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"TAR 12: The Racers and the Editing"
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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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10-30-07, 06:31 PM (EST)
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"TAR 12: The Racers and the Editing"
A new season is soon beginning and it may be fun to look at the stories of these new racers to see if we can determine their chances. Who will make it to the end? We’ve had some success in the past in identifying the final 4 participants and that will be our goal again this time. We operate source spoiler-free so this thread will be mainly limited to what is shown during the regular episodes. Since editing can give different impressions to different people, all points of views are welcomed. Some interviews and website clips are also welcomed if they give us a different light on events.

The first things to note is that we have no duos of young men. To get to know these teams, let’s look at how they are presented. It could help us to see if their edit is consistent and see what their story could be.

Team #1: Kynt and Vyksin: The Goth Couple.
This thirty-something couple is described as entertainers. She says she is very emotional while he is more reserved. He calls himself sarcastic. Neither indicate much travel experience.
Forecast: You’ve Goth to be kidding me.

Team #2: Jennifer and Nathan: Dating.
This athletic couple has experienced several break ups during their 2 years of dating and they can drive each other crazy. He’s organized and she’s not. Neither lists any traveling experience or knowledge of foreign languages.
Forecast: The dysfunctional couple has often made it far, but these two?

Team #3: Ronald and Christina: Father/Daughter.
They are Asian. He is 58 and she’s 28. Both seem fit. They want to make up for lost time which could be a distraction. He has traveled extensively and both have worked abroad, she worked for the State department. There’s no sign of conflicts to fix.
Forecast: Parent/Child teams have rarely done well but this team may change that. They could be fan favorites.

Team #4: Shana and Jennifer: Friends
They are fit and they describe themselves as intellectuals and competitive. They have done a lot of traveling.
Forecast: They seem more out to prove something but I’ll have to wait and see.

Team #5: Azaria and Hendekea: Brother and Sister
They are both engineers and look athletic. She describes him as confrontational and emotional while he describes her as irrational.
Forecast: This team seems to have what it takes to go far.

Team #6: Lorena and Jason: Dating
Another couple in their late twenties, early thirties. They say they are well traveled and athletic. He does rock climbing and that could help. What may hurt is that they say they are trying to figure out if they really belong together. She admits she is jealous and stresses out over everything.
Forecast: Another dysfunctional couple. One of them is probably going to make it far. Is it this one?

Team #7: Nicolas and Donald: Grandson and Grandfather.
The grandson is a pilot who says he is good with maps and computers. The Grandfather says he can be bossy.
Forecast: This team doesn’t seem to have the athetism or the attitude required to win.

Team #8: Ari and Staella
This early 20s couple look fit but they don’t mention any travel experience. He says he can be rude and will trash talk while she says she’s a flirt. They describe themselves as fun loving.
Forecast: There seems to be a dichotomy in this pair. Will they be portrayed as villains or as entertainers? As villains, they could go far if it affects the others’ game. As entertainers, they could go far if it doesn’t affect their own game. Too much of both sides too early would indicate they’re only characters who leave early.

Team #9: Marianna and Julia: Sisters
Both in their mid-twenties, they say they are competitive and have traveled a lot. They want to race like BJ and Tyler did so at least we know they have an idea of what to expect. Marianna says that Julia is emotional while she is as steady as a rock. They plan on flirting if it can help.
Forecast: They look more like serious racers than the other all-female teams but not complementing each other may be a problem.

Team #10: Rachel and TK: Dating for almost a year.
This fun-loving couple is always laughing and is eager to see if their relationship can stand up to the rigors of the Race. He’s a good swimmer but she doesn’t look very strong. Neither mention travel experience.
Forecast: This could be a team that stays a few weeks without a story and leave without a sound.

Team #11: Kate and Pat: Married Ministers.
One of these married women is 49 the other 65. They say they are well traveled. Fitness will be an issue.
Forecast: They could surprise us like the bowling moms but I doubt they last very far.

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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: TAR 12: The Racers and the Edit... CTgirl 11-02-07 1
 Episode #1: The Racers and the Edit... michel 11-05-07 2
   RE: Episode #1: The Racers and the ... CTgirl 11-08-07 3
   RE: Episode #1: The Racers and the ... Earl Colby Pottinger 11-08-07 4
 Episode 2: Review beau_30 11-12-07 5
   RE: Episode 2: Review CTgirl 11-13-07 6
       RE: Episode 2: Review Peetah 11-14-07 7
           RE: Episode 2: Editing Thoughts michel 11-14-07 8
               RE: Episode 2: Editing Thoughts someclevernameusuallygoeshere 11-15-07 9
 Episode #3: Editing Thoughts michel 11-20-07 10
   RE: Episode #3: Editing Thoughts CTgirl 11-21-07 11
       RE: Episode #3: Editing Thoughts michel 11-25-07 12
           RE: Episode #3: Editing Thoughts CTgirl 11-25-07 13
 Episode #4: Editing Thoughts michel 11-27-07 14
   RE: Episode #4: Editing Thoughts CTgirl 11-28-07 15
       RE: Episode #4: Editing Thoughts beau_30 12-02-07 16
           Episode #5: Editing Thoughts dabeat 12-03-07 17
               RE: Episode #5: Editing Thoughts Earl Colby Pottinger 12-04-07 18
 More Episode #5 Editing Thoughts CTgirl 12-06-07 19
   RE: More Episode #5 Editing Thought... michel 12-06-07 20
 Episode 6 Editing Thoughts CTgirl 12-12-07 21
   RE: Episode 6 Editing Thoughts MaryKat 12-12-07 22
   RE: Episode 6 Editing Thoughts Cygnus X1 12-13-07 23
       RE: Episode 6 Editing Thoughts CTgirl 12-13-07 24
           RE: Episode 6 Editing Thoughts Cygnus X1 12-21-07 25
               RE: Episode 6 Editing Thoughts michel 12-22-07 26
                   RE: Episode 6 Editing Thoughts PepeLePew13 12-23-07 27
 Episode #7: Editing Thoughts michel 12-28-07 28
   RE: Episode #7: Editing Thoughts CTgirl 12-29-07 29
 Episode #8: Editing Thoughts michel 01-03-08 30
   RE: Episode #8: Editing Thoughts CTgirl 01-03-08 31
       RE: Episode #8: Editing Thoughts Cygnus X1 01-05-08 32
           RE: Episode #8: Editing Thoughts beau_30 01-06-08 33
 Epside #9: Editing Thoughts michel 01-09-08 34
   RE: Epside #9: Editing Thoughts CTgirl 01-10-08 35
       RE: Epside #9: Editing Thoughts Flowerpower 01-12-08 36
           RE: Epside #9: Editing Thoughts Flowerpower 01-14-08 37
               RE: Epside #9: Editing Thoughts Cygnus X1 01-14-08 38
                   RE: Epside #9: Editing Thoughts CTgirl 01-14-08 39
               It's a Miserable Game, this Race. michel 01-14-08 40
                   RE: It's a Miserable Game, this Rac... CTgirl 01-14-08 41
                   RE: It's a Miserable Game, this Rac... Flowerpower 01-14-08 42
                   RE: It's a Miserable Game, this Rac... KwietOne 01-14-08 43
 Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christina CTgirl 01-17-08 44
   RE: Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christi... dabeat 01-17-08 45
       RE: Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christi... Flowerpower 01-18-08 46
           RE: Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christi... michel 01-18-08 47
               RE: Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christi... Flowerpower 01-19-08 48
                   RE: Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christi... maroonclowns mom 01-19-08 49
               RE: Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christi... CTgirl 01-19-08 50
 RE: TAR 12: The Racers and the Edit... Flowerpower 01-21-08 51
   RE: TAR 12: The Racers and the Edit... michel 01-21-08 52
       RE: TAR 12: The Racers and the Edit... CTgirl 01-22-08 54
           RE: TAR 12: The Racers and the Edit... Loree 01-23-08 55
   RE: TAR 12: The Racers and the Edit... Cygnus X1 01-21-08 53

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CTgirl 7073 desperate attention whore postings
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11-02-07, 10:54 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: TAR 12: The Racers and the Editing"
What a bummer CBS didn’t put up videos of the teams. I like hearing them speak and how they answer questions, and what questions CBS chooses to highlight helps flesh out their personalities. Reading their bios doesn’t give you a lot!

I loved your “forecasts” on each character and pretty much agree with all of them except Rachel and TK. When I first read their bio something resonated with me. Then I read your comments and reread their bio and there isn’t much there. Maybe I liked the work ethic of a Division 1 athlete combined with a small business owner, who knows. We’ll see soon enough!

If the Goths can get over their need to do their make-up everyday, and focus on the race, maybe they’ll go far. I liked Azaria and Hendekea and Ronald and Christine; I'd love to see a family team do well together. Shana and Jennifer seemed liked Dustin and Kandice wannabees. I wasn’t impressed with Ari and Stealla, Jennifer and Nathan (why did they cast two blond Jennifers?!) or Kate and Pat. I don't think they have what it takes.

I am psyched their first stop is Ireland, and looking foward to Sunday night (no matter how late the race starts here on the East Coast)!

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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11-05-07, 08:32 PM (EST)
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2. "Episode #1: The Racers and the Editing"
In the first episode, I watched for clues to see which teams received particular attention notwithstanding their final placement.
- Which teams were shown using strategy?
- Which were talked about by others?
- Which showed potential story lines?

The first team to finish and the one that escaped elimination will always get some attention so, for them, we have to differentiate between what were this episode’s hi-lites from what was character development. Teams that arrived somewhere in the middle are easier to judge: The ones going far could’ve been featured even if their placement in this episode wasn’t important.

Besides editing, racing skills are also important to note but this leg didn’t reveal much. There were no Detours and the Roadblock had no influence on the final result. More importantly, the end was decided by picking the right donkey. Even the 6 teams that were on the first plane to arrive in Shannon aboard Aer Lingus (AE) only got there because the teams that were on British Airways (BA) were delayed in London. Since all teams were on the same ferry in Ireland, the only true race we had was to the world’s smallest church to register for the next morning’s ferry. I took note of the ferry for each team.

The Teams with a Story
These first four teams were the stars of episode #1. It’s doubtful that all make it to the end but it’s always preferable to have a good start. It wouldn’t surprise me to see two or three of these teams in it for the long run.

Azaria and Hendekea (1st at the Mat): (2nd ferry)

Azaria commented on his team: “We have an advantage over the other teams: We are more intelligent and we are physically fit.” Hendekea added: “I make good decisions. Azaria needs to listen to those decisions.”

With Hendekea as navigator, Azaria told us he was worried: “The thing that I’m most afraid of is that Hendekea may not be ready and that might cause me to blow a gasket.” He’d soon comment: “Women and directions!”

Hendekea had to admit: “We’ve had a rough start .It’s probably not a good sign.” On the contrary, they were the first team forced to take the AE flight, which arrived first in Shannon. Hendekea commented: “Azaria and I are over-achievers, we don’t like to lose.” “That sucked” added Azaria.

Waiting for their plane, the team was able to use someone’s lap top and they shared information with Ronald and Christina: “We have a little alliance, a little collaboration going on here” said Azaria. As soon as they boarded the plane, Hendekea borrowed a cell phone and made arrangements to have taxis waiting in Shannon for the two teams.

The team remained in the middle of the pack until the Donkey Walk. Luckier than others, Azaria said: “I can’t stop this donkey, you better catch up…The donkey’s kicking butt.” (Enter that Donkey in a derby)

After that, all they needed was for TK and Rachel to make one wrong turn on the way to the Connemara Heritage Center, the Pit Stop for this leg, to come in first. At the mat, Azaria said: “It has been a challenge. Hendekea has proven to me just how far she is willing to go with this race. You look at her small frame and you don’t see the tiger that’s within.”

More than just coming in first, we got a few storylines for this team. Often, when one comments on their superior intelligence, the editors like to bring them down by showing some stupid actions. Not so with this team. Instead, we were shown that they were more intelligent than others in reserving taxis and in using the internet. That validated their initial comments. Even Azaria’s fears were put to rest by his tiger of a sister. Add Ron’s comment about their graciousness and the first signs of an alliance and we have some reasons to look for more from the siblings. It will be important to see if their story develops in an episode when their showing isn’t as good but the first indications are promising for this team

Lorena and Jason (4): (1st ferry)

Lorena told us immediately: “I’ve been waiting for 3 years for Jason to want to making a bigger commitment.” Jason didn’t appear to be the commitment type.

Note that Lorena and Jason were the first team shown before all the introductions. They were also on screen when the teams entered the Playboy Mansion and Phil said: “Who will come up with the right strategy?” Later, it was also them on screen when Phil commented: “The first team to cross the finish line after 11 legs, will win….” Something to file away.

Lorena was happy to be from LA when it came time to drive to LAX: “Jason’s definitely more calm than I am.” They were first to LAX with a few “Yeah baby” and a kiss when they got the BA ticket counter. Lorena boarded, telling us they had a 45 minute lead on the 2nd plane.
Jason: “We want to stay in the top pack”

Indeed, they were first out heading for Cleggan Farm but Lorena noticed the others weren’t following. Jason thought they’d catch up but Lorena knew they were heading in the wrong directions since the others had received the information from locals. She told us: “As far as my emotions, they’re very uncontrollable. That’s my weakness. Being able to get pass that is going to be really hard for me.”

On cue, Jason said: “All right, well, I’m not gonna let you stress me out.” He commented: “Lorena is intense. She’s in for the kill.” Before getting killed, Jason stopped for directions and they realized they had made a loop around the bay that they didn’t have to do. Lorena said: “We’re not communicating well, which is our problem in real life.”

Passing Jennifer and Nathan on the donkey walk, Lorena commented: “This race can turn like that.”

For a team that didn’t have a remarkable finish, I felt I was often traveling with them. They did hold the first position a few times so that may have been the only reason for that. Still, we did get to know a lot of the dynamics of this team. Even when they were playing around in their introduction, acting like fighters, and she was surprised to receive a small slap in the face, everything showed us that this team will have a lot of infighting. We’ve seen many dysfunctional couples having good finishes so let’s keep this team on our radar. Those early visuals could be meaningless and distract me but I did see a story being introduced here.

Ronald and Christina (7): (3rd ferry)

Christina introduced their story immediately: “I’m extremely excited to get to know my dad.”

Christina drove to LAX, repeating that she wanted to get to know her father “as an equal.”

On their collaboration with Azaria and Hendekea, Christina said: “They were looking at information for our next route marker. Like them, we have a family bond, we share the same spirit of the game.”
Ari and Staella weren’t sharing the same spirit because they stole their taxi and Ronald let them know.

They were the last to register for a ferry. “This is a wake-up call that we need to do something better” said Ron. Their alliance helped them again at the Pier House Bed & Breakfast as they shared a room with Azaria and Hendekea. Christina commented: “Azaria and Hendekea basically gave up this bed for us.” Ron corroborated: “They’ve been extremely gracious.”

Ron did the high wire bike while “singing” his version of “Danny Boy”. “Not bad for an old fart” he said while getting off the bike. “You were awesome…you never disappoint me” answered Christina. Passing Ari, she said: “I was really suprised how they treated their donkey. Donkeys have souls too.”

At the mat Ron started dancing after hearing they were 7th. He shouted: “Who’s your daddy!” They high-fived Kate and Pat who were right behind them. Ron said: “It was emotional. I didn’t want to disappoint her.” Christina comforted him: “We’re in it together”.

This team seems to be edited to become a fan favorite. They are underdogs and we got to know them very well. Of course, the editors may have wanted to use such a marvelous character as Ronald as early as possible if he isn’t to make it far. Let’s reserve judgment for now. They did have a big contribution to the story of the first episode but we have to remember they wound up in last place when it was about racing skills and not Donkey-will.

Nathan and Jennifer (10): (2nd ferry)

Jennifer said: “We’ve had some trust issues…He broke my heart.” Nathan explained: “I love this women.”

Second on the way to LAX, Jennifer looked back and said: “These b-itches (Kate and Pat) behind us are following us because they know we have the right way.” Arriving at the airport, she added: “We’re getting on that first flight, no matter what it takes.” When they arrived 4th at the BA counter, Jennifer commented: “This is unreal. The Blondes totally swooped on our asses.”

Arriving in Shannon, Jennifer told us “We know there are 6 teams ahead of us.” They did rejoin the whole pack but on the road to the small church, Jennifer couldn’t run” “I cannot believe this” said an angry Nathan, “you are the worst person at this I’ve ever met.”

Jennifer replied: “I’m trying my best. You know I’m not good at long distance sprinting… Shut up Nate.” In her interview she said: “I was really disappointed in him that he didn’t keep his cool and watch his mouth. Do I want to spend the rest of my life with someone who’s gonna treat me like that.” Climbing up the last hill, Jennifer asked Nathan: “Help me please.”
“I love you so much” said Nate after registering for the 2nd ferry. At that point, despite all the drama, they were in 5th place.

Their spirits were even higher when they arrived at Cleggan Farm: “The freaks have just gotten here…We can catch them.” Their donkey took care of all that enthusiasm. As soon as Azaria and Hendekea passed them, Jennifer and Nate’s donkey dropped achor. Nate was at a loss: “I don’t know what to do.” They eventually got passed by everyone except Ari and Staella.

They were relieved hearing that Marianna and Julia, who they were only seconds behind, were in 9th place, meaning they were 10th and still alive.

This couple will most probably be our villains. We saw them when they were high in the order and, naturally, when they started losing their lead. This team commented negatively on almost everyone with B-itches, Freaks, etc… They also got on each others nerves. They were strong enough racers and, unless we get other donkeys along the way, their current standing is meaningless.

Stories still in development
These two teams could have something brewing.

Kynt and Vyxsin (2): (1st ferry)

Kynt told us: “Goth is the celebration of beauty and art with a little darker edge…For us every day is Hallowe’en.”

Racing to the small church, Vyksin, the “little pink kitten” (sic), told us that when it comes to tenacity: “We are like little gothic energizer bunnies.” They made it on the first ferry with Kynt commenting: “The B*tch-@sses Goth kids lead the pack.” Arriving at the Bed & Breakfast for the night Kynt and Vyksen high-fived Nathan and Jennifer: "We rocked it.” Their performance was noted by Christina who said: “I was impressed with some of the other teams like Vyksen and Kynt.”

At the finish mat, Kynt said: “We made a statement today. Number 2, next time number 1.”

We had a few indications that this team could be one to watch, especially from Christina who was impressed with them and from themselves who let us know they were for real despite the costumes and make-up. We were often reminded of their presence but we didn’t get into their story, emotionally involved if you like. At least not yet. If their first leg was a statement on their racing abilities, let’s give them another week to make a statement editing wise.

Shana and Jennifer (6): (3rd ferry)

Shana told us: “Jenn and I fully plan to flirt our way through this competition. Anyone standing in the way of a million dollar shopping spree, we’re gonna knock them out of the way.”

In Shannon, they were on the last ferry. “We’re screwed. We’re an hour and half behind everyone.” At the B&B, Jennifer said: “Right now, we feel broken. I think Shana and I did awful.” To the sound of plaintive music, Shana agreed: “I just wanna cry.” The flirts weren’t a pretty sight. Thankfully, as if just for them, the sun shone brightly the next morning. They kept in contact with the other teams and were ready to race the Ministers.

I may be really stretching it here but that scene in the B&B seemed to signify something. They appeared defeated, broken they even said. The next day started with a bright sun and, since it was shown right after their lament, it seemed meant to perk up their spirits. Will the race also take an upturn for them? It’s still very much in doubt. The scene could have simply been to show that flirting doesn’t get you much on the race.

The Also Ran
These 4 teams had no real story line. A story can still start in a later episode but we’ve had no indications yet.

TK and Rachel (3): (1st ferry)

TK said: “I’ve always been completely enamored with Rachel.” Rachel added: “I want to spend the rest of my life with TK.”

There could’ve been an alliance between TK and Rachel (the hippies) with Lorena and Jason because, leaving for Cleggan Farm, TK was worried: “I hope Jason and Lorena get to the right road”. They even told them they loved them while crossing them later.

TK and Rachel arrived first at Cleggan Farm and got on the tandem bike. The started on the muddy road with a “Let’s get it going, babe.” TK went on the high-wire bike of the Roadblock in first place. As the first participants, TK got to comment on how terrifying the experience was. They finish third when, as Rachel feared, they momentarily got lost on the way to the pit stop.

This team shared first place with the siblings and Lorena and Jason yet we spent a lot less time with them. They are good racers but that’s about all we can say for them right now.

Nicolas and Donald (5): (3rd ferry)

Donald said: “Nicolas is an airline pilot…It’s a tremendous accomplishment.” Nicolas told us why he loves his atypical grandfather.

After delaying everyone at the start while counting his money, Donald told us: “I’m always shooting my mouth. I’d watch the race and say to my wife they could’ve done this…”

Climbing up the hill to the Irish church, Donald twisted his ankle but it didn’t change anything, they were on the last ferry.

Kate and Pat (8): (3rd ferry)

Pat said: “We’re a lesbian couple… we’re ordained clergy. This causes people’s eyebrows to raise.” Kate added: “We’re not wimps…Being in the clergy doesn’t mean we have to stand back and open doors and letting people have the first cab that comes along.”

In Shannon, Pat said: “The Amazing Race is a love letter to the planet…I love it, what a gift.”

Marianna and Julia (9): (3rd ferry)

Julia introduced the team by saying: “ Marianna and I have the heart of the soldier.”

The sisters trailed throughout most of the race. Julia appeared as the leader of the two while “Nanni” followed along.

These 3 team weren’t featured at all and they don’t even look like good racers. I was expecting more from the sisters. With the maximum numbers of teams in the race, airtime is at a premium. We’ll need another episode to have a clearer picture

Philiminated : Ari and Staella (2nd ferry)
After telling us that he’d backstab anyone even if Karma’s a b-itch, Ari got a lesson either in karma or in picking donkeys. For future reference: Don’t pick the one that’s tied alone. There could have been a reason to isolate the most stubborn one.

I'd like to read what others saw.

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CTgirl 7073 desperate attention whore postings
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11-08-07, 05:59 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: Episode #1: The Racers and the Editing"
Phil starts the show by asking, “Can these teams stand up to the stress of traveling together across nearly 30,000 miles? Who will come up with the right strategy, the right combination of brains, brawn and teamwork to win the one million dollars (I always think of Dr. Evil when Phil says one million dollars!) A few stories have developed but it will take another week to see who the long term players are and who is getting the big story for the first half of the race. Of the 11 opening teams introductions, only two spoke about strategy and they were Kate and Pat and Marianna and Julia – two teams who fared poorly and we didn’t see much of! With no alpha male team, this season may be even more character driven than past years. I definitely need another week to sort things out.

The first place finishers, Azaria and Hendekea, obviously received a lot of screen time. Their opening quote was the only one to focus on both their strengths and their weakness. Azaria said that they had an advantage, “we are intelligent and more physically fit.” And then Hendekea chimed in, “He’s going to want to dominate. I know I can make good decisions and Azaria needs to listen to those decisions.” Here is the big brother-little sister dynamics story! A lot of attention was given to them leaving the mansion, Hendekea giving directions that were initially correct and then doubting herself, getting lost and then just missing the first flight. We saw them make an alliance with Ronald and Christina because they share the same family bond and spirit of the game. Azaria commented that they are “overachievers who don’t like to lose” (file that comment away to remember in the future). They were always thinking and work well together despite Hendekea’s misgivings. At the end Azaria said, "Hendekea has proven to him how far she’s willing to go. You see her small frame and you see the tiger within." We’ll see if they can keep this up or if this is their only first place finish.

Kynt and Vxysin will have a story no matter where they finish because they are “self-proclaimed real life cartoon characters.” Kynt said they have tenacity and Vxysin finished that they are gothic energizer bunnies. They showed good teamwork and encouragement this episode and I expect them to be around for a while. Kynt was also heard to say “The bitch-ass Goth kids lead the pack” when they had actually signed in at 3rd place for the ferry. I thought that was an oddly placed comment.

TK and Rachel seemed a little clueless at the Shannon Airport, but they finished strongly (even if they did go the wrong way to the pit stop). After the roadblock, TK said “slow and steady, we got it.” They are one of the teams in my mind that might be able to answer Phil’s opening questions. Another thing to note is that they were one of the last teams to get to LAX but we didn’t see them getting lost (Eric and Danielle started out the same way last season). They didn’t have much of a story this week, but you remembered them.

Jason and Lorena are good racers, but they have their work cut out for them. He didn’t listen to her when she was right and she is over-emotional. They did have a few side comments that could indicate longevity. At the small church, Jason said, “We want to get to the first leg and stay in the top pack,” later he said, “Lorena is intense. She’s going in for the kill.” We also saw a post-leg confessional comment from Lorena edited in during the donkey part of the roadblock, “This race can turn like that,” and snaps her fingers. (I just reread your commentary Michel, and I agree this is a team to watch.)

Two other teams got attention that didn’t finish at the top: Ronald and Christina and Nate and Jen.

Ronald and Christina entire story is about wanting to reconnect because he missed so much of her early life. The previews next week indicate that this story will be continued. I am thinking that this is one of the big early stories for the first half of the season (similar to David and Mary, Peter and Sara, Amber and Rob etc.). We need to see some strategy from them if they are going to last past mid-point. Ron did say, “This is a wake up call” when they were last to the smallest church. They finished this leg in 7th place so maybe their racing will pick up in the future.

Nate and Jen appear to be good racers. They’re young and fit, but neither one of them has control over their emotions. This display: Nate, “You are the worst person at this I ever met,” and then compared her poorly to the other women running. She replied, “Do I want to spend the rest of my life with him?” was really distracting to the race. Their behavior certainly leaves room for growth in teamwork! (as does Lorena and Jason). We did spend a lot of time with them with their donkeys so they probably recover and remain around a while to torture us with their treatment of each other!

Kate and Pat, Nicolas and Donald, Marianna and Julia, and Shana and Jennifer were in the background and we’ll see how much they are fleshed out next week. The next boot probably comes from one of these teams.

There were lots of random quotes this episode. I will have to watch it again in a few weeks once we’ve determined who the long-term players are to see if any of their comments take on new significance.

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11-08-07, 08:41 PM (EST)
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4. "RE: Episode #1: The Racers and the Editing"
Shana & Jennifer: Did these two really say they will use their sex-appeal to win the race? If yes, Idiots!

Sex-appeal never wins in TAR, whether it is because you are in a country where the standards what is sexy does not match what you have, or competing for example two gay-married-ministries: sex does not work reliably.

And when you are down to the final teams, all dreaming of that one million dollars in their hot little hands, you could run around naked and the other teams will still leave you in their dust.

Sex never wins in TAR, why will these girls never learn that?

