Official RTVW The Amazing Race Summary
Episode 5: Bruck Digs Hubris
Yes, jump for joy, my pretties. It’s Landru’s week to hurl
chunks words at you. What could be better than eight or ten thousand words of stream-of-consciousness Andyblah about a show populated by two total fvckmebaby rockstars, one buxom (but hideously megauntalented) Kiwi, one randomly chosen local-color greeter, and twelve to fourteen hydroencephalic moron fvckwits (I haven’t really made up my mind about Uchenna and Whatsherface yet)?
Okay, okay, he’s not a buxom Kiwi. My friend Mel in Boston, now she’s a buxom Kiwi. And her hot friend Amander is an even more buxom Kiwi, although it’s remotely possible she’s Australian instead.
But I meander. Which is darned close to being an anagram for Mel’s hot friend Amander. Or it would be, if Amander actually spelled her name the way she and Mel and Phil pronounce it. Fancy that. Never mind.
I meander with good cause, actually, come to think on it, because except for Rawb and Ambuh? This show really, really reeks. Well, let me back up a little. We’re getting some great South America scenery so far this season, and that’s something we haven’t done a lot of; the last time we were in South America, as I recall, we were farting around in blue taxis and pulling clues from salsa dancers’ buttcracks and showing off our people skills by screaming at each other, at least we were if we were America’s Original Fun Couple, the Bickersons, long since forgotten in the wake of such stellar personalities as Reich and Thirdreich, Zach and that hairy whiny filthy hippie beeyotch that he drug around the world, and of course everyone’s favorites, the passive-aggressive Victoria and the aggressive-passive Jon. Wow. I just previously’d a whole freaking multiseason series. I rule.
So how ya been? Eating good? Keeping your kidneys warm and stuff? Getting any? Yeah, me too, can’t complain. Well, y’know, I could complain, but it wouldn’t do any good, heh-heh-heh. Yeah, the little lady’s fine, still squeakin’ along. Oh, I’ve been travelling way too much. Good to be home now, though. Ayup. Well, I dunno, it’s hard for me to have time to keep up with current events, y’know, there’s all that Survivor and Race and they’re in the middle of new South Park episodes, and those cannibalistic librul media blood sacrifice rituals take up so much of my time, so I haven’t really heard about that, no.
Oh fine, whatever, I can see you’re not going to pay in advance.
Previously on The Not At All Amazing Not Really Quite A Race: Rawb and Ambuh stole Debbie and Bianca’s non-blue taxi, which led directly to Debbie and Bianca coming in last for the leg. Well, actually, it was the part where after losing their taxi, which they just found out about last Tuesday night, Debbie and Bianca drove aimlessly about Chile for something like 14 hours, that led directly to Debbie and Bianca coming in last for the leg. And “stole” is kinda unfair, since Rawb and Ambuh actually bought Debbie and Bianca’s non-blue taxi. Which, come to think of it, might actually have been blue.
But I digress. Fancy that. So after stealing or buying Debbie and Bianca’s non-blue taxi, Rawb and Ambuh, along with the rest of us, drove through the Andes, which was pretty fuh-reakin’ awesome and I think we’ll all do it together some time, yes? And we went biking and/or white-water rafting, which as I recall led to a whole lot of whining from someone—a Debbie or a Bianca, I’m guessing—about how she almost just died in a rafting accident. And then we went to eat meat. A whole crapload of meat, some of it organ meat, and some of it ribs, and some of it the snow-frozen flesh of a soccer team whose plane crashed. At least, some of us ate meat. If we were smart like Rawb, we didn’t eat the meat, and we talked people behind us into not eating the meat, and it worked. It didn’t work on the whinging little priss Patrick, though, and we were treated to an extensive argument between Patrick and his mother over him being a little sissyb!tch quitter before he got to work eating the meat, while the ill-fated Debbie and Bianca finally found Argentina and Debbie wolfed down the organ meats. It wasn’t enough to save their entirely too-perky first-to-last asses, though, because they were the last team to arrive and Phil was sorry to tell them that they had been eliminated from the Not Really Quite A Race. Eight teams remain, which team that has never appeared on Survivor will be eliminated next?
Roll credits and commercials:
No, no, I can’t do commercials yet, because I have to comment on these credits. They suck. They suck mightily. They’re way too freakin’ cliched and cutesy and they make me want to bash the brains out of every team except, stunningly, Rawb and Ambuh, who are of course the only people in these credits who aren’t posing and posturing and generally making asses of themselves. This extends especially to Ray and Deana, who are shown performing some sort of martial arts ritual before standing in profile and staring threateningly at the camera, and also to Ron the Dumbass Former POW and his Lard-Sucking Former Beauty Queen partner Kelly, who are pictured in a field surrounded by flapping American flags, and of course to Lynn and Alex, two of the most overdone heinously campy self-absorbed homosexuals in the history of overdone campy self-absorbed homosexuality. I have concluded that my mission in life is to beat Jerry Bruckenheimer to death with a stick, take all his production budget, and actually do this fvcking show right.
Now, what can you expect from my regime of producing TAR? I’m glad you asked.
