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‘I Can’t Feel My Face!! I Can’t Feel My Face!!’ Herc’s Seen Tonight’s 90-Minute Melontastic AMAZING RACE Premiere!!

I am – Hercules!! THREE hairstylists (on three different teams), two beauty contest winners (on two different teams), two home-shopping hosts, two hot beach volleyball girls, two hot girl doctors and a hot mother and daughter reunited after 20 years are among the competitors in the 17th edition of “The Amazing Race” launching tonight. The big news? Tonight sports the unambiguously wondrous melonsling incident: I love this show, but it plays like my worst stress dreams. “Amazing Race” editors love shots depicting contestants wiping sweat from their upper lips. “It’s morning in Gloucester, Mass., the oldest seaport in America,” notes Phil. “It was carved out of a coastline that is both dangerous and beautiful.” A fleet of lobster boats transport the teams to the starting line.
“Don’t yell at me, Chad!” Boyfriend-girlfriend Stephanie Smith and Chad Waltrip met eight months ago and have already purchased a home together in the Miami area. Competitors refer to them (I think) as “Tinkerbell and her boyfriend.” Bitter ex-footballer Chad intends to propose marriage during the race. But Chad is loud and angry and inpatient with Stephanie at times, so “yes” might not be the first word on her lips.
Birth mother and daughter Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes, recently reunited after the Andie gave her newborn daughter up for adoption over 20 years ago, never even rode in the same car together prior to the show. The first time they heard each other’s voices was for their “Amazing Race” application video. The show marks “only the third time we’ve been around each other.” Competing teams call them “The Gilmore Girls,” which I find hilarious.
The a capella singers Connor Diemand-Yauman and Jonathan Schwartz are dubbed “Team Glee” by competitors but are not initially shown kissing each other or tossing around the term “partner.” They are missing their Princeton graduation ceremony to compete.
Beach volleyball girls Katie Seamon and Rachel Johnston strike me as a little shrimpy, which could account for what appears to be a low standing for their playing skills, but they both look incredible in bikinis.
Nat Strand and Kat Chang (Nat & Kat!), the lady doctors, once collaborated on a 3 a.m. heart transplant. Nat is a type-one diabetic on an insulin pump. I’d love to know what she thinks of the pilot for CBS’ “Blue Bloods.”
The father/son team is comprised of “Internet sensations,” according to Phil. The junior half of the team claims a million subscribers. I suspect he’s exaggerating.
Hairstylist Vicki Casciola and bartender boyfriend Nick DeCarlo are tattooed bikers. I find myself immediately disliking Nick, who sports an unpleasant dye job and enjoys playing to the camera.
Miss Kentucky 2009 Mallory Ervin’s dad Gary taught her how to hunt and fish. (I have every confidence she is not the first Miss Kentucky to make a similar boast.)
Hairstylist Jill Haney and salesman boyfriend Thomas Wolfard were apparently chosen because they’re not bad-looking.
Director/choreographer Ron Kellum and best friend, Tony Stovall, a doctoral student at the University of Arizona, met performing “The Wiz” onstage. I'm not joking! This is my job! Before the race begins, Phil introduces a new element he describes as “a real game changer.” It’s called “The Express Pass” and you can only get it by coming in first place at the end of a leg. All teams are forced to make their way to the airport in humiliating smart cars. There are two planes waiting for the teams at Logan International, but the one scheduled to arrive 30 minutes earlier has room for only three teams. “Son of a bitch!” remarks a member of the fourth team to arrive at the ticket counter. “We were so close!” At the first overseas destination, the Americans have to drive stick-shift autos on the left side of the road. Which means they have to work their stick-shifts with their left hands. A major hint regarding Destination One is cloaked in the Text Invisible. Don’t highlight it!! Stonehenge! Where the demons dwell Where the banshees live and they do live well Stonehenge! Where a man's a man And the children dance to the Pipes of Pan Teams have to climbs what I’ll call “the megaladder.” Even before Team Number One checks in, Phil reveals whether or not this is an elimination leg. Seventeen seasons in, I still love this series’ stirring title theme. Did you know John M. Keane, who composed it, starred in his own Jonas-y CBS TV series the summer “Star Wars” was released? 8:30 p.m. Sunday. CBS.
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  • Sept. 26, 2010, 2:58 a.m. CST

    At least he can feel his dick

    by KilliK

    thats something.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 2:59 a.m. CST

    I so would've decked that blonde bitch after...

    by Shermdawg

    ...her little "so what?" expression she gave her partner. I'd be all like"Yeah, well, you can't see straight now either!"

