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Ten teams of two, joined by friendship or relationship, competed in a frenetic race around the world for a pot of $1,000,000.

The only things that get in their way? Several physical and mental tasks, a few language barriers, and perhaps each other.

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN

September-December 2001, CBS
Phil Keoghan
Creator: Elise Doganieri, Bertram van Munster
EP: Jerry Bruckheimer, Bertram van Munster
Packager: Jerry Bruckheimer TV, Worldrace Prods., CBS Prods., Amazing Race Prods., Touchstone TV

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October 10, 2001

Well so far its been an amazing race for 7 teams, but one team is going to find it a little less amazing as they get eliminated from the competition.

So we start from El Jem - and the teams get a globe and a word - Tataouine. I'm immediately thinking that one of the obstacles may be having to find remnants of Jabba The Hut somewhere in the desert (and I find out later that I'm right - sort of). Team Guido takes the lead, followed by The Frat Pack and The Mom/Daughter team.

So how long does that alliance last between the Greeks and Mom/Daughter? Well, after they get into the car, they speed past the husband and husband team into first, leaving the women in the dust, so the answer is not incredibly long. But all of the teams figure out that Tatouine is a place, and they get there without much of a time delay.

And the three teams are all ahead of the rest of the pack. Paul and Amie get bonus time, since they got screwed up by a production problem (those wacky production gremlins - they cause my computer to crash and my e-mail to be wiped, I think), and move up to fourth. Then the Lawyers, F/M, and Karyn and Lenny.

The next segment is all about how close everyone has gotten. Barrrrrrrrrrf. In the interest of my sanity (and everyone else's) I'll skip most of it - except to say that they all love each other (except for the Frank and Margarita, since Frank wants to win and Margarita wants to love, and the lawyers, who are bitching and moaning about how nothing has gone their way the enitre trip and how they're going to be in last after this episode. You guys weren't bitching when you were in first, were you?)

Detour time - either play a time-consuming audio game at Ksar Hasada (which was used in the film Star Wars - see I was sort of close) or go to an easier place but a good half hour away from the competition. Everyone picks the audio game, which requires a team to find the second set of a walkie talkie unit. The Frat Pack quickly find the other set, and after seeing the Guidos arrive, pull a play from Lando and Carla's handbook on Lost (Episode 1) and get on the roof (which is nowhere near the transmitters). Thinking that they are spying, Team Guido jump on the roof to start looking, which allows all of the teams to catch up to them as the Frat Pack run away and increase their lead.

In the rest of the team cluster, Nancy and Emily maintain third, and Paul and Amie stay in fourth but the skew changes after that. Frank and Margarita are in fifth, followed by Lenny and Karyn, and the Lawyers are in the daunting position of the basement. They can't use the fast forward, because they already used it, to they have to catch up the normal way. (By the way, this is the second straight episode that they haven't mentioned the Fast Forward at all. Did they phase it out while no one was looking?)

After Ksar Hadada, the teams have to follow a path of yellow stones to take to their next destination. You know the first segment wheere eveyone was loving each other and CBS was trying to make feel good tv? Not this time around. Now, its the bitching session, where teams are bitching about losing first (Bill and Joe) or Their relationships (Frank and Margarita/Lenny and Karyn/Nancy and Emily/Paul and Amie) or finishing out of the race altogether (Lawyers, of course), or bitching because they enjoy to bitch each other out (Drew and Kevin - aka, the Frat Pack).

But the most bitchingest thing in this race right now has to be Amie's stomach. Amie is doubled up in the back tossing her cookies while Paul is wandering aimlessly in the desert.
A split dumbass award goes to Amie's stomach, for breaking down in the middle of this important journey, and Amie, who stupidly wants to continue, and Paul who stupidly lets her continue.

So coming down the stretch is a roadblock - one person has get the team to the Pit Stop using a camel and a compass. Drew feels screwed that Kevin got the camel. Actually, I feel more sorry for the camel. Who knows what frat people do if they had a camel at their party...they bitch and moan and reclaim first place.

Team Guido (bitching more about losing the lead than about the camel) come in second, followed by Nancy and Emily and the Lawyers. Frank and Margarita and Lenny and Karyn come in 5th and 6th, repsectively. Paul and Amie don't even make it to the camel, since they get so lost that they find the flag in the desert and drive to it.

It may have been better that way. Amie probably would have yakked all over the camel, and from what I heard, yak and camel don't get along that well. But they do finish in last and they get to go Iloveyoubuhbye.

October 17, 2001

Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Race. Last time, we have teams with new nicknames - The Frat Pack are now The Fatties, Team Guido is now Public Enemy Number one, and Paul and Amie are team Iloveyoubuhbye. What is in store for the surviving teams?