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11-12-07, 01:18 PM (EST)
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5. "Episode 2: Review"
Michel, I hope you don't mind that I started this thread on the episode 2. I have a little free time and thought I saw some storytelling involving in this race.
Again I apologize for bad grammar and/or mispelle words. Sometimes I may run on.

Lorena & Jason - They didn't have much screen time this go around, but were in the lead from the pack. One key quote that stood out to me was when they were leaving the pistop Jason said "Look we're getting along now, but one wrong turn and we're on each other." Could this be foreshadowing to an actually eliminatioin due to the wrong turn they make. Their story is about their relationship. Will it pan out and them staying together? or will the elimination of them, be the end of them? Their story could becoming to an end.

Jennifer & Nathan - Jennifer is turning into a Kendra. Calling one of the blondes a b***h while they were hurrying to the pitstop. Is this a foreshadow of Jennifer and the blondes getting into a showdown? Or is this foreshadowing that the blondes will outlast Jennifer & Nathan? Another story about their relationship, but it wasn't focused on as much.

Shana & Jennifer - Their story hasn't been told yet, or do they have a story? We saw them run a good race, and that they can be strong and finish a hard task faster than a search task. They did the pole vault fine. What is their story? Or is their a story?

Kynt & Vysxin - This team story hasn't hit its stride yet. I think they are out to prove to themselves and the world they are compitet in this race. I haven't really figured this team out yet. Are they the calm and collected couple? Or are they here for the long run with a minor story? Could they be the 1 million dollar winners of The Amazing Race?

Azaria & Hendekea - Hendekea wishes Azaria will listen to her more often and that he should trust her decision when it comes to directions. And stop doubting her. They stayed calmed and collective when they were during the search tasks. They came in 5th and he was okay with that. Will they be the 1 million dollar? Or is a story arc approaching them soon when a disagreement cost them the race due to Azaria doubtfulness of his sister?

T.K. & Rachel - I think their story isn't about working together, yet seeing if they can last in a tough situation. I found this episode focused more on Rachel's strength and T.K.'s confidence on performing tasks. This episode focused on Rachel doing the pole vault and her pulling up the funiture. It shows they are mellowed and relaxed. Are they showing signs of good racers like B.J. & Tyler? or Kris & Jon? I'm still trying to figure out what is about them.

Marianna & Julia - Sisters, they stayed calmed when they learn they were last, they were fast when they caught back up with other teams. Managed to come in 7th place even though leaving in last place. I think the sisters may have it what it takes to win. But is their a story? Will their be a fall out? Or will directions be the thing that gets them eliminated?

Nicolas & Donald - We learned from Nicolas that Donald is slow, and can be fast, but he needs him to be fast all the time. They didn't make good judgement on the roadblock, but Donald proved he could do so. Nicolas and Donald both get along fine. Their isn't much to the story that isn't being told. Except for Nicolas mention on Donald's slowness. Coudl that cost them the race? or will Donald impress Nicolas with a 1st place finish?

Ronald & Christina - They are here until their story is resolved. We learned that Ronald and Christina haven't appreiacted each other yet. We have to work through their relationship. He is very disappointed in her that they came in 9th. When he becomes proud of her, will it be to late and they become eliminated? Or will their be another chapter opening?

Pat & Kate - Their story said was nearly that slow and steady doesn't win the race.

Sorry if its a little rambling. There is alot of questions that I want answers to. But haven't gotten them yet.

What are all your thoughts?

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11-13-07, 06:32 PM (EST)
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6. "RE: Episode 2: Review"
Here is what I saw: Almost everyone has a story of some sort. How each team’s story progresses and evolves will help determine who will last until the Final Three.

The big stories:

The recap from last week focused on the dating couples. Phil praised the Goths saying they impressed all the other teams and highlighting Kynt’s quote “The bitch-ass Goth kids lead the pack.” He then went on to emphasize that Nate and Jen and Lorena and Jason need better teamwork, he recalled that some teams flourished (Christina and Ron and Kate and Pat shown), while others came to a complete halt (Jen and Nate again, Ari and Staella). The siblings, Azaria and Hendekea, came in first, while Jen and Nate edged out Staella and Ari. Since we don’t have an alpha male team this season, the dating couples could dominate the competition and those were the teams that were featured.

After we return from the commercial break, Phil again reminds us of Kynt and Vxysin and Jen and Nate: “Will the dating Goths continue to impress the other teams with another strong showing and will Nate and Jen overcome their bickering and move out of last place?”

Even though Jason and Lorena came in first, I felt like this was Nate and Jen’s episode. When they left the pit stop we heard Nate say, “Jen and I are very competitive. That’s what I love about her.” She said, “This was a wakeup call, it’s all Donkey Kong from here.” That was an odd, but appropriate analogy – they will have a lot of obstacles to dodge to get to the end. They bickered at the detour, with Jen badmouthing Nate for his lack of “manly skills,” but figured out quickly who should be tying the knots and hoisting the furniture. Jen was a ball of fire at the roadblock. She is an intense person! (I found them humorous this week as well and I’m not sure if I was supposed to. At the airline counter Nate said, “We were so lucky,” Jen retorts, “the other lady was just quicker.” At the roadblock Nate says to the camera, “She’s tough, (Jen comments, “That was nasty!”), she kicks butt,” and to Jen he says, “I’m so proud of you.” Jen scoffs at him, “That was pathetic.”) They have a dynamic that viewers will hate or love to hate! As they were riding their bikes to the mat, Jen spits on the road. Shana then says, “I can’t believe that frickin’ little bitch did it.” I’m not sure that quote was in regards to Jen’s spit, or to something she did at the roadblock. In any event it didn’t need to be included unless the editors wanted to put an even more negative spin on Jen. A villainess in the making?! Their bickering and competitiveness, plus their potential for nastiness, is giving them fleshed-out edit.

Kynt and Vxysin are going to be featured because they are so unique; that they are decent racers and may be competitive is a bonus. One story is their “cartoon character” lifestyle. Kynt said, “I can’t wait to get to Amsterdam. They’ll love us…” At the detour we saw another reference to a cartoon when Vxysin said she felt like Bugs Bunny with the heavy weight swinging over her head. Kynt said, “When you’re playing The Amazing Race, you’re in the dark—“and Vxysin added, “and usually of course, the dark is our favorite place to dwell.” Was this just a Goth statement or foreshadowing? They are also being shown as competitive. Last week Staella said they were, and this week Hendekea said, “Kynt and Vxysin are serious competitors. Kynt runs around like he’s on speed. He has some serious adrenaline. We need to watch out for him.” The Goths are characters, they are performing well and the other racers are noticing Kynt and Vxysin. There are several directions their story could go; they should be around for a while.

Ronald and Christina have been all over the first two episodes! In the first episode Ronald was the jovial father reuniting with his daughter for a grand adventure and getting to know each other. This episode his true colors came out. He is demanding and irrational. Leaving the pit stop Christina misplaces her fanny pack and Ronald berates her. Christina said, “My father and I are learning to work out the kinks in our relationship.” (How many times are we going to hear her say that before they’re eliminated?!) When they stop to use the internet he badgers her to hurry up, “Let’s move. Do you have your fanny pack?” Just about every time Ronald opened his mouth he said something negative. He didn’t want to “Hoist It” because he didn’t understand the knots, but then complained about the searching task. He denigrated her at the pole vault roadblock. Throughout it all Christina kept her State Dept. cool! But at the end she looked pretty demoralized. Ronald admitted that “the key is communication skills and I’ve been a little crass towards my daughter. I’m like the Archie Bunker of the home where anything goes.” She replied, “You should treat your family like gold if there’s love there.” (Ouch!) Christina added, “In this race you need to make improvements overnight.” Their story is can they?

The teams with potential:

Azaria and Hendekea: They raced well this week but lost time by choosing the bike detour and then by missing the bakfiet drop-off. Last week Hendekea said she wanted Azaria to know she can make good decisions. At the beginning of this episode, Hendekea said that she would like to prove something to her brother. “He’s constantly pushing me, pushing me.” However, they worked well together at the detour and Azaria was very supportive of Hendekea at the roadblock, so their story was on a holding pattern this week.

Jason and Lorena: Their story is the typical dating couple one: how they communicate and how they fall apart when they don’t. The first thing out of Lorena’s mouth when they left the pit stop was, “We’re golden, we’re calm and composed now” Jason said, “These challenges are supposed to get us connected. We’re getting along now, wait till we make a wrong turn.” (With the previews from next week, we have a little foreshadowing. When they’re calm, they do well. When they’re not….) We saw them blow through the detour and saw a brief commentary, “The detour was a really good moment for us. We worked together fast.” Jason pole vaulted over the bog on the first try and they were off to the pit stop in first place. Lorena said, “Jason and I feel more confident with each other and our discussions.” Jason said, “We want this to be a stepping stone in our relationship.” Their story is to be continued…

Nicolas and Donald: They don’t have much of a story yet, but they don’t have a big conflict between them either. Nicolas said he won’t yell at his grandfather to run or hurry up, but it drives him insane that he goes slowly. Their airline encounter with Ronald and Christina interested me. Nic appeared anxious and assertive, but he was always polite, “Please move faster.” We never saw him act disrespectful towards the agent. Rather we heard Ronald say that Nic was abrasive and used bad language and Christina trying to tell them to act with more courtesy, that it will get them further. This helped show Ronald in a poor light, but I also wonder what else we’ll see from Nicolas and Donald down the road. Despite seeing Donald in his skivvies, they were portrayed sympathetically this episode. I think Donald could be the one with the mouth on him!

The teams without a story yet:

Rachel and TK: At the pit stop, TK said, “My relationship is way more important than the race. Why don’t we enjoy it at the same time?” They’ve made stupid mistakes and their heads may not be in the race the way the other teams are. But once again the editing did not focus on their struggling. At the detour, Nate and Jen struggled, switched and finished before Rachel and TK decided to switch positions, yet it was barely emphasized. On the bikes, neither one of them saw Phil! Was Rachel foreshadowing their demise when she commented, “It’s a crappy feeling to know that teams are passing you when you’re trying so hard and it’s slowly slipping away.” They need to step it up a notch if they’re going to make it past mid-point (unless they are Ray and Yolanda v.2.0).

Shana and Jennifer: They’ve finished well the past two episodes but we don’t know much about them past their shallowness: shopping, manicures and facials, and their stupidity Jennifer said, “I can’t figure out how to work the bright lights unless I’m just an idiot,” “She says that a lot.” replies Shana. They have enough physical skills (especially Shana) to last a while, but they complained the race was much tougher than they expected. If we don’t get to know them next week, I doubt they’re long term players.

Marianna and Julia: The prospects for this team are bleak. They weren’t given a quote leaving the pit stop; we only saw them pick a slower route to the airport which caused them to miss the plane everyone else was on. We barely heard from them this leg (except to learn that Julia(?) was a track star and pole vault was her favorite event!). They found the bakfiet drop-off no problem, but they don’t seem to have good enough racing skills to keep up.

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11-14-07, 00:06 AM (EST)
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7. "RE: Episode 2: Review"
Ron and Christina remind me of Peter and Sarah from season 10. Although Sarah was shown with some flaws, she was ultimately a can-do, amazing person. While Peter had good intentions, he was painted as a world class jerk. Fortunatly, they broke up, and were able to do so. It will be interesting to see what path Ron and Christina take: they can't just break up...they are still related!

I felt the same thing about TK and Rachel: another Ray and Yolanda. So far, they are slightly more appealing than the Chicago couple (who *were* likeable), but unless they turn the pressure, they will never be the cute, competitive Kris/Jon, but the RaYo who was given a pass into the finals, and who were seen as undeserving. (On the Lvoe list most have given them a pass, but they were bickering). On the other hand, a number of winners' stories have started late, such as Uchenna and Joyce, to let early exits share their drama first.

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11-14-07, 08:07 PM (EST)
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8. "RE: Episode 2: Editing Thoughts"
LAST EDITED ON 11-14-07 AT 10:53 PM (EST)

Thanks Beau for starting this. Always feel welcomed to post your thoughts.
I enjoyed seeing you posting again Peetah. Villains are always fun to watch.

I was glad to read your impressions also CTGirl. We have some differing views on some teams. That should help us figure what is meaningfull and what is fluff. I'll need more time to compare our impressions. For now, here is what I saw:

Women Power and Male Horror

As I watched this episode, I realized how many of the women were strong this season compared to the men who ranged from average to horrible with a big dose of pathetic. Could it mean that an all-woman team will win this time? Let’s not go too fast. That could’ve been only the theme of this episode but if it is the theme of the season, that women are strong racers, then it is worth looking at that angle.

But first, may as well start with the ugly. Two teams served only as
The Distractions

Ronald and Christina: The Horrible Attitude.
Christina said: “My dad and I are learning to work out the kinks in our relation.”
Could this team have been so focused on avoiding the first philimination that they didn’t expect to have to endure each other more than 2 days? Their story took up a lot of airtime and started when Ronald criticised his daughter when she forgot her fannypack.

They left for the airport with the Ministers following them. Ron said: “We are in control leading. It isn’t the blind leading the blind” Father and daughter along with the Ministers stopped to look up information on the internet. Ronald kept telling his daughter to hurry up: “Don’t waste time, come on. You’re becoming ADD like me…Do you have your fanny pack.”
Kate told us: “He was hard on her. I’m just hoping she isn’t having a miserable time.”

In Dublin, Ronald and Christina raced Gramps and Nicolas to the counter to be first on Stand-By. They each found an agent to help them. Nicolas was stressing out. Ronald told us that he was using his usual politeness and not trying to be pushy. He didn’t appreciate Nick’s aggressive behavior so he let him have it:
“You have a mouth that starts with bad energy…That’s your problem, your Grand-Pa is the good cop and you’re the Bad Cop…Booger, Booger!”
Christina had to bring the peace and apologize for her father.
In the end, Nick and Don received the last two tickets to Amsterdam, frustrating Ronald even more. Ronald was still frustrated when he saw the sisters arriving. He told his Daughter: “Now it’s a foot race. Do you have your shoes and everything?”

In Amsterdam, they decided to “Hoist it”. Ronald wasn’t sure: “I don’t know, I’m already confused by that knot.”
Christina told him she knew what she was doing.
Ronald said she could decide but quickly lost patience and said they were losing time and should switch task. But then, he didn’t know in which direction was the parking lot.
Arriving at the parking lot, they saw the Ministers and were happy to still be in the race. Ronald was all over the place in that “ocean of Bikes” but since the Ministers kept losing track, Father and Daughter completed the task in 9th place. They were still fighting, Ronald saying to his daughter “I’m optimistic with the real truth flavor….You have Boogers in your bones”.
Despite that, they made it to the bus stop while the sisters were still there.
The argument continued at the bus Stop, Ronald wanting to reconstruct what they did wrong. “You were vascillating, I let you loose on this thing and you disappointed me.”
Christina was taking it as calmly as she could but said his words hit her like punches. At least he gave her a hug but said it’s not easy for him to change. They got on the bus, leaving the ministers behind. The last team had to wait for a minibus service as there were no night buses to Ransdorp.

At the Roadblock, Ronald started coaching his daughter. He was explaining the principle of the jump, Christina asked him to be quiet so she could concentrate. She finally made it across. Ronald joked that he thought he could’ve done it better.
Riding the cargo bike, Ronald told his daughter that she needed to lose weight and then he took a spill.
At the pit stop, Phil asked about their problems.
Christina said that they wanted it badly for each other, only calling it a differnce in work style.
Ronald recognized the importance of communication skills, ackowledging that he was a little bit crass in the way he treated his daughter. “I’ve become the Archie Bunker of the home”.
Christina had the final words: “You should treat your family like gold.”

Despite Christina’s admirable calm and determination, this team has no chance to win and not only because of their edit. They are the distraction of the first part of the season and it will be hard to get the full storylines of the season while they are there. With that horrible display, hopefully they won’t last long.

Nicolas and Donald: The Horrible Image

Grandfather and Grandson left in 5th place. Nicolas said that: “I would never yell at my Grandfather to run or to hurry up but he has an attitude sometimes of going slowly and that just drives me insane.”
With that, Donald drove the car 10 miles below the speed limit, still managed to jump a curb and get a flat tire. Once they had figured how a jack worked, Nicolas took the wheel.

At the airport, Nicolas told us: “It was a competition to see who could get on the first flight.” They didn’t get reserved seats but the team was lucky to get aboard with stand-by tickets to Amsterdam. (CTGirl we did see the ticket agent ask Nicolas twice to step aside, he didn't and then she went to her supervisor. It was my impression that there was enough to show him as pushy especially since Gramps agreed)

Arriving at destination, they walked to the bridge while everyone else ran. They decided to “Hunt it” and managed to make it to the bus stop tied with 3 other teams in the second group, well ahead of the last group.

In Ransdorp, Nicolas and Donald observed Hendekea doing the pole vault before deciding which one was the acrobat. Why did they settle on Donald after seeing the athletic engineer take a dive in the ditch? I don’t know. Seeing Rachel barely getting over on her first try made Donald think he could do it.
Nicolas wanted to “watch Pinky do it.”
Despite Kynt’s missed attempt, Donald was now convinced he was ready for the task.
Nicolas said: “That could be a costly decision.”
The three other teams were off to meet Phil while Don kept getting bogged down. His clothes got so muddy, he felt he was being weighed down so he got rid of all extra layers, going down to his shorts.

They finally arrived 8th at the Pit stop, being passed by the sisters.

This team has no story focusing on the future. The argument with Ron was mainly to display Ronald, not Nicolas or Donald. Since they are not racers either, we can eliminate them.

Teams with Strong Women

Marianna and Julia: Strong Character

The sisters arrived last at the airport and were told that all the other teams had boarded a plane to Dublin. Julia commented: “Anything you do at this point can cost you the race. One wrong turn, you’re in last place.”

They were thrilled to see the Ministers and the Father-Daughter teams in Dublin even if the feeling wasn’t returned.

In Amsterdam, the sisters ran ahead of their older competition and chose: “Let’s do the bikes. It’s a nice day for a bike ride.”
Confused by the multitude of bikes, Julia said: “It’s amazing. We’ve seen every single bike.”
Marianna commented in a singing voice: “That’s why they call it the Amazing Race.”
Just then, Julia exclaimed: “Rina, it’s here.”
She had found their second bike. They were the first of the last three teams to complete the “Hunt It” task. They had to wait for a bus which put them tied for next to last place with Father and Daughter.
Julia said: “We don’t see Kate and Pat anywhere. We’re hoping this bus gets here before they do.”
With the Ministers missing the last bus, they were practically assured of being safe.

In Ransdorp, Julia told us why she did the ditch vault: “I love track and field. Pole vaulting was my main field event.”
Julia’s first attempt cleared the ditch by a large margin so the team quickly got on their cargo bike. They even managed to pass the team of Nick and Don to arrive in 7th.

For the second week in a row, this team fell to last place during the leg, yet they never panicked or yelled at each other. That shows strength of character. Unfortunaltely, you have to look hard to see even just that as a story for them. I think that Julia was the one with the black sweater who did the pole vault while Marianna was in white because at one point, the sister with the black sweater called the other Rina, I think. However, Marianna is supposed to be the athlete and last week she was called Nanni!?! Two episode and not having a better idea which is which isn’t a good sign. Their future is very much in doubt. I hope to be able to tell them apart before then because they appear to be likeable.

Azaria and Hendekea: Strong Will

First to leave the Connemare Heritage Center were the siblings. The first clue told them to fly to Amsterdam then take a train to Central Station and look for a bridge.
Hendekea commented: “I want to prove something to my brother. He’s constantly pushing me, pushing me.”

Arriving to Schiphol international airport in Amsterdam Hendekea made the right decision by telling Azaria: “We can just run into the train and pay there.” The other teams, trying to buy tickets, missed the first train.

Azaria reached the bridge first and went for the clue. It was a Detour They had a choice between: “Hoist it” or “Hunt it”. In “Hoist it” teams needed to use a traditional rope and pulley system to hoist 5 pieces of furniture up a building. The task required brains and brawn. In “Hunt it”, teams had to make their way to a parking lot and search through thousands of bicycles to find the two bikes tagged with the specific colors designated in their clue. After finding their bikes, teams had to ride them five miles.
Surprisingly, Azaria told us: “I don’t feel comfortable with tying ropes together with knots and pulling up clocks and couches.” This physically fit team chose “Hunt it” and fell out of first place. They were surprised by the size of the garage but went through it.

We had some scenes of them searching the bikes and, after completing the task, we saw them join the Goths who were already waiting for the second bus. In Ransdorp, we saw Hendekea do the Ditch Vault and she asked for directions to the pit stop.

We really didn’t race much with this team after they reached the Detour. Hendekea is determined to prove herself to her brother and she made a strong case, especially at the train station. Their lack of airtime suggests that it is all that their story will amount to. Azaria isn’t shown in such a bad light that we would wonder if she can prove herself. There were no real conflicts between them and no one commented on their nice showing on the first leg. A solid team that should have a solid finish but they look like they will be out of the money finishing neither win, place or show.

Jennifer and Nathan: Coming on Too Strong

Nathan said: “Jenn and I are very competitve. She makes me get on my A game all the time. That’s what I love about her.”
Jennifer, sitting in the back seat, realized that the team ahead took a different road. “The sisters took a right but we found out that this way is faster. So we’re fine.” Nearing the airport she added: “We made it to the airport. We’re praying that the other team will still be there. Most of all, the sisters took a different route than we did. I cannot wait to see who got here first. Ha! Ha!”
Not only did they beat the sisters but two other teams. They exchanged “high fives”. Better yet, quick work by their ticket agent got them the last seats on the first connecting flight from Dublin to Amsterdam, ahead of Nicolas and Donald.

Choosing to “Hoist it”, Nathan started off very well, quickly getting 4 pieces up to Jennifer. After that, it started getting bad as Jennifer grew frustrated because, for some reason, Nathan couldn’t figure out how to do the last knot. He was all mixed up with his ropes.
Jennifer said: “Oh! My Gosh! You’re a guy! You need to do these physical things.”
They had to switch position. Jennifer said: “We’re going to have to switch because Nate cannot, for the life of him, figure out how to make a knot.”
She hoisted the last piece of furniture and the team still finished 4th. Better, they wound up tied for first at the bus station where only the teams of Lorena and Jason and Shana and Jennifer were still waiting.

At the roadblock, Jennifer smartly chose to do the vault but she had problems. She took a hard dive into the ditch. She wasn’t pleased when the judge signaled “No Goot”.
Since Shana had made it on her first attempt, Nathan had this unsavory comment: “Jenn, she freakin’ made it.”
Jennifer wasn’t pleased: “I Know. Nate, do not do this right now.”
Jennifer made it on her third attempt.
Nate commented: “I know she was trying her hardest…She’s tough, she kicks butt.”
He told her he was proud of her but she thought it was pathetic.
They were in third place heading to the Pit Stop in the cargo bike. Jen was seen spitting and, still angry, she said: “That frikin’ little b*tch did it.”
The team caught up to the friends and Jennifer was very nervous looking for the drop off point, not wanting to get passed again. They found it before the two women and arrived at the pit stop in second. We had no comments from them.

Our villains should last far into the race. This was the second episode that Jennifer made disparaging comments about the Blondes without any provocation. This tells me that Shana and Jennifer should outlast this team. Even if that doesn’t happen, this team won’t be our winners. Jennifer is a strong woman, she can kick butt but she is coming on too strong. For two legs, we’ve been shown their bad behavior without any attempt to put it in context. Worse, we saw on screen that Jennifer had no reason to freak out at the Detour as Nathan was doing fairly well at first.

Shana and Jennifer: Strong Showing.

Leaving in the second half of the pack, Jennifer said: “It’s creepy driving at night, you can’t see anything.”
Shana had a confessional: “The race is a shock to our system. Clearly, I haven’t had a facial or a manucure. It’s even tougher than you can ever imagine.”
Jennifer couldn’t figure out how to turn on the car’s lights and asked: “Am I an idiot?”
Shana had a perfect reply: “She asks that question a lot.”
The friends saw that team of “Gramps and the boy” was stopped and they passed them, saying they wouldn’t stop unless they were injured. She added: “We don’t want them to win the race. Ha! Ha!”

The friends arrived at the bridge in 4th place. The two women decided to “Hoist it”.
Shana explained: “My arms muscles are probably the strongest part of my body. I can hoist anything.”
She did attack the furniture with a lot of determination She started lifting the furniture or more exactly, the furniture started lifting her!! That was a funny sight.
She said: “It’s heavier than me so I may lift off the ground.”
But she never stopped. Shana completed the task in third place and collapsed to the ground requesting, with a smile, a chiropracter.
Jennifer commented: “Shana did the furniture faster than most of the men.”

The roadblock was another occasion for Shana to shine. She completed the vault on her first attempt. “Goot Job, Get your clue” said the lady judge. In Shana’s hurry to return to her partner who was cheering on, Shana took a nose dive in the ditch. With mud in her face but still smilling, Shana said: “Oh! My God! I could die”
Jennifer was laughing: “You’re such a good sport.”

Jennifer rode the bike and they finished in third, Phil, seeing Shana covered in mud and Jennifer’s small congratulation gesture, commented as a joke: “You don’t even want to hug your partner.” Jennifer signaled no, she wanted to stay clean.

I felt almost justified seeing this team have a strong showing in this episode. Ever since the sun rose over the Bed & Breakfast in Ireland, ending their first horrible day, this team has done surprisingly well. As with Shana redoing her make-up while waiting for the bus, this may be more about image than substance. I’m still going to say this team not only outlasts Nathan and Jennifer but makes it to the top 4(…or 5)! We saw Shana’s determination and how they have fun during the race, even when full of mud or completely exhausted. I thought the editors wanted us to have fun along with them. That’s a good sign. There remains to see if Jennifer can contribute to the team. It could help!

TK and Rachel: Strong Self-Control

TK and Rachel were happy to go to Amsterdam. TK said: “My relationship with Rachel is way more important than the race. We’ll be going to places we’ve never been before. Why not enjoy it at the same time?”

In Amsterdam, the team decided to do “Hoist it” but TK was unable to make a knot. Rachel was looking on, not worried at all even if they had not scored one piece of furniture yet while others were quickly progressing. TK said: “I’m still on the TV. I haven’t put one piece up yet…I don’t know how to do this…Babe, Kynt and Vyksin finished.”

