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The Amazing Race 8, Episode 3 First and Cargo Class Awards: Full of Shrimpby Betsy Wasser -- 10/18/2005
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Sweet readers, you know I love The Amazing Race, but I did not love this episode. Not because the Aiellos, who I loved, were eliminated – that’s sad, but it happens. More because it was boring. There was really very little suspense at the end. The racers started the final task in two groups, and the number you drew to complete the challenge pretty much set the place you’d finish in. There was really no way for any team to surge ahead. I’m surprised this leg of the race was designed in such a way, since after seven awesome seasons, I do believe the makers of this show know better.
It’s time, now to give out some awards. First Class awards go to teams who show amazing skill, attitude, or spirit. Cargo Class is, of course, the exact opposite. Plus, as a bonus, one of my readers (hi, Jamison!) suggested that I throw in Business Class and Coach Class, for those racers who don’t quite make it to First or Cargo Class. And now, on with the show!
Let’s start with the bad. A big fat Cargo Class award goes to Char Schroeder this week for her behavior at Dulles airport. Her stepson Hunter was goofing around with Rolly Weaver. As the boys explained in interviews, they are the same age, so they hit it off right away. Take a minute to remember what your world was like when you were fourteen. As cool as The Amazing Race is, there would be times that it would feel pretty boring if the only people around you were adults and your sisters. How cool would it be to find another person your age that you could hang out with? Well, Char didn’t see it that way, and told Hunter to “shut his pie hole” and to stay away from Rolly.
The two boys weren’t doing a thing wrong. Their families were on the same flight, so it’s not like one could share information with the other. We also have no reason to belive that either boy would turn around and betray his family to help his friend. Char was really just uneccesarily competitive and mean. She can think about that while she eats a bag of broken airplane pretzels in Cargo Class.
The Paolos continue to ride in Cargo Class, as they undoubtedly will until they get eliminated. This week, Marion had the nerve to suggest that they try to buy a map of Charleston before they go there. I know, crazy to want to have a map of a place where you’ll be in the race… or at least that’s what D.J. seemed to think. He acted like Marion was Queen Moron for even suggesting it. In Huntsville, when the team went to the computer station to get their AOL clue, Marion said to read it slowly. This time it was Brian who treated her like Queen Moron, rolling his eyes to the heavens and saying that the clue was a video. Was it really so dumb to think that an email might be something you read? The lack of respect these kids have for their mother is staggering, and I continue to be amazed that their father lets it happen.
Now that we’ve given out the Cargo Class awards, let’s move up to Business Class. That’s where you’ll find the Gaghans this week. While the Weavers and Aiellos struggled with the muddy Jeep task, the Gaghans finished it on their first attempt. I don’t know how Bill Gaghan got so adept at driving through mud, but he totally rocked that challenge. Even nicer was seeing the way that Billy praised his dad. This family really seems to support each other, unlike some other families I could mention, Paolos. I also loved that when the second bus took off for the “mystery destination,” Bill cheered everyone up by saying, “We’re all in last place!” He really lightened the mood. The only reason, really, that I didn’t give the Gaghans First Class this week was that we didn’t see more of them. Well done, Gaghans!
First Class this week goes to the Aiellos. This team really had remarkable spirit. Matt started this leg by saying that the four of them had vowed to have more fun. That’s a good way to think of things, because the reason they decided to do this race together in the first place was to get to know each other better. They continued in that spirit by choosing the Jeep challenge, since driving through the mud sounded like a lot more fun than beheading shrimp. A lesser team would have questioned how much fun it was when they repeatedly got stuck in the mud, but not the Aiellos. From their first attempt to their final, fourteenth try, the guys were positive. They didn’t let their frustrations get the better of them. Even when they were eliminated at the end, the Aiellos kept things in perspective and treated each other well. The guys felt closer to Tony than ever before and said they loved him like a father and each other like brothers. At the risk of being sentimental, I’ve got to say, that’s better than a million dollars any day. Godspeed, Aiellos. We’ll miss you.
I know what you’re all wondering – where do the Weavers fit in with this? Well, I’m torn. They were kind of all over the place this episode. Let’s look at the bad stuff. Linda said that she was “not familiar with airports,” which certainly didn’t impress me. I understand if she hasn’t had much opportunity to travel in her life. Not everyone does. But shouldn’t she have spent at least a little time before the race to figure that kind of thing out? I was okay with her not telling the Aiellos what she’d just learned from the airline. This is a race, and she wants her family to win. But just ignoring them was not cool. As Vince Vaughn said in the movie Made, “There’s a nice way to do that, you know.” She could have just said she’d prefer not to share and she might not have had such a hostile reaction. On the bus ride, she and the girls completely wigged out, and it was really just way too much. Linda said she felt “like a prisoner,” and was freaking out because she didn’t know where they were going. Well, come now. What horrible place do you really think you could get to by bus from Charleston? The girls also got really punchy and dramatic. I know they were tired and worn out, but this is only the third leg of the race. They need to step it up if they’re going to survive this.
On the other hand, when the bus got to the Waffle House, Linda totally pulled everyone together. She told the girls not to let anyone else see how upset they were, even if it meant being “totally fake.” The girls took it to heart, singing and dancing their way back to the bus. Yes, it was obnoxious, but they managed to cheer themselves out of a major funk. It’s not easy to turn things around for yourself like that, and I give Linda a lot of credit for it. The Weavers get on my nerves sometimes, but they treat each other well, and Linda seems like a great mom. So let’s compromise. The Weavers aren’t First Class or Cargo Class. Business Class seems a little too good for a team that had such a major meltdown. So I’m putting them in Coach, seated in the emergency exit row with extra legroom.
Next week, the Weavers have to face a race track, just like the one where their father was killed. I can’t begin to imagine how emotional that would be, but if they can hold it together, there’s a spot in First Class reserved for them.
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with any comments or class nominations at betsywasser@Gmail.com.
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