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The Amazing Race 5, Episode 7 Team Dynamics: Ding-Dong, The Witch is Dead!by Brian Sackett -- 08/18/2004
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Well, well, well. Look who came crawling back. Mr. or Ms. Reader-of-my-articles. I’ve been expecting you... Seriously, nice to see you again. This week on The Amazing Race, we had few challenges and lots of traveling. Basically, smart racing was what separated the teams this week, since only two challenges (the detour and the roadblock) were present. Even though I personally thought that Buzzing would have been the better choice for the teams to choose, due to its apparent quick and easy completion, each team chose Busy instead, so the detour wasn’t even an option. Then again, during Busy there were people helping at every turn, so maybe that was indeed the better option. What do I know? I’m just a Team Dynamics kind of guy I suppose. Which reminds me:
Team Top Feeders: Chip and Kim are no longer bottom feeders. In fact, I’ll be surprised to see them at the bottom again. Right from the start Chip summed up what appears to be RNO’s philosophy on competing in the race: brain power is more important than brawn. And boy did it show. Because of Chip and Kim’s smarts, they were able to push ahead of all the other teams and land an impressive first. While Colin and Christie were waging their own personal war against Charla and Mirna, Kim was smart to note how these personal vendettas would knock out one of the teams, which it most certainly did. Once again this week, this team’s genuine friendliness paid off big time. Their entire “no-shouting at those helping us” policy is really proving to be the right course of action. Almost every local who Chip and Kim passed offered up their help. One household even offered them rest and food, which Chip and Kim gladly accepted. You know you’re an awesome team when you chill out at someone’s house and still land in first. And roadblocks? Pssssh, who needs them? Chip the “Roadblock Monster” can handle anything that comes his way. It is truly great to see that this team has successfully learned from their mistakes and is now on a fantastic path to winning it all. The only advice I could possibly give to them would be to continue to do what they’ve been doing. And pick me up a souvenir.
Team Axis: For those of you who haven’t studied World War II in a while, the Axis Powers were a coalition of countries who set out solely for the purpose of seeing other countries fall. Sounds like Colin and Christie if you ask me. For a team that I had picked to win it all, Colin and Christie had quite a poor showing this week. At the airport, Christie secured her enemy-standing with Charla and Mirna by blocking the doors. Then, Colin and Christie decided to devote their energy into the forming of a “We Hate Charla and Mirna Club.” Now, while this might seem like a good idea to some, let me explain why it is the worst thing they could possibly do. First off, Colin and Christie showed other teams their arrogance and ugly side, encouraging others to participate in a negative race. Secondly, they peer-pressured all of the other teams to join them. Christie basically said, “You’re either with us and we help you, or you’re against us and we hurt you.” Thirdly, it’s a dangerous idea for Colin and Christie to band together with all of the other, slower teams (i.e. Kami and Karli and Brandon and Nicole). Remember, you’re only as fast as your slowest partner. In other words, this grouping could only mean suicide for any team that joined. Did you notice how quickly the group dissolved after arriving in Nairobi? Once in Nairobi, Colin and Christie further disappointed me by choosing (what I at least think to be) the slower of the detour choices. Then, at the roadblock, Colin and Christie’s short fuses were lit when Colin couldn’t even fill up a bowl to the brim with an egg. Still, I can usually write my blurb about Colin and Christie each week before the episode even starts (they start in first, everyone catches up, they end up in the head of the pack). Although they did place very well and did not let overconfidence get the best of them, Colin and Christie ran a poor leg for them. Just watching them at the pit stop, you could tell they were not happy with their showing. Then again, there’s nothing like eating the equivalent of 24 eggs and then flying across the sky over a 200 ft gorge, eh Colin? This team better shape up next week and not let their emotions control them. They both seemed incredibly wound up all the time, which does not bode well in this race. Then again, the promos for next week don’t show much improvement (Colin says he’s going to jail). Who knows, maybe he really did kill someone...
Team Nitrous Oxide: You know that feeling that you get when you go to get a root canal drilled, take some laughing gas, and enjoy the whole experience? Of course you do. Well, that’s exactly how the moms acted this time around, laughing all the way to third place. I always say that high spirits and good cheer are what get teams far in the race, and Linda and Karen proved my point beautifully. Right from the start they both tried to cheer each other up, joking about how they are constantly in last. It’s extremely important to not get bogged down with stress, since that is when you slip up and blow your top (Colin). Now, remember how in the above paragraph I mentioned how it was dumb of the other teams to form a coalition? (If you don’t, you have the worse memory of anyone I have ever met.) Well, it was actually bad for the Moms not join up with this group. Since almost every other team did join up, the moms will now be seen as enemy sympathizers by the Axis Powers. This is only a possibility, but it could happen. However, the moms did just fine on their own, though you did have to laugh at the fact that a delayed flight finally hurt them instead of helped. As usual, Linda and Karen stayed cool and endured. As a matter of fact, Linda and Karen might just be the best partners in this season of The Amazing Race. They are always there for each other, take even turns at the roadblocks, and make smart decisions as a team. It is for these reasons that they overcame every obstacle that was presented to them in this leg (starting in last place, slower flight, slower charter, and slower bus) and still placed great. If the Moms continue on this high that they are on, there is no telling how well they can do.1 2 Next-->
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