Top Ten Things Landru Would Do If He Were Producing TAR
10. More scenery, less tragedified humanity
9. Publicly execute contestants who speak English loudly to their foreign hosts in the hope of being understood
8. Weekly shoutouts from around the globe to mah OT homies
7. Ban manboobs
6. Replace Phil with Lucy Liu
5. Cast myself as the greeter for every leg of the race, making sure I got to travel the world with Lucy Liu
4. Abolish the use of safety equipment, helmets, and ropes on dangerous Detours and Roadblocks
3. Reward the winners of each leg with trips to Antarctica, Libya, or the historic Gulag Archpelago, and laugh really hard when they thought those were good things
2. Replace Lucy Liu with Elizabeth Hurley when Lucy no longer amuses me
and the number one thing I’d do if I were producing TAR:
1. Include in every season of the race a ride on a Jerusalem bus the day after an Israeli retaliatory strike
Where the hell was I? Credits? Oh yeah,
Children speaking tragically, for various safety-related features of GM vehicles, in a commercial that makes me want to go commit vehicular violence; that simpering, rat-faced, ref-baiting, whining, snarling, bullying a$$wipe Coach K, for some credit card, in a commercial that makes me want to cut up that credit card and go commit any sort of violence, as long as it’s against Dookies who aren’t…well, no shoutouts, but you know who you are; models, for Revlon; a chick on a motorcycle and other people locomoting through spring and blooming things, for Alavert; CBS, for CSI: Yet Another Fvcking Spinoff, and for basketball.
And we’re back.
Phil explains to us patiently, around his ridiculously oversized man-breasts, that we are in Argentina, at some ranch. Phil is wearing a shirt that appears to be polyester, and that clings ludicrously to his disgusting boobs while falling slack around the rest of his torso. Phil is, without a doubt, the worst-dressed reality-show host in all of reality television. I hereby command all of you to write to CBS and offer to become fashion consultants for TAR, because even if you have no fashion sense whatsoever, you’re better-dressed than Phil.
I myself? Have a pretty good eye for color and fabric, but my clothes tend to ride funny because of that whole “being a fat bastard” thing.
So we’re at the pit stop, which involves a whole lot of brak about why pit stops exist and what the rules are and why people have to rest and eat and poop and stuff. It also involves some low-quality foreshadowing, to wit: “Can Blonde Joan Crawford and Her Incredibly Prissy Little Bitch of a Son climb out of last place? Can Rawb and Ambuh overcome their incredibly brilliant move and resume putting an unholy whipping on the rest of these no-account dworks on their way to a victory limited in degree only by the producers’ unshakeable tendency to bunch everyone up in the Shanghai airport?”
In case you’re wondering, the answers are, of course, “Hell no” and “Duh.” Here’s the true summary version of what’s going to happen, in case you’re not one of my fans: Rob and Amber kick everyone’s a$$, and do so smartly and with flair. Everyone else is a complete fvcking idiot loser moron. The worst of these, for the moment, are Joan and Prissy, but there’s plenty of room for certain other teams to be mired in despair until their elimination, most clearly the Old Farts and the deeply disturbing Ray and Deana. I make the Final Three as Rob and Amber, U and Joyce, and probably Brian and Greg, although a lot of mistakes can happen over six or seven legs of this not-quite-a-race. Like, for instance, watching the show.
But back to previouslying: Phil does point out that Rawb and Ambuh’s “unorthodox tactics continue to alienate the other teams,” which is another way of saying “Rawb and Ambuh are the only reasonably intelligent people ever to have been cast for this show.”
So Lynn and Alex, who are cloying, nasty, delusional bitches who, if they were one percent as funny and entertaining as they think they are, would still be a long way from either, depart the pit stop at 3:49 AM. Now, when a leg kicks off in the middle of the night, as this one does, there’s gonna be some bunching, and today will be no exception. We are, it seems, to drive ourselves to yet another ranch, where we will catch the next clue bus.
Lynn and Alex are very proud of themselves for beating Rob and Amber in the last leg. They further the cause of low-quality foreshadowing by telling us how they earned their “huge lead” and they’re determined to keep it. Don’t you hate it when the producers tell you the order of finish in the first five minutes of the show?
Uchenna and Joyce depart at 4:07 AM, which tells us that Lynn and Alex think that 18 minutes is a “huge lead,” except it doesn’t, because Lynn and Alex were talking about their lead over Rob and Amber, obsessed as they are with their own self-loathing over their worship of Rob and Amber, who of course deserve to be worshipped. But I was talking about Uchenna and Joyce, who are rising in my personal estimation with every passing moment. There was some ooky stuff from them early in the season, stuff that tended to lump them in with the usual run of uninteresting mid-folk who tend to populate TAR casts, but they’re reasonably intelligent, gently funny, perfectly nice people who are running a pretty good game. Uchenna is a pretty powerful guy, and Joyce is no wimp, and they’re growing more likeable as the show wears on. They are excited about being in second place, and that’s an admirable attitude, there. We’ll discuss attitude more and more as this vomitation of words and thought progresses. And I am getting closer to making up my mind about them, in a good way. Yes, yes, you care deeply what I think.
We’re back to the catty bitches for a moment, who tell us again, as they drive recklessly down a South American highway laying on the horn and calling everyone with the temerity to be on the same road as them vile names, that they’re hours ahead, and that they hope to get on a plane ahead of everyone else and widen their insurmountable lead. Remember that whole pain thing associated with foreshadowing, the thing I was telling you about in a summary of something or other a while back? Get yourself some Advil, darling reader.
Or maybe some codeine.
Brian and Greg, who are relatively harmless in the spectrum of bland TAR contestants, despite an overload of testosterone, and the aforementioned former POW and Lard-Filled girlfriend, both leave at 4:52 AM, having arrived simultaneously by agreement. Y’know, if you’re in the race with me? Screw amity and good will. You better beat me to the mat, or I’m throwing some elbows just before we get there to make sure I got me a 10-second lead on your dead arse.
