For those of you who have decided that this “Family Edition” stuff is not your cup o’ tea, don’t sweat it. All you missed out on was partial nudity, an emotional return to the place where a loved one died, a cameo appearance by a contestant from TAR 1 and a monster home run that sent the NLCS back to St. Louis.
Before the episode starts, there is a disclaimer from the producers that this episode was filmed in Mississippi and Louisiana before Hurricane Katrina struck. In other words, there are no detours where the teams have to steal at least $100 worth of goods from the local supermarket. However, be sure to catch next year’s ”Survivor: New Orleans” where the survivors fight it out in the Convention Center. What? Too soon?
In the previous episode of The Amazing Race:
Eight teams left Virginia and seven of them hate the Weaver family. The basis for this hatred is that the Weavers dared to check on all available flights while the other teams held on to the tickets they had already purchased. Well, that and the fact that the Weavers went bonkers late at night at a Waffle House. Remember that scene from Natural Born Killers? “Tell ‘em Mickey and Mallory Knox did it.” Except this time the Weavers let more than one person live so that the Good Word would spread even faster. Praise the Lord!
The detour was a choice of peel and kiss shrimp or getting stuck in the mud. Although the lightweight Gaghan kids allowed their dad to fly over the mud, old man Aiello and the boys who know his daughters biblically got bogged down - THROUGH 17 ATTEMPTS! The other teams cleaned up the shrimp and headed for a NASA space center in Huntsville, Alabama where the Roadblock made two members of each team ride in a centrifuge that put them through 3.2 g’s. The Bransens are first and each member of the team wins a lifetime supply of BP gas (of course, that company will be changing its name in six months). The Aiellos came in dead stinking last and they were beheaded. See what you miss when you don’t watch?
Phil gives a few teases of which teams are doing well and which teams may struggle. Hey, Phil - instead of stating the obvious, why don’t you return your outfit to the ‘70s section of the wardrobe. The teams depart in order of their arrival: Bransen Family (dad and three daughters) 1:15 pm Linz Family (sister and three obnoxious brothers) 1:18 pm Schroeder Famly (dad, step-mom, teenage daughter and son) 1:33 pm Godlewski Family (four blonde sisters) 1:44 pm Weaver Family (widow and three kids) 3:34 pm Paolo Family (Italians from New York) 3:50 pm Gaghan Family (mom, dad and little kids) 3:53 pm
The teams have to hitch a ride with the Allman Brothers bus tour to the town where Rachel from Friends grew up so that they can see the largest office chair in the world. If any of you ever get to Anniston, Alabama could you please tell those good people that no one is impressed. You want us to be impressed? Make the world’s largest copier in the world and then get the Bransen girls to sit on it.
Stassi, the Schroeder’s daughter, makes some comment about how she is used to coming in first. Gee, what is this? Forced irony or foreshadowing? The rift between the Godlewski sisters starts to show when Sharon the driver ignores the directions of Christine the navigator. Yes, we’ve seen this argument within a dozen different teams but this one will get weird later on. Speaking of weird, the Weaver family pauses to say a prayer. Um, you’re almost two hours behind the previous group. Unless you expect God to engineer a pileup on Highway 65 for your benefit, you better just get your ass in gear. We flip back to the Schroeder family to hear them bash the Weavers as being white trash and fake.
Within 10 minutes of the show starting, the older Paolo kid and Mama Paolo begin arguing about who has the information for the trip. The younger Paolo boy, Brian, claims that his brother and mother love each other but they argue because they are so alike. Ouch. One thing a young man does not want to be compared to is a menopausal woman. Then we get to listen to the older brother - DJ - and it becomes clear that he is a menopausal woman trapped in a young man’s body. The best thing for DJ to do when this Race is over is to move out of his parent’s house. Then maybe, just maybe, his testicles will grow back. Maybe.
The Gaghan family shows their typical spunk, even though they are dead last. Gotta tell ya - the mom on this team looks better each episode. Don’t know if we’re just seeing more of her or if her peppy personality makes her look better. She’s not looking worn down like the Weaver mom and a couple of those Godlewski’s, that‘s for sure. The Gaghan dad says that he can’t imagine what is going through the minds of his kids - a 12-year-old boy and a 9-year old girl. You want to know what’s on their minds? How about this: “Dad runs like a girl”. That’s what they’re thinking, they just don’t have the heart to tell you, buddy. By the way, if there weren’t little kids in this contest who may actually get on the internet and read this crap, then this summary would contain a great deal more profanity and the unlisted phone number of one of the Bransen girls. What’s that? We already had her phone number posted online? Gee, how did I miss that….