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 3 a.m. CST

    Stephanie Smith looks like Trish Stratus...

    by Shermdawg

    ...from that photo.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 3:04 a.m. CST

    I skipped a few years after, I think AllStars...

    by Shermdawg

    ..I think it was the family edition I took a break...was there ever an International Edition of some type? Where not all of the teams hailed from the U.S.? That's something I'd be interested in seeing. Same goes for Survivor or even Big Brother.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 3:44 a.m. CST

    i want to do a real life running man

    by brabon300

    i want to see someone die on tv<p>we can start with the entire cast of jersey shore...<p>we are living in the world of idiocracy, where people watch to see others get kicked in the balls, where sarah palin can honestly be mentioned as a possible 2012 candidate for president<p>i admit, i watch the auditions for all of the talent competitions...but at least there, someone is singing, dancing or swallowing swords...on the rest, we are just waiting for people to act like idiots just to win a ton of caishe (which is always paid out in an annuity, so they really win shite)

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 4:18 a.m. CST

    this show has proven one thing to me...

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    The disabled, be it deaf or midgetised people, are a bunch of whining fucking cunts who think the world owes them a win. Why is it every time they do fuckin anything us norm's do easily they want a fuckin medal. <p> Fuck me, what would a deaf midget expect outta life? The Presidency?

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 4:48 a.m. CST

    I always root for the nice gay couple....

    by FlandersBum

    since there always is one. And I always don't like the mean lesbian couple, when there is one. Great show, but the casting is a tad predictable. Like on Survivor when there is always a super annoying ghetto bitch.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 4:57 a.m. CST

    My guess is...

    by WeylandYutani

    That the AR is one of the better reality TV series, and while I tried a few time to watch it, I find this and other reality shows at worst legitimately dull or at best convoluted and insincere through the use of music, inserted staged scenes and hyperbolic camera work. <P> Everyone has guilty pleasures, I certainly have a bunch, but it kills me that formerly interesting networks like TLC, Bravo, A&E or Discovery have moved almost entirely to faux adventure shows and makeover series. It fucking kills me. <P> Can someone here lay it out to me why reality TV is so popular? I am serious... why? I don't need the argument from a production standpoint, I get that they are inexpensive to produce. Although, networks are starting to see budget creep on a lot of these series and I would argue that their financial life span if far shorter - I'd hazard to guess most reality TV does not sell well in syndicated rerun or on DVD. I work in mostly TV and work on a lot of this crap because that is where most networks put development and production money these days, so yes I suppose I am part of the problem. But in the end there is public demand for this material. For example, my sister and her fiance, otherwise intelligent, well adjusted, successful individuals can't get through the week without watching American Idol, Survivor or the Apprentice. I sit there in a kind of depressed awe when I visit. <P> OK, rant over. I look forward to what others have to say.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 5 a.m. CST

    Other editions

    by DK1138

    I saw a lot of the Amazing Race Asia, which had it's contestants have to live or work in Asia, so there was English, New Zealand, Indian, Indonesian as well as many other races. It was my favourite Amazing Race as the different cultures just in amongst the contestants was fantastic. Plus the whinging English guy was priceless!

