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Offline apskip

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Great American Road Trip
« on: July 07, 2009, 11:14:53 PM »
Tonight was the first episode of Great American Road Trip. Host Reno Collier is a low-key guy and does a nice job. The 7 families assemble at Wrigley Field in Chicago where they get a brief briefing and go to their RVs for a trip down Route 66 to Los Angeles. Reno states that this is not a race. There will be a morning challenge for a special family treat and the 3 lowest scoring families in that will have to compete in the Elimination Challenge at the end of the day or the next day.

The Families are:

Ricos from Katy, TX
Favereys from Long Island NY
DiSalvatores from Yonkers NY
Cootes from Chicago
Pollards from Newton AL
Montgomerys from Montclair CA
Katzenbergs from Westport CT

The only catch is that the Katzenbergs are still blending a family but their wedding is in the near future. Based on what I see from the children, I pick them to win the whole competition.

One observation I make from the beginning is that these are model families with 2.0 children, one a boy and one a girl(except the Montgomerys and DiSalvatores have 2 boys each. Also, most of the women seem to be the rulers of these families for this type of trip.

Each of the beautiful RVs has been customized for several items the families requested for themselves. The caravan of RVs takes off for Springfield IL where they camp out overnight, empty their "brownwater" from the toilet tank and go the the Illinois State Fairgrounds for a competition. It is about presidential elections and one member of each team has to don a huge head mask, Nixon, Kennedy, Clinton, etc.  One of the parents on each team elects to do this. Then the team loads the "president" up with rectangular ballots which have to be taken through an obstacle course with the other 3 family members guiding the "president." It includes going through a series of inflatable backyard pools, through hedges and over a square area crisscrossed with red tape (what a nice touch!). The winners of this are the Cootes, although another team accuses them of cheating and after Reno restates the rules decides that they erred and apologizes. The Katzenbergs, Montgomerys and Favereys were the unlucky bottom 3.

That evening the RVs drive to Madison IL and the Cootes get to have dinner on the center (Illinois/Missouri border) of a narrow Mississippi River crossing with the mayor. The next day all teams cross into Missouri and drive to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. the elimination challenge is set up there with mini-arches on a course. The goal is to get a zorb through all the mini-arches using a string that is tied to the beginning point and 458 feet long, just enough if the correct course was taken. One member of the team, always a small girl, was strapped inside the zorb for visual effect. The Favereys go first while the other 2 teams are sequestered so they cannot gain intelligence and the other 4 teams watch. They finish in about 30 minutes. The Katzenbergs are even worse at 41 minutes. The Montgomerys blitz through in 2 minutes since the son knows geometry and used it to figure the shortest route before the zorb was rolled.

The Gateway Arch elimination challenge was fabulous. The concept of using mathematics before you act is something that should be tried on the Amazing Race.

So the Katzenbergs will not be winning this competition. They are sent home and the Mrs. Katzenberg-to-be takes this as a sign that she ought to be finishing the planning of their wedding. She invites the other families to attend.

I can recommend this show for light entertainment. It is no Amazing Race but it's fun.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 06:41:01 AM by apskip »


Offline puddin

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2009, 11:49:34 PM »
I already started a topic here apskips but this is fine. There was not a lot of interest lol ..
Anyway I half watched it but from what I heard is that if I want to listen to screaming whiny children then I could just turn my tv off, no need to watch GART.

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Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 06:40:00 AM »
puddin,

I was aware of the other topic, but it was for Great American Road Trip - Planned and Coming. Now it's here and deserves its own topic in the Other Reality Show thread. Being in a lesser thread has doomed my Expedition Africa(an interesting show) commentary to oblivion so I wasn't going to let that happen here. The adults on this show are more high maintenance than the kids, although there was some sibling rivalry apparent among a few of the kids on the road. I'm sure there will be more based on my experience as a parent. That is pretty much par for the course, as are arguments between spouses, but the arguments between teams are new and different.


Offline TexasLady

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2009, 01:35:53 PM »
We watched about 2/3rds of this and it's a good summer show. I didn't realize there were 7 families competing and didn't get to see how the motor homes were configured for each family. We began about the time they discharged their "brownwater"

I have to agree with puddin, I don't particularly care to watch or hear kids fighting.  )-** (Grand kids provide enough of this for me.)  :lol:
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Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 03:27:12 PM »
OK, puddin and TexasLady. Go ahead and order the fighting siblings to stop (if that were possible in a previously taped reality TV show). Imagine the compliance (NOT). Do you think you coulkd accopmlish something their parents either cannot or will not?

I grew up in a "motor home" family and had to travel in one for 3 years as a teenager before college liberated me. I found the quarters cramped and generally disliked it, but my brother and sister had better experiences than me and both own motor homes.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 04:44:40 PM by apskip »


Offline TexasLady

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 07:10:09 PM »
OK, puddin and TexasLady. Go ahead and order the fighting siblings to stop (if that were possible in a previously taped reality TV show). Imagine the compliance (NOT). Do you think you coulkd accopmlish something their parents either cannot or will not?

I grew up in a "motor home" family and had to travel in one for 3 years as a teenager before college liberated me. I found the quarters cramped and generally disliked it, but my brother and sister had better experiences than me and both own motor homes.

Actually when the sister hit the brother I wondered if the dad would have an accident trying to deal with them and drive the motor home while it appeared the mom just sat there watching them.  :funny: (My dad would have pulled over and killed the both of us...)

Three years traveling in a MH apskip. I guess it was fun at first but not so much after the first few months eh?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 07:13:25 PM by TexasLady »
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Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2009, 10:20:30 PM »
TexasLady, it was "only" every non-winter weekend and vacations.

