You Look Ridiculous
The Amazing Race 8 : Episode 7


It's a plane! Previously, this show was only an hour long and the Gagglehams were eliminated as a result of the Someone Has To Get Screwed In A Roadblock All About Luck task that this show now drops at least once a season. The Whining Weevils become more and more obnoxious in a rather entertaining manner, although I suspect that they are entertaining because there is very little about everything else in this show that is entertaining. This episode is two hours long and I am afraid to imagine what can happen in it. Or rather, what won't happen because there is a good chance of nothing interesting taking place, as the last few episodes have demonstrated.

After a lush camera span over jungles, Philo step out before the camera to explain that he is at Quepos, Costa Rica, which he describes as a "sleepy" "surf town". How can a surf town be sleepy? Maybe it's because all the fat and boring rich people get about that place shirtless and in thongs as opposed to gym-honed bodies? Anyway, the beach of this boring surf town was the Pit Stop of the previous leg of the Race and this is also the starting line of this leg of the Race. Philo wonders whether the Whining Weevils can "survive" being ocstracized by every remaining Family on this Race - as if these Weevils don't thrive on being a martyr so far in this Race - and whether the Pablums can keep the lead that they are currently having. Wait, I'm sure they will until the next artificial bunch point comes along.

7:27 am. The Pablums receive a clue that tells them to head over to Playa Maracas - which turns out to be a beach instead of some sex club like I imagined - and send one person to swim out to the buoy to get their next clue. This is the "Let's Get One Of The Lugheads Shirtless" scenes for all you folks out there who love generic model skin but are too embarrassed/God-fearing/whatever to surf for free websites that feature such generic model skin. As the Pablums leave, Mrs Pablum mentions that her legs are hurting but she is trying not to dwell too much on them. Maybe she can start by starting a petty argument with DJ. In what is obviously a post-show confessional, Mr Pablum and Brian look like they just learned that Mrs Pablum saves the world on a daily basis while DJ talks about respecting his mother because she has done physical things on this show that he wouldn't expect. I don't think he's talking about Mrs Pablum's opening of her mouth and the loud sounds that result when he's talking about Mrs Pablum getting physical. Anyway, how like a man to respect a woman only after she starts jumping around and doing "macho" stuff! DJ adds that his mother still drives him nuts so the world hasn't completely turned on its axis.

7:28 am. The Lunz Lugheads leave. One of the Lugheads claims that they are more than just physically competent on this Race. Well, if that helps them sleep easier at night, by all means they are welcome to believe that they are also master puzzle-solvers and strategizers. I'm sure the world is happy to let them hold that delusion as long as they are as clothed as little as possible while trying to solve puzzles and strategize. Like the Whining Weevils will say, we are all placed in this world for a reason. The other Lughead - the only one who qualifies as remotely good-looking and I think his name is Nick - says that he doesn't know what it takes to come in first. What, so their great brains and big brawns aren't enough to get them in first place? That's so sad. Oh, and the Lunzes reveal that Families are given $310 for this leg of the Race. Won't want anybody to starve from not having Big Macs on a regular basis, eh, Bonghammer?

7:29 am. Since Mr Blandsen has apparently lost all ability to speak due to some heinous physical incapacity, now one of the daughters - identified as "Lauren" - admirably steps in to tell me about how Mr Blandsen is on the verge of dying on this Race. Mr Blandsen has hemophilia so he still hasn't stopped bleeding since a mosquito bit him while they were walking about enjoying the view in the jungles of Costa Rica. Mr Blandsen ate something wrong so he nearly vomited out his entire stomach last night. Today the poor Blandsen daughters Laura, er, Lauren and... um, Shania and Macaroni, perhaps, have to carry their obese father as they hobble out of the Pit Stop. Mr Blandsen courageously offers to be the one to swim to get the clue in the buoy and daughters Matilda, Guadelope, and Gonorrhea are so touched by this that they call up all the tabloids in the country to sell the heartwarming story. Only they are told later that nobody cares about that story because (a) this season isn't worth generating column inches over and (b) nobody remembers that the Blandsens are even on the Race.

The Pablums reach the beach where they realize that it's not a swingers beach, an orgy paradise, or a topless lesbian commune like its name may suggest. Oh well. Brian is about to swim out to the buoy when Mrs Pablum suggests that her husband do it instead. Mr Pablum therefore swims. The Lunzes show up next and Nick, angling for at least a Hunk Of The Month page in some teenage magazine after this show, obligingly shows some skin. I've seen better but I take what I can get, however. The Blandsens show up next and Mr Blandsen swims. However, he heads off in the wrong direction. Meanwhile, Nick and Mr Pablum get their clue at the buoy but on their way back, Mr Pablum encounters some difficulty. I think he cries for "rescue". DJ, hearing him, snorts and wonders why Mr Pablum wanted to swim when he couldn't actually do it. If that's the way he is going to be, he better hope that his father has paid his insurance premiums on a regular basis. In the end, the Lunz lughead is the first to make it back to the beach where the Lunzes learn that they must now go to the La Iglesia de Metal in Grecia. No, that's not Enrique Iglesias' latest CD, Philo reassures everyone, it's a church made from metal. Some anonymous hands pound on the wall to demonstrate that Philo is not lying. This church, according to Philo, is brought over from Belgium. An altar boy in that church will offer the next clue to the Families when he's not fending off the amorous attentions of the Whining Weevil daughters.

The Lunzes decide to look for a phone, most likely to call a cab. Out at sea, rescuers are leading Mr Pablum back to the beach while Mr Blandsen finally gets his orientation right and heads for the buoy. The Blandsens leave while the Pablums are waiting for Mr Pablum to be returned to them. As the swimmers head back out to sea to locate Mr Pablum's lost dignity, DJ picks up his father's backpack without being asked, which is nice of him considering what he said earlier about his father, but not nice enough in Mrs Pablum's estimation because she berates him nonetheless but not being nice to his father. And then she will wonder why DJ isn't nicer towards his father when her constant nagging kills any blossoming goodwill DJ may have towards his father, sheesh. Eventually all three Families end up looking for cabs and when Mr Pablum finally manages to get an English-speaking person at the other end of the line in his payphone, he calls up three cabs to take all three Families to the Metal Church. The cabs show up and everyone crams into them.

