The producers of Top Gear on History really hit the jackpot with this cast. These gents are not only passionate in their love of motoring, but have a flair for ridiculousness that knows no bounds. This couldn’t have been proven more than this week’s, Limos. Their mission was to build limousines that would transport celebrities to the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards. It is likely that this episode will live in infamy for years to come. Crazy Top Gear challenges always depend on automobiles that have been modified to a barely recognisable state. Indeed, this challenge depended heavily on their warped designs; and boy, were they warped! Rutledge Wood created a long, two-sided Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup Truck with tailgating accoutrements. Tanner Foust stayed true to his love of race cars and had a 1987 Corvette made into a thirty-five foot long Corvette. Its interior had carpet and seats but not much else. While Adam Ferrara knocked it straight out of the park, with a 1969 Lincoln MK III that became his version of the iconic Popemobile, complete with a comfy arm chair and its own siren. It was refreshing to see the presenters involved with the vehicles’ alterations. This is a first for this series and long overdue.
The monstrosities were subject to three tests, at the Top Gear track before their public debuts. First was a two-way quarter-mile drag race where, they learned the hard way that size isn’t everything. The second test was a bit different because the boys didn’t drive. They occupied the celebrity’s seat, while at the mercy of a very special chauffeur. Some say that he was a CIA experiment gone wrong, and that he only eats cheese. It was The Stig and he terrorised them all during this segment, which I like to call ‘Top Gear does Cocktail.’ It was not only fun to watch but good to see The Stig participating in a challenge with the boys. After all, he is the fourth cast member. By the way, I’m inclined to believe that The Stig is not Tanner Foust. I could be wrong, but what does it have to do with the price of rice in China? Once they survived that, it was time for a complicated obstacle course that put the drivers under pressure along with their cars. Viewers tweeted excitedly as they recognised vehicles from past episodes First Cars, Death Valley and The $500 Challenge.
This obstacle course ensured the boys could manoeuvre their abominationscreations in any situation. The celebrity pick-up under fire, actually water and balls was most enjoyable. (Everything’s better with balls.) Tanner displayed cat-like reflexes and Rutledge did his best Captain Jack Sparrow impersonation. Unfortunately, Adam never got that far. Yes, there was a collision but the Popemobile handled it well, as this adventure moved towards its finale. The actual task of celebrity transportation was the only remaining task. The boys’ special attire only made make them look less capable of doing so. Adam had the privilege of transporting the beloved Cloris Leachman. She’s not only a fine actress but a certifiable living legend. Rutledge ferried the lovely Terri Seymour. They called her an A-Lister…okay, whatever. Tanner had Bruno Tonioli, the wildly flamboyant judge from Dancing With The Stars. Bruno’s screen time was brief but memorable. In fact, Tanner may have been very happy that passenger and driver were separated by a great divide. Although only one man completed the task but all of the passengers were left disgusted. Is it really a win when somebody’s cursing you out, as they walk away from your car? Anyway, this is Top Gear and winning is irrelevant. It was all about the journey and indeed, this was one wild episode with destruction and trauma et al.
Gray said, “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.” That night, my wisdom could have taken a long walk. This episode borrowed heavily from the series’ UK progenitor…very, very heavily. Two out of the three American limos were made with the same crackpot designs as the British series. The half Rabbit test drive and water cannon were both recycled ideas. The Popemobile was the only outstandingly original concept. That being said, I eventually forgot and thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Sure, they reinvented the wheel but, they did it very well. It wasn’t 100% original but it was 100% funny, and I’ll probably laugh every time I see it.
British actor Stephen Moyer of the HBO series True Blood did the lap in the ‘Big Star, Small Car’ segment. His lap looked blazingly fast, and it was. The Star lap Times board has turned become a heated competition. History Channel would do well to post it on the show’s official website, so viewers can keep track and celebs can brag. Mr. Moyer shined in his interview with Rutledge. In fact, he’s a lot like the show’s presenters. He likes to drive cars as fast as they will go, which often leads to wrecks. In addition, he’s prone to juvenile shenanigans. (Hey dude, if that sexy vampire thing doesn’t work out…) Actually, I’m pretty sure a number of Truebies happily watched this episode just to see Mr. Moyer. They should advertise who their celebrity guests on the track will be. Stans will even buy episodes on iTunes, just to see their favourite guy/gal turn out the little Suzuki. After all, isn’t that the point of the segment? Rutledge and Adam tweeted to viewers during the episode, in addition to Facebook interactions. Hopefully they’ll be able to do the same for next week’s Rut’s Show. Quotable quotes from this episode were:
“And people think I’m the redneck of this show!” – Rutledge Wood
“Don’t be jealous of my length.” – Tanner Foust
“I’m not gonna crash.”– Adam Ferrara