How's That Face Feel?
The Amazing Race 8 : Episode 8


It's a plane! Previously, it was a two-hour special where the Blandsens and the Pablums took turns at being beaten to the finish line. Unfortunately, when the Blandsens beat the Pablums in the second hour, it was an elimination leg so the Pablums were eliminated. Fortunately, the Whining Weevils kept becoming more and more wretched and bitter. There is no fear about the shortage of strife and friction on this show to make things interesting so let's all drink to the Whining Weevils!

Across a barren desert the camera pans over, onto a lone cactus, and then Philo steps out before the camera. Maybe there is some symbolic link between the cactus and Philo. Philo explains that he is standing before Lake Powell, which is an artificial lake that was created when those Arizona folks decided to create a dam that flooded a desert. No, Rachel Weevil, that has nothing to do with Noah so please hush. Philo reminds everyone that the spot near Lake Powell was the Pit Stop of the previous leg of the Race - as opposed to the Lake itself being the Pit Stop that caused everyone to jump into it in the previous episode - and the starting point for this leg of the Race. He wonders whether the Whining Weevils will ever win a popularity contest and whether the Lunzes will ever come in first. Philo has just revealed several developments at the end of this episode! Is he always this careless when it comes to giving away the ending?

5:45 am. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters get to leave and, according to their clue, they have to travel some 136 miles to John Ford's Point in Monument Valley, Utah, which Philo takes the effort to call a "spectacular landscape". Christine, the self-described person who cries to release stress in a previous episode, is already starting on her theatrics as they leave, causing bossy Sharon to tell her to take her figurative chill pills. Crybaby Christine tells the camera that she is so disappointed that the Sisters aren't getting to know each other on the Race as much as she hoped. I don't know, I think they probably learn more about each other on the Race and that's why they are always arguing: they don't like what they learn about each other. Hey, it happens to all of us. Long journeys turn friends into monsters. Sharon and Michelle say to the camera that Christine tends to talk so much about nothing and everything. Says Michelle, "It's just, like, you know: shut up." Back to the Race, Christine is indeed screaming and shrieking for who knows what reason until they locate their vehicle in the car park, where for some reason there is a trailer-thingie attached to it. There are so far many of things in this Race that are inexplicable to me and it's barely five minutes into the show. Oh, dear. Maybe that trailer thingie is for the Sisters to gag Christine up and stuff into.

5:46 am. The Lunz Lugheads leave and you know, they are so tired of coming in second by the literal seconds. They want to be first! And they want to come in first in this leg! They too leave. They take the 98 East while they notice that the Godawfulshrieky Sisters take the 98 West. Perhaps the Sisters are looking for the ever-present BP station?

6:06 am. The Whining Weevils are good to go and they waste no time trying to drum up a pity party for four of the most miserable hags in the Race. Rebecca says that of course they never expect to make friends on the Race - yes, they don't care at all that people hate them, snort - but oh, they never expect so much hatred on the Race. The funny thing is, the other Families don't hate each other. It's just the Whining Weevils that these Families channel their energies into thwarting. Rachel dramatically says, "The world we live in is obviously not loving and kind so I think we're just sticking out because we're not as, you know, crude." Is she for real? Does the garbage-throwing name-calling ignorant trashbag really thinks that she's delicate and refined compared to the pagans and the heathens running the Race? Mrs Weevil complains, "It's just so against our beliefs to keep being treated so rudely." Note that she doesn't say that it is against her beliefs to treat people rudely, it's just that her version of Jesus disapproves when people treat her and her clan of monsters rudely. That must be one amazing interpretation of the Bible that this woman has, I tell you.

The Lunz Lugheads discover a momentary sort of enlightenment when Nick, who seems to do most of the talking nowadays (maybe the Lugheads are like those hags in Greek mythology that share an eye and a teeth between the three of them, only these three share a brain and Nick currently gets to use it), says that they always get struck by some bad luck the moment they talk about how close they are to coming in first place. They really are obsessing about coming in first, aren't they? I know it can be hard on the ego to lose to Families like the Pablums and the Blandsens but the only time it really matters to come in first is when they cross the finish line. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters stop at a gas station like the Lunzes predicted earlier and it doesn't take long for the Sisters to start arguing again when bossy Sharon gets on the nerves of the women in the back when she asks them to check the map one time too many.

