The Amazing Race 17 season premiere ranking part one

THE AMAZING RACE 17

UNITED KINGDOM – GHANA – SWEDEN – NORWAY – RUSSIA – OMAN – BANGLADESH – HONG KONG – SOUTH KOREA

TAR 1-4: Original Era
TAR 5-9: Revitalization Era
TAR 10-13: Transition Era
TAR 14-16: Static Era
TAR 17: The Exception.
TAR 18-24: Funky and Inconsistent Era.

Previously Visited

U.K.: TAR 3, 7
GHANA: New
SWEDEN: TAR 6, 15
NORWAY: TAR 6
RUSSIA: TAR 5, 9, 13, 14
OMAN: TAR 9
BANGLADESH: New
HONG KONG: TAR 2, 11
SOUTH KOREA: TAR 4

Believe it or not, there was a season that aired simultaneously with TAR Asia 4 here in the West. That season was indeed The Amazing Race 17.

Out of all seasons from the American franchise, TAR 17 is the one I am least familiar with. In fact, I have only seen about seven minutes of footage from the South Korea round back when it aired, and sometime last year I watched the infamous watermelon clip.

Remember that following TAR 14, I essentially stepped away from The Amazing Race until season nineteen, and did not fully get back into it until TAR 21.

TAR 14-16 saw many viewers from day one quit watching TAR. The series was simply not the same as it was overall for the first twelve seasons. Sure, the first dozen saw significant changes over time, but the core of the show remained the same.

That cannot be said for seasons fourteen through sixteen. The show took a drastic turn that left many old school fans out in the cold.  If I had to guess, it would be for the following reasons:

a) The show had been on for nine years by this point. Long-time viewers are likely experiencing fatigue, regardless how much they love it.
b) Conflict was reaching uncomfortable heights that had only been witnessed during TAR 6.
c) Too much stunt casting that proved to be annoying, negative and hogging up airtime was a turnoff.
d) TAR was running out of locations to visit.
e) Those who liked Dan & Jordan’s win hated the season because Dan & Jordan rarely received airtime, while all of the other teams received too much attention.
f) Those who hated Dan & Jordan’s win were angry that they won.

As for me and why I continued to sit out of the TAR universe?

1) I was entering my second year of university, and was taking my studies much more seriously than during my first year of university.

I had a tough enough time even following Survivor: Nicaragua. During Survivor: Redemption Island I decided to skip out on it because of its terrible cast interviews prior to the season even airing.

2) The fan reaction to the ending of TAR 16.

I saw only three episodes of TAR 16 when it originally aired, and I must say that I rather enjoyed the finale because of Dan & Jordan’s come-from-behind win. It had been a long time since somebody won without dominating ninety-five percent of the season, and it was refreshing to see a team master the strategy of “as long as you do not come in last, you can hold back until the final leg and shock everyone”.

However, I logged onto the Internet and saw everyone declaring that Dan & Jordan were the worst winners ever. Did they not see TAR 6? Or TAR 10? Or even TAR 3 for a legendary terrible win that everyone should know by heart?

It became clear to me that the fan base had changed. Perhaps the same fan base that were waiting to hear Jeff & Jordan’s thoughts on the race at the finish line. Perhaps the same fan base that wanted to see Carol & Brandy yell at a twenty-year-old and try their best to humiliate her. Even if it was a twenty-year-old who annoyed me too, but knew Carol & Brandy were much worse when it came to this feud.

And seeing Jet & Cord’s hypocritical nature in the final round be completely ignored by the audience as well as their post-race scandal? Jet & Cord received a Russell Hantz-like edit, and the audience reacted the same way as they did with Russell Hantz.

“They have a one-dimensional personality and can be a fun character in doses if you can edit them correctly, but they should have won! Dan & Jordan were as undeserving as Natalie White! I loved hearing Jet & Cord say ‘oh my gravy’ twenty times, be entitled in confessionals, and talking about how they live in a town with one light that is flashing yellow.”

natalie white

Oh mah werd.

I probably would like Jet & Cord a lot more if it wasn’t for their over-the-top fan base. Same goes with Hantz and Boston Rob, I should mention.

TAR 16 was not a family-friendly season. I was not the only one who wanted nothing to do with TAR anymore. Many superfans from day one had written articles during TAR 15 and 16 stating that the show offered them nothing anymore. It was not the same program they watched back in 2001, and the changes that the series had undergone after TAR 13 was tainting a series that they once held in such high praise.

That is not to say -every- day one and old school fan left. Some stuck around, but it was clear the demographic of the audience had changed.

Now enter TAR 17. A season that I have heard repeatedly as the one that saved TAR after record low ratings throughout TAR 16. I have not read a comment on this season where someone states “I didn’t like it”.

It is universally beloved. So guess what? It’s my job to be critical of it and decide if it lives up to this ridiculous hype. Did I really miss out on the best season to air since TAR 12?

Before we get to the first episode, let’s go over the format changes for this season:

a) This is the final season to have an accompanying Elimination Station web series. A tradition that dates back to TAR 11: Real All Stars, each week a five to ten minute clip would be uploaded online showing what the eliminated teams are doing at their resort.

