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Amazing Race 5 Team Dynamics: Tuesday, Bloody Tuesdayby Brian Sackett -- 07/08/2004
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With the first episode of The Amazing Race 5 under our belts, it’s time to look into how team dynamics played a role in the initial placement of the teams after the first leg. If you missed my first article on Team Dynamics, you should go back and read it – but if you don’t really want to spend the time reading it (since, as well all know, your life is far too busy to spent reading) I’ll briefly recap it here for you: Team Dynamics are what wins the gold. The stronger the working relationship between the two players within a team, the more likely they are to place ahead of the pack. There are five key points to a strong team dynamic. They are:
Since there are currently 22 racers, to make it easier for you readers, I’ve nicknamed each team for your memory’s sake. So without further ado, let’s go!:
Team No-Logic: Alison and Donny defied all logic of a strong working relationship and somehow managed to land themselves smack into first place. The bickering started right at the beginning of the race on the way to LAX Airport with Alison insulting Donny. Donny then explains that his relationship to Alison is like “God playing a weird joke on [him].” Even though they fight and waste time over petty arguments throughout, they still manage to work well together. They think before they act, which is key, and they read the clues carefully. In LAX they ensured they were on the fastest flight, not the first flight. Later in Uruguay they completed each task quickly and efficiently, maximizing their strengths as physical threats. So even though they bickered, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that Phil told them the good news: he just saved a bunch of money on his car insurance by switching to Geico. I mean, they placed first and won a Hawaii vacation. Hopefully, they will continue to defy the laws of decency and still be able to place well, but I highly doubt it.
Team Unpleasant: Marshall and Lance, the token siblings, were unhappy with everything, from sleeping on a tropical Uruguayan island to dealing with other teams in high stress situations. They acted brashly and bought the ticket to the later flight. Then, once in Uruguay, they were one of two teams to choose to play roulette. (Arguably, the twins and Chip and Kim would have chosen Zips had they known about the option.) The brothers were extremely lucky at the casino. Roulette is a game of pure chance, so one cannot be “good” at it. It’s all about guessing, and it just so happens that they guessed right. Next week they better start thinking more and stop blindly going into challenges.
Team Surprising: Well, they sure shocked me. I never would’ve guessed that Linda and Karen, the moms who I had supposed would be first out, would do so well. Both were positive throughout the entire first leg, they agreed on everything, they made smart choices, and they constantly cheered the other on. There was absolutely no bickering and everything went, well, hunky-dory to put it in layman’s terms. Where Linda lacked, Karen made up for it and vice-versa. For example, during the detour, Linda clearly was terrified of the challenge, but having a teammate with no fear, like Karen, she sucked it up and did it anyway. This moved them along quickly and placed them in a strong third. Although they are not in peak physical condition, they still managed to beat out the stronger teams, and that’s commendable. I suspect that if they keep this up, they may be around for awhile, and I apologize for having misjudged them so incredibly wrong.
Team Awesome: What can I say? Bob and Joyce are simply awesome. They did everything right every time. They were both positive, providing constant reinforcement at every turn. There was no internal fighting, no fear, smart choices, and good physical condition on both parts. And to top it all off, everything to them was a gain. They are two people who don’t take anything for granted. When they first got on the ferry to travel to the island, Bob turned to Joyce and said, “We’re the first on the boat,” as if that was a huge deal. Even though they were neck and neck with two other very strong teams, they still saw themselves as a strong competitor, and proved it for the remainder of the leg. I was very impressed with the team and I would put money on the fact that they will be around for quite a few more legs of the race.
Team Helpless: On my sheet of notes I wrote the word “Ugh” next to Charla and Mirna, more-so Mirna. Charla was constantly positive and willing to step up to the plate for challenges. Mirna on the other hand was whiny, negative, ignorant, and as a Uruguayan might say: una idiota. In other words, Mirna was simply dead weight. She acted too brashly, made poor choices, and was both literally and mentally lost at several points in the race. I could write a full article on what Mirna did wrong, but I’ll summarize it in this one clear example: after playing roulette (which Charla clearly said was a bad idea and should not have been done, though Mirna just ignored her) Mirna turned to Charla and asked if they could play a hand of blackjack. Stupid. Charla said no, they had to race, to which Mirna replied, “Oh come Charla, we could double our money!” Plain idiotic. If they continue down the path their headed they’ll find themselves the last team to the mat very shortly.1 2 Next-->
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