Well. That ending could have been a lot, lot worse. In fact, in this writer's opinion, it was the best-scenario ending for a season that tried my patience and, at times, bored me to tears. This week our families trekked through the wilds of Canada, where they practiced traditional Canadian activities like curling, lumberjacking, and trying on shoes. Rolly Weaver and a Linz had an incident at the airport that looked like they tripped over each other. The Linz patted Rolly on the back to steady him, and Ma Weaver started yelling, "Don't touch him!" I still don't understand exactly what went on there, but I do understand that Ma Weaver sucks ass.
This was the first episode where teams spent quality time with their taxi drivers, and the Weavers quickly converted theirs to the scary Weaver groupthink and within an hour, they were all praying together. However, it seems that the luck and the praying and the generally shitty karma the Weavers had been collecting all season FINALLY caught up with them at the stadium challenge, where you could literally see them lose their competitive spirit. Except for Rolly, poor kid. The Linzes and The Bransens were neck-and-neck throughout the last part of the Race, and it all came down to....A PUZZLE. I know, it sounds SO lame. But it was actually exciting! I was really hoping we would get to see the Weavers put together that puzzle, because you all know that the only one they would have gotten right is Florida, and I'm not even sure about that. So mucho congrats to the Linzes and Bransens respectively, and a big fat "HA HA" to the Weavers. Yay! It's over!
PHIL'S PHASHION CORNER! Michael sez...Lemme guess. Phil had a 'wardrobe malfunction' while congratulating one of the Bransen sisters and I totally missed it? Save that, there's not much to report. There were good jeans, bad chinos, and various non-descript shirts both tucked and untucked. Same ol', same ol'. All the good stuff was packed into the last 30 seconds, y'all! Did you see how fabulous Phil looked in that teaser for next season? I may have snoozed through this season, but with the promise of that abundant turtleneck and some fabulous hair, wake me up before we go go, cuz I'm already punching my ticket for February.
TAR: Family Edition is limping to a close next week, and not a minute too soon. The final four families continued the Race last night, taking on such daring adventures as sleeping in a camper, being denied Pizza Hut, and dressing up in old-fashioned clothes like they were at Six Flags. Something has obviously snapped inside my head, as I realized near the end of the show that I was sort of hoping for the Godlewskis to be eliminated. INSTEAD OF THE WEAVERS. That's how aaaaaaaaaawful they were last night. And how frickin' awesome was their elimination interview? It's rare on this show that we get the "We came on this adventure to help out our relationship but now we realize that it's not worth saving" speech. Nice. Christmas dinner should be awkward this year.
The Bransens and the Linzes continue to charm me. Well, actually, just Wally Bransen charms me. His daughters all run together. When the Linz brothers read the clue about Buffalo Bill and busted into, "It puts the lotion in the basket," I just about wet my pants. Love them. Someone last week in the comments said they didn't understand the "stupid" Linz love. It's because they are having FUN and seem to be the only ones on the show that are. As for the Weavers being in the final three, this season has been such a disappointment that a small, dark corner of my heart believes it would only be right if they win. And in the spirit of the Weaver girls themselves, if they do win, I expect they will spend it all on hot pants and buffet dinners.
PHIL'S PHASHION CORNER! Michael sez...Your aspirations of 'sleek and sporty' are seriously hindered by a thick middle and excess ornamentation. That goes for both Phil and the Buick Lucerne. In Phil's case the fix is simple. Untuck the shirt, buddy. Well, not that shirt. Another shirt that doesn't have flap pockets. What? Are you trying to draw the eye to your man-boobs? [Also, apparently Phil left his underpants in Utah. The man was looking, um, free. - freakgirl]
The Amazing Race: Family Edition has totally lost its mojo. Let's never, ever do this again, people, okay? Have we all learned from this? Watching a geyser blow? Seriously? They couldn't have even made it into some sort of creative clue that would have made the teams work for it? I guess that wouldn't be fair, though, considering that the Weavers have a collective intelligence that's equal to the doorknob in my bathroom. That Weaver girl failed math twice, according to her brother. SHE'S HOME-SCHOOLED, YA'LL.
