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The Amazing Race 10: Thinking Smart in Episode 11by Jeffrey Clinard -- 12/01/2006
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The first item to note is that every team made the same final connection to Ouarzazate, though they took different flight paths to do so. When making flight plans, each team needs to consider the risks and rewards of their connections.
Making the final connection was the important step; getting to Casablanca was the intermediate step. So I can’t fault Dustin & Kandice for trying to make a tight connection as long as there was a backup flight that allowed them to make the final leg.
Next, a Yield was placed where the quickest team, not the smartest team, would get there first. I don’t like it. I think the Yield should be a reward for a smart team that gets to the location first based on their brains, not their feet. Still, it was used correctly by Dustin & Kandice, but not used correctly by James & Tyler and Rob & Kimberly.
Dustin & Kandice are a strong team that the dating couple or the models should have attempted to knock out of the race. Dustin & Kandice used it to slow down another team, which should have bought them some time. It didn’t work out that way, but it was a good move.
The Roadblock provided for a little skill, with only James missing a flag on his first attempt. The Detour had a choice of grinding olives or making a pot. All teams went for the olive pressing, which I think was wise. Given a choice of a physical task or one which requires a specific skill, teams are better off with the physical task.
Still, the episode had a lot of local flavor, and all four teams are still in the race. Who was thinking smart in episode 11?
James & Tyler: First place, due to working hard and making good decisions. They made all the right connections and were the first to the Yield. While they should have used it on the beauty queens, the way they raced well in the entire leg showed why they are one of the teams to beat. Well done.
Lyn & Karlyn: The single moms did something very smart in getting a map and figuring out where they needed to go during a flight layover. This allowed them to get into first place for a brief period, though their smart thinking was for naught when the hours of operation put them in last place again. Still, they made good decisions and came in second place in the leg despite being Yielded. It’s hard to fault their performance, even if their attitude sucked.
Rob & Kimberly: This team would have done better if it wasn’t for the flat tire that could have cost them the leg. They ran a good leg, though they should have put a Yield on Dustin & Kandice, and I think maybe the bad luck was the only thing that kept them out of first place. Even their relationship seems to be improving.
Dustin & Kandice: The team didn’t make any major mistakes, but a few minor ones put them at the back. They accepted the flight with a tight connection, but that worked out because there was a backup flight that allowed them to make the final flight. They correctly put the Yield on Lyn & Karlyn as it was their only option, and they wanted to buy some time. Their big mistake was getting lost en route to the Detour. As there were only three workstations, they had to wait out another team, and could not make up the lost time. Still, they are in the race, and have shown enough skill to be able to make up for their penalty. I hope they overcome it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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