Wednesday, November 09, 2005

'Racing' Back to the USA! Plus Find Out Where Your Favorite Shows Landed Last Week in Nielsen Wednesday!

So, the special two-hour episode of The Amazing Race was nothing more than two episodes thrown together in an effort to get more viewers in the timeslot normally occupied by the not-exactly-lighting-up-the-charts Close to Home. I knew the first hour would be non-elimination, but I wasn't sure if we were going to see "Phil on the mat" like we did last season. They really caught the racers and the viewers off guard when we found out that the teams had to continue racing another leg without the benefit of a Pit Stop. This, however, was not the case last night as the teams found themselves at a non-elimination and then an elimination. First up, one member of each team had to swim to a buoy and retrieve the next clue. The Paolos were first out the gate, but they quickly fell behind when patriarch Tony struggled to swim the distance. Minor drama ensued when he called out for help and rescue swimmers came to his aid. Son DJ seemed more concerned about the lead that had slipped away than whether or not his father lived through the ordeal (I know that's an exaggeration, but seriously, this kid is heartless!). The teams finished this task and raced on to a church where they found the Detour: Brush or Barrel. In Brush, teams had to finish painting a design all the way around a cartwheel in the exact same pattern as the one already started. In Barrel, teams had to load one ton of sugar cane into a wagon and take it to a rum factory and find their next clue hidden in a barrel. The Godlewskis, Bransens and Weavers all chose the former and the Paolos and Linzes chose the latter. At Barrel, both teams quickly completed the task without any glitches, save the usual Paolo bickering, and began searching the barrels for the next clue. After finding it, they learned that they would be heading to Phoenix, Arizona (I knew this "overseas" thing wouldn't last!). Over at Brush, the teams struggled a bit to work together and complete the design. The Godlewskis decided before they even reached the location that they weren't going to think when they got there, they were just going to do it. Yeah, that's a smart plan when you're trying to MATCH AN EXACT DESIGN!! The Bransens and Weavers quickly completed the task, beating the Godlewskis, who had arrived a half an hour earlier than the Weavers. The wacky sisters from the Midwest got caught up in the details, so on second thought, maybe not thinking would have worked for them. Too bad they didn't follow through on this plan. They eventually completed the task and everyone headed to the airport.

The race was on for the earliest flight. The Linzes arrived at the airport first, but assume that Delta's flight to Phoenix via Atlanta was the fastest and booked it. The Paolos got rude and annoying, not that it was anything new for them, when the Delta agents wouldn't let them purchase the same tickets because it was too close to the departure time. The other teams all landed on a flight to Phoenix via New York that got in about 20 minutes earlier than the Linzes' flight. Panic ensued when the Godlewskis got to New York and found that they did not have reservations for the flight from New York's JFK to Phoenix. They quickly boarded a taxi and headed to Newark airport to catch another flight that arrived at the same time. This proved to be advantageous, since this flight got into Phoenix 45 minutes ahead of schedule and the next earliest flight. In a rare Amazing Race moment, there was no "catch up tactic" as the Godlewskis proceeded to the Roadblock and finished way ahead of the other teams. At the Roadblock, one member had to race a Superkart for 50 laps in the hot sun. All teams completed the task with very little trouble. We had one of those "Amazing Race slow-mos" leading into a commercial that led you to believe that Mama Weaver and brother Linz may have possibly collided. After a few words from the sponsors, we learned that the collision was avoided and the Weaver children (who have twice now had the misfortune of ending up at race tracks) didn't have to see another race track tragedy. The teams then raced to the Pit Stop, with the Godlewskis coming out on top. The Paolos, who finished the Roadblock last, assumed they would be the last team to arrive and would either be eliminated or stripped of all their possessions. When they drove up to the Pit Stop, they failed to realize that there were only three cars there, not four. The Bransens had gotten lost, even though that's usually the Paolos' role (never fear, they resumed the role in the second leg). The Paolos hopped out of their car and began putting on everything they could fit. The Bransens drove up, saw what was going on, and made a break for the mat, but the Paolos did the same and they landed in fourth place. Phil decided to grace us with more of his humor as he told the Paolos that they looked ridiculous and that he didn't know that Tony (who was wearing his tighty-whiteys over his shorts) had so much support (and honestly Phil, did we need to know?). The Bransens came in last, but the Paolos told them to put more clothes on before they stepped on the mat just in case it was non-elimination. The plan worked and the Bransens were stripped of their money and backpacks (thanks to the Godlewskis, every time I see this word I hear them saying it in my head in that "baypayck" way).

The second leg included the coolest Roadblock ever seen on The Amazing Race. One team member had to ride in a fighter plane with a pilot and on his command, complete a 360 in the air. It doesn't even sound half as cool as it was, believe me. On the way to the Roadblock, the Linzes got pulled over for stopping in the middle of the road to "talk to your friends" as the cop put it. In reality they had stopped to ask another car for directions. As if stopping to talk to your friends wasn't bad enough, the Linz driver told the cop that they were "racing other cars." Clearly the television camera tipped him off, because he let them go without even acknowledging their obvious incriminating statement. All the teams completed the Coolest! Roadblock! Ever! and proceeded to the Grand Canyon. On the way, those wacky Weavers were up to their old tricks. This time, they threw garbage out of the window at the Godlewskis (um, I'm pretty sure that littering makes the baby Jesus cry thou holy Weavers), and they told a parking attendant that the car behind them (the Linzes) wanted to know the complete history of the Canyon.

