Sunday, September 17, 2006

'The Amazing Race 10' Season Premiere

It's back! The Emmy-winning Amazing Race had its 90 minute premiere and I wish it had been two hours.

They seem to have taken a line from Big Brother with an "expect the unexpected" sort of surprise this season. Unlike Survivor or Big Brother, they're calling it a surprise rather than a twist. Same thing, though, it's just semantics.

The teams were introduced and, honestly, I don't really think it was needed to show us Duke crying over his relationship (or lack thereof) with his daughter, Lauren. As I mentioned when I introduced the teams in a previous article, I think this looks like an interesting lot. Stop crying, Duke!

They started out in Seattle, in the rain... of course. This season, they hit the high gear right away with the destination being Beijing, China. No dilly-dallying about this season, no way, no how. Right off the bat, Duke/Lauren and Mary/David had trouble driving their vehicles. Note: If you apply to be on the show, test drive all kinds of cars so you don't look silly.

Teams vied for the first of two planes headed to Beijing. The first flight would arrive nearly an hour earlier and ended up containing Peter/Sarah, David/Mary, Dustin/Kandice, Tyler/James, Lauren/Duke, and Lyn/Karlyn.

By this point, Rob and Kimberly were already bickering while Mary pointed out that where she's from, it's customary for the man to be in charge. She wants David to listen to her. Okay, so... at this point I decided that these two teams are the teams I most want to hit the mat last early in the season.

At the airport, I believe it was the Cho brothers who started playing with squirt guns and all the teams were just fooling around when they got busted. Their weapons were confiscated as the Pretty (But Rough) Boys looked smug about it all. Hey, the Pretty Model Boys have been through rehab, so they're edgy. Or something.

Sarah and Peter plan to play the "disability card" as much as they can. Sarah pre-boarded much to the disgust of the other teams, Lyn/Karlyn, in particular. It turns out that the first flight was delayed a bit, but they still hit Beijing before the other six teams.

The teams had to take a taxi to the Gold House where they'd face the first Roadblock of the season. A Roadblock is a task only one team member must complete. This one was a traditional native food kind of challenge - a plate of fish heads and the challenge was to remove and eat all the fish eyes. While I'd never be good at most of the food challenges, this one really looked like they could swallow them whole. Maybe they couldn't have water? Hmm.

Most odd quote on the streets of Beijing: One of the Cho's said, "China is a lot like Korea, just more Chinese characters." I believe he was referring to the lettering on signs.

Once the fish eyes were successfully downed, the next clue led the racers to the Forbidden City where they had to find the Meridian Gate. I'm including informative links to those places as one of the things I love about this show is learning about the history of places I may never get the chance to visit. Amazing stuff, really.

There was a three-sided structure with lighted times - 7:00 AM, 7:15 AM, 7:30 AM and the last one, at the bottom, read "Last Team." Uh-oh! Phil had warned the teams that there would be some new surprises this season and even though they might think they know the game, they don't.

Sure enough! When Bilal and Sa'eed arrived to take the Last Team, they were instructed to see Phil on the mat. It was a surprise Philimination! They were shocked and didn't react overly well, but didn't do anything horrible. The other teams were both shocked and saddened at their departure. Me? I personally don't think they would have made it much further as they were quite out of shape.

In the morning, the teams headed out to their first Detour. A Detour is a choice between two tasks related to the country or area. This Detour was a choice between Labor or Leisure. In Labor, teams had to construct a section of sidewalk in a particular brick pattern. In Leisure, teams had to learn a native routine which was a graceful, balancing a ball on a paddle with choreography sort of thing. Ony Terry/Tom and Kellie/Jamie went for the latter.

Yikes! Things are not going well for my early favorites -- the Cho Brothers and Vipul/Arti! "Get it together!," I said to my television as they both fell behind. The darn television never listens to me. I should trade it in on a better model. Maybe then my early favorites would do better on reality shows. Yeah, that's it!

Oh, no... the Pretty Boys (not Terry/Tom) finished the Detour first! Trip 'em!


From the Detour, teams had to take a taxi to the Great Wall of China, then scale the wall on ropes with loops for hand and footholds. It looked a bit impossible and a few teams who are in decent shape even had trouble with it. Sarah almost crumbled, but made it. Lyn and Karlyn got their determination going and made it. Poor Vipul and Arti would have done fine - they both scaled the wall without serious issues - but they were so far behind after the Detour that it was a lost cause.

