The Amazing Race premiering tonight made this the best Valentine’s Day ever!  They started out in LA and headed to Chile and spent the whole show there.  The Roadblock*  involved a sort of tight rope walking where you are harnessed and clipped to one wire and you sort of hand-over-hand your way across.  It looked like a very slow zip line which, by the way, is the best fun I have ever had.  One of the guys doing this task was kinda big and nervous and he fell off and needed to be hauled in by rescue guys.  He tried again and fell a second time.  He gave up after the second slip and sat out a time penalty instead. This pretty much cost them the race but his wife/girlfriend/sister/team mate was very gracious about it.

After the teams completed the tight rope thingy, they were instructed to take the funicular down.  Team Moronic Models was the first of the season to NOT READ THE CLUE.  What do they model, anyway?  Bandannas?  This means they are semi-literate and marginally attractive; I predict they won’t last long.  I rode a funicular in Quebec City once and theirs didn’t look like box cars.  “Funicular goats” is one of the best phrases Dr. Suess ever coined.

The Detour** was stupid simple:  grab a can of paint and a ladder, walk to a particular street, match the paint to the partially painted exterior of a house and finish painting a 4X6 section of wall.  I’m making the dimensions up but it wasn’t big by any stretch, nor did it involve using a ladder or edging or any of the actually difficult aspects of painting.

Team Dad/Daughter also displayed an alarming inability to read/comprehend clues and walked into someone’s house and began painting their living room.

So far, I’m rooting for Team Lez.  The dark haired one is really oddly beautiful and one of them (I’m not sure which) said of the paint can she was carrying, “Sea foam green from Martha Stewart’s 1997 collection–before jail.”

The cowboys from Oklahoma made me laugh a lot; they are such living stereotypes.  They exchanged their cash for “Brazil money” before going to Chile and then seemed surprised it wasn’t accepted.

One of the female lawyers cracked me up.  She said she was trying to be like Jesus and she said it with nary a trace of irony!  That’s impressive.

The first team at the Pit Stop was unremarkable except they danced a sort of a jig after hearing they won trips and prizes of some sort for coming in first.

Team Bandanna was second at the Pit Stop but, because they can’t read and did not take the funicular down, had to sit out thirty minutes and checked in seventh I think.  Another team (potentially the second gay brothers team on the show–how many gay brothers are there?) lost a paintbrush and had to sit out a fifteen minute penalty.  Losing shit is half as bad as not reading.  Duly noted.

One of my favorite parts of this show is when the camera cuts to the cab driver for a reaction shot.  They always do it when a team is being particularly obnoxious or stupid.  The cabbie tonight had a wonderfully amused expression, sort of a facial equivalent of a shoulder shrug.  All in all, the premiere of this season of TAR has remained wonderfully loyal to their winning formula.  I’m excited to go around the world on my couch again.

*A Roadblock is a task only one person can perform. Choosing which team member should do it is based upon a cryptic message.  Tonight it said something like, “Who has the balance of a cat and the courage of a lion?”

**A Detour is a task for the teams to complete cooperatively.