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2009, 02:10:39 PM »
The Great American Road Trip disappoints, punted to Mondays

Posted Jul 11th 2009 12:03PM by Jason Hughes
Filed under: Other Reality Shows, Programming, OpEd
The Great American Road TripEven in the summertime, it took only one week of ratings less than half of America's Got Talent on Tuesday night to get The Great American Road Trip relocated to Monday, starting immediately.

http://www.tvsquad.com/2009/07/11/the-great-american-road-trip-disappoints-punted-to-mondays/

Offline Pedaler

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2009, 10:07:34 PM »
I finally got around to watching this program.  Ehhh, I don't think I'll watch another.  It should air on Nick instead of a network.


TAR 8 casting director >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Great American Road Trip casting director.



Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2009, 08:56:11 PM »
GART, episode 2

We start in St. Louis minus the Katzenberg family. The motor home cavalcade rolls to Ted Drewes' frozen custard dessert stand where you can turn it upside down (except over the camera) and it stays in place it's got such high viscosity. Meramec Caverns southwest of St. Louis is next. They get to be guided by a Jesse James impersonator though the stalagtites and stalagmites. They sleep in that area and are awakened at 6am by Reno playing the banjo badly.

I guess that is a metaphor for what is about to happen. The weekly "King of the Road" challenge will be in Branson Missouri and each family will give a 4 minute performance, which they will develop while driving there 200 miles away. What a setup! Each family creates an act. When they get to the Andy Williams Theatre in Branson they do makeup and are told they will have time to rehearse. Reno lied to them, as there is a local audience of 200 to 300 waiting for unintentional comedy night. The judges are 3 heavyweights: Andy Williams himself for showmanship, Yacov Smirnov (who must in town performing himself) for comedy and the Mayor of Branson Raeann Pressley for other.

Let the acts begin!
Disalvatore Family - has rehearsed a skit where the mom has to do a rap patter (similar to basketball cheerleading I remember from decades ago). I don't think they do well.

Rico Family - has a pretty nice act with the dad all over the place. I say quite good, Yacov says good comedy.

Pollard Family - they can't sing Old MacDonald worth a damn. They do an Alabama style of dance, arcane and better left non-performed. However, one of the kids closes with a full front flip which is impressive. I think they do badly, but what do I know? I only recap America's Got Talent acts every week it's on.

Montgomerys - came on next with their version of Old McDonald Had a Farm, which I think is way superior to the Pollard's version. The kids play clarinet and violin although you can't hear them very well over the din. Andy Williams says "interesting".

Favereys - their own New York style rap introducing their family. Mom forgets her opening lines but gets into the spirit. This was blah. Andy Williams say "boring."

Cootes - a rap spiel with cheerleading and comedy. I think this one is easily the best of the night. Andy Williams calls it "terrific".

Which 3 teams will be facing a shootout the next day? The losers are judged to be DiSalvatores, Favereys and Montgomerys. I guess that's about right. They are told that the heat is off and they are safe until the next episode, as nobody is eliminated this week and there will be no additional negative competition. The Pollards are given the award for Best in Show, the prize for which is a night at thet Best Western Inn-Branson, much appreciated by the parents who have their own room.

However, there will be a positive competition among the 3 top families. All motor homes drive to Carthage MO to the Route 66 Drive-In Theatre there. The Cootes, Pollards, and Ricos compete for the prize of an all-expenses paid trip to the movie opening of Aliens in America in Los Angeles. Quite a nice prize! There is a pattern of classic cars laid down either parellel or perpendicular across a wide area of a parking area. There is a refreshment stand with popcorn and soda at the far end. The dads have to maneuver there and back blindfolded with only directional controls from one of their children guiding them. Dad Rico is out of it from the beginning and he never was in the thick of the battle. Dad Coote vs. Dad Pollard both made it to the refreshment stand in a dead heat and they finished the same way. Dad Coote won by a fraction of a second. The Cootes won last week to stay alive and this week to go on top. They express a lot of joy and overconfidence. All families get to see the film "aliens in America at the Drive-In where they are staying.

Where will they go next week? You can bet they will be going generaly west. I see Joplin MO and Oklahoma City OK on the map ahead, so that's where we might see teams next week. For viewers of this show, it is now Mondays at 8pm on NBC.


Offline TexasLady

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2009, 02:25:07 PM »
I finally got around to watching this program.  Ehhh, I don't think I'll watch another.  It should air on Nick instead of a network.


TAR 8 casting director >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Great American Road Trip casting director.


Was TAR 8 a little bland?  :lol:   It's a nice summer show for the family to watch, it would fit in with Nick or Disney.  :js:
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Offline TexasLady

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2009, 02:33:42 PM »
Thanks for the recap apskip.  :tup:  The part I enjoyed was watching the kids control their dads path to get the refreshments. It really was close and they did a good job. (It disturbed me though when Mom Cootes dropped/threw the refreshment tray on the ground. It was a teachable moment.  :groan:

BTW apskip, the "Long Long Trailer," starring Lucie and Desi Arnez, was my favorite movie when I was a kid and I always wanted to travel around in one just like they did. (Except for the uphill drive up the mountain.)  :-[  I think I'd have loved your family trips... unless you had a mean brother.  :lol:
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Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2009, 03:39:33 PM »
Texas Lady,

Since putting anything on this thread appears equivalent to a private conversation, I will share with you some insights of my travels. I was the oldest child, so none of my siblings was in a position to give me any grief. We traveled all over New England and eastern Canada. One of my father's favorites was Old Orchard Beach in Maine and another Prince Edward Island. We got almost as far as Windsor in southwest Ontario. Occasionally we did a trip to the south(I remember "South of the Border" at the NC/SC state line) and went as far as Key West (you can't get any further south in the lower 48 states). After I went to college my silbings and parents took a long trip all the way to the west coast and back but I was too busy and not interested enough to join them. I bet most people would have enjoyed these trips. I liked where we went, but not the on-the-road experience itself.