So we are now in the Sahara Desert, where the teams move to Gabes in Tunis because of an impending sandstorm that threatens to engulf the camp that the teams are staying at. The teams have to go to the Palace in Tunis. The Frat Pack start first - and try to look for a taxi in the middle of the night. The husband and husband couple are next, with both teams sniping at each other while they're looking for a cab.

Both teams find a cab - before Nancy and Emily show up - they are smart and walk to a Taxi shelter. Rob and Brennan are next, who are all praise for Nancy and Emily. 'They are kicking butt - they are kicking our butt now' Frank and Margarita are next, followed by Lenny and Karyn, who now call themselves the buttheads. Well, that's rather appropriate.

Team Guido finds the clue - which is to go to Rome and to find a spot outside of the Colosseum. The Frat Pack are right behind them. Team Guido get the tickets - and cut past half of the line in doing so. They tell the airline people about the other contestants, and the flights are mysteriously full by the time the rest of the teams get there. All of the other teams who arrive at the airport get shut out of the tickets, and they all realize that the
excuse that they are getting is a bunch of steaming monkey crap. Gee, can Team Guido make the bullseye on your butt any bigger?

The Frat Pack do finagle their way on a plane - and bring the mom and daughter team and the lawyers with them. Not only do they get the plane, they get the flight to arrive there 3 hours before the husband and husband team. The Frat Pack give a necklace (his girlfriends necklace) as thanks to the airline people - awwww. Meanwhile, Karyn finds out that if they wait, they can get a direct flight - which will also get them quicker than the gay couple. Frank and Margarita get a direct flight to England and they leave first. The three teams go in front of Bill and Joe, who get a nomination for dumbass move of the episode by deciding to play hardball and attempt to sabotage the teams by blocking the way to the airplane and slowing down the teams into missing their flight. They even push the mom out of the way, which pisses the rest of the teams off, (and gets team Greek threatening to break Team Guido's legs), but all of the teams do make their flight. When they all get back to the states, you have a feeling that the Lawyers will be trying to patent Joe and Bill dart boards?

Lenny and Karyn do get the direct flight and they are now the leaders. Team Guido also makes it to Rome. The other three teams run into disaster - their adjoining flights have been cancelled, so now they have to take a flight to Milan. F/M runs into an even bigger disaster - they are stuck in Geneva until 7am the next day because their flight also gets stuck - and this could constitute the dumbass move of the episode.

Lenny and Karyn get there first and find the flags. Team Guido is in hot pursuit. The 3 team alliance take a train to get to Rome. Frank and Margarita do some sleeping. There is a detour to take - either find a foot (and walk to the next clue) or find a hoof - with taxis right nearby. Joe and Bill tell their taxi to wait there - but its no use to them, since the places where they need to go are closed. The triple team threat get into Rome - and so do Frank and Margarita - who get there at 9, which is ok since nothing opens for them until 10am. Nancy and Emily find and tail the Guidos - who run into the frat pack.

You want to know how much these teams love each other? Let's listen in...
Guidos: "Good Morning"
Frat Pack "Don't even think about saying good morning. Never say good morning to us again".

Can't you just feel the love?

Meanwhile, the triple threat are staring at the Guidos. Team F/M find the alliance, who tell them about how the Guidos were trying to stiff them from the flight. Lenny and Karyn find the alliance, and then they find Team Guido, who feed them a line of steaming monkey crap. Lenny and Karyn decide to go to the foot and get the directions to go to the Pagani Auto Factory - which they have to get to via the train. While Lenny and Karyn go to the train station via the subway, the other teams run to the hoof - and run out to the taxis to get the train.

All of the teams take a taxi to get to the train station - except Lenny and Karyn, who say that they may have gone the wrong way - but it was actually a production screw up, and it costs them a train - but they do get extra time that will be made up. While the train has stopped in Bologna, Team Guido take a cab - which the other teams accuse of cheating, since the clue says take a train, not get there via taxi. The husband and husband team say that all is fair in love and Amazing Races. F/M also take a cab over there.

Once the triple alliance get there, there are three teams - and 2 taxis. The Frat Pack and the Lawyers take cabs - Nancy and Emily will wait for another cab - hoping that they don't come in last - and that could be a nominee for the dumbass move of the episode.

