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The Amazing Race 8 (Family Edition): Thinking Smart in Episode 8by Jeffrey Clinard -- 11/29/2005
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I find it amusing that a race billed as a “Family Edition” has devolved into one of the bigger grudge matches the race has ever had. The Linz siblings and Godlewski sisters have poorly concealed contempt for the Weavers, and the feeling is mutual. The Weavers do a lot of complaining about it, though they do give as good as they get. At least the Bransen family has had the good sense to stay out of the whole affair, preferring to be “Switzerland.”
In the end, the grudge match has done nothing but make all participants in it look bad. The Weavers come across as hypocrites, professing a Christian lifestyle, then making snide remarks about the other teams. The Linz siblings have obsessed about getting rid of them, while the Godlewski sisters have shown themselves to be very sadistic, as they were disappointed they couldn’t see the Weaver’s reaction to the Yield (until the episode aired). I’ve said it before - teams shouldn’t waste time and energy trying to figure out how to get rid of another team. There is very little they can do in practical terms to eliminate another team.
One of the few methods available is the Yield, which showed up again, and was once again used on the Weaver family. The Weaver family expected it, and sat down to a meal of McBurgers while waiting it out. The Linz siblings were right to use Yield power, though it was an emotional use of it once again. Since the Yield power should be used to try to knock out a team, using it on the Weavers, who were in second place (a theoretical 15 minutes ahead of the Bransen family and 30 minutes ahead of the Godlewski sisters), the Linz siblings should have tried to knock out the last place team. The Godlewski sisters were a strong team that had fallen behind due to a production crew error. Whether the teams were friends or enemies, the focus should be on winning the race.
The detour provided a choice between a rappel or riding a bicycle. Which was faster? Well, in most cases a rappel is faster, though with four team members and two different drops, the choices were more balanced. The roadblock required little skill, though some people made a more graceful entry into the pool than others.
In a leg filled with helicopters, bicycles, trailers, and bears, which teams were thinking smart?
Linz Family: First place, and for the first time. The Linz family made a mistake in not obtaining a number for the helicopter, which put them a bit behind at the beginning of the leg. I also think they yielded the wrong team, but it all worked out for them in the end. They ran a good leg and deserved their first place position. Well done.
Bransen Family: The Bransen family stayed out of the feuds and moved up on the leader board in the leg. This is a result of their mistake-free racing. There were not many opportunities to gain ground in this leg, but the Bransen family was able to take advantage of the problems of the other teams to finish in second place.
Godlewski Family: The sisters had problems not of their own making, which resulted in a drop of position in this leg. The production crew drained their battery, and it put them in last place going into the second half of the leg. It’s not really fair, but it is a part of the race (though in the past teams have gotten time credits for delays caused by the production crew; it remains to be seen if the sisters will have their departure time adjusted in the next leg, or if it is just tough luck). Overall they made the most of a bad situation and remained out of last place.
Weaver Family: The Weaver family made a large number of mistakes in the second half of the leg, which directly led to their last place finish. Taking the scenic route was a bad mistake which alone could have cost them the race. However, the Weavers compounded their mistake by essentially giving up. They coped with their mistake by stopping for ice cream and burgers before they got to the Yield and roadblock, and didn’t seem to care they were still in the race. Overall, they are falling into the trap of worrying more about the other teams than themselves. It will be interesting to see how they obtain money. They gave $5 to the Godlewski sisters back in Panama, but I think that is a bad debt they’ll have to write off (the Godlewski sisters want to see the Weavers suffer).
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other Amazing Race 8 Episode 8 articles:
Jeffrey Clinard has been writing about The Amazing Race since the first edition, writing more than 80 articles about it for RealityNewsOnline since its premier season. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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