Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mrmando

The Amazing Race 18

Recommended Posts

Next Amazing Race brings back 11 hard-luck teams from previous seasons. For some reason there are 5 teams from TAR 14, including the second- through fourth-place finishers.

Interesting mix of teams here: some are likable and competitive; some are more competitive than likable; some are more likable than competitive; and at least one is neither, but there has to be a bad guy.

I am looking forward to seeing the cowboys square off against the Globetrotters and discovering how far Margie's toughness and determination can take her team this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And Mel and Mike White will be back! This should be fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First episode was a blast! I'm rooting for Kris and Amanda, Gary and Mallory, or Jet and Cord - though the Cowboys seem to be in trouble early here.

And the 16-foot skiff task was AWESOME. I wish I was on this Race already!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, distressing to see the cowboys in serious trouble so early. Kris and Amanda? Couldn't pick 'em out of a lineup, although they're obviously one of the many young-and-good-looking teams of recent years, none of whom stand out to me, and none of whom I've wanted to win. But they came back strong last night, didn't they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kris and Amanda are the only team I couldn't place from a previous season, and they're still pretty forgettable to me.

But otherwise, this was an great start. The producers obviously feel like they can throw a lot at these teams since they've been around the block before.

My favorites are the Cowboys (and I remember them starting slow in their first go-round, too), Globetrotters, Mike/Mel and Zeb/Zack.

This is still the only reality show I truly enjoy. And I love it for several reasons - the beautiful locations, my own wanderlust, and most importantly - teams win or lose based on their own luck/skill. Alliances, politics and voting have little (or no) impact on the results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very enjoyable episode. The cowboys didn't have their hats screwed on straight though, or else they had a major brain block when doing the puzzle.

Starting off with a double leg is an interesting twist. Going to hit the teams with some killer fatigue right from the start.

The skiff task did look like a real blast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...teams win or lose based on their own luck/skill. Alliances ... have little (or no) impact on the results.

These are things that have appealed to me as well, so I was surprised to see something like alliances--however temporary they may be--factoring in this early leg. Perhaps this won't have much impact in the long run, but hasn't it been pretty rare for teams to

give another team the answers? Where I come from, we call that cheating,

but I guess it's allowed? I'm not so devoted a fan that I know all the rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are things that have appealed to me as well, so I was surprised to see something like alliances--however temporary they may be--factoring in this early leg. Perhaps this won't have much impact in the long run, but hasn't it been pretty rare for teams to

give another team the answers? Where I come from, we call that cheating,

but I guess it's allowed? I'm not so devoted a fan that I know all the rules.

The rules appear to be a mixed bag. They are not published anywhere that I know of, but fan sites and message boards have compiled lists of the rules inferred by watching the show. Each task appears to have some fine print, in addition to some general rules.

The show tends to be a stickler about getting from point A to point B using the specified mode of transportation. You can't take a cab if you're supposed to walk, you can't follow a driver on foot if you're supposed to find your own way, you can't take the bus if you're supposed to take the Metro, etc. There was some fine print on the skiff racing task, which specified that teams had to obtain the clue directly from the boat, instead of swimming out to the buoy.

I don't think I've ever seen one team helping another with a physical task unless the instructions tell them to. If you and your partner are instructed to carry 100 bricks from a boat to a construction site, I think the 2 of you have to carry all the bricks ... you apparently can't recruit a bystander or another team member to help out.

So yeah, it is a little odd that nobody's penalized for sharing information rather than sharing labor. Interesting contrast in motives: Zev/Justin shared info with the Globetrotters so that a strong team would be in their debt, whereas the team that shared info with the goths (forget who it was) did so to give an artificial boost to a weak team in hopes of knocking out a stronger team (the cowboys) and saving the weak team for later.

If things go according to precedent next week, Kris/Amanda will start whining and tearing each other down as soon as something goes wrong, and* the cowboys will find a way to kick up their game a notch and recover from a bad start.

*My bad -- see below.

