Archive for Amazing Race

Amazing Race kicks off 13th season

Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan likes to tell the story about the kid who came up to him one day and perfectly recited the rules regarding detours.

Mini-Phil quickly rattled off “A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. Teams must successfully complete one of the tasks in order to receive their next clue…” Well, you get the picture. Race fans are rabid.

TAR starts up again at 8 p.m. Aug. 28 on CBS for a 13th go-round with another diverse group of racers, including an aging hippie couple and the requisite nerd team, bimbo team, sibling team and strained relationship team(s). There’s a contestant named Starr Spangler, a former NFL cheerleader. The NFL’s getting a two-fer this time around with former NFL player Ken Greene, who played with the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Chargers.

He also played a lot off the field too. He’s trying to mend his relationship with wife Tina after cheating on her.

The premiere episode took it a little too easy on the teams for my taste, with the most challenging obstacle requiring teams to climb down rope netting from a building Superman could take in a single bound. Let’s hope things pick up in later episodes.

No one team really stood out from the crowd, unless you count the tie-dyed, shaggy gray-haired beekeeper hippies who appeared to sweat a little too much for the amount of exercise they were getting.

While we love the gorgeous locations, the challenges and, of course, and even Phil’s predictable speeches, the heart of this show lies in the teams. We need heroes and villains, the good and the bad, the likable and the detestable. So in that sprit, we look back at our top-10 moments in TAR history.

10. Maybe it’s just because I found Jen and Nate in TAR 12 to be the two most annoying contestants in recent years, but wasn’t it sweet when they got bounced on Jen’s birthday? Perfect gift for a spoiled, whiney witch.

9. In TAR 10, first place team James and Tyler reached what they thought was the pit stop only to discover after James, who has an extreme fear of heights, reluctantly did a 232 foot, face-forward repel or “Angel Dive” down the side of Helsinki Olympic Stadium that they had only reached the midway point in the leg.

8. Poor sweet hippie B.J. almost passed out digging through no less than 117 dirt mounds trying to find some food under the sand during TAR 9. Although he and teammate Tyler arrived first at the challenge, they were the last to leave and would have been eliminated from the race except it proved to be a non-elimination round. The two went on to win the million.

7. No matter how nimble you might be, something can always take you down in a heartbeat. Like a sour little donkey. In a sweet example of karma during TAR 12, nasty Ari early on stole another teams’ cab, boasting “Karma’s a bitch, but I’m a bigger bitch.” Later, karma clamped down on his backside when he and teammate Staella got their come-uppance from a stubborn donkey who refused to cooperate no matter how many times Ari threatened its little bony body.

6. Can a reality competition show really bring out the selfless nature in others? Not usually, but in the case of the Cho brothers in TAR 10, they wrangled a way for last-place team Dave and Mary to get the fast-forward. Not only did team Kentucky coal miner win that leg, but they also won a luxury trip to Tahiti. While the Cho brothers remained in the game that time, the fact that they spent more time saving D&M’s bacon than playing their own game resulted in them being prematurely eliminated from the race.

5. Things got pretty scary when, in TAR 7, when brothers Ron and Kelly flipped their vehicle over, injuring a cameraman. Concerned racers stopped to make sure everything was OK, with Lynn and Alex refusing to leave the team until they knew medical help was on the way. All that concern allowed the unconcerned former Survivor contestants Rob and Amber to gain an advantage as they rolled on past the accident without even asking if everyone was OK.

4. There are always a few teams who take the unethical route, but none did it as blatantly as frat boys Eric and Jeremy in TAR 9. The boys actually canceled the other teams’ cabs so they could get a jump start. If that wasn’t bad enough, they let the other teams think it was MoJo – Monica and Joseph – do did the dirty deed.

3. That cheer from audience all over America came when insufferable dad Ronald got a painful hernia in TAR 12. Ronald rode his sweet daughter Christine like a pack mule, never giving her a minute’s peace. She bore it all with grace and dignity and eventually, it seemed that Ron came around a little in the end.

