The Amazing Race 7, Episode 5: It's Just a Flesh Wound!
Well, I decided that this week, I would stop getting cranky at Rob. He’s just a standard TV idiot, right? Nothing new? 5 seconds later, I abandoned that plan, because it’s absolutely impossible. Instead, I decided I’d a have a swig of rum for each time he irked me. That was abandoned after the preview, when I was already in danger of vomiting. So I had do to this cold. And attempt not to scream at the television (yeah, right.)
Last week on the (EMMY AWARD WINNING) Amazing Race:
In Argentina, Joyce falls off a horse. Hard. Deanna discovers yet another thing she apparently “can’t do.” Ray’s receding hairline gets exposed when Deanna’s told to suck it up. While he sits on his ass. I’d be perfectly content to see the horse bite him, but that’s not in the cards… oh well.
The first group of four teams celebrates making the flight from Mendoza to Buenos Aires, only to have Everyone’s Favorite Couple® board the plain at the last minute. Lynn soils his $400 underpants.
Ray continues to show contempt and jealousy when talking about Gretchen and Meredith, the flimsiest couple the show’s ever seen. He’s obsessed with beating Larry David and his nutjob ménage-a-trois-wanting wife. Which is very sad indeed.
Oh, and Susan and Patrick whine their way to an elimination. Guess the boat wasn’t POWERED BY TEARS! OH SNAP!
Commercials lovingly supplied by my media market: That disgusting Gatorade one where people sweat every color of the rainbow while exercising (but where are the fat guys with the pit sweat on their Slipknot t-shirts?); that Citibank one with the fat guy in the gym (wrong kind of bouncing boobies to attract customers, methinks; some Radioshack one with an ugly kid with a ‘fro (at least THEY’RE targeting their clientele), and about 7 other commercials that really weren’t very interesting.
Ahem. Let the show begin!
“This is Buenos Aires, Argentina.” And that is one of the most unflattering shirts Phil has ever worn. Tsk. Vertical stripes ADD the appearance of breasts, Phil… But I digress.
Romber leaves first. ::rip rip:: oooh! Fly to Johannesburg, South Africa, (but wait! There seem to be additional instructions: and when you’re there, run through the orange concourse, spin around three times, use the restroom, maybe buy some snacks,) and then go to your marked card. These additions all appear to be dotted with hearts, and are signed, Love, Lynn. Goodness.
While on the way to the airport, Rob acknowledges the presence of several guardian angels looking out for them. Well, Rob, I prefer to call them “people who only help you because they saw you on TV, and that’s really a bit of an unfair advantage, don’t you think?” But I won’t. No point getting into that.
The brothers (who I still cannot tell apart) are off next. They really need to get “B” and “G” t-shirts. Not to be confused with the similar ones worn by the Ambiguously Gay Duo. They pray that other people’s relationships might break down along the way. Um, guys, Ray and Deanna are WAY ahead of you.
Uchenna and Joyce are next to depart, soon followed by TEAM AMERICAN HERO!!!! Kelly says something about this being the longest time she’s ever been with Ron. She’s at the point where she can’t hold in farts much longer, and he’ll have to stop sucking in his gut at some point… Ah, the honesty of true love.
Lynn and Alex are off. “We’re here to have fun *subliminal message: kill kill kill kill Gucci kill kill* We want to win.”
Meanwhile, back the airport, Uchenna and Joyce, and Team G I ‘Ho are told that their bags must be checked. Possibly due to their size. Or the giant bowie knife that Kelly keeps in her bag in case the other pageant chicks get a little too aggressive.
Ray pops in to remind us all: “I CAN’T STAND BEING IN THE BACK!” Well, we can now slim down the list of his preferred sexual positions… actually, let’s not.
Ahh, the arrival of Larry David and Wife (aka “Meredith’s the chick, right?). Gretchen ponders how much more they can take, and I have to ask that myself. Can Meredith run? Can Gretchen live without a straight-jacket? How long must they go without a recharging ménage-a-trois? Actually, don’t tell me. For all that is holy, do not tell me.
The ever-thoughtful (and obviously not ageist) Ray keeps kicking himself for forgetting to sprinkle tacks on the road for Gretchen and Meredith… and much to his chagrin, the two doddering elderly folks just make it to the gate in time to catch the flight. HA! Now Rob’s bitching about the loss of a lead… welcome to bunching, a TAR tradition!
Now, somehow, on the flight, Ray appears to have charmed the crew into letting him sit in first class, and also allowing him to get off the plane first. I, too, am shocked at my own use of “Ray” and “charm” in the same sentence, and will now whip myself as penance. ::whip:: Ow.
