Amazing Race All Stars

What Are You Doing Here?

Hey guys!  I’m sadly back from vacation but happy to get back to blogging.  Today, I have a brand new feature for you!  Welcome to What Are You Doing Here?: A Roadmap of Sorts!  The below bolded statements are actual search terms that led people to nikkisee.com.  I thought it might be fun to address some of them, for various reasons.  Yeah, that’s all I’m going to say.  Let’s keep it vague.  Onward!

 

gamecube tekken sarah michelle gellar anywhere but here zen lemmings

This was searched not once, but twice to get to my blog! I don’t know what you’re getting at here, but I think I like it. I like GameCube, and Tekken, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Zen lemmings? Not sure what they are, but I don’t hate it.

 

weeping angel in new orleans cemetery

Obviously you were brought here because of my love for “Blink,” the Doctor Who episode, and Top Chef: New Orleans.   If there is indeed a weeping angel in a New Orleans cemetery, I would like to investigate with you! Call me maybe?

 

amazing race i hate mallory

WHY? Mallory is a joy. All Stars didn’t do her justice; watch her on the other two seasons she was on with her dad.

 

why not put hollindaise on swordfish?

This was searched a few times in various formats, so I think it’s fair to address it. I’m going to be honest with you, readers: I might consider putting hollandaise on swordfish. I consider putting hollandaise on everything. I don’t think the texture of swordfish would go well with this buttery sauce, though. I’m glad I’m not the only one who asks Google questions like it’s my friend, though.

 

who did.holly marie.combs bring with her to hells kitchen?

I don’t know, but I do know you’re an iPhone user! I do the same thing with the periods everytime I search on my iPhone.

 

phi mu judges names hell’s kitchen

Stalker. Y’all were big fans of Kayla, eh?

 

flustrated hells kitchen 2014

I’m so glad somebody else is having a problem with what I’m assuming is an accidental portmanteau. I heard “flustrated” again on Toddlers & Tiaras, and now I’m wondering if it’s common (and by that, I mean a common mistake) in the south. Let me know if you have any insight.

 

welsh y sipsi nikkisee

For some reason, I knew transcribing this poem would be of interest to others. This Welsh poem featured on Amazing Race was searched in many, many forms, and the recap post featuring it is probably my most viewed blog post. The fact that someone was actually searching for my blog by name blows me away! I’m honored to be your resident Welsh gypsy poem transcriber.

 

did hell’s kitchen make a mistake on the croque monsuier

I really think they did. I don’t understand this, but maybe they were trying to be colloquial. This is another thing that got searched several times in a couple formats. Clearly, I’m not the only one who noticed.

 

lets eat viki

I understand this, and I would search this… well, something similar. I’m a stickler for apostrophes! It just reminds me of those jokes about the necessity of the Oxford comma. Let’s eat, Grandma v. Let’s eat Grandma. It makes me giggle.

 

how to beat yoshis new island last level

Golden Flutter Wings. If you are having enough trouble to freakin’ Google that, it sounds like you need ’em.

 

youtube

If my blog came up every time someone searched for Youtube, I think I’d have a lot more traffic. It apparently worked for one of you, though.

 

Keep on Googling weird stuff so we can have some more What Are You Doing Here? fun!  And hey, thank you so much for reading!!

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Amazing Race Recap: Do You Believe in Magic?

Teams left London for Las Vegas, Nevada.  I was cheering on the Brenchels, (I want them to have a Brenchel baby too!) and was psyched to learn Rachel lived in Vegas!

bidding a fond farewell to season 24 at the Las Vegas Speedway

bidding a fond farewell to season 24 at the Las Vegas Speedway

Upon landing in the US, a car picked up the teams and sent them to a desert to dig up a box reading “Property of David Copperfield.”  The Brenchels were the only ones to break the box open and reveal the keys before arriving at the clue.  (More good news!)  The first clue asks the teams, do you believe in magic?  David Copperfield himself put them to the test in the Roadblock.

