“What if.” That’s the most annoying and haunting question anybody can ask. You wonder if you should have zigged instead of zagged, gone down instead of up. For The Amazing Race: All-Stars, you can’t help but to ask that question over and over.
What if John Vito and Jill had better navigational skills? What if Drew didn’t fall down and go boom? Better yet, since he had gotten injured in a fight where he works as a court officer, what if the producers had the chance to replace him and Kevin with a healthy, popular team?
What if David & Mary weren’t a television exec’s dream come true, two Kentuckians going into the world for the first team. What if Rob & Amber hadn’t had the leg from hell, breaking their lucky streak in Argentina? What if Uchenna & Joyce had played conservatively in leaving Poland, not going for broke when they had a lead? What if Oswald & Danny had elected to make the noodles instead of going for the nostalgia trip with the dragon drum?
Most importantly, what if producers Bertram Van Munster and Elise Doganieri decided not to cast two people who had originally race as parts of separate teams? Well, we probably would have been spared one of the most depressing endings in the history of The Amazing Race.
You can probably imagine the mood at TARCon as Eric & Danielle arrive on the mat for the win. Save for a few wiseasses, I don’t think anybody wanted those two to triumph. Like I said before, I would rather have wanted beauty queens Dustin & Kandice to win, or Charla & Mirna. How upset was I? While venting to my camera, I actually said that I would have wanted Ramber to have won. And I said that with a straight face.
And how did the Stink and the Pink pull off the win? By winning one of the dumbest tasks created since a mere deep dish Chicago pizza stood in the way of Freddy and Kendra’s million bucks. One person from each team would answer four questions on what they thought of other racers, then enter numbers into an electronic safe. Then the other person would look at the questions and try to guess the combination. And Danielle finally does something right for once, as she get the combination before the others could. Next thing I know, Phil’s congratulating Stink & Pink, and butthead Jeremy’s giving his boy Eric love over the phone. I responded the only way I knew how: lots of booing and a middle finger. I don’t care if it was immature. So is Eric.
In the end, Eric & Danielle will go down as one of the luckier teams in the show’s history. They are the first pair to win only one leg en route to total victory. All this with Eric treating Danielle like crap more than half the time. Even worse, in an “Elimination Station” interview on CBS.com, John Vito & Jill were happy with the end result, because Danielle is from Staten Island like them. First of all, I’m from Staten Island (or “The Rock,” as JV calls it), and I sure as hell wasn’t happy. Secondly, if JVJ had faced Eric & Danielle in any event, they probably would have smoked the Stink and the Pink. If you’ve seen Jill on TAR3, you know exactly what I mean. That girl was all but fearless going through four continents. One time, she fell down and didn’t even give herself time to go “boom” before picking herself up and running. Basically, Danielle is the anti-Jill. And John Vito cannot tell me that he would be applauding Eric and not think, “Man, I can take this guy. I really, really could.” To think...of all the Islanders to get on reality shows, the good (JVJ and Drew, Nitro G, Stacy Carmona from Murder In Small Town X) and the bad (Island-born Nathan from Survivor: Cook Islands, Danni from my alumnus Wagner College, the various guidos from both of MTV’s True Life episodes based on the Island)...and Danielle was the first to win? Damn.
Eric & Danielle entered TAR as losers, and they leave as losers with $1 million between them. They have confirmed that they are no longer a couple, which means that Danielle is free to date guidos from Staten Island, and Eric is free to date...guidos from Staten Island. Hey, I’ve heard stuff about his preferences. I did laugh at one forum poster who were torn as to what Eric would buy with his share of the money: two $250,000 hookers, or 250,000 $2 hookers. Mean? Yes. Sick? Probably. But if it helps me through to the start of TAR12, I won’t mind
That’s all for the venting. Next time, I’ll go over the pomp and circumstance of TARCon, the best way for me to take the pain away.