Anyhoo. This episode really held no tension for me, as it was pretty easy to figure out that it would be a SuperLeg. The finale is Dec 13th, so with only four teams left, they'd need to stretch things a bit. And the TiVo description said, "Teams get a surprise at the mat," so it really wasn't that hard to figure out. I spent the first half of the episode hating the Weavers and then the second wondering why the Linzes (and the Godlewskis last week) don't seem to be getting time credit for a production mistake. The Linzes were ON this week; it was upsetting to see their momentum interrupted by something totally out of their control. It's also nice to start to see a bit of Megan Linz's personality. Also, I think I have a weird little crush on Tommy "Bone" Linz. He's a riot. The Godlewskis seem to be falling apart in spectactular fashion, dragging Chrissy through the mud as they go. The Bransens are chugging on through, and it was great to see Walter get to be the hero for his daughters this week. Even though it looked like, later, he wanted to kill them in the car. The Weavers are just horrid, horrid people and I realized last night that they are truly insane, because their behavior makes no sense. When you force someone to apologize to you and then mock their apology? I can only react to that sort of behavior with rage. Yesterday my mother said to me about Mom Weaver, "She has done all her children a disservice by raising them like that. What is wrong with her?"
My favorite part of the episode was when the Linzes were coming upon the Tree of Utah, and Megan said, "It's just a bunch of balls!" And her brothers started cracking up. I love the cheap humor.
Sorry, I have no screencaps this week because my computer suddenly stopped letting me do it. I don't know.
PHIL'S PHASHION CORNER! Michael sez...Ummm. yeeHa? Oh, wait. I SWEAR I saw Phil in that shirt the last time I was at Spurs, guys. Hott. That's all, then.
TAR: Family Edition hit its apex of suck last night with an extremely disappointing episode. I'd like to take this moment to propose that if you actually say out loud that you don't want to race anymore, that your heart is no longer in it, then Phil gets to eliminate you, non-elimination round or not. It pissed me off when Flo quit 45 times during her season, and it pissed me off when the Weavers stood around and cried about not wanting to race anymore. WELL, THEN DON'T! I'm sure the Black family would love to take your place. These people rub me the wrong way so badly that it very nearly hurts. Watching them make fun of Utah last night was the last straw. Utah is an amazingly beautiful place. You can see why the Mormons settled there; it truly is what people call "God's country." The Weavers pointing out how ugly and empty it is? THEY'RE FROM FLORIDA, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE. They make me want to bash myself in the head. Oh, and who the hell doesn't know how to ride a mountain bike, Rachel and Rebecca? Idiots. They piss me off so much that last night I amused myself by saying, "My husband was killed by a mountain bike, please be compassionate. My husband was killed by a bear, please be compassionate. My husband was killed by a camper van, please be compassionate. My husband was killed by an alpine ski run, please be compassionate."
Sigh. Anyhoo. The Linzes were great fun last night, with my favorite moment being the part where they excitedly speculated whether or not one of the Weavers had been eaten by a bear. Unfortunately I'm not sure if they can actually win this thing, as they have a gross deficiency in noticing details. But many teams are able to pull it together. Oh, and when did everyone decide they hate Christine Godlewski? Yeah, she's kind of annoying, but wow. The Bransens also did quite well last night. I like the dad. He's all, "Oh I really don't want to do this, but my girls really do, so I'll give it a whirl." He doesn't seem to have the hunger to win, but his daughters do, and I like his bemused attitude towards the Race. So, at this point, I'm happy with Anyone But Weavers (ABW) winning. Which pretty much guarantees that they will, unless god finally strikes them down into a smoking pile of ash for everything they've done.
PHIL'S PHASHION CORNER! Michael Sez...OK, I've been feeling a void this go round and I finally put my finger on it. TAR Family-stizz, with its limited scope of travel, has also severely limited Phil's Phashion choices. We've been limited to ONE hemisphere (Northern) and consequently to ONE season (summer). Where is the opportunity for Phil's suedes? For Phil's layers? Most importantly, for Phil's rollnecks? Can we get him up to Canada on a glacier at least, guys? Still, I can't complain too loudly when I'm treated to my Pumpkin in pumpkin (button-up) and the fab jeans again. P.S. Anyone know what he's got hanging from that leather thong?