The web series was a decent hit during TAR 11, and producers continued funding this web series through TAR 17. After TAR 17, I assume budget cuts and a disinterested viewership stopped this web series.

Truth be told I stopped following this web series after TAR 12. It was neat to see what they do at the resort for the first five or six eliminated teams (the others race along with the finalists to trick local superfans who spot teams running about and spoiling it), but it became boring after a couple of seasons.

I have a feeling thee was about two hundred people who cared about the Elimination Station videos by TAR 17. It was in production’s best interest to stop funding extra clips that nobody was watching.

I cannot deny it was neat to see behind-the-scenes footage of teams you will not get to know on TV, but there was only so much you can make eliminated teams do. Go interact with locals, scuba dive, party, etc. Producers probably saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by turning off the cameras, fire the editor who was responsible for the videos, and not spend money on making eliminated teams do activities to make a clip worth watching for hardcore fans.

b) The introduction of the Express Pass. This was essentially TAR’s lazy answer to the Hidden Immunity Idol that permanently changed Survivor for the next twenty seasons.

The Express Pass is like the Gary Hogeboom individual immunity idol from Survivor: Guatemala. You use it to skip a task and you are guaranteed to survive the round.

Personally I view this as a cheaper version of the Fast Forward. The Fast Forward was an incredible strategic element in the first four seasons where teams had to decide when it was most advantageous to complete the Fast Forward task, and proceed directly to the pit stop.

Here the Express Pass is cheaper because teams do not have to complete anything. In fact, a team could say “we can’t swim? Let’s skip the swimming task and advance”. Essentially, teams are rewarded for being poor racers rather than accomplishing a big feat as with the Fast Forward.

For the next several seasons, winning the first leg meant that you would receive the Express Pass. This prevents any sort of early upset for a team already in the pole position, and odds are that they would be safe for the first half of the game.

I would say the most annoying trend with the Express Pass is how much time editors waste on talking about it in the episodes. There is only three cases in all of the international seasons where the Express Pass will have any impact on the race.

Lastly, there is one more aspect to the Express Pass which annoys me. Why is the expiration date on it so early? In most seasons it cannot be used past leg eight or nine. I think it would be far more intriguing if teams can use it once all the way up to the penultimate leg of the season.

Expires leg eight or nine? Teams won’t care about the Express Pass one bit as five or six teams are usually left in the race anyway.

But if you choose to let it be used up through leg eleven? Now you’ve got conflict.

c) The beginning of the Double U-Turn. In a few more seasons we will have a Blind Double U-Turn, but for now Double U-Turn is good enough.

U-Turn for TAR 12 and 13? Well, it served its purpose but because nobody used it in TAR 13 we got. . .

Blind U-Turn for TAR 14-16. Producers must have loved the drama in TAR 16 when Carol & Brandy were U-Turned by Brent & Caite because. . .

We have Double U-Turn for TAR 17 and beyond!

Why was this necessary? Because every single freakin’ team who has been successfully U-Turned will always finish in last place. In the American version, this has been timed for an elimination leg and has been responsible for eliminating a countless number of teams. The only time the U-Turn is not effective is if a team is dumb enough to U-Turn a team that is already ahead of them.

Because the Double U-Turn is introduced, a team near the top will not be swiftly taken out. They can U-Turn a bottom feeder and eliminate them. In the following leg they can confront the team who U-Turned them and trigger a massive showdown during the season.

No longer is the U-Turn a death sentence. The Double U-Turn not only fixes that, but you have -twice- the drama.

I liked the idea of the Double U-Turn being introduced, but I must admit that I thought the twist would have been benched after Natalie & Nadiya outwit producers in TAR 21. This is the precise moment where Survivor fans looked at them and thought “they would be perfect for Survivor”.

As of TAR 26 we have yet to see a Triple U-Turn or a Quadruple Deaf U-Turn. Give it a few more seasons.

d) A starting line outside of Los Angeles for the first time since TAR 12. Tragically the race will -finish- in LA for TAR 17, but we get a wicked startup in Glosster, Massachusetts.

Wait, it’s spelled Gloucester? Okay. Whatever. That makes zerooooo sense. Dang Gaelic spelling.

I do not know why every race has to start in LA after TAR 11 with rare exceptions. Maybe it is cheaper for flights because other cities would have to connect through LAX to get to their first destination. Possibly because headquarters for the series are in Los Angeles.

jimmy t

Either way I cannot be happier that we have Jimmy T’s hometown serve as the starting line. I wish every season would start in a different U.S. state.

Casting

a) If you love pageant queens, all-female teams, and TAR 16 pioneering YouTube stars, you have come to the right season.

b) Kevin Wu (no relation to Allan) of KevJumba YouTube fame was cast for this season. I knew who he was before TAR, tragically.

c) There is something unusual about TAR 17–a record four all-female teams are cast. In the past sixteen seasons, only a range of one to three all-female teams would be cast per season.

