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The Amazing Race 8, Episode 4 First and Cargo Class Awards: One Minuteby Betsy Wasser -- 10/25/2005
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This episode of The Amazing Race was a delight to watch because there was a lot of First Class behavior from the racers. I’m finding that I like more and more of the teams, which doesn’t happen very often. Of course, some teams did have some pretty lousy Cargo Class behavior this week. Who falls where? Let’s hand out some awards!
Let’s hand out those Cargo Class awards first. It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that the Paolos are in Cargo Class yet again. I should probably just rename this the Paolo Class to save time, but I’m hopeful that they’ll be eliminated before too long. It’s got to happen eventually, right? Right? Well, anyway, the Paolos continued to grate on me. Once again, Marion lost one of their clues. In the past, we’ve seen players get time penalties for losing a clue, and I keep hoping that it will happen to the Paolos, too. Regardless, it is just sloppy and careless for Marion to keep misplacing these very important bits of information. Sure, she lost it after they’d read it, but sometimes a time will need to refer back to a clue to make sure they’re on the right track. Then, the team’s bickering continued as Marion hit Brian with a clue, and he whined that she gave him a paper cut. I swear, this team just makes me tired. On the other hand, they were actually nice to each other for one shining second when they came in second place. It was refreshing to see that, but it doesn’t negate the way they sniped at each other for the rest of the leg. So, let’s throw the Paolos in Cargo Class, but give them an extra bag of peanuts to share. We might as well give them some positive feedback for a little bit of good behavior.
Joining the Paolos in Cargo class are the Schroeders. It’s never a good sign when one team focuses on another, and the Schroeders seemed to be a wee bit obsessed with the Weavers. At the beginning of the race, they talked about how evil Linda was, and throughout the leg, Stassi was very much aware of where the Weavers were. If there’s another team in the race who you don’t like, fine – it happens, especially with some of the incredibly obnoxious people we see on this show (I’m looking at you, Jonathan). But the best way to get your revenge on these other teams is to beat them. Guess that didn’t work out for you this time around, did it Schroeders?
Mark and Stassi clashed throughout this leg of the race. At the racetrack, Mark wanted to stop and adjust the seats of the bikes. Stassi completely freaked out, saying that one minute could make all the difference. She was right, but it’s also possible that their team could have finished the task that much faster because all of them could comfortably reach the petals. It could also be argued that they would have been able to adjust the seats that much faster if she’d just done it and not argued about it. Wow, I sounded like my dad just then!
The Mark-Stassi arguing continued when it was time to find Southern Colonel (and by the way, I’m tossing a blanket Cargo Class to everyone who read the clue as “Southern Colonial,” because that really irritated me). The family asked a sheriff what it was, and Mark decided it couldn’t possibly be a trailer home dealership. Why not? Good question, and one that Stassi had, too. Char then suggested that they look in a phone book, which Mark was reluctant to do. And why was that, Mark? He thought it seemed “too simple,” but really, how else did he think they were going to figure out what Southern Colonel was? It’s not like he had a better idea. When they finally got there, Stassi continued to stress out. She cried because she was right in the first place about it being a trailer home dealership, then cried again (although she was right) when Mark insisted that they pull an 8:00 departure time without even looking for an earlier one. She was clearly at wit’s end, and really before she needed to be. Mark did not help matters by trying to comfort her. His heart was in the right place, but he was the one she was really upset with. The team would have been better served if Char had been the one to try to calm her down instead. Stassi was right that Mark didn’t listen to her, and the team really showed some poor, Cargo Class style teamwork.
The Schroders’ Weaver obsession and the clashes between Mark and Stassi were bad, but theh family really cinched its place in Cargo Class this week with their remarks about the racetrack. When they found out that one of their tasks would take place at the Talladega speedway, Mark actually laughed at how the Weavers would react to it. Again, if they aren’t Weaver fans, that’s fine – I don’t love them either. But anyone with the tiniest amount of human sympathy or kindness should have been understanding about how incredibly hard it would be for the family to face the tragedy they’d been through. It was ugly and utterly Cargo Class.
The good news is that this Cargo Class behavior was balanced by some First Class actions. First of all, I’ve got to give a spirit award to the Linzes and Bransens. Even though both teams are totally aware of the fact that they’re in a race and are doing their best to win, they’re still having a good time. I loved it when one of the Bransen girls decided to moon the Linzes – that was hilarious. It was equally funny when Alex Linz responded by flashing them (perhaps getting ready for that upcoming trip to New Orleans). That little bit of fun and camaraderie between the two teams was a great example of good sportsmanship. It’s not often that showing someone your butt can get you an upgrade to First Class, but that’s just what the Bransens and Linzes get this week. Nice work, and here’s hoping that’s as close to behind as either team gets for several weeks to come.
My biggest First Class award this week goes to the Weaver family. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it was for them to face the tragic death of their dad by going to a racetrack like the one where he was killed. They were upset just driving past it, and when they found out they had to actually go there, the family was in absolute misery. But the Weavers banded together, under Linda’s leadership. She soothed her kids by saying that they’d get through the task as quickly as possible, and they all agreed that together, they could do it. Once they got to the race track, Linda further helped her kids feel better by reminding them that their father loved racing and would not have wanted them to have negative associations with it. Once they completed the task, Linda was proud to say that they were able to move past the depression stage of their mourning.
The Weavers entered The Amazing Race to help them band together after their loss, and this week, they really showed that they are doing just that. Riding that silly bike around a racetrack was probably one of the hardest things they’ve ever done, but with their love and support for one another, they did it. They should be very proud of themselves, and I hope they enjoy themselves in First Class. They deserve it.
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with any comments or First and Cargo Class nominations at betsywasser@Gmail.com.
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