This week's supersized Amazing Race took us from tropical Costa Rica all the way to....Arizona. As Mama Paolo said, "What the hell? I wanted to go to New Zealand!" Anyhoo, during the first hour we saw a swimming competition (poor Tony Paolo), a sugar cane/painting detour, and a glorified go-kart roadblock. There was some airline drama with the Pink Sisters, although their lost reservation turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as their alternate plans got them in earlier than the other teams. Do I smell a little bit of production interference on that? The Weaver daughters had a mini freakout at the go-kart racetrack and, I'm sorry, but come on. They were go-karts. Sigh. I have no sympathy and this is why - when the Pink Sisters noticed the Weaver daughters were visibly concerned about the Roadblock, they consoled them and said some nice things about their deceased father. When they walked away, the Weavers said, "I hate them."
You know what Weavers? Fuck right off. Every season we have to have a villian, I GET THAT, but when the villians are under 18 years old it just seems so insidious. I don't know what galls me more, the fact that these people claim to be living a Christian lifestyle or that their mother actually encourages their hateful, hateful behavior. Using your religion as a weapon is evil, people! It's like this girl I used to work with who became "born again" and apparently that gave her a license for evil and she could do or say anything she wanted, including stealing my boyfriend because all she had to do at night was pray for forgiveness and each morning she would have a clean slate and all I have to say about THAT is you might have had god on your side, sweetie, but I had Karma, and it's a bitch, because I got your ass fired.
The Pink Sisters came in first and the Bransens came in last. DJ Paolo actually sent the Bransens back to their car so they could put on all their clothes in case it was a non-eliminiation leg. Which it was. I just thought that was so cute. During the second hour, they stayed in Arizona and did loopdeeloops in an airplane Roadblock. I might have missed something, but why did they draw numbers for the Roadblock, but then Rolly Weaver got to go first, even though the Weavers didn't have number one? I was confused. But he sure looked like he was having fun. Poor kid, his family sucks. Anyway. Next they all went to a dam, and these people must be tired because not a single person made a godDAM joke. The Paolos got lost, and everything I initially disliked about them came right on back. The Linzes thought they had their first-place finish all wrapped up, but you might find if you try to use a motorboat on rocks, it will definitely slow down the engine, jackass. First place went to the Pink Sisters again (where they did a hilarious mass double-take when Phil told them about their prize), and the Paolos never recovered from their navigational error. Oh well. I was kind of sorry to see them go, but they also stressed me out beyond normalcy.
PHIL'S PHASHION CORNER! Michael sez...OK, this week I'm gonna abandon all pretense of judging Phil because it implies I might find him lacking at some point. False. Loved him in orange, loved him in pale blue, loved him in wedgewood blue. I was working up something about white pants WAY after Labor Day, but couldn't wiggle around the whole 'taped last summer' thing. Plus, dudes, my heart just wasn't in it. PK is teh hotness. Maybe it's been too long for me, but he's beyond fine. He's FOO-ine. And he had me at those jeans. All that said, his best accoutrement this season, by far, has been his new loosey-goosey attitude at the Pit Stops. Phil chums up. Phil snarks. Phil cracks wise. Who knew?
P.S. We also got a glimpse of PaternalPhil (::sigh::), as he repeatedly exchanged concerned glances with that small houseboat child. Was it the boy's home or something?
I missed TAR last night due to having Broadway tickets and forgot to ask Maggie to recap for me. I'm sorry. Discuss the show anyway.
Of course, Michael did not forget...
PHIL'S PHASHION CORNER! Michael sez: Omigod, you guys! Phil was totally wearing the same outfit to work two days in a row. Looks like somebody didn't make it home last night. Like we're not gonna notice a repeat of the whiskered jeans and tropical green shirt? Busted. This is the time when PK would have been better served by one of his nondescript Gap ensembles. The editors at TAR are genius (hey, they've managed to wring a few drips of drama and suspense out of these families, right?) but even they can't hide that Phil be sluttin' around in Latin America. Dawg. Dawg!
