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The Amazing Race 8: Family Friendly Edition

Posted by Fara Kearnes on September 28, 2005 5:21 PM |

The eighth edition of Amazing Race: Family Edition began last night with 10 teams, each comprised of four family members (count it up: that's 40 people!) who embark on an 11,000-mile race that begins beneath New York's Brooklyn Bridge. As the teams got stuck in traffic on I-95, the sound of millions of TV remotes clicking over to "My Name is Earl" could be heard.

Granted, this race is quite different than what we've seen before and kudos to the producers for trying something new. But I can see bickering families smacking each other while hopelessly lost in an SUV on I-70 anytime. That's why die-hard fans like to see the race move to different countries; the traffic jam of cars and cows in New Dehli are somehow more interesting.

Anyhoo, so we have The Pert Shampoo girls (the Bransens), The Pink Sisters (Godlewskis), Miss Louisiana and her family, the Schroeders (also from Louisiana), the Gaghan parents and little kids, the rude Paolos, the Black family from San Francisco, and a few others.

Me, I'm rooting for the insane clown posse New York Italian family. Always good for the best quotes: "You're Overthinking!" Chill, paisanos, stop screaming for juuuuuust a sec while I go fetch some aspirin... [pause] Okay, let's continue.

So, go figure, it's that same New York family who gets LOST in Manhattan. Father Tony Paolo says: "A New Yorker gets lost in Manhattan? What a day!" His oldest son agrees: "This is disgraceful! We're so stupid!"

Other teams are equally baffled and mystified by the challenge of traveling in the United States of America: "Excuse me, I'm looking for the town of Soho?"

Or venturing farther afield to gasp! farm country: "What are silos?" "Don't know yet."

And the best line of the night: "Pennsylvania MAY be a state."

So the teams left the Brooklyn Bridge and headed to Soho district in search of the Eastern Mountain Sports store to pick up four sleeping bags, four camping bags and a tent. The next clue directed them to a hot dog stand on East 91st Street. Interesting touch here is that the hot dog vendors were Kevin and Drew, the popular bald-headed New Yorkers who competed on AR1. The fact that only one team recognized them was disgraceful.

The clue directs them to drive 97 miles through New Jersey into Pennsylvania and find the Washington Crossing Historic Park where George Washington made his historic crossing of the Delaware River. There, the teams chose a rowboat to cross the Delaware back into New Jersey where they retrieve a Betsy Ross flag. "Oh my shoes are going get wet!" OMG, this girl doesn't know what's coming later. Then they had to row back to the Pennsylvania side, hand the flag over to 2 guys dressed in colonial uniforms who fold the flag and give them their next clue. (Note to team: Asking an honor guard to speed up a flag folding blows.)

Then each team drove 34 miles to Philly's Belmont Plateau where they would be camping for the night. After setting up the tent quickly, then got their next day departure times of 10am, 10:30am, or 11am.

That's right. The AMAZING race went from New York ... to Philadelphia. When does the "race around the world" part begin? Host Phil Keogan was home for supper. So what's next in this slow moving family friendly SUV race across America? Digging potatoes in Idaho? Shucking cornhusks in Nebraska? Gourd dancing at the Taos Pow Wow? Bicycle the Lewis and Clark trail? Will there be a narly eating roadblock on the North American leg of the race? What will a team member be required to wolf down? Shucked corn. Creamed corn. Corn on the cob. Corn off the cob. Baked corn. Indian corn. Corn dogs. Corn bread. Corn muffins. Corn Fritters. Corn pones. Corn jelly. Corn chowder. Corn casserole. Corn pudding. Scalloped corn. Corn McNuggets. Hominy?

Back to the race. Soggy and miserable, the teams have now learned that camping in the rain in an Eagle Scout pup tent sucks. The receive their departure clue which directs the teams to drive 92 miles to Mount Joy, Pennsylvania to find the Brubaker family farm. Detour! Teams had to choose between Build It and Buggy It. In Build It, they used boards and nails provided to build a miniature working watermill, while those whose chose to Buggy It had to move an Amish buggy 1 1/2 miles with two team members riding, and two doing the push/pull labor. In a rare Amazing Race "Faces of Death" moment, the widow (whose husband was killed after being run over by a racecar) actually gets knocked down on a dirt road and run over by the Amish buggy. Lady, maybe Jesus ISN'T watching over you.

Completing the tasks teams then raced to the pit stop, 17 miles away at the Rohrer Family Farm in Lancaster. The Pink sisters were one of the teams who got lost earlier but they made up time to finish in first place and receive a $20,000 bonus. The bruising college-aged Linz brothers and sister narrowly avoided last place, edging out the Black family who became the first team eliminated. And may I add that the second-to-last Linz family (Nick 24, Alex 22, Megan 21, Tommy 19) should win one for their mother who -- do the math -- popped out those 4 kids in 5 years.

Coming up on next week's leg, the feuding and bickering continues among the East coast families and teams participate in a Civil War reenactment.

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