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The Amazing Race 10: Thinking Smart in Episode 2by Jeffrey Clinard -- 09/28/2006
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There are many ways to lose The Amazing Race, but one of the most frequent is problems during the journey between clue boxes and/or pit stops. Teams have to know where they are going, or they are going to lose. At times, it means the teams will have to put their trust in a cab driver; other times they'll need to figure out how to get to their destination on their own. Cab drivers can be aided at times if teams can get somebody to translate for them; but in the drive-it-yourself segments, teams will need to get help of some kind.
Maps are a good start. Better is a local guide, who can either plot the course on the map for a team or ride along to the next destination and essentially do the navigation for the team. Teams who attempt to wing it are liable to get lost and waste valuable time. It's generally better to stop a few times to get directions if a team is unsure rather than drive in the wrong direction for 30 minutes.
The episode was interesting in that no team ran a smooth leg, which is usually why a team comes into first place. The problems of the teams varied, from losing their possessions (the helmets used for horseback riding) to vehicle problems. However, the rankings are interesting as the top three teams were also the top three teams in the first leg. It suggests that they are the strongest competition at this point.
The Detour provided a choice of either disassembling a camp, then preparing it for transport, or taking a beast of burden to a river to fill up jugs, then filling up a barrel. What was faster? All things considered, a team with a tame beast was better off doing the fill it up option. Two teams ended up quitting the take it down option, though one changed back after getting a skittish beast. The Roadblock shuffled a few teams around, but didn't really affect the results of the race all that much. However, the task brought to mind something that isn't exactly a racing tip, but something that annoys me every time I see it. The fact is, Roadblocks are difficult enough without the unwanted commentary from the non-participating team member. It never helps, and it just frustrates the person doing the task.
With three teams eliminated and nine teams left, which teams were thinking smart in episode 2?
Peter & Sarah: The winners of this leg of the race had a few problems, but overcame them to earn a first place finish. They had their share of problems, particularly with the Detour task. They abandoned the “Take it Down” option and tried the “Fill it Up” task, only to switch back. They were the third team to complete the detour, but the first to leave due to the errors of other teams. Overall they ran a pretty good leg, though not a perfect one.
Tyler & James: The former drug addicts had their share of problems in this leg, but they were not of their own making. Their cab driver took them to the wrong location, and their transport blew a tire... and had a broken jack. Still, they made up most of the time with good solid racing and passed several teams who made racing mistakes. Overall, they did a good job of coping with their problems.
Duke & Lauren: The father/daughter team put in another solid leg, making virtually no mistakes along the way. The one point they lost some time on was their selection of the “Take it Down” option. It took a bit longer than the “Fill it Up” task, but they were still able to complete fairly quickly. They are running a good race so far, and had a good effort in this leg.
Tom & Terry: The boyfriends ran a much better leg than the first one, with a solid performance that landed them in fourth place. Where they stalled out was on the horseback riding. Two teams passed them on the way to the Detour, and I can only assume they had an equally rough time getting back. Still, they are working together well and have moved up in the standings.
Dustin & Kandice: The beauty queens made one big mistake that cost them plenty of embarrassment and position in the race. There is a reason why one of my thinking smart tips is to take care of your possessions. They didn't. By misplacing one of their helmets, they had to watch several teams pass them. This put them in the middle of the pack instead of at the front. Hopefully they have learned this lesson the hard way and won't make that mistake again.
Rob & Kimberly: There are two types of teams I dislike on general principles. The first is the screaming women teams (Lisa & Joni and the Godlewski sisters come to mind). The second is the bickering couple. It's safe to assume that Rob & Kimberly are the bickering couple this season. They got lost on the way to the Detour, which cost them time. Then they lost a lot of time by walking the horses, and had a difficult time with the Detour. This team needs to improve a great deal or they will be eliminated.
David & Mary: The married couple did well in getting a local to assist them in getting to the detour. However, I have no idea why they went off-road and got stuck in the mud. That move pushed them to the bottom of the pack while they waited for a replacement vehicle. They have not placed well in either leg, and will need to step up their race if they want to avoid elimination.
Erwin & Godwin: The brothers had their share of problems; some of their own making and others that were not their fault. The problem that really impeded them was the breakdown of their vehicle. It cost them valuable time while they figured out how to push start it. However, they did not aid their own cause by losing their helmet, thus stalling out after the Detour. They were in second place at that point; they ended up in eighth.
Lyn & Karlyn: The single moms had their share of problems in this leg. While they were able to get a local to guide them, they had serious trouble at the Detour, abandoning the “Take it Down” option and completing the “Fill it Up.” After that, they found themselves with car trouble. They really got lucky that Kellie & Jamie self-destructed, or they would have been out of the race.
Kellie & Jamie: What went wrong? Well, before I say what they did wrong, I'll note one thing they did RIGHT. Getting somebody to write down the location of the next clue box in the native language was a very smart move, and allowed them to temporarily take the lead in the race. However, it all went downhill from there. They had serious problems navigating on their own, which led to a loss of position at the Detour. Then they had serious problems getting to the Roadblock, not to mention trying to complete it. However, it was far too late by that point.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Amazing Race 10 articles:
Jeffrey Clinard has written about the Amazing Race since its debut season, writing over 100 articles about the show. He can be reached at Realitytvfeedback@bookslv.com.
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