Rachel tried to explain how to make a knot but TK said: “I don’t think you’ll be able to explain from up there.”
Rachel then told us “It’s a crappy feeling knowing that teams are passing you when you feel you are trying so hard and then it starts slowly slipping away.”
She calmly told TK that it wasn’t working and he replied “That’s because you don’t know what you’re doing...Can you stop talking now.” The team was even showed as Kate, from well behind, told us that others team could be running into trouble.
TK said: “I don’t know what to do…I hit a wall. Do you want to come down here and try?”
They switched and as Rachel tied the TV, the local gave us a weird look. Either she was impressing him with her knot tying skills or worrying him by scrapping the TV on the ground! She said: “My dad would be proud of me right now…It’s not bad. I’m so glad to see that stupid thing up there.”
It was the little Rachel who lifted the 5 pieces of furniture. TK commented: “The furniture went flying up like nothing.”
They were in 6th place. They joined the “Goths” and the Siblings who were still waiting for a bus to Ransdorp. They were also joined by Nick and Don.

Rachel completed the ditch vault on her first attempt and they were off to the pit stop on 4th. TK rode his bike straight in front of Phil without seeing him. Phil looked on, amused at the mistake! They rode all the way back out of the Yatch club and saw Azaria and Hendekea approaching. The siblings gave them proper directions and both teams rode together to the bike drop. TK and Rachel wound up in 6th place.

This team is still bland but I found Rachel to be very Zen, having a lot of self-control. TK fell way behind at the Detour, incapable of doing the task. He even got snappy with her. Instead of getting impatient, Rachel took it all in stride, kept encouraging him and then, when she took over, she was amazing. He was also shown as being resposible for missing the pit stop but she didn’t say a word as they circled the Yatch Club. Does she have the winning attitude? I don’t know if it will suffice. Maybe not because their story has remained in the background for now. It has time to blossom.

Kynt and Vyksin: Strong Impression

The “Goths” had a lot of people talking about them in the recap. From Phil pointing out: “Once in Ireland, Kynt and Vyksin impressed all the others”. We saw Ari and Stealla complimenting their abilities. They left the pit stop in second place and raced to the airport. Kynt couldn’t wait to get to Amsterdam because people there would love them.
Kynt commented: “When you play the Amazing Race, 9 times out of 10 you are in the dark.”
Vyksin completed the thought by saying: “The dark is my favorite place in which to dwell.”
On the way to the airport, we heard Hendekea comment: “Kynt and Vyksin are serious competitiors. Kynt runs around like he’s on speed. He has some serious adrenaline. We’ll have to watch out for them” We will too!

Vyksin told us that she can do the knots because she used to do macrame. Up to that point, Kynt had only done the driving. While doing the task, Vyksin had a few problems with the knot but she still had a funny quote:“At one point, it was very like Bugs Bunny. I had a 300lbs weight over my head, so I was…Yikes!!” After lifting 4 pieces, Vyksin told Kynt he’d have to do the last one. At least, he finished the task quickly, his partner telling him: “You are lovely and Amazing. They maintained their second place.

Arriving with the three other teams of the second group at the Ransdorp Roadblock, Kynt decided to do the task. Somehow he was under the impression that Ditch Vaulting had something to do with a sheep that was in the field. When Kynt found out exactly what the roadblock was, he told us: “I’m not one of those ‘get-down-and-dirty’ kind of boys. I’m kinda prissy.”

After a few pityful attempts, Kynt jumped the ditch and they were on their way to the pit stop in 5th place.
On the way there, Kynt complained that he didn’t want to fall in the ditch: “I’ve had enough mud baths today.”
That got Vyksin upset. She stopped the bike, slapped his rear and told him to ride the bike.
Kynt and Vyksin profited from the mistake from TK and Rachel to reach the pit stop in 4th place.

Was Phil spoiling the winners with all his praise during the recap and the introduction? It almost sounded like a sales pitch to me. Add all the comments from other racers and we have a team that, almost certainly, makes it to the end. Kynt received more comments than his partner but don’t be fooled; Vyksin is the motor of this team. She did most of the detour, she rides the bikes and makes the decisions while Kynt is “prissy”. She has also gotten bit parts as entertainer which is also a very strong sign. Don’t place money yet on them but they have to be considered the favorites to win right now.

That leaves one team where the woman wasn’t particularly impressive in this episode after a poor showing in the first. If the theme of the season is that the women are strong, she’ll have to step up. Unless the theme is: “Don’t underestimate any racer”!

Lorena and Jason: Strong Results

Lorena and Jason were ready to prove they could work together.
“We’re calm now” said Lorena.
Jason seemed to know better when he replied: “Wait ‘till we make a wrong turn.”
He told us: “These challenges are supposed to get us coinnected and I hope they do.”

This team arrived in 2nd place at the detour and Jason started working on the furniture to “Hoist it”. Lorena was excited when she ran in the building. She said: “Baby, you’re doing so good. You are a pro…One more to go, figure it out.”
Jason made quick work of the furniture.
Lorena was amazed and told us: “The detour was one of the best moment for us because we worked together really well and really fast, to move ourselves forward.”
They completed the task first and the clue told them to take the bus to the rural village of Ransdorp and locate a field to find their next clue. They just missed the first bus available.

Lorena and Jason were in the group of three teams to arrive first in the Ransdorp field to discover a Roadblock. One person had to master a skill once used by Dutch farmers in their fields: Ditch Vaulting. With two women competing for the other teams and being well ahead of the rest of the pack, it could be troubling that Jason did the roadblock as it is already his second. At least, he rushed right through the task. Jason and Lorena were in first place. The clue told them to ride “Cargo Bikes”, Bakfiets, through the countryside while searching for the Pit Stop at the “Durgerdam Yatch Club.” Lorena excitedly told Jason: “You’re my hero! We made it!”
They finished first and received bikes as prize.
Jason said: “We’re happy about today…This could be a stepping stone for us in our relationship.”
Lorena added: “We’re more confident with each other and our decisions.”

As stated before, this is the only team in which the male partner did all the tasks. He has done both Roadblocks up to now so Lorena may HAVE to step up at one point if they want to have a chance to win. What is encouraging is that they are the most developed team besides the distractions and the Goths. We have seen both their bad side and their good side and one cannot argue with results. They led most of the first leg, finishing 4th and won this one. They wanted to see if they can work together and they have. Now, we’ll have to see what happens in another difficult leg as the next one appears to be but I see this team in the final leg.

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someclevernameusuallygoeshere 12 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Got Milk? Spokesperson"

11-15-07, 04:13 PM (EST)
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9. "RE: Episode 2: Editing Thoughts"
I am not great at this editing thing and I think that The Amazing Race is much harder to analyze than survivor so this may or may not add up to much.

The only thought I have is about Ronald and Christina. I think that they will be around for quite awhile. The first episode they were pretty much universally loved and the second episode he was pretty much universally hated. Usually the characters that people hate (i.e. he who shall not be named-which I have seen Ronald compared to) are not shown loveable-especially for an entire episode. I think this team will go far and we will be seeing the many ups and downs of Ronald.

Of course they could be philiminated next week and prove that I am not good at this!!!

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11-20-07, 07:09 PM (EST)
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10. "Episode #3: Editing Thoughts"
LAST EDITED ON 11-20-07 AT 08:03 PM (EST)

After 3 episodes, it’s time to get serious. We should have enough information to make more than wild guesses at who should be there at the end. What is the theme of the season? Which racers exemplify it the best? Which teams have consistent edits? Even if this episode was more about the camels than developing stories for our racers, we can try to find some answers.

I wasn’t too happy with “Women are strong racers” as the theme of the race since we already know that. I think last week was to make us pay attention to the women of this race because one of them will be the deciding factor. Some teams are doing well without much effort, others are struggling but staying in the race. Phil talked about passion to the Blondes, Jason used the word when describing Lorena. In previous episodes, Nate talked about Jenn pushing him, brining out his A game and Christina spoke of wanting the race badly. It made me think that the theme this season is about the passion of the race, how You have to Push your Limits to Win. Of course, every team wants to win but which teams are edited as racing with a passion and which are portrayed as being along for the ride? If we determine this, are we closer to determining which teams will be in the final leg? I’d say it’s possibe.

Another thing to look at is the differing portrayal depending on the team’s finish. To get a feeling of that, I noted the team’s finish position in each of the first three legs in parantheses after their names.

The recap was more neutral than the first one, mainly focusing on Ronald’s meltdowns.

Teams Racing Along

Donald and Nicolas (5,8,6)

Donald began this leg: “I’m 69 years old, it’s a once in a lifetime chance to show what I can do.”

Having to spend a night in Ouagadougou, Donald enjoyed watching the sisters and Lorena dancing. He had is eye on Julia. “The sisters…they’re hot and feisty. A little bitchy but not bad. A guy could learn to live with that” he said.

This Roadblock was better suited for Donald: “I’ve certainly been around animals and farms. That’s how the older wisdom part comes in.”

Arriving 4th at the Detour, the team decided to “Teach it”. Needing to teach 10 English words to a local kid, Nicolas explained: “A kid, right now, will be much smarter than either of us on no sleep.”

The Detour went well and they finished 6th without talking to Phil.

This team has been mainly in the middle of the pack, only getting a scare at the end of the second leg. Their portrayal has been as consistently poor as their placement. Their main editing problem is that we have no sense this team is ready to do whatever it takes to win. Donald saying he wants to show what he can do isn’t the same as wanting to win badly. Being in poor physical shape is another problem! This team’s story isn’t about winning. Since Gramps has already had a nice showing, their story could end any time now.

Azaria and Hendekea (1,5,1)

Hearing that they were going to Africa, Hendekea told us: “We are from Ethiopia so I definitely feel comfortable in Africa.”

On the train to Bingo, Azaria looked at all the sights. He commented: “Africa, to me, feels like home. The opportunity to come here was a thrill for me and Hendekea.”

Azaria had to ask Hendekea to be quiet while he milked the camel. “You’re not helping” he yelled. He finished the RoadBlock in 6th place after needing to change camel.

They caught up at the Detour, Hendekea explaining: “We kinda lucked out because we met Misha, a kid that knew where the village was.”
After they arrived at the village, her confessional continued: “Azaria and I approached it systematically. You take five words and I’ll take five words and we’ll memorize them in a minute. It doesn’t take a brainiac to memorize 10 words.” (We then had a shot of Jenn and Nate having all sorts of trouble with their words!)

They finished first and were off to the pit stop on the Outskirts of Bingo. They followed Misha who joined them on the mat just as the storm moved in. Azaria had their final comments of the leg: “It feels good but we both feel that the target that was on our back is bigger now.”

With two out of three first place finishes, this team should be considered the favorites to win. They are nice, smart and Hendekea makes a beautiful and eloquent narrator. The problem is that we only see this team when they are doing well. In episode #2, they practically disappeared from our screen as soon as they relinquished first place. In this one, we only heard about their African heritage before they hooked up with Misha and returned to first place. The race is easy for them, we didn’t hear them mention they have to push themselves, Hendekea simply saying she wanted to prove herself to her brother.

TK and Rachel (3,6,2)

TK first said: “Rachel and I, we are not really allowing things to freak us out too much. Because we are having a good time, the success is kinda coming along with it.”
With tickets in hand, we saw TK walking in the airport, saying: “I’m really excited, I never thought I’d be going to Africa in my life.”

Arriving in Bingo, we followed TK and Rachel who were the first to spot the clue box. TK decided to do the Roadblock: Milk a Camel. He told us: “I really feel like if you stay confident and calm, you’re going to be successful.” He finished the Roadblock in first place, saying: “I had a little trouble getting the milk down…”

They got lost on their way to the next clue. The first 4 teams had to turn around. The Detour wasn’t a problem and they just outran Jenn to the mat to finish second. They had no comment on arrival.

Another strong team who is being ignored by the editors. Contrary to Azaria and Hendekea, we see this team mainly when they are struggling: Last week when he couldn’t hoist the furniture and missed Phil. This week, when they went the wrong way with the camels. It’s great that they keep their calm but there is no urgency, no desire expressed to do better. If the race was about having a good time, I’d say this team was in great shape but “The Race is Fun” was the theme a few seasons back. We don’t share in TK and Rachel’s good times even if they say they are enjoying themselves.

Kynt and Vyksin (2,4,4)

Starting this leg, Vyksin joked: “With Kynt and my relationship, I do take on some of the typical masculine role…He brings out the chivalrous side in me.” That proved to be right when they arrived in Bingo and we heard Kynt asking Vyksin for her help getting off the train!

Vyksin did the Roadblock, singing to her camel. They finished in 6th and remained in the middle of the pack during the “Learn It” detour. They finished in 4th place right behind teams number 2 and 3. They had no comment on arrival.

I may have misread Phil’s sales pitch during the recap of the second episode. It could’ve been simply to explain why this unusual team was casted. They’ve had 3 strong finishes but their story is practically absent. They are strong racers and are good for some laughs but, if the race is about pusing your limits, Kynt’s “I’m not a down and dirty kind of guy” could tell us they will fail at one point. Maybe putting too much Goths on TV too early was too much of a risk for the editors so our “energizer bunnies” could be emerging later. At least one of the passionate teams have to be there more for drama than for setting up the final leg.

Teams Pushing their Limits

Ronald and Christina (7,9,5)

Before the leg started, we learned that Ronald had required medical assistance after the second leg for a hernia he suffered riding the bakfiets. Christina told us: “We are in this race to win it and we need him to be healthy.”
Ronald said: “I will do my best not to be eliminated.”

While in the taxi to the Amsterdam airport, we heard Ronald from his pre-race confessional: “On the last leg I, as the father, was not at my finest. I was too harsh in a way that demoralized Christina. If we are going to win this race, I have to be more uplifting and not criticize her.” Despite arriving last, Ronald managed to run fast enough to make the same flight to Paris as the other teams.

Finishing the RoadBlock in third, they followed TK and Rachel, Ronald being sure that was the best idea. Christina first told her father he was good with animals. “They love my stench” reasoned Ronald. I don’t know if they loved his song but Christina ordered him to be quiet. Christina realized that the other teams had been going the wrong way.
Ronald had a confessional: “I need to be more trusting about Christina’s ability to lead. She’s leading the way better than I can at this time.”

They chose the “Teach It” detour, Ronald doubting he could learn anything on no sleep. After completing the task, they let others run to the pit stop, Ronald saying “I’m no spring Chicken.” They still finished in 5th place. “In adversity we triumph” said Ronald as Phil said he was surprised so many teams finished so close to each other.

This team has been the biggest story of the first three episodes. If winners usually have consistent edits, this team’s yo-yo act can’t be a good sign. Any of the confrontations last week could’ve been deleted from the final edit if we were supposed to root for this team. Ronald’s grumpiness could have been justified somewhat by his medical condition. Father and daughter want to push their limits but they are more a distraction story than true racers. How long will it continue? Hard to tell with such inconsistency but we’ve already seen them making up so I don’t expect them to reach the second half of the season.

Shana and Jennifer (6,3,7)

Shana left the pit stop saying: “Jenn and I may not look as good as we would like to look right now but there is no alternative. There’s a million dollars at stake. We want to win that million.” With the first two teams, they used the internet to figure out how to reach their next destination.

In Ouagadougou, all the teams grabbed a taxi but the girls asked around to get the best price. Settling on 3000 francs, Jennifer handed 5000 and demanded 2000 change.
Not receiveing any change, Shana got nervous.
Jennifer said: “Relax, the guy is not gonna take our money.”
They didn’t like what they saw. Shana said “This is scary. Where are we going?”
Jennifer answered with a nervous smile “To be sold to people...for money”
With a smile and a “Bon Voyage”, their driver eventually gave them only 1000 back, frustrating the women.

If they felt that the train station didn’t smell good, it didn’t get any better on the train to Bingo. After TK, who sat across the aisle from them, asked: “Ouf! Did you smell her walking by?” Shana answered: “What’s that perfume you’re wearing? Is it new?”
Jennifer was laughing so Shana added a comment on the passengers: “It’s the Salon d’Afrique.”
While Jenn and Nathan were enjoying the music, Shana and Jennifer had problems with the flies.
Shana had a confessional: “Being on the train, it was beyond dirty. There was just trash piled up. Nothing is clean. I couldn’t live this way.” In contrast, we saw a relaxed Hendekea who commented: “I don’t think the Blondes are very comfortable in West Africa.”

After many tribulations, Jennifer finished the Roadblock in 7th place with Shana having a confessional: “I was really impressed with Jennifer drinking the milk because she didn’t complain about it, she just drank that milk.” She told her partner “I’m really proud of you. You did a great job.”

The girls were still walking their 4 camels when the windstorm arrived. It looked severe. Shana told us: “The weather has completely turned on us. We’re kinda panicking.” At least, they were still moving. The “Teach It” Detour was completed without a problem.

Arriving 7th at the pit stop, Jennifer broke down crying. Phil asked “Why do you feel so passionate about wanting to stay in this race?”
Jennifer answered, smiling through her tears: “We worked so hard to be here we didn’t want to be eliminated right now. I want to stay in it as long as possible, it means so much to me.”

This team will certainly be seen as “Ugly Americans” by many fans. Analyzing their story objectively, we can say that they have been given a huge and consistent portrayal. We were with them in the Bed & Breakfast at the end of the first day when things were bad, we saw their comeback and their joy. We then laughed with them when they were at the front in the second leg, Shana hoisting furniture faster than the men. With the taxi experience, their stay in Ouagadougou didn’t start off very nicely. We heard them when they had some nasty comments and saw them when things once more fell apart in this leg. We were shown the squallor that they commented on. It certainly wasn’t justification but it gave us a certain understanding of the situation. We know image and comfort are important to these Blondes but we also know that the lack of those things won’t prevent them from pushing forward. That’s a lot of fleshing out. In addition, twice now, Phil has talked to them on the finishing mat even if none of their finishes waranted it.

Jennifer and Nathan (10,2,3)

Nathan said: “Sometimes Jenn, she stresses me out. If I say…or do something wrong, she is gonna kick my butt for it.”
Jenn told us: “Nate needs to keep his cool and watch his mouth. I can be lippy sometimes too and I’m sure I provoke him…I’ve been working at it. In my heart, I know that I have.”

This team was the only one that managed to get on the first flight to Paris. Nate said “Hopefully they don’t make the plane. That would be great for us.” It wasn’t to be as they saw all the teams join them on the way to Burkina Faso. Seeing Jason and Lorena, they told them: “Glad you made it.” Jenn then spotted Shana and Jennifer: “The Blondes, what a surprise.” They greeted all the other teams with a less than heartfelt “Glad you made it”. Nate showed his true feelings by letting out a “Damn” to which Jenn shrugged her shoulders.

Nate had a comment from his experience on the train to Bingo: “It’s absolutely incredible, an incredible sight. Just seeing how these people live, knowing that places like this in the world really do exist and to be lucky we are to be here.”

Nate had difficulty with the Roadblock. Jenn kept yelling encouragements and when he finished 5th she told him: “Good Job, I’m so proud of you.” With the first 4 team having to back-track, they were in the lead pack. “We’re in second place right now. There’s one team ahead of us, Rachel and TK and that’s it” said Nate. Jenn repeated “Good Job” and gave him a hand slap.

They chose the “Learn It” detour, Jenn explaining they’d rather rely on themselves to learn 10 Mauri words. Jenn had to silence her partner, asking him to remain calm. She had a confessional: “Things where you have to be patient or things that need your mind, I’m definitely better at so I’m going to use that to my advantage and let him slide on those things.” Nate listened impassively.

Once finished with their last task, they found themselves in a group of people looking for Phil. Jenn spotted him first and a race was on. Nate encouraged Jenn to run faster but she lost a photo finish to TK and Rachel, finishing 3rd just ahead of the Goths They had no comment on arrival.

This team has been all over the place as far as placement is concerned. They had one terrible finish and 2 good ones while also being in the middle of the pack at many different occasions. Yet, their edit is always the same and their airtime is independent of placement. We continually see that Jenn is very determined and it pushes Nate to do his best. She’s mean to others but she is competitive. He can be dumb but he tries to do well. On the plane in Paris, we heard their comments on the teams of Lorena and Jason along with Shana and Jennifer. Could it be foreshadowing of the three teams racing to the end? This team has a story and they fit with the theme of pushing your limits to win.

Lorena and Jason (4,1,8)

Leaving the pit stop for Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Jason told us: “Lorena and I we have our issues and she does get stressed out a lot. It reminds me of the movie ‘The Exorcist’…”

The Roadblock wasn’t a good experience for Lorena: “The fear that I felt milking this camel, I can’t even explain. I get really stressed out under pressure. Being able to get passed that is really hard for me.” We had multiples shots of Lorena looking around to see how others were doing, losing control and the camel kicking her bowl. Jason looked on helplessly.
With Lorena screaming “There’s no more milk” Jason gave us his thoughts: “Emotionally, to watch my girlfriend break down and have one of the most horrific times of her life, was sad cause she kept looking at me for help and I couldn’t help her.”
She had to switch camels along with the other 3 last teams.

Lorena was the last to complete the Roadblock, needing help from Julia who, despite being next to last, told her which camel had milk. They finally received their next clue. Lorena cried, got a kiss and asked: “Do you still love me?”
As they began running with the camels, Jason replied “Of course…”
“We got the camels and we started running” said Lorena. That was right after Marianna had said that they couldn’t make any fast movements. Jason said “It’s all or nothing.”
Lorena and Jason caught up to the sisters at the Detour and they found the school first. The last two teams chose to “Learn It”.

They arrived at the pit stop just ahead of the sisters. Lorena was all smiles joining Phil but the tears returned when asked what happened: “I didn’t milk the camel right.”
Jason kissed her again and told Phil “She’s awesome.” He told us: “The reason she is so emotional is because she is passionate. She’s passionate about life, she’s passionate about doing well. She has a passion for pleasing me. She has a love for competition, that’s why we’re not eliminated right now.”

I hope you weren’t thinking this team was about to be eliminated. I had told you that they were in it for the duration, didn’t you believe me? Seriously, I had a moment of doubt when Julia finished milking her camel but it would have been very surprising to have a team with no story before this episode eliminating one who had been given so much airtime. This team also has had a very consistent edit and constant airtime. Even if their second leg was very easy, we started this one with Jason talking about “Exorcist” Lorena. This team can win only if Lorena pushes herself beyond her limits and that’s exactly what she has been saying from the start. They have been the only team to have a confessional after arriving at the mat even if they weren’t the first or the eliminated team. The Goths in the first episode, Shana and Jennifer in the last two as well as Ronald and Christina in the first two, have exchanged with Phil at the mat but only Azaria and Hendekea have been given episode-ending confessionals and that was for their two wins. Lorena and Jason also had one after their win and now another after avoiding elimination. Is it significant? I’m not sure but with the first episode visuals, it’s starting to add up.

So where do we stand after three episodes? I see the teams of Lorena and Jason, Jennifer and Nathan and Shana and Jennifer having a story to carry them to the end. One of TK and Rachel or, more likely, Kynt and Vyksin could still get in the mix. Let me read what you think and I may be able to narrow it down more!

As expected, Marianna and Julia showed good character but they didn’t figure to be part of the end game.

I'd like to say

Happy Thanksgiving

to all my American Friends.

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CTgirl 7073 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Playboy Centerfold"

11-21-07, 10:56 AM (EST)
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11. "RE: Episode #3: Editing Thoughts"
This was a really good episode and some of the stories are starting to gel. Michel, I got a rather different take on some of the teams again this week! Last week I was frustrated the racers stories were too murky to figure out; this week things are still hazy but starting to take shape. It will be fun puzzling things out!

Michel liked the racers with passion; “you have to push your limits to win.” I found the calm racers being more successful. So far we’ve had winners from both. Perhaps the final three will be the teams who have the best combination of calm and passion, ones that find a balance between the two.

The calm:

TK and Rachel’s story is all about staying calm and having fun. As they were leaving the pit stop, TK said, “Rachel and I are not allowing things to freak us out too much. Because we are having a good time, success just comes along with it.” They are enjoying the experience; at the airport TK exclaims that he’s really excited, “I never thought I’d be going to Africa.” On the train Rachel, says pensively, “Look at these villages.” TK was the first to spot the clue box in Bingo and the first to finish the roadblock. He says, “I feel confident that if you stay calm, you’ll be successful.” Then they take off in the wrong direction and waste enough time for Azaria and Hendekea to catch up and pass them. Their problem with directions concerns me, but they did have Donald and Nic, the Goths and Ronald and Christina following blindly behind them. They will have to run into difficulty in the future. How they handle not having a "good time" could ascertain whether they are end-game players or not.

Kynt and Vxysin had a low profile episode. Again, we were focused on their unusualness. “With Kynt and my relationship, I do take on some typically masculine roles. He brings out the chivalrous side of me. What can I say?” Later Kynt says, “Help me Vxysin; we have to help each other down.” (That was pretty funny!) They’ve performed well three weeks in a row and their story is established. I wouldn’t worry about their invisible week yet. A little Goth goes a long way!

Donald and Nicolas’s story was introduced this week. Don says “I’ll be 69 in a couple of months and I don’t consider myself old and that is why I am letting it all hang out on this trip. It’s a once in a lifetime chance to show what a guy my age can do.” The story was illustrated when we saw Gramps dancing with one of the “feisty and hot” sisters in the streets of Ouagadougou. In Bingo, Nic says “I feel more confident this time going into the roadblock.” Don said, “I’ve certainly been around animals and farms and that’s where the older wisdom part comes in.” Sorry Michel, I think that vision of The Horror is going to be stitched into your eyelids for a few more weeks! I think Donald is going to have a few more experiences and outlast one of the “big” stories before they get eliminated. I’m going to be stubborn and say their story arc is beginning and not ending.

Azaria and Hendekea have finished first two out of the last three weeks and they should be perceived as the front runners. They are of Ethiopian heritage and they were excited to go to Africa, “the cradle of civilization.” Later Azaria says, “Africa feels like home. The opportunity to come here was a thrill for me and Hendekea. Hendekea says “I definitely feel comfortable in Africa and later says of the Blondes “I don’t think the Blondes feel very comfortable in West Africa.” There is an element of cockiness in her attitude towards the other racers. Reflecting on the detour she was almost rolling her eye balls telling the camera about their system of each learning 5 words. “It doesn’t take a brainiac to memorize ten words.” This is the second time they’ve acted “smarter” than the other racers. They've had success in Europe and in Africa. Perhaps another culture/third world country is their undoing.

The passionate:

Lorena and Jason went from first place to last place when Lorena had her breakdown. Jason said, “Lorena and I do have our issues. She gets stressed out a lot. It reminds me of the movie The Exorcist, her head starts spinning – whaaaa – but that’s the stuff we’ve got to start working out.” Normally I would think that their passion would take them far, but I am concerned that after Ronald and Christina, BVM has shoved their story down our throats. They were featured in both episode two and three’s recap and episode two, three and four “next week on…” (Ronald and Christina were featured all those times and the first episode’s “next week on.”) Long term players don’t usually get that much attention this early. At the pit stop Lorena reflects on milking the camel, “I get really stressed out under pressure and being able to get past that is really hard for me.” Jason said, “Emotionally to watch your girlfriend break down and have one of the most horrific times of her life is sad. She kept looking to me for help and I couldn’t help her.” Later when they came in next to last, Jason says, “She’s awesome….The reason why she’s so emotional is that she’s passionate. She’s passionate about life, passionate about doing well, passionate about pleasing me. She has a love for competition and that’s why we’re not eliminated right now.” Their story could be coming to an end. At the beginning of the race Jason talked about not wanting to be committed and here he was supportive of her and effusive in his praise for her. They have passion, but no balance.

