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S32.E05: You Don't Strike Me as a Renaissance Man

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32 minutes ago, bankerchick said:

Watching the boyfriends get their asses in a knot because a team that they not only U-turned, but openly and rudely conspired against, didn't provide enough empathy when helping them up the ramp, is the kind of thing that ruins the show for me.  They are so unlikeable that I don't really want to watch them anymore.  Which probably means they'll win.

Agreed. They are petty and spiteful. I find their antics annoying and their glee at being shitty to others distasteful. They don't seem to be enjoying the race at all, though they do seem to be enjoying being assholes to others. I find them so awful that they are really ruining the show for me. 

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8 hours ago, AZChristian said:

I think many pro athletes do take advantage of their athletic scholarships to do more than serve as a stepping stone to professional sports.  I once had a high school history teacher who went on to become a relief pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles.  His teammates called him "The Professor" because his favorite pastime in the bullpen (when not warming up) was conducting Jeopardy-like quizzes for them. 

This sounds really famliar. Do you mind saying who it is? Asking as a big Orioles fan!

7 hours ago, shura said:

Is it me or was there no mention at all of Gary and DeAngelo for the first 25 minutes of the episode?  Didn't see them start the leg, didn't see them board a plane, nothing - all the while everybody else was already driving in Paris and even finishing their painting-matching task.  I thought I missed a minute at the beginning of the episode where the show explained how one of them got sick and they had to forfeit or something.  Only when the Beards (after having finished the paintings thing!) mentioned their alliance with the football players I knew there were still there.

They showed the first few teams leaving Paraguay, then basically skipped and showed the second group of teams getting on the later flight. It was a bit confusing.

Much as I don't like Will and James, probably my favorite part of the episode was Leo talking at the Roadblock about how bad they were at driving, and how he wouldn't be seeing them again--only for them to enter literally as he's talking. Just perfect. (I also don't like Leo and Alana, so I didn't mind him being shown up.)

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6 minutes ago, springbarb said:

This sounds really famliar. Do you mind saying who it is? Asking as a big Orioles fan!

It was Dave Leonhard, part of the Orioles when they won three consecutive American League pennants (1969-71) and the World Series in 1970.  He taught American History at Sparrows Point High School and was signed as a free agent with "the O's" just before the end of my junior year.  

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I started to get a glimpse of hope for Kaylynn and Haley when they directly contrasted Michelle/Victoria getting flustered and snippy with K/H calling out the window for directions and laughing. The most down K/H seemed to get was a moment in the car when Kaylynn was struggling to shift and they were lost, and she said "I'm at the end of my rope" and Haley replied "I know." No raised voices, just commiserating with each other. And obviously, they picked themselves up and were chipper as hell for the last task despite no obvious change in their fortunes. I also enjoyed them speculating that the horse at the Speed Bump was "pissed" because they were late and made him wait in the cold. "Sorry!" XD

No real preference in the Will/James and Leo/Alana "feud", though I will say that if the feud wasn't happening, I think I'd like Leo and Alana just fine. Will and James...maybe.

No real issues with anyone else who's left. They seem like pretty normal, cool people for the most part, despite their variable struggles with tasks.

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I think you could hand some teams a phone and it wouldn’t help. OTOH, I’ve been just as lost with a phone as with a paper map - it depends on how you read the actual instructions and how they translate into the world. Unless the app has pictures of where you’re going’], you can get just as lost. 
 

Thanks for explaining why my DVR didn’t record!

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19 hours ago, aghst said:

I know navigation is an essential part of the game, at least design several legs around how well teams navigate.

But who in 2020 is poring over a paper map any more for driving directions?

If they were allowed smart phones, it would be too easy and it would be about Google skills?

Maybe, but it would reflect life and travel as they are now.

Well they're allowed to ask bystanders and cab drivers to look stuff up on their phones.  So they're kind of going half-way on the restrictions.  Many times, the bystanders congregate to watch the filming so they're not really discouraging the racers from borrowing phones.  It's just one step removed from them having their own phones handy.

Otherwise, they ask bystanders for directions, which introduces randomness since one team might have better luck finding people who knows places well.

Its only in the last 10 years or so but phones are indispensable now for traveling abroad.  It's inconceivable, the idea of not taking a phone on a trip.  You might have to find a wifi connection or know how to get SIM cards for local networks.  Isn't that a skill showing how you navigate through a place?

At least give them a gps!

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10 minutes ago, Bunnyette said:

At least give them a gps!

No, that ruins the whole thing. Why not just give them all tour guides to lead them exactly where they want to go.

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If a team can’t manage a twenty minute drive in the developed, cosmopolitan city of Paris without the benefit of a GPS I don’t want them anywhere near winning the Amazing Race. 

It's fun to watch the world hand a team a beat down now and again, whether by self navigation, stick shift driving, or the occasional broken ox. 

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11 hours ago, Katy M said:

If she's colorblind, then it was silly to pick her to do that roadblock.  I think the thingie before they have to decide who does it was something about an eye for detail.  They should have realized there might be color involved in that.  My best friend and I sent in an application years ago. So, whenever I watch I mentally decide which detour we would do and who should do the roadblock. I immediately pegged her for this roadblock because I don't have good visual recall.  I always say I need to upgrade my facial recognition software. So, if this was something she knew about, I would think they would have flipped who did the task even w/o fully knowing what it was.