The order of arrival at the Pit Stop on the Great Wall of China was as follows:
1. Tyler/James - also won $20,000 for 1st place
2. Duke/Lauren
3. Peter/Sarah
4. Dustin/Kandice
5. Rob/Kimberly
6. Kellie/Jamie
7. Erwin/Godwin
8. Tom/Terry
9. Lyn/Karlyn
10. David/Mary
11. Vipul/Arti - Philiminated. (Sigh)

So far, I think my favorite team is indeed the Brothers Cho. I liked how they helped people and mentioned that helping is good karma. They didn't place well, but hopefully will get their act together next week. I really liked Arti and Vipul as they were so pleasant to each other and others, but they're gone.

I admire Sarah. She's now running the race on a prosthetic leg which is leaking hydraulic fluid. Peter can't fix that. I'm not overly thrilled that they're racing a race yet using the "disabled card." Lyn and Karlyn are right -- one or the other. I have knee woes myself. I can't run a race. I also am not considered "disabled enough" to be pre-boarded on an airplane. Yes, she has a serious difference, but if she's running marathons, she should board planes with everyone else, don't you think?

Speaking of Lyn and Karlyn, they crack me up. They surely say what they're thinking! I love it! I also get a kick out of Tom and Terry. Their happy dance at the Pit Stop was a hoot!

Over the next few weeks, I'll sort out my favorites and least favorites more. Right now, I could do without Rob and Kimberly, and David and Mary may push me to sneering.

Xie xie for reading through to the end folks. Yes, that's "thank you" in Mandarin.


Anonymous said...

I agree about Sarah - the loss of her leg certainly is a disadvantage, but I don't think pre-boarding (especially it she makes a habit of it) is the right thing to do. She can probably run/move faster than quite a few of the other teams.
Too bad both of the teams that were pretty diverse (for a reality show that is) are both out on the first leg.

Anonymous said...

Jackie, Thanks for the update. Sometimes you can be such a Yankee. No offense. This is another reality show friends. You do what you can to win $1M. It's amusing to hear the couch potatoes comment on what they would do. For god's sakes, the girl ran and scaled a wall using a rope with a prosthetic leg. That's much more amazing than pre-boarding.

Anonymous said...

Okay....speaking as an amputee, I will say that perhaps everyone should chill a bit about Sarah pre-boarding. There are lots of other occasions where it won't be / isn't a 'level playing field' don't worry - She'll have to overcompensate for those times. Scaling the Great Wall of China should have been enough to make everyone stand up and cheer....I certainly was (with tears in my eyes, I might add). I was not only inspired by her but also mindful of the pain she must have been in as she attempted and conquered this feat. Every single step involved me.

I'm loving this season already!

Thanks, Jackie, for a great report.
As always, you are the best!


Anonymous said...

thanks for including links to the places the teams travel to. I get so caught up in the teams and the race that I forget they visit some really interesting parts of the world.


MEB said...

The Cho brothers are my favorite to win, but I wish they hadn't pulled that stunt at the airport with the water guns. Made me fear they are pranksters and will get in trouble along the way. But then they redeemed themselves by saying they learned they had to step up when they were running behind everyone.

I agree Sarah has her work cut out for her in other areas, so when she needs to use the disability as a crutch, I'm not going to let it upset me.

And as for David and Mary, they are quite "backward" (I can't think of another word for what I mean), but they made it through the first round, so they deserve kudos. I could never have scaled that wall or eaten those fish eyes! I just hope she stops telling him to "shut up" or she'll lose my support.

barb said...

i feel that in a race worth a million bucks everyone can use whatever they can to win, if sarah can pre board, then more power to her, if they said all women can preboard, or, not to be offensive to anyone, all overweight people can pre board, I think anyone in those categories would have taken the advantage, so I don't blame her !! I always root for the underdog, & in this case, Sarah is a fighter, & i'm rooting for her

ORKMommy said...

Sorry folks...I don't like Sarah. It has nothing to do with her leg, I just don't care for her personality. I get the impression that she likes her teammate (what's his name) more than he likes her. She keeps calling him "babe" and I didn't see him do anything in return to indicate he "likes" her. Wasn't he yelling at her during the detour?

Sometimes people just rub ya the wrong way...

IrishWench662 said...

I agree with anon 9:18 the pre-boarding is a minor thing. As the season progresses and if it's going to be like all previous seasons all the teams will look for special advantages and ways to cut corners. Will we attribute that to some handicap or just good game play?

Anonymous said...

