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The Amazing Race 9: Thinking Smart in Episode 6by Jeffrey Clinard -- 04/12/2006
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The last several legs have had more or less wide-open racing, with few natural or artificial equalizing points. Indeed, the last natural equalizing point was the flight to Moscow, while hours-of-operation only stalled two teams (BJ & Tyler and Eric & Jeremy) in the last episode. Overall, there have been only minor changes in position during the past three episodes.
This is probably a good compromise between a completely wide-open race with no equalizing points (which could lead to a runaway if a team got the right breaks) and having equalizing points in each episode (which would not reward smart racing). Still, linear legs like the last one, while more fair for the teams, doesn't make for as good viewing as the winning and losing teams are more predictable. The only way for a team to improve their position is through the mistake of another team. Last week, no team made any major mistakes.
The detour of “Big Fish” or “Little Fish” was pretty much a draw in terms of which was faster. Most teams opted to carry the fish, though Barry & Fran, after some initial trouble, ended up selling fish reasonably quickly. They also avoided the consequences of having fish guts all over their clothing. Similarly, the roadblock didn't stall out any team, with teams finishing it in the order of their arrival.
In the end, most teams raced well in the leg, leading to the elimination of a team which had made mistakes in previous legs. Still, which teams were thinking smart in episode six?
Eric & Jeremy: This team continues to race well, catching up to the hippies at the first clue box and then taking and keeping the lead for the rest of the leg. They had a good map, followed it, sailed through the tasks, and wound up in first place. Good job.
Tyler & BJ: If it wasn't for the hours-of-operation at the first clue box, they would have had another first-place finish. As it turned out, they ended up as a close second and continued to have fun on the trip. Their fake sign-in sheet was amusing and provided some entertainment in what was one of the duller legs of the race.
Joseph & Monica: This team seemed to struggle a bit more than most teams when carrying the fish, though it may have been the editing. They had a harder time finding Jagino than the others, which cost them a bit of time, but nothing major. This team also was one of the few who did not have a map, though they obtained one early in the episode. They should realize maps and guide books are very useful things to buy.
Fran & Barry: The older couple had some problems finding the amphitheater, and was the only team who decided to sell fish instead of transporting them. While they struggled with it at first, they ended up completing the task fairly quickly and avoided getting fish guts all over their clothes. Overall, they had another solid leg.
Lake & Michelle: Despite their bickering, the married parents put in a solid leg. Their best move was to have Michelle complete her first roadblock. Though her missed shots frustrated Lake (and I'm sure he thinks he could have completed it faster), Lake needed to sit one out as he's already done four so far in the race. In the end, it did not affect their standing in the race at all.
Yolanda & Ray: This team took a gamble by parking their car and going to the amphitheater by foot. Unless they knew it was only a short distance away, they were running the risk of having to walk there and back. However, their gamble paid off and it allowed them to pass Lori & Dave. In a leg where there were few ways to pass another team, Ray & Yolanda found one – and it allowed them to stay in the race.
Dave & Lori: What went wrong? Well, a number of things. They've consistently been in the middle of the pack, but one by one the weak teams kept being eliminated, which moved them backwards. Lori's frustration with the statue roadblock cost them time, while Dave's reluctance to ask directions probably cost them even more. Overall, they lost their half-hour time advantage over Yolanda & Ray on the way to the first clue box, and there was no way to recover.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other Amazing Race 9 Episode 6 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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