See Weavers, even this church agrees!
(Disclaimer: Sign generated by me courtesy of The Church Sign Generator)

Luckily for the Linzes, this parking attendant didn't buy it, and he told them that the other team was "talking smack" about them. After the teams cheated death along a non-barricaded ledge of the world's "largest pot hole" (as DJ Paolo called it) to receive their clue, they headed to Glen Canyon Dam and found a tour guide to take them to their next clue. The Paolos took a slower route and fell into fifth place, and quite a distance behind the four other teams.

The next clue was a Detour: Bearing or Bailing (the writers were really into the b's last night). In Bearing, teams had to travel by motorized rafts to a clue box, take one of the navigation cards, point a compass in that direction and find the next box until they found the one that said "End." In Bailing, teams had to travel by motorized rafts and find partially submerged boats, bail the water out and drag it up onto the sand. The Weavers chose the former and seemed to easily complete the task. The others chose the latter, and the Linzes and Godlewskis raced to bail the water out of their boats, with the Linzes coming out on top. The Godlewskis finished soon after, but the Weavers were finishing their task as well. It was a three way race to the Pit Stop that required a small journey to reach. Teams had to find a boat and navigate it to a somewhat hidden houseboat where they would find Phil. The Linzes had the lead, but the Godlewskis were moving much faster in the water, and they reached the houseboat and Phil first. The Linzes were close behind, followed by the Weavers. The Bransens quickly bailed out their boat and passed the Paolos who were just arriving to begin bailing theirs. In true Paolo style, the family bickered throughout the entire task. DJ kept blaming his mother for their last place status and he complained that she wasn't helping enough with the Detour. In the end, the family was the last to arrive and they were eliminated from the race. I think I'm going to miss the Paolos. Their constant fighting and rudeness got on my nerves, but it was also pretty entertaining. The race just won't be the same without Marion.

About Last Night... CBS started out on top with NCIS, followed by NBC's The Biggest Loser and ABC's comedy hour of According to Jim and Rodney. At 9, ABC took over the lead with Commander In Chief, followed by House on Fox and the first hour of The Amazing Race on CBS. The final hour of the night went to NBC's Law & Order: SVU, followed by Boston Legal on ABC and the second hour of CBS's The Amazing Race. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - JT must finish a job he started a long time ago in order to save his girlfriend in the conclusion of this two-part episode of NBC's E-Ring.

@9 p.m. - It's Wednesday, so there's another showdown between two of the best shows on television as both return tonight with new episodes and plenty of twists and turns. Go ahead and prepare your VCRs and TiVos now because you're not going to want to miss a minute of either show. Buffy creator Joss Whedon makes a guest appearance along with Harry Hamlin as Veronica helps once accused Lilly Kane murderer Abel Koontz find his daughter, meanwhile there's a surprising twist involving Logan on UPN's Veronica Mars. Over on ABC, Lost continues with Ian Somerhalder (Boone) guest starring and Walt making an appearance as Locke's injury becomes life threatening. And according to the previews, one of the castaways will be lost forever.

@10 p.m. - It's the CSI crossover conclusion on CBS. This time Miami's David Caruso travels to New York to capture the serial killer who escaped in Miami on CSI: NY. Over on ABC, Larkin is injured in a car accident and the fate of her unborn child is up in the air on Invasion.


*Mischa Barton look-alike Willa Holland is joining the cast of Fox's The O.C. She'll play, appropriately enough, Marissa's (Barton) younger sister Kaitlin, who returns from her stint in boarding school. The role was originally played by Shailene Woodley, who can be seen later this month in the WB's movie Felicity: An American Girl Adventure. Kaitlin's return will introduce a darker element to the sun soaked town as she wreaks havoc according to Fox. Holland will make her first appearance of a multi-episode arc on The O.C. early next year. In other casting news, CBS's NCIS is promoting cast member Lauren Holly to a series regular.

*WB is adding more episodes to its order of two freshman series. Both Related and Twins are getting the green light from the network. Expect to see at least 6 additional episodes of Related and 5 more of Twins. Neither show has been a huge hit in the ratings, but both have improved since the network moved their timeslots. WB has a full roster of shows set for midseason, so a final decision on the fates of these two might be decided then. Related airs Monday nights and Twins can be seen on Fridays.

*And finally, it's Nielsen Wednesday. CBS walked away victoriously for the first week of sweeps, winning both in total viewers and the 18-49 year old demo. The eye network was led by CSI (#1), Without A Trace (#3), Survivor (#4), NCIS (tie #5), Cold Case (#8) and Criminal Minds (#10). ABC landed in second with hits Desperate Housewives (#2), Grey's Anatomy (tie #5), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#7) and Monday Night Football (#9). To see the entire top 20, visit USA Today.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for Veronica Mars (what will Aaron Echols have to say for himself?) and Lost (who's gonna bite the dust?). Plus all the latest television news!


Graham Jones said...


suekola44 said...

I'm going to miss the Paolos too. Thanks for filling in the blanks of the Amazing Race. Election coverage had me missing bits and pieces all over the place.

ignorance said...

You sometimes make me feel sorry I don't watch 'Race. But I really don't have time to get invested in another show, and I suffer when I miss them, so...