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 6:05 a.m. CST

    Ha ha ha. Awesome.

    by Mono

    I've just had my very first talkback deleted. I have no idea why it was deleted; there was nothing inappropriate in it. I bagged on Gilmore Girls. I guess insulting Gilmore Girls is against the rules? Ah, cowardice, thy name is Hercules.<p> WTF<p> Anyhow, this show is bad. I guess I'll just repeat the primary concept of that deleted post. I don't like this show, and I don't understand what's good about it, and I find Herc's tastes to be weirdly inconsistent.<p> Hmmm. Well, anyway. Weird.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 6:14 a.m. CST

    Whoa! She got melon'd

    by Mono

    This is high quality shit right here. Did you see that slow motion? What will they think of next. I'ma watch this! <p> Just kidding. I have dignity.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 9 a.m. CST

    Nice of them to show her getting hit in the face 4 times!

    by SnootyBoots

    I may just root for her team just for that.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Back and to the left...back and to the left

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    best clip ever

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 9:32 a.m. CST

    TAR isn't as bad as some make it out to be

    by The McPoyle Clan

    This teaser clip with the melon beaning isn't typical for them. It's far from being the premise for TAR, like it is for Wipeout or any number of Japanese shows that inspired Wipeout.<p><p>Survey TV around the world and you'll find that stupid game shows, talent contests, and variety shows are a staple everywhere. I think the observational "reality" shows that artificially create drama from mundane situations are the ones that are uniquely American.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 10:46 a.m. CST

    but that is an awesome clip

    by smokie

    I must say

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 11:58 a.m. CST

    I could watch that chick get meloned all day.

    by Doctor_Strangepork

    "They don't call it The Amazing Race for nothing..."<br> <br> These are The End Times. When will Americans add vomitoriums to their suburban homes?

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 2:14 p.m. CST

    It always comes down to who's smart to get tickets

    by RPLocke

    the earliest.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Already on the fence about TAR

    by Rinse

    it's just a pain in the ass to DVR with CBS sports constantly running long and so many shows on Sunday nights. Think I'll sit out TAR until they decide to produce it in HD.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST

    I rarely watch TAR on CBS

    by RPLocke

    I watch it online the next day. It's just easier to manage. 60 minutes always runs long.

  • Oh, so they are THAT couple. Each edition always has them.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 5:22 p.m. CST

    “Son of a bitch!” remarks a member

    by RPLocke

    Oooh, Sawyer's on the show this year?

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 7:49 p.m. CST


    by Shermdawg

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 8:14 p.m. CST

    I want to punch the acapella singers

    by SifoDyasJr.

    Seriously, please lose this episode. I will not be able to take that singing.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Those two women are annoying

    by RPLocke

    Even the watermelon agrees.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 9:55 p.m. CST


    by Margot Tenenbaum


  • Sept. 26, 2010, 11:50 p.m. CST

    I'll take the hot Asian doctor!!

    by Ka Dargo

    I bet she gets a lot of dudes faking shit just to go see her.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 1:30 a.m. CST

    They could have shown that 10 times

    by Bass Ackwards

    And I would have laughed just as hard on the tenth one as I did the first, never seen an episode of this show but if its full of hijinks like that I might have to tune in.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Bass Ackwards

    by RPLocke

    Yeah, Amazing Race does have its share of funny moments. There was one season where a midget had to wear a suit of armor and she kept falling down.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 5:47 a.m. CST

    Douchebags complaining about reality TV

    by Eyegore

    Thanks for stopping in to share your opinion, douchebag, you're still a douche. The DB prize here goes to Brabon300, who tries to say that all reality TV in beneath him, but still enjoys watching American Idol tryouts, which is way more lowbrow than The Amazing Race has ever been.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 9:26 a.m. CST

    KevJumba and his Dad?

    by Jehovahs_Witness

    Interesting....I've seen a few of his youtube videos, specifically the ones with his Dad in them, and the two of them are funny together. <p> The girls look hot in this season, too...I might just watch....