She didn't have a choice -- each had to do one of the two roadblocks, and he had already done his half before they learned about this task.

Never mind, nothing to see here! Brain blip.

Edited by snarktini

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3 hours ago, Fukui San said:

If a team can’t manage a twenty minute drive in the developed, cosmopolitan city of Paris without the benefit of a GPS I don’t want them anywhere near winning the Amazing Race. 

It's fun to watch the world hand a team a beat down now and again, whether by self navigation, stick shift driving, or the occasional broken ox. 

Yes half the fun is teams trying to navigate— one would think by now they would be better at it, learn to swim, drive a stick well etc— course nothing can be done about a broken ox🤣🤣still one of my favorite/most funny scenes of all time!

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I saw the sisters on a podcast today (Nerdtainment...good show) and, the sisters had no idea they’d been in the car for 6 hours. They knew it was long but had no idea it was that long. They are still getting along and say they are grateful that the show brought them closer together.  

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All of the teams accepted the barrage of flung pies with laughter and good spirits (one even stopped to lick some of the delicious filling before finishing)--and no one dropped their own pies.  Everyone had a great attitude--except Michelle and Victoria.  As the two sisters were getting splashed with whipped cream one of them whined: "they hit my face! they hit my faaaaaace!!"

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The boyfriends are obnoxious, but I appreciate that one of them at least took manual shift driving lessons before going on the race. That’s one of my biggest pet peeves about TAR contestants— every season, there’s always at least one team having a meltdown because of stick shift ignorance. So at least he tried to learn. Although based on the results, I suspect his instructor was Toonces the Cat.

The lack of map skills also bugs me. First of all, I don’t understand what’s so hard about it. This dot represents where you are, that dot represents where you’re going, so just follow the line that connects them! I know, it’s not quite that simple, and some people have problems with spatial relationships, but anyone can do it if they’re just willing to take the time and practice.

So in conclusion, if you want to go on The Amazing Race and not annoy the Helens household, 1- Learn how to drive a stick shift; and 2- Learn how to read a damn map.

(And for bonus points, 3- Say no to alliances! It’s a raaaaaace!!)

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On 11/11/2020 at 9:00 PM, toodywoody said:

Both sets of sisters suck. The ones that got eliminated sucked more tonight and the nasty one was just a witch to her sister.

When it became obvious that it was down to the two sister teams , I texted my mother that I would be happy whichever team was Philiminated.  She concurred.  However, I think I'm a bit happier with the result that actually happened than I would have been with the reverse.

On 11/11/2020 at 9:35 PM, Lantern7 said:

 Totally different. I kept waiting for Ye Olde Skeeball.

That was the clockwork horse-race game.

On 11/12/2020 at 12:33 AM, Hera said:

I could not believe how lost Michelle and Victoria got in such a small area.

Over on the TAR subReddit, someone who not just lived in Paris (but not either of the Guidos...), but in the exact neighborhood of the museum, was also incredulous.  They posted their observations on how close the sisters were based on what information we were actually shown.  I'm quoting the post below and spoiler tagging it, simply because it's lengthy.  You can also read it here, if you want.

Spoiler
Quote

As I mentioned in my last comment, this episode was really fun for me because I used to live in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, where the carnival museum in this episode is located. Like many of you, I was baffled how exactly Michelle & Victoria could get lost for 6 1/2 hours in the middle of Paris, even with being in a foreign country and having a language barrier. To satisfy my curiosity and my nostalgia for Paris while we're all stuck at home, I decided to rewatch the episode to see exactly what happened.

The first thing to know is that the city of Paris is made up of 20 arrondissements (neighborhoods, basically), which are numbered starting in the center of the city and spiraling out clockwise. The 12th arrondissement is in the southeast of Paris: it's quiet, middle-class, and less touristic than other arrondissements. It's home to the Bois de Vincennes, one of the two "green lungs" of Paris along with the Bois de Boulogne.

I created this handy map of all the locations I could identify from outside M&V's car window. I'm going to be going out of order, because I'm pretty sure the editors chopped things up a little bit in order to create some drama.

We saw M&V asking for directions two times, and both times they were very close to the museum. The first time was with a nice young man outside of a Franprix supermarket and the Agence Porte Dorée (screencap, Google Street View), a neighborhood real estate agency. According to Google Maps, it's only a 6-minute drive from here to the museum. Porte Dorée is one of the old city gates where travelers would enter and exit back when Paris was a walled city - the gates themselves are gone, but the "portes" remain as the entry points to Paris from the suburbs. These portes are heavily congested with traffic, and they're usually some of the grimier and less prestigious parts of the city.

The second time we see them ask for directions, they're at the C.X Informatique computer store (screencap, Google Street View). In the background, we can just make out the entrance to the Liberté metro station. This means that M&V have now actually left the city of Paris, crossing the Boulevard Périphérique ring road that officially separates Paris from the suburbs, and they're currently in the peaceful and pleasant town of Charenton-le-Pont. Still, they're very close to the museum - only a 7-minute drive back into Paris.

