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Mission Accomplished: Richard Hammond Reflects on 'Crash Course' Season 2

12/10/2012 9:30am EST
Richard Hammond
Richard Hammond can finally relax. Tonight ends the second season of his popular BBC America series Richard Hammond's Crash Course, in which he's been everything from a barber in Harlem to a bullfighter in Texas. As he caught his breath after a season of new challenges, Richard spoke with Digital Airwaves to discuss how it all came together and the one thing he'd love to try.

"There was a lot more to do with the program," he said of the decision to return for a second season of Crash Course. "Season one we talked very much using my exposure as someone who drives a lot of different vehicl...

5 Occupations Richard Hammond Should Try in 'Crash Course' Season 3

12/3/2012 10:30am EST
Richard Hammond's Crash Course
Richard Hammond has broadened his horizons in this season of Richard Hammond's Crash Course. He's been a test pilot, a barber, and a Hollywood stuntman. While Crash Course hasn't yet been greenlit for a third season, here's a short list of occupations Richard should attempt if the BBC America show comes back.

Actor. Richard's a successful television personality and we've seen him conquer his fear of stand-up comedy in season two. There's no doubt that he's good in front of a camera. Yet it would be an interesting change of pace if he were working off a different kind of script, one that ...

'Richard Hammond's Crash Course' Recap: 'Cattle Rancher' (2.06)

11/26/2012 10:58pm EST
Richard Hammond's Crash Course
After narrowly avoiding bulls in an earlier episode this season, Richard Hammond is back amongst cattle in this week's episode of Richard Hammond's Crash Course, trying his hand at working on a ranch. Hopefully, this attempt turns out better, although the content warning before the titles isn't encouraging.

Richard's headed to Texas, which should be a natural fit for the guy who drove a pickup truck and wore a cowboy hat through Top Gear's ill-fated Southern road trip. Helping him this week is TJ Haynie, who starts by reminding him that 9 AM is late on the ranch. A chagrined Richard goe...

'Richard Hammond's Crash Course' Recap: 'Harlem Barber/Test Pilot' (2.05)

11/21/2012 3:45pm EST
Richard Hammond takes on two more occupations in this week's episode of Richard Hammond's Crash Course: he's a barber in Harlem and a helicopter test pilot in California.

His first gig is at Levels Barbershop, where he meets owner Kamal Nuru and some of Kamal's clientele. The audience learns quickly that being a barber is a lot more than just cutting hair: it's about design and style, as well. "My first impression of Richard was a good one because I saw he had personality," Kamal tells the camera, while Richard wonders if he needs a haircut.

Kamal's first step is to teach Richard...

'Richard Hammond's Crash Course' Recap: 'IndyCar Pit Crew' (2.04)

11/13/2012 4:44pm EST
For one of the hosts of the world's most popular car show, which has required him to do car maintenance and do several segments on motorsports, being part of an IndyCar pit crew should be easy, right? Not exactly.

In this episode of Crash Course, Richard Hammond is in California joining Didier Francesia's Dragon Racing pit crew. Richard explains that the average IndyCar pit stop takes eight seconds or less, and that to make the team he'll have to try every position on the roster.

The first thing he has to do is learn to fuel the car, which should be easy, but he has a hard tim...

'Richard Hammond's Crash Course' Recap: 'American Bullfighter/Paddle Boarder' (2.03)

11/5/2012 11:00pm EST
Richard Hammond's Crash Course
Richard Hammond tackles two more occupations in this week's episode of Crash Course: in Texas, he takes on the rodeo and in Hawaii, he tries to master the open water. "Who signed me up for this?" he wonders aloud, and it's a valid question, as the theme of this installment seems to be 'things that put Richard Hammond in very real danger.'

The intrepid host arrives in Texas and meets up with Clint Hopping, who is one of only three hundred professional bullfighters (or, as they're more commonly known, rodeo clowns) in the country. It's Clint's job to teach Richard not how to ride t...