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 9:29 a.m. CST

    And Herc, I don't think he's exaggerating about a million....

    by Jehovahs_Witness

    ...suscribers. He just might have them. One of his videos had a guest appearance by Jessica Alba. Now he's in low budget Asian American

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 9:45 a.m. CST

    I just checked - he has 1,136,356 Subscribers

    by Jehovahs_Witness

    I'm not suscribed...because he's like a junior in college or something like that, and I generally am not too interested in the thoughts or videos of college kids, but I have seen a few of his videos that got so many views that they reached the top viewed category. And from what I've heard, him and his Dad are nice guys, and he's not an ego-maniac. That counts for something.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 12:32 p.m. CST


    by jim

    "or at best convoluted and insincere through the use of music, inserted staged scenes and hyperbolic camera work." <p>That can be said of pretty much any scripted show, and movies too. When done poorly it can come across as convoluted, insincere, and staged (or forced). When done well, it invokes, or enhances, an emotional response. The difference between a flat, boring scene, and an exciting one filled with suspense and tension, is often due to choices made in music, camera work, and editing. In this respect, Reality TV is no different than any other television genre. <p><br>"Can someone here lay it out to me why reality TV is so popular?" <p>Can you tell me why Sci-Fi is so popular? Why people like comedies? Reality TV is a genre of show like any other. I can't speak for anyone else (such as your sister and her fiancee) but I don't watch Reality TV because it's Reality TV; I watch shows I enjoy. If some happen to fall into the Reality category that's fine. I cannot understand how someone will dismiss an entire genre because they did not enjoy the few random episodes of a few random shows of said genre. That'd be like not wanting to watch Star Wars because "I don't like Sci-Fi; I saw an hour of this movie called Mac & Me and it was absolute crap so I don't watch that stuff". Ok, maybe not quite like that, but hopefully you get my point. Reality TV is a massive genre. Below I'll be mostly referring to the competitive, game show sub-genre like Survivor or The Apprentice. For stuff like Mythbusters or Jon & Kate, the non-competitive, follow us around with a camera and see what we do shows, all I'll say is people watch those shows for the same reason they watch documentaries - to learn something, to see something that is either familiar to them or completely out of their own experiences or lives. <p>Do you get why people watch sports? Can you fathom someone's interest in game shows like Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune? Many people enjoy watching competitions; one person or group competing against another. Witnessing the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. With game shows there is the added element of audience participation. That is, when watching, the audience can make their own guesses at the correct answers. Reality TV is much the same. Whether it be watching contestants competing for a prize, being in a pool, or participating in some way such as voting for their favourite contestant, most Reality TV gives the viewer a certain amount of interactivity. Also, like in sports, or game shows, people make mistakes. Some are minor, some are game-changers. The "human" factor, the possibility of cracking under pressure, screwing up, or simply being a bonehead, all adds to the unpredictability of the outcome. An early favourite can just as easily become an early exit. <p>One big difference between scripted shows and reality shows: Many scripted shows have the same cast year in and year out. I've heard many a TBer complain about a show not having any sense of danger or peril for its characters as we all know they'll most likely come out of whatever situation ok. With Reality shows that's not the case. Pretty much every week another contestant goes home until there is only one left standing. The big "water cooler" moments of scripted shows are reenacted almost weekly on reality shows; each episode has someone betraying someone, someone enacting revenge, the underdog coming through in the clutch, the