Review of Top Gear USA’s Desert Trailblazers

Review of Top Gear USA’s Desert Trailblazers

In Desert Trailblazers, the Top Gear USA boys headed into the Sonoran desert for an adventure ending at the Grand Canyon.  Not a grand canyon but The Grand Canyon. This time around they got to do it in near top-of-the-line vehicles. Adam appeared first in an AEV Brute. I’ve heard of this vehicle before and it is indeed bat poop. Tanner was in a 2012 Overland Journal Edition of the Land Rover LR4. Since the 2012 Range Rover Sport Supercharged HSE he drove in Mammoth Mountain wasn’t water-tight perhaps they though a desert is where it would shine. Rutledge probably had the vehicle that best suited most people’s bank accounts, a $39k 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Ultimate Edition. That sounds a lot more plausible than Tanner’s 4×4 at $70k and Adam’s Brute which is pretty ridiculous at upwards of $132k. It was still good that they showed us three options in action. Although the vehicles were fitted with modern conveniences, the cast wasn’t allowed of use GPS or phones for the journey. It reminded me of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles held annually in Morocco where racers only have an analog compass and old map to find their way. So basically, these boys would almost certainly get lost but I’m not sure how spontaneous that was going to be and you’ll see what I mean by that.

“Hey guys, I was a Boy Scout for a year. I can handle this.” – Rutledge Wood


They came across a river which is always fun on this show because crossing it simply must happen regardless of things like physics or common sense. Ahem, common sense isn’t common on this show. Also since they’re British at their core, there was an orchestral choir singing like the AEV Brute was Excalibur or something. Things got hairy at the Devil’s Staircase and I remembered Adam breaking his bronco in Death Valley that one time. It took them a while but they all got up the staircase and lost again before stopping for the night. Maybe I’ve watched a lot of this show but they’ve never gone anywhere that was really so dangerous. Okay, except maybe Iceland and Alaska; but when you wake up to skiers going past your cars then you’re basically okay…and have permission to be there. The whole getting chased by ski patrol was cute too. The off-road bits were fun because that stuff always is, but if you want realism, then you’re better off watching Dust To Glory. No seriously, it’s awesome and I’m not just saying that because Greg Tracy is in it. That movie is amazeballs. By the way, anybody want to bet on who’ll try to trademark “Mother of Pearl!” first?

“He drove down the freaking river.” – Tanner Foust

As far as episodes showing off America’s natural wonders go, this one was quite solid. The contrivances were exactly that and purely for entertainment value (like Duck Dynasty where nothing is spontaneous) as opposed to following the guys around and waiting for them to be silly all on their own. Seriously, it’s like they’re collectively fourteen years old. The show’s producers hedge their bets by planning out the adventure ahead of time but when you use even a small brain cell, it’s obvious that the reality is scripted and even the off-road adventures like these are one a schedule. We’ve watched enough episodes to be smart about this kind of stuff, so now they’ll have to really get clever to keep us guessing until the end credits. I’d like to think we’re worth at least that. Yes, I’m fully aware of the episode’s ending but really, the BBC and History Channel wouldn’t stop the chartered cargo plane to allow the show’s stars to board safely? Oh, and then there’s this:

“If I want light and short, I got him. (points to Tanner)” – Adam Ferrara

Reality – checked! Thanks to the cast for live tweeting with fans and stans because that never gets old. The next episode is ‘80s Power.