2. Rascally grandpa Don and his grandson Nick struggled through many trials, but when the two allowed themselves to get matching tattoos in TAR 12, they went above and beyond to get a jump on the competition. And it was a ghastly tat at that.

1. No one will ever forget the day Joyce shaved her head just so her team could get the fast-forward in TAR 7. After hearing those weepy little America’s Next Top Model girls cry over a few snipped locks, it was amazing indeed to see what lengths Joyce would go to get a shot at winning the grand prize.

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“Amazing Race” hate

“I hate you, Nate. I hate you.”

Yep. That’s the sound of Jennifer AKA “It’s not fair.” This is the same woman who complained a couple of weeks ago that it wasn’t fair that she and Nate came in second when the team that came in first had won before.

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Check out the body language of dating teammates Jen and Nate (far right) when they meet Phil (left) at the final check point on a hill over looking the city of Dubrovnik

Jen, it’s a game. There are winners and losers and you, my not friend, are a loser. While you may think Nate hasn’t been good to you, there’s an entire “Amazing Race” audience who can’t believe he didn’t slap you with that oar.

For those who missed the episode, the teams had to travel to Croatia, which turns out to be a beautiful not-to-be-missed travel destination. When the teams get to be too much, you can always put Jen on mute and just enjoy the pretty places.

Getting to Croatia proved to be the downfall of the brother-and-sister team of Azaria and Hendekea, who have placed first in three legs of the race. As “Race” fans know, travelers must book economy flights and it was just a matter of time before someone accidently booked a business class ticket. That’s what happed to the Double A’s, and by the time they went back and exchanged their ticket, they were on the last flight out to Dubrovnik.

A game of musical ticket counters resulted in the teams splitting off and using a number of different connecting flights to Dubrovnik. Once they landed, their first task was a road block that didn’t seem all that difficult. A member had to go to a pile of rocks and pick the one that would fit into the rock wall.

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Azaria choosing the right stone that will fit into a corresponding space on a rock wall.

That task completed, the teams then zip-lined across to a tower. There, they had to decide to either zip-line into the harbor, swim to a row boat and then row around the harbor to find their next clue or repel down the side of wall, climb up another wall on a rope ladder and then find their way through some complicated streets to find the clue box.

Most decided to row, which proved to be a good strategy of the father-daughter team of Ron and Christina, who finally won a leg. The two are actually working well together now that Christina has learned to communicate with her bossy dad.

While we don’t have any strong favorites in this race, our pick for the most interesting would certainly be the goth couple Kynt and Vyxsin. Didn’t you just love their matching pink cowboy hats? Yee-haw indeed. But we were a little concerned about seeing harsh words between them in the previews for the next episode. Kynt actually raised his voice.

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Go, Goth, Go. Vyxsin climbs the city wall of Dubrovnik. Photo: Chris Castallo/CBS

For some reason, Team Lazy (Nicolas and grandpa Donald) just barely squeaked by, so they live to race again.

Meanwhile, we’re also stuck with hater Jen for yet another episode. But since the show is pre-empted for this Sunday (“Survivor” finale), we won’t have to deal with her for two weeks.

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Bay Area Auditions, ANTM, Amazing Race

Reality show recruiters are coming to the Bay Area, and we’ve got the 4-1-1 right here:

Amazing Race Casting Call

Saturday, December 8

10am to 2pm

Metro PCS

3963 Stevens Creek Blvd.
(between Saratoga and Kiely)

Santa Clara

For more information, and to download an application form go
here.

“America’s Next Top Model”
Saturday, December 15

10am-2pm

San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology

1067 Folsom between 6th and 7th Sts.

San Francisco

Applicants must arrive with a completed application. Application and complete eligibility requirements available at here.

In addition, at this casting call, applicants will also be given the option of having their audition automatically submitted into the “America’s Next Top Model: The Bay Area Search” competition.

The local competition offers a chance to win a makeover, photo session. Full-page spread in the SF Chronicle and an in-person audition with ANTM casting director, Michelle Mock. Check it out here.