There is some talk from POW guy and Lardette of alliances and how you can’t trust anyone. I think this moronica may shed some light on that whole “how Ron became a POW” thing. I find myself glad that I have never ridden on a helicopter piloted by this guy, because it appears to be his entire claim to being. Brian and Greg, meanwhile, are just happy to have gone from last to third, another entirely reasonable and admirable attitude from TAR contestants. They tell us, “Today’s mission—no mistakes.”
More codeine, please.
Lynn and Alex reach the ranch, and read the sign at the gate that tells us we’re bunching because the ranch isn’t open for another half hour. “I want to read it, I want to read it,” squeals Alex.
Your assignment today, my little devotees of wordiness? Give me one good reason I shouldn’t hunt these two shitbirds down quickly and kill them slowly. Just one. “Prison” may not count, because there’s a substantial likelihood that I wouldn’t have to do time, and even if I’m wrong, there’s a substantial likelihood that the time would be worth it.
Uchenna and Joyce make the brilliant move of stopping at a gas station and asking directions. Lardette bitches out POW guy because he can’t read Spanish. Brian and Greg gush about the scenery, which is absofreakinglutely gorgeous, and the weather, which we are unable to judge for ourselves.
The bitches get the clue, which tells them that we have reached a Roadblock. Phil braks on about what a Roadblock is. Since I’m sure you don’t know what a Roadblock is and I delight in giving you a negative quotient of value received for words ploughed through, I’m not going to tell you. I am going to tell you that, in the last sentence? The MSWord grammar checker wants me to change “I’m” to “I are.” I am totally not lying to you, at least not about this one little thing.
So the Roadblock clue asks us “Who’s ready to horse around?” Fortunately, this task will actually involve riding horses, rather than having to watch the teams perform sex acts in the Argentine dirt. One unfortunate member of each team must navigate an actual Argentine horse through actual Argentine barrels and spear a ring with a stick, which is not code for anything, although I am sure that it is a metaphor, all in less than 40 seconds. Phil tells us that this is an authentic gaucho challenge. We have no choice but to believe him, or maybe we could also just not believe him and get on with our lives anyway.
I think it’s Alex who chooses to do the task. I don’t actually know which of them is which, and they’re both such a-holes that I have no intention of investing the energy to find out. He thinks the riding helmets are “pretty.”
I swear I’m not a homophobe. By my lights, people of all orientations (other than perhaps cannibal, and I’ll even make an exception for castaway South American soccer players there) have every right to exist, and happily. But these two are living, breathing, larger-than-life manifestations of every stereotype every conceived about gay men. I am struggling with this. Honest, I am. But these two are truly disturbing. And not at all entertaining.
Rawb and Ambuh leave at 6:59 AM, and now we know: Lynn and Alex believe that two hours and fifty-two minutes is a “huge lead.” I wonder if it’s huge enough? Rawb suggests that they switch cars with another team that has more gas. Ambuh secures her position as the conscience of the team by reminding him that they’d get caught. Rawb tells us that he likes the pressure of being behind. Ambuh defies the law of hubris by telling us that all they have to do now is pass everyone and come in first. Yeah, more codeine, sure, why not?
I’ll tell you, I am sympathetic to those of you who might feel that Rob and Amber are getting the benefit of some friendly editing. But I don’t care. They deserve it. They are the first team in history to play this game as it should be played—like a game. The parade of Doctor Phil-loving pansies that have preceded them down this path makes me sick. Every time someone talks about alliances or betrayal in this game, they are giving me license to hunt them down and neutralize their thought process, or at least their vocalization process. Everything goes, baby, as long as it’s within the rules. This leads to a binary option: you get it, or you don’t. I have only vile things to say to you if you don't.
U and Joyce get to the playa del gauchos. Joyce will ride. She wants a nice horse.
Lynn confirms that it is, in fact, Alex who is riding a horse. He blows it by one second on the first try. He aces the second attempt. Joyce has trouble with her horse. She falls. She wants another horse, and is denied. Alex finishes in good time; Lynn excitedly claps and prances over to hurry him off the horse.
The clue bus tells us that we’re flying to Buenos Aires on one of two flights. They leave at 9:30 AM and 2:30 PM. Once in BA, they must find a clock tower and, near that clock tower, a really skeevy-looking pervert in a trenchcoat. I’m not entirely sure what this symbolizes.
Lynn and Alex giddily make for the airport as Joyce tries to finish off the horsey task, falling off her horse again. I am told by Squeaky, known to you as Satan’s Little Helper, that her problem is that Joyce is riding like Peter O’Toole when she should be riding like Gary Cooper. Or something like that. I had a horsey girlfriend once, now known to posterity as the Sinister Bitch of Doom. I lived with her for four years before my friends told me that’s what they called her. Thanks, guys.
Ron and Lardette and Brian and Greg separate at some exit on the highway. Crashboy and Lardette arrive at the gaucho place as Joyce is finishing up; U is being very supportive and even-keeled about this. He seems like a really good guy. Lardette mounts up as U and Joyce take off in hot pursuit of the bitchkitties. They are excited about going to BA.
Brian and Greg finally clue to the fact that they’ve taken a wrong turn, as Rawb and Ambuh also come to realize that they feel lost. At least, that’s what the editors would have us believe. Rawb is driving, and both of them are whining (uncharacteristically) about being lost. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it’s clear that Lardette is no stranger to horsies, and she polishes off the gaucho task real quick-like.
