The ATC Report

In Control - The Beginning

Unlike most of the previews of the teams that you might read, we decided to rate this group on a few of the lesser-discussed racing talents.
It’s time again for another edition of our favorite show, The Amazing Race. You’ve all seen the CBS profiles on the new racers, but what do those really tell you? That’s why Steve and Dave have agreed to do some recaps for TARflies. Who better to let you know the REAL scoop on Season Five’s racers than two of Season Four’s racers? Now, we understand what it’s like to be under the microscope of reality TV scrutiny and we’ll try to keep that in mind as we rip these poor saps a new orifice. We decided to start with a pre-race review of each of the teams. Is it fair to make snap judgment on these folks based strictly on a “fill this out swiftly and give it right back” leaflet? You betcha! If you did it to us, we can do it to them. Unlike most of the previews of the teams that you might read, we decided to rate this group on a few of the lesser-discussed racing talents.

Our “Flat” category rates a team’s deviousness – the likelihood that they will try something sneaky.

The “Joker” category rates the probability of the team actually being funny – or at least saying something funny.

Finally, our “Snail” category rates a team in terms of slowness – the more snails, the closer you get to Steve & Dave speed.

So in the order given by CBS, here are your Amazing Race 5 teams:

Alison/Donny:
Dude – your girlfriend tried to let a guy score a touchdown with her in front of 3,000,000 people!
[Dave] One of seven male/female teams on The Amazing Race 5, they are described as “dating on and off for three years.” I’m guessing that they’re in one of those “off” cycles again. Let’s start with the name. Is there really anyone over the age of 12 who still adds a “y” to the end of their name? First person to call us “Stevey” or “Davey” should probably check their tires. I have to believe that this might be the “Alison” that Elvis Costello was singing about. She’s quoted as saying “…reality TV tried to rip us apart…” Gnaw on this one for a second: reality TV didn’t cause her actions on Big Brother 4, so I’ve tabbed her as “Most likely to make out with every other racer, all the while professing her love for Donny.” He says his most exciting moment was scoring a touchdown in front of 30,000 people. Dude – your girlfriend tried to let a guy score a touchdown with her in front of 3,000,000 people!

[Steve] Davey, Davey, Davey. Alison is going to be fine TV. The Big Eye knew what they were doing giving her some more face time. Why, hell, just look at all the forums to see who has created the most controversy. I think Spinner will take Paddlefoot right along to the top 3. Her deviousness, athleticism and “devil-may-give-a-rat’s-ass ” attitude will keep them near the top for quite a while. However I predict they will self-destruct as Donny will, in a complete anti-Zach move, shoot his partner dead during the underwater spear gun competition in Bali. Fortunately, you need the jockey to make the finish official for the horse.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:
flat tireflat tireflat tireflat tire
4 FLATS

jokersjokers
2 JOKERS

snail
1 SNAIL

Bob/Joyce:
Meat and potatoes? God, how refreshing it is to find someone not on the Atkins diet!
[Dave] This is another of the male/female teams. Their hook is that they met via the internet. Or their hook is that their kids approve of their method of meeting. Or their hook is that they are old…er. In fact these two are older than both of us, thus the possibility exists that they may set a new Mendoza line for snail-like speed. I’m having trouble with their quote as well – she’s sugar and spice, he’s meat and potatoes? Does this mean that they are hungry all the time? All in all, my feeling is that they’ve got three areas of potential: the potential for winning (zero); the potential for fractured bones (50%); and the potential for a “Depends” commercial after the race (99%).

[Steve] Meat and potatoes? God, how refreshing it is to find someone not on the Atkins diet! I’m going to like this team based strictly on their capability to remember “duck and cover” and legal dodgeball in gym class. Although I think Joyce should check Bob’s “history” on the computer. I’ll bet she wasn’t his “first” cyber girlfriend. I am rooting for them to be slower than us. Hardly a chance though, as Bob looks strong enough to pick up Joyce and carry her along. I’m also hoping their age will give them the wisdom to realize just how cool it is to be on the race, and at least slow down enough to ingest where they are at any given moment along the course.

