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"Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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02-08-07, 05:16 PM (EST)
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"Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"

So, we are embarking in a new season with a cast of supposed stars. What will the editing reveal this season? There doesn’t seem to be a lot of enthusiasm generated by this casting decision, so hopefully we’ll get into it as the race starts. The return of old favorites or hated teams gives us a different way to approach the season: How will the players have changed from what we remember of them? It will be important to note anything different and our task could be to see if the changes come from new strategies, players having learned from their previous season, or are the editors treating a team differently.

-If we see racers that seem to have learned from their previous try and are attempting to change their strategy, then we’ll have to assess whether that gives them a chance to improve their result or not.

-If it seems to be the editors giving us different insights into the personnality of the racers then we’ll have to determine where that leads them.

I didn’t see seasons 1 and 2, so I’ll need input on those teams and our memories can be vague on others. So here is what I’ve gathered on some teams and what I remember of the others. If you have more accurate insights and clearer memories, it will be appreciated. As a reminder, this thread is intended for SPECULATION only. If you have source spoilers or know of a sighting of teams in a late leg, that information is very valuable to a spoiler board and deserves its own thread. We simply like to work it out on our own in this thread…however wrong we may be sometimes!

Kevin & Drew(TAR1): The Festers were fun to watch and finished in 4th. They were eliminated when their taxi got caught in traffic. If they are used only for comic relief, I wouldn’t expect better results.

Joe & Bill(TAR1): Team Guido were villains and were hated by many. They should create conflicts with other teams. They were last in legs 9 and 10 where they were saved by a penalty imposed on another team and a non-elimination leg. They barely beat The Festers in leg 11 but were a full leg behind the leaders in the finale.

Oswald & Danny(TAR2): Team cha-cha-cha were fun to watch but better shoppers than racers. They finished 4th and had a couple of first place finishes but in the second half of the season, they were often in the back of the pack. They were very popular on the CBS site.

John Vito & Jill(TAR3): Had a lot of sympathy and were popular on the CBS site but they seem to have been easily forgotten by many. As racers, they didn’t shine, never finishing higher than 3rd without the Fast Forward.

Teri & Ian(TAR3): They were shown complaining a lot so they should be the dysfunctional couple again. Their popularity ratings were low so they’d need quite a make-over to appear worthy of being “All-Star winners.” They did have a strong second place finish but had very poor early legs which could be fatal this time.

Charla & Mirna(TAR5): Their story was mainly about doing better than what the others expected and Mirna complaining about everyone in general and Colin in particular. They finished 6th but did have 3 second place finishes in their 7 legs. Other teams ganged up on them to get rid of them so I don’t expect they will make any alliances this time either.

Rob & Amber(TAR7): They were shown as racers who added a lot of strategy and dirty tricks in their quest for first place. They had fun racing and were a good team, that is, one in which Rob made all the decisions. If other teams propose to make an alliance, Rob should find a way to turn it to his advantage. They had 5 first place finishes and only once finished lower than third. That was leg #3 where they got 2 other teams to take the same penalty they had taken earlier. Many hate them but that is what makes them fun to watch: Rob is never bland and he knows how to create emotions and Amber is nice decoration.

Eric & Danielle(TAR9): A new team that did have some interactions during their race. Neither was portrayed as a smart racer. If they were to go far, it would be something to change in the way their story is told. If their story focuses on their relationship, that could be an indication they don’t go far.

David & Mary(TAR10): The heart of the back-pack alliance, they were the surprise darlings of last season. They were never shown as good racers so we’d need to see an evolution in their approach to the game to make them worthy of reaching the end of the race. Will they make a new alliance? I doubt very much that they can find anyone like the Chos. Here, we have quite a few more sharks than angels.

Dustin & Kandice(TAR10): We started hearing Phil comment that they could be the first female team to win the amazing race at about the time this race was reaching its final stages of filming. Was it a hint of things to come or simply publicity? We’ll take it as an early indication they could be going far again. They were good racers and navigators who wanted so much to prove themselves, they took risks and made uneccessary enemies. Will we see a change in their story or their strategy?

Uchenna & Joyce(TAR7): They are the only winners. That time, they were given a very sympathetic storyline. We heard them talk about wanting a family and we saw them interacting with kids along the way. After episode #2, they were always in the top three. Unless they are the winners, I expect they won’t be given much airtime. Their story has been told the first time.

That is what I see before the season starts. Any thoughts?

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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... hinghamwx 02-08-07 1
 RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... geg6 02-09-07 2
   RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... Earl Colby Pottinger 02-09-07 3
       RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... ulalame 02-13-07 8
   RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... bobstew617 02-11-07 5
   RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... Flowerpower 02-12-07 6
   RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... Cygnus X1 02-13-07 7
 RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... J Slice 02-10-07 4
 RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... mavs_fan 02-14-07 9
 RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... CTgirl 02-14-07 10
   RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... mjames1229 02-22-07 25
 Episode # Thoughts michel 02-19-07 11
   RE: Episode #1 Thoughts Cygnus X1 02-19-07 12
   RE: Episode # Thoughts CTgirl 02-19-07 13
   RE: Episode # Thoughts donracefan 02-19-07 14
       RE: Episode # 1 Comments michel 02-20-07 15
           RE: Episode # 1 Comments Cygnus X1 02-20-07 18
           RE: The Race is Easy If You've Lear... CTgirl 02-20-07 19
   RE: Episode # Thoughts mysticwolf 02-20-07 16
   RE: Episode # Thoughts Flowerpower 02-20-07 17
       RE: Episode # Thoughts AyaK 02-21-07 20
           RE: Episode # Thoughts ulalame 02-21-07 21
               RE: Episode # Thoughts geg6 02-21-07 22
                   RE: Episode # Thoughts Cygnus X1 02-21-07 23
                       RE: Episode # Thoughts canadafan 02-21-07 24
           More Episode # 1 Comments michel 02-22-07 26
 Episode 2 Thoughts CTgirl 02-26-07 27
   RE: Episode 2 Thoughts michel 02-26-07 28
       RE: Episode 2 Thoughts donracefan 02-27-07 29
           RE: Episode 2 Thoughts beau_30 02-27-07 30
           RE: Episode 2 Thoughts asdf row 03-01-07 31
   RE: Episode 2 Comments michel 03-03-07 33
       RE: Episode 2 Comments CTgirl 03-03-07 34
 RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... Earl Colby Pottinger 03-03-07 32
   RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Stra... AyaK 03-03-07 35
 Ep. 3 Thoughts Cygnus X1 03-05-07 36
   RE: Ep. 3 Thoughts michel 03-05-07 37
       RE: Ep. 3 Thoughts CTgirl 03-06-07 38
 Episode #4 Thoughts michel 03-12-07 39
   RE: Episode #4 Thoughts CTgirl 03-13-07 40
       RE: Episode #4 Thoughts donracefan 03-19-07 41
           RE: Episode #4 Thoughts dragonflies 03-19-07 42
 Episode #5 Thoughts michel 03-19-07 43
   RE: Episode #5 Thoughts CTgirl 03-20-07 44
       RE: Episode #5 Thoughts michel 03-20-07 45
           RE: Episode #5 Thoughts Peetah 03-20-07 46
           RE: Episode #5 Thoughts CTgirl 03-20-07 47
               RE: Episode #5 Comments michel 03-20-07 48
 Episode 6 Thoughts CTgirl 03-27-07 49
   RE: Episode 6 Thoughts michel 03-27-07 50
       RE: Episode 6 Thoughts CTgirl 03-27-07 51
 Thoughts: The 7th and 8th legs michel 04-02-07 52
   RE: Thoughts: The 7th and 8th legs CTgirl 04-03-07 53
   Charla & Mirna mavs_fan 04-07-07 54
 Episode 9 beau_30 04-09-07 55
   Episode 9: Thoughts michel 04-10-07 56
       RE: Episode 9: Thoughts CTgirl 04-10-07 57
 Episode #10: Thoughts michel 04-16-07 58
   RE: Episode #10: Thoughts CTgirl 04-22-07 59
 Episode 11 CTgirl 04-24-07 60
   RE: Episode 11 michel 04-25-07 61
       RE: Episode 11 Peetah 04-26-07 62
           RE: Episode 11 michel 04-26-07 63
               RE: Episode 11 Peetah 04-27-07 65
       RE: Episode 11 CTgirl 04-26-07 64
           RE: Episode 11 michel 04-27-07 66
               RE: Episode 11 mavs_fan 04-28-07 67
 The Final 3: Thoughts michel 05-01-07 68
   RE: The Final 3: Thoughts CTgirl 05-01-07 69
       RE: The Final 3: Thoughts michel 05-01-07 70
       RE: The Final 3: Thoughts Peetah 05-02-07 71
           RE: The Final 3: Thoughts CTgirl 05-02-07 72
               RE: The Final 3: Thoughts LeftPinky 05-03-07 73
 Post-race thoughts CTgirl 05-09-07 74
   RE: Post-race thoughts michel 05-10-07 75

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hinghamwx 93 desperate attention whore postings
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02-08-07, 07:17 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
I am excited for anything TAR sends our way. I am rooting for Danny and Oswald this season, they were very funny in season 2! If not them then Terri and Ian, they too gave me some good laughts.


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geg6 14941 desperate attention whore postings
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02-09-07, 01:12 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
The team I am rooting for is Romber. They got royally screwed that last time they competed and should have won. That hasn't made them any friends nor will it make any for me here, but it doesn't change the facts as I saw them then. IMHO, they are the best team I've ever seen on the Race despite not winning.

I expect no changes to their editing because their edit on TAR wasn't any different than the edit they've gotten each time they competed on Survivor. They are there to be the villians and they will be edited that way regardless.

I just hope no one cheats this time to keep them from winning.

And all who want to argue that with me can just save their breath. I won't argue it and I won't change my mind. They got screwed, so I hope they are twice as vicious this time. That will make this a season worth watching.

The strongest man in the world is he who stands alone. — Henrik Ibsen
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. - Henry David Thoreau

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Earl Colby Pottinger 1803 desperate attention whore postings
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02-09-07, 07:01 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
I think you are missing a key point in your defense of Rob.

Look at how far he was behind the winners because he had such a poor taxi driver. It don't not matter how good a player is if his driver gets lost or is trying to cheat the mileage.

Of-course a good player may spot this going on and cut it short, but the damage is still done.

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ulalame 778 desperate attention whore postings
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02-13-07, 07:26 PM (EST)
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8. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
The taxi driver was not the reason Rob/Amber were cheated of their win -- the producers getting the airline to hold the plane to Miami so Uchenna and Joyce could get on it and it wouldn't be a runaway win is where they got cheated. The fact they got a bad taxi driver in Miami was not in their control and was simply an insult on top of prior injury.
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bobstew617 723 desperate attention whore postings
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02-11-07, 02:55 PM (EST)
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5. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
One story line TAR might try to exploit is the rivalry between Romber and Uchenna & Joyce. I find it interesting that U&J were the only winners selected--could it have been because they want to see if Rob and Amber can beat them this time.

To me, they are the best two teams out of this group.

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Flowerpower 7012 desperate attention whore postings
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02-12-07, 08:50 PM (EST)
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6. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
LAST EDITED ON 02-12-07 AT 08:51 PM (EST)

The team I am rooting for is Romber. They got royally screwed that last time they competed and should have won.

You can say that again, Geg! Since when has an airplane ever left the gate, only to return and pick up 2 more passengers...they were ROBBED! I'm praying for just desserts here. Regardless, Rob and Amber know how to cut to the core, like it or leave it! They are always serious players that know how to have fun along the ride!

Also looking for the Beauty Queens to show these other teams they are serious competitors!


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Cygnus X1 7505 desperate attention whore postings
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02-13-07, 05:01 PM (EST)
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7. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
Romber got screwed all right . . . by the cab driver. U&J being on the same flight didn't guarantee a victory for them.

Let's face it: the best (or most popular: hi Kris and Jon) team doesn't always win, and the winner(s) aren't always the best team (BJ and Tyler were non-elim'd TWICE!).

As further proof, let's take the Steelers from last year . . .


We still won before the Irsays did.

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J Slice 13166 desperate attention whore postings
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02-10-07, 01:10 PM (EST)
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4. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
I miss the first few seasons a lot...

I'm totally pushing for the Festers, Teri and Ian, and the Cha-Chas... Oh boy.

Tribe is far-out.

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mavs_fan 299 desperate attention whore postings
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02-14-07, 00:23 AM (EST)
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9. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
Glad to see you back with the editing thread Michel.

I'm going to try and take last season as a lesson, and not use editing to try and predict a winner. Just to use it as a tool too try and determine which teams will have longevity.

I've seen all the seasons, but don't remember all of the players. I'll try and give some input on the players I remember.

Kevin & Drew(TAR1): As I recall they were portrayed as happy go luck guys. In a lot of ways I think they were similar to Tyler & BJ who won a couple of episodes back. Friendly, Didn't get down on each other, Having a lot of fun. Certainly fan favorites and I can understand why they were brought back. The even got a Cameo in the Family Edition. I'd pick them as a team to watch - they seem good enough to win. Their edit this season should easily tell us if they are in for the long haul or not.

Joe & Bill(TAR1): They certainly got a villains edit, but I don't think they were as bad as being a full leg behind made them look in the final episode of TAR1. For the most part they ran a competent race. At times they seemed to have a bristly demeanor, and I could EASILY see them squaring off against Rob/Amber. I think they are a dark horse to win.

Oswald & Danny(TAR2): This team captialized on the fact that they were world travelers and knew how to work the system. I suspect that their advantage as world travelers will be deminished since all of these teams have some experience under their belt. They were a team that were edited as being more about the fun and experience than about winning. For them to win would surprise me, just because they seemed so blase about the race.

John Vito & Jill(TAR3): As you said easily forgotton. I have no recollection of this team. So I can't comment one way or the other.

Teri & Ian(TAR3): I don't recall them complaining so much as I recall Ian being critical of Teri - although maybe that's a distinction without a difference. They did show strength down the stretch, but they are a few years older now, and I don't expect them to do as well. As you say however, lets see if they get a make over this time around.

Charla & Mirna(TAR5): I don't remember a great deal about them other than complaining and the impression that they were there to prove something to people about judging a book by it's cover. I would be shocked if they are real contenders.

Rob & Amber(TAR7): They got a TON of help due to their fame compared to the other teams. They will still have an edge but it shouldn't be as large. Other teams will likely be recognized s well this time. Rob was shown as one who was willing to outwit, outlast, and outplay the other racers, and it nearly got him the win. His win at any cost helped in Survivor All Stars and his season of TAR, but it didn't help him at all in his first run at Survivor. Now, Folks know to be wary of him, and are less likely to be star struck than last time on TAR. Still I've got to love a competitor who's willing to go all out. My early sentimental favorite.

Eric & Danielle(TAR9): No CLUE who this is.

David & Mary(TAR10): Proof that this season should be called TAR fan favorites, rather than TAR ALL STARS. I'd like for them to do well, but other than good will, They don't bring much to the table as competitors in my opinion.

Dustin & Kandice(TAR10): Their edit last season was of strong competitors who were rarely critical of each other and were in it to win. I expect to see the same thing this season. Even when the odds looked stacked against them they put their heads down and pressed on. I don't know if they win. I do expect them to do well.

Uchenna & Joyce(TAR7): Good racers, but I think we've seen several seasons with better racers. I remember when they went for the fast forward and had to shave their heads for good luck thinking they were going to win. Was the good luck just about the plane coming back to the gate? Or was it about their overall performance in the game? I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the final 4-5, but I don't expect them to make the final 3.

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CTgirl 7073 desperate attention whore postings
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02-14-07, 12:31 PM (EST)
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10. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
Michel, thanks for starting this thread again. It will be fun to see how the racers are edited this time around and to see what themes emerge (just no.more.angels!) Mavs, I liked reading your comments on all the teams. I’ve only seen seasons 1, 7, 8, 9, 10 and part of 6, so I just watched the videos on the CBS web site to get a feeling for the teams. (Much more interesting than venturing out -- twelve hours of snow and sleet and the town still hasn't plowed/sanded my street!)

Kevin and Drew were a lot of fun the first time around. They’re six years older and didn’t do anything to prepare for the race. Their video didn’t impress me and I didn’t get the feeling they were racing to win.

Oswald and Danny came off a little cocky, joked about how much preparation they did and got in a nice little dig at Rob and Amber. They were characters and I think I’m going to enjoy watching them race.

John Vito and Jill were very intense, but kind of boring.

Uchenna and Joyce didn’t impress me as racers during TAR 7, but that could’ve been because I was so focused on Rob and Amber. It seems like they’ve moved on in their life, and I don’t know if they have the same passion that they had last time.

David and Mary talked mostly about their new celebrity status and how they want to be friends with everybody. We’ll be able to see in the first show if they‘re in this for the long haul or not. Since Mary did a lot of preparation for the first race I expected to hear that they learned from their mistakes and planned differently but I didn’t. I think we’ll see more of the same from them and an early exit without the protection of the backpack alliance.

Charla and Mirna I didn’t know what to expect from this team because they’ve been the brunt of a lot of jokes on these boards, but I was pleasantly surprised. They are committed to each other and spoke about the strength of family. Charla's strategy of wearing “heelies” (sneakers with a wheel in the heel) was pretty funny. We’ll see if it is effective!

Rob and Amber I still love Boston Rob but Amber came off as way over-confident. Rob was his charming self, but she especially acted like she was better than the other racers. I didn’t really like her in this clip and her “we have more experience in high stress situations” attitude. They could be in for a rude surprise.

Teri and Ian I was so bored by their video that I stopped watching it!

Eric and Danielle I was really impressed with Eric, shock of all shocks. He was much more mature than his season 9 version and very articulate (although I always thought he was the leader with some smarts when racing with Jeremy). He made Danielle work out on a treadmill because he knows how much speed helped him last time. He’s bitter that they lost to the Hippies and he really wants to win. They are a funny team, she’s been working on her master’s degree and he hangs out on the beach not doing much of anything.

Joe and Bill are also six years older than the last time they raced and they’re the oldest racers. They seem like a good team and are well traveled. I could see them lasting to mid-race, but then being overtaken by the younger and stronger teams. Will they be the villains again?!

Dustin and Kandice are my sentimental prerace favs. It would be great to see a female team win. They were the editors’ darlings last time so I’ll be very interested to see how they’re portrayed in the first episode. They’re on a roll from last season and want to learn from their mistakes and not make assumptions like they did last time.

Looking forward to Sunday night!

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mjames1229 47 desperate attention whore postings
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02-22-07, 01:23 PM (EST)
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25. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
I think TAR AS could have benefitted from Jon & Kelly (Season 4), the Bowling Moms (Season 5), or - if another team to dislike was needed - either Adam and Rebecca or Aaron and Hayden (Season 6).

I think this smacks of the producers not making the field TOO strong. In other words, they didn't really want 11 competitive teams, so we get Chmirna, Kentucky and the Festers.

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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02-19-07, 07:21 PM (EST)
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11. "Episode # Thoughts"
Thanks everyone for the comments and the help on the older teams and Mavs, your wise words about only looking for long term players will be remembered:

So the All-Stars are racing and I wondered:

The best of the best…Really?

It had been such a long time since the cast had been revealed that it was about time we saw these teams in action. With the format this season, I want to start by looking at what we were shown of the teams compared to what we had seen in their previous appearance. Some were just as we remembered them, while others weren’t quite as expected. Here is what I saw:

During Phil’s introduction speech we had Rob and Amber on screen as he said “Who will prove to be the best of the All-Stars...” The camera switched to Dustin and Kandice as he continued: “…to win the 1 million dollars!”

When Phil addressed the racers we saw an exchange between Rob and Uchenna twice, first as he mentioned the fierce competitors and then as he added: “Some of you have battled before…” Kentucky looked over at the Beauty Queen as Phil continued: “Some of you are enemies…”

Teams that haven’t changed

1- Romber: Rob is back to his same old tricks and look at what he has done with little Lamber! The only change in this team is that Amber showed some arrogance to match her husband’s: “The other teams will be trying our old tricks…We have some new ones for you” and later: “If you ask us who we would love to race against, there’s really nobody, but I think everybody else would answer that question and say they want to race against Rob and Amber.” Unless we see the cameras focusing on her remarks, I think this change in Amber is due to her becoming more confident than a change in edit. Rob couldn’t leave all the quotes to his partner so he had a toast to the missing teams at Pim’s restaurant: “The fact that the other teams aren’t here, my heart is bleeding!”

So, as a team, they were portrayed as we expected them. Smart competitors: Amber was the first to realize that even if the Copa flight left first, it didn’t mean it arrived first.” That got them on American airlines which was the best choice. Strong competitors: They were in the front of the pack and Rob showed he knows his rivals by following the Floridian. Lucky competitors: Their taxi driver used a short-cut to Plaza San Francisco in Quito which gave them the first place that they never relinquished.

Rob’s strategy of relying on local help got them a big lead at the detour in the Hacienda Yanahurco in Cotopaxi National Park. They first attempted the “Recover it” Detour and searched the field for what Rob said was 3 hours before changing to the much easier “Wrangle it” detour. Could another bad Detour decision come back to haunt them at a crucial time?

After everything we’ve seen from Romber since Survivor All-Star, their story wouldn’t be about their relationship or personal growth. Their characters are well established so the camera would be focusing on their strategy and Rob’s snarky remarks. They’ve always been seen as strong competitors so we know that they could win the race. Seeing no changes in that portrayal can be taken as a positive sign for their outcome in the race. Could Rob be prophetic when he said: “Mark my words, we aren’t going to finish second.” Do they indeed finish second…or third?

4-Eric and Danielle: Eric is anxious about racing with his girlfriend as his partner but “everything will be fine if she understands who is in charge” to which Danielle answered “you’re the boss.” It should be something to keep in mind. They didn’t get much airtime but what we saw of them was as expected. Eric is a strong racer who wasn’t as smart as the hippies but who got the job done. Danielle’s team was overmatched because of their lack of travel experience but that team was fairly good in challenges.

They have the only new story to tell and it should be told. The fact that we didn’t really race with them yet could signal that there is time for their story to unfold. It has to be noted that their 4th place finish was the highest among the teams that were on the Copa flight. They were slow to start out of Miami but never were in any danger. A quiet, uneventful leg is good for the rookie team since the old favorites need their due, especially if they don’t last long.

6-Dustin and Kandice: We saw the same competitive spirit but without any snarky comments…yet. It didn’t take long for Kandice to state their goal to be “The first all-girl team to win.” It was good to see that they were content to follow a leading team to the Miami Airport because it was their desire to always be in front that eventually cost them the last race.

They were back to their old tricks as they once again were first out of the airport in Quito. They loss a few positions on the road to the National Park but they regained 1 place over Uchenna and Joyce running up the hill to meet Phil. The host didn’t address any comments to them for a change. Since they have already been shown as strong competitors, to see no change in their presentation is good for their future in the race.

9- Charla and Mirna: It was nice to hear Charla say that the first race got people to treat her in a more positive way but Mirna’s claim that they will win sounded hollow. This team was also much as we remembered them but in this case, it isn’t as good. Charla is still the more positive one while Mirna complains about the slow taxis, the bugs and winds up hurting the team. Granted, their position was due to bad directions but Mirna’s comment of “I can’t drive a stick shift that well” is inexcusable for veteran racers. They did handle their set-back better than expected but we are still looking at a team that is out to prove itself rather than winning. They could stay a while but not likely to the end.

The teams that looked better than expected:

2- Oswald and Danny: I had never seen these 2 racing but I had expected a funny couple of gay guys that were in for the laughs much more than the race. Maybe they were as expected to their old fans but I’ll put them here since they looked very much like competitors. They outraced everyone to the first clue and were first out to the airport. Keeping a comfortable position throughout the leg is a good sign and it allowed them to have funny comments:
-O: “Less Martini and more Cardio.”
-D:“I understand you have your own cable channel!” to Rob and Amber.
-O: “My hands are clammy and my face is going thru menopause!”
They will be the comedic relief for as long as they last which could be a long time. The first leg being in Miami and then traveling to a spanish speaking country contributed to their success so we’ll have to wait another episode to evaluate their chances correctly. I didn’t see any signs that a distraction could cost them the race. It was a promising…and funny first episode.

3- Teri and Ian: After reminding us how close they came in season 3, Ian told us that: “ We were kicking butt out there. Yes, we disagree and yes, we bicker about things but that is who we are.” Teri agreed that “We are going to race harder.” Contrary to what we remembered, this couple worked well together. Their prior storyline probably had been enhanced to create some much desired drama. It certainly could still come out in stressful situations but this couple isn’t about to have a breakdown as we had thought in their first race. Suggesting that they will become the likeable older couple is a bit much but we see why they finished so high in their first try. They are efficient on the roads as Ian’s comment to Teri underlined: “You are good with maps” They should be able to complete the tasks they’ll face. One of the few comments we heard from another team (that wasn’t addressed to Rob and Amber!) was Bill’s comment that: “I told you they are real tough competitions. Everybody underestimates him because he is crotchety and old looking.” Will this new storyline carry them far or was it due to an old debt that the editors had to pay back? Another episode will be needed to judge them also.

5- Joe and Bill: Speaking of old debt, I hadn’t seen this team but the “Gay Grandpas” weren’t portrayed as villains this time. Unless they suddenly come up with a different attitude, I’m putting their reputation as something the editors created. What they are is another team that has the right racing attitude and that know their way with directions. They were the second place finishers from the Copa flight and never trailed which is the right strategy in the first legs.

The team we didn’t see

Uchenna and Joyce: They appeared as nice as in their first race but they had very little airtime. This team’s story has been told so, unless they win again, they probably won’t be getting a lot of airtime. We had some smiles from Joyce when Uchenna found the right directions but that was about it. When we heard someone saying “good night everyone” in Pim’s restaurant, I thought it was a member of the restaurant’s staff. That it was Uchenna made him look apart from the others, not belonging in this group that want to win for the first time. We didn’t hear any of their thoughts on Rob and Amber, even if they are in the best position to comment. I expect they will leave the race without that old conflict resurfacing.

The teams that didn’t look as good

9-David and Mary: David started by saying Mary has gained confidence and she said she wants to do it on her own and doesn’t want an “alliance giving it to me.” Their episode made me think that what happened once with Survivor’s Stephenie could happen again! Can America’s sweethearts one season become the villains the next?

They still had some of their charming ways such as being starstruck with Rob and Kim (sic) and being friendly with Charla and Mirna and Teri and Ian but the intent of the editors could be to show them as our new villains! Lying to the Beauty Queens wasn’t bad for their prospects: We need to see some combativeness from them to be credible first place finishers.

What could be the start of a villain edit is that David and Mary got 2 separate confessionals to state that: “We lied to the Beauty Queens…we want them out” and that “we are going to lie, backstab, cheat…we’re definitely gunning for them.” Seeing these different confessionals before and after the commercial break was overkill. David’s disheveled appearance during the first intervention made him look even more sinister. It didn't look like simply the rekindling of a feud since the Blondes didn't respond. Even worse, it wasn't only with the BQs: David played rough with Uchenna and later with Drew. Blocking them to be the first to reach a clue or car keys was out of character.

David and Mary are still overmatched and probably won’t be here for long. The editors could be planning on bringing them down a notch or two in the process. Villains usually last a while but we have more dangerous ones this time. When they said that they have already won because they met the other racers, it sounded as if the end of their story has already been written.

10-Kevin and Drew: For some reason, I feel they would be insulted if I had put them any higher. They aren’t racers, they don’t pretend to be racers and they don’t expect to be racers: “We are five years more out of shape…I was a circle then, I’m an oval now” they said! They’ll still continue to trudge along, making us laugh or cringe until Phil tells them it is time to go. Showing Charla outracing Drew does not make for a winning edit!! If someone says it could be to set up an ironic conclusion, I’ll answer that there isn’t that much irony in the whole world!

Jon Vito and Jill didn’t deserve their bad luck but hasn’t that always been their story? We can hope that this end is really a new start.

We’ll need a second episode to determine who the long term racers will be but it should come from the teams that have always had consistent edits as good racers (i.e. Rob and Amber, Dustin and Kandice and even, to a lesser degree, Eric and Danielle) or the ones that have better edits than their first time (Oswald and Danny and Teri and Ian showing some promise while Joe and Bill can’t be dismissed yet

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12. "RE: Episode #1 Thoughts"
I could be totally wrong, but the sense I got from watching Ep. 1 was that, beyond their physical problems, Kevin and Drew's hearts just aren't in it this time around. And it seemed more obvious with them than with any other team.

UTR edits bode well for the Guidos, the BQs, and Uchenna/Joyce.

Tribe strikes again!
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13. "RE: Episode # Thoughts"
LAST EDITED ON 02-19-07 AT 11:01 PM (EST)

I was a bit disappointed in this episode, especially after the half hour delay we had on the East Coast. I thought it was a little flat. But the mood of the racers was like a happy reunion and seemed like the show would be more fun this time around. Phil did warn not to take anyone for granted. Uchenna commented, “People are making moves.” So perhaps we will see some unexpected finishes this season. (Michel what did you think the theme was? You’re always good at figuring that out.)

Rob and Amber. I see their story as being “them against everybody else.” There was a section devoted to this. Amber: “Who would we love to race against? Really nobody, but everyone else would say Rob and Amber.” Arrogance on Amber is not attractive! Boston Rob carries that off much better, and the editors chose to highlight Amber. I’m sure they have a quote with Rob saying the same thing. Charla and Mirna said they are tough to beat (but really head to head there is no competition between these two teams). Oswald very funnily puts them down, “We know Rob and Amber, well obviously because we live on this planet.” And then John Vito – who gets eliminated first! – says “I’ve had enough of Rob and Amber and I think America has too.” The racers the editors chose to quote weren’t too impressive. They are strong racers, but will the other racers gang up on them this time around?

Oswald and Danny Are they getting the same edit as last time? They’re the funny gay guys and I loved some of their lines. I could see a little competition developing between them and Rob and Amber. Oswald and Danny don’t think Rob and Amber are as great as Rob and Amber think they are! They got a lot of air time this episode, but they finished second. We will see how the next leg treats them.

Teri and Ian They appear to be good racers. I didn’t see them race before and I didn’t get much from them regarding their story line.

Eric and Danielle This is a team to watch. They were 10th getting to the airport but we didn’t see why they were so far behind. Whatever mistake they made was ignored in the editing. Driving to the detour, they were in the back and then we saw them make a big move passing the Blondes and Uchenna and Joyce, along with a key quote by Eric, “I’m competitive. I don’t like losing. This is a competition. When it’s a competition you have to (raise?) it a little…I don’t know what hesitate means.” He was a strong racer last time around and lost because he didn’t know flags of the world. Eric will be portrayed differently simply because he can’t be a horn dog with his girlfriend around! But he has matured. He wants to be the leader and as long as Danielle can keep up, they’ll be fine.

Joe and Bill They don’t seem to be the villains this time, and it was probably manufactured last time around. They might have a minor story line versus Teri and Ian. Joe and Bill are older, but they said this about Ian, “people underestimate him because he’s crotchety and old-looking!” Next episode should show us more about the two oldest teams and their prospects.

Dustin and Kandice We again heard them say that they want to be the first all-female TAR winner. I take this as a good sign for their longevity, that they have a chance at the end, and this is their story again. They had a solid showing this week and weren’t portrayed differently than last season.

Uchenna and Joyce Their story was disappointing. They get the award for the most manufactured storyline. It was all about their relationship and it’s the same story as last time: shaky marriage and talk of IVF. I expected a different story from them. I don’t believe that their marriage is in trouble and at age 46 and with two years since they won, I don’t believe IVF is an option anymore either. They should be moving on, and if they were winners, I believe the editors would invest more into a new storyline.

Charla and Mirna This is another team I didn’t see race before. I agree with Michel that they are out to prove something, but don’t have a handle on what their story will be.

David and Mary They learned a little from the last race, but they are still a weak team. David said, “Just to meet them (Rob and Amber), we’ve already won.” Their story will be about racing against people they’re big fans of and that is in keeping with their wide-eyed innocence from last time. But they have thrown down the gauntlet against the Blondes and I doubt they’ll win. David said that the Blondes will lie and backstab, but that quote could be part of their story (they are star struck with everyone else, but want the Beauty Queens out). We will have to see if anyone else accuses them of lying and backstabbing for it to have legs.

Kevin and Drew They are outclassed and out-of-shape. They didn’t prepare and it’s catching up to them and that’s their story. They weren’t the loveable frat boys this time! I agree with you Cygnus that their hearts aren't in it, and it shows.

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02-19-07, 11:30 PM (EST)
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14. "RE: Episode # Thoughts"
As usual, Michel, you have some really great contributions. By the way, you mentioned you haven't seen race 1 or 2. You can get season 1 from Netflix. It will come in 4 DVD installments with 3 episodes each. Without commercials, each episode is only 42 minutes meaning that you could probably watch 2 per night and be finished between Sundays of the current season. I wanted to take a moment to add my "two cents." As you might recall, we have had some interesting discussions about the editing last season as I believe that there is evidence the pattern is not necessarily fixed and unchanging but has to be adapted to both the teams and the "feel" of that season but also to audience and ratings pressures. I have stressed repeatedly that as this show has gotten a little stale that the editing has changed to try to give us a bit more of a "warm fuzzy" and "ride off into the sunset" feel about the teams that are doing well. Villians have not made it as far in the later seasons because CBS hasn't had the luxury to take chances with turning people off during mid-season so our teams that go far start getting good edits early. With that said, I think the editing for this season could be the most different other than TARFE simply because of the fact that these teams are already known and our perceptions can be altered but not shaped. Here is my take...

Uchenna and Joyce

I totally agree with your assessment of Uchenna and Joyce. I think that we won't see much of them unless they are to be eventual finalists and then I believe it will be later. No need to rehash the reasons as you stated them eloquently.

Rob and Amber

The team to beat, in my opinion. I agree with all of those who said that CBS got Uchenna and Joyce on the plane to Miami in season 7. I'm not saying that CBS wanted Romber to lose or that they were playing faves with U & J although I have seen that said in other places. I believe they would have done the same if Ron and Kelly were sitting at the gate instead of U & J. But the point is that CBS did get another team on that plane so as to not completely ruin the finale. With a 90 minute head start, Romber could have had the problems in Little Havana and still won handily, especially with U & J having no money. Therefore, in all honesty, Romber has "won" this thing before and they know how to do so. They are the lightning rods so I don't believe seeing a lot of them early means they are an early exit. It just means that CBS knows they attract attention.

Eric and Danielle

I agree that they have the "new" feel to them. It's a lot like when a band that is in their twilight releases a greatest hits album, it might have a new song or two even though technically it wasn't a hit. Well, technically they weren't a team but it adds something new. I see them as a middle of the pack exit unless they get some real breaks. We will see a lot of them until the exit because new is interesting.