Last night's Amazing Race was a vast improvement over the previous episode. However, can someone PLEASE explain to me the logic of having only one Fast Forward in the race, and then placing that Fast Forward in an effing non-elimination? Seriously? The point? Bleh. Anyway, our families finally left the country and left for Panama. I can't imagine that the Linz boys weren't busting out some Van Halen in the car, so I'll just figure we didn't see that because CBS didn't want to secure the rights to the song. The Gaghans had another mixture of very bad luck and bad decisions this week. A boat taxi driver who tried to pick up other fares? Bad luck. Going for the Fast Forward even after they knew the Paolos were going to try it? Bad decision. Did you catch Mom Gaghan tripping over Carissa and falling face-first into the back of the Paolo's van? Ouch. But good for them for still managing to finish second-to-last.
This week's Detour was a choice between musical instruments and bird-watching, and was called "Rhythm and Coos." I laughed for hours. HOURS. Not one person at CBS caught that? Between Phil saying "coos" and "underpants" three times at the end, it was the dirtiest Amazing Race ever! And speaking of underpants, the Very Loud Sisters came in last this week, after a disappointing performance on the baseball field ("there's no crying in baseball!"). They, like us, had a hunch it was a non-elim leg, so they put on all their clothes. So much for that addition to the Race - it hasn't seemed to really affect any team it's happened to. But it does add some comic relief, I guess.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK goes to DJ Paolo, when Phil asked him if he enjoyed bungee-jumping with his family: "I don't even like going out to eat with my family." God help me, these people are growing on me. And boy, did the dad wake up this week or what? I didn't even know he spoke English until last night.
PHIL'S PHASHION CORNER! Michael Sez: Wow, there were so many costume changes, it felt kinda like a Cher concert, didn't it, guys? The first was fleeting, but the second proved Max's axiom: Phil hearts epaulets. What did you think of that shirt? Looks like when Phil knows his passport is about to get stamped, he starts packing his International Male stuff. Epaulets AND patch pockets. I guess it could work, but in PK's case, it seemed to draw attention to the fact that he really doesn't have shoulders. Or pecs. I think those were the same pants that, as freakgirl noted, leave no one guessing as to which side Phil dresses. Add all that up and your eye just doesn't know where to land. At least brotha is finally stepping up to the plate and swinging. But there's more! For the Pit Stop, he busted out those awesome jeans again, pairing them with a cool green shirt with a little tropical motif goin' on. Perfect for our boy, wasn't it? That's how I pictured him as I dropped off into dreamland.
Last night was the first time I remember on The Amazing Race that the losers started hysterically sobbing when they were Philiminated. I mean, I've always hoped for it, and assumed I might do the same thing in the same situation, but I never thought I would see it happen. And that it would happen to a team I strongly dislike, in their own hometown; well, that's gravy, ain't it? And The Paolos, people? They finished second! Holy crap! I'm afraid they are going to win, but I am more afraid that by the end of the Race, I might love them. They sort of grow on you, those Paolos, like a fungus. The "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" team finished in first place for the second time in a row. Good on them! Too bad they only won a trip for four. Gotta stay home again, Mom. Sorry. The whole Weavers-at-the-Racetrack storyline could have been a lot worse; I thought Mom Weaver handled it quite well. The Gaghans did not do well again this week. Are their kids dragging them down? Are they just making bad decisions? Bad luck? I don't know.
I feel this show was similar to last week's and there wasn't any tension involved. It's like The Amazing Follow Directions, not Race. I think it's the lack of Roadblocks. Those tend to be very tense and can totally change up positions in the Race. And bp product placement? Trailer homes? Really?
PHIL'S PHASHION CORNER! Michael Sez...I've given Phil the glad eye since Season 1, of course, but with more focus on what he got goin' on, than what he has on, until now. Tell me, has he been shopping at the Gap all along? I have nothing against American generic, mind you, but has he always been so basic? It was a striped shirt and chinos again this week, but in a striking paradigm shift, he tucked! I wouldn't recommend that for a pear guy like P, but it worked OK. It could be that next to the show's action, brotha shined by comparison. Speaking of shining, wasn't he bathed in some kind of holy light at the Pit Stop? His hair was kinda fabulous, and regardless of what he's wearing, that mug of his is the money shot. We got paid. Still, I can't help but hope the Race veers south of the border. Serape Phil anyone? [editor's note: I thought Phil looked awful in that outfit.]
