The ATC Report

"In Control" Vol. XIV, No. 1

We'll be honest with you. We weren't sure we would be back this season. We still aren't. Yes, this is our normal offering. Yes, we submitted it in a timely (for us) fashion. And yes, it would seem that we give every appearance of being back for another season. But here's the catch - at the end of last season it didn't really seem as if anyone was reading anymore. If that's the case, maybe it is best if Steve & Dave just fade into the sunset. We'll see. (Kind of sad that we haven't written a dang thing for this season yet and we're already begging, huh?)

There are a couple of things we thought we would talk about this episode. First is a little-known fact about the Amazing Race. Did you know that at every clue box that provides a ‘Route Info' clue, there is a hint as to the best way to get to the next location? It's true.

For instance, in our season we started at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. True Dodger fans know that said stadium was once called "Chavez Ravine". Most everyone knows that ‘Chavez Ravine' is actually Spanish for "the big valley that belongs to a dude named Chavez". But if you had paid a little more attention, you would have been able to figure out that ‘Chavez Ravine' is also an Italian phrase. Since our destination was Milan, Italy, the Italian phrase is the one that mattered. Of course, ‘Chavez Ravine' in Italian translates to, "take the Swissaire flight - it is quicker". (This would have been true in our case had not weather impacted the flight schedule.)

Fans of the show know that this season saw the teams depart from the Los Alamedos air station. Before you go reaching for your Swiss to English translation books, we're going to tell you it isn't there. There is no "Los Alamedos" in the Swiss language. It DOES appear in the Spanish language though. It translates into, "Can I please have two more boiled geckos?" Obviously, this isn't much help when trying to find one's way from Los Angeles to Locarno, Switzerland.

So where then WAS the clue in tonight's opening? We have to admit, we fed you a bit of disinformation back there. While "Los Alamedos" doesn't show up in your Swiss-English phrase book, "Losala Medos" does. We can hear you furiously turning pages now. It means, "the Milan flight and train combo get there first".

We admit that we were impressed by the bungee jump this episode. "The World's Second Highest Bungee Jump" looked pretty intense. In fact, we are SO impressed we are going to trot out an old chart of ours, updated to include this jump.

(Sure, we know we just recycled the old gag. Listen, even our fabled Art and Graphics Department wasn't sure they would be coming back this season.)

Did anyone besides us catch the ‘secret' alliance formed between Tammy/Victor and Mark/Michael? You know how you could tell it was a ‘secret' alliance? They don't want anyone else to know about it, so they pretended to fight over clues at the clue box - twice - and didn't share any information with each other. On our season, we had a secret alliance with Monica & Sheree, and another with Tian & Jaree. That's why we jumped the line in the first episode, and why Steve threatened to slash tires a few episodes later. We also never shared info with either of those teams, nor did they with us. Somehow, these secret alliances never seem to actually do any good.

Other things we found amusing tonight:

This is the second season to feature an Amanda & Kris. Only the first was spelled Amada & Chris. They are still pronounced the same, "Amander & Chris".

The only team with a player that can't hear finished first. By HEARING a group of yodelers.

Some of these folks claimed that hauling 200 lbs. (~91 Kg) of cheese downhill was the hardest thing they had ever done. We hauled 500 Kg (~1102 lbs) across a village square - uphill, both ways - and we had to kill a grizzly bear armed with nothing but a Bic® pen, and we had to chop down the tallest tree in the forest with...a herring (sorry, we may have exaggerated there). Of course, our sled didn't break but we were forced to wear wooden shoes. (Did anyone besides us wonder why if letting your cheese roll down the hill, picking it up at the bottom, and stacking it was apparently OK, more teams didn't do it?)

Preston & Jennifer missed their train and started arguing. They claim that they argue because they are in love... They argued (loved) all the way to last place and elimination. Steve & Linda argued throughout the leg too, but they never claimed it was because they were in love. We wonder how THAT will play out.

Well, we may see you after next episode. Then again, we may not.