Teri and Ian

This team seems blah to me. I think they are cunning and streetsmart enough to make it to the late middle especially given that this really isn't the best teams to have raced but fan favorites (except Mirna/Charla...what's up with that??) Anyway, they can beat the weaker teams and will exit somewhere in the middle. However, with a little tailwind, they may stay under the radar and sneak into 3rd or 4th.

Danny and Oswald

This team seemed focused early when they raced the first time only to wear down due to the fatigue and the stress. They just get to missing their creature comforts too much. They seemed very reminiscent to their last race. They are part of the middle unless they get lost. With this team, I can see luck altering them down the ladder but really can't see luck helping them up the pecking order.

Dustin and Kandice

I proudly claim that I picked them to go a long way in TAR 10. I thought they would be the first all-female team in the finals. They actually should have been. Team Alabama got a lot of help along the way and in a critical point in the race, the Beauty Queens got lost (one of the few times that they did). They should have been team 3 last season. It wouldn't have mattered in the end. The Andy Gibb lookalike and his partner were going to win but the Barbies would have been more deserving of being in the finals (and definitely more fun to watch) than team Alabama. I think they can make it into the top half but I don't see a 4th place or better finish again. But I am not going to fall into the floor in shock if they do. They have potential. And, as I observed before, the pageant world is cut-throat and they are no strangers to stiff competition. It prepared them well.

Joe and Bill

The original team to try Survivor type techniques on the race and it seemed to backfire on them (unlike Romber). It appears that either they don't have the same fire or they have mellowed some or they figured out that being turds didn't really help them but only alienated them. Unless the editing is just way different, they just don't seem like the same team. They seem almost likeable and that definitely was not their season 1 edit. In season 1, they were playing against competition that didn't have the luxury of seeing 10 seasons of racing. All of these other teams not only have seen it but they have done it. And the "grampas" are older now too. They just won't challenge. I see their edit shaping positively simply because they won't have the ability to really threaten to win. Without that threat, the villian role really doesn't stick anyway.

Drew and Kevin

It has been a recent experience for me that I saw season 1. Therefore, my memory is better than some others. These guys were kind of argumentative and grumpy in the beginning of season 1. It really wasn't until around the 4th episode that the funny edit started showing through. Maybe they relax as they go along and see that they aren't going to be embarrassed with an early exit. Let's hope so. But I do agree with those who are saying that these guys are more out of shape and crotchety than before. They are probably due for an early exit. They definitely will not be able to afford many mistakes.

Mirna and Charla

Is it just me or is anyone else wondering what's going on here. They were not a fan favorite nor a good racing team. Does someone at CBS think Mirna is eye candy and we needed some more of that? Or is this some nod to diversity by bringing back someone from the physically challenged demographic in Charla? If that's so, I guess it's better than Peter and Sara. He was awful. I am frankly surprised they weren't eliminated first. If John Vito and Jill didn't get such misguided directions, this would have been our first out. To see episode 3, they either need a non-elimination leg or some luck.

David and Mary

This team would have been 4th out in a weak field last season if the Cho's didn't give them a diversion and a pass to the Fast Forward. Nobody's making friends here. And without that, we will see where Kentucky really belonged all along - at home on their couch.

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02-20-07, 01:47 PM (EST)
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15. "RE: Episode # 1 Comments"
LAST EDITED ON 02-20-07 AT 01:55 PM (EST)

Great comments everyone. I see CTGirl has given me homework! At first, I saw the episode as being too "all over the place" to see what could be the theme of the season. Since you asked, I re-watched it with some of the introductory videos.

The next step was to compare to last season's: "The race is tough and you better be ready for surprises." In Season 10, they had crossed the Pacific to Beijing, had a surprise mid-leg elimination and had a very physical final task of climbing the Wall. The difficulties increased in the next episodes. That race was tougher than the previous one which had many fun tasks.

This season we went from Miami to Ecuador! They had locals doing most of the work on the detour. After, even if the hill was steep, there was no way to get lost on the way to the pit stop. In many videos, the racers answer that they don't really look at the competition but rather they focus on the course and try to be careful not to beat themselves.

So, for now, I'd say the theme could be:

"The Race is Easy if you've learned from your Mistakes."

We were clearly shown Mary insisting that the 3:30 flight HAD to be better than the 3:50 only to be stuck on the wrong plane. We had Rob decide on the wrong Detour and losing a lot of time. Of course, we had the cousins and JV and Jill going way off course by following wrong directions which caused the first elimination. Not every lesson has been learned!

If the theme is about learning from their mistakes then Dustin's quote will have to be kept in mind: "Everybody we are competing against has experienced the race before and have learned their lessons. It is a little like racing against your teachers...It's a little bit intimidating." Did they learn their lessons? If the race is easy for the smart teams, it also helps the older or less physical teams of which there are quite a few!!

I encourage you to go watch the videos on They have some "Mat Chat" where we see the interviews Phil does at the Pit Stop. Oswald was funny but Danny kept yawning. Uchenna avoided Phil's questions about assessing his competition. He didn't name Rob saying: "We know they are out there." Other notables: Drew had a serious back injury that made him question if he should be on the race. Ian seemed more intent on dedicating their race on supporting the troops than on winning.

There are also episode clips and the funniest ones were Eric and Danielle's and Romber's. Danielle was happy with 4th as she never finished so high while Eric was upset since he never finished so low! Rob found a tourist to buy them an atlas of South America. The rules prevented them from begging for money so Rob got the older gentleman, who didn't know Romber, to buy the book!

We also saw the Copa flight teams mingling and having fun except for Joe and Bill who remained off on their own.

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02-20-07, 03:14 PM (EST)
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18. "RE: Episode # 1 Comments"
Drew had a serious back injury that made him question if he should be on the race.

Yeah, I saw that in the videos too. No wonder he and Kevin are less than enthusiastic about this.

Danielle was happy with 4th as she never finished so high while Eric was upset since he never finished so low!

I recall on TAR 9 both Eric and Jeremy being nonplussed at their *second*-place finish to the Hippies in Sicily. Phil seemed irked that they were so disgusted with second.

Tribe strikes again!
You've been warned, so don't complain.

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02-20-07, 10:34 PM (EST)
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19. "RE: The Race is Easy If You've Learned..."
LAST EDITED ON 02-20-07 AT 10:35 PM (EST)

Hey Michel, sorry about assigning you “homework” , but I like your theme. Since we only have one returning winner, it fits quite well. Some of the notable mistakes are Rob and Amber having problems in Miami, the Blondes not reading the signs carefully enough and Eric (and Jeremy) not being able to remember which countries they had visited. It’s interesting to note that the only winners to be invited back were ones that won with some help (I do believe CBS pulled some strings with the airline to make the finale more interesting). Uchenna and Joyce are not the strongest racers to have won their season.

You mention that they only flew from Miami to Ecuador. It is an easy trip. I was there in December (mostly in the Galapagos) but I was surprised to find that all of mainland Ecuador was on Eastern Standard Time. I never realized South America jutted that far East of Central America. It’s only about a four hour flight and no jet lag. Quito, however, is high altitude (9,250 feet). I am surprised we didn’t see more people having problems (Amber out of breath at the top; perhaps Danny’s yawning) and that probably explains why they were given cots to sleep on the first night instead of making them camp out.

I did watch the "Mat Chat" clips and some of the episode clips - some interesting stuff. If I remember correctly Joe and Bill remained off on their own during TAR 1 too.

Favorite mat chat quote, Phil: "That mat was clean before you got here." Oswald: "Well that's what you have production people for!"

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02-20-07, 02:50 PM (EST)
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16. "RE: Episode # Thoughts"
One quibble. When Rob & Amber chose to switch tasks Rob said they could spend 3 hrs. wandering around in that field. Not that they did spend 3 hrs. wandering. I got the impression that they changed their minds pretty quickly after finding the sword and then realizing just how large an area they would need to search for an epaulet and button.

A Tribal Christmas blogging's scary

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02-20-07, 03:12 PM (EST)
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17. "RE: Episode # Thoughts"
Great assessments, everyone, as always! I did not watch the first 3 TAR seasons I think, but paid attention to what others have said regarding the daws that I did not know. I loved the Team: Cha Cha Cha and will enjoy seeing them more. They seemed focused and productive as well as fun loving. I found no villiany in the Guidos and with the first ep, don't put too much stock in them making it to end game. Team Kentucky is so out of their league. I really thought they would be toast, and I was shocked to see there actually were more inept teams than them! Team Festers were pathetic and I totally expect them to be one of the next two boots along with Team Kentucky. When Team Kentucky said: "We have won just meeting Rob and Amber", I knew it was the kiss of death for them. I did enjoy seeing a snarky side to them though.

I love the beauty's and will be rooting for them, along with Romber, of course. They are serious players and love every minute of the race. I agree they were protrayed as they were in their season. Should bode well for them.

At first I thought that Vito and Jill looked like contenders and was really surprised that they were out first. Uchenna and Joyce are definately the same as they were in their season, and since they won their season, should bode well. Still don't see them as winners though. Charla and Mirna were everything I had been warned about. I got nothing from them, but they do seem quite determined this go round.

Team Romber: They are definately in a league of their own as well, a league far above the rest of the ridiculous pack, imo. They are edited very similarly, and why tamper with perfection. They are focused, they are serious, and they just want to win and enjoy the ride along the way. BUT, and it's a big BUT, I do feel that it is Romber vs. the entire ALL-star cast. Someone is going to take them down in a yield and it will be so long. It makes me sick to think about it. I pray that I am wrong. I was not surprised at all to see Romber bee-line it to the front of the pack. Rob has a connection with the locals, he really likes them and makes it clear. CBS will milk their reality fame for as long as they have them!

one nation, under Romber...

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02-21-07, 01:44 AM (EST)
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20. "RE: Episode # Thoughts"
LAST EDITED ON 02-21-07 AT 01:47 AM (EST)

I did watch the first three seasons.

When I saw the quote of John Vito dissing Romber, I was sure he and Jill were headed for an early exit. Romber is clearly the most competitive team, and it's hard to believe that they'll be bumped anytime before the finale. I noticed that CBS's trailer for Episode 2 was already playing up the aspect of "everyone versus Romber."

Several teams were shown as not really competitive. The Festers, for one. It's obvious that something is wrong with Drew, although CBS hasn't told us (on the show) about the back injury. When we see that discussion, we should expect that Kevin and Drew are homeward bound that episode.

No one expected David and Mary or Charla and Mirna to be competitive, and they clearly won't be. Also, it seemed to me that Uchenna & Joyce were given an unflattering edit, which might be because CBS execs were feeling guilty about bringing the plane back to the gate to prevent a Romber romp in Season 7 (and then getting an upset win for U&J when Romber's Miami taxi driver was incompetent) but more likely is because they aren't really competitive this time.

We didn't see enough of Eric & Danielle to form an impression of them this time. I don't know where they're headed.

Which brings us to the teams shown as strong racers other than Romber.

1) Unlike Season 2, Team Cha-Cha-Cha (O&D) seems less interested in having fun and more interested in racing. They could always implode on a Thai shopping trip, but it seems that they realize that they've got a real chance of winning this time. It's interesting that we saw Rob choose to help them out at the start; we don't know yet what that means.

2) The Guidos were always more likable than they were portrayed in Season 1, and I think they got the edit they did because (1) they were loners, and (2) they edged out both Momily (only due to a 24-hour penalty imposed on Momily) and the Festers to get to the final 3 (and (3) gays couldn't get married in the US at the time of Season 1). They're still likely to slip up along the way, but the show has so many bunch points now that they may not be hurt by it. Nevertheless, they don't have a chance of winning it all, and they'll probably go before all the weak teams are gone.

3) Dustin & Kandice. First all-female winners? Hard to tell, but they are the first all-female team with the ability to win, though they'd need some breaks to beat out Romber and Team Cha-Cha-Cha.

4) Teri & Ian. In Season 3, Ian was shown as an SOB. This time, at least through one episode, he's more of a crotchety old guy, kinda like a Rudy Bosch type. What that means long-term for their success, I don't know -- but it could mean that they stick around for a long time.

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02-21-07, 04:17 PM (EST)
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21. "RE: Episode # Thoughts"
<<2) The Guidos were always more likable than they were portrayed in Season 1, and I think they got the edit they did because (1) they were loners, and (2) they edged out both Momily (only due to a 24-hour penalty imposed on Momily) and the Festers to get to the final 3 (and (3) gays couldn't get married in the US at the time of Season 1).>>

I agree with almost all of your comments, AyaK, with exception to the Guidos. I actually just watched season 1 again on DVD, and the Guidos were conniving in fact not just in editing -- they alienated all of the other teams by pulling stunts like blocking the entry to the take-off gate when they were on a later flight (thus didn't even need to be there), to slow up teams on that earlier flight. They didn't start out as loners, but were isolated along the way because of stunts like that one which pissed off all the other teams. Of course they were also strong racers, which is why I am glad to see them back.

Team Cha Cha came in 4th on their season, so although we remember them as the fun-loving, wise-cracking gay couple, they were competative. I'm glad they are back too, and hope they do well!

I really don't think Uchenna/Joyce or Kevin/Drew have their hearts in it this time. I wish they'd brought back Frank and Margarita from Season 1 instead of one or the other of them.

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02-21-07, 04:47 PM (EST)
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22. "RE: Episode # Thoughts"
I have to agree with you.

I wasn't a Guido fan during TAR 1, but I didn't quite detest them the way I did after re-watching it on DVD (especially with the commentary).

They are disgusting little maggots. I hope they lose and lose badly. People whine and moan about Romber as villians, but Romber are not the vicious, mean creeps these two are. Competing smarter than the others, making snarky remarks out of listening range, physical prowess, making the best use of your advantages and compensating fairly for your disadvantages, and encouraging others to make mistakes one can take advantage of are not bad sportsmanship. The Guidos are examples of bad sportsmanship and, even worse, bad losers.

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23. "RE: Episode # Thoughts"
Geggy, it's hard for me to argue with your assessment of the Guidos, although they wrote the book on being conniving when there wasn't a book yet. They were smart, but unlikeable, and I think a lot of people were happy to see them stranded in Alaska.

It's only been one episode, but I'm wondering whether they've mellowed -- which could actually be their undoing, IMO. But they're UTR right now.

Tribe strikes again!
You've been warned, so don't complain.

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24. "RE: Episode # Thoughts"

Hi everybody!
I'm very happy that All Stars is finally happening. When I looked at these teams, my first thought was "there are some teams missing". Would'nt it be fun to have Colin/Christie and the Bowlings Moms there instead of some chosen teams. Phil said these are the most memorable teams. I'm sorry Phil but I dont agree with you there. I know that C/C were not there because Christie is pregnant but I dont understand why the Moms aren't. I loved watching Rob and Amber and I disliked Uchenna/Joyce. They had already won in their season; they should have stayed home and try to adopt with the million they stole from Rob. He was the best player ever (Colin come in second)and they should have won.

Kevin & Drew: Am I the only one who thinks that Drew looks sick? And it's true that team does'nt have their heart in this game this time. They should have known better than to bring that huge backpack. No wonder Charla outran Drew.

The Guidos: look much older and slower from season one. I don't think they'll go far this time.

Dave/Mary: sorry for those who loved them but I just can't watch them anymore. In my opinion, they took the place of some more memorable teams. For example, the Clowns, Jon/Kris and so much more. They think they have an alliance with Charla/Mirna. Think again because you don't know what Mirna is capable of doing to win that race.

Danny/Oswald: I didn't see their season but they are fun to watch.

Eric/Danielle: new team but beware of them even if they have'nt run the race together.

My prediction: I think this time around it will be an all female team that win the All Stars and Dustin/Kandice have a good chance at it.

Rob/Amber will make a huge mistake or they will be yield big time while Uchenna/Joyce will go farther even being in the backpak again and again. In the next preview, have you noticed all the teams worrying about them: "Where's Rob and Amber, where's Rob and Amber". They should focus on their own game. I'm for Rob/Amber but I beleive my heart will be broken soon. MARK MY WORDS!

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26. "More Episode # 1 Comments"

It’s nice to see that we’re off to a good start. The All-Stars are creating more interest than last season in this thread. It makes for great company!

Ayak, I enjoyed reading the reasons you gave why the Guidos got a bad edit in season 1. From the little I could tell watching their interviews, I got the feeling that it had been somewhat a forced edit. Since it is hard to keep true character under wraps for a long period, maybe we’ll see if they turn out to be true villains or not. Ulalame, Geg6 and CygnusX1, thank you for your views since every debate needs two sides. I hope you continue to post after the next episodes. It will be interesting to see if they get a “redemption” edit in your eyes. For now, they were relatively quiet “Gay Grandpas” and I’m perplexed about their story.

I also enjoyed your comparison between Ian and Rudy Boesch. Both are military men, both are grumpy older gentlemen. How much further can the comparison go? Certainly, Rudy’s legend is safe! Still, I do get the feeling the editors are trying to portray Teri and Ian as the competitive older couple that people eventually get behind. It would be quite an endeavor but I’ll be interested in seeing their popularity scores. The persevering older couple story would give Teri and Ian an extended stay on our screens.

FP, it is always nice when you drop in! The yield could very well be “La rançon de la célébrité” ; what Romber will have to pay for being famous. I try not to root for anyone but I do wish Romber can entertain us for a long time. It's always more interesting when Rob is involved.

CTGirl, first, I must say I like the new siggie, very classy! It’s good that you underlined Eric’s quote: “I’m competitive…” As Donracefan noted that their story should be told, their quiet first leg could indicate we see them a while. What I liked most about their introductory leg is that neither mentioned they were on the race to “test their relationship.” Certainly, Eric said he was anxious, knowing what the race can do to a relationship but it isn’t the reason they are there. They are there to win and few dating couples have said it so clearly.

It is always nice to have new contributors like Canadafan, I hope everyone continues sharing their thoughts.

PS: MysticWolf, thanks for keeping an eye and an ear on the facts. I do hear Rob say: "It's been 3 hours..." but that could be the accent. Anyway, Rob corrects himself in his "Mat Chat" when he tells Phil they wasted an hour and a half in the field which could also be an exaggeration. The detour choice however, shows that Rob has some weaknesses (gross food, throwing spears and animals!) and making a wrong detour choice could be their demise. Dave's accent also had made me write that he had said "We will lie and backstab" when he said "They..." meaning the Blondes. It doesn't change the impression that KY may not be portrayed as sweethearts this time.

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02-26-07, 08:51 PM (EST)
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27. "Episode 2 Thoughts"
This was a good episode and we saw more of the teams characters come out.

Rob and Amber. The editors (and a lot of viewers) love them and I see them getting a positive edit whether they go out next week or win the whole thing. They are a strong team, they’re fun to watch and they have a good friendship. Watching Amber call out Rob on his tactics was priceless. I liked the way Rob explained how he wanted to stir the pot. That was vintage Boston Rob! Everyone is aware of them and although Rob and Amber have helped Danny and Oswald twice now, I don’t know if anyone will help them when they are in need. Many of the racers are obsessed with them (even more so than in TAR 7) so I expect to see some altercations down the road.

Danny and Oswald had another solid leg. We didn’t see them making any mistakes. Joe and Bill also had a solid leg. They almost made a mistake at the detour, but knew enough to check the clue. The difference between these two teams could be when they set off from Quito, Danny and Oswald talked about being here to compete and keeping the focus; Joe and Bill talked about” who says gay men can’t drive.” Oswald was also shown emotionally saying how beautiful the Valley of the Moon was.

Eric and Danielle: We saw the Eric we know and don’t love come out this week. His humpty dumbass comment was inane. But as Michel pointed out earlier, their primary story is not about their relationship although they will comment on it. “(Racing together) is added pressure but we haven’t had any problems and hopefully it will stay that way.” He called Amber and Oswald bastards for not helping him. At the end we got a glimpse of how good racer he is. He was the only one who quoted the clue “keep on turning left” to get to the pit stop. They moved up a place because of it.

Uchenna and Joyce seem to be drifting along. Their hearts don’t really seem to be into racing or giving it their all. How could Joyce have taken so long to realize that every other team was looking at the pictures on the wall at the roadblock? They didn’t read the clue correctly going to the pit stop and just seemed to make a stab in the dark which way to turn. I wasn’t overly impressed with their racing skills the first time either, but this is a bit lackadaisical!

Dustin and Kandice struck me as a team we will see for a while. They had pros and cons to their edit. Dustin did a great job at the roadblock and we were impressed by it. They were a little dissatisfied by their 6th place finish and commented that they want to make sure they make the right turns. When they came to a spot where they didn’t make the correct turn, they were the first ones to ask for help instead of blindly following the leader. I sense that we will see a rivalry between the two female teams like we did in TAR 10. For a short scene by the side of the road, a lot of time was spent on it. The Blondes and Schmirna could have just decided to go their own ways. Dustin commented that Mirna’s voice is “scary” and that she didn’t like the way they play. Her comments were followed by a very bizarre confessional by Charla, “Beauty is sometimes skin deep. It’s easy to make yourself beautiful with plastic surgery. But to have a pure heart and to have morals is hard to make up.” If it was left at that I would have discounted it as sour grapes, but the editing cut to the infamous shot of Dustin and Kandice laughing which we saw several times when Lyn and Karlyn complained about them. They also thumbed their noses at Kevin and Drew when they passed them. That adds a little negativity to their characters, but the fact we are seeing many facets to their racing bodes well for their longevity I think.

At the beginning of the race Teri and Ian said that their motto is “stop, look and listen.” They failed to do that at both the roadblock and the detour. For them to be contenders in this race they need to be more aware.

Charla and Mirna are an interesting team and hard to like. They seem to be making enemies: Dave and Mary, the Blondes and perhaps next week Teri and Ian. I didn’t see anything wrong with them passing Dave and Mary on the highway. It is a race. But their emotions are out-of-control and it’s still early in the race. Dustin and Kandice commented on them, “Strife and drama is the way they do things. Their style is kind of abrasive.” I also found the scene where Mirna was perched on Charla’s shoulders tightening the bolts and then Charla hanging off the tire and falling absurd!

It seems like TAR gives the 3rd or 4th team eliminated the “buffoon” edit (i.e. Tom and Terry) and Dave and Mary fit that this time around. They are nice people and want to have someone to work with, but everyone else is running a race. They “love ‘em” (Charla and Mirna) and were nice to help them out of the ditch. Mary figured out the roadblock the fastest but it was stupidity to tell Charla (and Kevin by circumstance). At the detour they didn’t play close enough attention to detail, and at the turn they picked the sign “with the most words.” (??!!) They made brainless choices all episode long. They are not getting the same loveable edit as last season. The Festers didn’t get it either, and now they’re gone!

From an editing standpoint, I see David and Mary going home next. Teri and Ian and Uchenna and Joyce need to get their acts together if they’re going to continue racing.

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02-26-07, 10:25 PM (EST)
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28. "RE: Episode 2 Thoughts"
LAST EDITED ON 02-27-07 AT 05:24 PM (EST)

Hello CTGirl. Sorry to repeat any of your points but I write my entry first in "Words" and then paste it here so I didn't see yours before I wrote mine. Maybe putting it together will help us see the stories. As with many episodes that force the racers to make ticket arrangements, we had many:


Some teams had verbal exchanges. Some teams even had internal frictions. Did the teams’ portrayal change from what we had seen? Which teams appear like long term racers? Those answers are starting to take shape.

The 2 Featured Teams

1-Rob and Amber were the stars of the show and especially in the first half. Leaving the Pit Stop, Rob told us: “The other teams have no idea what they’re in for! It’s not that I want them to be afraid of us. I want them to be preoccupied with us because it distracts them from what they should be doing.” Romber made separate arrangements at Quito’s airport going to Santiago through Guayaquil and Lima. Rob then told the ticket agent: “Don’t tell anybody else about this. OK?” That itinerary got many other teams preoccupied with Romber: “The race is about us and the course. It’s not about the other teams.” David and Mary asked if anyone had seen them, and assumed they had a better flight. The funniest example of a worried racer was Mirna who said she was looking for her Amigo and asked the ticket agent if Rob was on the same flight!

Rob and Amber were alone on the first plane out of Quito and were scheduled to arrive in Santiago at 1:50AM. Their wait in Guayaquil enabled Oswald and Danny to catch up but then, their flight to Lima was delayed. That caused them to miss the connection to Santiago by 10 minutes. “Within a period of 10 minutes, you can go from first place to last place” commented Rob. “It’s a miserable game, this race.”

They arrived at the Roadblock at the Codelco building in 9th place with still 6 teams present. Amber was designated to “Pay attention to details.” She did well, gaining two places for her team and even helping Eric and Oswald, telling both that the missing "H" was on a pen.

We then had a bunching point back at the Santiago airport. Rob got angry at Eric who went from the back of the line to a counter that had just opened. It gave us a rare scene; Rob got upset with Amber!
-Rob started by telling us: “Eric went from the back of the line to the new counter. I don’t have anything personal with Eric, I was just stirring the pot. The only thing I didn’t like about the whole situation was Amber defending him.”

-Amber told us: “It’s not that I mind Rob stirring trouble but he was so wrong that it made him look silly.”

-“ We’re a team over here, you’re supposed to have my back. There’s a method to the madness. There always is, babe!”
The smiles were back!

Their taxi sped out of Calama and arrived third to the detour at the Chuquicamata copper mine. As Rob told us, the “By Machine” Detour was made for him due to his construction work experience. Watching Amber drive that frontloader impressed Rob (and us!). “It was pretty cool seeing Amber behind the wheel of that frontloader. She did good. I was proud of her!” They were the first out of the mine enabling them to take their time to reach the Pit Stop, stopping to check directions at the intersection between the “Valley of the Moon” and the “Valley of the Dead” that would be problematic for many teams. They arrived first at the Pit Stop and then, we even had a happy dance from Romber. This team is on a roll but its “High Risk for High Reward” strategy is dangerous at this stage of the race The delayed flight proved it. It is entertaining to see them try to mess with the competition but boring teams have often won the race! They have to be considered good enough racers to reach the final leg eventhough CBS would use their fame for all its worth until their elimination.

8- Charla and Mirna were the second featured team this week but it wasn’t pretty! From stalling the car in a ditch to Mirna’s inquiries at the airport about Romber’s whereabouts, we were slowly building to a very dramatic display by this team. After being pulled out of the ditch, their alliance with David and Mary paid off a second time when Charla benefitted from Mary’s smart solution of the Roadblock. They had arrived at the Codelco Building in 7th place and left in 4th. They still were in the front on the way to the mine. Charla said it was a wonderful day when they passed Joe and Bill. Only seconds later, when they were passed themselves: “Rob and Amber. Of course they can go fast!” It showed how this team thinks.

Turmoil brewed within the team when the “By Hand” Detour proved quite a challenge for them. The stool incident showed that Mirna can also be mean to her cousin. Having dropped all the way to 8th place we were in for another meltdown:

The Road to the Valley of the Moon: Charla and Mirna followed their taxi to the valley. Dustin and Kandice followed them! Charla and Mirna decided there were no more free rides. When all three cars stopped, Charla demanded half of the $100 fare. The blondes refused and drove off. Mirna gave $20 to the taxi driver telling him it was all the money they had and wouldn’t be able to eat the next day. We then had a confessional where Charla tells us "Beauty is only skin deep. It's easy to make yourself beautiful with plastic surgery but to have a pure heart and to have morals is not easy to make up." To which, the editors cut to Dustin and Kandice “responding” with an evil laugh. From reactions in the east coast thread and the early “love lists”, it seems that Charla and Mirna’s actions weren’t well received. Laughing at their opponents is what started the Beauty Queens’ down turn in editing last season but it didn’t appear to have the same goal this time: We were supposed to laugh (or cringe) at Charla and Mirna, weren’t we? As Kandice said: It was scary!

If that sequence wasn’t enough, they broke their alliance on the road to the Pit Stop when they raced ahead of Kentucky. Mary lost all the esteem she had for them. This aggravating team has been given too many conflicts to be the next to go. This drama seems something that will be stretched over a few more episodes at least. They don’t have a winning edit for sure but they will outlast a few more teams with this “Drama Queens” edit.

The next 3 teams could be given: Best Performances by Supporting actors

2- Oswald and Danny: They got off to a solid start when Oswald told us that: “Danny and I have proven so far that we are here to compete. We hope we can keep that focus and be able to cross that finish line and be the winners.” They aren’t going to play the alliance game: When Danny joked that they should “pull over and wait for the other teams” Oswald replied: “I like them…but not that much!”

They were the only team with Romber to find the earlier connecting flights to Santiago. Even if they were on the second flight out of Quito, they caught up to Rob and Amber in Guayaquil. They showed some frustration at their bad luck in Lima which put them in last place at the Roadblock. Oswald got the solution from Amber and they left in 6th place.

In Calama they made quick work of the “By Hand” Detour which gave us one of the quotes of the night by Danny: “I must have been a man in a previous life!” They then made their way to the Pit Stop behind Rob and Amber. Except for the unnecessary risk they took with the flight to Santiago, this team was an example of the theme: “The Race is easy if you’ve learned from your mistakes.” Even if Danny’s manicurist might not agree (!) they didn’t exert themselves much to have another solid finish. Maybe they’ll have time for some shoppping! At least they enjoyed the sights in the valley of the moon.

6-Dustin and Kandice had a less then enthusiastic start. Dustin told us they are on another adventure but Kandice confided: “I'm not going to say that we were thrilled when Phil called 6th but it was like...OK.” Hearing them say they have to avoid taking wrong turns was a reminder of what happened last time.

They haven’t lost their desire to race: Dustin showed that she is a smart competitor by being the first to figure out that the majority of letters she found in the boardroom corresponded to one of the locations pictured on the wall.

On the road, sticking their tongues out at Kevin and Drew and later, laughing at Charla and Mirna could be seen as the return of the “Mean Blondes” but in the context, it appeared that wasn’t the intent of the editors. The first seemed to be done in fun while the second was justified by Charla and Mirna’s portrayal and the circumstances. The Blondes hadn’t asked the taxi driver to lead them to destination and asking for information on the map seemed reasonable. The demand for $100 seemed excessive when Mirna only paid $20.

The “By Hand” Detour showed that the race does require strength sometimes and their fall to 9th place is something to keep in mind. We saw that they rarely hesitate when they got out of the line of cars at the entrance to the “Valley of the Moon”. The road to the Pit Stop showed that they have learned from their mistakes. Soon after they had to decide on which way to turn, they stopped to ask directions. That move secured their 6th place finish. This competitive team hasn’t yet found the race easy but they have shown more caution in their travels. Are we seeing the return of the “Mean Blondes” edit? For now, their targets are teams that don’t appear destined to make the end of the race and the Blondes have been given the upper hand editorially. They seem to be in for the end of the race.

9-David and Mary: Mary had told us that the last race had taught her that she could do it on her own but they “like Charla and Mirna” so a new alliance was born. They gave them a hand by towing them out of the ditch. Mary showed she could be smart by solving the puzzle quickly and she shared the solution with Charla.

Mary wasn’t as smart at the Detour when she put most of the bolts on wrong: “What does it matter” she said when Dave tried to explain the proper alignment. “Whatever” she went on until the foremen showed them they had to start over. It got worse when, at the intersection to the “Valley of the Dead,” she said: “I would think right because it has the most words.” If Drew had taken a chance and turned around when he saw the Blondes coming back, Kentucky would be out of the race.

We saw some more negative traits from this team: The recap had been about their lying to the Beaty Queens. There was also David’s reaction when Drew called him out for trying to put his back-pack in first class: “Drew is playing dirty. He started it, so it’s on.” We also saw David’s expression when Kevin eavesdropped on Mary giving her Roadblock solution to the security guard. Was it Kevin’s fault if Mary said the solution out loud? Mainly, Mary’s continual nagging of her husband isn’t countered anymore by positive comments. Last season, we saw them as sweethearts despite her treatment of David but this time, it seems to be too much. Changes in editing can be subtle sometimes: We don’t see the positive confessionals they used to share, we don’t see the same signs of affection, so now they aren’t seen as “The Nice Couple.” David and Mary won’t last long in the race since they didn’t learn what worked best for them last time. They need alliances but Mary thinks she can do it alone!

Also Appearing: These teams didn’t get much airtime and it makes it hard to predict their outcome in the race:

3-Joe and Bill ran a solid race, never really falling lower than 5th. Bill did an excellent job of the Detour finishing just behind Dustin and jumping for joy when the security guard accepted his answer.

They were the only ones besides Romber to do the “By Machine” Detour. They didn’t read the clue correctly even if Joe insisted they both had to drive the frontloader. It forced them to do one more scoop after Bill had completed the mound. From that fifth place they overtook 2 teams to finish 3rd. Besides the argument about the detour, we didn’t hear much from them except that Bill needs a shower. These two are strong navigators and seem fit enough to complete the tasks they will face. They aren’t portrayed as the villains they were the last time. For now, that looks to be the extent of their story, one in which the editors show them in a better light, rehabilitating their image. Two guys in their mid fifties would get more airtime if they were to race to the end. Unless we see a consistent increase in their face time, they don’t appear to be there until the very end.

4- Eric and Danielle: Despite Eric’s opening joke getting crickets from the sound effect guys, the team got off to a fast start reaching the Codelco building in second place. Eric knew that: “Being in a relationship is added pressure but we haven’t had any problems yet so hopefully it stays that way.” It didn’t take long that a problem arose, Eric making a mess of the Roadblock, finishing 8th despite the head start. They kept their cool even when Rob tried to shake them up. The second half of the leg was much better when they completed the Detour in 4th place without incident. They kept that position to the Pit Stop for another easy, uneventful leg. This team is the one that can make it far with little airtime in the beginning. As a new team, they are a curiosity but certainly weren’t fan favorites at the start. An exit in the first 3 or 4 legs would’ve meant a quick introduction to satisfy the curiosity and then we’d see their departure as no great loss. That the introduction gets delayed despite their good results means the editors are slowly spiking our curiosity. That indicates there is something to build.

5-Uchenna and Joyce were off to a good start with Joyce saying they learned many life lessons the last time. Uchenna responded: “I can’t have Mrs. Right without being Mr. Right.I have to trust that she can carry her weight and vice-versa.” His patience was soon tested when Joyce thought she was good with details: “How difficult could it be?” From their first place arrival, they left the Roadblock in 9th. Uchenna showed his displeasure: “This is driving me freaking nuts…Unbelievable” he said. His facial expression in the car was seen in close-up when Joyce told us that she usually is good with details.

Despite that momentary set-back, they climbed back into 3rd place at the end of the “By Hand” Detour. Another victim of the wrong turn, they reached Phil in 5th place. Our analysts disagreed last week about the significance of their lack of airtime. I persist in thinking that if they were “2 times Champions”, we’d be seeing a lot of them. Their story has been told and there isn’t a new one developing except maybe a negative one if we are to judge by Uchenna’s reaction after the Roadblock. A negative story doesn’t fit with 2 times champions or even champions who came close the second time.