Here's where things start to go wrong. Instead of turning to go toward the Seine and the museum after they got directions, it seems that M&V turned in the opposite direction and started heading north toward the 20th arrondissement. There are three four different scenes where we can place them in the 20th arrondissement:

First, we see them pass by the Séjours & Affaires hotel (screencap, Google Street View) going north on the Boulevards des Maréchaux, exactly the wrong direction. (In the background of this shot, we can see one of the famous green Morris advertising columns that are characteristic of Paris.)

Second, we see them a little further north outside this futon/tatami store (screencap, Google Street View). They're in roughly the same place when we see this shot of Victoria (Google Street View).

We also see them outside a random McDonald's on the Boulevard Davout (screencap, Google Street View).

Finally, we see them heading south on the Rue des Pyrénées outside the Fluide Services motorcycle shop (screencap, Google Street View). Victoria says that this road will eventually take them to the museum, and she's right - it's basically a straight shot back toward the Seine.

Unfortunately, even though they made it back to the 12th arrondissement, from here it seems that they kept getting more and more lost. I was able to identify a few different scenes from them driving around the area:

Gare de Bercy (screencap, Google Street View): This is one of the smaller train stations in Paris and maybe the point where they were closest to the museum.

Gare de Lyon (screencap, Google Street View): One of the 6 biggest train stations in Paris and a very popular business district. This would have been a good place to ask for directions - someone would almost certainly speak English.

Pont Charles de Gaulle (screencap, Google Street View). In the background, we can see the Viaduc d'Austerlitz on Michelle's left. This means that at one point they actually crossed the Seine, going from the 12th to the 13th arrondissement, and they're now going back into the 12th.

Mairie du 12e arrondissement (screencap, Google Street View): Each arrondissement in Paris has its own mayor and its own "mairie" (town hall).

Viaduc des Arts (screencap, Google Street View): A cute shopping street with local artisans, built under the bridge of an old train line.

Piscine Jean Boiteux (screencap, Google Street View): A local swimming pool run by the city of Paris.

Le Coin des Marques (screencap, Google Street View): A random clothing store.

All of these places are extremely close to the museum - no more than a 10-minute drive away. When I watched the episode the first time, I wasn't sure if M&V had somehow got the scenic tour of the entire city, or if they were frustratingly close and just couldn't find the right location. From rewatching, it definitely seems like more of the latter. Paris is small as big cities go, but from what we can see in the episode, they were never very far from their destination - they just couldn't close the deal. Definitely an iconic end for one of my favorite teams this season!

 

16 hours ago, Snickerdoodle said:

I think Victoria and Michelle were looking for some grand-looking building to be the museum.  Instead it looked more like a warehouse, and I don't think they ever read the sign outside.  The Amazing Editors insinuated they were very close to the museum many times, but looked past it.

 

14 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

I wonder if part of the sisters' problem was that the clue said they were looking for a museum, while the actual building itself looked like a row of garages or loading docks.

Per the Reddit post above, it appears that the museum was part of the Viaduc des Arts, which has the buildings built into/under an old railway bridge.  They might have thought the bridge was active, and not a series a buildings.

 

17 hours ago, blackwing said:

So now there are 7 teams left, and still 5 teams in the alliance hahahaha.  Waiting for it all to crumble.

There's already a separation within the alliance, even if not all the members know it.  At the pie task, one of the beards said in a THVO that they were closer to Will and James and Hung and Chee (the two other alliance teams present) than the NFL-ers and the Indian sibs.  That's the crack in the alliance.

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I did fieldwork for the US Forest Service, pre-internet and pre-GPS. My and my crewmates were in the woods or halfway up a mountain using only a USGS topographical map and a compass for navigation. We once spent 45 minutes looking for a 32nd marker trying to determine which ridge we were standing on. If you're going "Huh?" the topo maps we used covered a square mile and are subdivided into 1/2 miles, 1/4 miles, 1/8 miles, 1/16 miles and 1/32 miles, each corner of the subsquares having a real metal spike pounded into the ground with a notation. But we could still figure out almost exactly where we were 99% of the time using just those lines. The ability to read a map should be a basic skill, or is this another case of Millenialism?

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19 hours ago, Haleth said:

Will was way out of line complaining that Leo didn't help them enough.  Entitled much?  Yeah, Leo was only getting them out of the way so other teams could drive off, but that's what a race is.  It's certainly easier to get the car into gear on a flat surface than a ramp.

The blondes' facial expressions crack me up so I'm glad they are still in it.  For now.  Plus I've seen enough of Michelle.

6.5 hours driving around?  And how many times did Aparna pick the wrong dinner guest?  Not a good showing for the women.

Having pies thrown at them at the bakery was funny.  

Absolutely. Will and Grace cannot leave fast enough. I couldn't believe they said that out loud and even my partner has lost patience with them. Whine, whine, whine are all those two have contributed so far. It's a bloody race, and their entitlement is getting bloody obnoxious.

I haven't had much opinion of the blondes before, but I am starting to root for them. I like their perseverance. But the other sisters, and Aparna? Holy shit. Those sisters would still be driving around the same block.

17 hours ago, blackwing said:

I think that's essentially what he did... he moved them down the ramp a little and hugged them against the wall, leaving room so that others could get by their car.  I was wondering what would happen if Will just refused to move, and stubbornly sat there until he got it.  He wouldn't have been breaking any rules, he wasn't purposely blocking or delaying others, he just was a bad driver.

