Monday, November 10, 2008

The Amazing Race: Colour Me Happy!

There are three teams I hate in this season's Amazing Race: the gay divorcees, the frat boys, and Terence and Sarah. From the very first episode, I liked the brother and sister team, and the mother and son team. Sure, Nick and Starr occasionally play dirty and sometimes Dallas seems to be as dumb as a stump, but I love how well the brother and sister play the game, and maybe it's because I have a son, but I adore Toni and her unconditional love for Dallas, and his love back for his mom.

But now on to the hate. This week the teams were in India. Every season the teams go to India so we can see people pulling their shirts up over their faces and complaining of the stink or getting stuck in insane traffic jams or being mauled by kids (and the occasional man) begging for money or whatever. It hasn't changed the fact I'd love to go to India some day, and luckily in this season, they played down the negatives. First, the teams had a roadblock where they had to go through a holy festival of people chucking pails of paint and dry dye at them as they tried to get to a ladder. Starr got off amazingly easy, like the people weren't quite sure what they were supposed to do in the beginning. But by the time the gay divorcees got there, it was showtime. Kelly or Christy (the dark-haired one; they're pretty much interchangeable) decided to do it while blondie stood back encouraging her, but soon brunette was practically begging for an oxygen mask and crawling through the streets on her hands and knees like she'd just been seriously wounded at Omaha Beach saying, "I can't do it! I can't go on! This will be the death of me!"

I was in stitches. (I had a screen cap all ready but Blogger has been really difficult in letting me upload anything these days.)

Not to mention, as usual, they didn't read the clue correctly and brunette just kept running in snatching envelope after envelope while blondie ripped them open and nothing was inside (even FUNNIER). Meanwhile, all the other teams are first READING THE CLUE, then running in, grabbing the marked envelope and running back out. Making the gay divorcees REALLY ANGRY.

See, my problem with these chiquitas is that they identify themselves as The Divorcees. Every team is forced to do this: There's a mom and son team and in every scene where they're talking to the camera, Dallas says how much he's learned about the mother who raised him by herself, and Toni says how proud she is of her only son whom she raised by herself. Nick and Starr talk about their sibling love. Ken and Tina talk about how they're overcoming his affair. And so on... it's sad these people are identified as one thing, but why did these two identify themselves as Divorcees? Because it hadn't been done before? Rather than say they're best friends who happen to be divorced, they say they're divorcees who happen to be best friends. Every time they're facing the camera they're saying things like, "I could have NEVER gone on the Amazing Race if I hadn't divorced that bastard!" "ME TOO! My life is such a sunshiney peachy place because I let go of that dead weight." "TOTALLY. My husband never would have given me the freedom to do these things." "I KNOW. My husband was just a piece of crap."

I'm sorry, who were you married to? Mussolini??!! Why couldn't you have done the Amazing Race while still being married to these guys? And why do you want to advertise the fact that you chose SO badly that you had to get out of the relationships instantly? (They're both very young, so there's no way they made it to 10 years; I doubt they got close to 5.)

ANYWAY. I can't decide who I hate more of those three teams, though, but I must say, every time Terence is on the screen I want him to take a nasty roadblock and be the first fatal accident on the series. He is SO whiny and annoying and their banter is so irritating I've actually pressed the mute button while they're on screen.
"Come on, babe, you gotta hurry up."
"I'm going as fast as I can, babe, so just leave me alone."
"Well, babe, not fast enough, because everyone is passing us by, babe."
"Shut up, babe, you're not helping me." "All right, babe, but I'm just saying; we're going to lose because of you."
"Babe, that's so not helpful. Just give me happy thoughts, babe."
"All right babe, fine. You're doing a great job."
"Thanks, babe."
"Even though every other team is passing us by, babe."