I have see the Long Long Trailer multiple times. It was from the early Desi/Luci era, 1953.

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2009, 05:58:12 PM »
Thanks for the recaps apskip!!

:lol: I remember South of the Border too...bumper sticker mania there, if you parked for ten minutes you got one...
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Offline tory

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2009, 05:28:16 PM »
i love this show  :hearts: :hearts: my dad took us on a trip one yr i was 14 i think i am 51 now, i am the oldest of 4 it was fun and i was a hippy bk then and still rember how fun it was we went up the east coast from va to canada and down threw niagra falls, the thing i rember most is that my mo would not leave hm with out the microwave.lamo one of the frist micro's off the press, tooo funny my fablous mom had to bring the microwave.
and ps my dad got us into disney the frist yr it opened and we dorve down in a griswalled station wagon my 4 sib's mom and dad and my grandparents talk about rember the south of the border signs..lol on the way bk we thteraten my grand mom we were going to put her out with a sign lol.. va or bust...the good old days..
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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2009, 05:35:28 PM »
oh and ps i think it is the situations we relate to on this show that make it so funny.
i have northen relitives and being from va every year we would go to ct to see them, loved them btw and every yr i got teased for saying you'll, they loved it and i loved teasing them for saying yous's guys, so on the frist epi i was weeping i was loling so hard , @ the ny dad and the allabama mom omg sooo funny and so cute love loved it..
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Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2009, 07:13:37 AM »
It's episode 3 of this summer show. The 6 families have to travel to Independence KS in the southeast corner of the state and are encouraged to sing "Home on the Range". They next visit the "Little House on the Prairie" House where a docent family demonstrates what life was like in the 19th century in that area. Notable is an outdoor stove(foreshadowing?). The trip out from there involves a fairly narrow 2 lane road with a 65 mph speed limit sign. The DiSalvatores nearly run out of gas. Silvio tells Amy that they will connect the gas tank to her and she can gas it up.

My favorite family is now the Ricos. I like Ricardo's low-key nature and Erica's quiet charm. Unfortunately in challenges requiring speed or strength their children Mason and Blake are small and at a disadvantage contributing to the group effort. Being my favorite was the kiss of death for the Montgomerys. Will I do it again?

The families' motor homes arrive at the Red Buffalo Ranch where a "fire and meat" King of the Road competition will occur. The winning family gets a new Weber grill that is in the "nearly $1000 value" category as best I could tell. The 6 dads are competing and the rest of their families do a blind tasting on the burgers. The dads cook at least 8 burgers (one for themselves, presumably one of Reno, and one for each of 6 families) in 30 minutes. They have a wide range of extras and condiments available but most do not use much.  The families score each burger and comment on it.

Just on visual presentation and use of ingredients I would expect Ron Pollard to do well and also Ricardo Rico. Unfortunately as time runs out Ricardo's burgers are grossly undercooked, which makes them almost sure to be in the bottom 3.  The DiSalvatore Family really likes a certain burger; it should be no surprise that it's one cooked by Silvio. However, his scores from the other judges are abysmal and they go into the bottom 3. Lenny Faverey is rated the worst, which puts him in the bottom 3. The actual scores and the names of each burger are:

A. Meaty Montgomerys - score not shown but above 28 and less than 45.6

B. Silvio's Dream Burger - 24.6

C. McRico Burger Premier - 28

D. Bar B Coote Burger - it wins the prize for original and appropriate name plus the overall competition with 45.6

E. Faverey's Special - 26

F. Pollard Patty - not shown but above 28 and less than 45.6

So the DiSalvatores, Favereys and Ricos will face off in the later Elimination Challenge.  Keith Coote brought home the bacon for his family's third straight win. Although it was the Cootes who were offended by a false accusation of cheating in episode 1, there is no lost between the DiSalvatores and Amie Pollard. She wants them out and roots for the other 2 teams.

Next stop is at TallGrass Prairie Preserve, 37,000 acres in western Oklahoma (so I thought) loaded with bison/buffalo. Someone remarked that's buffalo is a good eating meat (he is right; it's lean and better for you than beef). They stop at Applebee's and ask for "a table for 24" which is a group of smaller tables.

The geographer in me wanted to find out where Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is. It's so special that it's not even on my Rand McNally U.S. state map set. It is 88 miles north (to central Kansas, but the wrong way to LA) and 44 miles west (the correct direction) from Independence. You will find it in Cottonwood KS, which is possible to find on the map but you have to look very carefully west of Emporia. I am surpised that NBC's producers would plot a route that deviates so strongly from Route 66, which goes southwest from Carthage MO down to Oklahoma City before turning due west. The families at Cottonwood are 235 miles off course.

The families drive on through Oklahoma to Amarillo TX, which is a pretty long drive and they eventually arrive. There must have been some good "family time" in that segment. On arrival they find the expected elimination Challenge. Each team has to transport with back and arm and leg power a group of about 12 items of varying size and shape which muct be placed along with themselves through chutes from the stockyards to reach a map of the state of Texas to finish. The Ricos go first and score 220 (presumably seconds left counting down from maybe 500). The Favereys get 347 and are safe. The DiSalvatores get 346 and are also safe. The Rico's vacation is over.
 
So I am sure you are asking "who do I like next best" so they can be eliminated next week. I guess it is the Montgomerys. I do not like the Favereys or DiSalvatores or the Pollards and I am somewhat indifferent to the Cootes. We'll see next Monday night at 8pm.