I too, had no problem with Sarah preboarding. Afterall, she wasn't the first to complete a task as a result. I used to date a guy who was born without his hand and wore a prosthetic (when he felt like it). You have to put a sock or something inside around your stump. It's hot, it can hurt and it's uncomfortable. As a leg, she wears it daily. If she needs to board early, so be it. She scaled that wall without as much fuss as Lyn. If I heard Lyn say one more time, "I can't get started", I was going to scream.

As far as Sarah's personality is concerned, I agree ORK, she is a little too into her partner. I am wondering if he is using her for his own type of exposure/fame....hmmmm

I was so upset that both the muslim friends and the Indian couple had been eliminated. They were two that I picked out early to watch. Ho-hum, now who??? I like the Cho Bros. I like Duke/Lauren (despite his issues with his daughter).

Thank you, Jackie for keeping me informed about yet another reality show. LOL. you're the best.


fran said...

If I were running the race and had, pardon the pun, a leg up on the competition, I would use it. Boarding the plane isn't going to get them there any sooner or off the plane any earlier unless they have a first class ticket.

I too, like the brothers - I found it hysterical when they found out they were going to China and one said "we are going back to the homeland." and the other brother reminded him they were not Chinese.

Thanks for all your hard work, Jackie - you make reality TV more fun than just watching!

Holly said...

Ah, so glad to have his place to discuss the show :) Loved it last night. I'm always amazed at how quickly they suck us into the drama of the show.

My first impressions: Gotta agree with OrkMommy on Sarah. She rubs me the wrong way too. I could care less about her missing leg. I think it is great that she is as athletic as she is, and I am sure it is harder for her. But, hello, she signed up for this!! My real initial dislike though is because of her whiney attitude. It seemed to me she was constantly crying about how she couldn't do it. even the previews of next week show her crying. So, she rubbed me wrong too.

I recently moved to Kentucky, and I have to say I cringed at some of the things the Kentuckians said. Especially about the men ruling over the women. That is NOT NOT NOT how it is all over KY People! LOL. I don't care for the way either of them treats the other and won't be sad to see them go.

So far, no standout early favorite for me.

rags said...

I had to laugh and at the same time thank you. I just discovered that I'm not the only one that talks to the tv but it never listens. I'm cheering for the Cho brothers too.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, didn't Rob & Amber use their celebrity status to get people to travel with them and show them how to get places? Was that fair? - I think Sarah should use any means she can!! - Not that she is my favorite. I tend to always choose the simple folk compared to the strong players. So of course, one of my early favorites is David & Mary. I can't wait to see how far they make it!


lyss said...

so then we all agree that the Kentucky couple has to go...being from Oklahoma i can handle the accent but her voice..aaaahhhhaaaa...andthat "where we come from the man is boss and the woman just put dinner on the table"...did we all wake up in a bad "Leave it to Beaver" dream or what?? I'm from the south (oklahoma) and if my husband ever told him that he was the boss ya'll would see me on tv for killin him..(does my accent come across in type as well??? lol)...i think i'm going to root root for the Cho's,(even though one of them just found out he's not Chinese..too and the gay couple,the alabama ladies and the father/daughter team..i have to pick a few teams, half the time my team gets cut in like 5 weeks.. i was sorry to see the 1st team go as well..i was diggin them too..(they were one of my 1st picks too..keep up the awesome job jackie..lyss

Anonymous said...

i agree with orkmommy also about sarah it has nothing to do with her leg it is her personality that i dont like i hope they go next i havent not picked any favorites either yet too soon thanks jackie for this blog loved your bb7 blog survivor and tar they are all so great i am on the west coast and i love to know ahead of time what has happened with the show thanks again jackie

paulette said...

I was looking forward to watching the Muslim team and how some of the tasks impacted their faith if at all. I wondered about things like dietary rules in eating challenges etc. Now I won't find out.

Its true they did seem to be more out of shape than some of the others. I can't immagine them scaling that wall.

TAR Lover said...

Thank goodness, I'm not the only one that doesn't like Sarah. I don't mind if she uses the disability card, but don't say you want to be treated like an equal and then expect special treatment. There's no shame in using it if ya can, but then don't expect people to like ya for it. Just say it! I'm gonna use whatever I can to get ahead! See its not that hard. If your trying to prove you can run and win this race with a prosthetic leg fine but don't say one thing and do another. I can't believe the Cho bros didn't even get taken to an office for the squirt gun thing! after all they had guns in an airport! lol Haven't they read the airport rules lately? Not sure who I want to win yet but I'm guessing Kentucky people will not get much further.