7-Teri and Ian were all over the place in this leg. From a 3rd position at the gate, they reached the Roadblock in 6th. Teri told us that: “Ian has an eye for detail. He was a police officer. He has a much better chance of seeing it than I do.” We saw it wasn’t easy. What would’ve happened if Joyce hadn’t helped Ian? Would he still be looking for the solution? (“Cold Case” was on TV later, so maybe he wanted to hand them the investigation!) He came out of the conference room with an honest assessment: “I didn’t do good at all on that one. My observations were just not good enough tonight.”

The same lack of observation hurt them after the Detour where they lost time driving around in their taxi to find the marked cars that were within walking distance. For a team that said the lesson they took from their first attempt was to “Stop, Look and Listen”, it doesn’t appear that their experience will make this race easier. They should continue along while the weaker teams get eliminated. On the positive side, they work well together. Maybe they can outlast one or two strong teams if those teams make mistakes but Teri and Ian don’t appear like end game racers.

Kevin and Drew were never able to defend their “legend” but they did get a big laugh when Drew asked Kevin “I have to be able to see you.” “I’ll be the big black thing in the middle” answered Kevin. Drew didn’t run him over but he almost dragged him across Ecuador when he accelerated after pulling out if the ditch!

The teams that have been given a story and have consistently been shown as good racers are Rob and Amber, Oswald and Danny and Dustin and Kandice. These three are solid contenders for 3 of the top 4 spots.

Who will join them? David and Mary’s future doesn’t look good since they have lost their nice couple edit but haven’t been shown as good racers to replace it. Charla and Mirna will be the “Drama Queens” that will outlast one or two better teams but not make it to the end. That leaves 4 teams, none of which have been given a story yet, for 1 spot!

-Uchenna and Joyce had a good story the first time so having none now isn’t a good sign.

-Teri and Ian as well as Joe and Bill had negative stories the first time but are “middle of the road” this time. We’d need to see a consistent development from one of them to claim that 4th ace. Is their lackluster edit all the upswing we will see? It is possible, although I could see Teri and Ian sneaking in by virtue of a mistake by a favorite. Bill told us not to underestimate Ian.

-Joining them in the middle of the road are Eric and Danielle. Since that is where they started, it leaves room for developing a story. Their strong showing up to now make them my choice to be the 4th racers in the final legs.

How do you see it?

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02-27-07, 01:16 AM (EST)
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29. "RE: Episode 2 Thoughts"
As usual, Michel, your observations are very astute and well thought out. I am in TOTAL agreement about a couple of the edits.

First of all, much to the pain of Romber haters, I don't think it's a coincidence that Romber came in first in both legs so far. Furthermore, Danny and Oswald came in 2nd in both legs so far. And this is after the flight delay pushed them both to the bottom (while using identical strategies) and they both still worked their way back to the front two finishers. Clearly, the early line is that this is developing as a race between those 2 teams. Danny and Oswald haven't managed to get in front yet BUT they really aren't trying as hard as Romber to be THE front runner. They seem content to be among the front runners and try to make a strategic move later when opportunity arises. And by doing so they are staying off radar and not drawing anyone's ire or attention. I think this is SMART. This may account for them finishing 2nd twice instead of splitting.

I will make some enemies by saying this but Rob and I are A LOT alike. It is not a coincidence that Rob is helping one team and one team only AND that one team just happens to be the team that is most likely to challenge them. People like him (and I) respect good competitors and, if we're going to lose, we want to lose to the team that could be considered to be the best. We don't want to accidentally lose to an inferior team. There's nothing more bitter. So by helping the stronger teams stay around thereby letting the weak teams gradually get eliminated, he therefore gradually diminishes the threat of an embarrassing loss to an inferior team because there aren't any left. For that reason, I think he secretly wants Danny and Oswald around so that, if he loses, it would be to them although he would never admit it. And I think the fact that he is being edited as friendly to Danny and Oswald is less of an accident and more of the fact that that is the only type of interaction between these two teams so far that the cameras could have taped.

I agree that Uchenna and Joyce will be about 6th and will say gracious things such as we had our turn, we're happy to have been invited back and last as long as we did, and we wish the remaining teams the best. That just seems like Uchenna to me from what I saw in season 7 and now. I know if my wife went into the board room 2nd and came out 9th, I would be freaking out much more than he did.

The Guidos are getting a distinctively better edit. They will finish top 5 and maybe 4.

I agree with your assessment of Eric and Danielle. As I have observed and seen others observe in the past, the team shown having "trouble" in the previews for next week is NEVER the team to go. So given the fish "fiasco" they were portraying with Danielle, I think they should be safe for next week and, frankly, with some of the poor teams still in this thing, they're not going to get beat in the next few episodes. If they leave soon, it will have to be because they screwed something up and I don't see that yet.

Teri and Ian are all over the place edit-wise. Frankly, they seem like that song on an album that no one really thinks strongly one way or the other but fans demand at least 10 songs. They seem to be filler around the other teams. I just don't see them in the top half.

I agree that the Beauty Queens are getting an "upper hand" edit. People try to make these girls into fake people but I really think they they are just so comfortable being who they are that it seems like it just can't be so. I think they are being edited in a similar way as last time because that's what the producers have to work with. They are a consistent acting team. They balance each other well and neither is a drama queen. I started out liking them because of the obvious eye candy factor last season but after 2 episodes I said they would reach the finals. And if not for getting lost, they would have. Given that they've learned from getting lost and ask quickly now when they aren't sure, and given the surprising weakness of what should have been a much stronger field, I see them going far and I'm glad about that. Maybe I'll be right about them reaching the finals just one season off.

I agree with you about Mirna and Charla in that they will be around for a couple of more episodes but, as I will explain below, I don't think that because of the drama edit. I've mentioned that there are some edits that are the way they are because the producers really don't have much else to go on such as the interaction between Romber and Danny/Oswald and the Beauty Queens edit. This is especially true with as little face time as each team is getting in the early stages and the fact that teams can pretend (put on a good face) for the cameras for at least a leg or two. Here is another case of where the producers really don't have an alternative edit simply because Mirna and Charla haven't given them one but in this case, that's a bad thing. Mirna and Charla give no other edit possible except emotionally unstable drama queens who alternate between going spastic at the slightest provocation and playing the victim role. I don't know that their edit necessarily means they are around another couple of legs but I predict that they will be in 3 more episodes. One because David and Mary are as weak as they are and it's truly a flip of the coin as to who will go first and another because I see a non-elimination leg coming. The one following that (the 3rd from now) is when they will meet their demise (and it will not be too soon for me).

Good work again, as usual. If nothing else, you always keep it interesting.

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02-27-07, 10:54 AM (EST)
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30. "RE: Episode 2 Thoughts"
Wow all you peeps have good editing knowledge. I wish I could do the same. Its good to be back. I probably won't post as much but I can try to do my best. Since most of you have it already down pact I will try to through in my senses of the out come of the race.

Be prepared for bad grammar.

I noticed that Rob and Amber/Danny and Oswald went from 1st to last in the first 10 minutes of the showing. Neither team had a breakdown or argument they stayed calm and hoped for the best. I noticed that when a team breaks down its usually one member of the team and it holds the other up for them to through a little tantrum. Both of these teams stayed calm and managed to pull ahead and focus on the task itself. I believe they have a top 3 finish. However if a yeild was to arise between now and then. I have a feeling if Danny n Oswald beat Rob and Amber there first they would be yielded. and vice versa. It reminds me of Season nine with the race between Eric and ??? and BJ and Tyler! Where they ran most of the leg in the front pack. I can see this happen for quite some time.

Bill and Joe have made into third place 2 legs in a row. They may be the slow front runner and staying in front of the pack.

Eric and Danielle have made into fourth place 2 legs in a row. I can consider that these four teams are the front runners.

Dustin and Kandice could get a first place finish or make into the top 5.

With the All Star Race, The racers that are getting at least in the top 5 or 6 in two legs. Are racers. Everyone else is just for entertainment use only. But I think Charla and Mirna have not started playing dirty yet, but I believe they could make it up there in the front pack of the racers.

Feel free to agree or disagree.

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03-01-07, 03:28 PM (EST)
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31. "RE: Episode 2 Thoughts"
>I have observed and seen
>others observe in the past,
>the team shown having "trouble"
>in the previews for next
>week is NEVER the team
>to go.

So, I remember exactly ONE exception to this rule: It was sometime in season nine, maybe it was the Nerds? but the editors were sneaky and actually showed the eliminated team having a problem in the preview.

Can anyone remember exactly what this situation was?

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03-03-07, 01:41 PM (EST)
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33. "RE: Episode 2 Comments"
LAST EDITED ON 03-03-07 AT 01:43 PM (EST)

First, CTGirl, I hope the introduction of my previous post, as I had originally written it, didn't offend you. I edited it to express a little better what I meant to say. I was happy to read your comments heading off our episode #2 thoughts. Sorry for the poor phrasing.

I especially liked your look at Eric and Danielle. You wrote: "He called Amber and Oswald bastards for not helping him. At the end we got a glimpse of how good racer he is. He was the only one who quoted the clue “keep on turning left” to get to the pit stop."

Since Amber gave him everything he needed, I first thought that the "bastards" was directed at the ones who designed the challenge but you are right: He follows Amber asking her to give him the answer. What did he miss? I had missed the "keep turning left" comment but it reminds us that Eric, while racing with Jeremy, did very well. They only got lost when they went for short-cuts. Eric and Danielle are strong contenders.

I also liked your buffoon description for David and Mary. Isn't that what we had expected before the start of Season 10 only to be surprised by their charming ways. Buffoon is a better way to describe them than villains.

Beau, it is always nice to read your comments. Indeed Romber and the Cha-Chas could dominate like BJ and Tyler and Eric and Jeremy but that is risky. In one of the videos for episode #2, Rob is thinking of taking a later flight at the bunching point after the roadblock since he doesn't like the pack mentality. Amber reasoned that the other flight was 20 minutes later and the end of the leg was coming soon. Rob went along but he still regretted not taking the risk. He was sure that the 9 other teams would slow each other down scrambling out of the airport. Rob loves dangerous moves...Maybe too much!

Donracefan: I agree that most of the tirades by Mirna and Schmirna have to be shown but some weren't necessary like the one were Charla said "Of course Rob and Amber, they can go fast" or the ones from Mary when they passed each other. More importantly, I think their villain edit will carry them a little further than expected for 2 reasons:

1- Despite other prime candidates, Mirna and Schmirna are our only villains.

2- This time, even Charla is made out to be mean. Last time everyone blamed Mirna but this time, Charla is given almost an equal part in their tirades.

Time will tell if they last more than the next 3 episodes!

asdf row: I agree misdirection is hard to make sense of sometimes. I think it was Dani and Danielle working on the greek statue that we saw in the previews before their elimination. It does work often that the previewed team isn't eliminated but not always!

Earl: Sorry that my post wound up over yours. We've missed your comments around here. I don't know if Rob is using the Cha-chas to have help later at an intersection. I have my own little theory: What if they are giving help to a strong team to gain their confidence only to give them false information at a critical time? It would be Rob doing to the Cha-chas what he did to Lex and Tom in the All-Star survivor!!!

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03-03-07, 02:49 PM (EST)
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34. "RE: Episode 2 Comments"
No worries Michel, I knew what you meant. I agree with you about Charla and Mirna as the only villains, but that gives me the creeps knowing that we could see them for a while! Hopefully Dustin adn Kandice will come out on top this time around. There will not be any "angel" references for Schmirna!
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03-03-07, 08:11 AM (EST)
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32. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
Just a quick idea.

At first lots of people thought the Cho brothers were helping the back-pack alliance for their own benifit.

Rob is helping Oswald & Danny some what. These two are far from the best racers, but at the same time far from the worse. The point of who will help Rob during an intersection was raised in another thread, could Rob be grooming a good team to help him should one come up, but still a team that he believes he will have no problem beating?

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03-03-07, 09:56 PM (EST)
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35. "RE: Tar 11: The All-Stars, the Strategy and the Editing"
As I remember Oswald and Danny, they were good racers. They were in a tough race, with Chex, Twil and Blaige as the three teams that beat them out.

Here's what I said about them going into the final six of TAR 2:

Right now, we have three really competitive teams: Chex, Twil and Blaige. It's no surprise that these teams are fighting all the time. We have two more teams that seem competitive, although not nearly as "hyper" as the other three: Woodies and Oswald/Danny. Finally, we have a team left and a team just eliminated on which one member is really competitive (Mary, Russell) and the other isn't as competitive (Peach, Cyndi).

Unfortunately, the races haven't been as predictable since the early TARs. We've even had a winner from a team where one member is really competitive and the other isn't (U&J, and they're here!).

But my point is that Team Cha-Cha-Cha got a good edit the first time (Remember the "Is that MAC?" comment when they were getting the abo paint applied?) AND they were competitive, although not as competitive as Romber. But Rob and Amber lost to Uchenna & Joyce (with CBS's help), so they wouldn't take anyone lightly.

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03-05-07, 08:44 PM (EST)
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36. "Ep. 3 Thoughts"
(I'm almost certainly reusing some of your thoughts from upthread. Sue me. )

With Romber, the producers continue to hit the cockiness angle HARD. I'm trying to be objective about this because I don't want them to win, but I can't see the producers doing this edit unless there's some sort of letdown later.

Uchenna and Joyce remain UTR, for the most part. The biggest exception this time was their trying to get airline tickets for everyone else, but they only succeeded for the Guidos. Seems like they're the benefactors of a sympathy edit, but does this mean they'll get anywhere?

Eric and Danielle continue to mystify. They certainly played aggressive with the Guidos, and then despite Danielle's drama queen performance at the RB and Eric's reversion to his oobie fixation, they ran an excellent leg with few mistakes. Consider too how Rob said he didn't consider them a threat. Could these two possibly make F3, then?

Dustin and Kandice rightly had the focus on their missing Detour clue, but as I predicted, it didn't hurt them much any. I think their edit is of them becoming a stronger team each episode, although I figure they'll have to win a leg sometime to merit more serious consideration. Still, their edit remains pretty darn favorable.

Danny and Oswald were UTR this week. Not sure this is the time you want less face time.

Teri and Ian are still getting a fairly favorable edit. Ian is being shown as more encouraging than boorish. And Teri deserves kudos for how she handled getting tossed from the raft. They may not make F3, but I think they'll come close.

We saw the best and the worst of Joe and Bill this week. Some of the old Guido feistiness came to the fore as they confronted Eric and Danielle, and they were rife with quotes throughout. But they erred majorly with not getting all of the RB clue, being saved by the Schmirnas. This doesn't bode well for them in future, I think.

I concur with those who have said that the Schmirnas are hanging around as the antagonists, but if they make it through the next elimination, who won't? Although if this is a superleg coming up, it could be the Schmirnas. They're not getting a favorable edit as far as the race itself.

Tribe strikes again!
You've been warned, so don't complain.

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37. "RE: Ep. 3 Thoughts"

Interesting thoughts Cygnus XI. Sorry if I repeat any of your comments but here is how I saw the episode and there are many similarities between our views.

This episode was a Comedy of Errors worthy of the 10 funny plays of the week! Almost every team made a mistake that should have been fatal if we were dealing with All-Star racers. They are All-Stars, you say? Are you sure?

Some teams had good legs:
Uchenna and Joyce ran a mistake free leg that started with Uchenna telling us that: “We believe that if we make intelligent choices and work together, we’ll be fine.” As soon as they arrived at the Calama airport, they teamed up with Eric & Danielle, Joe & Bill and Oswald & Danny so that: “All the teams had spots covered at the ticket counter” assuring the group the best tickets. They told everyone they would look for a way to buy tickets over the internet. We saw them purchasing tickets for the best flight but only managed to get additional tickets for Joe & Bill. The other two teams were shown understanding the situation.

They were on the first plane to Puerto Mott and they made their way to the fishery in Metri, where the scenery was “magnificient” according to Joyce. They arrived in 2nd place and Uchenna did the roadblock, He showed why this team was in a position to win their season. Uchenna easily raced through the roadblock but all we heard about it was Joyce saying: “You’ve got a system going. It’s working...That’s it, you’ve got it!” They were first off to Petrohué and the clue at La Maquina.

They stopped to ask for directions and it gave us a funny moment: Uchenna insisted on embracing the woman who gave him information even if he smelled of fish! They were the 4th team to get into a raft and the“River Wild” Detour was handled with no problem. We heard from Eric that they were doing well and we saw them briefly in the raft but we didn’t hear from them.

They made it to the Playa Petrohué Pit Stop without incidents, happy to have passed two teams and Phil greeted them to a joyous second place.

This solid performance wasn’t featured except for their smart work at the airport. We only briefly rode with the married couple but didn’t share any of their excitement except briefly at the Pit Stop. We didn’t feel emotions from Joyce about Uchenna’s handling of the fish nor did we share the boat ride with them. They haven’t been given any personal stories or conflicts with other teams. Nothing is done for us to cheer for this team which isn’t a good sign for their final result.

Eric and Danielle also had a solid leg even if it wasn’t always pretty! Danielle told us that “I think that Eric definitely forgets that this race is about me just as much as it is about him. I’m a girl and I’m trying to keep up with Eric, who is a guy, and I’m doing the best that I can because I don’t want to disappoint him.”

They trailed Joe and Bill on the way to the church in San Pedro de Atacama when they saw Bill get out of the car to ask directions. Hearing the information, they used the occasion to race ahead of the Guidos which didn’t sit well with Bill who told us that he did all the work. When they arrived seconds later at the clue box, Bill stood in front of Eric’s car to block him off. The point was made and even if Danielle found Bill “rude…He is such a whiner” the conflict was momentarily put to rest and both teams worked together at the airport.

The error they made in this race was to forget to give the security code of their credit card to Uchenna so they couldn’t profit from the ticket buying alliance. Eric still managed to get tickets on the first flight by secretly making a request to the ticket agent.

On the road to the Roadblock, we heard Eric tell us that the Guidos were sneaky to which Danielle responded: “Bill looked psychotic this morning. He looked nuts, he looks like a psycho.” The early flight got them to the fishery in first place. Eric “volonteered” Danielle to transfer the fish but it wasn’t “her thing. I hate fish” she said but after some hesitation, she did say “OK, I can do this.” Still Eric yelled at her: “Pick up the damn fish” yelled Eric. “Use your b00bs to hold them down…Quit being a baby…Use your b00bs.” Even Rob commented that Eric was making improper comments. (Rob! The guy who, in Marquesas, told a bathing suit clad Patricia to her face: “That is Naaaasty!”) Danielle lost 3 positions at the roadblock, showing again this team needed better strategy for the tasks. Nevertheless, the crying didn’t prevent her from completing the task in relative good time.

The road to Petrohué was the occasion to catch up with Romber. They teamed up with the Survivor couple and eventually beat them for first place at the clue box in La Maquina.

Stopping too early on the road to the rafting location, they arrived third at the “River Wild” detour astonished that the Blondes had beat them. We did spend some time aboard their raft and we heard their comments on the other teams on the river. Eric and Danielle arrived safely at the Pit Stop in third place and Danielle displayed her relief.

We are starting to see a story emerge for this team. Eric had told us that he raced with a strong partner in Jeremy the first time around and that he was anxious about racing with Danielle. She is out to prove that, despite being a girl, she can keep up and succeed. Eric being Eric, a chauvinist and a horndog, will be difficult to convince. The only way Danielle can convince him is if they finish at least as high as the Eric & Jeremy team did. Will she succeed? It’s still early to tell but she did it this time in a leg that some teams found nerve wracking. I’d put them in for that final leg!

Rob and Amber are great with the quotes so the editors let them comment the race:
R- “We are constantly taking chances, and trying new things and different angles.”
A- “I don’t care if the other racers like us or don’t like us.”
R- “We could-Care-less!”

R- “Amber and I were lucky enough to find the travel agency opened in the middle of the night. We were able to book airline tickets for tomorrow morning arriving in Puerto Mott at 12:55”
R (arriving at the airport)- “They’re all sleeping in line. When it comes time we’ll go over there at the last minute. Otherwise, we show our hand…we should be in pretty good shape.”

R (on the road to Metri)- “There all going to follow us”
A- “They sure are.”
R- “Should I slow down and let these guys go by and then see if they get lost?”
A- “Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t be distracted by the other teams”
R- “I know…There’s some signs. I’m feeling right. I think it’s this way.”
R (arriving 4th at the roadblock)- “All the teams are here, damn!”
A- “I think I can do it. (pointing to Danielle) She’s doing it”
R- “You’re doing great, baby.”
A- “I’m gonna smell real good after this.”
R- “Eric, he was constantly making comments. Not that I wasn’t making comments…‘go Amber, you’re a fisherwoman!’ but there are different types of comments…”
A- “That’s me, the fisherwoman…I’ve got them all.”
R- “That’s my girl, you smoked’em.”
A- “I don’t know if I could ever eat flounder again in my life.”

On the way to Petrohué:
R- “We decided to work with Eric and Danielle. I didn’t mind them. I have another team with me, that is my insurance: Eric and Danielle against Amber and I…any day of the week, we are the odds on favorite.”
A. (after opting for the River Wild” Detour) -“We’re going to encounter category 3 and 4 rapids. We’ve done some white water rafting before and I almost died.”
A (on the raft, smiling)- “OH! Boy, see what’s coming up! Whoooo, Holy crap! This is insane...Thank you, we had fun!”

A (at the Pit Stop, once Phil has told them they are first)- “Shut up, Holy crap! We rock!”
R- “I’ll trade them all as long as we’re team #1 in the 13th leg.”

Undeniably the stars of the first three legs. Rob continues to take unnecessary risks. Can he see that having an insurance, while boring, is a very safe way to race? This team isn’t ordinary and they would be featured in every episode notwithstanding their results. 3 first place finishes is outstanding in such a “miserable game(!)” and we have to consider them for the long run. However, I don’t remember Phil ever announcing in previews for the next leg that the “ending will have everyone talking.” I don’t think that even the 3 team footrace when Monica barely beat BJ to the mat had that build-up. Does Rob even see that 13th leg? He better make it pass the 4th leg first!

The teams seen on the “Top 10 Funny Plays of the Week”

Dustin and Kandice head the list with 2 major mistakes but a 4th place finish. How did that happen? At the start Dustin told us that they’ve learned something from last season: “We’ve decided to work with Teri and Ian who have proven themselves with directions.” Kandice told us that: “They are only 2 minutes behind so we will wait for them…There they are that is them.”
Teri told us that the girls were strong racers and Ian found that: “They are funny, they wiggled and giggled their way around the world. I’m totally cool with that!” Immediately the alliance ran in trouble with Dustin going the wrong way. The apology was accepted and the two teams made their way to the airport, trailing everyone else.

Both teams were on the second plane to Puerto Mott. The Beauty Queens hired a cab to guide them and shared the cost with Teri and Ian. That got them first place out of the trailing pack. Kandice held her own and even if we didn’t see much of her or heard much from Dustin during the task, we did hear Dustin tell Kandice she was awesome when they got back in the car.

Dustin again told Kandice that she was a great navigator when they saw a sign with the Amazing Race colors after reaching Petrohué. We heard the girls asking the guides if they had the clue or if they had to look for the clue while rafting. We also heard Kandice reminding Dustin to look out for a clue box. (After the sampan in Asia, these girls have trouble with water tasks!!) The guides never told them about their mistake.

They were the second team to reach the clue box and we heard their excitement of not having a detour to do and being directed to the Pit Stop. Despite their car stalling, all was well in their world and they had their best smiles when Phil told them they were 4th. “However, you did not pick up all your clues” Phil went on, “you need to get all your clues before I can check you in.” The smiles remained but the eyes were asking: “Ok, what do we do now?”

Did the girls panic? We don’t know but what we saw was that they calmly retraced their steps and figured that they had never seen the “La Maquina” clue. They encouraged themselves and quickly found the missing clue, confusing Teri and Ian along the way! We saw Teri/ Ian stopping to check their way after seeing the girls racing in the opposite direction! The confusion enabled Dustin and Kandice to make it back to the Pit Stop to a surprising official 4th place finish. “Take 2” was the good one.

After seeing them in two seasons, the girls are definitely strong competitors but they are prone to awful mistakes. How will it end? Are they always as calm when faced with adversity or is that the way they are edited? Either way, it has often served them well. They still have lessons to learn but they have enjoyed a very constant portrayal throughout this season. That should enable them to be at the starting gate in the last episodes.

Not to be outdone, Teri and Ian also had a difficult leg. They followed blindly the blondes in the wrong direction to San Pedro de Atacama. At the airport, Ian noticed Eric’s ploy with the ticket agent and asked if they could be put on Stand-by. They were advised to try once they reached the Santiago gate. Once there, they were one of only two teams that were shown taking a chance to get on Stand-by. It was the occasion for a run-in with Charla and Mirna. From the counter, Teri saw them approaching and warned us that: “Here comes the showdown!” Teri was offended that Mirna tried to talk to her person and Ian felt the need to call for security. The confrontation ended when the agent told each team that the flight was full. This incident was more about Charla and Mirna and I will return to it later.

The alliance with the Beauty Queens enabled Teri and Ian to reach the roadblock ahead of the 2 trailing teams. Teri went into the fish tank and we were shown her problems but Ian remained positive: “Hooray for Teri” we heard him exclaim.

The “River Wild” Detour was the scene of another incident. The camera angle showed the rapids swelling and engulfing Teri who went overboard. Dramatically, we had an underwater shot and gurgling sounds that were added to make us worry about her life right before a commercial break. On returning, the camera work again was very well executed: We saw a guide moving quickly to the front of the raft and pull Teri out of the water. Then, we were in the raft when all four members raised their oars in celebration. Teri had a confessional to tell us: “It was exciting to fall out of the boat.” We had to agree! The road to the Pit Stop was made confusing by the Blondes dash back for their clue but they had a good 6th place finish.

The bravery Teri demonstrated along with Ian’s encouragements at the roadblock have certainly completed the reversal of edit for this team. One could look at it and say that the debt TAR had for using them as villains in season three’s story has been paid. That could mean their story is reaching its end. Lets not underestimate Ian yet but it would be a surprise to see them reach the end. They are nicer persons than we remembered but they still lack in face time to be considered contenders.

Charla and Mirna are certainly used to draw our attention. Mirna said it herself to their guide in Metri: “Welcome to Charla and Mirna’s world. It’s a scary one!” Indeed!! They started off with determination, Mirna told us that: “If someone wants to battle with us, we’re not just going to be push-overs and step aside.” They were given some credit by the other teams: Kandice used polite words to tell us that “Charla has as a personality that is HUGE. She surprised us by being so bold and how she gets in your face!!” Bill said that: “They were a godsend” for saving them on the way to Petohué.

The rest of the episode was a demonstration of how to make sure the audience knows who the bad guys are. Charla was heard complaining that her height made it difficult to talk to ticket agents and then, only moments later, she is shown profiting from her size to spy on other teams. The confrontation at the Santiago airport was another in a long line of arguments: “Teri, you don’t own the world” Mirna said and when Ian told her she was being rude, Mirna added: “I took lessons from the king of rude: You!” All the while Charla was perched on the counter to try to get the agent’s attention. Charla concluded with a confessional: “There was no reason to be yelling and screaming at each other.” Not if the cousins had stayed in line like they usually tell everyone else to do!

Mirna was heard throughout the roadblock complaining that she was scared, that it was an impossible task and that she couldn’t do it.” How was it different than Danielle’s portrayal? Despite her aversion for fish, Danielle did reason herself to complete the task. It fit in with her wanting to prove herself in her opening comments. She accomplished the task despite Eric berating her and they were at the head of the group when it happened. Mirna knew she had to do the physical tasks for her team. She was never shown to accept the task and complained all along.

On the road to Petrohué, Charla told Joe and Bill: “Don’t screw us like the girls did” when they agreed to split the $50 they had agreed to pay the local they had practically kidnapped. It made me wonder if they didn’t know the difference between a deal and a demand. They never had a deal with the girls but we were shown that they considered themselves to have been screwed.

Not to be forgotten in the bloopers of the week, Mirna forgot the car keys after they had handled the rafting very well. They fell behind Joe and Bill and when they came back, they apologized to the local guide for looking weird in their bathing suits. That it was shown reminded me that we shouldn’t take these two seriously. Some of their rants are funny…As long as they don’t become the All-Star winners.

The editors are using this team both for their comedic value and their irritating personalities. They are the designated villains and as such should stay for a while. The danger with such a portrayal is that, while some viewers will wait in anticipation of their fall, some may change the channel.

Oswald and Danny had a fairly quiet episode but still had one of the quotes of the night when, approaching the Pit Stop, they noticed the small person acting as local greeter alongside Phil: “Charla is gonna be in love!”

They started off with Oswald telling us that: “Danny and I are two Cubans who came to this country with nothing. Sweetheart, if you stand in my way, I will run you over. However, we will not do it maliciously...” Their first mistake was forgetting to give the security code to their credit card to Uchenna which put them in the second plane.

They had trouble during the roadblock when Danny took a couple of nosedives carrying the fish. He finished well after Kandice and even had David finish ahead of him. “Promise me you’ll do more cardio” requested Oswald after it was over. They made another mistake after the rafting detour when they turned the wrong way, enabling the blondes to regain their 4th place.

They had their worst finish, a 5th place, but the leg went fairly well. The lack of airtime could be a concern if it repeats itself but they had already been well established as racers and there was so many incidents to show that it was understandable that some good teams could be forgotten. They still look like end game racers.

Joe and Bill had a “nerve-wracking” leg. Joe told us: “We do feel like the Godfathers of tough competitors. We can be smart, we can be fast and we can be ruthless. There’s no reason to minimize us because we are two gay men living together.” They had a small confrontation with Eric but it was quickly forgiven. Their alliance with Uchenna and Joyce put them on the first plane. They had the quote of the evening: When Bill wondered where Rob and Amber had turned, Joe replied “Maybe Rob went wrong. Rob is not Jesus!!” They were in 3rd place at the roadblock and Joe, the “fish whisperer”, finished ahead of Danielle. This is when he forgot to write down the whole clue. They started off looking for La Maquina not knowing it was on the road to Petrohué. Running into Charla and Mirna saved them and Mirna had to wonder if they were cut throat enough for the race.

They finished the detour in 8th place but climbed ahead of their benefactors on the road to the pit stop when Mirna forgot the car key.

We haven’t seen any ruthlessness from this duo. It is starting to be clear that there is no need to have another villain so we don’t hear any of the devious plans they may have considered. They are along for the race with nothing but a redemption story. That wouldn’t carry them to the end.

David and Mary’s story appeared to be ending when, in the recap, we were reminded they had no more alliances. Our eliminated team also had its share of mistakes, driving in circles back into the airport’s parking area in Puerto Mott and then missing the exit for Petrohué. Did anyone notice that when Mary mentioned the guides instruction: “Fall in : To me, that’s die” David had a big smile on?

Rob & Amber, Dustin & Kandice, Oswald & Danny and Eric & Danielle are 4 teams of strong racers that all have a story. They do look like our final 4 team. Joe & Bill, Teri & Ian and Uchenna & Joyce have been shown as good racers without much of a story. They should exit after getting a nice send-off. What about our villains? It is difficult to tell but we know the next leg will have an ending that we will talk about. If it is Romber’s elimination and if their fall is credited to Charla and Mirna as the previewed confrontation suggests, then we could have them grating on our nerves for a while. At least, they are sometimes funny. Would it be enough to sustain our attention?

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03-06-07, 08:04 AM (EST)
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38. "RE: Ep. 3 Thoughts"
Hey Cygnus and michel – great minds think alike! This was a good episode. Everyone’s characters are coming out; we saw some foreshadowing and potential storylines in the future. Here is what I saw:

Rob and Amber

Rob and Amber have had an incredible run, and it’s almost too good to be true. How much longer can they dominate like this?! They are a strong team and are good teammates to each other. The editing is hinting that something is going to happen with them – either they take too big of a risk or they underestimate another team or the other teams gang up on them, or some combination of the above. Their opening quote by Rob, “We’re constantly taking chances, trying new things, taking different angles. I’m not really too concerned about what the other racers are doing.” Ever the good racers, besides Uchenna and Joyce, they were the only ones to think to book a flight by internet, Amber did well at the roadblock, and they enjoyed the rafting. But Rob is also getting distracted and cocky! When Rob wants to let Eric and Danielle pass to see if they’ll get lost, Amber reminds him, “Just keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t be distracted by the other teams.” Later they decide to work with them, “I don’t mind having another team with me. That’s my insurance. Myself and Ambuh versus Eric and Danielle, any day of the week, we’re the odds on favorite.” I don’t agree with Rob. He is underestimating his competition! At the mat, Phil told Rob and Amber, “Wow, you are three-for-three.” Rob replied, I’ll trade them all in as long as we’re number one in leg 13.” Phil later intoned in the coming attractions, “The ending that will have everyone talking.” Could they be eliminated? It’s also time for a non-elimination leg too. The previews show that they’ll be the center of attention next week.

The Competitors:

Uchenna and Joyce finished second, but it was another ho-hum effort. Uchenna said in the beginning, “We believe if we work together we should do fine.” This is a far cry from Uchenna the cheerleader in TAR7. They aren’t getting much of a story. When we see a spike in face time, I expect their time will be near. They have no story with Rob and Amber this time around.

Eric and Danielle moved up to third place this week. They had an interesting episode. In the beginning Danielle is heard saying, “I’m a girl trying to keep up with a guy. I don’t want to disappoint him.” I know that a lot of viewers thought she was being a wussy girl, but I took it to mean that Eric is such an intense competitor and good athlete that she has to try extremely hard to keep up with him. He is challenging her and she wants to do well for him. In spite of her screaming, she got the job done and didn’t lose too much time at the roadblock. Eric is a quiet racer, he is aware of what is going on around him, and takes advantages when he gets them. He heard that there was an earlier flight and he quietly went to change his tickets. When Bill called him on taking advantage of his directions, Eric responded with, “We’re in a race.” (I don’t remember being as aware of Eric’s racing skills in TAR9. I just remember him as being fast – quick - and horny!) He wasn’t very supportive of Dani, but it didn’t seem to bother her. Even Rob commented that Eric’s comments were “different!” Rob has a lot of respect for Amber, we haven’t seen that from Eric. Eric is the unquestioned leader of the team; he told her to do the roadblock. Part of their story could be coming together as a team (like Rob and Kim). Eric can’t win this by himself, there are too many other competitive teams, so Danielle will need to be a valued member of the team or they could fall short. He sent the wrong team in to do each of the roadblocks so far.

