Racer Reports

Racer Report – Episode Eleven

Brandon has become so placid and steady that he’s looking more and more like Zach every moment.
Team: Brandon & Nicole
Brandon and Nicole were relatively drama-free this week. I would like to have had Nikki do more of the Roadblocks, but Brandon has become so placid and steady that he’s looking more and more like Zach every moment. If he breaks out a headband in the finale, that should tell us something. This is the team I expected to be worst at the Jeepney task, but they got out of there before Chip and Kim – who have kids and should have matched the Moms with their assembly skills. So yay, Brandon and Nicole. If you get married (and based on the limited evidence, I think you should take this detour option together), you’ll have no problem putting together bikes and swing sets and whatever else you buy for the offspring. And good job with the ox! I’ve worked with large farm animals, and they respond to a calm demeanor. No wonder Brandon finished that task first! Good luck in the finale, kids – it certainly would be a fine outcome to see you arrive at the finish line first.
–– by Daria
Mr. Nice Guy uses the Yield! Woo-hoo!
Team: Chip & Kim – Married Parents
Mr. Nice Guy uses the Yield! Woo-hoo! That was a great moment, and I think you should be proud of yourself, Chip. Although I must say the bridge climb was a little weird. Afraid of heights much, Chip? But Chip was clearly itching to Yield someone, and I think he picked the perfect team for it, because Tex-ASS Extreme(ly Annoying) never recovered from that psychologically. But Chip seemed to wilt in front of Colon’s crazy stare. Hey, like it or not, the Yield is part of the game now, and there’s no shame in using it. I would have liked a little more confidence – and speedier assembly of the Jeepney. But Chip and Kim got an ox that cooperated (because they did the task as a team and didn’t scream at the poor animal), figured out to take a taxi, and won the leg. Yay, Chip and Kim. Good luck in the finale. A win would be well-deserved, and it’s always good to see likable teams cross the finish line first.
–– by Daria for Swimmerboy, who hates his cable company

Team: Colin & Christie – YIELDED!
I have a little theory to share this week about why I think many people do not want Colin and Christie to win. I don’t think it is because C&C are rude, or Ugly Americans, or because Colin is so mean to Christie (especially after learning this week that Christie can be equally mean). It is because they are good at the Race. So good that they consistently leave the other teams in their dust. The Race is not a challenge for them – they don’t struggle with a fear of heights or daredevil stunts. Anything that is thrown at them - with the exception of Christie and the caviar - they do without a complaint and they do it well. Where is the entertainment value in that? If you are not feeling the emotional highs and lows along with a team, you don’t connect with them.

How did I come up with this little theory? Most of it occurred to me after Colin and Christie left the pit stop in first place. Again. They drove to Auckland, didn’t get lost, Colin zipped up the ladder, crossed the bridge supports, and hopped off again. No sweat. Yawn. This was followed by hilarious footage of the other three teams nervously creeping up the ladder and praying not to fall as they made their way across the beams.
Then, a funny thing happened. Colin and Christie got interesting.
Then, a funny thing happened. Colin and Christie got interesting. After securing what appeared to be a flight that would get them to Manila hours ahead of the other teams, they are stymied in Singapore when they can’t make their connection and end up with the pack in Hong Kong. They are last out of the airport in Manila . . . with three vengeful teams in front of them. The obvious outcome? C&C get yielded. I was not happy about the introduction of the Yield, but I will say this for it: it made C&C interesting again. Instead of being able to push each other through the task, they were forced to stand and watch. And frankly, if I were Chip at that moment, I’d be having a really hard time doing any kind of skilled work. Colin really is intense when he stares. All the teams have completed the task before C&C can even start. They focus intently on racing, and finish as fast as they can, then urge their driver to step on it as they race to the big duck. Christie shows her completely obnoxious side during the drive – even urging the driver to run pedestrians over. It doesn’t help – they don’t even arrive at the roadblock until everyone else is finished. Now, not being able to study how it is done, they proceed to completely fuck up the task. Christie stands around and barks orders while Colin is dragged around a rice paddy by a “broken” ox. It’s really quite hilarious. Not really knowing how far behind they are, they finally get their clue and hop on a bus to Manila. They are the first to be shown getting off the bus and hailing a cab, but all the other teams do the same, so I don’t think it gained them any time. All the teams race for Coconut Palace – we have no idea what order they are in. And you know what? That’s what made it interesting. That simple fact made this my favourite episode of the season.

C&C are, unfortunately, last, and are sure they’ve been eliminated. Fortunately for them, they are not and they are ecstatic about it. They happily hand over whatever cash they have to Phil and head off to the pit stop. Presumably to kick the crap out of Chip.

Next week? SNOW!!!!!!
–– by devajd

Team: Linda & Karen – Women with Balls
And the winner of the in-car map flinging event is . . . their kids, who are probably still teasing them about that little scene at the beginning of the episode. Sort of dilutes the effect of the sledging last week, doesn’t it?

After Linda heel-toe-heel-toes her way up to the bridge, crosses the girders, panics, un-panics, and makes like Peter Pan(ic), the ladies find themselves in the Philippines, where they let Chip put the Yield on Tex-ASS Extreme(ly Annoying) and quickly become the Jeepney Queens. How cool was it that they zipped through that task, then got to ride to the Detour in their very own Jeepney? Without going all assy and asking the driver to mow down innocent pedestrians who don’t give a shit about the Race? Oh, and was I the only one to notice that Linda changed pants, like, three times? What was that about?

Anyway, they didn’t abuse their ox, they didn’t scream at each other, and they found the clue fairly quickly. And came in second. Yay, second place! Not as good as first, but very good. And I still believe they could win it all.
But this team has already won, and won big.
But this team has already won, and won big. They’ve exceeded everyone’s expectations (although not mine), they’ve hung on despite lousy airport skills, they’ve fought to stay in the game despite obvious fatigue, and they’ve kicked butt at almost every task. And usually they’ve done it while being so cheerful and upbeat that some fans can’t handle it, facing their fears, doing things they’ve never even conceived of (from the foam club to the sledging), and never giving up even when convinced they were last. Regardless of where they end up, they already hold the record for best finish by a female/female team, and I don’t expect that record to be broken any time soon.

So I will be at TARCon in my black-collared pink bowling shirt, cheering them on and feeling proud of the Moms regardless of where they finish. Great job, ladies! It’s been fun!
–– by Daria
Phil begins the leg giving props to New Zealand and a shout out to me.
Our Amazing Host: Phil
Phil begins the leg giving props to New Zealand and a shout out to me. He mentions Lord of the Rings; I took a class on Children’s Literature and Oxford that included J.R.R. Tolkein. Coincidence? I think not. Or is it the fact that the last pit stop was a filming location for LOTR? You decide. Ahem, back to Phil. This week, along with his usual duties of telling us about the Roadblock and Detour, after Phil gives another explanation of the Yield, it is finally used. It has been almost like Waiting for Yield, the lesser known Samuel Beckett play. For a change though, Phil did not tell us how the teams got to Manila from Auckland. Maybe the AYL is on strike this week. Or it used Colin and Christie's money and had a bit too much to drink at the bar.

After many weeks, Colin and Christie did not come in first so it is Chip and Kim who win a trip to beautiful Hawaii. After getting a hug from Chip (poor Phil, it has been a while since he got a hug), Phil welcomes the rest of the teams including the last place Colin and Christie. Since it is the last non-elimination leg, they are saved (must resist Brendan and Nicole joke) and Phil collects some more pocket change. (For those keeping track of the hugs, the greeter this week got a hug from Kim). Until the finale, bye Phil!
–– by M. Darcy