The Amazing Race 4: Tian’s Model Behaviorby Brad Stevens -- 06/16/2003
Yes it’s true. Sometimes, even I make mistakes. Actually I make many mistakes. The case in point is my initial assessment of Tian. As soon as I heard Jaree open her mouth, I began loathing her. Her whining. Her inabilities to play the game. Her reluctance to listen. All of these traits I found to be extremely grating and I initially put her and her ill-fated partner on my list to hate.
Then I began to see something. Something beautiful. Something smart. Something that would look good in a bikini. That something was Tian. Yes, it took me a few episodes to truly appreciate the beauty that is Tian, but I am finally there. I have come to understand that Tian is both smart and ballsy. And what’s more is that she is a really good racer. She worries about having to much in the packs. She realizes that getting ANYWHERE first can help you. Did you all notice that Tian and Jaree were among the first teams at both the sewers and the masquerade ball. While other teams went off to sightsee or sleep, Tian understands the core principal that minutes can save you hours.
So while I’m extremely proud of Tian, I can’t exactly say the same for Jaree. Here’s her biggest problem: She won’t listen to Tian. Jaree is not only unwilling to listen, she’s a bitch about it. I also agree with Tian that she doesn’t seem to be making the sacrifices that prove she wants this. So with one teammate I love, and one I despise, where are they going to land on the list? Look below to find out.
Teams I Love
Of course I can’t forget my favorites from last week, Kelly and Jon. While I can already see the emails flooding my box about Kelly’s behavior this week, I just want to say, I thought she was lovely. Is it because I’m smitten? Probably, but hear me out. Yes she was a bit annoying at times in this episode; I’ll give you that. Like when Jon suggested there may be more than one place where Beethoven wrote music and she replied, “Are you retarded?” As I cringed, I was thinking, “No, you are, Kelly!” But, in the end when she saw the error in her ways, she showed humility. “So, I guess Jon was right,” she exclaimed with an embarrassed look across her face.
There were other highlights for Kelly though. I loved when she proclaimed that she was doing the race for herself. I think she’s really getting into it. And when they arrived at the pit stop and were eighth. Most other teams would have been pissed off, but Kelly was just excited not to be ninth. That’s a truly good attitude. So, Kelly, my dear, don’t worry. I still love you.
As for Jon, we got to see a lot more of him this episode. And without a doubt, I have to admit I like Jon, too. He seems very determined to win the game. And like Tian, he seems to know what he has to do to get ahead. Above all, though, he seems funny and spontaneous. I love that! Not only is he bungee jumping backwards, but doing back flips too. While this team may have come in eighth, watch out, because I still predict them as the ultimate victors.
Another team I fell in love with is Monica and Sheree. Now, some of you may have noticed that I didn’t include them in last week’s article. One reader claimed that the slip up may have been Freudian, and I’m beginning to agree. Until this week I felt so lukewarm about this team. I just couldn’t really get a good feel for them. Then came Thursday night, and I have to admit, I fell in love. While I may shoot myself if they mention their husbands one more time, all in all, I like these girls. This is one team with a lot of heart, and they bring it consistently. What impresses me equally is that they’re smart. They’re the only team that grabbed their ticket when first getting into the fiacres. And I think they have a good thing going where they’re teaming up with other teams. So far we have seen their alliances with fellow minorities Reichen and Chip and also with Tian and Jaree (the Girlpower Alliance). I think I may have underestimated this team at first, but mark my words, they’re a force to be reckoned with.
Jon and Al continue on the list of favorites this week. Aside from being America’s choice via the CBS popularity poll, I really have gotten to enjoy their antics. They are fun and funny guys, but I think they’ve proven that on top of it all, they’re also nice guys. A perfect example of this is when they made the sacrifice of missing a train to stay behind and help Millie with her asthma. And as always, I want to commend the teams that play intelligently. Jon and Al did this by realizing they could take the ticket from another team and gain possession of that fiacre. And doing it to Reichen and Chip made it so much sweeter.
And who could forget the ever loveable Steve and Dave. I was SO proud of them for not quitting. They, fortunately, didn’t pull a Nancy and Emily. And good thing too, because then they wouldn’t have beaten Russell and Cindy. I blame their drastic fall from first to last on bad luck and bad advice from locals. They first were told by a local to travel to Verona, an error that lost them their lead. And then they were told to go to the wrong train station in Vienna by another local. Even through it all though, they kept their senses of humor and passion for the game. Kudos to both of you.
The final team making this portion of the list is… Mille and Chuck. While Millie did get a mite more aggressive, their overall innocent nature once again won out. And speaking of Millie’s aggression, I just have to say, I think it was all appropriate. After all, she wasn’t to blame for the whole Chip incident in the first place in my opinion. Chuck is the driving force behind this team. I mean, this kid’s a trooper. Not only does he seem to do most of the work, he’s a nice guy as well. And who could ask for more than that?
Teams I Half Love
Tian and Jaree. You’re so close. Tian, you know I love you. But Jaree is holding you both back, not only on my list, but in the race as well. If this team consisted of Tian and Tian, you’d shoot up faster than you can imagine. But, for reasons stated above, Jaree is the hindering factor here.
Another team to fall in this category is David and Jeff. While we still didn’t hear much from these too, I’ve begun to get something out of them. In their opening, they stated that they aren’t aiming for first or second, but to stay in the game at this point. I think they thought it was going to be a walk in the park, but it hasn’t been. Their modesty was nice to hear. I also have to say that I’m glad they are in the process of dropping Reichen and Chip. They’re no good for you too anyways.
Teams I Hate
The patriarchs of this group are, of course, Josh and Dave. In my eyes, they only continued as the show’s resident villains. I cringe each time I see them on stage. When Josh opens his mouth, I start to get nauseous. I mean, they are so loud and annoying. When Josh screamed like an idiot when they won the Fast Forward, I wanted to die. I can’t wait until these two get eliminated. That day can’t come soon enough.
New members to this group include Reichen and Chip. And to think of the high hopes I had for this group. To be fair, they are mostly here because of Chip. Reichen’s scholarly comment at the beginning (“We don’t want to come across as arrogant, we just think we’re going to win.”) didn’t help. But Chip’s abuse of Millie definitely was inappropriate. She’s a lady, Chip. Treat her like one. If Chuck weren’t so quiet and nice, I’m sure he’d kick your ass. Also, I was a little creeped out by Chip in this episode. He’s very intense. Like when they had to get out of the fiacre, he kept showing his “rage.” It was kind of scary.
The final team to make this list is Russell and Cindy. While they are gone, I have to give them their due anyway. This is truly where they belong. Their constant bickering was just annoying. Russell, I want to say to you, you’re not always right. Cindy, I want to say to you, you don’t have a shot with Russell. If you could both accept these facts, you’d be much healthier people. But, alas, you’re gone, so I won’t have to worry any longer.
As you’ve seen this week, one episode can send a team flying anywhere in the hearts of the viewers. Who will be in our hearts next week? And who will we want to strangle? Tune in Thursday to find out, and check back with me afterwards to get my thoughts.
Brad Stevens is an aspiring actor in Edwards, CA. He loves to hear from you, so email him with your thoughts. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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