Offline TexasLady

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2009, 01:53:52 PM »
I really am enjoying this show. It was sad to see the Rico family go. Probably the Coote family will win, but I hope not.
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Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2009, 05:41:22 PM »
It is sad to see each of the families eliminated, but that is the way that reality shows typically work. I do not agree that the Coote family has a lock on the end prize in spite of their King of the Road Challenge victories. Most of these challenges involve the entire family and the Coote children are a bit younger than the others. I would watch out for the Pollard and Montgomery children, who appear to be older and stronger than the Coote children. I expect it to be just like the Amazing Race. A team can win the majority of legs but not have any special advantage in the final leg, which can have luck-based elements.

Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2009, 06:00:56 PM »
This episode starts with a drive to Adrian TX where the Midpoint Cafe is famous as the halfway point on Route 66 between Chicago and Los Angeles. Teams get a pie-eating contest there for $200 spending money for souvenirs in the gift shop there. The winners are the Montgomerys, who enjoy their new possessions. The teams drive to Albuquerque NM where they park their RVs at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Anyone can do the "Balloon ride" but it appeared to me be to only a tether so they really weren't going anywhere. If they did, it would have required many balloons and I only saw one.

The King of the Road Challenge was at Albuquerque International Airport and involved loading mannikins from a bus onto an empty plane in 5 minutes. The teams who got the most strapped in would win a flight to Phoenix and an overnight stay at a resort and spa near there with luxury accomodations, services and food and wine. All teams evolved a divison of labor approach with different people doing different tasks, but the strap-them-in task was the hardest and the adults were doing that. The Montgomerys missed one final strap-in by a hair. The final tally was:

DiSalvatores 29 and going to the End of the Road Challenge
Favereys and Montgomerys tied with 46 and going to the End of the Road Challenge
Pollards 47 one ahead of the Montgomerys
Cootes 49 winning this for the 4th (I think this is correct) episode in a row

Teams went to Applebee's Car SidestoGo for their meals and gave that restaurant a nice product placement. Then they drove 236 miles to Holbrook AZ in sometimes bad weather. They stay the night in the Wigwam Motel, whose accomodations are only teepees.

The End of the Road Challenge was near the top of Meteor Crater in Winslow AZ. Teams were lying on chaise lounges and spotting "UFOs" as they flew over. These were:

1. Telephone set
2. Lawn Mower
3. Bowling Ball
4. Football
5. Golf Bag
6. Computer Monitor
7. Grill
8. ?
9. 3 things tied together
10. Kid's bike
11. 3 irons tied together

Teams were then taken to a board where they had to place square pieces for each item into its correct order on that board. The DiSalvatores finished first, then the Montgomerys and finally the Favereys were eliminated.

Next episode is at the Grand Canyon. That should be good.


Offline 2old4tech

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2009, 08:07:07 PM »
Good recap apskip


The End of the Road Challenge was near the top of Meteor Crater in Winslow AZ. Teams were lying on chaise lounges and spotting "UFOs" as they flew over. These were:

1. Telephone set
2. Lawn Mower
3. Bowling Ball
4. Football
5. Golf Bag
6. Computer Monitor
7. Grill
8. ?   white teddy bear in wooden chair
9. 3 things tied together pinata that fell apart in the air
10. Kid's bike <---------double kitchen sink was launched between bike and irons
11. 3 irons tied together
They briefly showed the filled in board as Reno was describing what they had to do after all launches.  Kudos that you ID'd all you did.

I always like your posts over in the TAR threads.  Your transportation research is something I look for.
I was disappointed you couldn't finish with Expedition Africa.  The four explorers were great in the finale.

OT - Have you caught the new show on Discovery Channel; The Colony.  10 people abandoned in a post apocalyptic world.  Abandoned warehouse type bldg near downtown Los Angeles.  They must "survive" by their skills and wits.  No eliminations.  A bit contrived, but I like it.  http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/colony/colony.html

I'm not a big poster (always read the TAR and Survivor threads, though); I don't have much to add and am not into "post count" for its own sake.  I've thought about adding a Colony thread, but I'm not sure I could keep it up.  Since no-one else has mentioned the show, there's probably not much interest anyway.

Big coincidence:  The opening sequences were shot in the same spot as the TAR 15 startline.

Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2009, 09:51:47 PM »
It's the final 4. From the Flagstaff AZ area (where I believe the caravan would have spent the night after the End of the Road Challenge at Meteor Crater) it's an easy early-morning 2 hour drive to Sedona and Slide Rock State park, where swimming provided the opportunity for fun sliding down chutes of water with singificant rocks to navigate.

The King of the Road Challenge is at the Red Rocks, which are all around Sedona. Reno claims that Sedona is known for the swirling vortex energy(I think he's nuts and Sedona is known for its unique Red Rock formations). Teams will be their own special vortex. Each family has 8 minutes to spin a wheel with a board and a strap to hold the occupant down. The most spins in 8 minutes wins. The winning family gets a private helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon.

The Cootes put daughter Cassidy on the wheel and I think she was the lightest of all "occupants". The results are:
Montgomerys 259
Pollards 307
Cootes 331
DiSalvatores 210

The Cootes win again. The Pollards, Montgomerys and DiSalvatores alll have to compete in the End of the Road Challenge. The Pollards are in the bottom 3 for the first time as they always place second. All teams get to sleep at the Best Western-Sedona.

Next is the Grand Canyon East Rim Drive. The East Rim Drive covers 26 miles between Grand Canyon Village and the Desert View overlook at the East Gate of the park. The sheer beauty of the Grand Canyon impresses everyone. A squirrel makes contact with Amie Pollard and freaks her out temporarily. The Cootes' helicopter ride was superb. It appears to me that the only campground along the East Rim Drive is the Desert View Campground, so that is where teams stayed for the night.

