Monday, February 19, 2007

Get Your Race On

Maybe its my total disdain for ubiquitous pop culture media like Entertainment Tonight, but the dawning of Amazing Race: All Stars totally slipped under my radar. Thank the maker, Sunday's PGA Nissan Open delayed the start 30 minutes, or I may have missed this action-packed debut.

The last season of Amazing Race is well in the books, and I couldn't even begin to tell you who won. For some reason, CBS put the Race right against Sunday Night Football. I'm sorry, but in the battle of acronyms, NFL always trumps CBS. However, thanks to the beauty of Tivo, I shan't miss one moment of this All Star showdown.

The crop of teams is decent, and true to reality gameshow form fills many predetermined cultural archetypes: the beautiful chicks, the east coast mooks, the southern yokels, etc, etc. Yet, these are the All Stars, hand-plucked from season to season to set up the most exhilirating race to date. Let's examine each set of pseudo-stars against their authentic celebrity counterparts.
  • Rob & Amber - Race role: media darling, super team. Celebrity counterpart: BrAngelina.
  • Danny & Oswald - Race role: metrosexual gay comedians. Celebrity counterpart: Robin Williams and Nathan Lane from The Birdcage.
  • Teri & Ian - Race role: ugly American and docile wife. Celebrity counterpart: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
  • Eric & Danielle - Race role: supposedly in love destined for drug relapse. Celebrity counterpart: Kate Moss & horsehead Pete Doherty.
  • Joe & Bill - Race role: non-threatening older, gay men. Celebrity counterpart: Josh Brolin & Paul Harmon in Flirting with Disaster (see this movie, now!)
  • Dustin & Kandice - Race role: buxom beauty queens. Celebrity counterpart: Victoria's Secret catalog.
  • Uchenna & Joyce - Race role: requisite black couple, former champs. Celebrity counterpart: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett.
  • Charla & Mirna - Race role: annoying, bilingual cousin and a midget. Celebrity counterpart: Scut Farkas and Grover Dill from A Christmas Story.
  • David & Mary - Race role: hillbilly comic relief. Celebrity counterpart: the cast of Hee-Haw.
  • Kevin & Drew - Race role: Interchangeable east coast goombahs. Celebrity counterpart: Michael Chiklis and Michael Chiklis.
  • John Vito & Jill - Race role: off-again, post-9-11 lovers. Celebrity counterpart: doesn't matter, they're eliminated.

The first episode put these would-be celebs on a fast track to South America and a date with some horse hooves. The highlight had to be when either Kevin or Drew said, "Peru sure is nice today," only to be rebuffed by his doppelganger, "I'm sure Peru is nice, but this is Ecuador."

Positions were jockeyed, but three tiers were firmly established. The front runners are clearly Rob & Amber, Eric & Danielle, and Danny & Oswald. There's a hefty dose of teams emerging as contenders but not necessarily good with maps or getting along, those being Teri & Ian, Joe & Bill, Uchenna & Joyce, Charla & Mirna, and David & Mary. Lastly, there are two teams that had better enjoy dehoofing mustangs because it's going to be a short trip. We'll soon be saying goodbye to Dustin & Kandice, and next week's knock off Kevin & Drew.

Stay tuned, Racers!

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