In the illusion Roadblock, one teammate is locked in a box with the keys– they had to unlock the shackles, retrieve lockpicks from the top of the box, which was raised, and set on fire.  Once they were done, the other teammate presses a series of switches that dropped the boxes into a burning piling of wood in an explosion.  David Copperfield would then act concerned, and say they should call the fire department.  The previously boxed teammate would then come out dresses as a firefighter.  Cute!

Then it was off to the neon boneyard for the next clue.  The had to grab a lightbulb from a giant question mark, then head over to The Mirage.  At The Mirage, the next challenge came in the form of hoisting a teammate to the top and having them replace and count the light bulbs in the sign’s letter “I.”

One final Roadblock had Dave, Caroline, and Brendan skydiving to the finish line while their partners waited below with the eliminated racers.  So great to see my cowboys, Youtubers, Globetrotters, and Miss Mallory again!  This was such a great season.

As the winner came into view, no one could tell it was Dave until he landed.  Poor Rachel cried as Brendan came done, third overall; no Brenchel babies until Brendan graduates.

I’ve got to say, guys, all I wanted out of this season was for Dave and Connor not to win.  I guess the fact that Dave only said achilles twice this episode lessens the blow a little bit.  I’m all for firsts, so congratulations to him for being the oldest winner of the Race, and to both for being the first parent-child team to win.  I cry every single time a team crosses the finish line and this season was no exception.  I cannot wait for another season of the Race.  The All Star season was such a treat; let’s hope for some new, memorable faces next time around!

Some of my favorite moments of the season have to be Flight Time & Big Easy riding donkeys in Italy, and the Afghanimals rolling around in those inflatable bull balls.  Please share yours in the comments!

Amazing Race Recap: Hei Ho Heidi Ho

Teams leave Seville, Spain for Liverpool, England. There, they make their ways to Anfield Stadium, home of Liverpool FC, to score two goals each against a goalie.

Leo and Jamal take a detour and make it to Anfield first.  Jamal’s knee is still messed up from the bullying bulls.  They finish up as Dave and Connor arrive.  “I hope Dave and Connor go home!” says one of the Afghanimals.  Me too, buddy.

Jen and Caroline are terrible at soccer, but the Brenchels are pretty good!  They finish up next, just as Dave and Connor take the field.  You’d think Connor has a bad knee too from his kicks.  Oof.  Jennifer and Caroline manage to make their goals before the father-son team.

The next clue takes them to one of my favorite places I’ve ever been, WALES!  The drive shakes up the order of the teams, but at the aqueduct the teams encounter the Road Block: Poetry in Motion.  On the 15 minute boat ride, a teammate must learn a Welsh gypsy poem and recite it for a language specialist on the other side of the aqueduct.  If you didn’t know before, Welsh is a crazy language!  I really loved this challenge and found myself trying to recite the poem along with them.

Picture 2

Here’s the poem:

Y Sipsi!

Hei ho Heidi ho!

Fi yw sipsi fach y fro

Carafan mewn cwr o fynydd

Newid aelwyd bob yn eilddydd

Rhwng y llenni ger y lli

Haf neu aeaf waeth gen

Hei ho Heidi ho!

All the teams had to repeat the Road Block, but Brendan was the first to complete the challenge, followed closely by Caroline.  Jamal and Connor struggle a bit longer, but finish up in that order.

Now the teams are back to England for the Detour: Shoot It or Boot It.

In Shoot It, teams shoot at clay pigeons.  They must hit 16.  Caroline is surprisingly great at this!  The beat Dave and Connor through this side of the Detour.  In Boot It, the teams fill up a pair of Welly boots with water and throw them.  (I’m… not sure why…)  They must use size 9 or 11.  It actually looks pretty fun.  Brendan’s throws get the Brenchels through this pretty easily, until they realize that they’ve used size 10 Wellies instead of 9 or 11.  Jamal and Leo finally arrive as they are restarting.