6:27 am. The Blandsens leave. Mr Blandsen talks about having to be more aggressive as the number of Families on the Race dwindles down. We're down to the eighth episode and the season will be over in about two or three weeks and I still have no idea who these people are. Or what the three daughters' names are. Cauliflower, Cabbage, and Carrot, perhaps?

The Lunzes drive past a sign that says "Monument Valley Visitor Center". The youngest Lughead spots the sign and asks Nick what the sign says. Nick tries to read it but he can't. He sounds panicky when he tells the Lughead Tommy that and I wonder whether there is anything more to that scene. There is Megan's "heart" thing that is never explained, the goo-goo eyed Lughead's apparent terror when the Lunzes drove towards the Space Station in the third episode, and now Nick's near-panic when he can't read a sign. They remind me of aliens pretending to be human beings on some mission and are terrified that their cover will be blown on TV. Maybe that's it? They're aliens from Planet Cornball? Nick wonders whether they should turn around but the goo-goo eyed Lughead assures him that they should keep following the road. Because the Godawfulshrieky Sisters turned to another route and then made a stop for gas, they fall behind the Whining Weevils, who are thrilled that they have beaten the savage and uncouth heathens in the Race. Bless the Lord!

Eventually the Lunzes learn from some helpful passer-by that they should have turned back at the turn where Nick spotted the sign. Aww, Nick blames himself for not being able to read the sign. They should have put a picture of some Swimsuit Illustrated model at that sign so that he would pay more attention to it. Still, Nick will feel better if he knows that the Godawfulshrieky Sisters and the Whining Weevils miss the sign as well. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters don't like to do things the easy way, so when they realize that they have missed the turn, bossy crybaby weirdo sister Christine steps out of the vehicle to direct bossy Sharon as Sharon tries to turn their vehicle around. Remember, they have this trailer thingie attached to their vehicle so it's not an easy turn they have to make. The Whining Weevils spot the Godawfulshrieky Sisters turning and they realize that they have to turn back too. So they just make this illegal turn where they drive off the road - bless the Lord, hallelujah - and when they pass the Godawfulshrieky Sisters, they decide to ride on the showboat of obnoxious screeching. When the Lunzes and the Sisters do the same to them, you know they will screech that people are being so mean to them. The Lunzes later pass the Godawfulshrieky Sisters, where Christine is doing such an awful job at helping Sharon that I'm surprised Sharon isn't tempted to just run her down, and wonder what those Whining Weevils are doing. I don't think they are the only ones.

In their own vehicle, the Blandsens declare themselves neutral in the God-versus-Brawn/Boobs feud of the Whining Weevils with the Lunzes and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters. Mr Blandsen says that his Family is neutral like "Switzerland". I can't help thinking that the Blandsens aren't in the midst of the feud because they are always too slow to catch up and join the fun thanks to you-know-who.

The Whining Weevils manage to reach John Ford's Point first. Behind them, the Lunzes show up, the only Family to make sure that their vehicle is parked in a way that they don't waste time later trying to orientate the vehicle in order to get out of the carpark. Anyway, the clue tells them that two people from each Family will go on a helicopter to the top of Elephant Butte (gosh, Americans can be so funny when it comes to names of their landmarks) where they will get their next clue. Since the helicopter can carry four people, it will take off carrying two Families at a time. Yeah, yeah, bunching. As usual. Sigh. The Lunzes came in second but they manage to miss out on the part where they need to get numbers for their helicopter ride. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters swoop in and grab their number, beating the Lunzes to the punch. Therefore, the first two Families to take to the air are the Whining Weevils and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters. The Lunzes will have to wait for them to come back before they can go on their helicopter ride. Meanwhile, two Sisters and two Whining Weevils take off in the helicopter. In the meantime, the Lunzes and the remaining two Godawfulshrieky Sisters make a deal to Yield the Whining Weevils when they have the chance. I can hear already Rachel Weevil calling them un-Christian heathen barbarian monsters right now as she calls them retards with fake boobs and throws apple cores at their heads.