8:32 am. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters leave, with one of them, Tricia, giving this bizarre confessional where she says that sure, the Sisters argue but at least they are not in denial about their argumentative nature. They sound like they're in a rehab situation or something. Sharon is chosen to swim even when the others realize that she'd moan and bitch about it when she's done. Yes, they are not in denial at all, I can see that. Is there really a Bitchoholic Anonymous out there? The Sisters manage to get their clue and call for a cab, which proves that this task doesn't take long at all as they manage to complete this before Whining Weevils even leave the starting line.

Which is at 9:00 am. The Whining Weevils leave and Rolly will be doing the swimming. He's the man of the family, after all! Besides, god-fearing Christians used to drown witches in water to "test" their innocence so the Weevil women are understandably afraid of what may happen if they get wet. In their usual "let's laugh at these weirdos" brand of confessional that this Family is prone to giving, Rebecca announces, "It's greater to be hated for who you are than loved for who you're not!" Alright then, let us then hate this Family freely and with extreme prejudice, people! Rebecca thinks that it's a sign of greater good that the Whining Weevils are treated like pariahs. When they reach the Playas Maracas beach, Rolly swims but not before he announces that he is swimming "on faith". Oh dear, I hope he doesn't encounter any nasty jellyfish or electric rays that may tempt him into defecting to a different religion altogether. As he swims, the others pray for him. Or maybe they are praying for the sea to part so that Rolly can go through? Rolly gets the clue and earns him the sobriquet "hottie" from his sister. Eew, let's not go there, okay? As they read their clue, the Godawfulshrieky Sisters leave for Grecia in their cab.

At Grecia, the three leading Families locate the Church and realize that there is a funeral taking place. A perverse part of me is thinking that it will be great if the funeral is staged and altar boy is in the coffin with the clue envelopes stuck between his lips. Still, the funeral does look like it's a genuine funeral and the altar boy discreetly passes the clues to these Families. It's now time for a Detour. Philo explains that in "Brush", Families will travel some ten miles to an oxcart factory where they will paint a pattern according to what they are shown on two wheels before getting their next clue, while in "Barrel", they travel some ten miles to a sugarcane plantation and load a ton of sugar cane onto a tractor-trailer. Yes, a ton. And then they have to drive the sugar cane to a rum factory six miles away before locating a barrel among many in the warehouse of that factory to get their next clue. The Pablums choose to barrel forth while the Pablums and the Lunzes choose to brush ahead. However, in their cab, the Lunzes decide that maybe it's better if they barrel ahead instead so they turn around and head for the sugarcane plantation. They don't want to test the extent of their supposedly huge brainpower.

Somewhere behind, the Godawfulshrieky Sisters think that the scenery on the road to Grecia will be fabulous for a honeymoon, which leads them to sigh at the bleak chance of finding romance in this Race. Silly women, if they want love, they will find it everywhere when they have a million dollars in their pocket, so they should just focus on the Race. A little behind, the Whining Weevils take it upon themselves to sing (or rather, hollering in a painful manner) and clap in a manner that they hope would encourage their cab driver, whose name is Arnold, to drive faster. I tell you, these Whining Weevils really have no idea how socially inept they come off on TV. Arnold looks like he wants to drive straight into a tree as it is and I don't blame him one bit.

The Lunzes and the Pablums make their way to the sugarcane plantation easily while the Blandsens' cab driver takes them back to the Metal Church, oops. One of the daughters - Spaghetti, I think - calls the cab driver stupid. The cab driver isn't that stupid, however, since that fellow stops to ask some cops for the directions that the Blandsens fail to communicate fully. Ahead, the Lunzes heave and haul. The Pablums also heave and haul although with Mrs Pablum and DJ competing to see who has less stamina the Pablums are falling behind the Lunzes. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters locate the Church and the altar boy and decide to brush because they think they are good at painting. Mr Blandsen courts death as he tries to keep up with his daughters Mango, Papaya, and Banana in running into the oxcart factory and grabbing two wheels to paint. When the Whining Weevils reach the Church, Rachel screams at the others to wait for her, even when there's a funeral taking place. Oh, and Mrs Weevil calls the altar boy "senora". When I think these morons can beat themselves at their own game, they go and surprise me every time. The Whining Weevils will brush ahead too because as Rachel says later in their cab, "We can do more of the monotonous stuff than the strength stuff." Even the Whining Weevils think that this season sucks! Back at the sugarcane plantation, the Lunzes finish loading the sugarcanes and take off, saying that the whole task is like being at some Aunt Susan's house looking for pumpkins. Must be some euphemism for a sleazy fraternity initiation ritual, that.

The Blandsens paint, and I'm sure it's a shock to many that Mr Blandsen once more complains that he can't keep up with his daughters but he's doing his best. Do these people have anything else to talk about? The Godawfulshrieky Sisters show up as well, which is impressive considering how they started the Race so much later than the Blandsens, and they erupt into arguments as they settle down to paint. Someone is going to get paint on her face, I suspect, and it can only get uglier from there. The Pablums finish up at the sugarcane plantation and as they leave, Mr Pablum starts to sing and causes DJ to mumble good-naturedly whether he is in hell. DJ can be good-natured as long as it's his father and not his mother who is annoying him. The Whining Weevils show up at the oxcart factory, much to the dismay of the other two Families, although Mr Blandsen does tell the Whining Weevils that they made it in good time and Rolly thanks him. The Blandsen daughter stuck with her father tries to get her sisters to help her out but the two sisters insist that they are busy with their own wheel. "It's not our fault that you guys ridiculously suck!" Echnida tells her sister Platypus while Wallaby shakes her head in agreement. Poor Platypus is stuck with a slow father and making slow progress on her wheel. Meanwhile, Rachel Weevil is telling off her sister Rebecca for painting the pattern wrongly. Sisters are definitely doing it for themselves in this episode!