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“Amazing Race”: Coincidence or Sloppy Casting?

Coincidence or just sloppy casting?

A lot of people have commented on just how many SoCal folks are competing in this season’s “Amazing Race” - but the real news comes from Nikki who says that four of the competitors all went to high school together.

Not only are most of them from socal, I went to high school with Nathan, Staella, TK, and Rachel…we all graduated in 2001 (TK in 2002) all from Fountain Valley High school. They all know and have known each other well for the past ten years…it’s kinda odd that the AR went with that dynamic, maybe it will make for some interesting situations/rivalries/alliances…maybe not.

One thing’s for sure, the former high school classmates never let on that they knew each other.

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Teammates Ari Bonias (front) and Staella Gianakakos (back)

Staella and her partner Ari got the bad sport of the night award after they stole the cab that was called by another team. But the two got their come-uppance when they tried to get their donkey moving.

Turns out that Staella and Ari acted like asses, and a fuzzy brown donkey decided to be the instrument of karma.

Nathan also hit the spotlight as the guy who thinks he has the worst partner ever in this race. Although he tried to make it up later to girlfriend Jennifer, it was obvious he thinks she’s a slacker who can cost him the game.
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Jennifer Parker (back) and Nathan Hagstrom (front)

TK and Rachel have been dubbed “The Hippies” for this round, and they seemed to be nice enough people, although they did little to stand out in the first episode.

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TK Erwin (standing) and Rachel Rosales

We’ll never know if Staella would have revealed her connection to TK, Rachel or Nathan, because she and Ari came in dead last and were elminated from “The Amazing Race.”

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Amazing Race Reveals Teams

Who cares about singing gamblers when you can watch “The Amazing Race”?

Not me. Move over, Elvis. “AR” is in the building now.

The 11 teams will travel approximately 30,000 miles, covering five countries never before visited on the Race, including Ireland, Lithuania and Croatia. The five-time Emmy Award-winning reality adventure series premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 on CBS.

Following are the 11 teams, listed in no particular order:

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Teammates Ronald (left) and Christina Hsu (right)

Name: RONALD HSU
Occupation: VP of Sales
Age: 58
Hometown: Tacoma, Wash.

Name: CHRISTINA HSU
Occupation: Policy Analyst
Age: 26
Hometown: Washington, D.C. via Tacoma, Wash.

Relationship: FATHER/DAUGHTER

This father/daughter team is certain they can win the Race by relying on their intellect. Christina’s main goal on the Race is to have her father, a self-proclaimed workaholic, stop and smell the roses for once in his life.

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Teammates Kynt Cothron (left) and Vyxsin Fiala (right),

Name: KYNT COTHRON
Occupation: Waiter/Hair Salon Receptionist
Age: 31
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.

Name: VYXSIN FIALA
Occupation: Waiter/Hair Salon Receptionist
Age: 29
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.

Relationship: DATING GOTHS

Representing the “Goth” community in Louisville has embedded a strong sense of “us against the world” mentality in these two Racers. Therefore, don’t look for them to fall apart when the chips are down — a trait that will undoubtedly be tested on the Race.
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Lorena Segura (left) and Jason Widener (right)
Name: LORENA SEGURA
Occupation: Bartender
Age: 27
Hometown: Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Name: JASON WIDENER
Occupation: Wedding Videographer/Actor
Age: 33
Hometown: Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Relationship: DATING

This couple met at a bar over three years ago, quickly started dating, and have been trying to figure out if they really belong together even since. Lorena is from Puerto Rico and Jason hails from Arkansas … and the cultural differences between them has often caused friction in their relationship. Both are running the Race to see if they have what it takes to withstand the pressures of traveling around the world in under 30 days.

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Azaria (left) and Hendekea (right) Azene,

Name: AZARIA AZENE (BROTHER)
Occupation: Facilities Engineer
Age: 27

Hometown: New Orleans

Name: HENDEKEA AZENE (SISTER)
Occupation: Aerospace Engineer
Age: 23
Hometown: Torrance, Calif.

