The Amazing Race: Donkeys Have Souls, Too (season premiere)
The pace can be amazing; the countrysides and cityscapes can be amazing, too. I find I learn from this show as I'm always tempted to research a bit after seeing an episode. The season premiere turned out to be no exception to the rule. It's off to a good start and, so far, I enjoy most of the teams. Those teams I don't care for ... heh ...
I'm just about as satisfied as I can be with the start of this season. Although it's a California-heavy cast as I mentioned previously, it's not all models and Hollywood-wannabes. We went through a few seasons of that and I'm glad casting stepped away from it a bit. Oh, there are a few teams who fit that mold, but more teams who don't ... or even march to the beat of a different drummer.
By far, the "different drummer" team who marches to the most unusual drummer (for this show) might be Goth couple Kynt and Vyxsin. After watching the show, these two surprised me by working their way onto my list of favorite teams. They've got spunk, they're smart, and they're more determined than one might think. They're also not mean to other teams, nor to each other. They might not always be up there on my list, but right now I hope they stick around for a long while.
I suppose I should talk about the race a bit before I get into my other team likes and dislikes. Or, better yet, I'll praise or fuss about the teams as I go along! Yeah, that'll do it!
I liked those classic cars the teams drove to the Playboy Mansion to start off the race, but the Playboy Mansion? Huh? Why? I guess I should be happy we didn't have to suffer through an appearance of an aged Hugh Hefner and his stable of Bunnies on Demand.
From there it was off to LAX and then trying to get flights to Ireland. As per the usual Amazing Race practice, not all teams could catch the first flight. Also, as it rather typically goes, several teams made a wrong turn heading to the airport following one team who went the wrong way. When will they ever learn not to follow? More rare, but as we've seen sometimes in the past -- the first flight doesn't necessarily mean a delay won't happen which causes the later flight to arrive first. Ah, yes, the first shall be last, it's always a gamble.
The father and daughter team, Ron and Christina, thought to borrow someone's cell phone on the plane to call ahead for cabs for themselves and the brother/sister team of Azaria and Hendekea with whom they had bonded a bit. Then that nasty Ari of Ari and Staella stole one of the cabs after Ari told us, "Karma's a bitch, but I'm a bigger bitch."
How dare they! The taxi driver didn't seem too pleased with them, either. He let Ron and Christina's taxi pass them. Good. But karma wasn't done with little Mr. Smarty Mouth Ari, not by a long shot. As the show continued, Ari just kept building up those bad karma points which ended up making me feel this was one of the most satisfying ever conclusions to a leg of the race.The teams had to go to take ferries separated into three half-hour separated departure times to get their next clue at Inis Mór. From there they went to the Teampall Bheanain -- the ruins of the smallest church in the world. It measures just 10.75 feet by 7 feet.
Once they picked up their clues there they rested and took a similar ferry process back to the mainland to get their next clue. The best line as they headed for the ferry belongs to Vyxsin -- "Two fairies getting on a ferry!" She was referring to herself and Kynt, of course.
It was off to the Cleggan Farm where the teams had to ride tandem bikes to what I think is the coolest Roadblock ever. In the tandem bike segment, I found yet another reason to like Kynt and Vyxsin. Immediately after starting the rocky trail on the bike, their chain broke. Instead of fussing, whining, or fighting, they just quickly decided to pick up the bike and run with it rather than to lose time. Oh, to the roadblock ...
Yes, it's high-wire bikes over the bay! I don't think I'd want to be the pedaler in this "Who's ready to pedal for your partner?" challenge, but this whole thing looks so darn exciting and fun! One team member pedaled a bike across while the other member rode 8 feet below.
Once the teams completed the Roadblock (which all the teams really seemed to enjoy), the teams had to do Donkey Walk. Now, it's pretty much as it sounds. The teams had to load 15 pieces of peat, which actually looked like donkey doo, in baskets on a donkey and walk said donkey to the farm. It's easier said than done.
And it brings that old karma thing right on back to Ari. As Christina said, "Donkeys have souls, too." Ari was nasty and mean to his donkey, threatening to cut him up and eat him, even. Now, I don't think the donkey understood, of course. But with animals, they do react accordingly to treatment. If you're not nice to an animal, chances are it will balk at doing something for you.
Other teams had some fantastic success with moving along their donkeys. Azaria and Hendekea even got one who wanted to run all the way to the farm and they had trouble keeping up with the donkey!
Another team had horrible woes with their donkey and I didn't feel all that sorry for them. I don't like bickering couples on the show especially when they mistreat each other. I hate high-pitched whining for the sake of whining. Yeah, I'm talking about Jennifer and Nathan. As their donkey stopped dead in its tracks and refused to budge while other teams went on by, it would have been great if Nathan stole a line from Colin (TAR5) and yelled, "My ass is broken!" That, of course, would be in lieu of Colin's "my ox is broken."
In the end, the finishing order at the Connemara Heritage Centre Pit Stop went down like this:
- Azaria and Hendekea - they also won a trip to Alberta, Canada
- Kynt and Vyxsin
- TK and Rachel
- Lorena and Jason
- Nicolas and Donald
- Shana and Jennifer
- Ron and Christina
- Kate and Pat
- Julia and Marianna
- Jennifer and Nathan
- Eliminated -- Ari and Staella. Karma came back to kick their ass, good.
My quick takes on the teams after watching the premiere:
- Azaria and Hendekea: I like these two, but I was put off by Azaria thinking he's smarter than anyone else.
- Kynt and Vyxsin: As mentioned before, they have grown on me. They're good racers and, as a dating couple, they don't fight.
- TK and Rachel: What I saw of these two, I liked. They didn't bicker.
- Lorena and Jason: I can take or leave these two at the moment. They bicker some, but not horribly.
- Nicolas and Donald: I definitely want to see more of these two, but don't know how far they'll make it.
- Shana and Jennifer: Who? Oh, the blondes. I'm neither impressed or unimpressed.
- Ron and Christina: I like them. I loved Ron dancing around asking "Who's your daddy" after the high-wire bike. I also liked how they teamed up a bit with Azaria and Hendekea.
- Kate and Pat: We didn't really see a lot of these two. They go in my take or leave department file.
- Julia and Marianna: Again, a team we didn't see a lot of during the premiere. It's too early to judge whether I like them or not.
- Jennifer and Nathan: As far as I'm concerned, they can be eliminated next. Mean to each other when times are rough, all lovey-dovey when times are good. And, he's nasty to donkeys.
|No, no favorite yet||96 (18.0%)|
|Yes, Lorena and Jason||7 (1.3%)|
|Yes, Azaria and Hendekea||64 (12.0%)|
|Yes, Kynt and Vyxsin||147 (27.5%)|
|Yes, TK and Rachel||70 (13.1%)|
|Yes, Donald and Nicolas||28 (5.2%)|
|Yes, Kate and Pat||10 (1.9%)|
|Yes, Marianna and Julia||4 (0.7%)|
|Yes, Jennifer and Nathan||3 (0.6%)|
|Yes, Shana and Jennifer||6 (1.1%)|
|Yes, Ron and Christina||57 (10.7%)|
|I just like looking at Phil Keoghan||42 (7.9%)|