Teams now have to travel to get onto a stationary train on the Grand Canyon Railway terminal in downtown Williams AZ (the first city west of Flagstaff). It is the site of the End of the Road Challenge, a relay race to communicate by listening to and speaking numbers that are combinations to 3 safes on each end of the train with two cars in between.  The Great American Train Robbery involves team members relaying a 6 digit safe combination from an individual in one car to the individual in the 2nd car who will race the length of the car to relay it to the individual in the 3rd car, who will race the length of the car to relay it to the final individual, who will race to the end of the car and open a safe. then the flow is reversed and the combination flows back to the individual in the 1st car, who uses it to open a safe. This is then repeated 2 times before you get the final safe open in car #1. The highest time to complete loses the challenge and is eliminated.

The DiSalvatores go first. Dad Salvatore forgot one digit and it took 2 tries for Blake Disalvatore to open her safe. However, they finished in 7 minutes 2 seconds. Ainslie Pollard screwed up a number by reversing two sets of two digits. They finished in 8 minutes 55 seconds. The Montgomerys younger son screws up the first combination. Dad Montgomery states that he has photographic memory then he immediately screwed up. Those two mistakes made it impossible for them to get a time below the other two teams, who made fewer mistakes. The time for the Montgomerys was 10 minutes 32 seconds.

The Montgomerys go home. Next week is Las Vegas, where the dads apparently disappear in an illusion act. Amie Pollard makes the statement "don't take a redneck to Las Vegas." We'll find out what she means next week, but the Pollards are the only southerners in this competition.


Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2009, 10:32:36 AM »
I add that as a travelogue this program is superior to the Amazing Race. The contestants have time to enjoy where they visit instead of being continually pressed to move forward. It's taking a little time to smell the roses. The competitive factor between teams on the Great American Road Trip is not as finely developed as a result. Remaining teams are genuinely sorry to see the bottom performing team leave (although they would still be pleased to see some of their contuing competition disappear).

Offline apskip

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Great American Road trip
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2009, 08:54:41 PM »
This was the 5th episode of this RV odyssey, with two more to go. I continue to be impressed by the entertainment value of Great American Road Trip. It's not for everyone, a bit hokey at times, but the intra- and inter-family interaction is very interesting to watch. I know that some RFF readers see it as bratty children having tantrums, and there is some of that, but on the whole I find the children to be more interesting than the adults.

On tonight's show the caravan left Williams AZ and went to Seligman AZ, a historic Route 66 throwback town. They were dining for lunch at the RoadKill Cafe. Now I distinctly heard Amie Pollard order quail. That is not road kill. You have to have armadillo or possum or something like that to qualify. I think the producers really let them off the hook. It would be edible and maybe even tasty to eat real roadkill, but eating quail is in a different dimension. I eat quail when available, usually at fancy restaurants for relatively high prices!

Next stop is Hoover Dam as the RVs crossed from Arizona into Nevada. Their instruction book directed them to the Observation Deck and who should appear but Reno Collier. He told them it was time for a King of the Road Challenge to mimic the power generation facilities of Hoover Dam on a smaller scale. There was a large box of pipe and fittings to connect it. It had to be threaded through specific holes in pillars on a concrete surface. When connected to reach a mini-turbine, the water flow would generate enough air to blow up an inflatable connected to the turbine. Quickest time to finish wins this challenge.

The Pollards go first and generally do a good job, helped by Ron being a building contractor. They finish in 20 minutes 33 seconds. The DiSalvatores are next and they had to redo some piping but did OK at 27 minutes 34 seconds. The running joke of this competition is that the Cootes always win the KOTR challenge and the Pollards always finish second. Keith Coote has his wife and kids as plumber's assitants. He got it done in 19 minutes 7 seconds and they win a 5th straight KOTR challenge. The bottom 2 teams are threatened with a potential End of the Road challenge, but Reno does not want to lose a team this episode, so there is none and no team will be eliminated this week.

The top 2 teams are told they will have a special challenge in Las Vegas and the winner will get a night in a huge suite at a resort hotel. The loser family will spend the night in their RV in the parking lot along with the DiSalvatores. Those teams are sent to the Theatre of the Rio Hotel and Reno shows them the "Disapperaing Rabbit" trick which he has been "practicing for 8 minutes". He does it well and then introduces the very famous Penn Jillette. A magic illusion is set up on the stage and Ron Pollard and Keith Coote are asked by Penn (who obviously has been briefed well) to come into the magic cage. They do and in 2 seconds the cage door is opened and out comes Teller. Ron and Keith have disappeared, off on a jaunt with Reno. Their families will have to find them. Clues will direct them to selected Las Vegas hotels until they find their dad. First family to do that will receive that bonus reward.

The families are given a postcad for Circus Circus and run to a waiting limo that takes them there. They see 2 clowns with balloons and they decide to pop the balloons and see what happens. What happens is the letter hidden in some balloons are available to put onto a tray. When you orgainze them properly, it spells the next hotel which is Exacalibur. Jennifer Coote and her kids have never been to Las Vegas before but they figured that out quickly. Amie Pollard and her kids had also never been to Las Vegas (nor had their husbands) and she had trouble deducing Excalibur. The Coote limo got stuck in heavy traffic that miraculouslky disappeared by the time the Pollards came through minutes later. At the Exaclibur, the families had to pull swords and save the ones with letters on them, which spell the name of the next hotel. It took minimal time for the Cootes to deduce Mandalay Bay, but when they left the Pollards were arriving. How could this be? Camera tricks? Or maybe producers who had rigged this for the Pollards to win it for a change. The Pollards were primed for Mandalay Bay, which they had just passed on the way to the Excalibur. They pulled even to the Coote limo on the way there. That would not happen in real life, so I assume it was more producer tricks. So both teams arrive at Mandalay Bay at the same time. My goodness, have we morphed into Hell's Kitchen for a stage managed finish? Yes, I think so. The Cootes and Pollards are shown searching the 25th floor for room 25001. I guess that floor was so huge that the correct path there was not obvious. Who should arrive first? You know it will be the Pollards for their first (and maybe last) win over the Cootes. The Cootes faked taking the loss hard. The Pollards are magnanimous in victory and offer for the other families to stay with them in the palatial suite(it may have been big enough for 12 people plus a few cameramen). The Cootes reject their offer and the DiSalvatores accept it. They join the Pollards for champagne, wine, who knows what else and a fine meal that was set up. The Pollards are also given $500 cash spending money.