'Richard Hammond's Crash Course' Recap: 'Comedian/Taxi Driver' (2.02)

10/29/2012 10:00pm EDT
Richard Hammond's Crash Course
The second episode of Richard Hammond's Crash Course packs two occupations into one hour - stand-up comedian and New York City taxi driver. Either of these jobs would be challenging enough for their own episode, but when you put them together and add in the fact that Richard is facing one of his biggest fears, this is one of the better 'crash courses' that he's embarked upon.

The show neatly ties the two jobs together with the premise that most stand-up comedians work other jobs in order to support themselves, so Richard will have to earn his keep driving a city taxi while also p...

'Richard Hammond's Crash Course' Recap: 'Stuntman' (Season 2 Premiere)

10/22/2012 10:00pm EDT
Richard Hammond's Crash Course
One of the underrated pleasures of last season was Richard Hammond's Crash Course, which let uber-host Richard Hammond come over to America and explore some of the country's most difficult occupations. Richard is back for another go-around, this time with some of our more different jobs, starting with trying four days in the life of a Hollywood stuntman.

Palm trees and Graumann's Chinese Theater flash by us before we find Richard driving to the L.A. River in order to meet the trio of professionals who will serve as the experts for this episode: Rick Avery (whose credits include A...

Out of the Driver's Seat: Richard Hammond Talks 'Crash Course' Season 2

10/22/2012 1:15pm EDT
Richard Hammond's Crash Course
As one of the three hosts of the world's biggest motoring show, ​Top Gear​, Richard Hammond has done a lot of cool things behind the wheel. He's been struck by lighting, submerged in water, traveled to the North Pole, and somehow managed to set a car wash on fire. Yet in the second season of his BBC America series, ​Richard Hammond's Crash Course​, he's stepping out from the world of vehicles - and purposely putting himself outside of his comfort zone.

"This season we really threw the whole brief wide open by getting me out of the cab of vehicles and saying, well, let’s take on larg...

'Richard Hammond's Crash Course' Returns for Season 2

10/15/2012 1:10pm EDT
Richard Hammond's Crash Course
Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond is back in the United States to try out a new handful of career choices in the second season of Richard Hammond's Crash Course, which starts next week on BBC America.

Last time around, he endeavored to learn about a handful of blue-collar jobs: driving an Abrams tank with the Army, operating a Striker with the fire department, logging, working at a landfill, salvage and demolition. Some of the jobs on Richard's list this season are stand-up comedian, barber, snake wrangler, taxi driver and, in the first episode, stuntman. The focus of the show see...

BBC Worldwide Unveils New 'Top Gear' USA-Inspired Challenge for 'Top Gear: Stunt School Revolution'

9/19/2012 1:55pm EDT
Top Gear
After recently launching an online game based on their hit Dancing With The Stars, BBC Worldwide yesterday announced that they're improving their popular iPhone/iPad/iPod game Top Gear Stunt School Revolution by adding a new level based on last night's "Tractor Challenge" episode of the American Top Gear.

Fans will be able to select their own tractor and try to deliver various cargo without dropping or destroying it (which, it should be noted, the hosts themselves weren't always able to do in Tuesday's episode).

Here are details from BBC Worldwide:

“The Tractor Challenge” sends hosts...

'Top Gear's' Rutledge Wood on Season 3, US Versus UK and Adam Levine

8/28/2012 10:30am EDT
Top Gear
Top Gear host Rutledge Wood is one of the nicest people on the planet. The Georgia native always has a smile on his face and an incredibly warm personality. How is he so positive? Maybe it's because he has not one, but two dream jobs: first as a NASCAR analyst for SPEED Channel, and then as one-third of the hosting trio for History's American incarnation of the world's most popular motoring show.

I recently re-connected with Rutledge to get the scoop on season three of Top Gear, the comparisons between the US and UK versions, and Adam Levine's contentious celebrity lap from season two.


