After 30 days, 20 cities, 4 continents and 12 weeks of hearing Phil Keoghan butcher the pronunciation of "spa," the Amazing Race concluded this week. As we've done since late September, the family piled onto the chesterfield to watch the finale together. The memory of the night is a little bit tarnished because my nine year old son is now asking questions about genital warts.
Yes, ctv.ca decided to air Gardasil ads on a television show that is watched by children. It was never very likely that I'd agree to injecting my children with Gardasil's vaccine for HPV. Now I'm even less inclined. I make decisions about vaccinations based -- not on fear-mongering advertising campaigns from large multinational corporations, but -- on recommendations from Health Canada. Crazy, right? Also Gardasil (a Merck product) is now targeting men because women are not buying their vaccine OR their ad campaign. So why are they continuing with the same inappropriately-graphic, dumbed-down, ineffective commercials that's failed to lure females? I don't know. What I do know is that CTV (a Bell Media company) should be more sensitive about the commercials they run during family-friendly shows.
As for the show itself...
[[SPOILERS TO FOLLOW. In point form.]]
I don't like Ernie and Cindy. She's totally a product of the Tiger Mom philosophy and her smug declarations of her perfection were tiring. Plus she and Ernie verbally abused that poor cabbie in Thailand (Leg 5) and it was ugly. Their vague plans to start a charity with their million dollar prize appear to be less about doing good in the world, and more about setting themselves up as the CEOs of their own non-profit organization. With hefty salaries, I assume. And they won't be giving money to TERRIBLE taxi drivers in third world countries who want to charge the going rate.
Of the final three, Amani and Marcus deserved to win based solely on the fact that they always remained cordial to one another. Other civil couples were Ron & Bill and Bill & Cathi. These were the three teams I also loved the most.
Do Americans not know TinTin? I can understand not getting the Thomson/Thompson or Dupont/Dupond reference, but none of the four teams knew TinTin!
I was so glad Tommy and Andy were eliminated before the finals. I felt badly about this (they did win six legs, after all) until they did their exit interview and Tommy was a big sook. He let Andy do all the talking and just looked pissed off. When Ernie and Cindy won, the camera panned the other teams, and Tommy again looked like he'd been sucking lemons. Way to be ungracious, dude. Yes, dude, you are totally a dude-wad.
Granted the viewers were manipulated by the Amazing Race editors. There was nary a mention of Tommy and Andy's faith for the first four episodes, and then it started coming out in awkward soundbites. Of course, I'm of the personal opinion that you can't expect people to be tolerant of your faith (or lack there of) if you don't display the same courtesy. It's hard to like Tommy when you contrast his dismissive attitude toward Buddhism, with Jennifer (who said she would behave in the Buddhist temple like she'd want people to behave in her church).
Rabbit show jumping looks like so much fun! I wonder if you get to eat the loser?
Zac Sunderland seems like a really nice kid. Too bad his father's an ass. A perfect ass. The most successful, accomplished, erudite, well-coordinated, self-absorbed ass in the history of ass-dom. I'd sail around the world solo too, if it meant getting away from Laurence Sunderland. The ass.
The Belgian body building segment was comedy gold. I think all the women were totally brave for agreeing to put on those orange bikinis.
I haven't watched The Amazing Race in years. The last season I watched losing teams on non-elimination rounds were forced to forfeit their money. This resulted in teams having to beg for cash. My nerves and morals could not stomach the sight of privileged people begging for money in developing nations. At some point in the ensuing seasons, this rule was refined. Now the teams don't get MORE money, but they can retain their existing funds. This still meant Liz and Marie had to depend on the kindness of strangers (and their blonde good looks) in Thailand, but at least they did it with dignity and sensitivity toward the local culture.
I can't wait for Season 20. Assuming CTV is done traumatizing my children. And me.