Monday, March 05, 2007

"Rob is not Jesus"

Mailbag column this morning, including a brilliant Oscar host suggestion that will never come to pass, plus a little more on my "American Idol" equation, which I realize I should have excerpted here when it ran on Friday, so here's the relevant portion:
I've been working on this equation over the years, and it comes out something like this: (performance quality x 2) + (minutes of pre-semifinals screen time x 4) + (show placement, where end of the show equals 10 and beginning equals 1) x (judges' comments, where a rave from Simon equals 8, a scathing pan from Randy equals 9, and lukewarm sentiments equal 2) + (amount the audience feels you would be crushed by elimination, a k a the John Stevens IV Factor) - (4 for every insult of Simon) = possibility of staying, with the higher your score, the better.
A very good "Amazing Race," with a cool Roadblock, tons of great quotes (at least a half-dozen lines would have made strong episode titles), almost every variety of mistake possible (missed road signs, misread clues, showing at the mat without a clue, etc.), but at the moment Rob and Amber are competing at such a higher level than everybody else that I think the only way they can lose is by bad luck. I like having them around for entertainment value and as an example of how well somebody can race, but I don't want them to win.

Also, did anybody watch "The Winner" and have thoughts on it? And it's the last day for suggestions on tacky or otherwise unfortunate reality show contestants from the great state of New Jersey.


BF said...

Please, please, PLEASE let next week be the death of Team "You're Not in Charge of the World. I Am". Kevin & Drew hinted in "Finish Line" that Mirna was due for a spectacular breakdown. I for one can't wait.

K J Gillenwater said...

I don't think Rob & Amber are 'competing at a higher level.' They've made their own mistakes before and managed to come back by sheer luck or physical strength (since they are young and in shape). They are just as vulnerable as everyone else. I think what they have going for them is a relationship that seems to work most of the time. Amber is willing to be the mouse that she is and let Rob run the show, be a jerk, etc. Without getting in his way.

I remember the first time they were on the show. They were extremely LUCKY a lot of the time. Yes, they were also strong players, but they never seemed to get a bad cab driver, just miss a bus, train or plane, or get a flat tire or car that goes kaput at the worst moment.

I am waiting for something to happen that will boot them out of the race early on to wipe the smirk off of Rob's face. Do they really need 2 sets of home gym equipment? Motorbikes (or whatever it was they won last week)? Now that Rob is apparently a full-time poker player and tv whore, I'd think he'd be raking in enough money on his own.

I'd rather see some 'regular' people win who could use some of the prizes and really appreciate them.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Kristin, they always wind up on the better flight, the compete smoothly at challenges whether alone or together, and Rob is always thinking strategy. (I liked his idea of temporarily partnering with Eric and Danielle to guarantee that at least one team wouldn't be ahead of him, knowing that he and Ambuh are favorites to win a footrace if that's what it comes down to.)

I'm not saying they haven't made mistakes or won't make mistakes, but so far on this race, they're pretty flawless.

Anonymous said...

I watched the first episode of the Winner, and I thought it was quite good. There were a couple laugh out loud jokes. The laughtrack is off-putting (so is Lenny Clarke, who I loathe), but I think I'm going to stick with it as long as Fox does.

Regarding Rob and Ambuh, the thing that strikes me about them as racers is they don't get bogged down. I think it was last week when they showed up 4th at a road block where the teams had to change into some sort of outfit but managed to be the first team actually ready to compete. They are just very competent, a trait often lacking in other racers.

Beth said...

I was suprised at how badly so many of the teams seem to be racing. After having done the race once already - how can you misread clues and spend so much time lost?

I'm wondering what happens to the last team to arrive at the non-elimination pit stop. The show has already used giving up everything but the passports, and time delays. I'd hope it was something better for All-Stars, but I'm doubting it.

Anonymous said...

I don't think they mentioned this, but Tracey watched Rob & Amber's TV show about him trying to become a pro poker player (despite being a huge poker fan, it was just too bad for me to watch)- The series ended when they got the call from CBS to be on All-stars. They wanted to go in with a slight edge so they brought the smallest backpack possible. Rob didn't want bring any, but Amber said she had to have something. Thats why you don't see them with these huge packs on.

-Tasia's Daddy

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know of a place online I could find the latest RACE ep? I missed it and unfortunately, CBS doesn't have RACE eps on their Innertube service. Thanks!

Adam said...

a welcome blend of intelligence, unflappability, wit, extraordinary charm, and an international allure that would play well with audiences here and around the world

Still sounds like George Clooney to me, who, unlike Hugh Laurie, is an American movie star.

Beth: what they did last season was determine that if you were last in a NEL, you had to either (a) win the next leg or (b) come in at least a half-hour before the last team in order to stay in the race.

