Monday, December 11, 2006

The Amazing Race: The Million-Dollar E-Z Pass

It's the finale! Who will win a million dollars and Phil's approval? Who will win second place and Phil's pity? Who will just be taunted and booed until Phil's throat is sore? Find out!

In honor of the final leg, the producers bring out a bunch of hint clues, perhaps in the hopes that one team will get discouraged and say, "We don't know what this means," while looking frustrated, so they can run the footage in slow motion before going to commercials. However, because the teams ask locals about the church that's been under construction for 124 years, and they can recognize the Eiffel Tower on sight, the producers don't get their Christmas wish. The teams then make their way up to Caen, where one member of each team is pushed out of a plane onto Omaha Beach. I mean, they do a tandem skydive. And skydiving is cool and all, but I wish they'd had to storm the beach. While being pelted by tomatoes. It's not like it would be hard to get the French to pelt Americans with tomatoes. The producers probably wouldn't even have to ask them.

After liberating Normandy, the teams are sent back down to Paris for a Detour in which they must construct a jacket. Oh, if only Santino and Andrae were running this race. Apart from the dead-on Phil impression ("Andrae, you really embarrassed me tonight at Red Lobster. This relationship has its own pros and cons.") and the hours and hours of crying footage the two of them would undoubtedly provide, they'd rock this Detour. Unfortunately, they are not racers (yet!), but we do have models, and Tyler and James make it look easy.

And then, the airport. If you're an Amazing Race watcher, you know this is the most important part of any finale episode. You need to make it on the first flight to the U.S. or you're not getting any money. So as the teams arrive at the airport, inquiring about flights to New York City, they learn that there is a flight leaving early the next morning, but it's full. Thanks to a friendly agent, Rob and Kimberly manage to wangle seats on the flight, but the other two teams have to get on the waiting list. And this is where the show wants you to think that the other two teams aren't going to get on the flight. But, again, if you're an Amazing Race watcher, you know that the producers will do anything to make sure that it's a close finish, so at least one other team had to get on that flight. And, indeed, Tyler and James make it as well. Lyn and Karlyn, and women everywhere, are SOL.

Veteran Race watchers will also know that, once racers make it to the final city, the little things decide who will win. In this season, it's an E-Z Pass, and the fact that Tyler and James' cab driver has a better idea of how to get to the Daily News Building than Rob and Kimberly's driver. Once the models lose Rob and Kimberly in the toll lanes, it's all over but the jumping on the jumbo-sized mat, which Tyler and James do in Garrison, New York, of all places. They ran a good race, so I'm ultimately pleased by the outcome, although I swear I've seen them win before. Or at least come in second. Are we sure they're not Eric and Jeremy?

Once they've won, whoever they are, Phil does something very nice for them, whipping out a phone and allowing them to call their parents. Tyler's mom proclaims it "a miracle" that they won, because she hasn't noticed that her son and his friend are buff young models. You always bet on the buff models. James' dad, meanwhile, has some serious eyebrows going on. They're like little horns. Work it out, James' dad, I guess.

And that's it, except for a teaser for the all-star edition. CBS is being all super-secret about it, but they have reckoned against the power of the internet. (Warning! Season 11 cast spoilers ahead!) According to photographic evidence on this message board, season 1's Guidos, Bill and Joe, will be on the race, and this article reports that Colin and Christie and Charla and Mirna from season 5, as well as Jill and John Vito from season 3, will be on it. Teams that will not be on it: original winners Rob and Brennan, and dirty hippies (and season 9 winners) BJ and Tyler. The hippies are, in fact, extremely sore non-all-stars about it, calling themselves "the most popular and amazing team of all time," and implying that no one would want to see Brian and Greg race again. The hell I wouldn't!

Anyway, nice try with the secrecy, CBS, but you can bet that the message boards will have already determined the roster by the time you see fit to release it.


Jessica said...

I swear I saw the hippies prominently featured in the promo CBS ran last night for the all star edition. Are we sure they aren't on it?

Anonymous said...

Aren't the hippie blogging about Season 10 though? So no, they wouldn't be in the race right now. Also, no Blake and Paige? sucky. but at least John Vito and Jill! woohoo!

Lori said...

You're right, Jessica, I saw the hippies in the teaser, too. But like Vance pointed out, they're blogging on this season, and everything I've seen online points to them not racing. I think CBS was just throwing up a smokescreen.

And Vance, I'm looking forward to watching Jill and John Vito after your positive reaction. Only about half of the teams we know about so far are the kinds of teams you can feel good about rooting for.

Anonymous said...

Looks like none of my picks are in the race. Maybe, I won't enjoy the all-star edition. I didn't really like the all-star survivor, so why would I like this one.