Frank and Margarita get there first - and get a roadblock - one person drives a small car to a small village (there is NO way that I'm pronouncing the name of the village). The map is written in only Italian - but Frank hires a Taxi driver so he can follow him to the village. The other person on the team gets to ride in style in a sportscar going over 100 miles an hour. Team Guido gets the car next, and the Guido gets lost immediately. Frank gets out of the car and they come in first by a wide margin. Team Guido do manage to come in second. The Lawyer gets lost (figures) and has to ask for directions. The taxi finally comes for Nancy and Emily and they get into the car - and the mom immediately becomes lost.

Lenny and Karyn finally get there, but don't forget that they get extra time. The Lawyers and the Frat Pack both get lost - but the Frat Packer gets some bicycle assisted aid. The Lawyers figure it out first and come in third. Team Greek comes in fourth. Lenny and Karyn finally get the car - and its a question of who finishes first between the two women. the mom and daughter team do - and supposedly finish in fifth - but do they finish ahead enough of Lenny and Karyn by enough time? (Don't forget that they do get extra time because of the production problem). Karyn does get help and they do make it there...but they come in last.

But, surprises for everyone. This is a non-elimination point, so NO ONE gets eliminated. In addition to that, Lenny and Karyn get more time, and Bill and Joe and F/M do get penalized for taking the cab - which puts everyone in a clump. So we have love for everyone this episode - except Bill and Joe, who do win the Dumbass move of the episode. By trying to block everyone from making the plane. They have officially become the running bulls-eye for all of the teams. Will the competitive drive to win ultimately be their downfall?

October 24, 2001

Welcome to the Pre-Halloween episode of The Amazing Race. In this episode, 2 people will be dressing up as an eliminated team. Which people? Well let's find out...

We start the episode by everyone getting pissed at The Husband and Husband team for their shenanigans from last episode. Team Guido has now gotten the name 'Team Bert and Ernie' from the rest of the teams. Well if that is true, then what does that make their furry pal Grover? (Oh, I better stop now before the Children's Television Workshop come after me with a blunt wooden mallet).

Frank and Margarita start out first and they have a detour - either ride a set of bikes to the next destination - or get a taxi ride there - after spending some time in an airplane glider. Frank and Margarita decide C. None of the above and use the Fast Forward (after four episodes without it - we finally get to see it) - this allows a team to go straight to the end of the lap - but a team can only use it once ever. The objective is to find the Fast Forward in the moat by Ferrara Castle. Frank, who speaks Italian, talks to the driver who knows where the castle is, so away they go.

Team Guido decide to go bike riding. The Lawyers take the glide route, as do the Frat Pack, who don't want to get stuck with Bert and Ernie (though Im not sure the Greeks have enough coordination to ride a bike). Nancy and Emily decide to go biking, as do Lenny and Karyn, who have called themselves 'Team Butthead' after last episode (I'm not feeling much love here - are you?)

Frank and Margarita find the fast forward - which will send them to Agra, India - they go to the airport without much problem and they are on their way to New Delhi. The bicyclists are on their way to nowhere, as they are all following each other and are getting lost in the process. The Frat Boys are on their way to having some donuts and coffee, as the Lawyers get to the gliders first and all the Greeks can do is to wait their turn until the Lawyers are done. Gee Nancy and Emily look real happy to see the Guidos, don't they?

Everyone is getting lost on the bikes - or learning how to unsuccessfully ride them. The Lawyers get out of the plane (If you haven't heard 'One Million Lawyers' by Tom Paxton yet - please do so - you'll really appreciate it now..) Both Frat boys get on the plane - and go flying - does that plane really look sturdy enough to hold both of them?

Team Guido gets to the end first - and find the next destination - Red Fort Marketplace, India. There is no flight directly there, and when they get to the airport, they see the Lawyers are right behind them. Since there is no direct flight, the Guidos decide to take a train to get to Milan airport. The lawyers catch 'Bert and Ernie' and take the same train.

Meanwhile, Team Familia Femalia (yes, Nancy and Emily are the only dual female team left) and Team Butthead finally find the clue to get to India - but they get there before the Frat Boys. The 3 of those teams team up to get the plane. The 3 teams try to stall while Kevin is getting the flight info - and they're stalling long enough to bring the train conductor down to bitch-slap all of them. They successfully stall, though, as Nancy and Kevin get the information, and away they go.

Let's see what going on with Frank and Margarita. Team F/M are already in New Delhi, and get to Agra, and are in first. And thats all we get to see of them this episode. Yee Haw. NEXT!

The new triple threat alliance get to Milan airport and fly to Copenhagen. They run into the Lawyers and Team Guido - so the other 5 teams are together when they get to New Delhi. Such love and togetherness (awwwwww).

The teams find out the ugly truth about India - they are a very poor people who, when they see toursist, see 2 things, a free ride to go anywhere, and free money. All of the teams get approached by the teams - and none of them pay them money. Wonder where we get the term 'Ugly Americans' from?

