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"TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
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Conferences The Amazing Race Spoiler/Speculation Forum (Protected)
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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Playboy Centerfold"

08-20-06, 05:11 PM (EST)
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"TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
Analysis of editing can help us sort out which teams will battle to the end from the ones that won’t make it far. Last season, we had fun discussing how teams were portrayed and very early on the teams that were in for the long run were identified by seeing which were competitors and which were simply tourists.

This is meant to be a speculation thread. If you have a source that gives you spoiler information enabling you to declare who goes far, that is great and deserves its own thread. It isn’t what is intended here.

A new season is approaching, ( ) and I thought an early start would be appropriate. After all, the CBS interview videos are part of the presentation of the players, therefore part of the editing. It may be interesting to look back after a few episodes and see if the program edit matches the pre-season edit. If a team isn’t portrayed as they were presented, it could give us a clue, either positively or negatively.

Here are short synopses of the racers' interviews:

Bilal and Sa’eed: These friends tell us they have different temperaments. While Bilal is energetic and outgoing, Sa'eed is quiet and passive. They are fan of the show and are worried how they will be portrayed. They want to break stereotypes against muslims by showing they can deal with others in a positive fashion. They have traveled extensively. Bilal was in the military but wasn’t stationed overseas. They are both nervous about heights.

David and Mary are a hard working married couple. David traveled while he was in the Army but Mary has rarely been on a plane. They are fans of TAR but somewhat out of shape. She has studied simple phrases in different languages and as a coal miner, he is used to stress. They don’t want to be under-estimated.

Duke and Lauren are a father-daughter team.They had a conflict and were estranged for a while and want to use the race to find a bond. They are fan of the race but haven’t traveled overseas. They are fearless but don’t have a gameplan. They want to “take it as it is, stay calm and work things out together.”

Dustin and Kandice became friends competing for Miss USA. They have a competitve nature and work well together. They are both athletic and rely on their stamina. They’ve traveled a lot and look forward to seeing the world especially the UK. They may use flirting if it can help. They want to surprise the other teams by showing how strong they are.

Erwin and Godwin are overachieving, super competitive brothers. They say they are fit and have traveled together enough to know how to deal with incidents along the way. They speak 14 languages. They are aware that stress will come into play and are ready to deal with it. Erwin has a fear of heights. They’re ready to use Plan A, B and C if needed. Plan A is to see if other teams are willing to form an alliance to get further but if it doesn’t work, they are ready to go at it alone.

Kellie and Jamie were part of a cheerleading squad. They both studied in broadcasting. Neither as traveled overseas but are athletic. They are fans of TAR but have a certain fear of the unknown. They are nice people who want to have fun and maybe have an alliance. They don’t speak any foreign languages.

Lyn and Karlyn are long-time friends and mothers. They have never traveled and their preparation was to learn a few key phrases in different languages and to tone up. Karlyn isn’t a good swimmer but will give it her all. They don’t know how they will react to bungee jumps or other challenges. They can have hot tempers and fear they could be out-matched.

Peter and Sarah compete in triathlons and are extremely fit and competitive. The race is an ultimate challenge. Sarah had her left leg amputated at age 7 but she stills has completed 7 marathons and the Hawaiian Iron-man. They are fans of TAR and always looking for challenges. They have traveled a lot and are experts at the logistics involved, as athletes have to deal with a lot of gear in airports. He speaks German and she speaks Spanish.

Rob and Kimberly are dating and have different qualities that balance each other out. They wanted to be on the race to figure out where their relationship is going. They want to see how they deal with the pressure. They are both athletic and have stepped-up their work-out to prepare. From watching previous seasons, they figured the key to success is to work together and not fight. Rob tells us Kimberly is tough.

Tom and Terry are dating and have been together 2 years. They always have fun. Their preparation consisted of walking to work each day wearing a heavy back-pack and analysing the CBS web site to see what others have experienced. They have traveled somewhat. Terry speaks Spanish and Tom speaks “Brooklin and Queens”. They want to see if they can manipulate the others, treat them as puppets but still be friendly.

Tyler and James are friends who went through rehab together. They now model and enjoyed the hippies’ methods. They have traveled before. One is patient, the other aggressive. Both are fit for the competition. One of them is single and will be looking for cute girls.

Vipul and Arti are married but were friends first and feel that it helps. They also are fans of the race and wish to represent the Indian community well and respect others. They are well traveled and they speak different languages and complement each other. Both are patient and work together. Their preparation consisted of studying maps, going to the gym and doing some biking and swimming.

If history teaches us anything, teams that are out to prove themselves and don’t want to be under-estimated don’t usually do well. That would be the case of Bilal and Sa’eed, David and Mary, Duke and Lauren and Dustin and Kandice. Kellie and Jamie pointing out they studied broadcasting gave me the impression they were out to get exposure more than compete. Tom and Terry don’t seem to take it seriously either.

I’m undecided about Lyn and Karlyn who at least seem to understand their situation and know it will be hard. This is a team who could be first out or else get by, get some fans but not quite make it to the end.

Rob and Kimberly and Vipul and Arti also have other goals than simply focusing on the race. However the first couple seems to be in good shape. The second couple seems to have a good understanding of their abilities and their travels and language skills will help. One of these two could be going far.

The competitors seem to be Erwin and Godwin, Peter and Sarah and Tyler and James. It’s almost impossible to avoid comparisons to the Frat Boys when looking at Tyler and James and the Asian brothers have similar experiences to the hippies. Lets hope we’ll have more surprises this season!

Is there anything in the presentations of the teams that you feel can help see who will make it far? If so, I'd enjoy reading your impressions before the season starts and the discussion can really begin.

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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... Earl Colby Pottinger 08-21-06 1
   RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... Earl Colby Pottinger 08-21-06 2
   RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... michel 09-13-06 3
       RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... banzai 09-13-06 4
           RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... michel 09-13-06 5
 Episode #1: Surprises michel 09-18-06 6
   RE: Episode #1: Surprises architecturegirl 09-19-06 7
 RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... CTgirl 09-24-06 8
   RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... michel 09-24-06 9
   RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... Earl Colby Pottinger 09-24-06 10
 Episode #2: Ups and downs. michel 09-25-06 11
   RE: Episode #2: Ups and downs. beau_30 09-25-06 12
   RE: Episode #2: Ups and downs. CTgirl 09-28-06 13
 Episode #3 Messy Business michel 10-03-06 14
   RE: Episode #3 Messy Business CTgirl 10-06-06 15
       RE: Episode #3 Messy Business michel 10-07-06 16
 Episode #4: Row, row, row your Sam... michel 10-09-06 17
   RE: Episode #4: Row, row, row your... Flowerpower 10-09-06 18
       RE: Episode #4: Row, row, row your... Corvis 10-10-06 20
   RE: Episode #4: Row, row, row your... CTgirl 10-10-06 19
   RE: Episode #4: Row, row, row your... architecturegirl 10-12-06 21
       RE: Episode #4: Row, row, row your... michel 10-14-06 22
 Post Episode 5... Flowerpower 10-16-06 23
   RE: Post Episode 5... michel 10-16-06 24
       RE: Post Episode 5... ceedee 10-16-06 25
           RE: Post Episode 5... michel 10-16-06 26
       RE: Post Episode 5... mavs_fan 10-17-06 27
       RE: Post Episode 5... beau_30 10-17-06 28
   RE: Post Episode 5... CTgirl 10-17-06 29
       Comments michel 10-19-06 30
           RE: Comments mavs_fan 10-20-06 31
 RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... mavs_fan 10-23-06 32
   Episode #6: Helping Hands and Dirty... michel 10-23-06 33
       RE: Episode #6: Helping Hands and D... cahaya 10-24-06 34
       RE: Episode #6: Helping Hands and D... CTgirl 10-24-06 37
   RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... dabo 10-24-06 35
   RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... CTgirl 10-24-06 36
       RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... michel 10-24-06 38
           RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... mavs_fan 10-29-06 39
               RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... MaryKat 10-29-06 40
 Tonights Episode 10/29/06 beau_30 10-29-06 41
   RE: Tonights Episode 10/29/06 mavs_fan 10-30-06 42
   RE: Tonights Episode 10/29/06 Earl Colby Pottinger 10-30-06 43
   One OR All and All for One michel 10-30-06 44
   RE: Tonights Episode 10/29/06 CTgirl 10-31-06 45
       What if we're wrong? michel 10-31-06 46
           RE: What if we're wrong? dabo 11-01-06 47
               RE: What if we're wrong? michel 11-01-06 48
           RE: What if we're wrong? CTgirl 11-01-06 49
 Episode #8 "He Can't Swim, But He C... CTgirl 11-06-06 50
   RE: Episode #8 "He Can't Swim, But ... beau_30 11-06-06 51
       RE: Episode #8: Teaming up. michel 11-08-06 52
           RE: Episode #8: Teaming up. CTgirl 11-09-06 53
               RE: Episode #8: Teaming up. michel 11-10-06 54
 Episode #9 Cheap Shots and no Pit S... michel 11-13-06 55
   RE: Episode #9 Cheap Shots and no P... CTgirl 11-14-06 56
 Episode #10: The Final 4 Revealed michel 11-20-06 57
   RE: Episode #10: The Final 4 Reveal... CTgirl 11-21-06 58
       RE: Episode #10: The Final 4 Reveal... Earl Colby Pottinger 11-21-06 59
   RE: Episode #10: The Final 4 Reveal... mavs_fan 11-22-06 60
       RE: Episode #10: The Final 4 Reveal... CTgirl 11-22-06 61
           Episode #10: Thoughts michel 11-22-06 62
               RE: Episode #10: Thoughts CTgirl 11-24-06 63
                   RE: Episode #10: Thoughts Flowerpower 11-26-06 64
 Tar Episode #11: The Feud michel 11-28-06 65
   RE: Tar Episode #11: The Feud CTgirl 11-28-06 66
       RE: Tar Episode #11: The Feud Earl Colby Pottinger 11-28-06 67
   RE: Tar Episode #11: The Feud mavs_fan 11-29-06 68
       RE: Tar Episode #11: The Feud Peetah 11-29-06 71
           RE: Tar Episode #11: The Feud mavs_fan 11-30-06 73
   RE: Tar Episode #11: The Feud architecturegirl 11-29-06 70
 RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strateg... jbug 11-29-06 69
   More Speculation... CTgirl 11-29-06 72
       RE: More Speculation... mavs_fan 11-30-06 74
 TAR 10: The Final 3 michel 12-04-06 75
   RE: TAR 10: The Final 3 CTgirl 12-05-06 76
 RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and ... Earl Colby Pottinger 12-05-06 77
   RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and ... CTgirl 12-05-06 78
       RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and ... Earl Colby Pottinger 12-06-06 79
           RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and ... michel 12-06-06 80
               RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and ... mocha madness 12-06-06 81
               RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and ... mavs_fan 12-10-06 82
                   RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and ... jenjk 12-10-06 83
                       RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and ... mavs_fan 12-11-06 84
 The Finale! CTgirl 12-12-06 85
   Post Mortem michel 12-12-06 86
       RE: Post Mortem CTgirl 12-13-06 87

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Earl Colby Pottinger 1803 desperate attention whore postings
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08-21-06, 01:41 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
LAST EDITED ON 08-21-06 AT 02:08 PM (EST)

Bilal and Sa’eed: This team I need to see at-least for a leg to judge. When members have diffirent temperments they can often waste a lot of time fighting each other. On the otherhand, one reason I think Rob & Amber did so well is that Amber did not waste time arguing with Rob. If Sa'eed lets Bilal do all the leading then they could go far, Bilal's military will help too. Add in that TAR probably loves the market draw of adding a muslim team. I say they will make it to leg 5 for sure.


David and Mary: David traveled - good. Fans of TAR - good. Out of shape - bad. Different languages - good. Need to see in action. I say they will make it to leg 3, but all bets are off till I see more.


Duke and Lauren: Father-daughter team, had a conflict. Where have we heard this before? This is not a winning team, the only father-daughter team to impress me was the old man who ripped his knee. With his drive they could have gone far if he had not tripped and hit a nail. I say they will be gone by leg 5.


Dustin and Kandice: Miss USA. Aside from Treasure Hunters I have never seen a beauty model team that impressed me, I have real doubts of this team too. I say they will be gone by leg 5.


Erwin and Godwin: Overachieving, super competitive brothers. Fit, traveled together, speak 14 languages. Sounds like both of the final male teams of TAR 9 rolled into one team. If they don't make it into the top four I eat my hat. (Luckily I can't find my hat, I think I lost it in the lake).


Kellie and Jamie: Cheerleaders, neither traveled overseas but are athletic. Better than Miss USA, but just. Not top four material to me. Please girls, prove me wrong!


Lyn and Karlyn: Friends, mothers. Never traveled, learn a few key phrases in different languages and to tone up. Interesting, don't sound like a top team, but they are using thier brains pre-race, hope to see them pass leg 5.


Peter and Sarah: Triathlons, fit, competitive. 7 marathons and the Hawaiian Iron-man. Fans of TAR. Traveled a lot. He speaks German and she speaks Spanish. If that is not top four material, I don't know what is. So she is missing a limb, I have all of mine and Iron-man would kill me plus if she is evil enough she could pull a Charla (good or bad, your choice), not that I would want her to do it all the time, but sometimes it is the diffirence between second to last and last place. Ofcourse with this team I doubt that would happen before the last four legs.


Rob and Kimberly: Race to figure out their relationship - dumb, they will either end up married or killing each other (your choice on which is worse). Both athletic, stepped-up their work-out - very good. You know they are going to fight sooner or later, they may pass leg 5, but I am not thinking top four material.


Tom and Terry: Dating 2 years. Preparation heavy back-packs and analysing the CBS web site to see what others have experienced. Traveled, Terry speaks Spanish. Could go far.


Tyler and James: They model, enjoyed the hippies’ methods. Traveled before. Fit. I put them at the same level as Tom and Terry.


Vipul and Arti: Fans, well traveled and they speak different languages. Preparation consisted of studying maps, going to the gym and doing some biking and swimming. Sounds like a possible strong team, judge by the other teams I would say top four but not the winners.

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Earl Colby Pottinger 1803 desperate attention whore postings
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08-21-06, 01:49 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
LAST EDITED ON 08-21-06 AT 01:51 PM (EST)

I posted my views before reading your own to keep my opinions as mine. Good catch on Kellie and Jamie, usually it is models and want-to-be actors (that includes Lori & Bolo) who are on the show for media attention, but you could be very well right for these two!

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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09-13-06, 03:05 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
Hello EarlCP: We seem to be in agreement about most racers prior to the show. You may be higher on Tom and Terry than I am. Mary's language skills were rudimentary at best. I don't think it will help her at all. Your hat, if you've found it (LOL!), seems safe with Erwin and Godwin. I hope we get more opinions soon.

I want to add some comments about the pre-show promotions. I've seen Bilal and Sa'eed + Kelly and Jamie + Peter and Sarah + David and Mary. From previous series, I recall seeing mainly teams that were eliminated early such as the Frosties. Sarah's story will be shown no matter what is that team's outcome so we can't determine anything from their appearance in the promos. All the other teams appear to be tourists to me!

Have other teams been spotted on promotions? Also, am I right in remembering that most teams shown in promos don't last long?

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banzai 556 desperate attention whore postings
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09-13-06, 07:52 PM (EST)
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4. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
^^ All of them are in the promos except Vipul/Arti. See my photo album:
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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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09-13-06, 10:46 PM (EST)
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5. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
Thanks Banzai. I guess I missed some commercials since Fox had the NFL double-header this week!

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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09-18-06, 08:35 PM (EST)
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6. "Episode #1: Surprises"
First thing to notice, the theme this season doesn’t seem to be: “The Race is Fun.” The impression from the first episode and previews from the next is that “The race is tough and you better be ready to face surprises.” It also seems that most teams are determined to perform not only participate as some of last season’s teams. Being able to stay calm under the pressure of the race may be the key. The teams that fell to the bottom from an early mistake had trouble recovering. Only two teams from the second plane managed to finish in the top 6 despite only a 30-minute handicap. Face time wasn’t an indicator of longevity yet since all teams had about an equal amount except one but for a very good reason.

During Phil’s introductory speech we hear him say “8 legs are elimination legs”, Peter and Sarah and Bilal and Sa’eed are shown. “There will be surprises you never expected” Erwin and Godwin, Dustin and Kandace and Vipul are shown. Then we’re off!

For lack of a better criterion for now, the teams are listed in order of finish:

1- Tyler and James: We heard them talk about their addiction problems and how they’ve made a turn-around. Tyler tells us how it has shown them that the fight they have inside doesn’t let them give up. They best exemplified that remaining calm is the best attitude to have. At the start, they don’t panic and let team pass by to get the right direction to the airport. They fell out of first place a few times, even falling to sixth exiting the airport, but always quickly recovered. Their athletic abilities are evident compared to most other teams and placing them as pre-season favorites was a sound choice. Hopefully the surprises Phil promised for this race will apply to the order of finish or else we won’t have much to discuss! Tyler’s last word were about their character and pride which were on display during the whole episode.

2- Duke and Lauren: This team had an inauspicious start when Duke was unable to contain his emotions when he tried to explain his estrangement from his daughter and couldn’t start the SUV leaving them last at the start. From that point on, this team worked really well together, Lauren telling us, “I’m amazed at how well we communicate” before leaving the Forbidden City. They both have the endurance and the strength required for the race as was demonstrated by their climb up the Great Wall. There were no visible signs of conflicts brewing, which for now, I’m taking as good tidings. Lauren told about this great opportunity to bond.

3- Peter and Sarah: They were the first team presented and the stars of the show if you go by number of confessionals, emotions and face time. Quickly we learned of their athletic backround and her disability with a side note that she likes that Peter can take care of her. Peter was ready to gamble to avoid the accident on the highway and Sarah’s faith in him was quickly rewarded. Normally, face time would be an indicator of longevity but for this team I feel it is the opposite. Sarah’s story has to be told and I’m fairly confidant that Peter wasn’t the only one that had a tear in his eye when his partner reached the top. We were continually following this team. It left the impression that their story had to be told quickly because they don’t last long. Running triathlons proves their determination and physical abilities but those races are done in controlled environments. This race has unexpected obstacles that could be too much for her. They could exit next and still almost every viewer will say this was a courageous team. Every viewer except maybe Lyn and Karlyn that is! It was strange to hear such negative comments and it’s the main question I have regarding the triathletes’ quick exit. It may signal a showdown at a later date. However, this team runs on adrenaline and emotions and could be the victim of that conflict. As it is, their story could be considered completed already. They didn’t have any final words with Phil but none were necessary.

4- Dustin and Kandace: Dustin tells us Kandace is very competitive and that is the glue to their friendship. They do appear in good physical condition. The SUV proved to be their first challenge but this team navigated well and were almost always at the top except when a taxi driver got them lost at the Gold House, falling from 5th to 8th place. They did quick work of the brick-building detour and the wall. They seemed to control their enthusiasm and their bad luck well, a good sign for now. They noticed the guys, Kandace saying “they are attractive”, Dustin adding “they are dangerous!” Did they mean for their feelings or to win the race?!!

5- Rob and Kimberly: Entering the race to see where their relations is going isn’t good. Telling us that she needs to have things go her way isn’t better. It wasn’t long before we knew who will be the team most viewers will hate. He got the first salvo off when he accused her of missing the sign to the airport. On the good side, they were one of only two teams to finish in the top 6 despite leaving on the second plane. They seem extremely fit as Erwin commented: “your girl’s got game!” They arrived at the Great Wall after the Alabama mothers, Tom and Terry and Kentucky and were tied with the Korean brothers but finished ahead of them all. If the theme is that you can’t win if you aren’t calm in the face of adversity, they could be serve to demonstrate it. This team is much too intense. Being the designated villains insures some longevity.

6- Kellie and Jamie: These two love to have fun so maybe they are one season too late. They were the other team to manage to come from the second plane and finish in the top six. They were friendly with the other teams, which can give them help down the line. They arrived 10th at the wall even after the Korean brothers but beat them on top of the Wall. If they continue with their cheers it will grate on the nerves of most. More importantly, it could cost them later if they lose focus on the job at hand.

7- Erwin and Godwin: These students are confidant they can solve every problem. One wrong turn en route to the Seattle airport left them in the back of the pack and what was disturbing was that they remained there for most of the leg barely beating Bilal and Sa’eed to the first elimination point. There were 10 teams to beat from that point and they didn’t overcome until the last stretch. What will happen when all the weaker teams are eliminated? They kept getting lost but at least they kept their calm. That is the only good sign in a leg in which their Korean culture had to be of some assistance if only to receive aid from one of the Korean Airlines passenger familiar with Beijing. Nothing was shown. They took the Muslims elimination as a wake-up call and did gain 4 spots at the end.

8- Tom and Terry: They were the only team to state they are aware that this is a game and that they are out to win.We saw less from this team than the others. Their choice of the leisure detour is an indicator of their limited physical abilities. They made friends of the cheerleaders but even if they finished that detour first they still fell 2 spots behind on the way to the pit stop. If their claim of being ready to chop the head of their friends comes true, then the cheerleaders are the prime candidates for their first victim. They don’t seem to be the type to analyze the situation calmly and that isn’t a good sign if the theme is to be ready to face surprises.

9- Lyn and Karlyn: These two independent Alabama mothers held their own until the very end but the editors added a villain’s touch to their story. “You can run the Ironman but you can’t stand in line” Lyn said about Sarah. Karlyn added that “I can’t stand Peter and Sarah…One minute she’s got a disability the next, she’s fine...He micromanages so much, they can kiss my behind” All their comments were unnecessary to the outcome of the story but we heard them complain three times. They had a few temper flair-ups that could come back to cost them. To have that story line means they will stay around a little bit but cannot win. In this leg they were first out of the restaurant but 9th at the end. They still thought they surprised the other teams at how well they did, a sign that winning the race isn’t their only goal. Lyn told us it was for her chidren that she climbed that wall.

10- David and Mary: This “happy” couple spend most of the time arguing and falling down the standings after a good start. They are too emotional and outmatched to last long. For a team that didn’t travel much and lacks physical ability, surviving the first elimination could be their whole story.

Philliminated teams:
Vipul and Arti’s love and how well they get along were evident.
Bilal and Sa’eed’s story that Islam comes first was told.

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architecturegirl 227 desperate attention whore postings
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09-19-06, 10:41 AM (EST)
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7. "RE: Episode #1: Surprises"
Great comments Michel! I missed the first episode! I was away and my Tivo didnt record it, grr. Sounds like I missed a good episode and that it'll be a good season.
I'll put in my two cents next week...
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09-24-06, 01:35 PM (EST)
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8. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
I’m going to keep this short since the show will be on in a few hours, but I did want to weigh in with my thoughts. I read some of the pregame bios, but I didn’t get a chance to watch any of the videos.

The first thing that jumped out at me was when Phil said “which combination of brains, brawn and teamwork” will win. The race is obviously going to be even tougher and more grueling than in the past, and the team that demonstrates all three the most often will win.

The teams that impressed me the most during the first show were Tyler and James and Kandice and Dustin. Tyler and James impressed me because they played their own game, knew when to ask directions and stayed calm. They were described as “fighters” which given the theme this year is a good sign. They are strong and smart racers. Kandice and Dustin did much better than I expected. They shot that blonde beauty queen stereotype to pieces! They were competitive. I think their experience in dealing with beauty pageant stress could help them stay calm and focused during the race. Their edit didn’t dwell on their looks and they recognized that Tyler and James were dangerous opponents. They also stayed calm when they were lost and pulled themselves up to fourth place.

The teams that I’m not sure about are Peter and Sarah, Duke and Lauren, Erwin and Godwin, and Lynn and Karlen. Peter and Sarah ran a good race but if their edit keeps focusing on Sarah’s handicap, that will be their story. They are fit, but the Amazing Race is unpredictable, and not controlled like a triathalon is. I was cheering for them, but I didn’t get a good feeling for their longevity. Duke and Lauren’s story is supposed to be about father and daughter bonding, but they came in second. They worked well together and have potential as racers. I was really disappointed in Erwin and Godwin. They have book smarts, but not a lot of street smarts. Also, they are followers. Before the show started it sounded as if they had a lot of potential to do well. Time will tell if they’ll develop into racers. They need to learn to think for themselves. Lynn and Karlen have the drive and determination to do well, but I don’t think they are fit enough to make it to the final four. They arrived at the wall in 5th place but ended up at the mat in 9th place. I also noted their strong antipathy towards Peter and Sarah, but we haven’t seen the two teams interacting.

The teams I don’t think will go far are Mary and David, Kelly and Jamie, Tom and Terry and Rob and Kim. Mary and David have a lot of heart, but they don’t have the experience or fitness level to continue much farther. I watched the show twice and still have no impression of Kelly and Jamie as anything but perky cheerleader bobble heads. However, they are very fit – they climbed the wall very quickly, passing 2 or 3 teams. Tom and Terry may have good teamwork, but they aren’t smart enough or fit enough to last in the race. Rob and Kim may be strong, but their volatility and lack of teamwork will do them in.

I was surprised that Bilal and Sa’eed and Arti and Vipul were the first teams eliminated. From their bios, I thought they would have lasted a while, especially Arti and Vipul.

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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09-24-06, 05:01 PM (EST)
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9. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
LAST EDITED ON 09-24-06 AT 05:04 PM (EST)

First, Thanks AG and I will be looking forward to your comments after the second episode.

I enjoyed reading your comments, CTgirl. The first episode was mainly presenting the teams and so, many teams left us unsure of their outcome as you noted. I'll pay attention to what happens to Dustin and Kandace as they were surprising in the first leg.

The race is unpredictable and you can't apply a formula to predict the outcome. No matter how good BJ and Tyler appeared on paper last season, there were three episodes in which they could've been eliminated. Once, when Lake and Michelle got lost worse than them and the two Non-Elimination legs. Being saved had nothing to do with their fitness or their skills. It was their edit that showed their potential of winning the race. We ran the first four or five legs alongside them. The same could be said of Ray and Yolanda being in the Final 3. Despite looking good on paper, they were horrible racers. They were always shown positively, either in Phil's comments or in what the editors chose to let us hear from them. The story was what led us to see them as long-term players.

On the other hand, Bilal and Sa'eed were fit and traveled extensively so, on paper, they could've gone far. Very early on, their edit was only about their faith so that alone was their story. As early as the airport, it seemed they were going out.

The recap tonight can be interesting. As an example, will Phil say Dustin and Kandace got lost in Beijing and leave it at that or will he emphasize how well they raced? I'll be watching for those reinforcements of each team's first impression. The second episode should give us a better grasp on each team.

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09-24-06, 09:22 PM (EST)
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10. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
The more they show Sarah's handicap, the more I think that is their real story line.

But Sarah's real weakness seems to be her drive to win, when it starts to look bad she just folders up. If Peter was not there to cheer her on she would have quit on the wall climb last week and the ox cart this week. I am sure she will not make it to the end, but will not be surprised if they come in first again in some leg.

We don't have not seen that much of Duke and his daughter, and based on what was pointed out in last TAR's version of this thread I think that suggest we will see more of them later too.

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09-25-06, 05:53 PM (EST)
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11. "Episode #2: Ups and downs."
LAST EDITED ON 09-26-06 AT 08:36 AM (EST)

This episode was both exciting and revealing. For the excitement, all teams except Lyn and Karlyn and David and Mary were in the top two at one point or another. David and Mary peaked at #3 on the road to Terelj. Even Kellie and Jamie were #1 at the temple in UlaanBaatar. All but Duke and Lauren and Peter and Sarah were also in the bottom three at one point. It also revealed which teams were in control, which teams were losing it and which teams are just going along for the free ride.

The recap was bland to anyone looking for clues. The only team mentioned was Peter and Sarah and only to say that the other teams didn’t appreciate the advantage the handicap gave them at the airport. Come on Phil; we want names!

Teams in Control:

2- Tyler and James had a very good episode. What stood out in their edit was how Tyler was shown in the train reflecting on his life, the race and how it affects him positively. The scene was highlighted with a great shot of the setting sun and it’s numerous shades of red, orange and pink over the Gobi desert. He couldn’t imagine that happening in a normal life. Was it a sign that his life was going to change again with the final result?
Also of note was how they are aware of their competition, as shown when they busted the girls trying to use a cell phone to get secret information.
They had their first set back when the taxi driver brought them to the wrong temple in UlaanBaatar arriving 10th at the temple. They recovered and were 7th at the fork to Terelj but they dropped back again when they couldn’t figure out how to change the tire. Their jack didn’t appear broken because when they do get help, it seems the same jack was used. It showed they didn’t know how to operate it. Those segments however demonstrated that they kept their calm and worked their way back in the race to finish second.

5- Dustin and Kandace were the other team highlighted in this episode. They had one of the only two significant opening statements about sticking together, that friends are necessary in this competitive world. Most of the others were rehashing their relationship situation. They were called the “Barbies” by Sarah in the bus out of China. The tone was very neutral but it could have been used to show the others underestimate them. It is much better than having D&K saying they want to surprise others, giving them another goal in the race besides winning.
Their confessional about knowing a girl-girl team has never won and how they plan on changing this was also seen as a positive. They used the wait at the train station to try and get information to use later. They even explained it was their strategy to get information that they won’t share. Their secret was discovered and ruined by the guys who even comment they don’t trust them. That scene was meaningless in itself, but to have it inserted despite all the action coming up later, signals that these two teams could battle it out far into the game. This time, the boys interrupted the girls plan. What about next time when it really counts?
Of note, they were in first place after the detour, only falling way back due to the loss of the helmet. I’m not sure what to make of their reaction but it didn’t look positive. Getting right back on the horse after being dragged on the ground was a positive sign for Kandace. I’ll put the helmet loss as one of the race’s hazards as with the guys' problem with the jack, but neither incidents can be completely forgotten when the race comes down the stretch.

3- Duke and Lauren have had two very strong legs. Their cooperative attitude belies the storyline we have been fed. Could they have exagerated their differences to improve their odds of being casted? Could CBS have stressed the story to get us to react? It would be an example of how things can be manipulated. As of now, I view this team has having no conflict to distract them. They have kept control of their emotions and have performed exceptionally well. Because of their good performance, they haven’t been tested yet. As noted, they were one of only two teams not to be in the bottom three at any point in leg 2. Their only confessional was again about their relation rather than the race so that has to be viewed as a negative editing sign. However, they were very calm when Phil told them they were third at the pit stop. That restraint showed they expect more.

8- Erwin and Godwin had the other interesting opening statement, Erwin saying, “We know it is a competition but we also know it is about building relationships with others and we’re hoping we can find people we can trust and get through this race together.” Really? They did form a loose alliance with the other 4 teams in the second bus but it seemed odd to have this strong team say they need others. Could it be they receive wrong advice along the way? They fell to last place when leaving for Terelj but Erwin’s only reaction was to say, “The Cho Brothers can come back from last place.” Minutes later, at the fork for Terelj, they were back in 4th. This team has been tested. Each time, they have kept their calm and recovered but their limited face time as well as their poor performances have to be seen has negatives.

The emotional teams

1-Peter and Sarah: Last season, they would have been in the group of competitors which was what was needed when it appeared the theme was “The Race is FUN.” Then, players had to demonstrate their competitive spirit despite the distractions. This year seems much more about the difficulties of the race and so it should reward the teams that keep their calm. Neither player is doing a good job here. With Peter’s comments about not being able to tie the knots, saying they are done and haranguing his teammate were much too prevalent to be ignored. Saying that a physical disability is good because they will use it to their advantage came off horribly. Her near breakdown, even admitting she does it in her regular competitions have too much in common with Monica’s statements to be a good sign. The good aspect for them is that we have been given a new story to watch. I had feared they could be gone in this episode because episode #1 had told most of their story already. That aspect was put on hold, only really coming up during their pathetic sidewalk show. Now we have the new story about Sarah: “I’m learning things about Peter, I’m not always impressed with that…I’m making note of it.” Studying editing, I say that I’ve already taken note of that also! Having a secondary story is good for longevity but having it being a negative one is not conducive in a winner’s story. Leaving in Phil’s question on finishing first indicated it may not occur very often or else why use it? We heard Fran and Barry being asked the same question right before their final leg. Phil asks it every time for sure, but isn’t it only left in when it means something?

