The ATC Report

In Control - Episode One

With that said, we confess to being just a little disappointed by this iteration of The Amazing Race - so far anyhow.
Are we the only ones who watched the premiere of The Amazing Race 5 and thought, "Hey! This is just TAR4 with a new cast."? Don't believe it? Then let's look at a few details:

TAR4 - started in a location near Los Angeles, flight on leg 1 departed from LAX.
TAR5 - started in a location near Los Angeles, flight on leg 1 departed from LAX.


TAR4 - had a guy who took a bad fall and injured his right knee.
TAR5 - had a guy who took a bad fall and injured his right knee.

TAR4 - had big argument in LAX over one team "cutting" in a ticket line.
TAR5 - had big argument in LAX over one team "cutting" in a ticket line.

TAR4 - team doing most complaining about ticket incident finishes ahead of team that did the "cutting."
TAR5 - team doing most complaining about ticket incident finishes ahead of team that did the "cutting."

TAR4 - one of the choices on first Detour involves a zip-line.
TAR5 - one of the choices on first Detour involves a zip-line.

TAR4 - seemingly likable male/female team eliminated in first leg.
TAR5 - seemingly likable male/female team eliminated in first leg.

Come on. TAR5 even has a team that professes to like bowling - where have we seen or heard of a team like that before? The only differences between Linda/Karen (the bowling moms) and Steve/Dave (us) are the fact that they have boobs (smaller) and we're somewhat humorous. With that said, we confess to being just a little disappointed by this iteration of The Amazing Race - so far anyhow. None of the teams seemed to be very likable, and the humor content was almost non-existent.

Well, on to the ratings. From now on we'll be rating the teams on their performance to date. Oh, there's been a couple of changes to the ratings as well. We got tired of the three categories we used last time, so we came up with three brand new ones: Lack of Personality, Spawn of Satan, and Overall Leg Speed. As with last time, teams get a rating from 0 (zero) to 4 (four) in each category, with four being the highest (but not necessarily the best). Example: in the 'Lack Of Personality' category a team gets a rating of four bowls of vanilla ice cream. This indicates that they have the personality of a brick wall. In the order that they finished…

Alison/Donny:
They finished the leg in first only because two other teams somehow interpreted "across the street from" to mean "up the stairs and in the casino of."
[Dave] I really hoped that the Alison I saw on Big Brother wouldn't show up. I was disappointed. Could she BE a bigger shrew? Still somehow you just knew these two would do well. They finished the leg in first only because two other teams somehow interpreted "across the street from" to mean "up the stairs and in the casino of." At least all of us in Vegas booed every time Alison was on-screen.

[Steve] Actually, we WERE saying "shrewwwww." I'm sure it's just an act. Like Johnny Fairplay. Or Anna Nichole Smith. Or George Bush. Hey, they won. And they followed the rules. I give her 3 more episodes before she hits on Phil. I give Donny 2.

STEVE & DAVE'S RATING:
BowlBowl
2 BOWLS

SatanSatanSatanSatanSatanSatanSatanSatanSatanSatanSatanSatanSatanSatanSatan
15 SPAWNS

bunnybunnybunny
3 BUNNIES

Marshall/Lance:

[Dave] I suspected that I was going to actually like these two guys despite my mocking them in our pre-race article. Then the show began and they started talking. After several of their comments, I realized that these two weren't that far removed from New York. Let's see…Marshall/Lance tell their bus driver NOT to pick up other teams at LAX, but get mad when Dennis/Erika try to buy tickets for two other teams. Both actions are legal, but somehow Dennis and Erika become "scumbags" because of their move. Next week's previews don't look promising for these guys either.

[Steve] Editing, son. When Marshall/Lance (give me a few weeks before I can differentiate between the two of them) said, "They're not too bright" about the twins, what he said was "THEY'RE NOT so hard to tell apart, apparently Karli is blind and her glass eyes are TOO BRIGHT." With that sexist attitude though, I'll bet even the married one doesn't get laid much.

