After 15 years of watching, I thought I’d seen it all, but this season looks to be off to a very promising start. Without giving away any spoilers, I can tell you that for the first time, one of the 12 teams will be immediately eliminated without leaving the starting gate. I have mixed emotions on that concept as on one hand, it’s thrilling on the drama meter, but on the other hand, there could be one team of interest that you’ll never have a chance to get emotionally invested in. Still, it does keep you glued to this race from the very start.
I immediately found myself rooting for Sam & Dan, who are brothers who both happen to be gay. The nice thing about them is they are not gay guys that typically populate the scripted series as their is nothing flamboyant or stereotypical about them. As I watched Modern Family, I had to think that as much as I enjoyed the gay couple, why can’t someone include a Sam or Dan character. Someone who doesn’t scream “girlfriend” with every sentence. And Big Brother casting agents, are you watching?????? Stop with the flaming queens already. Anyhow, the nice thing is that Sam and Dan are not openly gay to the rest of the teams and have no problem using their flirtation skills with the women to get what they need. I LOVE IT!!!
The 11 remaining teams go to Tokyo right off the bat after their starting point in Los Angeles (the place in the movie Grease had there famous car race scene). The task that had me howling was when each of the teams participated in a “Japanese Game Show” stunt (complete with live audience) where a wheel was spun and they had two minutes to eat a Burrito size of Wasabi. (Trust me, the stuff is awful!) While I enjoyed watching the task, there was a sense of unfair task play here as each team was at the mercy of a spinning wheel before they had a chance to participate. To make matters worse, after completing the task, they had to take 20 of the audience members with them to the finish line. Luck was not great for all as some of them proved to be problematic with bathroom breaks and losing their way in the crowded streets of Tokyo. Still, entertaining as heck!
As for the rest of the teams, Eric & Lisa, the yoga instructors could be a more clean cut version of the hippies; Marcy & Ron are the token oldsters this season; Maria & Tiffany are professional poker players and not afraid to tell a lie or two to get ahead; Meghan & Cheyne are the cute dull dating couple; Lance & Keri prove to be the most volatile couple if they last long enough as Lance is a truly arrogant lawyer; Herbert & Nathaniel remind me of the stunt men or the clowns from past seasons and are Harlem Globetrotters; Zev & Justin should score high on the entertainment scale just based on their opening interview as Zev has Asperger’s Syndrome and says what’s on his mind; Mika & Canaan are country sweethearts with Mika pursuing a career in Country music – both look to be bland; Garrett and Jessica are the token on again / off again dating couple and Gary & Matt, a father and son team that looks to be a lot of fun. But as I said, one of these teams will be gone in a blink of an eye. More on the relationships after you’ve seen episode 1 including the Christian Conservatives who want to pray for their victory.
All I can say is… watch and find out who the first is to be Phileminated!
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