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The Amazing Race 10: Thinking Smart in Episode 10by Jeffrey Clinard -- 11/21/2006
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I was very disappointed in the behavior of most of the teams in the second half of the double leg. Erwin & Godwin waited around for Lyn & Karlyn when it was obvious they were the last two teams, and took forever getting directions and double-checking them. For their part Lyn & Karlyn kept complaining about the Cho brothers. Apparently they would rather whine and moan about it than run their own race. Finally they did, but by then I was so sick of them I hoped they’d be eliminated just so I’d never hear their voices again.
While those teams were just annoying, Dustin & Kandice and Tyler & James did something dangerous and illegal by running a red light. I really hoped Phil was going to give both teams penalties and a serious lecture on safety before checking them into the race. Running the red light put innocent people like other motorists and their own camera crew in danger. I really think race rules should be changed to give stiff penalties to teams that willingly break the law.
These items took a lot of enjoyment away from what I considered to be a really interesting leg of the race. Teams were given indirect information about their next city, and a clue in a foreign language with a different character set that needed translation. The tasks looked fun, and the leg tested the ability of the teams to work with locals to get needed information. All that plus cars made in the former Soviet Union. It wasn’t quite as fun as the Trebants from The Amazing Race 6, but still gave the leg the kind of local flavor which makes the show so interesting.
The Roadblock looked like a fun one. I didn’t mind that it’s been done before (as a Fast Forward task in The Amazing Race 3); there is just something about driving a Russian tank that seems cool. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of the film Goldeneye. The Detour was interesting in how the two were in stark contrast to each other. “Make the Music” had the teams perform their own song while wearing rap clothing in a nightclub, while “Find the Music” was more of a luck based task that required formal attire and classical music. While I generally think teams should not attempt luck based tasks, in practice it seemed to be slightly faster.
Four teams are left, and the finish line is drawing closer. Which teams were thinking smart in episode 10?
Tyler & James: The former drug users ran a good leg, completing tasks quickly and mostly making good decisions. Hiring a cab as a pace car is an old but underused trick teams can use to bypass confusing directions or locations. Cab drivers know the area, and even if they don’t, they have access to radio dispatcher who does. However, they shouldn’t have helped Rob & Kimberly find the tank school. Their other big mistake was running the red light, but apparently they don’t have to pay for it. In addition, Tyler should know better than to think a lead is sustainable for more than one episode. It isn’t.
Dustin & Kandice: The beauty queens are running one of the best races of any all-female team ever, and this episode is another example of why. They had the idea to hire the cab as a pace car, and were generally nice and charming to the locals, which allowed them to get aid. They completed the tasks quickly, and came in a close second in this leg. If it wasn’t for them running the red light, I’d say they ran a mistake free leg.
Rob & Kimberly: The dating couple are the only team I really respected in this episode, as they ran a clean leg. When uncertain of the country, they wisely asked and ended up on a flight to Kiev instead of Moscow. They hired a cab to lead the way to the tank school, and kept him to find the apartment building. They had bad luck when their car broke down, but otherwise ran a good leg, finishing in third place without making any mistakes or breaking laws in the process.
Lyn & Karlyn: There are times when I ask the question: Which is the dumber team; the one that doesn’t know where they are going, or the team that is following them? They preferred to complain about Erwin & Godwin stopping for directions all the time, but rather than run their own race, they just sat in their car and complained about it. The Cho brothers had a map and they didn’t, which is probably why they stuck it out with them as long as they did, but they really should have gotten their own map in the first place. Finally they smartened up and dumped their anchor, and it paid off as they are still in the race while the Cho brothers have been eliminated. They are still in the race, but I doubt they’ll make it to the final three if the past has been any indication of their racing skills.
Erwin & Godwin: What went wrong? Poor directions and navigating. A team with a map and no idea how to use it is no better off than a team without a map. Good teams have to be able to get good maps and navigate them without asking for directions every five minutes. While it’s better to get directions to avoid end up going thirty miles in the wrong direction, being overly cautious can also end the race for a team. They also waited for the single moms when they should have been running their own race. Friends are good, but teams have to stay focused on the goal of winning the race. Finally, they apparently inadvertently drove onto a street that was closed, and lost any chance of staying in the race while they sorted out the situation with the authorities. I think they are nice guys, but they aren’t the best racing team I’ve ever seen.
Jeffrey Clinard has been writing about Survivor since the second series, and has published over 100 articles about the show and given advice to nearly 150 different Survivors on RealityNewsOnline. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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