'Top Gear' Lost Season Recap: Jeremy Tries To Get Bored

7/2/2012 10:02pm EDT
Top Gear
Tonight, on Top Gear: a member of Parliament in the Reasonably Priced Car, a nice relaxing smoke in a new Aston Martin, and a mad Jaguar, gone bad. And that takes us all the way back to June 1, 2003.

This episode of TG is devoted entirely to Jaguar, which was never cooler than when Edward Woodward drove an XJ6 in The Equalizer. Unfortunately, we don't have Mr. Woodward; we have Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. It's James (no surprise) who gives us a brush-up on the history of Jaguar, including "the world's most plastered racing driver" Duncan Hamilton at the 24 Hours of Le M...

'Top Gear' Lost Season Recap: Love, Hate, Destroy

6/11/2012 10:00pm EDT
Top Gear
Tonight, on Top Gear: Richard Hammond in a V8 tumble dryer, a way to bankrupt yourself, and we turn up the heat on the world's dumbest car. And that takes us all the way back to May 11, 2003.

This final "lost season" is, in fact, Top Gear's second series from almost a decade ago. Jeremy Clarkson has more hair than he does now, and starts talking to us about "stuff that looks good at four miles an hour, in a traffic jam." He's intrigued by the Smart Roadster, which he compares to "a pop video." And so we get one, with a model driving it about. But Jeremy wants it to have street cred, which ...

The Hamster Who Ruled The World: A Conversation With 'Top Gear's' Richard Hammond

4/16/2012 2:00pm EDT
Richard Hammond
When I get word that Richard Hammond wants to speak with me, I'm stunned. I'm to be on the phone with one of Britain's most loved TV personalities, one of my idols...and I've just seen film of him crushing a Porsche with a tank.

Calling Hammond just a TV presenter would be like calling Cal Ripken Jr. just a ballplayer. He has hosted enough television programs that he should probably have his own channel. He's best known for a decade of co-hosting Top Gear, but has also been seen on shows like Brainiac, Total Wipeout, and multiple series that bear his name, including Richard Hammond's Fiv...

'Top Gear' (US) Recap: 'Rut's Show' Lands Him In The Hospital

3/27/2012 10:06pm EDT
Top Gear
Let's accurately re-title this episode: "The One Where Rutledge Lands Himself In The Hospital." That's what we're all going to remember about this installment of Top Gear.

After a previous outing where it was all about beating Tanner at his own game, the team celebrates their 25th show by giving Rutledge creative control. This starts with Adam and Rutledge heading out to California for truck-race training. Only one of them can win the open spot in a race the next day. The guys are competitive if not exactly graceful, and Rutledge pulls out the victory. He thinks being a pro truck...

'Top Gear' (US) Recap: Building (And Destroying) Limos

3/20/2012 10:02pm EDT
Top Gear
This week on History's Top Gear, Adam, Tanner and Rutledge try to go high-class when they build limos for the Emmy Awards, and fail miserably while we laugh at their pain. Yes, it's another week on Top Gear.

Tanner's limo is based on a 1987 Corvette, because he wants his creation to be "all about performance" and "able to do a burnout." Yep, that's Tanner. Unsurprisingly, it's bright red and only slightly less of an eyesore than Jeremy Clarkson's attempt at a limo. Rutledge calls it "a rolling sauna of exhaust fumes."

Rutledge picks a 1981 VW Rabbit pickup, which he calls "one of ...

'Top Gear' (US) Recap: Donald Trump Goes Shopping For 'Supercars'

3/13/2012 10:02pm EDT
Top Gear
On this week's Top Gear, the boys are borrowed by a mysterious celebrity to test high-end convertibles in order to find the perfect one. Sounds easy, right? Not on this show.

Rutledge brings the Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster, even if he has some difficulty getting out of it and calls it "the most impractical car in the world." Backed by some violins, Adam drives up in the Bentley Continental GTC. Hearing the two of them talk about rappers and Kim Kardashian is hilarious in and of itself. But then Tanner rolls up in a Porsche Turbo S Cabriolet. All of them are tasked with getting to New...