The Lunzes arrive at the rum factory and locate the warehouse without problems but they wonder how they are going to locate the clue inside one of the many barrels. Should they go on a destructive rampage and smash open the barrels with their not-so-meaty fists? Unfortunately for me because I want so badly to see the Lugheads turn into the Incredible Hulks of Generic Manmeat (as if Megan will do any barrel-smashing, pffft), they realize that they can just pull the, um, I'm bad at describing barrels so let's just say that they can open the barrel without smashing it to pieces. They eventually locate the clue that tells them to fly to Phoenix Arizona and then drive to the Bondurant Superkart School. Wow, there's a school where you can learn how to enjoy Superkart races? I wish I knew of it when I was ten. The Lunzes leave. The Pablums then show up at the warehouse of the rum factory and they too figure out how to open the barrels. They get their clue. When Mrs Pablum reads the clue, she must be speaking for many bored-witless people watching this show when she exclaims, "What are we going to Phoenix, Arizona for? I want to go to New Zealand!"

The Blandsens finish up their painting, get their clue, and leave. My, that is certainly exciting. Mr Blandsen, in their cab, still complains about painting too slow. He must be really desperate for his daughters' attention. One of the Godawfulshrieky Sisters explains that she uses a thin paintbrush for outlines and a thicker brush to fill in the pattern. Such precision probably explains why the Whining Weevils manage to beat them to the punch. Mrs Weevil calls out in a skin-crawling manner to the supervisor, "Mr Artisan, are we okay?" No. What, I'm just answering her question for Mr Artisan! The Whining Weevils then freak out when they realize that they have to step foot in another place that has something to do with racing. Hmm, it's been a while since the whole Dead Mr Weevil thing comes up. It's funny how the Dead Daddy matter stops being brought up the moment the editors decide to make the Whining Weevils the trainwreck pariah sideshow entertainment of the season. In their cab, Rachel is happy that they have beaten the "desperate housewives". I wonder whether she has heard of the names given to the Whining Weevils. "Psychotic fundies" is the least offensive of those I've heard or come across, heh.

There is no airport drama to be had when the Lunzes reach the San Jose International Airport and manage to get a flight to Phoenix via Atlanta that will arrive at 9:45 am the next day. The Pablums show up and the Lunzes inform them of this flight but alas, the flight is already full and the Pablums can't get on it. This causes DJ and Mr Pablum to call the person behind the counter a "moron". The Lunzes, in the meantime, take off to Atlanta. Mrs Pablum says that the Pablums would get better customer service if the two men have "nicer mouths". That's true but it's also true that DJ and Mr Pablum are understandably frustrated and they are just letting off steam in the way they know. The Pablums head off to a different counter where they are joined by the Blandsens and the Whining Weevils. When the Whining Weevils spot the Pablums, Rebecca starts pracing about and chanting her nickname for the Pablums, "The Cleavers! The Cleavers!" She looks like a complete fool instead of the wit that she hopes to come off. The Whining Weevils really have no clue about behaving in public, do they? When they try to be witty, they come off as utterly lame, and when they try to put on a strong front by singing, they come off as bizarre halfwits from some provincial backwater area in town for the first time. All three Families get a flight to Phoenix via New York that will put them about fifteen minutes ahead of the Lunzes. (So much for the Lunzes' brainpower, eh?) The Pablums complain about the Whining Weevils being on the same flight as them until DJ, probably fearing that they may jinx their luck, tells them not to "mess with a good thing". Brian quips that they should mess with DJ then since DJ is a "bad thing". This causes DJ to twitch like he houses some alien baby in that Alien movie and that alien is about to burst out of his stomach. Brian quickly says that he is just joking. He obviously wants to keep DJ and Mrs Pablum in the best mood possible for the rest of the leg, that smart kid. Way behind at the oxcart factory, the Godawfulshrieky Sisters finally finish up their modern masterpiece Thin Brushstrokes On An Oxcart Picasso and they take a cab to get to the airport.

At the airport, the Whining Weevils form a circle around poor DJ who is backed against the wall. Maybe there is a TV at the Weevil household after all, where they all gather to watch The Godfather after their daily Bible studies. They demand to know why DJ Yielded them in the previous leg. And here I thought they said that they knew everyone hated them and they didn't care about being hated? DJ tells them simply that he Yielded them because they were the last Family at that time. The Whining Weevils point out that they were in sixth place, which is exactly what DJ has just said so I don't know what they are trying to say. DJ says that he wanted to "knock" the last team out, which is how you use the Yield anyway. The Whining Weevils act as if that is the most horrible thing they have ever heard. Mrs Weevil protests to DJ, "We like you! We've been nothing but friendly to you!" I do remember something about a garbage truck... She asks DJ to let's just be friends. DJ reminds her that it all boils down to the game and there's nothing personal to his Yielding the Whining Weevils. "Well, you don't have any Yields left, and we do, sweets," Mrs Weevil says in a chilling brittle tone. Anyone foolhardy enough to pause the episode to look at her face as she says this is one brave person indeed because Mrs Weevil has an expression at that moment that will make Cruela de Vil whimper in terror. Really, it's clear to all but the Whining Weevils why they are so hopelessly unpopular and unloved by the people around them. Anyway, the threat is useless because you can only Yield when you get to the Yield stand first and there's no guarantee of that happening.