What gall for the little one to whine about how Leo had "no empathy" for them.  I don't like Leo, but why should he have?  Will and James blatantly targeted Leo and Alana.  If the situation had been reversed I have absolutely no doubt they wouldn't have had empathy either.

So now there are 7 teams left, and still 5 teams in the alliance hahahaha.  Waiting for it all to crumble.

I liked Leo and Alana this episode, especially Leo's reaction when Will and Whine bounded in. Whine needs to look up what the word "empathy" means. I chuckled at Alana's tears in that one episode, but Will and Whine just irritate me so much more, that I was pulling for Leo in the carnival games challenge. And agree with Alana, Leo was looking great running in tights. I'm saving this episode for that reason alone.

Still rooting for the football players, volleyball brothers and Hung and Chee.

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6 hours ago, ByaNose said:

I saw the sisters on a podcast today (Nerdtainment...good show) and, the sisters had no idea they’d been in the car for 6 hours. They knew it was long but had no idea it was that long. They are still getting along and say they are grateful that the show brought them closer together.  

They don't have clocks in French cars?  How can you not notice that you got into the car at 2-something and now it's 5... 6... hmm, getting dark... 7... 8?

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At one point, one of the sisters said, "We're less than 2 kilometers from where we need to be."

How about parking your car and walking?  Gotta be faster to walk 1-1/4 miles than driving aimlessly and seemingly unable to get any closer to where you want to be.  Shoot . . . it's Paris.  They'd probably be lucky to find a parking space closer than 1-1/4 miles from the place, unless TAR had bunch of spaces reserved.

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7 hours ago, UncleChuck said:

All of the teams accepted the barrage of flung pies with laughter and good spirits (one even stopped to lick some of the delicious filling before finishing)--and no one dropped their own pies.  Everyone had a great attitude--except Michelle and Victoria.  As the two sisters were getting splashed with whipped cream one of them whined: "they hit my face! they hit my faaaaaace!!"

That was Alana and she even asked for more pie! Frankly, Leo did Will a favor getting the car out of the way. Having all the cars behind him honking could not help him calm down enough to figure out what he was doing wrong.

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20 hours ago, meep.meep said:

I've whipped cream by hand - with a whisk and with an egg beater.  If you don't have the appliances, or they are dirty, you learn the old fashioned way.

The blondes weren't wearing their hats when they entered the "delivery" tent.  Thinking they were last, maybe they didn't want to take the time to clean up?

I admire Aparna for sticking to the task when she was having so much trouble.  She was laughing at the next one so not even stewing internally.  Getting over a loss quickly is important when there are many tasks ahead.

I noticed that they were the only ones that still had whipped cream in their hair as they finished the leg. 

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I didn't love the bearded brother complaining at the carnival task. He was being WAY over the top. He REALLY wanted to come in first. 

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On 11/12/2020 at 7:08 AM, blackwing said:

So now there are 7 teams left, and still 5 teams in the alliance hahahaha.  Waiting for it all to crumble

The two teams not in the big alliance are in an alliance with each other of sorts. Leo and Alana and the blond sisters. 

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6 hours ago, Vermicious Knid said:

I did fieldwork for the US Forest Service, pre-internet and pre-GPS. My and my crewmates were in the woods or halfway up a mountain using only a USGS topographical map and a compass for navigation. We once spent 45 minutes looking for a 32nd marker trying to determine which ridge we were standing on. If you're going "Huh?" the topo maps we used covered a square mile and are subdivided into 1/2 miles, 1/4 miles, 1/8 miles, 1/16 miles and 1/32 miles, each corner of the subsquares having a real metal spike pounded into the ground with a notation. But we could still figure out almost exactly where we were 99% of the time using just those lines. The ability to read a map should be a basic skill, or is this another case of Millenialism?

Not a millennial.

I’ve driven in Europe with paper maps.

Also Garmins with Euro maps.

Now have been getting unlocked iPhones and iPads so I can get local data SIM cards and use Google Maps.

I can create custom maps with bookmarked destinations and then open them up on my phone.

It’s not about paper map skills.  It’s about navigating much more efficiently time-wise.

The sisters got eliminated in this leg because they couldn’t navigate Paris.  I’ve been to the city many times but never drove it, always Metro, some bus, some taxi.  If I had to drive using paper map I’d figure it out but might have to pull over once or twice.  

It shouldn’t have taken them that long.  But did their difficulties finding that location make this episode more watchable?  I preferred that the blonds survived rather than the sisters, because they were enjoying the experience thinking they’d lost.

But I’d rather that the last two teams be much closer and the team survived because they performed better on the tasks, which were all more interesting than the navigation parts of the race.

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30 minutes ago, Fukui San said:

The two teams not in the big alliance are in an alliance with each other of sorts. Leo and Alana and the blond sisters. 

The blonde sisters seem to be many hours behind the rest. I'll root for them but the odds of them not getting eliminated next week are pretty low.

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31 minutes ago, Katy M said:

The blonde sisters seem to be many hours behind the rest. I'll root for them but the odds of them not getting eliminated next week are pretty low.

