Joey Graceffa

Next Week on TV…

Fall is officially here next week, and so is fall TV!  New seasons of some of my shows start are kicking off.  Here’s what I’m looking forward to:


Modern Family – September 24


Modern Family kicks off its sixth season on Wednesday, September 23rd at 9 pm.  This has been a quick favorite for me thanks to my own family’s love of this show.  My DVR is already programmed to record this, but I’ll likely be tuning in to watch live as well.  Did you know Modern Family has had a season premiere on September 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26?  Isn’t that weird but cool?


Law & Order: SVU – September 24

SVUopeningCompeting in the 9 pm timeslot, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit returns for its 16th season – woah!  Okay, so this show isn’t the same without Stabler, but we still have Benson!  Benson– well, Mariska Hartigay– is the reason I haven’t given up on this show yet.  Plus, I like Amanda Rollins even though I think this is a reused character name.  I’m not quite caught up, but this is an easy show to binge-marathon, and that’s exactly what I plan to do.


Scandal – September 25

Scandal_IntertitleOn Thursday, Scandal returns for its 4th season at 9 pm.  This is a show I binge-watched in its entirety this summer off of the recommendation of a friend.  It’s also the kind of show that you have to stay current with.  I already know I won’t be home on Thursday night to watch this, and Hulu promises that current season episodes appear 8 days after premiere… um, yikes that’s a long wait!  Looks like I’m going to have to DVR this one as well.


Amazing Race – September 25

The_Amazing_Race_23_logoOne of my major guilty pleasures, The Amazing Race returns on Friday night at 8 pm for its 25th season!  Last season I had a great time recapping the Sunday night adventures of Youtubers Meghan & Joey, the Harlem Globetrotters, and my beloved Cowboys!  Alas, we have a recap-filled fall already and I won’t have the opportunity this time around.  You can be that I’ll be watching, though!  I’m particularly excited to see surfer and shark-attack survivor Bethany Hamilton take the race on, and of course, pick a new season favorite!


What returning shows are you looking forward to this fall?

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: 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:


Amazing Race Recap: Can’t Make Fish Bite

You know, the more I watch this season, the more I remember how much I like this show.  It may have been Meghan and Joey that got me started, but I Hulu marathoned this thing for weeks with or without Team Youtube.  Anyway, on to Sunday’s episode!

Last week’s leg was non-elimination, so Brenchel will have to complete a Speed Bump since they were last.  All teams leave from Batu Caves to fly to Colombo, Sri Lanka.  There is one direct flight which gets in around midnight.  All teams aside from Luke & Margie and Brenchel make it on to this flight.  Brenchel takes a risk on a flight that connects in Singapore; the connection time is about a half hour and they have to switch airlines.  Luke & Margie do not take this risk, and standby for seats on the flight the rest of the teams are on.

Brenchel make their connection, and actually land a bit before the rest of the teams.  Luke & Margie do not get seats on the flight with everyone else and end up having to take a morning flight, 10 hours behind everyone.

The first stop in Sri Lanka is a Buddhist temple, where all teams on the first two flights meet up to wait for the opening at 5:45 AM.  In getting blessed by Monks, the teams got a nice opportunity to slow down and take in the experience.  A scenic train ride later, it’s time for the…

Detour: Fishing Pole or Spin Control

In Fishing Pole, teams wade out into the sea and jump up onto Sri Lankan fishing stilts.  Each team member must catch a fish to move on.  In Spin Control, they dress up and perform a traditional dance with balancing and spinning plate-like structures.  Now, this girl loves to dance, but I’d have to go fishing.  Just sitting there vs. spinning plates?  No contest.

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Flight Time and Big Easy are spinning pros, and excel at Spin Control.  They’re also apparently the only team that knows how to count music.  I can’t believe the way the blondes completed this task, aren’t they singers?

Jessica and Jon decide to ditch fishing are try out the dance.  They manage to catch up to the pack at the…

Road Block

Ever see “Made in Sri Lanka” on a tag in your clothes?  The road block takes place in a clothing factory, where one team member must machine sew a shirt to the manager’s specifications.  Even though sewing machines scare me, I’d have to do this one.  I’d obviously have to do the Road Blocks that involve no muscle, but beyond that, I’m pretty confident I could piece the pattern together.

