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The Amazing Race 10, Episode 1's First Class and Cargo Class Awardsby Sandy Lamparello -- 09/21/2006
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Welcome back, Amazing Race fans! It’s great to have another season underway, isn’t it? And wow what a first episode we had! One team was eliminated during a rest period, there was a Roadblock, and teams had to perform a physical challenge to get to the mat. It makes me REALLY look forward to what else we’ll see throughout the course of this race! You’ve hopefully read Jen’s always-thorough recap, so you know who was eliminated and who is still racing. Now, it’s time for some awards!
This week, and every week, I will be handing out the First and Cargo Class awards for the race. What exactly does that mean, you ask? Well, the teams who perform well, have a good time, enjoy their experiences, and show some kindness or compassion will end up in First Class. A team who doesn’t finish at the top of the standings but looks like they would be fun to travel or hang out with could also end up in First Class. Think back to the classic episode. Comfy chairs, champagne, hot fudge sundaes, and warm towels. Maybe a soft robe and fuzzy slippers if it’s an overnight flight… On the flip side, teams who bicker, whine, complain, or are rude and disrespectful will end up in Cargo Class. They may finish high in the standings, but their performance, attitude, or treatment of others will drop them to the back of the pack for my purposes. Under the plane they go, to sit on top of Aunt Phyllis’s overstuffed suitcase among the luggage and other things you just don’t want to see during your trip.
This week’s First Class award was pretty easy for me to give out. Peter & Sarah worked well together, were kind and encouraging to other teams, and overcame some very real obstacles to finish in a very solid third place. At this point in the race, it’s only really important to avoid elimination, but there’s no doubt that finishing near the front of the pack gives a team an advantage. Sarah & Peter were allowed to board the plane to China first because of her prosthetic leg, but they did not repeatedly make it an issue during the rest of the episode. Peter helped Sarah down a slippery hill in the rain at the start of this leg (no pun intended), showing concern for his friend and teammate instead of just yelling at her to go faster. Teamwork is such a huge part of success on The Amazing Race and Peter exhibited that perfectly right from the start.
When Sarah & Peter approached the Roadblock, it was pretty obvious from the clue that it wasn’t going to be a physical challenge. While that might have pointed more towards Sarah completing the task, this team used their brains and realized that Peter was actually the stronger one for a disgusting eating challenge, and he chose to take on the fish eyes. That was clearly evidenced by Sarah’s inability to even watch Peter suck the slimy eyeballs down. The argument can be made that, as a triathlete, Sarah can take on the physical challenges as well as anyone, and I completely agree. But during a race where time is an issue, her prosthetic leg is something that should be taken into account when dividing up tasks. At the Detour, Peter took charge once Sarah figured out there was a pattern to be followed. Sarah took over bringing the bricks over and Peter concentrated on placing them. They worked very well together once again and completed the task quickly and efficiently.
Finally, at the end of this leg, Sarah performed extremely well climbing the Great Wall. Her leg was leaking hydraulic fluid throughout the second part of the episode, yet she persevered and worked hard not to fall behind. When she started to have trouble getting into the rhythm of her climb, and appeared on the verge of a meltdown, Peter very calmly and efficiently encouraged her and helped her find her stride and make her way up the wall. Again, excellent teamwork made a difference for these two. They were truly excited to have finished so well, and they did so with class and dignity, only gaining an advantage for the flight to China. Their cab was so slow they quickly lost that advantage, but they didn’t let that get them down. So, Sarah & Peter, today you won’t need to preboard, because we have some lovely seats for you in the fine Corinthian leather seats. Go ahead and settle in to First Class, sip some champagne, kick back, and relax. Congratulations on a very well run first leg!
Cargo Class was also fairly easy for me to award this week. Although there was no team that reached Jonathan & Victoria or Lake & Michelle status, there was one team that annoyed both recapper Jenn and me to no end. There was just no pleasing Lyn & Karlyn (a.k.a. Dublyn) in this episode. They complained about Peter & Sarah being given preference on the flight to China, when that was not their decision but is the custom of every flight I’ve ever been on. Position on the flights is always a huge determining factor on the race, teams in the front of the plane generally have an advantage in getting out of the airport, but as I mentioned above, the advantage disappeared once the teams got in their cabs. Yet Dublyn continued to complain about Sarah using her alleged disability as an advantage. That wasn’t where their whining ended though.
At the Detour, Dublyn had problems working together to figure out the pattern of the bricks, and it put them far behind the other teams who chose Labor. Then, instead of focusing on getting their own task completed, they stopped to comment on Peter & Sarah as they completed their own task and headed out. When a team is completely in control of something, such as completing a task, they need to focus on that task and shut out the other teams. If Dublyn had gotten a hint from paying attention to another team that would be one thing, but taking time to notice how that other team is working together and comment on it is just not a good idea. When seconds can matter, even the least bit of time wasted can put a team at a disadvantage.
So, Karlyn & Lyn, you won’t be sitting in a nice comfy seat for this flight. In fact, unless you can dig up some beach chairs or something down in Cargo Class, you won’t be sitting in seats at all! But guess what—you will be allowed to preboard this flight! Hope things aren’t too unpleasant down there for you!
So, there you have it. This is looking like a great season, and I can’t wait to see what happens next! I’ll be back next week to hand out First and Cargo Class again, and make sure you stick with Reality News Online for full coverage of The Amazing Race 10!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Amazing Race 9 articles:
Sandy Lamparello is an Assistant Editor for Reality News Online a Legal Editor for a publishing company in Washington, DC. She is preparing herself to lose LOTS of sleep watching her beloved New York Yankees in the playoffs. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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