Unless the teams stay in Paris again for the next episode (seems unlikely to me), they are probably leaving the country via plane or train and I could easily see all of the teams being on the same train or plane.  Especially since the blonde sisters checked in when it was dark, the teams could all easily be bunched onto the same morning train or plane.

I was surprised during this episode when there were actually two different flights to Paris.  Were the two flights to Paris spoonfed?  We didn't see anybody at the airport ticket counters.  It'd be a shame if TAR no longer makes teams buy their own tickets.  I always love seeing teams find alternate routes and take a chance on a risky connection.

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10 minutes ago, blackwing said:

I was surprised during this episode when there were actually two different flights to Paris.  Were the two flights to Paris spoonfed?  We didn't see anybody at the airport ticket counters.  It'd be a shame if TAR no longer makes teams buy their own tickets.  I always love seeing teams find alternate routes and take a chance on a risky connection.

I miss that, too. But, not to state the obvious, it's a budget thing.  By buying a set number of seats in advance, and controlling which flights they can take, they save money. And probably not just a small amount.

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I don't get around much, so I was happy to see Paris, a place I've actually visited! And this race continually surprises me, as I didn't think I'd like the sisters or the football players, but I like them both! Leo and Alana don't bother me much and the brother and sister are pretty much ciphers.

My 15-yr-old and I are rooting for Hung and Chee and wish Will and James would go home as soon as possible. The bearded brothers? Meh. They seem nice enough, but meh. VERY happy to see Victoria and Michelle leave - got nothing but negativity from them.

Loved the tasks: they have the horserace game at Funland in Rehoboth Beach - only it's hillbillies heading to the outhouse with rolls of toilet paper - and I've spent hundreds of dollars on it over the years. I still love it. I would have spent all day trying to throw that ball into the clowns' mouths.

And I know I'm in the minority, but I didn't enjoy the pie-throwing. I just kept thinking it was such a waste of food - ruining the pies they just created too. They could have at least used shaving cream for the pies they threw. I'm really not a killjoy - I just never thought a pie in the face was funny.

PS I learned to drive a stick on a Saab with the shift on the steering column, which was much easier in my mind. The stick on the floor always seemed to get mashed up. On the column, 1st was up and toward you, 2nd was down and toward you, 3d was up and away, 4th was down and away. Easy-peasy!

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52 minutes ago, Katy M said:

I miss that, too. But, not to state the obvious, it's a budget thing.  By buying a set number of seats in advance, and controlling which flights they can take, they save money. And probably not just a small amount.

Someone else mentioned, in a different thread, that over the last few years airlines have streamlined and there are fewer empty seats on planes.  Making it much more difficult to get the teams and the crew on flights last minute.  There would be too great of a chance that some teams would be unable to get flights, causing really long gaps between teams. 

Personally, I'm ok with spoon fed flights or other travel, as long as everyone isn't bunched onto one flight.  I like it when the first X# of teams get on Flight #1, and the rest get a later flight.  I think that keeps in spirit with what happens when everyone is booking their own.  Or, put everyone on the same flight and stagger start times coming out of the airport. 

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On 11/12/2020 at 1:06 AM, Fukui San said:

I was waiting for someone to drop a cream pie.

I was waiting to  see that and also watch someone slip and fall with all the pie spilled on the floor. Also I expected pies to be aimed more at hands or arms to make them drop them.   Not my favorite leg of the race.  I did like the carnival museum and the art museum.  I was fascinated with the horse race at the carnival museum.  I wondered how often the "extras" were playing to win, and if they were museum employees.

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On 11/11/2020 at 9:25 PM, absolutelyido said:

The only bit of direction that we saw they were following was that the arcade was "by the river". This is really not helpful in Paris where the entire city is centered around the river.

I believe the instructions said it was in Bercy (the 12th).  I don't know why they did not park and search on foot.  They obviously were flummoxed by the term museum.  Michelle kept looking for a grand building, it appears.  They would have probably driven by the Musee D'Orsay repeatedly if sent there.  I felt bad for them because I have liked them from the start- particularly michelle.  I would rather see the siblings or gasy couple go instead.  Or the beardos, but they're not going anywhere soon.

The blondes were the stars of this episode for me.  From their grace under pressure to their laughter at the poor stick driving skills, they were charmers.  Have liked them from the start, along with the football team.  I thought the surpise one showed at the other being into art was funny but odd.  Has he never been in the other guy's (terrible with names on tv shows; no real interest in keeping them straight) home?  And didn't they say at the outset that they dress up and go to comic con?  Is it really that far of a leap that he likes art?  The cosplay stuff was more surprising to me.  They make good TV.

Ah, the gay couple made sure to video themselves preparing to balance a bottle on their heads, but didn't bother to learn to drive stick.  Are we surprised?

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10 minutes ago, BarneySays said:

Ah, the gay couple made sure to video themselves preparing to balance a bottle on their heads, but didn't bother to learn to drive stick.  Are we surprised?

