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The Amazing Race 5, Episode 5 MVPs and LVPs: Choo-Choo-Choosing the Bestby Betsy Wasser -- 08/10/2004
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Before I hand out this week’s First Class and Cargo Class awards, can I just say how annoying it was that almost every team made “choo choo” noises to indicate that they were looking for the train station? I can only imagine what was going through the heads of the Russians when team after team made their train noises for them. On the other hand, it did remind me of my favorite episode of The Simpsons, in which Lisa gives Ralph the “I choo-choo choose you” Valentine, which inspired the title of this week’s article.
Apparently, I could blather on about train noises for quite a while, but that’s not why you’re here, is it? You’re here to find out which team soared as high as the Tower of Cairo with the First Class Award and which team were down in the as deep as the caverns under the pyramids with the Cargo Class Award. I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Let’s get to that First Class lounge first and look at our runners up.
Our first group of runners up are Chip and Kim. I find myself liking this team more and more every week, and one of the reasons is for their enthusiasm. They seemed to genuinely enjoy going through the Hermitage museum, rather than tromping through it joylessly pointing at stuff like Lance and Marshall did. And when Chip talked about how exciting it was to see the historical Nile River, it was really endearing. I also really liked the fact that after they hauled the rocks as the builders of the pyramids did, instead of complaining about how hard or stupid it was, Chip commented that it gave him new respect for the builders. That’s First Class behavior right there.
I also thought it was admirable that in two instances, Chip and Kim helped other racers. They helped Brandon and Nicole get their stones back on track, and they bailed out the twins by showing them where they could find their next clue. I don’t doubt that I’ll get a number of emails from people saying that Chip was stupid for helping them. After all, it’s a race, and there are no points for being nice. He and Kim could have gotten way ahead of Brandon and Nicole, and they actually lost one place by stopping to help the twins. Here’s what I have to say in response (and now if I don’t email you back, you’ll know it’s because I already addressed what you had to say): the twins were no threat to Chip and Kim, so by helping them, they didn’t help a team that was going to be a rival to them in that leg of the race. Instead, they eased the tension that had been brewing between the two teams since the taxicab incident of a few episodes ago. Now the twins can let go of their grudge and won’t do anything to hurt Chip and Kim in future legs of the race. And sure, Brandon and Nicole got in before chip and Kim did, but I’m willing to bet it wasn’t by much. Chip and Kim can catch up. And by helping Brandon, Chip bought himself a favor for the future, when he may need it more. They were in no danger of finishing last – the brothers, the twins, and the moms were sure to finish after them – so by taking a little extra time to help other teams in this leg, they may have helped themselves in future legs. So, congratulations to First Class Award runners-up Chip and Kim!
Charla and Mirna also deserve an honorable mention for the First Class Award this week for some incredibly smart moves. In the train on the way to the art museum, they actually managed to find a local who knew where the painting was located. That saved them time. Then at the airport, while everyone else was content to wait together for the flight to Cairo, the two of them made a little extra effort to find a better one. Not only did they find one, they were also smart enough to not let anyone else know about it. They were devious, and it was a good move. No team is perfect, of course, and Mirna continues to irritate me. I wish she’d quit yelling at Charla to run faster, because it’s not like Charla’s lack of speed is due to a need for encouragement. And Mirna was a total wimp for making Charla climb down that ladder, which had to have been harder for Charla than it was for Mirna. Still, they were very smart in this leg of the race and deserve to be runners-up for the First Class Award.
The winners of the First Class Award this week are Colin and Christie. By talking to a travel agent before going to the airport, they got a one-hour head start over the rest of the teams. But that wasn’t good enough for them. Instead, they took it one step further and used their layover to find an even better flight that scored them a twelve-hour lead. Impressive! The only move the two of them made that I’m not so sure about was their decision to take the Fast Forward. Since they were in first place, they obviously didn’t need the Fast Forward to stay in the game, and because they were so far ahead of the other players, it’s unlikely that the next team would have snagged the Fast Forward and beaten them to the Sphinx. But on the other hand, since there are only two Fast Forwards in the race this time around, it might have been smart of them to take advantage of it when they could to strengthen their lead even more. Will it end up being a smart move? I’m not sure yet, and the fact that we see them in the previews for the next episode fighting with Charla and Mirna over a cab suggests that the other teams were indeed able to catch up. But it’s hard for them to know every possible eventuality, and taking the Fast Forward was probably as smart as not taking it, so I think they deserve the First Class Award this week.
And now, on to the Cargo Class Award. The Moms might seem like an obvious choice for the award since they came in last place and lost all of their money. But I think that the two of them were more victims of bad luck than bad racing. Sure, in retrospect, they should have asked for an international airport in the cab, but I can see myself making that same mistake. Then at the pyramids, they hit more bad luck in the form of an injured ankle. And at the end, if Chip hadn’t bailed out the twins, they might have come in ahead of them. So, no Cargo Class Award this week for the Bowling Moms.
That distinction, instead, belongs to the twins. Kami and Karli made some incredibly dumb moves. They didn’t even bother to try to put together their puzzle pieces, saying that maybe they were for later. Later how? What were they thinking? Well, apparently they thought it would be a better plan to wander aimlessly through the desert, hoping for the best. If Chip hadn’t told them where to go, they might still be there today. That’s a Cargo Class move if I ever saw one.
Can the Bowling Moms find a First Class way to get out of their penniless Cargo Class state? And can anyone seize the First Class Award from Chip? We’ll find out soon!
Betsy is the Associate Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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