6- Rob and Kimberly are also extremely emotionally involved. I have a feeling that they appear more dysfunctional to outsiders than they really are. Sure, he yells and she cries but that hug she gave him at the end was complete joy. It certainly isn’t the typical teamwork that corporate consultants try to instill in staff members but it seems to work for them. His determination and her obvious physical capabilities could get this team far. Some teams have won with a very negative edit and showing her suffering from his words and from falling off the horse would fit the theme that the race is difficult. They have to be considered as either contenders or this season’s villains. Either way, they are here for a while still.

9-Lyn and Karlyn weren’t heard commenting about Peter and Sarah this time but Karlyn’s comment of “screw them” when they saw the boys had a flat tire was to remind us they are our secondary villains. They’ve wound up at the bottom of the pack for the first two legs but they should stay a while. They will need more “angels” along the way but if they do find them, who knows? Having Lyn say she wants her kids to see her riding the horse and that she does it for them implies they will have the chance to exit on a positive note. That means time to develop their story. It could be by making peace with Peter and Sarah. Maybe having a positive comment after the triathletes’ elimination. That would definitely signal their swan song.

The“It’s a beautiful world” Teams

4-Tom and Terry have had the least amount of air time in the first two episodes. They seem to have a sense of humor but since the editors are mainly ignoring them, they can’t last long. Everything they say is about how fun it is to be on the race together. Wrong season, guys! They did have an interesting comment boarding the bus about bonding with the others and how there were some great competitors in the back of the pack. That appeared as a very positive sign for Erwin and Godwin who, as if on cue, were seen boarding at the same time Tom was speaking these words in a voice over. The weird theme that the music took when Terry was trying to have the toll booth operators understand he was looking for horses doesn’t bode well for them! Tom and Terry should be going soon.

7- David and Mary are being used by the editors to demonstrate the diversity of this race. We first had Mary’s comment about never having known an Asian person and how she loves the Cho Brothers to death. Then we had both of them being uncomfortable saying, rather whispering, they’ve never been around gay people. It was a funny scene that ended with Mary earnestly saying, “I like ‘em”. All in all, it was a good sign for them. They are indeed discovering the world and having fun but they still are overmatched physically. Add their limited travel experience and it will cost them. It would be ironic if they were to be eliminated in more familiar surroundings. After conquering China and Mongolia, our country folks finish last in an english speaking country! Editors love irony. It would fit with their diversity comments.

On a final note for Kellie and Jamie: It was noted from the start that they appeared to be more interested in exposure than competing. Their head wasn’t in it. Traveling in Mongolia without help and without a map? Indeed, it was stupid. When Jamie said it was their “stupid day”, I found myself thinking it couldn’t have been their only one.

On the funny side: -You have to admire Russian engineering!
-Brandon from Survivor Africa probably agreed that shooting flaming arrows is harder than it seems. Watch your feet!
-I had a moment when I thought Kimberly was going to put one arrow to good use when she turned towards Rob.
-Finally, could that quote in the previews from Tom saying the beauty queens won’t win the money serve as a sign, just like Jon Fairplay’s promise that Sandra won’t win the million in Survivor Pearl Island?

In conclusion, the editors seem to prepare us for a battle between Tyler and James and Dustin and Kandace. Rob and Kimberly and Duke and Lauren can certainly join the fight and despite poor showings, Erwin and Godwin have some good pointers. Will this be our final 5? The story still can evolve and players emerge, so I’d be happy with 4 out of 5! We’ll have to wait and see.

How do you see it?

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09-25-06, 10:55 PM (EST)
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12. "RE: Episode #2: Ups and downs."
Mind my grammar and spelling. But I am willing to through my two cents in again this season. last season I had the hippies winning the show because their edit was "The Race Was Fun" and the hippies had the most fun.

This season is "The Race is Diffucult", From that point of editing.
I have reasoned out the final three teams through the first two edits.

Duke/Lauren - If lauren lets her Dad go first on a tough roadblock, she can catch up quickly. The weak link of this team is Duke. But I think they have the fitness to make final three. The First Parent-Child team to ever do so in the race history.
With their edits showing in the pass to epsiode, they have been in Third Twice in a row. Will they reach the million maybe or are they destined to maintain the Third Place Finish. But from their edit in the last two episode, it shows that they have the physical and mental capability of reaching the Final Three.

Dustin/Kandice - These are no Ordinary Miss Usa Blondes. I believe they could be the First Female team to either win or make final three. This team only feel back into the pack once in the second episode because they lost a hate, but they managed to catch back up. If they manage to keep a lead, they could possible hold on to that lead. Both of these girls are smart and in good physical shape, so a physical challenge they could easily breeze through, First Episode showed us the Wall Climb, the Second Episode showed them with the Ox's and one of them got the shot for the arrow on the third try. These girls don't quit. And we learned that Quitters on the race are eliminated, and non-quitters make it far unless its an unforutante event like a Taxi Driver, Plane Delay or anything that you can't control. But I believe they will maybe make it.

Now my Third and Final Team in the Final Three is a Toss up between the Two Male Teams Tyler/James and Erwin/Goodwin. But if I had to choose from the edit. Its neither. But it would be Erwin and Goodwin.

Erwin and Goodwin will make it if they can get in the front of the pack and hopefully keep their lead. But I have a feeling their edit is showing kind of like's Ray and Yolanda. Eliminate one team at a time. So they get 8th again, then 7th, etc... they could make it. The only way they could get eliminated is if they loose track of what the game is about and start enjoying the trip way to much. Final Three.

Now with Tyler and James. Tyler and James can keep running 1st/2nd place in certain legs, but once they get into a country and can't help it they will be doomed. The only thing that may be able to save them is a Non-Elimnation leg. But I think they have what it takes to make it as well into the final three.

David/Mary - There hear for the comic relief. Their not physical fit, and niether of them will make it in a certain country.

Tom/Terry - Not physically fit, hear for comic reflief as well.

Rob/Kimberly - Possibly, but her break downs could make them quit.

Lynn/Karyln - Villians edit, eliminated 5th or 6th from Edit so far.

Peter/Sarch - The leg will only take them as far as the leg can do it.

Blondes have Feelings as well

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09-28-06, 01:08 PM (EST)
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13. "RE: Episode #2: Ups and downs."
The racers are separating a bit, so I’ve loosely divided them into leaders, middle-of-the-pack and trailers (depending on what point of the game I think they’ll depart, subject to change every week!).

Tyler and James – Right now they are front runners. They are running a good race, staying calm and working well as a team. Tyler had a nice confessional about his experience in the race.

Dustin and Kandice – I think they’re potential final three. I took it as a good sign that they included their comment about a female team never winning and that they should go far. We were shown some of their strategy (not to share info) and also that Tyler and James are watching their actions and are aware of their competition.

Duke and Lauren – I watched for them specifically when I watched the show a second time. They are running a good race but we haven’t seen much face time from them. Duke told Lauren to chill out when they were packing the camel but we didn’t see her losing control. We will see more of them next time (having no money to pay for their cab and Duke selling flowers in a market!)

Peter and Sarah – they finished first this leg, but their story has too many distractions or side stories to it for them to make it to the end. I could write an entire page on how all over the board their edit/story is. They got a lot of face time this week. Sarah competing with a handicap is its own story, along with the second story that her knee is leaking fluid, another story is about how Sarah is learning new things about Peter and she’s not sure if she likes them. Peter can be condescending towards Sarah. He does not come off well at all. (Peter: “Focus on your task, don’t talk…I need you to…” sounds more like a parent or teacher rather than a boyfriend.) Then there was the scene with Sarah dancing for money. (I was speechless!) They came in first, and as soon as Peter mentions that they are a team, it immediately switches to the confessional where Sarah expresses doubts about Peter. If she is truly running on a “flat tire” I expect that her leg will cause them to lose a large of chunk of time at some point and be eliminated. However, how ironic would it be if Peter caused their downfall?! They are incredible racers though; they started their detour 3 times and still left in second place.

Erwin and Godwin – They were in 4th place until their jeep broke down, arrived in 8th spot and stayed in 8th. They haven’t finished well, but the editing is not dwelling on their problems and is portraying them as nice guys. Like Duke and Lauren, I’d like to see them get more face time.

Rob and Kim will probably last until the weaker teams are gone. Their fighting is annoying and their edit reminds me of Lake and Michelle (except that Kim yells right back at Rob). I cringe every time they fight so it’s hard for me to notice their racing skills.

David and Mary – they are being edited as the sentimental underdogs and I like them in a perverse way. We are supposed to like them – they even included commentary that Dave loves it when Mary is blunt. They have good teamwork. Their story is about being out of their element, experiencing new things, and enjoying it. However long they last, we’ll be sorry when they go. They were too cute whispering about never knowing a gay person – and liking ‘em!

Lyn and Karlyn – They weren’t portrayed positively this week or last. Their story is about making their children proud of them. So far they’ve climbed the Great Wall and ridden a horse both of which were big accomplishments for them (ones that they can’t wait for their children to see). They may be secondary villains, but they could go home any time and their story could be completed in that episode.

Tom and Terry finished in 5th place, but I don’t know what it is about them, they just don’t impress me as racers. Their edit seems tied to Jamie and Kellie. When I watched the video a second time, I watched for visuals of them, and what I saw wasn’t very flattering (it was pretty laughable actually). They were waving their hands madly on the mat, doing a cheer with the cheerleaders, miming riding a horse, chanting “we’re going to Truel, we’re going to Truel (spelling?)” in the car,” and were shown crossed-eye on the mat at the end.

Of note – I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the seriousness of the people on the first bus to Ulaan Bator with the bonding and dancing of the second group. This group was cheering, dancing and having good time. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if everyone on that bus gets eliminated first. This race is about brains, brawn and teamwork, not about having fun.

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10-03-06, 08:09 PM (EST)
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14. "Episode #3 Messy Business"
That was quite a messy episode, wasn’t it? With the original bunching point, the noisy Hanoi traffic, the maze in Vac and the muddy coal, no one ran a clean race! It also made for very choppy scenes except for the momentary break in the action to remind us of the history behind the location. The stark horror of the Vietnamese prison was poignant. The acknowledgment of Senator McCain’s bravery was moving even to this Canadian.

The racers are fairly well established by now so I thought it would be appropriate to focus on the highlights and see what quotes or scenes stick out.

The Opening quotes:
They can be viewed as hooks to get new viewers into the story we’ve been following. In that sense, Sarah talking about her prosthesis problem is to be considered meaningless. It does nothing to advance their story. The same can be said about Tom and Terry and Rob and Kimberly. Lyn’s comment had a negative ring to it.

Some comments had no bearing on future events but were put in to prepare the settings:
Duke’s comment about not serving in Vietnam but having many friends who never returned set the stage for the mood of the episode.
David and Mary were going on a very emotional leg. We got a quick preview when David told us that his father was in the Vietnam war and Mary hurt her ankle.

The opening words from Tyler and James and Dustin and Kandice talked about the race itself:
Tyler: “James and I are happy with how things are turning out. We haven’t fought…as long as we focus on the race, we’ll be fine.”
Kandice: “What we learn in this thing is to be confident with our directions.”

Completely different from the other confessionals, we had Erwin mentioning, “In my heart, I’ve already won, because each moment…I’m looking out the window and seeing these wonderful places along with doing it with my brother! How many people have these opportunities.” It was nice moment but coming from a team that had underachieved, it left an impression of two good guys not really into the race. Was it to get the viewers to cheer for this win because they don’t get many? That is the impression I got but it could be interpreted the other way.

A confrontation at the ticket line:
The move by Dustin and Kandice at the ticket line may be viewed by many as bad behavior. However, we heard Dustin explain it to us first, how Tom and Terry left the counter open. That tells me the editor’s intent was to show the beauty queens were real competitors. Having Tom telling them off afterwards rather stressed the guys’ immaturity. Hearing them say, “They are not going to win a beauty pageant of kindness, that is for sure” was the kind of nugget the editors would love to throw in for the ironic value if they are to win. Equally meaningful was Kandice’s comment about being on the ball. So many lost because they weren’t. To complement that scene, we heard a confessional from James telling us, “The blondes are conniving. They’re always looking for any inch they can get on anybody else.” The confessional wasn’t done while waiting for the plane because at the ticket counter and upon arriving in Vietnam, they have grey and blue shirts and while they talk about the conninving girls, they have the black and purple shirts they wore the next day. For an unimportant event, it got a lot of editing attention. Things to definitely keep in mind was that Tom was wrong and that James spoke about the girls negatively. Usually that turns against the one speaking.

A Second Alliance:
There was another thing to notice in that scene: Before knowing everyone would be on the same plane, Rob secured tickets to Hanoi and he high-fived Tyler who were joining them. It was “awesomne” that they were on the same plane. There is another alliance besides week two’s “Back Bus alliance”; the “Buddy Alliance” of Rob and Kimberly and Tyler and James. Remember, Rob stopped to give the guys his jack last time. They were together when asking for directions to the flower market. That two team alliance was also heard laughing at the blondes who had stopped for the accident. Team Iron Man and the Blondes would be the only ones left not seen in an alliance.

Surprises and Hard labor
The new twist of starting a leg with no money and the rule preventing to beg or sell was surprising. The father-daughter team were immediately having problems. They thought they had made a wise move, securing the help of a local. They hadn’t counted on being taken for a ride 30 minutes off course. They were last at the “Hanoi Hilton” but it was another bunching point. Being the eliminated team however reinforces the idea that the theme is “The race is tough, you have to be ready for surprises.”

The prison’s horors were griping but for the player’s edit, only Edwin and Godwin’s moment of reflexion “Even though it meant we’d be in last place” held meaning. The feelings expressed had nothing to do with the race.

From the detour to the roadblock and the pit stop what stood out was the strong performances by Edwin and Godwin, Tyler and James, Rob and Kimberly and Dustin and Kandace. Tom and Terry had a good leg going but you HAVE TO READ THE CLUES! They fell from 2nd to 8th and Phil’s words about “This has to suck” seemed meant for us to agree they deserved their penalty.

That whole sequence was mainly David and Mary’s story and it was used to draw sympathy, for ratings a cynic would say. The occasion couldn’t be ignored even if it has no bearing on their longevity. Their story is about a couple of nice ordinary country folks discovering the world and making friends. What matters to the race is that they are the heart of the “Back Bus alliance” formed during the trip to Mongolia. That alliance made its first victim when sticking together proved the better strategy over going alone. It could help boot other strong players along the way.

Duke and Lauren had been presented has calm efficient racers. Their quiet race and uneventful edit made us think they could go far. We should have been alerted by their lack of airtime. It wasn’t because they were boring as Lauren showed a dry sense of humor. First after her father said, “we’ll find out” if they’re last, she answers with a deadpan expression “Yeah! When we’re eliminated.” And then later with “When we’re arrested because we can’t pay him.” There was more to them than the strained relation. The editors not bothering to show them much should’ve been seen as a sign they weren’t part of the end story.

Losing Teams

-The scene when Sarah had to crawl to the pit stop while Peter couldn’t be bothered to give her a hand was the “coup de grâce” for their edit. Maybe he knows she adamantly refuses help but, for us, she desperately appeared to need it. The camera stood well back, amplifying the distance she had to travel and the separation between them. Peter and Sarah do not win!

-The “Back Bus Alliance” won’t see the Bama Moms, Kentucky or Tom and Terry win.

Teams with Fading Chances

-Rob and Kimberly had very little face time in this episode and we will take this as an indication that they aren’t the winners. They kept their villain role, that means they’ll make it far but probably not as winners.

-Of the “Bus Alliance”, the Cho Brothers still have some chances. Edwin and Godwin had little airtime in the first two weeks. They had a very good 3rd leg but nothing to point to them as having the determination to win. Last week’s quote about there being strong competitors in the back bus could have served to tell us about the alliance rather than any team in particular. They can’t be discounted, as some scenes can be interpreted differently, but they don’t seem to be winners. A surge in their face time is needed to consider them as real contenders.

The Front Runners
The race seems to be shaping up as a confrontation between Tyler and James and Dustin and Kandice. From the girls’ early comments about the guys being dangerous to the recognition that the blondes are conniving, these two teams seem ready for a showdown. The guys have laughed at and talked negatively about the girls a few times. The girls have been getting the editors’ favors for now. Even the Cho Brothers commented that “You can be the most intelligent person in the world… but two young females...are going to sell more flowers.” What about their race success? In both tasks, they were shown enjoying themselves. Where Tom and Karlyn were seen arguing with locals, the girls were smiling while selling flowers. They also had smiles when commenting on their brick-making exercise. Everyone else complained. Does all this make them winners? It could, but it could also simply serve to make us think they can!

I'd love to read how you see it!

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10-06-06, 11:39 AM (EST)
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15. "RE: Episode #3 Messy Business"
Well said Michel! I noticed the same things you did which unfortunately doesn’t leave much room for discussion! Here are my thoughts.

There wasn’t a lot of movement among the racers except for Godwin and Erwin. I was sorry to see Duke and Lauren eliminated. I enjoyed watching them. The recap once again referred to Peter and Sarah (they couldn’t control the beast) and David and Mary (her twisted ankle). Interestingly, in the last two episodes, those are the only two teams named in the recap. They have been singled out three times (in the second episode they were also mentioned right before the teams left the pit stop). We are supposed to focus on their stories (but they won’t win!)

1) Erwin and Godwin had a terrific leg. However, the vibe I’m getting from them is different from that of Tyler and James and Dustin and Kandice. They are not as competitive. One brother has done all the roadblocks which is not great strategy. They are doing things their own way (they took a moment of silence at the Hanoi Hilton) but their story is shaping up to be more about their experience and friendships.
2) Tyler and James were consistent. They are happy with the way they are racing and they aren’t fighting. Have you noticed that James has an evil laugh?!
3) Rob and Kim fought as usual but had a strong finish.
4) Kandice and Dustin also had another strong leg. Once again Tyler and James commented on their racing strategy as “they always take the edge” which I don’t think is a bad thing.
5) Peter and Sarah finished well even though they were delayed on the wrong bus. When they set out from Mongolia, their confessional again refers to her blown out hydraulic knee. I went and watched a few segments from the first show and the hitch in her gait is becoming more of a limp. Peter was calm this leg, but the previews show that he wants to quit another task. Sarah is the one who wants to keep on moving. I admire her strength. The visual of Peter walking along rahrahing about “great teamwork” as Sarah crawled along behind him through the rice paddies was priceless! Even though Sarah is the handicapped one, I think Peter is being set up to take the fall for this team.
6) We saw a nicer side Lyn and Karlyn this week. They had two great quotes. The first one was comparing the race to childbirth – painful! I laughed when I heard their analogy but the comment fits their story. The second one was when they were walking to the bus station, “we’ll follow them to hell, I guess.” The race is starting to take a toll on them.
7) David and Mary are hanging in there, but Mary’s ankle could cause problems. She will soldier on as long as she can, “I didn’t leave my kids for nuthin”. They are better racers than I expected. They had a lot of face time but David was the only one with strong emotions regarding the Vietnam War who could comment on it.
8) Another careless error by Tom and Terry and they could be gone. I can’t believe they’ll last much longer, because their story hasn’t been developed, but maybe there isn’t much to tell.

I was wondering if the back bus alliance would have formed if the Race followed its usual course of visiting South America and Europe first. The racers were thrown into cultures that were vastly different from ours (and with different alphabets which makes navigating harder). It may have caused them to bond more quickly. When they were searching for the fuel detour, the racers were working together to find it. There is a stronger camaraderie among all the racers this time. This could be another one of the “surprises” of this race, and will it affect the outcome?

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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10-07-06, 02:29 PM (EST)
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16. "RE: Episode #3 Messy Business"
Thanks for your views CTgirl. That's a nice thought about why the Back Bus Alliance was created. My view was that the first bus had the real competitors and some in the back bus felt overmatched. David and Mary might have suggested it, the male and female teams of cheerleaders may have sealed it. Will it affect the outcome? I think it already has. If Duke and Lauren had been in the alliance, someone would have called out to them while going throught the maze, not left them alone. At this stage of the game, being alone is the worse thing. Stay with the group and beat one team in the end. A team alone against a group of 3 or four teams is faced with 2 outcomes: Finishing first or last since the group will come in close together. The reward for first in these legs does not compensate the penalty for last!

I've been asked why the visual of Peter and Sarah is an editing killer. To explain briefly, if they were to win, I think that first, Peter's audio would have been cut off and then the camera would have been up close on Sarah's effort. That way, we would simply cheer at her determination not jeer at Peter. What we saw was agony. That leaves them 2 words short of elimination.

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10-09-06, 03:57 PM (EST)
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17. "Episode #4: Row, row, row your Sampan. "

That was a short but tough leg. It reinforces the idea that the race isn’t about having fun like last time. Then we had challenges on roller-coasters, Mercedes rides on a test track, pedal-duck boats, and djideridoo lessons. The racers often had fun. This season has seen one tough task after another. Rob even collapsed from heat exhaustion and needed medical attention before going on. That fits with what was suggested for a theme upon viewing the first episode: “The race is tough and you better be ready for surprises.”

The recap had more substance than the first 2. To note, Phil told us Tom and Terry quarreled with the beauty queens at the ticket line, putting the blame on the guys for the argument. Telling us they had incurred a penalty without mentioning they were second and that they were saved from elimination when stepping on the mat prepared us to see them go.

The opening quotes didn’t reveal much once again: The Bama Moms were more positive, talking about racing for their children. Sarah spoke of her conflict with Peter. Tyler and James say they get along.

The only comments about the race came from:
- The Blondes who tell us: “People are starting to get a sense of how competitive we are and how much we are willing to push ourselves…They’ll see our competitive juices flow and they’ll learn something about us that is accurate.” They jokingly say they should pay the cabs to leave without the other teams!
-The Cho brothers, who spoke of their Asian background but added that they can race with the best of them.

The early bunching point showed once more how random the race can be. If there are only 3 ropes to let the racers up the cliff, shouldn’t there have been three departure times reserved for the hydrofoils right there at the bus station? So what if they shared a bus, at least the first part of the leg would have counted for something. What happened is that the completion of the roadblock was totally left to the scramble off the bus in Ha Long Bay and the speed boat drivers, not any racing skills or strategy. Dustin and Kandice and Tyler and James, despite arriving first and second, were in the last 3 to go up. The Sung Sot Caves reshuffled the teams somewhat but Rob and Kimberly kept their first place from the ascent. It shows that you can’t use a racing form or any other martingale to predict the winners.

The question remains regarding studying editing. It should help if we learn to read the story being told. Up to now, the race’s story is overshadowed by Sarah’s and Mary’s stories. The triathlete’s prosthetic leg and the couch potato’s twisted ankle seem to serve parallel stories of courage and valor beyond expectations. One’s partner is supportive to the point of becoming a punching bag, the other’s is overbearing. Since it has been established that those two stories aren’t about winning the race, the winners may only emerge once these side stories are completed. To add to the confusion, we have two alliances who can help weaker racers and all the “Back Pack” love is another side story. But lets carry on!

Tyler and James
The auditory clue at Ly Thai To Garden showed how James is resourceful. He was first to get his driver to listen in. That helped them to arrive at the bus stop in second place but the wait and a slow boat left them in 7th at the cliff ascent. The scramble from the Ly Thai To garden in Hanoi showed once more the buddy alliance working together until Rob’s taxi driver decided he wanted to go around in circles.Tyler was “Spiderman” up the cliff. James lied to the moms about finding a clue in the caves. “Superman” Tyler seemed to be the only one to have good speed on the sampan. That would’ve given them second place if the junk driver had remembered to lift the anchor! There can be very little doubt that this team makes it to the final 3. We should be hearing about them from others if they are to be winners.

Dustin and Kandice
The other team indentified as front runners last week had a very difficult leg. When beauty queens remind me of “The wild Hanlons” from Treasure Hunters, listening at crickets for the next clue, it isn’t good. Their next-to-last place finish wasn’t pretty. The first part started off well with them being first at the Ben Xe Gia Lam bus stop. If last time it looked as if they were simply profiting from another team’s distraction, this time they were clearly guilty of cutting in line. Despite being last at the cliff, we didn’t see them panic. As a matter of fact, each shot of Dustin showed her smiling. Being in last place we hear them say they are still in it and will race to the mat. Their rowing skills weren’t good but not the worse. The “Under” detour that had nearly driven Rob and Peter crazy, was dispatched quickly it appeared. Their low point was to come later. Hearing them say thay had to row to the pit stop made me notice that Tom and Terry weren’t the only ones not reading the clues correctly. Screaming at each other about the misplaced clue and crying in the junk ride were their first signs of weakness.

You may ask if, at some point, I thought they were going to be eliminated. How strongly did I rely on the earlier observations? The two guys had panicked before, we were expecting them to stumble. The girls hadn’t shown any vulnerability so their story didn’t seem complete. Nevertheless, it was a relief when Kandice said: “Maybe we have to row back to the boat.” Their portrayal in the next episode will certainly need to be watched closely.

Edwin and Godwin haven’t been shown in any new light to make us consider them any differently. They could emerge later but up to now, they seem to be the nice guys who ran a nice race and made the final but didn’t win. Saying you can race with the best isn’t the same as wanting to beat the best. They were wrong to expect a trip to Disneyland! Dustin told Edwin he looked like a stud as he prepared for the ascent.

On the other hand Rob and Kimberly’s role as the team everyone will want to see eliminated has been amplified. Hearing Rob say Peter annoys him isn’t as bad as hearing him say he doesn’t want to speak to foreigners again. Their fights are their only story, it’s not even about how they pull through to win because they still argue. Arriving first, Phil only asks them: “Are you being nice to each other?”

The other three teams will not win and nothing they did in this episode is any different from the previous so looking any longer at their story would be useless. As noted above, the real story seems to be waiting for these three to go.

Tom and Terry, it was noted after episode one, weren’t ready to face the toughness of the race.

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10-09-06, 07:13 PM (EST)
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18. "RE: Episode #4: Row, row, row your Sampan. "
Excellent observations everyone and I just knew that you would be over here, michel! Thrilled to see the editing thread is alive and well in the TAR thread! I feel like I'm so far behind, and every Sunday night rolls around and I am still not cognizant that TAR is even going to be on! At any rate, I have managed to see most of the shows so far and have some definite feelings regarding the editing.

I agree that Edwin and Godwin are the nice guys running the nice race. They don't seem to panic, they make note of their weaknesses as well as their strengths, and they are immensely enjoying the trip. I don't know, but I do see that perhaps they could win it??? I know that I am rooting for them...but you are probably right....

Tyler and James are going to be tough to beat. Both seem to be in great shape and quick thinking on the fly. They definately are focused on the race, and I don't know if they will settle for anything but first...

I don't see how the beauty queens can keep up with Tyler and James. I know it was a rough leg for them, but they did perservere and I enjoyed how supportive they were to each other.

Sarah and Peter ....enough already. This couple is really getting on my nerves and Sarah seems as though she's had her eyes opened, but at times I just don't know. I will be happy to be rid of them. It is a personal struggle/adventure for them. Week after week, leg after leg, she has to prove to herself that she can do it, of course she can, she's accomplished so much, but the two as a couple is not working for me....I think they are receiving a terrible edit.

Rob is horrific....not wanting to deal with foreigner, and Kimberly keeps identifying their biggest obstacle as fighting with each other, yet they constantly do it more aggressively.... They will fail and hopefully get far away from each other. I see them as the evil foil in the end perhaps.

The Kentucky couple is a hoot, but they are running a race for personal reasons, for the adventure in and of itself and are constantly proving more and more to each other. Definately will not make it to end game.

As are the Bama moms. I enjoy them though, and must say they have surprised me week after week that they are still here. They were more positive this ep, and I can't help but wonder if their ticket is up next week.

All in all, I like to see the teams that learn from leg to leg, I like to see who adapts and evolves. I think it could come down to the rehab models Tyler and James, Edwin and Godwin, and perhaps the beauties.

Thanks for the thread, I've really enjoyed it!

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10-10-06, 03:56 PM (EST)
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20. "RE: Episode #4: Row, row, row your Sampan. "
"Week after week, leg after leg"

Ha ha! No pun intended, I'm sure...

I definitely agree that Peter and Sarah are going to lose soon. Their story has been told.

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10-10-06, 01:56 PM (EST)
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19. "RE: Episode #4: Row, row, row your Sampan. "
Michel – I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that we are waiting for Mary’s and Sarah’s (and the ‘Bama Moms too) stories to finish before we see the winner emerge. FP – I’ve enjoyed reading your comments on Survivor and I’m glad you’re doing the same with TAR.

This was certainly a grueling leg where you needed a lot of upper body strength (Mary and David were lucky that she didn’t have to walk much). I also like that we are getting different teams winning each week.

I loved that their first clue was an auditory one. It was a neat twist and made them think on their feet. Lyn and Karlyn just took off, not knowing exactly where they were going. That isn’t great strategy. Dustin and Kandice also took off, but they got lucky that their cab driver knew where to take them. Tyler and James thought of having the cab driver listen, which several other teams copied. Erwin and Godwin just followed Tom and Terry. They lucked out since that didn’t work for Rob and Kim. This was all a moot point since the bus station was a bunching point, but it was interesting to see how the teams handled it. I want to comment on three teams –

Rob and Kim – I noticed a subtle shift in their edit this week. I can’t discount them as a final three team. Rob’s Ugly American act in the cab really turned me off, but Kim managed to stay calm and took control. She made an immediate decision to get out and get another cab. It took a few times, but it worked. Once she took over the oyster basket detour (although the way she did it wasn’t pretty), they finished it quickly. Rob was in the back of the boat supporting her and encouraging her (the first positive thing we’ve seen him do). They were also shown kissing and saying “I love you.” On the mat, Rob admitted that he knows he needs to chill. I wasn’t as turned off to him at the end as I was in the beginning. They commented at the beginning of the show that they need to figure out who’s in control; well they did that this leg and came in first. We’ll see if they can keep it up or if it was a one time thing.

Erwin and Godwin – They are not the best racers (we know that luck plays an intangible part for the winners), but they are getting a nice edit. Nice quote on their Asian American heritage and how they want people to see their sense of humor. Godwin’s “I’d like to give all my possessions to my brother” before he ascended the cliff). And good ole brotherly love, “the reason we’re turning is because you’re doing something wrong.” “Shut up.” Their personalities are being fleshed out a bit.

Dustin and Kandice – the more I think about this episode, the more it makes me nervous for them down the road. Losing the hat at the detour could have been a one time thing, but when you combine it with allowing the clue to disintegrate points out a major weakness for these two. The next time they make a mental error, there won’t be anyone behind them. Listening to the crickets was portrayed as silly, and they took off from the Garden depending on their cab driver. But they did have the quote, “we’re not out of the race, we’re going to run until we hit the mat” which could foreshadow something down the road. They could still luck out when they make a mistake.

I have nothing to add about Tyler and James that hasn’t already been said. They are the obvious front runners. Will we have a show down next week between Lyn and Karlyn and Peter and Sarah? Peter is an incredible athlete (he pulled them from 7th place to 2nd place during the detour) and you wouldn’t think that Lyn and Karlyn could compete with them. But Team ‘Bama showed a lot of antipathy towards them during the first episode without us seeing why. At the beginning of the race Phil commented on the best combination of “brains, brawn and teamwork” and we know Peter and Sarah’s teamwork is falling apart. (Side note, I think David and Mary are doing as well as they have because David is much stronger than we realized and Mary is much smarter and they are a good team together.)

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10-12-06, 10:21 AM (EST)
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21. "RE: Episode #4: Row, row, row your Sampan. "
LAST EDITED ON 10-12-06 AT 10:33 AM (EST)

LAST EDITED ON 10-12-06 AT 10:26 AM (EST)

LAST EDITED ON 10-12-06 AT 10:22 AM (EST)

Great comments guys! I dont have a lot of time to comment anymore, but I do read what you guys are writing, and will put in my two cents when I get the chance.

Just a few observations from my end:
It seems like our final three are pretty much pre-determined, which honestly leads me to believe maybe they're actually not?

James and Tyler - they're a nicer, more down to earth version of Eric and Jeremy. They seem to be very good racers, and almost a shoe-in (sp?) for the race to the finish. Something is bothering me though - maybe its that they arent really being given a very rounded edit - or really that much of an edit at all, at least not a terribly memorable one.

