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Amazing Race 5 Team Dynamics: Everybody Get Together, Try to Love One Another Right Nowby Brian Sackett -- 07/22/2004
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When sitting down to write this article, I realized that I needed to borrow my brother’s notepad and jot down some ideas. I went over to him, asked politely to use it, and received what I requested. However, if I was one of the teams in this race, what might have transpired would probably sound a little something like this: Gimme now or die. It just seemed as if no two teams could get along or help each other out this week. Perhaps a rousing round of Kumbaya might be in order. This was a fairly easy leg to race with a detour that was a no-brainer. So why did so many teams have so much trouble? Well, once again team dynamics will explain this for us.
Team Serial Killers: Colin looks like a serial killer, bottom line. We’re always finding out weird things from reality show contestants’ pasts, so let’s just hope my assessment is incorrect. Colin and Christie ran a smart leg this time around, finally placing them above the goose egg line. Colin helped out the other teams, which seems to be a rarity in this season. It was a very smart move to help out Bob and Joyce and Karen and Linda on the way to the airport. Why is this a good strategy? Well, the whole idea is to make friends who will pay you back later. Making friends with these two teams seems like the best idea, since I seriously doubt that either will resort to backstabbing and lying. Now how about as a pair? Well, Colin did seem to get ticked off and yell at Christie a little bit in this leg, but Christie was smart and kept a cool head. Although this sort of yelling is not looked kindly upon, Christie claims that she’ll give Colin some leeway, which is a great idea. After all, look where it placed them.
Team Die Hard: Even when screwed over a few times, shouted at, and just plain lost, Charla and Mirna still managed to pull in another tight second place finish. Like the team in first, both Charla and Mirna played well with other teams, being quite the class act. Hopefully they’ll learn a lesson and try to be more independent during the rest of the race, since no one really seems to think twice about ditching them. “Don’t trust anyone this season” seems to be a good rule. Charla and Mirna also have to concentrate at working better together when driving to destinations. They seem to get lost everywhere at every leg. Charla’s navigational skills could stand a little bit of improvement. Other than that, their dynamic was actually fairly strong this week. There was some good encouragement coming from Mirna to Charla at the chocolate factory, even if it seemed to be shouting. Hey, it worked! This leg didn’t seem to be too much trouble for this team, so hopefully they will continue their streak and stay ahead of the pack in the next leg.
Team Backstab: Do you even have to guess which team this is? Although Brandon and Nicole get along well with each other, when it comes to other teams, their track record is not so hot. Even after Charla and Mirna waited for them, wasting a good 15 minutes or so, they didn’t signal them to go the correct way on the road to the airport. Although they didn’t have to go out of their way and get them, they didn’t even bother honking or attempting to do anything. Nice guys, huh? Then, once at the airport, they blatantly lied to Charla and Mirna twice: Once when Brandon claims that they “waited for them” and again when Nicole said that Marsha wasn’t buying their tickets (two seconds before Marsha turned around and said they were on the flight). Well, at least the two think alike when it comes to dishonesty. What was that commandment again? Thou shalt not lie? Or at least Thou shalt not be jerks? Then on the way to the mayoral office, they ditched Lance and Marshall, once again employing the defense mechanism of, “Oh well, we have to worry about us and only us, regardless of the help we get from other teams.” Now don’t get me wrong, one should always think of themselves first when it comes to a Darwinistic game like this, but one shouldn’t get tunnel vision. In other words, don’t think this lack of teamwork and just plain lying will go unnoticed by other teams. Brandon and Nicole now have two teams who will not help or trust them again. And every week, the pool of possible allies gets slimmer.
Team Good Times: Ah, my favorite: Bob and Joyce. Bob and Joyce said it best when they noted that you don’t have to be physically fit to win the race. So far there really has not been a very demanding physical challenge, it’s all been mental and planning (which is a little hard for some of the teams). Another good leg this time around, Bob and Joyce were constantly positive, encouraging, and just plain enjoying themselves. This is important in a high stress race such as this, since one can get bogged down very easily and start to become irritable and intolerable (Flo, Alison, etc.). They have yet to place extremely well though, which should start to concern them. Every leg they’ve made it to or above fifth place. Once there’s only five teams left, this is going to be a major problem. They should start trying to figure out a faster way to get to route markers, though I sure can’t think of any at the moment. All in all though, another strong leg.
Team Lucky, Again: The twins, Kami and Karli, don’t seem to trust anyone, which is probably a very good thing this season. They rely mostly on luck, and in this leg, luck was what it was all about. Whether it was getting standby tickets or finding the white filling in the chocolate, Kami and Karli seemed to be pretty fortunate. They worked better together this week also (no internal bickering or snide remarks). This could be what placed them at fifth, their best standing yet. Once again though, they must learn to open their eyes and see their surroundings. This has happened in the first leg (missing several route markers), the second leg (not being able to read the map while walking the dogs), and now this third leg (not seeing the obvious way to the pit stop). Although it didn’t hurt them this time around, in the other two legs it did. They must become more alert if they want to remain in the race.1 2 Next-->
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