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The Amazing Race 9: Thinking Smart in Episode 11by Jeffrey Clinard -- 05/16/2006
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The race is drawing to a close, which means that teams can no longer afford to make any mistakes. However, several teams are still making them, though most were at the beginning of the leg. BJ & Tyler went out begging before buying airline tickets, which could have put them quite a bit behind. They were lucky that seats opened up for a flight scheduled to arrive earlier (though the ahead-of-schedule landing of the first flight and delays on their own flight put them behind). Monica & Joseph were unable to reach the bus station to catch the first bus, then compounded this with faulty information regarding the early morning buses. If it wasn’t for the hours of operation at the monkey temple, any of these mistakes could have cost a team the race.
The second fast forward came into play with BJ & Tyler and Ray & Yolanda both going for it. However, after Yolanda realized she couldn’t eat a whole bowl of the fried insects (at least before the hippies could), they wisely abandoned the task and returned to the roadblock. The fast forward was quite a bit more challenging than the previous one (which only consisted of breaking plates), but it paid off as BJ & Tyler completed it and took first place as a result.
The detour choice of Move It or Altar It was quite balanced, with neither being particularly faster than the other. Move It did require a lot more heavy lifting but provided a chance to complete it more quickly – or cost teams a lot of time if they had problems with the balancing required. While the eliminated Joseph & Monica did take that option, I’m not convinced it was the reason for their loss.
At this point, teams should realize the next leg with be a non-elimination round; then there will be a final leg in the race to the finish line. Smart teams will lighten their loads as much as they can and start playing a no-limit game. All three teams have a shot at the win and need to think smarter than ever to make it to the finish line first.
Overall, BJ & Tyler started with no shoes, pants, or money but ended up in first place while the small mistakes Monica & Joseph made ended up costing them the race. Which teams were thinking smart in episode 11?
BJ & Tyler: First place via fast forward and a little help from their friends. Their biggest problem of no pants or shoes was solved by gifts from Ray & Yolanda and Eric & Jeremy, and they once again solved their money problems without too much effort. However, they didn’t run a perfect leg. They should have booked airline tickets when they were at the airport. In some legs, that mistake would have cost them. They were wise to take the fast forward, though I rather doubt they’ll be eating bugs again anytime soon (then again, people have eaten worse on Survivor). Still, they are in the running for the money and may have a bit of a head start going into the next-to-last leg.
Eric & Jeremy: The frat boys ran a very solid leg, from getting on the first flights and buses to completing tasks quickly. In short, there was nothing else they could have done better on this leg, and they probably would have won it if not for the fast forward move of BJ & Tyler. They may be the team to beat going into the final legs, though the race is very much up for grabs.
Ray & Yolanda: This team raced well, even with their hiccup with the fast forward. Once they realized they were not likely to win it, they cut their losses and returned to the roadblock. Yolanda did a great job of making up some time, and the couple raced quite well through the rest of the leg. They also won a fantastic prize by having the golden gnome.
Joseph & Monica: What went wrong? Well, they made a number of mistakes in this leg which all added up to cost them the race. First, they failed to get on the earliest morning bus, which spotted several teams some time as they were not at the temple when it opened. Joseph struggled with the roadblock, which allowed Yolanda to make up some needed time. They had problems finding the garden and the clue box, which cost them even more time. What they did do right was opting to do the Move It detour. They were in last place and had to take the chance that the alternative option would be faster and thus keep them in the race. It was a good gamble, but it didn’t pay off.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Amazing Race 9 articles:
Jeffrey Clinard has been writing about The Amazing Race since the first edition, writing over 100 articles about it for RealityNewsOnline since its premier season. He can be reached at email@example.com..
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