Ba-ba-boom! In a dramatic turn of events, the helicopter ride is uneventful. Nobody falls out of the helicopter or gets his or her hand cut off or anything. Instead, they get their clue that tells them travel some 180 miles to Moab, Utah, and locate the rock formation Gemini Bridges. The two Families get into their vehicles and leave. The Lunzes now take their helicopter ride. And when the Blandsens show up, they go on their helicopter ride after the Lunzes have returned. By the way, the youngest Lunz seems to have developed some hyperactive fits all of a sudden. I never knew that going to Utah has that kind of effect on a person. Speaking of effects, in the Whining Weevils' vehicle, Rachel Weevil is once more making a case of herself as simply the most moronic creature to ever be on a reality TV show by whining that she doesn't want to go to Utah and that "whoever says the world is getting overpopulated needs come to Utah." Yeah, but they can also look at the Whining Weevils and make a case of why some people shouldn't breed unless they are capable of raising their kids right. Rebecca also chimes in her nuggets of dumb. Rolly, who doesn't want anyone to mistake him as a well-behaved kid, concludes, "God must have spent a little less time on this state." Mrs Weevil is giggling all this while because her kids are so adorable. I wonder whether there is anything in this world that will make the Whining Weevils happy. They haven't liked anything they have seen so far! I am starting to wonder whether the Whining Weevils are so provincial and isolated because they want their life to be that way or because everyone else gives them a wide berth. I don't hate them or anything, mind you, I just find them pitiful because they think they are such wonderful people while exposing themselves on TV as really pathetic, ignorant, and nasty. The Lunzes and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters are of course admiring the Godforsaken scenery, those heathens.

The Lunzes manage to catch up with the Whining Weevils and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters, mostly because they just drove out of the carpark instead of taking the time to turn their vehicle around. They eventually overtake the Whining Weevils and give a loud holler, which predictably causes the Whining Weevils to gasp at such rudeness, never mind that they did the same thing to the Godawfulshrieky Sisters earlier. See what I mean about pitying the Whining Weevils? It is as if they cannot stop themselves from being hypocritical fools on TV. In the Lunz vehicle, they call the Whining Weevils "the Wicked Witch of the East and her two little monkeys - somebody's going to come and drop a house on her head!" That's so mean. I'd settle for a toilet bowl.

The Blandsens. Mr Blandsen hopes for less frenetic activity on this show. The poor man, won't anybody pay him some attention? Crazy crybaby bossy Christine tries to tell her Godawfulshrieky Sisters that it is easier to navigate within the USA - ooh, they are going to get lost soon, I can tell - and the other Sisters ignore her. Poor Christine will have to keep talking to herself for the rest of the trip. Ahead, the Lunzes reach the clue stand at the Gemini Bridges and learn that it's time for a Detour. For "Ride Down", Philo explains that a Family will use bikes to get down to the canyon. It's a six mile ride. In "Drop Down" the Family can opt to rappel down 270 miles into the canyon instead. The Lunzes rappel and the youngest Lughead goes first. Nick, who really isn't looking any better in my eyes despite getting the most airtime out of this Family (much to my relief), says, "If we lose a teammate it's going to be him... And we'll turn around and do the bikes!" Okay, I laugh at that one. Oh gosh, I have to be strong.