Dustin and Kandice had their highest finish, fourth, this week. They decided to work with Teri and Ian, because “they have proven themselves with directions.” (If that was the case, I don’t understand why Dustin was leading!). They’ve learned since the last race it is okay to make a short term agreement to help another team, unfortunately they are still making mistakes. Teri and Ian called them, “strong racers,” and when they missed the cluebox for the detour, they kept their wits about them and figured out exactly where they went wrong. The Blondes are good at challenges; how well they navigate in the future could decide how far they go.

Oswald and Danny had their worst showing, but we heard some of their strategy and how competitive they are at the beginning. Oswald, “Sweetheart, if you get in my way, I’m going to run you over. However we’re not going to do it out of maliciousness; we’re not going to hurt anyone.” Danny had a weak showing at the roadblock, but they made up time. They left the roadblock in 9th place, completed the detour in 6th place and by not changing out of their wet suits, picked up a place at the pit stop. Oswald again mentioned “more cardio” to Danny. The first time (in episode one where he said “I told you less martinis, more cardio) I thought it was funny. The fact that he mentions it again could foreshadow that they fall short in the physical aspect of the game. Even without a lot of face time, they still had my favorite quote of the night, which you mentioned Michel.

The Rest of the Pack:

Teri and Ian, like Uchenna and Joyce, their edit is a little flat. They seem to be running a few steps behind everyone else. They’re in good shape for their age, but I don’t think they can compete with the remaining teams. They worked with Dustin and Kandice briefly, but I don’t see that a huge benefit came out of it for either one. Teri hung in there during the roadblock and came up smiling after falling overboard. They still have spirit, but don’t seem destined to repeat as the oldest couple to make the final three.

Joe and Bill’s opening quote was “fighting words,” “We are the godfathers of tough competitors. We can be smart, we can be fast, we can be ruthless. There is no reason to minimize us because we are two gay guys living together.” And then they proceeded to mess up the clue and become hopelessly lost! Some of their previous villain edit came through this episode when they overreacted to Eric, called him out and blocked his car. Eric called them sneaky and whiners and Danielle called them psycho. The editing following up with an evil laugh by Bill. They showed a little pettiness so this could have been an effort by the editors to give the viewers the Team Guido that everyone loved to hate! Bill commenting that, “Rob is not Jesus,” was a great line and also sets us up for the fireworks concerning Amber and Rob next week.

Charla and Mirna are our villains for this season. They are having run-ins with everyone! I found it interesting to hear Kandice say, “Charla’s personality is huge. She surprised us in how she is so bold and will get in your face.” I felt that the editors were telling us how and why they are going to edit Charla. I didn’t start watching TAR6 until Schmirna was eliminated, but my understanding was that Mirna got the majority of the negative edit. They’re making a little person a villain and I think they want to do that carefully. That said, she was edited like a sneaky little spy at the airport, lurking down low to listen to conversations and then later peering over a counter! They were shown trying to cut in line over Teri and Ian, and Mirna’s oh so mature response to Ian, “I took lessons from the King of Rude… you!” Mirna also described their edit to the guy they practically kidnapped, “Welcome to Charla and Mirna’s world. It’s a scary one!” They are obnoxious, but probably not as bad in real life. They did help Joe and Bill and may have saved them from elimination. Mirna commented, “Maybe we’re not cutthroat enough for this game.” We’ll have to remember that line for later in the season!

Philiminated: Mary said it all the beginning of the episode, “It’s hard to race without your friends.” David is strong in strength challenges, but they just can’t follow directions well enough to stay competitive.

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03-12-07, 07:59 PM (EST)
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39. "Episode #4 Thoughts"

A spoiled boot list may prove that we're off track but we'll still forge ahead, looking for stories that spoilers can't tell.

It’s a miserable game this Race:

Rob and Amber were in the thoughts of many teams during this episode and almost all the important actions revolved around their demise. How were the remaining teams portrayed and how could that impact their future?

The Dragon Slayers

Uchenna and Joyce started this leg reminding us of their previous encounter with Rob and Amber. Joyce told us that: “Rob and Amber beat us a lot on our season but they didn’t beat us when it counted. That hurt, I’m sure.” Uchenna added: “I believe that some sort of rivalry has build up from us beating them. I’m sure they want to set the record straight. We welcome the rematch because it is healthy competition.”

Was Uchenna still feeling that way in the taxi to Barco Viejo and the shipwreck? He told us: “The stewardess was writing down information for me when Rob walked in and stole it.” What ensued was a head-to-head confrontation between the Tar 7 rivals: Uchenna and Joyce reached the detour in Punta Arenas seconds ahead of Romber. Thinking Magellan left from Guam, they had trouble putting their signs in the proper order. Finally, Joyce figured it out and their recovery enabled them to finish the “Magellan’s journey around the world” post first. The advantage didn’t last long as both teams found themselves on the second charter to Ushuaia.

The rivals boarded the same boat to the roadblock: “We’re going to take the boat with Rob and Amber…Our old friends… I felt the tension of competition and, after the Charla and Mirna thing, I felt the desire to beat Rob and Amber” said Uchenna. Joyce found her letter first and they reached the Pit Stop in 6th place. We saw them happily greeting Charla and Mirna in 7th place, sharing high and low fives for toppling the team that had won the first 3 legs.

The rivalry with Rob and Amber HAD to be part of Uchenna and Joyce’s race. It “should” have surfaced in episode #1 and then our task would have been to see if it was their only story. The rivalry appeared only in Rob and Amber’s final leg and, as such, it was more part of the homage to Rob and Amber than part of Uchenna and Joyce’s story. They had no story before this leg and they have none now. We are forced to draw the conclusion that they don’t have any future in this race.

Charla and Mirna had another tough leg. Mirna started by informing us that: “I work very hard mentally, physically…Charla obviously wants to contribute but I do more than any one single person has probably had to do on the race to compensate for any shortcomings (sic) that we have.” As far as their antics are concerned, Mirna continued to be the harpy while Charla forgot their bag and wasted time at the “Sign It” Detour. The way Mirna stepped on the map during the “Navigate It” Detour reminded me of an old Seinfeld bit!

Their interactions with Rob and Amber were much more interesting. They were outwitted at every turn: Last out of the airport in Ushuaia, Charla and Mirna called for a taxi but despite their annoying whistle, the taxi took Romber instead. They’re “crazy…they’re out of their mind if they think that (Rob was) getting out” of that taxi. Looking for the clue box at the Playa Larga beach, they followed Rob and Amber down the wrong trail. They fell for Amber’s “I got it” trick. The machination left the cousins in last place even if Mirna claimed that: “As an attorney, I know when somebody is lying.” Charla got nowhere when she confronted Amber at the pier. Amber simply denied any wrongdoings: “You thought I was talking to you? No, I was talking to him, telling him I got it, I figured out where the clue was.” It made the cousins look like gullible racers in the eyes of the other teams waiting for the boat: They had heard Amber telling the story.

The scene where they were hopelessly huddled against the wind, waiting for the last boat and what looked like certain elimination, wasn’t intended to make them look as the type of racers who could beat Romber. Nevertheless, they reached the post office while Rob was still searching. “Shut the hell up” yelled Mirna while sorting the letters “you lie all the time.” She was happy to find her letter first even if it was a spiteful one from Lance and Marshall.

In the end, after more screeching exhortations from Mirna, Charla ran, stumbled, crawled and was helped by Uchenna to the Pit stop, victorious. “That’s the way to never quit, that’s the key to this game; you never quit because you don’t know what will happen” said Uchenna.

With that, the dragon was slain by a dwarf. Tolkien would have been proud!

Part by circumstance, the cousins being always at the back of the pack, and part by editing, every team that has crossed paths with Charla and Mirna has been eliminated. John Vito and Jill went through the same southern entrance as the cousins but weren’t as lucky. We saw Drew losing a footrace to Charla, while Mirna said the Festers drove like girls. Mary decided to break her alliance with them and now the lying Rob and Amber are gone. Could they eliminate every team that has done them wrong? If so, it’s a bad sign for Teri and Ian, the Guidos and the Beauty Queens. Except for Uchenna and Joyce who have no story, only Eric and Danielle haven’t incured their wrath. Is it how it will end? With Uchenna giving them a story of never quitting, Charla and Mirna appear to be in this race for quite a while.

The following teams didn’t play a key role in eliminating Rob and Amber but, we know that they wanted to say: “It was nice to beat you!”

We didn’t hear about the mistake Dustin and Kandice made last week during the recap. Kandice’s opening statement went to correcting what had slowed them down up to now: “The reason for our inconsistencies is that we overthink a little bit…If there is a solution…it would be to do our preparation, trust ourselves and then letting go.” It tied in with the learning from errors theme that as been recurring in many episodes.

As they left the Pit Stop, Kandice also told us that: “We haven’t seen Rob and Amber so I couldn’t give you an assessment on them, except that they’re fast, and they’ve won three legs in a row. Rob and Amber are the team to beat.” In Punta Arenas, they had their first interactions with Romber. They proposed to team up after both teams had failed at the “Sign It” Detour. They also had trouble with the “Navigate It” Detour going to the wrong building. It made them realize that working with Rob and Amber wasn’t necessarily the best decision. Dustin joked about it: “Here we are with Rob and Amber, stinking it up at the back of the pack” while Rob fumed at not being first and Amber called him out on it!

Dustin and Kandice had some interesting moments outside their interactions with Romber. They were on the second plane carrying 5 teams but once more they managed to exit the airport first. After a rather cold portrayal during the last season, we’ve started to see a more personal story this time. Oswald informed us that: “I’ll tell you who is a big snorer. Kandice snores up a storm, that girl…Attention men!” At the airport, Dustin joked with Oswald who had talked Spanish with the agent: “You just said don’t let these blondes on the plane, didn’t you?” Oswald responded: “If I were to stab you, I would stab you right in the front, not in the back.” We heard them laughing at the cousins when, on the way to the post office, they said “Charla and Mirna are going to have a hard time.” Kandice joked with Joe about her manicure while sorting mail. More importantly, the bad blood from last season’s confrontation with Bama was partly put to rest with Lyn’s letter. The encouragement for a fellow Edition 10 racer was nice to hear as were some of the other letters.

This team again misread the clue of the detour, thinking the signs had to point in the right directions. They haven’t duplicated their results from last season but they are still receiving airtime. What was a consistent edit as improved by adding a more human touch to their story. They aren’t just fierce competitors who others hate but they are appreciated and still have fair results. The elimination of Rob and Amber signals the end of Act I. It will be interesting to see if their story develops.

Oswald and Danny had such a good leg that it seemed the cameras couldn’t keep up with them! At the first airport, they asked Uchenna and Joyce if they had seen Romber, concluding that the couple had probably gone for breakfast. “They creep up” agreed Joyce.

They were the first back to the airport after completing the “Navigate it” detour and we saw their happy dance at being on the first charter. They shared their happiness with Eric and Danielle when they saw that Rob and Amber where nowhere to be found. Then, they stood on the second floor overlooking the ticket counter to see the order of arrivals.

Landing in Ushuaia, they were the first to see the clue box at Playa Larga and were on the first boat to the Bahia Lapataia. The roadblock was easily completed by Oswald and they enjoyed a nice letter from Blake and Paige. They were off to the pit stop and warned Phil: “We’ve made it to the end of the world for you Phil, so say something nice.” They embraced their first place at the pit stop, even asking Phil to join them on their vacation prize. Phil politely declined.

This team is obviously a strong team and the fun they share is well presented. The race is reaching Act II and should be leaving Spanish speaking countries soon. Will it still be so easy for them? We have no reason to see them not making the final 4.

Eric and Danielle were first to the Nautilus building at the end of the “Navigate It” detour. Eric had fun with Danielle’s mistake of going to Australia and then they both had fun with the Cha-Chas at the airport. “Where the hell are Rob and Amber?” asked Danielle. “Who knows” replied Eric. “Hopefully they are really lost.” They surprised the 3rd place team of Teri and Ian by throwing a baseball cap on them as they were registering for the first charter. “Where are we going partying?” asked a happy Ian when they joined the other front runners. Eric and Danielle outraced Oswald and Danny to the boat but lost a bit of time at the post office. Both laughed at Dani and Jeremy’s letter advising them: “No babies on the race.”

Eric is starting to get similar results with Danielle as he enjoyed with Jeremy yet we haven’t heard him say anything praiseworthy to her. She still has to prove herself. Their story isn’t flattering but it has room to grow.

Joe and Bill started by telling us that being so low in the standings was a real eye opener. Their leg was reduced to telling us that Charla and Mirna are good at talking to people (?) and showing that Rob was having a tough day. The Guidos quickly passed him during the “Navigate It” Detour: “What the heck are they still doing here?” asked a surprised Bill. “We’ve passed Rob and Amber…Team Guido is back on track.”

Second out of the airport in Ushuaia, they were right behind the Beauty Queens. It enabled them to stay ahead of the battle to avoid elimination that the last 3 teams were engaged in.

Besides getting a much nicer edit and showing their love for each other, the Guidos have no race related stories. They could be exiting soon.

Racing on their own
Teri and Ian had to plead their way into the first flight to Ushuaia at the airport. Their only interaction with other teams was during the lay-over for the first charter. Arriving first at Playa Larga, they took the wrong trail for the clue box. That left them alone on the boat to the post office. Ian encouraged Teri during her mail sorting roadblock. “There’s no more teams here yet so we’re going to be sweet.” They lovingly raced in their own little world, easily finishing third, kissing each other at Phil’s request.

Who would have thought that this explosive couple would have a storyline that reminded me of the “Nerds,” David and Lori, of race 9? Their story is not progressing either. They are on their own journey, enjoying a wonderful world.

With the elimination of Rob and Amber, Act I is now over. Last season’s act I had been the confrontation between Mary and the tri-athlete. Rob and Kimberly and Bama emerged only after the start of Act II. We could still get new storylines but we knew these racers when the show started. The presentations were unnecessary, we could have plunged immediately into their stories. Uchenna/Joyce have played their role, Joe/Bill and Teri/Ian have been redeemed. That leaves Oswald/Danny, Eric/Danielle, Charla/Mirna and Dustin/Kandice as our featured racers even while Romber’s story took most of our attention.

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03-13-07, 12:13 PM (EST)
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40. "RE: Episode #4 Thoughts"
“It’s the End of the World As I Know It (And I Feel Fine)” was Arnutz’s title for the lvoe list thread this week. With Rob’s pouting I was reminded of “End of the World” from U2’s “Achtung Baby.” Rob really should have paid attention to what Amber said this week and because he didn’t he was acting like it was the end of the world!

Michel, I see that we noticed quite a bit of the same things -- here is my spin on what we saw.

Phil asks at the beginning of the show, “Will Rob and Amber’s three leg winning streak continue or will any of the other teams manage to knock them out of the race?” Clearly this episode is going to be all about Rob and Amber! Rob starts off by saying, “I don’t mean to be cocky or arrogant, I’m just saying I believe in us. I believe we’re the strongest team here.” Amber replies, “I think that Rob and I have great communication skills. I almost feel like we’re peaking.” (Too soon?) The editing just laid out Rob and Amber’s exit on a silver platter. I tried to look at how the other teams were portrayed around the grand story of Romber’s finale. It’s tempting to rehash all the mistakes Rob and Amber made, but I’ll refrain!

We revisited the rivalry between Uchenna and Joyce and Rob and Amber, but it was a little forced this time around. U/J’s comments regarding the competition seemed to be in response to questions from the cameraman instead of a longing to compete. Joyce commented, “Rob and Amber beat us a lot on our season, but they didn’t when it mattered.” Uchenna, “I believe the rivalry will set the record straight. I welcome the rematch. It’s healthy competition.” At the roadblock Uchenna said, “After the Charla and Mirna lie, I felt a desire to beat Rob and Amber.” (You are just feeling the desire now, Uchenna?!) At the end, however, they didn’t really beat Rob and Amber, Mirna and Charla did! Uchenna and Joyce straggled in just in front of them in 6th place. It was anti-climatic. Uchenna was very complimentary when Joyce figured out the sign it detour, “My baby figured it out.” But there still isn’t the same energy as last time. This was witnessed at the ferry. They arrived there with the Blondes and Team Guido, but they stopped to get their luggage instead of bolting to the landing to get a spot on the ferry. They lost two places there. They are still pretty good racers, but don’t have the zest that the younger teams do. At the end of the episode, Uchenna was relegated to cheering for Charla and Mirna. He gave them the same kind of pep talk he used to give Joyce.

Eric and Danielle are running their own race and have their own story. They along with Ozzy and Danny got out ahead of Rob and Amber and never saw them again. We saw them running a clean race. We saw just a little bit more of their story in the beginning when Eric comments, “It’s hard having a girlfriend on the race. You have to separate the relationship from everything else that’s around us. I’m treating her like a guy.” We see a little strategy and thought process from Eric, he even comments on yelling at her at the roadblock, but the way he’s treating her isn’t making us want to root for them. They have an odd strategy for who completes roadblocks. This time Eric did it, because as Danielle says, “he has luck!” There certainly is room for their story to develop.

Ozzy and Danny are still getting the fun but competitive edit. Ozzy, “I think Danny and I like to have fun. People have the misconception that we aren’t competitive and it’s quite the opposite.” Cut to Danny asking, ‘Do you have your trusty map out,” emphasizing what good navigators these two are. And then back to Ozzy, “We do this in the spirit of fun and a sense of style. We would never leave our sense of style at home.” Danny is wearing a kelly green scarf that would be appropriate at a St. Patrick’s Day parade and he carries it off quite well! They then go on to joke about Kandice’s snoring, “Attention men, Kandice is a big snorer.” It was lighthearted teasing and very funny. They continue that at the airport when Dustin asks Ozzy if he told the ticket agents in Spanish, “You said don’t let the Blondes on the plane didn’t you.” And Ozzy replied, “If I were to stab you, I’d do it right in the front, not in the back!” with a fake jab to her heart. They’re leaving Spanish speaking South America for Africa, so we’ll see if they still remain as easy-going and successful. (Mozambique’s national language is Portuguese.) They ran out of gas in TAR2, but they seem like they will be around for a while in this race.

At the onset, Kandice reviews their strategy, “the reason for our inconsistencies would be overthinking a little bit. The solution for what’s ailing us – do our preparation beforehand, trusting ourselves and then letting go.” It’s a positive sign for their longevity that we are seeing their thinking. It hasn’t worked for them yet, but as they peaked too early in TAR10 and Rob and Amber peaked too early in TARAS, perhaps this is a sign they’ll go the distance. They are asked about Rob and Amber, “”We haven’t seen Rob and Amber so we couldn’t give you an assessment except that they are fast! They won three legs in a row; they’re the team to beat.” It is ironic that when these teams work together, Rob and Amber are not fast and Dustin and Kandice see no benefit in working with them. The Blondes are being portrayed as “kinder, gentler” people this time around. They are seen interacting in a friendly manner with most of the racers and I sense their racing strategy is a work in progress. When they stop making mistakes, they could rise to the top. Every mistake they made last season was pointed out so we weren’t surprised when they were eliminated. Their mistakes are not getting the same attention this time.

The last team to get significant time was Charla and Mirna. They depart in last place. It’s been hard to figure out how the editors plan to portray them. Yes they are the villains, but they are also comic relief at times. This week we are introduced to a new story with Mirna solo, (complaining), “I work very hard physically and mentally to do well. I do all the navigating, all the airline booking (cut to Charla leaving the purse with the passports in the car and Mirna treating her like a child). Charla obviously wants to contribute, but I do more than any one single person has ever had to do on the race. I have to compensate for any shortcomings (cut to Charla walking, emphasizing the “short” in shortcomings!) Charla has. Later on we see Charla carrying things for the detour. She is struggling, but she’s doing okay, until Mirna yells at her and she drops everything. They’ve raced together before, and I was under the impression that Charla more than carried her weight. This is a new story for the cousins, and this will be their team’s story, along with being the drama queen villains. Uchenna, the cheerleader, provides a little foreshadowing, “High five to you both. Way to keep it up, way to never quit. That’s the key to this game, never quit. You never know what will happen.”

Teri and Ian set off with a quote, “We are the older team. Our physical abilities are not as good as the younger teams.” They have had very little story time devoted to them and even if we didn’t know they were the next to go, it would be obvious. They made another mistake at the roadblock clue box and fell from 1st to 3rd place because of it. They are still not stopping, looking, and listening.

Joe and Bill depart saying “being in the back is humbling, and it makes us more competitive.” They have had slightly more story than Teri and Ian, but not much more. Schmirna called them sneaky. Mostly this is a rehash of their behavior in TAR1, but it’s not as villainous. It’s a former shadow of their evil selves! They are seen as nice, older guys who are committed to each other.

With the boot list out there and hard to miss, the interest in this season will be how the stories are told and how the final three plays out. This episode did show us the theme, “the race is not hard if you’ve learned from your mistakes.” Most of the teams are on a friendly basis and the tasks have not been overly difficult. Navigating well and making the correct choices are the key to this race.

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03-19-07, 01:19 PM (EST)
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41. "RE: Episode #4 Thoughts"
This thread always gets so much action every season but it has been quiet this season. Perhaps fewer people care. Perhaps everyone believes the elimination order list floating around (it's sure been right so far). I will admit it's hard to comment as if you're supposing what the editing is telling us when you really know what's going on. Despite that, I'm posting so that this bumps up to the top. Maybe that will get it some deserving attention. It might also be useful to start a new thread as sometimes people don't follow a long one all the way down.
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03-19-07, 02:47 PM (EST)
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42. "RE: Episode #4 Thoughts"
I find this thresd very interesting reading, but don't comment much. I'm sure there are others like me.

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03-19-07, 06:51 PM (EST)
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43. "Episode #5 Thoughts"
LAST EDITED ON 03-19-07 AT 07:12 PM (EST)

Thank you Donracefan and Dragonflies for the support. I've avoided the boot list thread since I prefer speculating to knowing but I can certainly understand spoilers wanting to know and test the accuracy of the info. I'll read it at the end of the season!

Act II: Changes

We saw changes in the editing of some teams. Is the stress of the race getting to some of them?

Charla and Mirna started off by telling us that it was great to have eliminated Rob and Amber: “The other teams were very happy that WE were the ones to eliminate Rob and Amber and kick them out of this amazing race.” The recap gave them most of the credit, Phil saying: “Even a last ditch lie proved futile when Charla and Mirna passed them…and led to one of the most memorable finish in the Amazing Race history.” Mirna then told us that: “Somehow, Charla and I muster up our strength every leg of the race. We pull through it. It doesn’t matter how much pain we’re in.”

The race to the glacier showed us they can still be mean. The beauty Queens “are so dumb” said Charla. Mirna agreed “they are not very smart” for forgetting to pick up the location device. They were later heard asking the ticket agent to make sure no one gets a better flight than them.

They fell to last place at the roadblock: “We could be here for a long time” said Charla. It tied in with Uchenna’s advice not to quit last week. In that spirit, Mirna said: “We’ve been in bad situations before and managed to make up time.” It portrayed them as capable racers who could cause a surprise as Oswald mentioned.

Reaching the clue in Maputo, they didn’t simply ask a local for help, they demanded it and it worked, no doubt helped by their look of desperation. The Guidos had told us they were good with locals. Their helper even paid for a manicure.

Their first victory ever subjected us to the expected, loud, screams of joy. Mirna’s plea for respect at the end won’t get a positive response by many viewers but it showed what their goal is for the race.

Charla & Mirna were the first villains we had this season and the changes we observed this week weren’t intended to redeem them but rather to enhance their story. They still have conflicts and those weren’t resolved, only put on hold. Now, we have to consider that they aren’t such bad racers. Not only because they finished first but because that was how they were presented, how the other racers are preparing us to see them: THEY eliminated Romber. They don’t quit. They chose the right detour and didn’t get lost because they knew to get the proper help.

Eric and Danielle’s story is developing but not in the predicted direction. Danielle prepared us for the episode: “Eric thinks that he is the best at everything and that can be annoying. He’s really cocky but I don’t care since we are in second place.” It seems that Eric isn’t looking for Danielle to prove herself but becoming the overbearing character that we’ve seen so many times on the race. It was Eric that told us that he knew the Guidos would be first in line. Danielle agreed: “They are annoying.”He joked that: “It doesn’t matter. They’ll probably die going up the chairlift.”

The task of finding the avalanche beacon on the glacier went without any difficulties. Entering the travel agency, Eric remarked that : “Everybody is in this one.” The camera went to all the other teams with a bang of a drum to underline the reaction to Eric and Danielle’s arrival. It was meant to show that they don’t have friends on the race.

When they reached Mozambique, they had a confrontation with the Guidos on the road to the Apopo training field. None of the 4 persons involved displayed any maturity. Calls of freak and queers from both Eric and Danielle certainly didn’t endear them to the viewers.

Eric had a problem with his rat and they left the minefield in 5th place. They took a wrong turn due to a confusing sign on the way back to Maputo They then chose the wrong detour. The “Pamper” detour would have been right for Danielle but Eric preferred the physical “Porter” detour. They completed their bags in last place but the cooperation that Danielle received from locals got them to the right address ahead of Uchenna and Joyce. They almost caught up to Joe and Bill but this confrontation showed poorly on Eric. He got on Danielle’s case for losing the footrace, forgetting she started far behind. He managed to show his ignorance by saying she got beat by a bunch of queens.

Was anyone reminded of either Colin & Christy, Monica & Joseph, Freddy & Kendra or even Teri & Ian v1.0 while watching them race this week? We knew Eric could be an unsavory frat boy but, as a team they weren’t shown in this fashion during Act I. It seems that the editors have decided to change the image of this team now that the storylines of the first act are over. Danielle never had a chance to prove herself to Eric that she is proving to us that she can be annoying. Where is this story heading? One would expect that the next chapter would include a showdown with the Guidos. Eric and Danielle lost this round but Eric is a dangerous opponent to keep around.

Joe and Bill wanted to be gentler Guidos. “Maybe we can surprise them and limp to the front of the pack and win” said Joe. They are also showing the stress of the race. The beginning of the leg showed they can be competitive by staying up to be first in line for the chairlift up the glacier. They found their avalanche beacon first and relaxed at the airport.

In Mozambique, they were second at the Apopo training field. Joe was shown to be the one to start in on Eric by telling him to watch their speed. It degenerated from there but Bill ended it and told us they didn’t want to be the bad guys. Their rat, Nelson, reminded them of Guido a “rat terrier” (!). It didn’t let them down and they were again first making them think they had a future as rat trainers. They headed back to Maputo and the Praça Dos Trabalhadores building.

What made them think that filling 10 bags with 45 pounds of coal and carrying it .4 miles would be easier than painting fingernails? It is difficult to explain it, but 4 other teams made the same mistake. They were first to complete the “Porter’ task but it still left them in 4th place. Getting lost on the way to the Fortaleza Pit Stop cost them one more spot.

After being shown as a nice couple in Act I, the original Guidos are slowly returning to our screen. We’ve seen confrontations with Charla and Mirna and Eric & Danielle. Even the scene with Bill blocking Eric’s truck in episode II was replayed in black & white to show they were also to blame. If they had been portrayed as the real “villainous” Guidos, we would expect them to beat those two teams. This version is too mild, we’ve had too many nice scenes of Joe and Bill. We see that they are competitive but not that they have the killer instinct. They look like they've taken on too much and will be the victims.

Teams that didn’t change

Oswald and Danny continue to have a lot of fun on the race. Oswald explains the race: “We respect every team on the race because the race is not meant for the most athletic team to win or the smartest to win. We see everyone as a contender.”

They had to explain that screaming at each other is a normal “Cuban cultural” trait. They have to take turns getting cranky. Their demonstration at the glacier was less than convincing but they finished on a happy note: “Don’t count on Danny and Oswald to get you out of an avalanche.” Speaking Spanish, they helped Teri and Ian get on an early plane to Mozambique “Danny and Oswald race like us. They race with honor” said Ian. It didn’t matter much, all the teams were aboard the same plane.

Danny was grossed out by the size of the trained rat but it didn’t prevent Oswald from finishing in second place. They found the right way back to Maputo and had a nice moment when they crossed an Aids-day parade.

They chose the wrong detour according to Phil, their manicurist and everyone watching. The detour pushed them back in 5th place. Even if they felt they were younger and faster than the Guidos, it was good navigation that gave the “Raccoons” a chance to run after Phil and have a funny 4th place finish.

The editors are hoping to cash in on these racers and are showing many of their funny scenes, their interactions with other teams and their emotions. It seemed we were racing with them more than with anyone else during this leg. This could become a pattern for the second act. They are enjoying themselves and maybe that will keep the fans interested. Oswald and Danny should go far and will be a team that many will cheer for.

Dustin and Kandice started by trying to convince us they are good competitors. Dustin said: “We’ve been playing very safe so that other teams won’t perceive us as the sneaky blondes, the competitive blondes. We really can’t afford to do that anymore” Kandice adds: “It’s really time to stop worrying of what other teams think.” They again had the most direct quote to relate to a theme that “the race is easy if you learned from your mistakes.”

It would help if they did as they said! The first clue was misread again and they went up the glacier without their location device. It was “A stupid mistake.” Only Oswald and Danny’s wild glacier adventures saved the girls from last place.

They kept that ranking through the ride in Mozambique and were still next to last after the road block. They followed two teams taking the wrong turn back to Maputo but soon realized the mistake. The made the right decision to go to the market. The “Pamper” detour was the occasion to show Kandice being nice to a local girl, painting her nails for free. They had their best results, reaching Phil in second place.

Dustin and Kandice have had a very consistent edit that has revealed their personality. Phil isn’t giving them their story of being the first all-woman team to win the race. It’s still early but “Pink in Mozambique” isn’t a story! They should still make it far with what has been shown.

Uchenna and Joyce wanted us to know they don’t want to second guess each other. They had a good start, finding their beacon in second place. Uchenna told us his father was from Nigeria but it didn’t help them much in the second part of the leg. The roadblock went well with Joyce finding the rat “cute” but the “Porter” detour could’ve eliminated them. They searched for the address to deliver the bag without asking for help and fell to last place. Joyce was happy to hear Phil tell them it was a non-elimination leg. Joyce is ready for another miracle to save them as it did during the last leg.

This nice couple still has no story. Being marked for elimination could be deadly but at least we have many teams left. Even so, we haven’t been invested in a story enough to expect them to last much longer.

Teri and Ian started by telling us that Rob and Amber being eliminated was good news. Possibly setting up their exit, Ian told us that: “The race has really evolved. It’s more of a headgame since last we raced…There’s a lot more strategy.” Everyone would understand if they couldn’t keep it up.

They stayed in the middle of the pack through the first part of the leg and had more interactions with the other teams than last week. Discussing the advantages of paper diapers doesn’t make a story. Ian still has a lot of enthusiasm as evidenced by his “Hoo-Ray” at finding their beacon.

Thye completed the roadblock in 4th place but they got lost on the way back to Maputo and were last at the next clue. The choice of the “Porter” detour would’ve had them marked for elimination but the driver brought them to the central market that was the location of the “Pamper” detour instead. Not seeing the advantage, Ian continued to grumble but the error quickly paid off when they reached the Pit Stop in 3rd place.

Teri and Ian had a second leg racing with little conflicts with others. As such, after being the only team not heard talking about Romber last week, it was strange that they were chosen to talk about the eliminated team this week. Maybe something to tell their grand-children! There can’t be much more left to tell.

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03-20-07, 06:27 AM (EST)
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44. "RE: Episode #5 Thoughts"
This week we clearly have the haves versus the have-nots….have a storyline or not! The haves are: Oswald and Danny, Eric and Danielle, Dustin and Kandice and Charla and Mirna.

Oswald and Danny finished first last week and were the first team to the pit stop that completed the Porter It detour. They are strong racers and are having fun (even when they are covered in coal dust!). We are seeing the race through their experiences and jokes and joie de vivre. If TAR had a narrator, they would be it. When they set out at the beginning of the leg, they said, “We respect every team that is in the race. This race wasn’t necessarily designed for someone incredibly athletic to win or someone incredibly smart to win. We see everyone here as contenders.” Now that Rob and Amber are gone, every one is fairly well matched as racers: some people have strength, others have good navigational skills. It also sets up the possibility that Charla and Mirna could win a leg. This week we see them squabbling over how to use the beacon, but we also got to see them remembering Danny’s ex-lover on the World AIDS Day Parade which was a nice touch. They end the race with a priceless quote after they chased Phil and he in turn teased them about not doing the manicures, “We came to win, not sissyfoot!” They are a solid team with little controversy. The little cracks we see in their racing may finally catch up to them, very similar to how Dustin and Kandice were portrayed as solid racers with just a few blemishes last season. They will be fan favorites until the end.

Eric and Danielle are a strong team, but their edit took a downturn this week. Danielle says, “Eric thinks he’s the best at everything. It’s kind of annoying. He’s very cocky, but I don’t care because we’re in second place.” Danielle is shown this week as being almost as much of a jerk as Eric. She refused to go near the rat in the roadblock, she complained that “I can’t drive with people like this,” in Maputo and she whined that she didn’t want to touch anyone’s feet for the Pamper it detour. When Eric and Danielle arrived at the travel agency and Eric announced, “Here’s where everyone is,” they were greeted with a slight grimace by everyone there. They haven’t made many friends on this race! We heard Danielle say how annoying and Jekyll-and-Hyde-like Team Guido is. It’s debatable who came off worse in the altercation between Eric and Danielle and Joe and Bill. Joe and Bill complained too much and took it too seriously. Eric and Danielle were a little immature, but they knew they’d get a reaction from Team Guido. In the end, however, Eric was just nasty to Danielle during the footrace to the end saying ‘dammit Danielle” when she couldn’t catch up. He clearly was in third place so he should share the blame. Eric was not likeable when he complained, “She got beat by a bunch of queens.” This relationship is evolving and that will be a continuing story. We have another potential Freddy and Kendra or Rob and Kim in this team and it will be interesting to see how they behave in the future. Freddy and Kendra won with a negative edit; Rob and Kim did not.

Dustin and Kandice are still refining their strategy for this race and that is okay as long as they don’t finish last, and they haven’t yet. Kandice said, “We’re trying to play this safe so the other teams won’t think of us as the competitive blondes or the sneaky Blondes. It’s time to stop worrying about what the other teams think.” I have missed the focused racers we saw last time that always had a good time, and this episode we saw a glimpse of them again. They made another blunder when they didn’t read the clue carefully enough to pick up the avalanche beacon. (After all their mistakes why aren’t they reading their clue 2 or 3 times? They had plenty of time on the chairlift!) However, the editing is not focusing on their mistakes so I would venture to say that that kind of mistake will not be their downfall this season. Dustin and Kandice knew when to take off on their own in Maputo. “We did our own thing since no one knows anything.” They found the detour and made the correct choice in Pamper It. Finally we saw the “old” Dustin and Kandice. They finished quickly and efficiently and we saw them having fun. We even saw Kandice paint a little girl’s nails for free which humanized them (a facet of their personality we didn’t see much of last season). They mentioned twice this episode that they were going to stop worrying about the other teams; maybe this is a turn-around for them. Phil’s quote, “Pretty in Pink in Mozambique” was a nice finishing touch! Dustin and Kandice are being portrayed differently than last time and are getting face time, so that bodes well for their longevity. We are seeing a different story from them and one that is still evolving.