Dustin and Kandice - Strangely, I love these girls! Never would I have thought I'd be saying that about "the beauty queens", but really I think they're great racers - of every team we've been shown that they have the drive, they will overcome the obstacles, etc. Yes, they make mistakes and thats something to watch, but they have overcome all of their mistakes - which means that they're quite a bit better racers than others who dont make the same mistakes, and still come in after them. Plus - dont discount that editing gem (not an exact quote, but the general drift) "We want to show that an all-girl team can win this race". I like these girls, I think they're the team to watch.

Erwin and Godwin - If this race had a different feel to it, their edit wouldnt bother me as a winner's edit. But this isn't an nice guy race this time around, this one is cut-throat, and crazy grueling. These guys just arent getting the right edit for the type of race. At least thats what I'm thinking. They have great ability to recover - but once the field is narrowed down, they're going to need to not have to recover from so many mistakes, and just well - not make mistakes. They certainly seem to have at least final four, if not race to the finish potential though.

David and Mary - ok, this one is going to be a little controversial. I think these guys go a lot farther than anyone expected. I dont think they'll be racing to the finish, but I dont think they're out next, or even two episodes from now. I think they come in fourth or fifth. They have great drive, as disfunctional as they may seem at times with her yelling at him - its not the same as Rob and Kimberly's fighting. Mary is most definitely in control - and David lets her be - ok, its called being whipped if we're going to be honest. ;oP But it clearly works for them. The ankle wasnt even shown to be that much of an issue for them either.

Rob and Kimberly - Ah, our villians. The team that everyone looks at with wonder that they could possibly stand the sight of each other after the race is over. They'll battle on right to the end, they're good competitors, but they are focusing too much on their fighting. They dont have the years of experience dealing with each other that Lake and Michelle did. The fighting really is holding back this team - because it hampers their ability to make quick, decisive decisions. I dont see them winning, but then I NEVER would have expected Freddy and Kendra to win - and they did. I need another episode or two to decide about these two. I think they could sneak their way up the ranks.

Peter and Sarah - well finally we had an episode in which her leaking knee wasnt mentioned. Her disability obviously was, but the leaking holding them back wasnt - was it fixed somehow? These two simply are not the winners. We're supposed to be rooting for her and we're left with a bad taste in our mouth for him. This is different than disliking someone because they fight - he's being shown to be insensitive to her and her disability. They could have been edited SO, SO different, even with the relationship issues. Their story will be wrapped up in the next episode or two I think. Michel - I totally agree about the shot of her crawling through the rice paddies. Perhaps she asked him to go on, but we werent shown that. I'm all for the "you go girl" mentality - but good lord, pick the woman up and carry her through the mud! Chivalry isnt THAT dead.

Lyn and Karlyn - well, their edit has improved, they seem more focused on the race, and winning, but that I believe is because their story arc is coming full circle. I think they're next. If not, then the leg after that. But their kids will be proud of them.

EDITED TO ADD: I forgot to mention, that I was rolling my eyes along with everyone else when the girls were listening to the crickets. I really think though that 1) This was just TOO GOOD to pass up putting in the show. and 2) It showed just how intensely those girls are playing - perhaps a foreshadowing of just that hurting them. I think though that it was just really funny, and put in for just that reason.

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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10-14-06, 06:07 PM (EST)
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22. "RE: Episode #4: Row, row, row your Sampan. "
It's nice to get some new views. The story being told seems consistent from the start but who will win. FP notes that Erwin and Godwin could be our winners and certainly they have the qualifications and are starting to have better finishes. I also like thier chances but we only hear comments from their fellow Back Packers. Shouldn't some of the front runners discuss what they see in the "Win" Brothers? Relying on Tom and Terry for directions isn't good strategy but each team follows anther at one point. Maybe they will emerge once they are the only ones left from that alliance. They certainly have caught my attention.

Very few comments are addressed to Tyler and James. The only one I remember was the girls saying they are dangerous and from their buddy Rob. They should be seen as big rivals but no one talks about them.

Dustin and Kandice have certainly gotten the most comments from the others and they have been balanced. From the guys saying they are conniving, Kentucky who liked them, TnT and the Moms who confronted them to Sarah's "Barbie" comment. Last year I got side tracked by the positive comments Phil gave RaYo. The Hippies got the full spectrum of comments from the hatred of MoJo, the recognition from the Frat Boys to Fran and Barry's love.

Lets see what this week shows us!

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10-16-06, 03:54 PM (EST)
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23. "Post Episode 5..."
LAST EDITED ON 10-16-06 AT 08:14 PM (EST)

Well....I thought this was a pivotal show in fleshing out the real players here. Many very insightful statements regarding some teams and we here from some teams remarking about other teams....

Rob and Kimberly: We heard Phil state that they fought all the way to the number one spot...and we heard Kimberly say, We share a common goal, we need to chill out... Still a very negative edit for them especially of their revulsion for "poorer countries"...Kimberly stating: Don't let anyone touch me, I want to be in with the rich folk!

They are conitinuing to get a very negative edit, yet they have joined forces with Tyler/James. I think they are a force to the end, but in no way will they win it. They are the evil team...

Peter and Sarah: GAWD, when will they get out of here??? They just get worse and worse, and Peter gets such a poor edit, while Sarah is becoming enlightened...this guy is the pits. I saw that most peeps thought they would get the boot this week, looks as though perhaps we will have a bit longer with them, but to me, as Sarah is enlightened, she doesn't need him, their arc is kaput...they will be done SOON! We saw how the Barbies started out with them, then decided that they just couldn't associate with them either. Sarah noted that She doesn't hold him on a pedastal anymore. Peter noted it's just from one polluted city to another... Despite it all, they land in the top they can be done...hopefully. They will be toast ASAP

Tyler/James: These two are getting a much more favorable edit now. They were shown sharing their appreciation for where they have been and where they have come. They have learned from the mistakes of their past, and they are making the most of it. This is a team that is EVOLVING, imo. While they teamed up with Rob/Kimberly a bit, I think this team is going to be around until the end. They commented on how tough the game is, but don't seem to dwell on the negative. The landed in the second to the last spot and I loved their reaction. It was humbling for us, it's something that maybe we needed. See they are thankful they were not out, and now they are going to learn from their mistakes. I loved that they perservered at the rice/art challenge. A positive upswing in the editing for these two.

Erwin/Godwin: Alright, I have been enlightened, but I really love this team. They are really team players and I think they will get sacrificed along the way to perhaps propel some of the others in their alliance. Just love their upbeat nature and their ability to make friends along the way. But the comment that they made, First we enjoy the experience, if it was for the money, we would be lying and stealing..... Clearly, they have just admitted, it's more for their collective adventure than it is to win the money. They will not make it. ...Still, they conspired with their alliance, the kentucky team, and the Bama girls, and the use of the fake phone actually propelled Peter/Sarah....backfired on them. They finished fourth...not too encouraging.

Bama Girls: Talked about their college affiliation. They are still in the back of the bus alliance. I don't think they are end game players. Looks as though they will be clashing with the Beauties again next ep. Finished in 5th.

Dustin/Candice: Another team that could win it all!!!! They went from last to 2nd. They listened to what Peter had to offer but then realized that he was not to be trusted and moved on. They were very positive throughout the leg...they were thrilled to be in India and in the city. Sarah had a confessional where she talked about the beauties: the Barbies are fierce competitors...we all know that this is a VERY good sign for them. To top it all off at the end of their journey to the mat, in second place, Phil said, Dustin/Candice, perhaps the first all girl team to win the million??? Yes, I do believe we could have the first all girl team to win!

Now for the surprise team: Kentucky: They came in last, but they kept their heads up high, they were very positive talking about how they are proud and how much they admire the other. After Godwin and Irwin commented how if it was only about the $, they would be lying and stealing, then Kentucky said that it was ALL about the money and winning it for their kids. Folks, I think they are the surprise final three team, perhaps. In contrast to Irwin and Godwin, they are not in it for the adventure, they are in it to win. They did not have to give up their belongings but have to end up well ahead of the pack if they are to make it....I love that. I have no doubts that they will indeed make it! They are the underdogs of this race and I think they will land near the top!

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10-16-06, 09:30 PM (EST)
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24. "RE: Post Episode 5..."
LAST EDITED ON 10-17-06 AT 09:51 AM (EST)

LAST EDITED ON 10-16-06 AT 09:47 PM (EST)

Hello FP, it's nice of you to have started the discussion. I agree we had more players commenting on other teams than usual. I also noted a change in the models' edit. I'm not sure yet what it means, as you'll read. (Sorry to repeat some of your comments.)

The recap had more details than previously. It mainly focused on team Iron Man with Sarah facing her fears, Peter wanting to quit and the lashing out by his partner. We were reminded, as if it was necessary, that Rob and Kimberly fought all the way to the front. It should be noted that no mention was made of Dustin and Kandice’s poor showing.

Most of the opening sequences are repeats of known story lines: Tyler and James talk about remembering their past addiction and how it helps them deal with situations during the race were they feel powerless. The WIN brothers say: “We are enjoying the experience. If it was for the money, we would be lying, cheating and stealing.” Lyn and Karlyn reflected on finding it difficult to be together so much. Sarah told us about her problems with Peter, knocking him off the pedestal she had given him.

The most notable comments were from David and Dustin:

“I need to win this race to get me out of the coal mines…This is my chance to take care of my kids. With the million dollars, I can take them to Disneyland” reflected Mary’s husband. They both have had nice quotes.

“It’s do or die for us now,” said Dustin. “We’re in last place. We have to be on top of every single thing we do. We cannot let people get in front us because we are not aggressive enough. We’re going to have to pull out all of our cards in this next leg.” Not aggressive enough, really? It prepared us for the nasty tricks that they used. They were the only ones laughing at the train station’s bunching point.

This episode was about Interactions

We spent more time sitting in the train or in the airports than in the 10-mile ride to the pit stop. 10 miles in the crazy streets of Chennai and not one clip? The only reason to sacrifice the last sequence has to be because the interactions between the teams were crucial for the future events. What happened that was so important to show?

-In the train, Tyler and James had powerful comments about heroine abuse and they did tie it in with the hazards of the race but no interaction with the others were shown. They were off in their own little world. The editors must ask them about their background story but also about their thoughts on the race and their competition. We could almost say that up to this point, besides their prior substance abuse, their story has no substance!

-The Cho brothers first told us about how their alliance share information and stick together. Then they played their little prank that backfired as it got Peter to react, make the necessary arrangements and align with the Barbies. Add their opening statement and Erwin and Godwin continue to appear as the nice guys who don’t win. There is no development to their characters and they only serve as the strong members of the Back Pack. It could be a brilliant strategy. Wouldn’t you say their chances improve if Kentucky and the Bama Moms are with them in the final 3 instead of Tyler and James? Even if it was their strategy, not hearing a single word about it almost proves it didn’t work.

-Something was revealed from Peter’s interaction with Kentucky and Bama. It started on the train when Lyn told Peter off about taunting them with information but appearing to want to get some instead. She tells us she isn’t stupid enough to fall for it. Later, Peter tried to be sneaky by telling Lyn they were on “Tahiti” airlines instead of Thai. In the airport, he made many nasty remarks directed at the two weak-looking teams. As I watched the nice couple struggle in last place, I saw only two possibilities: Either it is a non-elimination leg or the race editors are stupid. Since the second possibility would render our thread useless, it was reassuring to hear Phil say: “I’m pleased to tell you…” for once! A swan song couldn’t have showcased Peter’s nasty remarks at the airport and we know Kentucky will get a nice send-off. Knowing how editors love irony, it wouldn’t surprise me if Peter was to be eliminated before Kentucky! Showing that airport scene could’ve been to create immediate reactions from the audience but it could also serve to enhance David and Mary’s cute story.

Dustin and Kandice saw Peter come to them, offering an alliance since three teams are working together. Since those were the only two teams that had been outside the two alliances, it made sense. Kandice is aware that he does this because he likes Dustin. She says, “We don’t trust Peter but we know that if his best interest is involved , we’ll probably gonna be OK. We’ll take it on a case by case basis with Peter.”

The breakdown of that stillborn alliance was shown throughout the episode. It started with Peter's warning not to screw them in the travel agency. We then had Kandice rolling her eyes showing us what she thinks of Peter’s nosiness. The girls told us that “all bets are off,” while Peter was disapointed in them. To complete the divorce, we had Dustin covering the mouth of their taxi driver who was going to give direction to the triathletes’ driver. The “favor” was quickly returned when Peter ordered his own taxi to continue without helping with the flat tire. The only moment they were on the same wavelength was when Peter mocked Bama and Kentucky.

What does all that mean for the Barbies? The confrontation with the athletes highlighted how they really are fierce competitors as Sarah commented. I think the general public’s annoyance at Peter would be something the editors would expect so showing them trying to fool him isn’t to be taken negatively. Seeing them laugh at Peter’s mocking of David and Mary is more troublesome. It’s hard to see it as showing more sides to their characters. It is something to keep in mind, as it is sure to affect their likeability. It should be noted that even the fun-loving hippies last season were shown laughing at the dumb Frat Boys and hunting for Mojo.

The rest of the race showed the different tactics of the teams.

-David and Mary showed they are willing to take risks by going on the Delhi plane’s waiting list. Lyn and Karlyn profited from it but the married couple wasn’t so lucky. They still trudged along, never despairing and eventually met up with Tyler and James at the “wild rice” detour. If Mary had followed David’s advice of tackling the crocodile, would the models be the ones marked for elimination? (fwiw: that was a welcomed change to the rules and since the penalty applies at the end of the leg, it will add to their anxieties.) Their story isn’t about winning. Outlasting Peter and Sarah would make a nice ending.

Lyn and Karlyn are aware of all the shady stuff happening in the race. They managed to stay in the middle of the pack. Changing planes and detour showed they aren’t afraid of taking risks. Lyn’s climb of the wall reminds us they are overmatched physically.

Rob and Kimberly continue with their role as the unlikeable team that could go far and would cause many viewers to curse. On the bus she tells Rob not to let anyone touch her, that it smells like fish and that she wants to go to Europe to be with the rich folks not in this poor part of the world. Not the stuff of winners!

Peter and Sarah’s racing tactics are good but there is nothing to redeem Peter’s edit. Even his habit of smacking his lips while eating was shown to a much larger extent than was needed. Remember, they had all of the final car ride to show and there had to be some funny moments where the horns were needed! To have spend so much time with them, waiting for the bus, is to build up a bigger reaction from the audience when they leave. It cannot be delayed too much because then, the reaction would be to turn off the TV.

Erwin and Godwin ran another good, safe leg. They stayed with the Moms, first going to “wild rice” then changing to “wild things” once Bama told them they were ready for the crocs. It only let Rob and Kimberly pass them but it could cost them more down the road. For now it doesn’t really matter if they finish 3rd or 5th. The comments during the driving lesson of, “it’s insane. It’s total chaos. It’s like a riot” weren’t balanced by any positive comments. It shows that the experience affects them somewhat and that also could come back to hurt them.

Of Tyler and James, we saw two occasions were they were powerless but did accept the situation fairly well, as they had said they would. It first happened in Hanoi when they had to wait for the messenger with the airline tickets. Later in Chennai when their taxi driver started wandering around by foot asking for directions. It could signal that their past is indeed helping their strategy. Their choice of “wild rice” for detour is difficult to comprehend. Their comments about being humbled by sixth place could signal the start of a new arc. Will it be acceptance of their defeat or winning with humility? The latter is certainly possible if we see an enhancement of their portrayal and their airtime.

Dustin and Kandice were singing about being on the first bus in Chennai and clapping after their flat tire was repaired. Even with the freaking out comments at the crocodile pit, they showed their determination at completing the physical task. Their comments about “Don’t think you’re going anywhere you little freak” while tying up the croc’s snout, and “once we let him go, can we run?” were amusing. Dustin was shown laughing during the insane rat race as she called her driving lesson. To quote Phil: “Are we looking at the first all female team to win the Amazing Race?” Kandice thinks so of course!
They are not the horrible navigators that RaYo were last season. RaYo needed the propping up the editors gave them to make us believe they had a chance in the final 3. These girls can handle the big guys it seems.

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10-16-06, 10:36 PM (EST)
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25. "RE: Post Episode 5..."
"Rob and Kimberly continue with their role as the unlikeable team that could go far and would cause many viewers to curse. On the bus she tells Rob not to let anyone touch her, that it smells like fish and that she wants to go to Europe to be with the rich folks not in this poor part of the world. Not the stuff of winners!"

I wish that were true but she reminds me too much of Kendra and she ended up winning! If they do win, the editors will have to work hard and dig deep for some "redemption" moments - like they did with Kendra.

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10-16-06, 11:11 PM (EST)
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26. "RE: Post Episode 5..."
That is certainly true, but I think the editors have learned since season 6. I suspect that today, the "continue to breed" comment and others would have been cut off. Freddie & Kendra were still very arrogant but were supportive of each other. Rob & Kimberly don't have any positives except for their frienship with Tyler & James. (At least, I hope I've got it right!)
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10-17-06, 01:12 AM (EST)
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27. "RE: Post Episode 5..."
I always enjoy reading your stuff Michel.

I tend to let what I WANT to happen to colour my perspective of the editting analysis, but I wanted to throw out a few thoughts anyways.

Erwin and Godwin - I've been pulling for these guys from the start, but they certainly are getting a "tourist" edit. I can see merit in their strategy (if it is a strategy) - just don't get isolated and lost, always keep a weaker team with you so that if worse comes to worse you can beat them in a sprint to the mat. Strategy or not, I think we should be hearing more from them if that's what they have in mind. Instead, they just seem to be 2 nice guys sleep walking thru this race.

Lyn and Karlyn - I'm afraid I don't see anything that they bring to the table. I think I've heard more complaining from them than any other team. Not a good sign.

Rob and Kimberly - Maybe it's just me, but they seem to be a the cookie cutter dating team that squable constantly. Maybe they are PLAYERS, but I have to confess, when they are on screen - I'm not listening.

Peter and Sarah - I think their story arc is DONE. Their Tri-athlete story was a tease to draw us to them. But this story quickly fell away to instead focus on Sarah finding that her Hero Peter isn't worthy of her adulation. Maybe no one could stand up to Hero worship - but I think the editors have been trying to show us that Peter is unworthy of Sarah. And showing us Peters interest in the Models seem to make him seem particularly shallow. Seeing the Models shut down Peters overtures of building an alliance could well be the final chapter of their story.

Tyler and James - I think we are getting WAY to much "former addict" backstory for them to be winners. I know people can change, but I really don't think the producers would want to be hyping giving 2 former drug users $500,000 each for fear of a backlash if Tyler or James ends up on the cover of STAR Magazine getting busted while out on a drug binge. I just don't thik if they won we would see EVERY episode talking about their past drug use.

I think the winning team will either be Dustin & Kandice or Mary & David.

Between the Two, just looking at them, I'd be more likely to think Dustin and Kandice would win. Why? Because they seem some much more athletic than Mary. AND, I certainly perked up when Phil suggested Dustin and Kandice might be the 1st all girl team to win. How Ironic would that be? The Beauty contestants typically seem to just be eye candy in the different shows - How out of left field would it be if one actually won?

But, we've been given a number of quotes from Mary about I didn't leave my kids for nothing. I'm gonna win this race! And then last night we had David talking about getting out of the coal mines if they win. I didn't put much stock in Mary's quotes, until they were joined by David's. I don't think they've said a negative thing about the other teams. And other teams HAVE been talking about them - although often times not positively. We've seen Mary struggle thru with the twisted ankle. And I think we've seen an awful lot from them that we didn't need to.

Phil said from the start something to the effect of expect the unexpected. Little would be more unexpected than a win by Mary and David.

But as I said, I'm not the best when it comes to edit analysis so take this for what it's worth.

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10-17-06, 09:49 AM (EST)
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28. "RE: Post Episode 5..."
Michel i agree with all of your points. But I want to change a few things around in the story a little, and through my two sense again.

Also sorry for the bad grammar and spelling.

The edit of peter and sarah is to play the poor sympathy for sarah. I get that feeling of what the show is saying. But Yes Peter is Arrogant and useless, he always wants to quit and always checking out Dustin and Kandice. Sarah didn't like the idea to team up either. So this could hurt them in the long run.

Tyler and James, I think they are here for the women 'eye candy' such as dustin and kandice are 'eye candy' for the men. However in the edit, Dustin and Kandice seem to be more competitive than rehabs. I just don't see tyler and james winning maybe final three.

Dustin and Kandice will def make final three. And I dont think there story is over yet. I bet if they can get a lead and they keep it they will win the race. But as you noticed a few episodes ago they had a breakdown, and it shows that the race is hard. But I believe they are showing the true spirit of this race story about it 'being tough'.

Erwin and Goodwin im not sure about them, they have been giving good positive edit all the way through. They don't seem like winners, last season episode would of been okay to put them in there. There just going along, and trying to say in the middle of the pack, but that will hurt them if all the weaker teams are gone. Erwin and Goodwin are also final three, but not winner. I would say Final Four, due to the edit they are given from past season Final Four Teams, such as Merdith and Gretchen, Jeff and David, and Derek and Drew. It could be Final Four Edit.

Lynn and Karyln there story is about accomplish task that they couldn't do before and to show that their not just moms to their kids, that they are also independent women. Im not sure about this team. At first it was a negative edit, then they had postivie edit, and next week it shows them fighting with Dustin adn Kandice. Could this team be another bowling moms team. They are competitive when it comes to other teams!

Rob and Kimberly there story is relationship trouble, its either going to end in a break up or a marraige proposal. That is where I think there story is taking us, it reminds me of Ron and Kelly from seven 7.

Now David and Mary. I think their story has changed. It went from being the nice Kentuckian folks, lvoeable characters that doesn't make it far, now their story is to come in first. I think once they make it into first the next leg will be their elimination leg. As much I as I love them, I don't think they make final three because of the 'race is tough' story being brought up. Especially since David as done 4 out of 5 roadblocks, that is going to hurt them. But if they make Final Three and Win, their story will be told as even weaker teams can handle the tough and stress of this race.

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10-17-06, 02:05 PM (EST)
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29. "RE: Post Episode 5..."
Good discussion everyone. It’s nice to have more people post their thoughts!

This was an interesting episode in that there wasn’t a lot of action – a lot of time was spent traveling and watching the interactions between the racers. I viewed this as the calm before the storm. The next episode could see a big shake-up if as we predicted Peter and Sarah’s story is finished. There will be some urgency with David and Mary’s situation also. If the back pack is going to make a move, this is the episode! Because there wasn’t a lot of action, each racer had a quote (or were quoted about) that stood out to me.

The one quote that stood out from the rest of the program was Peter and Sarah talking about Dustin and Kandice as fierce competitors. In an episode which concentrated on alliances and partnerships, that scene stood out like it was in neon lights. Dustin and Kandice recovered nicely from their last place finish. In their tussles with Peter and Sarah, they were portrayed positively.

Another quote that stood out to me was when James said that “Second to last place is humbling, but maybe it’s something we need.” Their 6th place finish could serve as a wake up call to redouble their efforts. They’ve been racing well, but they have been coasting along. It’s interesting that both times they talked in depth about their addiction they were on a train. They are recovering addicts and are still on a journey, but will their journey take them to first place?

The last quotes that really got my attention were during the opening segment (David and Erwin). David’s comment on wanting to get out of the coal mine and how winning the million dollars would change their lives was a powerful statement, and we want that for them. I don’t think they make the final three but I do think they outlast Karlyn and Lyn and maybe Erwin and Godwin and exceed everyone’s expectations. Erwin and Godwin expressed that they view TAR as an experience and adventure, and they’re not here to win the million dollars. In previous quotes they have said that they are here to make friends and alliances. They are really nice guys and I expect them to help David and Mary somehow next week.

On the lighter side, Kimberley had some priceless quotes this week! Not that we ever thought they would, but they will not win. At the beginning of this leg they admitted that they need to chill and they did stay calm and not fight this week. However, they were still portrayed negatively. Kim’s comments on India showed her to be ignorant and insensitive. (I did love her, “that cow is skinny, is it a homeless cow?” and Rob’s reaction to it!) There was also a shot of her hitting her head on the trunk, but instead of saying “ouch” to myself, I laughed. Even though they are racing well, we can’t take this team seriously. With Ray and Yolanda we weren’t shown that they were bad racers, with Kim and Rob we aren’t shown that they are good racers (and they’ve always finished in the top half).

You compare how Kim and Rob were portrayed with Lyn and Karlyn. Lyn and Karlyn have a nasty streak, but the editing hasn’t focused on that too much. We heard Karlyn talking about being more comfortable in India than in Vietnam because she has more meat on her bones. That quote didn’t really mean much, but I found it amusing and it softens them. Their story could wind up right after Peter and Sarah’s.

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10-19-06, 07:02 PM (EST)
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30. "Comments"
LAST EDITED ON 10-19-06 AT 07:11 PM (EST)

Mavs_fan, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to see things happen a certain way. The editor’s goal is to make you react. To be successful, there has to be some thruth to the story. I try to avoid having favorites but then I see what appears to be clues and I try to figure their significance. Once I think I see something, it's hard not to get involved.

I’d say your observations are very interesting especially concerning the models. I hadn’t thought of it but for them to be winners, I agree the audience would need to hear them say they are sure those days are gone forever. Confessionals aren’t spur of the moment comments. The racers are asked direct questions. The ones that need answering, we should hear.

As far as David and Mary are concerned, we’ll have to wait and see. From my perspective, we are already surprised at their results, Sarah even told us they shouldn’t still be there. To see them win without hearing anyone comment on their abilities would make us question how challenging is the race after all.

It’s always nice to read your comments Beau. Sarah’s story invoking pity is a sign in itself. In the pre-season, learning that she completed the Ironman on one artificial leg invoked admiration for her courage, not pity. If it had stayed that way, then they could be considered as potential winners. As it is, I’m left asking: Why does Peter seem to enjoy pushing her relentlessly? Showing his ruthlessness towards Sarah proves he’s a no nonsense trainer. Some athletes look for that. The more we hate him, the more in demand he could be later. Does he really care for this race?

Ctgirl, Sarah’s confessional in which she says Dustin and Kandice are fierce competitors also interests me. During that sequence, Sarah’s wearing a red top. She was dressed in blue during the leg in India. But then:

That picture is too large but it shows how they were dressed in the previous leg.

The shirts are the same but Peter is in white casual shorts. Still it seems the confessional was taken in Ha Long Bay in Vietnam after episode #4, not India. The editors are manipulating the order of the scenes to tell us something. What does it mean? That confessional was about the girls' story not Peter and Sarah's. It has more impact in a leg in which they fought the athletes than in one where they finished next to last.

The “We don’t trust Peter” comment wasn’t necessary to show but it was in contrast to the teams that are enjoying the experience. No other alliance member has doubted their partners. Kandice rolling her eyes showing us what she thinks of Peter’s nosiness served to show they really are cautious. It makes me think CBS is investing in the girls' story.

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10-20-06, 00:21 AM (EST)
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31. "RE: Comments"
Thanks for the encouragement Michel.

Last seasons theme was that the race was FUN!
And we saw the fun loving hippies win.

What's the theme if there is one for this season?
I'm not that big a fan of Mary & Davids, and maybe I'm trying to fit the editting to my conclusion, But if I were to say there was a Theme this season it would be "Perseverance".

I think a Perseverance theme could tie in with the Models - perseverance to overcome addiction.

I think a Perseverance theme could tie in with Sarah & Peter - Tri-althele overcomes a disability.

I think an ANTI-Perseverance theme could tie in with the Brothers - they are a young strong all male team that should be dominating but instead are acting like tourist, not racers.

I think we may have heard REPEATEDLY about Mary and her ankle because she pushed thru - persevered. They seem like the Tortoise in the Tortoise/Hare story. Slow but steady wins the race?

You make an excellent point in saying we should have seen other teams comment on their abilities. Based on past editting patters I think this is a very strong argument for Mary & David not winning. But, what if none of the other teams HAD anything positive to say about David & Marys abilities? I really doubt the other teams take Mary & David Seriously. It may well be that in confessionals, everyone's assement of David & Mary mirrors Sarah's - They shouldn't still be here! The editors wouldn't have much to feed us about David & Marys abilities, unless they maybe used post race interviews to talk up David & Marys abilities.

Having said all that, you are probably right. David & Mary at this point have to be judges as Dark Horse Candidates. Very, very long shots. Only time will tell.

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10-23-06, 02:50 AM (EST)
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32. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
Erwin and Godwin - Why are they trying so hard to keep David & Mary as well as Lyn & Karlyn in the game? It's got to be a strategy doesn't it? I mean they CLEARLY went out of their way to fool Dustin & Kandice into not going for the Fast Forward so that David & Mary could go for it unchallenged. It seems clear to me that they are helping the 2 teams that atleast on paper are the 2 weakest. Peter & Sarah at the end were so far behind that a 30 minute time penalty for David and Mary probably wouldn't have made a difference, But The brothers didn't know that early in the race. While I think this is strategy, It's interesting that we haven't heard it in confessionals from the brothers, they just say they are helping good people. So, why are the editors not telling us this strategy? Is it like Survivor where alliances revealed are doomed to fail? If so, does that say that this strategy works? Meaning one of these 3 teams - the brothers, the moms, Kentucky actually wins?

David and Mary - I'm not sure I saw enough of them this week to say anything one way or another. The only thing I guess that struck me was David talking about the childhood dream of being a firefighter. I don't know if this plays into the "getting out of the coal mine" quote or not. Maybe for him, this journy is about opeing his eyes to the posibility of life beyond the coal mines. Even if they don't win, a complete story for them could simply be after eliminated them saying now that they see how big the world is and Seeing what all they accomplished they will no longer "Settle" for the coal mines. I good positive story, but short of winning.

Dustin and Kandice - I continue to be impressed with them. Specifically in the 10 bags of 100lbs each. They seemed to handle this fairly well despite not filling the bags full initially. They seemed relatively unfazed by this task which left the Choi brothers looking Physically exhausted. But maybe the brothers were pressing harder being behind. But still. Too, when they need help they tend to stop and get it. Maybe their help is more helpful than others, but the seem to spend less time driving around aimlessly than some teams. Finally, I don't have it on tape to quote it exactly but I thought we again had a line about WOULDN'T IT BE SOMETHING IF A PAIR OF BEATY QUEENS WON THIAS THING. While If stated before, David & Mary are dark horse candidates for this season, I think the smart money is on Dustin & Kandice (atleast that's where I'd put MY money).

Lyn and Karlyn - I still haven't seen much from them. This week we saw them tell the guys in Kuwait not to help the Beauty Queens. Did that come across as strategic or Petty? From where I was sitting, I didn't think it cast them in a very positive light, especially considering how much help they have recieved so far. But, in their defense, I guess most of their help has come from the Brothers, not from the Beauty Queens - So, why should they feel compelled to help the Beauty Queens?

Tyler and James - To some degree they remind me of the Hippies last season in that they seem to be positive, upbeat, and never really snipe at each other. Normally 2 guys who work well together and remain positive are very dangerous. And I think these two guys are as well (finishing near the back of the pack recently a couple times is something to worry about however). Still, as I've said before, I think the recovering addict story has been played up to much for them to win. Having said that, I don't think they said anyting about being recovering addicts this episode, so maybe their story will begin to change. If I were to make a prediction now, I'd say they are probably going to meet a fate like the rodeo clowns a several seasons back - 2 basically good guys, who are pretty competitive in the race who get some bad luck with a connecting flight that doesn't, a taxi driver that goes on a tour of the country, or a simple confussion in directions that send them in the wrong direction like BJ & Tyler. However it happens - I just don't see these guys winning at this stage.

Rob and Kimberly - Nothing really to say regarding them. I don't have the episode on tape to rewatch it, and my impression of them this episode extends only to listening to them gripe.

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10-23-06, 09:23 PM (EST)
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33. "Episode #6: Helping Hands and Dirty Tricks!"
LAST EDITED ON 10-24-06 AT 08:10 AM (EST)

Mavs_fan, nice of you to get things started. After episode #1, I proposed that “The Race is Tough and you better be ready for Surprises” as the theme of the season. Last night’s “automatic” detour is the first fun task they’ve had up to now, a big difference to last season’s roller coasters, duck-boats and test driving Mercedes! Sorry if I repeat any of your latest comments but I write it all after rewatching the tapes to have it fresh as it was presented.