At about now, the Lunzes are waiting at Atlanta for their connecting flight to Phoenix. Back at San Jose, the Godawfulshrieky Sisters manage to get on the same flight as the Pablums, Whining Weevils, and Blandsens, but at New York, they realize that there is some problem where their reservation on the connecting flight to Phoenix has completely vanished. They insist that they had a reservation back in Costa Rica but there is no record of that in the computer. Besides, the flight is full. Oh no! Fortunately for them, there are three airports in New York and they learn that there is a flight from Newark that will get them to Phoenix at about the same time as this particular flight. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters hurry to get a cab for their expensive dash to Newark. So that's what the $310 is for! The Pablums, the Blandsens, and the Whining Weevils wonder what happened to the Sisters as they board their connecting flight to Phoenix. Meanwhile, at Newark, the Godawfulshrieky Sisters manage to make that flight. Saved! The Lunzes also board their connecting flight at Atlanta. Philo comes out to explain the confusing scenario of all Families flying to Phoenix. He says that at the airport, the Families will then take a marked vehicle to head over to the Bondurant Superkart School where more fun and excitement await the Families.

Hello, Phoenix! Hello, cactus plants. Hello... the Godawfulshrieky Sisters? Their flight manages to come in at 8:35 am, some 45 minutes earlier than expected. I'm impressed. I've never been on flights that ever arrived this earlier than scheduled. They complain the moment they arrive that it's "hotter than snot" out there. They get their directions from some helpful people around the airport. When they locate their vehicle, they count the number of vehicles left to discover that they are the first Family to arrive. They are cheered by this and take the I-50 to Tucson. At 9:20 am, the Pablums, the Blandsens, and the Whining Weevils arrive. The Blandsens take off first, followed by the Whining Weevils, while the Pablums encounter some difficulty in locating their vehicle. Hey, this is a good idea for the next season: let's hide the vehicles and let the Teams hunt for it up and down the airport! The Lunzes show up later and get into their vehicle, leaving the poor Pablums still looking for their vehicle. Maybe it's been stolen, heh. DJ and Mrs Pablum are acting the way they usually do all the while until Brian mercifully locates their vehicle. As they hit the road, Mrs Pablum tells DJ that she hopes he will never marry because she can't imagine anyone who will put up with his "nonsense". Er, Mrs Pablum? And many men secretly wish to marry someone who is exactly like their mothers, or so I've read. Mrs Pablum tells Mr Pablum that he should "talk" to DJ, Mr Pablum as usual ignores her, and it seems like we're back at square one all over again with the Pablums: silent, seething in anger, and uncomfortable to watch.

The Godawfulshrieky Sisters reach the School where they learn that it's now time for a Roadblock. I'm sure no one can guess what the Roadblock will entail. Philo doesn't leave me hanging in utmost suspense: he steps out to explain that one person from each Family must sit in a go-kart box and complete fifty laps in a circuit to get the next clue. Michelle takes this one. She suits up like she's going to be in some Speed Racer movie - and here I think go-karts are for kiddies - and then off she goes! Voom! Voom! Voom! The Blandsens show up next and for some reason once more Mr Blandsen takes this Roadblock, another physical task that he always complains that he is too slow for. For a Family who delights in beating the Mr Blandsen Is A Slow And Sad Cow angle to death, they are letting Mr Blandsen hog all the physical Roadblock and activities on the Race. Why is this? Maybe the daughters Caramel, Coco Puff, and Crackle Pop are just indulging Mr Blandsen's one last wish before he croaks for good.

On the road, the Whining Weevils are experiencing another life-altering situation when Rachel wonders what state they are in. Which part of "Phoenix, Arizona" on the clue doesn't she understand? I honestly believe that Rachel is in the running for the title of the most stupid person to ever grace a reality TV show. And she talks a lot too! When they arrive at the School, Mrs Weevil declares that she will be doing the Roadblock and tells the supervisor, "My husband was killed by a race car so I need someone to be very compassionate with me!" Points given to the supervisor for not answering, "My dog was run over by a truck so shut up, lady, and sit down!" When Mrs Weevil gets into the go-kart box looking like she's mean enough to run down someone to death, the other daughter Rebecca starts crying because her mother is going to die and she so, so, so knows it. I can understand how she is feeling but I think at some point in life she really should stop hiding in fear and move on. Besides, she's one crazy and mean young lady so I'm not exactly brimming with sympathy for her so there you go.

On the Race track, Michelle pauses for a drink after her 25th lap. Mr Blandsen begins his course and of course he's slow. I'm starting to think that he always gets to do the physical tasks so that he can complain about being slow, the daughters can complain that he's slow, and people will finally pay attention to them. Mrs Weevil gets ready to start her course and the Whining Weevils think that even the sound of the engine sounds suspiciously off. Still, Mrs Weevil takes off. Rebecca says that this Family will never enjoy racing again "no matter how fun it is". Yeah, yeah, so stay out of a race track then. Maybe she should make a vow never to cross a street or get into a car again as well. While she's at it, maybe she should never watch this show in the future because after this season is done, her reputation, along with those of the rest of her Family, is as good as dead. The Lunzes finally show up and they are understandably unhappy of having the rare dubious honor of a team that gets on the earliest flight only to arrive at the back of the crowd. A Lughead - does it matter which Lughead? - takes the Roadblock.

