As ''The Amazing Race'' goes from Brazil to Russia, the pink girls' flirtation with the frat boys sets them back

By Lynette Rice
June 14, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
The Amazing Race 9: Robert Voets
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”The Amazing Race”: Two teams get frisky

”Our hearts first and our bodies second,” said Dani, describing how her team approached The Amazing Race.

”And then boobs,” added teammate Danielle.

Clearly, the folks behind The Amazing Race are tickled pink that they scored a couple of confections like those two — who have certainly caught the eye of the Florida frat boys — or they wouldn’t have broken from tradition and devoted the top of the show to their pit-stop canoodling. (And equally clearly, you readers aren’t tickled pink now that you’ve noticed that Josh Wolk isn’t writing this TV Watch. Just know he’s off on a huge assignment for the next two weeks, and trust me, it’s one story you’re gonna want to read.) My first reaction to this little romantic update was ahhhh mannnnn. I mean, we Big Brother watchers live for some hibidy-dibity to heat up what could otherwise be a dreadfully boring summer series, but do we really need it on The Amazing Race? The only time AR has ever played up the sexual heat and made it interesting was in season 2, when Tara flirted with one of the Boston guys and even rooted for them toward the season’s end. (Granted, her boyfriend, Will, was a total dick, but jeez.) And I don’t care what time this show airs: Who wants to have to explain it to the kids at home why that dunderhead Eric (or was it Jeremy? Like I care) wants to get in Danielle’s pants (or was it Dani’s? Like I care)? But I soon discovered it’s foolish to doubt producer Bertram van Munster and his masterful editing skills. But more on that later.

As Lake would say, dag gum! (Looks like he also says ”bitch” and ”stupid,” too, but those words don’t work so well here.) We all know AR‘s non-elimination or ”to be continued” episodes are inevitable — CBS has gotta stretch this yarn out until May — but that does nothing to make them more palatable. Here I was thinking those damn frat boys were about to win another leg at what appeared to be a Moscow pit stop and — boom! — Browsie throws us a whammy and says it ain’t over yet, handing them a clue to their next destination.

This finish had looked to be a close one, too, largely because of the moronic decision by four teams (the frat boys and the Double Ds, Joe-Monica and Dave-Lori) to share taxis in Moscow. That’s when I understood why Bertram decided to focus on the budding romance up front: The Pinks were gonna pay for thinking with their panties! By paying more attention to those horny frat boys — who offered not one but two shared taxi rides on this leg of the race — the double Ds managed to drop their game face somewhere between the 300-foot zip line everyone had to traverse back in Brazil and the bottom of a heated pool in Moscow, where folks had to dive off a 10-meter platform to retrieve a clue. Rushing to join their merry men after the roadblock, Dani realized she left her gear back at the pool, so they had to shake the boys — and their sweet lead — and double back (waa waa). Meanwhile, poor little Lori and Dave (my faves so far) graciously agreed to share a taxi with Joe and Monica but ended up losing precious time navigating the mean streets of Moscow. So here’s a tip for future competitors: We love to see some goodwill shown toward your fellow competitors (e.g., throwing out hints on where to find the clue boxes is always welcome), but sharing rides, not so smart.

Also not smart: sending your hydrophobic mom to dive for a clue. Clearly we’re seeing all sorts of fears play out this season — fear of heights, fear of climbing, fear of peeing one’s pants — but watching poor Wanda tread water in that pool while her daughter (and several earnest Ruskies) looked on helplessly was downright painful. Sister girl couldn’t even duck her head under a foot of water before gasping for air. Perhaps she should have declared, ”But I’d have to do it naked!” before the roadblock; that seemed to have worked for Michelle, who got Lake to jump off the platform instead. (Later we learned that Michelle just didn’t want to prance around in spandex in front of those Moscow types.)

Next up: a genius detour in Moscow that required teams to either wash a mammoth trolley or find a tiny clue within 1,500 nesting dolls while some bitchin’ local color provided entertainment. Other than regaling us with the gazillionth opportunity for Fran and Berry to admit defeat, we really don’t know what ultimately happened here (or at the car wash, for that matter), because CBS cut the whole thing off. But the episode still left us with plenty of things to ponder: Is Lake the new Jonathan? Should the teams really help each other during trying moments? Are Ruskies just people who drink and smoke a lot? And can Yolanda screw off a bottlecap with her freakishly strong thighs?

What do you think?

Phil Keoghan hosts the globe-trotting adventure series.
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