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Sunday, September 17, 2006
The Amazing Race Intro Recap

Quick introduction of the teams:

Team Triathlete. Although this couple would seem to have an advantage, the woman was born with one leg much smaller than the other and as such she wears an artificial leg. Interestingly, the man is a designer of artificial legs. What are the odds of that? ;)

Team Allah. They announce that they will stop in mid-race to pray to Mecca.

Team Mohawk. Couldn't figure out what to name this team; we didn't get much of an introduction to them. The guy has an odd hairstyle.

Team Beauty Queen. Miss New York and Miss California.

Team Coal Miner. The husband is a coal miner from Kentucky. The wife is just a tad on the cranky side.

Team Cho. A pair of Oriental brothers.

Team Disappointed in My Lesbian Daughter. We can tell Dad's going to have to learn some lessons on this show.

Team Karma. Indian husband and wife.

Team Cheerleaders. A pair of cuties; actually more attractive to me than the beauty queens.

Team Recovery. A pair of buddies who are recovering drug addicts and male models.

Team Gump. Two black single moms from Alabama.

Team Gay. A gay couple.

The first task is to fly from the start (Seattle) to Beijing, China. One of the black women comments that's good because the Chinese like people from Alabama, because they think they're Forrest Gump. Peas and carrots, ladies!

There are two planes, so there is a race to get to the airport. The cars they are driving are rental cars, so they have to be returned, but apparently the rental car return is off-airport, so there is some confusion among the teams. Team Cho breaks out some water pistols in the departure area, but a TSA guard confiscates them.

As it works out the difference between the two flights, which was supposed to be about 55 minutes turns out to be more like 38 minutes. When the teams arrive in Beijing, they have to find the Gold House restaurant. Roadblock! One of the players has to eat a bunch of fish eyes; the usual foreign delicacy routine. All seem to make it through without any real problems.

Next, the teams have to make it through the Meridian Gate at the Forbidden City. Phil notes that there will be a surprise waiting there. All the teams are to pull departure times for the next morning. Hilariously, the Kentucky couple exhort their driver to go faster by saying "Quack! Quack!" I think they mean, "Chop! Chop!"

As the times are pulled we discover there are only 11 possible times, and one labeled last team. The unlucky guys getting that are Team Allah. They are escorted to a mat where they are Phil-liminated. So much for the cultural lesson they were no doubt intended to teach us. About all we learned is that they do indeed say "Insh'allah" and "Allah Akhbar" a lot, and that at least one of them is from Cleveland.

I had noticed when Phil outlined the rules for the race there were supposed to be 8 pit stops where one team would be eliminated, which didn't quite add up--there are supposed to be three teams in the final, which indicated one other team would have to be lost in another way; looks like this was it.

The next day they are to take old WWII vintage motorcycles to a pedicab stand. The Detour task is Labor or Leisure. Surprisingly, most of the teams chose Labor, but it appears to pay off.

In Labor, the teams must brick a 45 square foot area in a demonstrated pattern. One key is that they must first lay a course of large flagstones around the outside. Almost everybody gets this wrong at first and have to restart. In Leisure (chosen by Team Cheerleader and Team Gay) teams must do a complicated dance routine while balancing a ball on a paddle. It will undoubtedly be coming to the Olympics in the next few years.

At about this time, it becomes obvious that Team Karma is falling far behind. They miss the pedicab stand and it takes them a long time to get to the Detour. They chose Labor.

It appears that most of the folks choosing Labor do it fairly quickly, and so when Team Gay and Team Cheerleader finish their dance routine succesfully, they are near last, except for Team Karma.

The next destination is the Pit Stop at the Great Wall of China. Teams have to climb up to the top of the wall using what I believe are called jumar ropes that have periodic nooses where you can plant your feet and grab hold. Everybody has trouble, but the gal in Team Triathlete is especially concerned.

But she eventually gets the hang of it and makes it up. Meanwhile, Team Recovery has arrived at the top and wins first prize, $20,000--what, no product placement? Other teams having obvious problems are Team Gump, and Team Coal Miner. But eventually they all make it to the top, and only Team Karma still remains. They finally make it up, and are Phil-liminated. BTW, did you notice the goofy shirt the husband was wearing? It read, "Colege". :)

Viking Pundit's usual excellent recap is up.
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