Relationship: BROTHER/SISTER

This brother sister team has all the intelligence, wits and skills to win the Race. Although their personality differences could be the X factor. She describes him as confrontational and emotional, while he describes her as irrational. Both are worried that the big brother/little sister power struggle will rear its ugly head on the Race.

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Kate Lewis (left) and Pat Hendrickson (right)

Name: KATE LEWIS
Occupation: Episcopal Clergy
Age: 49
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Name: PAT HENDRICKSON
Occupation: Ordained Deacon
Age: 65
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Relationship: MARRIED MINISTERS

These lesbian Episcopal ministers dated for seven years before tying the knot three years ago. Kate and Pat are ready for the adventure of lifetime – but don’t let the collars fool you – they can play dirty too.

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Shana Wall (left) and Jennifer McCall (right)
Name: SHANA WALL
Occupation: Actress
Age: 32
Hometown: Los Angeles

Name: JENNIFER Mc CALL
Occupation: Legal Assistant
Age: 32
Hometown: Los Angeles

Relationship: FRIENDS

Don’t let their good looks fool you — this all-female team is ready to do whatever it takes to bring home the $1 million prize. Shana and Jennifer met six years ago and have been friends ever since. These women are both very competitive and eager to become the first all-female team to win the Race.

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Teammates Nicolas Fulks (left) and Donald Jerousek (right),

Name: DONALD JEROUSEK
Occupation: Retired

Age: 68
Hometown: Elkhorn, Wis.

Name: NICOLAS FULKS
Occupation: Pilot
Age: 23
Hometown: Originally from Chicago

Relationship: GRANDFATHER/ GRANDSON

Nicolas started his aviation career at the age of 17 at the University of Illinois and currently works as an airline pilot based out of San Juan. He describes himself as reliable, competitive and goofy. He describes his teammate as rough around the edges and not too accepting of people who go against his advice.

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Jennifer Parker (back) and Nathan Hagstrom (front)

Name: JENNIFER PARKER
Occupation: Student
Age: 23
Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.

Name: NATHAN HAGSTROM
Occupation: Volleyball coach
Age: 24
Hometown: Fountain Valley, Calif.

Relationship: DATING

This athletic couple first met in college while living together with other friends. Both admit they couldn’t stand each other at first, but soon grew closer and started dating. Each will tell you that they are soul mates, yet they drive each other crazy.

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TK Erwin (standing) and Rachel Rosales

Name: RACHEL ROSALES
Occupation: Florist/Store Owner
Age: 23
Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.

Name: TK ERWIN
Occupation: Substitute Teacher
Age: 22
Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.

Relationship: NEWLY DATING

This eccentric couple has only been dating for close to a year. Their mothers were friends while they were growing up in Huntington Beach, Calif., yet TK and Rachel had never really spent time together until recently. They always seem to be laughing and they’re eager to put their carefree relationship to the test while dealing with the rigors of the Race.

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Teammates Marianna (left) and Julia (right) Ruiz,
Name: MARIANNA RUIZ
Occupation: Art Gallery Manager
Age: 25
Hometown: Miami, now residing in Los Angeles

Name: JULIA RUIZ
Occupation: Office Production Assistant
Age: 26
Hometown: Miami, now residing in Los Angeles

Relationship: SISTERS

These feisty sisters describe themselves as best friends and worst enemies, but they’re convinced they’ll make for an unbeatable team. Julia serves as the problem solver while Marianna is the athlete. Both are super competitive.

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Teammates Ari Bonias (front) and Staella Gianakakos (back)

Name: ARI BONIAS
Occupation: Waiter
Age: 21
Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.

Name: STAELLA GIANAKAKOS
Occupation: Restaurant Manager
Age: 23
Hometown: Fountain Valley, Calif.

Relationship: BEST FRIENDS

These fun-loving friends are all about having a good time. They hope their laid back approach to the Race will result in the $1 million prize. Ari is not afraid to speak his mind, while Staella is prepared to flirt her way to the front of the pack.

Pick your teams and place your bets.

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