Nate and Jen’s editing took a turn this week. Jen’s bitchiness almost disappeared and we saw them, Nate especially, enjoying the journey. At the beginning we saw Nate comment on their team dynamics, “Sometimes Jen, she stresses me out. If I’m doing something wrong she’s going to kick me in the butt for it.” “Sometimes Nate needs to keep his cool and watch his mouth. I’m a little lippy and I know I provoke him sometimes too, but I know I’m definitely working on it, in my heart I know I am.” Later at the roadblock Jen was more supportive of Nathan’s efforts than she had been in the past. Her nipple quote was priceless (and said with a straight face!), and she commented “Good job, Nate," several times. Nate and Jen were happy to be in Paris, they were happy to be in Burkina Faso, they enjoyed the train ride and seeing a soccer game. He says, “It was an incredible, incredible sight. Seeing these villages, knowing that these types of places really do exist in the world and how lucky we are to be here.” This is not the same team we saw during the previous two weeks! Nate talks (on the first flight out of Amsterdam) about wanting to, “take advantage of the time because you never know what will come next in this race.” This is the second time this team has commented about how the race can turn quickly. Is this foreshadowing for them or for another team? This team has passion and they are learning balance.

The In-Betweens:

Ronald and Christina had to deal with Ron’s hernia during the pit stop. We saw a new facet to “Who’s Your Daddy” this week as he became quite the whiner. They however have the desire to win. As they leave the pit stop he comments, “Right now we’re in out deepest low. On the last leg I was not at my finest as a father. I was too harsh in a way that demoralized Christina. If we’re going to win this race, I have to be more uplifting and not criticize her.” Later we see Ronald appreciating his daughter. At the roadblock, Christina didn’t want to follow the others until she saw the marked route. Ronald was impatient and just wanted to go. “Dammit Daddy, I did not want to follow those teams.” He said, “I need to be more trusting about Christina’s ability to lead. She’s leading better than me at this point in time.” This story is starting to come to a conclusion. He did make an improvement overnight like Christina said he needed to do last week. He is changing his attitude towards his daughter.

Shana and Jennifer’s edit really expanded this week. Shana left the pit stop saying: “Jen and I may not look as good as we would like to look right now but there is no alternative. There’s a million dollars at stake. We want to win that million.” That was a shift away from complaining about needing facials and massages. It seems like we spent a lot of time with them this week and what we saw wasn’t pretty! As a team, they could become our villains. They had problems negotiating the price of their cab fare in Ouagadougou. But instead of feeling sorry for them, we found their behavior unpleasant. Jennifer said, “Shana, relax, this guy isn’t going to take our money.” Then she comments, “This place is scary, where are we going?” Shana replies, “to be sold to people…for money.” Then when the cab driver only gave them 1,000 change instead of 2,000, Shana muttered, “I told you so.” As they exited, the cab driver called “bon voyage" with a leering grin. Later in the train station, Shana commented negatively, “I’m pissed everyone caught up to us.” We aren’t meant to like them. Their insensitivity on the train added to that. Shana made fun of the passengers and Jennifer complained about the dirt as she was bathing herself with antibacterial lotion. But later Shana (who agreed that her teammate was an idiot last week) was complimentary, “I was impressed with Jen. She didn’t complain. She just drank it, ” and told her “I’m really proud of you. You did a great job.” They were also singled out for a mat chat when Phil asked Jennifer why she was so passionate about wanting to stay in the race, “We’ve worked so hard to be here and I don’t want to be eliminated right now. I want to stay in it as long as possible. It means so much to me.” They’ve raced well and we haven’t seen them doing anything stupid yet. This team is shallow, but they’re not afraid to get down and dirty, and they want it (which is different than being passionate about it). I think they could go far.

If I had to guess at the final three I’d say TK and Rachel, Shana and Jennifer and Jen and Nate (but I reserve the right to change my mind next week – a calm, a passionate and an in-between.). The fan favs often go out in 4th place and I’d give that spot to Kynt and Vxysin.

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11-25-07, 02:15 PM (EST)
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12. "RE: Episode #3: Editing Thoughts"
CTGirl, what's this balance you're talking about?

I've looked at TK and Rachel again and I'm not convinced. Granted, this quote of yours is often accurate:

>"Long term players don’t
>usually get that much
>attention this early"

Even the dullest of all winners, Tyler and James had a story from the start. More than just their addiction recovery story, we had that powerful scene of Tyler on the train ride through the Gobi Desert and an immediate conflict with the Blondes to let us know that this team was one to watch.

TK and Rachel's "easy does it" story is seriously lacking. You were telling me that I'm wrong about them even before the season started and that is confusing me. They are good racers and I can't argue with results.

As far as too much attention early on, there has been exceptions: BJ and Tyler for example. We had some doubts on BJ and Tyler winning because they had been so visible even if they fit the theme of their season so well.

I didn't do editing analysis back then but, if I remember correctly, Freddy and Kendra as well as Flo and Zach were very visible from the start. Freddy and Kendra had more of a story than fan favorites Kris and John. Many thought and hoped that those two would win because they hadn't been over-exposed.

All that to say that finding winners through editing isn't an exact science. I'll agree with you that three "high-drama" teams in the finale would be too much. If we compare our views, the teams of Jennifer and Nathan and Shana and Jennifer could very well make it. I also see that neither of us count on Azaria and Hendekea making it to the end. It would be an interesting result if Jennifer and Nathan as well as Shana and Jennifer are in the finals.

If TK and Rachel are the third, I'd look for a Kris and John type ending. If Lorena and Jason are there, maybe I won't be the only one to call her Florena! The Goths are still wild-cards and it will be interesting to see if we are right about the front-running siblings and the other teams we've "eliminated".

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11-25-07, 05:44 PM (EST)
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13. "RE: Episode #3: Editing Thoughts"
Hey Michel, I may disagree with you, but I would never tell you you are wrong! I do respect your point of view (even when you're not right! ).

I admit that Rachel and TK's editing is confusing. Maybe I looked for more than is there because I liked them as a team. I liked your comment last week that things may not become clear until after Ron and Christina are eliminated, and it's something I remembered when I watched episode three, and I'll remember tonight.

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11-27-07, 11:17 PM (EST)
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14. "Episode #4: Editing Thoughts"
LAST EDITED ON 11-28-07 AT 01:34 PM (EST)

The recap focused mainly on the problems of the Camel Detour and the race to avoid elimination that Jason and Lorena won over the sisters. Ronald’s struggle with a hernia was the only notable mention.

Donald and Nicolas: Nothing to Talk About

Nick left the pit stop by saying: “I like to have a Grandfather like Don because having 60 years of life experience is a great pool to draw from.”
Donald added: “Even if I can’t run with the 23, 25 year olds, I have 40 years experience on them so I must’ve learned something during that time.” Despite Don’s words, Nick thought they were running very fast.

On the way to Bouda Pelegtanga, Nick was happy: “We just passed the Pinkies and it seems that our taxi driver himself is racing for a million dollars.”

Donald told us they chose the Shake your Pan Detour because “I’ve done a little bit of mining.” They had a good method that enabled them to finish the detour fast, propelling them temporarily to 3rd place.
(I’d have quit the race and stayed there. Seems like there’s a lot of gold in them holes!)
After receiving their clue, Nick kept telling Don to “Let’s go, let’s go ” but as soon as Donald caught up, Nick asked: “Is this the right way? We could be going the wrong way…We’re clueless.”

Being 4th place finishers, Phil told them it must feel nice.
“We’re steadily moving up the ladder” replied Donald.

This team has already exceeded my expectations. Is that their story? Their lack of visibility and their poor racing skills don’t match with their results, proof that what we are doing here has its limitations. Futile? Maybe, especially since I have a feeling that an elimination order has been spoiled somewhere. Why continue then? Good question…

Ronald and Christina: Always Talking

Ronald commented at the beginning: “Our relationship is definitely improving. We’ve gone from the bottom place to fifth place so that is a vindication…Hopefully I’ll continue to change dramatically for the better.”
Christina added with a smile: “And I’ll continue to be patient with my dad.” Right after she had to tell him to “Stop talking, you’re wasting energy.”

They chose “Shake your Booty” as their Detour because Christina said “My dad is a wild dancer.” Despite her advice to always smile and finish strong, the team’s performance was greeted by the sounds of crickets and a 10 minute penalty.

Christina decided to do the Roadblock because Ronald can’t juggle. He can talk however! Even if Christina did a good job loading her bicycle, we heard Ronald giving his input. “OK, I shut my trap” he said when she asked him to be quiet. He wished her “Bon voyage…May the force of good fortune be with you” as she left the market place.

Ronald saluted their top 3 finish.
Christina commented; “We’re finally racing at our level so we’re very happy.”

Although there’s finally more respect between these two, their story is still about how Ronald can’t let his daughter act on her own and how she can’t let her father have his fun. They’re starting to get good results but we don’t hear any comments from other racers about them. The interactions they’ve had with other teams were more to show how tough it was for Christina to deal with her father than to establish rivalries. This was their best episode but we saw them less than in any other. We’ve had no confessionals about the race itself or their feelings about the location and its people. That shows us that their story is only about their personal relationship, not about winning the race. Usually the early season distraction doesn’t make it to the mid-season and I still expect they will leave us soon.

Kynt and Vyksin: Profound Talk

Kynt told us at the start: “When you see Gothic people, on the surface, they look kinda distant but we’re both really sincere and genuine people and it’s gone to our advantage so far.”
Vyksin was the one heard pushing her team mate to go faster again.

Doing the Dance Detour, Kynt improvised some Ninja moves and the crowd looked happy. The judges concurred, putting the Goths in 4th place.
Kynt spoke in the taxi to the Market: “We look like aliens who dropped out of the sky and yet, they’ve been warm and smiling and kind.”

Vyksin was in third place when she started the Roadblock but she had trouble loading her bike, falling behind Christina and Nicolas to Kynt’s despair. Shana and Rachel had time to start their Roadblock before Vyksin got on her way.
Of that ride, Vyksin told us: “There’s mountain of garbage you have to go through. It’s mucky and muddy…All these kids, they started leading me and cheering me and being great.” We heard her telling them “Merci”

Vyksin’s emotions caught up with her during the final ride: “It was crazy back there. Like mountains of garbage…It’s been kind of an emotional day. It’s the first day that it’s gotten to me, the people, the environment. We’ve been in Africa for 3 days now and initially, I was taking it all in…the people are wonderful…” She couldn’t go on and started crying on Kynt’s shoulder.

Bringing their chicken all the way to 5th place, Kynt responded to Phil’s question about the reactions they’ve received for their pink outfits: “It’s amazing how open and tolerant that these people are. Everyone has come up with a smile.”
His companion added: “It’s unbelievably life-altering and amazing.”
Vyksin spoke afterwards: “Some of the things we have seen are heartbreaking. Yes, it’s a race and yes, we are focused on a goal but we are also not blind. It was difficult for me to experience seeing such wonderful people have so little.”

If their story was to be accepted, they’ve more than accomplished that. It gave us very nice television moments, far from the race itself. If we see them focusing on the goal, they could be our winners but for now, they are the feel-good story of the season, the ones we’d be sorry to see eliminated.

Azaria and Hendekea: Mean Talk

Azaria left the pit stop in Bingo saying: “There’s nothing stopping Hendekea and I from getting first place every time and win the million dollars.”
He immediately started asking Hendekea to run faster on their way to the Tribal Chief and their first clue. His confessional continued: “I understand she has physical limitations and all that.” When she objected, he added “you know what I mean.”
She shrugged it off as a joke about a supposed “gimp leg”.
On the taxi to Bouda Pelegtanga, Azaria pressed the point: “What can I do to help you go faster?”
Hendekea answered: “I’m going as fast as I can, I’m telling you.”
Later in the taxi, Hedekea told us her feelings about being in Africa: “The feeling is amazing, the people are always so happy and friendly and warm.”

In the village of Bouda, they had to stop, as Azaria explained; “We’re in first right now, we have teams on our butt and Hendekea has to go to the bathroom.” He wasn’t pleased but it enabled them to observe that Nathan and Jennifer’s dance lacked creativity. Azaria commented “We’ve tried to pick up some of the moves.” It worked because they finished the Detour in first place.

Being first at the U-Turn, Hendekea said they didn’t need to use it so they went by Taxi to the Tampouy Goat Market for their next clue.

Azaria did the Roadblock even if they were first to arrive. He kept a slight lead over Jennifer. Their last clue instructed them to ride by taxi to the Hotel de Ville. Azaria ordered his driver not to let Nathan and Jennifer pass. “We want to get first.” To Hendekea, he said: “We’re going to get first place, I’m telling you. Get your mind focused.”
“It’s focused” was her simple answer.
Azaria almost missed the mat and Hendekea had to scream at him to get him back on course but he edged out Nate and Jenn for first place.

These two are better racers than the first 3 teams but their story is all about Azaria worrying that Hendekea can’t do the job. That storyline has been so reinforced that I wouldn’t be surprised if Azaria actually makes the fatal mistake and has to swallow his pride.

TK and Rachel: Running Around

TK and Rachel’s style of racing received acknowledgment from Phil at the start when the host said: “Will TK and Rachel’s calm and steady approach to the race keep them moving ahead?”

TK explained further: “The more pressure we put on ourselves, the better chance we have of messing up. We are just going to keep a calm head and enjoying ourselves.”
“Slow and steady” he told Rachel as they jogged to meet the Chief.

Rachel was happy with the Chief’s gift. She joked: “No Chicken, no check-in…Yeah! We get to keep a pet with us.” She was laughing in the taxi as TK told her the chicken wanted a kiss.

Why did this team decide to change Detour after seeing Jennifer and Nathan fail but receive only a 10 minute penalty? Rachel found it too hard but changing Detour made them waste a lot more time than the 10 minutes especially since they got lost on the way to the gold mining station. They fell from 2nd to 7th place.

Realizing that the women hadn’t used the U-turn on them but rather on Jason and Lorena, Rachel had this pragmatic comment: “So we’re not last, no matter what now.”
TK’s confessional had a different angle: “I think it was a bad move on the Blondes part, strategically. I think the Blondes, now, have a target on their back.”
In the taxi, he added: “It’s unfortunate that Jason and Lorena got U-Turned. We wouldn’t have done that.”

Rachel did the Roadblock with TK advising her: “Calm and collected all the way through.”
She was calm but it didn’t help. “I’m sorry TK. I don’t know what’s going on right now” she said when she couldn’t load the bike. She still stayed with Shana all the way to the drop point but then she got lost again. “It’s so confusing…I have no clue where I am” she said. She returned to Safi Baba who told her where the market was. She finally made it back, telling TK: “It was the hardest thing I did in my whole life. I had no clue where I was the whole time.”
“It’s OK babe” was TK’s answer.
They finished in 7th place.

With Phil’s introduction, it felt as if their story arc finally took off. We had seen that Rachel had strong self-control but their story was confusing, the camera focusing on them only when they ran into problems. It’s not good that the answer to Phil’s question about their running style received an immediate, negative answer. Wanting to avoid pressure is a good way to start the race but, in the last leg especially, everyone eventually feels the pressure. I don't think they'd fare very well under those conditions. They could be that popular team that falls just short in the end.

Nathan and Jennifer: Running Late

Jennifer was determined from the start: “The last two legs, we finished in the top three. If we’re this close, we’re gonna make first place.”

The team was first at the Detour and chose Shake your Booty. Jennifer explained her choice: “I just finished being a dancer for the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team.” She learned the moves and tried teaching them to Nathan who seemed to lack rhythm. They made their demonstration to the judges but it ended with the sound of crickets! The team was given a 10 minute penalty, leading Jennifer to comment: “We didn’t show enough of our own creativity. I was very disappointed because I’m a dancer…That could cost us first place.”
After the penalty, Jenn added: “I’m going to get so much crap from the dancing world when I get back.”
Choosing not to use the U-Turn, Jennifer commented: “We’re going to win this race like freakin’ men.”

Jenn was the one chosen to do the juggling act even if she had this comment: “What the heck am I doing?” Nate was stressing her out but she got someone to accompany her to Safi Baba, keeping pace with Azaria.
She had a confessional: “That was the most culture shock I ever had because I don’t speak a lick of French.” At least she knew how to say “Merci.”

We saw her intensity on the taxi ride, especially when they spotted Phil on the mat. That led to a foot race and this comment from Jenn: “Come on guys, you got first two times.” They still lost the foot race.
Phil noted her frustration: “Jenn, it looks to me that you really want to come in first.”
She said: “It’s very frustrating. I want to come in first. I want it very bad and I just feel everyone should get their time and they’ve already had their time, two times before this.”
That prompted a response from Hendekea: “I love Nate and Jenn but we’re here to go as far as we can go and I didn’t feel comfortable letting anyone else come in first when I knew we could run and get here first.”

In every episode, we’ve had Jennifer's comments explaining almost every move. This team has been fleshed out both as strong racers and as villains. If TK and Rachel are the “Good Team” that makes the final leg, this one would be the “Bad team”. They’ve had good results but harping on everyone deserving their time showed poor competitive spirit. It was frustrating to finish second in this leg but nothing compared to what the frustration would be finishing second in the last leg. With their initial talk of being so close they’re sure of being first soon, that’s where their story seems to be heading.

Shana and Jennifer: Making a Run

Shana had a confessional at the start: “Jennifer and I are friends. We both definitely have input, we both speak our minds and we bicker about things.”
She wasn’t too sure about putting a chicken in a bag but, once in the taxi, she joked: “Let’s try to think of a good name for him. Let’s name the chicken Phil. He’s got kinda Phil’s hairdo with his spike hair. Looks like Phil!” (We then had a shot of Phil to confirm the “resemblance”!)

The women finished the Detour dance in 7th place but beat TK and Rachel to the U-Turn box.
Jennifer said: “I don’t want to do this.”
Shana countered: “We have to…it’s a game, they’ll understand… They’re right behind us and they’re such a strong team.” They forced the teams of Jason and Lorena to do a U-Turn, Jennifer still saying it was wrong.
Shana didn’t change her mind, her comments before leaving the U-Turn box were: “That’s a really good picture of us”!
(Since TK and Rachel were originally well ahead in 2nd place, it's possible the girls mistook them for Jason and Lorena when they came up behind)

Shana had this to say in a confessional: “We thought we saw Jason and Lorena behind us and not by very far. We figured we would still be the second to last team and they are an extremely strong team so we decided to U-Turn Jason and Lorena.”

Running to the taxi, Shana didn’t like Jennifer’s comments: “It’s not about being nice. Do you want to be out of the game because we were being nice?” In the taxi, she added: “I know Jason and Lorena are going to hate us. We had no choice. We want to say we’re sorry and we love them. It was the smartest thing to do.”
Jennifer objected: “I just think Karma’s a b*tch.”
Shana wouldn’t relent: “It’s a game it’s not a bad karma thing, it’s a part of the game. Right now, no one’s our friend, they are our competition and it’s for 1 million dollars. I’m not risking it for someone to get back at me.”
Jennifer’s look wasn’t one of approval.

With Shana doing the Roadblock, Jennifer stayed behind with TK. She said: “We U-Turned another team.”
He answered: “We would not have made that decision.”
Jennifer gave the excuse: “I wasn’t very happy about it. It was Shana’s decision.”
Jennifer had her say about the U-Turn in confessional: “Strategically, I think it was a grave mistake that we made…/…Jason and Lorena are going to come right around the corner and soon pass us.”

Shana was having her own problems: “There are no marked street signs or anything and trying to ask people who don’t speak the same language as you made it very, very difficult.”
Shana still found her way back before Rachel and told TK she had lost sight of her.
Just before arriving at the pit stop in 6th place, we had a shot of Jason and Lorena in their taxi still heading for the market with Jason saying: “We going to screw over the Blondes.” Phil checking in the Blondes put an end to that.

Was Jennifer’s repent shown to balance Shana’s resolve? It could be a question of balance afterall! The U-Turn itself was probably meaningless, the “Shake your Pan” Detour probably taking less than 10 minutes to complete. I’d like to know how far behind Jason and Lorena were from the 7th place team but they never seemed to have a chance. For something that was insignificant, we certainly heard a lot about it, especially with TK taking over the battle that Jason can’t carry on. Jason and Lorena's story of being the villains, which I misread as a good sign for their own future, could have been stressed to soften the image of Shana and Jennifer. Many viewers will say something like: “At least they used the U-Turn on those two.”

The Blondes already had a conflict with Nate and Jennifer, now the stage is set with TK and Rachel also. Shana and Jennifer fit the theme of pushing their limits to win the race. They would complete “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” trio of finalists by representing the “Ugly Team”. Despite all their ugly scenes, they still aren’t without good ones. We have seen their humorous side, calling their chicken “Phil” being the latest example. The “Hoist It” detour and the use of the U-Turn showed their determination. If Nathan and Jennifer do finish second, we already know that Jennifer will say she can’t believe the freakin’ Blondes did it. Besides Kynt and Vyksin, who I still see as wild-cards, the Blondes are the only team that have a story pointing to a win.

With that said, Karma could still catch up to them at the second U-Turn. What is the expiration date on bad Karma?

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11-28-07, 03:11 PM (EST)
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15. "RE: Episode #4: Editing Thoughts"
Wow, after two weeks of seeing things differently, I went back and edited my post down a little since we noticed a lot of the same things! I don’t think there is a boot list spoiler out there; I’m not aware of any spoilers other than the one that Banzai posted, but I haven’t really looked for it either.

Azaria and Hendekea came in first again. This week we saw Azaria being cocky. At the start of the leg he said, “There’s nothing stopping Hendekea and I from getting first place every time and winning the million dollars.” Azaria was also obsessed with getting Hendekea to go faster, “Can you run a little faster?” “Pick it up.” “What can I do to get you to move faster?” She replies, “I’m going as fast as I can! I’m telling you!” We see them happily and confidently go about on their African adventure, Hendekea tells us, “Azaria and I travel to Ethiopia together and the feeling I always get when I travel to Africa is amazing. The people are always so happy and friendly and warm.” Again we see how comfortable they are in Africa. They breeze through the “Shake your Booty” dance, we even see Azaria give a leprechaun leap. At the goat market, Azaria is still on Hendekea’s case, “Hendekea, come on!” Ironically, Hendekea is the one who spots Phil at the mat and her quickness gets them their first place finish.

Despite three first place finishes we aren’t getting a rounded view of them. We see no strategy, just confidence and a bit of cockiness. Even their sibling rivalry isn’t much, but that little bit of conflict is their story. They’ve hit their stride in Africa, but I don’t see a storyline that will carry them to the finish.

Jen and Nate have recovered from their first leg to finish 2nd (or almost 2nd!) place three times in a row, something they are not happy with. Jen swears, “The last two legs we’ve finished in the top three. If we’re this close, we’re going to make first place.” They seem to have gotten their mouths under control, and we saw them enjoying the race. Jen said “Yay, we get to keep a pet with us.” Later we hear that Jen was a LA Clipper dancer and she was fairly good-natured about their penalty seeing the irony in it. They chose not to U turn anyone because as Jen says, “We’re going to win this like frickin’ men.” (Oh, the irony of that compared to her speech at the mat!) At the market, Jen and Nate are intent on coming in first; Nate mentions several times that they want to beat the siblings and want first so bad. They want it so badly that Jen asks them to let them win! (That’s manly?!) As they’re running, “Come on you guys, you’ve gotten first three times!” When Phil tells her that she looks like she really wants to come in first, she told him, “It’s very frustrating. I want to come in first. We want it really bad. I feel like everyone should have their time and they’ve had their time two times before this.”

Jenny is intensely competitive (and slightly entitled acting) and they both want this badly. We have seen them in a negative light fighting and we have seen them enjoying the racing experience, now we’ve seen how close they’ve come to finishing first. Their quest for first place is their story.

Ronald and Christina came in third, their best finish yet. In the recap, Phil once again reminded us of Ronald’s hernia. Ronald rates their relationship by how they are performing in the leg, “Our relationship is definitely improving. We have moved from bottom place to fifth place. That’s a vindication (cut to Ronald walking and talking about his hernia). Hope I can change even more dramatically.” Christina adds, “I’ll continue to be patient.” At the roadblock, Ron starts ordering Christina around again (in Chinese). “Daddy!” “Okay, I’ll shut my trap. May the force of good fortune be with you,” and it was. Christina’s sharp eyes spot Phil first in the race to the mat against Don and Nick. Ronald complains about his hernia again as they run to the finish mat. They tell Phil, “We’re finally racing at our level and we’re happy."

We haven’t learned much more about them and their story hasn’t progressed. They have been mentioned in every recap, and now Ron’s hernia is acting up. Their comment at the mat shows tells us that they have met their goal. Their story is drawing to an end.

Don and Nick also had their best showing, coming in fourth. Nick tells us, “I like having a grandfather like Don, 60 years of life experiences is a great pool to draw from.” Don added, “Even though I still can’t run with the 23-25 year olds, I’ve got 40 f***ing years on them so I must have learned something during that time.” Nick was nicely accommodating his grandfather’s ability to run or not. This team’s edit has interested me - you know that Gramps has a mouth on him, but we haven’t really seen it yet. Nick is a bit boring, but has a dry sense of humor, “We just passed the pinkies and it seems like our taxi cab driver himself is racing for a million dollars.” (I wonder why the editors chose to include that particular phrase?) They chose the “Shake your Pan” detour and it turns out that Don has some experience in panning too. His sharp eyes helped to spot the market and Phil singled them out on the mat this week, “This feels nice, four legs in 4th place. It must feel good.” Don tells him, “We’re steadily moving up the ladder.”

Also of note, Nick and Christina have formed a friendship. She told him “Good job Nick” in the market and he tapped her on the head. Later on the mat, he wrapped his arm around her shoulders. I don’t know if it’ll affect the outcome, but the editors were showing us a friendly side to their personalities.

Don and Nick are having a great grandfather-grandson adventure. Nick can be a little clueless, but Don’s experience is keeping them in the game and so far, that is their story.