I liked this episode better than any other so far. On interesting fact about route 66 is that it never went into Nevada at all. It followed I40 west until intersecting with I15 in Barstow. It then follows I15 to I215 to I210 and then out to the Will Rogers Monument in Santa Monica off I10. One potential detour for the next episode is Death Valley National Park, which is a bit north of that route but probably the most interesting thing anywhere near it.


« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 10:28:57 PM by apskip »

Offline TexasLady

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2009, 11:37:02 AM »
I add that as a travelogue this program is superior to the Amazing Race. The contestants have time to enjoy where they visit instead of being continually pressed to move forward. It's taking a little time to smell the roses. The competitive factor between teams on the Great American Road Trip is not as finely developed as a result. Remaining teams are genuinely sorry to see the bottom performing team leave (although they would still be pleased to see some of their contuing competition disappear).

I agree with you about the show letting them enjoy the various stops and the scenery. I just love this show. I also think they have the perfect host for it with Reno Collier.

I was wondering when they ordered the road kill if it really was anything icky, or just different options for lunch.

I thought it was telling as people, the Cootes who have won so much displayed such bad sportsmanship when they lost the luxury challenge. (You think it was staged apskip?)

I loved this episode, I think it is my favorite one so far.

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Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2009, 12:36:56 PM »
TexasLady,

It's clear that the Roadkill Cafe in Seligman AZ serves more than just roadkill. I have never heard of quail being killed on a road.

I do think the Cootes reaction to the Pollard close victory in the Las Vegas bonus challenge was staged. I expect in the heat of the moment that they were upset about losing such fine accommodations. However, who were they hurting by refusing to participate in the generous offer of the Pollards? The only ones negatively impacted were the Cootes. Maybe they wanted to set up a "road warrior" mentality for the final 2 episodes. I don't know for sure, but my guess is that their overreaction was staged. I could be wrong on that.

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2009, 06:21:16 PM »
I thought the menu was something like we have here in Austin, a Dillo burger, or in logging country a Paul Bunyan breakfast. (Play on words type of thing.) I'd love to eat there and find out for sure.  :lol:

It could have been staged.  :duno:

Can't wait for the finale!
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Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2009, 06:39:38 PM »
TexasLady:

Here are some reviews of the Road Kill Cafe, Seligman AZ. My memory of this episode indicates they offer a HUGE menu.

Along old Route 66 in Seligman, AZ, stands the Roadkill Cafe and its roadside kitsch. There's a bar with plenty of antlers and mounted heads, and there's even a stuffed animal diorama along one wall. Outside is an array of old west photo ops in some state of decline -- a jail where you can pose behind bars, a two-holer outhouse, and a sheriff made of old tire rims are some of the highlights. [Jay Kirby, 08/08/2009]
 
Great little restaurant with food "scraped from the streets of Laredo." Menu items include the Splatter Platter, the Big Bagged Stag, the Bad Brake Steak or the Highway Hash. I had the Fender Tenders and they were delicious. Small old West town in the adjacent parking lot. [G Hoover, 07/10/2008]

I stayed in Seligman and ate at the Roadkill cafe. It was excellent, the food was out of this world. I had the Baby back ribs, 18", needless to say I couldn't eat it all. They give you a salad and homemade bread with your meal. the ribs fell right off the bone. The atmosphere was excellent from the Route 66 memorabilia to the animal mounts on the wall. This would be a highly recommended stop for folks passing through Seligman.
Food: all the food is good, but they won't win any awards. We ordered burgers, fried chicken, chicken salad sandwiches, a patty melt and skewered shrimp. The patty melt was great, the burgers cooked to death, but good, and the chicken salad good. The shrimp was good, but the accompanying rice pilaf was sub-par. The sides of salads were very good, the potato salad and mashed potatoes great [Marty SB, 10/4/2008].

We had BBQ Chicken Wings (very nice), a great Chili Dog w/ fries and a 1/2 foot Onion Rings (GREAT!!!!!) [BanditOne, 9/15/07)].

The chili was one of the best I have ever had. I even got a great t-shirt. I would recommend people to stop by and have the burger topped with chili[Chevvtwin NJ, 1/11/07].

The burgers were like cardboard. Servers were very friendly-- but very slow. Fries were soggy [Happer, Las Vegas, 12/29/08].

Thank goodness we got the fries! Prices weren't really cheap.  Not what I expected in the middle of nowhere, off Route 66.  So, I ended up ordering the patty melt.  I'm not a fan of rye bread but I love patty melts.  I probably could have subbed in sourdough but the greasy (in a good way) flavor over took the sourness of the rye bread.  And the patties-- yes, two patties for the patty melt were SEASONED.  Hot damn, this was a good patty melt!  I ate it all up even though I probably shouldn't have for cholesterol's sake. Looking back though, I'm glad I did because it was the second best meal of my trip.  Who knew?  A little road side cafe with an endearing waiter, kooky dead animals decor, seedy bar and best fries I've had this year[Shauna D., LosAngeles, 3/17/08].


