Top Gear USA

7:10:00 AM

Three episodes into the History Channels Top Gear USA and it seems to be getting better. The season opener left much to be desired and like the original (relaunched) Top Gear UK it may require a shuffling of the deck. When Top Gear UK launched it was hosted by Jeremy, Richard, and Jason Dawe. Dawe would eventually be replaced by James May, and television history was made. The question is will the History Channel give the guys a chance to bond and create the chemistry that made the British show a hit, or will one (or more) of the presenters need go the way of Dawe, thus ushering an era of television greatness?

Do you remember Jason Dawe? No....
If I had to hazard a guess, Top Gear USA's Dawe is Rutledge Wood. Not because they share some aesthetic similarities, but simply because everything he does seems forced and scripted. Such as when in episode 3 his T-Bird was out of water and he was scooping up muddy water from a puddle when clean water was just a few feet away from a nearby building. Nowhere is it more apparent than in the studio segments where I expect to hear him shout "LINE". He takes forever to deliver his bad Tiger Woods joke..... "Buick....uhhhhhh it worked for Tiger Woods".

However, chatter out there in cyberspace is that Rutledge is not the only host not beloved by the fans, so far only Tanner, (who has been a part of Top Gear USA since the early Adam Corolla pilot days) has been embraced by the fans. Host Adam Ferrarra is collecting a large group of fan-boys that want to see him go as well, but the hate seems to be strong towards Rutledge.
Honestly they need to get Adam into wardrobe it looked like he rolled out of bed. He is trying even harder than "Denim Dan" Jay Leno to be the average car guy it seems. Speaking of wardrobe who let Rutledge and Tanner dress up as twins??? Anyways back to Ferrarra... he seems to be loosening up and he and Tanner seem to interact well together. I will admit the NY accent gets a little annoying at times, but other than needing a button up shirt and clean pair of jeans he is starting to grow on me.

A quick spin over to the History Channel message boards and we find the internet equivalent of a mob revolt, torches and all. It seems that the majority of the fans like Tanner but wish he would talk more and loosen up, Rutledge has an entire thread dedicated to his removal from the show, and most people have some hate for Adam's lack of car knowledge. Here are some of the posts over at Top Gear USA board.
Need for appearance of creditability:
"The most uninteresting,dry,and dull hosts I've ever seen.This show needs more personality and these goofs are not it, bring back the brits. Need some normal funny people not a bunch of nerds that can drive."
Kill me Now:

"I watch the first show...well, more than half when I could bear it no longer. The hosts are all emotionless, expressionless script readers. I am amazed that these guys actually have driver's licenses. They have no real car sense, no journalistic ability, and no personality. I can assure History Channel that I won't be watching their channel when this show is on."


They are terrible:
"The episode last night was horrendous. Tanner is the only one who can actually drive and understands cars at a granular level. The other 2 can't drive at all and their factoids come right off the manufacturers websites.The UK trio actually know cars. They know automotive history. They know how to drive for gods sake. There was a section last night where Rutledge was driving the AM V12 and he said "Yeah! I'm sideways now" with the wheel pin straight and only 2 fingers holding it in position and the backdrop out the drivers window barely moving. Stop trying to fake things like that. It is painfully obvious to the folks who pay attention that he was not driving in any of those out of car scenes and his car control ability is non existent. The final clip with the drifting showed he had no ability to hold a car at length sideways.Horrendous, just horrendous. Please stop killing a masterpiece of a show like Top Gear with 2 additional no talent clowns."
Two New Hosts:

"This is such a cluster phuck, the damage can't be fixed. Please apologize to your viewers in both countries, and syndicate the British version of Top Gear on The History Channel instead.
I can't imagine ***ANY*** of the hosts on the American version ever having enough money in their lives to afford or be qualified to drive anything more expensive or more powerful than a 4 cylinder used Hyundai."

Those would be some of the nicer posts that we can post here on this family friendly car site. History Channel has all the right elements, cool locations, old air strip, access to tons of great "big Stars" to stuff into their small car, it just seems they tried to hard to get a cross section of America into the hosting positions. In a way it feels like they are pandering. You have the California Sports Car Driver, the Down South Country Boy, and the New York Wiseguy. Top Gear UK did not go out of their way to find a Scott, a Welshmen, and a Irishmen, they found three enthusiasts that worked well together. You could put myself and two of my friends on that show and have interesting T.V. because we have a relationship and we can get away with stuff. We know each other...oh and we love cars and all three of us can drive stick!

Remember that Top Gear Australia also had a host shuffle when they made a change from one network to another, perhaps the guys over at the history channel should take another page from Top Gear history and shuffle the deck for season two.

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