The pit stop comes next, which determines the three teams racing for the million dollars.  The teams finish in this order:

  1. Dave and Connor
  2. Jennifer and Caroline
  3. Brendan and Rachel
  4. Leo and Jamal

So, arguably, the strongest team was eliminated!  The navigating ended up doing them in.  I’m going Brenchel all the way in the finale, but really, anyone but Dave and Connor would be great.  (Can he please. stop. mentioning his achilles?)

Who do you think will win it all?!

Amazing Race Recap: Bullying Bulls

I’ve now watched their original season plus Unfinished Business, and my love for Jet and Cord has reached its peak. I was totally Team Cowboys going into Sunday’s episode.

The teams left Zurich for Seville, Spain. Since last week was a non-elimination leg, the last place team, Jennifer and Caroline, have to complete a Speed Bump along this leg. They seem to actually have a skill set in Spain, one of them having lived there in college and speaking enough Spanish to get around.

Roadblock:

Paying homage to The Barber of Seville, (and a song that instantly brings me back to the intro scene of Mrs. Doubtfire,) one teammate had to shave a balloon covered in shaving cream with a straight razor within 60 seconds. If the balloon popped or they could not remove all of the shaving cream within the allotted time, they’d have to start over. A man belted out songs from the aforementioned opera during the Roadblock, just to help improve concentration.

Speed Bump:

Jennifer & Caroline’s Speed Bump was to deliver six hams to a shop in Seville. While this slowed them down a bit, the Cowboys were having trouble with directions and were slowed down as well…

Detour: Spanish Steps or Running with the Ballz

Both detours were visual joys for me! In Running with the Ballz, teams slide themselves into these adorable, cartoon-y, inflatable bull bumper balls. What happened next was not so adorable…

Picture 1 As “bulls” the teams had to run through alleys looking for posters with the motto, “A matador never thinks about his own death.” While looking for these words, other bumper bulls play human bumper cars at full force. They sent racers flying, rolling, and one (Rachel) whining! It was quite hilarious. The Brenchels, Afghanimals, Cowboys, and Dave & Connor chose this Roadblock.

In Spanish Steps, the teams had to learn and perform a flamenco dance. Jennifer and Caroline chose this, and the Cowboys were U-Turned by the Afghanimals and had to complete it too.

These outfits totally work for them! …who knew this did it for me?

Well, that U-Turn sealed the fate of my beloved Cowboys.   I’m officially bad luck, because I declared my allegiance to Jet & Cord right before the episode in which they were eliminated. I’m so bummed at the results:

  1. Dave and Connor
  2. Brendon and Rachel
  3. Leo and Jamal
  4. Caroline and Jennifer
  5. Jet and Cord

I just though that Jet and Cord really deserved the win. They’re the least drama-filled team I’ve ever seen on the race while still being exciting and endearing. “Can I ride your horse?” Cord asks as they make it to the mat in Seville.

This horse was great.  It bowed!

This horse was great. It bowed!

I’ll miss these guys a lot for comments like that, and this, their final sound bite:

“Oh my gravy, I’ve been around the world three times!”

Amazing Race Recap: Accidental Alliance

this hotel in Switzerland is alluding the the previous race destination, Italy!

this hotel in Switzerland is alluding the the previous race destination, Italy!

Okay, first of all I want to retract what I said about Jet & Cord last week.  I’ve been watching season 16, the first season to host the cowboys, and I think I’ve gotten a better picture of them.  They definitely do their own thing, and I really respect that.  I think in a Race without Youtubers and Globetrotters, I’m banking on the cowboys.

In this episode, teams left Italy sul treno for Chiasso, Switzerland.  From there, it was basically a race around Switzerland with, as the title suggests, a big emphasis on the accidentally formed alliance of Dave and Connor, Jen and Caroline, and Leo and Jamal.