So when it came down to a detour where they had to choose bleary-eyed (watching power lines for tiny numbers) or teary-eyed (where they had to carry a 40-lb bag of chilis a quarter mile and then crush them, potentially burning their eyes, nasal passages, and hands), I was shouting at the TV, "Choose teary-eyed! Choose teary-eyed!" When Sarah said, "We're going with teary-eyed" it was like Christmas for me.

My favourite moment was Sarah talking to the camera saying, "We felt like that storeowner was so unfair. He was standing there watching what we were going through and had absolutely no sympathy for our terrible situation." Meanwhile, these two have just been hitting one poverty-stricken country after another and haven't shown an ounce of sympathy for ANYONE. In last week's episode (or maybe it was 2 weeks ago; I watched them in a marathon a few nights ago) they went to Cambodia, and Sarah begged their boat driver to go faster than the other teams, so this kid was revving his engine and got them way ahead of everyone. Everything was going well for them... until the engine started smoking and filled with water. As the poor kid bailed water furiously, Sarah screamed at him that this could cost them a million dollars.

REALLY? Because if this boat isn't working, this could cost this kid his livelihood.

How RICH that she of all people talked about how unsympathetic these inhabitants of a developing country were to the plight of these Americans. It was a brilliant moment.

In the end, I would have been happy if any of those teams lost, and lose they did -- the divorcees were last to the mat, after Dan and Andrew offered to work together with them and the girls said, "No, 'fraid not." Nice one, ladies. As my daughter would say, you are not being caring, sharing friends. And that's probably what cost you the race.


Jonathan said...

Are you joking about the divorcees being gay? I haven't read that anywhere. I don't think they're gay, just very very close female friends. They are also, quite possibly, the dumbest team in the show's history.

Nikki Stafford said...

Jonathan: No, I'm alluding to the Fred Astaire film, "The Gay Divorcee" (pronounced divor-say) I'm using the term here to mean happy, since they're so over-the-moon about having broken up with their spouses. I'm not making any comments on their sexuality.

Jonathan said...

Ah. Sorry, I totally suck.

batcabbage said...

Hey, Nicki. I'm in Australia and we got the Cambodia episode last night. My girlfriend and I hate Terrence and Sarah about as much as you do (after watching them for a while, we settle into a 'Pam and Jim imitating Michael and Jan' kind of vibe calling each other 'babe' every sentence or so), and after reading your comments I said to my gf 'Hey, their boat broke down, get ready for this,' anticipating the melt down and yelling from Sarah... and it didn't happen. I don't know whether we get a santised version here in AU, but Sarah didn't scream at the guy at all. Matter of fact, it was probably the most calm she'd reacted so far. It was kind of disappointing, to be honest. Although it was hilarious to see idiot Terrence yelling to Sarah to tell him how much further they had to go. Turn your freakin' head, dude!

Nikki Stafford said...

batcabbage: Oh no! I feel like one of those people who built up a movie so much that it couldn't possibly live up to my accolades. HAHA! If I recall, Sarah didn't scream at the guy (if I said that, I apologize) but in our version, if it was different from yours, she freaked. She was pacing the boat, running over to the guy telling him to hurry up, yelling to the skies that they were going to lose the race because of this. There was no calm there at all.

Nikki Stafford said...

P.S. I TOTALLY agree with the Jim and Pam thing!!! That is exactly what I think every time they start talking, LOL!

batcabbage said...

Nicki: Then we in AU definitely get a sanitised version. Damn! I love seeing Sarah and Terrence freak out. What is it about watching people you despise in situations you'd never get yourself in losing it that's just so damn fun? :) BTW, when I read 'The Gay Divorcees' I had the same thought as jonathon. So jonathon, don't worry, you don't totally suck! Or you do, and I do, too. :) Although it was kinda plausible for me seeing how so totally bitter those two are.

And the only thing bad about the Jim and Pam thing is that after calling each other babe for a while, I start to sing 'Just One Night' and my girlfriend throws things at me. Funny, yes, but it can be a bit painful.