So, I guess the word Road Kill refers more to thet decor than to the actual menu. If you read all the above reviews, you will not find any mention of an item I consider to be Road Kill.





 



Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2009, 09:44:14 PM »
I botched setting my TV channel for taping this episode tonight. I understand that the King of the Road Challenge was won by the DiSalvatores and the eliminated family in the End of the road challenge was the Pollards. it will be DiSalvatores vs. Cootes in the finale next televised next week. I will provide more detail when I have it.

Offline ZBC Company

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2009, 11:14:14 PM »
i think cotes are cool i think they are going to win :hearts:

Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2009, 07:08:47 AM »
Zachry Busch,

I happen to agree with you but it will be close. The Coote parents are way ahead of the DiSalvatore parents. However, the DiSalvatore boys are quite a bit more mature, faster, bigger and stronger than the Coote kids although the Coote kids are smarter. I give the Cootes the edge. Look at the record of this competition. Last night was the first King of the Road Challenge the Cootes lost. They have demonstrated their diverse skills. If wanting it could get you there, then Amy and Silvio DiSalvatore will win but it takes skills to do that. I don't know what happens in Los Angeles but I bet it is not a hand/eye coordination exercise that Blake DiSalvatore dominated for their KOTR Challenge.

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2009, 07:10:30 AM »
OKAY LOL, WE SO WHO WIN

Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2009, 08:18:13 AM »
DESERT: ARIZONA and CALIFORNIA

The opening music for this penultimate episode finally penetrated after not really noticing it for the first 6 episodes. It is classic 1950s music like the music from episodes of "Happy Days".

The first stop of the caravan is Boulder City NV. On the way Silvio promises Amy they will win the King of the Road (KOTR) challenge. The RVs have to drive in on a dirt road full of ruts to reach a bluff overlooking the countryside. The KOTR has triple zip lines, one for each competing family. The younger kids go against each other, the older kids go against each other, the moms do the same and finally the dads finish the competition (kind of like hitting cleanup in baseball). Each triplet takes the zip line and aims at targets with pictures of each of their family and of Reno (that's 5 total). Dropping balloons from above while moving on the zip line and hitting a circle that is most of the matching target with their team colors wins. Here goes:

Youngest Kids Blake DiSalvatore vs. Jake Coote vs. Ainslee Pollard;Blake demolishes the field with 2, Jake 1 Ainslee 1
Oldest Kids Mason DiSalvatore vs. Cassidy Coote vs. Aaron Pollard; Mason 1, Cassidy 1, Aaron 1
Mothers Amy DiSalvatore vs. Jennifer Coote vs. Amie Pollard; Zero hits for any of them
Dads Silvio DiSalvatore vs. Keith Coote vs. Ron Pollard; Silvio 1, Keith 0, Ron 0
Team Total DiSalvatore 4 Coote 2 Pollard 2

So Silvio was one-up on the other dads but it did not make a difference since his kids outscored the Coote and Pollard kids. I am going to guess that Mason is a big video game player, which has given him excellent hand/eye coordination.

So the DiSalvatores win one shot at King of the Road, with the crown and window sticker. Amy says "this is more significant than any of the prior 5 KOTR challenges." She is right because the DiSalvatores just won the right to compete in next weeks' finale. The other 2 families have face off in an End of the Road (EOTR) Challenge to determine who will compete against the Disalvatores and who will go home.

There is another dirt road to Oatman AZ with its ghost town and burros all over the place. The DiSalvatores are shown dining the the minimalist style of the local eatery there (not exactly las Vegas style) and the other 2 teams may have eaten in their RV or may have eaten before of after the DiSalvatores because there could not be more than one place to eat in Oatman. That eatery is known for its $55,000 is cash stapled to the walls, a tradition from mining days when out-of-luck prospectors could tap the "investment" they made in less lean times. Keith Coote bought a hat which was modernistic and weird. Amie Pollard got a coonskin cap and stated that "dead coons, dead Cootes... I want to make some Cootie Bootie." You can tell she is desperate given the track record of her family in finishing behind the Cootes every time except for the Las Vegas bonus. Keith says he will put his 9 year old Jake against 17 year old Aaron without hesitation. It turns out that there is also a 12 year old (Cassidy and Ainslee) on each team. The Coote kids are very smart, compensating for their lack of size, strength or agility and they are also super-competitive, which the Pollard kids are not.

Next teams drive across a salt flat to Soggy Dry Lake, also known as Soggy Lake, a dry lakebed in the Johnson Valley Area known for its off-road vehicle use. Reno is there and there is a setup of parked cars in patterns. The End of the Road challenge is for the adults to maneuver those cars (which move only straight forward and straight back) to allow a marked red car to exit through the back exit. The adults drive and their kids in one tower each direct them on which to move with mobile phones (sponsored by Radio Shack jsut as the marked car is). Reno calls it "a puzzle" which is accurate. The smarter kids will win this challenge unless the parents disobey their instructions (you never know for sure with some of the parents). The victory goes to the Cootes, who will drive to Los Angeles to face the DiSalvatores in the finale in Los Angeles for the next and last episode. The Pollards go home, with ron saying rightly so "We're proud of what we did" to calm down a distraught Ainslee. She was upset that her brother ignored her and monopolized the cell phone when she knew which combinations of moves would minimize the time to get the target car out.

Two great representatives of teamwork are going to face off. If you recall the first episode, the DiSalvatores incorrectly accused the Cootes of cheating for the first KOTR victory. Reno was trying to make something of this, but the $100,000 prize gives ample motivation without any other B.S. Stay tuned next week for the recap of the finale.

You should not miss the RENO CAM video available at http://www.nbc.com/great-american-road-trip/video/clips/the-reno-cam/1132111/. It is hilarious and Reno is quite a charmer. I think he is the best host I have seen on television in 2009 (and that includes over Phil Keoghan, that paragon of TV hosts).