hero failing miserably, and someone paying the ultimate price (being taken off the show). People know the show is finite, that by the end of the season the outcome will occur. They won't have to wait four of five years (if ever) to see the end result. Unlike scripted shows, most reality shows don't get cancelled mid-season, so even if the show won't be coming back next year, they'll still probably get to see who wins this season. We all know how frustrating it is to invest months, even years, in a series only to have it end unresolved and end unsatisfactorily. With Reality shows they spell it out in the first episode what the ultimate goal is for the contestants and as a viewer you are fairly certain of seeing someone achieve that goal. Being able to rely on a TV show delivering on what it promises can be a huge incentive for someone to want to watch said show. <p><br>Personally, of the competitive reality shows, I watch Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Hell's Kitchen. Never been able to get into Big Brother partly because, I think, they never go anywhere. Sure, the contestants of Hell's Kitchen rarely venture outside too, but with that at least I can relate to aspiring chefs looking to win a great job. Survivor and The Amazing Race have great shots of gorgeous scenery and I can learn a little about the locations they shoot in (Amazing Race more-so than Survivor). One of the things I love about The Amazing Race is its uniqueness in the Reality genre. Unlike most, if not all reality shows, the contestants aren't voted out or kicked out. It's a race and the last to place in that leg are out (unless the leg is a non-elimination one). Alliances, favourites, scheming, backstabbing, heroes, and villains are all irrelevant to the outcome. You finish last, you're done. <p>It's understandable you can't really see the appeal of the shows your sister and her fiancee watch. Imagine if they came to your house and you turned on an episode from the middle of the first season of some show they'd never seen. They'd spend the episode asking "who's that guy? What's that mean? What's that look all about? Is that important?" etc. Having no vested interest in any of the contestants in the shows you watched, it's no wonder you were bored. You don't know who they are, how they got to that point, what they've done to get there, and who they did it to. You have no idea who any of the contestants are, you have no "dog in the race", and have no interest in the outcome. So everything you see, everything that leads up the the conclusion of someone getting kicked off doesn't matter to you. You simply don't care. <p>I watched episodes of American Idol, couldn't get into it. Once watched right from the beginning to see if it made a difference. I did skip the results shows as I found them tedious, but watched all the way to the final four or so. Found I still didn't care, so never watched it again. Same with Big Brother. Handful of episodes during a season here and there, didn't care. Watched from beginning one year; 3 or 4 episodes in found I still didn't care and never went back. Caught an episode of The Amazing Race mid-season a while back, couldn't get into it. One year decided to watch from the beginning of a season, found it a lot easier to get into, and now absolutely love the show and never miss an episode (even watch the "Elimination Station" videos on showing what the eliminated contestants are up to while waiting for the race to end). All three popular reality shows. I had a similar viewing history with all 3. Yet only one was to my liking. Like any show on TV, some I like, some I don't; the one's I like I watch, the one's I don't I don't. However, just because I find a show isn't to my liking doesn't mean I won't try a new show of the same genre (or even by the same creators). <p>You might never find a Reality show you enjoy watching. However, to dismiss a show that falls under the reality category, simply because of your dislike of a few random episodes from a handful of shows, is somewhat unfair. Sure, it might be that there has never been, nor ever will be, a reality show that will appeal to you. Then again, maybe there is and either you haven't found it, or have allowed your bias against the genre to keep you from discovering it.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Too bad the Gay Black dudes came in last

