So I’ve been sitting on this interview for a few days because I was one of the lucky ones to get the stomach virus which resulted in about 24 hours of walking back and forth from the couch to the bathroom, except for the times I decided just to fall asleep on the bathroom floor with a roll of toilet paper as a pillow and a towel as a blanket (true story).

At one point during that nightmare it dawned on me that I had this interview I needed to publish, and I couldn’t let people down!  I had to pull myself up, drag my ass to the computer and write this up.  See what I do for the Junkies?

This interview is with the one and only Vicki from The Amazing Race 17, the tattooed sweetheart who surprised a lot of people and made it into the final 4 despite her teammate giving up on her, finishing last twice, and having frequent asthma attacks whenever she had to hustle.   I was one of the people who thought they were going to be out early, but I’m glad I was wrong, as we got to see her true character shine through as a selfless, helpful and kind person.

Btw, because my questions were pretty generic, over the course of the upcoming seasons, I’ll probably be looking to take questions from readers to submit to people, maybe we can get something better than what I came up with!

Also, I blurred out the faces of her friends from pictures.  I didn’t want people thinking she’s really friends with aliens with no faces.

Vicki from The Amazing Race 17

Vicki Showing Off Leg

TRJ:
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, first off, tell us about the Vicki experience. What do you do when you’re not racing around the world?

Vicki:
When I am not racing around the work I’m in deep with my career! I am really passionate about being a hairstylist, making people look & feel beautiful. I get to express myself through my work!! Besides my career I’m always keeping myself very active with either being at the gym, aerobics classes, snowboarding, boxing and riding!!

TRJ:
How did you feel when you were first told you were going to run the race? Do you remember what you were doing?

Vicki:
When I was first told I was on the race I was at work and thought it was a joke lol! I thought somebody was honestly playing a prank on me!! Like punked! Lol

TRJ:
How are things going with Nick?

Vicki:
Things are going great with Nick and I. A lot less stressed being off the race!

TRJ:
Do you think the race impacted your relationship? If so, was it positive or negative?

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There was a lot of hype leading up to the finale of The Amazing Race 17 last night, most of it was whether or not an all-female team would finally win.    I know 16 seasons is a lot when you consider there are only three different team types that can race, but The Amazing Race hasn’t exactly been super female-friendly over the years.   Looking back at some recent seasons:

Season 16 – Three female teams out of eleven (27%), and one was super weak, so it’s more like 18%
Season 15 – One female team out of twelve (8%), and they were beat by a physical detour on both sides
Season 14 – Three female teams out of eleven (27%)
Season 13 – Two female teams out of eleven (18%)
Season 12 – Three female teams out of eleven (27%); not counting Kynt and Vyxsin.  Probably shouldn’t count the 50+ year old couple either, so more like 18%

So in five seasons prior to the current season, at best 27% of the teams were all-female, and in two of those seasons, there was at least one super weak team. It’s not like the show was doing all they can to help an all-female team win, until this season.  Right off the bat, you had four female teams (36%), and even when you eliminated the token super weak team, that was still three really strong female teams left in the race.  Then when you factor in Jonathan and Connor, and Michael and Kevin as pretty weak (yet smart) all-male teams combined with generally easy challenges, this season was screaming for a female team to win.

Don’t get me wrong, by no means did the show just hand the crown to one of the remaining female teams.  Nat and Kat, and Brook and Claire still busted their ass to get where they were including one of them surviving being U-Turned, and all teams dealing with three non-elimination legs including one that really shouldn’t have happened late in the season.   It’s also to note, none of the female teams took advantage of the non-elimination legs, both female finalist teams earned their spot, and they had to finish against arguably the strongest overall team in the race, Jill and Thomas.

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The Amazing Race 17 so far has been a pretty decent season despite it still not being in HD, some extremely easy challenges, and a cast that is mostly made up of fairly boring personalities (Brook and Claire aside).  Out of all the reality shows, it’s still one of my favorites, possibly because it’s one of the few that doesn’t try to incorporate some type of drama between the players every second of the episode.  Sure, there will be occasional flare-ups, but most of it is within teammates, which will likely happen to anyone if you spend that much time together competing around the World.

That being said, last night was probably an episode that just shouldn’t have happened due to a member of a team quitting last week but still getting a second chance to compete.  I knew the episode was either going to be extremely unfair to one of the three teams that didn’t quit, or it would be extremely boring because we knew who was going home shortly after the show began.

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The Amazing Race Power Rankings

Here are the rankings for The Amazing Race 17

Nick quit on Vicki this week and they suffered a 6 hour penalty because of it, along with a speed bump due to it being a non-elimination leg. Knowing what we do of this show, the 6 hours will likely be erased at an airport and the speedbump will be a 10 minute penalty which is basically a slap on the wrist for quitting on a teammate. With Vicki’s determination, it’s still very possible Team Tattoo can sneak into the final 3 but they have a hill to climb up.

Rankings below:

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Brook and Claire sucking it outSarah Jessica Parker has a horse face.   Sorry, while I was trying to think of a way to sum up this episode without giving any immediate spoilers, I glanced at the TV and saw her and thought that.  Very random, but it’s a good start to a post because I don’t like her and felt the need to express it.

With that out of the way, let’s talk a little about The Amazing Race and their trip to Hong Kong, China, but first I want to comment on what Phil mentioned at the beginning of the episode.   The country they’re leaving (Bangladesh) has 100,000 people per square mile which is equivalent to having the entire population of the United States and Mexico and putting them in the Los Angeles area.. holy shit!  That is extremely insane to me, it’s just another thing people (myself included) take for granted in the World.