Dave and Connor are inexplicably furious at the Brenchels for playing the game, and are hell-bent on revenge.  Caroline and Jennifer can’t pull their own weight, so they’ve latched onto the father-son team.  Leo and Jamal would rather be in the top three with these two teams than the bigger threats of Jet and Cort and the Brenchels.  Though I know this is their strategy, they seem to get way too into this “race family” to a point where I can’t stand them throughout this episode.  And y’all know how I feel about Dave and Connor.  (Hate ’em!)

Throughout the challenges, these three teams helped each other through and alienated the Brenchels.  Jet and Cord flew under the radar, bolstering my appreciation for this duo.

Tasks included:

  • Cleaning up a hotel room trashed by a band and making it up for guests to meet Helga, the gouvernante‘s standards
  • Searching & solving a math problem to determine the year of their respective Ford Mustangs on exhibit in the Swiss Museum of Transport
  • Delivering milk with Bernese Mountain dogs for the RoadBlock

Here’s how the teams finished:

  1. Dave and Connor → they won a 2015 Mustang for the victory; such a sweet prize for such an undeserving team.
  2. Jet and Cord
  3. Leo and Jamal
  4. Brendan and Rachel → take that alliance!
  5. Jennifer and Caroline → it’s a non-elimination week, so the blondes are safe yet again.

My feelings on this episode are best summed up as expressed by former racer Meghan Camarena, @strawburry17, via twitter:

Proud of @brendonvbb12 & @RachelEReilly. I hate when @AmazingRace_CBS becomes more about bullying than the actual competition.

So I’m routing for Brenchel and the cowboys until the end.  Surely one of these teams will make it into the top 3!  I’m betting the blondes and next to go.

Thoughts?!

Amazing Race Recap: Donkeylicious

I’m going to start my Donkeylicious recap a little differently. First of all, hated the episode title when I read it, but loved it as soon as it came out of Flight Time’s mouth. The Globetrotters really have a way of making everything fun, which brings me to this: I want to start by telling you how I feel about each of the six remaining teams.

Brendan and Rachel: I’m finally warming to these guys. It’s very clear that they are annoying, and I’m not denying that; but some of the things that make them annoying also kind of make them endearing. I can’t help but cheer them on these days.

Jet and Cord: I have almost no opinion of these guys. I ere on the side of dislike, because “cowboys” is not an American stereotype I want perpetuated.

Dave and Connor: I hate these guys. They are the only team I have never warmed up to, and never have any positive feelings about. I give them points for being gentlemanly, but cross them (like Brenchel does in this episode) and they’ll quickly sour. I get that Dave is old, but he runs this race as well if not better than others and he complains about his age tirelessly! I hated them on Meghan & Joey’s season too with the effing Achilles tear— notice we had to hear about it for the first 6 legs this time around!

Jennifer and Caroline: I want like them. I want to cheer on the only girl-girl team, I really do. I just don’t like their tactics and they way they run the race.

Flight Time and Big Easy: Like I said before, these guys have a way of making everything fun. They’re there to entertain the crowd and have a good time. I love their interactions with locals, and their positive attitudes throughout the struggles they’ve had.  They want everyone to have a good time; we should all be so lucky to have such positive people around!

Leo and Jamal: These guys too seem to be there to have a good time and entertain. They really play to the crowd, which makes me want to cheer them on too.  They seem like genuinely nice guys.

Okay, with that all said, let’s get on to this leg of the race throughout beautiful Italy!

Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio

The teams’ clue led them to Civita di Bagnoregio with the warning: U-Turn Ahead. The Detour here was all about donkeys. In Donkey Run, teams had to ride donkeys around a track completing 3 loops before the band finished their song. In Donkey Built, the teams built a wooden donkey and presented it to Geppetto. (“Pinnochio,” if you didn’t know, is an Italian story. They’re pretty big on it there.) While riding donkeys initially sounded like fun, watched first place team Brenchel do so made me change my mind about this detour. I do think it’s a great spectator sport, though! Donkey Built gave teams a lot of trouble too, though, since all parts had to be used including the wooden crate they came in! Tricky, tricky.

