American Chopper - OCC, PJD, JJ - Who Wins?
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
OK, fess up, who watched the circus sideshow known as American Chopper
last night to witness the build-off between Jesse James
, Paul Teutul, Sr. and Paul Teutul, Jr.? Come on, you know you’re guilty. So in a ploy to drum up ratings, the Discovery Channel came up with the bright idea to throw the bad boy of bike building into the midst of the family drama show between the Teutuls. Just what the show needed, another antagonist. The result - Jesse is still up to the same old tricks, OCC
didn’t really give a rat’s ass about the whole thing, and Paul Jr. takes things way too seriously sometimes.
Discovery succeeded in portraying the three different camps exactly how they intended. Jesse came away as crass and abrasive but talented. Nothing new here. He spewed profanities, shot machine guns to vent, and Discovery gave his pit bulls some air time all the time while he bashed the Teutuls as posers. Discovery did try to portray a softer side when they brought out his daughter, but again, an orchestrated move. There’s no denying Jesse still has the skills to bend steel and fabricate a classic scoot, but the show didn’t do much to repair his image. Especially when he spouts off about doing everything himself, then brings in his buddy who’s an engine and tranny specialist, followed by the guys from Austin Speed Shop. This doesn’t even include the visit he got from Cole Foster. I give him props for bending his own frame, fobbing up his own fork and for creating a good-looking chopper. But there was nothing special about the bike, especially considering you can’t see over the bars and the uncomfortable stretch to reach the bars.
Paul Jr. and crew pretty much stayed true to what they do. They built an over-the-top theme bike heavy on the design factor but short on functionality. Did you see the size of those hoops? They’re definitely not built for canyon carving. I’ll give PJD props for a creating a fantastic looking tank and a sick industrial looking single-sided fork. The engine with its copper tubing and covers was cool, too. But I’d like to see what type of heat shields they built to keep the heat from the exhaust off the highly combustible fuel supply and American Suspension built the fork (as well as the frame). Paul Jr. was a bit pedantic in worrying about his dad saying Jesse was a “genius” as a bike builder and his social media plea was a little pathetic. That shop would be in trouble without Vinnie, who obviously brings the most skills to the table in the PJD camp. Give props to his fabricator, too, who is talented as well.
And then there’s OCC. Must have been harvest season in upstate New York because the whole crew was acting wacky. But I’ll cut them a break. OCC knew they didn’t have a chance in hell in winning what boils down to a popularity contest. They knew that going in. I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth before the show. They knew that because of the negative perception Senior has in the public eye, there was no way they could win a contest judged by the viewing public. So they took a different approach as comic relief. Their three-wheeled contraption looks like the star attraction at Comic-Con more so than a functional vehicle. Flame-throwers? A laying down, forward-facing riding position? A back wheel that’s better suited for spinning 360s than anything else? The best thing about the creation is its electric motors and its track system. Would have liked to have seen OCC draw upon the bike-building skills of Skeeter Todd, Rick and Mike, but even then the odds were still stacked against them.
So what do you think? I’m sure Discovery boosted its ratings last night, which was its primary goal. Voting is still going on as far as I know, so you can head over to Chopper Live
if you’d like to cast your vote as the winner will be announced in a live show from Vegas tonight. But overall, I was a little disappointed in the show. With all his talent, Jesse played it close to the cuff and didn’t venture far from his comfort zone. Junior followed suit, coming up with a very creative design but again sticking to the theme bike comfort zone. I’ll give OCC credit for lightening up the mood around there and for building something totally unexpected. But it’s not a motorcycle. And in my opinion, there should have been a few rules or guidelines to abide by, liking requiring them to take their customs out for a 100-mile ride at highway speeds. But I’m as guilty as the next guy of spending two hours watching the show last night, even though I haven’t seen the show in a very long time, so Discovery succeeded in reeling viewers in with the concept. For some reason, though, I expected more.
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