dave and rachel from TAR20Right after the season began for The Amazing Race 20, I broke down the teams based on very initial observations.  Not always an easy task from one episode, but I did my best.  However, now that we got to know the contestants a little better, it’s time to do a midseason check-up on them…

Final 3

1. Dave and Rachel

Early Prediction: Final 5
Mid-season grade: A

This is the power couple of the race by far. Dave is very strict and stern, sometimes to an obnoxious level, but you can’t argue with results.  5 first place finishes, and 2 second including winning the express pass, and beating the Jersey Boys at the fast forward.  In addition to playing strong, they’re playing with class including passing up the chance to U-Turn people while in the lead, which is generally a nono in The Amazing Race.  The only thing that is keeping them from an A+ grade is the tension between the couple at times, it could eventually come back to bite them the longer this race plays out.

Final Prediction: While strong enough to win with ease, it seems The Amazing Race gods love to slap the front-runners at the end of the race and send them packing with a bunch of vacations while an underdog wins.   I see them choking on the final leg and losing.

2. Art and J.J.

Early Prediction: Quick elimination
Mid-Season grade: B+

Easily the biggest surprise from my initial picks.  I felt they were dopes who were going to be way too sure of themselves and get eliminated by some stupid mistake, but much to my surprise, they’re still in, and doing well.  Not only have they finished first place 3 times, but they have yet to finish outside the top 3. That’s an incredible feat in this race, and that is their primary grade right there.  The reason they’re not #1 and given an A+ is their attitude, it stinks. Probably the most unlikable team in the race from their blind hatred of Brendan and Rachel to pissing and moaning that Dave didn’t use the U-Turn.    Great team, but painful to watch.

Final Predication: I think they’ll be in the final 3 and quite possibly could win it all, as sad as that is.

3. Brendon and Rachel

Early Prediction: Final 5
Mid-Season grade: C+

While not able to be as annoying as she is on Big Brother, Rachel has still found plenty of airtime that includes her traditional whining and complaining.  What’s keeping them in the race, however, is the same personality that whines over and over.  Rachel is probably as fierce a competitor as there is on reality TV right now, and that’s the only thing putting them in my final 3 prediction.

Final Prediction: Like I said above, they should be final 3 unless something bad happens, but will be lucky to finish higher than 3rd on that leg.

Top 5

4. Vanessa and Ralph
Early Prediction: Top 5
Mid-Season grade: C+

The biggest thing stopping them from finishing in the final 3 is the competitive nature of Brendon and Rachel.  Both teams are pretty identical all the way down to the annoying female racer with big fake boobs.

Final Prediction: 4th place

5. Mark and Bopper
Early Prediction: Early elimination
Mid-Season grade:

This team has come a long way from my early predictions, and even less annoying than I thought they would be.  What keeps this team out of the final 5 is that they’re badly beat up.  Bopper has a bad knee, and Mark apparently gets super motion sickness that never helps his challenges.

Final Prediction: 5th place



jeremy from the biggest loser

I don't read contracts, yo

Even if you count the season with Anna Kournikova, this has to be the worst season of The Biggest Loser to date, right?  The only good quality of the show is the professionalism displayed on a weekly basis by the trainer Dolvett Quince.  Typically on a season of The Biggest Loser, you have mildly to moderately annoying trainers, a Jeff Probst-wannabee host in Allison, and more advertisements IN the show than during commercial breaks… let’s not forget hour-long episodes that are stretched into 2 hours for some strange reason.  However, what sets it apart is the cast is generally likeable and pull for one another because losing weight is really the main goal for a large portion of those who appear on the show.

That changed this season in what was probably the worst cast I’ve seen to date. The entire season was full of poor sports, bullies, and immature acts that wouldn’t even make the cut on Survivor.  Even a guy who was bullied for pretty much no reason (Adrian) had to show up to the final competition wearing his trademark ascot with a t-shirt.  Come on, bro.

The girl bullying him, Conda, was treated with a sweet trip straight to the finals because she was fortunate enough to form the baby alliance with Buddy, Mark and her brother Jeremy.  Of course it wasn’t that simple, we had the pleasure of listening to her whining about anything and everything on a weekly basis along the way.