I'm not a huge fan of Will and James, but I have to point out that Will DID bother to learn to drive stick. But there's a big difference between practicing on your own in familiar territory, and doing it under pressure in a race while trying to go uphill on a circular ramp in a parking garage with two other teams stuck behind you, one of which includes Michelle and the other of which are your self-created "rivals". Once he realized what he was doing wrong, Will seemed to be fine for the rest of the episode

Spoiler

(though next episode seems to indicate more car trouble for them)

 

 

Edited by tracyscott76 · Reason: Quoting shenanigans!
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On 11/12/2020 at 8:35 AM, AZChristian said:

Me:  "I wonder if he can get a refund on his driving lessons, or is he just that stupid that he didn't bother to look at the clearly marked numbers on the knob."

No fan of that guy, but in fairness, having the gears marked on the knob doesn't the problem. You can know, and see by the markings on the knob, that first gear is in the upper left position and still have trouble finding it. Sometimes it's all about feel and you think you have it in first when actually you have it in third, one slot over. Which is what he was doing.

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16 hours ago, Fukui San said:

If a team can’t manage a twenty minute drive in the developed, cosmopolitan city of Paris without the benefit of a GPS I don’t want them anywhere near winning the Amazing Race. 

It's fun to watch the world hand a team a beat down now and again, whether by self navigation, stick shift driving, or the occasional broken ox. 

In a foreign country they've never visited, with signage in a foreign language?

It's one thing to figure out metro stations in Paris or even London where they place names are in English.

But learning where certain streets, districts or attractions are, going in cold?

OK the racers typically ask directions from willing locals.  How is that necessarily a better thing than using actual navigation tools?

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On 11/12/2020 at 8:25 AM, AZChristian said:

Or driving (and PRACTICING) with a stick shift if you're going to apply for The Amazing Race.

That's going to become more and more a quaint relic, even in Europe.  Electric car adoption is high over there.  

They get these tiny cars, smaller than Minis, which will have say 150 km range on a single charge and they cost under 20,000 Euros before incentives.

Chinese manufacturers are also going to try to sell cheap electric cars there and also in the US.

One year they drove hybrid cars and they were encouraged to drive conservatively so that the meter showing the fuel efficiency would rise.  IT was a sponsored thing with Ford so they had to do it.

But Europe is looking to ban gas and diesel cars by no later than 2040 and it may be sooner.  Diesel cars are cursed after the emissions scandal.  Some cities like Paris and London want to band them sooner because of the pollution.  London is offering incentives like electric cars don't have to pay a congestion charge and get some free parking and charging.

So maybe in a couple of years they will be driving electric on TAR and manual transmission won't matter.

Edited by aghst
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4 minutes ago, aghst said:

OK the racers typically ask directions from willing locals.  How is that necessarily a better thing than using actual navigation tools?

Because the locals can get it wrong and it makes great TV. There was one season where there were two places with similar names that were in opposite directions. That was also in France. I think one of the seasons with the Cowboys?

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30 minutes ago, aghst said:

In a foreign country they've never visited, with signage in a foreign language?

I don't know how many times you need us to say yes, but yes. There's little point in going to the expense and difficulty in mounting this show in faraway places where people live if you then isolate racers from those places and people. If racers had prearranged, foolproof transportation and the leg was really only about who could complete carnival games fastest or whatever, I'd have lost interest in the show years ago. There are other shows in which contestants in controlled situations do challenges. Survivor, Big Brother, The Challenge, etc. I don't watch them.

30 minutes ago, aghst said:

OK the racers typically ask directions from willing locals.  How is that necessarily a better thing than using actual navigation tools?

In the second case the racers must interact with the outside world.

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26 minutes ago, Fukui San said:

In the second case the racers must interact with the outside world.

Plus, people don't give as precise directions as a GPS.  And it's not turn by turn directions making it possible to forget along the way.  Plus, they have to be interpreted.  It's completely different than GPS, IMO.  It's def more difficult, as it should be.

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11 hours ago, Vermicious Knid said:

The ability to read a map should be a basic skill, or is this another case of Millenialism?

Millennial here (undisputably so—I was born in 1988) and while I do use Google Maps/Open Street Maps on my phone, I don't use their step-by-step instructions. I've also turned off location services because I've found that trying to follow the blue dot on Google Maps always gets me in trouble and I'm better off orienting myself in real time than waiting for the dot to figure out/catch up with where I am. The apps are just a convenient way of having a map handy whenever I need one. Another woman I know, also born in 1988, prefers navigating using paper maps to using GPS on road trips. Admittedly, she's not typical, and I suspect I'm not either, but I don't think we're total outliers either.

I think most people of any generation use whatever tools are handy, which in most cases, means apps on their smartphones that direct them in real time. The shift towards SatNav/GPS has been a huge relief to my Baby Boomer mother, who cannot read a map to save her life.

On 11/12/2020 at 2:21 AM, aghst said:

If they were allowed smart phones, it would be too easy and it would be about Google skills?

Maybe, but it would reflect life and travel as they are now.

I don't think the race has ever been about life and travel as they are now, nor do I believe that the majority of the audience were ever tuning in for that. There are already plenty of travel shows kicking around TV and the internet. The Amazing Race has elements in common with them, but is fundamentally a game show. It's supposed to be hard. I, for one, love it when skills like sense of direction or ability to speak the local language (especially when people who have no prior knowledge pick up key words and phrases quickly or figure out another way to communicate) give teams a chance to pass each other.