[Dave] Yea, that strategy sure worked for us.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:
flat tire
1 FLAT

jokers
1 JOKER

snailsnailsnailsnail
4 SNAILS

Brandon/Nicole:
Jeez, they’re pretty! And buff. And young. So therefore, I hate ‘em.
[Steve] Here’s yet another of the male/female teams. Jeez, they’re pretty! And buff. And young. So therefore, I hate ‘em. Team “Blue Lagoon” might break through the Chuck and Millie barrier and find “Oh God” along the way, as they stop at some of the world’s most romantic destinations. They’ll ignore an important wake-up call at a pit stop discovering what “around-the-world” really means. I figure them for the top half of the finishers – but a satisfied finish no matter what.

[Dave] This is the first of the model/hard body/young and attractive teams on the big eye’s page (don’t get worried, there are more). Because of that, I feel obligated to despise them. Brandon says that their relationship is “God-centered.” Allow me to translate: he’s not getting any. Don’t I seem to recall that the “religious virgins” have already been done? I liked Millie and Chuck so maybe I won’t actually despise these two, but I will spend Tuesday nights mocking their buff-ness. If you look at their picture you will see why I tabbed them as the team most likely to be eliminated because they spent two hours looking for a misplaced toothbrush. I also voted them the team most likely to end up renting porn at loser lodge.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:
flat tireflat tire
2 FLATS

jokersjokers
2 JOKERS

snail
1 SNAIL

Charla/Mirna:

[Dave] This is the first of three all-female teams, and they are cousins. An all-female team has never won The Amazing Race. I don’t think these two will buck that trend. From their bio, we find that Charla has “a form of dwarfism.” Is that like having a mild case of pregnancy? (Note to all those who were offended by that last comment: I didn’t want to put it in. The TARflies folks made me. Really.) [Content witch’s note: My little brother is a compulsive liar, and I think he’s cute. Which has something to do with why I’m leaving in that last comment.] It also turns out that these two were both born in Syria, and speak a whole boatload of different languages. The languages are a definite plus, but the birthplace garners these two my vote for the team most likely to lose in the final leg because of lengthy detention in Customs. I’m also having a heck of a time trying to figure out exactly what angle their storyline is going to be. “Cousins” just doesn’t seem that exciting.

[Steve] I couldn’t tell these two apart. Of course, non-PC that I am, I think all Syrians look alike. Recruited teams have to work extra hard to make points with Steve and Dave. And I think this team has the Moxie to overcome the obvious handicap one of them has. Specifically, Mirna is a dead ringer for Olga Korbut. I hope they’re clever and funny. I’ve been disappointed before. So much material and so little camera time – I think they’ll make an early exit.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:
flat tireflat tireflat tire
3 FLATS

jokersjokers
2 JOKERS

snailsnail
2 SNAILS

Chip/Kim:
I love family men that blow off all their responsibilities to travel around the world on a whim.
[Steve] Here’s another of the “couples” teams. Their twist is that they are actually married – to each other! That has to make them my early favorites. I love family men that blow off all their responsibilities to travel around the world on a whim. You know, he should have left his wife at home, though. Think about it – his quote says that they spend 23 hours a day together. Is that admirable or what? Unfortunately, it’s that 24th hour that will kill you, and I don’t remember Bert or Phil allowing “time-outs.”

[Dave] I see in their bio that they have a child named “Phillip III”. Am I the only one that noticed that there didn’t seem to be a Phillip “II” or “Jr.” mentioned anywhere? Either these two like adding random numbers to their kids’ names, or they have severe problems counting. I can see it now – they’re at the start line…Phil starts to say 3-2-1-GO, only these two take off on “2.” I’m giving them the nod as the team most likely to be eliminated when Chip punches a fellow racer who inadvertently calls him “8-ball.” He won’t do it because he dislikes the nickname, but because of the fact that “8” was what they planned on adding to their next child’s name.

