The Amazing Race
Getting ready for another season of the only reality TV show that I closely follow, The Amazing Race. I’m so sick that I’ve downloaded the entire inaugural season of The Amazing Race Australia that aired during the summer and ended last month. It was produced by Friend of Fang’s Bites, Michael McKay, and has some similar elements to Amazing Race Asia which I have also followed.
Anyway, this new season of The Amazing Race 19 will premiere on CBS on September 25. There’s the usual mix of pseudo-celebrities and regular people. There’s married couple Ethan Zohn & Jenna Morasca, both Survivor winners; former NFL player Marcus Pollard and his wife Amani; the youngest ever contestant, 19 year old Zac Sunderland who sailed across the Pacific Ocean at age 16 and his dad, Laurence; and then the regular people teams featuring a brother and sister, grandparents, married couple, and others.
We have a video introducing you to the teams.
Looking forward to another season of The Amazing Race.
Let’s do the Tuesday linkage. Had to finish some paperwork and I’ll do linkage now.
From Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily, Olympics ratings are still up from 2006, but there’s another showdown with American Idol coming tonight.
SBJ/SBD notes that NBC’s daytime ratings for the Olympics are decent as well.
John Ourand from the Sports Business Daily write that Comcast is seeking to have an FCC complaint filed by the Tennis Channel dismissed.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with NBC Sports officials about the network’s strategy to protect its primetime Olympics programming at all costs.
From USA Today, Michael Hiestand wishes NBC would have thrown out the playbook and aired the USA-Canada men’s hockey game on the main network.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell discovers that 30 years later, Miracle On Ice memorabilia is still a hot seller.
The Hollywood Reporter picks up an Associated Press story in which a Federal Appeals Court is taking up the Janet Jackson nip slip case against CBS once again.
Also from the Hollywood Reporter, James Hibberd writes that the Olympics have lifted NBC out of 4th place in the overall primetime ratings for the season. For now.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says NBC’s cable networks are attracting younger viewers to the Olympics.
Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek says while USA-Canada Olympic men’s hockey paid dividends for MSNBC, USA Network remained on top of the cable primetime ratings.
Toni Fitzgerald from Media Life Magazine says hockey is the hot sport of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times says he’s enjoying NBC’s coverage of the Olympics, tape delayed or not.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News is none too happy that USA-Canada got the short stick from NBC.
Richard Sandomir from the New York Times says NBC gave USA-Canada only a mere few seconds during its Sunday Olympics primetime coverage.
Richard notes USA-Canada set a viewing record up in the Great White North.
Richard also talks with NBC’s hockey voice Mike Emrick who is sometimes calling doubleheaders during the Olympics.
Jerry Barmash of the New York Examiner writes that a former WABC-TV sports anchor has been arrested for raping a 14 year old prostitute.
Alan Sepinwall of the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger says despite the complaints about NBC’s tape delays, people are still watching the Winter Olympics in droves.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says the world stopped to watch Tiger Woods’ apology on Friday.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner looks at how the bidding for the NCAA Tournament could impact the rights for the 2014/2016 Olympics.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News remembers one of the most infamous days in Bob Knight’s career.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has the national ratings for Tiger Woods’ apology.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a look at what prognosticators are saying about the Brewers and Marquette University.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks about Aaron Boone leaving baseball to become an analyst for ESPN.
Tom also delves into the ESPN suspension of Tony Kornheiser for his comments regarding the always lovely Hannah Storm.
Tom has readers comments responding to NBC’s Bob Costas’ criticisms of people who criticize the network’s Olympics coverage.
Tom quotes a Sports Business Daily story in which USA women’s hockey star Angela Ruggiero wants to participate in The Amazing Race with gold medal-winning gymnast Shawn Johnson. I wouldn’t mind that pairing at all!
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star writes about the monster ratings for USA-Canada.
William Houston in Truth & Rumours wonders about the cozy relationship between a Toronto Star writer and Team Canada goalie Martin Brodeur.
Lowell Ulrich of the Vancouver Province gets on NBC for pushing USA-Canada to MSNBC.
The Winnepeg Free Press picks up a Canadian Press story in which NBC’s Brian Williams finally met CTV’s Brian Williams.
Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski conveys a story about Al Michaels that actually does not relate to the Miracle On Ice.
The great SportsbyBrooks blog quotes sources as saying that NBC Sports has a huge leg up on ESPN on the bidding for the ’14/’16 Olympics.
Sports Media Watch says while NBC won the ratings on Monday due to the Olympics, they were the lowest since the Games began.
The Big Lead looks at the battle between the International Olympic Committee and a blogger over the footage of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.
And Len Berman has his Top 5 stories.
That will do it for today.
Tonight was the season premiere of The Amazing Race 16 and while it will take a few more episodes to wrap my head around the teams, we got to say goodbye to Dana & Adrian who were eliminated in Chile after he could not scale across the cable walk. They received the mercy elimination and were the first couple to head to this season’s Elimination Station in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Apparently, Dana is a bit unforgiving as we see in this episode.
Adrian is to blame for not being able to get across the cable walk.
And thanks again to my hot Reality Fan Forum wife, puddin (not to be confused with my Trophy Twitter wife, Amanda Rykoff and to puddin’s taser-carrying boyfriend, that’s a joke) for posting this preview of next week’s episode.
I’ve been so busy that the upcoming premiere of The Amazing Race 16 has literally snuck up on me. It’s this Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS, but the fact that I haven’t been pumped up for the season doesn’t mean that I won’t be all over the season, not by any means. I’ll be ready on Sunday.
Here’s a very good promo that does not reflect what you’ll see in old fashioned Standard Definition.
I say that because as you watch this preview of the premiere episode, it’s in SD.
I do like the racers being forced to find public transportation. That rocks.
The Amazing Race begins on Sunday night at 8.
With no eliminated racers this week, there’s no phone call so the teams get a Taekwondo lesson. And Lance decides to spar. Then the teams get to pack to leave for the End City.
And next week, the teams are still in Prague. We’ll go to the final three from there.
Back next week with another edition of Elimination Station.
While I’m working on an engineering specification from home, I’ll provide the links this Sunday morning.
Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples says ESPN/ABC forced him to go to Justin.tv to watch last night’s Oregon-Arizona game.
Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams who flipped the double bird during last week’s game against the Buffalo Bills, has taken out a full page ad in the Buffalo News wishing the Bills luck today.
Michael David Smith writing in Pro Football Talk notes that NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci ripped the firing of Dick Jauron this morning.
Michael quotes ESPN’s Chris Mortensen in saying that the Patriots security chief will be reprimanded for knocking an NBC cameraman to the ground after the team’s game against the Colts.
Phil Mushick of the New York Post makes it clear that he hates Personal Seat Licenses. Calm down, Phil. Nothing is that bad.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News praises Cablevision boss James Dolan for not going after Allen Iverson for his hapless Knicks team.
Nancy Dillon of the Daily News says Erin Andrews’ alleged stalker was apparently following a second woman.
Barbara De Lollis of USA Today’s Hotel Check-In blog also looks at this revelation.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union provides the college football TV schedule for this week.
Neil Rudel of the Williamsport (PA) Sun-Gazette says Penn State QB Daryll Clark overlooked ESPN’s Todd McShay’s dis and played well against Michigan State yesterday.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with Friend of Fang’s Bites Dave Sims about calling Sunday Night Football on radio and the UFL on Versus.
Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville (FL) Sun says College Gameday will be on-site of the Florida State-Florida game on Saturday.
Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel goes behind the scenes with ESPN’s NASCAR production crew.
Ken Suguira of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the Hawks are happy to be playing the Magic on TNT this Thanksgiving night.
John McMullen of the Sports Network gives his two cents on Fox Sports Net’s suspension of Clippers announcers Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth also weighs in on the suspension of Clippers announcers Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith.
Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times writes that the Las Vegas sports books are feeling the effects of the sluggish economy.
The Arizona Daily Star looks at some of the more creative signs during ESPN College Gameday’s visit to Tucson yesterday.
Jeff Smith of The Oregonian says ESPN’s Chris Fowler looks forward to calling Thursday’s Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State which will be for the Pac 10′s slot in the Rose Bowl.
Chris Hamilton of The Maui (HI) News says the upcoming Maui Invitational, aired on the ESPN family of networks, has a huge impact on the local economy.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that ESPN Deportes will be all over the Dominican Baseball League this winter.
Mike says ESPN is riding increased ratings momentum for MLS into tonight’s MLS Cup.
And Mike writes that the mtn. is adding 6 TCU women’s college basketball games to its schedule.
Sports Media Watch has news on various sports media personalities.
SMW also has its weekend ratings predictions.
Chris Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media disagrees with me that Bill Simmons’ Twitter suspension is a non-story.
We’re done with the links for now. Coming up later, the quotage from the NFL pregame shows.
Before the Jon Gruden post, I was going to put this up. This is the latest installment of Elimination Station. With no more teams going to Vietnam, the eliminated racers (in this case, Gary & Matt) call in while Marcy gets a swimming lesson from Garrett. While the teams try to predict who’s the next to go, only Zev & Justin get it right.
And here’s the preview for next week.
Sam & Dan steal a taxi. That’s not good. When that happens, usually the Amazing Race Gods come back and nail the team. We’ll see what happens.
CBS has been lax about putting promos up on YouTube, but I will give them credit for putting this up today. Good on CBS.
The racers head next to Estonia and get down and dirty, plus we see the teams get physical.
The Amazing Race will air at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday on CBS.
In this latest episode, the eliminated racers play soccer against a Vietnamese team and it doesn’t quite go well.
Without a team to call in this week, the eliminated racers see a shamen to tell their futures and Marcy & Ron aren’t too happy about their fortunes.
And then Canaan breaks up with Mika? Hmm. Reports are that they’re together. Perhaps they reconciled? Interesting.
And this is the promo for next week.
Looks like some conflict between the brothers and the Globies. Interesting.
YouTube or actually, CBS, was late putting this up and instead of waiting all night for it, I just went to sleep. Here are the eliminated racers really treating Poker Princesses Tiffany & Michelle really horribly when they call in after their elimination in Holland.
By the way, Tiffany Michelle explains their elimination and why they really didn’t quit although it was made to appear that way last night.
And here’s what we can expect in the next episode. We get the dreaded switchback!! The haybales that eliminated Lena & Kristy in TAR6 return.
I love the upcoming conflict between Sam & Dan. If you remember my old recaps on The Amazing Race, you’ll know how much I love conflict. Looking forward to it next week.
Here’s the latest promo from CBS regarding this Sunday’s episode of The Amazing Race. The racers leave Dubai and head to Europe, the Netherlands specifically.
This looks like a very fun episode.
An action-packed Elimination Station. A continuation of last week’s episode of the boat race. Then Zev & Justin finally arrive after losing a passport. Then Mika & Canaan arrive.
And here’s what happens next week as the teams leave the Middle East.
Looking forward to next week.
Lance & Keri were eliminated tonight after circling Dubai for hours, being lost. There’s no illusion of a close finish in this leg. They were dead last by plenty. And for their troubles, they get to go back to Vietnam and stay at Elimination Station with previous last place finishers Garrett & Jessica and Marcy & Ron. Zev & Justin still have yet to join the other Philiminated teams.
And for next week, we see that Canaan can be a real jerk.
That’s going to be interesting to watch. You don’t throw your girlfriend who’s afraid of heights and can’t swim (nice pink floaties) down one of the highest waterslides in the world. That’s a sure way to say to “breakup”.
I swear CBS is trying to spoil this episode. Remember in my last Amazing Race post, we learn that another team loses its passports? Well, CBS lets us know which team that is in its latest promo and this comes directly from the CBS channel on YouTube.
It makes you think Zev & Justin are toast. Let’s hope they’re not. The next episode will be sometime after 8:15 p.m. ET on Sunday in the Eastern half of the country, 8 p.m. PT and 7 p.m. MT.
After a shocking elimination at the starting line, we got another elimination at the end of leg 2 in Vietnam tonight. Unfortunately, yoga instructors Eric & Lisa did not get to break in Elimination Station. They never got to leave the country.
The first team christening Elimination Station after tonight’s episode are Garrett & Jessica. They try to make the best of their elimination as Garrett proposes.
And here’s a look at next week’s episode.
Oh this is not good. Right off the bat at the starting line, there is an elimination. A team will not even leave the country before being eliminated. Interesting. Take a look at the sneak peek CBS sent.
In the frenetic pace to get out, you know someone will not read the clue and understand what they’re supposed to do. The premiere is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT, but you know that will change due an NFL overrun.
It’s been a while since I did an Amazing Race 14 episode recap, but I have to catch up and since I pledged to my friends at Reality Fan Forum that I would complete the season, I’m going to do so and recap the two episodes I’ve missed. We resume from where we left off in Russia in which Christie & Jodi were saved from elimination by the always welcomed non-elimination leg.
To spare me from writing and putting up a lot of vidcaps, I’m going to cheat in this and the next recap with the help of episode videos that CBS posted. That way, I can get through the recaps and it also helps you to relive and remember what happened.
We begin in Novosibirsk, Russia, the 5th pitstop in a race around the world. Margie & Luke who were the first to arrive at the Novosibirsk Ballet and Opera Theater will leave first at 12:18 a.m.
They find they’ll leave the cold winter climate of Siberia and fly some 2,000 miles to the hot summer climate of Jaipur, India.
Luke and Margie leaves and it’s here Luke signs that he’s happy with mom as a teammate and they have good chemistry. No eye roll this time. Luke is funny when he rolls his eyes talking about Margie. He likes having his mom doing the communicating while he does the strategizing. Remember in the fourth episode, Luke pulled out the Blind U-Turn on an unsuspecting Amanda & Kris gaining him the reputation of the vengeful deaf person. I think Luke likes that!
At 12:24 a.m., it’s Tammy & Victor’s turn to leave. Victor talks about the role of what he’s supposed to be as the first born son in his Asian family. He says the Amazing Race gives him the opportunity to go outside what’s expected and he likes that. Victor notes that the teams are instructed to get to Jaipur through Moscow.
Cara & Jaime leave just six minutes behind the Asian siblings. The Miami girls are looking forward to getting out of the cold and into the warmer climate.
Just over a half an hour later, father and son Mel & Mike who have been the most delightful team on this race head out. Mel says Mike may yell at him to keep up, but he also knows that dad is doing his best to keep up. Ain’t that the truth. Battling a groin injury, Mel just keeps plodding along and is managing to stay with the younger teams. Kudos to Mel!
At 1:02 a.m., just a minute after Mel & Mike are brothers Mark & Michael.