Offline TexasLady

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2009, 12:41:01 PM »
Thanks for the video find apskip!!

I just love this show, I'll miss it when it's finished. It's a fun show for the family not like the "There Goes the Neighborhood show." GART lets the family compete and if you win, you win, if you lose you did your best.

I noticed that Keith Coote continued to push the rivalry. I thought it was tacky but you could be right, it's staged. ???
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Offline redwings8831

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2009, 08:01:51 PM »
Spoiler: The DiSalvatores completed the final challenge first and won the $100,000 prize.

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2009, 08:06:20 PM »
i mad that the itlain family won  (:;)

Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2009, 08:38:51 PM »
zachary busch, you aren't the only one disappointed that the inferior team won. However, the Cootes with their superior brainpower failed to deliver it on a memory challenge. Mason DiSalvatore keep his wits when the other 7 players were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. He delivered the victory.

Offline apskip

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2009, 09:07:09 PM »
Those of you interested in what happened in tonight's finale (I realize that is not many of you since several gave up on this show at the beginning with the bratty kids whining) need wait no longer. The information in the prior 3 posts tells you the final result, but not how it happened.

The final challenge starts with the DiSalvatores and the Cootes at a campground somewhere east of Los Angeles near Interstate 10. Reno tells both families that the final challenge will be all over Los Angeles. Clues will be on 5 faces of cubes that are given out to teams able to decipher what they say (as if that takes great brainpower). The 6th face will be used for a special purpose. Both these families have hated each other since the opening episode when the DiSalvatores called the Cootes cheaters and had to rescind that when Reno told them they were wrong.

Clue #1 is to Los Angeles International Airport the Southwest Airlines terminal. Teams somehow decide to check in with SW and wait for something to happen. Something does. The mothers of Amie DiSalvatore and Jennifer Coote arrive and bring cube #2 with them.

#2 takes teams to ride the tour bus on the Universal Studios-Hollywood tour. They snake through the property and get doused with water and have what looks like an earthquake happen to them. They see a cube delivered by a Jaws clone and retrieve it. At this point based on what has gone on in the RV cams, the Cootes appear to be much more focused.

Clue #3 takes the teams to the Roosevelt Hotel, where they have dinner, stay the night and show up for breakfast with Reno. He orchestrates the delivery of their last clue in cubes. The Cootes figure out that they are going to Santa Monica Pier with its ferris wheel and amusement park. That's close as they are going to a stretch of sand right next to there. Both teams drive with a very measured pace. It is obvious that driving ahead of the other RV is not going to happen.

Teams arrive along the Pacific Coast Highway from the north to Santa Monica Pier and park. They find Reno again in front of a large U.S. map with certain empty slots and a group of 8 cubes which have to be placed with the correct face into those slots. Like the finale to Amazing Race 12 near Anchorage Alaska, you have to sort out the wheat from the chaff and know which is the correct photo from each of the major stops made along the way. The correct ones appear to me to be:

Chicago - Wrigley Field
Springfeld - Abraham Lincoln's House
Kansas/Oklahoma - don't know
Texas - the HalfWay House along route 66
Arizona south - Oatman ghost town
Arizona north - Grand Canyon
Nevada - Hoover Dam
California - not clear, but probably Santa Monica Pier

Interspersed with these were pictures of each family enjoying the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC and several other things they never did. Creative photography was used to put them where they never were on this road trip.

Both teams took an initial shot at it. Both failed. Then the Cootes tried a string of 3 more attempts to show the right cube faces on top. All were failures. The Cootes lost their cool and were fighting amongst themselves. Mason took over directing the block placement for the Di Salvatores and he managed to eke out a victory for them. I was not impressed with them as a team. Silvio DiSalvatores is one of the all-time no-goodniks, useless and sometimes counterproductive in a crisis. However, his kids are a lot smarter than he is and they got it done at various places on this trip.

Reno proclaimed the DiSalvatores the winner of 7 fmilies and 2500 miles. This was a sterling series and I look forward to seeing the next season of Great America Road Trip.

Offline TexasLady

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2009, 12:14:03 PM »
I've thoroughly enjoyed this series. It's one that families can watch together. I'm not upset that the DiSalvatores won, but  it really was their son who shined in this challenge and for once Silvio didn't interfere and let his son work with the puzzles.

The Coote family made a fatal error, everyone running around flipping the cubes, the chaos just killed their chances although we don't know how close they were to winning because of the editing.

I look forward to the next in this series. Unlike the CBS, "There Goes the Neighborhood," this show encourages a family bonding together unlike that other show that will end with neighbors being bitter enemies. The former let the challenges determine the winner, the latter pits families against one another and evicting by a vote.
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Offline tory

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Re: Great American Road Trip
« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2009, 05:15:35 PM »
i totaly agree tl. i have been watching ther goes the neighbor hood and did not like it but hubby likes to watch it , any way i was wondering y it botherd me and u said it , it is heart breaking every week some one cry's a lot.
any way love love the great am rd trip i loved the desavatoris and i was so glad they won :jumpy: :jumpy: i think they realy grew as a family and  they had a way better attatude then the coots. and i was glad siliveo made it to the end he cracked me up every week, i looked fw to what was he going to say next omg.. my fav epi is still one of the frist ones when him and the ppl from al 3 pl loved them allso , the al mom was sitting at a picknic table and she said u can sit here and he was hu and she said you'll can sit here and he went hu, it was soo lol finily silvo got it oh u me yous guys.. he said he like them but he tought there might be some kind of languge berer. any way this was a realy good show i hope it comes bk..
tv junky needs help!!!!!


 

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