Oh. Right. I am getting ahead of myself. For those of you who did not start watching TAR until TAR 26, let me explain what an all-female team is.

They are two women who combine to form a team on TAR and race in equal combat with all-male teams and co-ed teams.

Now, in the TAR Asia series the all-female teams are top characters and have done very well in four short seasons.

Here in North America. . .they have a terrible track record. Very few teams are stars, and even fewer have been true contenders for a title. There is something about a penis which simply gets the job done in TAR.

Fans probably looked at the cast list and thought “well, we can narrow down who the winners are to seven possibilities”. That’s how badly all-female teams have performed. TAR 11 has been the lone exception.

d) Three parent-child teams. Correct me if I am wrong, but this is a record if you exclude TAR 8: Family Edition.

Starting with TAR 12, parent-child teams were becoming much stronger. They never win, but were certainly making a bigger splash than all-female teams.

Therefore, we have seven out of eleven teams who come from two demographics that have never won The Amazing Race in the sixteen prior seasons.

Yeah, I think CBS would be lying if they said pioneering a parent-child or an all-female victory was not one of their goals.

guilin margie 4

“We tried our hardest to be in the Final Four for seasons twelve, thirteen, and fourteen but they are still LAUGHING at us!”

But they’ve tried before, and they never get their way. For those of you keeping score at home, we have just four teams who have a possibility of winning this season.

Lastly, I need to throw this fact out there. This is a season that is praised non-stop for the past five years. If it is sooooo amazing, why is there only one racer who has a long-term impact on the franchise? She will become the female Rupert by appearing two additional times in less than four years, and her legacy will be absolutely crushed by the end of her run because of one of the most infuriating incidents I have ever witnessed.

Only her teammate will have a chance to play again, and the turnaround will be very quick. Everyone else surprisingly falls into obscurity. I have never understood that because of this season being hailed as “that freakin’ great”.

Now enjoy this season before I have to blog about returning players once more. Or rather, discussing half of the cast who participated in TAR 14.

Let’s start the show!

Episode One

“Finger Prickers and Concussions.”

UNITED KINGDOM – GHANA – SWEDEN – NORWAY – RUSSIA – OMAN – BANGLADESH – HONG KONG – SOUTH KOREA
gloucester lighthouse

Ah. A Los Angeles lighthouse right on the ocean. It is taken straight out of the TAR 25 finale. How original.

gloucester cottage

A nice group of cottages in the LA suburbs.

gloucester ocean

Birds flying away from the ocean rocks. A typical morning in the day of a Californian. I bet half of the teams walked a measly two blocks to reach the starting line. Heck, that yoga couple from TAR 15 (Eric & Lisa) walked five blocks to the starting line, eliminated during the first task, and picked up groceries on the way home that day.

PHIL: It’s morning in Glosster, Massachusetts.

gloucester building

Why the hell do we care if it is morning in some Irish fishing village? Let’s cut back to L.A. and start the race! What are you waiting for, Phil?

PHIL: The oldest seaboard in America it was carved out of a coastline that is both dangerous and beautiful.

gloucester ship

Shut up about Glosster. I came here to watch The Amazing Motherf–king Race! Am I watching No Opportunity Wasted by accident?

ray deana glare

Maybe it is a show about Ray Hosteau where he challenges really old towns to a game of Checkers. Who knows.

PHIL: From here one of the first towns created in this country, eleven teams will embark on a race around the world for one million dollars.

gloucester phil keoghan

Holy crapola. The race is starting outside of Los Angeles or Santa Monica or Hollywood? We get to start in some obscure town in the middle of the eastern seaboard? This is so refreshing.

NOTE: This is the only starting line to be outside of California or New York between TAR 12 and TAR 26. Don’t ask me why producers are becoming increasingly lazy. Just accept it.

gloucester phil keoghan 2

Just in case you have been living under a Plymouth Rock for the past ten years, this man is Phil Keoghan.

See? I am embracing the New England spirit.

gloucester phil keoghan 3

I love how Phil’s entrances has steadily decreased in elevation to the point that he now has to do the intro from ground level.

phil intro

tar 5 phil turtle 1

phil keoghan new york

Remember when Phil would introduce every season from a tall building or a boat? Now he’s stuck on the ground like a normal person.

And what is with the sloping hills here in Gloucester?

sonic emerald hill

Did Sonic the Hedgehog design it?

– The music is super cheesy. I have to comment on it. It is as if it is being directly adapted for a children’s movie or Back to the Future. The over-the-top “we’re going on an adventure in the forest” type of music.

It reminds me a lot of the Kokiri Forest theme from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I cannot screencap music. This is the best comparison I could come up with for the soundtrack.

PHIL: Lobster boats are now transporting the eleven teams to the starting line at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

Well, this is better than last season where all eleven teams were transported on a single bus.

gloucester no excuses

That sign is a warning for people who throw up after refusing to take motion sickness pills.

gloucester ships

The other boats must have lame names if none of them are receiving the zoom-in treatment like No Excuses did.

colin dexter

I hear there was a boat called The Slice of Life, but they cut it out of the episode due to recent change of circumstances.

