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Amazing Race 5 Team Dynamics: Arabian Nights, Tender-Footed Daysby Brian Sackett -- 08/05/2004
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Previously on The Amazing Race: a bunch of stuff happened that is ancient history and we lost Bob and Joyce. That’s all you really need to know since we’re living in the “right here and now,” which conveniently is also this past Tuesday, which was pre-recorded months ago. Confused? Me too. Now on to the Team Dynamics!
This week everybody seemed to be running a similar race. Almost every team asked locals for help, flew on the same plane, and had the same basic plan of action. So why the huge time gap between first and last place? Well, airplane tickets seem to be the death of these teams. In an interview with Jim and Marsha, Marsha said so; my esteemed colleague Jeffrey Clinard said it; and now I’m saying it. The detour choice depended on what time you got to it as well, so that was not a big factor. Since this week everybody seemed to run the same race, I’ve decided to nickname according to the same general topic: varying intelligence levels. So, without further ado:
Team Genius: Colin and Christie might possibly be the smartest racers yet to play the game. However, they are not perfect. Colin said it best when he noted how he and Christie fight, but it works. For instance, while on the Fast Forward (which we’ll look at in a moment) the two of them bickered, but still accomplished their goal in a relatively small amount of time. Their “genuine” friendliness paid off once again this week as well. Colin was smart and polite in the museum, finding the Rembrandt with very little difficulty. Now, why are they Team Genius? Well, Colin and Christie are always going the extra step and thinking ahead. They were smart to visit a travel agent as opposed to blindly rushing to the airport. Then, once their flight landed, they refused to rest and ended up finding a flight out of Paris a full twelve hours earlier than their original flight. In short, it’s gonna take a lot to stop this team.
Now, on to the Fast Forward. Was it a smart move? Well, since there are only two Fast Forwards in the entirety of this season (which I’m not thrilled about), I’d say that it was pretty good choice. The next time a Fast Forward pops up, they could be in last, but by then it would already be taken away by another team (since they would realize that it’s the last one). As mentioned above, they did argue and waste some precious time while completing the task, but overall they did a relatively good job. They made it to the coolest pit stop ever way ahead of the other teams and have a huge jump in the next leg. I bet Phil never expected to see a team at the pit stop so early! They may be the best racers I’ve seen thus far, and are definitely the best racers in this season.
Team Smart: I never thought that I’d have a complimentary nickname for Charla and Mirna, but here we are. Even the brothers commented on how, although they don’t like them, they are being very smart about racing. The brains kicked into high gear when, on the train, Mirna asked a local where the painting in the Hermitage might be located, which paid off later on. Then they performed their most impressive move on the race to date: the stowaway. Leaving while everyone else was sleeping was a brilliant move by the cousins, who had a nice little jump ahead of the other teams. Even though Mirna guilted Charla into another roadblock and didn’t listen on the way to Hump and Ride (which actually paid off), they ran an extremely tight and error-free race. Their stowaway move made all the difference for this team this leg. It is because of that move and an excellent second half that placed Mirna and Charla in an excellent second.
Team Clever: Well, it’s nice to see that Brandon finally listened to Nicole this week. That would’ve been a long walk to the train station, just ask “Mirna and Shmirna.” Brandon and Nicole ran a pretty good leg this time around, even if they did make me physically sick with their little, “You’re shmoopy, no you’re shmoopy,” bit on the train. There was a little bickering later on between the two of them, but nothing that significantly slowed them down. I mean, let’s face it, they were not placing better than third in this round after the showings by Colin and Christie and Charla and Mirna. So, why are they Team Clever? Well, they pulled a very sneaky move during the detour – so sneaky that they might have not even realized it. While struggling, Brandon enlisted in the aid of Chip to help lug the huge block. Knowing Chip, he’d gladly go out of his way to help someone in need. After all, all he wants is to be loved. This not only moved Brandon and Nicole ahead in time, but it slowed Chip and Kim down. A very clever move from two people who probably didn’t even realize they were being clever in the first place. The only problem this team needs to fix right now is their bickering. Other than that, they seemed a-okay for this leg. After all, that entire hypocrisy problem seemed to be coming along pretty well this round.1 2 Next-->
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