Some distance back, Rolly Weevil, who loves to show the world how ignorant he is, pipes up that he doesn't know anything about Utah. That's okay, he's stupid, I can see that. Mrs Weevil tells them that Utah is the home of the Mormons and Rachel, who by now is officially the most idiotic one of this family, exclaims, "No wonder!" Maybe she's just trying to make a joke about the Mormons? But since Rachel Weevil is one of the most ignorant example of a waste of carbon and genetic material, I doubt she has the wit to even try to crack a joke. They reach the clue stand and they decide that Rachel can't rappel. Don't want her to knock her head or anything now, after all. They try to ride on the bikes but Rebecca falls off because her buttcheeks nearly visible thanks her short shorts don't agree with the material of the seat. "This is the dumbest thing I've done in my life!" she cries. That's okay, she won't feel so bad when she rewatches the episodes of this season and realize that when it comes to being dumbest of the the dumb, she and her Family are spoiled for choices when it comes to picking the dumbest thing they have done in their lives. Dramatic music plays as the show wants to be in suspense about what the Whining Weevils will do now. I'll think about that while I floss my teeth. Anyway, it turns out that Rebecca doesn't know how to use the gears and Mrs Weevil shows her how. Bah.

The Blandsens manage to beat the Godawfulshrieky Sisters to the Gemini Bridges where as usual Mr Blandsen asks his daughters to slow down for him to catch up. I guess that is their storyarc and they're sticking to it. Despite Mr Blandsen's physical weaknesses, they decide to rappel. The better for Mr Blandsen to blow his own horn about how weak and useless he is in the next confessional, of course. The Lunzes finish rappeling - which shouldn't be unexpected given that they are the only Family left without any weak links to hold them back - and they learn that they can now head over to the Green River State Park in Utah where they will spend the night in the trailer they have been carting around all day. First come, first to leave the next morning, the usual. The Whining Weevils bike down while spewing charming compliments to Utah. Naturally, Rachel gets to be the one to deliver the coup d'dumbass: "If anybody says, 'I'm from Utah,' I'm going to say, 'I'm so sorry.'" And then she will scream that people are mean to her when these people tell her, "Don't be, dear, I'm actually more sorry for your apparently limitless amount of dumb."

The Godawfulshrieky Sisters show up finally. Philo explains that the Sisters fell into last place because of a production error where the camera equipment drained the battery of their vehicle and the Sisters have to wait for a new vehicle to arrive for them. That's nice to know, really. Now, can the camera crew do something about the vehicle of the Whining Weevils? Four flat tires will be nice. The Sisters will rappel.

The Whining Weevils finish reach the bottom of the canyon and they are off. The Blandsens rappel. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters get ready to rappel, all ready to hurry, until Christine trips and falls down. "You mean with... her? Who just fell on the first little cliff area? No, I don't think so," says bossy Sharon of bossy Christine to bossy Tricia who is telling them to hurry. Poor Christine. It's "let's bag the weirdo crybaby woman" day. I think the tears will fall soon. Both Families finish rappeling and they too leave for the Green River State Park. It's been an exciting day and I tell you, I can't wait for this episode to end. At the Park, the Lunzes arrive first and are told that they can leave at 7:00 am the next morning. The Whining Weevils will leave at 7:15 am, the Blandsens at 7:30 am, and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters at... that's right, 7:45 am. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters could have spent ten hours rappeling after stopping for a movie and they would still leave at 7:45 am the next morning. The Race designers are so brilliant sometimes, I tell you.

That night, the Whining Weevils hide themselves in their trailer while the other three Families socialize and chat. They proceed to call the others "immature", Rachel says that they are all alone in the Race, and Mrs Weevil blames their situation on the other Families for apparently not reciprocating to the Whining Weevils' friendly overtures. Oh, and what kind of overtures would that be? "Hey, Tommy Lunz, wanna bad-mouth Mormons and read the Bible with me?" "Hey, Megan, let's toss garbage at passing vehicles?" Watching this Family's apparently infinite cluelessness makes me feel very tired right down to my bones. I don't hate them, I don't like them, I just feel exhausted watching them.

On to the next morning. 7:00 am. The Lunzes learn that they can head over to Herber City and locate Bart. Oh no, how many Barts are there in Herber City? Don't worry, people, because the Families won't be in danger of actually having to use their brain, since the clue specifically mentions that Bart is waiting for them at Little Sweden Road. Bart, by the way, is a trained bear. Perhaps that is mentioned in the clue as well? The Whining Weevils leave at 7:15 am. The show then wants to reaffirm what nasty people the Whining Weevils are to the two people watching this show who still haven't got the message by juxtaposing the Lunzes' admiration of the scenery to the Whining Weevils' dismissing the scenery and comparing it to "a little pimple in the mountains". Just like how Rolly Weevil is a pimple in humanity, I suppose? 7:30 am. The Blandsens leave. 7:45 am. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters leave. They moan about not being able to scream or run when they are at Bart's place.