It's a ride to the finish as we get to see cows, and arches, and bikini thong-wearing beauty queens (ok, maybe not the beauty queens). The lawyers and Team Butthead get stopped for the toll - or a toll hike. Meanwhile, kids stop by and ask Nancy and Emily for money - well maybe New York isn't as different as New Delhi, after all.

This Roadblock is simple - hire a rickshaw and find a shopkeeper, who has the directions to the final destination. After a lovely montage of people running around in rickshaws and Indians waving for the camera, team Guido gets a sculpture of the Taj Mahal, which is where to go - Taj Khema Hotel (near the Taj Majal), is the final destination. Karyn finds it next, then the Lawyers and Team Guido. Nancy finally finds it - but she is in dead last. Can she and Emily make up the time?

Team Butthead have to tell some Indian families that they aren't getting a free trip to Taj Mahal. But Nancy makes the runner-up dumbass move of the episode by taking wayyyy too long and asking the natives where to go, instead of going to the taxi stand and asking them (they should have some sort of idea where the Taj Mahal is, shouldn't they?). Nancy knows she took too long too, as she has a bout with angst right before the next commercial break.

Emily has been waiting for 9 years for her mom...well maybe not, but she's been waiting for a while while the rest of the teams go by. Surprisingly enough (or maybe not), the Taxi drivers don't know much more than the contestants apparently, as they are all clueless. The kids and adolescents are looking for money and Emily is calling the Indian people bad names and are making fun of them as she and Nancy both break down in the car together. The sympathetic Indians (who don't realize that they are being made fun of) push the car on the way to Agra.

Lenny and Karyn's Taxi driver makes the dumbass move of the episode by not knowing where they are and trying to milk more money from them in order to get to the right direction. All of the teams are having problems with the taxi drivers as none of them know where to go. Both the Lawyers and the Frat Pack switch drivers but Team Guido is the only group to find a competent driver and they come in second place. The Lawyers, who about to write their own vacation pass out of there, come in third and team Greek come in fourth. Nancy and Emily, who also thought they were toast, come in fifth and scream and hug each other (awwwww) - and get a round of applause. Not so lucky are the last place Team Butthead, who can now start looking for Beavis, since they now have plenty of time to do it.

Whereas Paul and Amie's trip ended in I love you, I love you too, kiss kiss kiss, Lenny and Karyn blame the other person for the fact that they are in last and realize that they are 2 different people. Iloveouybuhbye to the team, and Iloveyoubuhbye to the relationship. I don't think this is what the producers had in mind.

To be continued...

October 31, 2001

It's the Halloween season - let's see how our teams could be dressed up:

Frank and Margarita - Al and Peg Bundy
Rob and Brennan - Daniel Webster and Max Devlin (Yes, they're both fictional lawyers)
Nancy and Emily - Wynonna and Naomi Judd
Joe and Bill - Bert and Ernie (of course) or Elton John and George Michaels
Kevin and Drew - Mr. Clean and Telly Savalas
Lenny and Karyn - Beavis and Butthead - or Tweedledum and Tweedledumber

Let's see who may be masquerading as tickets to the Early Show circuit this week...

We start in Agra, India. The teams need to find a box located somewhere in the Taj Mahal. Frank and Margarita get a whopping 11 hour headstart - but with the Taj not open until 6am, the whopping 11 hour lead gets turned into a teeny weeny 45 minute lead. Margarita feels that unlike Lenny and Karyn, who watched their relationship go bye bye, their relationship has gotten stronger. Frank agrees as they've grown together (awwwwwwww...barf). 6am and Frank and Margarita get into the Taj - and immediately start to argue.

6:48 - Joe and Bill start out - and get stalled - or should I say, their taxi gets stalled. The lawyers leave 15 minutes later and get a taxi that works - but they are going the wrong way. D'oh! Frank and Margarita find the box and go to the Palace on the winds of Jaipur - 150 miles away. They can take a expensive but fast taxi, or a slow and cheap bus. The teams get no additional money, so teams are thinking about taking the slow bus.

Joe and Bill unsuccessfully try to sneak in - they get delayed while they get the tickets - but Rob and Brennan's taxi driver has no clue where he's going and winds up going back the other way to the taxi stand to get another driver who supposedly knows where he's going (yeah, right).

OPINION: I work in NYC, where there is a horrific stereotype against foreign immigrant drivers (especially Indians and Middle Easterners) because they get typecast as not having any clue where they are going. This show is really not helping to break that stereotype, since how are you supposed to trust a driver to take you anywhere in a different country when they don't even know where IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY they are going?

