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The Amazing Race 8, Episode 7 First and Cargo Class Awards: Making Bailby Betsy Wasser -- 11/15/2005
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Welcome to another edition of The Amazing Race’s First and Cargo Class awards. This week, we saw some truly First Class behavior from one team. Alas, on the other side of the coin, we also saw some incredibly bad Cargo Class behavior. Who belongs where?
Let’s start with the good. The Godlewski family was really impressive in these two legs of the race. Smart racing and some terrific luck helped them win both legs, and along the way, they had some First Class behavior. I’d have been happy to be a Godlewski sister this week, though with no blonde hair, I wouldn’t fit in. Let’s look at what the sisters did.
At the airport, the Godlewskis asked to be seated as close to the front of the plane as possible. That’s always a good idea and can give teams an advantage, albeit a small one, on a crowded flight. It was especially fortuitous that they did it in this case, because they found out due to some kind of glitch that they were not booked on the flight from JFK to Arizona. Where many other teams we’ve seen in the past would have thrown tantrums, the sisters rolled with the punches pretty well. They raced to Newark and caught another flight. As fate would have it, that flight was the first to arrive! Bad luck turned to good luck, putting them in the lead – that’s not a reason for a First Class award, but the fact that they handled the stress so well is.
At the end of the second leg, the Godlewskis were solidly in second place behind the Linzes. The Linz family was confident they’d come in first, imagining Phil saying, “Linz family, you’re team #1,” and responding, “You’re damned right we are, Phil.” But the Godlewski family didn’t think it was such a foregone conclusion. They weren’t content with second place and raced hard in their boat to the pit stop. That determination paid off, as they passed the Linzes and came in first. They did not relent, and it scorerd them a trailer.
The Amazing Race is, first and foremost, a race. Hey, they even put it in the title to remind us. But a truly First Class team also shows good sportsmanship along the way, and the Godlewskis did exactly that this week. When they were at the racetrack challenge, the women realized how hard it must be for the Weaver kids. They took a moment to put aside the race and tell the Weavers they knew it must be difficult, but that their father was surely proud of them. We will be talking about Rebecca Weaver’s reaction later, but for now, let’s commend the Godlewskis on some very First Class behavior.
Besides, the Godlewskis gave me my favorite line of the night. As they were removing water from the boat, one said to the other, “Just put it between your legs and pump.” Thanks, Godlewskis, and enjoy First Class.
While I’m giving out awards, I’d like to go ahead and recognize the Linz family as well. Just as I’d enjoy being an honorary Godlewski sister this week, I would really love to go on vacation with the Linzes. Megan could use another woman in the mix, but more than anything, these siblings seem to be having an absolute blast all the time. Whether it’s offering to be Tommy’s agents in his new career as a race car driver or calling Megan Air Biscuit in the Top Gun task, the Linzes are hilarious and a lot of fun. They also work well togther, as evidenced by their strategy in the Barrel challenge – the boys loaded up the cart and Megan kept the sugar cane straight. I just wish they could focus just a little bit more. They were hasty in choosing their flight to Arizona and wound up on the last flight when they should have been on the first. A bit more intensity on the boat and they might have been able to keep their lead. They are a young strong team and should be placing better than they are. For their efforts, I’ll put them in Business Class this week.
It’s no secret that I have not been a big Paolo fan throughout this race. A few weeks ago, I contemplated changing the Cargo Class award to the Paolo Class award, just to save time. But last week, the Paolos worked together so well that they actually won First Class. I think the family may have turned a corner, because they treated each other much better in the past two weeks than they have in the past.
They certainly aren’t perfect. Marion’s concern about running the in airport would have driven me batty. I also found it obnoxious when she talked about how she hopes D.J. never gets married so that no one else has to put up with his crap and when she wondered aloud why Tony didn’t smack him one. Okay, sure, I’ve wondered the same thing, but she’s his mother. As one of the two people who raised him, she has herself to blame, in part, for the way he acts. D.J. had some moments of his own, such as threatening to drown his mother in the river and throwing a minor fit at the suggestion that they stop for directions to the part of the Grand Canyon they needed to find.
Nevertheless, I’ve seen a marked improvement in the way the Paolos treat each other. When Tony struggled with the swimming task, D.J. insisted on taking his backpack. The family was really nice to the Bransens when, in the first pit stop of the episode, they told them to hurry up and put on a bunch of clothing before stepping on the mat. They absolutely didn’t have to do that. D.J. was also a lot nicer to the Weavers than I might have been when they confronted him about why his family Yielded them. D.J. calmly said that they were a strong team, and his family wanted to knock out a strong competitor. He also admitted, both in the beginning interview and at the end, that he has gained a lot of respect for his mother.
I think that most families went on The Amazing Race with a few goals in mind other than winning the money. I believe they were also hoping to have an adventure, get to know each other better, and to come together as a family. The Paolo family did just that. Although they still have their rough edges, I want to reward that incredible improvement with a First Class award. Nicely done, Paolos. I hope you do grow from this experience.1 2 Next-->
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