Brian and Greg arrive at the ranch just as Crashboy and Lardette are leaving. Meanwhile, in our fantasy time sequence, Lynn and Alex arrive at the airport and make the 9:30 flight with ease.
Brian smokes the course and Brian and Greg are off to the airport, riding in fourth place. U and J make the 9:30 flight.
Long ago and far away, it’s 8:34 AM and it’s time for Ray and Deana to leave the pit stop. These two are yet another prize. Ray is an aggressive, rude, hyperdisrespectful sack of shite. His opinion of himself is infinitely inflated. Deana puts up with him for reasons unfathomable. Ray spews about the other teams being “bottom-feeders” and about how embarassed he is to be at the back of the pack. He honks the vehicle’s horn incessantly at livestock, fuming impatiently as they start this leg of the race. He is the embodiment of bad karma.
10 minutes later, the token old people, Meredith and Gretchen, leave the pit stop. Gretchen is a relentlessly mouthy old goat; she will not, under any circumstances, shut the fvck up. Meredith is clearly too whipped to care. Gretchen yaks about how hard it is to keep up with young people, pausing briefly in her whining to tell Meredith not to hit the animals, as if it’s not obvious to him that running into anything large enough to be called “livestock” would be a not-good thing, then resuming her declamation of surprise that it’s hard for geriatric headcases to keep up with people 30 and 40 years younger. It’s clear that wisdom is not going to get these two anywhere. Because they don’t appear to have any, I mean.
12 minutes later still, Joan and Prissy leave. She is a whimpering sack who drives Prissy insane. Prissy is a relentlessly Eeyoric little snotball whom any of you, even the most peaceful, tolerant, and Christian, would cheerfully smash in the face on a whim. And no one would say a thing agin you for it.
Rawb and Ambuh are still lost. But the funny thing about it is, they’re dead Zen calm about it. This is good, because they suddenly luck into the place they’re supposed to be, so I guess they weren’t so lost after all.
Sigh. Y’know, Rob and Amber are just so damn cute. They complement each other so well; they’re on real similar planes of cleverness, and they’re so beautifully and genuinely supportive of each other. I don’t understand all the outrage over them. Who the hell wouldn’t seize the opportunities to have fun that CBS is handing them just for being Rawb and Ambuh? How can anyone begrudge them this?
Crashboy and Lardette arrive at the airport at 9, and make the 9:30 flight. Rob kicks the horse’s a$$, ripping through the course in nothing flat. Amber thinks Rob looks just as good as a meatball sandwich up there on that horse. They’re hoping they can make the 9:30 flight.
Brian and Greg make the flight, and exclaim that there’s no way anyone else can make the plane. A crash of cymbals is our first ironic clue that they are taking a bath in stinky stinky hubris.
Amber lounges sexily in the back seat of the SUV while Rob drives them to the airport. “If we caught up to the other four teams after taking a penalty, they would die,” she says, as Rob drives and laughs maniacally. “Who cares about any of them?” Rob observes, quite correctly. She notes that the other teams hate them. “The other teams love us,” says Rob, “They’re striving to be like us. On a good day. Maybe.”
I’m telling you, they’re they greatest comedy team since Burns and Allen. They are hurrying to do something impossible, but they’re relaxed and happy and cracking each other up as they rush across this town to try to make a flight they can’t possibly make.
The other teams walk out onto the tarmac for another group bath in chunky stinky hubris. “We all ate the meat!” exults Lynn. “It just goes to show that if you want to win this race, you cain’t give up on anything,” gloats the repulsive, arrogant, self-righteous Lardette. This? Was the moment I realized that Rob and Amber were going to make the flight. It was certainly the moment when it became most clear they deserved to make the flight.
Aerolineas Argentina holds the flight for them as they hit the ticket counter at the stroke of 9:30 AM. Lynn and Alex gloat that Rob and Amber didn’t make it. The other teams on the flight giggle. Alex snipes, “Survive that.” Rob and Amber start to stalk purposefully across the tarmac, as Amber exults that she can’t wait to see the look on the other teams’ faces. It’s almost as if Amber knows what nasty bitches certain other competitors are. She’s psychic and stuff, dood. But we’ll have to wait for the exciting conclusion of this long, drawn-out joke, because we’re off to:
Commercials, brought to us by Travelocity:
That stupid gnome, for Travelocity, and I gotta tell you, the first thing I’m doing if I meet that gnome is moling the little bastard which, if you don’t recall, involves shattering him into a whole bunch of pieces while Anderson Cooper laughs, except I’d leave out the Anderson Cooper part because the second he and SLH are in the same twenty square feet, I? Am toast; some chick with wet hair, for some complex Pantene product that they’re marketing with a sophisticated science-like approach; a mother and daughter, for Dawn; a helicopter and some chic labelling graphics, accompanied by music I don’t recognize, for some SUV…oh, it’s an XTerra; an obnoxious
Hakkysack small dog, for Pedigree chew thingies; swirling colors, for Pier 1, which is an improvement over their old “how many Kirstie Alleys does it take to break a shopping basket” campaign; well dressed women, for some snack bar thingie that apparently makes women very happy; a reasonably tasteful living room and a calm voiceover, for Minwax; and a trailer, for The Amityville Horror, which has for some reason been remade.
