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Amazing Race 4: Thinking Smart in Episode 2Page 2
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Kelly & Jon. How did a team that made so many mistakes end up in third place? To begin with, their cab brought them to the top of the ski jump instead of the bottom. Though they did risk injury, they ended up taking the fastest way down from that mistake - becoming human snow rafts themselves. I have to wonder... how did their camera crew get down the slope? Next, they took a bus to the train station. Why? Because they had spent too much money already. Thinking Smart Tip #7 tells teams to spend money wisely. This means faster transport, not luxuries. It didn't cost them this time, but since teams can't see the future, but it might in future legs. So they ended up on the slow train. Next, they chose pathway over waterway, but failed to take advantage of the key reason for choosing that path - asking for assistance in getting to the route box. So they ended up in last place at that particular position. However, by staying in line, they jumped position, being the seventh team into the party and the fifth to get the envelope. This team is making mistakes, but they didn't make the biggest mistake of all in this episode, and ended up in a good position.
Tian & Jaree. There is something I should have mentioned last time, and should be kept in mind for future racers. Pack light. This team is carrying way too much stuff. The models don't need to look good in the race (unless they are using it as a springboard for future employment), they need to race quickly. Now, this team also got the slow train because they were the only ones whose position leaving the checkpoint prohibited them from catching the bus that took them to the fast train (Kelly and Jon also missed this bus, but in their case it was because they took the bus to the train depot instead of a cab). They did beat their slow-train companions Kelly and Jon to the route information box in Venice, and were in the middle of the pack when it came to getting into the party. Obviously, they picked the right person (Tian) to complete the roadblock, the third person to do so. They just might be a better team than most people realize.
Dave & Jeff. This team raced fairly well in this leg, earning a fourth-place finish. Part of this was because they were toward the front of the line, and Jeff was the fifth person to enter the party. This provided the time advantage they got over the other teams. Jeff was the fourth person to leave the party with a sealed envelope, and actually got to the checkpoint in front of the team that exited in the second position. This team has shown definite improvement over their performance in the first leg of the race.
Jon & Al. Not staying in line hurt this team. While they had the fast train, they did complete the detour via gondola. They had good reason to display unhappy faces in this episode; despite the fast train, Al was dead last in getting into the party. Al did get out in the eight position. However, they beat out two teams (Russell & Cindy; Steve & Josh) that had left the party earlier, and that says something for their racing skills. Not staying in line is a mistake they are unlikely to repeat.
Russell & Cindy. Okay, let's start. They left the checkpoint and wandered around in the dark before finding the snow raft task. Next, Cindy seems more interested in winning over Russell than winning the race. Perhaps that's why he's asking other teams for help instead of her? To their credit, Russell was first into the party roadblock, but this team did end up in the bottom tier of racers. Why? Despite being the second to have a photo accepted, they wandered around without a clue as to how to get to the pit stop.
Mille & Chuck. Despite being the first to the Venice route information, Mille was the ninth person to enter the party. She was also the ninth person to leave the party. Along the way, they managed to beat out Steve & Josh to the pit stop, but their position in entering was a mistake they shouldn't make again; it might eliminate them next time. According to them, the three things to keep in mind during the race are: "Number one, trust God; number two, don't be last; and number three, hustle every second we can to make a difference." I might had a number four - don't abandon your position in line.
Steve & Josh. They are next to last, despite Josh being the fourth person into the party. Why? Probably because they failed to pick the right person to send into the party. Josh admitted that much when he entered the room. He was the first to hand over his photograph... to the incorrect person. This sent him back to the rear of the line, a move directly responsible for their poor finish in this leg of the race. The second time around, Josh did quickly find the right mask, being the sixth to complete the roadblock. However, problems finding the pit stop caused this team to drop in position in the race. This team is weakening, and needs to do better in the future.
Monica & Sheree (have used fast forward). What happened to this team? Despite the fast train, a good gondola ride, and being the second to enter the party, they were nearly eliminated. The simple reason is that, despite doing well at racing, the roadblock ended up being a real killer for Monica. While it is to her credit she found the right mask on her first try, it took her forever to complete the task, exiting the party in the tenth position. This team promised not to second guess themselves about their early use of the fast forward, but I'd be surprised if they aren't wishing they hadn't used it now.
Amanda & Chris. What went wrong? Well, it came down to two things. First, Chris was among the last (#8) to enter the party roadblock. He compounded his problem by jumping the gun twice with matching the masks. It was a classic example of knowing when minutes save hours (Thinking Smart Tip #3). Handing off the photo to the wrong person wasted time, sending him to the back of the line twice, and being the last person to complete the roadblock. It was enough to put this team out of competition, despite their tie for first place in the previous leg of the race.
Jeffrey Clinard lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his cats, Lam and Princess. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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