    by RPLocke

    They got beat by the dumb couple with the tatoos.

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  • Sept. 28, 2010, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Big Jim

    by WeylandYutani

    Sure there is poor dramatic TV and yes it can be convoluted and it can be insincere. But you have to admit there is a difference. The viewer DOES expect to be manipulated and submits to that when they choose to view a scripted drama. The difficulty lies in that reality TV is a misnomer. It attempts to do the same things that dramatic TV does and it is additionally marketed as snapshots of real life. But it is not really successful at either. I work in lifestyle TV & TV News and when talking with people who do not work in TV, many are confused as to what the differences are. Often people interchange the term documentary and reality TV, because they do not know how to define either and this is intentional and encouraged by networks and producers. As viewers, we expect dramas to be scripted and staged… to create drama. Reality TV is subject to exactly the same editorial processes as a drama series are – Actors are hired even though very often they are marketed as “contestants” when they are more accurately described as amateur actors. Scenes are scripted, lit and staged. They are shot from different angles that take multiple setups. Did you ever wonder in the final “You’re Fired” act of The Apprentice why there are multiple camera angles with multiple over the shoulder shots but you never see the camera from the reverse angle? They shoot that closing scene with multiple takes and multiple set ups. That is not reality. That is scripted TV or maybe improvised drama, but it is not a reflection of reality. And worse, it is TV done on the cheap. In editing scenes are cut, dialogue is replaced just like when creating fiction. Correction. That is exactly what they are doing: creating fiction. By taking dialogue out of context or editing it in a misleading way, or by using these elements out of order to imply a person’s response that was never really there, that is entirely fiction. <P> I would argue that your point about science fiction is a bit off. SF really isn't very popular on TV. I love Trek and I love BSG and Star Wars and I love many other SF franchises, but it is a niche product on TV. Film is a different matter, but on TV it is a niche. Certainly SF lit does not sell nearly as well as regular fiction and most SF TV has a small but devoted following. There are exceptions of course: while the X-Files started out as a small series on Fox, it eventually garnered a mainstream following. But that series was not always SF in the strictest sense either. Sometimes it moved into thriller territory, like 24, or even a mystery series. This is unlike a series like Trek, which is always in a space opera setting. And yes I think you can dismiss an entire genre. Romantic lit is a genre, which most people, even people who READ romance novels, admit nearly all of it is junk. The same can be applied to most daytime TV. Nearly without exception, the vast majority of it is not very good. It is done cheaply to fill time or to appeal to an undiscriminating audience. As for me, watching just a few “random episodes”… that is the problem, because I have worked in reality/lifestyle TV, I have watched a lot of it. Research and being up on the latest trends in the genre is part of my job. The problem is, the majority of what I see is poor. If you want to see something different or learn, I would say watch something like Frontline… it’s real and it will show you things out of people’s own experiences or lives as you say. So in the end, I’d have to say that I am not sure people actually learn anything from reality TV. And I doubt that the producers ever intended people learn anything from their series. Reality TV is more a vehicle for product placement and for the profit motive of the network. Writers and actors are not supported by the same pay scale or unions that other TV genres are. So, reality TV is, in relative terms, less expensive than other forms of scripted TV. If fact if the writer and actor’s guilds ever dabble into reality TV, I bet there would be an instant decline in the amount of reality TV networks buy or produce. <P> In your comment, you make an interesting comparison to sports and the answer your question; yes I do understand why people enjoy sports. I like sports. But to compare reality TV competitions to professional sports would be the same as saying WWE is as legitimate a sport as MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA, FIFA or the Olympics. In actuality, the WWE (remember the E stands for Entertainment) is completely staged while professional sports leagues are not. And, in professional sports, when it is revealed someone was peddling influence or not playing by a set standard of rules there is a scandal or even congressional investigations. The “competitions” staged in reality TV are manipulated by the producers in order to embellish or create conflict. Even the prizes the “winners” receive are often not what were suggested. As an example, America’s Next Top Model is famous in the industry for having a grand prize where the winning contestant got a contract as a spokesperson for a particular confectionary product. But, it turned out the contract was for far less work than what was suggested throughout the season. So unfortunately, the competition aspects of many reality series are less about actual competition and more about plot devices to enhance the sense of drama by encouraging conflict and eliciting certain behaviors from the onscreen talent. <P> You do make an interesting point that reality TV series have different casts form season to season. I never considered that. Probably, that is why, at least in part, many reality series have such longevity, even if they do not sell well in syndicated rerun or on DVD like many comedy or drama series. But I’d have to disagree about not liking a series because I jump in half way. Sure, if I start to watch a serialized show that is part way into a season I’ll have questions. But I can still look at the episode with a degree of objectivity and understand that there are a lot of plot points or character moments that go over my head because I can’t view them in the same context as someone who has seen the series from the beginning. But that is not unusual. I think we have all been told from time to time “Stick with it… you’ll get hooked.” My main issue is that I have seen a lot of reality TV, perhaps more than many reality TV devotees, and most people who work on this stuff know and talk amongst them about how awful the genre is in general. <P> That said there are always exceptions to the rule. There is a series called Ice Pilots which I think is not bad, although not exactly good either. It probably would have been a fun series to work on. But, while I think they accomplished what they set out to do, it is still a tweaked version of real events. Even this series has a plastic quality from the cast to the way the series is shot and edited that is off putting.