Rachel said...

Rats, I missed the premier. I'm so bummed! Thanks for the recap of the episode, Jackie. You're awesome! I'll have to wait for next weeks episode to decide on my favorites this season.


Anonymous said...


FWIW, the airlines are not supposed to judge the need for preboarding by sight, and if you feel the need with your knees, feel free. It's the same principle -- I have a respiratory disability, have a handicapped parking permit, and occasionally remind people that not all disabilities are visible. My mom's heart disability doesn't "show". The point being, preboard if you feel the need.


ORKMommy said...

Tar Lover -- You hit the nail right on the head! If she wants to be equal, then she should act equal. There's nothing wrong with using an advantage to get ahead in the race, but play the advantage as far as you can!! Don't be "equal" one minute and "handicapped" another! Pick a side and play!

As a woman in a male industry, if I tried to pull the "woman" card when it suits my fancy the guys I work with would slaughter me :)

Anonymous said...

Not really a comment on the show and/or the blog per se, but, David and Mary have got to go! I cannot abide white trash. They give me the heebie-jeebies. (shudders)

Penny said...

I have to agree, that pre-boarding a plane with a prothesic has no advantage at all. To me, it was NO big deal. For Lyn and Karlyn to whine about it, was shallow.

Now, I might change my mind later on. I didn't like it when she pointed to her leg when they got a cab and said it was an emergency. However, it's like someone else said, this is a game and you play it to win, anyway you can. I just hope she thinks about how she plays the card in the future. I was impressed that she did climb the wall. I certainly wouldn't have been able to do it!!! Other people whined a lot more than what she did. Personally, she has a reason to, others don't. She doesn't run faster and she certainly can't climb faster. Her whining is minor. There were at least 5 other couples who were worse.

I have to agree with OrkMommy. I was military for 12 years, when women were first allowed into the military at 18. This made for some really angry men when women were "taking" their jobs. If the gender card was played, you never heard the end of it. You couldn't win for losing. So when you play a card, you have to be careful how you do it.

I was very disappointed when Artie and Vipul were eliminated. I did like them. I'm with you, Jacki, I like the two Cho bothers. I thought they'd be eliminated. I'm glad they weren't.

These were some pretty hard challenges. And, what a beautiful country! I've always wanted to see the Great Wall. How lucky they were!!

I'm liking this TAR so far and I'm looking forward to next week's show.

Anonymous said...

I love that a coal miner and his stay-at-home wife from AL get to travel the world. She probably never gets to go anywhere! haha Let her b---- a little. Girl got out of the house!

I thought Sarah's leg dr. called her babe when she was climbing the wall.

Anonymous said...

I've just finished catching up on the recaps and comments from last night and today. I would like to say that the Seattle area is NOT always gray, rainy and cloudy. I've lived her for over 50 years and it is beautiful. We do have our share of rain but also mountains,green hills, wonderful summers and clean air.
However, the security at our aiport seems to be lacking!!! How did the Chos get those squirt guns into a "secured" area?? Makes you wonder what we didn't see because of editting-maybe they were taken to a security office. NOT VERY SMART!! No favorites yet but I agree with other comments about Sarah(annoying and way more into her man than he is to her). Was anyone else in tears watching some of the teams climb the wall??? Watching many of them achieve something that they never that was possible just touched me. We haven't heard from AnybodybutJanelle--he must not be a Survivor or TAR watcher. Too bad for him they both seem to be good viewing this season.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting for me, as a below-knee amputee, to read the comments about Sarah. Once again, I'll say it....It should be no big deal that she is 'using the disability card,' as several have stated, to pre-board the plane as well as get a taxi. I'd like to say that both times I believe were merited - and no one should judge everything as 'gameplay' on her part. Pre-boarding is sometimes necessary to get settled into a seat and make sure that her leg is comfortable for a long flight (I have had to do that on more than several occasions when I've traveled internationally). Also, if you remember, she hailed a cab and said it was an 'emergency' when it was exactly that. The fluid she needed for her limb was limited, and she was trying to conserve it.

I didn't see, at all, that she was more into her partner (I forget his name at the moment...sorry!) than he was into her. I thought they seemed to support and encourage one another in a very sweet way.

As for Sarah's personality....I'm not sure what to make of her yet. However, as I mentioned last night, I stood up and cheered when I saw her scale The Great Wall. Her tenacity and focus should count for something. Maybe we're seeing her 'rough edges' because that is what's getting her through this at the moment.

I think this is going to be a great season!