Big Easy has a lot of trouble here.  Flight Time brings out a basketball and entertains the crowd, reinvigorating him!  Even though the Globetrotters finished after Brenchel, they paid their bus to bring them directly to the Colombo Rowing Club, this leg’s Pitstop


Amazing Race Recap: Smarter, Not Harder

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After my team (Joey and Meghan!) was eliminated last week, I was on the fence about continuing to watch Amazing Race.  After week’s episode, I’m so glad I decided to keep watching!  This was a great episode, and I decided on a new team to cheer on: the Globetrotters!  They make everything fun and are so kind to everyone they meet, like the kids in this episode.  Here’s what went on during this leg of the race:


The teams made their way to Prince Philip Park where the Roadblock was to jump on a bamboo trampoline and reach for the clue.  I would not have have volunteered for this one… I’ve got no ups.  Neither apparently does Cord, as it took him 37 jumps to reach his clue.

Two things happened in this episode to chance my mind about Brenchel.  The first of which happened here, when we found out Rachel’s been racing in pantyhose.  This made me giggle and for some reason endeared me to her a bit.

The clue led the teams to three flights to Kuala Lumpur.  The second flight ended up being so delayed that it landed roughly the same time as the third.


could you pour these from an arc of seven glasses?

could you pour these from an arc of seven glasses?

Once in Kuala Lumpur, racers could choose Mix Master or Master Mix.  Both of these detours seemed really cool, but really hard!  In Mix Master, the teams had to match a scratch rhythm like a DJ.  In Master Mix, they had to tour a pyramid of seven cocktails at once without letting the different liquids mix.  I would’ve gone Mix Master, and from the results, I think I would’ve been happy with that choice.

The second Brenchel moment comes here– it came down to Luke & Margie and Brendan & Rachel pouring cocktails.  Luke was so frustrated, and Brendan and Rachel gave him a major pep talk and encouraged him so much!  It made a huge difference to Luke, and a huge difference to me with regard to my opinion of this team.


The teams raced to Batu Caves, and here are the results:  (more…)

Amazing Race Recap: Welcome to the Jungle

this river made for one fun episode!

this river made for one fun episode!

So, the teams are finally leaving China!  They’re off the Malaysian Borneo and only two flights will get them there.  Brenchel completely loses their lead in traffic and ends up on flight number 2 with John & Jessica and Joey & Meghan, 3 hours behind the other six teams.

The first stop in Malaysia is Kiansom Waterfall, for the Road Block.  One teammate has to repel ten stories down the waterfall to retrieve the clue.  I would love to do this one!  Would you?

After the waterfall, teams have to built a raft and then are faced with a Detour: River Delivery or Run Through the Jungle.  In River Delivery, teams take produce on their rafts and deliver it to a chief midway down.  In Run Through the Jungle, teams raft all the way down without the stop and have to shoot blow darts at bird targets at the end.  I would’ve gone Run Through the Jungle. What would you have chosen?

“We’re like Huck Finn and Oliver Twist!” the blondes say when the see the raft task.  I hate them so much for saying this.  So, so much.

Dave and Connor, who chose River Delivery, accidently rafted all the way down and had to run back to make the delivery.

Leo and Jamal’s raft fell apart on the rapids, and the Cowboys passed them while they worked to reassemble.

Margie and Luke’s raft falls apart too; they have to use Margie’s shirt to tie it back together.

By the time the second plane lands, Joey and Meghan are still in last and make the fatal mistake of not making their taxi wait while they repel down the waterfall.

Group two has an equal amount of difficulty with the rafting.  I’m not sure how John and Jessica’s shoddy construction stayed together!  Brenchel’s fell apart at least twice.

The checkpoint for the end of this leg was Kota Kinabalu.  Here’s how the teams finished… (more…)

Amazing Race Recap: Baby Bear’s Soup

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Going into this week’s race, I was super nervous for Team Youtube, who finished just shy of being eliminated last week.  The great thing about this race, though, it you can go from first to last in no time, and vice versa!  I’m not quite sure how the order was determined for the teams to depart, but I was glad Joey & Meghan weren’t last.  The first clue let the teams to the Chen Clan Academy.

