Sleep Deprivation Is Really Starting To Irritate Me
The Amazing Race 9 : Episode 6


It's a plane! Previously, the Porno Alliance would not be stopped. Which is not good for me because I cannot stand both Teams at all. Thanks to a flight that put them at the back of the pack, the Pink Poodles, the LaMichies, and the Telcoms find themselves fighting to avoid elimination. The Telcoms were so lost that all seemed lost... until the LaMichies Yielded the Pink Poodles and allowed the Telcoms to escape elimination. For the first time, a Team actually got eliminated because of the Yield. With that, we are down to seven Teams. Which nice Team will be eliminated next so that I will conveniently forget to watch this show in the near future?

Philo Koughie steps in front of the camera to remind everyone that he's standing in Sicily, "an island off the coast of Italy", and he's actually in Segesta, to be exact, an ancient city in northwest Sicily that was destroyed by the Vandal tribe some 1,500 years ago. Philo helpfully points out the word "vandals" is now used to describe people that like to break or deface public property. The Temple of Segesta was the Pit Stop of the previous leg, so this is from where this leg of the Race will begin. Philo wonders whether Lake and Michelle can stop "bickering". Um... have they been bickering? I don't remember seeing any long-drawn screamfest. Maybe my hearing isn't what it used to be since since Pornathan and Tori screamed the roof down back in season six. I suppose that if Philo keeps telling people that the LaMichies fought tooth and nail, up and down, day and night, people would eventually believe that. Philo also wonders whether the Telcoms will ever crawl out of their current last place since Philo thinks that the Telcoms work well together. Since the Telcoms are working very well in sucking at navigation, I will have to think very carefully before placing my bets on them.

2:29 am. The BoHo Boys get to leave first. They learn from their clue that they are to drive 135 miles to Catania (or "Catalina" if you're the BoHo Boys) and locate the 2,000-year old Anfiteatro Romano. The clue stand is located somewhere on the grounds of this historic monument. As those two leave, they worry that the "frat cats" are hot on their "tail", which, in recent view of those unfortunate "Look at us! We're wild! We're crazy!" photos of theirs, make more sense than it should. They think of the Freaky Fratboys as their competitors, but they are confident that they have the upper hand because of their travel experiences. Not to mention, their incessant thirst for fame and attention that have to be gotten by patting every dog they see, imitating patois of locals in order to be "amusing", and mispronouncing names of cities again and again to milk the chuckles from the audience. "They're definitely dumb, but people who are very dumb wind up having the best luck a lot of the time. But eventually, dumb luck runs out!" say they of the Freaky Fratboys to the camera. They check their map and head off to Catania, the "Star Wars canteen".

At 4:11 am, the Freaky Fratboys leave. Apart from they saying that they don't have much travel experiences - unsurprisingly, hmmph - since one's a valet and one's a waiter. Still, they are learning as they go along and they think they are doing a good job at it. They're right, damn them. They then talk about pixie dusts flying out of their bums to leave the people behind them smiling. Or something. They too check their maps and drive off into the dark.

5:00 am. The MoJos. Monica wisely stops trying too hard to read aloud the clue, saying with a chuckle, "Okay, I just murdered all those words." In a confessional where Monica is sitting on Joseph on the instructions of the camera people and they both look uncomfortable in their position, he says that Monica surprises him by how strong she can be and he thinks that she carries the Race as much as he does. She of course talks about how she is an asset to the Team, blah blah blah. They stop to ask for directions and a helpful local actually gives them a map for them to use. Joseph tells the camera that he is so pleasantly surprised by how one can stop someone at 5:00 am in Italy and ask for help without the other person thinking that he'll get killed - like Joseph would think if he's back home and someone asks him to stop at 5:00 am. I think it's the cameras that do the trick. Most people will think that a TV crew is in trouble when they see those cameras so of course they would love to help.

5:18 am. The FranBerries. They reveal that each Team is given $63 for this leg of the Race and then give a predictable confessional about how much they love each other. Among other things, I learn that Barry went to fight in Vietnam when those two got married and today they want everyone to know that they are still "lovers". More power to them, I must say, but I don't think I need to know all that TMI stuff. It's like me stumbling across those creepy pictures of Tyler pretending to go down on Jeremy all over the Web - there are some things about these Teams that I really, really don't want to know. Fran thinks that the Team is so clever to know where they are going without having to ask for directions. I have to admit, navigation seems to be this Team's strongest suit. Maybe they will even come in first place should there be a leg in the future which is all about driving from points A to B.

