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The Amazing Race 10: Thinking Smart in Episode 6by Jeffrey Clinard -- 10/25/2006
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One of the major obstacles teams faced in the latest leg was driving themselves to the Detour locations. Some teams who wanted “Automatic” went with “Manual” because they could find it, while one went in the other direction. The ability to find a Detour was much harder than completing it. Teams with the better navigation skills or ability to get directions from locals went to the top of the leaderboard in this episode.
Still, there are ways around almost any problem if teams think of it and/or have the money. Erwin & Godwin got a police officer to direct them out of the Kuwait Towers and tried to get him to take them to the Detour location. Lots of teams asked locals. Still, if all else fails, teams should consider hiring a cab driver to act as a lead car. The cab drivers either know the location or can usually get directions from their dispatcher. It costs a bit of money, but it’s better than elimination.
The first part of the Roadblock was a simple ladder climb, though the height made a few people nervous. The more interesting part was the puzzle, then getting it translated. Some teams fell a bit behind during that phase, but it didn’t make any difference in the long run.
The Detour was a choice between “Manual,” loading camel feed bags, or “Automatic,” mounting a robot jockey onto a camel for a race. Which was faster? Automatic. It wasn’t hard to put the robot on the camel, and the race was fairly quick. But in practical terms, the faster task was the one teams could find. Teams can’t perform tasks if they can’t find them.
The Fast Forward showed up in this leg, giving Mary & David a chance to use it and avoid the 30-minute penalty. It worked, largely because Erwin & Godwin risked their own position to trick the beauty queens into not going for it. Mary & David looked on it as an act of kindness, while Dustin & Kandice might look at it as a dirty trick. Actually, I’d love to see a set of race rules, mostly to find loopholes. I’ve already thought of a half dozen really dirty tricks racers could use. If anybody has any interest, I’ll start including them in my articles.
Seven teams started in a leg from India to Kuwait; only six teams are left in the race. Which teams were thinking smart in episode six?
David & Mary: It’s not often that good relations with the other racers pay off, but David & Mary were handed a huge gift by the Cho brothers, and took full advantage of it. Still, this team is constantly in the back of the pack, and the few parts of the race they completed on their own had them trailing the other teams. They are in first place for now, but they need to step up or it’s only a matter of time before they are eliminated.
Dustin & Kandice: The beauty queens raced well, though they continue to show they are takers, not givers. They got a little taste of their own medicine when Lyn & Karlyn convinced the local not to help them. Plus, while being Miss New York or Miss California might not give them priority ticketing on aircraft, it was worth a try, even if the locals were skeptical. Still, they were smart enough to get directions to the towers from the airline pilot, and get a local to lead them to the Detour location. What they didn’t do was read their clue correctly at the Detour. Somewhere they missed the part on filling the bags up to the line, and it cost them time. Despite that blunder, they finished in second place.
Rob & Kimberly: This team has really stepped up their racing with a strong third place finish. While Kimberly had a few problems with the puzzle, the team was the first to arrive at and finish the Detour. They dropped a slot to Dustin & Kandice by asking directions, but in contrast to teams that didn’t take the extra time and got lost, it was a smart trade.
Lyn & Karyln: The single moms got a bit lost a few times, but were wise enough to get directions. They also told a local man not to give the beauty queens directions. It wasn’t against the rules, and they slowed Dustin & Kandice down a bit, but given the results they should focus on their own game and how to get directions in strange cities. Overall, I think they had a decent result in a tough leg.
Edwin & Goodwin: Helping Mary & David was kind, but it wasn’t particularly smart. It put them in last place, though it was still fairly early in the leg, which meant there were opportunities to catch up to the other teams. Plus, it ties in nicely with my ideas on helping the weak competition. The brothers were smart enough to ask a police officer where to find a clue box, and tried to get him to lead them to a Detour, which was thinking smart. After that they had a few navigation problems, but are still in the race.
James & Tyler: What I like about this team is that they are playing to their strengths. They initially picked the feed bag Detour because they have physical strength on their side. What they didn’t have was the ability to navigate or get directions. They spent a long time finding a Detour, and it wasn’t even the one they really wanted. As it stands, they are still in the race, but only because another team had even worse problems navigating. Two next-to-last finishes make me start to question their racing abilities.
Peter & Sarah: What went wrong? In a word, navigation. No team can afford to drive around in circles all day. It usually means they lose. I don’t know how they managed to get so lost or why they had such problems getting directions, and it seems the production crew wanted to call it a day and left the directions to the pit stop in a clue box for them at some 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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