Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Red and yellow seem to be the national colors here!"

So, this Sunday marked the start of my all time favorite show, The Amazing Race. I can honestly say that there have been a few seasons that haven't rocked my boat, but for the most part I love it, and the Emmys seem to agree with me!!

I love Amazing Race for a number of reasons. The first, and foremost, is that it gives me the chance to travel throughout the world vicariously, and also relive places that I have already visited. Not to mention, it has been a driving force in my adding a few (or more than) locations to the list of places I want to go. The second is that they seem to try to really get REAL people, unlike other "reality" shows, although it is always exciting to see returning faces or faces from other shows (I'm lookin at you, Jenna and Ethan!). Finally, I love the challenges because I think about doing the things that happen on the show...but I don't know if I would ever do them.

This season is super exciting because two of my all time favorite "reality" stars are racing. They are Jenna Morasca and Ethan Zohn. I love them. I have loved them since Survivor All Stars, when I first caught wind of their relationship. When Ethan gave that hug to Jenna as she left the show to be with her mom...UGH! It gets to me every time. They had started their relationship at that point, but kept it a secret while on the show. Since then, and especially since Ethan had Hodgkin's, I have followed their every cyber move, and jumped for joy when they were announced to be on TAR.

Ok. Enough hero worship. The rest of the teams are nothing short of amazing also, and other than Ethan and Jenna, I definitely have a few I want to see go through to the end.

Amani and Marcus-A married couple, Marcus is a former NFL player. They are, so far, so humble and really seem to love one another. I really like seeing that on the Race

Andy and Tommy-The "Hippies" of a new generation of racers. They are so fun, and are former Olympic athletes. It will be interesting to see their seriousness come out as the series progresses

Bill and Cathi-A couple married 41 years. I can only hope to make it that long with my husband.They were barely saved by the skin of their teeth this week too!!

Ernie and Cindy-I love Cindy. So smart, and so willing to do new things. Ernie is hilarious, and so far they seem to be strong front runners.

Jeremy and Sandy-Didn't get to know them very well in the first will be interesting to see how their season goes since they came in 2nd on this first leg!

Justin and Jennifer-Siblings who seem to both be spitfires. I really hope the Race brings them closer to one another...they seem close now, but it looks like some fireworks start happening next week!

Kaylani and Lisa-Oh, Kaylani and Lisa, Vegas Showgirls. They seem so likeable, but made so many mistakes this first episode. After leaving the first challenge last, and thereby getting an extra challenge once they reached their destination, Kaylani lost her passport. Well, not so much lost as it fell out of their car...but this should be a lesson to all future racers-PROTECT YOUR PASSPORT! I have seen so many passport mishaps happen on the show that it generally drives me crazy. However, Kaylani's race (and potentially life, considering how mad Lisa was) was saved by Twitter. The young man who found it tweeted about it, and was told to race the passport to LAX, and HE DID! Kaylani...I hope you got that boy's contact info, because he is a total sweetheart!

They also got to participate in a pretty cool, but something I probably wouldn't do, hazard challenge where one of them (Kaylani) had to bungee jump in a mall in Taiwan. I dont think I would be bothered by bungee jumping near a body of water...but in a mall with a concrete floor at the bottom...that would freak me out. Kaylani did it successfully, and they were able to save themselves from what, at the beginning of the episode, looked like would be the end for them.

Laurence and Zac-Zac was the first person to ever sail around the world. At age 16. Wow. I imagine this team to be a bit of a dark horse, considering their first leg. They made it in at a respectable 6th place out of 11...but I would watch out for them during water challenges for sure.

Liz and Marie-Recently graduated from college, twins, and racers close to my age. They certainly seemed like they were going to implode during this leg, especially during the "Confucius" challenge. Hopefully they can pick it back up, because like they said, twins communicate differently than normal people :)

Finally, Ron and Bill-Domestic partners who fly for a living. Again, like Jeremy and Sandy, they weren't really featured much in this episode.

The episode began with a "needle in a haystack" type challenge, where each contestant had to find a parasol that read "tai" on it. They then had to figure out that their destination was Taipei, Taiwan, and head to LAX. They had to choose from 2 flights, 8 teams on one, and 3 on the other. Upon arriving in Taipei, they had to find a flashing board with yellow and red balloons on it, and determine that the clue was located there. None of the teams found this board on the first pass, and it took some longer, some much much longer, to find the clue. The clue was in Chinese, so they had to ask a local for help.

The clue sent them to the Confucius temple in Taipei, where they had their first Roadblock. One team member had to listen to a Confucius saying, then repeat it back to a monk verbatim. I think this is something we would all like to think we could easily accomplish, but when I think back to my flight over to Japan, and how I felt afterwards, I can only imagine what these contestants brains' feel like. And mine was just for a vacation!

After correctly stating the phrase, they had to move to a dragon racing boat area, and race a boat around the river. The contestants ended in the following order:

Ernie and Cindy-who won the Express pass
Jeremy and Sandy
Justin and Jennifer
Ethan and Jenna
Amani and Marcus
Laurence and Zac
Andy and Tommy
Ron and Bill
Kaylani and Lisa
Liz and Marie
and finally, Bill and Cathi. They will return to us in next weeks episode, in which there will be a double elimination

I cannot wait for this AMAZING season!

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