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The Amazing Race 5, Episode 11 Team Dynamics: A Pain the Ox or Yield in the Name of Loveby Brian Sackett -- 09/17/2004
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Well, howdy do, fellow Amazing Race watchers! We are closer than ever to finally finding out which team will win and which teams will be going home with nothing. However, we still have this final leg to discuss. All of a sudden, teams are acting brashly and losing site of the ultimate goal. With only one leg of the race left, will the teams learn to forgive and forget, or will it come down to which team has the most dumb luck? Hopefully the former will be the case, but we’ll have to look at this week’s Team Dynamics first to figure this out:
Team Sleep With One Eye Open: Wow, out of all the teams, the team that I least expected to use the Yield option did! Chip and Kim ran a tough leg, fought through each obstacle, and never once bickered with each other. Once more, Chip’s friendly demeanor and brute strength helped this team propel to their second first place finish. When the going gets tough, Chip gets going. When climbing up the to the girder on the bridge, Chip was struggling tremendously, but never once thought about resting, let alone giving up. Later in the detour, Chip and Kim chose the right path and stuck with it. Although it took them some time to finally come across the clue, Chip and Kim did not freak out or scream and yell at each other (*cough* Colin *cough*). Clearly Chip and Kim have a great intra-Team Dynamic. But how do their inter-Team Dynamics hold up? Well, as the old saying goes, you can’t please everybody all of the time. Although they surely pleased Brandon and Nicole and the Moms, was Yielding Colin and Christie worth the awkwardness and vengeance that will surely unfold? In short, yes. Utilizing the Yield was a great move for Chip and Kim. They knew Colin and Christie’s weaknesses and exploited them. When in a stressful situation, Colin and Christie work against each other, not with. So by Yielding the two, Chip and Kim almost guaranteed themselves to place better than Team Invincible (aka Colin and Christie). Even though in this next and final leg Colin and Christie will be treating Chip and Kim with hostility, it will surely be worth it. If not for the strategic implications, than for the comedic possibilities that will surely unfold. I have a feeling that Chip and Kim will not lose track of what they have set out to do and will not be easily distracted by hurt feelings this final leg.
Team Surprise: For the moms, this episode was truly a shocker. During this leg we witnessed the moms do things that they don’t normally do. For one thing, right out of the gate, Linda and Karen were fighting with each other! I had to do a double take just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. Then, Linda reached into the back of the car, pulled out a Louisville slugger, and knocked Karen into last Thursday! (In reality, that was just me hallucinating. I really should check the expiration dates on my apple juice). I never expected the moms to even bicker, let alone yell violently at each other. What I find most amusing about this is that they were arguing for the first time while in second place! Usually they are in last place and get along fine. Quite strange. The next big shocker came when Linda opted to do the roadblock. Only a few weeks ago this lady was afraid to hang-glide, now all of a sudden she is Wonder Woman, scaling the bridges of Aukland, New Zealand. Now, she was afraid to do it, no questions there. However, she did muster her courage and accomplished the task with relatively little time lost. At the Yield route marker task (decorating the taxi cab) the moms breezed by the competition and, were it not for bad luck in hailing a taxi, would have easily placed first. All of this said however, I suspect that the Moms just won’t be able to hack it in this final leg. Although I think that they will try their hardest, first place just does not seem to be in the cards for these two.
Team Puppet Masters: Now, although they may not be all that intelligent, Brandon and Nicole did use a crafty bit of strategy on this leg that may or may not aid them in the home stretch. However, we’ll discuss that a bit later. During this leg, Brandon and Nicole behaved fairly well for them. They hardly bickered, worked through each task fairly quickly, and managed to not make too many careless mistakes. Little things that most people might overlook (friendliness to their cabbie, intelligent planning, scouting out surrounding areas) Brandon and Nicole did with ease. In short, they are catching on. Now, on to their clever little scheme. Clearly Brandon and Nicole wanted Colin and Christie to be Yielded. However, Brandon did not want to be the one labeled with the mark of the Yielder. So, he pushed Chip (who would have probably have Yielded anyway) to do his dirty work. Chip and Kim were then marked as the Yielders and, as a result, will be the ones to face Colin’s wrath in the final leg. Hopefully for Brandon and Nicole, this awkward confrontation between the two teams will cause them to get distracted. Then, while the distraction is occurring, Brandon and Nicole will be able to slip past them and land in first. Will this happen? Probably not since both Chip and Kim and Colin and Christie will be keeping a close eye on the race at hand. They are the two strongest teams and did not make it this far by chance. Also, Brandon and Nicole have not been known for their intelligent racing, so something tells me that it won’t pan out as well as they’d like. In the end, I suspect that Brandon and Nicole will be the last to cross the finish line next week.1 2 Next-->
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