The latest episode was fast-paced compared to last week. There was little time for discussions, but we saw:

Helping Hands and Dirty Tricks.

The recap showed us the ill-fated alliance of Peter and Sarah with Dustin and Kandice. In an episode where alliances were so crucial, it made me wonder if it was only to prepare us for the tri-athletes’ downfall or does it have repercussions for the Blondes as well.

The opening quotes were equally revealing in Peter and Sarah’s case. Peter saying, “I’m confident we’re going to continue to do well. I think that even on our worst day, we are still better than most of the others in the pack.” A kiss of death if I ever heard one!

The Blondes again showed they are focused on the race, Dustin saying “When you come towards the front of the group, some people look at you and they are going to be jealous.” Kandice adding with a smile, “I don’t think anybody wants to be beaten by a couple of blonde girls!” Note that they haven’t won a single leg yet. You don’t suppose it could be foreshadowing, do you?

Tyler tells us, “Last leg, when we came in 6th place, it was like a dagger in the side for both of us, we had no idea we were in 6th place. We can’t stop, we can’t let up our guard for a moment.” Isn’t editing funny sometimes? Of course they said it, but in a confessional that probably lasted a few minutes, that was the one clip that made the show.

The Back Pack Alliance was in full force last night. The Cho Brothers told us right at the start that they were going to stick with “Alabama”. They sacrificed their chances of climbing out of last place so that Kentucky could avoid the penalty. Not only that, they impeded Dustin and Kandice with a good bluff, giving David and Mary all the time they needeed. Later, the Brothers helped Bama with some directions in the maze that was the Souk Al-Gharaballi. Such strong alliance tactics are unheard of in TAR so it makes it hard to analyze. The teams of Adam-Rebecca and Lake-Michelle used the yield to help a team they got along with, but it wasn’t part of a plan and it certainly wasn’t at their own immediate peril.

From what we’ve seen and heard, the only other team that reacted to the three teams sharing information was Peter in the important train sequence. An alliance that is revealed only by those in it isn’t usually successful. The ones that carry some of its participants to the end are talked about by others. Here, we aren’t made privy to those considerations. To analyze it, I am tempted to go back to the original Survivor season where players on one tribe didn’t want to play that way, while the Tagi-4 dominated the game. We did hear many concerns about the possibilities that an alliance had been formed. TAR isn’t Survivor but story telling does have certain guidelines, if you will. If the alliance was to roll over everyone, we should be hearing some teams showing concerns. Still, we have to consider the different possibilities:

1- The alliance doesn’t play any significant role other than outlasting the one team that expressed concerns about it. It did enable David and Mary to get further than the athletes as our observations of Peter’s rudeness to the nice couple had prepared us. The athletes’ navigational skills were so awful that an alliance wasn’t necessary in this leg, so its efficacy would be negligible.

2- A more substantial gain would be achieved if the alliance outlasts its main target; the Blondes. The conflict between Lyn, Karlyn and the Beauty Queens is approaching its paroxysm. The alliance could bring the girls down and maybe that was the reason for the nice edit the girls had. We will see that they were the victims of TAR’s first alliance.

3- The alliance strikes at the teams that don’t suspect a thing; the happy go lucky models and the conflicted couple. It would be a major coup.

Which is it? Maybe looking at how the teams are presented will help answering it.

David & Mary were grateful to the Cho Brothers who put their race on the line. They were sure to let Phil know it. Now that their parallel story to the athletes is over, it could be the end of their own, surprising, story. The Fast Forward was the occasion to hear a fun quote by Mary: “It’s like a Steven Seagal movie”. David again reflected on his life, his dream of being a firefighter and that the race is like turning dreams into reality. The editors took their time in showing their flaws along with their qualities because they knew this loveable but unathletic couple was going further than the power duo. It is a great ending to a story so we would be faced with possibility #1. There has been no signs that there is another chapter to their story, one more team leaving before them. If there is, then this race is presented in two acts and we’ll have some serious reassessments to make!

Erwin and Godwin have taken a chivalrous role, unselfishly relinquishing their chance at an easy win for the sake of nice people. They don’t talk about any underlying strategy. To get a better understanding, I went back to their pre-show interviews: “Erwin and Godwin are overachieving, super competitive brothers. They say they are fit and they are aware that stress will come into play and are ready to deal with it. They have fear of heights. They’re ready to use Plan A, B and C if needed. Plan A is to see if other teams are willing to form an alliance to get further but if it doesn’t work, they are ready to go at it alone.” It is an accurate portrayal except the super competitive part. Since no one, including themselves, mention them as candidates for the win, I still see them as nice guys who fall short…very nice guys!

Lyn and Karlyn announced the plan for the three teams to make it to the end. They have often been seen as mean racers and they certainly are no-nonsense women. Even if that has been softened somewhat, they almost kidnapped the potential helpers for the girls. They also received help from the brothers in the Souk, where they were directed to the right door. They still were in the back of the group until they practically stumbled on the detour. Interestingly, the brothers had given up going in that direction and asked for direction for the other detour, turning around without them.

When talking about Dustin and Kandice’s edit I may appear to be going overboard. If I’m listening to crickets for the next clue, please let me know! It is too late to retreat now but there as been a change in their edit. They flaunted their pageant titles at the travel agency in response to the “medical emergency” Peter invented. Their smiles may also have helped to get the pilot to tell them how to get to the Towers. They are starting to have really mean comments about the Moms. Is it simply reciprocity for the “sistahs'” bad behavior? If the answer is no, then obviously we must go with option #2. BJ and Tyler certainly were shown to have warts also when it came to MoJo, so option #1 is still viable.

On the positive side, we spend a lot of time with them in each episode. Last night’s stars, the Chos brothers, with their tricks and their fear of heights were the only ones that had as much airtime: We saw the lack of aggressivity they wanted to overcome when they abandoned their idea to go for the FF. We saw a dancing Kandice after the roadblock, We anguished along with them as they were desperately lost in the souk, making it look as if they were in danger of elimination when the Moms hadn’t even arrived yet. Contrary to other teams, Kandice was “awesome with maps.” Even most of Rob and Kimberly’s airtime was devoted to show that the girls couldn’t expect help from anyone, “Hide the clue” Rob urged Kimberly so the girls wouldn’t locate the right shop. Then, even at the detour, it was a confrontation between these two teams. Kimberley was right saying that they beat the girls but they didn’t keep their lead all the way to the pit stop. Sarah’s final confessional showed that last week’s “fierce competitors” comment came from their final briefing! It certainly is a good sign to have final words of one team inserted to compliment another. The previews for the last three weeks at least have featured them: The croc, the Moms urging their helper not to help the girls and now more conflicts and a car crash. Are they in danger? No, I don’t think so!

Tyler and James had recovered(!) nicely from their poor finish but once more they got lost and were slow to ask for help. They were close to panic until they also stumbled on the automatic detour after giving up the nightmare of looking for the manual one. They didn’t talk about their story but in an episode devoted to action, it doesn’t mean much. Their return to the bottom of the standings is more telling. They have to do what they promised they would do but didn’t deliver this time or else option #3 could surprise them.

Rob and Kimberly didn’t fight…as much! We heard good comments by Rob, understanding he is too dramatic and that sometimes it’s not good. They were only seen when others were around. Lack of airtime is worse than a bad edit. Even Rob's “Kimberly is fearless” comment climbing the Kuwait Towers was quickly negated by her “I’m stupid” while making the puzzle. The detour was proof that Rob can’t help but scream at Kimberley once per episode at least. To their credit, they reconcile at each pit stop. The lack of conflict with the alliance seems to indicate they will not fall to them.

So, if you ask which option will happen, I’ll answer #1 is more likely but the race can be full of surprises. Isn’t that part of the theme!

Philimination note: Even the Kuwaiti greeter didn’t want to see Peter!

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10-24-06, 00:13 AM (EST)
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34. "RE: Episode #6: Helping Hands and Dirty Tricks!"
I've just been lurking this thread - largely because your commentary is quite accurate. Fun reading!

A spooky tribephyl creation.

It's been one of the better and more interesting seasons so far, I think.

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37. "RE: Episode #6: Helping Hands and Dirty Tricks!"
I'm curious why you think the alliance is targeting the Blondes. I know that Lyn and Karlyn don't like them, but I can't recall seeing David and Mary or Erwin or Godwin saying anything bad about them. In a preview clip two weeks ago(that wasn't part of that Sunday night episode), Lyn and Karlyn were seen talking about knocking off one of the top contenders and shaking things up. I always assumed they were talking about Peter and Sarah. I can't remember if they refered to them by name or if I just made an assumption!
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10-24-06, 12:53 PM (EST)
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35. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
LAST EDITED ON 10-24-06 AT 12:54 PM (EST)

Erwin and Godwin - Why are they trying so hard to keep David & Mary as well as Lyn & Karlyn in the game? It's got to be a strategy doesn't it?

It's an excellent strategy if they can pull it off and keep their alliance together to the final three. Unlikely as that may be, they may as well stick with it as long as they can. Note that their big sacrifice (letting David and Mary have the FF) was at the first task of the leg, when it came to finding the second task they stuck with the 'Bama Mamas until they feared they were lost and pulled over to get directions. And that is part of their strategy as well, they are always looking for locals who can help them find their way, smart. Getting the police escort to the market pulled them out of last place, brilliant move.

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10-24-06, 03:21 PM (EST)
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36. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
There was a lot more action (and getting lost!) in this episode. I am thankful that Peter and Sarah were eliminated since their story took up so much time. Now we can concentrate on figuring out the finalists.

Dustin and Kandice ran another good leg. They continue to get a positive edit, although the tone changed slightly. Kandice was dancing with joy “that was so much fun” after climbing the water tower, and she was still smiling after the camel feed roadblock, “that was the most horrible task.” But they were referred to as “beauty queens” in the recap (instead of by name) and then were seen telling the travel agents that they were Miss CA and Miss NY. Was this is the first time they played up the fact they were Miss Americas or is it the first time we’re seeing it? Dustin had a memorable quote, “it’s tough when the sistas are big pigs and taking all the help when they could just move on.” I viewed that as reflecting poorly on Lyn and Karlyn. It was also balanced out by Kandice’s concern for Sarah climbing the water tower. Their edit changed slightly this episode, but for them to win, we can’t see them as “too good to be true.” I detested BJ and Tyler for a few episodes last season (they actually were never quite redeemed in my mind). At the detour, Dustin and Kandice once again didn’t read the clue closely enough. They can’t keep doing that!

James and Tyler had another poor showing mostly due to bad luck but they kept their calm. Their personalities were expanded a bit. They were cocky at the beginning – James said “Look no hands.” Sarah and Kandice called him a “total show-off.” Then when Godwin called to Erwin, “You’re not going home.” James said, “Yes, you are Chos.” This was probably just to foreshadow their poor place this leg, but it also fleshed them out without mentioning their addiction story.

David and Mary won the fast forward. David’s quote, “I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter. It’s like you really were fighting a fire and were somebody important for five minutes. It takes your childhood dream and turns it into reality,” is another piece of their story. I just don’t know if it signals the end of their arc or indicates the continuation of their “impossible dream.”

Erwin and Godwin helped David and Mary get the fast forward by bluffing that they were also going. I have a new found respect for them. They did what they thought was right even though it was a risk. They also helped Lyn and Karlyn before taking off on their own. I think that’s the first time we’ve seen them decide to go it alone. Mary spoke glowingly about the Cho brothers, “the most amazing people you’ll ever meet,” but she doesn’t talk about the race itself. Racing with an alliance is a new side to TAR and it could still take them far.

Lyn and Karlyn’s and Rob and Kim’s time was almost all negative. Lyn and Karlyn fought with Dustin and Kandice, and came out looking petty and complaining. “That’s not fair, that’s not right. The Blondies should run their own race.” How ironic when it is Lyn and Karlyn getting help from the Chos! Kim snarled at Rob in the marketplace and showed her ignorance of what a mosque is. I loved the “boing” sound the editors put in after her, “what’s a mask, whatever” statement!

Michel, that was a good catch noticing Sarah’s red shirt in Ha Long Bay since we saw two more confessionals from that day in this episode! Sarah was wearing that red shirt in her confessional after climbing the water tower, “I looked down and I did that.” I knew she was talking about the rock climbing and not the water tower. I thought, okay, they’re definitely gone now!

As James said, “We’re still alive. Anything can happen….”

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10-24-06, 06:23 PM (EST)
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38. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
LAST EDITED ON 10-24-06 AT 06:31 PM (EST)

>I'm curious why you think
>the alliance is targeting
>the Blondes. I know that
>Lyn and Karlyn don't like
>them, but I can't recall
>seeing David and Mary or
>Erwin or Godwin saying
>anything bad about them.

Good Question CTgirl: The Back Pack alliance also included Tom and Terry who definitely didn't want the Beauty Queens to win the contest. Dave was shown to disapprove of the girls during the argument at the ticket counter. Mary, when describing the alliance, said that she was happy to have the "Nice girls" Jamie and Kelly in the alliance, implying the other girls weren't nice. Erwin and Godwin blocked the Blondes' passage to the Fast Forward. Because Peter told the girls about the alliance, that is the fight we see. We've seen absolutely no interaction between members of the alliance and T/J or R/K. That would make T/J or R/K almost collateral damage of the battle!

> Dustin
>had a memorable quote, “it’s
>tough when the sistas are
>big pigs and taking all
>the help when they could
>just move on.” I
>viewed that as reflecting poorly
>on Lyn and Karlyn.

I see it as terrible from Dustin. Only because the Moms haven't been nice can it pass...maybe.

>As James said, “We’re still alive.
> Anything can happen….”

I hope they do better with their second try out of 6th place! Yes, it is a good quote.

Thanks Cahaya, don't hesitate to post your thoughts!

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10-29-06, 01:16 AM (EST)
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39. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
You know, the more I think about it, the more I like the Brothers strategy of teaming up with weak teams.

A number of people particularly in Fanatics on the love list thread have told the boys "Come on! Pick it up. This is a RACE after all." And, I've felt the same way about their game up to this point. I've said I thought they were acting like tourist rather than racers.

But, as in many races there are qualifying heats before the final race. Racers usually aren't required to WIN their heat. They just have to finish better than the cutt off for advancement. So, if in the qualifying heat, a strong racer only needs to finish in the top 4 to advance, a strong racer will exert himself just enough to be sure they finish 4th or better. When watching track meets, you will often times see the better runners going 80% (or whatever rather it takes) than running flat out just to get thru the qualifiers. If they find themselves in danger of not making the cutoff in a qualifying heat, they WILL THEN pour on the effort.

I think Thats what Erwin/Godwin have figured out. Each leg EXCEPT the final leg are just qualifying heats. As long as they don't finish LAST they advance. So, we are seening these self described COMPETITIVE brothers giving 80% effort. Sure there are trips or whatever to win if they finish 1st in a leg. But they aren't there for the Trip to Tahiti. They are there for the million dollars. If giving an 80% effort advances them in the game and allows them to drag along weaker teams, all the better.
Erwin/Godwin don't want to tip their hand so they talk about helping teams they like. Helping salt of the Earth People. They aren't doing it because they are NICE! They are doing it because they are VERY COMPETITIVE! They are trying to win this overall, not some meaningless leg!

They game for the most part is structured. There's going to be 2 tasks, then the Pitstop. They KNOW if they haven't had a task yet, there's time to help Bama & Kentucky. If they are on the way to the 2nd task (provided they aren't towards the back of the field), there's time to help BAMA & Kentucky. Once they get to the 2nd task, they have to evaluate how far or ahead they think they and their 2 anchors are. Are they in the front, back or near the back of the pack? If near the front or the middle, they have time to help BAMA & Kentucky. BUT if they are having trouble finding the 2nd task, or believe themselves to be near the back of the pack at the second task - it's time to drop the achors and pour it on. As we saw them do when they were having trouble finding the 2nd task. If they just wanted to help their anchors, they would have stopped BAMA, secured new directions and continued on together. BUT THEY DIDN'T. They Knew the clock was ticking, and they were potentially falling further and further back in the pack as they searched for the 2nd task. They couldn't know that Peter and Sarah or any of the other teams were lost as well. But the point is THEY CUT LOOSE BAMA because they were afraid they were potentially falling further and further behind.

I'm more convinced than ever that this is a BRILLIANT strategy by the brothers. Although it may not pay off for them. But I absolutely believe it to be their strategy. How Ironic would it be if BAMA finds out about a flight and choose not to share it with Erwin/Godwin? A possible reason for BAMA to get a Selfish edit after Erwin/Godwin helping them?

Maybe the Brothers haven't told the producers their strategy during confessionals for fear the info would be used to ask probing questions of Bama & Kentucky. Or Maybe the Brothers have told the producers their strategy in cofessionals, but the producers have chosen not to show us, because as we know from Survivor, A strategy revealed is sure to fail.

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10-29-06, 12:41 PM (EST)
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40. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
That is exactly how I thought of the Cho brothers. They are smart enough to know that there is more than one way to win. You explained it better than I could. They are brilliant and are playing the game their way.
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10-29-06, 11:59 PM (EST)
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41. "Tonights Episode 10/29/06"
I hope you don't mind that I started this topic this week. I just have some really interesting thoughts going on in my head at the moment about the editing in this film.

Again sorry for the bad spelling and grammar. You should all get the concept if I can explain it right. Now on to the editing.

Erwin and Goodwin - They admitted at the beginning of the show that they were not making an alliance to drag the "weaker" teams into the final three. They are their friends and they are trying to help them advance further into the race. But I think the producers are liking this strategy and not letting it slip to us audience members of their strategy. I think the other teams are aware of this and are afraid of them as you can tell by Tyler and James confessional.

David and Mary - They said if it came down to the million dollars or friendship they will choose the friendship, well mary said it this episode. But David doesn't like to give up on the task. I think if they had stuck with the salt task they made of made the bama moms come in last place getting the non-elimination leg. So Im still wondering if they are going to stick with Alabama or not. But I think they will stick with the Cho's has much as possible.

Lynn and Karyln - Their in this to win. They will not wait if the other teams are to far behind. I think they are using this has an advantage to help them get further. I mean they even said. If it came down to it, we will break the alliance, we are all in it for ourself. So could this be a new story for the chapter of the alliance of the back pack.

Back Pack Alliance - I called this the back pack alliance because I think this a new chapter to the amazing race about can weaker teams win a physical and mental race. That is challenging in both. Or is it the story about friendship and how strong an alliance can go becore it breaks loose? I think this is opening up a new editting pattern.

Tyler and James - I have a feeling the editors are trying to make them look good in some. But into tonights episode. They were as bad as the Barbies and Bama moms in the villians roll has not being resourceful. Also we learned that are a victim of the "six pack" elimination to knock out the weaker teams. So is it poosible Tyler and James could be sneaky and break up the alliance some how or is a new chapter opening up for them as well? We know thier not good with direction and they can manage to come back when their seems to be a bunching point. What are the editors trying to tell us?

Dustin and Kandice - I think the editors are trying to show the first all female team to win the race. They have been able to accomplish almost every task and came close to being eliminated once due to lack of reading a clue. But since that incident. They have managed to stay in in the top three these past few legs. The editors are showingw us this team is in it to win. And their only their for themselves.

Rob and Kimberly - They have the villian edit. At least she isn't a flow.

Final Thoughts - From the stand point in the editing film I think the "six pack" chapter is coming to a ending point or its just a beginning in eliminating all possible threats for the final three teams. If the editors are making it that allaiances can make it to the final three then it will coem down to the Lynn/Karyln, David/Mary and Erwin/Goodwin if not, it will come down to the outer alliances team.

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10-30-06, 01:23 AM (EST)
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42. "RE: Tonights Episode 10/29/06"
Bama continues to get a "selfish edit" I think. Not only are they arguing with Tyler/James & Dustin/Kandice, they are also talking about looking out for number one. While I don't really have an issue with looking out for number one, I think it stands is stark contrast to Mary's comments, and Edwin/Godwins edit that is to say, their own alliance memebers.

Mary has let the friendship become more important than winning the race, and maybe this is because deep down, she knows she and David aren't in the same league as most of the theams that are left. But, while Mary has let friendship get in the way of running the best race she can, Edwin/Godwn have too I think. While I believe it was their plan to drag along the 2 weakest teams, I think they have genuine come to like their alliance partners. At the end of this episode atleast 1 of the brothers was clearly crying after they reunited with Kentucky.

I don't know if Bama outlasts Kentucky, the Brothers or both. But I believe they have to outlast atleast one of them.

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10-30-06, 01:50 PM (EST)
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43. "RE: Tonights Episode 10/29/06"
I also think this show is a turning point for all future TARs if the show survives the All-Stars Edition.

1) For the first time we have seen a true alliance that has lasted more than two legs and has benifited it's members. Alliances just can't last in the last legs of the race, but future TARs may well start with more alliances than we have seen in the past. Note: because some teams will never mesh, so I still expect most alliances in the future to still be short-lived - but I expect more will spring up in the first two legs than we have seen in the past.

2) Even if Dustin and Kandice do not win they have set a clear example that an all-girl team can win the race. They work well together and treat each other as equals. Could this be cause they are both winning state beauty queens. Most all-girls teams seem to me to break up be both are fight each other for control, these girls don't seem to have to prove themselves to each other and work well. Plus, a big plus they are both in shape and don't waste time trying to use their looks to come out ahead. I don't mean that they don't try to use men thru thier looks, but rather when it does not work they drop that appoach and try something else. Too many younger girl teams have depended too much on thier sex-appeal, rather than them own abilities.

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10-30-06, 10:49 PM (EST)
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44. "One OR All and All for One"
Beau: It's nice of you to have started the discussion. I agree the edit has changed for the alliance. Along with you and mavs, I think the Moms are the key. ECP, we've discussed before and you may remember that I certainly think a female team can win. This team, like so many other, have similar qualities and could lack complementarity but they could do it. Here is what I saw last night:

One OR All and All for One.

Is it better to race on your own or is it better to stay aligned? Can an alliance survive the stress of the race? Phil himself asked the question right at the start. Is the alliance serving only one team?. The alliance is a huge part of the season and everyone commented on it finally. The three outsiders had run-ins with the 6-pack but beat them all to the mat. If the alliance is to serve only one member, we would expect it to be the Chos but who is really looking out for their own profit? Those are the questions that were raised in last night’s episode. Do we have clues to answer them?

Dustin and Kandice leave El-Sadikh telling us: “It really is dog-eat-dog. Each team is out there for themsleves. To say you have an alliance…Only 1 team is going to step on the mat at a time. I think the other teams are going to do what’s best for them…We are also. You have to, if you want to stay in the race. ”

Our smart navigators realize that the transfer to London doesn’t make sense on the surface but finally realize it is the only way to get to Mauritius. Maybe wanting to play with one of the alliance member’s nerves, they try to get tickets for Tyler and James. “It isn’t in our best interest to help Tyler and James but we would really like the Bama Moms to leave today,” confides Kandice. That piece of trickery offends both Lyn and Karlyn. When the Barbies repeat the request to have the boys get the same tickets, Karlyn really gets into it, telling Kandice she can’t help the others and berating the teller for letting the guys get in front, since they were next in line. Neither team had a nice portrayal but it showed their fiery characters. Is it something to worry about that the girls forgot about their best interest? “She got in your grill” said Dustin. “I know”, replied Kandice, “we’re not going to miss their friendship because there was never a friendship to begin with.” This confrontation hasn’t reached its climax yet and the girls continued to get a less than shining edit. We wouldn’t be surprised if they were to be yielded by someone in the alliance. Could it be their demise? The rest of their leg however was very good, they were the stars of the second half hour.

On the way to Grand Baie and the “Isle Mauritia” schooner that Dustin finds pretty cool, they wish R/K weren’t following them. They are first in Grand Baie. The swim is a nice work out and gave them a nice little lead. We heard Dustin say: “Bama and Kentucky didn’t look too strong back there…Where is the 6-Pack now?” This uneccessary shot is something to remember also. Should we hear them mocking the alliance and not worry about what may happen in the future? At the moment, they finally got R/K off their tail and tell us they are happy to be on their own…until they crash. Even the car accident didn’t wipe the smile off their face for long and they reach the Case Noyale post office first. They wisely take the “sea” detour fearing that a search task could kill their chances. Studying the map they make their plans and then find some time to chill, lying in the boat. The treasure hunt made them feel like Indiana Jones but they are nervous that no one else was doing this detour. Their worries are short lived because, even if they didn’t see T/J and R/K, they spot the Chos and Bama, noting that Lyn doesn’t have a friendly bone in her and she should take her “happy pills.” They reach the Chateau Bel Ombre and Phil first and get scooters as prize. Phil tells them they could take a passenger out on a date. Dustin is quick to ask Phil if she can take him. That got an interested eyebrow!

They could certainly be the first female team to win. They have been featured in so many legs that they have to reach the final 4. They are once more the feature of the next preview. The nasty comments we are now being allowed to hear could be a sign that we are being prepared to see them go, maybe due to a yield.

Tyler and James leave the pit stop saying: “The 6-Pack alliance is built on sort of a house of cards. Because everyone is looking out for themselves and someone has got to go…The alliance can only last so long”

Tyler doesn’t appreciate Karlyn’s “conscience” remark and tells her she is tripping and that she should swallow a pill. If she can’t say something smart then she should shut up. James tells him to let it go but Tyler needs to give us one more rant: “Bama’s b*tching about us not playing by the rules which is crap because they are jealous. They are whiny @sses”

First out of the plane to go for Grand Baie, James tells us they should ask for direction since “We never get it right.” These bad navigators reach the swimming challenge in last place. Arriving at Grand Baie they ask the Chos in which position they are in. Hearing the Chos say they were third, Tyler thinks it means they didn’t stick with the 6-Pack. Godwin is quick to disillusion him by telling him their allies are in the water. James then explains what he sees as the Chos’ strategy: “Aligning with the weaker teams so they can take the stronger teams out and take two of the weaker teams to the final three.” (That made me think of mavs and Estee! It was about time that the subject was mentioned). The Chos negate that: “A cynical person might think that we are keeping them around because they are weaker than the other teams. We do it because if we stick together, we can be stronger than the teams that tend to fend for themselves.”

They take another wrong turn on the way to Case Noyale and, despite Tyler being “snickety” Rob’s car trouble get them to Case Noyale in 5th place. They also chose the salt detour, wasting time before following the dysfunctional couple to the sea. After finding their sails James tell us jokingly that the 6-Pack is now the Back Pack. They finish “back on top” in second place. I wouldn’t say that was a solid second place however and doesn’t remove doubts we’ve had regarding their final victory. If it were to happen, they would more or less appear to stumble in first place judging from their last three legs.

Kimberley tells us, “I feel it’s time for me to take control of the team. If I’m assertive about it, he does trust me and will take my word for it.” Rob agrees, “ Kimberly is thinking “survival mode”. It is awesome to see her in that situation, she is thriving.”

They get into it with Kentucky who don’t give them any help. They realize the 6-Pack won’t be any help. That was the extent of their interactions with the alliance.

Upon arriving in Mauritius, they “have no idea” of which directions to take to reach Grand Baie but decide to follow the blondes, wondering if they are willing to help. Another fun scene splicing since we had just heard the Blondes were trying to lose them! Kimberly once more shows her athletic abilities reaching the schooner first but had to wait for Rob. That gets them second on the way to Case Noyale. This is where their natural dispositions return. The transmission problems causes Rob to loose his cool and he threatens to quit. Waiting for the replacement car got them in last place and causes more comments: “It’s hard to enjoy the scenery when you are stressing out” said Rob. Kim answers: “This isn’t a vaca…This is a competition.” They were first to realize the difficulty of the “salt” detour and that enabled them to get back in second place to which Rob comments: “It’s amazing how this game flips.” They dropped back in third but this team has had too many good finishes not to make it to the end. Having a story about their conflicts is also a sign that they are here to stay. They are a very typical TAR couple after all.

Lyn and Karlyn are the no-nonsense competitors in the 6 pack, the ones that may profit the most from this alliance because they are in it for their own good. “The alliance is fine, but we know where to draw the line between the race and the friendship.” Karlyn, showing her mean streak says: “I’m not gonna bow down so that my friends will win. I told them not to put yourself out for me because I’m not going to do the same for you.”

The conflict with the Barbies is reaching new heights and they don’t back down from the boys either. After the heated discussion about the girls helping the boys, Karlyn can’t let it go and lays a guilt trip on the boys asking Tyler “If you can live with that on your conscience.”

The editors had a a lot of fun splicing comments one on top of the others in this episode. The most telling was Karlyn’s saying they will go ahead without waiting only seconds after we had heard both Kentucky and the Chos saying they had to wait for Bama. Lyn wanted to tell Kentucky and the Chos the direction to take to which Karlyn dubiously asked “Why?” “Courtesy” replied the friendly one. Hearing Karlyn giving no sympathy for Rob and Kimberley when their car broke down came immediately after the Chos expressed being sorry at their plight. It also showed the difference between the teams in the 6-Pack.

These women are competitors however outmatched physically they appear. Their conflicts need to be solved and it could come to a showdown once the alliance is split up. What are good signs for them is that we see they get along with their friends, Lyn’s nice demeanor counter-balances Karlyn’s mean streak. They are racing to win and we know why they NEED to win. This team isn’t leaving yet. They can’t win but could very well outlast the alliance.

Erwin tells us, “The concept of alliance is working for us. We sacrificed…for help later. The more we can help Alabama and Kentucky move forward, the more we’ll have help down the line.” This is classic foreshadowing. The Chos have a one-dimensional edit, they are simply the good guys. The Moms have a more complete edit and are looking out for themselves. It makes me think the Chos will regret these words when the help isn’t returned. It could very well be All for One; the one being the Moms

The Chos spend most of the episode helping Bama and Kentucky, which makes me wonder what they think of Bama’s comments upon viewing the episodes. For strong guys, they needed to take a breather in the schooner whereas the Barbies and R/K got back in the water quickly. All their story was about the alliance and if not for Kentucky’s words, I’d say they would be the next ones to be eliminated.

David and Mary tell us, “We’ve made friends in this race that are well worth a million dollars or more…We would sacrifice this race for the friends I’ve made…We are now the six-pack. We are no longer the Back-Pack. The Back-Pack sounds so negative, so losers. We are not losers, we are the 6-Pack.”

Having bought their tickets, they wait for their friends but see Rob and Kimberly first. Mary advises her husband not to help them. David was smiling when he told Mary that Rob was mad at him. That had her laughing. “We’re mean” joked David.

Swimming in Grand Baie wasn’t fun but Mary certainly looked funny wearing her life jacket practically over her head! We once more saw just how much they are outmatched and even if David didn’t want to be a quitter, they had to change detours. They had finished last once because of a tedious detour in which Mary had refused to switch to the crocodile wrestling. This time she bugged David until he relented and changed detour. There is some symmetry to their story. Mary always has her way.

We heard them say that they had to wait for Bama a few times, each time Bama saying they won’t wait for anyone. They were given a third chance but their story is over. They will not want to outlast any of their alliance buddies and probably cannot overcome the other teams either, being marked for elimination and no Fast forward to save them this time.

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CTgirl 7073 desperate attention whore postings
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10-31-06, 08:04 AM (EST)
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45. "RE: Tonights Episode 10/29/06"
All the talk of alliances – pro and con – took center stage over the tasks this week. The producers didn’t even show the roadblock! Everyone is affected by the Back Pack, now Six Pack, Alliance and it influenced every stage of the race.