Charla and Mirna’s edit took a softer turn. Their story this week was the “Little Engine that Could.” We were shown that they could be contenders in the race and not merely just finishing second to last. Mirna said, “Somehow Charla and I muster up the strength every leg of the race. We just pull through and it doesn’t matter how much pain we’re in or if she’s out of breath and she can’t run.” But this heart-tugging confessional is juxtaposed with them (Charla looking like Kenny from South Park) discussing how cold it is, “We’re going to be an icicle before this is over. We’ll be a popsicle and someone can just suck us.” (The first of several ‘ew’ moments made by the racers this week!) We are never allowed to take this team seriously! Later at the roadblock, they stayed calm even though they complained, “we’re the last team…we might be here for a long time.” In the car they were calm again when they said, “we’ve been in worse situations and managed to make up time and stay in the race.” At the detour, I found them more amusing than annoying. Their Hollywood Nails sales pitch was a good one! Although saying “grazie” and talking with a fake accent was ridiculous. (I googled thank you in Portuguese and it’s obrigado. I didn’t hear one person say it in Mozambique!) I enjoyed their pitstop win (although the screaming could have been toned down). There was very little drama from them this week. We were left with this confessional from them, “Just because someone is a little shorter or a little skinnier, it doesn’t really matter. We work hard and we are a damned good team. If coming in first lets people have a little more respect for us, then that’s a good thing to have accomplished.” This may be the only time they come in first so their edit was tweaked this week so that we can see them competing down the line and lasting to the finals. I expect the drama to be back next week!

When Teri and Ian leave the pit stop, Ian says that “this race is different, it’s more of a head game going on and more strategy is needed. But we don’t hear anything about what their strategy is! And when the editors show you talking about your underwear yet again, there isn’t much else to show. They are in their own little world, and lucked out by finding the other detour. They may not be so lucky next time.

Joe and Bill say ‘we’re trying to be a kinder, gentler Guido and hope they think we’re too old to finish the race. Hopefully we can move to the head of the pack and win.”Hoping that the others teams discount them is not much of a strategy either. Like Teri and Ian, if the editing is showcasing the type of underwear you wear (another ‘ew’ moment) and that you’re freshening up by dousing yourself in perfume, there isn’t much to your story either! It was very funny that the editing was cutting between Mirna dancing around the marketplace giving manicures and Joe and Bill shoveling coal with their hands and complaining about their nails!

Uchenna and Joyce had a tough episode, coming in last and being marked for elimination. Uchenna comments, “Following our intuition is really key. When you second guess yourselves, you’re saying God, the universe, ‘I don’t trust you.’” We’re not hearing any strategy from them either. In fact Joyce’s head swiveled around so much while he was talking that I focused more on her bobble head than on what Uchenna was saying! The show ends with them saying, “we need to rock and roll…we will work like hell to come in first…miracles can happen.” Their story seems to be about overcoming the odds. First they lasted longer than Rob and Amber and next week we will see if they can overcome the “marked for elimination” tag. These two minor stories place them squarely in the middle of the pack and not at end game.

I expect to see more of the Top Four every week as we slowly lose Uchenna and Joyce, Teri and Ian and Joe and Bill to elimination station!

Donraceran – I haven’t been able to avoid the spoilers, but I am not taking the final three as gospel. It’s a lot easier to photograph the American racers in Asia than to penetrate the end of the race at a secluded area in the U.S. So I’ll enjoy seeing how the finalists are edited over the coming weeks.

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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03-20-07, 10:15 AM (EST)
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45. "RE: Episode #5 Thoughts"
Hello CT Girl. I liked your Have/Have Not comparison. So it seems that the ones we've seen with stories are the same as the spoiled F4. It would mean that the only fun we can have will be to see if one of those 4 has a winner's edit. We had been able to see the long term players but the winner hadn't been obvious in either of the last 2 seasons. It also means going against Mavs' wise words but I guess we have to do it.

Since we need to fine tune our readings if we are to find a winner (I hope that hasn't been spoiled) I find it interesting that Charla's popsicle comment makes you take them less seriously. We expect frivolous comments from Oswald and Danny, shouldn't we treat Charla's the same? Maybe not since Charla and Mirna certainly aren't frivolous racers. To their credit, whenever another team has said they do something well, Charla and Mirna have been shown doing exactly that. Now that they have stopped Romber, who will stop them? Someone...anyone please! Is that the story of the season.

Eric would've beaten Joe and Bill had he been able to run full speed. You can see he is just behind Joe entering the path but Bill passes him as Eric is hardly running. He has to wait on Danielle. The "Dammit" was still uncalled for since she didn't have a chance starting from too far back. I doubt even Jeremy would've been able to catch up but Eric seems to think so. Until we see him accepting her for her abilities, they aren't winners. I didn't hear her comment about not wanting to touch anyone's feet though, (it would be a typical Kendra or Monica comment) but she still came off negatively. Arnutz' Lvoe list shows that they still aren't seen as negatively as Charla and Mirna. Is that all that is needed if they are 1-2 to make it acceptable. Are they the "Someone...Anyone"? Sort of justifying a winner opposed to a F2 foil we've seen in Survivor? I need to see more positive signs from them before the end to declare them winners. If they continue to spiral down then the cousins could they couldn't!

Speaking of Arnutz's list, some posters that didn't like them last season are seeing Dustin and Kandice in a slightly better light this time. Giving them a little more of a human touch seems to be working. I'm going to say that it means they do better than 4th this time. I know, not exactly going out on a limb but we've only started Act II and I don't have spies in airports! I called them winners once before so forgive me if I'm cautious this season.

Oswald and Danny are even more likeable than BJ and Tyler. Too likeable, I think. We saw a negative, competitive side to the hippies. The Cha-Chas have a too good to be true, one dimensional edit. Sure, they have been strong racers but they were the ones to say the strong racers don't necessarily win. I don't remember one example of something special they have done to have a good result. They simply don't make mistakes and that has been all that has been needed to be at the front of the pack. That allows them to be the clowns that make us enjoy the race. We like them a lot but the clowns didn't win. At one point, something special will be needed.

Hopefully, you can help with the fine tuning.

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03-20-07, 11:09 AM (EST)
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46. "RE: Episode #5 Thoughts"
I thought I would comment just on a minor point with Dustin/Kandice. Phil's "pretty in pink" comment is the first time the girls have gotten any attention from Phil at the mat. While that is hardly the " 1st female team to win" they got so many times last season, I thought it was a big change.

At the end of Season 10, I re-watched the arrival of the final 3 at the finish line. D/K were shown something like 18 times, Dave and Mary 16 or 17 times, and everyone else less the 10. (I think the Indian couple was shown only once in a long shot!) And this was for the crowning moment of winners Tyler and James!!

So, I think there's more potential for the Beauties if they start to get a little more flirtatious with Phil at the mat. The summeries always joke about the girls inviting Phil to their tent or whatever later, but just as the Cha Chas have been flirting with Phil (and have been winning!), let's see how the girls are portrayed in the next few episodes. On the other hand, they could be holding off this time because it was so obvious last time.

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03-20-07, 12:08 PM (EST)
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47. "RE: Episode #5 Thoughts"
Michel - We had been able to see the long term players but the winner hadn't been obvious in either of the last 2 seasons. I don't think the winner will be obvious this season either. There is a lot of racing left to be done so I expect the editing and our opinions to go up and down several times in that time, especially since it's obvious that the editing is concentrating on the top 4 teams.

I find it interesting that Charla's popsicle comment makes you take them less seriously. We expect frivolous comments from Oswald and Danny, shouldn't we treat Charla's the same? Maybe not since Charla and Mirna certainly aren't frivolous racers. I fully expect Schmirna to give us conniptions much like Karlyn and Lyn did! They say funny things but they don't intend them to be funny, unlike Danny and Oswald who do!

I didn't hear her comment about not wanting to touch anyone's feet though, She said it in a TV commercial last week; I'm not sure she said it in the show. (I remember thinking that maybe I shouldn't gamble as many points on Eric/Danielle this week in the casino, but I didn't listen to myself. Stupid girl!)

Arnutz' Lvoe list shows that they still aren't seen as negatively as Charla and Mirna. Is that all that is needed if they are 1-2 to make it acceptable. Are they the "Someone...Anyone"? Sort of justifying a winner opposed to a F2 foil we've seen in Survivor? I need to see more positive signs from them before the end to declare them winners.I will be optimistic that Eric and DAnielle "change," but since racers rarely do, they probably won't either. It will be interesting to see what the editors do. Rob and Kim started off screaming at each other and were rehabilitated at the end. Everyone loved BJ and Tyler in the beginning and then their edit turned negative at the end. Eric and Danielle are just emerging now in Act 2, and not well. The winner of TARAS better end up with a positive edit! Any of the top four teams will be much more interesting than Tyler and James!

If they continue to spiral down then the cousins could they couldn't! Bite your tongue!

Speaking of Arnutz's list, some posters that didn't like them last season are seeing Dustin and Kandice in a slightly better light this time. Giving them a little more of a human touch seems to be working. I'm going to say that it means they do better than 4th this time. Oswald and Danny are even more likeable than BJ and Tyler. Too likeable, I think. We saw a negative, competitive side to the hippies. The Cha-Chas have a too good to be true, one dimensional edit...That allows them to be the clowns that make us enjoy the race. We like them a lot but the clowns didn't win. At one point, something special will be needed. Agreed on both teams.

Peetah - I agree with you about the Blondes. I think their editing might be about to change and a new storyline emerge. Hopefully it will be about being strong racers (wishful thinking on my part. We know they are capable of it!) The fact that Phil proposed that Dustin and Kandice could be the first females to win TAR in the first show and hasn't mentioned it again, I view as a good sign. It means they'll be around a while and he has time to mention it again. Good point about Phil giving them attention, but then again, they did finish second! Phil's been joking and flirting with several of the teams this year, so we'll have to see if Dustin and Kandice join in the camaraderie!

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03-20-07, 04:38 PM (EST)
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48. "RE: Episode #5 Comments"
LAST EDITED ON 03-20-07 AT 04:43 PM (EST)

>I don't think the winner
>will be obvious this season

Obvious isn't the word I should have used. If you rewatch a season of Survivor, you can tell the story the editors tried to show with the winner. It is so obvious a posteriori why certain scenes were shown, that a careful study of the editing on first watch could detect those "key scenes" and thus reveal the winner.

BJ and Tyler were so good in most of the season that it seemed the editors were trying to sell us Ray and Yolanda with their story of "climbing back from the back and beating the other teams one at a time". The hippies were the predictable winners but RaYo's story steered me away from them. The couple's story was only to make them appear as legitimate contenders.

Last season, Tyler and James were the strongest racers but had no story. The Beauty Queens had a good story developing (first female team to win) while Rob and Kim had somewhat of a growth during the season. Both stories confused me and led me away from the winner.

When I say that the winner hasn't been obvious, I'm saying that I haven't been able, through editing, to spot them. I only see the teams that should be there at the end.

I can understand why our contributors have disappeared if what was written here was nothing new compared to what everybody else could read in the spoiler you refered to. If we want to keep the relevance of the editing analysis, we have to push further. I don't know if I can do better than any casual viewer since I tend to outwit myself.

>I didn't hear her comment about
>not wanting to touch anyone's
>feet though,
She said
>it in a TV commercial
>last week; I'm not sure
>she said it in the

Thanks, I thought I was going deaf.

>If they continue to spiral down
>then the cousins could
>they couldn't!
Bite your tongue!

I have some scary thoughts sometimes!

Interesting analysis Peetah. What we see at the Pit Stop is highly edited as witnessed by the clips at that it is important to see what is shown.

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03-27-07, 03:56 PM (EST)
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49. "Episode 6 Thoughts"
This week was the “Charla and Mirna Show” with best supporting characters, Oswald and Danny. But to me, Eric and Danielle’s edit was the most interesting. To the casual viewer Danielle’s fits are probably what they’ll remember from the team this episode, but Eric was cool as a cucumber throughout the entire race. The way the traveling was paced, we didn’t see too much of Dustin and Kandice, Uchenna and Joyce, Teri and Ian and Team Guido, although the Eric and Danielle, the Chachas, the Blondes and Schmirna’s edits raised some questions for the future.

Because of the way the leg was structured and some bad luck at the airport for the other racers, Charla and Mirna jumped out to an early lead and Oswald and Danny were the only ones with a chance to pass them. Schmirna had another positive edit this week, but you’ll see I still can’t take them seriously. I believe their upturn in editing is because they’ve come in first two weeks in a row and we’ll see some serious b!tching from them when they are no longer leading the pack. The recap portrayed Charla and Mirna positively: when Phil says they fell to last, we saw them remaining calm and saying “we’ve been in this position before.” Then we see Mirna doing her Hollywood Nails act and we see them screaming when they find out they are in first place. After the commercial break, we hear Phil intoning, Charla and Mirna, who were the first to arrive…colored with them screaming again. Personally, I thought the second view of them screaming was too much. My ears really hurt after that! Mirna says, “It’s kind of nerve wracking because we’ve never been in first place. If you don’t take risks, how are you going to win?” Was this to set up the episode or do they take another risk later on in the race that hurts them? Mirna says, “Don’t hit the people, mister.” And the driver scowled back at her, an editing trick we saw with Lyn and Karlyn and Rob and Kim last season! At the airport we saw Mirna and Charla attempt to get airline tickets and were treated to a bizarre interaction complete with broken English and Italian accents coming from the cousins. I don’t think it was necessary to show this as they looked foolish and gained nothing. The opening scenes did not inspire me to think that they are great racers. However the next day, they chose to go to Johannesburg without a connecting flight which was a big risk. This time it was racing smart, what will happen the next time they choose to take a risk? They found a friend in Christo, a ticket agent, who got them on a flight to Dar es Salaam. But instead of being portrayed as aggressive racers, we see them praying with Christo and thanking him for a miracle. Later, Mirna shows that she has no sense of humor when Oswald and Danny tease them about “working” the bench and then again when Oswald says, “I’ll trade you for food.” Mirna replies, “Okay can I have some of the food?” It was also unnecessary to show Charla getting seasick complete with a musical overture, record screeching to a stop and then retching. It was not a positive or sympathetic sight. Lastly, Mirna says “Wow you guys know a lot of beauty tips,” to which Oswald replies, “It’s more like first aid.” In their entire trip from Maputo to Zanzibar they were never shown commenting on the race, their strategy or the other team’s abilities. Most of what was shown was for entertainment value! Later, Charla and Mirna comment that they really want to make first place but other than taking a big risk on the airplane, luck got them to first. Oswald and Danny could have beaten them if they’d chosen to. Danny and Oswald do give them props, “they are formidable contenders.” Charla and Mirna’s mat chat was very choppy. They were excited to win, but Phil quickly cut off conversation and told them what they had won. They had no clue what a catamaran was (they live near the water!) When Phil explained, Mirna immediately jumped up and down. I think their reaction to the prize was edited in from another part of their mat chat. Phil did comment “You are too hot to handle,” but did not have a long mat chat with them.

Eric and Danielle ran towards the end of the pack for the second week in a row. Danielle comments, “Running the race with Eric is important because we are both forming opinions. Eric is stubborn sometimes, but I don’t just lay back and let him take charge. This is in direct contrast to what I observed in the first two legs where Danielle did whatever Eric told her to do. I thought the Tanzania/Tazmanian Devil joke fell flat. Eric has a juvenile sense of humor that I don’t think many viewers relate to. However we saw Eric the athlete this leg rather than Eric the horndog. (When he keeps his mouth shut you can appreciate what a good racer and traveler he is. I noticed this in his season too. When he doesn’t say inane things, he can be halfway likeable.) Eric was the one who noticed the South African Airways office was open and lead the parade of racers upstairs. It is too bad that his name was not first on the standby list because it was his idea. Unfortunately luck was not on their side (this contrasts Team Mix’n’Match and Schmirna. Eric works with the situation and Mirna prays for a miracle). When the chips are down Eric rose to the occasion and stayed calm, Danielle complained, but Eric is the power racer of the team. When they are kicked off the plane, the New Yorker came out in Danielle, “What are you kidding me. This is ridiculous and throws down her backpack. Eric remained calm, talked to the guy, and got them on priority standby (which eventually gave them a several hour lead over Teri and Ian and the Guidos). He knew there were two teams behind them and it was important to stay ahead of them. Danielle recovers quickly and Eric wants to go and scope out the competition. He never lost sight that the goal at this point is to just not finish last. Always thinking Eric and Danielle set up the lane lines at the ticket counter to try to gain an advantage (either physical or mental) over the other two teams. Ian caves quickly and gets in line behind them. You can see Eric is pumped up, dancing with adrenaline, waiting for the outcome. He is focused on the race and really enjoys it. On the dhow Eric is glad to have left the Guidos behind. Is this the end of their altercation from last week or will it be continued? Eric received the only confessional during this episode that commented on the race. “This is sweet. We’re fighting from the bottom to get to the top. So many ‘what if’s’ in this race. You think somebody’s out of the race and they’ll show up. There’s always something poking you. Don’t get too comfortable, someone’s sneaking up on ya.” (Beware Charla and Mirna and Danny and Oswald, Eric and Danielle are coming!) Eric laughed at Danielle and then encouraged her at the roadblock. There was no pressure on them at this roadblock, but I bet Eric did encourage her at the fish roadblock earlier, and it just wasn't shown. It will be very easy to manipulate their edit because Danielle is emotional and Eric says stupid things. Eric seems to have adjusted to the fact that he and Danielle will not always place first or second, but he is aware of what it takes to be first at the end.

Oswald and Danny left in fourth and arrived in second. They ran another solid leg, making no mistakes and enjoying themselves. Their edit has not changed since the first episode. Oswald comments, “The stress of the race is getting to people. When people get caught up in a competitive moment, I think you lose a part of you as a person. You need to go back to what keeps you grounded to run the race better and have fun with it.” They worked well at the Solve It detour. They decided to stop and buy fruit instead of pushing for first place. They took care of their personal needs instead of racing on. Will this type of decision have a bigger effect on them in the future?

Dustin and Kandice left in second place and arrived in fourth. They comment, “we haven’t been first yet in the race, so we’re hoping that this might be the leg for that, but we’ve got to compete with too hot to handle. It’s a little hard to keep up with too hot to handle.” That statement didn’t personally bother me (I thought it was more a tongue-in-cheek comment on Schmirna’s personality) but several people in their lvoe lists mentioned they didn’t like it. This could be just a reflection of Charla and Mirna's tee shirts and to bookend Phil’s comment at the pit stop because they won or it could foreshadow a coming showdown between the two teams. They did a good job on the detour, not the best choice, but they do well with physical tasks. It was a good solid race with no mistakes. When I watched their detour a second time, I wasn’t as impressed. It was the first time I’d noticed an “eye candy” edit. The camera angles were odd – we saw them jiggling when running, Kandice cooed over a cat, and we saw the Zanzibar equivalent of a wolf whistle which caused them to tip over their cart. And Dustin’s insistence on saying “that was a good choice don’t you think?” was forced. If this were a first time team, I would wonder about their longevity. I miss the cool, efficient racing edit that they got last time. However they mentioned about wanting to finish a leg first, and this coupled with their comments last week about racing on their own, I expect a story to emerge with them in the two episodes next week. (Is it my imagination or are we hearing more from Kandice than Dustin? Michel, last season you noticed a shift between who was quoted, more racing comments came from Dustin and emotional comments from Kandice. Did I remember this correctly? This time around the focus could be switched if the Blondes finish strong. Dustin may make more confessionals in the future.)

We didn’t see Uchenna and Joyce much, but what we did see was the TAR7 version. Uchenna comments, “no one will lose any sleep if we’re gone so we have to rely on ourselves.” Uchenna enjoyed the boat ride and his female audience! He spoke eloquently about slavery and the slave trade, but also joked about his father being a pirate and that it was the girls turn to become slaves. It was a joy to see Uchenna celebrating his African roots and dancing with the Masai. Joyce charged the mat and said, “Start the clock.” They raced well and on their own. They were reenergized this week, but made no comments about their strategy or longevity in the race.

Joe and Bill are an also ran at this point. They comment that there has been a major mood shift. “As the field gets smaller in a field of very competitive racers, we can’t trust anyone.” That’s more a statement of their personalities than reflective of anything that happens. In Maputo Airport, Joe and Bill make the decision not to follow the younger racers upstairs to a travel agent. They comment, “They’re doing something just to do something,” and ‘standing in line is the right thing to do.” When Eric and Danielle failed to make the standby connection, Bill ran away from them to run back and “tattle” to Joe. They haven’t changed at all! They have not learned from their mistakes and it is ironic that they ended up a day behind the leaders just like they did in the final legs of TAR1!

One note: The editors stopped posting the arrival and departure times after the second dhow left at 8:30 am. I’m guessing that they find a way to bunch the racers or they condense the departure times from Zanzibar so that the racers will not be so far spread out, but will they leave a big enough gap so that Bill and Joe will have a hard time catching up?

I do think the spoilers have cut down on the participants which is too bad because it would have been fun to have many more memories to compare the contestants to their previous incarnations. It will be hard to decipher the winner because of the way TAR is edited but there is fun in guessing.

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03-27-07, 05:50 PM (EST)
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50. "RE: Episode 6 Thoughts"
CTGirl: I enjoyed immensely reading your post, mainly because our views aren't quite the same! It is always necessary to see another point of view. I'm afraid mine is a little frightening!

To answer your question: Yes, Kandice had confessionals about the team's emotions while Dustin talked about strategy. By the end, Dustin had the bulk of the confessionals as the girls ran into trouble. Again, their opening remark this week reflected their different personality: Dustin wanted to be first, Kandice joked about "Too Hot." This year, Dustin has been more prominent from the start.

Here is what I saw:

This Race is on Standby

Having done the summary for this week, which I hope you’ll enjoy, I viewed this episode from a slightly different view-point. I did my own editing and distorted so many quotes that I have to be careful not to distort the analysis also.

Since we had determined through editing and have been supported by a spoiler, we have to see if we can determine which of the apparent final 4 teams will win. First, I’ll take a quick look at the other 2 teams:

Uchenna and Joyce had their best episode. Again, Uchenna comes alive in Africa. He is proud of his heritage and gives us a chance to share it. This quote was powerful: Think about it this way; for a lot of people the last time they saw home was on this ride. When the slave trade was at its peak, Zanzibar was one of the gateways to Europe. 500 hundred years ago, they took the slaves down this very path. He even added a litlle humor: ”Ladies, Now it’s your turn,”he told the Blondes.

At the Roadblock, Uchenna was amazed to see the Masai warriors and he participated in their jumping ritual. When he hit the target, the camera turned to the spectators: Uchenna had many fans and not only on TV. Those present screemed their joy. This last quote is typical for him: “Jumping with the Masai, that is a dream come true.” Sharing a moment like this is a big reason why TAR as a loyal following.

Uchenna and Joyce haven’t been given a race related story. Their only conflict was with Romber and even that only surfaced on the duo’s final leg. Uchenna and Joyce, as the only winners on All-Star, are presented as the nice people they really are and we see that they are good racers. There is no manipulation to their edit and no build-up for later. Many will be sad to see them go but we’ve seen from the start that they haven’t been given a winner’s airtime and story.

Joe & Bill started by telling us: “There was a major mood shift since the number of teams dwindled down. We know now that we cannot trust anyone.”

We saw them ready to spend the night at the airport but, contrary to Teri and Ian, we didn’t see them discussing other possibilities or agreeing on the decision. We also saw them anxiously waiting while on Standby but except for Joe’s “son of a b*tch” we didn’t hear much of their thoughts. We were sharing much more in Teri and Ian’s misfortune. Even when Bill commented: “I’ve never been so happy to leave a country in my life” he was seen from behind so, at first, I thought the quote was from Ian when Teri “responded” with a “Praise the Lord.”
The Guidos were smart when Teri and Ian decided to do the “Solve It” detour. Bill reasoned that the best thing to do was to follow the married couple so that they couldn’t get away.
Bill completed the roadblock as the sun was getting up. All we heard from them was Joe with: “Teri and Ian didn’t show up yet”
“You know Ian is going to do it” answered Bill. “They could catch up to us.”
We never heard worries about being so far back from the others. The Guidos know all about being a day late so it was surprising neither commented on it right then. If it was left out for next week, that should tell us they don’t recover

Joe and Bill were in a perfect position for us to get to know more about them, to feel for them and hope they can get out of this bad situation. The editors left them out to dry it would seem since all we had was a set-up for Teri and Ian’s elimination. The same airtime will be given to the Guidos when they leave, which could very well be next.

Who will win “The Final Four” if it is between these teams?

Oswald and Danny are definitely the fan favorites and deservedly so. Their attitudes and their one-liners are treats and this week was no exception:
After hand-modeling the clue. Oswald commented that: “The stress of the race is getting to people. If you let it get to you, you lose a part of yourself. We like to have fun.” They then joined their driver, André, to what looked like a fun ride to the airport.
When Oswald repeated the directions to the ferry docks, his tone of voice suggested they were happy to be going to the “fairy” docks. A funny scene followed after Danny found a nice bench on the docks: “Do you want company, sir” suggested Oswald, “I come cheap.” Then they tried to joke with the cousins about working the corner but humor is lost on those two.

On the way to Kikungwi, we got the Cha-Chas of old when they decided to stop for some shopping and lost first place. Even the roadblock was done in good spirit: Oswald told Danny that he had to have a limp wrist. “Alto, Alto” he said while he laughed at his partner’s skills.

The Cha-Chas have a “Too Good to be True” edit that is one-dimensional. They have fun, they have good racing skills so why don’t I see them as winners? BJ & Tyler had that good edit for many episodes until their negative side showed in their fights with MoJo. They can’t manufacture negativity with the Cha-Chas and afterall, Tyler and James won with a none-dimensional edit!! Call me stubborn, but I do see something missing to declare them our winners: No one is mentioning their good results, no one is threatened by them. We should be hearing other potential winners saying that the Cha-Chas look tough to beat but we do not. That suggests it never becomes an issue.

Eric and Danielle are “both forming opinions about each other” said Danielle. She went on to add: “Eric is very stubborn sometimes but I don’t just lay back and let him take charge.”
They get along well for now. They joked in the car with Eric saying he was happy to be going to Tanzania where the Tanzanian devil lived. Danielle told him it was the Tasmanian devil. He called her a knucklehead for not getting his joke.
Lets not forget that Eric is a good racer: It was 9:00AM in Maputo and everyone was sitting on the floor, moping. Eric noticed that a SA Airline office door had opened upstairs. Three teams followed them upstairs and those 4 teams had the priority Standby positions. When the agents realized that there was overbooking, Eric and Danielle “shouldn’t” have been the one penalized since they should’ve been first on the list. We had nice foreshadowing during their walk to the gate, Eric said: “I can’t believe that it actually happened. I’m still waiting for someone to run up to us and tell us to stop.”
“Relax” said Danielle.
Her breakdown afterwards was certainly understandable and had to be shown: “We were sitting on the plane, this is ridiculous. This is a nightmare.”
What was missing from this scene? The reaction from the 3 other teams. They owed their place on the plane to Eric’s observation but he was the one taken off. Someone had to comment and that would have made the audience feel more sympathy for the dating couple. Instead, many probably wished the expulsion had happened after take-off!

They don’t get the sympathy scenes but they do get many unnecessary, negative ones. What was the point of showing the scene with Eric setting a waiting line and then imposing it on Teri and Ian? It could only serve to provoke more hate for them. Even showing Eric swaying to imaginary music was meant to make him appear cocky.

How did you feel when, getting on the Dhow, Danielle commented: “That would ruin the little trip we are about to have.” It was such a benign comment, but it still seemed that it was included to make them appear vindictive.

Just before they arrived to the island, Eric confided: “We are fighting from the bottom to try and get to the top. There is always something behind you, telling you not to get too comfortable.” Wise words for this race which certainly reminded us of Ray’s words in Season 9. Lets not fall for it again!
When they finally reached the Roadblock and the Masai warriors, they made their first smart challenge decision. Danielle used their big lead to do this one.

Eric and Danielle are racers to contend with but their reversal of portrayal, the questions on their relationship, the animosity towards other teams and especially the lack of any softening scenes make me think that they aren’t going to be our winners. They will be the team that will come just short again.

Down to two and Dustin & Kandice have a very consistent edit which is always a good sign.
Dustin said, as they left the Pit Stop: “We haven’t been first in this race yet. We hope this is the leg for that.”
Kandice added: “It’s a little hard to compete against ‘Too Hot to Handle” refering to the T-shirts the cousins were wearing. Many said it made them look mean but it was a joke and wearing that saying on matching T-Shirts certainly deserved a joke.

We saw more of the girls enjoying the race on their way to Zanzibar in the 2nd Dhow, Uchenna told everyone: “My great-grandfather was a Pirate.”
“Where did you get him?” Kandice asked Joyce.
Joyce answered: "I don't know."
Dustin insisted: "Where did you find him?"
"We could trade him" Joyce said.
Kandice then told Uchenna: "Zanzibar, you're going home, buddy!"

At the Kijangwani lumber yard, the girls handled the roadblock well. They joked about the cart being a bobsled and they got cheers from the locals. Was it the right detour choice? It really didn’t matter with the lead they had. If you also consider that the task was well defined, they knew there couldn’t be a bad surprise. You can’t really tell the degree of difficulty of a puzzle until you see it. Showing them debating the choice afterwards probably convinced many they made another mistake even if we don’t know if Uchenna and Joyce were simply faster than the others puzzle-makers.

Dustin and Kandice continue to have the right attitude about the race. Their edit is consistent with their story of the previous season. They even have a little more of their personality added to the mix. They will have their fans pulling for them but I don’t think their story will be that of winners. We have seen their failures, we haven’t seen any build-up from the other teams that their average results are about to change. Worse, they keep telling us that they are due to turn the tide but it never happens. Their story seems to be that it will never happen.

So, that leaves, OH! No!:Charla and Mirna. The cousins have a huge story this season. Even when they were in last place, they had the airtime due to a long term team. Now, their story has so many facets, it is hard to know where to start!

Their opening statement was a direct set-up for the episode: “Charla and I are leaving in first place. It’s kind of nerve-racking because we’ve never been in first place. We want to prove that it wasn’t just a quirk. To do that, we have to take risks. If you don’t take risks, how are you going to win?” The whole episode was told in that confessional. Ian, Bill and Kandice commented that going to Jo’burg was too big a risk and later, Ian realized “They are geniuses.”

Everything that they said they would do or that others say they do, happens!

-Bill said they were good with locals when the two teams were trailing the pack: In this episode, we saw them going to a second ticket agent to get the risky tickets to Johannesburg. Later, Christo helped them quite a lot in Johannesburg.

-Uchenna told them that the key was never to quit: When Teri mentioned going back to Miami it was Charla who was appalled and said she should go if she doesn’t want to race. We also saw Charla being sea-sick but pushing on.

-Mirna said: “We are super competitive and driven and we want to be in first place again.”

With all those comments coming true, what should we make of the following statement by Oswald: “Charla and Mirna are formidable contenders. They could beat the bejesus out of us”? Shouldn’t this one come true also?

Charla and Mirna first appeared as villains and shouldn’t that have eliminated them from our considerations? Is it only because of their two wins that they now appear as the winners? First, I think the two wins allowed the early portrayal. We didn’t see them as All-Star and being at the back of the pack seemed to confirm that. It was easy to pick on them and the editors had fun with it. Despite their harsh personality, one has to be impressed with their determination to succeed. Added to the fact that we have been given worse villains in Eric and Danielle, many viewers would be pulling for them in a final showdown between the two. Before finalizing the choice, it will be interesting to see if their portrayal remains when they don’t do as well in a future leg. For now, they seem to be the story of the season.

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03-27-07, 08:48 PM (EST)
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51. "RE: Episode 6 Thoughts"
Um, Michel, April Fool's Day isn't for five more days. I think you're a little early to be trying to scare me! You make an excellent case for Charla and Mirna, but I'm standing by my opinion of them for now. Wouldn't it be funny if this spoiled season is the season we have the best debate.

I agree that Danny and Oswald's edit is to good to be true. What I tried to say last week about the winner not being obvious was that I think all of the final three will be showcased and all three will have negative weeks too. We have ascertained the final three already, it's probably too early to be naming the winner. There's too much left that could happen! For fun I went back and skimmed our posts for episode 6 last season: the backback alliance was in full force, David and Mary were still in it, Tyler and James were down on their luck, Lyn and Karlyn and Rob and Kim were the villains and you noticed that Dustin and Kandice's edit was starting to take a negative turn. We know that Joe and Bill and Uchenna and Joyce don't have much story left in them, that means we need another story (The Blondes?)or two to take us to the finals. Can't wait!

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04-02-07, 09:53 PM (EST)
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52. "Thoughts: The 7th and 8th legs"
Two hours of show is quite a lot so let’s see if we can condense the analysis. It seemed that we watched The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good were represented by 3 teams:

Uchenna and Joyce got underway feeling good because they had made it through being marked for elimination. Uchenna said: “Having special times together helps you grow as a couple.” Joyce added: “It is the excitement that I think our relationship needs.” From the offices of SA airlines they called the travel agent where 3 teams were waiting. Mirna and Dustin got their agent to hang up on the call. The married couple had to make other arrangements out of Zanzibar. They were on the second plane out but were scheduled to join the Blondes in Frankfurt. They saw the Blondes at the German counter and Uchenna said everything was perfect until they got yanked off the flight. They were just too late. They arrived in Poland at 11:02AM in fourth place right after we had seen the Blondies finishing the leg.

They had trouble finding the palace but once they spotted “Chopin” they chose to the “Perfect Pitch” detour. Joyce knew how the piano should sound so it was fairly easy to tune it. They finished the first leg in third place. Joyce told us that they communicate well and that she relies on Uchenna.

After the emotional stop at Auschwitz, Uchenna and Joyce were first to arrive in KraKow and the theatre that was the location of an “Intersection”. They teamed up with Oswald and Danny to do the Fast Forward. All 4 teams showed sympathy for the Blondes having to wait. Nevertheless, counting the steps of Saint Mary’s Church tower and the Townhall tower enabled them to reach the Pit Stop at the Skala Castle first, tied with the two guys.

Uchenna is a very dignified man who expresses his feelings beautifully. The two work well together and have always been shown nicely. Except for some impatience at the African travel agency, we never get the feeling that they are racing. Their story has never been about the race.