And we’re back, where Rob and Amber are extremely excited about boarding the plane. Brian and Greg are the first to freak, and they manage to do so in a low-grade sorta way. Rob asks Crashboy, “How’s your stomach?” and I fall in love with Rob all over again. Lardette looks really disgusted, which she pretty much deserves for her self-righteous crack about quitters who are smarter than her. Lynn and Alex whine in a confessional about how awful it was, and how they’d have applauded anyone else who made the plane, and then Alex commits a capital offense, telling us, “I hate them, I hate them so much.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the energy or the spare karma to hate very much. Sure, I have some pretty strong dislikes. And I’ve often enumerated, or more accurately, had enumerated for me, things I do actually hate, like the Duke basketball team and coach, and the Florida State football team and coach, and Peter Angelos. But now? This flamboyant but not-at-all entertaining twerp Alex has actually pushed me awful close to wasting energy and karma on hating him.
I mean, what the fvck? How can you actually hate Rob and Amber? They’re such relaxed, nice kids. They actually understand that this is a competition. They don’t rag on each other, or snipe at each other. They just lay back and very competently kick everyones’ a$$es. What’s not to like, even? I mean, even if you’re on the receiving end of the kicking, how can you not just smile and realize you got beat and try to do better next time? Alex is a sick little fvck, and he gives humans a bad name, and openly gay smarta$$es an even worse name. It’s time for him to go. From the planet, I mean.
So the airplane takes off, and we return to Ray and Deana, who are the first of the last to get to the ranch. Gretchen and her old man see some buskers out on the road, and bless them. Joan and Prissy see a clown busker in the road, and Prissy wants to run it over. It’s actually a good line, but Prissy’s inability to grasp the metaphysical hypocrisy he’s manifesting here is just pi$$ing me off. Pot/kettle, Prissy.
And we’re back to Ray and Deana, who are described as “Dating On and Off.” This segment is about to enhance our insight into the whys and wherefores of the “On and Off” part, as Ray harangues poor Deana through the horsey course. Ray whines that they’re going to get eliminated, and the Old Folk arrive. Ray screams at Deana to make the horse run. He orders her to get mad at the horse. When she refuses, he suggests that she wants to quit and go home. She tells him to fvck off, which I’m guessing she should have done before they were cast for the show. Ray continues to harangue her, as Meredith gets started on the horsing. Meredith finishes, as Ray continues to abuse Deana and Gretchen jumps up and down excitedly about what a gaucho Meredith is. I am briefly consumed by fear that she’s about to jump his dried-up old bones right there in the corral. The moment passes.
Deana continues to whimper and scream at the horse, then whines, “Ray, I can’t do this.” Perhaps she is a quitter after all. Ray is disgusted by her weakness. He continues to demand that she yell at the horse. Joan and Prissy arrive, and Ray proclaims that Prissy is weak. Deana takes off her shirt, and Ray disgusts us by taking off his shirt in sympathy.
Shedding the aerodynamic drag of her clothing does the job for Deana, and she finally gets through the damn course, as the camera cuts repeatedly to the now-shirtless Ray. Ray and Deana take off for the airport, and Prissy whines his way through the course, gently reminding Joan that she should shut the fvck up. He suggests that she “stop, before we have an embarassing moment.” Too late, Prissy. You’re an embarassment to cells. He finally gets through the course, and Joan and Prissy are in last place. But it doesn’t matter, because we’re bunching at the airport.
The first flight lands in BA at 11:30 AM. Everyone had to check their bags; since Rob and Amber boarded at the last second, their bags come out first, and they’re back in first place. They catch a cab and blow the doors off everyone else. We’re running off to find this church and the skeevy guy underneath it. Rob and Amber find the perv easily, and they’re off by train to the city of Tigre, which is apparently 20 miles away. The idea here is to get to some docks in Tigre. Rob and Amber catch the train, and Brian and Greg catch the train right behind them. So do Crashboy and Lardette, apparently. In fact, it appears from the editing that everyone’s on the same train.
The losers all make it to the airport, and head off. Joan refers to the three loser teams as a menage a trois. I vomit my dinner, and we’re off to
One guy throwing slop on another guy’s lunch for AOL, which is trying to convince you that you need AOL and broadband; running water, for Zest bath gel, in various cloying scents; pompous voiceover, for Nyquil; a man who anthropomorphizes breakfast foods, for Nutri-Grain, and frankly, this should just be illegal, because if successful, it could cause the collapse of the entire pork-based breakfast foods industry, and I don’t want to live in a world without pork-based breakfast foods; a succession of annoying women, for Botox; a man sniffing things as he shops, for Wachovia, the most aptly named bank in the world (it’s pronounced “Walk Ova Ya”); a man and his dog, for Comcast high-speed Internet; an annoying loud guy, for a car; and the latest loser sports guy to replace Sainted Dead Iconic Sports Guy on this network affiliate’s hapless version of My Local News, which has become so awful since they fired all those Icons (Fatherly Iconic Anchorguy Who’s Now Kicking This Affiliate’s A$$ From Over at the Hapless ABC Affiliate’s News Operation, and Fired High Priestess of Local Black Anchorwomen, and her successor Fired Damned Important Acolyte of Fired High Priestess of Local Black Anchorwomen, and her successor Token Indian Relatively Hot Anchorbabe, and Revered Voice of Local Football Team Sports Guy, and Pretty Darned Good Backup Weatherman Who’s Also Kicking This Affiliate’s A$$ As The Number One Weatherdood Over at the Hapless ABC Affiliate’s News Operation) and stuck with such morons as Badly Named Weatherguy Who Insists It’s His Real Name, Stupid Fluffer Anchorbabe They Hired Away From the Local Fox Affiliate, and Square-Jawed Moronic A$$hat They Hired Away From Fox New York, that it’s not even worth pointing out the difference between my capital city and your little provincial backwater, because these losers might as well be in Richmond (except for loser sports guy, who should go back to Cincinnati).