Kynt and Vxysin struggled a bit and finished in fifth place. Kynt narrated about the Goth lifestyle several times, and then we heard Vxysin emotionally speak about her experiences in Burkina Faso. Kynt said, “Typically when you see Gothic oriented people, on the surface they look kind of distant. But we are both sincere and genuine people and it’s gone to our advantage so far.” And we saw in the marketplace how the children helped lead and cheer Vxysin to find her way. Vxysin had some trouble at the roadblock but was emotionally moved by the culture and their environment. We hear more about her experiences in the market during their cab ride. She gets teary describing it, “It was so crazy back there…mountains of garbage and muddy. It’s been an emotional day…We’ve been in Africa for a few days. Initially I was just taking it all in and you know…the people are so wonderful and they grow up and live, and that’s it for you, you know.” And we heard from them again at the mat when Phil asked them what kind of reaction they had gotten from “walking around in your pink outfits and white make-up?” Kynt said,”it’s amazing how open and tolerant these people are. Everyone has come up with a smile.” Vxysin continued, “This is just unbelievable, life-altering and amazing. Some of the things we have seen are absolutely heartbreaking. Yes it’s a race and yes we’re focused on a goal, but we’re also not blind. It was difficult for me to experience such wonderful people who have so little.”

One last thing to note, Kynt, at the U Turn says, they’ll “wait and use it later.” (hmmm.)

To give so much attention to two unique individuals and their experiences in Africa seems to indicate that they are long-term players. I would like to see some strategy from them and not just a focus on their idiosyncrasies.

Shana and Jennifer spent another week at the back of the pack. At the pit stop Shana says, “Jen and I are great friends. We both definitely have input and we both definitely speak our minds. We bicker back and forth about things.” That sets the stage for next week’s quarrel with each other. This week their story revolved around their use of the U turn. Thinking that only Lorena and Jason were behind them they chose to make JayLo do the extra task. It was all Shana’s decision, “We have to, it’s a game. They are right behind us and they are a strong team. (One of them commented, “That’s a really good picture of us!” In case we’d forgotten how shallow they can be!) When Jennifer balks, Shana says “Jen, it’s not about being nice. You want to be out of the game because we’re nice?” Jen replies, “I just think karma’s a bitch.” Shana is insistent, “its part of the game. It’s not a bad karma thing. They’re not our friends, they are our competition and it’s for a million dollars and I’m not going to risk it for someone to be mad at me.” Shana’s competitive streak comes out again when Rachel and TK’s van passes them, “we have to be better than them at the roadblock; we have to be better.” Jennifer still thinks it’s a mistake when she talks to TK. So much time was spent on their decision to U-turn a team that is no longer in the competition, that it must be an issue at some point in the future. Shana keeps her cool during the roadblock, but is a little negative, “I can’t deal with this.” We’re so screwed.” Jennifer continued to worry that Jason and Lorena would catch up and zoom past them. They were happy and relieved to finish in sixth place.

They are the only team to have two stories at this point. One is the stress in their friendship, the other is the fact that they used the U Turn and how this is going to be perceived by the other racers left in the game.

Rachel and TK had miserable leg and finished in seventh place. Phil asked at the beginning of the leg, “Will TK and Rachel’s calm and steady approach keep them moving ahead?” Well this week, it was just barely. TK comments, “I think the more pressure we put on ourselves, the better chance we have of messing up. So we’re keeping a calm head, enjoying ourselves; slow and steady.” In the beginning we saw TK fooling around with the chicken and teasing Rachel. The laughs are gone when they get to the detour. They decide to switch to panning and can’t find it. They are frustratingly unobservant! We hear from TK about the U-Turn, “I think it was a bad move on the Blondes part strategically. I think the Blondes might have a target on their back.” Later he says, “its unfortunate Jason and Lorena got U turned. We would not have done it.” Time well tell if he’s just commenting on this situation since Jason can’t or if those words will come back to haunt him. At the roadblock, they know that they are in the back of the pack, but TK stays calm, “its show time! Calm and collected all the way,” he reminds Rachel. “Do you know where you’re going?” “Yes,” she’s sure. She got hopelessly lost! Rachel keeps her cool, goes back to Safi Baba and gets pointed in the right directions. At the pit stop Rachel is stunned to find out they weren’t last.

Rachel and TK are athletic racers and have a positive partnership. They are severely directionally challenged though! We wouldn’t be surprised if they get eliminated because of it. Their story is if they can stay calm, cool and collected and still stay in the game.

It seems as if Jen and Nate, Kynt and Vxysin, Shana and Jennifer and Rachel and TK could be our final four. But I don’t want to forget that The Amazing Race editing is never clear-cut. Remember that we never thought Lynn and Karlyn would make the final three at this point in the game! Azaria and Hendekea and even Don and Nick could be a surprise final four team. At this point, I agree that Shana and Jennifer and Kynt and Vxksin have the right balance of stories, desire and talent to be the winner.

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16. "RE: Episode #4: Editing Thoughts"
I saw some interesting storys developing in the possibility of the final three teams.

Jennifer & Nathan - As you've both stated that their quest is for first place. This is Jennifer's story, she want's first place so bad, does Nathan want it has bad as Jennifer? It doesn't seem so. I think their story could be over the next episode once and if they get first or they will make it to the final with out the 1 million dollar. Eric/Danielle never arrived 1st in any leg except for the final win it counts. Jennifer is constrating on beating out Azaria/Hendekea on getting 1st place. I also find this story has for them to arrive 1st right before Azaria/Hendekea and their story is over, unless a new story opens up about their relation ship status. This team could be going all the way if they don't recieve any first place finshes except for the leg before last in which they are put into the final three automatically, and thus loosing the million dollars. Or they will not arrive first at all in previous legs, but continue to slide through until the end and walk away with the million dollars when coming in first counts the most. Final Three: Possible, Eliminated before the Final Three: Possible.

Azaria & Hendekea - They want to continune getting first to secure their safety in the final three to win the million dollars. Azaria has been making a few mistakes two many. In the last episode he ran away from phil only to come in first by a second. Hendekea is out to prove to her brother she is up and has fast his him. This is her story to prove to Azaria that she is able to run with him side by side. Once Azaria admits that she can keep up with him and is at his level, their story could be the end. And if Hendekea reflects on Azaria notice of surrondings area could cost them the leg of the race with him accepting she is has good as him or better. I feel this is their story. They could be final three by staying in the top of the pack and continuing to get 1st place finishes. They could possible get far ahead of the other teams. Final Three: Definately, Eliminated before the Final Three: Slim

Kynt & Vysxin - I haven't figured out their story yet. They same strong and confident, but they lack the ability to move fast. Vysxin is carrying this team, while Kynt just sits back and enjoys the ride. They are working together. If I can find a story, its to prove that Kynt is has mascline has Vysxin is. We haven't seen the strongness of Kynt yet and his ability to carry this team if Vyxsin falls. Are the editors trying to show that its Vysxin who is carrying the team? Or are they hiding Kynts ability and saving it for later when its needed the most? Could Kynt be saving his energy for when it matters? Final Three: Maybe, Eliminated before the Final Three: Possible

T.K. & Rachel - They are calm and steady has both of you have stated thus far. And I agree. They have been in the front, middle and behind the back. I find their story is them staying under the radar, and knocking out the uncollected and non-focused teams and easying their way into the final three and then sprint to the mat for 1 million dollars. Stay calm and making it to the pitstop right before one other team I find is their story as well. Final Three: Possible, Eliminated Before the Final Three: Maybe

Ronald & Christina - I think their story is coming to a close. I feel once they reach first place as the same with Jennifer & Nathan, and Ronald accepts his daughter for who she is and what she can do, because apparently it depends upon the order they arrive in which he cares for her. The more Christina can show her dad, the prouder he is for the order it seems. With Ronalds hernia thrown into the mix, it could be their story has can Ronald surviv the race long enough for the million dollars? or will the hernia be the end of them? Final Three: Slim, Eliminated before Final Three: Good Chance

Donald & Nicolas - They arrived 3rd this leg, and if they continue to stay in the front of the pack, and go far they could make it. Their story hasn't grown any, and I can't find anything to their story. I think they are just their. Or is the story about Donald being able to out last all the younger and athletic racers and win the millon? or is being in the 60's to tough for him? Final Three: Slim, Eliminated Before Final Three: Good Chance

Shana & Jennifer - The only female team left. They have two storys with them now thanks to last episodes little cliff hanger I thought. The First story I find is the First Female Team to win the million dollars. They have the competitive sport, they are playing the game to win, and will do what ever it takes to win the million. They have shown that, even if one of them regrets the others decision. Which brings us to their second story that is blooming: Their Friendship. If these continue to argue and disagree with each others decision they could possible make it until they agree on something which will be the story is over. One of the two storys will turn out, while the other fades away. Could their friendship be more important than the million dollars? or does the million dollars count more than their friendship if they play dirty and smart, ending in a lose of a friend? Final Three: Possible, Eliminated before final three: Possible.

My Prediction for Final Three:
Azaria & Hendekea
T.K. & Rachel
Shana & Jennifer

Jennifer & Nathan
Kynt & Vysxin

Could Change:
Donald & Nicolas
Ronald & Christina

Shana & Jennifer first all female team.

This episode will probably help me understand more of their storys
Any similar's or differneces?

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12-03-07, 01:01 PM (EST)
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17. "Episode #5: Editing Thoughts"
Hey all,

Longtime reader of the thread, first time poster. michel you do a great job with this and the Survivor editing thread, I thought I'd pitch in this time since there hasn't been much turnout this season yet.

Like everyone who has posted so far, I was struggling to find that common thread for this season and I think with the editing thus far and considering the last 2 boots, I believe I've discovered the main theme for TAR12: Self-Destruction!

I was pretty shocked by the Jason & Lorena and Shana & Jennifer eliminations the last two episodes considering their high visibility early on. But their defeats were clearly explained to viewers. They were their own worst enemies.

So getting to the current rankings:

6. Nate & Jen: Just about every viewer is ready for this team to go home. I don't think they are a Final 3 villains team, all their conflict is with themselves and not any other team. Thus no long term story going on. They were featured in next week's promo as being in trouble and normally this bodes well for teams as a form of misdirection, but Shana & Jennifer got similar treatment last week and look what happened.

5. Ron & Christina: I really want to believe that this team has a story arc building to a Final 3 appearance but Ron simply hasn't changed enough for the audience to forgive him for that awful 2nd episode. Normally high visibility early on is a good thing for long term teams but as stated above it doesn't seem like such an advantage this time around.

4. Nicholas & Don: This team is quickly becoming that classic Final 4 underdog comic team that will just miss the last cut. We already know they don't have the best racing skills but viewers are going to start cheering them on more because they are a unique team and they want to see Don reach that Internet Buffet!

3. TK & Rachel: Going back to my theme, this group is getting along and I can't recall them having any big arguments or conflict yet. They seem to be calm, focused racers. Unfortunately I don't remember much of their background and their story doesn't have a lot of substance yet to get fans going either way, possibly so people aren't that disappointed when they lose. Another Ray and Yolanda?

2. Azaria & Hendekea: For a team doing so well, they really aren't getting any extra positive reinforcements from editing. The most notable story is this undercurrent of conflict between brother and sister which all feels a little manufactured and not in a good way. At some point, maybe towards the finish line, viewers are getting set-up for Azaria to eat humble pie as he makes a crucial mistake and not his sister. Their edit reminds me a lot of Frank and Margarita from Season 1.

and so the Winners are...

1. Kynt & Vyxsin: For awhile I had these two slotted in at that Funny4 position but as others have pointed out they are getting more attention beyond simply their odd physical appearances. They've been given too many sidebar confessionals, that we don't really need to see, for us to believe they won't make it to the end. Out of all the teams, they seem to have the best chemistry and most visibility and that's why I think they will come out on top... at least that's my opinion now, things can always change!

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12-04-07, 00:47 AM (EST)
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18. "RE: Episode #5: Editing Thoughts"
I can't make up my mind between (Nate & Jen) or (Ron & Christina) but both teams are primed for your suggestion of Self-Destruction!

Nate & Jen just because they fight each other so much instead of handling the task at hand.

Ron & Christina would almost certainly because of Ronald's making a point to bully his daughter in letting him do something that he really is not good at.

Kynt & Vyxsin are getting so much positive exposure they must be in the top 3/4 with Azaria & Hendekea clearly showing the skills needed to win must be up there two. The rest is just random guesses to me but I think I am left with Nicholas & Don.

It would be nice to see an older person in the top three.

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19. "More Episode #5 Editing Thoughts"
Welcome dabeat! Michel's editing thread for TAR was what pulled me out of lurkerdom a few seasons ago too.

What a great episode. The producers have picked some good locations this season and we’re seeing the local culture and not the inside of some office buildings. There was some fun team dynamics too.

Rachel and T.K. finally lived up to their potential and finished in first. It also made me wonder if the editing is deliberately playing up their weaknesses (they are bad with directions) and hiding what they do well. As Michel said several weeks ago we always see them when they’re having trouble, and not when they are successful. This week they were successful, but they didn’t get a lot of screen time. However, TK was the spokesperson for the race in this episode. He had two key quotes. This week I thought that they could possibly be the winner and the editing is trying to hide them. TK also struck me as an alpha male this week, the only one left in the race, and we all know that alpha males tend to do well.

Rachel commented when they left the pit stop, “This place was kind of humbling. It was the first time we’ve been in the lower group.” TK added, “The competition is fierce so we need to change our game accordingly.” The problem is, I didn’t see how they did anything differently! They are the last ones to the internet kiosk, but because there was only one computer, they wander off and we don’t see what they do. However, at the airport, TK has what I think is the quote of the night, “Someone used the U-turn and it’s not a big group of happy campers any more. The ones that stress out and waste too much energy don’t make it to the end.” Nate is focused on here, and the comment points out that these two teams operate in opposite ways. Rachel and TK were happy to catch up to the first airplane, but Rachel didn’t want to do the roadblock, “I think my mind is too confused from looking at maps.” The editors cut out TK proactively asking a Lithuanian to go with him to show him the way, but just showed his reply to TK, “yeah, let’s go.” TK is strong but we don’t see it. Rachel is being edited as a ditz, and I’m not sure she is. After their mat chat TK says, “As we were alone today throughout most of the day, we thought we were lost, it just goes to show you never know what’s going on in the race.” Since there isn’t one really strong team left in this race, I could see a lot of movement between the teams and where they finish each leg.

Kynt and Vxysin had another strong leg finishing in second. Their warm welcome from an African village along with Kynt’s quote about seeming like aliens dropped from the sky into Africa was highlighted during the recap. Kynt does most of the narrating about their Goth lifestyle. He said, “I’m a very controlled person. I’ve always wanted to go to Romania or Transylvania – someplace with spooky architecture. I wouldn’t say I control Vxysin. I try to guide her. This confessional was obviously chopped up. The last two sentences were an odd juxtaposition; perhaps to hint at some conflict to come. In the taxi, Kynt says, “I smell first place, Vxysin!” Not this week, but perhaps some foreshadowing. Kynt loved the festival saying it was his favorite moment thus far in the race (they counted together and confirmed every 100 posts – now that’s good thinking and teamwork!). Kynt did say, “Oh its stupid TK and Rachel.” (OK maybe my analysis above is wrong! ) as they race to the finish line. Kynt and Vxysin have showed us good teamwork without much drama. We were reminded of their Goth adventures in Africa and now in Lithuania. The editing has given us no reason to think they won’t be around for a while. Like Dustin and Kandice last season, they are the featured players this season. They are racing hard and enjoying the experience. If they were to win, it would be icing on the cake.

Ron and Christina are also hitting their stride as racers and their story continues to focus on how they are connecting with each other. Christina says, “My Dad and I are working out how we can communicate better (cut to Christina saying, “Good job Daddy! I love you!” as they hail a taxi) and so I say, “I love you consciously to my dad. It makes him uncomfortable, but I still do it.” Christina the diplomat gets the tickets at the airline office, but Ron isn’t happy with the results. He wants her to push harder, “Christina is somewhat naïve. I want to teach my daughter how to deal with various kinds of people.” We are seeing the relationship growing. In this case Ron was trying to get his daughter to change too. It is no longer a one way street. Later when she hires a taxi driver to follow in Vilnius, Ron gives her kudos for a good idea, “I didn’t think of that.” At the mat Christina reiterates her opening statement, “I’m so proud of my dad. He’s my superman because he has a hernia and he’s running with the pain. He’s changing key qualities in his personality for me and this race.” Their story wasn’t featured in the recap or in “next week on…” but when they are again, I’d say their story will come to a close. They’ve had a nice story arc in learning to work together and appreciate each other.

Azaria and Hendekea recover from Hendekea’s problem at the roadblock to finish in fourth. They had a solid leg throughout but were not given much attention, very similar to episode two when they weren’t winning. Azaria comments at the beginning of the race, “Most of the time I don’t believe I have a quick temper, but when I’m dealing with my sister, I tell her right to her face.” This is hinting at the problems we saw in the previews of next week’s show; they didn’t argue this week. Are they the next team to become unbalanced and lose? I don’t see another story for them. We haven’t seen them develop any animosity towards other teams. They even worked with Jen and Nate at the internet shop and Jen and Hendekea seemed like buddies, so there is no story there.

Nate and Jen finished in fifth, but started the show off salivating by how much they want first place. “We have come so close to first place. We want this so bad. Our eyes are full of fire right now and we’re going to use that ball of fire to rage through!” Those are fighting words, but after the display of ugly, ugly behavior they showed this week, I would be surprised if they don’t self-destruct before the end. Jen does have a great joie de vivre for the race, “This is fun, like hunting for Easter Eggs!” Their story continues to be their quest for first place: when and will it happen and their volatile relationship. Nate complained to Jen about stressing out (among other things!) when they were lost, “I love you, but you need to stop stressing…it’s a lot easier when people don’t stress out at the start.” They are strong racers, but I don’t know if they can keep their emotions under control. A potential story could be being set up between the calm and unstressed Rachel and TK versus the crazy and passionate Nate and Jen.

Donald and Nicolas were saved from elimination only because Shana and Jennifer kept getting lost. They have a quirky relationship but so far it’s been balanced. Nick is clueless a lot, but Gramps saves him and vice versa. Don says, “Traveling with family, we can reconstruct this at least for our family,” and Nick adds “but my grandfather can’t remember where he put two hats in two days let alone remember what we’ve done on the race.” We see several shots of Nick trying and failing to get a taxi while Kynt and Vxysin come along and hop right in one. Nick is not aggressive; when Don takes over they get a cab right away. Don was the first one to spot the parking lot at the Vilnius Airport where the TAR cars were parked and so they got to the roadblock first (where Nick’s cluelessness struck again.) Their story seems to be how Gramps life experience and sharp eyes are keeping them in the game even though the odds are not in their favor.

Then there is another facet to their editing that interests me. This leg saw another example of Nick trying to get airline tickets. I pointed out last week that a friendship seemed to have developed between Nick and Christina. Well in the race to the internet, all bets were off. Christina says to her dad, “Let’s go before Nick and Don see us.” They meet up later in the ticket office where Nick says to his grandfather, “Don’t help them!” Christina says to her dad, “Nick and Don, Shhhh!” as they try to avoid them. The memory of their altercation on the way to Amsterdam is still fresh! I think I was the only one who questioned why Ron went off on Nick then. I found the way Nick was edited interesting again this week. There was a long delay in getting their tickets but we still only saw a small portion of Nick’s actions, and not enough to explain why the ticket agent gave him a lousy flight. I think Nick could’ve been edited in a far more negative way. I think we are meant to like this team. Except for these two airport scenes, the Nick we’ve seen has always been extremely polite. After Don and Nic left the ticket office, Azaria says to Nate, “Karma, that was Karma” to explain the bad tickets they got. It made me wonder if there are more dynamics between Nic and the other racers that we don’t see. I’m probably making too much of it, but I find it odd. Don and Nick have worked well together, and have exceeded everyone’s expectations. If Ron and Christina and Azaria and Hendekea are the next teams to be eliminated, that means they sneak into the final four! (This could also explain why I feel their editing is a bit manipulated.)

I was surprised Shana and Jennifer were eliminated. It seems all the talk about their U-turning someone was much ado about nothing, but I will still be interested to see who uses the U-turn next time and how it affects the outcome. There was too much time spent on it not to be a factor next time around.

Christmas cookies with Sharnina

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12-06-07, 06:51 PM (EST)
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20. "RE: More Episode #5 Editing Thoughts"
LAST EDITED ON 12-06-07 AT 07:05 PM (EST)

I want to apologize for being so late with my post although I’ve been so off this season that I don’t know if I can even read what’s happening on the race, let alone talk about it!

I want to welcome DaBeat not only to the thread but to the boards. Thank you for the kind words, I needed them and I hope you enjoy your stay. Please, don’t ever be shy to post, we like to share. Self-Destruction, you suggest? Only if it applies to me! My analysis has been self-destructing week by week and I could be turning into a barometer to see which team goes next! Unless I’m jinxing them. If self-destruction is the theme of the season, and the Goths do win, they would indeed be energizer bunnies who keep going and going...

Hi EarlCP, nice to read your comments.

I really enjoyed your analysis CTGirl. You always help me see things a little better.

On with it: The recap featured the Goths and the U-turn decision from the Blondes. I guess I learned that Karma can take a week to manifest itself!

Rachel and TK

Rachel started this leg, worried that it was the first time they had fallen to last place. TK agreed: “The competition is fierce, we have to change our game accordingly.”
During the free-for-all that was the ticket purchase, TK told Nathan: “The teams that stress out and waste a lot of energy, are the ones that don’t make it to the end.”

Arriving in the Baltic country 10 minutes after the first three teams, Rachel started clapping when she spotted the Blondes: “We’re off on our own again, Babe” was TK’s comment.
TK found a good guide for the Roadblock, finishing in second place.

For the Detour, TK and Rachel chose to Step up. They did farly well on their stilts and finished first when Kynt and Vyksin decided to change task. They were off on foot to the Pit Stop, the Aukstaitija Windmill.

Finishing first, they were too busy jumping and laughing to speak to Phil but afterwards, TK said: “As we were alone today for most of the day, we thought we were last. It just goes to show you never know what’s going on in this race.”

Finally, we saw this team when they worked well. The cameras actually stayed with them and not just showed them at clue boxes and such. The relaxed attitude manifested by these two could actually become the key to the season. Of course, they’d probably be as calm even if they were 5 days behind everyone but this likeable team is strong. Being on their own isn’t a good strategy especially for a team that has demonstrated they can go right by a clue or a pit stop! I still see them as the team that goes far, gets our hopes up but falls just short.

Kynt and Vyksin

Kynt started off telling us: “I’ve always been a controlled person. I wouldn't say that I control Vyksin, I say that I guide her.” (Kynt, even if it rhymes, Lithuania isn’t the same as Romania or Transylvania!!)

Kynt breezed through the Roadblock and he was shown being courteous to everyone helping him along the way. They were first off to the town of Rumsiskès and its outdoor museum.

With gnome in hand, the Goths reached the Detour and chose to do “Step Up”. Kynt was amused to find people in the festival: “My favorite moment of the Amazing Race so far as been to arrive at the festival. Vyksin and I love to dress up and we found kindred souls.” They tried to do the stilts detour but couldn’t. Vyksin told Kynt to change and do Count Down where they’d have to count the 717 pickets of a fence. They finished the task second, spotted TK and Rachel running but remained in second place.

This team also has a calm way of racing. We didn’t see them involved in the ticket battle, we don’t see them arguying. The only difference between what we hear from them and what we see is that Kynt isn’t the one controlling anything. Vyksin has been shown as the engine of this team. But, if we remember, it was Kynt that received compliments on being fast in the earlier stages. Something could be off, signaling trouble ahead. They’re the only team left that I’ve seen with a winning edit so I have to stubbornly stand by them!

Ronald and Christina

Christina told us they’re working on their communication problems: “I say I love you constantly to my dad. I know it makes him a little uncomfortable but I still do it.”

Getting tickets for Vilnius, Ronald once more showed his irritating side, this time including a ticket agent in his rant. After telling his daughter that the arrangements she had booked weren’t satisfactory, Ronald said, in confessional: “Christina is very naïve. I want to teach my daughter how to deal with various people.” In front of the agent, he added: “This is unacceptable. She is fossilizing her mind to Air France. We have to get beyond this fossilisation.” They eventually got on the last flight to Lithuania.

In Vilnius, while everybody else was receiving sound effects to underline their wrong turns, Christina asked a taxi driver to escort them to St Anne’s Church. “Great idea…Kudos” said Ronald.
Ronald did the Messenger Roadblock that required listening to instructions even if Christina said: “I’m a great listener, he’s a great talker. I’m nervous.” Showing he can dish it out but he can’t take it, half-way through the task Ronald passed the church again and Christina told him that other teams were still there. Ron answered: “Don’t give me pressure. Silence, s’il vous plaît.” He finished third, receiving more love from Christina.

The team chose to do stilts and they finished the task in 3rd place even if it practically killed Ronald who took a bad fall. Christina said, in confessional: “I’m so proud of my dad, he’s my superman…He’s changing key qualities in his personality for me and this race.”

Something’s changed in their portrayal. There's mutual acceptance and the team has found a new focus, attacking others rather than fighting each other. Is it the start of a short redemption story before their elimination or the start of a long story arc of resurrection? I dunno.

Azaria and Hendekea

Leaving for Vilnius, Lithuania, Azaria tells us: “I don’t believe I have a quick temper” while we see him fighting with Hendekea over a taxi. A Contradiction between words spoken and action shown is never a good sign.

Having started third, Hendekea had many problems finding the last destination of the messenger’s route. They left the Roadblock in 5th place.

The search for gnomie went well even if Hendekea commented: “There’s gnomes everywhere.”

Stilts looked like a fun task but they changed to counting after a few spills. “I love me some numbers” said Azaria as they headed out to the Pit Stop, reaching it in 4th place.

Another leg in the middle of the pack, another leg where we don't see much of them. I haven’t spoiled much this season. The only thing left is that I’ve seen that this team shouldn’t make it to the end. Somehow, someway, the proud but cocky Azaria will cause the elimination of this team. I’ll have to stand by that also!

Nathan and Jennifer

Jennifer left the pit stop saying: “We’ve been so close so many times…we have fire in our eyes.” Staying out of most of the turmoil of the plane arrangements to Vilnius, Jennifer had this comment to Hendekea about the Blondes secret seating plan: “Right now, this is the turning point in the game. We see the people’s true colors.”

Arriving in Vilnius, Jennifer started to scramble for the marked car. Nathan told her: “I love you but you cannot stress out.” He quickly forgot his own advice and, (after receiving a few “gongs!” as sound FX) Nathan said: “This is the most insane place I’ve been in my life.” To second that feeling, Jenn added “OH! My gosh!!” They abandoned their car 20 minutes from the Church. The run prompted Nate to say: “I can’t believe what kind of person you’ve turned into. It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” “Same with you, Nate” was her response.