…cue standard cheery African music…
And we’re here in Johannesburg! While most of the teams skitter off towards their marked cars, Uchenna and Joyce and G I ‘Ho must watch the same bag go around the baggage claim wheel six times before their backpacks finally show up.
In the marked car, Ray quickly discovers there’s a Fast Forward (there are only 2 fast forwards in the entire race. If a team completes a fast forward… brak brak brak) at… what? Cooling towers? YES! This is Deanna’s chance to push Ray into radioactive steam! Hurrah! Off they go…
Also in that envelope is this week’s detour:
Claustrophobia or REALLY EASY NECKLACE CHALLENGE!!!!
In Claustrophobia, teams have to put on miner helmets, rappel into a tiny hole, and crawl around in the WORLD’S MOST CONFINING CAVE until they somehow miraculously spot the clues, which are guarded by a race of mole people.
In The Necklace One, teams go to a tribal village that is the home for 6 tribes, and have to place the right item with the right tribe to collect stylish necklaces. Ordinarily, this might seem very hard, but THERE ARE HUGE CLUES OUTSIDE EACH TRIBAL GATE. If you can’t get this right, you’re probably Ray.
Lynn is just happy to be in a “real” city. After all, I bet it’s got a Chanel store…
And Deanna? Can’t drive stick (I’m not particularly sure why she’s the driver…). Perhaps this is why Ray is so snippy?
Romber thinks the Fast Forward would be a great idea. Of COURSE nobody else would be there first! They’re Romber! Everyone else is yielding to get out of their way…Or that’s what Rob says. Amber doesn’t say much of anything, now that I think about it.
So now everyone’s off to do things… except our friends Uchenna and Joyce, and Ron and Kelly, who are STILL at the airport.
During this commercial break, I would like to address something. Those OnStar ads with the guilt-tripping children? “What if a hijacker stole the car and it had my baby brother in it?” “What if we were all BLEEDING TO DEATH IN THE BACKSEAT?” “YOU BASTARDS! YOU DON’T LOVE US!”
Let me explain something. If your child explodes in your GM car, ain’t NOTHING OnStar can do to put little Egbert back together. If your GMC suddenly bursts into flames, OnStar will not magically appear out of the sky to spray water on the hood. OnStar is a freaking BUTTON. And these thieving children want you to buy one. DON’T LISTEN TO THEM!
Back to the game. Well, not exactly. Uchenna and Joyce are still at the baggage claim. What the Hell is this, Newark? Is the baggage claim powered by a hamster wheel? Finally, after the bags come out, the team runs off to their car. Oh wait, no they don’t. They’re buying a map, and possibly one of those local music cds and a personalized license plate at the airport gift shop. Surely “Uchenna” is easier to find here…
Off driving, our intrepid Rob discovers, “Aw crap, we’ah lahst.” He also rather insightfully notes that he and Amber have burnt their bridges. Well, duh. You don’t expect help or kindness from people if you steal their taxis and stuff.
Ray makes the great comment that if he and Deanna go down, it’ll be in “a blaze of fire.”
Ray, what the Hell does that mean? You’re going to fall like a shot-down plane?
Romber is stuck in traffic. I do a happy dance, and drink two shots.
Up on the reactor’s edge, Deanna glances down and sees the glowing remains of uranium. If all goes as planned, Ray will fall in. Though who knows what he might mutate into.
Lynn and Alex have arrived at the tribal village… oooh! This’ll be just like shopping! The boys are clever enough to get the first item right without any hints, and gets a lovely necklace… onward!
The brothers are stuck in traffic, and desperately need directions. Brian/Greg is out tapping on peoples’ windows, but he’s certain that everyone thinks he’s insane, or is absolutely terrified of him. Um, have you looked at yourself? The only thing I’d be worried about is you handing me the wrong size of jeans to try on at Hollister.
Ron and Kelly have found directions to the caves (it’s because they’re American®). Uchenna and Joyce, continuing their recent string of luck, are lost. Meanwhile, Romber pulls up to the cooling tower, only to discover that Team Balding Psychopath has beat them to it. Rob is banking on another Deanna meltdown (HA! Meltdown! Hilarious!)
At the caves, Team America arrives, followed by the brothers. Kelly is quick to note that her modeling skills will be, um, useful during this challenge. It’s no more difficult that pulling double-stick tape off your nipples, apparently.