At the Novosibirsk Airport, Margie & Luke, Cara & Jaime and Tammy & Victor all book flights to Moscow and realize they’ll all be on the same jet to Jaipur so it doesn’t matter what time they leave Siberia.
Kisha & Jen leave the mat at 1:28 a.m. Kisha notes that she and Jen are getting along better now, but she still stresses out when they fight. Kisha says she just wants to have fun!
As Mel & Mike arrive at the Airport, Mel facetiously asks if anyone would want to fly on an airline named “Kacca”. Mel is so quick and so funny. He’s right, you know. Kacca could be the best airline in the world, but I wouldn’t want to fly on it.
Finally at 3:09 a.m., stewardesses Christie and Jodi get their clue and head for the airport knowing that there will be a Speed Bump somewhere along the way, a task only they will do, the penalty for them finishing last in the last leg. Christie says she’s worried about that Speed Bump. Jodi mentions that she’s thinking about her daughter and she’s wearing her daughter’s name on her bracelet. She hopes that will bring them some luck in this leg as they will definitely need some in this leg.
Teams pile out of the Jaipur Airport to find taxis to take them to Dhula Village. Tammy & Victor are able to get out first and head towards the tree. Christie & Jodi head out next. However, Mel & Mike find a driver who has no idea where to go and they get delayed heading out of the airport.
Mark & Michael get to a cab, but as Margie & Luke try to take their cab, the brothers insist and they take the taxi to the village. Mel & Mike’s driver wants to ask for directions, but the father & son want out and try to get their luggage out, however, the driver is nowhere to be seen leaving them stranded while the other teams like Cara & Jaime, Kisha & Jen and Margie & Luke to speed ahead of them. Finally the driver learns where to go, but Mel & Mike are several minutes behind.
Christie & Jodi have the misfortune to have their cab driver get out and gas up the car. This forces them to wait as other teams pass them to the village.
Then the teams take a look at the conditions in Jaipur causing Jaime and Luke to get emotional.
Tammy & Victor are the first to arrive in Dhula Village and the tree. Tammy notices a red phone. Victor picks it up, dials one of four numbers and listens, but he doesn’t understand what the message is telling him. So Tammy summons their cab driver and he discovers they’re to go to Amber Fort, Gaura Parvati Parking. Thank goodness the cab driver got it right because Victor wrote down “valet parking” which would have been totally wrong.
Right after Tammy & Victor is a caravan of five teams, Mark & Michael, Cara & Jaime, Margie & Luke, Kisha & Jen and Mel & Mike. Christie & Jodi are nowhere to be found. And as they leave to head to the fort, Tammy & Victor see the entire convoy of cabs in a line, heading to Dhula Village. Michael says, “Alright guys, we’re at war….” and you have your title of the episode. Kind of early, but not bad.
The five teams arrive at the village and look for clues in and around the tree, but not at the phone even though it’s right in front of them. Sometimes teams have a tendency to overthink things and not see what’s right under their noses and this is a classic example.
Finally, we see Christie & Jodi heading to the village. Tammy & Victor notice them and the siblings now realize they’re in first place.
Back at the tree, teams are looking high and low, not seeing that their clue is on the phone. Come on, guys, look down instead of looking up and straight ahead. Look down! Glove to the ground! Chop! Chop!
Finally, Jen & Kisha see it, then Margie & Luke. Cara & Jaime notice another phone and use that to find their clue. All of the teams eventually find where they’re to go. Not all of them understand, and the teams just decide to follow one another. So from a convoy to Dhula Village, it’s now a convoy to Amber Fort and the Guara Parvati Parking.
Christie & Jodi then notice more taxis heading in the opposite direction as they head to the village. They realize they’re in last place again. But they notice the phone right off the bat once in the village and they’re off and running to Amber Fort.
But at Amber Fort, Tammy & Victor have arrived and they get their clue. It’s a Road Block as we all know, a Road Block is a task that only one person may perform. In this Road Block, one team member must take care of one of India’s prized animals, a camel. They’ll choose a group of camels, then using a set of traditional tools, they must load and carry enough food and water to satisfy each of the camels in their group. Once the food reaches a designated line and the water spills out the trough, the camel master will hand them their next clue. Tammy decides that Victor will do this task. Let’s see how he does in this task.
Nice to see Victor sweat in this. Tammy notices other cabs are arriving and sure enough, it’s Mark & Michael followed by the others in the caravan. Mark will do it for his team. Jaime decides to do it for the reds. Kisha wants to feed the camels. Margie chooses to do the Road Block. Mel is up to doing this task. Let’s see how the teams do this task.
One quick reaction here. Jaime has got to calm down. Her reaction to the camel master not speaking English is very bad. Yeah, she’s impatient and I want to give her the benefit of the doubt from the editing, but sometimes the behavior will slip through and you can’t edit that.
And watching Mel at this point was painful, but he did rock through this task as we’ll see. But what was really painful was watching Kisha put hay into her shirt instead of using the traditional basket and pitch to shovel the hay.
Mark, Jaime and Margie used their water buckets to gather the hay. Mel spotted the basket and used that to carry the hay. Mel is so smart. He takes the time to read the clue. This is where he picked up time on the others
Over to Tammy & Victor where they have arrived at the Puppet Shop to get their next clue. They find that they’ve hit a Detour. As we all know, a Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons.
In this Detour, the teams must decide between two tasks which will plunge them into the chaotic streets of Jaipur. The choice? Movers or Shakers.
In Movers, teams must go to Sanganeri Gate, then choose a cycle rickshaws filled high with barrels. They’ll transport their barrels by pedaling one and a half miles through the congested and confusing streets of Jaipur to another gate. Then they search the barrels to find a small metal elephant which they can exchange for their next clue.
In Shakers, the teams will travel to a busy intersection, put on traditional costumes and makeup, then join a Rajistani dance troupe. Then they’ll shake their hips for tips. Once they’ve earned 100 Rupees, they’ll take it the bandleader and exchange the rupees for their next clue.
Tammy & Victor decide their shake their bootys for a booty of cash. I’m so clever.
Both of them put on makeup, threw on a horse costume and went out into the streets of Jaipur to beg for cash. Victor said he and Tammy definitely broke the stereotype of lawyers that day.
Back to the camels, Mel is gaining time by using the bucket. The other teams are using their buckets or in the case of Kisha, stuffing hay down her shirt. But eventually, the members sitting out the Road Block notice Mel using the basket and they point it out to their teammates. Jaime can’t believe she didn’t see it. Kisha says she looked over to the baskets and didn’t think of using them. Mel just continues to be steady and he’s winning this segment.
We quickly look at Tammy & Victor who are collecting the Rupees.
Mel has finally finished his task and he’s received the clue before any of the teams that were in his caravan! Way to go, Mel! You truly rock!!!! And as they get into their taxi to head back into Jaipur Proper, Mike said, “My dad just smoked the Road Block.” He truly did.
In quick succession, Jaime, Margie and Kisha pile their hay to the proper marker and they all get their clues. This leaves Mark & Michael and Christie & Jodi vying to leave next. Christie is confident knowing they can finish tasks quickly. But it’s Mark who finishes next leaving the stewardesses in last again. As Michael reads the clue, he notices that there’s a Speed Bump ahead foreshadowing what Christie & Jodi are up against. And Jodi is able to finish and they’re off to the Puppet Shop.
