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The Amazing Race 5, Episode 12 MVPs and LVPs: Whatís Vertigo?by Betsy Wasser -- 09/28/2004
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Well, faithful readers, it has indeed been an Amazing Race. Like just about everyone in America, I was thrilled with the final episode. Chip and Kim, an always likeable team, pulled ahead of the always tough but sometimes evil Colin and Christie. Iím tempted to just hand the First Class award to Chip and Kim and to shove the Cargo Class award into Colin and Christieís hands, but since these are the last awards of the season, I thought Iíd have more fun with it and recognize the First Class and Cargo Class moments that all of the final four teams showed in the last episode.
Linda and Karen
The bowling moms showed lots of First Class moments in their last leg of the race. When it came time to find the flag of the Philippines, they were smart and didnít just follow Colin and Christie. Not only were they smart enough to get out of the boat to check the clue themselves, but they also decided to roll the dice to see if they could guess correctly before their competition by going to a different island. Luckily for them, it was the right island, which gave them a bit of a lead. It was a very smart, First Class move on their part. In the first challenge, Karen really gave her all on the ascender. Iím sure that challenge would have been difficult for her on a good day, but on a day when she was exhausted from racing, it must have been incredibly tough. Karen herself, though was incredibly tough, thanks in part to Lindaís unwavering support. When Colin passed Karen, Linda didnít get frustrated or yell at her. She just kept cheering on her friend. And even when the two moms were pretty sure theyíd have to settle for first place, they still were First Class. Linda offered to paddle the boat to the last pit stop so that her friend could rest her arms. That was First Class, too. As for Cargo Class, the two moms didnít do a single thing on this leg of the race that they canít be proud of. Well done, Karen and Linda, and congratulations on being the highest-placing all female team in Amazing Race history!
Brandon and Nicole
Brandon and Nicole, on the other hand, had a few Cargo Class moments. When they were searching for the flags, they didnít even bother to make the effort to go look at the clues, choosing instead to let Chip do all of the legwork for them. Considering that this is The Amazing Race and not The Amazing Exchange of Information, should they really have been surprised that Chip would deceive them to get ahead? Then, when they had to find the clues in the underwater clam shells, Nicole spotted one firstÖ but instead of diving under the water to get it, she failed around and yelled for Brandon. Was she trying to keep her hair dry? Laziness is always Cargo Class behavior, and Nicole exhibited even more of it when she opted once again to let Brandon complete the challenge. She said, ďI feel bad because I donít do anything,Ē but she sure didnít seem to be too upset. Sure, Brandon has more upper body strength than she does and was a better choice to finish the challenge, but she really showed a lack of effort many times throughout the race. Couldnít she have made bricks? Looked for the scarab? Something? To make matters worse, Nicole threw a total Cargo Class temper tantrum in Canada when she and Brandon had trouble with the bike ride. She was tired and the challenge was tough, but she acted like a total baby. And itís true Ė she did suggest they do the luge in the first place, but she didnít push very hard for what she wanted.
The team did have some First Class moments, though. No matter how upset or stressed they were, they were pretty nice and supportive of each other, which is more than can be said of a lot of their competitors. The best example of that was when Nicole had her meltdown about the bike ride, and Brandon, instead of arguing with her, actually carried her down the mountain to the luge tracks. That loving and caring moment was typical of Brandon and Nicole, and it was First Class.
Colin and Christie
Ah, the team that everyone loves to hate! I got several emails from people saying how mad theyíd be if C&C won. As far as Iím concerned, if they had won, they would have deserved it. Yes, they were jerks, but the challenge isnít Americaís Nicest Person. They were strong, they were tough, and they were almost always smart. That added up to some First Class moments in this leg of the race. When Colin got on that ascender, he knew that it was his chance to stay in the race. And man, did he climb that thing like a monkey or what? He did what he had to do, and I have to give him credit for it. When Christie had trouble climbing the mountain in Canada, Colin let her hang onto his poles to finish the trek. That was a nice moment. Their plan of calling ahead to get the fastest, craziest cab driver in Texas to help them finish the race was brilliant, and could have made a difference in the results. And finally, they went through the maze in a smart, logical fashion that allowed them to find what they needed much faster. They may not be charming, but they are tough and smart, and that deserves some First Class attention.
Of course, Colin and Christie are still Colin and Christie, so they had some Cargo Class moments as well. At the previous pit stop, Chip tried to hug Christie to show that Yielding them was nothing personal. Like a brat, Christie refused to hug him. The team held a grudge about that yield for quite a while. In fact, at one point, Christie commented that karma would come back to get Chip and Kim. In a way, she was rightÖ all of the good karma that Chip and Kim built up by tipping well, being friendly, and being nice in general might have helped them to get a break. But then there was all of the bad karma that she and Colin had stored up that might have come back to bite them. That, of course, has landed them in Cargo Class quite a few times.
Chip and Kim
Iím sure I donít have to tell you that Chip and Kim were friendly and positive for just about every moment of the last leg of the race Ė after all, thatís who they are. They did, however, net a few Cargo Class moments. Changing clothes in the cab, rather than in the gondola like the other teams, wasnít very smart and cost them some valuable time. And I have to admit, I didnít love the way the two of them reacted when they got on the better flight back to the United States. They got a really lucky break, but at some points, they acted like it was skill on their parts. I donít begrudge them their win, but I thought that was a little unreasonable.
Chip and Kim, of course, had some First Class moments in the last leg of the race. When Nicole was splashing around by her clam shell clue, Chip swam over to make sure she was okay. Brandon and Nicole were afraid he was going to steal their clue, but Chip was only motivated by the goodness in his heart to make sure she was okay. Kim had a First Class moment all her own on the mountain. Chip was lagging behind, and she was a terrific cheerleader and motivator for him. And while they didnít deserve credit for happening to find out that the other teamsí flight had been delayed, they do deserve credit for the very smart move of not telling anyone about it and for sneaking over to the airport first.
I canít remember the last time I was so satisfied with the results of a reality TV show. The nice guys finished first. The brilliant but evil team was right at their heels. And the two other solid teams in the final four put forth a solid finish. In the end, The Amazing Race was a First Class experience.
Betsy is the Associate Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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