It was a double U-Turn meaning two teams could chose two other teams that had to go back and complete the other detour as well. Brendan and Rachel U-Turned Dave and Connor. Dave and Connor U-Turned Leo and Jamal. Now, there was a LOT of drama about Brendan and Rachel’s choice to U-Turn Dave and Connor and I’m just not understanding why. They were literally right behind them. Who better to U-Turn to put some distance between yourselves and the pack? You’ll see if it paid off under the cut!

The Roadblock was up next, where one teammate had to copy a page of a manuscript (calligraphy & gold leaf) as monks did. While I think I’d be a natural choice to do this Roadblock, (because it’s non-athletic,) I do not think I’d have the patience to do this.

After completing the Roadblock, the teams took a ride on the Funicolare to Piazza del Duomo in Orvieto, Umbria. Here’s how the teams did:

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Amazing Race Recap: The Gladiators Are Here

It’s been two weeks since we’ve checked in with the All Stars on their race around the world, but leaving Sri Lanka was about to level the playing field. Their clue leads them to fly to The Eternal City, Rome! All teams were on the same flight to Italy.

Seeing Rome made this Italian girl so happy. I immediately recognized Castel Santangelo where their next clue was waiting for them. Jennifer and Caroline’s Speed Bump was also waiting for them on the bridge leading to the castle.

Speed Bump

The Country Singers had to pick up a typewriter and bring it to a landmark it resembles. Again, I immediately recognized the Victor Emmanuel monument as “The Wedding Cake,” because that’s what my mom called it last time we were there. I guess the locals call it “The Typewriter!” Learn something new every day, eh?

Detour – Gladiator or Charioteer

In the shadows of the Colosseum, the teams could either fight like gladiators or race chariots. In Gladiator, the teams learned a choreographed fight meant to entertain, then put it to use against a big gladiator. If they get all the moves right (including dying at the end,) they get their next clue. This was truly entertaining! Jessica and Jon did it first and both got so into it. Leo and Jamal first tries Charioteer, but came here when it got too crowded over there. They were ever more hilariously intense! Charioteer was really cool too. In this detour, teams controlled mini remote control chariots around 5 laps of a course. The tiny horses were so freaking cute! The tiny charioteers took quite the beating. This reminded me of Mario Party 2 vs. 2 mini-games: one person controlled speed while the other controlled direction. Brendan and Rachel got their first and were the first to finish. It got easier for the other teams once the course cleared off a bit so it was less of charioteer-bumper cars.

Flight Time & Big Easy's charioteer had a hard time... he's completely missing here!

Flight Time & Big Easy’s charioteer had a hard time… he’s completely missing here!

Road Block

Getting to the Road Block was the hardest part. The clue said to find the Piazza where John Keats had an unhappy Roman Holiday. This was the Piazza di Spagna at the base of the Spanish Steps, made famous in “Roman Holiday,” but also where John Keats died. Most cab drivers took the racers to Via John Keats, nowhere near the Spanish Steps. Luckily for Brendan and Rachel, their cab driver knew what the clue was leading to. A couple of other drivers did some research, while the teams that ended up at Via John Keats needed to borrow internet and do some research of their own.

The Road Block was to add the number of Spanish Steps to the number the obelisk at the top of them was erected. The number on the obelisk was a Roman numeral, so they had to convert this to Arabic numerals we’re used to before doing the math. They then had to convert the sum back to Roman numerals, write it on a postcard and present it to the Roman Holiday couple for the last clue. Um, this would so not be my Road Block! Math and stairs—no thanks!

Locals and tourists helped the teams out here. The Globetrotters did not understand the clue, but Jon and Jessica fed them the answer thinking Jennifer and Caroline would still be behind them. It was a foot race to the finish!

The final clue led the teams to Piazza del Popolo.  This leg sure shook things up!  Ready for the results?

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