This is the part where I am going to say… WHAT THE HELL KIND OF IDIOT WOULD GO INTO A CAVE THAT NARROW? It’s obviously a former ant farm that’s maybe had some ventilation shafts added. ::shudder:: Caves suck, dood.
Back at the reactor, Deanna’s beginning her walk across the tower… we all await “I can’t do it!” in the next 6 seconds.
Down on the ground floor, Romber is deadlocked.
Rob looks at Amber and asks her to make a decision.
In response, Amber blinks
(Insert tasteless joke about Terri Schivao here)
In fact, I think I should bring these up.
I’ve drawn up rough estimates of the sectional divisions in both Rob and Amber’s respective brains.
This, for instance is Rob’s:
Nothing too complex, but clearly labeled.
This? Is Amber’s brain:
Alas. Just look at how her decision-making node has withered. Rob’s lucky she hasn’t started drooling as a response to his questions.
I can see where the arrogance might come from. He’s controlling two bodies, really…
Right before the commercial break, as if on cue, Deanna screams “I can’t!” Not shown here are the home videos in which Ray asks Deanna for sex. (“I can’t!).
Various commercials were here, but I was pouring myself another shot. That and I don’t care.
Back at the cooling tower, Deanna’s walkin’ slowly across… and it’s eerily silent. Not a scream. Not a single “I can’t.” It’s been maybe 5 minutes since the last one, so the record has been seen.
Rob’s frustration is beginning to show; after leaving the cooling tower after WAITING FOR RAY AND DEANNA TO FINISH, he asks Amber which detour they should do.
Good decision-making, Amber. Nice work.
Ray and Deanna drive off towards the pitstop, Soweto overlook, which is near Mandela’s old house. Mandela actually moved out a week before the racers arrived, because he didn’t want to be exposed to any stupid.
Lynn and Alex, meanwhile, seem to be making short work of the necklaces. They’d finish quicker if Alex stopped pocketing the new necklaces they receive.
Romber, once again, is swarmed by a legion of adoring guardian angels when they stop at a hospital for directions. Anyone who does not think these folks have at least a bit of an exposure-related advantage is crazy.
Hey, hang on… Who the hell are these old people? I haven’t seen them all episode… Meredith (the guy) seems to be struggling a bit with the car on the drive towards the caves. It doesn’t handle as well as his 1986 Buick Skylark with the beaded seat cushions and the nodding dog statue on the dash that he left at home. I could make some kind of senior driving joke, but I’m above that. Right.
The brothers, after spelunking for what seems like ages, have finally found their clue: Drive to Soweto markets to receive your next clue. What? All that cave crawling just so we can be given some more crappy driving instructions? Laaame… Team American Hero isn’t far behind with their clue, and they, too, skitter towards the surface.
Lynn and Alex seem to have found the Beverly Hills tribe. They sit down and talk with a realtor (well, I made that up, but we can hope.). After having collected necklace #5, our intrepid sourpusses get their next clue.
Meredith (the guy) and wife FINALLY arrive at the caves. Gretchen makes the first foreshadowing comment: “We have to be careful…” Well, duh, Gretchen. You’re a senior citizen who’s talking about group sex and is battier than Survivor’s Jan. You should be wearing one of those big bubbles like in TAR 5. (Those things looked really fun…). Uchenna and Joyce arrive at the caves, and are tailing the pack.
Ray and Deanna check in. Thank god, we don’t have to see any more of them for the last 40 minutes of the episode. And somehow, they’ve both won spanking new Toyotas. It is uncertain if the Toyotas come with a CB-Radio, so that Ray can continue to berate Deanna even if they’re apart.
Romber arrives, at last, at the tribal camp (he must’ve decided by himself on the way as Amb-bot 3000 recharged her batteries), and they soon figure out how the tasks can be made a little easier… pattern recognition! Hooray! Rob does, in fact, have the cognitive skills of a kindergartner!
Team America and the Brothers both arrive at the Soweto market to discover their next task…
The racers must purchase 5 specific items on a list as donations for a local orphanage. While panning over the markets’ wares, the camera reveals that these donations may include bootleg Tupac shirts and really scary looking dolls.
Back in the caves, Meredith (the guy) and Gretchen encounter a very promising sign with a skull and crossbones on it. Ahh, the specter of death is with them. For fear of their own mortality, the two ultimately decide to retreat out of the cave, since that’s probably where the clue is anyway. Because it makes perfect sense to rappel into a cave when the clues are outside the cave. Head-wall-repeat.