While Jenn was off doing the Roadblock, why did Nathan sit with the other teams? Shouldn’t he have run back for the car? Maybe the rules prevent it. Jenn was a good listener as they finished 4th but had to run back to the car.

As they started to search for gnomie, Jenn said: “This is fun. I feel like I’m on an easter egg hunt.”

Reading the Detour clue, Jenn was decisive: “Stilts? We are NOT doing stilts. Let’s Count Down…I can do this so fast. Please let me do it.” She got mixed up by the activity around her and, since Nathan hadn’t been counting, they had to start over with Nate counting also. Unfortunately, Nate can’t count in his head or inside his mouth (?) and both got very confused. Knives were flying around as Nate called Jenn a b*tch, asking “why would you tell me to be quiet and then ask me a question?” They quit the count and went for the stilts just as Nicolas and Donald arrived. They thought they were out of the race but finished in 5th place.

I’m pretty good at calling long term teams, aren’t I? These two sure look like winners, don’t they? If what Jenn said is true, that this is the time when “We see the people’s true colors” then this is a terrible sign for them, OK, before you bet everything on them being the next eliminated, I’ll say that IF they survive next week, we’ll have to consider just how much airtime this team receives. Jenn gets to explain almost every move in confessionals. We have remarks from both at every turn. Sure, they’d make good punching bags for most viewers but they also make good villains…I’ll stay with them making Final 3 so that you guys can laugh some more.

Nicolas and Donald

Nicolas left the pit stop telling us his Grandfather doesn’t remember things from two days ago. At the ticket office, the team started acting sneaky towards the others, Nicolas telling the agent: “Everyone else, give them later flights.” “It’s a game” he told Hendekea when she told him they had heard everything. He still didn’t want to tell anyone his arrival time. “In the end, we’re all enemies, right?” They got bumped out of the Paris to Amsterdam flight by the agent who helped Hendekea. “That was Karma” said Nathan. Strangely, Jennifer and Nathan and the Blondes got on the plane Nick and Don had been told was full! (Karma, was that the agent’s name?)

Despite the problem, the team was first to arrive to St Anne’s Church and the Roadblock, showing this team is good with directions…That is car directions because Nicolas got lost during the walk from the University to the hair salon. Donald said the Roadblock took 2 hours. They left the Roadblock in last place, tied with the Blondes.

They remained ahead of the girls until Nicolas realized that he had been counting the pickets of the gates when the clue specified not to. Instead of starting over, he calmly substracted the extra posts and the team finished safely in next to last place.

This was the worse leg for this team but it was the first one I enjoyed watching them. Finally, they are racing. Is that a positive turning point or the beginning of the end? I Dunno. CTGirl mkes a nice point about the different Nicks but is either edited version of the nerd a winner? I don't think so.

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12-12-07, 04:42 PM (EST)
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21. "Episode 6 Editing Thoughts"
This was another fun episode in a beautiful setting. The first three teams to arrive in Croatia where all shown exclaiming over the scenery. Dubrovnik has been added to my list of places to visit someday!

This episode was all about teamwork and that I believe is a key aspect to this season’s theme. Azaria and Hendekea had a brief falling out as a team; they never recovered from it and were eliminated.

Team Mellow:
Last week’s winners Rachel and TK came in fourth this week due to missed plane connection. No matter what happens to these two, they are determined to stay calm. “When we are cool and keeping a mellow head in the race in the race, we’re not doing just that because we are in a race, we’re doing that because that is who we are.” Rachel adds, “It’s healthy for our state of mind and good for our relationship.” TK mispronounced Dubrovnik and Rachel said, “Croatia, that sounds like somewhere gymnasts come from or something” showing us they aren’t the smartest racers out there. But they have a plan and they stick to it – and it works for them. At the airport TK says, “When everyone started running around, we stuck to what our plan was…” Due to a delay, they missed their connection; they stayed calm, found another flight and literally flied through the tasks in Dubrovnik. TK cheered Rachel on, “Stay calm – that’s the way to do it,” and they were ecstatic with their fourth place finish.

In other seasons, this team might be in trouble at this point, but their positive outlook towards each other and the race signals longevity this season.

Team Encouragement:
Kynt and Vxysin continue their run near the top of the pack. Kynt explains their success, “One thing I feel Vxysin and I do are encouraging each other to do our best. Sadly, we have not yet had the privilege of hearing Phil say, ‘Kynt and Vxysin, you’re number one.’” Somehow, I think it’s just a matter of time before we do hear that. At the airport Kynt comments, “TK and Rachel are another team like us – kind of off the beaten path. We definitely get along with them.” This random comment at this point in the game suggests longevity for all four of them and perhaps they will be in direct competition down the road.

This season does not have too many savvy racers, but the Goths showed that they are indeed knowledgeable. At the airport in Vilnius they stay calm and collected and they don’t give up after finding the first flight. They looked at all options and end up choosing the best flight (by luck) to Croatia. Kynt asks, “Why are they all lined up?” Vxysin replies, “because they’re sheep.” Ronald and Christina are the only other team who research flights well. There is a pack mentality among the racers, so a team who thinks for themselves could really benefit.

Kynt thanks the old man at the roadblock, “it’s great to build with you.” We always see him thanking the locals when he does a roadblock. Kynt and Vxysin have had the most consistent, well-rounded edit so far. They work well with each other, interact nicely with locals everywhere and have commented on other teams and been commented on. They are definitely end-game players!

Team Communication:
Ronald and Christina’s persistence pays off this week in a first place win. They have done much better than I expected during the early legs, and I’m beginning to think that they last longer than we originally expected (actually they already have!). Their teamwork this week seemed to be a metaphor for the season. Ronald had the key quote this week, “I don’t think every team recognizes that the relationship between their partners is critical to winning the race. It’s easier said than done.”

Christina comments at the beginning of the leg, “Because my dad and I are working out our communication, our progress in the race reflects the progress in our relationship.” They have come a long way, but as Christina points out to her dad, “see how nice you are to her, that’s how nice you should be to me,” they still have room for improvement. They are working well enough to place first in Dubrovnik, but the question is how long it will last. I haven’t seen the introduction of another storyline (with the possible exception of the run-ins with Nick and Don). Will their good communication bubble burst or will they make it to the final three? Time will tell; I think it could go either way.

They are good with directions or aren’t afraid to ask because they find the first clue box easily while the Goths and Jen and Nate get lost. It gives them enough time to pull ahead, and Ron does the roadblock quickly. The way they work together rowing the boat illustrates their teamwork. Christina wanted her dad to row facing front. Ron listens to her and then decides that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” (I wondered if that line was kept in to foreshadow their demise?) and wants to row using his back. They end up rowing together which makes Christina happy that she’s pulling her weight too. They race to the finish mat and Christina says, “My Dad and I are living proof that success on TAR is about teamwork.”

Team Bi-Polar:
Jen and Nate spend this leg fighting each other. Their story is increasingly focusing on their dysfunctional relationship. Phil notes in “previously on” that Nate and Jen took their stress out on each other, and then he asks at the beginning of the leg, “Will Nate be able to change his behavior under stress and convince Jen that he is the guy for her in the long run?” This is followed up with Jen saying as they leave the pit stop, “I am really disappointed now that we are halfway through. I look back and it’s incredible but with regrets because Nate and I have fought so much. As far as Nate and I being together in the end, the rest of the race is going to be a test and the final deciding point. There is no talk about their quest for first place even though they come in second again and with their penalty finish in third.

This team has emotional highs and incredibly ugly lows. Jen was excited to go to Croatia, then was all frazzled at the Vilnius airport, then was leaping and skipping around Fort Lawrence. Nate does the roadblock fairly easily and they are happy and proud. Then comes the detour where they have a terrible fight trying to row the boat. They do finally work as a team paddling the rowboat like a canoe but their harmony is short-lived when Jen has her temper tantrum searching for a taxi. During her tirades Jen says, “This sucks.” “Our relationship sucks.” “I am so miserable.” “I can’t deal with this anymore.” “I don’t want to do this anymore.” Up until this point, I thought that they could work together despite their problems. But I got the feeling this week that it was the end of their story. I don’t think we’ve been shown room for another chapter from them. Jen sums up their relationship at the end, “As far as Nate and I being together in the end, it’s unpredictable. Right now our relationship has been so up and down and that’s what I’m sick of right now. I don’t know if it’s too late. We’ve been through a lot.” Their relationship really dominated the episode. Lorena and Jason were eliminated the episode after Lorena had her meltdown. Nate and Jen don’t work as a team. They don’t think ahead, they just react. This fits into the pattern of the teams that have already been eliminated.

Team Tortoise:
Donald and Nicolas escape elimination again because of another team’s mistake. In the recap Phil points out that Nick got lost in Vilnius (We see Nick saying “I have no clue where I am”) causing them to fall to last place. Their confessions at the beginning of the episode are ironic – Don says 6th place has motivated him and Nic says you can no longer play to not make a mistake, you have to play aggressively. Neither of which was true for them this week. Don is going so slowly at the roadblock that Nick admonishes him, “Come on Grandpa, it’s a race!” To the camera Nick says, “He’s going very methodical, just like his strategy for the race.” Nick urges him to go faster, and Don says, “I’m giving it all I got. I am tired.” This team is running out of steam, and even though they are starting to annoy each other, their steadiness is keeping them in it so far. Don’s experience came in handy again when he showed Nick how to row and they were able to beat Azaria and Hendekea to the finish mat and avoid elimination. It is funny how Nick says “I’m clueless” at least once every episode. I confess I’m not sure how that ties into their story! If the theme is teamwork and balance, they might outlast Jen and Nate even though everything indicates they should have been eliminated by now!

After this week I am beginning to think that Jen and Nate were the big midpoint story and not Ron and Christina. There is nothing to indicate that Ron and Christina will leave soon and a lot of evidence that Jen and Nate don’t have what it takes. If Ron and Christina embody the spirit of The Amazing Race, that leaves Rachel and TK and Kynt and Vxysin to fight it out at the end, perhaps Ron and Christina even give them a run for their money. Don keeps plodding along slowly and Nick has his clueless moments, but they work well together as a team and that is why they are still in this race.

Christmas cookies with Sharnina

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12-12-07, 10:50 PM (EST)
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22. "RE: Episode 6 Editing Thoughts"
So, if this is about teamwork Jennifer and Nathan are in one more episode. They remind me of three-legged race. They are tied together, but they are not working together at all. The other teams recognize each other's faults, but try to encourage each other and not bring their team mates down. Well, Ron is working on it. The last episode I was wondering if Ron was Azaria's daddy. They treat their teammates the same way.
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12-13-07, 01:02 AM (EST)
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23. "RE: Episode 6 Editing Thoughts"
Great analysis, CTgirl. I have participated in these threads in the past, but not as much as I'd like to here.

I think the only way N/J aren't eliminated next is if R/C stumble, which can't be ruled out; they finished first this leg through some good fortune for which they deserve credit (researching the airlines). Ronald is a Jekyll/Hyde character: we've seen his evil side come out a few times, but when he suppresses it, and his hernia cooperates, he does well. Is this the best a parent/child team has done on the Race since, say, Momily? (Poor Momily. If they hadn't melted down after losing the FF to the Guidos, they'd have eliminated them!)

TAR has had a history of dysfunctional teams that go a long way, mainly because one member is an awesome Racer (Zach, Colin, Brandon, Rebecca, and Lyn come to mind). I do not see N/J as such a team; Nate isn't that smart a Racer, and at this point Jen is his "Kim-shaped-backpack." It took everything Zach had to carry Flo to the finish (from what I understand; I never saw the actual season), and I don't see Nate doing the same with Jen. Her heart is so not in this, and it's obvious (or should be!) that they have no future as a couple. And Nate doesn't have enough to compensate.

N/D could be our Comic Relief team a la Meredith/Gretchen in TAR 7. They muddle along, doing just enough not to get eliminated. I think the slowness with which Donald did the RB is a foreshadowing that their inability to keep up might do them in. Fortunately, they have N/J to keep them around for another leg. And I hate to say it (okay, I LOVE to say it), but Nick, you're not exactly the brightest Racer we've ever seen.

Our contenders, then, are K/V and TK/R. I won't rehash CTgirl's excellent points. The question is, who's getting the winner's edit? It'd be easy to say TK/R, but what I'm seeing is a possible replay (of sorts) of TAR 6.

From a likability standpoint, it's unfair to compare K/V to the loathsome Freddy and Kendra or, for that matter, TK/R to Kris and Jon, one of the most popular teams of all time. But from what unfolds on the Race, I think the comparison is apt. I think that K/V ultimately will have the savvy to go for the jugular when it's crunch time, which TK/R may not, as was the case with F/K over K/J. "Hakuna Matata" only gets you so far, and it doesn't help when you make One Fatal Error as Jon did when booking the flight back to Chicago. We've seen evidence of K/V's aptitude in this last airport scene, even though they more or less swerved into the right flight to go on.

TK/R are a team of mystery, but I'm led to believe that, like Kris and Jon, this is leading to a runner-up edit.

Apologies if I rehashed anything else upthread; I was solely responding to CTgirl's post.

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12-13-07, 08:46 AM (EST)
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24. "RE: Episode 6 Editing Thoughts"
I think the only way N/J aren't eliminated next is if R/C stumble, which can't be ruled out; they finished first this leg through some good fortune for which they deserve credit (researching the airlines). Ronald is a Jekyll/Hyde character: we've seen his evil side come out a few times, but when he suppresses it, and his hernia cooperates, he does well.

I was thinking after I posted that it doesn't make sense for Jen and Nate to be eliminated next from a story composition point: we would have no villains left and the editors love painting teams with a negative brush! Four likeable teams in the final four? That's never happened! As you said Ron and Christina could stumble and it would be very ironic for them to be eliminated after all their quotes on teamwork last episode.

Jen is so passionate that a good leg could get her back into this. I agree though that those two do not belong together long term!

I'm glad you joined in Cyg. The more points of view the better!

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12-21-07, 09:33 PM (EST)
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25. "RE: Episode 6 Editing Thoughts"
Actually, CTgirl, the more I think about it, the more I agree it's not N/J's time just yet. I doubt they'll make F3, however.

You've been warned, so don't complain.

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12-22-07, 09:05 PM (EST)
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26. "RE: Episode 6 Editing Thoughts"
LAST EDITED ON 12-22-07 AT 09:08 PM (EST)

I'm quite late to the party. Thank you CTgirl for hosting it! I liked reading your thoughts as always. It's also nice to read the posts by Cygnus and MaryKat. I guess I'm on a different wavelength on 1 team. Someone has to consider the scary possibilities!

I'm so late that I'll just briefly write down my thoughts:

TK and Rachel

TK repeated their mantra for the race: “When we’re cool…” Rachel agreed: “It’s healthy for our state of mind and our relationship also.”
They were on the first flight to Prague with Nicolas and Gramps but their connecting flight had already left They got a new flight through Vienna that the other team couldn’t get on. “Bummer for them” was Rachel’s only reaction.

Rachel did the Roadblock with TK telling her to enjoy the weather and, of course, to stay calm.
The Detour was “So much fun” according to Rachel.

This was a leg where we could have learned more from this couple but they still have only one story: They are calm. I suspect that when the pressure builds up, they will be left short. The likeable team that will have fans but not win.

Kynt and Vyksin

Kynt left the pit stop saying that their strength is encouraging each other. In the taxi, he added: “Sadly, we haven’t had the privilege of hearing Phil say ‘you’re team #1’, but we’re hoping to achieve that.” They teamed up with TK and Rachel to look for plane reservations to Dubrovnik, a team that Kynt described as being like them, off the beaten path.

Kynt did the Roadblock and told the mason “It was nice to build with you.”

Kynt and Vyksin were in third place but chose to do the Detour where they had to repel down the wall. Kynt explained that Vyksin has a military father who took her out camping and climbing. She did very well.

The Goths race along very nicely. We get more glimpses into their personality and we see that they make the other teams nervous with their tactics and their independence. The Goths have a story that could win the race.

Nathan and Jennifer

Phil mentioned them before leaving the pit stop when he asked if Nathan was the man for Jenn. Jenn said “I look back and it’s been incredible but with regrets because Nate and I fought so much. As far as Nate and I being together in the end…the race is going to be the test.”
Jenn told us seeing Kynt and Vyksin going on their own to get ticket made her nervous.

In Dubrovnik, we saw a lot of Jenn’s enthusiasm for the race and “NateDawg” completed the stone puzzle in second place. They chose the Detour that required rowing and saw Ron and Christina's lead. They wanted to catch them but then, they got in the boat! It was weird to see them use their oars as paddles. They became very frustrated.
Jenn yelled: “You’re the meanest person.”
Nate answered: “You’re not even trying.”
J: “I hate you…I’m never going to be with you ever again. I hate you with a passion.”
It took a while but they finally showed some teamwork. They got ahead of Ronald and Christina at the last clue box. The clue told them to go by taxi to the pit stop.

Nathan and Jennifer never found a taxi to take them since their clothes were wet. Jenn found it “So Unfair, I am so miserable”. They got a local to drive them to the cross where…they were sent back for not using a legal method of transportation!
Nate said: “To have this happen is the cherry on the relationship sundae. It’s already melted.”
Jenn commented through tears: “I can't deal with any of this anymore. I don’t want to be here anymore.”
The penalty cost them second place as, by the time they made it back up to the cross, Kynt and Vyksin had already finished the leg.

“Nice” was Jenn’s comment as both shared a handshake that Phil found lacking in affection! He even asked if they were happy with each other. Jenn told him that they were both unhappy with each other. In confessional, she added: “As far as Nate and I being together in the end, it’s unpredictable to me right now because our realtionship is so up and down and that is what I am so sick of. I don’t know if it’s too late. We’ve been through a lot.”

This team always grabs most of the airtime. They talk not only about their relationship but also about their moves and their competition. For that, I expect them to make it to the last leg.

Ronald and Christina

Christina said: “Our progress in the race reflects our progress in the relationship.” They reserved their tickets and tried to do a covert operation to help the siblings, “The only team we trust” said Christina. That didn’t work!

Ronald was first to “Find a Stone” and complete the jig-saw Roadblock. Arriving at the zip-line, he let us know that: “I just ate, I might throw up my lunch.” At least, they had fun.

The rowing was off to a clumsy start as Chris tried to get her father to row facing forward to the dismay of the person watching over the boats. Finally Ronald realized: “This is so ass-backwards” and he turned around telling Chris “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Things went better when they each took an oar and rowed side-by-side. Chris was glad to be doing her part and Ronald pointed out: “I don’t think that every team recognizes this relationship between the partners is critical to winning the race. It’s easier said than done.” To prove he was right, the camera went back to the antics of Nate and Jennifer.

Phil greeted them in first place, earning them a catamaran. Christina told us: “My dad and I are living proof that success in the Amazing race is about teamwork.”

This team seem to want to make me look like I don’t know what’s going on! Could their talk of teamwork be the sign that they are the only one to have figured it out? I’ll say it’s rather a sign that they have reached their goal. They've proven that they can work well together. Their story is over so it’s time to go home!

Nicolas and Donald

Donald was ready to give it his all while Nicolas was ready to take risks.
Arriving 5th in Croatia, Nicolas said: “This is the first time we are all on our own and we have no idea where the other teams are.”
Don was the builder but again, he was too methodical according to Nicolas who, for the first time, told his gramps to move faster. They finished in 5th and later, spotted the siblings behind them, arriving at the Roadblock. They managed to stay ahead even if the rowing went slowly and Nicolas got lost again in a maze of old streets.

This team continues to trudge along, always keeping ahead of at least one team. That is their only story and it’s getting late to only be avoiding last place.

At least, we had figured that Azaria and Hendekea couldn’t make it to the end. The fatal mistake was due to the ticket agent who gave them business class tickets but it was fun to hear Azaria admit that he had made a bad decision and Hendekea adding: “I wish we hadn’t run around” which was Azaria’s idea!

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12-23-07, 10:57 AM (EST)
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27. "RE: Episode 6 Editing Thoughts"
“Sadly, we haven’t had the privilege of
>hearing Phil say ‘you’re team #1’,
>but we’re hoping to achieve that.”

>we see that they make the other
>teams nervous with their tactics
>and their independence. The Goths
>have a story that could win the race.

I agree. Right now, the "we're hoping to achieve that" quote is very strong foreshadowing to me that they *will* get to hear it.

Editing is a very strong tool - there's a reason behind every quote or scene being inserted into the show for television. We were shown that quote for a reason.

A stocking stuffer from Agman!
It will be a great day when every one of our schools get all the money they need while
the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to raise enough funds to buy a bomber.

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12-28-07, 07:35 PM (EST)
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28. "Episode #7: Editing Thoughts"
The recap only focused on two relationships: The improving one between Ron and Christina, Phil asking if Ron can continue to let Christina step up and take charge. The deteriorating one between Nate and Jennifer, Phil wondering if they can fix it before it’s too late.

Ron and Christina: A Story that Went Too far

Father and Daughter left the pit stop first with Christina saying: “Coming in first place is a testament to our relationship and how far we’ve come. Now that the competition is heating up, it is key that our relationship remains cohesive and strong.” They caught the 5:00AM bus to Split.

All the teams received a text message from home during the drive but only Ronald got a confessional: “That message was very much a reminder of how important family and my daughters are. I just felt immense joy.”

Their car got detoured towards Milan. Ronald told Christina that she did a “real commendable job” navigating them back on course to arrive 3rd at the Roadblock. Not picking up a number cost them some time and, suddenly, Christina wasn’t doing such a commendable job: “Why do you waste time with the same question three times about the fast forward. I told you: No…” It appalled Rachel, who told Jennifer: “I haven’t heard him yell at her yet. I have no forgiveness or respect for the way Ron talks to his daughter.”

Christina and Ronald were in third place at the Da Vinci Museum, surprised that Nate and Jenn had completed the task so quickly. Ronald feared the inventor’s diagrams would be too difficult to follow but the flag dance made him say: “This muscle is not cooperating.” Their dance passed the test on their second try and they left to the sound of trumpets. It probably excited Ronald a lot because he started driving before Christina got on board!

Ronald and Christina always receive a lot of air time but it’s always about their relationship. One could think that getting the only confessional about the text message from home would be a good sign but it was simply another occasion to show Ron in the role of the father rather than the racer. Hearing Rachel tell us that she cannot respect or forgive him for the way he treats Christina was the confirmation for me: Episode # 6 was their zenith but the race wasn’t over yet. Now they should be heading back to the nadir of episode #2. Their relationship hasn’t remained cohesive and strong so their story went too far. The exit has to be coming soon.

Nicolas and Donald: A Story that Never Took Off.

Nicolas started the leg saying: “It’s rough to be #5 out of 5 and it makes it tougher with 4 of the toughest teams left.”
Donald added: “We have to hope that we bunch up someplace.”
Their prayers were answered but we never saw it develop. Since they left the pit stop at 7:06AM, and the buses seemed to run on the hour, they could’ve been 3 hours behind the first groups. The next time we saw them, they were on the same ferry as everyone else.

On the road to Bologna, Donald realized that it was better to wait for the road to open up than wander around at night. Their patience paid off as they reached the Roadblock in fourth place, right behind Father and Daughter. They chose to do the “Fast Forward” instead of the Roadblock.
“We gotta take risks” said Nicolas.
“I’m with you all the way” agreed gramps…until he saw that he had to get a tattoo. “Having a permanent marking on your body, that plays on your mind a little.”

They were the first to arrive at the Pit Stop, the Boboli Gardens in Florence.
After reminding Phil that he had a “PERMANENT” tattoo, Donald told us: “At this point I am totally wrapped up in the race. As the odds get smaller, the odds get better to win a million bucks. I really do think we can win.”

Despite Ronald’s final words, this team has never been presented as true racers. The editors didn’t even bother showing us how they managed to get on a bus “just in time” so they could catch the same ferry as the others. They only have a story of perseverance. They did outlast my expectations but as far as being competitive, their story never took off (just like they never went on the ultralight!) I certainly don’t think they can win.

Thomas Kyle and Rachel: A Story of Problems

TK let us know that the last leg “added some tension.” They were again alone on the 6:00AM bus to Split. The first three teams having gone on the 5:00AM one.

Arriving in Ancona, Rachel spotted the clue before everyone else. They didn’t stay in first place long because they left the clue on a terrasse and had to go back. We saw the tension mount during their search, Rachel saying: I’m frustrated and freaked out because I don’t know what happened.”
Despite the wasted time, their “secret” route west towards Rome enabled them to reach Empoli as the sun appeared. They couldn’t believe that they were #2 and both jumped for joy when Nathan and Jennifer confirmed that no one else had arrived.

On the choice of doing the Roadblock or the detour, all we heard was TK saying: “It could be too risky going for the FF.”
Rachel was excited to see TK take off and we heard him say: “Being up there was incredible.” That was during his first attempt…Things were about to sour. Rachel saw Nate come back first so she hoped TK would be back soon. He disappointed her by saying he hadn’t seen anything. From there on, we saw many close-ups of Rachel as she saw Christina come back with the answer, Vyksin have time to go out and come back while TK continued to miss the clue.
“Please TK, Please. I don’t want to go home…I’m really afraid.”
TK had to land a third time, telling Rachel: “I don’t know what to do. This could be the most heartbreaking thing I ever had to do.”

It took him one more try so they left in last place. In Vinci, they were the only team to choose the nearby “Invention” Detour and stick with it. TK worried that “Things only fit in certain places, I bet” and “Da Vinci must have been buff, man!” but they completed the fun task before the Goths even started their flag dance.
Showing that logic wasn’t only useful in building cranes, TK commented after spotting the Goths: “We are in front of them so we aren’t in last place”(!)
They started rejoicing too soon because TK then said: “We finally get going and we blow our tire out.” At least, he was faster with car repairs than spotting clues.
They completed their “leg from Hell” in 4th place.
TK told Phil: “Today was nuts. The fact that we’re fourth is just…” “Unbelievable” completed Rachel.

It has been a pattern for these two that the editors only showcase them on the legs where they’re in trouble. We had key moments in this episode where a confessional would have enhanced their story but we only had details on their adventure when they were in trouble. For example, we had no confessionals to explain that mom was the only one to call her son Thomas Kyle, nothing when they were in a surprising second place in Empoli, nothing concerning Rachel’s feelings regarding the Fast Forward, nothing on Da Vinci’s crane even if they were the only one to do it and nothing on repairing the flat tire except the few comments done on the spot. If it is only a story of keeping a good attitude in the face of problems, it suggests that it will be one of eventually falling short. The only positive was the number of close-ups Rachel received. We felt her anguish but wouldn’t it have been appropriate to have her tell us about it in a private setting? Are they in confessional quarantine?! It’s almost as if we were being told: “Don’t get too fond of them.”

