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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

If you were going to compete on the Amazing Race...

wouldn't you learn to drive a manual transmission? I mean, really, right? It's the one thing you know you are going to have to do while racing. And every season some team screws up and can't drive its car. So you would think that after watching the same fate befall the team who can't drive a manual season after season would really ensure that every new team knows how to do this at the start of the Race. But every single season, someone messes it up. Again. (You know there are spoilers ahead.)

Who messed it up this season? Cheerleaders and theology students Jamie and Kellie. (And wouldn't it just have to be Kellie with an "ie?" Of course it would.) In episode one, the very first thing they did was have trouble with getting their car into gear. And so why am I surprised that they are gone this week? I guess because (Kar)Lyn (yes, the team name for the single moms is from here on out "(Kar)Lyn"--I don't know how I failed to notice this last week and instead called them "Team Alabama") seemed liked more likely candidates for elimination because of their level of physical fitness.

I won't mourn the loss of the cheerleaders. We can do without another ignorant, ditzy, street-dumb female duo. And their elimination makes Miss America stand out more. Not that they needed it--Miss America really showed that it could be a team to be reckoned with as the Race goes on. In fact, the only female team that has ever seemed as competant on the Race was the unfortunate Mormon sisters, Lena and Kristy. But Lena and Kristy were robbed of their chance, so hopefully we will get to see Miss America kick some ass. They are officially my favorite team. They can handle the physicality of the game, make smart choices and don't say anything offensive. Maybe that whole "Miss America is the biggest scholarship for women" thing means that some of the women are actually intelligent and deserving. Who knew?

There were definitely things I didn't like so much this week. Both of the straight couples suck (and (Kar)Lyn seemed pretty mean to others--I hate that). Rob and Kimberly just fight all of the time, capped off by Rob telling Kimberly he didn't want to hear her talk anymore. And Peter of Peter and Sarah really grosses me out. He's bossy and stressful, and he does things that seem demeaning to Sarah, including trying to get people to donate money if Sarah ran around with her fake leg and limp. I understand wanting to get extra spending money, and Gobo pointed out that Sarah seems really comfortable with her disability, so it probably doesn't meant anything to her. But it still made me a little queasy. Interestingly, it seems that, unlike almost every other woman coupled with a bullying man, she is wising up and doesn't want to deal with him much anymore. So at least there's that.

Peter and Sarah did finish in first, but I have trouble forgiving the horrible choice Peter made at the detour. After deciding to take the bundling challenge they got through half of the challenge (pulling the cloth off of the hut) and then Peter just decided he couldn't knot them up properly. He didn't try to knot them up. He didn't look closely at a knot that had already been made, or tried to unknot it to figure out how it was tied. Nope, he just decided, halfway through the challenge, that he couldn't do it and they had to bail and pick the other option. If you truly believe you can't complete a challenge, fine. But if you bail after completing half of it, you had better really be sure that you can't finish the challenge, otherwise you have wasted a huge amount of time. In Peter and Sarah's case, they wasted a huge amount of time. After getting to the second challenge (which involved making animals go where you want them to--always tough), Peter decided that, miracle-of-miracles, he could tie those knots after all. Hate.

But the quitting that annoyed me even more was that on the part of the cheerleaders. Sure, they knew they were last. And yeah, they probably figured this wasn't a non-elimination leg. But isn't there a pride in completing your task? They may have been shooting arrows for hours, but watching them give up and walk to the mat was really disappointing. I would like to think that the competitors respect the Race and have more of a competitive drive than to quit. The only other team to quit were the brother/restaurant owners Marshall and Lance from season 5, and even though one of them was hurt, I was still unforgiving. So the twitty cheerleaders really had no excuse not to finish.

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Blogger Laura Holt said...

Not to imply that I like quitters, but how many times do you think you could have pulled back the string on that arrow, knowing that you were dead last, before you were a crying exhausted puddle of pain and complete muscle fatigue unable to even lift that bow to your shoulder? Because honestly, that shit is HARD and I think that with no hope of not being eliminated I'd have to give up after less than a couple of hours. At that point I'd be focused on the basic level of Maslow's hierarchy (stopping the hurt and finding a soft bed to cry in) rather than esteem.

9/27/2006 6:29 AM  
Blogger Laura Holt said...

Oops, I know that it's the bow that has a string, not the arrow.

9/27/2006 6:30 AM  
Blogger thekeez said...

I think they had so much trouble with the archery because there was no one there to scope out and see if they were doing it correctly.

The other contestants could sneak peeks at their competitors for "tips."

Archery is tricky, but once you have the basic skill down, it doesn't take too long to get accurate with it.

Did you pick up on Phil talking to Sarah about being in the second "leg" of the race?...thekeez

9/27/2006 10:39 AM  
Blogger Red Fraggle said...

I just think that if you get tired of pulling back the bow, you take a break and pick it back up. You know you are last, but you keep doing it because you're a competitor and you respect the game. And they just didn't. I'm sure it was very hard work, but the Race can be very physical. I'm sure the Mormon sister who had to unroll those bales of hay was exhausted too. But she kept going until Phil came out to tell her to stop.

I also wonder what would have happened if this were a non-elimination leg? Would they have just disqualified themselves? And with Phil's "there are a lot of surprises" before they began, didn't they think there may have been some chance they would still be around? Who knows, maybe the producers told them otherwise, but I would certainly hope not.

And as for the "second leg" thing to Sarah--I totally didn't notice! Aw, Phil!

9/27/2006 10:46 AM  
Blogger Laura Holt said...

As for if it had been a non-elimination leg, wouldn't they just have received a time penalty? When all the folks decided to quit the Brazilian meat-eating challenge, they all just had to wait out their time penalty to see who ended up being last, and therefore eliminated. I know there's all this high-falutin talk about not being a quitter, which I do get, though I don't share the sentiment, but it seems like reasonable game play that: if you know you're in last place, and you know you can't complete a task, give up and hope it's a non-elim leg and there will be some serious bunching at the beginning of the next leg.

9/27/2006 10:55 AM  
Blogger Red Fraggle said...

My assumption was that the quitting penalty wouldn't count on the last task before going to the pit stop. But I guess there is no reason for that.

So if that is the case, and it does apply, then the decision they made would be reasonable. However, I hate that rule, and I hated it when Rob employed it (although I loved how he got others to stupidly go along with it--Romber were really such a great team, and unlike most dating/engaged/married teams, they never demeaned each other).

9/27/2006 11:00 AM  

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