Ahead, after a momentary confusion about the gender of the stranger they are approaching for directions, the Lunzes get the directions to Little Sweden Road. They come to this house that is decorated to look like some circus and find Bart coming towards them with the clue in his mouth. That bear is cute. Too bad he doesn't do anything more, really, like tagging along with a Family because the rest of the episode will be so much more enjoyable then. The Lunzes learn that they must now head over to the Utah Olympic Park. Philo reminds the audience in the few countries in the world that actually care about the Winter Olympics that Utah was the host for that event in 2002. Oh, and there is a Yield ahead. The Lunzes decide to leave using the 40 North, which is the right direction as I soon find out. As they leave, they stumble upon the Whining Weevils and the Whining Weevils, hilariously, decide to duck out of sight. Maybe that's their way of making friends with the other Families, via a game of hide-and-seek? No wonder the other Families don't recipocrate their friendly overtures, those poor stupid ducks. For once the Whining Weevils don't complain about Bart. They take the clue and leave. The Blandsens show up next. And leave. Yawn. The Whining Weevils want to hurry so that they don't get Yielded, but Rebecca thinks that 40 North will take them "too high up" so they should take a route called 92. Mrs Weevil follows this road. When they pass some bikers, Rolly decides to yell at them, "You wish you were Lance Armstrong!" Huh? What is that all about? In other news, the Blandsens meet Bart, say goodbye, and take the North 40. Ditto the Godawfulshrieky Sisters.

The Lunzes reach the Park. Elsewhere, the Whining Weevils realize that something is wrong when they find themselves in a scenic loop that screams, "This is the wrong way to go!". They can't turn around, however, because the road is narrow and there's their trailer behind them. Rachel complains that they are going to get Yielded. Oh dear, is that such a bad thing? Back to the Lunzes, they have to stop by the Yield Stand before they can go any farther so what the heck, since it's the last Yield of the Race they may as well Yield the Whining Weevils, which they do. They then learn that it's time for a Roadblock. Someone will have to put on ski gear and go down a 60-foot ramp to the bottom before doing a ski jump to land into the pool. Nick is doing this, causing Tommy to hope that Nick doesn't try to be cute and do some "360 triple-deke" that may cause him serious injury. Well, Nick tries but lands flat on his face. Yeah, yeah, what a showboating twit. They are trying to do something funny, however, and I appreciate that as well as the fact that they are the only ones apparently having fun among the Families left on the Race. The Lunzes learn that they can now head over to the Pit Stop of this leg of the Race - the Salt Lake City Library. Wow. I'm glad that they don't at least make the Pit Stop a kindergarten. The finale is three weeks from this episode so yeah, I'm at the edge of my seat when Philo speculates that the last Family may be eliminated from the Race. While Nick is doing his best to imitate Matthew Lillard on a good day, the Blandsens show up. The other three Lunzes cheer the Blandsens on, probably because they aren't the Whining Weevils. One of the Blandsen daughters - Magnolia? Mongolia? Marigold? - will be doing the Roadblock and she gets ready. As the Lunzes leave, they meet up with the Godawfulshrieky Sisters and both Families are thrilled that the Whining Weevils are Yielded. Back to Marigold, Mongolia, or Magnolia Blandsen, she prepares to do her thing and that poor girl gets hit on with a lamentable "If you live, let's go out!" Still, she does her thing and her Family gets the clue. Whoopee-do. Sharon takes one for her Sisters and does her thing. Whoopee-do. As they leave, they hope that it's an elimination round since it's clear that the Whining Weevils are coming in last. I wish that it is, too.