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I would have to guess that the last few teams to check in to the Paraguay pitstop were fed flights. They said the flights both took off within 15 minutes? of each other at 8 something in the morning. So with checking in at the airport and going through customs they would have had to check in at the pitstop before 6 pm to leave for the airport at 6 am. Unless it was a longer than 12 pitstop, which I know happens sometimes.

I would think keeping the teams somewhat together would have something to do with the tasks too. How long can you convince people to mill around in costume waiting for teams - or set it all up again 5 hours later or whatever? And that would also include the Speed Bump horse, the bakers, the carnival folks, etc.

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Also I think the Beard-bros knew that they were in the lead and didn't want to blow past their alliance without telling them anything, so they told them about the pie throwing. Didn't create any friction with their alliance and yet didn't really give anyone an advantage that would contribute to them beating the bros either (except maybe hang on to the pies a little tighter). Smart. 

But I agree that overall alliances on any race don't really make sense. Unless it stops someone from tripping you - people can be jerks.

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The boyfriends have annoyed me for (1) targeting the nerds for a fairly arbitrary reason and then (2) getting visibly upset when the nerds showed up at the airport and said something to them about it. Yes, u-turns are part of the race but if you're going to u-turn someone then you'd better be prepared for them (and potentially other teams) to say something about it or confront you about doing it because duh, there are consequences for your choices.

I'm not saying you should never u-turn someone. It's allowed so you can do it if you want to but just like anything else in life, you have to expect that someone will notice and have a reaction to it. The looks on the boyfriends' faces when the nerds brought it up was hilarious. They clearly didn't think that this was what would happen as a result.

And that's what makes it even more ridiculous/hilarious that the boyfriends were so bent out of shape that boy nerd didn't stop in the middle of a raaaaaaaaace to give them a lesson on how to drive a stick. Notice that the boyfriends weren't mad at any of the other teams who could have stopped to help them. Even after their car got moved out of the way, ANY of the other teams could have gotten out and said, "Hey, what's the problem? Would you like me to give you a refresher course in how to drive a stick?" but obviously the boyfriends were only mad at the nerds for not helping them. And let's be real - you know that the boyfriends wouldn't have helped the nerds if the situation had been reversed.

I totally cracked up that this happened after one of the boyfriends said that he learned how to drive a stick when he was younger but still got some lessons before coming on the race just in case. Obviously the instructor never thought to tell him to make sure he isn't in third gear.

I haven't been a fan of the blondes (I don't really dislike them but they're just sort of there) but this week and last week made me like them more because despite knowing how far behind they were, they kept a pretty even keel and just kept going without whining, having temper tantrums, yelling at each other, or being generally awful.

GPS and map apps are an amazing technology that I fully appreciate in theory (imagine if someone had told your grandparents that something like this would exist in their lifetime!) but they're also not perfect. For the past few years, I've taken Lyft to/from the airport and EVERY time the directions fed to the drivers tell them to take this ridiculous route which requires them to drive through a residential area, make a right onto a very busy street where people are driving 45mph and then immediately make a left onto a tiny side street (no stop sign or traffic light), drive up a super steep hill, and then eventually wind around to my house. EVERY. TIME. I would never take that route home. And it's not even faster (it actually requires the driver to go two freeway exits past where I normally would).

But I do like the convenience of being able to have an app tell me that I'll be on this street for 1.3 miles before making a left (instead of trying to look at a paper map while driving). If I know where I'm going ahead of time, I have google maps give me directions and then I check the route for things like unnecessary left hand turns and then slightly alter the route if needed so that I don't end up driving into a lake like Michael Scott.

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13 hours ago, AZChristian said:

How about parking your car and walking?  Gotta be faster to walk 1-1/4 miles than driving aimlessly and seemingly unable to get any closer to where you want to be.

Yes... but if the clue says drive, walk or take a taxi, you had better drive, walk or take a taxi as instructed. People have been penalized for failing to do so.

8 hours ago, Tango64 said:

No fan of that guy, but in fairness, having the gears marked on the knob doesn't the problem. You can know, and see by the markings on the knob, that first gear is in the upper left position and still have trouble finding it.

Also don't like them, but I can attest that I once went from neutral to first and ended up in reverse by accident. It happened when I was 17, being tested for my driving license. The cop in the back seat wasn't very impressed, and made a long note on his clipboard. But later in the test, circumstances allowed me to demonstrate my high level of ability in gear changing, and the cop then scratched out something on his clipboard. I passed with flying colours.

7 hours ago, aghst said:

Europe is looking to ban gas and diesel cars by no later than 2040 and it may be sooner.

The British environmental agency said the same. Next day the electricity generating board responded that if they started immediately, and built as fast as they possibly could, they would not be able to create enough new generating stations to provide the energy needed to recharge all the cars. And if they could, they would have to be coal or oil fired anyway. So the pollutants generated by the power stations needed to power recharge all the electric vehicles would be more that the pollution generated by the vehicles if they were powered conventionally, by petrol or diesel oil.  The electric vehicle proponents never seem to realize that they are only moving the emission point of the pollutants from their tailpipe to a nearby smoke stack.

7 hours ago, aghst said:

So maybe in a couple of years they will be driving electric on TAR and manual transmission won't matter.