The first big slip up of the episode started here.  Jet and Cord completely misjudged the distance of the academy from where they were.  In trying to run it while the rest of the teams grabbed cabs or took the metro, they lost their first place lead.

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Chen Clan Academy presented some really lovely synchronized martial arts.  The master stamped the next clue on racers foreheads.  This clue let them to the Roadblock in toyland.

ROADBLOCK: one member of the team assembles a toy car for children.  Yeah, this would not be a Roadblock I would do.  I don’t even like assembling things when the directions are in English, let alone Chinese. Are you the mechanic that would take on this task?

The blondes, Caroline and Jennifer, manipulated Jet and Cord into giving them their extra Express Pass here so they could skip the Roadblock.  One threw a hissy fit for having to assemble because “it’s for boys,” and the other shamelessly flirted.  Meghan’s right; this is a total slap in the face to girlkind.  The last two assemblers are Meghan, with Joey to cheer her on, and John, with Jessica in the wings.  Meghan completes the task, then selflessly moves on the help John finish too!  What a sweetheart!

Next the teams are to take the cars for delivery to the children’s cultural center.  Here’s where the much hyped moment comes where Mallory abandons Mark’s backpack.  They do indeed go back to get it.  You’ll see before if it affects their rank!

The Detour is up next.  The teams have a choice between featherball, a Chinese hackey-sack equivalent, and a Chinese remedy using glass bulbs to remove toxins from the body.  All teams choose featherball.  Me, I’m intimidated by athletic feats requiring coordination; I probably would’ve gone remedy.

Featherball acted as a great equalizer, and the teams headed for the Pit Stop on  Shamian Island.


Amazing Race Recap: Back in the Saddle

Sunday marked the start of a new season of Amazing Race: All Stars!  I actually started watching this show when Youtubers Joey Graceffa and Meghan Camarena announced that they would be on it a couple seasons back.  After watching their season, I got super into this show thanks to Hulu.  This is the 24th season, so you probably know the drill by now, but just in case: teams of two people with some relationship to each other race around the world completing challenges as they go.  There’s a lot of Amazing Race lingo, but host Phil Keough explains it, along with some cultural facts, as we go.  It’s an exhilarating, athletic, international experience.  When Meghan and Joey announced that they would be on this newest all star season, I knew I’d be watching and recapping for you!

The teams: mother-son team Margie & Luke, Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time & Big Easy, cowboys Jet & Cord, newlyweds Brendon & Rachel, twins Natalie & Nadiya, country singers Caroline & Jennifer, father-son team Dave & Conner, engaged couple Jessica & John, Youtubers Joey & Meghan, cousins and “Afghanimals” Leo & Jamal, and best friends from Kentucky Bopper & Mark.

The show starts out with a sad announcement— Bopper has pancreatitis, and is not recommended to race.  It was super emotional to just see his partner’s face at the announcement.  I cried!  Mallory, also representing Kentucky, steps in as Mark’s partner.

The race starts off at UCLA.  Phil announces they are going to Guangzhou, China.  To be on the first flight, they must find the symbol for Guangzhou on the hats of the UCLA marching band members.

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And they’re off!  For those of you who watched Meghan & Joey’s original season: Meghan didn’t fall this time!

The teams on the first flight are Dave & Conner, Leo & Jamal, Nadiya & Natalie, and Jet & Cort.

In Guangzhou China, the teams look for their first clue in the wedding dress district, which I actually think every city should have.

That clue leads the teams to Canton Tower, where the next clue waits in the ferris wheel of rotating bubbles.

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The clue was only in even numbered bubbles, which shook things up even more for the teams.  The even-numbered cars let them know to search the stadium below them.  In the stadium below, it’s time for the Road Block!

This Road Block challenges one teammate to get up on the high wire and do 5 flips.  Once the Road Block is completed, it’s on to the Pit Stop at the Opera House– the end of the first leg of the challenge!  The last team there is eliminated.  Below, you can see the results.

Because each team member is only allowed to do half of the Road Blocks, I always play a little game with myself and chose whether I’d be the one to do each one.  I’d totally do this Road Block!  Sure, heights can be scary, but the ones that don’t require strength are the ones I’d have to do.  Your turn: would you perform stunts on the high wire in China?