12 May 2005
I will now prove to Jim, who can't understand what in the world I would find a DVR useful for, that I am totally hopeless. Those of you who don't watch The Amazing Race (or other reality TV) can go off and see if Marn has updated her journal yet or not.
I picked up e-mail mid-way through watching The Amazing Race last night and there was a note from my friend in Texas, which was titled, "do not open until after Amazing Race!!!" I knew that the show had already aired in Texas and that she already knew who won. I was sorely tempted to read the e-mail anyway, but decided that I was enjoying the adrenalin rush enough that I wouldn't and would wait to watch things unfold in my time zone.
Unlike Terri, I have come late to the whole reality TV thing. I didn't even get into the first Survivor until the chats between Ned and Steve made me feel left out. But even after that first Survivor and as addicted as I ultimately got to it, I still didn't follow up on the subsequent Survivors. For one thing, it's broadcast here at 7 p.m. on Thursday night and I just don't think about "prime time TV" as starting until 8 p.m. So I would realize it was on just about time for Tribal Council and I never got invested in the show through its travels around the deserted islands of the world.
I still can't get into most of the reality TV shows. I don't watch any of the "choose your mate on TV" shows, or American Idol or most of the others in the reality craze that is sweeping the country.
The first reality show that really hooked me was The Apprentice. I don't know what there is that is so compelling about that show. I don't particularly like Donald Trump, his ego or his obsession with gold; I am by no stretch of the imagination an entrepreneur; I couldn't imaging doing anything those contestants do; and working for Trump would be a nightmare for me, but somehow it just pulled me in and I've been addicted to each round of it (and looking forward to the grand finale!)
A guy on a discussion board I've been involved with for over 10 years, mentioned that he had been hooked on The Amazing Race. Out of curiosity, I turned it one one night and found that I liked it. Even Walt got hooked on it, which surprised me. We both sat there and watched that particular round each week. The following round Walt didn't watch quite as avidly as I did, nor did he on this round, but he has joined me often enough to know the various teams and to find out where they are on any particular day.
So last night was the end of The Amazing Race. I think this was the most exciting one yet, mostly because all the folks I had been hoping would win had already been eliminated and of the three teams left, two were so unlikeable I was so afraid they'd take it all. But in the end, the good guys won and that was terrific.
We were, for a long time, pulling for the "old guys," as we called them. Gretchen and Meredith. Meredith is 69 and Gretchen is 66 and I was amazed at the things they did to keep up with all the young guys. They even kept going after Gretchen had a bad accident that left her head bloodied and they had to turn in all their money and all their possessions and make their way by begging money to get to the next stop. What amazing stick-to-it-ivism. (They were the oldest couple to make it as far as they did, having only been eliminated a week ago.)
But what I liked most about them is that while they were traveling around the world from South America to Africa to India to Turkey to London they thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it, they soaked up the local culture, they appreciated the scenery, they made it a real adventure and did it without a single cross word between them.
In contrast, one of the other three teams in the final, Ron and Kelly were so dislikeable. Kelly (a former beauty queen, we kept being told over and over again) turned up her nose in every third world country they visited, they didn't seem to notice where they were, and they fought with each other the whole way. Their bad temper and their disdain for anything that wasn't clean and nice-smelling was very annoying.
The other of the final three teams, Rob and Amber, were straight from Survivor, which Amber had won. They fell in love on that show and apparently married after Amazing Race ended. Of the eleven teams who started the race, this couple was the most consistently unlikeable. They were haughty and condescending. They didn't seem to notice anything around them. And they really turned me off when one of the teams had an auto accident in Africa. Every other team stopped to see if everyone was all right and if they could help, but Rob and Amber laughed and sped off, confident that they would now have a head start on the rest of them.
The winners, Uchenna and Joyce, had everything going against them. They started out this last leg with no money and no possessions, having had to turn them in because they came in last on the previous leg. They had to beg for money from strangers, they had a flat tire, and in the end, it seemed like they might lose because they didn't have enough money to pay their cab fare.
But there has to be something about karma. These were beautiful people, inside as well as out. They soaked up the culture wherever they were, took time to smell the roses and observe the scenery, they stopped to help the people in the auto accident, in one task where the "old guys," Gretchen and Meredith were struggling to move heavy boats to a rack, Uchenna took time out to help them. And at the very end, when they could have left their cab driver in the lurch, running out on him and not paying him the whole fare because they were out of money, instead they took precious time (having no idea how far behind them the next team was) to beg enough money to pay him and then went to the end of the race.
I think if Uchenna and Joyce had lost, I might not watch The Amazing Race again just because the other two teams were so dislikeable. But in the end, good karma won out. The good guys won--and they are going to use the money to adopt a child.
Good guys from beginning to end.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
another beautiful photo by Peggy