The Whining Weevils know that they're coming in last. Mrs Weevil tells her kids to accept the fact that they are going to be eliminated. Once more, it has to be Rachel to deliver another truly stupid zinger: "We're already the last nice family! And we're gone! The people who win will probably spend it on a new nose and bigger boobs!" She has to be playing some sort of role, surely, because no one can be that delusional and loathsome, right? The more I see Rachel Weevil, the more I think of Fairuza Balk's evil witch character in that campy movie The Craft. The Lunzes in their vehicle wonder whether the Whining Weevils were eaten by the bear. The Blandsens have abandoned neutrality, it seems, because they are also hoping for a Whining Weevil elimination. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters are only sorry that they don't get to see the Whining Weevils' faces when they find that they have been Yielded. In the meantime, the Whining Weevils stop for food. Seriously. I may even start liking them for their bravado if they aren't so stupid and obnoxious. Mrs Weevil tells her kids that ice-cream "revigorates you and injuvenates you" which is why they must eat more ice-cream. Rachel announces that only her Big Mac in her hand is keeping her from crying. Huh? She needs her hand in order to cry? What is she talking about? Why don't someone just stuff that Big Mac down her throat to stop her from talking?

It gets funnier when they reach the Park and realize that they are Yielded. They first sing and dance their famous Waffle House set, although there is nobody around that place to watch them and I don't think anyone watching this show is fooled by them into thinking that they don't care what other people think or do to them. And then Mrs Weevil announces that the other Families are "so rude". See? I knew this is coming. I wait for them to start clapping hands and singing Bible camp songs but instead I get Mrs Weevil laughing fakely as she insists that in real life everyone loves the Whining Weevils. And who is this "everyone" we are talking about? The voices in her head or the effigy of her dead husband in that shrine back home don't count.

Salt Lake City! The Lunzes are here and Megan asks for directions to the Library. The Blandsens are here too. Who will be first to find Philo? Who, who, who? One of the Lunz lugheads screams to Philo that he is "coming" as they dash to the Pit Stop which is at the roof of the Library. Oh hush, it's a Library they are at. The lugheads take a moment to predictably drool over Miss Latin Utah who is Philo's VIP. Nick, who must have memorized all the faces and measurements of beauty pageant winners in the country, drools a little extra because of the "Latin" thing. These lugheads are so predictable sometimes. Oh, and Philo tries to give them some scares by pretending that they don't win anything the first time they ever come in first but in the end, he reveals that the Lunzes have won a trip to... Wyoming. The Lunzes nonetheless manage to put on a credible happy face. Philo tells Tommy that the Lunzes even have a beautiful woman at the Finishing Mat, which amounts to... er, something, I guess since he's not talking about Megan and the Lugheads aren't going to get their paws anywhere near Miss Latin Utah anytime soon. Still, it's worth noting that the Lunzes are the only Family that seems to be psychologically upbeat at this point of the Race while the other Families are winding down. This Race is theirs to lose.

The Blandsens are second. Um.. yay.

The Godawfulshrieky Sisters are third. Crybaby weirdo bossy Sister Christine says that she will now "back off" when it's time for her to do so in arguments. The other Sisters must have deliberately avoided talking to her directly throughout this leg in order to teach her that lesson. So, um, yay for them as well. Let's see how long Christine can last without resorting to her bossy old self.

And finally, the Whining Weevils are released from their Yield. Rolly takes one for Utah. They reach the Pit Stop and of course, as expected, they aren't eliminated. But they are actually miserable at having to stay in the Race to the point that Philo has to coddle them about how teams have came in last only to rebound, et cetera, while he takes them of their money and possessions. He doesn't mention how everyone will get bunched two or three times in the next leg so it doesn't matter who is first and who is last, oh, and it's not that hard to get money in Salt Lake City, how no teams who were mugged ever got eliminated in the past because of the lack of money, yadda yadda yadda, but he should have. In the meantime, the Whining Weevils predictably blame everyone else for being rude and nasty to them. Mrs Weevil says to the camera that she is this close to giving up until Philo's words give her the boost she needs to resume Racing or something like that. She vows that the Whining Weevils will come back and they will win. Ooh, that sounds like a threat.


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