Kynt and Vyksin: A Story that Took a Wrong Turn

Vyksin was enthusiastic before leaving the pit stop: “The Pink and Black Attack is doing pretty awesome…We don’t let each other be less than our very best. That has been an asset and probably the only reason why we have come as far.”

Kynt was happy to go to a country were fashion was important and they spent their time on the ferry redoing their make-up while we heard Vyksin say “This is the time to get serious.”
In Italy, Vyksin drove the car because “Kynt is a freshman in the school of stick-shift driving.” Being detoured away from Florence, the duo drove though the night with Vyksin getting confused: “It was just this brutal drive. I started getting this sinking icky feeling.” She told us that she had been driving for 30 hours so finally Kynt took over the wheel.

They arrived in last place at the Roadblock where Vyksin told Kynt she’d “love to do it actually.” She found the clue on her first trip, moving ahead of TK.

They were still in 4th when they arrived at the “Invention” detour but Vyksin said: “This could be too hard.” They switched to “Tradition” but got lost along the way.
“Stop this car, Vyksin” yelled Kynt, showing his anger for the first time.
“If you want to drive, you can drive” said Vyksin, getting out of the car.
“You can’t be throwing your little temper tantrums” argued Kynt before stalling the car.
Vyksin got frutrated that the car wouldn’t get into gear to which Kynt told her to “Shut up.”
They eventually ran to their detour, their misfortune enabling TK and Rachel to catch up and pass them.

The Detour was easy for them and they were off to the Boboli Gardens, Vyksin saying: “We’re pretty sure we’re last but we didn’t come here to quit.”
“Never give up” urged Kynt.
Indeed they were saved by a non-elimination leg but now face a speed-bump, a “three-headed serpent that could…halt us in our tracks.”
Vyksin was in tears when she told Phil they got lost so many times, that they didn’t want to go home and feel like they wasted their chance.
In confessional, she added: “Today, was one of those rare days…It was a meltdown, we were bickering and not in a loving, fun, cute way...”
Kynt agreed: “We finished our leg beaten, downtrodden moreso than we ever been.”

I always take it very seriously when the editor lets us hear words that are contradicted by actions. Hearing Vyksin say that it was time to get serious while Kynt is shown applying lipstick isn’t a good sign. Having a story take such a sharp turn isn’t good either. Going from not letting “each other be less than our very best” to “Shut up” in the same episode is a very sudden change. Winners usually have consistent edits. The change could be to let us doubt that they can win but it is a little early for that. A confessional by Vyksin telling us about her thrill to go up in the ultralight and actually passing TK could have been included to soften the rough episode but we weren’t shown anything of the sort. Their story could still be that of the winners but it took a bad turn this week. Is it only a detour? We can still hope but I'm having serious doubts. Hopefully Pepe and others saw better signs!

Nate and Jennifer: The Story of the Season?

Nate told us that: “We had difficulties on the boat” We even saw a replay of their naval battle!
Jenn added: “Once we get riled up and we can’t just stop…” She repeated her worries for their future.

Once in Italy, Nate got the best directions of all the teams by going towards Bologna but turning towards Firenze at Forli instead of going all the way to the capital of Emilia-Romagna. As the local said: “Another solution: Go to Bologna but from here now, no good.”

Nate found it insane that only TK and Rachel had joined them waiting for opening hours to the Roadblock. Even if Jenn had to slow Nate down by reminding him that he had “a team mate back here”, they were first to the clue box. Was it the thought of flying in the Ultralight that motivated Nate? All we saw was that he didn’t want to even consider doing the “Fast Forward” irritating Jenn once more: “We could just do the Fast Forward and go.” Nate decided they didn’t need the FF. As he got ready, we heard Jenn talking to Rachel: “I think it might’ve been a mistake that we didn’t do the Fast forward but Nate is a little stubborn sometimes. Hummmpf!” Her pose, with arms crossed showed her displeasure. However, as soon as Nate took off, she had recovered her smile and waved an “I love you” to him.
While the girls were having fun on the ground, we heard Nate say: “I felt like a bird up there.”
Two teams arrived in the mean time and it was Jennifer that we saw and heard saying: “Oh! My gosh!” when Nicolas convinced Gramps to go for the FF.
She commented: “I’m really upset right now because Nate and I have won no leg. This could have been ours.”
Nate found the word “Vinci” first so that got him a cheer and a “Good Job” from Jennifer. As they got in the car to head to the town of Vinci, Nate still had to explain that “Some Fast Forward don’t work out.”

We saw them run up to the Da Vinci museum. Jenn told us: “Nate and I made a huge mistake; we ran up the hill instead of drove. They could be catching back up to us right now.”
They were the first at the Tradition” Detour where Jenn used her dancing experience to learn the choreography.
Nate had a confessional: “Jenn is the ultimate competitor. She’s only 5’2” and she’s little but she has the most competitive side I’ve seen in anybody.”
Even if Nate has no rhythm and the lead flag-bearer first gave them an emphatic “NO!” on their first try, they finally got a resounding “SI!”
Jenn in confessional: “I was really impressed that Nate actually listened to me. That made me feel really good. We really worked together as a team.”
They easily made the pit stop in second place.

This team has sometimes finished close to the top, on other occasions at the bottom of the pack and even in the middle but they always receive a large share of the airtime. They have a disastrous leg like the previous one or a good one like this one, it doesn’t matter. They hate each other, they love each other, we get to know about it. They choose a detour or analyze the situation like the Fast Forward, we get a confessional to explain their strategy. Their relationship is central to their story but that is not the only thing we hear. Take the “ultimate competitor” confessional for example. It may scare some people but I consider that as the edit of winners.

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12-29-07, 08:18 PM (EST)
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29. "RE: Episode #7: Editing Thoughts"
Since its Saturday already, I was going to keep this short and sweet like this holiday week, and then I read Michel’s post and I could make it even shorter: Ditto!

The two big stories continue to be Ron and Christina and Jen and Nate. Phil concentrated on them during the “previously on” segment, “While Ron and Christina continued to flourish, Nate and Jen completely disintegrated. The strong teamwork paid off for the father-daughter team while another top three finish left Jen and Nate with bigger problems to solve. After the commercial break Phil asked, “Will Ron continue to let Christina step up and take charge and will Nate and Jen be able to fix their deteriorating relationship before it’s too late?

Ron and Christina

In my mind, their story has been done to death. We haven’t learned anything else about them, and its time for them to go. They peaked when they finished the Croatian leg in first place and they have no place else to go but down! The editors use a lot more irony to highlight things as we get towards the end of the race and we caught a glimpse of it when Christina said, ““Coming in first place is a testament to our relationship and how far we’ve come. Now that the competition is heating up, it is key that our relationship remains cohesive and strong.” We see hints that Ron hasn’t totally changed his ways this week and there is more to come next week. I also took it as a bad sign when serene Rachel comments, “I have no forgiveness or respect for the way Ron treats his daughter.” I expected their demise last week; I really expect it this week!

Nicolas and Donald

As Michel said, their story is about perseverance and avoiding last place. On the way to the fast forward Nic said, “We gotta take a risk,” and Don replied, “I’m with you all the way.” It also continues to be Gramps Great Adventure and he added another one when they went for the fast forward and got tattoos. Don wasn’t overjoyed with his tattoo but now has another thing to add to his list of life experiences. “I never thought at my age I’d be getting a tattoo.” Their story has been in the background for the entire race so even though Don says that he’s getting into the race and he thinks they can win it, I don’t think they will.

Kynt and Vyxsin

Their sharp negative downturn in editing also gave me pause. If it continues I would say they would be getting the fourth place edit like Danny and Oswald and Season 10 Dustin and Kandice. The previews indicate that they get devious, but they are marked for elimination, so this could just be a momentary dip in their luck. How they are portrayed next week should help explain how far they make it.

Rachel and TK

Their positive outlook on the race and with each other is good, but TK’s self-described, “I’m too mellow for this,” also describes their editing! We don’t know very much about them at this point in the game, but just to play Devil’s Advocate for a moment: TK’s mom’s text message was very appropriate to them, “Dig down and grab that strength,” and TK comments, “It just gives me more confidence in the race to know that I can win this thing.” We are shown their weak moments and I still think that the editing is hiding their strengths. We see them constantly lost, but Rachel was the first one to notice the clue in Ancona and she was confident that the invention detour was something she could easily do. Despite the fact that they can be very poor racers, there is something about them that I can’t put my finger on.

Jen and Nate

During the two week hiatus, after I got over their horrible behavior in Dubrovnik, I kept going back to the image of Jen and Nate on the train in Burkina Faso. That was a winner’s scene – they were enjoying the scenery, commenting on the culture and appreciating being a part of it all. They are going in an opposite editing arc from Christina and Ron. As Phil asks, will Nate and Jen be able to fix their deteriorating relationship before it’s too late?” I think the answer is yes, but we still have 4 or 5 more episodes to go, and the chance for more conflict to arise between these two. They have gotten a lot of attention, and their story has been linked to Ron and Christina’s for the past few weeks. How they are edited once Ron and Christina are eliminated will help determine if they are the winners or not.

Jen asks in the beginning, “As far as Nate and I being together at the end, it’s totally unpredictable.” The average viewer would think she was saying that about their relationship, but I wondered if it was also a clue to the end of the race - that they would still be together and in it for the million dollars. If they can keep it together and win, I won’t find it scary; it’s the Mr. Hyde side of their relationship that is scary to watch!

Some of the balanced teams are starting to fall apart, but Jen and Nate are strong racers when they are calm. I will try to rewatch the first episode again for clues to the final three that we may not have seen at the beginning of the race.

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01-03-08, 01:36 AM (EST)
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30. "Episode #8: Editing Thoughts"
The recap focused on TK’s inabilities at the Roadblock, the Goths’ problems on the roads of Tuscany and Nic and Don’s risk taking the Fast Forward.

Ron and Christina:

Father and Daughter left the pit stop in Florence with Ronald saying: “We were excited to come to this lovely city of the renaissance and we hope it will be the renaissance of me, of a new man, to make my daughter feel proud.”

This team smartly made phone reservations instead of waiting for the morning. At the airport, Christina told us: “We’re waiting to retrieve the tickets we’ve reserved.” Only Nate and Jennifer made the same flight as the two teams with reservations. Seeing the “sleepy heads”, Nic and Don arrive, Ronald said: “They have a leg up on us because they had a good night’s sleep.”

After the Mumbai bunching point, Ronald and Christina found the newspaper clue right after the Goths and left the newstand in second place.
First at the “Paste’em” detour, Ronald lost his cool again, saying to his daughter that she was “cheap with the paste.”
Christina explained: “My father started putting the poster too high and he doesn’t like much input.”
Ronald even started arguing with the judge.
After that mess, Ronald finally realized: “Christina said we had to start all over again. I felt demoralized…She took charge and I have to admit, she did a good job.”

Arriving 3 rd at the U-Turn, Christina said: “If we had beat Nic and Don, we would definitely have U-Turned them today.” They decided not to use it at all.
With his hernia and all, Ronald decided to carry the 6 propane tanks and a local who, instead of directing him to the right address, brought him back to the start: “I think this guy just wants a ride!” said Ron.

Ronald and Christina had a good result even if their relationship suffered again. Did we hear that they wanted to use the U-turn on Nic and Donald because they'll regret facing them later on? Or was it to make us realize they could have used it on Nathan and Jennifer, probably eliminating them? This team has surprised me throughout this season so I’m not sure where they end up. The only thing I feel somewhat confident about is that their story is too 1-dimensional to be about winning the race.

Nicolas and Donald:

Nicolas told us in his opening confessional: “I’m running the race with a 70 year old, I have to look out for him. I think my Grandfather’s greatest strength is that he is very driven but he doesn’t know his limit sometimes.”
The team also had the good idea to make reservations on the earliest flight. They even went to sleep in a hotel.
At the airport, while we saw the other teams, Nate and Jennifer in particular, scramble as the doors opened, we saw these two casually strolling in, with Gramps letting us know: “I’m feeling pretty good, got some sleep last nigth.”

With all teams bunched up while reading the “Times of India” newspaper, Nicolas had a good idea: “I decided that we should stand next to another group so that when they found it, we could get a hint of direction.” When TK, using “good strategy” according to Nicolas, found the clue directing them to the “Chauhan Tailors”, Nic told his Gramps: “He found it in the big one” rather than in the insert. It kept them in fourth place, ahead of Nathan and Jennifer.

They were behind Ronald and Christina to the “Paste’em” task. They chose that task because Donald said: “I’ve been in the printing business. I feel confident we could do that task quite readily.”
He was right because they finished the detour ahead of father and daughter.

At the Roadblock, Nicolas explained that “Carrying and navigating is my forté for this team.” (Really??)
Donald added: “I do the little stuff and I try to look good as I’m doing it.” (Humm…I remember pole vaulting!!)
Nicolas had trouble pedaling the “mean streets of Mumbai” with his 6 propane tanks but finished in second place. They remained there at the pit stop, even if Nicolas had to stop the car to throw up.

Another team that I wasn’t expecting to see here. Both continued to show their limitations mixed with an uncanny ability to make their slow pace work for them. Can they win by strolling around the world? Their story has been more about perseverance than about winning.

Thomas Kyle and Rachel

At the start of the episode, TK and Rachel left the pit stop over an hour ahead of the Goths (2:11AM compared to 3:23AM) even if it had looked as if they were just ahead of them at the end of the last leg. The Goths’ wait for the replacement car was simply cut out.

Before leaving, TK told us: “The last few legs, it seems that we have been racing for second to last place.”
Rachel added: “We keep up our strategy of keeping mellow but you definitely feel that a little something is hovering over you.”

At the airport, TK was told that the first flight via Paris was full. As Ronald said, “TK and Rachel and Vyksin and Kynt are still scrambling to get tickets.”
TK commented from a confessional setting: “It’s difficult to stay confident when you really don’t know what the situation is.” This time, it didn’t really matter since everyone had to wait in Mumbai for Mr. Naik’s newspaper stand to open up.

They chose the “Paste’em” Detour because, even if Rachel said garland takes a while, she added “I do flowers for a living. I’ve done it for about 4 years now.”
They worked well together and finished the garland quickly.
They were first at the Kabutar Khana clue box and the U-turn option which they didn’t use. TK explained: “I think that if you are in the front of the pack, using the U-Turn can bite you in the @ss later cause no one wants enemies in this race.”

TK did the Roadblock with Rachel telling him he was young and strong while we heard Ronald complaining about his hernia. Indeed, it wasn’t close! “Macho Man” quickly finished the task and they left for the pit stop at Bandra Fort.
Arriving first, they exchanged a nice hug.
Rachel explained: “At the end of the 8th leg, it is definitely starting to set in that we are one of 4 teams that has the opportunity to win the million dollars.”
TK agreed: “Yeah man! Winning the million would be freaking awesome.”

Is their talk of realizing their opportunity an indication that they start to lose their calm? It was different to see some excitement during their last confessional. They would be sympathetic winners but can they carry on to the end? We missed so many opportunities to get to know them better that I doubt it.

Nate and Jennifer:

Nate first told us that: “Our relationship is actually on the up.”
Jennifer agreed: “We just need to remember how embarrassed and disgusting it was before, the way that we were acting. We need to be aware of the situation instead of react on emotions.”

In line for the Air France booth to open up, Jennifer observed the Goths heading for Lufthansa one and commented: “The Pinks are up to their mischief like always, browsing around, talking to different counters.”
From their initial confessional setting, a reflexion by Nate was added: “Jenn and I aren’t about to trust anybody at this stage in the race (TK and Rachel were first shown on screen and then Ronald and Christina) because we have to do whatever it takes to win.” It looked like foreshadowing of the two teams they would have to beat in the end.
Jennifer saw that two teams had reserved seating and commented: “I’m really confused why we can’t get the better flights that everyone else gets…like beforehand.”

In Mumbay, Jennifer had a confessional after seeing that Mr. Naik’s newspaper stand only opened at 6:00AM: “I would definitely say that Nate and I’s nerves are jumping all over the place but it’s in a good way. It’s gonna get us really pumped up.”

Once they got their paper, they spent more time arguing, moving around and fighting off a small dog than looking through the “Times of India”. They were in last place at that point. Jennifer commented “We are not doing really well…Why didn’t we look over someone’s shoulder and friggin’ cheat?”
Again, from a confessional setting, Nate commented after finally finding the small add: “Playing catch-up on this crucial leg, when we know it’s going to be an elimination, adds a lot of tension and stress. It’s the last thing than Jenn and I really need.”

In the rickshaw, on the way to the “Paste’em detour, Jennifer commented: “Right now we’re definitely in last place, besides maybe Kynt and Vyksin’s speed bump but who knows. They could be done with the speed bump. They have supernatural powers or something.” While Vyksin was relaxing by contorting her body doing the yoga poses to Kynt’s delight, Jennifer was anxiously contorting hers to find the next destination.

Doing the garland caused more stress, with Nathan commenting: “I don’t understand how you can’t do this, you’re a girl.”
Jennifer was quick to reply: “I didn’t understand how you couldn’t row a boat. You’re a guy.”
It was funny to see Jennifer try to give the garland to an elephant!
Nate was seen to be anxious to get to the U-Turn and use it on Kynt and Vyksin. Miraculously, they hadn’t been U-turned instead.

Having to go head to head with Kynt at the roadblock, Jennifer told us: “It was already determined that I would do the roadblock. I may be small but I can lift a lot.”
She did fairly well with the tanks even if Kynt blocked an elevator. The problem was that she had to backtrack to her first destination to get a receipt. Luckily for them, Kynt had forgotten both of his receipts.

They started running the 14 miles to the pit stop before realizing they needed a cab. They finished in 4th place despite the Goths’ “witch powers” and a cab who appeared to go faster!

With the reduced number of teams, everyone got a nice share of confessionals but Nathan and Jennifer still had the most key confessionals at different stages of the race. When we heard Nathan say that he didn’t trust other racers, it was shown in reaction to Jennifer’s comment about the Pinks but TK and Rachel and Ronald and Christina were the ones seen on screen. It immediately made me think that those are the two teams they have to worry about until the end. They have a more well-rounded story than anyone left so I still think they will beat those rivals.

At the detour, we heard Vyksin comment that they thought everyone was miles ahead and Kynt agreed. They even took out Nathan and Jennifer’s picture out first before the commercial break. What made Kynt think that using the U-turn on Nicolas and Donald was a good idea? This team’s story had looked good for the win until the previous episode. Rarely has a story taken such a quick downturn.

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01-03-08, 01:57 PM (EST)
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31. "RE: Episode #8: Editing Thoughts"
Is it just me or is the editing not as interesting this season? Maybe it’s because TK, Rachel and Nate all went to high school together and have a previous bond and TK, Rachel, Don, Nick and Christina are all mellow and calm. It doesn’t add much intrigue and subplots to the show (although I think the locations this time have helped make up for the lack of drama.) I don’t have much to add to Michel’s analysis.

It seemed to me that the editing was setting up a race for first place between Nate and Jen and TK and Rachel and for third place between Ron and Christina and Don and Nick. I don’t know how Ron and Christina are still in this as their story has not progressed at all over the past few weeks. When they said that they would have U-turned Nick and Don, it reminded me of earlier in the season when they had a few run-ins. Are Nick and Don the ones to finally eliminate them? The only comment of note that Ron makes is at the detour, “I felt demoralized. I didn’t want to admit defeat, and I have to say that Christina did a wonderful job.” That detour performance by the two of them kind of summed up their story on The Amazing Race.

When Nick says, “If I’m running a race with a 70-year old man, I have to look out for him. I think my grandfathers greatest strength is that he is so driven, but doesn’t know his limits sometimes.” With the previews from next week, that is foreshadowing; it’s not really indicative to the big picture of the race. We never really seem them as part of the bigger race for the million dollars. Gramp’s life experiences help them again as he used to work in the printing business and they were able to complete the detour, “paste ‘em” quickly.

Phil asks, “Can TK and Rachel avoid the blunders that have kept them in the back of the pack?” Still using their mellow strategy, they get it all together and win this leg. TK is given several asides but most of them are comments on the race, not about Rachel and TK’s feelings or strategy as a team. Interestingly Rachel’s experience as a florist is barely mentioned and you can barely understand her, “I’ve worked with flowers for four years.” TK comments at the U-turn that they wouldn’t U-turn anyone because it “can come back and bite you in the ass.” Could that bit a little ironic if Jen and Nate, the only other strong team left, come back and beat them to win the final leg? At the mat Rachel says, “At the end of the 8th leg, it’s starting to set in that we are one of four teams that have the opportunity to win a million dollars.” TK adds in his best stoner-surfer voice, “Yeah man, a million dollars would be frickin’ awesome.” And then there was a great close-up of the two of them: CBS has just anointed them the new favorites since the Goths are about to be eliminated! That doesn’t mean they’ll win however.

Jen and Nate were focused on throughout the race even though they narrowly missed being eliminated. Their relationship is still a keystone to their story but it is being redeemed slightly. They are working together more often and when they’re not, their bickering doesn’t get out of control. Nate comments that their relationship is actually on the up and Jen says that “we have to remember how embarrassed and disgusting it was before, the way that we were acting. We need to be more aware of the situation instead of reacting on emotion.” The key quote of the episode for me was Nate saying in confessional, “Jen and I are not about to trust anyone at this stage in the race because you’ve got to do what it takes to win.” Later Jen says, “I would say Nate’s and my nerves are jumping all over the place, but in a good way. It’s getting us pumped up.” I think it’s a good possibility that they don’t win a leg until the final one and win the million dollars. We haven’t’ seen Jen complaining about not winning a leg recently, so that story is on the backburner. On the way to the pit stop, you see Jen’s passion, “I feel sick to my stomach right now.” When Nate says I love you, Jen can barely muster up the enthusiasm to return the sentiment (has anyone ever said I love you while rolling their eyes?!) Nate says “We’re just not good at stressing out.” This contrasts to Jen’s relief and “I’m so happy right now” talking with Phil at the mat. Also in the taxi, Jen complains, “you take care of it,” and Nate replies “no, we have to work this out together.” A lot of people don’t like Jen and Nate, but we have experienced their highest highs and their lowest lows with them. They are the most interesting and three dimensional characters left, and are the only ones with more than one storyline.

Dressed by Tribe

Loved your side comments on don and nic!

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01-05-08, 03:52 PM (EST)
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32. "RE: Episode #8: Editing Thoughts"
Has there ever been a season in which we have gone so far into the Race and still not known squat about one Racer? I'm speaking of Christina. The whole storyline with her and her dad has revolved around Ronald's boorishness and hernia. We don't know jacksquat about Christina, except that she's been a saint for putting up with him as long as she has. They sort of remind me of Peter and Sarah that way. As such, I think they'll get the last boot.

TK and Rachel still appear to be getting a Kris/Jon edit; they're the same sort of team. Although we don't know that much about them, they've been getting just enough face time. Now with K/V out of the race, they're the only semi-popular team to root for.

Nick and Donald look like they're heading for third a la Lyn/Karlyn, another team that no one ever expected to make F3. Donald is already the oldest Racer to get this far; he's slightly older than Meredith, who finished 4th with Gretchen. Unlike L/K and M/G, however, N/D have won a leg, albeit via FF. They may say they're in it for the million, but for them, F3 is the real accomplishment.

That leaves Hate and Jennifer (thanks Frisque) as the winners. If they do, one of three things will happen with their relationship: 1) Nate will propose (Colin/Christie, Hayden/Aaron, Ray/Yolanda)*; 2) they'll decide they really aren't made for each other (Mary Adam/Rebecca, Ron/Kelly, Eric/Danielle); or 3) they'll just leave things in limbo (Rob/Kimberly, Brandon/Nicole). I'm hoping for #2. I'm half expecting #1.

The only question remains whether they will win a leg before the finale.

*Note that two of those three were rather dysfunctional teams with one member definitely being high maintenance.

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01-06-08, 10:44 AM (EST)
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33. "RE: Episode #8: Editing Thoughts"
Wow everyones thought are pretty much the same.
Cyngus has a good point.

I have feeling Jennifer & Nathan will win the million dollars.

This is kind of following last seasons strategy. Eric & Danielle was the only team in that never arrived 1st in any leg and it was driving Eric nuts, has now its vice versa with Nate being Danielle and Jennifer being Eric. Eric & Danielle won the million dollars.

Now could Nicolas & Donald win the million. It is possible. If they can stay in the lead then they could push Jennifer & Nathan out of the running and we will have three teams left for the million.


This will be the first time that two family team members were in the race besides the TARFE.

Now onto the editing.

T.K. & Rachel I do have the feeling they are getting the Kris & Jon editing, where they will make it to the end, but come up short by a train or a traffic light. There story is about staying calm, and its staying calm. We really haven't seen them freaking out what I thought was the editing of this season.

Everytime a Team freaked out their eliminated (Ari & Stella with the Donkey, Lorena & Jason with the camel, Shana & Jennifer with the taxi, Azaria & Hendekea the flight, and now Kynt & Vysxin with the when Kynt blew up at Vysxin) what is getting me though, is everytime Jennifer & Nathan blow up they arrive second to last at the pitstop. Which their story hasn't resolved any issues.

This editing this season is driving me nuts. I'm glad their is no boot list out there.

But I nothing else to add except for this.

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01-09-08, 06:45 PM (EST)
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34. "Epside #9: Editing Thoughts"
The recap reminded us of TK and Rachel’s “calm and steady attitude”, while stress brought other teams to the breaking point, meaning Jenn and Nate who were shown on screen and Ronald who “reverted to his old ways”. The Goths’ huge mistake set up a showdown with Jenn and Nate.

At the start of the episode, Phil wanted to know if TK and Rachel could stay at the front of the pack and if senior citizen Don could continue to keep pace with the younger racers.

In this episode, 3 teams got Tribute edits, while, for Nate and Jenn it was another One of These Days.

Ronald and Christina

Christina told us in confessional: “When I opened up that clue, I was pumped because…I spent half a year in Japan learning Japanese.”
From a separate confessional spot, Ronald told us: “I tend to get too explosive in situations and I have to admit, it isn’t right…I need to continue on this journey of change. I don’t want to falter.”

Despite those words, Ronald had another small explosions at the ticket reservation counter when he argued about the difference between a “non-stop” and a “direct” flight.
“Leave me alone” responded Christina…finally!
Ronald was even worse when the taxi driver didn’t leave them at the right door for the entrance to Air India.
From a confessional, Ron said: “I’m an old fart that just rides on emotions…I’d like to be a father that would change overnight but it’s not easy with the intensity of the race. When we get to Japan, I need to change because it is so important for my relationship with Christina.”

