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The Amazing Race 9: The Finish Line, Episode 8by Teeuwynn Woodruff -- 04/26/2006
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Surprise! Peggy's not hosting this week. Instead, Egypt – no last name – is filling in for her. Jon Weiss IS here, though. Egypt points out that no team was eliminated this week. She says that the teams had to fight over their dinner in this episode, referring to this week's sun-roasted roadblock. But even though we don't have an eliminated team on the show, we DO have the competent half of season 3's winning “team,” Zach Behr! I put the word team in quotes, since Zach's partner Flo was more of an obstacle that the producers must have saddled Zach with to keep him from utterly dominating the other teams.
Egypt greets Zach and asks what's been going on with him since his race. Zach, looking cute and scruffy, says that he's actually been working in television. He works for MTV now – behind the scenes. He says that he actually got to go to Greece himself when he covered the Olympics there. Egypt asks if Zach ever gets in front of the camera, but he says he likes hanging out behind the cameras.
Egypt now says that she thinks it's good that last week's episode was a non-elimination episode since the Hippies came in last. She thinks it would have been bittersweet if they had been eliminated. I think it just would have been bitter. Jon notes that between Eric & Jeremy and BJ & Tyler it was a pretty surprising episode – what with both of the formerly front running teams straggling in at the bottom positions on the leg.
Egypt jumps right into things and takes the first call from Jeremy in Chicago, who I believe has called in before. Jeremy asks about the tension mounting between Ray & Yolanda and Monica & Joseph. Could it be one or both teams' downfall? And who do Jon and Egypt think will be the first team to really meltdown? By the way, he means the intra-team dynamics not the dynamics between the two teams. Jon says that it certainly could. Jon thinks Ray & Yolanda are in the most trouble with their team dynamics. They've been getting really angry with each other the past two legs. They need to get it together or its going to cost them. I think Jon's right. Ray & Yolanda haven't actually spent a lot of time together to learn each other's idiosyncrasies and it could hurt them.
Jeremy then asks Jon which team had the biggest arguments that cost them the race on his season. Jon thinks about it for a second and then says that Monica & Shiree had a lot of problems with arguing with each other. They didn't work together well, and it cost them the race. Egypt says it's always hard when you get two women together. Thanks for the input, Egypt.
Egypt now asks Zach what he thinks of this season's race. Zach says he thinks it's been awesome so far. He likes the locations, thinks the teams are great, and loves the Hippies. He loves their joking and thinks they're very entertaining. Egypt asks Zach if he thinks the race has been easy on them. Zach says he doesn't think it's been a particularly strenuous race so far. Jon agrees, but says that as the race continues the pressures of exhaustion, lack of sleep, not eating, stress, etc. really get to you. Egypt points out that it was hard on BJ & Tyler this week – getting buried in sand. But guess who came in first?
We segue into a clip from the show. We get to see BJ grousing about digging for gnomes and food as the sun slowly roasts his Harvard-educated brain. BJ's suffering continues as he crawls across the desert and digs. Meanwhile, Fran & Barry check in first at the pit stop and they are absolutely thrilled.
Jon says that he loved watching Fran & Barry come in first. He was so happy for them! Egypt points out that they didn't know what position they were in. Jon says you get so paranoid on the race, you just never know. Egypt says she hopes she could do as well as Fran & Barry when she's in her sixties! Zach also agrees that they're doing an amazing job. The thing I find most impressive about Fran & Barry is Fran's navigational skills. That's where they really kick ass over the other teams. It's a crucial skill, and Fran's got it in spades. Just as I finish typing this, Zach points out Fran's amazing navigational skills. Jon agrees that they've been doing great with directions and that they work together well as a team. He also notes that Fran & Barry are willing to play hard ball—not giving away information— and that is really important later in the race.
Egypt now comments on poor BJ & Tyler and the roadblock. She says if BJ only had an umbrella and a margarita he could have just plopped down and relaxed. Jon says he doesn't think people realize how long BJ was there digging – it was over an hour. Zach says it is so disheartening when you're doing a task and you just see all the other teams passing you by. All you want to do is find that lamb! (A reference to one of the frustrations on his season.)
Egypt takes a call from Israel (the country) now. The caller greets “Peggy” and Jon, but Egypt quickly points out that she's not Peggy. The caller (I couldn't make out his name) says that he loves The Amazing Race and wishes it would come to Israel. Jon says that would be great and you never know. The caller now asks Zach if he thinks the show has changed significantly since his season. Zach says yes, it has. Definitely. In Zach's season there were a bunch of fast forwards. But the best part of the race is still there – teams of two with existing relationships racing under stress.
Jon says he likes that there is now a consequence if you come in last in a non-elimination leg. I'm a fan of punishing folks who come in last in non-elimination legs too. Jon goes on to say he likes that there aren't many fast forwards now. It limits the time to use them. Here, I disagree with Jon. I think that having no fast forwards is fine, or the original system where you have to think strategically when to go for one. With only two on the race, you know you should go for one if the opportunity ever presents itself for you to get to it first.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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