Attention IKEA Shoppers. Please be aware that today we’ll have a ton of crazy mad-people running around the store counting bears. Please do not bring in any of your own personal bears, or they may get counted. Please be advised if you see a man with blue hair, step calmly out of his way or he may chastise you. Lastly, we have a special today of children’s futons, retro style lamps and my thoughts on this weeks episode…
1. Winners of the Week: On reality shows there is a fine line between nice and boring. In a genre where the outrageous is often highlighted, those participants that aren’t prone to yell and scream tend to disappear off our radar and become the “invisible team boring team.” There was one scene in this episode seemed to highlight that. While two teams seemed to arrive at the tandem bikes at the about the same time, the camera focused on Hayden who was yelling at Aaron. All the while Kris and Jon jumped onto their bikes and glided away, without a word of complaint. Later at the Pit Stop, they waited politely behind Hayden and Aaron while Phil awarded them a cruise. For the most part, they seem supportive, calm and a strong team, and of course, that’s just not compelling TV. Yet, it’s enough to make them this weeks winners.
2. Weasel of the Week: This week I decided to look somewhere else for my weasel. It would be easy to reward the over the top behavior with recognition, but instead I am going for the subtle annoyance. Hey, I am all for using every advantage you have to try to win but begging the girl to go easy on you because you’re 40 years older than everybody is a bit of a weaselly move, in my opinion. Don is a nice enough guy, but he should know that trying to sway a Retail Store manager type with a sympathetic tale is futile. She’s already heard it all and she ain’t cutting you no slack because your older. So, go ahead, ask for your senior discount, just don”t try to get out of doing a challenge right because of your age.
3. “It’s just been a perfectly horrible day.” Sometimes their words describe it better than I ever can. So we now must say good-bye to Lena and Christy, our good/bad Mormon girl teams. For maybe the first time in the game, I hoped they would just break the rules and make this a non-elimination round. Not because I really like this team, but for the girl to stay there for over 100 bales of hay for 8 hours was amazing. Was this a case of bad luck where she just picked the wrong bales, over and over and over again, or was there some fundamental flaw in her bale rolling technique that caused he to miss the clues, I don’t know? But for a girl who doesn’t “sleep in tents” I though that he pure perseverance was impressive and would love to see how that played out in later legs of the race.
4. Lines of the Week: Is Adam as wussy as he seems? That is the question we’ll need to look at in the weeks to come, but I think this quote is quite telling. “The fact that I can take care of Rebecca hasn’t come out much because she’s had to take care of me because I’m scared of a lot of things.” Other lines I like this week were “Is that your final answer?” From the Ikea girl to Lena and Kristy, and Aaron’s attempt to sound like an Arnold Clone as he says, “Are we rolling bales like Strong Man Competition?” Finally, in probably the most ironic quote of the episode, Lena advise to Christy during the hay bale roll. “You may have to go through several.” I guess a hundred, give or take, could be considered “several.”
5. This week’s Ikea challenge was like a bad nightmare for me. I worked as a retail manager for several years and I know how challenging doing an inventory can be. Personally, I think it that forcing prisoners of war to do that would violate the Geneva Convention. It is truly emotional and mental torture. Yet, if I had to choose one activity that would probably drive me equally crazy it would be the assembling of prefabricated furniture. I had never been good at the whole “building” thing. Even when I do successfully put it together, I always find some mystery piece left over.
6. The Yield is back, and this time it’s personal. Well, I guess it was personal last time too. Yet, this season the yield comes with an all knew aspect, it is only available during three legs of the race. I think for the producers feel that by limiting the number of times it could be used it makes it more likely to be used. Yet, for some reason, players just don’t want to do it. In actuality, Lori and Bolo should have used it on Don and Mary Jean. It didn’t make sense not to. Yet, people still feel it’s dirty play or just don’t want to cause bad feelings to others. So, if the producers really want to make people use it, make it anonymous.
7. “Don’t yell, ha, ha.” It seems that Jonathan antics are starting to grate on the nerves of his fellow racers as well as many TAR fans and probably cab drivers all over the world. I’m not exactly sure who yelled at Jonathan advising not to yell, but I think it was the other Jon. I can understand the frustration about being around a person who is so high octane like our blue haired friend. So far multiple teams have commented on his screaming at his wife and overall emotional outbursts. Will this be the season where someone just turns around and tells the guy to shut the hell up?
8. It seems pretty obvious that this season and last that the producers have attempted to keep from casting an all alpha male team. Last years Pizza Boys and this season geek squad of Avi and Joe were not physically intimidating teams. So, now we just finished the third week, in a season with only three same sex teams, and one by one they were eliminated. Is this just a fluke of luck, or is the game becoming more suited to the ying and yang of complementing styles? Are mixed sex teams just better suited to this newest incarnation of The Race? For me I think it is mostly luck. If it wasn’t for some incredible bad luck for our Mormon sisters, Don and Mary Jean probably would have been this weeks Philiminated team, but I do feel that there is a concerted effort to make the race about utilizing multiple skills and making it less about physicality, both in casting and in challenge types.
That’s all for now. See ya next week…