At the sidelines, the Blandsen daughters and the remaining Godawfulshrieky Sisters are telling the Whining Weevil daughters how sorry they are about Mr Weevil and how they know it must be tough for the Weevil daughters to be here and watch as their mother get into a go-kart racing circuit. One of them even rubs Rebecca's back as she tells Rebecca that Mr Weevil must be very proud of them. And then, there's this bizarre confessional which I hope for Rebecca's sake is put in out of sequence and out of context because Rebecca's accusing the Godawfulshrieky Sisters of being liars and saying that she hates them "so much" truly reflects very poorly on the young lady. Elsewhere, the Lunz Lughead hit the track while the Pablums finally reach the School and DJ takes the Roadblock. In the race track, the Godawfulshrieky Sister finishes first while the Lunz Lughead predictably outraces everyone else. Mr Blandsen is, as usual, slow as molasses. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters are told to drive to the Pit Stop at Fort McDowell some 32 miles away. They drive and they bicker their way into the sunset. Elsewhere, I learn that the Blandsen daughters and the Lunz siblings call the Lughead in the go-kart box "Bone". Is that "Bone" as in "Bonehead" or in "Permanent Loser With A Boner"? The show tries to create a possibility that Bonehead here would crash into Mrs Weevil in his reckless driving and causes the two of them to be carted off in an ambulance, during which Mrs Weevil will scream at the Lunzes that Jesus will come down to earth and strike all of them dead. Alas, I'm not that lucky to get that scene. Round and round these people go, until Mr Blandsen finally complete his course, followed by Mrs Weevil, and then Bonehead.

The Godawfulshrieky Sisters are on their way to the Pit Stop. The Whining Weevils are on the road too and they are complaining that Bonehead was crowing back then about overtaking Mrs Weevil. "Oh, you're going to write that one in the book!" says Rebecca. "A 20-year-old guy passes a 46-year-old woman," Mrs Weevil adds in. And then they spot a garbage truck on the road and says that the Pablums are in there, saying that the driver is Mr Pablum. "Arizona's finest!" sniggers Rolly about Mr Pablum. How shockingly witless. The least they can do is be a little witty while they are mocking someone else, no? The joke's on them though because no matter how superior they think they are compared to the Pablums, they are the ones who come off on TV as a bunch utterly ignorant, stupefyingly close-minded, awfully socially inept, stupendously hypocritical, and mean religious zealots. The Pablums come off like the new Brady bunch compared to the Whining Weevils. Elsewhere, the reasonably good-looking Lughead calls Bone "en fuego". The Blandsens are lost and are looking for directions. Mr Blandsen tries to use a phone at a hotel that they stopped at to get directions but the daughters drag him back to the vehicle, where they all argue about Mr Blandsen wanting to use the phone. If that's the case, why don't the daughters do something instead of letting Mr Blandsen do everything and then complaining when they know he gets off on being known as the slow and doddering fool on the show? Will it kill them to swim to the buoy or get into a go-kart box or ask for directions themselves? Back at the School, DJ finishes his course and the Pablums finally get to leave.

The Godawfulshrieky Sisters, the Lunzes, and the Whining Weevils all pull up within seconds from each other, or at least that's what the editing suggests, and everyone runs like crazy for Philo and the VIP. First to arrive are the Godawfulshrieky Sisters and they get a trip to Belize. Thank you Newark! The Whining Weevils are next and they prattle about being together, which they should be because no one else is willing to be "together" with them. The Lunzes come in third, those poor dears. It doesn't pay to be athletic geniuses on the Race anymore, I tell you. It's now down to a race between the Pablums and the Blandsens to the finish. Mrs Pablum wants everyone to start wearing as many items of clothing as possible but DJ refuses because he doesn't want to look stupid or something. It's too late for that, really, he should just put on a pair of his father's boxer shorts over his head because it's not going to make him look any less stupid than he already does on this show. The Blandsens continue to ask for directions, this time, hilariously, at a liquor store. Or maybe it's just me that find it hilarious that they enter a liquor store considering... oh, never mind. The Pablums finally pull up at the Pit Stop where they realize, after spotting the other vehicles, that they are at the right place. They start pulling on their underwear over their clothes and if you have been dreaming of seeing Mr and Mrs Pablum in their underwear all this while, this is the closest you will get so enjoy the view, buddy. When the Blandsens arrive, however, the Pablums realize that they are not the last team to arrive so they quickly race for the Pit Stop, leaving pieces of underwear in disarray all over their bodies. The Pablum comes in fourth, causing Philo to chuckle at their appearance and to make a joke about Mr Pablum's "support" after catching the sight of Mr Pablum's briefs over his short. Mr Pablum goes for briefs, yes, and tight ones from what I can see of the pair he is wearing over his shorts.

The Blandsens come up to the Finishing Mat but DJ and Mr Pablum tell them to go, er, get dressed some more because the Blandsens are last and this may still be a non-elimination round. How nice of them. It makes me wonder how bad the Whining Weevils must be that these Families, who are happy to help each other even when they don't have to, band together to ocstracize them. The Blandsens come in last after following the Pablums' recommendation and sure enough, it is a non-elimination round and Philo confiscates everything they have that they aren't wearing. The first hour of the show is done for, and sit back, people, because there's another hour to go.



"Previously..." Oh stuff it, Philo, we're still in the same episode.

11:43 pm. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters depart after learning from their clue that they have to head over to that aviation tourist attraction Fighter Combat International in Mesa, Arizona for their next clue. The Sisters' pre-Race yammering is all about they being a strong team when they don't fight. As long as there is airport serendipity to help them and as long as baseball isn't in the picture, of course.

11:48 pm. The Whining Weevils are off. Rebecca, who must be the new spokesperson for the Whining Weevils and Other Reasons Why Having A Good Social Life Can Be A Good Thing, gives a confessional that has to be seen and heard to be believed. Basically, she prattles on and on about people not liking them because they are different from those other people and she's glad that she's not like them. Pretty much, it's the same old "You are just jealous!" ranting mixed with a generous dose of religious zealotry to push the self-justification on a little bit further than warranted. At this point, there's nothing to say about these folks anymore. Their self-righteousness soars to unreasonable heights even as they behave even worse than the people they condemn. I'm torn between wondering whether these folks are for real. Is it really possible to be so devoid of self-awareness yet be so creepy and judgmental at the same time?