Edited by mrmando

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beth, FWIW, I was a little shocked by the brazen sharing of answers to one of the challenges. I don't recall seeing such outright information sharing during previous seasons of TAR, although the way the teams explained what they were doing, such sharing seems to go back a long way and is not generally frowned upon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many of the teams know each other from previous editions of the race, and in a couple of cases were just carrying on alliances that were useful in the past. It did get a little out of hand this time, methought. IIRC Jet & Cord showed a general disinclination toward alliance-building last time, which may work to their disadvantage this time around.

We can expect lips to get tighter as the game goes on. And judging just by overall racing skill/capability, we can expect the following four teams to be eliminated first: Mel/Mike & Ron/Christina (old dads may not be able to keep up), Kris/Amanda &* goths (general cluelessness). Zev/Justin and Gary/Mallory are wild cards, especially now that the latter team has a strong start and an ace in the hole, but I would look for them to be eliminated somewhere in the middle of the pack**. However, this prediction could easily be upset if the other teams can find a way to leverage whatever alliance-building and Machiavellianism they can muster within the rules.

*Again, my bad. One instance of brain cramp (the paper airplane task) does not a case for general cluelessness make, although with their U-Turn still to come, Kris and Amanda are hardly out of the woods.

**I hope I'm wrong; I like both of these teams.

Edited by mrmando

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kris and Amanda made it pretty far their first time on the Race, IIRC, and their defining characteristic was how kind they were to each other, which is why I remember them. I hope they last a while. They were certainly helped by that epic airplane switcheroo, caused by the man with the medical emergency.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kris & Amanda were eliminated via U-Turn on the fourth leg of TAR 14. And as this

of their performance shows, Denes is right: no ugly personality problems, even under stress. Nor was there any particular evidence of cluelessness. I must have had them confused with someone else. Maybe I'm thinking of Jeff & Jordan. Edited by mrmando

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Double legs mean the race will go to the tough. My top 3 are the cowboys, Globetrotters and Margie/Luke, although with a little luck Kisha/Jen could get ahead of one of those teams on a given day.

Ron/Christina will be OK until they leave China, and will fade to the background once they lose the language advantage. Ron will snap out of the second childhood he's experiencing and go back to being a grumpy old dad.

For Zev/Justin to keep racing, they'll have to find Roadblocks that Zev can do. (These are supposed to be divided equally between individual team members.) They can't afford for him to freeze up again.

The goths are lucky to still be racing, and their mistake-prone ways will catch up to them.

Gary/Mallory burned their express pass, perhaps a little too soon, and are one wrong turn away from disaster. Neither they nor the goths seem to have improved their navigational skills since the last time they raced.

Perhaps I didn't expect to lose the cheerleaders quite this early, but neither did I expect that they'd last as long as they did in Season 14.

Edited by mrmando

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I think the information-sharing thing has gotten rather out of hand. Most of the teams that cheated in Australia are already gone, but that hardly matters now: everyone who's still racing has cheated, either in Australia or in Liechtenstein.

Even though most of my top picks are gone, until tonight I could say there were some teams that I liked. Now it's a question of who I dislike the least...

Edited by mrmando

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I think the information-sharing thing has gotten rather out of hand. Most of the teams that cheated in Australia are already gone, but that hardly matters now: everyone who's still racing has cheated, either in Australia or in Liechtenstein.

Even though most of my top picks are gone, until tonight I could say there were some teams that I liked. Now it's a question of who I dislike the least...

Sorry to see the cowboys go. But except for the Goths, who strike me as singularly unlikeable, I actually have warm, fuzzy feelings for all the remaining teams.

I also want to travel to Liechstenstein. And say Liechtenstein, over and over again. Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though most of my top picks are gone, until tonight I could say there were some teams that I liked. Now it's a question of who I dislike the least...

This is another of those shows I just don't understand why anyone spends time watching it. Isn't watching this show yielding or surrendering to something or other? Just wondering.

Reading over the thread, it reads like commentary on a sports game, except instead of discussing tradition, athlete skill, managerial tactical decisions, or game strategy ... it seems to involve simply discussing which contestants are more "feel good" than the other contestants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though most of my top picks are gone, until tonight I could say there were some teams that I liked. Now it's a question of who I dislike the least...