– Ready to meet the eleven teams? Let’s do this s–t.

PHIL: Brooke and Claire. Home Shopping Television Hosts from Reno, Nevada.

gloucester brook claire 2

Home Shopping Hosts? Really? This looks like stunt casting, folks. What are they going to do? Make a silly face right when we cut to them?

gloucester brook claire

Looks like they are prepared for the foot massage challenge if this season goes to China.

gloucester brook claire 3

A camera is filming behind a camera that is filming Brook & Claire.

gloucester brook claire 4

Brook beats Claire and her oddly tied belt to posing for the camera. Better luck next time, Claire.

CLAIRE: Brook and I met working for a national home shopping network.

gloucester claire champlin

Although producers are not paying much attention because Claire’s first close-up on TAR is of her manicured nails. In other words, editors are screaming at us to think of the word ‘prissy’. Not sure how I feel about that. Maybe things will take a turn.

gloucester brook claire 5

Oh no. Now they’re doing makeup. The last all-female team I can recall where both were doing makeup in their intro. . .

thailand natalie pailin intro 5

Yeah. This might be trouble for Brook & Claire.

samantha jones

Speaking of which, Samantha Jones from Sex and the City bears great resemblance to Brook Roberts.

BROOK: I feel our job has prepared us for the race because we are such great communicators.

gloucester brook claire 6

Makes sense. Because every time Brook looks at Claire it looks like she is peering through her soul.

BROOK: We are manipulators and we can manipulate. We -can- get what we want.

Oh no. Now they are getting the flirt edit. This is a recipe for disaster. Not only that but they are -still- being shown doing each other’s makeup!

gloucester brook claire 8

Finally! Some hard work for once. They are undertaking the physically demanding task of raising the roof. Maybe this team will be stronger than I think.

– We are only a little over a minute into the season, but we get our first mildly offensive quote of the season. Prepare Parenting Council, it is time to get your cell phones ready!

CLAIRE: Brook and I can sell ice to an eskimo!

gloucester brook claire 9

Viewers in 2030 will be confused because there will be no ice left in the Arctic Circle by then. This sentence will need to be revised in fifteen years. Not to mention that eskimo may be an entirely unacceptable word by then.

Edmonton will lose the assonance for its CFL team, I imagine.

jon lajoie

I have a feeling he will not change the name of his BNB regardless of its lack of political correctness.

– Ready for our second team?

PHIL: Chad & Stephanie. Dating from Miami, Florida.

gloucester chad stephanie 2

A dating couple in a season with other teams that are not dating couples? Preposterous concept!!!

– We cut to Chad doing bench presses using Stephanie’s body.

gloucester chad stephanie

Judging by where his left hand is, I have a feeling lactic acid is not the only thing building up in his body.

gloucester chad stephanie 3

Chad’s arms have given out! Quick, a spotter needs to come over and lift up the weight to rescue him!

gloucester chad stephanie 4

Now he’s using her as a weight for a piggyback ride? This is like a Bodybreak exercise video.

STEPHANIE: Chad and I met eight months ago, and we just purchased a home together. So it’s been a very fast-paced relationship.

Geez. A home together after eight months? I once dated a woman for roughly six months, and I can assure you the plans of having even a Shane Powers-esque sh–ty apartment was years and years away into the future.
gloucester chad stephanie 5

Cupid has a chokehold on this couple.

gloucester chad stephanie 6

lol Chad’s hair.

– Now to the next part of their active day. . .

gloucester chad stephanie 7

I guess using Stephanie as a bicycle may have been seen as abusive in this scenario.

yoshi transform

Unless Stephanie is like Yoshi from Yoshi’s Island and can transform into any fitness object when there is a tiny bubble surrounding it.

CHAD: Stephanie and I balance each other in the way we think. I have found the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I am going to ask Stephanie to marry me on the race.

gloucester chad waltrip

He’s going to propose to her on the race?! With that hair?! At least get it styled or altered, bro.

gloucester bar

I guess it’s not the first time that Chad has set the bar low for himself.

– Now for our third team. . .

PHIL: Katie and Rachel. Beach volleyball partners from Belmar, New Jersey.

gloucester katie rachel 2

The first person named Rachel to be assigned the colour green for the race.

RACHEL: Katie and I have been beach volleyball partners for five years.

gloucester katie rachel

I see the director from Game of Thrones was able to capture Katie & Rachel’s TAR intro.

dead or alive volleyball

Or those stupid idiots from the Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball commercial.

gloucester katie rachel 3

We’re going to get a volleyball montage, aren’t we?

ashley trainor

She looks like freakin’ Ashley Trainor from Survivor: Samoa here.

gloucester katie rachel 4

This is getting ridiculous.

gloucester katie seamon

Is this going to stop anytime soon?

KATIE: Rachel and I have all of the tools.
(Short pause.)