The BoHo Boys have reached Catania by this time and they discover that the old gladiatoral ring Anfiteatro Romano will only open at 8:30 am. Never mind, since they have plenty of time to kill, what better way to do that than to reenact another segment of their oh-so-wacky show, right? This time around, they think it will be so funny to call "Pizza pie!" at the most bizarre and unprompted moments (kinda like the Freaky Fratboys bringing up "hot chicks" all the time) - these two jokers not only have no sense of what makes an appropriate joke but they also have no concept of context for their jokes. I mean, sure, make a pizza pie joke when they see an Uncle Vinnie stereotype around the place, but calling out "pizza pie" in the middle of nowhere and expecting people to laugh just because they say "pizza pie"? Give me a break. Oh, and they also think it will be the height of creativity to create some fake sign-up list to throw off the others. Finally, they decide to sleep and thank goodness for that.

6:00 am. Good morning, LaMichies. After some false start when they think they receive two dollars less from the expected $63, Lake tells the camera that they aren't pleased with their positioning on the Race but he accepts that they have made some mistakes in the previous leg to put them in their current position. Michelle says that they may bicker but they can put their differences aside to keep Racing. As they hit the road, Lake says that sleep deprivation is starting to irritate him but that's okay, he's confident that they will do well in this leg.

6:25 am. Cool As Geek leave, promising to "rock" this leg and planning to communicate a little better in this leg.

6:34 am. The Telcoms finally leave. Yolanda says to the camera that she knows she loves Ray, but this Race is helping her understand why she loves him. Apparently it's because she has to fan herself when she sees him do he-man stuff on this Race like, er, carrying a bell, running up the stairs, and putting together a statue of a naked guy. Still, I know where she's coming from when she mocks herself for going ga-ga over Ray like some besotted teenaged girl even as she can't help herself but to keep going ga-ga. They have to stop to ask for directions. Of course.

The Freaky Fratboys reach the Anfiteatro and spot the sign-up list, which they think is "ghetto" but hey, they obediently sign in nonetheless. Eric suspects that the list is fake and the BoHo Boys eventually reveal their trick on the Freaky Fratboys, who of course start to say that they know all along that the sign-up thing is bogus. That's nice, but that doesn't negate the fact that the idiots actually signed in on that bogus list, which makes the joke stupid but they even more stupid for falling for it. Gah, that's why this season is getting on my nerves. Two of the frontrunning Teams have the combined intelligence of a brain-damaged sloth and the entertainment factor of an open wound on the head. Ahead, the MoJos must be enjoying a nice helping of good favors today because they find someone who is willing to lead them to the Anfiteatro in Catania. Meanwhile, the FranBerries are lost. Who's the smart one now, huh, old coots? Barry launches into the familiar song of doom about how they are now going to be eliminated oh no. Isn't it a bit too early in the episode for them to start tormenting me with their pessimistic laments of doom?

It's 8:30 am and the Porno Alliance enter the Anfiteatro with the predictable fanfare of a bunch of baboons in mating season. So, so tedious, them all. They reach the clue stand where they learn that in order to receive their next clue, they must count the heads of the fenceposts surrounding this place. Yes, they have to just go round and round and count. They don't even have to count to triple digits, which may truly challenge the Freaky Fratboys, because there are only 41 heads altogether. Once they succeed in this truly difficult Mathematical exercise, they will receive the next clue from the groundskeeper. The two Teams think it's funny to "distract" the other Team by shouting out random numbers, which will amuse people already amused with these two Teams. Excuse me while I sob into my pillow over what my favorite show is reduced to nowadays. The show try to create suspense by having the four morons running around looking for the groundskeeper while dramatic music plays. I sob into my pillow. At this rate, I think the old kiddie game show Fun House offers more exciting challenges than this show.

Their clue is a Detour! How nice. At this rate we are going, everyone can be tucked asleep in bed by six in the evening. Philo explains that in "Big Fish", Teams must walk to a nearby fish vendor and pick up a 32-pound swordfish. They will carry the swordfish about one-third of a mile to the Mercato Storico La Pescheria and deliver it to another fish vendor for the next clue. In "Little Fish", Teams head to the same marketplace where they will sell four kilograms of fish to get the next clue. The Freaky Fratboys choose to carry a swordfish. So the BoHo Boys because Tyler thinks that it will be tough to sell fish in the morning. Gosh, and here I am thinking that the best time to buy fresh fish is in the morning! For all the places Tyler boasts of having been to, I don't think he's ever been to a wet market before.

