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The Amazing Race: It's Like Being Dropped on Planet Mars

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Oct 5th 2009 12:20AM
Zev and Justin in Vietnam - The Amazing Race 15
(S15E03) Gee, it doesn't seem like we're already three episodes into The Amazing Race. But last week's two-hour season premiere with its two Philiminations, counted as two episodes. I'm still getting to know the teams. I think, so far, this season has more teams that I'd really like to see stick around for a while. There is only one team who really annoys me. With my luck, they'll be around for a good long while. I want them to implode. Nah, I'm not talking about Zev and Justin.

I'm talking about the lawyers -- Lance and Keri. Lance is an overbearing, obnoxious, impatient ego-machine. I thought last week that Keri might be okay. But this week her Fran Drescher voice and mannerisms did me in. I should have known that someone who falls for a pompous muscle-laden lout like Lance has to have her own quirks. They're the team I want to implode, the messier an implosion the better.

The teams didn't really stray far this leg as they remained in Vietnam. But that's okay with me. Vietnam is one of those countries which I won't likely see in person in my lifetime. Before a show like this ever came into being, my thoughts of the country used to automatically go to the body counts and protests of my youth. Now I can think more of the wondrous people there, the colorful traditions, and crowds of scooters on the streets!

While I don't think the challenges this week were quite as out there as the Japanese game show in the season premiere, we definitely got some great glimpses of the people and some of the traditions. Those water dragons were neat -- I'd like to see them incorporated in street fairs here. It's as if they taunted the teams. I must figure out how they control them.

Why Zev and Justin picked the giraffe for the detour, I just don't know. At least Zev was adamant about picking up all of the broken parts and bringing them with them as the clue instructed. I'd hazard a guess that some other teams might not have paid attention to the details if their animal broke. We know how well some of the teams in the past years have followed the clues, right?

I know a lot of folks watch reality shows and think the contestants who need the money are most deserving of the win. I'm not of that school of thought. I've always contended that if you need money that much, you work hard at making a living. For me, this show is more of an adventure of a lifetime than a cash cow.

If you look at the team which made first place this week, Flight Time and Big Easy of the Harlem Globetrotters, they probably could easily buy a trip to Aruba. But that's not the thrill of it at all. It's that they placed first in a leg of the show. As Harlem Globetrotters, their own lives are probably more an adventure than most of the other teams. However, it's a level playing field here ... except when it comes to a foot race with them.

It was sad to see Marcy and Ron get Philiminated when Keri and Lance were so close to the end. Maybe next week, it will be their turn to leave. Marcy's whistle and her thoughts about Vietnam made me smile and brought a tear to my eye. I can only hope they had an amazing time during the few legs in which they remained. So far, so good this season. Have you any early favorites? Can anyone give me a reason to like Keri and Lance?

[Watch episodes and clips of The Amazing Race over at SlashControl.]

If YOU were going on a reality TV show, which one would you pick?
Big Brother23 (5.8%)
Survivor19 (4.8%)
So You Think You Can Dance5 (1.3%)
The Amazing Race322 (81.1%)
American Idol3 (0.8%)
The Biggest Loser20 (5.0%)
America's Got Talent1 (0.3%)
Other -- tell me!4 (1.0%)

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PDX Granny

Jackie, I couldn't agree more with your take on this location. The Viet Nam war was such a big part of our lives it's good to see it in another light.

I'm also in complete agreement about Vance and Kari! He's arrogant and ignorant. I can see him being very emotionally abusive. I have no use for him.

October 06 2009 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Margo

I thought the boys were going to get a penalty for breaking the giraffe. I don't think they did - or maybe I just missed it. I'm soooo ready for Lance and Keri to go away.

Margo

October 06 2009 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sassy

The lawyer couple deserve each other, I think. I was sorry to see them come in ahead of the other couple. I thought when the instructions were told to us about the "word game" that the final instruction was to find a local to tell them the word. I kept yelling "read the instructions" but they didn't listen to me.

Lots to like this season and, as always, fun to read your take on the show.

October 06 2009 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
WhatI

Why the hate on Fran Drescher? Her voice is sweet music compared Keri's whine and tone. Besides, I'd love to see Fran taking on Vietnam and the rest of the world (preferably with Niles the butler!) instead of those two. Also really enjoying the globetrotting-Globetrotter duo - they're really a class act and it's great to see them having a good time and experience on TAR.

October 05 2009 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ðan

I always wanted one of those hats

October 05 2009 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sigma982

There's absolutely NO reason to like Keri and Lance except to root for them to lose. If you enjoy getting yourself frustrated over the stupidity and horridness of individuals, then you should hope they stay a litle longer (that's the reason why one of my guilty pleasures is America's Next Top Model)...

Zev and Justin are actually one of my favorites - not annoying at all, and really capture the spirit of people appreciating other cultures. The non-Asian poker player is growing on me as well...she's definitely having a goood time with everything, as are the Globetrotters.

The Word Play road block was actually not difficult at all..the problem with the execution of the challenge is that they tried to decipher the word themselves, rather than ask peole for help - that was their downfall...they were overanalytical with everything in the task and tried to do it themselves. Sometimes it's just easier to get help from the locals....and that's usually what every team does....

All in all a really good season so far. Some of the teams are in the background and aren't standing out as much (the Christian couple, the self-named "Zebra couple"), but I'm sure that as more episodes come along, the producers will try and highlight them a bit more....

October 05 2009 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rhomboid

It's hard watching The Amazing Race when a single team chooses one challenge and all the rest pick the other -- usually it means that team is going to be last. Although sometimes they surprise you and pick the easier challenge, but usually not.

October 05 2009 at 5:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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