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The Amazing Race 9, Episode 3: First Class and Cargo Class Awardsby Sandy Lamparello -- 03/17/2006
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I really hate these episodes that end in the middle of a leg. This one was especially frustrating, because only Eric & Jeremy’s position at the mat was shown. Of course we can assume that Lake & Michelle are in second place but maybe not. They could be hopelessly lost, allowing another team to sneak in ahead of them. By now you’ve read Jenn’s thorough recap, so you know what madness took place this week. But which team excelled? Which teams made bad choices, and which team suffered most from it? On to this week’s First and Cargo Class awards!
First Class was especially hard this week. There was a lot of luck that came into play in this episode and I just can’t reward a team for something that was totally out of their control, such as finding the clue in the nesting dolls. Sharing cabs is excellent race behavior, but not exceptional enough to warrant First Class. Fran & Barry made a seemingly miraculous jump from last place to second place but that was largely due to the great equalizer of every team ending up on the same flight to Russia. Mike just loves those equalizers, huh?
That being said, I decided to give this week’s First Class award to a team that started out by making a bad decision. This week’s roadblock clue was picked up right outside a swimming pool. Teams should have guessed that the pool, or at the very least water, was going to come into play during that roadblock. The clue itself read “Who wants to take the plunge?” What did they think, that someone was going to have to get married? There was no reason for the teams to choose someone who was afraid of water or unable to swim to do this roadblock. However, that’s exactly what Wanda & Desiree did.
Wanda obviously has an extreme fear of water, but she agreed to do the roadblock anyway. She seemed to jump off the platform without too much trouble, and had great difficulty when it came time to retrieve the clue underwater at the other end of the pool. Desiree was pretty obviously frustrated with their choice, but she continually encouraged Wanda and gave her pointers as to how to get herself underwater to get the clue. I thought Wanda was very close to quitting several times, but to her credit she did not. When the spectators at the pool began to encourage her, Wanda listened to their advice and eventually was successful in retrieving the clue. And this became extremely important when Dani & Danielle had to return to Chaika Bassein to retrieve their misplaced fanny pack.
So, Desiree & Wanda, for not giving up and overcoming a very bad race decision, head right onto that plane ahead of the other teams and take your places in the comfy leather seats! And next time, put a little more thought into your race decisions. As an aside, I wonder what would have happened if they had quit, believing themselves to be out of the race. Since the leg is not over, would Phil have come to the pool to tell them? I guess we’ll never know.
Now, onto Cargo Class. I found many nominees throughout this leg. Michelle & Lake - mainly Lake - continue to show very poor attitude and lack of respect for their racing partner. And the way they complained about Russia, and the Russian people, was just appalling. I’m still trying to figure out why Michelle thought the roadblock might have to be performed naked, or why it would be a big deal for her to stand in front of Russian people in a bathing suit. Lake is fast reaching Colin and Jonathan status with me, and I do not like what I see at all.
Jeremy & Eric are dead not only to Jenn, but to me too. Their attitudes and comments just disgust me. As I previously stated, Wanda & Desiree chose the wrong person to do the roadblock, as did Ray & Yolanda. They were fortunate that it didn’t end up affecting them too greatly. The teams that just followed each other to the detour showed very poor race strategy, as most of them didn’t even know which detour task they were headed towards.
So, who will be riding under the plane this week? None other than Double D, Dani & Danielle. It is fundamental to the race that you MUST maintain control over your belongings. To lose the fanny pack containing passports, clues, and other things that are crucial to continuing in the race is just inexcusable. Danielle & Dani are very lucky that the bag was still there when they returned to Chaika Bassein. This oversight cost them time, erased the money they saved by sharing a cab with Eric & Jeremy, and could have spelled disaster if this episode had ended with elimination. Since we don’t know where they finished, it’s quite possible it did cost them. At the very least it took them from very near the top of the pack to very near the bottom. Yes, in the early legs it’s only necessary to avoid elimination, but a mistake like this could very easily lead to elimination. I’m also putting Dani & Danielle in Cargo Class because they think Eric & Jeremy are “fun.” ‘Nuff said about that…
So there it is. Next week’s episode appears to be full of drama and angst. I can’t wait to see how it plays out! Join me for next week’s awards, and stay with RealityNewsOnline for all things Amazing Race. Ciao!
Sandy Lamparello is an Assistant Editor for Reality News Online and a Legal Editor for a publishing company in Washington, DC. You may reach her at email@example.com. She doesn’t care whether you agree or disagree, she just wants to hear from you!
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