And we’re back, where the losers’ plane is taking off for BA, where the editing is showing us once again that all five front-running teams are on the same train to Tigre. Lynn and Alex run to the front of the train to do something that they’re concealing from the other teams, and Rob and Amber follow them, to the chagrin of the catty and karmically flawed bitches. One of them tells us that Rob and Amber are like a sexually transmitted disease, and the only way to protect yourself from them is to keep yourself away from them.
What the FVCK is this, second grade? I mean, these two lamers are just bad, bad people. They need to be run through a chipper/brusher. They have completely reneged on their obligations under the social contract. They deserve no police protection, no military protection, no protection of law, no insurance, no material possessions, no dinner. All they deserve is each other. They are infuriatingly rude twits, and there is not enough bad karma in the world to reward them for the magnitude of ignorance, arrogance, and pure, unadulterated evil that is them. Slump over, you bad stereotypes. Slump over now. In fact, explode and leak painfully from every pore as you’re slumping over, but retain consciousness long enough to suffer without making noise. Got it?
A$$clowns. You two dickweeds are completely using up my capacity for tolerance.
So everyone piles off the train. There’s a Detour coming up, and of course Phil has to explain to us what a Detour is and why it’s important and what the hosers’ choices are. It turns out they’re going to ride little Zodiac boats, and they can either find a shipwreck that looks like an old Mississippi River steamer (without the paddlewheel), having only a 30-year-old picture to work from, or find some Lost Island of Creepy Monkey People, having only Mapquest to work from. Okay, I made up the creepy monkey people.
Lynn and Alex decide to find the island; Rob and Amber decide to find the shipwreck. U and Joyce have trouble finding the docks, as do Crashboy and Lardette. Brian and Greg have even more trouble, which they discover as they see Rob and Amber jetting by. As the boats jockey on the water, then separate to go in different directions, one of the Not-At-All-Ambiguous Duo reminds us that “I just detest them.”
One more time. Die, you supercilious twit. Slump over in great pain, albeit quietly, and just remove yourself from our consciousness. Really, it’s the only decent thing for someone as awful as you to do.
Back at the dock, U and Joyce get to the docks, then Crashboy and Lardette, then Brian and Greg. Everyone’s feeling hyper-competitive, apparently forgetting that there are three really bad teams behind them, they’re basically competing today for a vacation to Transylvania during a full moon, and they do not win the million dollars just by beating Rob and Amber. What and ever.
Crashboy tells the chase boat very loudly that they’re looking for “this” island, pointing to the map from 30 feet away, as if the people on the chase boat don’t know exactly where the island is, and as if they care about anything that happens to Crashboy and Lardette other than engine failure, drowning, or an attempt at sex (which would give them the wherewithal to blackmail all of us, the loyal viewers, for a great deal of money—as in, “Pay me now or I’ll show you footage of these two fvckwits trying to reproduce.”).
The whole thing looks very Mississippi-delta-like, and indeed, people keep referring to the area as “the delta”. It’s all fairly beautiful, except the water’s pretty muddy and there are all these Zodiac boats full of cranially deficient a$$clowns zooming about. Lynn and Alex express great confidence that they’re going to get to the island. Their certainty that they can read a map is refreshing. Their faith in outboard motors is even more refreshing. Misplaced, but refreshing.
Rob and Amber are the first with boat trouble. “Holy cannoli!” shouts Rob, “the boat’s cracking in half!” This is probably because, at Rob’s instruction, they are badly exceeding the design speed for an 8-foot Zodiac dinghy which, I’m here to tell you, basically consists of an inflated tire surrounding a sheet of plywood, with an overpowered outboard attached. One of their wimpy little boat drivers wants to go back, but the other doesn’t, and Rob exhorts them on to whatever disaster might await.
But then, disaster strikes someone else. As God intended, it’s Lynn and Alex. Their outboard is having some difficulty, and other things are apparently happening to their boat, because one of them shrieks that there’s water in the boat. The other whines that his shoes are getting wet. Seems to me that with a good blast from a garden hose, these two will just disappear.
Rob and Amber find the shipwreck, and a guy in hip waders comes out to give them their clue. Rob displays a previously unknown literary bent, making a Hemingway reference. Who knew Rob was actually paying attention back at St. Nebbiolo’s?
The clue tells us to take a taxi to a pit stop, which is the most prestigious polo club in Argentina. Their boat is moving slowly so that it doesn’t break in two, then explode into a million gajillion pieces like the Mighty Battleship Hood. Meanwhile, over on Big Lynn and Little Gay Al’s Happy Cruisey Thingie, the boat handlers are working frantically to lash the outboard to the boat, since it appears to want to fall off. There is much whimpering as a decision is made that the Not-at-All Ambiguous Duo must change sailors.
U and Joyce and Brian and Greg are looking for the shipwreck; Brian and Greg find it first. Rob and Amber are potting along slowly because, as Rob yells at their chase boat, their boat is still cracked. Yelling at the chase boat is a popular pastime during this little mission; the contestants seem to be forgetting that they’re wired, and they’re concerned that the chase boat won’t hear them. I’ll bet they remember they’re wired if they get dumped into the river. I’ll bet it’ll be spectacular.