Oswald and Danny left the pit stop with Oswald confiding: “Danny and I are having fun and enjoying ourselves while competing. We’re not stupid, we’re competing.” They shared a cab with the cousins, telling us they don’t have alliances, only joint ventures. At the “Holidays & Safaris” travel agency, they let Mirna take care of their arrangements because they didn’t want to be 4 aggressive people. It wasn’t the best idea! They finally were on the third plane out and arrived in second place with the cousins, only 15 minutes behind the Blondes.

Maybe Danny has talent for the piano and he hid it from Oswald but they still had trouble with the “Perfect Pitch” detour. Danny turned the tool like it was a tire iron and he tightened the string so much that he broke it! Not wanting his partner to feel too bad, Oswald also broke one! Finally, the piano player accepted their work and after flirting with the so called “eye candy”, the boys were off to the statue and their next clue. From there it was edited as a simple sprint to the Pit Stop and a second place finish. Unless Polish law requires that taxi passengers wear life jackets, Danny did a roadblock that involved a boat ride.

The racing part of the 8th leg only required making it to the Intersection in second place. From there they joined Uchenna and Joyce and the two teams arrived tied for first at the end of the leg. They gracefully gave the married couple the only price available.

Every episode starts with these two saying that they have fun but are still competitive. The race has gone very well for them. I wonder what will happen when they do have to scramble? It seems those references to being competitive is to set up their fall. They are good people and their story has been very rosy. It can’t always be that way.

Dustin and Kandice were happy to go see Chopin, well Kandice seemed to think she was going to meet him! Dustin said, more seriously: “I think this race is more challenging, everyone knows how to work every angle…All the tricks that we felt that we had, they have too.” Kandice added: “There has been times in the race where Dustin and I have said: lets hang on, lets stay in the middle. This is the point in the race where we have to step it up a notch.” While Mirna badgered the first ticket agent, they got help from the second one. Kandice commented that Mirna was rude to agents and gets them frazzled. They figured that attitude wasn’t going to help them get tickets. It worked as the Blondes’ method got them on the first flight out. They were traveling through Frankfurt and arrived in Warsaw at 9:07 the next morning where they were in first place for once.

Going to meet “Chopin”, Dustin was happy since she plays the piano and Chopin is her favorite. They found the Czapski Palace and opted for the “Chopin: Perfect Pitch” detour. “This is going to be fun” said Dustin. Showing her skills, Dustin quickly tuned the piano and got their next clue, a music partition with the title “Jan III Sobiesky Lazienki.” Their taxi driver brought them to the statue of the Polish King. From there, a roadblock wasn’t shown and the girls ran to the Pit Stop in first place. Phil greeted them with the remark that they could be the first female team to win the race. Kandice said they needed to stay focused but that “the Blondies are back on the board.”

The 8th leg had the girls on the first bus to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. All teams showed respect for such a solemn occasion. The ride to the next clue left them in 3rd place when their driver got lost on the way to Krakow’ theatre. “Good thing we weren’t fighting for last” said Kandice, not knowing that the upcoming intersection would soon have them doing just that.The “Intersection”, in effect, constituted a 4 hour yield for the girls. They said it sucked but still handled it with a smile. They would’ve prefered to team up with the Guidos, the cousins were their last choice. Even so, when Charla and Mirna showed up first, they teamed up with them and kept encouraging their new teammates.

The 4 girls had trouble completing the “Eat it up” detour. Despite starting before the other two teams who had looked for the “Roll It” detour first. After being sick, Dustin thanked Eric for his announcement of “Ladies and Gentlement, Miss California.” They had to wait for Charla to finish. They found the way the cousins interacted with each other funny. “They bark at each other” said Kandice. When it was over, they were tied for last.

The Blondes finally read a clue correctly and were first to spot the designated cars. A taxi showed them the way to the Skala Castle. Kandice said: “Today has not been an easy one” but they still had their smiles. Dustin did the roadblock, put on the knight’s armor and escorted her horse to the castle without difficulty. They finished third afterall.

Whether a leg goes perfectly as their 7th one went, or they are thrown a surprise twist that penalizes them like in the 8th, the girls always have a smile. That is the way the race should be run. They do have snarky comments and even if some see them as mean, it doesn’t feel like that is the editor’s intent. It feels like they want the viewers to see them as worthy racers. Certainly not lovable as the other two “Good” teams but still better than the rest. Are they our winners? They have a more complete edit than the other two good teams but All-Stars editions rarely have good endings.

That leaves us with The Bad…
Eric and Danielle are feeling the stress of the race. Danielle said: “I want to put my opinion in sometimes but he gets snippy.” They arrived at the same travel agency after the Blondes had already left but the first two teams were still trying to improve their situation. Eric wanted to go to another agency, Danielle threw a fit: “It’s like talking to a five year old, your personality is irritating, I’m surprised Jeremy didn’t kill you.” They stayed a while then decided to go look elsewhere. Eventually, they wound up at the airport with the prearranged tickets, supposed to arrive the next day at 11:25AM. They went to the airport where the argument continued. They were on the same plane as the Guidos who they tried to hide from. Danielle wanted them eliminated.

The two remaining teams got stuck in Kilimanjaro. Despite many pleas and even Joe’s bell (!!) the KLM flight didn’t let them board. Eric figured they had to be 3 days behind the other teams and it would be between them and the Guidos. They agreed to meet and wait until they hit the ground in Poland to resume the competition. They were edited as leaving Frankfurt at the time Charla and Mirna reached the pitstop. Despite Eric having some problems and breaking a string, they finished the “Perfect Pitch” detour faster than the Guidos with the “Perfect Angle.” They reached the pit stop in 5th. The first 2 teams had already started the 8th leg! Eric still thinks they can win but they have to be with everybody else. Danielle was relieved to still be in it.

The start of the 8th leg had Eric telling us that: “Danielle is not as focused on the race as she should be. She’s not used to the stress. On the last race, with her and Dani, they were just screwing around. I’m more intense when it comes to this stuff.” The wait for the bus was the occasion to argue on their budget. Danielle wanted a coffee but Eric didn’t want to spend any money. They screamed at each other for quite a while in another pityful display.

At the Intersection, Danielle was afraid she couldn’t eat all the sausage, so that caused the two teams to look for the “Roll It” detour. Once they changed back to the “Eat it” detour and they sat down with the Guidos, it was actually Eric who had the most trouble getting finished. The four cleaned their plate before Charla.

Eric lost time thinking the cabbies were taking them to the castle and then he couldn’t find the parked cars. Later, he missed the sign for the castle. Despite all that, the Guidos were always behind so he wasn’t worried about finishing last.

Eric and Danielle do not form a team. They do not even agree on tom correct the problem. Eric isn’t showing signs that he is accepting Danielle as an equal racer. It is getting late for that to happen. Can they win as a fractured team? It has happened before. They would need to have the cousins shown as negatively as they were in these two legs for the rest of the race. It certainly is a possibility!

…and The Ugly
Charla and Mirna (I sure know how to pick’em!) started off with Mirna saying: “We love the feeling of being in first place but it’s almost better to be under the radar than having all these people see you as a threat.” They harrased the poor ticket agent, ordering her to “concentrate, my friend, don’t share with them. I’m going to have a heart attack, I need emergency help. She’s so slow.” It lasted over 7 hours before they got the 3rd flight out, going through Amsterdam. They arrived in Warsaw at 9:22AM with the Cha-cha boys, not knowing that they were tied for 2nd.

The detour wasn’t pretty to watch. Charla didn’t know anything about a piano, neither of them had a musical ear and they harrased the pianist to say the piano was tuned when it obviously wasn’t. Charla suggested: “One is loose, why don’t we turn them all?” Finally, they changed for the “Marie Curie: Perfect Angle” detour. Traveling through the streets of Warsaw with a mannequin, they got lost and no one was coming to their help. “We must be the plague…I don’t want to be around these people” said Mirna. Finally, a woman guided them to the “Panoramik Laboratory”. After a few tries, the cousins were able to read the clue on the X-Ray of the mannequin. For those counting roadblocks done, we saw Mirna with a red Life jacket. They finally reached the Pit Stop after sunset with a tired Phil telling them they were 4th.

Charla and Mirna left at 4:50AM while Uchenna and Joyce had left at 2:26AM. The cousins lost more than 2 1/2hours from the detour to the pit stop. They were on the second bus to Auschwitz, 4 hours behind the front runners.

At the “Eat it” detour, Mirna tried to psych the other teams out by telling them the sausage tasted like poop. Charla grossed everyone out by forcing herself to throw up. She was the last of the 8 players to finish her sausages.

We saw Mirna having car problems as Joe had suggested. This time, she couldn’t pull the hand brake. They needed the help of a taxi driver and asked him to escort them to the castle. We once more witnessed Mirna’s terrible attitude, screaming and crying at the taxi driver who demanded more money than she had. “God, get me out of this country” said Mirna. She then berated her cousin for not having the clue and the map ready.
“What are you good for?”
“I don’t do anything” said Charla.
“Am I supposed to do everything?” asked Mirna.
“No, you’re just supposed to yell at me. You’re doing everything, you’re right” responded Charla.

Seeing Charla, dressed in a suit of armor, guiding a horse was hilarious. Despite her falls and her troubles, the cousins finished 4th.

This team had a terrible couple of legs. They would make horrible winners even if they do what editing shows they should do. The only good thing of this leg is that they didn’t quit despite the ordeal. It shouldn’t be enough to portray them as worthy winners of All-Stars but look how quickly the appreciation for them rose after two good legs. It will be interesting to see how they are portrayed in the next legs.

Joe and Bill, despite their moving comments at Auschwitz, would have been in the bad category. Do you really think you can call a plane with a bell? Using their brainpower to beat their competition would have been nice but looking around for the bus ticket dispenser even better. They also didn’t read the drive yourself clue and stopped to buy a map rather than paying a cab. Finally, they didn’t spot the castle and had to turn back.

The stop at Auschwitz was very moving. Dustin and Kandice talked about imagining the people coming out of the train to their deaths. Uchenna talked about the generations and their ideas that were wiped out. Oswald and Danny talked about growing up in a totalitarian regime. Charla and Mirna reminded us of the Armenian genocide. Eric and Danielle said their fights were insignificant in comparison. Joe and Bill saying how terrible it would be to be persecuted for who you were. It was very well handled as a moment to reflect, not to race.

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04-03-07, 04:28 PM (EST)
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53. "RE: Thoughts: The 7th and 8th legs"
Michel – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was especially appropriate this week! Congrats on 2K posts (almost)!

None of the five remaining teams changed too much in their overall outlook – Bill and Joe and Uchenna and Joyce didn’t have much of a story line, Oswald and Danny continue their nice guy, good racers story and our proposed final three got most of the attention (some good, some bad, some ugly!). There was some change in the week-to-week edit though, so I’ll comment on that. There is some overlap in our analysis, but with two episodes, there are lots of different examples! I won’t cover the Auschwitz segment since Michel did a nice recap other than to say it was well done and very moving. You can’t go to Poland without visiting Auschwitz and it gave me chills to see it. All of the racers were properly respectful.

It seems as if Uchenna and Joyce are starting their swan song. They came back from “marked for elimination” to finish first in leg eight. Danny and Oswald even let them have the first place prize. But even if we saw them, we didn’t hear them say much of anything. They referred to their relationship again, and this time in a positive light, so it seems as if their story is about to be wrapped up. They comment, “Our spirit has definitely been lifted by making it through being marked for elimination. Having special times together helps you to grow together as a couple. It is the excitement that I think our relationship needs.” At the pit stop in Warsaw, Joyce says, “Uchenna and I communicate very well when we have the same goal. I know I rely on Uchenna for a lot and I don’t know what I would do if he wasn’t there.” There were no confessionals on the race or their strategy.

With Danny and Oswald, it is still “what you see is what you get.” They left the first pit stop saying, “Danny and I are having fun and enjoying ourselves while being competitive. We’re not stupid, we’re competing, and we’re going to help people to a degree, but no alliances or joint ventures.” We have seen them being friendly and helpful with all the other teams, but that is the end of their story. I loved that Danny played “heart and soul” at the "Perfect Pitch" detour instead of a scale! We are having fun racing around the world with them, but how long will it last?

Dustin and Kandice had two very good legs, including a first place finish. This was the racing we saw in TAR10: they navigated well, read the clues carefully, kept their cool and had fun. Dustin acknowledged the other racers, “I think this race is more challenging. Everyone knows how to work every angle in every situation. All the tricks we thought we had, they have too.” Kandice added, “There’s time in the race where you stay in the middle. This is the point where you have to step it up.” Not only did they step it up, their camera time was expanded as well. We learned that Dustin plays the piano and she was used to further explain about piano tuning. At Czapski Palace, they stopped a moment and enjoyed the piano player and commented, “This is gonna be fun.” Dustin’s character was further expanded in describing Charla and Mirna. Dustin is assertive in a polite way and she was used to describe Charla and Mirna’s unorthodox and impolite style of racing (versus their style which was far more successful). When they won the first leg, Phil reintroduced their story line of wanting to be the first all female team to win. Kandice replies, “We definitely think it’s possible to be the first all-girl team to win. We just have to have the focus that we need to stay on top and consistency. The Blondes are back on board.” I note that they say they think its “possible” to be the first female winners. Last season, they were edited as “Yes we will be.” It’s a different nuance and I think they will do better than fourth place this time. They ran a good second leg, and ended up in third because their cab driver wasn’t familiar with Krakow, allowing the Cha Cha boys and Uchenna and Joyce to get to the intersection ahead of them. They were grace under pressure waiting at the intersection (I think most other teams would have displayed some angry behavior!) They kept up their good humor and kindness working with Charla and Mirna, their last choice of a partner. Lastly, they were the first team to correctly read the clue to the roadblock. Kandice and Dustin have stepped up their racing. Now the story will be can they keep it up and be the first all-girl winners of The Amazing Race?

Charla and Mirna began the episode in first place, but their only talk of strategy was talking about how it’s easier not being in first! “We really love the feeling of coming in first, but it’s almost better to be UTR than have all these people see you as a threat.” Their first place giddiness quickly disintegrated and they returned to the self-pitying whiners they were earlier. They were portrayed well in the recap (although the editors chose to point out that Charla had been seasick). Dustin commented on the cousins, “Charla and Mirna are rude. They’ll lean across the desk and get in someone’s face. I’ve seen the ticket agents become pretty frazzled.” Later she comments, “I think it’s funny they way they interact, the way that they bark at each other.” We are supposed to see them as slightly villainous and as comic relief. Michel commented earlier about Charla and Mirna being good with locals. It didn't seem as if a lot of Poles spoke English, but Charla and Mirna were the ones we saw complaining about it. And neither of us noted the irony of that statement, especially in light of the fact that Mirna had already had one meltdown in front of a cab driver! Schmirna may have book smarts, but their comments at the “Perfect Pitch” piano tuning detour were nonsensical, “clean it off, rub it a little, it’s dirty.” I don’t know of any instruments that get tuned that way! Although Charla did know when they hit a wrong note, “it sounds like an ambulance!” (I felt bad for the pianists watching the racers with their piano. You could feel them wincing at they way the piano was treated by Charla and Mirna, Danny and Oswald, and Eric and Danielle!) They completed the "Perfect Angle" detour quickly once they got there, but we were shown more of their comedy of errors getting there (the mannequin losing a leg and a hand). But Mirna didn’t see the comedy or fun in these tasks, she kept saying everything was ridiculous and criticized the country, “I don’t want to be around these people. I don’t want to be here.” I don’t think the producers would include a winner complaining so much about a particular country if they were to be the winners of All-Stars. The biggest difference in the way that Charla and Mirna and Dustin and Kandice are edited was evidenced at the “Eat It Up” detour, and this is why I can’t take Charla and Mirna seriously. They are edited as comic relief. When Dustin couldn’t keep her sausages down, she quickly puked off camera. (Best line of the night was Eric’s, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss California,” which Dustin acknowledged with a laugh.) It was just awful (and awfully funny) the way they showed Charla sticking a knife down her throat to lose her sausages and then a close up of her face with vomit on it. (I was laughing along with the Blondes. Charla’s sound effects and their affect on the teams still eating was hysterical.) Mirna is very negative and Charla can be too. It seems as if their story is “against the odds” they make it to the final three.

For a team that ran most of the two legs in last place, a lot of time was invested in –Danielle and Eric, their relationship and their racing strategies. Earlier in the season we saw Eric making juvenile comments; the past three legs we have seen the immergence of Danielle the complainer. “This race is testing our relationship. We were never put in such extreme situations and we argue a little bit, but I’m his teammate and I have a right to put in my opinion and he gets snippy.” Earlier we thought that Danielle had to prove herself to Eric, now I think that she has to learn to respect Eric. She threw several temper tantrums and her come back to him was, “oh grow up.” If Eric has been ignoring her, we haven’t seen it. He explains his reasons (i.e. for denying her her coffee, they need to stick to a budget. It’ll be interesting to see if someone has a money shortage at some point in the future.) At the airport near Zanzibar, Eric comments, “We definitely want to improve our position. We’re very competitive. We don’t like where we are and we want to move up.” First on the agenda: beat the Guidos. They reach a truce in Kilimanjaro and end up racing with them the entire way to the second pit stop. Eric stays calm and doesn’t waste any energy freaking out. I admire that Eric has been able to stay calm being in the back of the pack and with Danielle harping on him. They bickered from Zanzibar all the way to Krakow! At the seventh pit stop, Phil asks them, “You haven’t lost confidence have you?” Eric replies, “Well, we don’t feel that horrible about it. We think we can win this if we’re in with everyone else, but it’s a matter of being with them.” Considering they were in fifth place, it is a telling mat chat. These comments come at the same pit stop where Phil asks Dustin and Kandice if they were going to be the winners. These two teams haven’t interacted much, but they will have to down the stretch. In spite of their bickering Danielle is very happy at both pit stops not to have been eliminated; she hasn’t given up even though she talked about how miserable she was. All of the racers were moved and spoke eloquently about Auschwitz, but Eric was the only person to also put the experience in the context of the race. “For Danielle and I to go to Auschwitz puts things in perspective. All the dumb little fights over nothing, bickering, it turns that stuff into nonsense. It’s stuff that doesn’t matter…” To place so much emphasis on the fact that they aren’t getting along makes me think that they do figure out a way to work together.

To me it seems as if the editing has given Dustin and Kandice and Eric and Danielle a challenge to overcome. The one that meets the challenge the best will be our winner.

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04-07-07, 04:20 AM (EST)
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54. "Charla & Mirna"
Sorry I haven't been contributing. My Tivo isn't recording well enough for me to copy the show and disect it slowly. But I have been reading.

It seems to me there has been a lot of Camera time devoted to Charla and Mirna and this is bothering me a lot.

I didn't like that they were brought back for all stars. I didn't think they qualified as "stars". But, then again I didn't think Amber qualified as a star from Survivor Australia - but she went on to win Survivor All stars (or maybe Rob won it for her). None the less my point is, maybe I was to quick to dismiss them this season.

It has been noted that Charla and Mirna are almost getting a clown edit. But they aren't being edited in my opinion as comic relief. They are being edited to be discounted as competitors, Which on the face of it would be an odd edit for winners. But it seems they have gotten the lion share of screen time. And I've asked myself why? Then I had a really disturbing thought - America's Funniest Home Videos.

So, what does America's funnines home videos have to do with anything? At the end of AFHV the editors selected 3 videos for the studio audience to vote on - to determine which is the funniest video. But It doesn't seem to me the editors ever pick the funniest video's. They pick pretty marginal vidoes - and I think they do this to encourage viewers to think "hey I've got video funnier than that. I'll send it in and win some money!" Thus getting more people to enter move videos for competition. I think a Charla / Mirna win would have the same impact. Across America "Atypical" Teams would think if Charla / Mirna can win, then maybe I can win - I can do better than they can. And so more nontraditional teams could be encouraged to apply.

God I hope I'm wrong.

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04-09-07, 01:39 PM (EST)
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55. "Episode 9"
I hope you don't mind me starting this weeks topic. But I have some interesting thoughts. The other episodes don't bother me until we usually see who the real All Stars are.

Again sorry for the bad grammar and spelling ahead.

Dustin and Kandice - I remember their edit in the first season they were on as competitive and they are showing it again. They stayed calmed through out the race and haven't had any meltdowns and such yet. But from the looks of this I think they will make the final three. Their strong women and like one of the guys said "You shouldn't have a problem finding recyled newspaper" but I don't their looks that got them this far, Its their plan and taking the time to read things. We only saw the make a few mistakes back in the early episode. They never were in the bottom of the pack, and always stayed above a 5th place finish. So it wouldn't suprise me to see them win.

Charla and Mirna - They started at out villians, and they tend to argue when they are in the back of the pack, but when they are in the front of the pack their heads are on straight and focus on whats in front of them. Could they win? Possibly. If they stay in the front and take risk like they have been doing they will do good and come in first. I could easily see them taking over first. This episode it showed them calmed and steady, no arguing or fighting, and getting along with the locals fairly well. Have the edit changed for these two? or are they still are main villians?

Eric and Danielle - The last couple of legs have been bad for them and were in the back of the pack. They have not recieved a first place finish yet. Could they win? Possible if eric is saving the roadblocks for him to do when it counts, then they could easily take the front of the pack. I remeber Eric and James with BJ and Tyler dominated their season by racing to the pitstop first. But is Eric caring Danielle or is more likely that Danielle is carrying eric but we don't see that. Are we getting a winners finish with them or not? I know some of it doesn't make sense and I apologize. I think this is a team to watch out for. Could they win under the radar? Are they are new villains?

Danny and Oswald - The stress is getting to them. And I remeber in their season they placed 4th just under Blake and Paige. Will their be a repeat again this season and they place 4th again. or could they overcome and take first on the next episode and keep their lead. They travel well and follow directions. But are they getting a winners edit or viewers favorite team edit?

Overall Observation's from the past few episodes. It seems The Two Female teams are dominated over all the other players. Could we have the first all female team to win The Amazing Race?

Again sorry for the mistakes, grammar and spelling and some nonsene. Sometimes my mind runs faster than I type so I can't keep up.

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04-10-07, 04:35 PM (EST)
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56. "Episode 9: Thoughts"
LAST EDITED ON 04-10-07 AT 04:57 PM (EST)

I’m glad to read your views, Beau. Everyone is welcomed to post, first or otherwise, since it’s always nice to read how people see the players.

We are down to the final 4 and, except for Romber, the teams we expected to be there have made it. Even Charla and Mirna’s big story had attracted our attention as far back as episode #2. Who will win? That is still tough to determine although we did get a few nice clues.
This is what I saw in this episode:

Not everything is at it seems

Totally ignored from the recap, Dustin talked for the Beauty Queens at the start: “Sometimes, it feels like we’re holding on for dear life. Sometimes, it feels like we’re charging ahead and we’re on the offense. I really hope that we can be consistent and continue to be positive.” Dustin always talks about the team’s strategy, Kandice usually talks about the team’s emotions. Last season, they ran in trouble when we stopped hearing from Kandice. Does the same apply this season? They went to the airport and booked directly the flight through Paris even though they learned of Uchenna and Joyce’s flight to Frankfurt. Seeing them spy on the married couple was the first hint we had that the competitive (mean?) Blondes were really back.

Once in Kuala Lumpur, the girls had a local guide giving them directions for the train and the bus to the Batu Caves. It enabled them to leave the airport ahead of the other two teams…again. Both teams were worried when they couldn’t see the Blondes. After getting the clue and a warning about the upcoming yield, the girls considered their options while riding in a taxi to the Mosque:
- “Oswald and Danny have done better consistently than Danielle and Eric” said Kandice.
-“Who’s the bigger threat?” objected Dustin.
-“Physically, Danielle and Eric” answered Kandice.

Kandice confided: “This is a game, we could very well be fighting for last right now.” “They’re gonna hate us forever” she told her partner. Many fans will see the return of the mean Blondes or will say that it is dumb to use the first Yield of the season if you aren’t close to last place. On the other hand, it would have been terrible if they hadn’t yielded Eric and Danielle only to be eliminated by them. Using the yield is always risky; for the safety it gave them, it did create enemies. Enemies in the game and in the editing, because we heard every team react negatively to the Blondes’ strategy. We didn’t hear anyone say that they understood it was part of the game. With the right confessional question, getting some understanding would’ve been easy…if it was needed.

At the Mosque, the girls first saw Oswald and Danny wandering the streets. The Blondes spotted the clue immediately from the taxi and got to it before the guys. Yielding E/D, Kandice said: “It is pure strategy, nothing personal.” Eric and Danielle wouldn’t agree. Reading the Detour clue, the girls decide; 600 boxes of cookies was way too much. The Blondes jogged directly to the “Artistic Expression” detour, the only team to do so. “It’s pretty, it’s cool” they said doing the batik as they do for every task.

Kandice did the Recycling Roadblock. Like a local said “You should have no problem getting free newspapers…The way you look” Kandice finished the task quickly and the girls found the Pit Stop. “I smell Phil” said Kandice. After a pause and a smile, Phil gave them the good news and remarked how they are beating some tough teams.
Dustin remarked: “We don’t want to be overconfident.”
Kandice said: “If we can stay on this pace, it’s looking good.”

Charla and Mirna started off with Mirna saying: “People copy each other…We don’t resort to dirty game play like that. We really depend on our own skills to get us through.” Monopolizing the hotel’s computers, they were the only team to book a flight to Kuala Lumpur on the Internet. It gave them an arrival time of 4:45AM in Malaysia. “OH! Cool” said Charla. Mirna was pleased that they did their research. They were “Smart little girls” remarked Kandice even if Dustin found them annoying.

The cousins were first to the Batu Caves and to the clue at the Kampung Baru Mosque. “When we were on the airline, we talked to the locals. They told us the best routes to get to the caves” said Charla. Another example of the cousins doing well with locals as other teams have recognized. Being in first, it enabled them to enjoy the sights on the way to Putra. For once, Mirna encouraged Charla to run faster instead of yelling at her: “You can do it” she cheered. They debated whether to yield but Mirna told us: “We are not going to yield anybody. We want to win this race playing it clean and playing with our own efforts, not trying to hold people back.” “I wouldn’t want to see my face yielded” agreed Charla. Knowing they were first helps to be magnanimous! As it was shown, it tied in with their opening remarks and made the Blondes look meaner.

The choice of the “Cookie Confection” detour wasn’t smart. “Cookie with licorice, can’t get better than this” rejoiced Mirna in the cab ride to the location. Did they incur a penalty for going by taxi when Phil had specified “teams must make their way on foot half a mile”? Maybe a penalty had no effect on the result and was simply edited out. Despite the encouragement from their many fans, (!) there were too many cookie boxes. It cost them their lead. Finally switching to the “Artistic Expression” detour, an hour too late according to Mirna, they arrived when the Blondes had already finished applying their motifs. Mirna complained again that she had to do all the work.

The cousins arrived at the Roadblock as Kandice was finishing. “This is one ultra phoney team” said Mirna. How did you react to that comment? Did you agree with Mirna or did that make her appear bad? It seemed totally unnecessary to leave that remark there. Mirna had to ride the bike: “This is gonna be a tough one” she said. Mirna criticized a woman who had many newspapers in her house: “You don’t need so many newspapers. It clutters your house, then you become a clutterbug.” Later she even tried to proselytize the youngsters who had helped her: “These are the Charla and Mirna’s of the future…Remember; stay out of drugs. Go to school, be a professional and you’re in good shape.” Isn’t one of each enough?!

Eric and Danielle talked about their relationship problems. Eric said: “Danielle and I have our little tiffs here and there. When you’re with somebody and you spend time together all the time, that’s the person you pick on. In good relations, you get passed those things. We’re taking it step by step but we have potential for growth in the future. This episode gave them a chance to focus their anger on other people, starting with the cousins who kept both available computer terminals. Erica mocked Mirna: “I don’t know why people don’t like us?” “Because you’re rude” answered Danielle. Eric quickly spread the news of the cousins’ rudeness to the other teams at the airport. Learning how tight the connection was going to be for the married couple, Eric told Uchenna: “You are braver than us.” After their problems in Africa, E/D have learned that staying with the pack was the thing to do.

On the train to the Batu Caves, Eric realized: “What we gathered from the people we talked to is that the Batu Caves are closer to the terminal we’re going. The Cha-Chas have gone out at the Central bus terminal. Travel by bus will take longer to get there.” It didn’t pay off since they were 4th at the clue while O/D arrived second.

Seeing they were yielded by the ones Eric called “Dirty Pirate Hookers”, Danielle reacted by saying that “the little b*tches” had made enemies. As part of the only team ever eliminated directly after being yielded, we can understand her reaction. “We were just really shocked that the Blondes did it to us because we had gotten along with them. It reveals their character a little bit and maybe the Blondes are a little fake and phoney.” The maybe seemed to indicate the Blondes’ character had been discussed by other teams. While Danielle may not have agreed before, now maybe, the others were right. At least, Eric remained calm and realized they could catch up with a detour and a roadblock to do. It let Danielle vent and then enjoy the tan she was getting.

Choosing the Cookie detour, they were encouraged to see Oswald and Danny still wandering the streets. It told them they weren’t out of it. Totally out of place, we heard Eric saying: “If any team has to win besides us, I’d like to see Danny and Oswald.” Stranger still, we had a confessional by Oswald telling us that: “Eric and Danielle, they are good competitors. They are very cunning.” Eric’s confessional could be understood; after being yielded by the Blondes, they realized which team was the more likeable one. Oswald’s confessional was clearly out of place. Even more importantly, we haven’t seen E/D being cunning. We can expect to see some cunning moves by the dating couple in the future.

They got to the roadblock in third place and Danielle took on the ‘paper lama’ job. After a first run that only netted half the required amount, Danielle crashed into the curb, ruining one of her rear wheels. Asking for a favor and giving a hug, Danielle got help from a boy to get her newspapers back to the truck in third place. “Every roadblock that is designed for a guy, I end up doing, and every roadblock for a girl, Eric does. He’s a woman” she complained. On cue, we saw Eric laughing with Oswald and saying ironically: “I do all the easy challenges!! I feel so bad.” What I saw is that, having a lead, it was wise to have Danielle do the task now. Eric will be able to do some later on when it really counts. Is that where their cunning play makes a difference?

“I’m glad I beat Danny” Danielle said in the cab to the pit stop. Phil noted how third place was good after being yielded. “You can’t be happy about that” our host said (was that an imitation of Probst at TC?) “I can’t feel happy about that” pointed out Danielle. “I got yielded on the first season and I got out because of that. There was no reason for it so I’m a little pissed.” The gauntlet has been thrown.

Oswald and Danny left Krakow with Oswald telling us that: “Danny and I have gone through 13 years of ups and down…It’s how you resolve those disagreements in the end that sets the strength of the relation.” This leg would give us our first chance to evaluate how they respond to a personal conflict. They were wise to decline the tight connection through Frankfurt. “7:25 Am versus 6:40AM is not going to kill us” said Oswald wisely. Taking the risk cost Uchenna and Joyce the race. The Cha-Chas took the connection through Paris with two other teams.

Second at the Batu Caves, Oswald and Danny couldn’t find the clue on the bridge near the Mosque, letting the Blondes pass them. Finally spotting the box, they ran up the stairs to the yield sign where they said: “Eric and Danielle will be pissed.” Reading the clue, Danny immediately determined that finding the cookie would be faster. Oswald didn’t agree but relunctantly went along: “I’m trusting you.”

An argument ensued as to whether they had to bite in one cookie per box or every cookie in each box. Oswald read the clue again and they decided to change detour. With Danny still complaining, they went back to the cookie table for a few more bites before finally changing. Making a mistake at the artistic detour just added to their frustration. “They screwed up real bad” said Mirna. Often, remarks like that don’t apply only for the moment but have foreshadowing significance. The images showed us the Cha-Chas completing the task before Danielle found the right cookie, but then the guys couldn’t get a taxi. Finally getting in one, Oswald tried to make peace:
-“Do we love each other again?” he asked.
-“Lets not go there yet. Just let me have my space” warned Danny.

Arriving immediately behind Eric and Danielle at the roadblock, Oswald, who hates to ride a bike asked Danny to do the challenge. Danny didn’t enjoy the job. He only had half the needed quantity on his first run and he told Oswald: “I am hating you right now...Hating you.” His second run was very trying: First, he tried to get newspapers from someone whose job is to collect them. Then, was told by a family that the girl had taken them all already. Next, he looked in a garbage can with no luck. Finally, he went into a shop, bought a lemonade and paid for as many papers as he needed for his second run. When they arrived at the mat, Oswald was afraid to hear they were last, so getting the news they were 4th came as some relief.

Uchenna and Joyce were shown to go directly to the Pit stop after reaching the Batu Caves. We know from their interview, that they did both tasks and the clue box they reached in wasn’t the one on the steps but it didn’t matter: After getting on a plane at the last moment to win one race, not being allowed to board another plane was their undoing. Karma works slowly sometimes but it can get even the “Good” teams.

What do I make of all this?

This is the beginning of the end for the Cha-Chas. If they can edit out a complete roadblock, the editors could’ve cut some of the angry moments these two shared. Their story went from too good to be true to a team that couldn’t stop arguing. It wouldn’t be bad in of itself. It could even be considered making them have a more complete edit but it seems more than that. They started the episode by saying they knew how to resolve their arguments yet, when they had their first bad one, they couldn’t put it to rest. We also heard the Blondes say that Eric and Danielle were bigger competition. While Eric expressed the fans view that “they” would like to see Oswald and Danny win, we heard the Cha-Chas say Eric and Danielle were strong competitors. Add Mirna’s remark that they screwed up big time and Oswald and Danny’s exit has been prepared. After Uchenna and Joyce, we would see our second “Good” team from last week exit.

Dustin and Kandice have found their stride but as we saw last season, the return of the competitive Blondes is accompanied by a touch of meanness in their portrayal. It wasn’t that they yielded E/D that makes them portrayed as mean. That action had to be shown. What didn’t need to be shown was how all the other teams agreed it was mean. Couple that with Dustin doing most of their confessionals and it isn’t a good sign. With Oswald and Danny’s exit being set up, they still have the most positive edit of the possible final three, but it could change. They still have a much better portrayal than Eric and Danielle and the cousins but it is slipping. Is it open season on last week’s “Good” teams, or do the girls come through? I’d be more inclined to say the former.

Charla and Mirna still cannot be taken seriously thus having them as the winners of the All-Star Amazing Race seems extremely unlikely. However, they are the team that has most often done what they tell us they will do or what others say they are good at. Once more, they did it on their own and not only are they good with locals, they now have fans!! They will be in the finals but, as last week’s “Ugly” team, they should fall short.