My expectations for the family edition of Amazing Race are low, but last night's episode had me on the edge of my seat at some points. Which is odd, because, aside from the Detour, the tasks were stupid. A non-dramatic plane flight, an eight-hour luxury bus ride, a Roadblock where all you had to do was sit down, Roadblock and Pitstop too close together. Seriously, come on. The Detour, however, was fun, and can you believe the Aiellos attempted the mud bog like 14 times? Holy crap. And the Gaghans (who I'm starting to really like) got it on the first try! I imagine it had something to do with having little weight in the back seat. But they all ended up on the same bus, anyway. The Weavers started to freak out on the bus. Hello, people, you should take five seconds away from asking your god to help you win this race and thank him for putting you on a cushy bus in Charleston instead of an overcrowded train in India. Seriously, family, shut up. Although the previews for next week? Sending them to a racetrack? Mean! So, when it all came down to it, the Aiello Family didn't grab their clue for the Roadblock fast enough, and it put them in last place. I dug that family. It must really blow to get beat by the Paolos.
PHIL'S PHASHION CORNER! Michael sez: If PK was a cocktail (if...like we don't all know he's quite the potent mix!), then last week he was top shelf, and this week brotha was a well drink. You gave us Bombay Sapphire London already, Phil, we can't go back. It was the same basic casual pant/untucked shirt combo this week but the ingredients weren't up to snuff. The V-shape he was sporting this week was pointing in the wrong direction ( i.e. to the head). Men's fashion 101: draw the eye to the Mike and Ikes. Or is that just Gay Men's Fashion 101? To borrow a phrase from the master, this shirt was "oddly-blousy". No. Add some nondescript chinos and you have us distractedly browsing the drink list, buddy. We're looking for something exotic, something fruity, something out of the continental US next week, please, babyjesus.....
We're only on the second episode and already we've seen teams make huge mistakes that are usually reserved for later in the race. Not reading the clue completely, wandering around instead of asking for help, driving in the wrong direction? Come on, people. I think it's safe to say that this will not be my favorite season and I hope TAR returns to its regular format soon. This season is very chaotic, not very strategic (at this point anyway), and not exotic at all. A HOUSE SHAPED LIKE A SHOE? However, I do not abandon my friends when they make a mistake, so I shall stand by TAR and enjoy it anyway. Let's just hope the sisters stop screaming, Clarice, because they are killing me. But they're running a clean race so far. The Gaghan family totally deserved to lose last night for that whole reflecting pool nonsense. The little son said, "Let's ask somebody" and they ignored him. Der. And the Rogers? Ugh. The way the father treated the son when THE FATHER made the critical navigation error? When that boy turns 18, he is so moving to the big city to start up with the sinning. Look at the picture, people...kid's got "patricide" written all over his face. Stupid shirt, too. It kills me that the Paolos are still in this...I hate all of them. What an unpleasant group of people. I'm also shocked at how out-of-shape some of these people are. Oh well.
PHIL'S PHASHION CORNER! Michael sez...It's the first week I get to analyze the sartorial splendor that is Phil and dudes, I don't think I could have dressed him better myself. Mmm, dressing Phil myself. May I pause for a moment? Casual Phil is the best Keoghan iteration and that's who showed up tonight. A great pair of jeans goes a long way, but Phil owes a debt of gratitude to that black shirt. Untucked to hide the wide, and with contrast stitching suggesting a V-torso, it was working for him in so many ways. It's a promising start. Two weeks, no man-boobs. I have to wonder, with the rumors of a North America based Family Edition holding true so far, will we get to see Safari Phil at all this season?
I regret to inform you that Max will not be posting about TAR this season. Instead, you're stuck with me. And this morning, I don't have time to do a big post. I'll come back later and elaborate but, in the meantime, could those sisters PLEASE STOP SCREAMING? (sidenote:) It was great fun for me to see Washington Crossing, as I used to live in that area and spent a lot of time biking around that park.