Great comedic timing.

gloucester katie rachel 9

I am a twenty-three year old myself, and can agree that I have friends who have all of the tools too. When I think of tools, Katie & Rachel come to mind instantly.

gloucester katie rachel 5

Katie Shamar’s up her own eyes.

gloucester katie rachel 6

They’re on a treadmill. Get it? They are physically fit.

gloucester katie rachel 7

Now’s not the time to make a run at a pageant entry, Katie.

KATIE: We are smart. We are tough. We are athletic, and I think that’s a deadly combination.

gloucester volleyball

Aaaand back to volleyball.

gloucester volleyball 2

Whoa! What just happened to Katie & Rachel here?
KATIE: If you’re on the tracks when the train is coming through, watch out.
RACHEL: Get out of our way.
KATIE: We’re going to be some bitches.

gloucester katie rachel 8

Psssst. I have a feeling the middle-aged women of America already hate Katie and Rachel. Just a gut instinct.

– It is fitting that Katie’s last name is Seamon.
.
.
.
Because the starting line takes place in a fishing town that is right on the ocean! Why else did you think? I thought it was a bit obvious.

– Terrible joke aside, we shall move onto our next team. . .

PHIL: Connor and Jonathan. Ivy League a capella singers.

gloucester connor jonathan

Low-hanging branches and old buildings on a courtyard? This confirms every image I have seen of Ivy League universities in Gilmore Girls.

gloucester connor jonathan 2

Two dorks who are shy to the extreme that they wear camouflage to avoid being seen.

– We cut to them singing the tune of ‘Amazing Grace’ but dropping the second ‘G’ to make it ‘Amazing Race’. Yeah, like TAR Asia 4 hadn’t already done that.

gloucester connor jonathan 3

Get it over with and do a rendition of Rockapella’s Carmen Sandiego theme.

gloucester jonathan schwartz

If not for Millie & Chuck, I believe Connor & Jonathan’s subtitle as a team would be ‘Virgins’ rather than ‘A capella singers’.

gloucester jonathan diemand-yauman
He is getting into it.

CONNOR: We met auditioning for the same a capella group in freshman year.
JONATHAN: I think we’re going to sing a lot during the race. We’ll sing to make the other teams like us, and sing thank you to our cab drivers. It’s more applicable than you think.

gloucester connor jonathan 4

I am worried. If they are going to sing as often as they claim they will, it will be like an episode of Family Guy where I change the channel anytime there is a five minute song.

For all we know Connor & Jonathan will make a tune about vasectomy procedures and shapoopis or whatever crap that is called.

gloucester connor jonathan 5

Jonathan critiquing Connor’s lip movement when he sings.

CONNOR: Tenors are known for being tough guys.

It’s true. All of the greatest fighters in the UFC started out as singers in the choir rather than being a bouncer at strip clubs. Fact.

gloucester connor jonathan 6

I am the very model modern major-general

gloucester connor jonathan 7

I’ve information vegetable, animal, and mineral

gloucester connor jonathan 8

Hey guys, what’d I miss?

CONNOR: In the a capella world we are the badass manly
JONATHAN: Yeah. Gang leaders.
CONNOR: Manliest.

Ugh. Is that supposed to be their way of being funny in a subtle way? I wonder if Ivy League alumni all think they are seventy percent smarter than everyone else and think that nobody else around them is as sharp as they are.

It’s understandable because I went to a fairly high-level university that is surrounded by a few not-so-prestigious colleges, and I share that same mindset as well. Have you seen my blog?

“We’ll do anything for moneeey!”

gloucester connor jonathan 9

Like dropping your pants in the middle of a busy intersection and sing “old gray mare she ain’t what she used to be”?

connor jonathan amazing race

Connor & Jonathan when they are eighty.

– Before we move on there is one comparison I need to make. If Connor and Jonathan were to morph into a single human being, you know who they would be?

adam israelov 3

Adam Israelov from the fourth season of The Apprentice. A big step down into obscurity from Kim Cattrall, wouldn’t you say?

– What about our fifth team?

PHIL: Nat and Kat–Doctors and best friends.

gloucester nat kat

Nat and Kat? Perhaps the shortest team name in history next to So Kim from the upcoming season of Survivor, and also a team name with one with too many hard ‘ahhhh’ sounds.

It does not help that their full names are Nat Strand and Kat Chang. Just saying “Kat Chang” makes me believe it is a line from Rick James’ Chinatown monologue in the Charlie Murphy Stories sketch.

gloucester nat kat 2

They’re laughing; they’re having a good time.

KAT: Being doctors, we’re used to being sleep-deprived under stressful situations.
NAT: Kat and I have been up at three in the morning doing an emergency heart transplant. You have to be speedy. You have to be accurate. We know how to work with each other.

gloucester hospital

I feel bad for the injured person on the stretcher who was instructed to film Nat & Kat while in critical condition.

gloucester nat kat 4

The length of my hair is longer than Nat’s but shorter than Kat’s.

gloucester nat strand

gloucester kat chang

Although you couldn’t tell at work.

gloucester nat kat 5

I wish Nat & Kat could have brought me to the hospital and done this to me for three months while TAR 24 was on TV.

