The Amazing Race: Thinking Smart in Week 9by Jeffrey Clinard -- 07/10/2002
What is happening? Almost every team is starting to slip. Whether this is due to the pressure of the race or other factors, many teams need to redouble their efforts on focusing on doing what it takes to win.
First of all, was it really necessary for both Joe and Bill and Nancy and Emily to seek the Fast Forward? Trains, planes, and temples created bottlenecks, so while valuable at this point, it wasn't quite as much a desperation move as it might have seemed. If the Fast Forward had been in India, the situation would have been different, but it being in Thailand changed the situation.
That said, which teams played it smart in week 9?
Rob and Brennan. I can't find any fault with how these lawyers raced this time. They took the sure thing bus and easily sped their way to the lead, ending up in first place. Well done guys.
Frank and Margarita. Sharp eyes and sharp minds. The only team to get a private van, they balanced every task on their journey, and made their way in comfort and style. Their relationship and racing ability has consistently improved.
Drew and Kevin. A few mistakes, but some tasks well done. The first to leave India, they show a talent for getting transport when needed. They also aided their allies Nancy and Emily by giving them the information about the Fast Forward once they had it. That said, they spent way too much time looking for a private van, and it cost them their position in the race. Although at least cut their losses at a few hours, and they are still in the race.
Joe and Bill (Team Guido, Ernie and Bert). I don't know what to make of these guys. They've gotten stupid all of a sudden. In India they picked cheap transports and missed the early train; this time, even with the Fast Forward, they managed to end up in last place (a new first, every other team who used it ended up in the lead). If Nancy and Emily hadn't panicked, they'd have had the distinction of being the only team to use a Fast Forward and still be eliminated. Now they are in last place, have no friends, and no Fast Forward option. They squandered it by sleeping in a hotel instead of making their way to their destination. Uh, guys, just because there wasn't any DIRECT bus routes to the pit stop didn't mean there wasn't transport to a place closer to it (and from there another transport, etc.). If they don't regain the early focus they had in the race, they could find themselves out at the next pit stop.
Nancy and Emily. What went wrong? Sigh, I hate to say it, but they did the worst thing possible in their situation. They panicked, ignored the detour, and took a 24 hour penalty. Nothing was worth taking that penalty. The sad truth is, if they had just taken the bus and made the best of things, they would have beaten Team Guido to the next stop. More painful truth; if they had done that, they would have been in the best position to WIN the race at that point; they still had a Fast Forward option to use. They ladies made it far longer into the race than I ever thought, but in the end, their own actions cost them the game.
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.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! You can find all of our articles about this show at the Amazing Race Page and take a look at our sections on Survivor: Africa and Popstars 2. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!