In the pre-season, I wrote that it would be a bad sign if Eric and Danielle’s story was about testing their relation. It started well when they didn’t even discuss questionning how they would react to the stress of the race. That changed after a few episodes and they soon began being portrayed as a typical Amazing Race dysfunctional couple. They were the “Bad” team last week, bickering over the smallest thing. Did last week’s emotional stopover really open their eyes to the futility of their fights? Do they have room to grow? It would be a nice story arc. This week may have gotten it started; they turned their attention to the other teams, even speaking for us when they talked of wanting Oswald and Danny to win if they cannot. They have been wronged by the other two teams. They are strong competitors as both D/K and O/D noted. When CTGirl wrote that their story could be that Danielle needs to learn to respect Eric, I wanted to object that we should be given reason why Eric deserves respect. But if the team we have related to the most, the Cha-Chas, say they see Eric and Danielle as worthy racers, shouldn’t we agree? Eric and Danielle have started to look like our All-Star winners.

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04-10-07, 11:04 PM (EST)
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57. "RE: Episode 9: Thoughts"
If there was any doubt who the final three would be, this episode clarified it. Eric and Danielle, Dustin and Kandice and Charla and Mirna were all featured prominently. The episode showcased the final three and their talents and personalities. We saw some altercations between the teams and they’re talking about each other more. With Uchenna and Joyce MIA for most of the episode, the editors had more time to include interactions.

Danny and Oswald are the fan favorites this season, maybe the most popular racers ever. However they had a rough leg this episode which is signaling that the end is near for them. Oswald said, “Danny and I have gone through thirteen years of ups and downs, but ultimately I think it’s how you resolve those issues in the end that tests the strength of the relationship.” We see them tiring, arguing, but remaining good-natured throughout. Since their edit has been clean cut with little manipulating, we can see that their end is coming. Their teamwork is breaking down; they were complaining about the heat, and they couldn’t get a taxi. They are emotionally drained and Danny needs his space (“I’m hating you… hating you…hating you…”!) but at the pit stop they are still good friends. Eric and Danielle say that “If any team has to win beside us, I’d like to see Danny and Oswald.” They are echoing the viewers: we all would like to see them win! But alas, it’s not to be! Danny spent most of their money buying newspapers. Are they the team Eric foreshadowed last week with his comments on sticking to a budget?

Charla and Mirna also ran a good leg and if we didn’t know everything about them that we do, I would say it was a positive edit, but we do know how they operate and it’s not pleasant. They had two quotes regarding game play and I wonder if this is foreshadowing their weak point. Mirna begins by saying, “When you’re with the other teams they’re all trying to copy each other. We don’t resort to dirty game play like that. We want to depend on ourselves to get us through.” It is obvious now that when Mirna is in the lead she is a very different person. She smiles a lot more and is calmer (and dare I say good-natured?!) They choose not to use the yield because, “We want to win this race by playing it clean and play it with our own efforts, not by trying to hold anyone back.” They talked with locals on the plane and learned the best route to the caves. Mirna was upbeat throughout their time in Kuala Lumpur, encouraging Charla, “You can do it!” They had fun. They looked forward to the Cookie Confection detour, Mirna was singing in the taxi cab! The Malaysians love Charla and Mirna. There was a huge crowd watching them at the detour and Mirna got a boost from them (well maybe she had a sugar high too!) She yelled, “Come on, cheer us on.” Someone yelled, “Go Charla.” But once again Charla was edited as a buffoon. She was seen spewing cookies all over the place like a pig, (Mirna was barely shown eating them). They have usually been edited as good with locals but somewhat naïve about certain things. They have book smarts (they can plan flights well) but they fall apart when the going gets tough. Will they have the skills to compete against the Blondes and Eric and Danielle in the final leg? Eric and Danielle and Dustin and Kandice are crafty racers; Charla and Mirna are not. Later Mirna gives a confessional, “we will find a way to do it and we’ll make do. We’re a team.” In their prerace video they spoke about how they are like sisters and family is important to them. We see Mirna admonishing the local children, “stay in school, stay out of drugs, be a professional…be good, win more medals.” She sounded like someone’s grandmother, not a strategic racer! They are up against tough competition. We’ve seen them work well with locals and navigate well and we’ve seen them come totally unglued. It doesn’t seem like they have the consistency to win or that they’ve learned from their mistakes!

Dustin and Kandice ran a strong leg. They comment at the beginning, “Sometimes it feels like we are holding on for dear life and sometimes it feels like we are charging ahead. I hope that we can be consistent and continue to be positive.” We’ve always seen their positive side so it made me wonder if they were down on themselves earlier in the race and we didn’t see those confessionals. Their story is emerging and we see them portrayed as determined, competitive and maybe even mean. (At the airport Kandice agrees with Eric’s assessment of Charla and Mirna, “They’re so annoying. I can’t stand them.”) They are also playing a strategic game. They chose to yield Eric and Danielle because they were a bigger threat physically than Danny and Oswald even though they knew they’d “hate us forever.” We’ll see if it was a good strategy for them later on; there is another yield coming up. The Yield causes two teams to refer to them as fake and phony. Danielle was upset because she thought the teams got along well. As the Blondes are leaving the roadblock, Charla and Mirna are arriving and Mirna chimes in, “The Beauty Queens, this is one ultra phony team.” That quote seemed out of place to me. We know that the TAR editors have recently given a negative spin to all the top teams, so I’ll reserve judgment on that side of the Blondes for another episode. We haven’t seen them do anything phony (Kandice even held Charla’s hair while she was getting sick during the sausage Eat It Up Detour). They haven’t even argued like they did last season. At the pit stop, the Blondes said, “I smell Phil” as they were getting closer. He did quite a long eye flirt-tease with them before telling them they were first. “You’re beating out some tough teams.” They reply, “We don’t want to be over confident. If we can stay on this pace, we’ll do good.” Their edit last season was more black and white, here the hinting that they could win is subtler which I think is a good sign. They will go further this time, but are they strong enough to beat Eric and Danielle? Maybe they don’t have to be strong enough, will they be smart enough?

Eric and Danielle have entered into Act 2 of their edit. Their differences have magically seemed to disappear! Eric says, “We’ve had some tiffs here and there. When you are with someone and spend a lot of time with them, that’s the person you pick on. That’s the person you argue with. You can get past those things. We’re just taking it step by step. In a good relationship you can get those things. We have potential for growth and a future.” Danielle proved herself this time, but not quite in the way I would have expected. I guess I was expecting too much from their relationship! At the roadblock she said “Every roadblock that is designed for a guy, I do and every roadblock designed for a girl, he does.” Even Eric agrees, “I do all the easy challenges.” Even though she complained and wore her bike helmet backwards, she did a good job with the roadblock. Danielle has been getting more competitive each week. They are also united together against the other teams. Teamwork is important and they had it this episode and finished in the middle-of-the-pack. They don’t like Charla and Mirna and Eric mimics them in the taxi, “I don’t know why people don’t like us?” Danielle responds, “because you’re rude.” Eric is funny at the airport, “Guys we have bad news. Charla and Mirna are not nice…” Kandice says, “Smart little girls!” recognizing again Eric and Danielle’s strength. Eric wouldn’t let Mirna ask the Blondes a question, “Please wait because we had to wait on the internet.” Mirna says, “Touché, he has a point. We won’t argue with that.” On the one hand I was glad that Mirna wasn’t a harpy about it, but on the other she backed down quickly just like Ian did when Eric challenged him at the airport. At the Yield, Eric and Danielle remain calm even though they are annoyed. They start calling the BQs names, Eric mimics them by holding the yield picture, “I’m Miss California, I’m Miss New York.” He also calls them “dirty hookers” and “dirty pirate hookers.” How many people caught the Anchorman movie reference? According to the lvoe lists, not too many! I haven’t seen Anchorman; now that I know it’s a movie reference, I don’t know how the editors wanted us to take it. I didn't like it (another one of his jokes I didn’t get!) Danielle explains their feeling more clearly, “We were shocked because we did get along with them. Look at their character a little bit, maybe they are fake and phony.” We see more foreshadowing at the yield also. Eric says, “Hopefully we’ll catch them. I can’t wait for that to happen!” In a confessional, Danny and Oswald, whom everyone respects, calls Eric and Danielle “good competitors – very cunning.” It was an odd quote coming from someone who will not be in the final 3, but we respect their opinion, and the awkward editing made it stand out.

To me, it seems as if the race is between Eric and Danielle and Dustin and Kandice. Eric and Danielle have had some key “winner’s” quotes over the weeks. Dustin and Kandice have gotten the best overall edit to date, but we still have four more episodes to go! Charla and Mirna are racing against themselves and should add some fireworks. This could be a very competitive final three. The editing has shown that all three of these teams deserve to be in the final of All-Stars. They’ve all raced well at times so now we will see who has learned from their mistakes the best!

I will be away next week so hopefully Mavs and Beau will be back with their observations. Michel – please check your red wavy flag. I have an AVG favor to ask you.

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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04-16-07, 05:14 PM (EST)
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58. "Episode #10: Thoughts"

Tickets, who’s got tickets

Episode #10 wasn’t a race, it was more like people trying to find tickets for a sold-out show :

Oswald and Danny recalled their money situation. Oswald told us that: “Mister Moneybags over here, forgets he’s in a race on a budget.” Hearing Danny laugh about it and seeing the incident replayed in Black and white indicates it should come back to haunt them.

They went to the airline offices and were lucky not to be thrown out of there. The Malaysian airlines had a no T-Shirt dress code they weren’t following. In the China airlines office, the employees’office wasn’t designed to accommodate customers. Nevetheless, they were alone on the early flight out of Kuala Lumpur, giving them an hour lead in Hong Kong. They gave the cousins their Malaysian airlines boarding code with Oswald saying: “They have shared information with us. It goes back to the whole issue of Karma.”

Arriving first in Hong Kong, they had the option to use another fast forward. It was a fun ride and it gave them a nice prize for first place. They spent their last $20 on the toll before the Jockey club pit stop. How lucky were they that they didn’t have to pay for all the taxis and the ferry the other teams took? Already, Danny had to convince one cab driver to accept less than the total fare. It won’t always work.

Oswald said he was playing to win a million, it seems Danny will have cost them the game by buying papers and lemonade. Another fateful shopping spree!

Dustin and Kandice had an unkind portrayal in the recap: The cousins were shown proclaiming that they wanted to run a clean race while Phil said the Beauty Queens had other plans. Phil added: “Will their decision to yield Eric and Danielle come back to haunt them? Saying that: “The yield is part of the game”seemed like a weak excuse. Will there be a “Yield Karma” as Mirna suggested?

At the airport, the girls saw the other three teams gang up on them. Mirna got the other two teams to agree to work on excluding the Blondes from the final 3. Plans like that usually fail so that it’s a good sign for the Blondes. They had to fight to keep their place on stand-by since Oswald and Danny had given their boarding code to the cousins. The Blondes found Mirna very manipulative and said she deserved the pushyness award of the year.

They got second place when they stuck with their decision to do the Kung-Fu detour. Dustin gave a karate chop to an actor, laughing with Kandice about it. On the ferry to Hong Kong island, Kandice told us: “The thing with Charla and Mirna wasn’t fun…” Dustin concluded: “But we’re having fun now. They did the rest of the tasks efficiently and appeared to finish well ahead of their rivals in third place. Second place wasn’t bad at all.

Some people hate the Beauty Queens and like the cousins while others love the Beauty Queens and hate the cousins. It is interesting that the editors chose to portray these two teams in such a similar manner in this episode Both teams fought for their airline tickets, both had fun on the tasks and both spend a lot of energy on a meaningless leg. In opposition, the other two teams almost seemed above the fray or at least not so desperate. Oswald had his “We didn’t try to bamboozle you” comment and Eric swallowed the bitter pill almost philosophically: “We’ll make other arrangements…we’ll try to catch up.”

Between the two women teams, it seems that the Beauty Queens’ enjoyment of the race and of the locals has been consistently shown. Their aggressiveness has been solely limited to a few teams on the race, not to the people around it. We’ve seen them having a consistent edit throughout both seasons so even accusation of phoneyness seem to be unjustified. They seem to have a better portrayal and it could indicate a better outcome, unless the two women team get so focused on their rivalry, they forget the third team.

Charla and Mirna were in a fighting mood and were ready to flex some muscle…cerebral muscle Mirna indicated. They forced their way into the China air offices: Despite a “wait for me upstairs” by the agent they begged their way in and then insisted on closing the door despite the request from the employee to keep it open.”Kick some people off” demanded Mirna to Desmond.

Seeing the other two teams trying to convince Desmond they were first, Mirna had another spiteful comment: “Take your padded bras and the stuff you have stuffed in there and take it elsewhere.” After Oswald explained the situation, Mirna went to Eric: “We’ve been screwed over one too many times by the geeky, bubbly girls. The final three: You guys, us, Danny and Oswald. No more bubbly, phoneyness. It’s gonna be a fun final three.” Later, Mirna was draped over the Malaysian airlines counter to prevent the Beauty Queens from getting their tickets. That aggressivenes got them on the flight ahead of Eric and Danielle.

Racing a clean race indeed!

At least, they had fun with Charla’s wheels in the airport corridors. After some hesitation, they decided to do the Kung-Fu fighting Detour and had fun with the actors. Again Mirna mentionned wanting to fight the Beauty Queens. At least, finishing the detour, she had nice words for her cousin: “Charla is out to prove on the race that she can break down what people’s expectations are of her. The detour was very hard but she did a great job with it.”

After that fun detour, they gave wrong directions to their taxi driver who brought them to Hong Kong island where they took the star ferry towards Kowloon. They learned of their mistake when passengers told them that they weren’t going towards Hong Kong island but had actually just left its port! They had to do a ferry U-turn. They were later shown to have more problems finding Victoria Park and again on the way to the Jockey club’s infield entrance.

The cousins have had some good showings in a few episodes but their abrasive behavior has often been underlined. This episode had a combination of both. The good was the detour and the roadblock, the bad was the airport and the mistakes in navigation. A winner usually gets a more consistent edit.

Eric and Danielle were once again victim to the stand-by rules even if they were second at the customer counter and were the third team on the list behind the BQs and the Cha-Chas. Danielle was right to say that “Charla and Mirna should be on this plane.” That was the plane that had them in last place and detouring through Ho Chi Minh city on the way to Hong Kong. Maybe some Karma is being set up against the cousins this time.

After that new airport debacle, the couple was never in it. They complained a lot but stayed focused enough to apparantly cut into the 2 1/2 hour deficit they had on the cousins. Danielle wasn’t too happy with the “impolite” Mirna: “We will stop being nice, because nice doesn’t get you far.” Eric was again heard mentionning they had to be careful with their money, in contrast to the Cha-Chas. His thriftiness is a better way to race on a budget.

The couple was catching up until Eric refused to ask for directions to Victoria Park. Danielle told us that “Eric doesn’t like to listen to me. He was mad that I could actually be right.” They rode around in a circle again on the way to the Jockey club even if Eric said he knew where it was. Eric wasn’t sure if continuing to race was a good thing but he finally admitted: “I was wrong. Danielle was right in this case, we should have gotten a taxi earlier…We’re a team. We have our work cut out for us. I gotta keep Danielle strong.” Danielle also had a final confessional: “Being in this race is really important to me and I want to show that I’m stronger than people think I am…I want to make it to top three and I want to win.”

If the women teams were portrayed in a similar way, there was an opposition between Oswald and Danny and Eric and Danielle. The gay couple had all the luck going for them, from the early flight on China air, to the fast forward and finally having just enough money to cover the last expense. Eric and Danielle had a lot of bad luck that pushed them out of it. In this race, things have a way to change quickly as the team in first on one leg often finds itself in last on the next. It’s a miserable game this race and it seems that Eric and Danielle had all the misery they could possibly have had ever since they got taken off that plane in Africa. Are they due for a comeback? It certainly appears that their edit still has momentum now that Eric has realized Danielle can be right and that they are a team. Watch out for this team.

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04-22-07, 05:05 PM (EST)
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59. "RE: Episode #10: Thoughts"
This will be short and sweet. I just watched last week’s episode, and with the benefit of having seen the TV ads for this week, I was struck by how much irony and foreshadowing was in the episode! Not a lot happened in each team’s “story,” but Dustin and Kandice’s decision to yield Eric and Danielle was played up in the recap and in the beginning of the episode. We aren’t meant to forget that they did it and Phil asks “will the decision they made to yield Eric and Danielle come back to haunt them?”

In the recap we heard Mirna say how they want to play clean and then the editors showed us numerous examples of their manipulating and pettiness! They are conspiring to get rid of the Blondes, but I think their talking about “yield karma” is ironic and will come back and bite someone in the butt! I also found it ironic that they wanted to use their brain muscle to win, but they made a stupid mistake in reading the clue and wound up on the wrong ferry.

As foreshadowed by Eric and Danielle’s bickering over buying coffee and Danny buying newspapers that he could have gotten for free, money issues were brought up again for Oswald and Danny and Eric and Danielle. This will most likely poorly affect the ChaChas in the near future.

Eric had a major revelation (well probably not in real life, but in the realm of TAR!) when he gave kudos to Danielle. He admitted that he was wrong and she was right. If he views her as an equal partner, they can only get stronger as a team.

Danny and Oswald have had a good run, but they may have shopped themselves out of contention. Charla and Mirna are competitive, but they are too inconsistent to be winners. Over the course of the race, Dustin and Kandice have been shown to be improving and are positive, but Eric and Danielle have had the biggest story arc as a team. The editing is pointing towards a showdown between Eric and Danielle and the Blondes with Charla and Mirna along to be a thorn in their sides.

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04-24-07, 10:55 PM (EST)
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60. "Episode 11"
LAST EDITED ON 04-24-07 AT 11:03 PM (EST)


Have we ever seen so many racers praying and talking about the devil and hell and things being heaven sent?!! We had our angel imagery last year around this point and now we’ve traveled to Dante’s Inferno and Paradise! Since it has been obvious for a few weeks that the final three will comprise of Charla and Mirna, Dustin and Kandice and Eric and Danielle, I am going to concentrate on how the editing was manipulated so that we felt that Eric and Danielle were the underdogs and how we were meant to cheer for them to not get eliminated (because at the end of the show, I was thinking, how did that happen?!). Danny and Oswald’s edit was tweaked so that, even though they are fan favorites, we weren’t too upset that they finished last and were marked for elimination. Danny and Oswald were in a Hell of their own making and Eric and Danielle are in a Hell that they must journey out of, Dustin and Kandice could not have run a more perfect race, and although I wouldn’t say that Charla and Mirna were in purgatory, they are living in their own little world! It is rather ironic that in a game where luck is as important as racing skills, the teams were praying to a higher fate!

I browsed the love lists to see if many people had the same reaction that I did to the teams. Despite paying to save themselves from the yield and yield Eric and Danielle, the Blondes were not judged poorly for it. But most people still don’t like Eric and Danielle despite their underdog edit. However, I’ll use Peetah’s comment for an example, “Damn! They were fast, kept their head, and I was surprised to find that I was rooting for them,” because I think that is what the editors were trying to achieve this week.


Dustin and Kandice are hitting their stride and racing well; things are coming easily for them. They managed to avoid being yielded even though they yielded Eric and Danielle earlier and the editing treated them fairly. As they left Hong Kong, Dustin and Kandice said, “Until we reach the final three, we’re going to race like we’re in last place. We want this so bad, it’s almost like wild animals fighting for food.” This statement is at odds with how we’ve seen them race; it is a win at all costs type of statement, but set up the situation with the yield. As soon as they reach the first clue box, they discover that a yield is ahead. Fortunately for them Danny and Oswald are almost out of money and Oswald initiates the deal: The Blondes pay them money and they will yield anyone of their choice. We see Dustin and Kandice take the time to discuss the situation, but they are playing to win. Kandice commented, “It’s kind of crappy to yield them when they’re down, but the yield is a tool to be used in the game.” Dustin adds with a sense of humor, “$45 to bribe them not to yield us. Now officially we are the yield queens. We just bought a yield!” They handled the situation in the best manner possible. They helped out Danny and Oswald and also averted being yielded themselves. During the sky walk and sky jump, we see Dustin praying for Kandice to be all right. It was an interesting juxtaposition from a team that has not relied on divine intervention to help them before! At the Noodle detour they commented, “This is fun; this is easy.” (Too easy?) To remind us that the Blondes aren’t the bubbly, giggly phonies that Mirna called them, we hear them mention again that they felt bad about yielding Eric and Danielle. In the taxi, Kandice explains their racing philosophy, “our rule right now is trying to stay cool, calm and collected with our drivers, our directions and our tasks.” We hear Dustin reiterating, “Play close attention, work quickly and efficiently.” They finish the tasks quickly and are the first to the mat. Phil doesn’t mention them becoming the first female team to win The Amazing Race. He doesn’t need to, they are being edited as the front runners. However, we have learned over the past several seasons that in TAR, there is no sure thing in a winning edit. If the Blondes stay cool, calm and collected, they could win the whole thing. But we also have enough foreshadowing – a quote by Mirna (see below) and Eric and Danielle’s underdog edit – to see that staying cool, calm and collected might not be good enough.

Mirna’s World: Logical Sense

Charla and Mirna have provided a lot of the drama and some of the humor this season, but the theme running through their story has been the sisterly relationship between the cousins. Charla and Mirna’s story continues to be the strength of their family bond despite the fact that Mirna is a shrew and that she thinks she is “perfect!” Mirna comments in the beginning, “People think that because Charla is short, people think she needs to be treated in a special way. She doesn’t want to be treated in a special way (she says with such emphasis she is almost yelling!) Other teams probably see me as a tyrant, but I’m here to win.” (Side note: As they are preparing for the turbo ferry to take off, we hear more talk about barf bags and getting sea sick – what an wonderful editing sub theme for them to have!) Mirna comments on the yield, “Why would you yield someone in the beginning of the race? It doesn’t make logical sense.” Unfortunately we haven’t been shown over the season that we respect Mirna, so her reasoning isn’t as effective as it would be coming from someone else. They have their own trip to hell, “I was definitely disappointed, Oswald and Danny making a deal with the Beauty Queens was like making a deal with the devil.” In the taxi cab, Mirna puts her spin on things, “Oswald told me what happened. They had no money and felt desperate. The Beauty Queens obviously convinced Danny and Oswald to yield Eric and Danielle. It’s going to motivate them, that’s the problem. People just don’t realize that the yield can backfire on them.” We are being prepared for a showdown between Dustin and Kandice and Eric and Danielle in the finale. Mirna and Charla are mere observers at this point.


Danny and Oswald have been edited all season long as the good guys, the nice guys, the funny guys, and they are. So how did things change this episode in the way we viewed the ChaChas? They comment at the beginning, “Danny and I have been incredibly fair in the way we’ve dealt with every single team. We’re not going to be those people that stab people in the back to qualify for the final three.” However, they are almost out of money so they come up with a plan to regain some funds where they do have to backstab someone. Oswald playfully threatens the Blondes that they would yield them if they don’t take their offer. Even though Oswald feels bad about yielding Eric and Danielle, Danny assures him that it is the right thing to do and the only thing they can do. We understand that the spirit of the yield is not Oswald’s nature, but we hear him repeat over and over how he doesn’t like doing it. When Mirna tells them that they would have given them money, Oswald is self-righteous, “it would have been heaven sent if we’d had this conversation earlier.” We are reminded that they needed this money when they read a clue that says to go by taxi. Danny comments, “Oh, it’s a good thing we have money.” Oswald says in a confessional, “There is no way to explain to Eric and Danielle what our consequences were for yielding them. It was bad karma versus no money. We could have been eliminated because of it.” The editing dwelled on the angst that Oswald felt to the point of overkill. It is just a game, after all! Later during the Dragon detour, they were shown wandering around confused, lost, and bickering for what seemed like a long time. As much as we love these guys, we were shown that they were the ones at fault. They could have had good karma and money if they had paid attention to directions. Danny insisted he knew the way. At one point Oswald even comments, “This is hell.” We were supposed to see them floundering in a mess of their own making and we lost some sympathy for them. To continue my theme, Oswald riffed on the serenity prayer, “God, grant me the patience to withstand the things I cannot change, and the intelligence to hide the body of this man once I'm done killing him." In the mini-moke Danny was concerned about the car’s reliability, Oswald assured him, “Honey, I’m praying back here. Don’t worry!” To compound their mistake, they went to the wrong end of the island, were last to the pit stop and were marked for elimination. As they said, "Today was a day when karma bit Danny and Oswald in the a$$." And Danny joked, "Quite hard, might I add!" Their choices lead to their situation and their bad karma; they won’t be getting out of hell this season (although they will continue to entertain us)!

Meanwhile, we see Eric and Danielle as the underdogs from their very first confessional. Eric says, “It’s not a good position. We’re fighting from the bottom to try to get to the top.” Danielle says, “…it sucks. It’s just before the final three; everyone is going to be cutthroat and crazy.” In the first taxi cab Eric says, “We need to catch up.” Going up in the elevator, we hear ominous music as the floors tick by while Eric says, “With any luck maybe we can make up some time.” Bad luck, they are yielded again. Eric has another display of juvenile behavior, but Danielle takes it in stride. Neither one of them is as angry as last time. While Eric is performing the sky walk, Danielle says, “it’s sad, it’s the start of maybe our last leg of the race, it’s scary.” Taking a page from the Blondes rule book, they perform the Noodle detour quickly and efficiently (even more so than Dustin and Kandice). When they leave Eric says, “We gotta keep racing and hopefully we can catch up. We definitely made up some time.” Eric is in a zone, focused and intense. At the pit stop, they run to the mat, Eric immediately starts his stopwatch and he says breathlessly, “We’re the second team.” You can feel their nervousness coming through the TV! Eric says “As far as I’m concerned, everyone can go to hell. I really hope the half hour passes. These teams just don’t deserve it.” Danielle pleads, “Please God.” And Eric implores the time, “Come on, come on, come on” as he’s wheeling his arms. Dustin and Kandice come out and praise them, “You guys really smoked this leg. You guys are quick…” When they confess that they gave Oswald and Danny money to yield someone else, Eric half-jokes, I’ll throw you guys off the roof too.” We get a close up of his evil eye. The gauntlet has been thrown down between these two teams! The impatience continues “How much longer do we have? Ten minutes, Danielle begs, “Please God, Please God, Please God,” Phil finally checks them in in third place. They are rejoicing, happy and hugging. Eric says, “We’re so lucky that we’re standing here…” And in a confessional, “I’m not used to being an underdog and I really feel like Danielle and I are the underdogs because we’ve been through Hell. No one has gone through what we’ve gone through!” This episode we saw Eric and Danielle come together as a team, they raced hard and were the underdogs that overcame Marked For Elimination and a yield. It seems like there is no stopping them now! Dustin and Kandice’s cool, calm and collected strategy may be no match for Eric’s intensity and their hard luck experiences.

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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04-25-07, 08:15 PM (EST)
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61. "RE: Episode 11"
LAST EDITED ON 04-25-07 AT 08:20 PM (EST)

CTGirl: I enjoyed reading your views on the remaining teams. It was quite interesting as always and rewatching it, I noticed all those prayers and comments about heaven and hell. We have two teams that we view differently and it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Much ado about the Yield

All the important interactions between the teams were about the yield. Two teams were on the defensive about their “bad” behavior while the others had a more positive portrayal.

Oswald and Danny had started off by saying they wouldn’t stab anyone in the back to make the final 3. “Can we prostitute ourselves?” was Danny’s question. Can selling their yield powers be considered like selling their soul?

The Deal
Waiting for the Macau tower to open, Dustin showed her surprise to the guys: “Do you believe there is another yield on the race.”
Danny pointed and laughed: “We are going to yield you!”
Oswald proposed: “We have a little offer on the yield…The last leg of the race, we ended with zero dollars, we will yield anyone you want but we do need cash.” Oswald even called it a brilliant idea in a confessional.
The girls had a little pow-wow. They agreed that Eric and Danielle were the stronger opponents.
“It’s crappy to kick them when they are down but the yield is a tool to use in the race” reasoned Kandice.
They went back to the guys and Dustin said: “We have 45 big smackers for you to yield Eric and Danielle…Shake on it…We are officially the Yield Queens.”

The deal could have been simply for the guys not to yield the Beauty Queens. Since the girls were second to the yield, no one needed to get yielded. It would have been nicer but both teams were guilty of making that deal. If the only fallout had been Eric and Danielle’s frustration, it would have passed. There were so many discussions shown on that event that it destroyed the image of the two “guilty” teams.

After the deal, Danny was so happy that he had a little skip in his walk and both guys smiled when they shook on the deal. Right after, we had a close-up of Oswald saying he wasn’t happy. The moment before, Oswald had been facing to our right but he was facing left as he said those words. When was the quote actually said? Oswald proposed the deal, called it brilliant and 2 seconds after sealing it, he has gone sour? It didn’t quite fit. It seemed as if the quote was inserted to make the Beauty Queens appear a little like blackmailers who had forced the guys hands.

Hearing Oswald and Danny tell Charla that they wished her offer of giving them money had happened earlier increased the negativity on the Beauty Queens. They were watching and wondering if the guys were double-dealing. Oswald’s guilt was softened when he talked with Mirna as they waited for their teammates to do the sky jump: “We didn’t want to use our yield but we were desperate.” He repeated the same comment when Eric and Danielle saw that they had been yielded. Danny also had a chance for some forgiveness by the viewer: “It was bad Karma vs no money. We could’ve been eliminated.”

Their “good racers who are having fun” story is over: They had problems with their taxi drivers Oswald jokingly thinking of killing him. Despite that, they stayed with the same cabbie until the end. That, their choice of detour and their poor sense of direction marked them for elimination. The guys are in a deep, deep valley from which they will not get out.

Dustin and Kandice explained their strategy in the beginning: “To make the final 3” said Dustin, “we’re going to race as if we’re in last place. We want it so bad that it’s like wild animals fighting for food.” The image that came up right after those words was of Kandice in the cab chewing on something. So much for fighting for food!

The Mean Blondes edit was back in full display in the episode. It didn’t matter that the guys proposed the deal, everything was done to make the girls appear like cold-hearted, dirty racers. From their own comment: “We’re officially the Yield Queens” to Oswald’s unhappiness and Mirna’s talk of making a deal with the devil, the stigma was on the Blondes. The simple comment that Kandice made to Mirna: “Your hair looks nice” could also be looked on as being phoney. While Mirna was questioning the logical sense of using the yield, we had a shot of the girls rejoicing, even offering to show the guys how to proceed with the pictures: “Let us help you!” When Mirna explained to Charla what had happened: “The Beauty Queens OBVIOUSLY convinced them of yielding Eric and Danielle. People don’t realize the yield backfires on you,” we had 3 quite telling camera shots. Charla was listening very seriously, the Blondes were laughing in the back of the cab and Eric and Danielle were shown waiting and fuming. Phil did agree that their tactic worked but he didn’t have his usual smile when they told him about it.

The girls had some nice moments:
- Kandice joking with the sky jump attendant who wanted her to take off all her clothes.
- Dustin rushing in tears to her friend after the sky jump.
- When their taxi got lost on the way to the garden, they didn’t get overwrought, they simply changed cab and said: We got a bad taxi…this is frustrating…Horrible.” It was a better showing than the guys. Right after, they were back to being calm and collected.
- They were laughing while Kandice rode the poney, completing the detour efficiently.
- Dustin had fun with the “Barbie car.”

Why such a portrayal for the girls? There are three possibiblities, but only 1 fits all what we have seen:
1- Their enjoyment of the race and their competitive attitude are the way the editors want to present the winners of the race. Problem with this is that there were too many manipulation of the scenes that were meant to destroy their image.
2- A final confrontation is being set up between the mean yielders and the underdog yielded team where the mean team is set up to lose. The problem here is that the Blondes had so many more positive shots than their rivals.
3- The Blondes are tough competitors but they focused on the wrong team. They do race the way the producers want teams to race, therefore they get many positive moments. The negative images were to underline that they made a mistake in choosing who their real opponents were. This of course, leads to a victory by the cousins.

Charla and Mirna were portrayed as taking the high road regarding the yield.
It started with Charla offering to give money to the guys only to be told by Oswald that they had recuperated some funds. Mirna’s confessional: “The Yield wasn’t really necessary. Why would you yield a team in the beginning of a leg knowing that they aren’t that far behind and they can catch up pass you at any moment? It didn’t make logical sense to me.” When Oswald told Mirna about the deal, Mirna reiterated they would have given them money. She confided: “Making a deal with the Beauty Queen was like making a deal with the devil.”

Despite those good sentiments, the cousins weren’t without their faults:Mirna started by telling us that Charla didn’t want to be treated in a special way and that she isn’t the tyrant others see her as. “I’m here to win” she objected. The use of the pronoun “we” would’ve been better. Their argument during the detour where Mirna wanted “one partner to observe and give the other partner good observations” wasn’t pretty. They even had an argument during a confessional which ended with Charla telling Mirna “Not everyone is perfect.” Mirna was shown to be incompetent again while driving the mini-moke.

The cousins had some nice moments, their finest being was when Charla walked around the Macau Tower. They were also quite funny when they both got on the pole to flatten the noodles. Mirna was sitting on the pole and Charla doing push-ups on the table, hands on the pole. As Kandice said: “It was a crazy movie.”

The cousins aren’t racers but they never quit. They will not be able to win if it is a head-to-head competition but they might just sneak in between the other two teams in the final leg, find the better flight and win the race. Their confessionals of running a clean race could be interpreted as being condescending but it does smooth their rough edge.

Eric and Danielle were presented as the victims of mean spirited game play and have become underdogs. Eric started off the leg clearly aware of their situation: “We are fighting from the bottom to try to get to the top. There are no mistake we can make right now without risking being eliminated.” His comment of: “We’re not worried about being yielded again. Hopefully someone got there first and yielded the Blondes” was a nice set-up for later. With the 30 minute penalty, they weren’t the main competition.

Seeing that they were yielded by Daany and Ozzy, Eric yelled: “You guys are pieces of (censored).” Danielle found it ridiculous and Eric had an obscene gesture for Danny. He said he had no respect for Danny and Oswald anymore.

They joked as the sand ran out of the hourglass: “Wait for it…Wait for it…” While Eric was walking on the tower, Danielle was calm when she commented: “I woke up this morning thinking this is the start of maybe our last leg of the race. That’s really scary.”
Eric was also calm in the taxi to the garden: “We gotta keep on racing and hopefully we can catch up. I feel like when the pressure’s on, I’m just trying to get things done to catch up time that we’ve lost. I’m also pissed about the yield. Danny and Oswald are cowards.” Their quick work at the noodle factory and Eric’s good driving of the mini-moke brought them to the mat in second place. The wait was stressful and Danielle was praying. Eric said: “These teams don’t deserve it.” When Dustin and Kandice went back down to compliment them on their great leg, Danielle “informed” them that they had been yielded! Dustin explained that the guys had approached them: “Those guys suck, I’ll throw them off this roof” was Eric’s reaction. When Kandice said they were also responsible, Eric was ready to throw them off the roof also. Just as Eric saw a car approaching Phil told them they could come in to be checked in. The relief was evident. “I’m not used to be the underdog” Eric commented. “No team has gone through what we went through” said Danielle.