[Steve] You know, that might not be a bad strategy – going on “2.” We should have tried it.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:
flat tireflat tire
2 FLATS (THAT’S 7 FLATS IN CHIP/KIM NUMBERS)

jokersjokersjokers
3 JOKERS (AND 8.2 JOKERS)

snailsnail
2 SNAILS (AND 2 SNAILS – GO FIGURE)

Colin/Christie:
She’s a Miss Teen USA winner? Could they have BEEN any more recruited?
[Steve] This is still another of the “male/female” teams. They’re described as “dating.” Pharmaceutical sales representative? Uh-huh. Government-speak for drug pusher. Cell phone storeowner. Ooooooo-Kay. We all know who second biggest users of cell phones are. (Next to mini-van drivers with soccer kids in the back that should pay attention and make the damned right turn on red.) I expect this team to remain awake the entire race, but will quit in France when they find out razors are unavailable throughout the entire country, and they refuse to be on camera unprepared.

[Dave] She’s a Miss Teen USA winner? Could they have BEEN any more recruited? I don’t know why, but this team already annoys me. Just looking at their picture bothers me. Therefore they will probably do well in the race. I’ve decided to award them with the “Team most likely to have blow-dryer issues (mostly on Colin’s part)” title. He claims that getting her to fall in love with him is his biggest accomplishment – this must mean that she’s WAY out of his league. He claims he’ll ask her to marry him if they get through the race together. I’m thinking Colin must be worried about Jim and his obvious sex appeal. Christie claims that they will get married right after the race…if they win. Firstly, is she Kelly’s (from TAR4) sister? And secondly, what happens if you don’t win? Do you split and head for Jim and his obvious sex appeal?

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:
flat tireflat tire
2 FLATS

jokers
1 JOKER

snailsnail
2 SNAILS

Dennis/Erika:
I’ve decided that these two will end up not speaking to each other before episode 3.
[Dave] These two are the last of the “couples,” but not the last of the male/female teams. They are described as “formerly engaged.” He broke it off after she went skydiving naked. Suddenly, I find her very interesting. They are another of these “couple” teams that claim they are going on the race to test their relationship. Hold on – she skydives naked, you break off the engagement, and you somehow think that putting yourself under the 24-hour-a-day stress of The Amazing Race is a good test? I’ve decided that these two will end up not speaking to each other before episode 3. If the silent treatment keeps up, they will be eliminated before episode 5. They claim that they know how to play a cutthroat game “fairly and ethically.” In my book, that translates into “willing to cheat to win”, and it also means they will be universally despised.

[Steve] Oh, I want to like this team. Training in a low-oxygen chamber? Naked skydiving? Vicious dog attack? Big deal. Dave and I did the same thing. All right, we played Parcheesi with his hungry cat while holding our breath. But train we did. The potential bad-guys. Probably recruited from Costco stealing all the free samples and letting the air out of the display swimming pools. I hope they’re devious and fun.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:
flat tireflat tireflat tireflat tire
4 FLATS

jokersjokersjokers
3 JOKERS

snail
1 SNAIL

Jim/Marsha: [father/daughter]
Man, Dave, that joke was a long trip for a weak ending.
[Dave] Hold on, I’m reading their bio, and I think I have to do some deciphering. Let’s see…he is married to her mother. His wife is married to her daughter’s father. His daughter has a mother who is married to him. She has a mother who is married to a man posing as her father. He once married a woman who turned out to be her mother. She has a mother who is currently married to a mystery man, known only to her as “father.” She has a father, and he has a daughter. Her mother and his wife have a daughter and a husband, respectively. He has never been married. Therefore, we can deduce that it was Colonel Mustard, with the Revolver, in the Conservatory.