11:51 pm. "Mesa, Arizona? I heard they got rattlesnakes over there!" How sad when the Lunzes seem to be the only ones having fun at this point of the Race, although they can easily be putting on a show for the camera too. It's a pity that they are still inconsequential and unmemorable. Anyway, off they go.

12:06 pm. The Pablums are off. They count their money - every Team except the Blandsens are given $72 for this leg of the Race, it seems - and then they too take off after the others. Mrs Pablum talks about how the pressure is on, the game is in progress, the usual.

12:14 pm. The Blandsens are allowed to leave but they have no money so they decide to head over to the nearby casino to beg. Maybe someone there will be moved to spare some change for the Blandsens instead of splurging everything at the tables.

Ahead, on the road, the Godawfulshrieky Sisters are bickering. The Pablums are bickering. What else is new, eh? The Lunzes in the meantime think that they are lost so they try to flag someone down to ask for directions. A cop shows up to tell them that people don't "stop in the road to talk to friends", to which the comparatively cute Lughead (Nick, I think) tells the cop that they are just "racing other cars" to get to the airport and they are looking for the way there. The cop decides to give them the directions, especially when there are cameras focused on him, I suspect. Don't want to end up on some reality TV show about mean cops, after all. In the Lunz vehicle, the goo-goo eyed Lughead tells Nick with a chuckle that perhaps "racing other cars" isn't the smartest thing to say to a cop. The Blandsen daughters Petunia, Pellagra, and Paraquat put aside the hideous and unseemly Mr Blandsen to bat their eyelids and ask people for money. I wish I can say that they can't get a cent but come on, we have all seen this show and we all know that the Blandsens will get the money they need with more to spare.

The Whining Weevils are the first to show up at the Fighter Combat International to learn that it's closed. But there are queue numbers to be taken so the Whining Weevils take the one with number one. The Lunzes show up next and they are taken aback at the Whining Weevils' rare stroke of navigation competency. They ask the Whining Weevils how they know the way to get here and one of the Whining Weevil daughters snaps instead that it's because the Whining Weevils are "smart". "No!" Nick says under his breath and if he could have rolled his eyes, he probably would have at that moment. Such pointless bickerings are so much more enjoyable to watch if the parties involved don't have the wit of a soggy cucumber. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters show up as team number three. Rachel Weevil announces that she wishes that there is a Yield at this point. Well, bully for her then. She can always try to feel better by dancing around and singing at the top of the voice around the place. The Pablums show up next, followed by the Blandsens.

In the morning, when the airport opens, the Families realize that it's now time for a Roadblock. Philo explains that one person from each Family will get on a fighter plane and execute a loop according to the instructions of the pilot. It's not as exciting as it seems so don't get too excited, people. The first three people to take to the air are Megan Lunz, Rolly Weevil, and Sharon of the Godawfulshrieky Sisters. Mrs Weevil, of course prays for Rolly Weevil. She probably prays for his soul every morning when he boils water using a kettle. The Lunz Lugheads, who always seem amazed that their sister can do more than just breathing and walking, calls her "Air Biscuit". As opposed to Seabiscuit, get it? My, these Lunz Lugheads sure are incomparable wits! Megan is Air Biscuit, Nick is Water Biscuit, and all we need is for one of the other two to dive into a bonfire to give us Fire Biscuit. The Roadblock doesn't seem to require much from the participants other than to control a joystick according to the instructions given, but Megan especially enjoys the thrill of flying a plane. This is one Roadblock that will be fun to take part in but not too interesting to watch. Megan, Rolly, and Sharon finish the Roadblock without difficulties. At the sidelines, the Lunz Lugheads widen their repertoire of witty banters by teasing Brian Pablum about being up there in a plane with only a joystick between his legs. Really, boys, please, don't try too hard to be funny. I hate to see any of them accidentally laying a hard-boiled egg or something from the effort. When the first three participants are finally on the ground again, Brian Pablum and one of the Blandsen daughters head out to complete their Roadblock.

Families must now travel to the Grand Canyon which is 77 miles from where they are and locate Lipan Point where their next clue awaits them. The Whining Weevils, the Godawfulshrieky Sisters, and the Lunzes leave without much drama, except for that minor incident where Megan is still bubbling over her Roadblock adventure while Goo-Goo Eyed Lughead who is driving insists that Nick should only be the one to read the map and give him directions. So far Nick is shaping up to be most good-looking and most useful one of the bunch. He will probably be the one to go the furthest in Hollywood. He may end up as far as into a casting couch in exchange for a few non-speaking guest spots in soap opera!

Back to the planes, the show tries to create some drama when Brian pulls the joystick too hard and gets the pilot telling him that he doesn't "make some parameters", whatever that means. Oh no, will Brian make the parameters? Will he break out of the parameters? Will he fly over the Bermuda Triangle and will never be seen again? Nope, it turns out that Brian and the Blandsen daughter both need to try another time to get that loop done and that's it, they can now go back to their Families and go far, far away. And for all the excitement this Roadblock seems to have, all I get to watch are mostly scenes of these people strapped to their seats with one hand on the joystick. Can't they at least put in some shots of airplanes speeding through the clouds? Both Families aren't sure where to go. Learning from their lesson in not asking for directions, the Blandsens fully intend to ask for directions before they leave. DJ decides that the Pablums just take off to the Grand Canyon first and they'll worry about Lipan Point once they get there. After all, how big can the Grand Canyon be, right? Mrs Pablum says that they need to ask for directions but everyone else ignores her. They only profess to love and respect her when the cameras are rolling and they are told specifically to gush about Mrs Pablum. So the Blandsens exit the highway to ask for directions while the Pablums charge straight ahead.