Starting with Mary’s opening quote “In a heartbeat, I would sacrifice this race for the friends I made. We’re now the Six Pack, Back Pack sounds so negative and losers. We’re not losers, we’re a team.” The alliance has made her lose sight of their original goal which was to win the million dollars and get out of the coal mine. At the end of the race, Mary states “When I get there, I’m going to wait on the ‘Bama girls.” This contrasts with Lyn and Karlyn who said at the beginning of the race, “Our alliance is fine. We know where to draw the line between the race and friendship. It’s not like we’re going to bow down and not run the race and let our friends win. I tell them don’t put yourself out for me because I’m not going to do it for you.” This was echoed at the end of the race, “I doubt they’ll wait. I don’t expect them to. I wouldn’t.” Erwin and Godwin’s interpretation of the alliance falls in between, “the concept of alliance is working for us. We sacrificed something when we gave the Fast Forward to Kentucky…the more we can help Alabama and Kentucky now, the more we’ll have help down the line.” In the end, they said, “we’ll all probably run, I hope no one takes it personally. It’s just the way it is.” You can see the potential for disaster for them as they now all have a different interpretation of their alliance. Lyn and Karlyn are in it for themselves and could outlast their alliance.

The Six Pack alliance has turned the attention of all the other racers on them and could force them to work together at times. Dustin and Kandice tried to help Tyler and James at the airport. “It’s not in our best interests to help them, but we’d really like ‘Bama to go today.” Rob and Kim discuss the possibility of aligning with Dustin and Kandice but decide the Blondes don’t want help. Rob says, “It’s everybody for themselves.” The none-six pack alliance can’t help but look at themselves as a group. James said, “Looks like our pack is the top pack and the Six Pack is the back pack” at the pit stop. When Dustin and Kandice took a different way to Case Noyale they said, “Happy to be our own.” I think that signified more than losing Rob and Kim’s tail. They don't want to be part of an alliance. At the beginning of the race the Blondes and the Models voiced similar sentiments about the alliance. Both teams think that at the end each team is out for themselves and only one team can step on the mat at a time and that is how Tyler, James, Dustin and Kandice (and Rob and Kim) will race. I think at least one Six Pack alliance will outlast a team from the “other pack,” but the nature of their alliance is doomed to fail eventually. The editing this week seems to point that way.

There is a great montage of clips that starts when Kandice and Dustin are in the car driving to Case Noyale that visualizes the alliance in action. It’s really funny. The Blondes comment, “’Bama and Kentucky didn’t look so strong out there. Where’s your Six Pack now?” is interspersed with a shot of Mary with her life jacket around her ears. Then James comments on the Cho brothers’ strategy, “they’re obviously aligning with the weaker teams to take out the stronger teams and take the two weaker teams to the final three.” The models jump in the water and say, “Let’s see if we can catch up with them.” (They almost do.) Godwin “replies” with, “A bitter and cynical person might think we’re keeping them around because they’re ‘weaker,’ but if we stick together we can be stronger than those who tend to fend for themselves only.” Then we see a shot of Lyn, Karlyn and Mary struggling to swim to shore. Tyler and James then say, “You wanna go home? No! Let’s catch them!” The visuals of the women struggling shows how this alliance won’t succeed. Rob and Kim were not seen or heard at all in this montage of events.

There was so much talk about alliances that you need to sift through what was shown or not shown to see how it reflects on each team. David and Mary’s story is coming to an end. Their story was about the experience, the people they’ve met and the friends they’ve made. Mary has stated that friendship is more important than winning, and they are marked for elimination yet again. I think Rob and Kim’s story could also be coming to an end. At the beginning of the leg, they were the only team who didn’t comment on the alliance, Kim talked about taking control and that when she’s assertive Rob trusts her. Rob commented that Kim is in survival mode and in this situation is thriving and she’s awesome. There were no more comments about needing to chill or communicate better. They’ve come to terms with each other. They had no other confessionals during the race. Lyn and Karlyn have replaced Rob and Kim as the villains! Lyn who seems like a nice, calm and rational person was barely heard from, but we heard numerous nasty comments from Karlyn. She had an altercation with Tyler at the airport where neither of them looked good, but the focus was on her. She wasn’t sympathetic when Rob and Kim’s car broke down and Dustin commented that she doesn’t have a friendly bone in her body. Karlyn did, however, make the wisest comment by anyone in the Six Pack alliance, “At least one of us should be ahead. It makes no sense for us all to be behind.” If they get a lead, they could break away from the alliance first. Erwin and Godwin are technically in the best position of the Six Pack Alliance. They are the strongest team and they can outrun the other two teams to the mat. It is a positive sign when another team comments on your strategy, but the visuals mentioned before don’t help it to carry much weight.

Tyler and James’s edit is a bit murkier for me. A mean streak emerged when Tyler acted immature arguing with Karlyn and then called them names. James had a confessional where he calls Tyler “snickety,” but knows that Tyler just wants him to do the best job possible. At the pit stop, they comment “Back on top!” I’m not sure what the producers what us to think of this team. At lot of time has been spent showing them getting lost. Does this affect their end game or are they hiding something?

There were two quotes at the pit stop which stood out to me – Dustin saying to Kandice, “Get your run on,” (foreshadowing that they’ll make it to the final three?) And Mary saying, “No doubt in my mind we have an alliance to the final three,” (not going to happen!)

Side note: I loved how Phil quirked his face when he was describing the motor scooter they won to the girls, “…and you can take a date for a ride…” When Dustin replied, “Can I take you, Phil?” I thought for sure he was going to say something about the accident. That had to be going through his mind, it was mine!

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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10-31-06, 06:25 PM (EST)
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46. "What if we're wrong?"
LAST EDITED ON 10-31-06 AT 06:31 PM (EST)

CTgirl, when something is stated clearly it helps us to understand. This passage from your post has made me look at things differently:

"Rob and Kim were not seen or heard at all in this montage of events...At the beginning of the leg, they were the only team who didn’t comment on the alliance, Kim talked about taking control...Rob commented that Kim is in survival mode...she’s awesome."

I looked back at my notes on them and here is a quick run-down by episodes:
1) Villains that recovered from being in the second plane. Erwin tells Rob: "Your girl's got game."
2) They have strange teamwork but it gets results. They demonstrate that the race is difficult.
3) They have little face time but continue to fight. They form the "buddy alliance."
4) They win the leg despite their fights but Phil doesn't comment on pulling through.
5) They aren't involved in the train interactions. She complains of the smelly bus.
Then a change:
6) Rob tells us he is too dramatic. They practically don't fight. They have no conflicts with the alliance.
7) Kim takes control. Rob argues with the lame Kentuckians but contrary to Peter's comments, David lets us know he was mean! They honk to try to show the girls the way. Rob has a great comment: "it is amazing how this game flips."

Their edit has changed. Certainly we had the threat of quitting and the arguments but that could be trivial in the editor's eyes. Kim is now more in charge and she's "got game". She is as fit as Dustin and Kandice. Her wall climb and her swim were impressive.

What about their lack of airtime and their negative edit? The lack of airtime could be due to the shroud that the Peter/Sarah vs David/Mary story put over the winner's story. The negative edit could be like some of the prior winners. Maybe someone felt a popular winner isn't necessary after all. If so, then I owe an apology to Ceedee who first saw that they could be winners in this thread.

If they do win, what is their story? They're the team that has the least conflicts with the alliance. They had an alliance with T/J and wanted an alliance of circumstances with the girls. Still they have run their own race for the most part. Maybe that is the message: A 6-Pack style alliance could turn the race into a joke, the producers may not want it to become the accepted strategy. Punctual alliances like R/K have used is fine but this is a race and we should have a full-fledged competition.

From the 6-Pack: Is the separate edit that Lyn receives from Karlyn enough to show them as winners? That I have big doubts and their physical limitations increases them. The Chos are too nice and Kentucky's story is over.

We've seen enough bad navigation from Tyler and James to create the required suspense so that we couldn't say "I knew that the young guys would win" if they do. They have very little story to offer so I don't see them as winners.

I still think Dustin and Kandice have great editing pointers even if we've been shown increasing negativity. We'll find our winners in either the girls team or the intense couple, I'd say. I still have my money on the girls but, like mavs said, it could be what I want to see!

We still have a lot to figure out!

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11-01-06, 00:05 AM (EST)
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47. "RE: What if we're wrong?"
I don't think their edit has changed much, sometimes there's just not much of a story to tell. Granted though, Rob and Kimberly are a solid race team, and their antics can be entertaining (sometimes even amusing). But why go there when we've seen it all before and there's so much more interesting things happening?

I thought David's "we're mean" comment was meant to be humor not an admission (and, let's face it, Rob and Kimberly getting mad at the worst team still in the race for not helping them out when they really didn't need any help at all, that was both funny and painted Rob and Kimberly in a bad light). And that situation was later counterposed by the Beauty Queens; as Dustin and Kandice were sailing back from the small island they passed the Sixpack sailing out, the Chos and Bamas ignored the Beauties but Kentucky waved and were cordial and the Beauties admitted they really did like Kentucky.

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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11-01-06, 08:27 AM (EST)
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48. "RE: What if we're wrong?"
I agree, David's comment was done jokingly but the editors gave us an "excuse" for Rob calling them lame. It also gave Dave the last word.

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CTgirl 7073 desperate attention whore postings
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11-01-06, 12:36 PM (EST)
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49. "RE: What if we're wrong?"
What if we’re wrong? Just because it was Halloween, you didn’t have to scare me like that, Michel! Seriously, I gave a lot of thought to what you said and I’ll say “maybe…,” and I’ll certainly be looking at them closely in the next episode.

I commented on Rob and Kim’s exclusion because I thought their story was over next after David and Mary’s. I viewed their edit as a redemptive one since Lyn and Karlyn’s edit took their spotlight. We haven’t seen or heard much from Rob and Kim in the past two episodes. For them to be winners I would have expected a better-rounded edit. They are nice people who fight while under stress. You could show that sympathetically. We’ve seen their fighting, but we haven’t seen much of their nicer side. I know it exists because they’ve always been empathetic when other racers have had problems. But the producers have chosen to emphasize their fighting, and have showed Kim to be insensitive and for lack of a better word, dumb. We hear her asking inane questions like, “Can I get diseases from dirty water?,” “What’s a junk?,” “Is that a homeless cow?,” the mask/mosque incident, etc., but no emphasis has been put on her achievements – her athleticism, competitiveness and focus. Personally, as a viewer, I would expect better from my winners because I think it exists. Perhaps the last episode was not a redemptive edit to be eliminated, but to be winners, and their edit will become more positive. A few episodes ago I was convinced they were final 3 and said so in my post! This week Rob’s comment, “It’s amazing how the game flips” stood out in my mind and I wondered at the time if this referred to their game or someone else’s. I have discounted them the entire race and haven’t taken them seriously. Their edit has reinforced that with sound effects, music and close-ups of Rob’s reactions. Their edit changed last week and it will be interesting to see where it goes. How ironic would it be if they won after Phil said in the first episode which combination of brains, brawn and teamwork would win and to be prepared for surprises – a win by them would be a surprise!

At this point, if Rob and Kim could emerge as winners, other than Kentucky, any of the teams could too. Erwin and Godwin are the least likely. Their story has been about their friendship/alliance with the six pack, and the producers showed us last week what they think of that! I think if Lyn and Karlyn were to win, we’d hear more from Lyn. She is intelligent and articulate; Karlyn is just a pill (no matter how you edit her, that won’t change!). However their story is far from finished. In the beginning they spoke about how their children would be so proud of them (and I thought it was just because they climbed the Great Wall and rode a horse, now we know they’re going to be very proud of how they’ve beaten the odds and survived in the race as long as they have). They’ve had altercations with the Blondes and the Models and the death of the alliance is yet to come. You can’t discount Tyler and James since they have been portrayed as fighters. I still think Dustin and Kandice’s edit is mirroring BJ and Tyler’s – almost too good to be true in the beginning and then add a negative side. However I don’t like that Phil asked them if they’re going to be the first female winners and Kandice said, “Yes.” No waffling or “I hope” or “we’ll try.” That segment struck me as wrong.

Whatever happens with Rob and Kim, the end of TAR 10 is going to be more exciting and interesting than last season! We have several teams that could emerge, not two teams dominating, and “we still have a lot to figure out!”

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11-06-06, 06:57 PM (EST)
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50. "Episode #8 "He Can't Swim, But He Can Eat Cow's Lips""
This episode watched the demise of one alliance and the birth of another, but I thought the real stars of the show were Dustin and Kandice and Erwin and Godwin and how the intersection divided the groups.

Dustin and Kandice were portrayed well again, although a little bit cocky. The recap pointed out that they made a smart decision at the detour and surged ahead. Their first confessional talked about wanting to work alone which was key since Rob and Kim and Tyler and James officially declared themselves an alliance. “We’re not in this to have friends. We’re in it to win. We know that we probably turn people off. We’re going to be as kind as we can to everyone in the process of being competitive and running our best race. We can break free from these teams and run. We can go much faster if we don’t have an alliance.” I thought that was a great quote. Dustin and Kandice just summed up the spirit of The Amazing Race. Later, the models called them “the damn Blondes,” and that they don’t trust them. But I viewed that as said in the spirit of competition; they respect them as racers. It wasn’t negative because D/K weren’t even at the intersection then. They were a little sneaky at the beginning of the race when they left the car that they’d banged up, but we heard them checking that it was okay to take another car. Then Kandice laughing was spliced in between Karlyn complaining about it, but I had pretty much forgotten about the incident by the end of the hour. Dustin and Kandice made a very smart decision at the intersection to wait for the Chos and then approach them quickly before the brothers had a chance to take David and Mary under their wing. The Blondes were very happy with their partners, and a little love fest ensued. Godwin: “If you make it up in the mattresses, all is forgotten.” (A little unintentional double entendre there!!) Kandice: “You’re going to be happy to be on our side and we’re going to be happy to be on your side. We’re all happy.” Erwin: “You guys are tough.” Erwin alludes to the fact that the Blondes have an edge because of their looks and Kandice, in a confessional, acknowledges that it helps. This is a positive sign if someone else is talking about their looks as a strategy as opposed to if they were sitting there saying we’re going to use our looks to get ahead. Dustin and Kandice were complimentary to the “Cho Bros” during the task. Dustin was grinning in the taxi cab, “This was so much fun. I really enjoyed this challenge.” Kandice ended with “We feel like we’re on a roll, we’re gaining momentum.” (This echoes their quotes at the beginning of the race when they say they want to run free and to last episode when they said “do you have your run on?”) All in all, it was a very good episode for Dustin and Kandice.

This week Erwin and Godwin worked outside their alliance – and still arrived in 4th place! They talk about wanting to stay with their alliance for as long as possible, but they also acknowledge that they want to stay in the race as long as possible. They received a nice quote from Dustin and Kandice, “We have always respected the Cho Brothers. They work like we do. They get the job done plus they have some beef, some muscles.” It’s too bad their taxi ran out of gas twice because it would have been fun to see if they could have beaten the fast forward racers too! Nice guys to the end, Erwin commented, “Working with the Blondes was efficient, but it was tough competing against our friends.” I also liked that their competitive juices were kicked up when they wanted to beat the Blondes to the pit stop.

I wasn’t too impressed with Tyler and James’s edit this week. Their beginning clip was in regards to James being too passive (a nice way of saying he’s not pulling his weight in the race and is a really poor navigator!). It showed a few cracks in their teamwork. James really wanted to prove himself hence the title, “He can’t swim, but he can eat cow’s lips.” “At least I can do one thing well in this damn game.” (But how far is your ability to eat gross food going to get you in TAR?!) Except for the navigating, I hadn’t noticed that James wasn’t as talented as Tyler, so it was pointed out for a reason. James and Tyler officially threw their towel in with Rob and Kim. James said, “We weren’t looking to form an alliance. The six pack forced us to.” (Rob and Kim were suspiciously quiet about their part in the alliance.) At the fast forward Tyler went on and on about how far ahead they were going to be (I think I counted five mentions). In the taxi, they said they were looking forward to picking off the six pack and the dwindled down four pack. A little irony, perhaps, that that won’t happen! And Phil didn’t even ask them how they felt about being beaten to the pit stop. I keep expecting them to kick it back up, but they haven’t, and their story hasn’t really kicked into gear either.

Rob and Kim were portrayed mostly positive this week. Their opening segment was about their teamwork and how they’re still learning to communicate without arguing. And Rob added, with a big hug, “but we’re getting better.” During the fast forward Rob comments that the race is good for them because he is learning to gage when to push and when to ease up in dealing with Kim. That’s a very positive step after what we watched earlier in the race! However they still had their requisite stupid comment. This time it was about breathing in all the exhaust and Rob talking about how they die younger and the brain needs protein. Whatever, he didn’t make much sense. Kim was a trouper at the fast forward; she definitely tossed her cows lips more than anyone else! The editing is starting to focus on her strength. Rob says, “Is my chick awesome or what?” The models comment, “She’s ruthless; she’s a machine. She’s the only one who could to it.” Too bad Kim couldn’t enjoy the moment! Kim has been singled out for kudos from two all male teams now.

Lyn and Karlyn were heard about from Erwin and Godwin, “’Bama broke off. Team Alabama is independent-minded and we know that.” Lyn says we all know we’re in a race, regardless of the outcome. We’re all friends; we all know what you gotta do. Lyn and Karlyn didn’t do too well without help from the Chos. Even Mary helped them, and they would have been last except for David and Mary’s penalty. Karlyn had a cute confessional about her being the black angel, but the producers ruined our impression of it by making it appear that the cab driver turned around and made a face at her! I am really hoping that the videos from home signal the end of their story, but that may be wishful thinking.

Michel, last week you pointed out that Rob and Kim were the only ones who didn’t comment on or were involved with the six pack alliance. This week they were in an alliance with the models. Dustin and Kandice were the ones on their own. I think it is looking very good for Dustin and Kandice. However, Rob and Kim were never heard talking about an alliance with Tyler and James. They were also never heard talking about how far ahead of the other teams they were at the fast forward, that was all Tyler and James. Add in the focus on Kim, and I’d say it is looking pretty good for them. The third team in the final three is up for grabs.

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11-06-06, 07:31 PM (EST)
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51. "RE: Episode #8 "He Can't Swim, But He Can Eat Cow's Lips""
My Views. I agree with most of your thoughts CTGirl. But have to change few things around with some of the editing from my point of view.

Rob and Kimberly their now into this game to win and not be bothered with. I think they will make the final three. They really could of stuck with anybody else. But I believe their strategy is now to take Tyler and James with them, because they know that Tyler and James will get lost. And until the final moment loose them. This could force Tyler and James out of the race.

Tyler and James another model team headed for doom. I think this team will be so far behind that when it comes down to the final four. It will force them to pitstop such as Peter and Sarah. I do not think they are good on their own. They don't know how to use a map and one of the teams member is not cosist with the other. They could be the next team out.

Dustin and Kandice we know this team for a fact will be in the final three and even win it. This is a team that is out for theirselves and not relying on others for help unless needed such as the intersection. If it wasn't for the intersection they would of gone for the Fast Foward. But I do not think they would of been able to eat the cow lips. But anything to beat the team.

Erwin and Goodwin their edit is now stepping up. They are no longer the back pack. They will not be eliminated since David and Mary are gone, and they are no longer going to work with lynn and karyln and they are now in it for themselves. Which will really hurt some of the stronger teams. I think their edit is starting to shine now.

Lynn and Karyln I also think this is a final three team. However I think they used the intersection to save theirselfs from elimination. They knew if they took the fast foward. They will have to run it with Dave and Mary to the mat. But since they figured the other two teams did. They decide to do the detour and forced David and Mary to be eliminated. They were never part of the broken alliance. I have a feeling this team is sneaky, and they will use erwin and goodwin next week to force another elimination by using them.

Any other thoughts. Again sorry for bad grammar and spelling.

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11-08-06, 09:50 AM (EST)
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52. "RE: Episode #8: Teaming up."
LAST EDITED ON 11-08-06 AT 09:51 AM (EST)

Teaming up and breaking them down

I was the summary writer for the week and, as much fun as that is, it took a lot of time to get it ready, so my post is late. I see CTgirl and Beau have done a wonderful job analyzing this episode so instead of repeating word for word what they wrote, I thought I’d tackle it differently. For the summary, I wanted to do a caricature of the racers. I hope it can get a few laughs from some readers but what it did was force me to see the individuals more than the teams. Maybe it could give us a new look at these players. How have the individuals been portrayed? Does that give us a clue to the winners? It might:

The Uneven Teams
The Alabama Moms couldn’t be more different both physically and in character.
-Lyn is overweight and more relaxed. It was surprising that she was the one driving when we heard the Chos say that “Bama broke off. Team Alabama is independent-minded and we know that.” She was also the one
confiding, “It is a race, we’re friends but sometimes you do what you gotta do.” She also took charge during the “Long Sleep” detour, first reasoning Mary that the Fast Forward wasn’t an option and then ordering David around: “David, help Mary. Don’t just stand there.” She was the one that expressed the team’s feelings at seeing their best friends eliminated.

-Karlyn has not had nice clips. I was ready to bash her in the summary, but she took a back seat in the editing. Her main comment was about being a “Black Angel” but before we could attach any significance to that quote, the taxi driver’s reaction told us it was only a joke. Besides that, the Blondes ticked her off and she wasn’t going to work with them at the intersection. That is nothing new.

Karlyn’s role in this team is vital since Lyn seems to need to be pushed. We are seeing Lyn taking more control and that is new. A new development, at this late stage, is something to take note of. We know they will have an emotional episode next week from the previews and the new twist of scenes from home. It could be the end of their story and we have a multitude of reasons why this team shouldn’t win.

There is a chance that their story isn’t over yet since the conflict with the Barbies is still mounting. The other teams are now commenting on that feud since Kim laughed at the possibility that they may have to team up. We could expect to see a showdown, a race to the mat or a settling of differences. No matter what happens, if we continue to see more of Lyn asserting herself, we may have a big comeback story.

Tyler and James had appeared to be a balanced team for the longest time but we did have some indications of James being the weak link. Whenever we heard comments of being “Superman” or “Spiderman” or doing the difficult tasks such as rowing the sampan, it was always Tyler. Now we hear Tyler say: “James is too passive and I have to step up as the dominant role in our team.”
He’s also the one that is aggressive: “We haven’t been looking for an alliance. The six-pack forced us into an alliance. We’ve gelled with Rob and Kim from the beginning. We want to get rid of one of the 6-pack. We’ll make it a 4-pack,”
He shows again determination in Antananarivo: “Kentucky has a 30 minute penalty and we want to apply the knock-out punch.”
At the intersection it is Tyler who says: “We’re thrilled to work with Rob and Kim since we don’t trust the damn Blondes.”
At the fast Forward, Tyler is hesitant at first. We hear him agreeing with Kim: “This is so bad.” He wonders if they should go back to the detour. At least later, he is the one that makes everyone realize: “There is no way that they could complete a detour and a roadblock in less time than we can complete our plate.” His confidence turns into encouragements: “We can do this. Take your time, there is no need to rush.” Later however, it turns to arrogance: “We are going to be finished soon. We are good, we will be so far ahead of the others.”

James is much more insecure: “I have been disappointed that I haven’t given enough for our team. I want to show I can do a great job for us.”
Right away, his first chance was to read the map but that wasn’t successful and they wonder: “Should we wait for Rob and Kim?”

Proving he can do something, he turns into an all-star at eating cow lips: “At least, I’m good at something in this damn race.” It showed his frustrations for his earlier problems.
Gaining confidence, he thinks, “They are probably plowing a field somewhere, sweating and hating life.”

We’ve seen the models’ athleticism as a good reason to win the race. Their lack of character development due to their story being only about their recovery and then, the absence of any assurance of being determined not to fall back into the habit, as noted by Mavs_fan, gave us our first doubts about the models being our winners. That has been put aside lately but not resolved. The change of story line only brought more negativity and another reason for their demise when we were shown their poor navigational skills. James had one shining moment but in general, his poor performances could also be the reason they fail.

The balanced teams
The Chos are easy to distinguish by their appearance but their skills and characters are practically the same. Godwin is a little more demonstrative but really, neither is very assertive. They let the Blondes trap them into working together then they relied on them for all the moves and strategy. Dustin chose the detour, Kandice found help and the girls decided it would be better to find the house and come back for the mattresses. Even in previous episodes, they let Bama or Kentucky decide which detour should be done. There hasn’t been any tactics regarding the roadblocks, they simply alternate.

Kandice’s comment that: “We have always respected the Cho Brothers. They work like we do. They get the job done plus they have some beef, some muscles” could be a good sign except we know that part of it isn’t true. They certainly don’t work like the girls, always waiting for their friends, relying on their alliance. As Godwin had said: “We’d give up first place to help one of our friends avoid elimination.” If it wasn’t enough, we later had Erwin who reflected: “It is hard to compete against our friends because every step forward for us means they are further behind.”

Their glowing edit could be that the editors want to have a “feel good” story. Instead, for quite some time we have seen them has one-dimensional. They are good guys who aren’t out to do whatever it takes to win. Lacking complementarity and assertiveness should be their demise.

The Blondes
Kandice, on departing, said: “We’re not in this to have friends. We’re in it to win. We know that we probably turn people off.”
Dustin continued: “We’re going to be as kind as we can to everyone in the process of being competitive and running our best race. We can break free from these teams and run on our own. We can go much faster if we don’t have an alliance.”

Dustin decided to take another team’s car and Kandice worried about the rules. Dustin reassured her that the directions said nothing about keeping the same car. It was Kandice that pointed out that someone was going to be mad about switching cars. We also saw her laughing at their prank when the Moms were fuming.

On the way to the “Black Angel”, Dustin told us the 6-pack is playing hard today so they need to be on their A game. She also commented that they will beat the boys at their own game when the model’s car passed their taxi. I’d say she was proven right.
“Here comes Bama and Kentucky,” says Kandice. “ They hate us. Maybe the Chos will show up next.”
“We’re not going to ask them,” advised Dustin. “Don’t even bother.” They both run to the brothers, not leaving them time to see what is happening and strategize. In effect, the Blondes decided for the alliance.
On the way to the Detour, Kandice said: “You couldn’t have better team mates.”
The assertive Dustin told the Chos: “You’re glad to be on our side right now and we’re glad to be on your side. We’re all happy now.”
Kandice is happy to have the leader of the 6-pack alliance with them because one of the 6-pack could be leaving.

After the detour, Dustin also said, “It was good for the Chos because we are much quicker than Kentucky and Bama. For us, it was win-win, which is the way we like it.”
Dustin even tried to bluff the Chos at the Roadblock but they saw her clue.
They alternate in most tasks except for the driving which Dustin always handles while Kandice reads the maps. We heard she is awesome doing that.
If we remember last week it was Dustin that told a worrying Kandice they weren’t switching detours when they had some problems finding the sails.

This team is balanced but we see Dustin as the one making the majority of the decisions and talking about the strategy. Kandice is more the emotional narrator that tells us what they are feeling.

We’ve been shown subtle differences between the two, which is good to complete their edit. They do have complementary roles but they are still very similar in their physical abilities. When one couldn’t row the sampan, the other couldn’t take over. That almost tore them apart.

With Erwin telling them and us: “You guys are tough” it adds to the good comments we’ve heard from others about their racing abilities. It is part of the many reasons to see them as our winners. No one has had as much fun on this race as they have. When Kandice arrived at the Pit Stop, we heard her give a nice “Hi” to a dancing Phil. She then joined in the fun of the band by dancing with the locals. No other player was seen doing this!
In the taxi on the way to the Cathedral Andohalo, Dustin commented: “This was so much fun. I really enjoyed this challenge.” In contrast: The Chos had said, “It could be anywhere” when they arrived at the stairs. Mary found it hard and said so. Lyn’s expression showed she didn’t appreciate the search.

“The Race is fun” was last year’s theme but it isn’t a steadfast rule that “A Tough Race” can’t also be fun!

We have to remember they could be having too much fun. With every team now against them, they are set up for a Yield. They’ve been shown as the best racers in this bunch but that could be to set up a big fall. Looking at the CBS polls and Arnutz’ list, they are among the favorites. Many favorites are given good edits to draw reactions when they are eliminated.

Coming Together
Their arguments make them look like less than ideal racers but Rob and Kim do form an efficient team.
Before leaving the Chateau, Rob is all cuddly. Kim tells us, “We are still learning, trying to communicate without arguing. It is back and forth, one day we do well and one day it’s one argument after another.”
Rob agrees, “We are doing better.”
Kim smiles at the camera.

The Buddy alliance is formed again before leaving for the airport. The models didn’t know where to go but Rob has more navigational skills and he guides them in the right direction. They are part of the buddy alliance but they still aren’t the one talking about it. Even at the “Intersection”, the plan is Tyler’s. We can still view Rob and Kim as independent racers.

For them, the race has always been tough. Remember Kim’s pain was focused on when she fell off the horse in Mongolia, whereas Kandice brushed off being pulled by the ankle. This time, at the FF: “It was disgusting,” Kim said. “The hair was on it. There was fat on it and teeth were still there.” She needed the bucket many times before finishing her plate.

Rob was still working on his plate but we heard him reflecting about his relationship with Kim: “This race is good for Kim and I because it gives us a good gauge of when it is good to push each other and when to ease up. Sometimes you need a kick in the butt, sometimes you need to let off and let them experience what they are going through .” That is an improvement.
Rob admires his partner: “She is awesome,” he says. “No way can the other teams be ahead of us.”
“She is like a machine,” agrees Tyler.
After it is over, Rob gives Kim a big kiss while sitting in the taxi.

This team has shown numerous reasons why they shouldn’t be the winners. In Madagascar, we had another prime example when Rob tells us, “The locals die a lot younger than us. They don’t have enough proteins so their brains don’t develop as much. The brain needs protein.” Kim has had many of those ignorant comments but is that enough to rule them out?

They do complement each other better than anyone in the race. He is good at navigating and probably as strong as any other guy. She may be the strongest woman as we saw on some occasions and she can be very decisive. She told Rob they shouldn’t stay at the salt hills but needed to go do the “Treasure Hunt” Detour last time. This time, she’s the one that tells us they want one of the 6-pack to be eliminated. We know she is taking more control of the team. Rob said she was thriving in that role. Erwin had told us she had game in episode #1, now Tyler says she is like a machine.

It wouldn’t be a popular win like last season’s. Since even the hippies couldn’t redress the ratings, maybe a controversial win isn’t seen with apprehension. They are the team that has received the most attention from the editors to show them as good racers besides the Blondes.

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CTgirl 7073 desperate attention whore postings
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11-09-06, 03:35 PM (EST)
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53. "RE: Episode #8: Teaming up."
Out of curiosity, I watched the first episode again. I looked specifically for Rob and Kim, but also Erwin and Godwin and Lyn and Karlyn. I don’t know if the TAR producers put in as many nuggets of information in as in Survivor (it’s a very different game), but certainly the opening episode quotes are building blocks for the stories down the road. I was curious to see how I’d view the racers with what I already “knew” about them. Since I totally discounted Rob and Kim and Lyn and Karlyn at the beginning of the race, they had some interesting quotes which pointed to their longevity. I didn’t take notice of them.

Rob and Kim worked pretty well together the first leg, there was little fighting and they were very supportive of each other. I did not have nearly as negative opinion of them as I did the first time. Their opening quote was “I’d like to see how he works under pressure and making decisions for both of us” (Kim) and “Kimberley wants everything her way. She can’t control me. I’m a human being and she needs to learn that” (Rob). I suspect that Rob’s quote was taken out of context and manipulated a bit to create a more dramatic story for them. At the fish eye roadblock there was some interesting interaction between them and the Blondes: “We caught up to the Blondes who were on the first leg.” The Blondes reply, “This sucks, they really gained some time on us.” “The Blondes are beating us” as Dustin and Kandice leave the roadblock. Later on in the show Rob and Kim say, “We’re really going to have to catch up.” We don’t know if the producers put in a winning quote but Rob does say, “We can do this, we have endurance.” They were shown negatively once when Rob gets on Kim’s case for missing a turn and the editors enhance the situation with a slow-motion eye roll by Rob. It was also interesting to note that leaving the detour, Erwin and Godwin yell to Rob and Kim, “Follow us, we know where we’re going,” and to themselves “Good karma, baby, good karma.”

Lyn and Karlyn’s opening quote was about how they like to be independent and that being a single mom is “easier.” (I had thought that quote odd at the beginning because none of my single parent friends feel that way.) But it does tie into their story of being independent from their alliance. They had two quotes which also build their story, Lyn: “People were surprised and put out how well we did on the first day,” (that sums up how most of us feel about them now!) and about Karlyn, “Karlyn has to be in control and when she isn’t she’ll blow her stack.” Watching the premiere again, I had the feeling that Lyn and Karlyn were the villains (they dissed Peter and Sarah several times) more so than Rob and Kim.