Anonymous said...

I watched the "Winner"

Worst laugh-track ever. Half way through the episode I was completely annoyed by it, it actually made funny stuff not-funny.

Blankity-Blank said...

The way Rob and Amber are racing in relation to the others, they should be three days ahead by now. Even with the occasional mistake. Luck is not in the equation. They consistently put themselves in a position to win. How many times already have they come from the middle of the pack to win the leg already? This race is an inherently fantastic equalizer, it's only serving at holding them back to this point.

I don't understand how they can be so entertaining and such a prize example of how to race and yet not be the ones you are rooting for. What qualifications does the lucky team that's curried your favor have to have?

And the argument about them not deserving the money or whatever, that's ludicrous. How come Kevin is lauded for rejecting the premise of giving up his spot for a more physically prepared team but Rob and Amber are villified? Who wouldn't want the money? And more than any other such show, the money at the end of this amazing rainbow has never seemed to be a motivating factor for anyone.

Anonymous said...

Rob and Amber might just win every leg of this race...they are so in sync that even a misstep like they had last night that dropped them from first to fifth can't slow them down.

Amber is not the "mouse" as another post suggests; she is actually the brains behind the couple (remember how she won Survivor - beating Rob and getting the ring to boot). She defers to Rob's natural abilities for playing the game while quietly keeping things running smoothly.

They should have won the first time they raced, but Uchena and Joyce (a good strong team as well) caught a big break when that pilot reopened the door for them (which ironically was how Rob and Amber made a plane earlier in the season).

Go Rob and Amber!

Charles said...

RE: The Winner.

The show doesn't make any sense.
Is it just a regular sitcom or is it a satire? The opening scene was like any stereotypical sitcom, I thought that it was a scene from Raymond for a second. Is the laugh track supposed to be ironic? It's 2007 why are there still laugh tracks when the best comedies (sans HIMYM - sigh) don't have them? I will stand behind Rob Corddry though, he is still one of the funniest men working.

Really funny jokes:
-Your ex-husband probably molested him.
-Our comptroller shot himself. It was more of a blessing though, he had a lot of demons.

Anonymous said...

Dan: Worst laugh-track ever. Half way through the episode I was completely annoyed by it, it actually made funny stuff not-funny.

Totally. I didn't make it more than five minutes with that crappy, tinny, braying laugh track. Ugh.

K J Gillenwater said...

The reason I like "Amazing Race" is that they have a variety of people playing every time...older people, physically challenged people, gay couples, etc. And they are just regular folks.

Rob and Amber are 15-minutes-of-fame whores, and I really wish they would just go away. Does anyone remember they getting special treatment during their first out with "Amazing Race" because people recognized them? How was that fair to the rest of the teams?

Guess I can't blame them for taking advantage of tv producers wanting them around, but I don't have to like them because they are 'good players.'

Amber is a mouse, because she barely has an opinion about anything. She is a non-personality.

I will take ANYONE winning over these two. They act like they deserve to win. I'm looking forward to them going down...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Amber's not a mouse. Maybe she was back in Survivor: Australia, but she's a smart, tough cookie. She lets Rob take the lead most of the time, but she also calls him on his BS (see last week) and she has no problem handling tasks when the situation calls for it (seeing Danielle at the Roadblock and saying, confidently and matter-of-factly, "If she can do it, I can do it").

Him, I have issues with at times, but I've grown surprisingly fond of Ambuh over her two Races.

And I can't complain about their presence on the All-Star season of a show. At this point, it's just differing degrees of famewhore.

BF said...


They didn't get "special treatment" in TAR7. They just happened to find helpful locals ("Ferns" in televisionwithoutpity-speak). A lot of teams use them. Heck, Danny & Oswald invented them.

The trick is finding a local who A) knows what they're doing and B) is eager to help. Finding that person is an actual skill, just like Flight-wrangling. It just so happens that Romber is exceptionally good at it.

Kristen, for proof that Amber isn't a mouse, check out the "Insider" videos from last week that show her talking Rob out of taking a different flight.

Unknown said...

Re: The Winner, I pretty much hated it and gave up 3/4 through the first episode. I kind of liked the kid, but I was confused by the tone, as someone else suggested. Is it supposed to be ironic? Or is it just bad rather than doubly bad?

Alyssa said...

I watched The Winner.

You know - I wanted to like it. I watched both episodes since sometimes the pilot is awful...

Wow, the kid aged a lot from the pilot. He's very uneven and Rob Corddry alternates between playing Glen as stupid and possibly mentally disabled.

I think that In Case of Emergency might have been better. Overall, the quality and production reminded me of stuff I'd see on Channel 101 that mocks sitcoms.