Sunday, February 15, 2009

Yay for a New Season - Amazing Race! 2.15.09

The teams are flying via military style helicopters to their take off point.

They are:

Christie and Jodi - friends and flight attendants. They could be good at the travel, and they are planning on using their blonde good looks to their advantage.

Tammy and Victor - siblings and Harvard Law grads. They could be awesome, or really annoying.

Margie and Luke - Mother and son. He is completely deaf and does not read lips. Not sure how that will work out.

Steve and Linda - older married couple. "Hicks from the Sticks," they say. Hmm.

Kisha and Jen - sisters and former college athletes. They could get on each others nerves, as they say they never have been on a team together before.

Preston and Jennifer - dating for two years. I think this is the "stressed couple" this year. I could end up hating them by the end of the first episode.

Brad and Jennifer - older married couple, calm. I think I like them.

Mel and Mike - father and son. The son wrote School of Rock. That's awesome.

Amanda and Chris - dating for three years, look happy. Will the race work for them?

Mark and Michael - brothers and professional stuntmen (for children).

Jamie and Cara - friends and former NFL cheerleaders. They also seem to share their hair dye.

They start right off, and have to immediately rush to their bags, where their first clues wait. They then race to a car.

The first clue leads them to Lucarno, Switzerland, on one of two flights, with different connections.

The Lufthansa flight to Zurich departing first has Tammy and Victor, Christie and Jodi, Jamie and Cara, Mark and Michael, Brad and Victoria, and Margie and Luke. Luke is nervous about getting separated from his mom.

The Air France to Milan flight contains Kisha and Jen (who say that the train is shorter from Milan) , Mel and Mike, Amanda and Kris, Preston and Jen, and Steve and Linda.

Turns out the train station in Zurich was right in the airport, so that was a better choice. Preston and Jennifer immediately get on my nerves and fight because they missed their train at first, and had too wait for another one.

Christie and Jodi hooked up with a lady who was going to Locarno, and they changed trains when no one else did. They got to Locarno first.

Once in Locarno, they had to go to the church of San Antonio and sign a register. Christie and Jodi, Tanny and Victor, Mark and Michael, and Margie and Luke got 7:15 times, and went on to a campsite (via a map provided). Getting 7:30 AM times were Brad and Victoria, and Jamie and Cara. The next group (from Milan) arrived, and Mike and Mel got the 7:30. Kisha and Jen, Amanda and Kris, Linda and Steve, and Preston and Jen got the last departure, at 7:45.

At the campsites, Steve berated Linda for being slow, and she said that his yelling at her didn't help. She started crying. Yup, they probably won't last long.

The next morning, at their appointed times, the teams must find the Versasca Dam, using a postcard picture as a clue. While Christie and Jodi were good at the initial traveling, they seem to be kind fo stymied when it comes to finding a taxi, and waited for what seems like a long time.


At the Dam, one team member must bungee jump off the dam, the second longest bungee jump in the world - 70 stories.

Michael and Victor went right up and were ready to jump. Victor said he had no clue if he had a fear of heights going into the roadblock. He was the first t go and it looked terrifying. Given that he had a giant smile on his face the whole time, I think fear of heights = not so much.

After the roadblock, they have to find a train and get to the Kleine Rugen Visa (in Interloken) - I am sure I am spelling some things terribly, and I apologize to the Swiss.

Mark had no fear (he's a stuntman) and just jumped. It was impressive.

Luke did the jump while Christie and Jodi prayed. He did a very good job. Mike did the jump while Christie and Jodi cringed. Victoria jumped while Jodie and Christie pursed their lips and cried.

Finally, she jumped (I don't know their names separately yet), but she did it. Kris, Jamie, Preston, Jen, and Steve also all jumped.

Tammy and Victor were told to take a specific train to Interloken, and other teams followed them. Christie and Jodi got on a train that left earlier, but Brad and Victoria asked the more important question - which one arrives earlier? - and got on that flight.

Once at the Interloken location, the teams must choose a pair of traditional antique cheese racks, climb to the top of a hill, and transport 200 lbs of cheese from the top of the hill to the bottom of the hill, stacking carefully.

They had troubles getting up the hill in the first place, since it was slippery, and at the top, they were loaded up with their cheese. Margie's cheese rack broke and her cheese went flying down the hill. Victor fell and his cheese rack broke.

It was like a comedy of errors. The Swiss natives at the bottom of the hill were laughing at the silly Americans, as the cheese went flying down hills and through fences, and many just resorted to carrying the cheese by hand. (Is that allowed?) Mark was sliding down the hill on his butt, vowing never to eat cheese again.

Margie and Luke were first, and had to go to Steckelburg, to listen for a team of yodelers, who would lead them to the Pitstop. That sounds kind of unfair to Luke. Tammy and Victor came in second, Mel and Mike came in fourth.

More teams arrived, and Steve and Linda continues to annoy me (Linda was pretty much unable to get to the top of the hill in the first place, as Steven carried both the carriers.) Steve went back to push Linda up physically.

Finding the yodelers proved tricky, because they echoed in the Alps. Margie and Luke came in first, and Phil (in a very cool move) used sign language to tell them that they were team number 1. They won a trip to Puerto Valarta, Mexico, with 7 nights at an ocean side room with lots of amazing other things.

Tammy and Victor came in second, and Mark and Michael came in third.

Back at the Cheese Hill, Preston and Jennifer continued to bug, while Steven and Linda were very clever in using their tool as a kind of raft. Kris and Amanda worked very well together.

Mel and Mike got to the Pitstop fourth, followed by Amanda and Kris, then Brad and Victoria - who seemed to be the only team who didn't fall with the cheese. Jamie and Cara came in number 7, while Steven and Linda searched in vain for the yodelers. Kisha and Jen hopped in front of them, but they finally came in ninth.

Though Preston was carrying Jennifer on his back, Christie and Jodi beat them just barely to the Pit Stop. I'm happy to not end up getting too bugged by Preston and Jennifer. He took their elimination well, which I did not expect.

They are the kind of team I hate, so I am not sad to see them go. "I love you so much, I just have to yell at you constantly." That's not the way I work, so I don't understand how people can function like that and not implode.

Next week, Linda gets lost in the Alps, and Luke gets to throw cream pies in his mom's face. Could be fun. I love this show.

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