Also, the seed for James being the inferior member of his team was planted in the first episode. He said, “One of the great things is knowing that I can rely on Tyler. We’re both physically fit. I have such confidence in him that makes me more confident in our team overall.” That storyline is being developed right now – and how James contributes will determine their final standing. (He ate the fish eyes like candy tho!) The Blonde’s focus was all on being competitive. Erwin and Godwin’s opening quote focused on their education which had nothing to do with their story. Other than their squirt gun stunt, nothing stood out about them.

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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11-10-06, 05:07 PM (EST)
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54. "RE: Episode #8: Teaming up."

Thanks CTgirl for that look back and your insights. I remembered Rob and Kim having a good 1st leg but had forgotten their run-ins with the blondes. They haven't had much contact since then except for the episode in Mauritius where they followed the girls. One thing is certain, we have to keep an eye on Rob and Kim.
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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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11-13-06, 09:56 PM (EST)
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55. "Episode #9 Cheap Shots and no Pit Stops"
The recap told us the Blondes were left in the cold at the Intersection but excelled and won their second leg in a row while Tyler, James, Rob and Kim choked on the Fast Forward. The pun may have been impossible to resist but besides being called “quitters” or “losers”, there isn’t much worse to call competitors than chokers.

Dustin and Kandice did very well in a physical leg.

Dustin had the opening comment: “People look at Kandice and I and just assume things come easy to us, that things are handed to us. The thruth is that we work hard; we sweat, we cry and we fight to win.” The comment seemed to address Lyn’s later confessional about their advantage. What is important is that the editor has shown Dustin’s comment to be accurate. They haven’t only depended on their looks and have worked hard. She only forgot that they also have fun along the way.

The conflict with the Moms augmented with their comments about hoping the Moms wouldn’t be on the plane. At the end, they added: “We hope Bama gets eliminated today.”

In the train, Kandice joked with Tyler: “What else do I need you for?” She was talking about borrowing beauty products but it could be foreshadowing. Kandice tells us their strategy: “We always wind up side by side with Tyler. It is kind of an uneasy truce. If we’re together, we kinda drive together but if Dustin and I have a chance to break off, we’re gonna.” The girls haven’t needed help from the other racers

They reach the Detour in Soppeenharjun Koulu first and opt for the ski trail despite Kandice’s warning that she has only skied once. They’re again the only team heard to enjoy the detour. Falling down in the mud after jumping a fence, Dustin joked that it will look as if she pooped in her pants! Then Dustin tells Kandice that her form was beautiful, her landing in the mud was nice. “Beautiful” they exclaimed after going over the last fence. “That was fun” Dustin said. Looking at the clue box in the distance, they yell at the models that have gotten slightly ahead: “We’re going to catch you boys.”

The two teams were indeed together throughout the rest of the episode. They reached the mines in Tytyrin close together althought the girls didn’t see the entrance at first. They had to wait since the “Stinking boys” had taken the only kart going down. They had a thought for the coal miner “David would have loved this.” Kandice went down the tunnel and didn’t lose ground to James. “You’re so strong,” said Dustin as Kandice got off her bike. The ride back to Helsinki left them a bit behind and they hadn’t reached the top of the tower when the models got their final clue.

Tyler and James stayed on course for once.

Tyler opens up by saying: “James appreciates the friend that I am to him. I think he understands that I get on his case sometimes about certain issues that he needs to handle but, I think he knows it comes from a loving place from me.” James would do his share of the load in this episode. Their opening comments haven’t always been this accurate.

In the Madagascar airport, Tyler tells us: “The Blondes…We are using them and we know that they are using us. It’s this really weird relationship where we don’t know who is going to stab who first.” We’ll have to keep that in mind. This comment was probably left in to prepare something.

The taxi ride in Helsinki was the occasion for an exchange of shots: “The Blondes are #1 on our list of who needs to go.” Kandice, from the other car, responds: “It would be easier for all of us if Tyler and James were out of the competition.” Dustin agrees: “They are dangerous.”

In Tampere, they arrived right behind the Beauty Queens at the school in Koulu and their strength enabled them to complete the obstacle course first even if the detour “sucked.” They got on the first train for Turku with the Blondes and stayed ahead on the car ride to Lohja. They were first to the roadblock were James went down the shaft to retrieve the limestone. “I’ve been waiting to do some roadblocks. I’m ready to step up,” he confided. He had to walk back up the shaft but finished first and they were also first to the Olympic Stadium. After looking around for a while, they found the clue and finished the rappel down the tower first. It was a very good leg and they didn’t get lost on the roads for once.

Rob and Kim had a rough leg.

Rob tells us: “Every night, Kimberly and I are looking at what we need to do to get to the Pit Stop as fast as possible.” For one of the few times, they actually didn’t do a good job and fell behind troughout the race. This race isn’t easy for them but they cannot be considered as horrible as some of the couples we’ve seen on previous Races anymore. They aren’t only caricatures.

They do finally talk about their alliance and their conflicts: “We have this bond with Tyler and James that we don’t want to break. The Blondes aren’t super trustworthy, they aren’t part of our group. It is a foursome here right now,” Rob told us.

The taxi ride out of the Helsinki airport left them in last place and Kim had to tell Rob to stop ordering the driver to go fast. As we could expect, Rob didn’t appreciate being told what to do.

In Tampere, they are third to get aboard a taxi after politely asking to cut the line. They arrived tied for last with the Chos at the detour after going to the wrong school. They picked the obstacle course and pulled ahead of the Chos. Afterwards, they had a funny exchange: Kim was impressed that they beat the Chos, Rob was surprised that he could carry Kimberly in the muddy obstacle course. “Do you think I’m fat,” asked an offended Kim.

They arrived at the train station seconds after the train to Turku left. Rob was fuming that it was a race-breaker. Kim, probably realizing two teams were behind them, said; “We’ll get on the next one.” Rob wasn’t letting go: “Let me have my moment.” “Have it,” she answered calmly before walking away. They had an hour wait. They sat alone in one cabin upset at the other two teams’ presence. “They’re just bugging me,” said Rob. Kimberly had a confessional: “Alabama race with a chip on their shoulders.” Rob agreed: “They’ve judged us from the get go.Before they even got to know us. That set the tone for our rapport” “It’s made it uncomfortable,” concluded Kim.

A mistake finding the mines left them in last place and, after freaking out, Rob showed his determination and caught up to the two other trailing teams after racing up the mine shaft. The race back to Helsinki was the occasion for Kim to express her confidence: “We can beat them in a foot race.” They did except, once more, they ran right pass the marker!

Erwin and Godwin continue to enjoy the ride.

The Chos start by reminding us of their alliance: “We miss David and Mary and want to race in memory of them,” said Gorwin. Erwin continued: “Once a member of the 6-Pack, always a member of the 6-pack.” It keeps it hard to see them as racers and their performance must drive their numerous fans crazy. They had lost 30 minutes to Dustin and Kandice in the last leg despite being with them through the detour.

Once more the Brothers quickly fell last in Tampere where “Being polite sucks sometimes,” because they wait their turn for a taxi while the Moms had acted like bullies. They got on the obstacle course detour with everyone else. They never were able to overcome Rob and Kim and Godwin had many difficulties: “I can’t feel my legs.”

Departing from the Turku train station they remark “It’s OK that Bama jumped ahead but it’s not our style. We would have waited for them.” They stayed with the other two teams through the roadblock. During the final ride to the Olympic stadium they agree that Rob and Kim could beat them in a foot race.

Lyn and Karlyn kept making enemies.

Karlyn has taken David’s UK hat and want the spirit of the alliance to live on with them and the Chos. Lyn gave us their thoughts: “In the past leg, the Chos worked with the Barbies but it doesn’t change that we are still in an alliance to work together. We’re all in the race to win it.” They arrived at the airport at the last moment and were very lucky that Godwin told them the flight plans of the group and where to purchase their tickets. Karlyn had one of her rare smiles when she jumped up and down to express her appreciation of the agent’s cooperation. “Don’t count me out,” said Lyn to the other racers as she boarded the plane. Is it prudent that we have counted them out for such a long time?”

Arriving in Finland, they pass the Chos’ taxi while Karlyn tells us: “We still have an alliance with the Chos but I don’t think we do the things we use to do such as following and waiting on each other.” Lyn agrees: “It is pretty cut throat. We need to do whatever we need to do to win it. We are in the Final 5.”

They really have it in for the Barbies. Lyn tells us: “They use their image to get ahead. They come out of the airport with their boobs hanging out and their arms hanging out. They gain plenty of attention.” Karlyn adds: “It makes you upset that you have a disadvantage because of your looks.” The Blondes exit was replayed in black and white and slow motion to underline the Moms’ comment. Since Bama were the ones that benefitted from the biggest outside help when they boarded even after check-in was closed, it made their comment appear petty.

The Kappeli Café was a nice moment for every team but especially for the Moms. Seeing their cute children was too much and they let the tears flow. After having often heard them tell us that they race for their kids and they want to make their kids proud, seeing the kids show their love now could be a sign that their story is reaching its conclusion. Karlyn did have another comment about winning for their kids in the train to Tampere.

In Tampere, Karlyn tells Lyn to forget the line for the taxi. They jumped the line to the dismay of the locals who told them there was a queue. The Moms even grabbed the door of the taxi out of the hands of a man ready to get in. Skiing in the muddy swamp was tough for them. Karlyn had never been on skis before but they kept in touch with the trailing teams.

The train ride to Turku, showed how they felt about Rob and Kimberly when they agreed with Erwin: “Do you feel the cold air?” “Those two are not our friends,” Lyn announced to anyone who was listening. Karlyn did her best in the roadblock and they stayed in a virtual tie with the other two teams.

What to make of all this?

With only one team remaining before reaching the final 4, there are two teams that could have reached some sort of conclusion. The Moms have made their children proud of them and the Chos have brought their alliance as far as they could.

We’ve been shown many conflicts between the Moms and the other three teams. We even see the start of discord between the last two members of the Back-Pack. Besides the previews, we already had the Brothers complaining that Bama doesn’t do things the way alliance mates should. Conflicts aren’t part of the friendly brothers’ story. That has been the Moms’ story since the start of episode #1 when they objected to the special treatment Sarah received. It is therefore harder to see the Moms’ story as being over despite the emotional contact from home. The Moms could very well squeeze the nice guys out of the final 4, proving that alliances aren’t the way to win TAR.

Beyond that, it is harder to say. The 3 other teams were seen early on as the real competitors even if the models started accumulating poor showings. Their athleticism is still hard to ignore, especially if the next legs are going to be as physical as the last one. Their story has been so thin that the reaction to their win would be “Ho-hum.” I’m inclined to think that we would have been shown more of them if they were to be the winners.

On the opposite side, we’ve seen a lot of the Alabama Moms and being out of shape makes us doubt that they can win. It is hard to see how their conflicts can be resolved any other way than seeing them reach the final mat and have to congratulate the winners. Since we know their kids are proud of them, the question left regarding their story seems to be: “Will they be gracious in defeat?”

Rob and Kim have shown growth in their characters during the course of the race. Rob started by telling us Kim needs to learn not to boss him around to admitting she thrives when she takes charge and that he finds her amazing. It is a good sign that they aren’t portrayed as poorly as in some of the early legs. They had interactions with the other final teams in the first episode that were put aside during the middle part of the race. Those legs were used to show their own arguments. The early interactions are resurfacing at this late stage and have become either conflicts or friendships. It may not be what we want to see but the growth that their story followed could be a sign that they are the winners.

The most favorable edit has certainly been given to the fun-loving, determined and successful Blondes. They have been shown as the best racers in this edition of the Amazing Race and have been given the most interactions with other teams. They appear to have been featured as our winners since the very start but lets keep in mind it could be a question of “The higher they go, the harder they fall.”

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11-14-06, 12:44 PM (EST)
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56. "RE: Episode #9 Cheap Shots and no Pit Stops"
I hope I didn't repeat too much of what Michel said. I wrote this offline.

The racers will have stepped foot in 6 different countries before they reach their next pit stop. This race is tough! (I don’t know if rappelling down the Olympic Tower would have wiped me out or given me enough adrenaline to keep going! It would have scared me witless – I hope we get to see all the racers complete it!) James and Tyler, Dustin and Kandice and Lyn and Karlyn got most of the attention this episode. Lyn and Karlyn say that they need to catch the Barbies and the models. Dustin and Kandice and Tyler and James each state that the other team is their biggest competition. There was a lot of interesting dynamics between the models and the Blondes and ‘Bama are showing that they will stop at nothing to move forward.

The recap stressed that the Beauty Queens had no friends, but they excelled to win their second leg in a row. Tyler and James and Rob and Kim choked at the fast forward and the allies struggled. If the producers don’t want alliances on TAR, this recap would spell good things for Dustin and Kandice.

Dustin and Kandice had a positive leg. They addressed the getting ahead with their looks issue by responding, “a lot of people look at us and assume things come easy, things are handed to us, but the truth is we do work hard, we sweat, we cry, we fight to win.” In reality, it’s been their personalities they have gotten them ahead – they’re friendly, positive and outgoing and they smile a lot and we’ve seen that. One of them even comments that the cross country race through the mud was fun! They remember Dave when they’re entering the mine shaft. They have their first real dumb Blonde moments – going to “Helinski” and asking if they wear wooden shoes there! On the negative side, they also commented, for the second episode, that they want ‘Bama to go home. It would be ironic if Lyn and Karlyn outlasted them, but it could also foreshadow that L/K make the final three. Like the Weaver Family, we’ve spent most of the show hoping they’d go away, but they’re there until the end.

James and Tyler discussed again their friendship and how they are there for each other, but another element was added in revisiting their friendly rivalry with Dustin and Kandice. Tyler sums it up well, “it’s a weird relationship.” We see that they don’t trust the Blondes, “We’re using them and they’re using us. Who’s going to stab who first?” All the interaction between Dustin and Kandice and James and Tyler has to prepare us for something in a future episode, especially since the first glimpses of the rivalry were shown in the first few episodes. Tyler comments on their weird relationship. Kandice says that they’re dangerous (she said that in the first episode too). On the first train ride they joke about sharing grooming products and say they have an uneasy truce when they’re not racing, but Kandice says adds, “if we have a chance to break away, we’re gonna.” They race to the detour. “We’re going to catch you boys.” “The Blondes have passed us.” But once they’re on the second train, they rejoice together that they’ve left the other three teams behind (and T/J don’t care that Rob and Kim, their allies, are left behind.) In the car, “the girls are right on our #####. We don’t trust the girls, they are crafty girls.” Then at the mine Tyler and Dustin joke about their partners making out in the mine and Tyler high fives Dustin when they leave. The four are friends, but the race is more important, and they are wary of each other.

Lyn and Karlyn have become almost vicious in the race. They mention twice that they have an alliance with the Chos, but stress that they’re in the race to win it, and they’re not going to wait for each other anymore (so basically they aren’t in an alliance anymore!). Lyn mentions that it has become cutthroat and they reiterate that “we need to do whatever we need to do to win it.” Later Karlyn said, “I made a lot of sacrifices to leave my daughter, we gotta do this, we gotta win.” They’ve certainly gone further than most of us thought; how much further will their determination take them? There was talk earlier in the season that a female team had never made the final three – will they make it? Will they beat out D/K for a final three spot or will two all female teams make the final three? Odds are at least one of them will be there. They complain that Dustin and Kandice use their image to get attention and get ahead. Karlyn complains they have a disadvantage because of their looks. It comes off as sour grapes because we haven’t really been shown the Blondes using or talking about using that strategy.

Rob and Kim have a positive opening confessional, but take a back seat after that. They say, “We do what we need to do to get to the next pit stop as fast as possible. They come out and say that they’re tight with Tyler and James, “We have a bond and we don’t want to break it. The Blondes aren’t part of us, they aren’t trustworthy.” Again with the trust. All of the teams, except for the Chos, have commented on Dustin and Kandice this episode.

This is borrowed from VS’s Survivor editing thread observations. I know that the shows use different editing styles, but this one might serve us. Who do the editors focus on in the videos from home? Tyler/James, Dustin/Kandice and Lyn/Karlyn all comment on the importance of their families. We hear nothing from the other two teams. To hear nothing from the Chos on this is surprising. I think this is the end for Erwin and Godwin. They’re outclassed and too nice to succeed any further in the race. Their alliance is almost gone; their story is over. The other four teams? We’ll have to wait and see!

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11-20-06, 09:52 PM (EST)
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57. "Episode #10: The Final 4 Revealed"
Back in the…U S s r …ooops I mean The Ukraine. (Try singing that!)

Teams showed that they were geographically, historically and musically challenged. It made for some laughs but it didn’t show very good strategy.

The recap told us Tyler, James, Dustin and Kandice gloated when Rob and Kimberly missed the train. The back-Pack and Rob and Kimberly mixed it up as they battled to what they thought was the pit stop.

Tyler, after being told they had to keep racing, told us, “The leg isn’t over. I’m not a happy camper.” James was elated to have done the rappel but they had to run out of Helsinki’s Olympic stadium. They arrived too late at the Helsinki airport but found one travel agent still open. They asked for a flight to Chernobyl. The ticket agent looked to be surprised by the odd request. Luckily, she had heard of Kiev.

The bunching point was “crap, dude,” said Tyler. James told him to let it go but Tyler expressed many viewers feelings by saying: “We bust our a$$ all day long and have nothing to show for it.” (That’s what we think of super legs.) They got on a flight to Kiev with a stop in Vienna. At least the first two teams got rewarded when the other plane got delayed in Warsaw. That gave them a half hour lead on the three trailing teams.

Once in Kiev, they proposed to share the cost of the cab with the Blondes to be able to tag along. James warned Tyler not to lose the girls but they knew they were still the first two team and they stated their goal to get back on top.

The Roadblock was done by James who had some trouble handling the RT-64 Russian tank, stalling it once, getting showered with mud and then rear-ending Dustin’s tank. Tyler told Kandice that James was “Driving like a girl” which only made Kandice laugh. Afterwards, “You’re so dirty’ and “You still got beat” were Tyler’s only comments as they read the next clue. Leaving the School, they were happy to see their buddies ahead of the Chos: “The Genius Cho Brothers haven’t made it yet. Booksmarts doesn’t get you where you think in this race” said Tyler. I found that an unnecessary comment in the Cho's final episode. Do the Boys fail in a task where booksmarts would have helped? I would say it is a good possibility.

The trip to apartment #33 went smoothly and they chose to do the “Find the Music” detour which seemed the riskier one. The Conservatory was easily located but finding the sheet music to Tchaikovsky’s “Concert Fantasy” seemed like a daunting task. They did tackle it methodically and were soon rewarded. “That was easier than I thought,” commented James. Finding the room with the right pianist didn’t seem to take too much time. We then had a strange montage where the Classic Music was played in alternation with the girls’ song. The intention was to show that the race for first place was close. The suspense was kept all the way to the “Patriotic War Memorial” that served as the Pit Stop. It seemed to set up another race to the finish where coming in first will be more important. This time, the Boys did reach their goal and finished first.

Dustin was still at the top of the tower when we heard her comment: “There is nothing I’ve ever done that I can compare with what I’m about to do.” After receiving their clue to continue racing, we heard Dustin tell us that: “It’s kind of a love-hate thing with the Boys. We can’t afford to spend time with them on the race. Ultimately, we have to break away from the boys because if we stay with them, they’re going to out kick us in the end. Now that the boys have recovered their bearings, I found it interesting to hear this comment on their competition rather than the super leg. See it as you will but they never did break away. So, off they went to “the country where the Atomic Bomb went off.” (sic)

They were first out of the airport and chose the white car which reminded Dustin of her first car “I had a 64 Falcon” The clue was written in Cyrillic so they wisely got a cab driver to show them the way to the Oster Military School.

At the roadblock, Kandice was happy to tell Dustin it is her turn to do the Roadblock. Dustin insisted on taking Tank #1 but was intimidated: “I’m by my freaking self in here” she commented. She soon got a handle of things. She was having fun but we saw how focused she was on catching up to James. She did overtake him before the end of the track. Kandice and Tyler couldn’t tell who was in the lead but Kandice lets out a cheer when she realized her partner was in the first tank: “It’s Dustin, Ha! Ha!”

On the trip back to Kiev, they spot the Boys giving directions to Rob and Kimberly.
-“Why would they do that,” asked Dustin
-“They are friends with them” answered Kandice.
-“We don’t have friends” concluded Dustin.

They again led the way to the Apartment building and crossed a street under red to break away from the Boys. “They ran the red light too” said a surprised Kandice. (The Chos must have hated seeing that since they were the ones that had trouble with the law) They found the building but the Boys were still following. They chose “Make the Music” which seemed the right choice since you didn’t need to “find a Key!” They had fun putting on the bling and entertained the local DJ and the dancers. I’m guessing the applause was more for the girls’ looks and the nice check TAR paid to rent the dance hall than for the hit potential of the song!

They were quickly on their way to the Memorial which they told us was amazing. Phil also was impressed with their showing, reminding them that they could be the first all-female team to win.
“Nothing will stop us,” answered a confident Dustin.
Knowing anything can happen on the race, I cringed a little hearing that. I would have preferred hearing a more restrained response such as “we still have work to do.” Would they have showed that scene if they are the winners?

Rob and Kim did well down the tower. They fell behind Bama but had finally gotten some separation from the Chos. They couldn’t believe the leg wasn’t over. Now: “We’re off to Russia” (sic)
-“Are you sure it’s Russia” asked an uncertain Kim.
-“Chernobyl, Babe,” repeated a confidant Rob.
-“I don’t know. I told you I’m geographically challenged.” No Kidding!
Thankfully, the ticket agent was able to help them wind up in the same country as the clue. Russia is a big country to go looking around for a clue that doesn’t exist.

Once in Kiev, Kim told us that they got out of the airport ahead of the Chos and Alabama. She was determined to catch Tyler and James and the Blondes. They did see them as the two teams had completed their Roadblock. Kim drove the tank while Rob commented, “I feel a little bit bummed that I didn’t take this one but we need to be smart about who does what and I know she can drive. She’ll get a little aggression out… Man that looks like fun!” It’s the first indication that there is still a maximum number of roadblocks each team can do. Since they did a Fast Forward, I doubt they would be in trouble but maybe another team isn’t so smart in the future. That comment could serve to remind us about the rule.

Rob did take a moment to tell us that: “Kimberly is finding out that she is a super human creature from outer-space. She is wowing me!” I don’t remember hearing such praise from the notorious TAR dysfunctional couples. I remember we have often heard something like: “He isn’t that bad” or “that’s how we communicate.” Since team Iron Man was obviously not a couple, Rob and Kim filled the role of the arguing couple but they do get along relatively well. Kim had a determined look and she did the job well.

The ride to the Detour was marked with another Russian made car having engine problems but the replacement was close enough that they kept their third position. Surprisingly, they both stayed relatively calm.

After getting the clue at apartment #33, they chose to “Make the Music” and found a hip looking couple to guide them around the city. Kim’s singing wasn’t very good, Rob was really horrible but they still got the clue. From there, we only saw them arriving at the mat.

Lyn started by asking God to make her bold as she looked over the edge of the tower. They did very well and pulled ahead of the other two teams. Running to their car after receiving the clue, we heard Lyn say: “What happened to the Chos?” Karlyn replied: “Why worry about the Chos.” The fate of the alliance was sealed with Karlyn’s remark: “We still have an alliance with the Chos as far as sharing information but we’re going to run for it and however it works out, well, that’s the way it works out.” They got lost on the way to the airport so they followed the Chos throughout most of the Ukrainian leg.

The Moms were frustrated with the slow pace of the Brothers. “This is ridiculous,” said Lyn when Erwin went to find directions. Nevertheless, that strategy benefitted them when the brothers stupidly waited after the Roadblock. Lyn did ride the tank competently enough but they had fallen well behind. Karlyn reminded us that “I don’t know why they do this. I wouldn’t have waited.”

The ride back to Kiev and the elusive apartment building was another occasion to denigrate the Chos. “They stop every five minutes to ask for direction.” “Erwin is so indecisive.” Finally, after Lyn got tired of her team mate’s rants, they broke away “We have to be more independent and make our own decisions…Be fearless.” The worse was that they were upset to be followed by the Chos. They stayed ahead through the Detour but how long can they go alone? Lyn had the proper look for a rapper. The singing wasn’t good however.

Phil didn’t mention that they could also be the first women team to win the race. Some could say that the omission was left out to hide the fact that they are the surprise winners. It would be ironic that the very competent female team would be defeated by one of the weakest ones. I feel that the Moms’ confessionals about the Chos would not have been shown in their brutal honesty if they were to win. Somehow they would have been left out or some parts indicating they loved the Chos would have been highlighted to soften the Mom’s rough edges.

We’ve reached the Final 4 and each team in it had showed longevity. Three of them were in our sights on week #1. The Moms are surely a surprise entry but we had noted in episode #1 that their villain edit indicated they’d have a long ride. Maybe not this long but… The Chos were nice guys to the end but despite their qualities, their story was one-dimensional. It was all about the alliance and their friends. Ironically, they had gotten into trouble with the law in the Seattle airport, had asked Policemen for help on a couple of occasions, but finally got stopped by a policeman. The law does have a long arm.

Can the editing tell us the difference between these final teams? If viewers aren’t hooked by now, they never will be so, it may be left to anyone from now on. The Blondes definitely have had the most storylines invested in them but now we heard them mention they don’t think they can outrun the Boys and a Yield is coming. Is there any doubt that if they aren’t first at the Yield, then they will see their picture next to the hourglass? Rob and Kimberly have had a growing story arc. Tyler and James are boring but sympathetic. Alabama having little chance to win is the most we can say.

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11-21-06, 12:23 PM (EST)
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58. "RE: Episode #10: The Final 4 Revealed"
That was a great analysis Michel. (I had forgotten that Erwin and Godwin had been stopped by police at the Seattle Airport, the long arm of the law indeed!) I looked at this episode as one of rivalries. There were two major rivalries going on in this episode: Tyler and James versus Dustin and Kandice and Erwin and Godwin versus Lynn and Karlyn. There was also Rob and Kim’s personal rivalry to catch up with the two teams in front.

Tyler and James and Dustin and Kandice continue their “weird relationship.” They raced neck and neck to the end this leg. If you watch closely, the boys didn’t buy their tickets to Kiev until the blondes showed up. They might not have an alliance, but Tyler and James definitely respect Dustin and Kandice and they will work with each other. Dustin says, “It’s a love-hate thing with the boys. We can’t afford to spend time with them in the race. We have to break away from the boys. If we stay with them then they’ll kick us in the end.” Dustin is discussing their strategy and they know what they have to do, but will they be able to? (They didn’t this time.) Two different times they talk about shaking the boys. The first time Dustin ran a red light (and Tyler did too to keep up!) The second time was on the way to the detour. Their rivalry continued to the end where the editing alternated between the boys listening to the classical pianist and the girls rapping. Tyler and James ended up in first and were happy to be, “Back on top and knock the Blondes off.” Since this rivalry was pointed out in the first episode, it will continue until the end or one of them is eliminated.

Erwin and Godwin and Lyn and Karlyn’s rivalry was different in nature. The Chos had said on the Early Show that they had a pact to work together until the final three and that is why they waited for them. However, Lyn and Karlyn were chomping at the bit to break away (and it was smart because they couldn’t outrace them to the pit stop). They finally got frustrated with the Chos and took off. They spent most of the show complaining that they were wasting time (although they weren’t doing anything to help navigate). The editing tried to make Bama look sympathetic by making the Chos look indecisive. I don’t think it succeeded. Karlyn said, “We need to be more independent and start making our own decisions…need to be fearless and go out on our own.” We’ll see how well they do next time without anyone to help them. They were so focused on Erwin and Godwin the entire show that we never heard them talk about the other racers. It could mean their story arc is also over since the alliance is gone (although we do have to see the end result of their rivalry with the Blondes).

Rob and Kim’s personal rivalry was to catch up with the frontrunners, “hopefully we’ll be able to catch up to Tyler and James and the Blondes and everything will be fine.” In fact they talk about catching up with them four different times. The fact that it was talked about so much makes me wonder if these are our final three. There’s a scene that backs this up (although I could be reading way too much into it!). The editing lingers on Tyler teasing James that he got beat by a girl (foreshadowing?). When they stop to help Rob and Kim, the Blondes say that they don’t have any friends (a phrase that has been made several times during the race, perhaps because they get yielded next time). Then Rob says, “I hate being behind the damn Blondes, but we caught up to them okay.” We haven’t seen Rob and Kim go head-to-head against the Blondes since China so I expect to see that in one of the next legs (maybe the finale?). I’d love it if these were our final three teams because they’re all good racers and any one of them could win it. It would be a satisfying and fun finale (but we don’t often get what we wish for!). Rob gives Kim a wonderful quote, “I think Kim is finding out she’s superhuman creature from outer space. She’s just wowing me left and right.” Whether they win or not, their story is going to have a happy ending. The visual of them happy to arrive in third place shows us that.

Michel, your booksmarts quote intrigued me. From a racing stand point Lyn and Karlyn should be the next to go. However, I don’t think we’ve seen them make any “stupid” comments (nasty yes, but stupid no!). Rob and Kim have had many and Dustin and Kandice have had a few the past two weeks. Perhaps this is how we get a surprise elimination, or perhaps Tyler and James fail at the final puzzle like Eric and Jeremy did, and Rob and Kim, who have made a lot of “stupid” comments, pass them. The fact that Phil pointed out again to Dustin and Kandice that TAR has never had a female winner makes me uneasy. The editing of their response looked choppy and I think some of it was omitted. But would the editors put so much emphasis on the fact if they didn’t make final three?

Re: Back in the U.S.S.R. “The Ukraine Girls Really Knock Me Out…” I wouldn’t want to get in a smackdown with that house frau from the apartment building, thank goodness that’s not who the Beatles were singing about!

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11-21-06, 02:49 PM (EST)
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59. "RE: Episode #10: The Final 4 Revealed"
LAST EDITED ON 11-22-06 AT 05:02 PM (EST)

Tyler and James seems to have a very even edit, there is little to hate and little to love. I count them out as the winners.

Dustin and Kandice have a very strong edit, but the constant mention of an all girl team winning could be a distraction.

Lyn and Karlyn may not have been shown saying anything stupid, but they sure have not been shown to do anything smart either. Compared to the other three teams I see little hope in them winning the race, the yield may put them into the final three but it will take a major transportation snafus to help them win. Beside why show the winners so negatively? Why not the same edit as the models if they are the winners.

Rob and Kimberly are the ones to watch out for, they are hungry to win and it seems to me that each leg the edit shows they fighting less and less. This plus the fact that even when they do poorly they don't seem to carry it over to the following leg. They end the legs hugging and smiling, they start the legs without fighting - each leg they are a bit better - they seem like a winning couple to me. Throw in an offer of marriage with the million dollar win and the TAR producers see nothing but GOLD EMMIES Heck, even if they don't win I bet Rob will go down on his knees, and I am sure Kimberly will say yes - he is a pain but she clearly is learning how to handle him. Another year or two or another reality show should shape him up okay.

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11-22-06, 00:43 AM (EST)
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60. "RE: Episode #10: The Final 4 Revealed"
I enjoy reading your thoughts Michelle.

I wish I had more to contribute, but here's are my thoughts, take them for what they are worth.

All season I've been asking myself - What's the theme this season.

I think the theme for this season is that TAR ISN'T a game of alliances. I think THAT is the reason we were shown the 5 pack alliance, and BAMA's relatively negative edit. That is to say, alliances are going to be inherintly inequitable - there will be givers and takers. So, each team really has to run their own race.
Alliances should only be of a short term nature.

With that in mind I find it interesting that it has been mentioned REPEATEDLY that the Blondes don't have an alliance. Tyler & James have been said to have a loose alliance with Rob and Kim, The six pack had their alliance, only the blondes have lacked an alliance. Or atleast I think that's what the edit is suppose to show.