If, in 20 years, Europe is all-electric, don't you suppose that they will still be driving beat-up Land Rovers in the back country of Bhutan? Where (I hope) TAR Season 52 will send them to demonstrate their driving skills? And that we might still be here to watch them do it on TV?

6 hours ago, Hera said:

I've found that trying to follow the blue dot on Google Maps always gets me in trouble and I'm better off orienting myself in real time than waiting for the dot to figure out/catch up with where I am.

Fortunately, in England, I was not travelling alone, and one did the driving while the other did the navigating. That made things easier.

 

Edited by Netfoot
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1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

And that's what makes it even more ridiculous/hilarious that the boyfriends were so bent out of shape that boy nerd didn't stop in the middle of a raaaaaaaaace to give them a lesson on how to drive a stick. Notice that the boyfriends weren't mad at any of the other teams who could have stopped to help them. Even after their car got moved out of the way, ANY of the other teams could have gotten out and said, "Hey, what's the problem? Would you like me to give you a refresher course in how to drive a stick?" but obviously the boyfriends were only mad at the nerds for not helping them. And let's be real - you know that the boyfriends wouldn't have helped the nerds if the situation had been reversed.

There weren't really a lot of teams for Will and James to get mad at, though. If I'm remembering correctly, at that point the teams were divided into two groups of four teams each by virtue of there being 2 flights to Paris. The first group was Riley/Maddison, Will/James, Michelle/Victoria, and Leo/Alana. R/M were out ahead of W/J and probably didn't even notice Will was having trouble driving. So the only other team left for W/J to be mad at (besides L/A) was M/V. By the time the second group of four teams arrived, Will had figured out his issue and was gone.

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9 hours ago, valen said:

I didn't love the bearded brother complaining at the carnival task. He was being WAY over the top. He REALLY wanted to come in first. 

If he was racing with a spouse/friend/coworker/stranger, then I would have a problem with it, but siblings picking at each other is part of the natural order of the universe.

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On 11/11/2020 at 10:04 PM, North of Eden said:

Continue not to like the Beard Bros...because if you take away their beards then they are simply more Young Alpha Male racers that have dominated past races so many times and sap the enjoyment out of the race.

This. Also noticed this episode they both appear to have veneers. So, are they models or is Amazing Race a stop on their way to becoming regulars on MTV's The Challenge?

I can't explain, but showing the map for Michelle and Victoria made them getting lost even more devastating. So close, yet so far.

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I just watched Will & James recap video. After, watching the video I decided I still can’t with them and don’t like them. I’m petty that way. That said, they filled in a a lot of the gaps of the race. They said, the first plane never saw the second plane from that point on after boarding. Both planes had layovers before heading to Paris. They both took stick shift driving classes (they really did prepare) but the car they used was old compared to the newer ones used in Paris. They had no idea of what place they were in and thought maybe they were in 5th or 6th place. They gladly took 4th place. It’s always interesting what has to be left out of a 45 minute show. Next week is 2 episodes. Yippie!

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7 hours ago, ByaNose said:

They both took stick shift driving classes (they really did prepare) but the car they used was old compared to the newer ones used in Paris.

That's as may be, but as far as I know, the gear pattern hasn't changed in decades.  On very old VW Bugs, Reverse was weird, relatively speaking, but 1-4 (and 5, if present) have been the same in all the cars I've driven.

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9 minutes ago, Browncoat said:

On very old VW Bugs, Reverse was weird...

Reverse can be all over the place. Left or right, forward or rearward, sometimes simultaneously lifting the stick up or pushing it down. My embarrassing moment during my driving test was because I took the test in a Triumph 1300 (Left/Forward, near 1st), whereas my own car was an Austin Mini 850* (Right/Rear, near 4th). It's one of the things you have to familiarize yourself with when you drive a car you're not familiar with.

* Modified! <More Tim Allen Grunting>

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On 11/12/2020 at 9:23 AM, Quilt Fairy said:

There were 9 available portrait/person matches, not 8.

Right, and the one that nobody claimed was Eugène Fromentin's "Hunting Heron":

112885.jpg.01feaa6158f1c5295c6ff4632b3423c5.jpg

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23 hours ago, aghst said:

OK the racers typically ask directions from willing locals.  How is that necessarily a better thing than using actual navigation tools?

One of the draws of TAR, at least to me, is watching people confront and challenge their limitations- in the tasks, in interacting with locals, and in navigating their way through the world.  This is why, I would bet, some viewers miss airport drama because watching people use their wits to get to the next location as quickly as possible is entertaining.  For me, watching people- especially those who have never traveled outside the US before- deal with their foreignness- how to communicate, how to read road directions in a foreign language, learning (however simply) local customs- is one the real treasures of the show.  It's just as appealing as watching people learn to complete the road blocks and detours.  I appreciate the rules that prevent them from following cabs or locals, or using paper and pen in certain challenges, etc.

I have decided that I would love to see the blonde sister beekman boys their way to a win.  It's not impossible, given their luck so far.  If they last long enough I expect they will be saved by the next non-elimination leg.  Maybe there's some unknown skill they possess that can save them in a leg?  

Additionally, i generally am uninterested in the backstories, but the sisters' story is one I'd like to hear.  Not sure if we will.

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