Well, it has happened. The Amazing Race has finally left the USA and headed to Panama - the country, not the beach in Florida where you can see 16 year old girls, Linz family. I guess I can understand their confusion, though, considering they were most likely expecting to stay in America once again. As I've said before, I enjoyed the American tour, but it's good to see the teams forced to face the same obstacles as the regular edition. First obstacle: language barrier. Perhaps one of the most difficult elements of Race (second only to directions), the language barrier usually provides for some great moments. Last night, most of the teams were under the common belief that if they simply add the word "el" to the front of an English word and then add either an "O" or an "A" to the end, then they are instantly speaking Spanish. This "insta-Spanish" is common on The Amazing Race, and it led to Rolly Weaver's "el passo" direction to the cab driver. I'm not sure if he realized it or not, but he could have sent his team to Texas instead of getting the driver to pass the other vehicles! Luckily for Rolly and the Weavers, the cab driver simply drove on to the next clue location. This was when another common Race tactic was employed, teams arrived at the location only to find that it didn't open until the next morning. Everyone was caught up and back on even ground.
The next day, teams struggled to find the correct man sleeping in a hammock (there were several decoys just like the spy task in D.C.) and then were sent to the Detour. Here's where things got a little tricky because this Detour clue came with the first and only Fast Forward of the race. The Fast Forward instructed teams to travel to the Pacific side of the Panama Canal and bungee jump off a large, high platform. The Paolos decided to go for it, but so did the Gaghans, which I thought was a little rough considering Carissa is only 9 years old. At the FF, the Gaghans kept their fingers crossed that one member of the Paolo family would chicken out. Even height-terrified DJ completed the task, screaming the entire way down with his mother. In a rare Paolo moment, DJ actually hugged his mother and she seemed happy. The Paolos then continued on to the Pit Stop. They, of course, arrived first and won....wait for it....a trip for four to....wait for it again.....PANAMA!! I'm sure they can't wait to go back. Maybe DJ can do some more bungee jumping now that he has conquered his fear. The Gaghans hurried back to the Detour, which found teams either searching for fake birds strategically placed in a forest or searching for instruments at four different locations. All teams easily completed their respective Detour.
Next, it was on to the Roadblock. One team member had to get either a base hit or a homerun off of a champion little league Pitcher. The Bransens, Linzes and Gaghans easily completed the challenge, but Rolly Weaver struggled a bit and Sharon Godlewski almost had another Godlewski breakdown (see last week's crying scene) before she finally got on base. In the end, the Gaghans and the Godlewskis were vying for the fifth spot, with the Gaghans coming out on top. The Godlewskis sensed their impending possible elimination/non elimination round ending, and started piling on all the clothes they could fit on their bodies. When they rolled up to the mat like that and found out that it was indeed a non-elimination round, Phil couldn't help but give them a hard time. He told them that it was illegal in Panama to wear your underwear over your clothes with more underwear on top. Phil cracks me up! I think he was a little disappointed that someone finally pulled off this silly trick on a non-elimination round. So, the Godlewskis were stripped of all their money and any belongings not on their back, but they're still in the Race. Next week, it's another Weaver breakdown!
About Last Night... CBS started off on top with NCIS, followed by Fox's MLB coverage and ABC's special It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. The second hour of the night went to Fox's MLB coverage, followed by Commander In Chief on ABC and CBS's The Amazing Race. The final hour of the night went to Fox as well for its MLB coverage, followed by a tie between ABC's Boston Legal and a rerun of NBC's Law & Order: SVU. CBS's Close to Home finished last. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.
@8 p.m. - Politics mix with the capture/kill list and JT must get to the truth on NBC's E-Ring, which as I reported yesterday, will air in its normal slot tonight instead of Friday night. MLB coverage continues on Fox with the fourth (and possibly final) game of the World Series. The White Sox lead the series 3-0 over the Astros.
@9 p.m. - No new Lost tonight, but there is an all-new episode of Veronica Mars on UPN. Tonight, Veronica helps her rival find who stole her credit card for Wallace's sake. With the Lost repeat, this is an excellent time to check out the equally as brilliant Veronica Mars.
@10 p.m. - It's the finale of FX's war drama Over There. The show has had an impressive, if not highly watched, run. A dancer plunges from the sky to her death and a local fish merchant is impaled by a swordfish on CBS's CSI: NY.
*Jerry Bruckheimer and Seabiscuit writer/director Gary Ross are teaming up to develop a new series for NBC according to Variety via TV Guide online. The new medical drama will focus on a rogue researcher tracking a mysterious illness. Its working title is Invisible. So far, NBC has made a pilot commitment to the show.
*TBS will air an all-new digitally remastered version of the classic movie The Wizard of Oz next month. The airing comes just a few weeks after the movie's DVD release yesterday. The DVD version is the same as the one TBS will broadcast. Look for the movie to premiere November 11th with subsequent showings on the 12th and 13th.
*And finally, it's Nielsen Wednesday! CBS once again won both in total viewers and the 18-49 year old group. Fox and ABC split second, but the bigger story is the four week decline in viewers for ABC's Desperate Housewives. The show remains number 2, but it is losing its beginning of the season momentum. CBS was led by CSI (#1), Without A Trace (#4), CSI: Miami (#6), Survivor (#7) and NCIS (#8). ABC was once again led by Desperate Housewives (#2), Lost (#3), Grey's Anatomy (#5) and Commander In Chief (#10). Fox landed one top 10 spot with its MLB coverage (#9). For more on last week's ratings, visit USA Today.
That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the Sweeps Preview! I'll have the scoop on all the special episodes, guest stars and everything else sweeps related! Plus, all the latest television news.