STEVE & DAVE'S RATING:
BowlBowl
2 BOWLS

0 SPAWNS
bunnybunnybunny
3 BUNNIES
Man, they ARE bowling moms. They nearly completed the bowling night trifecta.
Linda/Karen:

[Steve] Man, they ARE bowling moms. They nearly completed the bowling night trifecta. Ya' know, wear matching shirts, gamble, then get shitfaced and fall in the pool.

[Dave] I'm going to sound as though I'm pimping ourselves here, but I couldn't help but feel that Linda and Karen are TAR5's Steve and Dave. They bowl. They are in their 40s. They even navigated to LAX by watching the airplanes and driving towards where they were headed. My biggest hope is that they learned that failure to dig through poop could get you eliminated. I still like these two and hope they do well, but I have to admit that they were pretty bland this episode. I do give them high marks for overcoming their fears and choosing the zip line, though.

[Steve] From a guy who just got back from Vegas, didn't gamble and STILL came out $2,500 ahead? And you SOUND like you're pimping yourself? Huh.

STEVE & DAVE'S RATING:
BowlBowlBowl
3 BOWLS

0 SPAWNS

bunnybunnybunny
3 BUNNIES

Bob/Joyce:

[Dave] Can someone please explain to me why Joyce kept asking Bob to open the hood of the car as they were leaving Santa Monica Pier? Better still, why was Bob actually then looking for the hood release? After that I vaguely remember seeing Bob carry the beef, but beyond that I got nothing. Were these two actually IN this entire episode?

[Steve] They were in an internet café talking to each other online about race strategy. Apparently that's the only way they can have a conversation. And the hood… Joyce had heard the all cars run on computers now.

STEVE & DAVE'S RATING:
BowlBowlBowlBowl
4 BOWLS

0 SPAWNS

bunnybunny
2 BUNNIES

Charla/Mirna:
If they're going to play the defenseless waifs, then don't get too upset when people figure you out.
[Steve] Hated the planted voiceovers. "C'mon Charla, c'mon". And Mirna's lips didn't move. If they're going to play the defenseless waifs, then don't get too upset when people figure you out. I wanna gamble with Mirna at the next Vegas trip, I'll bet she rocks on the craps table.

[Dave] Uh-oh…these two are going to have problems. While watching this episode I came to the dawning realization that sometimes you need to be able to run in The Amazing Race. (Had only I realized this about a year ago.…) If it comes down to any kind of footrace to the finish line, these two will need a good half-hour lead or it's curtains. What was with the freakin' whistle? That was just plain annoying. These two did have the funniest line of the night though, "can't we play just one hand of blackjack?" I guess the fact that I was in Vegas at the time made it even funnier.

STEVE & DAVE'S RATING:
Bowl
1 BOWL

0 SPAWNS

bunny
1 BUNNY

Brandon/Nicole:

[Dave] Am I really supposed to believe that God has decided that these two are so faithful that they cannot possibly lose? This may sound like heresy, but I really find it hard to believe that God has nothing better to do than ensure that Brandon and Nicole win The Amazing Race. If I'm wrong, so be it, but I have a feeling that these two may not last. God might be willing to help, but you've got to take some initiative and be a little creative on your own.

[Steve] Heathen! Blasphemer! God loves a sixth place team. He has a special plan for these two. Like maybe elimination in Jerusalem.

STEVE & DAVE'S RATING:
BowlBowlBowlBowl
4 BOWLS

0 SPAWNS (although it WAS tempting)

bunnybunny
2 BUNNIES
Come to think of it, I'm not even sure I actually saw them in the entire first episode.
Colin/Christie:

[Dave] This race has far too many of the "buff guy/hot babe" teams. Near as I can remember, these two did nothing to distinguish themselves from any of the other teams. No humor, no underhandedness, nothing. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure I actually saw them in the entire first episode. Of course, that could be a foreshadowing of things to come. Perhaps these two are going to be the "Team Goat" of TAR5, meaning they will finish in the top three while having a total of only 36 seconds of airtime.

[Steve] They got 37 seconds. Remember the scene in Amsterdam that looked like fields of wheat? That was a close up of their facial hair. You're right though. Little face time early usually equates to lots later.