7:44 -the Frat Pack get going out of the gates. Meanwhile, the husband and husband team realizes that they are running out of money. The lawyers find the box - and miss the bus, forcing them and Joe and Bill to travel together. Margarita and Frank are in a bus ahead of them, still in the lead.

8:15 - Nancy and Emily are the last team out - wanting to shock everyone even more. The Frat Pack decide to go inside - too bad the box and the flag are outside. That allows the familia femalia to catch up - but the Greeks find the box first - and don't tell Nancy and Emily where it is. Well, that went that alliance down the toilet. The mom and daughter team find a taxi and speed past the greeks, who lost their route marker. Doh!

Bill and Joe, who took the bus, are out of money, Team Greek are out of road marker - but they find it and get going. Nancy and Emily are out of gas, as they waste time and the Greeks go past them. Joe and Bill talk about how they have always been in the top tier - only they and Nancy and Emily have Fast Forwards left to use.

The lawyers take the taxi and move ahead of everyone to a detour - they have to find a wise man by either boat (faster) or elephant (slower). The lawyers decide to go with the safer (and slower) elephant. Team FM gets there second, followed by Bert and Ernie, who take the boat. The Greeks also go boat, and Nancy and Emily say screw it, we're in last, let's play with the elephants.

The Lawyers get to the area first, but its Frank and Margarita who find the wise man first. The Karni Mata Temple of Deshnoke in Bikaner is the next destination. You better make the first bus - because its a six hour wait until the next one, which would pretty much guarantee Iloveyoubuhbye.

Team Guido get there next - and meet the Greeks coming as they are going. The Guidos, who don't want to smell like elephant, are in fourth, and Nancy and Emily are bringing up the elephant rear. The greeks pass Team Guido, who are starting to get really nervous. Nancy and Emily, who aren't very nervous since they know they're in dead last, are enjoying themselves with the wise man - tea and crumpets, anyone?

Frank and Margarita get to the bus depot in first place. The lawyers are looking for another team just to validate they they got on the right train. Team Guido is fending off the money-hungry kids to also get on the bus. Joe and Bill get off of the now stalled out bus to get a rickshaw, and Nancy and Emily are on the way to find the train. Team Greek barely get on the train in time, but both Joe and Bill and Nancy and Emily miss the train - and now have to wait 6 hours for the next one. So much for staying in the top half for the duration of the trip, huh, Joe and Bill? This seems like a neck and neck race for explusion between team pink dresses and team pink triangle.

They get to the temple - the lovely temple of rats - which immediately freaks out the Greeks, who discuss the religious sacredity of rats. Margarita decides she wants to play with the rats - what a gal.

Meanwhile, Nancy and Emily, who are still stuck at the station, take 90 minutes to buy tickets because the men would not sell tickets to women. They meet Joe and Bill, who are happy to see a familiar face, as in the words of Emily - 'I'm sure they are happier to see them than they are to see us', but the men are sort of happy - since they know that they still have a chance to not get eliminated.

The Greeks are playing cards and are befriending the Indians. The Guidos and Femme Fatales are taking the second bus, where the guys are in first class and the women are in skanky class. Meanwhile, at Bikaner Junction, Frank and Margarita take a cab, while the Lawyers and Greeks are right on their tail.

Welcome to Deshnoke - land of many rats. There is a roadblock - go find a bowl with the flag - and don't step on the hundreds of rats that are hanging out in the temple with them. All of the gung ho-ness that Margarita had is now gone once she has seen the first 10 rats. The other teams aren't so thrilled either...

Team Guido and Nancy and Emily make it to the pass as Margarita is the first person to find the flag. She is terrified of rats but gets help from the natives. Her stalling allows the other 2 teams to catch up and they all go
together to a pit stop in a hotel in Bikenar. They all wake up their sleeping drivers to get to the hotel. All 3 teams are exhausted - the Greeks get the facial body paint and wind up in first. Frank and Margarita come in second, and the lawyers in third.

The main chase is for last - Team Guido (according to the rest of the teams, the 2 legged rats) against Nancy and Emily. The Guidos are in front with Nancy and Emily behind - and right behind as Emily gets there 30 seconds after the Guidos - now its a race between the 2 drivers. Which driver makes the dumbass move of the episode?

It's Nancy and Emily's driver - who goes past the Hotel and Joe and Bill sneak by them to come in fourth. Nancy and Emily come in last - but this leg is also a non-elimination leg, so they are all alive for another day. But Emily realizes that she may need to be a little underhanded in order to stick around. Will the women move to the dark side?

To be continued...

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