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Amazing Race 4, Armchair Psychology: Episode 2by Marci Thompson -- 06/12/2003
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With the race off to a shotgun start, we get to observe the teams as they get comfortable with contributing to the team's progress... some better than others. We see that some team members struggle with who is in "control," while others tend to take the reins, nearly ignoring the other completely. Then we have the pairs who complement each other nicely and bring their best to the competitions.
Amanda & Chris - Chris uses derogatory phrases towards Amanda, while (in my opinion) she doesn't stand up for herself like she does with her road rage. They seem to act like this is commonplace, being rude to each other. It's obvious they lack respect for each other. This lack of respect may have been detrimental to their progress, which led to them being eliminated.
Millie & Chuck - Chuck thinks they have willpower to stay virgins and this may benefit them in the game. They do seem to be feisty and energy levels are up. The dynamics seem healthy so far, but I'd like to hear more from Chuck.
Steve & Josh - Father and son are still working together, even though some might think they are playing unfair. The important thing to not overlook is that they are finding common ground and the power isn't shifting back and forth, which can undermine the team's success.
Monica & Sheree - I can't tell if they were being tattle tales, gossips, or just natural by telling Reichen and Chip that Steve and Josh were trying to get rid of them. Perhaps they were trying to start some minor drama, but I think they were just entertaining themselves and happy to shine the light on someone other than themselves.
Steve & Dave - Steve and Dave know they have their work cut out for them and they are getting tired already. But what I love about them is their positive outlook and easy smiles. They seem to be very peaceful, accepting people. If they can stay strong, I think they can make it far.
Jon & Kelly - They are working well together. I notice a healthy give and take in the relationship. Even when they make mistakes, they had a good sense of humor and shook it off. So far, no feelings have been hurt and no tempers flaring. I like their attitude, I hope it continues.
Jon & Al - Jon and Al have played up the clown act quite a bit. I suspect that they are taking this time to introduce themselves to the audience and after a while, will let their guard down and be themselves, and a little more relaxed. Isn't that what being a clown is? Getting people to like you first, then bringing out the rest of the package?
Russell & Cindy - Russell's mean streak is showing. It could be that the stress of the race is getting to him, but I think he's forgotten who his partner is, and that she is there to contribute. He gives me the impression that he is doing this by himself and that Cindy is background scenery. With credit to Cindy, she is seeing it as well and does not seem to be willing to take it. My hope is that she can communicate this effectively and they can begin working as a team again.
Reichen & Chip - These two are prepared to "play dirty" as they believe the other teams are doing, even to the point that they seem childish. I'm afraid they won't see lines they are crossing, or the big picture for that matter. They are putting too much emphasis on the little things, thinking it will get them ahead.
Dave & Jeff - Again, these guys have yet to leave any impression on me. There is nothing that stands out to me yet and I wonder if it will remain that way. I will look closer for any hint of what these guys are thinking. If anything.
Tian & Jaree - They are still having power struggles and playing the "I'm right - you're wrong" game. It may help if they considered themselves more of a team than competition. I have to wonder if this is par for the course outside of the game.
Marci Thompson, aka "Dr. Marci," is a freelance reporter and psychology student from Texas. You can e-mail her at email@example.com.
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