[Steve] Man, Dave, that joke was a long trip for a weak ending. Hey, kinda’ like OUR race! Military helicopter pilot and law-school daughter. Perhaps a few under the radar missions to fund for college? Hell, Dave and I love pilots, even military pilots with their crappy radios. Maybe Colonel Kurtz here could surf naked with Erika on a pit stop.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:
flat tire
1 FLAT

jokers
1 JOKER

snailsnailsnail
3 SNAILS

Kami/Karli:
OK, this team really freaks me out.
[Dave] OK, this team really freaks me out. Their bio calls them “twins”, which I assume is some new hipster slang for friends. That’s just where the strange stuff begins. Look at their “pictures.” Someone screwed the pooch on this one, because it looks to me as though they printed a picture of the same girl twice. It gets better though! Both of these girls are (oddly enough) the same age. Both have strangely spelled names that begin with the letter “K,” and end with the letter “I.” Both names have 2 syllables. Both are from Eugene, Ore. Kami had a secretary named “Lincoln.” Karli had a secretary named “Kennedy.” If I didn’t know better, I’d say these two might be related somewhere back in the distant past.

[Steve] Hoo boy, have you been in the low-oxygen chamber again Dave? These “two” are actually one. Jerry Bruckheimer learned this trick from John Woo in “Face Off.” Same person, half the salary. He saves $500,000 if “they” win. You’ll never see them in the same camera shot. But I’ll play along for the sake of clarity.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:
flat tireflat tire
2 FLATS

jokersjokers
2 JOKERS

snailsnail
2 SNAILS

Linda/Karen:
These two could easily be TAR5’s version of Steve & Dave, only without the ultra-masculine sex appeal.
[Dave] I really like these two. They’re listed as “friends,” they met in a bowling league, and they’re both over 40. What’s not to like? I have to believe that these two actually went through the application process – meaning they weren’t recruited and thus are probably fans of the show – and still managed to get selected. That tells me that they are probably pretty funny and outgoing as well. These two could easily be TAR5’s version of Steve & Dave, only without the ultra-masculine sex appeal. The only real down side I can see for them is the fact that they are listed as “friends,” both are over 40, and they bowl – the same combo didn’t work for Steve & Dave. All in all, we think we might be able to score with them (bad pun intended).

[Steve] Yeah, but they’ll try and stop at every pub and bar like you did because you’d “be drinking at the lanes right about now if I was at home.” Linda’s a tennis instructor and Karen’s a full-time mom. Man, talk about built-in patience for handling the stresses of the race. They’re my prediction for Sequesterville’s party animals.

[Dave] Sequesterville? Oh…you mean loser lodge.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:
flat tireflat tireflat tire
3 FLATS

jokersjokersjokersjokers
4 JOKERS

snailsnailsnail
3 SNAILS

Marshall/Lance:
Unfortunately they are originally from New York, which means that their pizza sucks.
[Steve] These two are listed as brothers and “restaurant” owners. New Yorkers that moved to Dallas??? Can you say Witness Relocation Program? I hope these two guys are funny and not dicks. You know, funny. Like those two guys on a previous show. The ones who enjoyed the hell out of the race. C’mon you know. Good-looking, best of friends. Right. Kevin and Drew.

[Dave] “Marshall” and “Lance”? With names like that, you somehow know that at least one of them has to be gay. Add in the fact that these guys are from Texas. Then remember the old dodge about the only thing coming from Texas being steers and queers and neither of these two has horns and .… Really, I’m not trying to do any gay bashing or make disparaging references to gays by that. It’s just that every “Amazing Race” seems to have at least one gay person on it. I was, however, Texas bashing. These two do own a pizza joint, which makes them worth a second look. Unfortunately they are originally from New York, which means that their pizza sucks. Avoid it like the plague. You want good pizza, come to Chicago. [Content witch’s note: Absolutely true!]

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:
flat tireflat tireflat tire
3 FLATS

jokersjokersjokers
3 JOKERS

snailsnail
2 SNAILS