Back on the road, Barry is continuing the threnody of the FranBerries. Oh, and he presses his elbow onto the horn and he has a ponytail. Does he know how embarrassing it is to pretend to be cool but end up being on TV as anything but? He calls this leg a "total disaster" and complains about how they made an apparently big mistake, whatever that mistake is. Maybe getting out of bed this morning is a mistake for them. Cool As Geek are also stuck in traffic while the united kindreds LaMichies and Telcoms seem to be on their way to Catania without encountering traffic difficulties. Maybe they know of a better route than the two Teams stuck in traffic.

The MoJos show up at the Antiteatro and soon they are running around the circular fence, counting heads and dreaming of strangling the idiots that come up with this "task" for them. Ahead, the Porno Alliance are at the fish vendor where they pick up their fish. Tyler and BJ of course have to clown about their fish. Tyler asks his fish, "Hey, buddy, what's your name? You come here often?" Haw, haw. BJ says that the fish is like a wet cat. Oh, they're killing me. "Big-a fish-a comin' through!" BJ yells at the crowd in his best imitation of the worst Italian accent he can ever come up with. I sob louder into my pillow.

Monica counts 41 heads on the fence while Joseph counts 40. Wisely he decides to stick with her answer and they get their Detour instructions. They choose Big Fish, with Joseph having to convince Monica that it's not that hard to carry 32-pound of fish on foot to a market. It's disappointing how some women come on to this show expecting to do all the easy stuff and having to be cajoled into doing anything remotely strenous, I tell you. At the marketplace, the Porno Alliance try to locate the fish vendor among all kinds of predicatable tasteless clowning - with Tyler shouting "Pizza pie!" at random times with no context whatsoever unless the context is to insult Italians everywhere; he's like someone with a version of Tourette's syndrome where he just can't stop saying stupid things - and the camera zooms in on a crowd that watch them with at best indulgent experessions and at worst scorn and disdain. Nobody's laughing, but that doesn't stop BJ and Tyler, of course. Pizza pie, everybody! Tyler has a one-liner that will really slay you in how ironic it is, I tell you: he shouts loudly in his affected Italian patois when he gets the clue from the fish vendor, "There's-a something awfully fishy about this place-a!" Anyway, they and the Freaky Fratboys learn that they must now drive to Siracusa and locate Ponte Umbertino that links the old (the historic tourist spot of Ortigia Island) with the new (the more modern parts of the city). As the Porno Alliance leave the market, they come across the MoJos where the BoHo Boys proceed to rub themselves all over Monica to "demonstrate" to her how fishy they smell. I can't wait for the BoHo Boys to start joking around in some railway track only to kiss the business end of an incoming train. Can we send them to some railroad Detour soon, Bonghammer?

The FranBerries argue, moan, complete, and moan that All Is Lost but they manage to locate the Anfiteatro and the clue stand and to understand what they have to count, so maybe all isn't lost yet. As they run around in circles counting, the Porno Alliance on the way to Siracusa pass them and the BoHo Boys then wave at the FranBerries because they want everyone to know that they are very noble people that love the old coots on this Race. I hope they get what they wish for when the FranBerries move in with them and torment them 24/7. Right now the FranBerries decide that there are 41 heads on the fenceposts so now all they have to go is to locate the groundskeeper. Fran's bright idea is to stick her head over the fence and yell for the guy to come to them despite Barry telling her that they have to look for the guy. Barry manages to eventually get Fran to look for the groundskeeper with him and they get their Detour instructions. The old coots sensibly choose to be fishmongers for the day. The MoJos have in the meantime met the fish vendor and now they happily carry the swordfish to the marketplace, clowning around some in a much more enjoyable way. It's remarkable how genuinely amusing one can be without the insulting affected local mannerisms and meaningless babbles shouted at the top of one's voice in a pathetic attempt to be funny, eh, BJ and Tyler?