Over to Tammy & Victor who have gathered the necessary 100 Rupees. They take it over to the bandleader who exchanges the money for the next clue. The siblings find that they’re to go to the pit stop, the Jaigarh Fort, a 15th Century fortress. The last team to check in may be eliminated.
Mel & Mike get to the Puppet Shop and they decide to shake for cash. They get into costume and they have fun dancing.
In the meantime, Mark & Michael have caught up to Margie & Luke, Kisha & Jen and Cara & Jaime. It’s here where Jaime says the honking of horns is driving her up the wall. There’s nothing I can say here. All I can do is shrug.
Mel & Mike were impressed with the spirit of the people in Jaipur. Mike said there was so much poverty, but people were generous and were willing to give money.
At the Puppet Shop, Mark & Michael beat Kisha & Jen to the clue box. The brothers inexplicably do the elephant in the haystack. Kisha & Jen will dance. Margie & Luke will shake as will cheerleaders Cara & Jaime.
Jen said she had no problem putting on a costume and acting the fool. Luke said even though his ears are broken, he could read people’s faces and knew how to dance and shake. The kid is amazing. Asides from using the U-Turn, I love his fighting spirit.
Mark & Michael find the rickshaws and head off to ride a mile and a half through the streets of Jaipur.
Christie & Jodi reach the Puppet Shop and lo and behold, it’s the dreaded Speed Bump! In this Speed Bump, the stewardesses will head to a temple where they will use colored paint to decorate an elephant for upcoming festival. Once they’ve decorated the elephant to the satisfaction of the Mahut, they’ll be able to resume and hope to make up their lost time.
Over to Mel and Mike who have now gathered enough Rupees to leave. Margie & Luke must continue to get the Rupees. Cara & Jaime continue to dance as do Kisha & Jen. Mark & Michael bike through the streets of Jaipur and have yet to start looking for their small metal elephant.
But at the pit stop, Tammy & Victor have arrived.
The greeter playing instruments with his nose is pretty cool.
Mike thought Margie’s lipstick was hilarious. Come to think of it, she was wearing too much.
At the Speed Bump, Christie & Jodi refuse to give up. Jodi says she wants to teach her daughter never to give and she can do whatever she puts mind to. Certainly this team did itself proud.
Over to the Shakers task, the three remaining teams there are still collecting money, but Cara & Jaime have enough to leave. But can they leave?
So Cara & Jaime and Margie & Luke are on their way to the pit stop. Kisha & Jen have now collected the 100 Rupees and they’re taking off so they can check in at the mat.
Over to Mark & Michael, they’re riding their bikes and have finally arrived at their destination to start looking for the elephant in the barrel of hay. Good luck, gentlemen. That’s not the task I would have chosen.
Finally, Christie & Jodi have arrived back at the Puppet Store and they’ll do the Shakers Detour. Kisha & Jen are leaving the task while Christie & Jodi are just beginning. And you have Mark & Michael unloading their barrels. This is nervewracking.
At the pitstop, the amazing Mel & Mike have checked in second. Mike tells Phil that Mel smoked the competition many of whom were in their 20′s. Mel says hearing that was worth more than a million dollars. He says making his kid proud was the prize for him in this race. When I grow up, I want to be just like Mel.
Over to Mark & Michael, they can’t find the small elephant. Just what were they thinking in choosing this task?
And Christie & Jodi have finished their task ahead of Mark & Michael. Can they survive another leg?
But Michael is able to find that small elephant in the hay and they can head out.
Looking quite stressed out are Mark & Michael and Christie & Jodi. Both teams know that they could be last, but don’t know for sure.
The stewardesses say they won’t give up until they hear it officially from Phil. Mark & Michael says they’re not exactly sure where they are, but they know they’re still in the race for now.
It’s a race to the finish between the two teams, and it’s Mark & Michael who get 6th with Christie & Jodi right behind them.
And as we learn, this is an elimination leg. Damn. And Christie & Jodi become the first all-female team to be eliminated this season, but they have absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. They ran their own race. They rocked the tasks. Just luck of the draw and they were seconds behind Mark & Michael. Had their driver not stopped for gas earlier in this episode, they might still be racing. Oh well. I’ll miss them.
So our official order of finish:
1. Tammy & Victor – winners of Kayaks
2. Mel & Mike
3. Kisha & Jen
4. Margie & Luke – 4th again!
5. Cara & Jaime
6. Mark & Michael
7. Christie & Jodi – eliminated by seconds. Too bad.
In lieu of giving you a preview of the next episode, I’ll give you Elimination Station as Christie & Jodi are the next team to arrive and they discover there’s some tension between the teams.
Our next recap will come later today.
Once again, the extremely talented puddin at Reality Fan Forum has posted another CBS promo for this Sunday’s episode of The Amazing Race 14. I speculate that Kisha & Jen and Mark & Michael have lost their passports. Margie & Luke along with Tammy & Victor are racing for first place at the mat. Take a look.
Looks like a good episode. If everything breaks right, I hope to have recaps of the last two episodes up in the next two days. I hope I can do it.
It’s been almost two weeks since we’ve had an Amazing Race episode (thank you, CBS … grrrrr) and the promos for this Sunday’s episode have been few and far between. Why is that? You would think the network bigwigs would want to promote the show to remind people that the show is back this week. But that’s too easy.
We do get one short promo. Thanks to my sweetheart puddin at Reality Fan Forum, we get this 10 second shot. Don’t blink, you’ll miss it.
The Amazing Race 14 returns this Sunday night at 8 or most likely 8:20 due to The Masters overrun.
I’m back at work this morning so I’m in a really great mood today.
I do want to mention that some of the former staff of the late, great Rocky Mountain News are trying to launch a new website called INDenver Times. The staff is covering stories in the community and is doing their best to make the site a fulltime newsgathering operation. The site is in beta right now, but it’s hoped that the staff can gain enough funding to make a full launch on May 4. INDenver Times has a Twitter page, a Facebook page, and is asking for subscriptions to maintain the site. The cost is actually not that much and I’m actually considering signing up. My best wishes to them and I hope INDenver Times succeeds.
Now to the links.
Bob Hohler and Jenn Abelson of the Boston Globe write about the Red Sox’s troubles in raising revenue, including NESN’s declining ratings, in a sluggish economy.
Paul Restuccia of the Boston Herald has a story on two men who have written new theme tunes for NESN’s Red Sox broadcasts.
Sox & Dawgs lists the Red Sox Radio Network affiliates for 2009.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News hopes it doesn’t rain for the new Yankee Stadium opener. Way to be optimistic, Bob.
In the upset of the century, the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick gives praise to ESPN for something John Buccigross said.
The Nielsen Wire blog has some interesting facts and figures on who’s watching the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
Newsday’s Neil Best bids us adieu for a week as he talks about “Field of Dreams” and the new baseball movie, “Sugar”.
Jason Weitzel of the Reading (PA) Eagle writes about the Phillies’ plans for broadcast and cable TV this season.
Eric Stark of the Lancaster (PA) Newspapers doesn’t like where the Comcast vs. NFL Network battle is heading.
The Baltimore Sun’s Ray Frager reviews the attire of ESPN’s Bob Knight. It’s not pretty.
The Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams writes that ESPN is getting ready for MLB Opening Night and Day.
Ray Melick of the Birmingham (AL) News says the Atlanta Braves have yet to find a local radio station to pick up their games.