KAT: I think we’re a team of nerds, and we’re proud of it.

gloucester nat kat 6

Still laughing. Still having a good time.

If they go far, it will be ‘Cha-Ching for Kat-Chang’.

– We’re now at the halfway point as we get to our sixth team.

PHIL: Michael and Kevin. Father and son. Internet sensations Sugar Land, Texas.

gloucester kevin michael wu

Michael. Not. Like. Boats. He is frozen stiff. I bet you his whole arm would rip off if you pulled on it.

gloucester kevin michael wu 2

A beautiful family playing the beautiful game.

– We cut to Kevin asking his father a simple question.

KEVIN: Do you know how to do the robot?
MICHAEL (squeakiest voice I have heard in TAR history): Of course I do!
KEVIN: Tilt your head a little bit.

gloucester kevin michael wu 3

We have Team Dead or Alive, Team Kim Cattrall, Team Bench-Press-Your-Girlfriend, and now Team Robot?

This is an odd crew.

gloucester kevin michael wu 4

Okay. Michael. Michael. You can stop now. Joke is over.

NOTE: Yes, I did see KevJumba’s videos before he was on TAR. How good are his videos? Well. . .
.
.
.

joey furby

They are better than this guy’s work. I am aware that is not saying much.

gloucester kevin michael wu 5

Kevin using his childhood Nerf gun for a few laughs.

gloucester kevin michael wu 6

KEVIN: I posted videos online and started using my Dad in my videos, and now I have over a million subscribers.

Pssst. Michael fell asleep during the pre-race confessionals. Something tells me he does not have much stamina.

gloucester kevin michael wu 7

Michael makes the Oscar Leroy face from Corner Gas.

gloucester kevin michael wu 8

Michael. Michael. We’ve moved on. Next joke.

gloucester kevin michael wu 9

Now time for some basketball. Illegal headbutt, Kev!

KEVIN: What’s funny about him is that he is an immigrant, and I am a first generation Asian-American.

I wish the part where Kevin says ‘and I am a first generation Asian-American’ was cut out. The sentence would then become unintentionally offensive.

KEVIN: We sorta have this conflicting cultures, and when people see it on camera it’s funny.

gloucester kevin michael wu 10

This is re-affirmed by the Asian-American stealing the basketball away from the immigrant who worked so hard for possession of that object. Now the immigrant is left with nothing.

Classic narrative.

gloucester kevin michael wu 11

Something tells me neither of them will be able to jump for that rebound.

gloucester kevin michael wu 13

Knew it.

gloucester kevin michael wu 12

The secret to KevJumba’s success is that his father smokes a whole bunch of rocks before they shoot each video.

singapore allan wu 5

By the way, Michael and Kevin Wu are indeed related to Allan Wu from TAR Asia. You thought the TAR Asia connection was over, but you were wrong. Allan is the eldest son of Michael’s brother.

jenny wu

And Jenny Wu from TAR 26 is Kevin’s older sister. Who knew?

NOTE: I just checked KevJumba’s YouTube channel. He has not uploaded anything new since September of 2013.

Supposedly he is in pursuit of becoming a monk, and his fans are assuming that contributed to his sudden disappearance. One of the more unexpected answers to find, I know. He was not enjoying making videos anymore and fell into a bit of depression. Once he started meditating, he abruptly quit producing videos for his channel and left without any sort of explanation.

In other words, he is doing the same thing that Loon did in hip hop. Well, almost.

Again, this is coming from his fans who stalk his Instagram. If this information is inaccurate, feel free to correct me. This is me doing fifteen minutes of research because I was curious what happened to KevJumba. I imagine this will alter how we perceive him for the remainder of this blog.

Wait, why do I care about this? This intro is taking me forever.

– Now for our seventh team. Yes, we’re getting through this.

PHIL: Nick and Vicki. Dating from Las Vegas, Nevada.

gloucester nick vicki

The race has yet to start and Vicki is already on the lookout for a new partner.

gloucester nick vicki 2

They own a Harley? That instantly makes them a bigger badass than Jean-Robert.

NICK: When people look at Vicki and I, we look like the rough couple.
VICKI: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

gloucester nick vicki 3

Judging a book by its cover? This blog has -never- done that. I would never judge somebody for that dyed mohawk and bearing more tattoos than a fighter from the WEC.

VICKI: You know, the other teams will say ‘oh, they are tattooed’, they drink and party a lot. Little do they know we are very athletic people and we are definitely going to kick ass.

gloucester vicki casciola

gloucester tattoo

Kicking ass and watching marathons of Miami Ink, I assume.

– That was quick. Now for our eighth team. . .

PHIL: Ron and Tony. Best friends from Los Angeles, California.

gloucester ron tony

TONY: Ron and I have been best friends for twenty-two years. We met doing the play The Whiz.

gloucester ron tony 2

The Whiz? I was not expecting that.

RON: The reason we’re doing the race is it’s my best friend’s dream.

Where have I heard that one before?

shanghai dan jordan pious

Ah. Right.

gloucester ron tony 3

I thought his best friend’s dream was to make a Super Nintendo video game named after him called Tony Fu, but I could be wrong.