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weekly reality show ratings report

All shows were up this week, which isn’t a shock seeing as there is little else to do in the winter 🙁 Survivor came close to breaking the 12 million mark again, and Dancing with the Stars had their highest rating since the 2nd episode, but Hell’s Kitchen is still struggling going against the big Wed night lineup of not only Survivor but other huge shows (Criminal Minds, Modern Family, etc).

TAR = The Amazing Race
HK = Hell’s Kitchen
DWTS = Dancing With The Stars

Week Ending Survivor TAR HK DWTS DWTS(2)
Sept 19th 12.2 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sept 26th 12.5 11.5 6.5 21.2 18.5
Oct 3rd 12.2 10.6 6.2 21.3 17.3
Oct 10th 12.0 11.9 6.6 19.8 16.6
Oct 17th 12.3 10.9 6.8 19.5 16.0
Oct 24th 12.2 11.4 N/A 19.3 15.3
Oct 31st 11.8 9.2 N/A 20.4 15.9
Nov 7th 12.3 11.0 N/A 19.9 16.9
Nov 14th 11.2 10.5 5.7 19.9 16.9
Nov 21st 11.9 10.5 5.9 20.6 17.4
AVERAGE 12.07 10.85 6.29 20.21 16.76

Notes:
* Viewer amounts in millions
* The second DWTS number is the results show
* If two episodes air in one night, like Hell’s Kitchen, I put the average of both episodes

The Amazing Race Power Rankings

Here are the rankings for The Amazing Race 17

Despite finishing first the week before, Chad and Stephanie fell to the bottom of the pack and were sent packing. This wasn’t exactly a shock as they relied heavily on luck to even stay in the race, and it was only a matter of time until they were sent packing. Sure, they got U-Turned, but so did another team and still had a chance to stay in the race.

No other changes in the rankings as I’m pretty comfortable with the standings right now.

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Working with nuts and bullets

The Amazing Race 17 is down to the final 5 already!  Where did the season go?  It seemed like just yesterday that Ron and Tony were getting lost in the UK, Connor and Jonathan were making us uncomfortable with their random singing to cab drivers, and Claire was getting slammed in the face by a watermelon.   We had the very uneventful “game-changing” addition of the express pass that many didn’t even notice enter the game and fewer saw it leave.   And finally the pairing of a mother and a daughter who just met for the first time and had less chemistry than Bristol Palin and The Situation.

Now we’re left with 4 teams after last night’s episode, which means before I know it the season will be over and my Sunday nights will consist of me staring at the clock waiting for The Amazing Race 18!  Ok, I’m not really that boring, but close.   This is my first season blogging the show and it’s been very interesting and quite a learning experience.  It’s a lot harder than it looks to summarize a show that bounces around between up to 11 teams within seconds of each other, and I give credit to sites like Reality Blurred who can sum up an episode brilliantly in less than the 20 paragraphs it takes me.

Ok enough boring shit, it’s time for the episode which was a pretty good one this week, despite the U-Turn which I’m not really a fan of.  Not only was it the U-Turn week, but was the double U-Turn which I’m even more torn on.  The double U-Turn likely means it’s the only one this season, which is kind of lame.  I liked how in prior seasons that teams would debate on using the first one for fear of putting a target on their back later in the season, but that was wiped out putting them on the same leg.  However, I also didn’t like how a team can dominate the season, have a nice lead then get held up at the airport, get unlucky with a lousy cab driver and suddenly face a U-Turn which almost always eliminates them.   If a team dominates challenges and deserves to win, they should at least get a 2nd chance to prove themselves which is what the double U-Turn does.

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One thing I didn’t know existed in all reality shows – The Elimination Station.  This is a place where eliminated members of The Amazing Race go so they’re not suddenly updating their facebook pages and seen around town one week after they left for the show.  Not only is there the sequester place, but apparently they film it like they do Ponderosa for Survivor, so I’m going to start showing the latest clips from this place.  Pretty interesting to see more of the people from the show.

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weekly reality show ratings report

This week in the ratings report, we get the return of Hell’s Kitchen finally, and the break hurt them by a million viewers, ouch!  Hopefully they pick up as people realize they’re back on.  The Amazing Race 17, and Survivor: Nicaragua are also suffering mid-season lull’s, though TAR is always hurt competing with Sunday Night Football, and crazy schedule on the east coast.

Dancing with the “stars” however, nobody is touching those ratings any time soon.  People love their dancing with former and wannabee celebrities I guess.

TAR = The Amazing Race
HK = Hell’s Kitchen
DWTS = Dancing With The Stars

Week Ending Survivor TAR HK DWTS DWTS(2)
Sept 19th 12.2 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sept 26th 12.5 11.5 6.5 21.2 18.5
Oct 3rd 12.2 10.6 6.2 21.3 17.3
Oct 10th 12.0 11.9 6.6 19.8 16.6
Oct 17th 12.3 10.9 6.8 19.5 16.0
Oct 24th 12.2 11.4 N/A 19.3 15.3
Oct 31st 11.8 9.2 N/A 20.4 15.9
Nov 7th 12.3 11.0 N/A 19.9 16.9
Nov 14th 11.2 10.5 5.7 19.9 16.9
AVERAGE 12.08 10.88 6.36 20.16 16.68

Notes:
* Viewer amounts in millions
* The second DWTS number is the results show
* If two episodes air in one night, like Hell’s Kitchen, I put the average of both episodes