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The Amazing Race 5, Episode 9 MVPs and LVPs: You Bet Your Bottom Dinarby Betsy Wasser -- 09/07/2004
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This week on The Amazing Race, the teams traveled to India. India seems like an especially stressful place to race, thanks to the traffic, the crowds, and the overly friendly locals on the trains. Which teams displayed grace under pressure this week, and which teams did not? It’s time to hand out the Cargo Class and First Class awards.
I never thought I’d do this, but this week, I’m going to award the Cargo Class award to Karen and Linda. The two of them are nice people, and have been positive through most of the race, but this week, their sunny attitudes clouded over. They started by making a big, dumb mistake by leaving their bag behind at the water park. That is definitely not being a smart traveler. Then, at the airport, they wound up having an argument with the cab driver about the fare. He wanted his full 40 dinars for letting them follow him to the airport, but the moms only wanted to give him a five dollar tip. If they had taken the time to listen a little more carefully, they’d have understood that he wanted 40 dinars, not dollars. Sure, his accent may have been hard to understand, but he did speak English, and I can’t help but think that if they’d taken a little more time, they could have worked the issue out a little more quickly, and without getting security involved.
Then, in India, when the moms found out that they needed to pay for the train in rupees instead of American dollars, Linda’s reaction can only be described as whining. She whined about not having any rupees, she whined about needing to exchange the money, and she whined at the cab driver for wanting to take her too far to exchange her money. Then, she demanded – didn’t ask- the driver to exchange her money. Even the normally patient Karen found her behavior obnoxious. Finally, when they picked the “Heavy but Short” task, both women opted to ride in the car instead of helping to push. Obviously, the locals had no trouble moving both the moms, their gear, and the car, but it would have been a show of good faith if one of them had at least helped. For all of those reasons, Karen and Linda get the Cargo Class award this week. I still believe that they’re genuinely nice people; I think they just let stress and fatigue get the better of them this week.
My article this week wouldn’t be complete without some discussion of Brandon and Nicole’s decision not to shave their heads. Is this Cargo Class behavior or First Class? I have to admit, I’m on the fence. On one hand, several of my readers (including the one I call Mom) have pointed out that Brandon and Nicole’s decision showed that they have things in perspective. They’re models, and their appearance is what they use to make their living. They could have shaved their heads and still lost the race, then they would have had problems going back to their real lives and their real jobs. Sure, models sometimes wear wigs. But at the average photo shoot, the stylist doesn’t usually have a couple of wigs on hand just in case the model happens to have shaved his or her head. Plus, it was refreshing to see that Brandon didn’t even try to convince Nicole to shave her head, and Colin probably would have held Christie down and offered to do it himself, whether she wanted to or not. And without a doubt, their attitudes were positive throughout the whole ordeal. Even when they thought they’d be eliminated, they were still kind and supportive of each other.
On the other hand, this is a race, and if you want to win, you should be willing to do whatever it takes. A good racer should be prepared to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do, whether it’s jump out of an airplane, eat two pounds of caviar in one sitting, or shave their heads Hair grows back, but pride is forever. And since the leg of the race prior to this one was non-elimination, Brandon and Nicole could have been pretty certain that their decision would cost them the race. So like I said, I’m on the fence as to whether this team deserves to be in Cargo Class or First Class for their decision. This week, Brandon and Nicole get honorable mentions in both categories.
The bad news for this week is that there really aren’t any teams that deserve the First Class award. The Bowling Moms had a meltdown, Brandon and Nicole almost got eliminated, the twins didn’t do anything to impress me (and spent a lot of time arguing), and although Colin was less of a jerk than he’s been in past weeks, that’s not enough to make me want to give him a prize. The team that came closest to winning the First Class award was, once again, Chip and Kim. Their attitude continues to be great – Kim thinks of this race as the honeymoon they never had, and Chip is thrilled at the opportunity to see the world. Plus, Chip and Kim revealed this week that part of their strategy is to feed Colin’s massive ego to make him over-confident in hopes that he and Christie will eventually self-destruct. It might not work, but it’s definitely worth a shot, and I love that this team is not just nice, but is really trying to win.
However, Chip and Kim made some bad mistakes in this leg of the race. When they left the water park, they didn’t read their clue properly and took a cab to the airport instead of driving themselves. Luckily, Kim noticed the mistake and had the driver turn around. But because they didn’t read the clue carefully enough, they weren’t able to get seats on the first flight and wound up with a ten-minute deficit. Sure, they caught up once they arrived in India, but that was more due to the good luck in finding a cab driver who knew a shortcut than due to any work on their part. And when they did the “Heavy but Short” task, I think it was a mistake to have Chip steer the cab while Kim helped push. Sure, the locals were a big help in getting the car to the garage, but they might have been even faster if Kim had done the steering and had let the stronger- and heavier- Chip help push. As much as I love Chip and Kim, I can’t give them the First Class award this week. I’ll have to give them an honorable mention and leave First Class unclaimed this time around.
That’s it for this week’s awards. Linda and Karen get the Cargo Class award. First Class is unclaimed, but Chip and Kim get an honorable mention. And Brandon and Nicole earned honorable mentions for both Cargo Class and First Class. Who will win the next batch of awards? We’ll find out soon!
Betsy is the Associate Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.
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