Inside the cave, Uchenna’s having doubts. He’s nervous. Who wouldn’t be? It’s gotta be hotter than hell in there, and it’s… soo… freaking… narrow. GAH.
Lynn and Alex excitedly head to market. They will be gravely disappointed.
Revelation! I can tell the brothers apart now! The one wearing the Jase-headband is Greg! Why anyone would imitate Jase is beyond me, but then, the brothers are strange guys…
Back in senility-now!, Meredith (the guy) and Gretchen realize that, duh, the clues are probably somewhere in the cave. As soon as they figure this out, Uchenna and Joyce emerge from the bowels of the earth, and move on towards the market.
So it’s back into the cave for our intrepid seniors. In another example of CBS’s patented “hit you over the head repeatedly with foreshadowing,” Meredith says to Gretchen, “keep your footing!”
Followed by a Gretchen-falls noise. Then moaning. Then wailing. Then dramatic music. Then Meredith’s panic yelps… Then commercials!
7 minutes of commercials. This has got to be some kind of record.
We return to Gretchen wailing. Blood? Everywhere. You gotta give the nutcase credit, though… first thing she says to Meredith (the guy)? GO GET THE CLUE! That, and then the cute-because-she’s-old-and-insane quip, “I’ve been wanting a facelift for a long time.” Gretchen appears to be more worried about the roadblock than the STITCHES SHE IS GETTING IN HER FACE. Wow. Helluva spirit on this chick.
We’re now back at the market, where it appears Kelly has found something she’s good at; that is, shopping. Lynn’s in the fray too…
The ever tasteful Greg, meanwhile, has picked up a number of WWF t-shirts for the kiddies. Can you smell what the bootleg picture of the Rock is cookin’?
Back in Hell, Meredith eventually finds the clue and returns to Gretchen, who’s got a big bandage around her head, presumably to keep her brains from slipping out. Off to the market.
Ambuh’s chosen to be in charge of shopping. Perhaps she can prove herself useful?
Ron and Kelly arrive at the orphanage, which does melt this bitter writer’s heart, because those kids were too freakin’ cute. They receive their clue… head to the pitstop, which is near Mandela’s place. The Brothers drop in next, and on their way out, offer the Mr. T sage advice “Don’t do drugs!” Ron and Kelly eventually arrive at the pitstop, where they are declared team number 2.
Back at the market, Lynn has picked out some real flowery number of a blanket. Amb-Bot 3000 is taking her sweet time.
Brothers check in. Team number 3.
It would appear that South Africa has swarms of guardian angels, just waiting for C-list celebrities to arrive. Such is the case with Amb-Bot, who receives yet another helper to do work so she can recharge her brain. I’m not actually sure that Amber could qualify for having DONE the detour, since it’s not really clear who was doing any purchasing…
While the doddering elderly still hunt for the market, Uchenna and Joyce arrive to do a bit of shopping. Uchenna’s picked as the designated shopper, and it’s obvious that the man hasn’t done much shopping since he went to buy Cheetos and 40’s back in college. He looks terribly uncomfortable.
Lynn and Alex check in. Team number 4. They celebrate by giggling and taking turns drawing pictures of Rob with arrows through his head and hanging on a noose.
Gretchen’s the shopper now, and she’s worried that people are gonna run from her bloody bandage. Gretchen, hon, it’s not the bandage. It’s the creepy old lady with the group-sex thing.
Uchenna and Joyce have an intense emotional reaction to the orphanage… poignant music is played. They weep and discuss adoption… What is this, Lifetime?
Romber checks in. Numbah 5.
As usual, the “close” finish is played out, big time. Who will it be? Uchenna and Joyce? Or Meredith (the guy) and bleedy-face?
Well, obviously, Uchenna and Joyce are Team number 6, because Meredith and Gretchen try to set the record for the slowest run ever to the pitstop. Team Number 7… but! This is an obvious non-elimination round
Except, oh crap. That whole “give us all your money” thing? Isn’t enough. Les Moonves and Chenbot have to eat, after all. They can’t just be doling out cash left and right. So Phil takes all of the kindly old couple’s possessions.
Now hang on. These are old people we’re talking about. Old people get cold when it’s 75 degrees inside. Old people wear sweaters in July. What if these guys end up somewhere a little colder? They’ll DIE, that’s what. Oh well. At least Gretchen got a complimentary bandage. She can wrap herself in that at night.
Joisey? It’s all yours, dude.
This is Slice… OUT!
I don't do the shoutout thing. Sorry. But I would like to give props to Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay, which helped get me through the episode.