Monday, February 21, 2011

The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business - 18x01 "Head Down and Hold On"

I don't know who was clamoring for another All-Stars edition of TAR, but here we are, and I'm not going to complain too much. OK, I actually, I will: no Beauty Queens (think this is the fastest I've ever brought up the BQs in an edition of TAR where they're not participating), or, considering the conceit of this season, no Lena and Kristy. But neither of them were apparently eligible, since both teams took part in the race prior to the first All-Stars edition. But of eligible teams from recent installments, I would've liked to see Brook back again, if only because having only Mallory spazzing out wasn't enough boundless energy last night. (And I know that Claire was busy at the time, giving birth and all, but still! I want my hyper-manic QVC fix!)

But enough of the teams who aren't racing -- the assemblage of teams who are on this edition is fairly nice. The most puzzling inclusion are Amanda and Kris, whom I barely recall from their season; actually, the first thing I thought when I saw Amanda was that was from Team Mojo from TAR 9. And actually, five teams from season 14?

OK, enough about which teams are and aren't here. My (next) biggest complaint about last night's show was that about half of the teams didn't actually finish the challenge (and by episode's end, Jet and Cord still hadn't finished it) (and I'm one of those malicious freaks who wouldn't mind seeing them eliminated sooner or later). The first time it happened (when Zev and Justin straight up told the Globetrotters the secret phrase), I managed to rationalize it away after some initial bemusement; Justin and Zev called the 'Trotters bros, and Zev was actually wearing a Globetrotters tee for part of this first leg, so they're tight. OK. But then, Ron/Christina and Mike/Mel let a whole passel of teams get a free ride. Like, for seriously? I think we're seeing the downside to the TAR culture/fraternity, where teams have gotten the chance to socialize with one another beyond the confines of the show, and are less interested in providing cutthroat entertainment in favor of being nice to one another, which goes against every fiber of reality tv.

Other notes: I'm a little surprised that Kent/Kynt and Vyxsin look almost exactly the same as before, but hey, if they've found a look that works, more power. (I was a little distressed to see their foundation running so much in the middle of the leg.) Having heard about the personal stuff that Kent had just been going through, they looked miserable more often than not during the show, so I sincerely hope they get to have some real fun this season (and I'm sure that the Goths got a huge kick out of repeating a secret phrase that mentions the devil, so more stuff like that please).

Out of the season 14 posse, my favorite team is easily Mike and Mel. Unfortunately, Mike showed signs of physically struggling -- he looked exhausted just making it onto the ferry, I think. Of the other 14ers, Jaime remarkably kept herself in check, though I'm holding off judgment till she doesn't bite the head off a local who has the nerve not to speak English.

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