Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
The Amazing Race 4: Thinking Smart Before the RacePage 2
View Printable version of this article
8) Don't be Penny-Wise, Pound Foolish. The teacher team made this mistake in Paris when they argued over a few dollars or cents with their cabbie. It was a race to the checkpoint, and the time spent fighting was not worth the extra francs. Zach and Flo bickered over the amount of money they should spend on a hotel room.
9) Try to Communicate with the Locals. English is a widely spoken language, but it's by no means universal. Lenny and Karyn might have done better if they had told their Taxi driver "Taj Mahal." This team had other problems (indeed, they got lucky several times), but this is what finally killed them. English-to-whatever dictionaries are a wise investment. Better still are local guides. Ask The Mole 2 players how much help a local boy was in getting them a win in the Pizza Game, or Danny and Oswald how much their native guide and local professional travel agents helped them.
10) Help Only the Weak Competition. The Frat boys helped Nancy and Emily several times. It was a smart move, because Nancy and Emily were a weak team. If things had gone a bit differently, they'd have gotten the Fast Forward in India and beaten out the much strong Team Guido. On the other hand, Emily made a HUGE mistake at the Eiffel Tower when she pointed out the flag on the Arc to Lenny. The competition was tight at that point, and it could have cost them everything that early in the race. However, Flo and Zach cleverly gave help to Ken and Gerard, which enabled them to beat Derek and Drew to the next checkpoint, keeping two athletic and fit young men out of the final leg of the race while the middle-aged, out of shape "Oh Brother" team stayed in the race.
11) Have Common Sense. One of the things I wondered about was the teams that decided to sleep out in the rain and cold to be at the task site when it opened. Uh, what did that buy? A few seconds at most? Bottlenecks are transportation, not task checkpoints. In Paris, where most of the teams tried to sleep in the wet and cold, Joe and Bill went to all-night cafes and places like that. Nancy and Emily went to a hotel and slept.
12) Hours are Everything. I'm comparing this to a favorite book of mine, Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. In it, Philias Fogg bet 20,000 pounds that he could complete a journey around the world in 80 days or less. The common sentiment was against him for the most part; the theoretical time listed in the newspapers didn't take into account practical matters, such as train delays of an hour that cost him to miss a ship, which could cost a day or two. In The Amazing Race, this translates into getting onto an earlier train, ship, or aircraft. Missing a transport by one minute doesn't cost you one minute; it can cost hours. Just ask Dennis and Andrew. They were eliminated because they had the slowest transport, and not even a Fast Forward could save them from elimination.
13) The Tasks are Almost Irrelevant. This thinking changed a bit in Amazing Race 3, where several teams did have problems with some of the tasks, some leading them to elimination. However, the bigger problem is finding the task. If you can't find the task, you can't do the task. Find it first, and don't worry about it. It usually won't be that big a deal to complete it.
14) Take Care of Your Possessions. This seems almost obvious, but ask Blake and Paige about losing their money, or Wil and Tara about losing their route instructions. These mistakes are very hard to recover from. Both got lucky to get away with those mistakes. Blake and Paige begged for cash; Wil and Tara begged for the information, and ended up playing "follow that plane." The twins in Amazing Race 3 nearly lost their baggage by leaving it in a cab in Mexico, and also misplaced their instructions once. These are mistakes teams shouldn't make in the first place.
15) NEVER Give Up. Mary and Peach figured they were dead last in Hong Kong and made their own pit stop at a Chinese restaurant. Flo wanted to give up several times, only to be rescued by Zach who kept prodding her along and finally dragged her across the finish line – in first place. They should have paid closer attention to Drew and Derek, the twins from Amazing Race 3. They lost the first Fast Forward to Ken and Gerard, but kept on going and survived that leg. Even in the leg in which they were eliminated, they knew they were in dead last, but refused to give up, hoping that it would be a non-elimination leg. It wasn't, but pouting and throwing in the towel early wouldn't have given them a better starting time if it had been a non-elimination checkpoint. There is always the possibility that another team broke the rules or that it's a non-elimination checkpoint.
16) At The End, Play a No-Limit Game. The World's Greatest Airport Employee refused to give Wil and Tara a taxi, telling them to get in line. They should have handed him $50 and asked for a cab NOW. Begging didn't work; hard cash bribes might have. In the end, the cash is there to burn on such luxuries. Making sure there is enough to make such bribes (or tips, if you prefer) is a wise strategy.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find out about some other popular shows at our American Idol 2 page and our Star Search page; and don’t miss The Reality TV Hall of Shame. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
For more news about reality TV, be sure to check out SirLinksALot!
<--Previous 1 2
View Printable version of this article