The LaMichies are now stuck in traffic. Michelle tells Lake to calm down because this is a city of 400,000 people. "And they're all right here!" Lake tells her. Ha, that's funny. Cool As Geek are still stuck in traffic and to make things worse, they seem to be lost. Lori wants to stop and ask for directions but Dave wants to keep going and he wants things to be done his way. Lori tells him, as a result, "I'm glad you're being unilateral in the decision-making!" Meanwhile, the Telcoms decide to park their vehicle and make their way by foot to the Anfiteatro. But they need directions, of course, and Ray realizes that people don't seem keen on talking to him - they tell him no the moment he opens his mouth. Yolanda is really trying very hard not to make this a racial issue by telling Ray that maybe he's being too aggressive in his approach. Poor dears, I have a feeling that this isn't the first time that they are in such a situation. And as it always is in such a situation, it is always at the back of one's mind, "Is it because of my skin color?"

At the marketplace, the FranBerries are yelling like demented retired showdogs for people to buy their fish. There are no takers and of course they moan that they are doomed, finished, kaput, whatever. The MoJos pass them, in fact, on their way to locate the correct fish vendor in the marketplace to deliver their swordfish to. Due to the fish juices, guts, and blood spilling down her clothes, I suspect, and the stress of the Race as well, Monica ends up in tears. It gets to a point where she ends up sitting in a corner with the fish in her hands, moaning that this task is the worst thing she has ever done, while Joseph goes to look for the fish vendor. Why oh why do so many of the female Racers on this show more often than not end up as crybaby princesses rather than tough athletic types that can actually do things instead of crumpling the first moment they have to exert themselves? Meanwhile, a lady takes pity on the FranBerries and buys a kilogram of whatever it is they are trying to sell her. Joseph manages to get some directions but they still can't find the fish vendor to the point that he starts to think about stabbing the direction-giver in the head with the swordfish. Heh, I know that feeling. They eventually locate the correct fish vendor, but Joseph thinks that he has approached the fish vendor before and the fish vendor denied being the person to deliver the swordfish to the first time Joseph approached him. Joseph calls the fish vendor "son of a bitch".

Fran notes with some wry bemusement as the MoJos walk past them on their way out that Monica has been crying. Well, the FranBerries did say at first that they weren't here to play the nice grandparents to everyone, heh. The FranBerries sold two kilograms of fish to some guy and one more kilogram to another person and then they're done. They and the MoJos leave at about the same time. In their vehicle, sanity returns to Monica when she spots a woman by the road and goes awww, that woman looks so clean while she has fish guts all over her own self. She then laughs. Joseph looks indulgent - he has been in this situation many times before, I suspect. The LaMichies show up at the Anfiteatro as the FranBerries return for their vehicle and the FranBerries tell the camera that they will never help the LaMichies. Not that the LaMichies even asked for help in the first place, of course. It looks like our darling geriartic stupid twosome are still holding on to their bizarre grudge that started back at the motorcycle-assembly Roadblock in Brazil.

Oh, Lake. When he reaches the clue stand, he guesses that the clue will require them to "find something in the middle of freaking nowhere." When they realize what they have to do, Michelle hilariously says that it can't be something that easy, they must be overlooking some aspect of the clue. Er, Race designers? When the Teams are talking about how stupid a task is, maybe it's time to stop hiring kiddies looking for part-time jobs to design the Race. After a false start with a guy who isn't the groundskeeper, they locate the correct person and correctly tell him that there are 41 heads on that stupid face. They then decide to do the Big Fish task, with Lake complaining to Michelle, "On foot, ding-dong!" He calls his wife "ding-dong"? That's... so cute.

As the MoJos and the FranBerries head off to Siracusa, more LaMichies hilarity continues. Michelle hopes that they are taking the swordfish from the correct person. Lake assures her, "You think this son of a bitch is gonna let us steal his fish?" Michelle then tells him that she has carried her three-year old so she can very well carry this fish. And bless her, she can. They locate the fish vendor at the marketplace without the drama that the MoJos had. As they leave, Lake calls out to some people he is passing by, "Hola!" Michelle tells him that he's not using the correct language at all. Lake tells her, "I know, I'm just speaking Spanish for hello!" Please don't leave, Lake. I need Lake's crazy talk to keep me sane for the rest of this season.

