Brandy picked on her in the opener (though we didn't see it on camera, we just heard about it third-person) I felt for her. But Caite has richly illustrated why the stereotypes of pageant queens exist.

And Carol and Brandy have richly illustrated why stereotypes of lesbians exist. And the cops have richly illustrated cop stereotypes, and the cowboys have richly illustrated cowboy stereotypes. Either this is just very careful editing, or the casting for this season has been mold-following rather than mold-breaking.

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Yes, Denes nails it ... the reason this season is less than compelling is that no one has done anything remotely unexpected, except perhaps for Jeff (or was it Brent?) lassoing the practice cow on the second try.

The math geek in me can't help but bemoan the missed opportunities. A straightforward application of Cartesian graphing and the Pythagorean theorem would have greatly simplified the loot-finding task in Argentina (and a calculator with trig functions might have made it even easier!). Basic geometry and a little logic could have led to the discovery that if you have 680 wineglasses and you must stack them to a height of 15, your ideal structure is a tetrahedron whose base is an equilateral triangle with 15 glasses on a side.

But thus far we've had two racers (Joe and Brent) who were outsmarted by their own compasses, let alone a calculator.

Let's see ... we have cowboys ... we have cops ... all we need now are construction workers and Indian chiefs!

Edited by mrmando

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The only team I outright dislike is the Machiavellian model and her fratboy boyfriend.

When I said "Machiavellian" I had the cops in mind ... there was a clip where they congratulated each other on having convinced Brent/Caite to U-Turn Carol/Brandy. Evidently the cops see themselves as puppet masters in that drama. However, [a] I'm pretty sure Caite would have U-Turned Carol/Brandy on her own initiative; as I mentioned, Carol/Brandy were in fact a slightly stronger team than the cops by this point in the race. It's appropriate to question whether U-Turning the cowboys might have been a smarter move, but: [a] when you are the weakest team and you get a chance to use the U-Turn, you cannot make a bad decision -- you can only make good decisions and better ones; you should use the U-Turn only to knock the other team completely out of the race, and the cowboys are the sort of team that just might take the U-Turn completely in stride and still finish the leg ahead of someone else.

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Now that it's over, can I say that the emotional combat of Carol and Brandy and Brent and Caite was awful, bitter, mean, and spiteful, and I'm glad both teams are off my TV screen. At the finish line, Phil seemed to stoke it - Come on, Phil - that's Jeff Probst's job, not yours.

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Well, B&C reverted to form on their hapless final leg, and managed to come across as ugly Americans even in America. I gotta hand it to Caite, however ... in that showdown at the mat, she gave as good as she got. Brandy is twice as old as Caite; she should have learned grace and sportsmanship somewhere along the way.

Moving up to first class on the flight appears to have given D&J a lead that they maintained throughout the leg. They are now officially the weakest team ever to win TAR*, but a million bucks is still a million bucks.

*Their avg. placement is 4.33, shattering the old record of 3.6153.

Edited by mrmando

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Bummer that the only team to ever have their own theme song lost such a close race. I wish that the final "physical" event had actually been more physical.

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I'm surprised at who won. Go figure. But it's that confrontation at the mat that's leaving a bad taste. I'm disappointed in the show for allowing it, then showing it. Ugly.

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Those cowboys made for great television:

Jet: "Will these guys talk to us?"

Cord: "No. They're stormtroopers."

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I can't say I've ever been impressed with Dan and Jordan, but on this leg, they did do the best job of racing and deserved to win. As always, the cowboys were likeable to the end, and I loved the cowboy VR avatar, with the hat!

I hope that Brandy and Carol have a long exile in Bitterville. To quote a Motley Crue song, "Don't go away mad, just go away".

I'm sure Caite will show up again on Celebrity Apprentice, but I will make sure not to watch that.

Edited by Crow

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