Jason McDaniel of the Houston Chronicle writes that golfers are wary of their caddies wearing microphones for TV.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press suggests some athletes who should be on The Amazing Race. Nice to see that Michael has a blog. Hopefully, we’ll get some sports media posts from him as he progresses.
Tom Zeimer of the Wisconsin State Journal talks with a couple of MLB Network personalities about the Milwaukee Brewers’ chances.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the Brewers rank low on a poll of fans’ favorite baseball team.
Artie Gigantino of the San Francisco Examiner writes about Comcast SportsNet Bay Area debuting a new studio set on Monday.
Here’s a press release from CSN Bay Area on striking a deal with the San Francisco 49ers for programming.
The Sports Media Watch gives you its weekend ratings predictions.
Joe Favorito looks at how NASCAR is expanding its brand through eduction.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the video of NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley correctly sounding off on little pissant Sean Avery from yesterday’s Rangers-Bruins game. Avery is an asshole.
Niki of the Rightfielders Women in Sports blog thinks CBS’ Tracy Wolfson is hot. Niki is correct.
Christopher Bryne of Eye on Sports Media feels Tracy has a bun in the oven. Sharp eye on that Chris!
Ok, that’s going to do it for your Sunday links. Back to work now.
We have our very first twist in the race. It’s the BLIND U-TURN. I have an idea what this means, but it’s only speculation at this point. Thanks to puddin at Reality Fan Forum for finding this promo.
I like the twist. Looks like Mel & Mike were the ones who were U-Turned and were forced to do both Detour tasks.
Here’s an extended at next week’s episode.
We have the teams doing a gymnastics task, Brad & Victoria missing a flight, Cara & Jaime with a taxi driver from hell, Amanda & Kris losing their passports (what???) and Tammy & Victor fighting. An action-packed episode for sure.
The Amazing Race is on Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
From the open, we learn of the massive respect the other teams have for Margie & Luke. Tammy calls her “the bionic woman” and says Luke, the race’s first deaf contestant “very observant”. All of teams say Margie & Luke are a force to be reckoned with.
Margie & Luke who arrived first at 2:56 p.m. in the last leg, will leave first at 2:56 a.m. in the second leg. They discover they’re going to fly to Munich, Germany. Once there, they’ll drive themselves to Ruhpolding, take a gondola to the top of a mountain and find their next clue.
Margie makes the point that Luke is not retarded, he’s not slow, he’s very capable and wants to prove he can run the race. No need to prove it to me. I’ve already seen what the hearing impaired can do and Luke is doing very well, thank you.
Leaving the mat next are siblings Tammy & Victor at 2:57 a.m. Thanks to them, we find that each team will receive $585 in this leg of the race. Victor begins the trend of teams using their cab driver’s cell phones to book flights. And he also talks about deprogramming the 26 years of him constantly beating on his little sister. Why do I see this being another Ronald & Christina situation? Remember in TAR12 when Christina harped on being heard by her hardened Asian dad? She finally got it, but here, we’re seeing signs of Tammy wanting to be heard in this relationship. Just like Ron & Christina had to hit rock bottom in the race in Amsterdam, it appears Tammy & Victor will have to have that confrontation for their relationship to be equal, but I digress.
The team that has the best attitude in this race are brothers Mark & Michael who are also showing us that a team under 5 feet can do well. And they’re having fun. They’re not stressing over little things. I like them and I want them in the final three.
Mel & Mike leave at 3:18 a.m. Mel injured his groin climbing up the tall slope in the last leg so he’s hurting. Mel’s not giving up and says he’ll limp his way around the world. I like Mel, too.
Dating couple Amanda & Kris leave just under a half hour later at 3:47 a.m. We didn’t see much of them in the last leg, but we will in this leg. Amanda says she has anxiety and the race is too intense. I have a feeling Amanda is one of those women who have a very positive exterior, but are very nervous inside. That’s my feeling.
Married couple Brad & Victoria head out at 3:56 a.m., while ex-Dolphins cheerleaders Jaime & Cara leave the mat three minutes later. Sisters Kisha & Jen who also have their own sibling issues take off at 4:02 a.m. Kisha also admits seeing Jen in the little sister role. Jen says being in the little sister role pisses her off. This is definitely a volcano brewing here and it’s going to blow.
Steve & Linda leave at 4:04 a.m. and he vows to do things differently in this leg instead of getting mad at his wife. Steve admits he was totally wrong for treating Linda poorly and making her cry. It takes a big man to do that. I give him total props.
The teams that are using their cab driver’s cell phones are finding that there’s a Swissair flight leaving at 7:10 a.m. and arriving in Munich at 8:15 a.m. Those that did not use a cell phone will find themselves on a later flight. And Linda is hoping that since Germany is known for beer, she’s hoping there’s a beer challenge. Funny!
And the very last to depart the first pit stop at 4:12 a.m. are flight attendants Christie & Jodi. They also borrow their cab driver’s cell phone, but they might be too late to get that first flight out to Germany.
Now we get a bit of airport drama. Not a whole lot, but it was enough to make me worried. Margie & Luke and Mark & Mike who did not use a cell phone to book in advance now have arrived at the airport and hope to book tickets on the Swissair flight. Luckily, mom & son have. Now Mark & Mike hope to do so as well, but Christie & Jodi are on the phone trying to book tickets. Because other teams have booked in advance, both teams will have to wait for the next flight which is at 8:45 a.m. And that’s it for the airport drama. Whew!
Phil then comes to tell us that Jaime & Cara, Kisha & Jen, Steve & Linda, Margie & Luke, Mel & Mike, Brad & Victoria, Amanda & Kris and Tammy & Victor are all on the 7:10 a.m. flight to Munich. Mark & Mike and Christie & Jodi will be on the 8:45 a.m. flight and the brothers acknowledge that they made a mistake in not calling ahead.
At 8:10 a.m., the first flight arrives and everyone makes a mad dash for the cars they will drive on the famous Autobahn to Ruhpolding. Luke makes a signal to cheerleaders Jaime & Cara to follow him. The cheerleaders just love Luke and they appreciate the help.
The team that needs a lot of help is Kisha & Jen. They somehow got off the Autobahn are now driving in an unnamed town. Tammy & Victor, however, have made it to Ruhpolding quickly followed by Amanda & Kris. The siblings get into a gondola and notice the dating couple not far behind. But Amanda & Kris will have to wait 15 minutes for the next ride up the mountain. This gives the siblings a nice head start. Tammy & Victor get their clue first and it’s a Road Block, “Who wants to fly like an eagle?”
In this Road Block, a team member will find an instructor, then paraglide to the bottom some 6,000 feet below. The other team member will take a gondola to the bottom and wait for his/her teammate in the designated landing area. Once the teams are reunited, they’ll receive their next clue. If the wind conditions deem it too dangerous to glide, the teams do have an option to take a 60 minute walk to the bottom after a undetermined amount of time.
In the meantime, Kisha & Jen are hopelessly lost in Germany, but Kisha is not acknowledging this. Kisha just tells to drive straight and Jen is just wondering what the hell is going on.
At the bottom, Margie & Luke and redheads Cara & Jaime have arrived to take their gondolas up to the peak. Mel & Mike have also gotten to the Ruhpolding meeting up with a disappointed Amanda & Kris who are still waiting for their ride to the top.