This is another of those shows I just don't understand why anyone spends time watching it. Isn't watching this show yielding or surrendering to something or other? Just wondering.

Reading over the thread, it reads like commentary on a sports game, except instead of discussing tradition, athlete skill, managerial tactical decisions, or game strategy ... it seems to involve simply discussing which contestants are more "feel good" than the other contestants.

Welcome to reality TV. Instead of watching people sing or dance badly to music that sucked the first time around, this one allows you to look at pretty mountains and oceans and experience exotic cultures from the comfort of your couch. Yes, it's a competition, with well-established rules and strategies, so I suppose it's something like an athletic contest. Mostly it's a chance to unwind after what is typically a busy, hectic day. Perhaps it's deeply unspiritual. I just find it entertaining.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I think the information-sharing thing has gotten rather out of hand. Most of the teams that cheated in Australia are already gone, but that hardly matters now: everyone who's still racing has cheated, either in Australia or in Liechtenstein.

Even though most of my top picks are gone, until tonight I could say there were some teams that I liked. Now it's a question of who I dislike the least...

Sorry to see the cowboys go. But except for the Goths, who strike me as singularly unlikeable, I actually have warm, fuzzy feelings for all the remaining teams.

I also want to travel to Liechstenstein. And say Liechtenstein, over and over again. Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein.

The first report I remember writing, in the third grade, was a paper on Liechtenstein. I think I may have misspelled it throughout the report. I may be doing so again in this thread. But I remember enjoying doing the research. Used the Encyclopedia Americana, if memory serves. Not that it helped with the spelling.

BTW, no one's rooting for the Globetrotters? My wife lost respect for them last night, but not me. I think I would've done the same thing they did. That wouldn't make me a bad person, would it?

Edited by Christian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to reality TV ... Mostly it's a chance to unwind after what is typically a busy, hectic day. Perhaps it's deeply unspiritual. I just find it entertaining.

I guess what I meant was why do people find this entertaining?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But except for the Goths, who strike me as singularly unlikeable, I actually have warm, fuzzy feelings for all the remaining teams.

The Goths are detestable. I was hoping Gary/Mallory would move up and get a chance to U-Turn the Goths, which would be just payback for Varanasi. I'm neutral on Kisha/Jen and find the other teams likeable.

BTW, no one's rooting for the Globetrotters? My wife lost respect for them last night, but not me. I think I would've done the same thing they did. That wouldn't make me a bad person, would it?

Can't blame the Globetrotters for

Show hidden text
U-Turning the cowboys
. That's part of the game and clearly within the rules. But I do think they have benefited unfairly from the information-sharing.

I guess what I meant was why do people find this entertaining?

Vicarious thrills?

Edited by mrmando

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Pax

Vyxen rocks. It's the goth dude, Kent, who's horrid. (I did consider spelling his name with a different vowel.)

Regarding the overall merits of this show: It's in a class by itself, showing us glamorous destinations, but also areas of the world that are desperately poor. More than once I have seen my own bourgeouis attitudes in the Racers and been convicted. And I believe the show tries to provoke such responses. I'm also amazed at the sheer technical accomplishment of the show. This isn't just dropping people off in the middle of nowhere and making them eat bugs.

Edited by Pax

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vyxen rocks. It's the goth dude, Kent, who's horrid.

Yes, it's pretty clear who wears the trousers in that relationship. Without Vyx, they'd have shipped Kent home in pieces long ago. I can't tell whether I dislike him more for being a whiner, or because backstabbing and lying are his only evident skills. Still, if he's a basket case, she's an enabler ... it's a pretty classic dysfunctional arrangement. And it's getting old.

Edited by mrmando

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other thing I've liked about this particular "game" is that unlike many of the reality shows, politics plays a minimal role. While it can certainly rear its head (like it did this week with everyone sharing info except the cowboys), for the most part, the winners are those with the best combination of skill, perseverance and luck. Also, teams are rewarded for working together with their partner. Those that fall apart and fall into constant bickering rarely make the final three (I'm saying rarely, because the goths have lasted a lot longer than I expected them to).

But it's primarily escapism. It's also the only reality show I would seriously consider entering, just for the chance to see more of the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...