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The Amazing Race 5, Episode 4: MVPs and LVPs – Now Serving Caviar in Cargo Classby Betsy Wasser -- 08/03/2004
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Episode 4 of The Amazing Race was, as always, exciting. Even though Colin and Christie and Brandon and Nicole had a formidable head start, and even though it seemed pretty clear we’d be saying goodbye to Bob and Joyce, I was still on the edge of my seat. Better still, several of the teams surprised me. Which players had what it takes to soar to the heights of First Class, and which ones sank to the depths of Cargo Class? I won’t keep you waiting.
Let’s start with the positive, our First Class racers. The honorable mention this week goes to Chip. At the beginning of this leg, he and Kim noted that they’ve been “bottom feeders” all along, and they were determined to improve their lot. Well, thanks largely to Chip, they did. When they got to the caviar roadblock, Chip did the smart thing and just pounded that caviar, taking big bites and washing each one down with copious amounts of water. As a result, he and Kim passed up several teams that had earlier flights than they did and landed in first place. Chip also deserves an honorable mention because he and Kim were good sports about it when they realized that Brandon and Nicole were getting on an earlier flight than the rest of their bus group. The two of them shrugged it off, and said that was what the race was all about – trying to get ahead. All in all, Chip deserves an honorable mention to the First Class award. Well done.
But Colin deserves the First Class award this week. He is consistently racing smart, and he and Christie are emerging as a real threat. He was the only player smart enough to ask if there was an alternate bus. Because he found out about the express bus, he bought some extra time to visit a travel agent and get fast tickets to Russia. He also continued his strategy of helping other racers early on. He and Christie got express tickets for Brandon and Nicole, Marshall and Lance, and Chip and Kim. Other than Brandon and Nicole, none of those racers had been a big threat to his team before, so it wasn’t too risky for him to help them. And his doing so paid off – when there only enough seats on the first flight for one team, the other racers agreed that Colin and Christie deserved them. That put them way ahead of all of the other teams, but still kept them in just about everyone’s good graces. Maybe Mirna isn’t going to be president of the Colin Fan Club, but you can’t please everyone right?
Ironically, while Colin won the First Class award, his teammate Christie won this week’s Cargo Class award. Colin and Christie had a huge lead, thanks to smart planning at the bus station, a great flight, and solid racing… right up until they hit the roadblock. The two of them agreed that Christie should do the roadblock, and that makes sense to me. Competing in The Amazing Race is a tiring prospect. Often, the two members of a team aren’t equals in physical strength. This is often true, for example, in male-female teams, and it seems that the guy often gets stuck with the pressure – both physical and mental – of competing in roadblocks. It’s only fair, in my opinion, that whenever the weaker member of the team can, he or she should complete the roadblock.
From the clue, it seemed pretty obvious that this was a food challenge. The first line of it was, “Who’s got a taste for the good life,” a hint if I ever heard one. And based on Colin and Christie’s reaction to the clue, they had a pretty good idea that the clue would involve eating – Colin said, “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to make it go down my throat.” Because Colin’s physical strength wasn’t a factor, it was up to Christie to literally step up to the plate. The problem was, she failed miserably.
Now, I’m sure eating over two pounds of caviar is both difficult and disgusting. I can’t imagine eating two pounds of anything without a lot of discomfort. But as we saw from racers like Chip, Charla, and Joyce, just to name a few, if you just powered through it, it wasn’t that bad. The challenge might have technically been physical – you had to eat the food – but completing it quickly was really mental. Christie just didn’t have the mental toughness to get through it fast, and she seemed to be contemplating quitting. Because she had such a hard time completing the task, she and Colin lost their huge lead. Sure, they’re still in the race, and they finished in a respectable position, but they could have started the next leg of the race with a great time advantage. Christie had a chance to contribute to her team, and she failed. For that, she gets the Cargo Class award this week.
Colin now has two First Class awards in a row. Will he three-peat and win it again this week? And will Christie make up for her poor performance to join him in First Class, or will another team grab the glory? I’ll see you at this time next week with the answers!
Betsy is the Associate Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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