Up at the summit, Tammy is told by her instructor that the conditions are too dangerous for her to paraglide and she has to wait. The gondola carrying four teams is now coming up to the top. Tammy decides that she doesn’t want to wait and she’ll take the hour long walk to the bottom.
Now the other four teams have arrived and Kris, Margie, Cara and Mel all decide to do the Road Block. When Mel realizes that walking is the other choice, he knows with the wind, he’s stuck with gliding down. He can’t take a risk with his groin injury.
On the mountain, Brad & Victoria take a look at the Road Block clue and she decides that she will do this task. And the last of the first group is Linda & Steve and as she rides the gondola to the top, she feels she could do the task. Steve is impressed.
The line for the paragliding has now increased to five. Victoria makes the snap decision that she can’t wait for the wind to subside so she’ll walk down. Kris and Margie both join her and Mel becomes exasperated.
Luke then passes a note to Jaime which states “kick ass and don’t get eliminated.” Luke then tells us in his post-leg 1 confessional that he likes the redheads, that they’re friendly and nice and they communicate with him well. I think he’s smitten. Who can blame him? They’re hot and they’re nice to him. Don’t fall in love though, Luke.
Linda is the next to pass on paragliding leaving Mel and Cara the lone ones at the top. The wind conditions are not dying down, it leaves Mel fearing that he and Mike are going to be eliminated today.
Those walking or jogging down the marked path note the arrows clearly pointing the proper way to the landing area.
Meanwhile at the top, Kisha & Jen and Christie & Jodi have caught up. Cara has decided to walk. Mel is even more worried and Mike is fearing that with his dad’s groin injury, it’s going to leave them in last while the other teams walk or jog down the mountain. And now the last team, stuntie brothers Mark & Mike are getting ready to paraglide as well.
But with the wind not subsiding, Mark, Christie and Jen decide to walk down and it’s now Mel all alone. He correctly says he cannot ask for Devine Intervention for the wind. Mel thanks God for the beautiful area and his son, but he says God is too busy to help him with the wind. But suddenly, the wind dies down and the instructor tells Mel he can take his ride down to the bottom. Mel says, “It was … a miracle!”
Tammy is now the first to make it to the bottom and meets her brother, Victor. They open their clue and find that they’re to drive 25 miles to Schönau am Königssee where they will find their next clue.
At the top, Mel finally pushes off and takes his paraglide down. At the bottom, Margie has made it and reunites with Luke. Kris is the next to finish the walk/jog to the bottom and he gets the clue so he and Amanda can leave. Victoria is the fourth to finish her descent.
Mel is peacefully gliding down in his parachute and he loved the ride down. Mike felt they went from having no shot to having a sliver of hope.
Now Linda is walking down and gets to a fork in the path. She does not see the arrow telling her to go left and she goes right instead. LINDA!!!! GO LEFT!!!! Oh, it’s too late. She goes right. Cara sees the marker and goes left as do Mark, Jen and Christie. They all see the marker. How can you not see the marker, Linda? Glove to the ground! Boom goes the dynamite! Oh my goodness!
Mel is now landing as Jaime and Steve watch. Mel says he’d love to have a beer and a sandwich if he could stay all day, but he has to leave. Mark informs Jaime that the rest are hoofing it down the mountain which makes her angry. Steve says if it’s a footrace, he knows they’re going to be last.
Over to Tammy & Victor who have arrived in Schönau am Königssee. They get their next clue and find that they’ve reached the first Detour in the race. As we all know, a Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. In this Detour, teams will choose among tasks that require precision. The choices, Bouncing Dolly or Austrian Folly.
In Balancing Dolly, teams must ride a Segway personal transporter over a two mile obstacle course. When they finish, they’ll receive their next clue. Riding a Segway over obstacles requires balance and skill, but teams who master the controls could find themselves pulling ahead.
That target will be their partner’s face. They have to keep throwing pies until they find one with a cherry filling. Teams will then present themselves to the bandleader who will provide them their next clue. The task depends on how long it will take the teams to find the cherry filling. Teams that don’t move quick enough could take a long time.
So Tammy & Victor decide to throw pies and find that they have hit each others faces. They throw pies. Tammy gets schlog up her nose and eye. Victor gets the cherry filling. And they can get their next clue.
Once they rip open the black and yellow envelope, Tammy & Victor discover that they’ll walk on foot to a woodcutter who will manually cut a small piece of wood. That piece will be stamped with their next destination, the pit stop.
So the siblings get some directions, find the woodcutters and they get their piece of wood. It’s stamped with their next destination.
They find that they’re to drive themselves across the border into Austria of Salzburg and find a German castle in the southern district of the city known as Schloss Hellbrunn.
Schloss Hellbrunn is the pit stop for this leg of the race. The last team to check in may be eliminated. Victor is so happy to going to the pit stop that he annoys Tammy with his singing. He’s just giddy with excitement.
Over to Linda, she’s walking down the mountain, but in the wrong direction. She’s way off course. Back at the landing area, Steve says Linda is bad with directions. Mark & Cara have now finished their walk from the top of the mountain and can now head to Schönau am Königssee for the Detour.
Linda can hear traffic from the path, but then again, you’re not supposed to hear traffic from the landing area. Jen now makes it to the bottom, leaving Jodi and Steve waiting for their partners.
Christie has now finished her run down the mountain leaving Steve all alone. He knows a wrong turn could kill their chances to remain in the race.
Somehow, Linda finds a private vehicle to take her to the landing area (against the rules, but somehow, this is not addressed).
Siblings Tammy & Victor arrive at Schloss Hellbrunn and they’re greeted as the first team to arrive. They both win a hybrid go-kart. In their post-race confessional, Tammy says she hates to admit it, but their 26 year relationship is an advantage over the other teams. I love you, Tammy and I understand the Asian older brother relationship being an Asian older brother of two sisters, but I think that relationship is going to change. Just a hunch.
Well, Amanda & Kris reach the detour and they choose Folly. Kris reads the sign and you have the title of the episode. And they keep throwing pies while Germans inside the tent continue to get drunk on beer. When Amanda gets hit with the cherry filling, they get their next clue. As they walk to the woodcutters, Amanda takes a piece of cake off Kris’ shoulder and eats it while Kris says it’s delicious. That’s funny!
Linda finally makes it to the right path thanks to her ride and meets Steve. She thanks him for not getting mad, but he says he can’t imagine doing the race with anyone else. He’s eased up and realizes how much he loves Linda. I can’t kill him for that. And he shows he’s a different man from last week’s episode. Good on ya, Steve!
Amanda & Steve get their piece of wood and head off for Schloss Hellbrunn. He notes the schlog in his hair is “Something About Mary” times ten which is what the title of the episode should have been, but I digress.
Mel & Mike are the first to choose segways. Margie & Luke decide to do the pies over his objection. He didn’t want to do it knowing it take a long time. But he says, “What can I do? She’s my mom.” He’s funny as well. I’m really liking Luke thus far. So he gets his frustrations out by throwing the pies quite hard at his mother. Wow. He’s got issues as well.
While Margie & Luke are throwing schlog at each other, Mel & Mike are running their Segways over the obstacle course and unbeknownst to them, are making up some great time. They finish, get their clue and head to the woodcutters.
Luke now wants to switch tasks, but Margie says no. He’s covered all over with schlog and there’s no cherry in sight. This is going to take a while.
