The ATC Report

In Control, Leg 9

Even being flat broke the God Squad has more value in their clothes and backpacks than most of the folks they will be panhandling from will earn in a year.
We have to admit to not foreseeing this non-elimination leg until the episode actually began. With the new “give us all your money” rule, we didn’t figure that the good folks in production would actually put a non-elimination leg in India – Kolkata to be exact. (We got the name and spelling “Kolkata” from the CBS website. Is this the new and improved version of “Calcutta,” home of the infamous black hole?) The previous NELs were in areas where the racers could reasonably expect to be able to obtain funds via begging. In Giza, pyramids equal tourists (and tourists equal money). In Dubai, oil equals money – period. Even being flat broke the God Squad has more value in their clothes and backpacks than most of the folks they will be panhandling from will earn in a year.

Steve and Dave are curious why this group gets to spend all their down time in conveniently placed tents. Nice for them. Our group had to freeze outside for nine hours waiting for the buses in Milan. Then we got to spend another 4 hours in the dead of night in freezing temperatures waiting for a train to Venice. Eight more hours were spent sitting on ant-infested concrete in Dollywood. No tents there. And we had to walk 15 miles to school during a snowstorm, uphill both ways.

To us, India is just like Kami and Karli – we fail to see the attraction. So far TAR has visited India in three of five races. Each time we’ve seen women getting groped on trains. Each time we’ve heard how it smells bad. Each time we’ve heard how poor everyone is, and how impoverished the country appears. We get it. Really. [Note from Steve & Dave to miri: Don’t leave this line in, but have you looked into exporting “Glade” air freshener to India? Sounds as though it’s an untapped market, and could make a bundle for TARflies. Just a thought…]

Watching all those teams announce their intentions at the “Yield,” do you wonder if it will finally get used soon? We suspect that production finally showed us the Yield again to remind us that it still exists – after all, we haven’t actually seen a team stop at it since leg 1. Since we heard teams talk about how they don’t want to win by using the Yield, we figure that someone will probably use it next leg. We still aren’t too sure why you would want to slow someone who is already behind you down, but okay. Life is full of uncertainties, but we could be wrong about that.

How many races is it going to take before teams realize that unless you have absolutely ZERO chance of completing a task (Detour generally, but Roadblock in this case), you should always stick with the task at hand rather than going to try another option? Abandoning what you are doing is a sentence to last place. Last place is a bad place to be unless it is a NEL, but the racers don’t know the NELs in advance. Of course, with the number of recruited teams on the rise, we guess that TAR6 will probably feature another team or two changing tasks…and finishing last.
When Colin is told of the twist, he flips out and seizes a nearby cow, claiming that he will execute this cow plus any others he can find if the producers don’t declare him (but oddly enough, not Christie) the winner immediately.
All of you who don’t like spoilers should probably skip this paragraph. Steve & Dave have discovered this season’s BIG twist, and it takes place next leg. You’ve probably heard the rumors, we’re going to confirm them for you – on next week’s episode America’s favorite team, Jon and Al (the Clowns), will be sent back into the race at the start of the leg. They will be allowed to start the leg at the same time as Colin and Christie. When Colin is told of the twist, he flips out and seizes a nearby cow, claiming that he will execute this cow plus any others he can find if the producers don’t declare him (but oddly enough, not Christie) the winner immediately. After a fifteen-minute discussion, Colin agrees to a compromise – Jon and Al have to run the entire leg with Jon balancing Al on his chin. We won’t tell you more, but make sure that you tune in!

Here are this week’s ratings and icons. First is the “Big Mac” icon. It indicates the teams that could pay a little more attention to eating – preferably something high-carb. Next is the “Target” icon. This indicates the likelihood that the team will be the recipient of the race’s first Yield. And finally there’s the “Icons” icon. It rates nothing, but it’s the closest we’ve ever come to being in the top five. There’s one other icon that we’ve hidden in the ratings – but we trust you can find and decipher it.

Colin/Christie:

Dave: Who can make war with the beast? Five of the last seven legs, these two have been your leaders. Colin showed his pleasant personality again at the Roadblock. Christie seemed to stand up for herself a little bit more this leg, and the previews show her fighting back even more next leg. Unless these two self-destruct, they have got to be the odds-on favorites to win.
Next on Extreme Amazing Race Makeover, Christie has a backbone replacement and is able to stand up for herself.
Steve: “Christie, honey, I didn’t say it was your fault, I just said I was going to blame you.” Next on Extreme Amazing Race Makeover, Christie has a backbone replacement and is able to stand up for herself. And Colin gets a lobotomy and no noticeable difference is discerned. Seriously, these two ROCK on the driving portions. They never seem to get lost.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:

Big MacBig Mac
2 BIG MACS

TargetTargetTargetTarget
4 TARGETS

ATCsATCsATCsATCs
4 ICONS

MirnaMirnaMirnaMirna
4 SPAWN ‘O’ MIRNAS



Chip/Kim:

Steve: OK, now that you’ve built up your competition’s ego to another free vacation, it’s time to kick in the “Your momma’s so fat” jokes.