Ahead, the Godawfulshrieky Sisters are on their way when they are overtaken by the Whining Weevils. Rebecca and Rachel, who are 19 and 16 respectively according to their official biography and have said so many times that they are better than everyone else, think that it will be so funny if Rebecca tosses the wrapper of some junk food that she is feeding her fat thighs that are threatening to burst the seams of her ridiculously trashy shorts. So to the Godawfulshrieky Sisters' disbelief, that's what Rebecca does. The self-professed good Christians in the other vehicle howl in laughter. These people, I tell you. Somewhere else, Nick Lunz seems to like the idea of bonding with donkeys at the Grand Canyon. I think he's confusing the show with Shrek. The Blandsens manage to borrow a cell phone from a helpful stranger where they call up someone - maybe the Grand Canyon information center staff - and learn that they must come in at 89 to get to Lipan Point. Uh oh, and Mr Pablum is right now telling DJ to take 40 West and then 60 North. Brian hopes that they are going in the correct direction. Heh.

The Godawfulshrieky Sisters now pass the sign by the entrance of the Grand Canyon that informs them of a $20 vehicle fee. Ahead, the Whining Weevils pass by the counter where they have to make the $20 payment. Rachel, who by now is proving to be surely one of the stupidest yet most spiteful young bitches on reality TV, suggests that they tell the officer behind the counter that the folks in the vehicle behind them - which would be the Lunzes - want a long history lesson from the officer. The three kids actually laugh and fight for a chance to be a liar when Mrs Weevil, the biggest Christian of them all, announces that they should just be quiet because she will be the one to tell the officer. She tells the officer and the Whining Weevils all giggle over their sheer brilliance. The officer however just tells the Lunzes that the Whining Weevils are trying to sabotage them and Nick announces that this is a good reason for the Lunzes to Yield the Whining Weevils the next time they have the opportunity. So much for the Whining Weevils' great strategy.

The Whining Weevils are the first to reach the clue box at Lipan Point where Rolly becomes the latest Weevil to mock a tourist attraction because apparently he has seen bigger and better. Considering how these people are obviously backwater ignorant hickweeds who don't know anything about the world, he is the one to talk. The clue tells them to travel some 137 miles to the Glen Canyon Dam of Page, Arizona. There, they will have a guide to help them get to the top of the dam for their next clue. So off these Weevils go. The Lunzes show up at the clue stand next and Megan is impressed with the Grand Canyon. They leave and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters show up next where they too are impressed at the sight before them. It's quite sad that the Whining Weevils are for the first time leaving their homes but they take pains to scorn and disdain everything they see but that's their loss. The Blandsens then show up and leave after admiring the view. Meanwhile, the Pablums are stuck in traffic on the 64. The Blandsens have to stop for gas and they worry that they may not get a lead over another Family - maybe the Pablums - but they are keeping their fingers crossed. Finally, the Pablums show up at the clue stand although it's not clear how far behind they are compared to the Blandsens. They too admire the scenery. Seriously, it's the Grand Canyon after all.

Ahead, the Whining Weevils have reached the Glen Canyon Dam. Hey, the show is running out of time so they are rushing the scenes. The Lunzes are close on their tail and they share a chuckle over the fact that the Whining Weevils may beat them now but the Lunzes are confident that they can beat the Whining Weevils in any upcoming Detour. We'll see about that, won't we? The Godawfulshrieky Sisters are here too. All three Families enter the visitor lodge to choose the guide to escort each of them to the top of the Dam. Because Rebecca needs to run to the ladies' room - she's so mean and nasty, even the germs in her stomach are in revolt - the other two Families have a head start over the Whining Weevils. It's a pity that none of them follow Rebecca to the ladies' room and then jam the door shut from the outside. Just as the Lunzes predicted, they and the Sisters encounter a Detour when they open their next clue. For "Bearing", Families must get onto a boat and use a series of compass coordinates to locate three correct boxes in the river while for "Bailing" they must use pails and hand-pump to bail out water from a sunken boat and drag the boat out of the water to cross a line in the sand to get the next clue. Both Families choose to bail. As they get back towards the visitor lodge, they encounter the Whining Weevils who are on their way up to the top of the dam. When she sees the Lunzes, Mrs Weevil stretches out her hands as if she wants to whack the Lunzes. She and her family think that she has done the funniest thing in the world. Sheesh, they're so pathetic. When the Whining Weevils pass the Godawfulshrieky Sisters next, Mrs Weevil leads her children to talk aloud about what idiots the Sisters are. Like I said, pathetic. When they reach the top of the dam and get their clue, the Whining Weevils decide to go for bearings. Hey, they do need to take a moment to figure out their bearings after all.

The Whining Weevils begin looking for their first box while the Godawfulshrieky Sisters and the Lunzes pause to admire the Glen Canyon scenery before they begin their respective Detours. When the Lunzes realize that the Whining Weevils are doing the other Roadblock, Nick says sarcastically that the other Family is going with the "more challenging Detour". I don't know why he is being sarcastic. Sure, the Lunz Lugheads can handle most physical challenges adequately but that's not a good reason for them to look down on challenges that require brainpower. It is possible to have both big biceps and big brainpower, after all. Just because Nick doesn't have both that doesn't mean that they are mutually exclusive. Anyway, on with the show. The Lunzes and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters keep their eyes out for submerged boats that they can work on while the Whining Weevils search for their second box. Way behind, the Blandsens are on the road where they hope that they can beat the Pablums in the upcoming Detour. The Pablums in the meantime realize that not only have they taken the longer way to the Grand Canyon, they now have father to go compared to the other Families when it comes to getting to the Glen Canyon Dam. Mrs Pablum tries to remind them that she told them to ask for directions but really, she's just being irritating when her "I told you so" naggings when it's too late to do anything now. The others rightfully ignore her. Brian says that they can't give up yet because there's still a chance that they are still in the Race. Hope always springs eternal.