Rob yells at the chase boat that he had to give his man Carlos, the boat driver, a little bit of himself. While this might sound, at first blush, to be really, really frightening and pornographic, it only means that they swapped caps. That’s right, Rob has given his cherished Red Sox hat to this guy. “There’s nothing better than a Red Sox hat,” Rob exults, as Amber sits on the gunwale contemplating the rapidly rising tide inside their little Zodiac, not bothering to tell Rob that he’s full of sh!t and there is such a thing as a meatball sammich, y’know. But that’s what distinguishes these two very lovely people from so many of us; they don’t bother each other with every snippy little thought that crosses their minds.
But more importantly, this sequence raises an issue mentioned to me by a friend of yours and mine who, owing to my no-shoutouts regime, must go unnamed, but you know who she is. Oh yes you do. She pointed out to me during one of our fourteen or fifteen in-show phone calls (every reality show is punctuated for me by a series of phone calls with her, and with SLH, since none of us can keep to ourselves any little snippy little though that crosses our minds) that the key to Rob is that he is, truly, a Very Nice Guy. Rob goes out into the world and interacts with the humanity. He takes great and genuine joy in talking to people. He cultivates them, and not in a mercenary way, although it works out that way for him in the end, because that’s the way it works when you treat people decently—good things do, in fact, come back to you.
And that? Is why Rob and Amber deserve, at least, to win, whether or not they really do. The only other team that seems to approach them in sheer niceness is U and Joyce, although Brian and Greg do not appear to be particularly mean, either. Every single one of the other teams, and most of the teams in the history of this series (Chip and Kim are notable exceptions that come to mind, very similar to Rob and Amber in this one respect), treat the rest of this planet as objects to be used in their quest to win a million dollars. Rob and Amber are, of course, doing the same thing. But they pay a hell of a lot more attention to making each of those encounters a win-win situation. I? Would double-date with Rob and Amber, even though I’d end up paying the check and thinking Rob did.
So Rob and Amber return to the dock, seeing Brian and Greg coming up behind them. Rob tells the taxi driver, in Spanish, that they are in a competition. I have no doubt that, when we get to Tehran, Rob will tell the driver in perfect Farsi that they are in a competition and that he would be very appreciative if the driver would be so kind as to help him become Supreme Leader of the Entire World, and that Rob will give the man many goats and wives for this great service to his humble self, and perhaps even a meatball sammich as well. And it will work.
So a vehicle has broken down, and Phil drones at us about what the rules say in that case, which is, of course, that the team is screwed. The team in this case is Lynn and Alex. All praise be to the Superfriends. It also becomes apparent to me why their vehicle, and several vehicles to come, will break down, because one of their boat handlers is standing in water up to his thighs, waving a flare. That’s right—they’re jetting these Zodiacs around in about two to four feet of water. The amount of silt clogging the engine intakes must be incredible. Excellent planning, Bruck. No, I mean really, that’s some good planning, because you gotta know that some percentage of these little cobbled-together POS boat-rigs are going to conk out. Excellent.
Lynn and Alex get a new boat and get on the road. Crashboy and Lardette find their little island, and leave, their engine blowing swarms of blue smoke. U and Joyce, who are looking for the shipwreck, instead finding quite by accident the island, winning second place in this week’s Horseshoe Up the A$$ competition (I think it’s pretty clear to all of us who won that competition this week). Lynn and Alex find the island, get back, and get a taxi, as U and Joyce search for something taxi-like.
And it’s funny I mention that competition, because in the taxi on the way to the pit stop, Rob tells us about how lucky he is. “It’s like I was born with a horseshoe,” he tells us. “Right up my a$$.” This confirms that Rob read my summary of last season’s finale, in which I devoted loving attention to horseshoes embedded in peoples’ digestive tracts. Thank you for this honor, Rob.
Brian and Greg think they’re in first place; one of them tells the other, just in case we haven’t seen enough hubris and irony here, that they “should be jumping on the mat first today.” No such luck, boyos. Rob and Amber get there first, laughing and dancing their way onto the mat, and winning a trip to London from Travelocity. SLH and I are going to London in June, late June to be precise. Meet us for dinner, Romber? I’ll pick up the check, there, buddy. Phil does the obligatory interview attempt, noting the complete uber-success of Rob’s task-quitting strategy. Amber laughs maniacally and very politely does not note that Phil is a twit and that she and Rob both own white cats.
Brian and Greg pull in second, very happy that they have moved up in the standings. Crashboy and Lardette are frustrated by their slowish taxi driver. The Duo are equally frustrated by theirs, who pulls in at the Citgo for a fillup, carwash, dozen donuts, and a quickie standup bracer from the truckstop ho. U and Joyce, on the other hand, get Racer X as their driver, and pull in third. I may be out on a limb here, but I really think that the top three for this leg are Your Final Three. Crashboy and Lardette pull in fourth, and we’re done with them for the day. The Duo simper and bitch their way into fifth place, Alex whining about their luck with his pouty little snout that I just want to crush and explode and drive into what passes for his bitchy little brain, and Lynn remaining much more realistic about it. And we are, thankfully, done done done with them, thankfully both because they are wretched human beings and because you must really think I’m a horrible person to want to do such grave violence to the simpering, mewling, catty, karmically twisted waste of protoplasm and oxygen that is Alex.
Back at the airport, the carp and snails arrive, everyone finding taxis and complaining about the taxis and deriding the other teams and brak brak brak. I gotta tell you, we’re picking up the pace here, because I can’t stand any of these people, and I got other writing assignments and a girlfriend coming over for a pre-trip booty call and packing to do and lunch to eat and a plane to catch, because I’m going somewhere that would make you insanely jealous if you knew where it was or what I was doing there.