Slash Falters In 'Top Gear' Challenge

3/12/2012 8:24am EDT
Rock legend Slash turned the air blue as he tested his driving skills in a celebrity racetrack challenge on British TV show Top Gear.

The former Guns N' Roses guitarist cursed up a storm while behind the wheel of a Kia hatchback for the show's Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment.

Producers were forced to bleep out his expletives as Slash shouted, "Alright, let's not f**k this up!" while speeding along the course.

However, Slash admits the wet track was difficult to navigate following heavy showers in Britain last week.

He tells host Jeremy Clarkson, "It was actually pretty trick...

'Top Gear' (US) Recap: 'Dangerous Cars' (3.03)

2/28/2012 10:05pm EST
Top Gear
In this week's Top Gear, Adam, Tanner and Rutledge take their lives in their own hands again, driving three allegedly dangerous cars: the Ford Pinto, Suzuki Samurai, and Chevy Corvair.

Rutledge gets the potentially flaming Corvair, while Adam gets a chance to blow himself up in the Pinto, and Tanner has to drive the unturnable Samurai, all of them en route to (what else?) a demolition derby. "I don't feel like there's a huge amount of inherent danger in the car," Rutledge says, while Adam agrees "There's good and bad in everything in life." At least our guys are optimistic in the ...

'Top Gear' (US) Recap: 'Muscle Cars' (3.02)

2/22/2012 12:37am EST
Top Gear
One thing that's universal with Top Gear: its willingness to exploit the suffering of its hosts for entertainment. This week's American edition is one of those episodes.

In this week's episode, the guys are breaking out a trio of muscle cars to test their mettle. Rutledge has the Dodge Challenger SRT-8, Adam brings a Ford Mustang GT, and Tanner drives up in a Chevy Camaro SS Auto. After a little good-natured ribbing of each other's cars (and Tanner's choice of shirt), it's challenge time!

First, they've got to drive to the Los Angeles River, which happens to be 20 miles away. Thi...

'Top Gear' (US) Recap: 'Big Rigs' (3.01)

2/14/2012 10:03pm EST
Top Gear
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I'm doing an American Top Gear blog again. Join me as the property destruction commences.

Before we get started, a note: It's true that I've been on the fence about this show for awhile. Something about it didn't always click with me, and I said so when I used to write these reviews back in the first season. So why come back? Well, to borrow an old dating cliche: it wasn't them, it was me. I had the opportunity to spend a day on the Top Gear set a few months ago, and I got to see first-hand how well suited for this show these presenters are and what it re...

Behind The Wheel Of History's 'Top Gear'

2/14/2012 1:00pm EST
Top Gear
"American Top Gear."

It's a phrase that's struck dread in the hearts of many for years. Fans of the hit BBC series - those of us sitting at home with our Jeremy Clarkson books and 'I Am The Stig' T-shirts, and yes, I am one - have heard rumblings about a US import and almost immediately worried one would go south (see: the American adaptation of Coupling, etc.) Yet after a false start (a busted NBC pilot hosted by Adam Carolla), History Channel made the concept a reality two years ago.

And guess what? It's not a nightmare. In fact, it's pretty good.

The cynics - and yes, I was one - are ...

'Top Gear' 17.05 'Bob Geldof' Review

9/19/2011 10:24pm EDT
Top Gear
Tonight on Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson talks to a man in sunglasses, James May draws a square on a wall, and Richard Hammond plays with a soldier's chopper.

Firstly, our blustery leader wants to talk about the Jensen Interceptor, which he tells us was "built very badly by people who didn't seem to care what they were doing." It's back now with an updated version, and he seems much happier with the new one, minus some period features that he doesn't care for. The steering system, he says, might be from a lawnmower and requires a lot of "flailing at the wheel." That doesn't sound enco...