Brad & Victoria now have arrived at the Detour and they choose folly. Kisha & Jen are lost again and Jen is showing her frustration with her older sister. Christie & Jodi also appear lost as they don’t seem to be improving on their 10th place finish in the first leg. And bringing up the rear are Steve & Linda.
Over to the party tent, the Germans are getting drunk and really enjoying the show between Margie & Luke. Piles of schlog are lying on the floor as they keep throwing pies at each others faces. Luke has plenty of icing in his hair. When he throws a pie at his mother, it has the cherry filling they’re looking for so they can finally leave the tent.
Just as they leave, Brad & Victoria are entering. They don’t seem to be taking as much time as Margie & Luke and they indeed find the cherry filling faster. Brad takes a lick from her forehead and says Victoria tastes pretty good. This is a pretty funny episode.
So the two aforementioned teams get their piece of wood and can finally head to the pit stop.
Cara & Jaime have decided to do the segways. Kisha & Jen finally find the clue box followed by Mark & Mike. Both choose the segways. Christie & Jodi have arrived, but park in a different spot and need help from Kisha & Jen to find the clue box.
Amanda & Kris are lost heading to the pit stop allowing Mel & Mike to arrive ahead of them.
Cara & Jaime finish the segways next and are able to get wood next. Over to the pit stop, Phil signs to Margie & Luke that they’re in 4th place. Brad & Victoria hit the mat in 5th.
Next, Mark & Mike and Kisha & Jen finish their Segway task and go to get their pieces of wood.
Christie & Jodi are in the tent and know they have to hurry to find the cherry filling.
Cara & Jaime check in 6th, still happy to be in the race.
Christie & Jodi have finally popped their cherry filling and can now go to the woodcutters. Not easy in the dark.
Steve & Linda arrive at the Detour and notice the stewardesses so they know they still have a shot to remain. And they start to throw pies at each other in a tent that is practically empty at this point.
Christie & Jodi get lost again, looking in a farm for their piece of wood. Not even close, girls. And while Linda & Steve were relieving some frustration by chucking pies at each other, the stewardesses just could not find the woodcutters. Christie was getting worried and indeed, Linda & Steve found the cherry and they’re heading to the woodcutter.
Christie & Jodi continue to wander aimlessly while Linda & Steve charge out of the tent seeing that they’re still in the race.
Over to Mark & Michael and Kisha & Jen who are lost on the way to the pit stop. Jen says Kisha is pissing her off with her navigating.
Christie & Jodi finally get help in finding the woodcutters and they get their clue for the pit stop. They’re followed by Linda & Steve who are now on their way to the castle.
So we have four teams struggling to get to the pit stop. One team will be put of its misery while the others have to hope for a massive bunching in the next leg. Kisha & Jen hit the mat in 7th, but Jen is just not happy and she’s about to burst.
Mark & Mike hit the mat in 8th so it’s now between Christie & Jodi and Linda & Steve for the last spot to remain in the race. This is like a broken record for Christie & Jodi who barely won a footrace over Preston & Jen last week. And they arrive within seconds of each other. And Christie & Jodi come in 9th, surviving again by the skin of their teeth.
So our final order of finish for tonight.
1. Tammy & Victor – winners of hybrid go-karts.
2. Mel & Mike
3. Amanda & Kris
4. Margie & Luke
5. Brad & Victoria
6. Cara & Jaime
7. Kisha & Jen
8. Mark & Mike
9. Christie & Jodi
10. Steve & Linda
Overall, not a bad episode. Not as good as last week’s but still, Emmy-worthy.
Now, a preview of next week’s episode thanks to my sweetheart, puddin over at Reality Fan Forum.
See you next week.
CBS has posted the second installment of Phil’s Video Diary and the production crew is in Germany (not Austria as the video and crew state), but Phil is a bit giddy after non-stop travel for four days so as you can see, he’s forgotten where he is. Understandable. This is for the second episode of The Amazing Race 14 which heads to Rauschberg.
CBS continues to post previews and again, I thank the lovely puddin at Reality Fan Forum for finding this.
In this preview, we see the teams leave Southern California and head for Switzerland. While there, Preston & Jennifer fight, the teams bungee jump off a very high dam, they have to carry 200 pounds of cheese down a steep hill, and try not to come in last. Very stressful.
The Amazing Race kicks off its 14th season on Sunday at 8 p.m. on …. CBS.
With this being January, we’re seeing the return of several shows plus the premiere of some new ones. I’m going to give you the shows I’m looking forward to seeing return, plus the new series I’m looking forward to. I’ll do the returning shows first, then the new shows last and I’ll do them in reverse order of anticipation.
6. Hell’s Kitchen, Season 5 – Premieres January 29 on Fox, 9 p.m.
Anytime Gordon Ramsey yells, “YOU DONKEY!” I get chills. He’s not the type of boss I would want, but he gets results seeing how many restaurants the man owns and runs. Last season, Christina’s win over Petrozza was a bit of an upset seeing how young she was and her experience compared to Petrozza, but it’s always Chef Ramsey’s word at the end. This season, 16 new hopefuls vie for the chance to become Chef Ramsey’s chef on staff at one of his restaurants.
5. Damages, Season 2 – Premieres Wednesday on FX, 10 p.m.
This show turned out to be a big surprise for me. Great cast including Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, Ted Danson and Tate Donovan, the first season won Emmys for Close and Zeljko Ivanek whose great Ray Fiske character won’t be coming back (well, he really can’t after the character shot himself in the head). This season, Ellen is gunning for Patty Hewes after we learned that Patty tried to bump her off. And the evil Frobisher (who had Ellen’s fiancee bumped off) is also back for a few episodes in this season. At least we know that the series is returning for a third season. Very good show.
4. The Amazing Race 14 – Premieres February 15 on CBS, 8 p.m.
If you follow this blog, you already know what a big fan of the race I am. Another 11 teams of two people with existing relationships will go around the world with no idea where they will head next. Hopefully, I can do recaps this season after my attempts totally went awry in TAR13. Plus, the show is always well produced and there’s a reason why The Amazing Race wins the Emmy every year. And Phil Keoghan is the perfect host.
3. The L Word, 6th and Final Season – Premieres January 18 on Showtime, 9 p.m.
I wasn’t happy when I heard that Jenny was killed off in the first episode, but apparently we’ll find out who’s responsible and why as the season unfolds. There are several things to resolve. I’m glad that Helena is returning. As usual, we’ll see if Shane can actually find happiness, how Bette and Tina will work together and if Jodi finds herself back with Bette, and if Alice and Tasha can also find some chemistry. Also, Erin Daniels who played Dana has directed one episode this season.
2. Lost, Season 5 – Premieres January 21 on ABC, 9 p.m.
Ok, apparently the flashbacks and the flash forwards are over with. There are no more character-centric episodes and action will go back and forth in time. In addition, the first hour of the season is supposedly one of the best of the series (or so I’ve read). The second hour which also runs during the season premiere is slower and is a set up episode. But we need to know where the island went. How do the Oceanic 6 go back to the island? What happened to Locke and why is he in that coffin? Is Jin really dead? And what is really going on? Last season was right up there with Season 1. Let’s hope Season 5 can match the intensity and the drama of Season 4.
1. 24, Season 7 – Premieres Sunday on Fox, 8 p.m.