TONY: This life experience is the best gift I think you could ever get.

gloucester ron tony 4

They deserve twenty points for the outfit alone. Personally I believe THAT is the best gift they could ever get.

– Another short bio. How about our ninth team?

PHIL: Jill & Thomas. Dating from Marina Del Ray, California.

gloucester jill thomas

And already experiencing a bad hair day.

THOMAS: I am extremely competitive. I am extremely outspoken.
JILL: When he’s right he’s right and that’s that.

Jill says Thomas Thomas is decisive decisive.

gloucester jill thomas 2

Now they will kiss kiss for long time time.

gloucester jill thomas 3

Mactor kisses: One step above old people kisses.

JILL: I kinda want to show Thomas that I can be right in situations.
THOMAS: It’s going my way without question.

gloucester jill thomas 4

I can assure you Thomas did not say that with much confidence.

– Our tenth team?

PHIL: Gary and Mallory. Father and daughter from Kentucky.

gloucester gary mallory

Yes, Mallory is receiving the Chelsea Meissner/Caroline & Jennifer approach of “I can shoot a gun even though I am a female omgz how shocking” edit.

gloucester mallory erwin

paris pat brenda 2

Mallory makes her best Brenda face.

MALLORY: I am the reigning Miss Kentucky 2009.

gloucester mallory erwin 2

Look how tiny she is compared to the other competitors.

gloucester mallory erwin 3

And she did it all without a backpack!

gloucester gary mallory 3

Much like Michael Wu, Gary lets Mallory do all of the talking first.

MALLORY: When I want something, I will do anything to do to get it.
GARY: Mallory, she’s the boy I wanted to have first. I taught her how to hunt and fish.

gloucester gary mallory erwin 4

Uh, yeah. I don’t think she is a boy.

gloucester gary mallory erwin 3

I feel bad for the dog who does not get an ATV of its own. This is cruel.

gloucester gary mallory erwin 5

Such a tomboy. Women don’t ride in small propeller planes!

MALLORY: The Amazing Race is our opportunity to showcase that hard work and being a good person can get you far.

gloucester mallory erwin 4

WHAT! Women don’t ride in the front of a small propeller plane, let alone ride in it at all!!!!!!
GARY: Don’t let this gray-haired and pot belly fool you.

gloucester gary mallory erwin 6

How are you fooling us, Gary?

MALLORY: Or the blonde.

gloucester gary mallory erwin 7

And how are you fooling us, too? Am I missing something?

gloucester gary mallory erwin 9

How exactly are they fooling us?

1. Mallory is really a boy.
2. Gary is wearing a wig.

– Ten down, one to go. All that remains is one team before we can get to the real business of why we are here.

PHIL: Andie and Jenna. Biological mother and daughter recently reunited.

gloucester andie jenna

Well, we are certainly ending the intro on a cheerful note, I must say.

gloucester andie jenna 2

Is this the same forest used for Gary & Mallory’s intro?

ANDIE: When I was twenty-one years old I had an unplanned pregnancy, and gave birth to this beautiful baby Jenna.

gloucester andie jenna 3

“Then what happened?”

ANDIE: At the time I made the decision that it was in her best interests that she’s in an adoptive family for her.

gloucester andie jenna 4

They do resemble each other greatly. Both look like they are out of shape, slow walkers, share the same hairstyle, and both struggle at opening their eyes in sunlight.
gloucester andie jenna 5

DRAMATIZATION: They met prior to this.

ANDIE: Just recently we’ve gotten to meet.
JENNA: We’ve always wondered about each other and wanted to talk to get to know each other, and hopefully after the race we will really feel fulfilled.
gloucester andie jenna 6

“And we didn’t even know each other’s names yet because we immediately started talking about the last season of The Amazing Race and sent in an audition tape before we learned about each other.”

gloucester jenna sykes

Nothing promotes physical preparation for the race like a good game of eight ball.

gloucester andie jenna 7

Why are all of the balls in a close cluster? SOMEBODY doesn’t know how to break, Jenna.

– Which of these eleven teams who Logan does not give a s–t about figure out how to get from here to the finish line first?

gloucester start

“Who has what it takes to win. . .”

gloucester phil keoghan 4

“The Amazing Race!”

Whatever happened to needing the right combination of brains, brawn, and teamwork? I guess those qualities are no longer needed.

gloucester start 3

Nice helicopter shot. Is that a swimming pool?

gloucester start 4

A shot of teams standing in front of an outline of a ship sail with an American flag in the middle? This New England theme is getting a bit extreme.

PHIL: In just a few minutes you’ll begin the adventure of your lives.

gloucester phil keoghan 5

“And in thirty minutes, fourteen houseguests will enter this house and be stuck with a robotic and error-prone host for three months. Guess who gets the short end of the stick?”

gloucester phil keoghan 6

Phil proceeds to do The Robot in Julie and Michael Wu’s honour.

PHIL: You better be ready because this will be one of the most gruelling races ever.
(Cue dramatic slow thumping drum sounds.)