Last week, the baby crew (with Kim included), protested a game feature that was going to allow former members to compete in the final 3.  That didn’t sit right with that crew, as they manipulated votes as best they could along the way to make it the (soon to be) final 4, and didn’t want anyone else have a chance at the money.  Math, or even baby toys aren’t a strong field or them as they never realized you can’t fit 4 pegs into 3 slots.  One of their members was going to get the boot even if they had their way, and if they actually read the contract, would have seen they needed to fit 4 pegs into 2 slots.  However, the contract also gave those 2 booted members a 25% chance for one of them to return to the game, but they still felt it was unfair.

The diet frosting on the low fat cake was when Jeremy was still pouting that he was eliminated and had to compete his way back in.  A couple of things…

  1. Jeremy, you and your buddies gamed the system the entire way, and voted out whoever you wanted regardless of weight lost that week.
  2. In playing the game, you were beaten fair and square.  Only twice did you lose the most % of body weight, and even lost fewer pounds than the guy who went home in week 1.  In hindsight, you’re lucky to have made it to week 2, let alone near the finals.
  3. A guy nearly twice your age went home in week 2, yet still lost nearly as much weight as you… without the pro trainers, diet, gym, etc.  Again, you were lucky to make it as far as you did.
  4. The very thing you protested was giving you a second chance to return to the game, and the fact that you had all the incredible amenities, you cruised into the ‘top 8’ with ease.  Would you have done the same had you gone home in week 2?

Naturally, Jeremy ended up beating Mike and Lauren at an endurance competition, so all that whining and threatening to go home was for nothing.  He is in the final 3 and still very well could win the grand prize.  Or his whining sister, or a girl who bullied Adrian with that whining sister early in the season.  I’m probably going to only tune into the finale to see the former contestants, then probably puke in my mouth when one of the three is crowned a winner this season.  Not sure I’ll be watching next season, that’s for sure.

mark and buddy quit the biggest loserThe Biggest Loser has been growing more and more annoying to watch from the blatant product placement multiple times an episode every single week, to Allison Sweeney trying real hard to sound like Jeff Probst, to contestants who pretend the show is more than just a game show.

This week on “The Biggest Product Placement”, Buddy and Mark tried real hard to steal the show away from the real star, the Ford Escape. I mean we watch the show on a weekly basis to see what new product Allison or Bob can push on us, but the cast tried to make it all about them this week.  How selfish!  Fear not, once they got the pesky cast situation squared away, Bob was able to give us his best car salesman pitch to show us all the great features the Escape has.  Did you know that SUV has this crazy thing called a GPS?  It literally tracks where you are and tells you the closest gym (or mcdonalds) and shows you how to get there.  Unbelievable. What are they going to tell me next, that phones will be pocket sized and you can use them anywhere?  Technology is moving too fast for me.

Sarcasm aside, back to the contestants. It was their baby week as they did their best to show they have no comprehension of how reality shows work, or what the words said on the piece of paper they signed before joining the show.  All the cast members threw a major fit because they got wind that the show was going to do what it generally always does, allow one of the kicked out members to compete for the final spot. After a verbal bitch slapping by both Allison and the shows lawyer, three of the five remaining cast members decided they were willing to ‘stick it out’.  The other two, Buddy and Mark, decided they’ve had enough trickery and can’t stomach the idea of someone coming in to possibly snatch the money from their hands.  So they did what any rational personal would do, quit the show and give themselves a 0% chance of winning.

Look, The Biggest Loser is barely a watchable show to begin with, and the producers know that.  The only remotely redeeming quality is how inspiring it is to see how much weight a person can lose when they’re given weeks away from real life stress, professional trainers, the best equipment, and healthiest food while dangling a quarter of a million dollars in front of their face.  In the process, we get to watch them act like losing the weight was their only goal, all while doing things like voting out the strongest competition in order to achieve their real goal.. the prize money.

With that said, even the dopiest of dopes should comprehend that when you join a reality show, they’re going to change it up on a week to week basis in order to keep ratings going. This isn’t 2002 when reality shows were starting to make their splash.  This is the 13th season of this particular show, and there is 0 excuse to act shocked a twist is going to happen at the end of the season.  I have no sympathy for either Buddy or Mark, and barely any for the other babies who put up a stink before graciously returning for a 33% chance at winning life changing money.

And in an ironic twist, one of the babies who nearly walked out because of the “twist” (Jeremy) still has a chance to come back and win.  If he not only competes in, but benefits from the twist he cried about, he should donate any winnings he gets to some charity that feeds starving kids around the world.  I know he won’t, so my only hope is that Allison has the guts to call him out on that, but she won’t either.