This was my favorite show on TV for five seasons. Then Season 6 came along and practically ruined my love for this show. However, when 24: Redemption premiered in November, my love almost came back. From what I’ve read of the spoilers and seen of the previews, this season looks promising. CTU is no more. Jack Bauer is back as a disgraced agent, but he’s asked by the FBI to help out during yet another international crisis. Chloe played by the delightful Mary Lynn Rajskub is back. Instead of Los Angeles being the locale of the crisis, we have Washington, DC in trouble. Tony Almeida returns from the dead. The new President, Allison Taylor, played by Cherry Jones has to deal with a crisis from a Darfur-like country and we’ll see how Jack saves the country again. As long as I see Jack go rogue, I’ll know my 24 is indeed back.
3. The United States of Tara – Premieres January 18 on Showtime, 10 p.m.
Created by Oscar-winning Juno writer Diablo Cody, this show is about a woman with multiple personalities who is also the matriarch of her family. Toni Collette has a lot of work to do playing Tara who has four different personalities including a biker dude, teenager and a homemaker. John Corbett also stars in this very promising series.
2. Lie To Me – Premieres January 21 on Fox, 9 p.m.
Tim Roth plays Dr. Cal Lightman who heads up a team that can detect a person’s body language. Kelli Williams, formerly of “The Practice” is also in the series. From what I’ve read, this has the potential to be quite good.
1. Dollhouse – Premieres February 13 on Fox, 9 p.m.
This is Joss Whedon’s latest TV series and it stars Fang’s Bites fav Eliza Dushku. This is about a group of individuals who have had their personalities wiped clean so they can take on any persona their client wants them to be. This is an interesting concept and I can get into just about anything Joss writes. Having been a “Buffy” and “Angel” fan, I certainly hope Fox gives this a chance to grow, but by putting it on Fridays, it’s practically giving this show the death knell. But we’ll see.
Those are the nine shows I’m looking forward to as the second season gets underway. To see when your favorite show returns, you can check out USA Today’s mid-season TV calendar.
After a whirlwind weekend in New York, I’m now unwinding at home, re-watching The Amazing Race finale. I’ll give you some observations after meeting the Racers. First off, I have to thank Georgia Peach of Reality Fan Forum for allowing me to meet the teams at a lunch on Sunday. Only four RFF members were able to take part in this event and it was an opportunity to get some behind-the-scenes information. A lot of the discussion was off the record, but there are some things I will share with you.
Before lunch, I met up with my friends from RFF and Mark from Mark & Bill for a sitdown. Mark gave us some insight about his elimination in Bolivia and into the race. A lot of what he gave us is also readily available in the various interviews he and Bill have conducted in the days and weeks since they were eliminated from the race.
Then we all left to meet up with the rest of the racers at Rockefeller Plaza where I first met up with Arthur & Anita, the beekeepers who were the first to be eliminated this season. While they were the first ones out, people recognized them right off the bat. They have a unique look and fans flocked to them. Anita is so nice that she hugs everyone she sees. And she also gave me this homemade refrigerator magnet which has pictures of all of the teams.
Also meeting us at the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree were Nick & Starr, Bill completing the Mark & Bill team. We got word that the other racers were on the other side of the plaza, so we walked around to meet them. During this time, more fans were following our group, trying to take pictures and talk to the racers. Arthur & Anita could not have been friendlier to the fans.
One aside here. If CBS wanted to gauge the popularity of The Amazing Race, all the network needed to do was have a representative follow us to witness the crowd that gathered around the racers. It was a bit ironic that the racers were meeting outside the GE Building which houses NBC, but I don’t know if anyone caught this like I did.
Eventually, all of the teams met up and it seems that this cast really likes one another. Then right in front of the famous ice rink with the Christmas tree in the background, the cast began to pose for pictures, not just with the fans, but to get pictures for each other. I’ll post what I have.
In the middle, that’s Kelly & Christy with Christy’s mom to the right. I believe the two men on the right are also family members. That’s Mark in the foreground wearing the hat.
Left to right in the back row, Bill, Anthony, Dallas, Mark (obscured by Nick), Ken (obscured by Arthur)
Middle row (L-R), Starr, Stephanie, Andrew, Nick,
Second Row (L-R), Terence, Sarah, Marisa, Brooke, Tina, Arthur
Front Row (L-R), Kelly, Christy, Toni, Anita
Missing, Dan, Ty & Aja
This is the first time I’m attempting this, here’s a quick movie I shot of the above picture.
More pictures now.
Once that was done, I went to lunch with the teams. Kelly & Christy did not join us, but Ty & Aja did. This was an opportunity to ask some questions about the season and they helped us to fill in the blanks of what was not shown. As I mentioned, most of the conversation was off the record, but there are a few tidbits I can share.
First, Terence is a very engaging person. Yes, I was critical of him in the only episode recap I was able to complete this season, but I based it on what I saw in the show. Spending time with him, he was very friendly and told me that people don’t want to speak to him because of what he says were “a few bad moments.” In the race, it is stressful and if the camera catches you in a bad stretch, most likely, that’s going in the show. He also said he has made a friendship with Kynt & Vyxsin from TAR 12.
Also, I had a chance to talk with Ken and he told me that being on the Race was tougher than NFL training camp. Ken said in training camp, you know what time you’re getting up, what time you’re going to start, what time you go to bed. In the race, he had no idea where he was going next, what task he was about to do, everything was random and he was not used to that.
Andrew told me that he knew that the Russian soldiers were laughing at he and Dan during the Detour on the 9th leg in Moscow. Andrew said he could hear them laughing especially when Dan could not march properly which was truly funny. Andrew said he knew it would make good television right off the bat. And when they were on their way to the mat, they had figured out this would be a non-elimination leg, they stopped to get drinks and food. I was laughing when Andrew was talking because he’s truly a funny guy.
Lastly at lunch, Toni was quite nice and yes, Dallas and Starr left together. As you probably know by now, they’re a couple. And throughout, Nick and I talked about his performances in The Fantasticks on Broadway and his experiences on the race.
Once that was done, it was a rest and then to TARCon at Stitch where the fans were ready to watch the race. I won’t go into everything, but at the end when Ken pulled out his wedding rings on the mat, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
It was a great time. When Kelly & Christy walked in, Stitch was getting packed with people. They saw me and we started talking. Once they looked at my nametag, they recognized my screen name from RFF and told me they appreciated the nice things I wrote in my recap and on the board. And yes, I’m joining their Facebook groups.
I really can’t write much about TARCon itself because it was a mob scene, but it was a good time to watch the finale with friends and discuss the race with people who get it. And since TAR14 could be the last season for this great show, I’ll be sure to attend TARCon XIV in May.
And I hope to do better with the recaps.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mark & Bill. I was with Mark at
breakfast and I could not be with a funnier guy.
I’m at TARCon right now. Spent time with the racers earlier today. Ken, Nick, Starr, Andrew, Terrence, Sarah, Toni, Dallas, Tina, Aja, Ty, Anita, Arthur and Andrew could not have been nicer.
I’ll provide details on Monday. Pictures coming later.
NEW YORK — I always wanted to give myself a dispatch. In radio, you can only give your location in the tag or at the end of your report. I was always envious of newspaper reporters for the dateline. But I digress.
Well, as you can tell, I’m in New York and sweating in the hottest apartment/sauna in Brooklyn.
I’ll be reporting from TARCon later. I’ve already heard about a raucous caucus during the night before, but I believe it did not involve any of the racers.
I hope to have more during the day.
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