Ray continues to be a complete piece of shite, deriding the Old Farts, who do in fact suck, but who don’t deserve Ray’s arrogance. Ray simply will not allow losing to either of those teams. Eventually, they all find the perv in the black raincoat, and to the train station, and the producers invest some time in trying to convince us that it’s important that Prissy and Joan are on a different train. But we’re gonna call that suspense, because we’re off to:
The still-unshattered gnome, for Travelocity; a woman keeping her daughter waiting by putting on makeup, for Almay; smug feminine voiceover, for Lean Pockets; a very familiar song that you just can’t quite identify, for Chevrolet; heavy, suspenseful, Western-sounding guitar showdown music and two guys poisoning weeds, for Roundup; a cheering crowd, for Blockbuster, which has apparently noticed that NetFlix is making money; a woman in a diner living a ridiculous Robin Leach fantasy, for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter; funky pseudoromantic Euroviolin music and smug feminine voiceover, for Dove; and CBS, for Judging Amy, which remains abundantly suckful, and for some hideously smarmy romantic made-for-a-quick-death movie.
And we’re back, where the producers are still wasting valuable time on Prissy and Joan’s complete misimpression that they’re in the lead among the carp, and on Gretchen and Meredith’s smugness that they think Prissy and Joan are way behind, and of course the trains arrive in Tigre only three minutes apart, so thanks a lot for wasting my time, you POS producer bastiges.
Everyone gets to the docks, brak brak brak, and this is a really dull sequence except that Ray and Deana fall behind trying to find the docks. This. Just. Pisses. Ray. Off. And he hulks out, and now we’re on the water, and brak brak brak, except Prissy and Joan’s boat drops dead. Excellent, except it means that Ray and Deana aren’t gonna die. And they are, in fact, the first to get on the clue bus.
And they do lay some great smackin’ hurt on The Old Farts, gesturing confusedly and shaking their heads as The Old Farts approach the inlet that leads to The Magic Island. The Old Farts turn and follow them. Morons.
Ray and Deana could make this a fine game move, except that Ray continues to insist that The Old Farts have no right to exist. Hello, Ray? The only teams you’re ahead of are either geriatric or hopelessly crippled by the kind of prison love that can only exist between a tightly wrapped mother and her snarky crossdressing teenage son. What do you do for fun, go down to the market and knock old ladies off their walkers? Shake babies? And put your fvcking shirt back on, you overtestosteroned metaphor for violent assault against the helpless.
We enter a long sequence that consists solely of Joan spouting optimistically, while Prissy whimpers (and not at all pathetically) about the bleak hopelessness of it all. No, Prissy, we’ll show you hopelessness, but only if Joan smartens up and agrees to let us help her sell you into slavery in the Amazon. C’mon, Joan, all that awaits you with this kid is a bad funeral scene. We’re just not sure who’s gonna play which role. Make some money, rid yourself of this complaining little wart, and go have yourself some fun.
Kudos to my buddy Toots for the funeral joke, which I didn’t have time to develop in Alice’s Restaurant four-part harmony with 8x10 glossies. Sorry, Toots, your idea deserved much better.
The Old Farts keep following Ray and Deana until it suddenly dawns on them that Ray and Deana are heading back to the barn. Twits. Joan and Prissy continue over the waters in a new boat, Prissy simpering every inch of the way. Ray and Deana get back and get a taxi. It dawns on The Old Farts that they’ve been hornswoggled, just before they get the clue. To his credit, Meredith acknowledges that being lied to is what you deserve when you trust somebody in a competition over one million dollars. Joan exults when they find the clue, but Prissy is unconsoled. It is unclear what exactly Prissy wants to do, other than finish the course.
Ray and Deana roll in sixth. Despite the producers’ attempts to create something like suspense, The Old Farts come in seventh, just as Phil does his hokey leaning-over-and-talking-to-the-greeter-while-pointing-in-the-direction-of-the-oncoming-teams routine. Why the fvck does Phil do this? Is this some attempt to convince us that Phil is uber-knowing? That the greeter is dumb? If I’m producing this, what you see here is Lucy Liu telling me, the greeter, “Finish licking that boot, you appalling swine, another team’s about to arrive.”
Prissy and Joan finally roll in, to tinkly pseudotragic piano music. They’re eliminated. Phil asks Prissy why Joan is crying. “I don’t know why the old bitch is crying. Why don’t you answer him, Mom? I have to go get picked up by brutish predators so that I can have something else to simper about,” snipes the annoying little priss. In their loser confessional, Joan talks about the conflict between her annoying optimism and Prissy’s earth-deadening pessimism. Die. Both of you. Die. I’m just sorry I don’t have time to write the funeral. Prissy does suggest in his exit line that he might need to lighten up. Good plan.
a rainy day, which turns out to be a long montage of Tiger Woods not having fun but continuing to strive to be the best six-year-old golfer in the world, for American Express; guys in a repair shop, for Midas, which will rotate your tires and collapse your burrito; a faux fable, for Sure; a slinky redhead, for Pantene; and CBS, for Survivor, which, in retrospect, I have to say was overhyped, and for Big Brother 6, which wants you to apply to be humiliated. And holy crap, we just got through an hour of television with only one tiny little tease for My Local News. Could it be that they’re finally listening to me? Or is it just that TAR sucks so bad that the local station would rather make what money it can than waste news teases on the three local viewers who are tuned in?
And we’re back, where next week:
We apparently change continents, where Deana whines, Gretchen falls and become extremely bloody, U and Jenna get weepy over orphans, and Brian and Greg roll their big brother’s T-Bird.
Thanks, as always, for reading.