Sonofabitch. Did he really pull that line? He just used it in TAR 16 and we all know how that turned out.

“So mothaf–king fierce you have to use public transit at the beginning.”

And of course who can forget. . .

the amazing race asia 3 promo

That was just one year before TAR 16.

– Phil explains eight pit stops are elimination points.
gloucester connor jonathan 12

The Modern Major-General takes a deep breath.

– PHIL: Now I suggest you listen very carefully because there is a new element in this race that will be a real game-changer.
(Suspicious music plays.)
gloucester brook claire 10

“O no he di’int. . .o yes he did, Kim Cattrall.”

PHIL: As you know, the first team to check into the pit stop receives a prize. Well at the end of -this- first leg if your team checks in first, you will receive the most important prize that we have ever given away. It’s called the Express Pass.

gloucester andie jenna 8

Why are these two listening? Do they seriously think they will be winning -any- leg this season?

PHIL: Here’s how it works–if your team wins the Express Pass, you can use it anytime before or during a challenge that you don’t want to complete. All you have to do is just hand over the Express Pass. Skip the task and get your next clue and move on.

gloucester teams

“Oh. That’s it?”

PHIL: And if you use it at the right time, it could be the difference between staying in the race and going home. If I was you, I’d race like CRAZY to get it.

gloucester phil keoghan 7

“Did I sell it, Bertram?”

gloucester phil keoghan 8

“Did I?”

PHIL: By the way, there’s another reason you need to bring your ‘A’ game to the start of the race. Even though there are two flights waiting for you at Logan Airport (they named an airport after me?), the flight that leaves first only has room for three teams and is scheduled to arrive thirty minutes earlier.
.
.
.
THAT’S WHAT THEY DID IN TAR 16 TOO!!!!!! How is that tougher? Do I have to explain how it actually makes it -easier- for teams?

a) The whole goal of the first eleven legs is to not be last.
b) In earlier seasons, three flights would be scheduled for teams and typically only three or four teams would be on the last flight. I can assure you those gaps were much larger than thirty minutes.
c) Being on the final flight with more teams increases your odds of surviving the leg.

That would be like if Phil said the following:

tatouine phil keoghan 2

“The first team to arrive at the pit stop wins a prize. It is our biggest prize EVER–breakfast in bed along with a Kodak Easy Share digital camera.”

shanghai phil keoghan 4

“The team that arrives second-to-last will leave the following pit start last. If I were you, I’d race like a F–KING MAD MAN to avoid this scenario.”

france phil keoghan 3

“The third team to the Detour will be ahead of eight other teams. And depending on how far behind the other teams are. . .you could be at a HUGE advantage.”

– The best part about this news? Nobody really reacts to the flight announcement.

gloucester brook claire 11
Brook’s expression of #notfazed is the highlight for me.

gloucester phil keoghan 9

Just because you raise your eyebrow Phil does not make it a greater impact on the race.

– The gimmicks are over. Phil says the clue is on their luggage and can head into one of the cars. First ones to cross the finish line will win a million bucks.

gloucester cars

They are smart cars, by the way. Bilal & Sa’eed may have been eliminated before the first pit stop again if they were cast for this season.

IS EVERYBODY READY?
WORLD IS WAITING FOR YOU
GOOD LUCK
gloucester phil keoghan 10
(INSERT EYEBROW RAISE HERE.)

gloucester start 6

They know it’s on.

TRAVEL SAFE

gloucester start 7

Hold it. . .
.
.
.
.
gloucester phil keoghan 11

“GO!”

Here is part two. Enjoy.

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/the-amazing-race-17-season-premiere-ranking-part-two/

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4 Responses to The Amazing Race 17 season premiere ranking part one

  1. polisi25 says:

    Hi, I am a blogger, and I did some lurking on your blog for Asia 4 due to Reddit. And fingers crossed that you will find the quality of this season decent.
    P.S; I did a recap of The Amazing Race China, the Celebrity Season, so I hope that you may read it.

    • Awesome, polisi25.

      I have always stayed away from the China Rush series because I cannot stand the idea of watching three NELs in a row, a race staying entirely within one country, and my knowledge of Mandarin is minimal.

      However, Allan Wu is the host, and Celebrity Edition went international, Does he do his puns in English or Mandarin? I will definitely check out your blog sooner rather than later.

      • polisi25 says:

        Well, this Celebrity Edition is set in a different production.
        Allan Wu spoke primarily in Chinese and he only started the hosting role in India in leg 3 since he don’t have a green card to host in the USA.
        Still, the Celebrity Edition might be a cringefest for you due to celebrities schedules, which the season finishes producing in 20 weeks and the rooms that the teams stay would make everybody (especially TARA 3 Natalie) fume with envy.
        Also, they copied some of the tasks from other versions, including 1 from US Season 24, but at least the tasks are good enough to excite me.
        And the celebrities are at least B Star, though only 1 team consists of an athlete, everyone else is either a singer, actor or model.

  2. Pingback: The Amazing Race 17 season premiere ranking part two | Thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse's Blog

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