The LaMichies return to the Anfiteatro for their vehicle. Once they reach the parking lot, they spot the Telcoms showing up. Cool As Geek, in the meantime, manage to find a break in someone who will lead them to the Anfiteatro with his scooter. Back to Lake and Michelle, he wants to hire a cab to show them the way to Siracusa while she thinks that they can find their way there on their own. Lake announces that he's overruling her, so there's that, I suppose. In any rate, as they argue, they spot a sign pointing to Siracusa by the road. Behind them, the Telcoms and Cool As Geek count heads and carry swordfish to the market, roughly neck to neck.

At the Ponte Umbertino in Siracusa, the Freaky Fratboys are the first Team to show up and they learn that it's time for a Roadblock. One person from each Team must score a goal in kayak polo! But since the supposedly-professional kayak polo team isn't even trying to do anything defensive apart from one deflection with a paddle that must have happened by accident, Jeremy easily scores a goal even if that moron first went out without his paddle. I think it's Eric calling him a "pansy" that did the trick. I think if we blindfold some deaf old coots they will still play better than the kayak polo "professional" players here, pffft. The Freaky Fratboys can now travel by foot to the Pit Stop, the Fonte Aretusa, the spring that was supposed to be the embodiment of the water nymph Aretusa after the goddess Artemis changed her into a well as a way for Aretusa to escape the amorous attentions of the river Alfeus. There's a saying that everytime someone makes a sacrifice in Greece, the waters of Fonte Aretusa will turn red.

Behind them, the Telcoms deliver the fish at the marketplace and leave, followed by Cool As Geek that never forget that their kisses and "I love you"'s are always for the camera. The BoHo Boys show up next and BJ takes the Roadblock. He too easily scores a goal and the BoHo Boys act accordingly for the cameras. I think, given the simplicity of the tasks of this season, we should just cast a bunch of third-graders for the next season. At least their enthusiasm will not be forced like our two hopeless Ronald McDonalds here. The MoJos and the FranBerries show up next with the men of the Teams taking it for their Team. Joseph scores while Barry fumbles.

The Freaky Fratboys reach the Fonte Aretusa first where the VIP guy looks disgusted at the way the two morons reek of fish. They imaginatively tell Philo that they are sporting a new cologne called "Sword" and they are rewarded for their ability to do simple tasks and run very fast with a trip for two to somewhere far, far away from me THANK GOD. The BoHo Boys - woo-hoo hoo-hoo, et cetera - are team number two.

Fran is now heckling Barry, calling him "pathetic" because Joseph can score a goal while Barry can't. Look who's talking, Miss I Can't Stop Clue Stands Or Assemble A Motorcycle. Barry mercifully scores a goal and they take off after the MoJos. Look, here are the LaMichies. Lake is shirtless, yay. I don't know what that harness/clip thing he is wearing is though. Michelle needs some persuading to tackle this Roadblock although she really should start doing them, oh, two episodes ago. She fumbles at first, causing Lake to say that he should have been the one to do the Roadblock. Lake would have gone solo on the Race if he could have, I have a hunch. Finally, Michelle is given a free shot by her "opponents" and since she's no Barry, she takes advantage of it and scores. Lake goes completely over-the-wall excited, shouting "Pit Stop!" as Michelle gets the clue. As Michelle reads the clue about making their way there, Lake goes, "Yes! Foot! Yes!" Oh, Lake. Oh, Lake. He's such a goofball. As Lake asks for directions, Michelle goes, "Lake, you're talking too much! Let's go! Let's go!" I adore them.

Um, why is Philo dancing? The bandmaster amps up the music at the Fonte Aretusa and Philo is doing his jiggy dance at the finishing mat like a complete dork. It's as if Philo and the LaMichies have conspired to make the last few minutes of this show as fun as the previous nearly entire of this episode has been a complete drag to watch. Anyway, here are the MoJos. Philo, now serious, unfortunately, checks them in as team number three. Here are the FranBerries as team number four.

It's now down to the Telcoms and Cool As Geek as the LaMichies check in as team number five. There is not much suspense since the Ray finishes the Roadblock quickly and Cool As Geek showing up after the Telcoms have left. Some fake suspense comes from the two Teams apparently running wild in search for the Pit Stop (come on, is it so hard to just follow the music?) but it's pretty unsurprising when the Telcoms show up in sixth place. Cool As Geek are eliminated for coming in last and they predictably say all kinds of drippy and schmoopy stuff about love and, of course, how cool they are as nerds and all. They're nice people, if a little too thick in their laying it for the cameras sometimes, but I guess they have to go since this season is determined to be utterly tedious to watch in every way.


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