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The Amazing Race 8, Finale First and Cargo Class Awards: For Mom and Dadby Betsy Wasser -- 12/15/2005
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The Amazing Race’s eighth season has come to a close, in a finale that included events that I would have loved to do (flying a trapeze, riding that boat through the rapids) with those that would have been a bit tedious (searching for flight times on stadium seats, putting together that puzzle that would have had me cursing all the teeny states of New England). It also had me thinking that all three teams had both First Class and Cargo Class moments. Let’s look at how the Bransens, Linzes, and Weavers behaved in this final leg of the race.
Cargo Class Moments
Nobody’s perfect, and these three teams certainly showed us that in this final leg of the race. All three teams had Cargo Class moments along the way.
The Bransens had a Cargo Class moment in their selection of a flight to Canada. They were in the lead and had the most time to choose the best flight, but they ended up on a flight that got in an hour after the other teams. That was not smart racing.
The Amazing Race is, of course, a race. But when the Linzes and Weavers raced for the ticket counter to find a faster flight to Canada, I don’t think either team came across well. Rolly and Alex collided on the way to the counter. From where I was sitting, it didn’t look like either of them did it on purpose, and in the moment, I think both guys were okay with it – Alex gave Rolly a good-natured slap on the back. But Linda saw something completely different and yelled at Alex not to touch Rolly. Did she really think that Alex was going to hurt her kid? In front of the cameras, and lose the race? I can understand being a protective mom, I really can, but she was over the top. Alex should have just ignored her, but instead he vented to his family that Rolly was lucky he didn’t break his arm. Again, I can understand that Linda’s comment made him mad, but Alex really should have been the bigger person. Cargo Class for both families.
A Cargo Class moment goes to the Linz boys for not letting Megan do the trapeze challenge. That girl’s face lit up when she realized one of them would get to try a trapeze. She was clearly chomping at the bit to try it. Are you telling me you denied your sister a fairy princess flying in the air moment so Alex could do it? No fair!
The Weavers earned a Cargo Class moment for not letting the Linzes’ golf cart pass them so they could pay their driver. It was just bratty and inappropriate. Bonus Cargo Class points to Linda for complaining that the Linzes called Rolly a name, considering that the Weavers had snipey nicknames for pretty much all of the other teams.
The Weavers also get a serious Cargo Class award for almost giving up in the stadium. I’m sure it was maddening searching fruitlessly for the departure times, and even more upsetting losing their lead. But Linda actually got on a cot and took a nap. The girls were ready to throw in the towel, saying that searching was stupid. I’d agree that the search was on the stupid side, were it not for a million dollars.
First Class Moments
It was a delight to see all three teams exhibiting First Class behavior, even on a leg of the race that was surely nerve-wracking at times. Let’s celebrate those moments.
It was heart warming to see the obvious pride Linda Weaver had for her kids. She repeatedly referred to Rolly as the man of the family, saying that he had to grow up much faster than he would have if his dad were still alive. That’s a lot to put on the shoulders of a kid Rolly’s age, and you could really tell how much Linda admired and respected what Rolly did on the race. She also had nothing but love and praise for Rachel and Rebecca at the finish line. The Weavers ran the race so they could explore their new family dynamic and get to know each other better, and in that, they absolutely succeeded.
As for Rolly, he pretty much defined First Class this week. That kid was always willing to step up to get things done. He volunteered to fly on the trapeze. He was the one who climbed the mast on the sailboat. And he was the one who did not want to give up searching the stadium seats. Rolly was in it to win and would do everything he could to make it happen. Good for you, Rolly.
The Weavers were incredibly smart in befriending their cab driver Ted. At first, I found all of their, “Yay, Ted,” and “You the man, Ted!” to be obnoxious, but it turned into something different. Before long, Ted was practically a member of the Weaver family. I loved that the girls made Ted part of the team by inviting him to come into the arena to watch them try curling. I think that really endeared them to Ted, causing him to really knock himself out to help the family. They also bonded on being Christians. My own personal beliefs don’t cause me to think God led the Weaver family to Ted. I believe that by having fun with Ted, by treating him with respect, and by making him feel like he was a part of something, they created an ally. I especially appreciated the fact that, in the stadium, the Weavers remembered poor Ted sitting outside and thought to go back out and pay him. That prompted the other players to do the same. The Weaver family’s treatment of Ted was First Class all the way.
From all appearances, the log rolling challenge was a lot tougher than the curling one. While the Weavers and Linzes seemed to breeze through curling, the Bransens struggled with the logs. But throughout the challenge, they were upbeat and positive. They worked well as a team to keep the logs on track, and after it was over, joked that they wanted to try something different, since they go curling all the time at home! Their shoe challenge also looked potentially frustrating. Go through 100 different women and try to find just one who fits the shoes you picked? Sounds like a potential headache. But again, the Bransens plugged away and finished it with good humor.
Linda Weaver definitely experienced a First Class moment when she realized that she was having more fun that day than she had for the rest of the race. The reason, I think, that she was feeling so happy was that her family didn’t have to see, talk to, or think about the other teams, FINALLY. They were able to relax, enjoy the tasks, and enjoy each other. I think if they’d been less focused throughout the race on what everyone else was doing, they’d have been a lot happier.
Wally Bransen’s excellent performance at that puzzle earns him a First Class moment. The Linzes had a decent lead going into that final task, but Wally darn near caught up to them. He might not be the fastest runner in the world, but clearly, the man knows his geography. Well done, Wally.
The Linzes about made me cry as they ran to the finish line yelling, “This is for Mom and Dad!” In fact, on The Early Show, the team said they planned to divide their winnings up with their parents and their other siblings who didn’t even race. Family is obviously very important to the Linzes, and that is First Class all the way.
That’s it for the First and Cargo Class awards for The Amazing Race 8. See you next time!
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She would have been all over that trapeze. You can reach Betsy with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
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