TV Recap

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

On ''The Amazing Race,'' it's a close shave, but divine intervention saves Brandon and Nicole from elimination, while Colin and Christie keep getting on each other's nerves -- not to mention ours

The Amazing Race | LOST SOULS The Godels nearly got dinged
Image credit: Brandon and Nicole: Tony Esparza
LOST SOULS The Godels nearly got dinged

''The Amazing Race'': The models pray to win

I'm at a loss for words, and it's not because anything exciting happened this week but because nothing exciting happened. The episode was simply a series of scenarios we've already seen. And to top it all off, it was another nonelimination round. Another week of the God Squad! Spare me.

The red flag was the explanation of how the Yield works. The producers were telling us, ''Nothing to see here -- keep moving.'' Even host Phil looked bored telling us how teams have had the option to use the Yield once on every leg of the race to slow another team for a finite amount of time and blah blah blah. To make matters worse, we got to see every team utter to the camera some variation on ''We aren't going to use the Yield.'' Why bother reminding us of something that teams aren't using? (Sounding all good-sportmanly, Colin said, ''We don't want to win by using the Yield.'' Let's just see if he sticks to that.)

Speaking of the angst-ridden, anger-mismanaging Barbie couple, Colin and Christie were once again at odds. While trying to make mud bricks, he lashed out at Christie for no good reason, but I'm sure he felt more like a man when he was done. The egomaniac inside him will eventually bring down his team. At least that's what Chip and Kim --and probably millions of viewers -- hope.

By contrast, Chip and Kim, the ever-positive married team, had only a tiny setback on this leg: They forgot to read the clue upon leaving the water park and took a cab instead of driving themselves to the airport. Fortunately, they came out unscathed by the whole ordeal. If Chip had been Colin, he would have screamed at Kim and said it was her fault.

At least the adorably feisty Bowling Moms, Linda and Karen, gave us something unexpected -- a run in with the police. A little misunderstanding (41 dinars or 41 dollars?) goes a long way. Luckily, Karen had her wits about her and paid the cab driver, saving Linda from jail. I couldn't believe Linda took a page from Colin's ''How to piss off the locals'' book.

As for twins Kami and Karli, even though they began this leg of the race sans money, they had no problem getting by . . . they are, after all, blond twins in an Arab country! You know that expat exclaiming, ''Twins!'' had impure thoughts running through his mind. And did you notice the James Brown-inspired ''Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine'' music that played while all this was going on? Another genius move on the part of the producers.

What wasn't so genius was making this a nonelimination round (two in a row!) and making us sit through yet another week of the God Squad, even though they seemed to have blown it when they refused to get their heads shaved in a Hindu ritual. Brandon and Nicole have really got to go. They are too whiny, too hypocritical, too sugary-sweet, but mostly too naïve. Those kids need to stay in their little bubble of the modeling world.

Among the things about them that particularly bothered me this episode:

1. Being shocked that locals were crowding around them. There is always a cameraman following them, and Brandon has blond hair in a country where brown hair rules. Apparently Nicole can't fathom why there would be interest.

2. Flipping out over getting grabbed in the train. In a perfect world, this wouldn't happen, but it's not a perfect world. Don't get me started on how many times I've been inappropriately groped on subways all over the globe. Luckily Brandon said a prayer for her. I think she'll survive.

3. Relying on God for help. If you're trying to get on the Lord's good side, try being a little less vain. (Note to Brandon and Nicole: Hair does grow back.) And maybe the two Godels (thanks, readers!) should consider a career change. They're paid to look sexy. Doesn't that increase the lust in this world? Let's not forget that this is a race to win a million dollars -- in other words, it's really about greed. And a little humility couldn't hurt. Brandon actually said, ''The Lord really wants us in the game.'' Yes, Brandon, I'm sure that's his top priority.

It almost seems that diabolical forces are conspiring to make things dull: The last Fast Forward went unused; the players are refusing to use the Yield; there's still one nonelimination leg left; and the teams are falling into predictable behavior patterns. Who knew we'd miss Charla so much?

What do you think? Does the show still have a prayer?

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Originally posted Sep 01, 2004