Given that the use of minutes can buy hours, what was smart and what wasn’t in this, the seventh episode of The Amazing Race? Did the separated parents (right) do the correct thing in using the Fast Forward now?
In the past I've talked about how the teams need to balance minutes and hours. Each minute can count. Sometimes minutes will buy hours; other times they might cost hours.
There are two examples of this in the seventh episode. The first was when the teams had a choice of going to Milan or Rome for a flight. Unlike New York, where the teams were restricted in their flights, here it was open ended. Information was valuable at this point; getting it took minutes that could have saved hours, the exact opposite of New York, where the information was there, and getting more only wasted time. As it turned out, they all got together again in Copenhagen, but it was still smarter to get information first, and travel second.
The other point where minutes could buy hours was in India, in the last leg of this portion of the race. Each team had to figure out where to get to. Spending minutes to get that information saved time. The teams who got the best information got to their destination faster.
One final point on the general smart section. Teams slept (or tried to) outside again, but at least not in the rain. There is no point in being cold (or wet) by camping outside unless you need the position. Perhaps I'm spoiled by living in Las Vegas, a 24 hour city where I once worked graveyard shift and know the night, but there are places to go where there is warmth and shelter. Airports and bus stations come to mind, as do 24-hour restaurants.
Frank and Margarita (Separated Parents). This was perhaps the best use of a fast forward in the game yet. Using it here bypassed many problems, not the least of which was the incredible strain this leg put on most relationships. Yes, they bickered on the rowboat, but that was nothing compared to some of the problems teams faced in India. This team has many hours up on the others, and it probably will protect them from elimination in the next leg at the very least.
Bill and Joe (Team Guido, Life Partners, Ernie and Bert). The race's most despised team continue to perform in high gear. Of all of them, they knew the city they needed to get to in India, and their position reflects their ability. That said, they are, as put by Drew and Kevin, "Outcasts." No team will give them a helping hand. Even conceding they may be the strongest team in the race, they are not stronger than every other team in the race put together. Win or lose, this team will have earned it.
Rob and Brennan (Lawyers, Best Friends). While it ultimately made no difference, "Glide" probably wasn't the best decision on your detour. That said, this team navigated better than most and is in a good position for now. It's rather hard to give them credit or demerits for the final leg, as the equalizing positions in the India marketplace made much of the final leg good luck or smarts. They are still in the race, and that is what counts, though.
Drew and Kevin (Frat Brothers). "Glide" with Rob and Brennan ahead of this team was a bad decision. Still, it didn't cost them anything long term. Delaying the train while getting bookings for the Milan flight made up for that on the smarts side. That move could have put them ahead of rivals Ernie and Bert (oops, Team Guido) and Rob and Brennan. It was smart play, even if it didn't gain them any time on this episode.
Nancy and Emily (Mother/Daughter). This team could easily have been eliminated this week. They lost their focus. Nancy (the mother) at least kept some of her wits about her trying to get information on their next destination in the marketplace. Her real fault is that she is a nice woman who doesn't have some of the determination or ruthlessness that might be required. Emily is simply too impatient. What was needed was putting aside their frustration to get somebody with the right directions. Apparently they got it, but they perhaps got lucky. That said, I like these two, and am glad they are still in the race.
Lenny and Karyn (Dating Couple). What went wrong? Simply put, their luck ran out. They've been a weak team from the start. They might have lasted another week if Nancy and Emily had crashed and burned, but fate caught up to them this time. Another team's bad luck didn't salvage their position, as it has in the past. While I'm sorry this adventure probably cost them their relationship, it is probably for the best. Better now than after a marriage ceremony and 2.5 children.
Jeffrey Clinard has a Master's degree in marketing, a job he could not be paid enough to return to. He applies logic and strategy to the events of reality TV shows.