Anonymous said...

Jackie, the "characters" comment just cracked me up! Thanks for the clarification. I think you are right and the brother that said it probably wasn't even thinking of how it sounded to someone else.

I LOVE the fact that the Cho brothers are willing to make jokes and have some fun. In my opinion, the laughter for themselves and others will be a great asset to them in the race. Remember the gay couple that went shopping because they were so far ahead? Keep it real. Yah!

I'm really sorry to have missed the first pre-pitstop elimination. I'll be watching closser next time. I think I went for food or something just at the wrong time.

I also agree that the KY woman has a really annoying habit of saying "shut up" and "listen to me". If I heard her right, she thinks that this race will give them a chance to act as a 50/50 partnership. Putting pressure on a relationship and opening the door to such freedom of expression can't bode well. Good luck to her when she gets home and he goes out with his buddies for a week before possibly checking back in at home. Ok, my imagination runs wild sometimes.

I was glad that anon explained about the pain with every step concept. I have no idea what an amputee goes through using a fake leg (sorry can't spell the other word :o( ) When watching the show I was very disappointed at her whining that she could not do it too. But, putting two and two together. If she can run marathons and compete in the iron man and had just run up all those steps for nothing and then back down she probably can handle quite a bit of pain. Now I'm beginning to get a small clue of how much that must have hurt. OUCH!!



Anonymous said...

Anon 11:26 says it so well. God forbid any of us is in Sarah's situation. How many of us has complained about a sinus headache or a bad day at work? It's important to recognize true heart whether your 1st or last to board an aircraft.

And I don't know how any of those folks climbed that dang wall. Even with all 4 limbs.

Eric said...

re pre-boading, it was a flight from the US to China, so she would have had an assigned seat. (this isn't Southwest, with open seating!)... pre-boarding got her no advantage other than a little more time to get on the plane... not at all a big deal. I think all of that was a red herring in the editing.

Anonymous said...

Jackie, thanks for the links to Beijing. Leaving for China next week and printed out various sites to see. Thanks again.


Anonymous said...

First of all, I am really looking forward to "chatting" with everyone about TAR. I was here for BB7 this summer, and am an even bigger fan of TAR. Thanks Jackie for your insight and humor.

My favorites right now are the Cho brothers; a sense of humor is nice to see, and I think it will help them along the way. It will at least keep them calm! The KY couple crack me up; I'd like to see them make it far into the game, if only to see how they handle the whole "fish out of water" thing! The father/daughter team seem nice enough; teh crying bit at the beginning when talking about her sexuality was a bit much, but it seems like this experience may help him get past that, who knows?

As for the teams I am not fond of: the models/recovering addicts; does anyone else laugh at the tag lines they give these people, remember the twins/models a few seasons back? I find Sarah and the guy she's with a bit annoying; I wasn't a fan of her using the disability like that, although at this point it didn't seem to get her any real advantage. It will be interesting to see if the producers had to change any challenges to accomodate her situation. Tom & Jerry (I know it's Terry, but c-mon!) seem like the "typical gay couple" that they cast almost every season. I think it may be nice to have gays on the show who are not so much of a stereotype.

Okay, rambling far, I'm hooked, although I'd still watch even if I wasn't! This is by far my "can't miss" show of the week. Well, for Sunday at least...

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned Sarah sent in her application to The Amazing Race and probably did not say "take me because I'm disabled." Probably she stressed that "though disabled" she was up to the task. If so, then she shouldn't "Play the disability" card whenever it suits unfair advantage. Pick a side Sarah, either you're up to the race or you're not. Don't expect to "show off" your disability whenever it gives you an advantage, however minimal, and then expect everyone to cut you some slack. Also I agree with the folks who think it's Sarah's personality, not just her leg, that is disabled. She's used to being the center of attention and seems to have an "entitlement" attitude that is smug and off putting. So disability or not, I hope she's out soon. We don't need complainers so early in the season. It's annoying.

Anonymous said...

I agree, do we have to be so politically correct that we can't talk about an amputee's personality as we would the personality of anyone else. Sarah offered herself up for comment when she signed on for the show. I think she's been used to receiving special treatment all her life and thinks it's her due. Well, we all have a disability of one sort or another...some of us live in chronic pain because of an unfortunate deal of the cards...that's life. How about the couple from Kentucky...they have a disability too...they have led a very sheltered life, have never traveled, and appear not to be terribly knowledgable. Perhaps their lack of formal education is as disablilng to their participation in this race as is Sarah lack of a leg.