Although The Amazing Race is one of my favorite shows, I wasn't looking forward to this family edition but when I heard the theme music, I'll admit I jumped up and started dancing around my apartment. This installment doesn't disappoint. With 10 teams of four, there are a lot of people on screen. It's a testament to the producers that after one pit stop I pretty much have all the teams in order. There's a good bunch of eager players starting with the Godlewski sisters, henceforth known as "the Pink Ladies." They are an excitable bunch, squealing with delight in New York City while searching for the town of SoHo. I figured they'd be lightweights, but they were first on the mat and won 20 grand for being so. Nice. Even more rewarding were all the shout-outs to the first season, especially guest participants Kevin and Drew. (Extra points to me for identifying them before they dropped their own names.) Ah, memories. I'm well aware all this nostalgia supports Season 1's DVD release, but I don't care.
Since it's the family edition, I was not surprised to see racers asleep on the job for the first time. Kids you'd expect that including young children would slow a team down. It did for regular folk like the Black family, who was nearly swept downstream to Trenton (yeesh!), but not for the superhuman Gaghan family. These marathoners are pretty gung-ho and look to be in the race for the long haul. Teams traveled from Brooklyn to Amish country in Pennsylvania by way of Washington Crossing. It wasn't hard to predict that the Black family would be the first cut; speed just wasn't their M.O. The Linz family barely missed elimination by pulling a Gretchen-and-Meredith elephant maneuver. Swap out of the buggy, guys! Then there are the Paolos. Let's call them argumentative. This week's best moment was Mama Paolo urging the Revolutionary war reenactor to "speed it up a bit" as he solemnly folded the flag.
By show's end we'd had a whole leg without an airport experience. Guess we're sticking to North America this season, which is fine. It shakes things up and gives us a break from the equalizing effect of group flights. As usual, the race is a thrilling ride, but I hope next season the one I'm going to be on (I say this every year) will be back to globe-trotting, because I plan to dance on the winner's mat.