We've had several comments about an all girl team winning. I think this points directly at Dustin & Kandice. Last seaon we had BJ & Tyler but were reluctant to believe TAR would give them such a positive edit if they had won. But TAR wanted to portray the show as FUN, and they weren't trying so much for a "surprise ending". I think TAR has been dying to have a non traditional team win such as an Older Team, A Mother Daughter team, An All Girl team, etc... If a non traditional team were to win, I don't think TAR would hide them. They would be center stage for the race - Center stage like D/K. I also think they would recieve a positive Edit. TAR want's us to LIKE the team, Particularly if it's not a Guy/Guy, Guy/Girl team. So, I think this excludes Bama.

With the Constant reminders that a Girl/Girl team has NEVER won before, there has to be a payoff. I think D/K wins.

I'd target Rob/Kim for the next elimination, of the 4 left, I can only see them having recieved a redemption edit over the last few episodes with Rob giving Kim props for her strengths after having fought all thru the season.

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11-22-06, 10:41 AM (EST)
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61. "RE: Episode #10: The Final 4 Revealed"
I think TAR has been dying to have a non traditional team win such as an Older Team, A Mother Daughter team, An All Girl team, etc... If a non traditional team were to win, I don't think TAR would hide them. They would be center stage for the race - Center stage like D/K. I also think they would recieve a positive Edit.

Mavs, I have wondered the same thing about TAR producers wanting to showcase an all female team and that is why Dustin and Kandice are getting such a good edit. As I've said before, the only thing that worries me about their edit is their reactions to when Phil asks them if they're going to be the first female winners. It's almost too heavy handed -- are they trying to shove a non-traditional win down our throats? But I don't know what the producers are trying to do half the time, their editing certainly isn't as subtle as Survivor's! I really disliked BJ and Tyler at the end of last season. Considering they were the winners, I was surprised their edit turned so negative for a few episodes. Earlier in the season I said that I thought D/K were getting a BJ and Tyler edit. I hope so!

If the Blondes don't win, I do think that it will be Rob and Kim. Their team has evolved over the race. Lyn and Karlyn's edit is too negative and James and Tyler's is too bland.

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11-22-06, 06:08 PM (EST)
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62. "Episode #10: Thoughts"

It’s nice to have an exchange of views and know that more than 2 people read this thread! Nice to have you back Earl and Mavs!

The first reaction to this is that it is really strange that we agree that the team that has had the best overall results according to Snidget’s count is unlikely to win. Their bland storyline could be just a way to make us forget about them. I’m trying to remember a strong quote from them or about them but I’m having a hard time. The girls did say they were dangerous but that was more about the models’ looks than their racing abilities. The girls also feared they’d lose a foot race in the end but it isn’t much.

I won’t repeat what I have said about Dustin and Kandice. I also take good note of Mavs comment about the producers wanting to feature an all-girl team if they win. I agree that if the theme is that alliances aren’t for TAR, then they are prime candidates for victory.

What I have noticed is that over the last 2 episodes, we heard more confessionals from Dustin than Kandice. Dustin narrates the girls’ strategy while Kandice talks more about the girls’ emotions. As we get down to the critical legs it could be a good sign. In the legs in which they came first however, Kandice’s confessionals were more prominent. Maybe the emotions return as we near the end.

Rob started the season by telling us he didn’t want Kim to tell him what to do. We’ve had comments that Kim has game, that she is amazing and now that she thrives as a survivor and is good at taking charge. Kim is now “Wowing” Rob. That is a growing story arc and we haven’t heard them denigrating locals for the last four or five episodes. They continue to argue but it isn’t out of control as Earl notes. Posters here have long memories, the “average” viewer probably doesn’t even remember their worse out-breaks.

They have had a loose alliance with the models but as Ctgirl wrote, they were more often seen in a rivalry with themselves. More teams have lost because of their own mistakes rather than other teams’ racing skills. They've overcome most of them up to now.

Ctgirl, I don’t want to scare you as I did with an Halloween post but I’ve noticed something really frightening regarding the Moms. Hopefully, it is a coincidence and I’m overanalyzing. In Mongolia, the Moms did well because they had a local guide with them. Lyn said: “If we continue to find “ANGELS” along the way, we will be fine.” The Back-Pack alliance was born on the following leg and the Chos were certainly angels to them. More troubling: We had one clue that told them they had to find the “Black Angel” which had Karlyn saying she was the black angel and another that told them they had to do the “Angel Dive.” Did that just scare you a little? Add Lyn’s “Don’t count me out” and I’m worried! Thankfully, it is more likely that they have run out of angels since I can’t believe the editors would have given them the chance to rub it in the Chos’ face with all those mean comments and still profit from it.

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11-24-06, 03:03 PM (EST)
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63. "RE: Episode #10: Thoughts"
LAST EDITED ON 11-24-06 AT 03:05 PM (EST)

That was a frightening thought Michel! I panicked for a moment before my sanity was restored! I think the angel theme is like the policeman theme for Erwin and Godwin, a subplot. The editors did have a fun season to work with this year! An "angel" might help them make the final three, but I don't think they'll be the winners. I think they would have emphasised the positive role model in Lyn being a school teacher (i.e. the Innertube video about her students giving her a hard time about her rap clothes when she tells them to tuck in their shirtsw) and made Dustin and Kandice the villains. Between their competitiveness, looks and BQ history along with all the quotes about them it would have been easy to give them a negative spin.

ETA: It's ironic that these two could be thought of an angels!

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11-26-06, 04:00 PM (EST)
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64. "RE: Episode #10: Thoughts"
Great thoughts everyone, and michel, you know I read this thread! Yes, I have indeed pondered about the all girl team winning this season and how "funny" it would be if it were the "other" all-girl team, Lynn and that would be a hidden winner, so to speak! But, I do not think it will end that way. I would LOVE to see the beauties take it, and that is who I'm rooting for, but I do agree that it seems to me that Rob and Kim have evolved the most. I do think that the model boys are just too bland. They will be close but no cigar.

My 2 cents, fwiw!

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11-28-06, 11:15 AM (EST)
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65. "Tar Episode #11: The Feud"
LAST EDITED ON 11-28-06 AT 11:17 AM (EST)

Leaving the pit stop, Tyler immediately set the tone of the episode by telling us: “If I were to pick who would be in the final three, it would be James and I, Rob and Kimberly and Bama. The Blondes are really tough girls. They have a lot of drive and have been at the top of the pack for the last couple of legs.”
Arriving second at the airport, James added: “Look, the Blondes beat us…Those damn blondes beat us here.” Their frustration grew when they learned that they couldn’t take the same plane to Milan as Dustin and Kandice, who exchanged a smile at the news.
In Casablanca, they started wondering: “Where are the Blondes” asked James. “It’s the question of the day…The blondes have too much power over us.” The girls were nervous when they arrived at the Moroccan airport but they simply smiled at James’ lack of excitement when they got back together.

The second team to join the feud was Rob and Kim. Rob started by trying to scare the girls. “Our plane arrives in Ouarzazate at 1:00PM” said Rob, knowing the girls’ plane arrived at 4:55PM. He confided that he did that because: “The Blondes race with a certain amount of arrogance. I don’t like their style of racing.” He was happy with his bluff when he told them it was a joke.

Rob and Kim had not seen the Blondes in the Casablanca airport, so when they boarded the plane to see the girls already seated despite having major delay problems, Rob commented: “I was literally crushed when I saw them. They took an unnecessary risk to gain time to get to an airport where we were all connecting. I was hoping that the way they run the race would be their fatal mistake.” Will it be the blondes fatal mistake once they have to beat the penalty, or will it be Rob and Kim’s mistake because they are obsessed with the Blondes?

Out of Ouarzazate, the Blondes got to the cars first. For some reason, Rob took offense: “The blondes are sneaking out. I’m so over them. I’d like to take them out so bad.”

We know why Bama hate the Blondes:
-We have to get to the yield first” said Karlyn once in Morocco.
-“Karlyn wants to yield the Barbies” commented Lyn.
-“We’ve wanted to slow them down since the beginning of the race” agreed Karlyn.
-“We’ll yield the Blondes” said Lyn. “It’s exciting.”
-“What goes around, comes around” agreed Karlyn.

Dustin and Kandice explained their goal. “Honestly, the million dollars isn’t what’s driving us. Ultimately, it’s the spirit of the competition” said Dustin who went on to add “we don’t want to stop for anything less than first place.” Immediately after that, we see them exchanging a high five in the car, congratulating themselves on “Final Four.” That appeared to be a contradiction. Also, talking about numbers is rarely a good sign.

Many of their nice showings had been due to Kandice’s skills at navigating with maps. Hearing that they didn’t have a map was all we needed to know that they were going to run into trouble. It started right away when they asked for directions to the souk. The local brought them to a deserted area of the city and it looked a little scary. They decided to head back and finally made their way to the “Antiquités du Sud” shop. The bunching point brought them back with the group.

Battle at the Yield

Unfortunately for the Moms, the Blondes decided to use their yield opportunity:
-“They’re going to hate us.”
-“That’s nothing new. If we didn’t do it, we wouldn’t be playing our best game.”
-“If we hadn’t yielded them, we would have jeopardized our chances to win” explained Kandice while Dustin was getting ready for the chariot ride. “It’s really tight right now. We had to do what we had to do.” explained Kandice.
Karlyn fumed: “We already hated them. I expected it because it is typical of something they would do. They haven’t shown any character. They have to live with it. I can go home at night and go right to sleep.”
Lyn had the last word; “It’s funny that they see us as a threat. They are stupid to have yielded us. Would you rather race in the final 3 with teams that are right where you are?”

The Roadblock
Dustin did a good job on the chariot during the roadblock: “I felt like a legitimate gladiator. The crowd was cheering. I was victorious in battle.” Kandice sure has a good time cheering her partner on.

They left tied for first with Rob and Kimberly and agreed to ride together. Rob was quick to remind us that: “The Beauty Queens are not to be trusted. We can use them from time to time, but we won’t trust them.” The models caught up to the front teams and the couple’s car got a flat tire.

On the way back to the Detour, the girls see the couple still stranded on the side of the road but pass right by, saying: “We can’t help.” Both Kim and Rob were disappointed that the girls didn’t stop to at least tell them what had happened. Rob then tells us that, from Day 1, they saw that they couldn’t trust the Blondes.

Dustin and Kandice were at the front since the Detour clue but they missed the turn for the “North Africa” olive farm. They finally arrived fourth at the detour and they had to wait for a grinding pit to open up. As the pit stop was next, they knew they were in big trouble but were ready to face the bad news. We heard them say they were numb but still felt great with the way they ran the race.

At the Berber camp that served as the pit stop, Phil had an extended exchange with Dustin and Kandice after they hugged him, relieved to have heard that their bad day hadn’t cost them the race.
-“I know how you guys would love to win this race” said Phil. “The other teams see you as a real threat and every single one of them would love to see you leave this race.”
-“Especially one of them” answered Kandice with a tear in her eye.

-“We can’t make everyone happy, especially in this situation. The teams can see how competitive we are. That’s probably a little bit scary to them” explained Dustin in the last confessional of the evening.
-“The fact that we’re still here and they’re all ticked at us, that is cool with us” said Kandice “We aren’t playing nice. We yielded a team today. We didn’t stop when someone’s tire went flat. We’re just playing hardcore.”
-“We want to do it better, we want to do it faster and we want to win” concluded Dustin.

What can be understood by the way the story has been presented? There are always two ways to look at editing. What someone sees as a sign of longevity, another sees as foreshadowing someone’s demise. Some viewers like the Beauty Queens, some can’t stand them. I tend to get focused on a story and my analysis can certainly appear biased even if what I’m trying to do is read the story being told. My intent is trying to see where the editor is leaning. Phil’s interactions at the pit stop and what he says during the recaps are always heavily edited. Did anyone notice the only line we heard from the rap songs in this week’s recap was Kandice singing: “In Madagascar, we were number 1”? Phil must talk with each team for more than the 5 second clips that we see each time. From what I’ve heard, it isn’t the editor’s intent to have us see the Blondes as the malicious Barbies the other teams have denounced and that some viewers see. If it is their intent then they have failed because only the Chos and David and Mary have had comparably high numbers in the Favorite category on the CBS polls.

It is unusual to focus so much attention on a feud. Even Rob and Amber weren’t ganged up on the way the Blondes have been by the three remaining teams:
The Love/Hate relationship Dustin had talked about last time with the Boys was gone this week. The Boys spent most of the episode focused on the Blondes, hoping to get rid of them.
In Rob and Kimberly’s case, we never saw a reason for that antagonism early on during the season but it sure is in full force now.

If the message is that alliances aren’t the right strategy to win TAR then this alliance of purpose between the three teams against Blondes has to fail. And for that, the blondes would have to win. The first story of the season was how “couch potato Mary,” despite a bad ankle, beat the tri-athletes, the story now is about the Blondes’ goal to become the only female team to win. It has been reinforced by Phil too often to be ignored. The situation showed that they are now vulnerable, it could be to hide their comeback and how they beat their opponents. It would be the natural conclusion to the story.

On the other hand, it is very possible that their last confessional was the start of their swan song. If the goal was only to show that a female team can win, then the comments or rather the obsession from the other three teams already proved that the goal is possible. Maybe a final victory isn't necessary. The “marked for elimination” penalty is going to be difficult to overcome.

Lyn and Karlyn had their best result of the race. After Phil wondered if they could succeed as the last representatives of the 6-Pack, Lyn said: “It’s a strange feeling to be the last team surviving from the 6-pack but it’s a position I take with pride. We started the race on our own, we didn’t come with the 6-pack, we acquired them. It’s going to be tough with the teams we’re up against but we are ready.”

After Rob and Kim and Tyler and James got on the first flight to Casablanca, Lyn told us: “We had a three hour lay-over in Paris. We were able to get a map from the bookstore.” Karlyn simply added: “We’re smarter racers than people think.” We even saw Karlyn sitting on the large, unfolded map, scouting the area around Ouarzazate that they’d be sure to travel.

Being the only team that knew where the Kasbah was, Bama were first to the “Antiquités du Sud” bazaar. When Kimberly saw only 3 necklaces left, she assumed the Blondes had already been there! Arriving last at the bazaar, Dustin said: “The sisters could be in the lead right now.” Kandice’s face showed how surprised she was at the thought. At the Atlas Studios, Tyler was amazed; “Bama beat everybody. I’m looking at everyone and I can’t believe Bama beat us.” James added: “What a curve ball!” On the way to Idellson, Kim said: “Bama is good with directions.” By the end of the leg Tyler realized that: “Bama gets places fast.” It validated the comment that Bama are smarter racers than they appear to be. As Lyn said: “We’ve never been first, we always come from behind but we keep hanging on…The yield was good luck for us…The blondes have been evil and their evilness is biting them back.”
Karlyn was happy to tell Phil they were team #2 even if they had been yielded.

That will certainly keep alive the possibility that this is the all-female team that wins but we heard too many negative comments. Joking and laughing at the idea of yielding the blondes only to make an obscene gesture once they had been yielded cannot be seen as the way to picture winners. Karlyn did realize that it was inappriopriate but it still showed some hypocrisy. I also would have thought that we’d hear some “posthumous” praise for the Cho brothers. Instead, in the recap, Phil pointed that “Lyn and Karlyn broke free from their alliance with Erwin and Godwin” and then we heard Godwin say: “That sucks.” Their opening statements were not very complimentary. They haven’t been given a chance to redeem their rough edges.

Tyler and James were in first place for most of the race. They only fell behind Bama when the first three teams got lost on the way to the Souk and then later when James missed the first flag at the detour.
Tyler’s driving got them back in the lead and then they saw the Blondes had missed the turn for the olive farm. Forgetting the necklace almost cost them first place but the Moms would need much more of a head start to outrace these guys!

This team has had the most first place finishes since the beginning of the race. Why are no other teams commenting on the danger they represent? Only the Blondes alluded to their skills. Do the editors really think they can turn a win by a team that has to be considered the favorites into an underdog victory? That seems unlikely. The fact that most of their airtime consists of telling us about the other racers indicates that they will not suddenly become the focus of the story.

Almost all the comments they had were about the Blondes or Bama’s racing skills. They want to get rid of Dustin and Kandice, they are surprised that the moms are competitive, they help Rob and Kimberly along the way and they are happy when they catch up and pass other teams. There isn’t much left about what they have to do or how they see their own race. Are they there only to serve the other racers’ story? What is their story now that we haven’t heard about their dark days in a long time? They are athletic young men who want to get the Blondes out of the race. Is that all? In comparison, didn’t it feel that the Frat Boys had a little more story? I remember it started with their flirting craze then we had their famous short-cuts and later we had their showdown with BJ and Tyler. We know who won that battle: The team that the editor had focused on all along.

Rob and Kimberly had strong opening statements:
-“This race is definitely helping me grow” claimed Rob. “I realize that sometimes I need to really breathe and calm down.”
-“Rob is starting to learn that sometimes you can’t control everything” explained a rational (who would have thought!) Kimberly. “If you can’t control it, then there is no need to freak out over it.”

They got caught up in the frenzy of targeting the girls and nearly freaked out on a few occasions, especially when they saw the Blondes had boarded the plane to Ouarzazate. Rob chose to do the Chariot ride roadblock, telling us: “Kimberly is petrified by horses. They don’t seem to like her.” Kim nodded her head in agreement. We got a replay of her fall off a horse in Mongolia to explain the decision. It was probably done so we can realize that Rob could be out of roadblock options and that Kim may have to do them all in the crucial final legs. It would tie in with their “choosing smart” comment from the last episode.

They didn’t freak out when their car broke down and were able to profit from the girls’ mistake. They came in safely in third place.

This team certainly hasn’t gotten rid of all the negativity that some of their comments created but it isn’t quite the same team as the one that started in Seattle. Compared to the other teams, most of their confessionals show them together instead of one by one. We had another occasion to see that Kimberly may be the best female athlete. This time, she outraced both Beauty Queens to the Yield box. It is strange that it hasn’t been pointed out yet. Is that to leave more room to grow?

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11-28-06, 02:29 PM (EST)
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66. "RE: Tar Episode #11: The Feud"
LAST EDITED ON 11-28-06 AT 05:26 PM (EST)

Michel, it was nice to read your analysis of the “story” because I have gotten to the stage like I did last season, where my emotions towards the racers take over! The editors have done a good job of blurring the edges among the remaining racers and having us question who will win. I picked up on a lot of the same quotes you did, but there were a few others, especially by James, that stood out to me. I've highlighted the ones I found interesting.

This episode was the Dustin and Kandice show! I found it difficult to decipher because it was all about them. My gut reaction was an impression of all or nothing – the Blondes will get eliminated next week and this was their swan song or they will go all the way. They dominated every scene and every team talked about them. As mavs has said, BVM may really want to showcase an all-girl victory. However, as a lifelong Red Sox fan, I have a healthy skepticism that if your team is too good to be true, it often is!

The recap reminded us again of the rivalry between Dustin and Kandice and Tyler and James. But the love/hate fest has turned into a true competition. Tyler and James say they would prefer to be in the final three with Rob and Kim and Alabama because, “The Blondes are tough girls. They have a lot of drive and they’ve been at the top of the pack for the past few weeks.” This is coupled with a visual of Dustin and Kandice toasting each other with coke bottles. That was a pretty positive image. Other than remembering the fallen six pack alliance, this is the first black-and-white flashback we’ve seen of anyone. (The second one comes later when Rob recalls Kim falling off the horse.) Since they are in B&W, these images are being emphasized. Michel noted the other one and what it might mean.

Dustin and Kandice leave the pit stop saying, “It’s not the million dollars, ultimately it’s the spirit of competition. We don’t want to stop at anything less than first place.” At the airport, Tyler says, “Oh they beat us,” and James agrees, “Damn Blondes beat us here,” which has become a mantra for them. Later at the airport Rob bluffs them into thinking he has an earlier flight and confesses, “The Blondes race with a certain amount of arrogance. I don’t like their style of racing.” At the airport in Casablanca, James says, “Where are the Blondes, the question of the day. The Blondes, man, they have too much power over us. They’re going to come in. I know it.” Rob chimes in, “I was literally crushed when I saw them. They took an unnecessary risk to gain time to get to an airport where we all have the same flight. I was hoping the way they play the game would be their fatal mistake.” Later James obsesses, “The frickin’ Blondes, dude. I’m so over them. I want to take them out so bad.” At the Antiquites du Sud, Kim assumes that the Blondes were in first since one lucky charm was gone, “The Blondes were here.” It’s an understatement to say that they are fixated on where Dustin and Kandice are!

Lyn and Karlyn’s edit was subdued (except for the yield). Their pit stop quote was rather generic, “it’s going to be tough, but we’re ready for it.” I noted a few things though. Lyn did say, “We’re smarter racers than people think.” James comments that Bama gets places fast, “We can’t believe Bama beat us – that’s a curve ball.” Kim also mentioned that they are good with directions. I don’t know if this was just about this episode or if it foreshadows their place in the final three. (With their poor edit, I won’t even entertain the thought that they win!) They were poor losers at the Yield. Leading up to it they said, “if is not an option, it’s who we’re going to Yield.” Lyn said, “Karlyn wants to yield the Barbies. We’ve been trying to slow them up; since the beginning of the race.” Then after they were yielded Karlyn griped, “It’s typical of something they would do. They’ve shown no character in this game. I can go home at night and go right to sleep.” Then she flips the Blondes the bird. That wasn’t a very nice indication of their character! Dustin and Kandice explain their decision to yield Lyn and Karlyn. “If we didn’t do this, we wouldn’t “be playing our best game.”

At the roadblock, Dustin said, ” I felt like a legitimate gladiator. I was victorious in battle.” Leaving the roadblock, Rob said, The BQ’s are not to be trusted, but we will use them from time to time.” When Dustin and Kandice first pass Rob and Kim with their flat tire, Kandice says, “We’re not evil Blondes, we’re competitive blondes.” This has been the Blondes story and the editing over the season has carefully shown us that. When they pass Rob and Kim the second time, Rob complains, "I hate these girls. We’ve known from the beginning you can’t trust them.” His complaining seems like sour grapes. We already know that this is the final four and the girls are playing to win. An inordinate of time is spent seeing how Dustin and Kandice goofed up going to the detour. Tyler comments, “The Blondes have slipped a little bit.” James, “You don’t want to underestimate anyone.” As the Blondes mash the olives, “We’re dead last, but we’re not giving up.

The Angel switches sides?

Karlyn says, “We’ve never been number one, but we keep hanging in there. I feel like there’s a higher power who wants us to be here.” Going to the pit stop in second place, she comments, “The Yield was good luck. {I can’t wait} to see the Barbies be eliminated. They’re evil and their evilness has bitten them back.” Lyn then cackles wickedly! Karlyn adds about the good luck charm, “I don’t know what it is, but it’s good luck.” Kandice and Dustin reply, “There’s no bad karma in a game. You do what you have to do win…I’ve got the angel around my neck” (with a close up of the idol). Along with the angel imagery, karma has been mentioned a few times in this episode too – and it parallels Erwin and Godwin talking about karma throughout their journey. The thing about TAR is even if you don’t believe in good or bad karma, you need to have some good luck along the way. In the first two non-elimination rounds the blondes were heard saying that they want Bama out; this time it was the other way around.

At the pit stop, Phil doesn’t spend much time talking with Lyn and Karlyn – there is no talk of them going forward or being in the final three. This is contrasted with the confessionals and visuals at the end of the program for Dustin and Kandice. Has any team marked for elimination received so much attention from Phil? The last image of them was a glowing close-up. It is all or nothing for these girls. Has their story peaked too early? I can’t forget that James and Kim both acknowledged Lyn and Karlyn’s navigational skills.

Miscellaneous comments

James had a good episode. He made a lot of interesting comments and he proved his worth for his team by spying the turns they needed to make. Earlier, James comments, I like going to the same detour as someone else so we can battle it out.” They battled with Lyn and Karlyn, but I felt like this comment meant more.

Rob and Kim have either been backburnered to reappear in the finale or their story is reaching its conclusion. Their story was summed up in the pit stop confessional, Rob says, “The race is helping me grow and realize that I need to breathe and calm down.” Kim added, “Rob is starting to learn that sometimes you can’t control everything. If you can’t control it, there’s no reason to freak out about it.” This was illustrated when they stayed fairly calm when they got a flat tire.

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11-28-06, 06:19 PM (EST)
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67. "RE: Tar Episode #11: The Feud"
It is a bit strange when you think about it. You would expect Phil to ask if the Bamas think they could be the first all-girl team to win just because they did so well this leg.

And for good or bad you would expect the editors to leave it in just to muddy up the waters a little! Nothing to pull the viewers in like a little doubt about who the winning team really is.

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11-29-06, 01:59 AM (EST)
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68. "RE: Tar Episode #11: The Feud"
As always I enjoy reading the analysis you guys do.

I'm afraid My Tivo is out so I'm doing this from memory.

The Barbi's: This episode reminded me very much of BJ/Tyler from last season. Specifically when the Blondes drove the wrong way first looking for the antique shop, and then again when they drove past the place to mash olives. This reminded me of BJ/Tyler when the drove the wrong direction in Italy? or was it Greece? Either way, BJ/Tyler appeared determined to get back on track, reach the destination, execute the task at hand and hope for the best. The way the Barbi's waited for a pit to open, and then attacked it with determination was I thought impressive. It didn't keep them from coming in last, but I thought it showed a LOT of focus. Like BJ/Tyler they weren't shown second guessing each other, fussing over reading a map, or watching for signs - just an impressive drive to make up as much ground as possible. The Barbi's were shown making mistakes this episode, more so than any episode in the past. I think this is to raise a question about the girls ability to actually win. I think this is because as in SURVIVOR the edit is intended to show us some doubt that the eventual winner will be able to pull it off. There has to be a hurdle to over come. We know from past legs the Barbi's are stonger than this. They will overcome the hurdle. Also in SURVIVOR it's generally good to have other players talk about you, and that's almost ALL that the other teams did. This episode was to give us doubt, to make us question if the Barbi's can really win. I think they almost certainly will.

BAMA: I think this was BAMA's rehabilitaion episode. We've been led to question thru this season if BAMA could really compete without the aid of Erwin/Godwin. This episode was to show us Yes. BAMA deserved to make it this far. I think this was probably the close of their story arc. I can't believe Jerry Bruckheimer would allow the winning team to get such a negative edit. Having said that, I am concerned that Lyn and Karlyn are this seasons Flo and Zack. Lyn has been portrayed very negatively in my opinion. Karlyn has gotten a MUCH better edit. In the airport a few episodes back while Lyn was argumentative Karlyn was very calm and soft spoken. When Lyn flipped of the Barbi's Karlyn told her it was not appropriate. When Lyn has spoken negatively about other teams, Karlyn has frequently spoken positively. Too, it bothers me ALOT, to see all of the angle imagery, I'm a black angle, Prayer to make me Fierce, for strength etc... Especially when I could imagine them winning and Karlyn attributing it to Erwin/Godwins "protecting them". I don't think Lyn would give them props, but I think Karlyn would. And THAT has me worried that inspite of the negative edit, they are getting a Flo/Zack edit and they win. I'm putting my money on the Barbi's, But BAMA has me concerned.

Rob/Kim: I think their story has been about Rob/Kim coming together from a squabbling couple, to a couple that can appreciate the strengths of their partner. Rob has been giving Kim more and more respect in recent episodes. I don't think their story is about winning, it's about learning to better respect each other. If their story had been about winning, I would have expected to have seen a different edit. As it stands, I'd feel a let down with them winning.

Tyler and James: We hadn't heard much about them overcoming addiction lately, and I was starting to think - MAYBE they could have a shot. But then we had Two comments from them this week. When trying to decide Throw it or Grind it, one of them made a comment along the lines "Yeah! I want to throw a pot!" Which I thought could be a possible double entendre. But I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. But a few minutes later one of them, Maybe the same one I'm not sure, said "That's Dope!" Certainly a possible slang for something one likes. But Coming from these two, particularly on the heels of the Throw a pot, confirmed for me atleast that they were being a little to Sly. Maybe I took it wrong, but if these two won, I don't think those double entendres would have made it to air.

So, In conclusion, I think this season will have an all girl team win. Either the Barbi's with the BJ/Tyler type edit or POSSIBLY Lyn and Karlyn with a Flo/Zack edit. Since I think this season is about Alliances being wrong for TAR, I think the Barbi's win it. I just wish there weren't so many angle refrences with BAMA.

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11-29-06, 07:30 PM (EST)
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71. "RE: Tar Episode #11: The Feud"
MavsFan--I enjoyed your comments, as well as all the bright people on this thread.

Just for clarification, Lyn (sometimes Lynette) is the calmer, taller Mom, and Karlyn is the more petite, hot-tempered Mom. Just so you know

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11-30-06, 01:33 AM (EST)
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73. "RE: Tar Episode #11: The Feud"
Thanks for the kind words, and the clarification Peetah.

I honestly have found it difficult to keep track of the specific people on the teams this year, rather than just the general team names.

I'm afraid I've not been as big a fan of this season as I've been of past season and I can't seem to remember which one is Tyler or James, Dustin or Kandice, Lyn or Karlyn. (nor could I remember which was Erwin or Godwin.

Guess I'm just not into the season that much this year.

Again, thanks.

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11-29-06, 01:25 PM (EST)
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70. "RE: Tar Episode #11: The Feud"
Well, I haven't commented in here in a while, so I figured I'd get a post in before we're down to the finale.

Well, everyone certainly hates Dustin & Kandice! Unfortunately for 'Bama that seems to be all their story is about anymore. We havent heard anything from Phil about their accomplishments really. They are being edited as just nasty, and their main redeeming point - running the race for their kids - has not been mentioned in quite a while. They are completely focused on their rivalry with the beauty queens. Their other main story - their association/disassociation with the 6 pack alliance has come full circle. They have proven that they can do well on their own, and even that perhaps the alliance was holding them back. They've now proven that though - and now it seems to me that all that is left is the resolving of their feud with the beauty queens - which based on their being edited as the nasty ones of the two (this could have easily been edited the opposite way), I see their story ending with them losing out to the beauty queens. Will this be the next episode or in the final leg? I'm not sure. I'm leaning toward this coming episode, because the feud really seems to be reaching its climax, but it could go into the final leg.

Tyler and James - I just really still dont see enough substance from them for them to be our winners. I think that they'll make it to the final leg just because the 'Bama/Beaty Queen rivalry is coming to a head, but if that doesnt get resolved this coming episode - I think it'll be Tyler and James that go this coming leg. Perhaps they'll be our surprise elimination? Or perhaps James' deficiencies will be their downfall. I think that the highlighting of this is crucial to their story. It really wasnt noticeable to the viewers until they brought it up, and now we notice it - but they've done well since mentioning it. So, I think that we may see that this will be their downfall.

Rob and Kimberly - They're really showing some promise now I think. At the right time they've started really working well together and working past their issues. Most fighting couples at this point reach a fever pitch and start to really fall apart, but Rob and Kimberly are being shown to do the opposite. It really seems like we're being given the upswing and given reasons for a win from them. I see either them or D&K winning. Kim has really been shown as a strong, serious competitor. Perhaps thats to satisfy the desire for a female win that they've created? They do seem to be having horrible luck though, will that finally end, or be their downfall. The thing is, I dont really see that we've been given what their downfall will be if they lose - unless they fall apart again or just have bad luck.

I still think that D&K are the most likely winners though. I sat in disbelief when they were last, and jumped up and cheered when Phil said they werent eliminated - and this coming from a viewer that normally cant stand the "models or beauty queens". We are supposed to be rooting for them. They have been shown very rounded, to have their weaknesses and now I think we've been shown their moment where they need to overcome the odds - but we've also been shown that they of any of the teams are capable of this. It really feels like they've been edited as "true racers" more than any of the other teams. Of the rivalry with 'Bama, D&K certainly come off much more sympathetic and likeable. Their actions are shown to be understandable and in the spirit of competition, while 'Bama is shown to be poor sports - NO WAY would the editors ever depict winners as poor sports. We're supposed to be worried for Dustin and Kandice next episode, but have faith that they can overcome. After each non-elimination leg so far we've had a fast foward in the next leg - so odds are that will come along again. From what I remember of the previews we weren't shown anything that would indicate that D&K definitely dont take advantage of that were we?

By the way, great comments everyone! I havent had much time to comment myself, but I've definitely enjoyed reading the posts each week.