'Top Gear' 17.04 'Rowan Atkinson' Review

9/12/2011 10:21pm EDT
Top Gear
It's time for more Top Gear. Tonight, Jeremy uses a machine, James writes on a blackboard, and Richard throws fruit into a caravan. Sounds thrilling, doesn't it?

We open the show with Jeremy discussing the reputation of the Jaguar name, before he tells us that the new Jaguar XKR-S is the most powerful road car they've ever made, "on the edge of Ferrari territory." He goes on to say that the car's sacrificed a whole shopping list of stuff for speed. Yet it might be for naught, as he suggests that the speed-obsessed might be better off with a Nissan GTR instead.

How do we solve th...

'Top Gear' 17.03 'Sebastian Vettel' Review

9/5/2011 10:22pm EDT
Top Gear
Just because it's a holiday doesn't stop Top Gear! Tonight, Jeremy Clarkson talks to two old ladies, Richard Hammond makes a phone call, and James May sniffs his own armpit.

Jeremy quips that the new McLaren MP4-12C was named "after a fax machine" before he pits it against a Ferrari 458, and tells us that it's much better in many categories. He enjoys the McLaren's traction control, which "won't let you kill yourself," and a spoiler that raises when you do any hard braking "so you can't see what's about to crash into the back of you." Yet he also admits there's a "lack of joy" in t...

Brittany's 'The Voice' Blog: EP's, VMA's and...Snapple?!

8/30/2011 8:00am EDT
The Voice
Here's the latest on and around NBC's The Voice: Curtis Grimes drops a new EP, Adam Levine talks frankly about the MTV Video Music Awards, and some chat about beverages...

Team Cee Lo's country singer Curtis Grimes - at the far right in this picture from the show's June wrap party - has just released a new seven-song EP entitled Doin' My Time, and so far it's been met with some pretty great user reviews on iTunes. You can download the EP for $6.93 there by using this link.

Season one winner Javier Colon is still writing for his upcoming album, tentatively scheduled for a November releas...

'Top Gear USA' 2.06 'The Five Hundred Dollar Challenge' Review

8/28/2011 11:10pm EDT
Top Gear
You'll recall that I wasn't sold on Top Gear USA after reviewing its freshman season. Yet since tonight's episode featured Adam Levine as the celebrity guest, I thought I'd give it another look.

I'm still not a fan, but the show's definitely making improvements.

This week, hosts Adam Ferrara, Rutledge Wood and Tanner Foust take on a challenge familiar to fans of the original Top Gear - taking a cheap car on a road trip up the California coast. It doesn't take them long to find the flaws in their discount vehicles. (Adam remarks that Tanner, in his rattling Mercedes, looks like "an amb...

'Top Gear' 17.01 'Alice Cooper' Review

8/22/2011 10:21pm EDT
Top Gear
The greatest car show the world has ever seen is back. Tonight, Richard Hammond buys a cup of coffee, James May slips on some snow, and we show a picture of Steve McQueen.

Top Gear's seventeenth-season premiere opens with Richard introducing us to a new car called the "Marauder" which makes the Hummer look infantile. It weighs ten tons, is nine feet tall and looks like a tank as it trudges through the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa - and it can be yours if you pony up 300,000 GBP and pass a background check(?!). What to do with this insane vehicle? The Hamster crashes throu...

'Top Gear' Hosts Cleared In TV Watchdog Investigation

4/4/2011 3:28pm EDT
Top Gear
The presenters of hit British motoring show Top Gear have been cleared by TV watchdog officials of breaching program rules after taking aim at Mexicans during a controversial episode broadcast earlier this year.

Hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May came under fire from London's Mexican ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora after they mocked his countrymen during a discussion about a Mexican sports car.

In the segment, which aired on the BBC in January, Hammond told viewers, "Why would you want a Mexican car? Because cars reflect national characteristics, don't they? Mexican car...