Dave: Chip…dude! Even Colin let Christie ride in the cab while he pushed. Now, I can understand the logic that says that allowing Kim to “drive” would have probably gotten you lost (because all of us men know about women drivers), but it just looked bad. Do me a favor and stop settling for second place – in the long run it doesn’t pay nearly as well as first!

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:

Big MacBig Mac
2 BIG MACS

TargetTargetTarget
3 TARGETS

ATCsATCsATCsATCs
4 ICONS



Linda/Karen:

Dave: For me, these two are starting to become the Chinese food of TAR5. I watch the show and root for them the whole way through. Then about an hour later I can’t remember if they even did or said anything during the whole episode, so I have to go back and watch again. I sense a great weariness in these two ladies. That is unfortunate, because we all know the only remaining NEL is the second-to-last leg, and I really don’t know if the moms have the stamina to make it that far. I’m still hoping, though.
For me, these two are starting to become the Chinese food of TAR5.
Steve: Did you ever see “Three Men and a Baby”? Remember the rumor that was bandied about involving a ghost that appeared in a window of the set? Well, I’ve located him again. But I think the ghost is an Indian Holy man. He’s located in the back of the soccer mom’s engineless cab sitting next to Karen. Or he’s one damn spooky looking sound guy. Either way that’ll get you to rewind those tapes or back up the Tivo. Oh, and ladies, it’s rupees not rubles.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:

Big Mac
1 BIG MAC

Target
1 TARGET

ATCsATCsATCsATCs
4 ICONS



Kami/Karli:

Steve: “Twins,” drooled the porno producer from U.A.E. “Give us free money”, said the stick-like waifs from infidel America. “Sorry it looks like you two are already doing a feature, but I’d sue the caterer if I was you.” I can’t help but think the saccharine-like simultaneous sound bite (“Oh my God, that was sooo sweet”) was a reenactment. Blech. Another blonde leg. Which reminds me, what do you call a blonde dead in a closet? The 1992 Hide and Seek Champion.
Nine legs in, and I still can’t figure out which one is Kami, which one is Karli, and which one is Doofus.
Dave: Nine legs in, and I still can’t figure out which one is Kami, which one is Karli, and which one is Doofus. Fortunately the big eye’s web page told me it was Kami who was making the bricks. That means that it was Karli who (according to herself) was the actual brick-making “expert.” I wonder what Kami was doing while Karli was immersing herself learning about the fascinating world ‘o’ bricks? I’ll bet it was roofing. Yep, if they have a leg where one of the challenges is re-roofing Phil’s house, Karli should do the challenge so Kami could stand around and dish out some payback.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:

Big MacBig MacBig MacBig Mac
4 BIG MACS

TargetTarget
2 TARGETS

ATCsATCsATCsATCs
4 ICONS



Brandon/Nicole:

Dave: I’m hoping the humor was intentional, because CBS’s TAR web page had the best headline of the race to date for this leg: “Brandon And Nicole Saved.” Where do I begin? You can’t do the Roadblock because your five attempts at brick-making have all failed? Now that you’ve left the Roadblock you can’t do the Fast Forward because it involves shaving your heads? You can’t shave your heads because you’re both models, and Brandon’s hair gets him jobs?!! (With hair like that, when was his last job - 1982?) Since you can’t shave your heads, maybe you CAN do the Roadblock after all? I will say one thing for these two, though – they didn’t quit. Are you paying attention Lance? Marshall?
Shave their heads? Crap, Dave, we wouldn’t dig in poo. I’m giving them a break.
Steve: Shave their heads? Crap, Dave, we wouldn’t dig in poo. I’m giving them a break. Brandon was okay in my eyes this leg. He took care of his girl and kept going. I don’t have much hope for their money begging next week, though. Can you hit on the crew for cash? They were always loaded.

Dave: Steve, if the Fast Forward had involved rubbing poo on their heads I wouldn’t have said a word. Heck, we would have shaved our heads – in my case it’s disappearing on its own anyhow.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:
Big MacBig MacBig Mac
3 BIG MACS

TargetTargetTarget
3 TARGETS

ATCsATCsATCsATCs
4 ICONS





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