The team has a very uneven portrayal. Receiving the underdog edit is a good sign and many dysfunctional couples have won the race. It would have been easy to make them more fan friendly so I have doubts about them winning.

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04-26-07, 12:55 PM (EST)
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62. "RE: Episode 11"
First of all, thanks CT Girl for quoting my Lvoe list. It's nice to know that I am so gulliable and easily manipulated by the editors!

Michel, as much as I love your thread and read it religiously each week, I find myself at odds with some of your interpretations. For disclosure, I am a fan of the Beauty Queens, but I just don't see what you see when you disect the episodes. I agree with some of your points, such as the queens could have agreed to pay for a non-yield, but I just don't see them as "The Mean Blondes". You cite the exchange about Mirna's hair as an example where they seemed phoney. To me, it was Kandice being genuine, and Mirna being cowed into accepting a compliment from someone she irrationally dislikes.

As for Charla and (especially) Mirna, the assertion that they are somehow on the right moral side seems ludicrous to me. Mirna has been shown as a wildly irrational and manic person who should always be regarded with a wary eye. Ignoring her constant harping on her partner (in contrast to the Beauties' smooth sailing), her melodramatic and biased interpretation of the yield events (especially because we viewers KNOW the offer from Oswald) show that not only is she literally in the wrong, but morally as well. And after all, are the editors trying to tell us that the "tool" in their own game is wrong to use?

Not that Lvoe lists are scientific evidence, while the Beauties do have a few staunch anti-fans, they are in tight competition with the Cha-Chas for first, or a very solid second. Clearly, Schmirna are the team we love to hate, with just one or two rankings above third place. Eric and Danielle are just hated. If the editors are attempting to make us like Schmirna or Mix n Match, why do they rank so low?

As I said before, I just don't see the "manipulation" of the BQs. They are tough, but more conservative this season and even humble. Note that in the Supplemental Mat Chat available on-line, Phil ONCE AGAIN asks them if they'll be the first Female team to win the race. They hesitantly agree, being goaded by Phil to say as much, and then he basically forces them to say that they will win the race. Why does Phil do this, and then why wasn't it shown? Just as other teams get criticized when they sound like a broken record (Guidos in Paris, Ron and Baghdad, etc), this was another chance to rile anti-fans with the Beauties supposed arrogance. But for once, it didn't make the cut. A few weeks ago, I suggested watching the on-air mat chats. Phil has been friendlier to the BQs, but do the editors pay attention to reactions over things like this? If the remark was cut, could that be a positive sign for the BQs?

I am trying to "see what the camera sees" and take my personal feelings out of it, but I see the BQs as winners because of a multi-dimensional team edit. Schmirna is too nuts, and while Eric and Danielle can't be discounted, as you say, why such a negative edit?

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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04-26-07, 02:22 PM (EST)
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63. "RE: Episode 11"
Thanks for challenging me Peetah and let it be known that I wish you are right. The Blondes have been the best racers of the second half and, like I wrote, they race the way it should be done: They have fun, support each other, respect the locals and treat the competition as competition.

First, it's not that I saw them as being phoney for complimenting Mirna's hair. The way it was presented, the scene fell flat: Kandice's words were important enough to be shown on screen, nothing else in that scene was. After Mirna thanked her, we saw Oswald not even looking at Mirna to agree. Wouldn't it have been natural for him to say "She's right"? Was that cut out? The way it was shown opened the door to see the compliment as insincere and thus the blondes as phoney.

The manipulation came from all the unnecessary scenes:

-Did we need to see Charla telling D/O they'd given them money? The girls could have done the same, only asking not to be yielded. Including Charla's remark increased the chance of some viewers seeing that the girls were indeed nasty to demand something in return.

-Why even include Mirna's opinion on the yield since it didn't concern them? When Chip and Kim yielded Colin and Christie, did we hear anyone comment that it was a bad move? Everyone agreed that it would throw C/C off their game and that is exactly what happened. Here, we heard that it would motivate E/D. Could it be again what happens?

-Why include Oswald's own repudiation of the tactic, not once but 3 times? It seemed the intent was to show that the fan favorites knew they had to offer more than just a promise not to yield, that Oswald had to offer someone's head to satisfy the girls.

-Why show Dustin and Kandice laughing in the cab when Mirna said "The blondes obviously convinced the guys..." Why not show the guys laughing it off instead?

If, after the yield, we had only seen E/D reacting and heard little else about it, then I would be certain the girls would win. That their action became the focus of the episode leads me to conclude that they don't win.

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04-27-07, 02:12 PM (EST)
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65. "RE: Episode 11"
I see your point on the "unneccessary" scenes. I will offer a few different interpretations, just for fun:

-Did we need to see Charla telling D/O they'd given them money? The girls could have done the same, only asking not to be yielded. Including Charla's remark increased the chance of some viewers seeing that the girls were indeed nasty to demand something in return.

While I think Charla is typically considered more sympathetic than Mirna, in either case, it's easy to say they would offer money after the fact. Why in fact, didn't Charla offer some additional money at that time since the Chas still had only about $50? That would have convinced me of her generosity. Also, the Chas and Schmirna have had a loose alliance (much to my chagrin!)

Just as Schmirna could afford to be on the high horse at the first yield (didn't need to yield because they were ahead), they could be at the second, too (the yield had been used, they couldn't yield!) With all of Mirna's vitriolic talk, I can easily see them yileding the BQs. But now we'll never know!

Finally, while we agree the BQs could have just paid to not have been yielded. I wonder how seriously the BQs considered yielding Schmirna, and if the Chas would have done so or their reaction.

-Why even include Mirna's opinion on the yield since it didn't concern them? When Chip and Kim yielded Colin and Christie, did we hear anyone comment that it was a bad move? Everyone agreed that it would throw C/C off their game and that is exactly what happened. Here, we heard that it would motivate E/D. Could it be again what happens?

I think the editors included Mirna's opinion because that has been a soapbox on which she's been preaching. I believe they are interested in showing her as entertainment--someone who sticks her nose in other people's business, gets into other peoples' space, and interferes where she should not. It has become part of her storyline, but I hope in discrediting her. It could be similar to the way Karlyn in Season 10 was constantly referring to angels, but was anything but!

As for "throwing them off their game", although we consider E/D to be potential strong competitors, they have not shone the entire race, especially lately. As Kandice acknowledged, it was "kicking them when they were down", so it seemed harsher than it should have. Obviously,Colin/Christie were definately front runners which is why the other teams reacted more favorably to the yield.

-Why include Oswald's own repudiation of the tactic, not once but 3 times? It seemed the intent was to show that the fan favorites knew they had to offer more than just a promise not to yield, that Oswald had to offer someone's head to satisfy the girls.

Okay, maybe. Still, it seemed Oswald "doth protest too much" to me. He felt guilty, but you knew from the editor's not too subtle foreshadowing that from an early confessional that the Chas would not yield, that they would turn around to yield after all. Could they be critiquing the high moral ground they and Schmirna have been taking over use of the yield? We saw how juvenile Eric reacts to the yield. He is in arms about it; it certainly is unpleasant, but he seemed possessed.

The BQs are the only ones who seemed to keep a level,and therefore admirable head over the yield. The BQs were shown slightly remorseful and offered an apology to E/D for their role in the yield, but I suggest this makes them even more ideal. They play the game, but don't make it personal. I will concede their lack of full disclosure that they suggested E/D for the yield is disheartening. But on the other hand, with Eric's ranting, an offer of any acknowledgement of guilt was brave at that moment.

-Why show Dustin and Kandice laughing in the cab when Mirna said "The blondes obviously convinced the guys..." Why not show the guys laughing it off instead?

You have cited moments like this before in the previous seasons. I don't discount the message of someone laughing, frowning, etc, but I could say that the girls are laughing because as usual, Mirna is wrong. Hopefully, the BQs will be vindicated and Mirna shown for the unreliable source she is.

I can't wait to see the continued yield melodrama unfold!

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04-26-07, 06:10 PM (EST)
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64. "RE: Episode 11"
I think you had too much kava juice left over from your Survivor summary, michel, or are you just playing Devil’s Advocate?! Charla and Mirna??!! Repeat after me “no.more.scary.thoughts.” I agree that the Blondes had some negative editing, but I don’t see Charla and Mirna winning! And regarding Oswald and Danny, “Can selling their yield powers be considered like selling their soul?” wish I’d thought of that for my heaven and hell theme!

“Much Ado About A Yield” (a great headline and one of my favorite plays). We saw the yield in different ways but both agree that this yield is important to the outcome of the race. I did notice many of the things that you said turned the Blondes edit negative. I choose to look at how they were regarded overall for the episode. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Blondes reached their peak this week and we see a more negative slant next week. However, TAR editors always show warts on their winners which is why I didn’t dwell on the negatives (but rather filed it away in my head for next week).

The Yield scene was heavily edited and choppy (and I have no video editing experience but what I’ve learned on these boards). I thought it showed both Oswald and Danny and Dustin and Kandice in a negative light. Remember that Oswald and Danny needed to be shown poorly because they are close to elimination. I found Oswald’s “woe is me” behavior more negative than the Blondes buying a yield. It is interesting that both you and Peetah mentioned Kandice’s comment about Mirna’s hair. I also noted it and wrote, what are the editors trying to do? It was one single sentence taken out of context because all of the other people were looking in different directions. From that scene we got one sympathy vote, one phony vote and one vote of confusion! I think these two teams comprise of really nice people and the editing had to struggle to manipulate them all in a negative manner. They weren’t entirely successful.

Here is why I think your scene #2 is what is going to happen: A lot of the Blondes storyline in season 10 was tangled up with Tyler and James. This season most of their story has been over the use of the Yield. Eric and Danielle were yielded twice. Tyler and James got the best of them last season; I think Eric and Danielle are going to get the best of them this season. I was surprised that Tyler and James “turned” on them in a matter of speaking. I thought they had developed a friendship over the race, but the models thought the Blondes were their biggest competition and worked to eliminate them. Dustin and Kandice think that Eric and Danielle are their biggest competition, but they haven’t been able to get Eric and Danielle eliminated. And now Eric and Danielle have received an underdog edit! They took a step forward in being rehabilitated last week and I expect it to continue. I’m not sure the editors want us to love the winners (that might give the ending away too much), but they want us to think that the winners are good racers, and we do acknowledge that with Eric and Danielle. After looking at the editing for the past three seasons, I think that the producers are more interested in a good race and interesting stories, than producing winners we like. It’s not like Survivor where we tend to like the ultimate survivor. Alternately, the Blondes win and they are getting their BJ and Tyler negative spike, but I’m leaning towards Eric and Danielle winning. Last season, Rob and Kim behaved despicably during the early part of the race and we ended up thinking they would win. I still think it’s going to be a showdown between the two strongest teams at the end.

Charla and Mirna say they want to play clean, and they have been generous with the other racers at times, but we’ve also seen them to be manipulative and petty and cartoonish. The editing has not convinced me that they are capable of becoming the winners, and they are as disliked as Eric and Danielle if not more. It stands to reason that if Eric and Danielle won’t win because of their behavior, then Charla and Mirna won’t win either!

Peetah – glad you liked the shout-out. If you’re gullible, than so am I since I was looking for someone to confirm my feelings about Eric and Danielle!

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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04-27-07, 08:56 PM (EST)
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66. "RE: Episode 11"
Peetah: That is the beauty of looking at the editing of these shows; we can never be sure that the interpretation we give to what is shown is right. That's why it's fun to have different views. We will have to wait and see.

CTGirl: We should share some Kava! Before we do, I would like to address the following:

"The editing has not convinced me that (Charla and Mirna) are capable of becoming the winners, and they are as disliked as Eric and Danielle if not more"

Regarding their likeability, you are only half right: Charla is much more loved than both Eric and Danielle. Could it be that they are telling the story that she can win despite her cousin's shortcomings? It was easy to see early in the season that they would go far with the huge story they had been given, especially the "never quit" story Uchenna gave them. No one saw them as winners because...well, they are Charla and Mirna. In addition, I had noticed that both were given negative scenes. But Uchenna was talking to Charla when he spoke. Charla hasn't been seen negatively in a long time, she's even fighting back against her cousin. No one is more an underdog than her.

If the editors haven't convinced you they could be winners, it isn't because they haven't tried. Charla and Mirna were given the credit for eliminating Romber and Oswald had 2 confessionals where he says they are good racers: "They could beat the bejeesus out of us" comes to mind. Bill said they were geniuses. Kandice said they were smart. Scary, isn't it?

I also favor the # 2 scenario...slightly. Like I said, scenario #3 would explain the season's story a little better. I'm not betting on the cousins and I wonder if I would want to watch next season if they are the winners but I wouldn't dismiss them either. We may all need Kava after that!

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04-28-07, 05:11 AM (EST)
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67. "RE: Episode 11"
After so many seens of Mirna saying she's probably had to do MORE than any other racer EVER to make up for Charla's short comings, wouldn't it be ironic if Charla is the one who wins it for their team. Maybe she figures out a puzzle first, Finds something Mirna overlooks etc... Is the theme this season "don't judge a book by it's cover"? What with John Vito and Jill being the first team out... Rob and Ambers early departure... Charla and Mirna's hanging on in the game...

I would rather any other team won. But I'm starting to think this season is about proving to "non traditional teams" that they too can play this game. Similar to Cirie the couch potato from Survivor showing all who sit at home and think "I wish I could do that", that yeah, YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

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05-01-07, 07:18 PM (EST)
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68. "The Final 3: Thoughts "

The last episode didn’t give us a lot of new information. I think I could be close to the lead in Jims’ casino so maybe that's a good thing!! It was time to present the Final 3 and do some:

Window Dressing

Dustin and Kandice left the Pit Stop with Kandice saying: “We are so pumped for this leg because we realize it is kinda do or die for us.”
Dustin added: “You win or you go home. We have gone home before and we know what it feels like and we didn’t like it.” They got good news early when they were the only team on the first Turbo jet but eventually, all the teams were on the same plane to Guam.

The girls made their escort at the Andersen Air Force base part of the “team”: “We have to win today, Kyle” said Kandice and Dustin asked him if it was inspiring to work there. That exchage was a little different from Mirna’s “Please drive well” and Eric’s: “Lets go” to their driver.

Kandice and Dustin chose the “Engine Care” Detour where they had to get part of a B-52 bomber cleaned to the satisfaction of the “Senior Air Force Maintenance Officer” to receive their next clue. It was “like washing a big pot” Dustin said but they failed the first inspection. That led Kandice to realize : “There’s no charming the sergeant. The sergeant was all about business. We weren’t getting anywhere with the smiles, we had to scrub!” The Blondies still finished the detour first.

They arrived at the Naval base where they chose the only female officer to escort them: “This is great…You are so cute…The hat is great too…You can be in the Navy and have cute nails” were some of their comments. The girls were having fun when they reached the Roadblock: “We might have to go into battle today” remarked Dustin who did the “Search and Rescue” task. Dustin had not much trouble using the GPS: “It’s like searching for your Easter basket!” She found the pilot, the Landing Zone and contacted “Night Rider” to get the Helicopter extraction well ahead of the other teams. Being airlifted to the helicopter, she commented: “My brothers are going to be so jealous of me…This is so cool” and we had to agree. She gave two “Thumbs up” as she got the clue that directed them to the Pit Stop.

At the Pit Stop, Phil once more pushed the fact they could be the first all-female team to win the race.
Preparing the next leg, Kandice let out: “We’re going to win! We want to be the first all Girl-Girl team to win this race.”
Dustin assured that: “We’re the team to beat. It’s do or die.”

Except for last week, Dustin and Kandice had a very consistent edit. The manner their interactions with the Military personnel were shown, with some quotes on screen, is another clear indication that they race the way the editors want the race to be raced. They could be the first all-women team to win the race. They have however, proven over the last few legs that a women team could win the race. As it was last season, that could be the extent of their story. They also seem overconfident. They wanted Eric and Danielle out of the race but the couple is still in. That story isn’t over so that isn’t a good sign.

Eric and Danielle received some redemption from Phil in the recap where he “excused” their attitude by saying: “Can Eric and Danielle, furious after having been yielded a second time, catch up…”
Eric started off: “It’s really down to everything for Danielle and I. It’s been a long road. We didn’t make it this far and go through this crap to lose.”

Arriving at the Hong Kong airport, Danielle said: “The fun begins” as she noted their worse luck comes in airport. This time, as Kandice noted, all they had to do was ask for the same deal as the Blondes. On what looked like an empty plane to Guam, Eric and Danielle’s cold stare was noticed by Oswald and Danny when they got on the plane at the last minute. Eric told us he wanted Danny and Oswald eliminated.

The couple also chose the “Engine Care” detour even though Danielle thought she’d be horrible in the military. After a few “hurry-ups” and “shut-ups” they got the “everything’s OK” call and left in second place. Danielle was nervous on the road to the Naval base: “You don’t want to mess up.”

Arriving at the Naval base, they were glad to see that Kandice was there and that no one else had arrived. “Danielle is doing the roadblock today because I already have done all my roadblocks. She doesn’t know how to use a compass” explained Eric who thought the detour was more suited for him. He was soon proven right as Danielle looked puzzled. She then wandered aimlessly despite her GPS guidance system: “I think I missed something…I have no idea what I’m doing right now. I have spiders all over me. I’m such an idiot. Eric is going to kill me, I’m so last. We’re not gonna be in the top three because of me.” She did finish the task in second place and looked relieved but we didn’t have any “patriotic” moments or comments from her.

Phil acknowledged Eric’s second time in the final 3 while congratulating Danielle on going further than ever before:
-“You have to be proud of her because she’s beat out a lot of very strong teams” said Phil.
-“She did awesome, she did a really good job, despite all the little bickering we do, she did awesome” agreed Eric.
In the last segment, Danielle was in a fighting mode: “It’s on! We’ve been ready for this the entire race. We’ve been down so many times that if any team deserves to win, it’s us.”
Eric added: “I just want to win. I don’t want second place. I’m not doing it again.”

Eric has finally accepted Danielle as a good racer. She has proven to be able to bring the team as far as Jeremy had. Can they go the extra step? Their underdog portrayal, with the yields and the plane delays, is their story. Overcoming it would require a win but their image has been very negative all season long. It wouldn’t be a popular win but is that necessary? They got their revenge on Oswald and Danny, shouldn’t they get it also on the Blondes?

Charla and Mirna left the pit stop with Charla speaking to us for once. After showing the pair in confessional, the camera moved in for a close-up, hidding the least presentable member of this duo: “At first, I was a little hesitant on coming back to the race because it is challenging on my body. Having the best racers in the amazing race compete against you is even more scary. You have to be tough: There’s no other way of playing the game.” The wait for the Turbo Jet with Eric and Danielle was a chance to take a jab at the Beauty Queens: “Charla thinks they can’t use the internet” said Mirna even if Charla corrected her with a “I meant I haven’t seen them use it.”

In Hong Kong, they showed their resourcefulness once more by making plane arrangements over the cell phone on the way to the airport. Even if it showed Mirna’s weird take on accents and that the reservation didn’t give them an advantage, this and the internet reference are something to keep in mind entering the last leg.

At the Air Force base, they told Frederick that he had done a good job driving them. Charla and Mirna chose the “Care Package” Detour were they would participate in an official humanitarian air drop training exercise. They were proud to do the humanitarian detour as Charla said: “I like to help people who are in need.” The officer had to tell them not to treat the supplies like garbage. They had a blast during the flight which included a zero-g nose dive and great views. It ended with Mirna telling the military: “We in a rush…can we make it go fast.” Did she think she was in charge? They were disappointed to see they were leaving the base in last place: “Damn, we’ve fallen to 4th. It’s so awful.”

The cousins got a local to show them the way to the Naval base with Charla saying: “We want to come in first place. When you work so hard…you want to be rewarded.”

Their “angel” brought them in 3rd to the naval base to Kandice and Eric’s surprise. “I’ll do this one to leave you the last one” smartly said Charla even if Kandice found it funny. Knowing her cousin, Mirna advised: “Follow the instructions. You should not press any buttons.” What followed was the comedy hour: The officer had to tell Charla “Ma’am, I told you not to touch the buttons/screen” at least half a dozen times! Charla was certain she would die in the field but finally the “teletubby” found the pilot and reached the Landing Zone ahead of Oswald. Danny knew they were beaten, congratulating the cousins as they left for the Pit Stop.

Arriving third, they were endorsed by Oswald who said he would love to see them win and Danny agreed: “Those ladies are a class act.”
Mirna was confident: “We better win this time because we didn’t come here for nothing.”
Charla added: “Wake up and smell the coffee. Watch out for what we’re about to do. We’ll knock those crowns off their heads.”
Mirna had the last words: “You felt this was crazy before, you haven’t seen nothing yet.”

Having Charla come to the forefront in the latter episodes is a good sign for this team. Charla’s struggles are the reason they were invited to the All-Star edition. Their focus on the Beauty Queens could be a sign they don’t take Eric and Danielle seriously. Their story of never quiting has been completed. Being the first All-women team to win has never been their story. Can they steal it from the Beauty Queens? It would be ironic and with Oswald and Danny’s endorsement, they cannot be dismissed.

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05-01-07, 09:57 PM (EST)
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69. "RE: The Final 3: Thoughts "
On the surface it seems like viewers will expect Dustin and Kandice to win with perhaps Charla and Mirna making a run for it; however I think the recap from the previous week hints as to what might really happen:

Dustin and Kandice to Oswald and Danny: “We have forty-five big smackers for you to use your yield on Danielle and Eric.” It makes the yield seem like the Blondes idea.

Eric and Danielle: “We’ve been yielded again. You guys are pieces of sh*t.” (They are the underdogs and they’ve had bad luck again.)

Mirna, “Some people don’t realize that sometimes the yield can backfire.” (Foreshadowing for Dustin and Kandice).

The Noodle detour emphasizes how fast Eric and Danielle are doing. While Charla and Mirna argue and work inefficiently, Phil points out that Eric and Danielle make up for lost time and finish quickly. Then Charla moans, “Eric and Danielle finished the detour and we’ll still here.”

We are reminded that Dustin and Kandice used the yield on Eric and Danielle and it might come back to haunt them and that Eric and Danielle have had bad luck but they are fast racers when they are in the middle of the pack. Charla and Mirna are merely observers. Okay, I’m done. I don’t have to write any more!

Dustin and Kandice finished in first again last week and lead off with the first confessional by Dustin: “We are so pumped for this leg because we realize it’s kind of do or die for us. Win or go home. We’ve gone home before and we know what it feels like. We didn’t like it.” Combine this with their quote last week of fighting like wild animals to get into the final three, I think this could be their story; they did better than last time. They won’t finish first, but they will finish better than any other all-female team has. They ran an almost perfect leg, (and on Sunday night, Michel, I focused on the things that you mentioned regarding Dustin and Kandice) but on second viewing, there were some attempts to portray Dustin and Kandice as shallow and perhaps phony this episode. Kandice shouts out, “You look buff in your white shirt today Eric,” and the Blondes oh and ah over their Navy escort’s cute hat, cute uniform and cute nails. We also saw a hint of cockiness by them at the airport after they booked their flight, Eric steps up and says, “Can we do the same thing.” Dustin says in an aside, “The beauty of being first, we do all the work and they say ‘we’ll have what they have.’” At the Engine Care detour, Dustin and Kandice worked hard and fast to finish, but then we hear how they wanted to charm the sergeant. Kandice said, “There was no charming the sergeant. The sergeant was all about business. We weren’t getting anywhere with a smile. We had to scrub.” We have guessed that they have had some luck over the past two seasons with their smiles, but it’s never been alluded to before! But they raced so well and efficiently and enjoyed it so much that it is debatable how much damage the negative swing to their edit did to them. They both comment on how beautiful Guam is and on two different occasions Dustin remarks how patriotic she feels on Guam, including “I’m proud to be an American.” That is a pretty positive statement. Dustin was perfect in the Search and Rescue roadblock and we felt like we were there with her experiencing it too. In the coming attractions, we see that Dustin and Kandice have a little tiff. If Eric and Danielle didn’t have such an underdog edit, I would say that this is misdirection. However, in their mat chat with Phil, he says “Congratulations guys, you are one of the three teams that will be racing to the finish line for one million dollars.” Kandice replies, “We’ve been waiting to hear that!” Phil mentions that they have the chance to become the first all-female team, but he glosses over that to start talking about the next toy they’ve won, an ATV. Their fairy tale streak of first place wins could be at an end.

This week Charla and Mirna’s edit was “kinder and gentler,” and served to show us that they deserve to be in the final three. Charla said, “At first I was hesitant to come back to the race because it is challenging on my body and having the best racers of the Amazing Race competing against you, it’s scary. You have to be tough. There is no other way of playing this game.” This is the first time Charla has acknowledged her size and handicap and the difficulties she faced. At the ferry terminal, Mirna makes fun of the Blondes saying that they can’t use the internet. Charla corrects her, “No, I said I haven’t seen them use the internet.” Mirna is trying to discredit the Blondes as she has on several occasions in the past few weeks. To me is seems as if karma is going to come back and bite Mirna for not giving enough credit to them for being intelligent women. Later while exiting the Guam airport, Mirna says, “We beat the Beauty Queens, that’s nice.” I don’t think they’ll beat them in the end. Mirna wasn’t that annoying this episode, but she was a big goof starting with her comment, “How do you say airport?” to her taxi driver. When he responds airport (with a straight face!), she said, “We have to do the right accent. It makes all the difference in the world.” If she truly believes this, and this is their strategy, then they are really lucky to be in the final three! But then she borrows a cell phone and makes her airplane reservation which has been her best and most successful strategy of the game. Charla, who we haven’t heard from much this season, gets her second confessional, “We decided to do the humanitarian care package because I like to help people in need.” This reminds me of Lyn and Karlyn’s edit when during the last two legs we started to hear more from Lyn, the rational member of the team. But then we switch back to Mirna whining, “Charla can you run, please, it’s for a million dollars.” As Oswald predicted (in general) earlier at the airport, “they’re running around like a chicken without a head” Mirna is running around the tarmac like a crazy lady. The Air Force man chides her, “Please put it in with some degree of love.” She replies, “I love it,” with a quick kissing noise. He insists, “Don’t just throw it in like garbage.” Mirna has no sense of planning; she goes off half-cocked. The editors would like us to consider Charla and Mirna as candidates for the win, but this scene just showed how they can’t compete against the stronger, more focused teams of Danielle and Eric and Dustin and Kandice. Mirna has book smarts, but no strategy. Their experience on the C-17 was really cool; they enjoyed it but then they had to wreck it by telling the USAF to go faster! (Some nerve!). After the detour, they were back to being drama queens when they got lost, “It’s a matter of life and death.” Charla was almost crying, “We want to come in first place…when you try this hard…you want to be rewarded.” When Phil tells them they are the third team to make the finals, we don’t hear the same ear-splitting shrieks that we did last time. Their spot in the final three is further validated when Danny and Oswald say that “we would love for Charla and Mirna to win because those ladies are a class act.” They live in Mirna and Charla world and I don’t see them overcoming that to win. If they were to win, we’d see them as stronger racers and some of their flaws would’ve been hidden (Like hearing “Ma’am please don’t touch the buttons” over and over again!)

Eric and Danielle are still considered the underdogs. As they leave the pit stop in Macau, Eric flat out says, “It’s down to everything. It’s been a long road; we didn’t come all this way, through all this crap, to lose.” Early on Eric makes three juvenile comments about Danny and Oswald (they suck, I hope they get lost and the ferry sinks etc.) furthering their underdog story (but giving them a negative characterization). They must knock out the Cha Chas to make the final three, but even if Eric was talking smack about Danny and Oswald, he was still on the alert for Dustin and Kandice, and he searched the ferry to see if they were on it. (Eric knows there is still one more team that he has to beat to win the million dollars.) At the airport Danielle bemoans their luck, “Hopefully we’ll get a good flight because we all know our worse luck comes with flights.” Eric adds, “There is so much at stake, there are three teams going into the final leg. That’s it, one team is done.” Perhaps there was a bit of foreshadowing at the air traffic controller tower in Guam when Eric says to Danielle, “Hurry up. They’re going to beat us.” Up to the top of the tower maybe, but not at the end? During the Engine Care detour, Eric is encouraging to Danielle, “Keep it up, I know you’re tired.” They bicker, but I believe that he spoke to her this way the entire race. I don’t understand why they were portrayed so negatively. They came up against a lot of bad luck (being kicked off the plane, having TAR confirmed tickets we overbooked, two yields) that an underdog edit should have been enough. At this point, they’ve stopped worrying about Danny and Oswald, but they’re still the underdogs. At the roadblock Eric moans, “The roadblock is more suited to me. Danielle is doing the roadblock because I’ve already done all mine. She doesn’t know how to read a compass.” (Ah Eric, A GPS unit is a lot easier to read than a compass!) But he’s right as Danielle cries, “I’m such an idiot…I don’t want to do this…Why is this so difficult for me?...Eric is going to kill me…we’re not going to be in the top three because of me.” But not all is lost, she finishes second and Eric greets her with a hug and a “Good job, Dan, nice job.” At the pit stop Eric responds to Phil, “You’ve got to be proud of Danielle, she’s beat out a lot of really strong teams in this race.” “She’s awesome, she’s doing good. “In spite of all the bickering and stuff which is no big deal, she’s doing awesome. I’m really proud of her.” (If he discounts the bickering, should we also?!) If Eric and Danielle do win, perhaps we will understand why they were portrayed the way they were after the season is over. Dustin and Kandice have reached the peak of their story arc; Eric and Danielle still have momentum.

On a personal note, I have enjoyed watching Dustin and Kandice and Danny and Oswald race, along with Rob and Amber earlier, so no matter who wins, I will have enjoyed this season and probably rate it in the middle of the seasons I’ve seen. However judging from the lvoe lists, if Eric and Danielle win, there may be a lot of disgruntled viewers next week!

Good luck in the casino. Me? I was conflicted (aka wimpy) last Sunday! I thought Dustin and Kandice had already peaked.

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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05-01-07, 11:39 PM (EST)
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70. "RE: The Final 3: Thoughts "
It was nice to read your post CTGirl. I agree with you that the recap was very telling and again it was all about the yield. The only caveat is that when we heard Mirna talk about karma, we saw Oswald and Danny laughing this time instead of the girls.

Judging by the previews, it seems the Blondes always get into problems when they have to row. Remember the sampans? That was the only time they yelled at each other last season and it looks like they repeat that scene at the most inopportune time.

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05-02-07, 03:01 PM (EST)
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71. "RE: The Final 3: Thoughts "
You guys are amazing! CT Girl, I have to agree with your characterizations, especially over the recap. I thought the Beauties were not shown in a good (or accurate) light over the yield, as well as the positive spin for Eric/Danielle. I am hoping the patriotic comments would help them, but this is the second week that they have made comments about other peoples' appearances (Mirna's hair, Eric's chest, the Navy woman's nails etc), and you may be able to draw a line to comments others have made about them (The Malaysian man, and of course, Mirna's negative comments). Why the obsession?

I also agree about the "Charm" tactics with the Military guy being a negative reflection. I believe I do recall that they mentioned it's better to be friendly in Season 10. Remember how Alabama criticized them for their "boobs hanging out". But that has not been brought up this season at all. Well, I am hoping for the best, but since this race is about who wins the final leg, and not best overall, I am keeping my hopes at a moderate level.

Thank you both for all your insights this season; this continues to be my favorite thread!

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05-02-07, 03:54 PM (EST)
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72. "RE: The Final 3: Thoughts "
Thanks Peetah. We've had some fun with this thread! Thanks for your contributions too.

I will be cheering for Dustin and Kandice on Sunday night, but I won't get my hopes up too high!

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05-03-07, 07:43 AM (EST)
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73. "RE: The Final 3: Thoughts "
I'm still campaigning for Rob & Amber, but as it seems they can't win, I'll go with Eric & Danielle for the victory, Charla & Mirna second and Dustin & Kandice third (but I'll be rooting for them).

Thanks Uncle Tribe, I lvoe it!

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05-09-07, 08:54 AM (EST)
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74. "Post-race thoughts"
Thanks michel for hosting this thread. I always enjoy reading your posts for their analysis and insight.

What did I learn this season? It’s about the stories and not necessarily the winners. Eric and Danielle won, but Dustin and Kandice got the best edit. They were spotlighted at the finish line with their closing comments as if they were the winners. Charla and Mirna were highlighted nicely at the end too. And then we had Eric mumbling about what a great girl Danielle is and an idiotic phone conversation with Jeremy. (I know it’s part of the story, but why did we have to see him again?!) Eric and Danielle received the obligatory dysfunctional couple edit; it just so happened that pulled together in time to win. This was Dustin and Kandice’s season and the winner doesn’t necessarily get the most attention (see Tyler and James). Mirna also had a funny quote that summed up their edit when she was talking to her taxi driver, “This is a crazy adventure and you’re part of it.”

I’m not sure that I agree with portraying Eric and Danielle so negatively. In an unspoiled season, Rob and Amber’s early victories, Danny and Oswald’s mid-season victories and the Blondes late season success would have thrown everyone off their scent anyways. They were underdogs all season, but perhaps Eric and Danielle never said anything noteworthy the editors could work with! However Eric and Danielle never said anything so dreadful that I thought “they’ll never be the winners” like I did with Rob and Kim and Lyn and Karlyn and Mirna and Charla. Eric and Danielle fought in the beginning and gave the editors fodder; it added to their underdog story. They did prove they could work together and worked out some kinks in their racing style. It seems the editors expect you to have short memories with poorly behaving teams, but their awful behavior must be part of their story. Eric and Danielle never spoke poorly of the locals or treated them badly.

I would prefer not to know a boot list and I tried to not make the editing fit the spoiler, however I did use that knowledge to see how the editing was used to construct the stories. There is a definite progression; Eric and Danielle had the most developed story throughout the season. Dustin and Kandice didn’t emerge until they started to win some legs and used the yield. Last season Tyler and James bubbled along just beneath the surface of the story, but we were always aware of them.

Miscellaneous thoughts: if a team has one vile member that gets all the attention (and then the more rational partner starts getting confessionals); they won’t win (Mirna, Karlyn). The producers use irony at times, but not always. For instance, Mirna and Charla were always good at making airplane reservations, but it served to get them to the end. It never became their downfall. With the money issues, you knew it was going to affect someone.

The show is showing signs of age; but I hope it’s back for another season. It’s still one of my favorites, and I love seeing sites from around the world.

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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05-10-07, 06:14 PM (EST)
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75. "RE: Post-race thoughts"
CTGirl, Thank You for that nice analysis and for your great contribution all season long. I want to thank Peetah, Mavs and Beau also and everyone else who dropped in. It was fun to do even if spoilers eventually filtered in. We'll have to hope for a source-spoiler-free season next time.

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