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11-29-06, 10:05 AM (EST)
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69. "RE: TAR 10: The Racers, the Strategy and the Editing."
Taking a look at the 4 teams left at this time & how these descriptions "fit" them at this point in the race.

> Dustin and Kandice became
>friends competing for Miss USA.
>They have a competitve nature
>and work well together. They
>are both athletic and rely
>on their stamina. They’ve traveled
>a lot and look forward
>to seeing the world especially
>the UK. They may use
>flirting if it can help.
>They want to surprise the
>other teams by showing how
>strong they are.

> Lyn and Karlyn are
>long-time friends and mothers. They
>have never traveled and their
>preparation was to learn a
>few key phrases in different
>languages and to tone up.
>Karlyn isn’t a good swimmer
>but will give it her
>all. They don’t know how
>they will react to bungee
>jumps or other challenges. They
>can have hot tempers and
>fear they could be out-matched.

>Rob and Kimberly are dating and
>have different qualities that balance
>each other out. They wanted
>to be on the race
>to figure out where their
>relationship is going. They want
>to see how they deal
>with the pressure. They are
>both athletic and have stepped-up
>their work-out to prepare. From
>watching previous seasons, they figured
>the key to success is
>to work together and not
>fight. Rob tells us Kimberly
>is tough.

> Tyler and James are
>friends who went through rehab
>together. They now model and
>enjoyed the hippies’ methods. They
>have traveled before. One is
>patient, the other aggressive. Both
>are fit for the competition.
>One of them is single
>and will be looking for
>cute girls.

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11-29-06, 11:16 PM (EST)
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72. "More Speculation..."
FWIW, when I watched TAR 1 on DVD it seemed to me that often the recap and/or next week previewed the loser two weeks before they were eliminated, so this season I started keeping track of who was highlighted. After a few weeks I lost interest because it was always Peter and Sarah and David and Mary but I still made notes on it. All the speculation of Lyn and Karlyn winning made me go back and look at it. Dustin and Kandice have been mentioned in almost every recap/next week on since episode 4! (The fight with Tom and Terry, two different fights with Lyn and Karlyn, an ill-fated alliance with Peter and Sarah, car accident, the intersection, they excelled, they gloated, they had a rivalry with Tyler and James). That's overkill! Who was mentioned the least? Lyn and Karlyn, Tyler and James and Rob and Kim. One of the recaps focused on Rob suffering from heat exhaustion. At the time I found it odd that they even mentioned it because it happened during a pit stop and we saw no sign of his problems during the race. We’ve already said that this race is tough. Rob spoke of having endurance during the first episode. Why else would the editors put this in if not to illustrate it? Phil also said they fought their way to number one after the leg they won. Lyn and Karlyn were only mentioned in reference to the alliance and their fights with the Barbies.

If the editors are faced with a final three of two nice, but boring men, a nice, but narrow-minded couple who lose their temper a lot and a schoolteacher who tends to be long-winded and is teamed with a b!tch, it’s much better TV to focus on the underdog alliance, the competitive and telegenic BQs and a physically disabled athlete with a dysfunctional partner. There’s also been a subtle shift in the people posting here on our own message boards. People are getting fed up with Dustin and Kandice. I think consciously or unconsciously, our own peeps views are a barometer of the editing too. I’m beginning to think that the Blondes don’t survive being marked for elimination. I know there’s been a lot of talk about an all-female team winning the race, but I don’t think one will. The women have shown they can compete and be taken seriously, but my money is on Rob and Kim.

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11-30-06, 01:49 AM (EST)
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74. "RE: More Speculation..."
I'm sticking with the Girls team win theory, but you could well be right.

Why do they put the Cheerleaders, Models, Beauty Queens on? The same reason they put Cao boi, Flicka, Shane on Survivor - To get folks to watch. Cao Boi isn't going to win. Neither are Shane or Flicka, But they get screen time because they attract viewers. Some like 'em. Some hate 'em. But Everyone's watching them. It could be the same with the Beauty Queens. Maybe they get a lot of air time, not because they win, but because they attract viewers. Some who love them, some who hate them. But viewers are viewers.

You mentioned the Season 1 of TAR. I remember very well Rob & Brennan getting little air time. As I recall they were just steady and bland, not going to attract many viewers. So the show didn't revolve around them even though they won. So, while I think this has been largely the Barbi show, they could still come up short.

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12-04-06, 09:44 PM (EST)
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75. "TAR 10: The Final 3"
It was nice to read everyone's comments and FlowerPower, I appreciate your support and contribution.

When the recap told us that Lyn and Karlyn had been vindicated for having been yielded and we saw Dustin make her « smack-smack-smack » comment in close-up, we were prepared for the Blondes’ elimination.

Tyler and James continued with their obsession about the girls. James said “There’s a million dollars on the line. We’ll do whatever it takes to make the Final 3 so that we can make it all the way.” Tyler added: “We don’t care what place we come in as long as we knock out the girls. That is what we all plan to do. We feel the Blondes are more competition than Bama, so we’d rather have Bama in the final 3 than the Blondes.”

They reached Casablanca and the “Quartier des Abats” in first place and made their way to the “Boucherie” to pick up their pound of camel meat. (was that the camel that gave lip to Jeremy last season that was hanging from the store front? ) James, the glutton of the team, did the Roadblock. He quickly prepared his Camel-Kabab and started eating. They were surprised the BQs had made it there in second place but they left before Kandice had finished having her kababs cooked. They crossed Rob on the way out of the market place and told him to hurry up since the girls were already there.

On the way to the airport they said that the Blondes had a desperate look on their face. Tyler added that: “We’d love to knock off the Blonde. The Moms are the most unfit so we’d have the upper hand if they were in the final 3.”

The travel agency was where Dustin and Kandice caught up to them and pleaded for help:
-“If were running neck and neck, would you let us step on the mat first” asked Kandice. “You could…maybe…trip!”
-“You don’t have faith in your game” taunted Tyler.
-“We go with you all the way… Wouldn’t you rather have us in the final 3 than Rob and Kimberly” was Dustin’s response. The guys weren’t receptive.

The plane ride was a bunching point and the guys were right behind the girls coming out of the airport in Barcelona: “The girls have nothing but worry on their face” noted Tyler. “Since they have a 30 minute penalty, we’re going to tail them to the end and assure ourselves of the final 3.” They all get to the labyrinth together and have to wait for its opening.

Waiting for the labyrinth to open, they asked Kimberly, who had gone over to see what the Blondes were doing, to reserve one taxi for them also. The Labyrinth didn’t separate the teams but since only 2 taxis showed up, the models were left behind with the Moms while two teams left for the Detour.

After finally getting a ride, Tyler made the right assumption that the Blondes would be doing the physical detour. They got into the giant costumes and quickly caught up to the girls who couldn’t find the right direction. From there, they knew they were safe since they arrived at Montjuic at the same time as the girls. They could look around to figure out where was the mat and they arrived third.

At the end, Tyler said: “It is every man for himself and every team for himself.” “We have the most first place finishes than all the other teams” continued James. “I don’t think it’s going to be any problem taking the million.”

At no point was this season their story. They had another nice visual of the morning sun over the Sahara desert, much as they had in the Gobi desert. Their story simply seems to be about two nice guys who found a better way to enjoy life. They were dismissing the Moms at the start but after coming very close in the last leg, the moms did beat the guys this time. “Don’t count me out” had said Lyn. Isn’t that what the models have done? It would be even more ironic if Rob and Kimberly outrace them to the final mat. It would mean that they would have been better off going all the way with the girls.

Lyn and Karlyn left the pit stop amazed that they were so close to the lead for the first time. “It feels great” said Lyn. “In the last leg, we were yielded by the Barbies but they came in last and are marked for elimination” explained Karlyn. “We definitely have a plan to get them out.” “We have to get them out this time” agreed Lyn.

They got lost in Casablanca and were looking around when they ran into Rob and Kimberly. They finally found the Boucherie and “Café 11” and Lyn was happy to tell us she knows her way in the kitchen having to prepare meals for her kids. The Kababs were quickly prepared and Lyn started eating. Karlyn spent to whole time ranting on her team mate, reminding us of this team’s bad behavior.
-“If you shut the H*ll up, I could do this” said Lyn.
-“No, I don’t think so” replied Karlyn.

The airport and the labyrinth bunching points kept this team tied with the others. They even showed smarts in finding a quick way out of the labyrinth instead of running into dead-ends like the other teams did. Not having called to reserve a taxi left them in last place on the way to the detour.

They chose the Tomato fight detour and remained calm despite being pelted by the festive locals. They asked each other if they should change detours but suddenly they found a clue. There had to be many clues in the pile because they seemed to leave very quickly and were shown to be in second place.

They had to go across the Catalonian capital to Montjuic and their taxi was going nowhere fast as it was caught in traffic. The suspense didn’t last long as they soon found the stairs and saw Phil and the “pretty lady.” Phil finally recognized that this was the first all-female team to reach the final 3. Was that the extent of the foreshadowing or do they have another first in store? Lyn said: “We just have to seal the deal and be the first female team to win the million dollars.”

Lyn left us saying: “What propels us pass the other teams is that we remain calm. Both the 2 other teams are very emotional.” To prove their point, we see pictures of the other two teams from previous episodes having melt-downs. “We don’t look as physical as the other teams but we have plenty of brain power and we have more heart than any other team.”

It can be seen either way, but I don’t think their story culminates in a victory. Sure it would prove Tyler and James wrong for dismissing them but so would finishing 2nd in front of the models! Lyn has been shown in a much better light than her partner but Karlyn was too prominent and her verbal assaults were aimed at all the other racers. All that could remain to complete their story is to see if they’ll be gracious in defeat.

Rob and Kimberly have often showed their ugly side. They start out with a very positive confessional. Again they are the team from which we hear the two members more regularly. Kimberly starts: “Rob just continues to keep going for it. He hasn’t given up. He used to need a little push to get motivated. That was one of the things I was worried about going into this race.”
Rob told us: “I really want to make it to the final 3 right now and I have a certain belief that we will win a million dollars, we will get married and we will ride off into the Moroccan sunset.”

In spite of that, their arrival in Casablanca was similar to what we had seen at the start from this racer. Rob was lost and he seemed to be blaming everyone that didn’t rush to help him. They wandered around the market with Rob searching with his arm outstretched as if he had been the victim of a bad joke. They hooked up with the single moms and told them Tyler had said the Blondes had already gotten there. Then they saw the blondes and decided to follow them, not realizing the girls had also completed the detour and were on their way out. Rob got frustrated when the local who had helped the Blondes didn’t help him. Kandice told us “Rob has a little anger management issue.” (No kidding!) They were in last place and Kimberly was forced to do the detour since Rob had done his quota. Kimberly couldn’t catch up to Lyn but they soon found out that they had panicked for nothing.

In Barcelona, they managed to get to the “Lob it” detour first as Kimberly had noticed the girls’ ploy and had also reserved a taxi. Being hit by tomatos wasn’t to Kimberly’s liking and, twice, she walked away from the pile telling Rob that it was ridiculous to continue. They couldn’t be 30 minutes behind the girls, she argued, so they should have time to switch task. Finally, Rob relented but their taxi driver informed them that the location of the other detour was 20 miles away. They were back to the pile of tomatos, enduring the pelting and the laughter from the locals. It didn’t take much more time to find the message and they were soon on their way to the Pit Stop, the Fountain in the Palau Nacional of Montjuic. Normally, searching tasks are killers but the two teams that did this one finished in what appeared to be less time than walking a mile with the giant costume could take. Kimberly regained her calm in the taxi and explained that she was freaking out because she thought they’d never find it.

At the pit stop, Phil told them that they were the first team to make it in the final 3. Their hug showed that they stick together despite the difficulties encountered. Kim told Phil: “We have our relationship to build on. The other teams, they win the million and…they are friends.” Phil asked Rob how he felt being so close to a life changing moment. Rob broke down crying: “It means a lot to me…to win” he managed to say between sobs.

“I want to win the million to start a family with this amazing woman,” Rob said. “It would be a start to a life together.” His final words were: “I feel my confidence level is at a 10.” “We’re going to do everything it takes to keep it under control” promised Kimberly.

This team is certainly not a fan favorite, yet very few have shown the same growth in a race. They do argue, they do lose their temper but they get the job done most of the time. In this season where “The Race is Tough” they have been shown to go through more pain than the other two teams. The final story should be theirs.

Can we be a little mean and say that the final story will be:

The Boring, The Bad and The Ugly

wait…that wasn’t the title of the movie, was it?

The Single Moms make this Final 3 surprising but each had shown some longevity either because of the conflicts we had been shown or the physical abilities of the models. Lets see who makes it first to the mat!

I don’t usually comment on the eliminated team but here, there is the question of why did we think Dustin and Kandice would win. The second half of the season had been their story, how they had fun racing, how they defied the other teams and didn’t back down from any arguments. The other teams’ obsession in beating the girls was shown so that we could realize that a female team could win this race. They certainly appeared to be good enough racers.

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12-05-06, 07:49 AM (EST)
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76. "RE: TAR 10: The Final 3"
Dustin and Kandice were eliminated and after all their hype this season, failed to make the final three. They were good, competitive racers that challenged the competition. The editing pointed out how good they were with navigating and also highlighted their previous mistakes (losing the helmet, losing the clue) so it wasn’t surprising that the time they didn’t have a map, they made some careless errors in following directions and were eliminated. Their story was all about their competitiveness. They were so successful that they had three teams gunning for them this episode. Last week Michel pointed out that the Blondes editing might be to show that an all-female team could be taken seriously as racers. They were portrayed as strong racers (even as they were losing, Rob called them relentless and tough) and didn’t rely on their looks and flirting as much as playing tough and giving it their all.

Rob and Kim’s story has come to a definite conclusion, a definite arc from the beginning. Kim says leaving the pit stop, “Rob continues to keep going for it. He hasn’t given up. He used to need a little push to get motivated and that was one of the things I was worried about in the race.” Their personal theme has been endurance, to keep going. This leaves them in a good position. While their roadblock performance wasn’t pretty, it did illustrate that they have learned to work and communicate better together (in their own weird way). They didn’t give up. In the cab after the roadblock they apologized and both took blame for their outbursts. Rob said ”you gotta have faith.”

Tyler and James have been focusing on the wrong competition the entire race. Leaving the pit stop they say, “We don’t care what place we come in as long as we knock the Blondes out which we all plan to do. We feel that the Blondes are the more competitive than Bama. We’d rather have Bama in the final three.” That has been their story for the past two episodes. They’ve never acknowledged that Rob and Kim are tough racers too. Their strategy this episode was to shadow the Blondes, “We’re going to trail them to the end and guarantee ourselves a spot in the final three,” and later, “Follow them and make sure they don’t get first, and they’ll be gone.” It worked for them, but they had no way of knowing that the other task wouldn’t take longer and give the Blondes time to make up their thirty minute penalty. They could have been eliminated! Later on in the leg the boys again say, “I’d love for Bama to go to the final three. Bama is probably the most unfit physically. We’d have the upper hand over them.” For the past two weeks they’ve talked about how they would prefer Bama in the final three and it would be ironic if Lyn and Karlyn beat them to the final mat! I really expect the book smarts quote come back and bite them here. The last task could be a mental one where your physical fitness wouldn’t matter. James had an interesting redemption as an equal partner of their team this week. Tyler called him “eagle eyes” twice and he made his camel kebabs look so good that Tyler wanted some!

A lot of Lyn and Karlyn’s story has been focusing on getting rid of Dustin and Kandice. Their quote at the pit stop was also about getting rid of the Barbies. Getting rid of Dustin and Kandice has been a major subplot but it doesn’t make you a winner! Lyn, the team’s voice of reason, also commented that she was weary of road trips and this made me wonder if their energy flags a bit during the last leg. Karlyn’s behavior towards Lyn at the detour was awful, but she apologizes to her, “It’s the stress that gets to you and I don’t deal with it well, and I apologize for that.” Lyn accepted her apology so her behavior probably bothered the audience more than her.

Rob and Kim are the first to arrive at the pit stop. They had extensive face time. Phil asks them if they are hungry to win. Do you think the other teams are as hungry to win this race as you guys? Kim: “We have a relationship to go for. Everybody else, you get the money, and then you’re friends. We have more to gain.” Phil, “Rob, you are just a few hours away from what could be a life changing moment in your life, so it’s got to be a lot to try to take in right now. Rob starts to cry, “It would just mean a lot to me to win. They hug and kiss. I want to win a million dollars for a start to a family with this amazing woman. I want to marry her. It would be a start at a life together.” Have we just been given the justification for their win? They have acted as Ugly Americans at times, but we have seen them grow together throughout the race.

Lyn and Karlyn arrive second and Phil announces that they are the first all female team to make it into the final three (now who would have predicted that after the first episode where they could barely the Great Wall!). Lyn replies, “Let’s seal the deal and be the first.” Tyler and James are third and again, “just happy they beat the Blondes.”

Final quotes: Tyler and James, “It’s every man for himself and every team for himself…we have the most number one finishes of any other team…I don’t think we’ll have any problem in taking the million.”

Rob and Kim: “I feel our confidence level is at a 10…we’re going to work through everything to keep it together…I have no doubt in my mind that we are going to win the million dollars.”

Lyn and Karlyn: “What propels us past those other teams is the ability to remain calm. Both the other two remaining teams are very emotional (flashbacks to them each yelling)…We may not look as physical as they but we have plenty of brain power and more heart than anything.”

The last quotes by Lyn and Karlyn make me question Rob and Kim winning because they weren’t given a quote saying they’re going to win the million dollars (winners by omission!). Lyn gives a very thoughtful answer and there has been a lot of talk of the first all-female team to win but I still believe they weren’t edited as winners but rather as a surprise underdog and villain. Making it to the final three would be quite an accomplishment for them and even more so if they beat Tyler and James. Rob and Kim have been shown to be the hungriest to win.

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Earl Colby Pottinger 1803 desperate attention whore postings
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12-05-06, 11:32 AM (EST)
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77. "RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and the Editing."
Yes, I said TAR 10 and TAR 11.

I think the explanation about all the later hype (legs 6 onward) about the Beauty Queens is the first pre-editted story line for TAR 11.

When editted for air the producers of-course knew that the Beauty Queens did not win. So why hype them up? Why keep talking about them winning the race? To show them as the plucky girls coming back in TAR 11 trying to get the win they lost in TAR 10. This make double-sense if the Bamas do not win, as this again leaves them the openning as the 'first all-girl team' to win TAR!

Yes, I know the producers also like mudding up the waters as to who will be on the final 3, but the producers also want at-least one strong team that viewers are rooting for, and the Beauty Queens looks like a good team for that.

The main reason to believe that the Beauty Queens are running TAR 11 is their interview on The Early Show where instead of being interviewed in the studio like normal we see them against a generic background.

What do you guys think of my idea of an edit that spans two TARs?

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12-05-06, 01:24 PM (EST)
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78. "RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and the Editing."
LAST EDITED ON 12-05-06 AT 04:02 PM (EST)

Good point ECP. There was some definate table-setting done for the Blondes in TAR 11! The close-ups visuals of them at the last two pit stops and their exit interview (they had taken showers and redone their make-up) was extremely complimentary. It may have influenced their overall edit a little, especially at the end, but I don't want to take anything away from how they were edited during this race. They were strong racers and tough competitors and mixed it up with everyone. Their story was their competitiveness whether they would be on all-stars or not.
Not knowing the outcome of all-stars, they'd have to be careful how much they influenced TAR 10. I think the editors loved Dusitn and Kandice and wanted us to love them too and want to see them come back.

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12-06-06, 01:39 AM (EST)
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79. "RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and the Editing."
Well the real kicker to me is the first time the Bamas came in second that the edit left out Phil asking the two women if they thought they could win the race.

Coming out of nowhere to second place like that, I just can't see Phil not asking that question regardless what he thought of the teams members or skills in the race. It would be the natural question to ask. So it looks like it was editted out.

Why? It appears to give the BQs more face time as the team to go for the first all-girl win. Interesting, it is my understanding that All-Stars is still filming so unless the girls are already out of the race even the producers don't know if they will win yet or not.

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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12-06-06, 09:31 AM (EST)
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80. "RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and the Editing."
LAST EDITED ON 12-06-06 AT 09:35 AM (EST)

Very interesting idea Earl. Not being in the editor's head, I can't really answer, but your thought could help for this season!

If it is some sort of sequel, they still should've started by doing a better job making these players' story more complete. If the models are the winners, their lack luster story would not make for a very popular outcome. They are nice guys but have had a boring storyline. Would people be encouraged to watch the second part if they don't even care about the race anymore? If Bama wins, doesn't that take out a lot of meaning to the girls' pursuit in the next race?

In the end, both the Models and the Moms' stories were reduced to their conflicts with the Blondes. As such, they could have served to hook us for next season. Only Rob and Kimberly maintained a story that was independant of the Blondes. Maybe it is another indication that they are the winners. Again, it wouldn't be a popular win and wouldn't help the demand for a sequel. Before building up the second season, they should have taken better care of the first.

If it was edited as a two part story and they wanted to build up the Blondes, then you probably have our first spoiler for next season! The girls must go far in the next season because it would be a waste to build them up if they are first out. I'm not sure of the timing but the 11th race probably got under way during the first half of this season and is coming to a close now. The second half of the upcoming season probably got underway at about the same time Phil started mentioning their chances of being the first female team to win!

CTGirl, I always enjoy your posts. I see that we have both come to the conclusion that our Halloween scare could be the prefered outcome! Quite a change, isn't it?

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12-06-06, 02:00 PM (EST)
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81. "RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and the Editing."
Very interesting thread, and major props to Michel, Earl, CT Girl and many others. I also thought the edit made it appear that the Beauty Queens would win this edition, but with the more favorable edit that Rob/Kimberly got in this episode I think it points to their winning.
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12-10-06, 01:17 PM (EST)
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82. "RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and the Editing."
I want to say how much I enjoy this thread each week.

Thanks for starting it Michel, and thanks to everyone who contributed.

Now, At the start of the season, when Phil was getting ready to send the teams off into the world, weren't we told this was going to be unlike any TAR before? I don't recall if this was a voice over, or something we actually saw him saying to the players. Either whay, while We had a few twists thrown in such as 1) The Intersection, and 2) the non pitstop elimination, we've had changes before without the "This TAR is unlike any TAR before notice". Changes Such as Super legs & Changes to non elimination pitstops were changes that didn't merit comment in the opening of prior TARS. Or atleast I don't remember them.

So, I think the warning at the start of the season was really about that THE ENDING was going to be unlike any TAR before.

There have been Alot of angel refrences particularly in regards to LK. Specifically in regards to "I'm a black angel" and putting the Angel around their necks for good luck 2 episodes back. Also, I can think of atleast 2 instances where We've seen them Praying for Strength. I've got to think players pray ALL THE TIME in this game for strength, guidance etc... But we were shown LK praying - not to the best of my recollection other players praying. (I'm not counting "Oh, My God!" Now we have the final episode "Say Your Deepest Prayers Ever".

Then, there have been the MULTIPLE reminders that a womans team has never won before. I think this has been mentioned repeatedly so that folks will have more of an appreciation for what LK has accomplished - despite how unsatisfying the season their win will be.

I think all of this points to LK winning.

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12-10-06, 07:42 PM (EST)
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83. "RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and the Editing."
>There have been Alot of angel
>refrences particularly in regards to
>Now we have the final episode "Say
>Your Deepest Prayers Ever".

But we saw in the preview that it is Tyler and James that say the episode title "Say Your Deepest Prayers Ever." Kind of looks like they are standing at a ticket counter.

I don't know if that means T and J will win. I haven't been able to find any link between episode titles/who said it and how they finish on the leg. Although that might be an interesting thing to track next season to see if there is a link we can figure out.

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12-11-06, 01:30 AM (EST)
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84. "RE: TAR 10: Tar 11: The Racers and the Editing."
It's Sunday night and I haven't seen the episode yet, not had I seen the preview at the time I posted it. I just assumed that this was L/K talking about the biggest prayer.

Thanks for the enlightenment.

Now to watch the episode.

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12-12-06, 05:33 PM (EST)
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85. "The Finale!"
Well that wasn’t the greatest finale – and not just because we were off the mark on the winner! At least we pinpointed the “million dollar” winning quote, but who knew that the book smarts quote would end up being literal! We knew that quote would have an effect on the outcome. Maybe we read too much into the editing, but I liked our ending! (It would have been much more exciting!) We thought getting rid of Dustin and Kandice would be Tyler and James’ Achilles heel, but the editors were telling us just how Tyler and James won the race.

Their win was right in front of my nose. Last week when Tyler called James “eagle eyes,” I knew it was an important quote, but I didn’t make the connection to them winning. Also as jenjk pointed out, the episode title referred to Tyler and James. The editors even showed us who won in the previews last week by their expressions when they ran to the mat! I thought mavs had a good point earlier in the season about the models commenting on how winning would affect their recovering addict lifestyle so I expected some kind of endcap confessional to that point. Their edit was the most sympathetic overall – we just thought they were boring! Their hissy fit in the airport was good misdirection. I didn't expect them to win.

I posted that Rob and Kim would never win after their stupid, stupid comments in India. It never dawned on me at the time that I would consider them as potential winners; they came in second. In retrospect, their edit was too negative for them to be the winners. I realized pretty early on in the show with all their fighting that it didn’t look good for them. Their story was one of endurance (I really hoped they were going to catch the models when they were running downtown especially when Tyler and James commented on what good shape they are in.) They were gracious losers. Now if they don’t ever encounter any stress in their lives, they may have a good marriage!

Lyn and Karlyn’s edit the first half of the show was so positive, I was wondering if those “angels” were going to win it! Lyn had a majority of the confessionals, if not all, (I am not going to rewatch that show!), so I did think that if they were winners we would have heard a lot more from Lyn and a lot less from Karlyn. I did feel bad for them when they didn’t make the plane, but it was their mistake in going to Orly Airport instead of Charles de Gaulle.

What have I have learned this season? Never to count anyone out! At some point in the season I discounted all three teams in the final three! Their stories were all laid out in the first episode. Perhaps we have a Survivor bias and expect things to mean more than they do. Maybe michel should rename this thread the “where we will definitely figure out the final three and then take a stab in the dark at who the editors are trying to hide as the winner.” Maybe with TAR 11, third time’s a charm. The nature of a race is to hide the winner and the editors have done a good job of that. This was a fun season to analyze since the stories were all woven together from the beginning – alliances, rivalries, karma. The ending was a bit disappointing because we in this thread thought Tyler and James were too boring to be the winners, and the finale was a let-down. I really missed not having a task right before the final mat. It added some interest to the ending instead of just making it a cab race. (Their ease in getting a cab to drive 56 miles out of NYC was astounding. In my experience, cab drivers don’t want to leave Manhattan for an outer borough, never mind going two counties away.)

Thanks again to Michel for starting this thread. Everyone have a great holiday!

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12-12-06, 08:46 PM (EST)
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86. "Post Mortem"
Nice post CTGirl: The Finale did show us that we had either been too ambitious or hadn't wanted to see the obvious!

The Models’s victory leaves us with a sobering conclusion and many questions regarding the ability to spoil the winners from the editing. Unless I missed it, the season was never shown to be about Tyler and James. I don’t recall any foreshadowing or development of a storyline that could serve as an indication that they would win outside of what we saw in the first episode. I had written: “The theme seems to be “The race is tough and you better be ready to face surprises…Being able to stay calm under the pressure of the race may be the key…Tyler and James…best exemplified that remaining calm is the best attitude to have.” Had I stopped writing after those first few lines, I wouldn’t have wasted so much of your time and today I could claim to be smart. No, I had to be verbose as usual!

We should have looked more at their strategy because that is what earned the models their victory. Throughout the season, they followed other teams, mainly Rob and Kimberly or Dustin and Kandice, relying on their physical abilities to surge ahead during the last task before the pit stops. The only time I remember them failing to follow that strategy was the detour where they had to make a figure with colored rice. But then, David and Mary came along, Mary refusing to go for the crocodiles!

Last night they raced from the front for once. It was the time to do it, the only time when the reward outweighed the risk. It would have been interesting to see if they would have done as well had they been forced to drive themselves. That was their weakness but this leg never forced them to work around it. Can we say that they won because of last minute cancellations and an EZ Pass?

What can be learned from the way the race was edited this Season?

The stories that are developed during the season can tell us which racers go far and maybe that is all we can hope for. Some success was achieved regarding the final teams. (sorry CTGirl, I’m not changing the title!)

1- “Mary vs Sarah”: The parallel between Mary, a couch potato and Sarah, a tri-athlete was interesting to see unfold. Sarah’s amputated leg was the story of the pre-season but somehow, Mary’s twisted ankle became almost as important to the story. Team Iron Man’s negative image worsened as Kentucky’s charm grabbed the audience. It became evident that neither story was about winning but somehow we came to expect the unfit duo outlasting the athletes.

2- “The Back-Bus alliance vs The Beauty Queens”: Dustin and Kandice’s competitiveness angered many members of the Back-Pack alliance. Tom and Terry were the first to enter in open conflict with them in a meaningless scene that took a lot of importance on our screen. The Beauty Queens who were focusing on the race, seemed destined to outlast the happy-go-lucky Alliance. The cheerleaders, Tom and Terry, Kentucky and the Chos were shown more as participants than determined racers. So, in fact, the alliance was dead when the Beauty Queens were eliminated but we had misread it. Bama were determined racers and they started getting places fast once on their own.

3- “The Single Moms take on the World”: Had we seen more of Lyn maybe I’d have given them more of a chance but Karlyn was too loud and coarse to let me see this team as winners. The numerous conflicts they were seen to have was an indication of longevity. Reaching Final 3 was still a surprise.

4- “The First Women Team to Win”: It was Dustin and Kandice’s story and it got me off track. It became too obvious, even Phil seemed to be unable to restrain himself! As Earl wrote, maybe that is a spoiler for next season. As it was, the story became an obsession to all the remaining teams and it did serve a purpose. Even the eventual winners were only heard talking about wanting to see them eliminated. Many viewers saw the girls as the most efficient racers and that was enough to prove a women team could win

5- “The Couple that Came Together”: Rob and Kimberly had been seen as ugly racers who fought all the time. Around episode #6, they started getting nicer, shared confessionals and became calmer. Most TAR dysfunctional couples got worse as the finish line loomed closer. At about the same time, the girls’ story started going south, so maybe it was the need to have a storyline that made me give too much importance to certain scenes. That is always the difficulty.

So, we’ll have to remember that foreshadowing clues aren’t direct signs to the winners. Stories get the racers involved further than others but aren’t precise indications either and a strong team will not be enhanced and made into obvious winners. Nevertheless, it would’ve been nice to have learned something about Tyler and James. Somehow, I’m left with the impression I learned as much about Duke and Lauren as these two.

The main lesson should be to limit our goal to finding the final 3.

I was hesitant to say I’d be doing this for next season but it could be fun to see if returning racers will be portrayed the same way as they were the first time. I missed the first two seasons, so I’ll need help there!

As it is, thank you to CTGirl, Earl, Mavs, AG, FP, Beau and all the other posters for the help and encouragements. It was fun even if it had only helped to tell the difference between the members of each team! Surprisingly, telling Tyler from James gave me the most problems along with Tom and Terry. Maybe that tells us as much as anything how underdeveloped they were.

For those who don't visit Survivor threads:


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CTgirl 7073 desperate attention whore postings
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12-13-06, 08:35 AM (EST)
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87. "RE: Post Mortem"
Nice post-mortum Michel. I did not mind your verbosity (I can go on and on myself!) Viewing TAR 10 with an eye to the editing made it much more enjoyable for me.

I was hesitant to say I’d be doing this for next season but it could be fun to see if returning racers will be portrayed the same way as they were the first time. I missed the first two seasons, so I’ll need help there!

My first reaction when they announced TAR All-stars was how this would affect the editing thread! But then I thought there will be new stories and a new winner. It will be interesting to compare the racers (and their strategies) to the first time around. Unfortunately I haven't seen TAR 2, 3, 4, 5 and most of 6. (I must confess that I didn't start watching until Rob and Amber were on it even though my brother had been urging me to see it!) Season one is available on DVD. You should rent it and watch it this winter. There are some great characters and Rob and Brennan are lawyer versions of Tyler and James!

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