The Lunzes spot a submerged boat and gets down to business. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters locate their own boat shortly after. The Whining Weevils look and look. I'm in danger of falling asleep. Can someone's boat capsize or at least break down? The Blandsens head towards the Dam. Mrs Pablum is telling her kids that they may actually be ahead of some other Families so they should take the time to enjoy the Race instead of worrying too much. That's a very nice thing to say but I'm sure the Pablums are fully prepared for an elimination. This is one of those navigational errors that is too big to be trivial. Ahead, the Lunzes and the Sisters frantically get down to work. When the Sisters don't react when one of the Lugheads nearly drench them with water and when the Lunz Lugheads don't react when one of the tired Sisters tells the other to take the hand pump and "put it between your legs and pump", that's how focused these two Families must be in their efforts to bail and pump. I'm sure you're not too surprised to learn that the Lunzes finish first. They get the clue telling them to head over to Antelope Point at Lake Powell and use a motorboat to search the lake to locate a boathouse with the finishing mat. That house is the Pit Stop for this leg of the Race. Off go the excited Lunzes.

The Whining Weevils look and look. The Blandsens reach the clue stand at the top of the dam and they decide to bail when Mr Blandsen says that he can't use a compass. Apparently neither could any of the daughters. The Whining Weevils locate the third box just as the Godawfulshrieky Sisters finish their Detour in what seems very shortly after. Ahead, the Lunzes are making their way back to the shore in their boat and they hope that they won't make any mistakes while driving on the road. They pass the Blandsens on their way out and the Blandsens realize that they are ahead of the Pablums. The Pablums are about that time heading towards the Dam. The Lunzes hit the road, followed closely by the Whining Weevils and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters. It's funny when the Sister Michelle says that she sees some sign pointing towards Lake Powell and bossy Sharon goes "Oh God!", prompting Michelle to snap at her, "What do you mean, 'Oh God'?" Another Godawfulshrieky Sisters argument is born. The Lunzes' vehicle pass the Pablums' who are on their way to the Dam, causing the Lunzes to realize that the Pablums are really trailing behind the Blandsens. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters and the Whining Weevils also notice the Pablums. The Pablums realize that they are trailing behind these three Families. However, they don't know where the Blandsens are. The Blandsens are right now bailing away at their submerged boat. The Blandsens finish up just as the Pablums are reading their clue and deciding to bail, and these two Families cross each other's path when the Pablums head over to the lake while the Blandsens are running for their vehicle. The Blandsens now hope that they really don't do any fatal navigational mistake on the road.

The Pablums now bail as hard as they can. Mrs Pablum and DJ are soon yelling at each other - surprise, surprise. Mrs Pablum tells DJ to stop yelling at her and he tells her that this is a big river and he could have drowned her here where no one can ever find her body. "Just try, buddy!" Mrs Pablum snaps back. Okay, that exchange is really funny. One thing I have to say: as toxic as Mrs Pablum and DJ can be in their treatment of each other, both give as good as they take. The two of them continue to scream at each other over what they should do to cut down the time it takes to complete their Detour. After much pandemonium that I am too weary to recap - it has been a long two hours, after all - they are finally done. By that time, the Blandsens are long on their way to Lake Powell. Poor Brian can only say that he doesn't want to be eliminated from the Race as the Pablums head unhappily down the road to Lake Powell.

Ahead, at Antelope Point, the Lunzes are rehearsing the scene where Philo welcomes them as team number. Yeah, fat chance, especially when they misread the clue that tells them to follow a marked path to the boats and end up wandering around looking for marked boats, of which there aren't any. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters manage to sneak up on them just as they finally realize their mistake and locate the boats. A montage of scenes follow where the editors try to suggest that it's a crazy close race between the Lunzes, the Sisters, and the Whining Weevils for first and between the Blandsens and the Pablums for not coming in last. In the end, the Godawfulshrieky Sisters manage to beat the Lunzes to come in first. Wow! They get a travel trailer although I have a hunch that these Sisters won't be traveling together for a long time after the Race. The Lunzes come in second and Nick tries some flirtation, although I'm not sure whether he's flirting with Philo or the Sisters or the strange kid that stands in as the VIP, by saying that maybe the Sisters can share the travel trailer with him. With the dearth of quality eye candy and genuine excitement on this show, I would probably start to see him as sex on legs in the next few episodes so who shall I pray to in order to grant Nick Lunz here a sense of humor that doesn't revolve around the organs in the lower part of his body?

The bitter Whining Weevils come in third and they complain to Philo that the other Families are "classless" and therefore they are so sad that they are all alone on the Race. Rachel is truly the most stupid young lady in reality TV land when she goes on to say, "What it is... is we don't cuss, and it's just hard to, like, deal with people like that and then have them group up against you and be the only family that's trying to live a Christian life, and it's just hard." Philo looks like he's just caught a whiff of the stuff coming out of Rachel's mouth and gently tells her to shut up and get out of his sight, only he does that in a more polite manner than I would have. Two hours' worth of a show with the Whining Weevils on it is just too much for me.

Oh, oh, who will come in next? The show tries to convince me that the Blandsens and the Pablums are very close together but come on, really, the only way I can believe that is we have Mrs Pablum and Mr Blandsen competing in a foot race to the finish and the result, therefore, truly hinges on random luck. The Blandsens come in fourth and they are saved from elimination. The Pablums show up at the finish mat with style, calling each other all sorts of names on their way there, until they all clam up in united sadness when Philo eliminates their loud and quarrelsome asses out of the Race. The predictable confessionals of how they actually love each other and are proud of each other - the usual - follow. Funny enough, I may actually start to miss them by the time the next episode rolls in. Then again, with the unwatchable Whining Weevils around, I would miss the Shroepers too, I think. In the meantime, it looks like the show is determined to show Nick Lunz shirtless as much as possible in the upcoming episode. It's not much, I suppose, but I thank the editors for trying. This season is ending anyway and let's just end it quickly and as painlessly as possible, shall we?


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