STEVE & DAVE'S RATING:
BowlBowlBowlBowl
4 BOWLS

0 SPAWNS

bunnybunny
2 BUNNIES

Chip/Kim:
Man, I have this overwhelming urge to buy a grill that works on newspapers.
[Steve] Man, I have this overwhelming urge to buy a grill that works on newspapers. My guess is this team has already dipped into their $200 emergency fund to pay for the extra cabs. But I sure hope they last. My faves so far.

[Dave] Under normal circumstances, these two would be getting the title of "Team RIF" (for Reading Is Fundamental) about now. However, TAR5 already has a battle in this category, so I'll have to hold off presenting the award until next week at least. Steve and I know what it's like to go from first to worst in successive legs. These two almost did it in a single leg. I still like this team, but they need to remember that if you approach a flagged area and you don't know what you're supposed to do there, you've probably missed your last clue.

STEVE & DAVE'S RATING:
BowlBowl
2 BOWLS

0 SPAWNS

bunnybunnybunny
3 BUNNIES

Kami/Karli:

[Dave] The other contender for the title of "Team RIF." Ladies, a word of advice: when the clue says "across the street from the blue and white hotel," it's generally not a good idea to head INTO the hotel looking for the other side of the street. I really hope that these two don't end up at each other's throats during the race, but if Leg 1 was any indication, we may be seeing "Tuesday Night At The Catfights" before this show is over.

[Steve] Man, I adored that show. That one and "Queen for a Day." I absolutely loved the camera work with the clue box. If the "Fast Girls" don't open their eyes soon they'll get a lot of Stevie Wonder music in the background.

STEVE & DAVE'S RATING:
BowlBowlBowl
3 BOWLS

0 SPAWNS

bunnybunnybunny
3 BUNNIES
On the other, I can't help but wonder if the whole trip to the ER wasn't set up by production.
Jim/Marsha:

[Dave] I'm really torn on this team. On one hand, I really admire Jim for toughing out the whole leg after 25 stitches in the knee - and avoiding elimination. On the other, I can't help but wonder if the whole trip to the ER wasn't set up by production. Do they really have roving paramedics at LAX? If so, do these same paramedics approach average travelers and diagnose a potential inability to fly? ("I'm sorry sir but you have a higher than normal cholesterol count - I think you will need to down this box of Cheerios before you go anywhere near an airplane.") Seemed kind of fishy to me.… Anyhow, speaking from personal experience with knee injuries on The Amazing Race, I suspect that these two won't be around too much longer.

[Steve] And the rental car bus so willing to take them to the hospital AND wait for them??? How convenient. Of course it was set up. Any attorney worth his salt (yes, even Brennan) could eat CBS alive in a court of law after telling them to run on that loose nail minefield known as Santa Monica pier. So production made sure they stayed in the race long enough to take the pills "for malaria" that actually erase their memories.

STEVE & DAVE'S RATING:
Bowl
1 BOWL

0 SPAWNS

bunny
1 SPEED

Dennis/Erika (eliminated):
Congratulations! You are the first team ever to be eliminated from The Amazing Race because you were more concerned about what everyone else thought about you than you were about racing.
[Steve] I'll bet they weren't even offered a trip to the Early Show. CBS bastards. My guess is they were held up at the airport with a not too bright money agent tripping over how to convert the 23 cents. I hope they had a loser lodge in a warm climate because they spent over three weeks there.

[Dave] Congratulations! You are the first team ever to be eliminated from The Amazing Race because you were more concerned about what everyone else thought about you than you were about racing. Remember when you said you could "play a cutthroat game fairly and ethically"? I saw no cutthroat. But really - I actually liked this team while watching leg 1. (Of course, I suspected that they would be eliminated about 30 minutes into the show - too much face time.) Too bad they were eliminated - I can think of a couple of teams that "deserved" it a lot more.

STEVE & DAVE'S RATING:
BowlBowl
2 BOWLS

0 SPAWNS

bunnybunny
2 BUNNIES