In Japan, Nicolas asked his Gramps if he thought Ronald and Christina could speak Japanese. Donald answered that Chris probably could because she had gone to some big falutin’ college, Princeton. Note that this was said as we saw Christina mistakingly entering the museum rather than searching the grounds. Editors love irony! Still, Ronald and Christina were second to the temple and also second to the Noda Station.
On the way, Christina made the comment: “I’m never driving in Japan.” That, of course brought us to the Roadblock where she chose to do the task before realizing she had to drive a taxi! (The guy that plays the sound effects to underline nuttiness had a lot of work in this episode.)
Christina commented: “When we ripped open the roadblock, both of our hearts dropped.”
Ronald added: “Christina is not very good at driving. She doesn’t have a good sense of direction.”
After Nate told Ronald that “it’s up to the ladies now” we had a funny montage with Jenn struggling with directions and Christina struggling with the car. I certainly hope their rides weren’t expecting a fast drive. (TAR should have asked the couples to say “Rapido, Rapido”. That would have been hilarious.)

After completing the task, the ride to the temple was done in a “real taxi” but Christina had a new reason to worry: “Are you Okay?” she asked her wheezing taxi driver.
“Is he having a heart attack?” asked Ronald. He added: “I hope he doesn’t croak on us.”
They arrived at the Detour clue box right behind Nate and Jenn. Not being a “gameboy person” Ronald suggested the flower shop.
Arriving second at the shop, Christina explained their strategy in a confessional: “We went to the second floor…we decided not to retrace their step.”
Showing more organizational skills than Nate and Jenn, Ronald said about Chris: “I’m giving her more encouragement so she doesn’t feel demoralized by an old man that is dragging her down.”
They still were second to find a real flower. Chris was elated: “You’re awesome, daddy!”
In the taxi to the Pit Stop, she said: “Nate and Jenn were not in there so they either found their flower or they changed detour, we’re not sure. We could be racing them to the Pit Stop right now.”
Chris was happy: “You’ve been great all day…This is the first leg that you haven’t lost your temper.”

Phil, with a smile as he saw them approaching, delivered the good news to which Christina told him: “He did not lose his temper once this leg. Not once…He’s improving worlds. I had just a blast today cause we didn’t argue.”
In confessional, she added: “The fact that my dad and I got along today helped us come in first place, without a doubt.”
Ronald shared his thoughts: “These are critical times so we definitely want to keep on being a cohesive team and finish the race as number one.”

As was the case with the other 2 harmonious teams, much of the discussion we heard from these two is often only heard during a team’s last leg. All was rosy and they praised each other. I know I’ve already said that their story appeared to have reached its zenith but, this time, it looked like the last chapter. All that could be left is the curtain call. However, compared to the other two 'nice' teams, this duo has finally been given hooks to the end game, something that made me think ‘Hey! They could win this’. It didn’t come from their own story, which has remained exclusively about needing to get along to succeed, but from their rivals’ story which opened a door. More on that later…

Nicolas and Donald

Nicolas confided at the start of the leg: “It’s a big responsibility being the leader…”
Ronald answered: “I think I’ve done well but Nic is hard to keep up with. I’m pressing as far as I can and it’s rough.”
Nic added: “This guy can’t run around everywhere, he’s not 23 but he continues to push himself and I think he’s done a good job.”

In the taxi we learned that Donald was in the service and wanted to go to Japan. “This is like a dream come true” he said.

In Osaka, Don told us: “Nic is quite strong, he carries my bag, he’s like a b*tch for me, it’s perfect!” We then had a shot of Nic laughing to show the joke behind Gramps’ comment. Don had another confessional at the castle about his problems with keeping up the pace. Later, in the taxi, Nic said Don looked exhausted. “I need water” he told Nic who said they could get some at the station.

I don’t know if Japanese taxi driver wear their cap backwards like Nic did but the funny scene came from Gramps and Ronald, waiting at the Noda Station while sharing snacks and drinks as if watching the follies along with us. We had the usual “I’m lost” moment from Nic. This time he even added: “It’s easier to land a plane than to drive in Osaka” and we saw Gramps worrying that ‘This could really cost us”. The segment ended with Nic causing a major traffic jam in downtown Osaka. He still returned only10 minutes behind the two women according to Gramps.
“I stink at these things” said Nic. Although we’ve had many occasions to see that he was right, I wonder if this problem returns later on to cause their loss?

After the trip to the temple, they ran to the “Sense of Touch” detour with Don telling us: “One thing I’m afraid of is letting Nic down.”
Nick responded by saying: “I don’t want to let myself down and I would feel like I let myself down if I didn’t help my Grandfather.”
The Robot soccer players were fun to watch even if Gramps said: “My six year old grandson can beat me on video games.”
After Donald finally learned how to bend it like Beckham, he received an enthusiastic call of ‘gooooaaaaal’ from the referee. They were off to the Pit Stop with Gramps saying: “Nic is an intelligent, headstrong guy. I don’t think I could have done this with another partner.”

They were third at the pit stop with Ronald telling Phil who was rightly impressed: “I’m a little tired…I’ll be 69 in a few weeks. I’m 45 years older than just about everybody on the race but I’m hanging in.”
In confessional, he added: “I’m gonna to do what I physically can to be that aggressive to win that million bucks.”

This odd couple has run a very good race. Their story was always one of perseverance and they have accomplished their journey. If, at the start, one could wonder how this rugged, old geezer could work well with his gangly nerd of a grandson, one can’t help but be impressed. Gramps saying: “I don’t think I could have done this with another partner” is typically the tribute we get to hear after an elimination so this also makes me say they have written their final chapter. We will see them reaching the final mat to applause but those won’t be saluting their victory, only their nice showing.

TK and Rachel

They were first to leave Mumbai, with Rachel saying: “Self-confidence is definitely an issue for me. It’s kind of impossible to trust yourself, to trust your emotions but with TK, I don’t really have fears. So during the race, I’m definitely able to feel more self-confident.”
On their own, they made reservations to travel to Osaka on the earliest flight leaving Mumbai.
Despite the “positive thoughts” TK had promised to keep on departing from Mumbai, we heard him say: “Somethin’ just doesn’t feel right about this” when they arrived in New Delhi. He added: “We have no idea where the other teams are. We could be way out in front, we could be dead last, you just never know.”
They disappeared for the better part of the episode. We saw them arriving in Osaka as Nic was trying to finish the Roadblock but the arrival time of their plane wasn’t shown. We lost sight of them again, right after TK said “It feel like we’re back on the racetrack.”

After the third team had already reached the Pit Stop, we saw TK and Rachel reach the first clue box. We had glimpses of them at the different tasks with Rachel commenting as they went along: “It starts to become obvious that we’re last because no one’s around, the areas that we are going to, look like they are pretty desolate….Before I met TK a year ago, I had a lot of negativity around me all the time (On cue, we heard a ‘good job’ from TK as she finished the cab ride) TK was really like a beam of light coming down to save me.”
TK’s comments were interspersed: “I definitely didn’t join the race to have a miserable time at any point so I’m not going to allow myself to freak out about anything. We’ve already got to experience all these incredible things, we’ve already been on 9 legs of the race…Rach and I have concentrated on being ourselves and the fact that we are still together as strong as we were, I think proves this was meant to be. I couldn’t be happier than being with Rachel.” We saw them laughing in the taxi about just how Rachel pulled the real flower like it was nothing.

When they heard it was a non-elimination leg, we saw them hug and TK summed up the situation: “Knowing that there are teams in front of us and that we really are on the chopping block now, we definitely are going to try are damndest to catch up to the other teams and beat ‘em.”

A tribute edit is one when someone’s valor is shown independantly of how well they perform. It is more about a person's character rather than their results. The end of this episode was a tribute to TK and Rachel. We finally got into their story on a personal level with that poignant “beam of light” comment from Rachel. We see that they have already won something more important than the race. If they do get eliminated during the next leg, I think we will have been right to consider that their lack of airtime during most of the season was a way for the editors to spare us a bigger heartbreak.

Nate and Jennifer

After receiving a kiss upon leaving, Jennifer told us: “Nate and I always say we are going to stop arguing with each other so the biggest obstacle we need to overcome is actually doing what we say we’re actually gonna do.”
Nate said: “Jenn and I need to pull together as a team because we haven’t won a leg yet and it’s really painful not to.”
I found the juxtaposition of these two confessionals very interesting. Winning a leg is also an obstacle, and that is another thing they have talked about but haven’t overcome yet either. What if they really can’t do what they say they’re gonna do?

We saw Jenn’s smile as they arrived in Osaka: “We’re really glad to be the first of the three teams out of the airport. It’s about time we start kicking these old teams’ asses.” It seemed that Jenn was about to smile at her own comment. It could have softened it a bit but we weren’t meant to see it as the camera cut away from her.
Instead, we had Christina’s response: “I think Nate and Jenn think they can beat my dad and I and Grandpa but little do they know.” Very interesting comment from Christina. It was foreshadowing for the result of this episode but it could apply also to the last leg. Added with Nate’s fantasy about tripping the front runners before the mat and this race now seems destined to come down to these two teams.
Nate and Jenn were dancing in the taxi as they were first at the “beautiful” Kishiwada Castle and their clue. As they left, they crossed Ronald and Christina, Jenn commenting: “I’m really glad we left before they saw where we were coming from.”

Driving to the Noda station, Jenn remarked that there were no signs in English, to which Nate commented “That’s why we’re not driving.” That would soon change!
Despite of confusion during the ride, we saw Jenn kept her enthusiasm throughout the task, from receiving the hat and glove, to seeing if she looked good wearing them, to finding the Post Office. She was even jumping up and down as she let her couple out of the car. Seeing that she made it back to Noda Station ahead of everyone, she hardly could believe it: “Am I the first one back? Are you kidding me? OMG!”

They were off by taxi to Kita-Mido temple, sharing another kiss and Nate repeating: “We might actually be first today.” Jenn tried to tell her taxi driver that they were in a race by pumping her arms as if in a sprint. (I wonder if the taxi driver thought she wanted to fight?)

Arriving first at the Detour clue box, Jenn decided to ask where each task was in order to pick the closer one. Told that both were 10 minutes away they headed for the “Sense of Smell” Detour because, as Jenn explained “I have the freakin’ nose of a bloodhound.” Nate found that funny.

On the way to the flower shop, Jenn urged Nate to run: “We are neck-and-neck with Ron and Chris. We cannot let them beat us.”
We had some funny shots of them sniffing the flowers and then Jenn said: “Sniffing, sniffing…I was getting light headed. I started looking up…I thought I was hallucinating like I was in a Pink Floyd music video.” Nate also found that funny.
(The background music was rock but, unfortunately, not Pink Floyd.)
Jenn thought doing this detour was a mistake but Nate said: “We’re battling for first place.” Just then Jenn smelled something, found a flower and they were able to sneak out of the shop without being noticed by their opponents.

They were first to head out for the Pit Stop in Tempozan Park.
“We’re gonna make first place” said Jenn.
Nate added: “We want to finish first so bad to prove to ourselves that we can do it.”
They couldn’t find a taxi driver that knew where they were going. They finally found a local who offered to tell a taxi driver where to take them.
If harmony reigned in Ron and Chris’ taxi, we saw more frustration from Jenn as she accused Nate of pushing her in the cab.
Nate objected that he didn’t push her.
The editors put the play under review. After looking at the video replay, the call by Jenn stands, Nate did push her in the cab.
She then told him that it would cost them first place.
He said it could not have cost them.
Phil, his smile gone, greated them in second place, with Nate telling the host “We want it so bad.”
In their last confessional, Jenn said: “After Nate and I came in second place, it is ON. Today we had first right in our hands but we’ve been bickering at each other, so we need to learn our lesson and I think we’re learning it the hard way.”
Nate had a funny slip: “The best team is gonna finish last and that’s gonna be Jenn and I” (!!!)
We heard the sound of a needle scratching a vinyl record and Jenn’s head spun around: “We’re gonna finish LAST???”
Nate corrected himself: “I mean we’re gonna finish the last leg, first.”

Isn’t Nate slip an editor’s dream? One hope for those who don’t want to see this team win is that they aren’t able to do what they say they are going to do and what they have said they want to do, besides getting along, is winning a leg. It could be that they never win a leg, that Nate cannot trip up Ronald in the final sprint. At this late stage, I say that these comments were all chosen for misdirection. We saw too much of their turmoils, both in the race and between them, we heard to much of their strategy and their plans not to be the team that wins it in the end.

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01-10-08, 06:20 PM (EST)
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35. "RE: Epside #9: Editing Thoughts"
I have to admit that I was confused after watching the last episode. Over the season, I had misjudged Ron and Christina’s edit a lot and to a lesser extent Rachel and TK and Kynt and Vxysin, so I went back and rewatched the first episode. It took me a while to puzzle out how I think things will end up (and I could still be wrong! ). The top five’s stories were laid out for us in the first episode: Jen and Nate have relationship problems and they are very concerned with what place everyone is in; Ron and Christina’s story is all about family bonds; Kynt and Vxysin are cartoon characters; Rachel and TK’s story is about how they are the right people for each other and Don’s expertise in leading the donkey foreshadows how his life experience will help them persevere over many teams. With that in mind, I’ll comment on the remaining teams.

Rachel and TK as Michel noted, received a tribute edit. Rachel commented at the beginning of the race that “it was love at first sight with TK; I want to spend my life with TK.” This is nicely bookended by their confessionals after this leg. Rachel compared TK to “a beam of light coming down to save me.” TK added, “I definitely didn’t join the race to have a miserable time at any point…. We’ve already got to experience all these incredible things…Rach and I have concentrated on being ourselves and the fact that we are still together as strong as we were, I think proves this was meant to be.” Their mellow strategy has kept them together and they should “live happily ever after.” They’d have to be very lucky to overcome the speed bump. A few episodes ago I commented that it seemed like TK and Rachel and Jen and Nate were competing for first place. With Jen’s comment in the previews that she wants to rip the dreads out of TK’s head, perhaps they are racing each other for elimination.

I had also noticed earlier that TK at the end of the legs in Vilnius and Dubrovnik said that they were racing “alone,” that they didn’t see anyone all day. At the time I thought it was an odd comment because they had been with other teams occasionally. I never made the connection that they would go as far astray as they did! After winning the leg in Dubrovnik, TK says, “As we were alone today throughout most of the day, we thought we were lost. It just goes to show you never know what’s going on in the race.” There’s a little 20/20 hindsight foreshadowing for you. I did laugh when Nate commented they could be off doing something stupid. And I am a bit concerned that if they do get eliminated next that my favorite team has just missed the Final Three four seasons in a row!

I don’t have much to add concerning Don and Nicolas. Don remarked on two different occasions that it’s been a dream of his to go to Japan; chock up another life experience for Gramps. He said, “I’m not as strong…but I’m going to keep on running” at the beginning of the leg and ended it by saying, “I’m 45 years older, but still hangin’ in.” It seems clear that they will make the Final Three and what an accomplishment that would be for them. Don would become the oldest racer to make it that far. On a funny note, the first confession of the race is Nic as they’re leaving the Playboy Mansion, “I don’t know where I’m going right now.”!!

Like you Michel, I started to think that maybe Ron and Christina might win it all. When you go back to the first episode, Ron and Christina are the stars even though they came in 7th place. It isn’t until the second episode where we start to see Ron’s warts. Their story hasn’t expanded to let us know much about them outside their relationship, but the editing spent a lot of time showing us how important family bonds are (remember the alliance with Azaria and Hendekea and sharing a bedroom with them because they had the same family values). For the past few weeks, the behavioral stories of Jen and Nate and Ron have seemed to be intertwined. One goes up when the other goes down. They’ve raced Jen and Nate for first place twice now and beaten them both times. I think they’ll fall short of the million dollars though, but will still consider themselves winners anyways because of the time they spent together. In Ireland, after the bike roadblock (with Ron singing Danny Boy), Ron states, “I didn’t want to disappoint you,” and Christina says, “You never disappoint me.” At the mat chat she says again, “you never disappoint me.” Finishing the race together with all they’ve accomplished is their story and they won’t be disappointed in their experience. Their story was nicely wrapped up too, but Rachel and TK’s had a bigger sense of finality to it.

This week Ron has his best week ever (in Christina’s eyes). Their story was how they’ve come together as a team; finishing first again was almost an afterthought. Ron had several confessionals on how he’s trying to be a better father. He says, “I tend to get too explosive in situations…I need to continue this journey of change and I don’t want to falter.” Christina has also learned how to shut her father up when he’s picking at her, “Just leave me alone…stop wasting energy complaining.” Later he says, “When we get to Japan, I need to change, it’s important with my relationship with Christina. I would like to be a good father, but it isn’t easy with the intensity of this race.” In Japan when they’re in the lead Ron says, “I’m now giving her more encouragement…not demoralizing her as an old man that is dragging her down.” She tells Phil, “He did not lose his temper once this leg. He’s improving worlds! I had just a blast today because we didn’t argue.” Later she added, “The fact that my dad and I got along today helped us come in first place, without a doubt.” And Ronald shared his thoughts, “These are critical times so we definitely want to keep on being a cohesive team and finish the race as number one.” Their journey is almost at an end and so is the race. They’ve turned into such a strong team that I would be surprised if they didn’t make the Final Three.

We also see a bit of foreshadowing perhaps. As they leave the airport in Osaka, Jen says, “We’re happy to be first out of the airport. It’s time that we started to kick these old people’s asses.” We cut to a taxi where Christina says, “I think that Jen and Nate think they can beat my dad and I and Grampa, but little do they know…” It happened this episode but it could also be predicting our final three teams.

If Christina and Ron were all light and sunshine and positive energy in the first episode, Jen and Nate were the nasty, battling Bickersons. But Jen and Nate were all over the premiere. The camera focused on them twice while Phil was speaking (and didn’t focus on three of the teams at all). We heard comments from Jen the entire way to the airport including calls on what place they were in and that continued throughout the episode. They called Kate and Pat bitches and Kynt and Vxysin freaks, and let’s not forget Nate’s, “you are the worst person I’ve ever met” comment! They certainly made an impression on us. Ron and Christina had a winner’s aura around them, but TAR editing doesn’t try to portray the winners well and this could be like last season. Christina and Ron are like Dustin and Kandice: the big sympathetic story. Jen and Nate, like Eric and Danielle, could come on strong in the last leg.

Jen and Nate have learned to work better together (it’s all relative to where they started!) and they know what they have to do. Jen comments, “Nate and I always say we’re going to stop arguing and now the biggest obstacle is doing what we’re going to say we do.” Early on in the race Jen compared their race to a Donkey Kong game: overcoming obstacles and their biggest obstacle is communication and teamwork. Even though they are still arguing, they finish a close second. Nate comments to Phil, “We want to finish first so bad to prove that we can do it.” Later Jen is passionate when she says, “After Nate and I came in second place, it is on. Today we had first right in our hands but we’ve been bickering at each other, so we need to learn our lesson and I think we’re learning it the hard way.” The editing has been pointing to them not winning anything until the last leg since they raced Azaria and Hendekea to the mat in the fourth episode! If they stop wasting time arguing over if Nate pushed Jen or not (!), they could pull out a win. This was emphasized when Nate slipped, “The best team is gonna finish last and that’s gonna be Jen and I.” Jen whipped around to look at him, “We’re gonna finish last?” Nate corrected himself: “I mean we’re gonna finish the last leg, first.” It could be irony, but it’s been their story their entire race and I think it’s going to come true.

The last piece that I don’t know where it fits in is the rivalry between Ron and Christina and Don and Nic. It was shown early on and then Christina reminded us of it at the Yield. I shall have to wait to see how that plays out.

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36. "RE: Epside #9: Editing Thoughts"
Just wanted to jump in here and say that I always enjoy everyone's thoughts on the editing. I don't know why, but I have been rooting for Ron and Christina, mainly because of Christina's nature. I hope they can pull off the win. Don and Nick are simply amazing, I would like to see them be in the final two along with Christina and Ron, yet I just don't know.

Clearly TK and Rachel will be toast, although I really thought as the most closely related to free spirits, I was thinking perhaps Amazing Race does favor the "hippy types"??? Alas, I don't think so...don't think they will over come their late start and the speed bump to boot. They will lean on each other and be happy....

Nate and Jen have been truly horrific in this season. I do identify them as the villians of this season, and I can not rationalize them as winners. Alas, it could happen. I would absolutely love to see them meltdown in the final legs, the pressure just causing them to self destruct, yet I am weary that they could indeed finally end up at the front of the pack. Hey, if the producers of this show can call back a plane to return to the gate to accomodate another team, anything can happen, right? I will be disappointed if this couple wins...

Thanks everyone!

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01-14-08, 08:04 AM (EST)
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37. "RE: Epside #9: Editing Thoughts"
I know that I am answering my own post but I just had to jump in here this AM. Like most folks, I just didn't see how TK and Rachel could overcome a 3 hour delay and the speed bump, so I did predict them to come in last, BUT, before last week to me they were indeed the couple that looked like the winners. I even noted in my last post, that I was beginning to get the feeling that the Amazing Race favored the 'hippy types'! Well, I think we are back in business. This team is on a roll and they are going to really finish strong.

I WAS THRILLED to see the evil villain team of Nate and Jen meltdown for their final leg. I really could not believe that they could possibly be the winners. Never in the history of TAR have the villains ended up the winners, have they?

Regarding Ron and Christina, I would say they ran as good a leg as they possibly could and were thrilled with it. They seem to have mastered the right way to do it, but can they keep their momentum going? I don't know....clearly to me, the race will come down to them and TK/Rachel.

Thrilled that Donald and Nick have lasted to the final three as well. I really wanted the race to be between them and Christina and Ron, but I think this team is thrilled to be in the Final 3 and that's enough for them, I predict they will land in the third spot.

Thanks for a great thread!


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01-14-08, 08:49 AM (EST)
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38. "RE: Epside #9: Editing Thoughts"
I have never been happier to be more wrong.
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01-14-08, 09:38 AM (EST)
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39. "RE: Epside #9: Editing Thoughts"
Like I said in my last post, I rewatched the first episode last week. Last night when Nate I said, "I really can't stand you anymore!" I thought, "whoa, that is not someone sounding like a winner." It went along with his "you are the worst person I've ever met" comment. I guess their quest for first place was overkill, kind of like all the comments to Dustin and Kandice in TAR 10 that they would be the first females to win.

The finale is going to be exciting and I'd be happy with any three of them to win. You have to give the edge to Ron and Christina, but if TK and Rachel don't get lost, they can pull it out too. I think Don is too exhausted from jet lag and the pace of the race, but you never know. I think their story could have them go head-to-head with Ron and Christina at some point.

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01-14-08, 11:53 AM (EST)
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40. "It's a Miserable Game, this Race."
Hello FP. It's nice to see you here but couldn't you have come in earlier with your "Hippy type" theory? If you had, I may have listened to your wisdom!

To answer your question, Flo of "Flo and Zach" as well as Freddy and Kendra were villains, hated maybe even more than Nate and Jenn, and both teams won.

As far as predicting the outcome, I quit! The nice teams have made it to the end but this game is too weird to predict. I'll be making my votes in Jims Casino in Fanatics. There, at least, I scored big last night!

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01-14-08, 02:07 PM (EST)
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41. "RE: It's a Miserable Game, this Race."
>As far as predicting the outcome,
>I quit! The nice teams
>have made it to the
>end but this game is
>too weird to predict. I'll
>be making my votes in
>Jims Casino in Fanatics. There,
>at least, I scored big
>last night!

Ugh, I feel your pain! This has been a crazy season in that way. At least we figured out Ron and Christina's surge in time to capitalize in the casino.

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01-14-08, 02:42 PM (EST)
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42. "RE: It's a Miserable Game, this Race."
but couldn't you have come in earlier with your "Hippy type" theory? If you had, I may have listened to your wisdom! Now, you've really made me chuckle! Ha!

You are right with Freddy and Kendra, but were they the worst villains on their season, was'nt Jonathan and Victoria in their season as well, and to me they were the clear cut above villains? They are all starting to run together, and I never watched the season with Flo and Zach.

As far as predicting the outcome, I quit! DON'T you DARE do that! I would have to go and drag you back! But, You and CTgirl know quite well that using the editing to predict the winner is certainly more of a challenge than even Survivor. The reason we like Survivor so much, imo, is that it does follow some logic, and therefore it is indeed possible to make some logical deductions. Even the misdirection and foreshadowing can be logical. But, Amazing Race is all over the place!

To me, both Christina/Ron and TK/Rachel are on a roll and they have gathered alot of momentum, I think the race will be between these two teams. But, I said it once and I'll say it again, if the producers can order a jet to return to the gate to pick up one more late arriving team, then anything could happen!

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01-14-08, 08:04 PM (EST)
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43. "RE: It's a Miserable Game, this Race."
I'm more of a lurker for this thread, and I believe this a first for me to post here.

Based on the previews alone, they made it look like all three almost had an equal chance to win. Cristina did look a bit excited when they were running in that preview. Misdirection?

Before last night's episode, I had originally wagered my casino points on Nicolas/Donald and Jennifer/Nathan, but I had this nagging feeling Ronald/Cristina would pull out first place. I mean, I thought to myself. They are in Japan, then they'd be flying to Taiwan. Cristina speaks Japanese and Mandarin/Cantonese. They would seriously mess up real bad to end up in last place.

Then I started reading that Taiwan spoiler about Jennifer/Nathan and TK/Rachel waiting at the bottom of Taipei 101 building and they were waiting for another team to come down. I had incorrectly assumed this was an Intersection. I thought maybe Ronald/Cristina and Nicolas/Donald were up there in the building while TK/Rachel and Jennifer/Nathan were waiting below. So, based on this spoiler, I thought maybe R/C and N/D would finish at the top.

But the flurry of bets on J/N made me think they might finish second again, so I changed my R/C and N/D bet to R/C and J/N. I would have never thought TK/Rachel would have finished 2nd!

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01-17-08, 04:03 PM (EST)
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44. "Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christina"
LAST EDITED ON 01-18-08 AT 08:26 AM (EST)

I was thinking: In the second episode Ron and Christina and Don and Nic had their run-in at the airport. Over the course of the season Christina said on several occasions, "ugh, Don and Nic, don't help them." Later she said she would U-turn them if they could. Recently Don made a comment about Christina having attended "a high-falutin' college" (Princeton).

I could be wrong, I think these two teams go head-to-head at some point during the finale. But is it enough editing wise to indicate that Don and Nick finish ahead of Ron and Christina in the final leg? Any thoughts?...

ETA: Christina also commented in the last episode, "I think we're smarter than Jen and Nate and Don and Nic. TAR loves irony.

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01-17-08, 09:30 PM (EST)
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45. "RE: Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christina"
Hey all,

I'd been avoiding posting in this thread again because I was exposed to Jen/Nate wins spoiler and didn't want to taint the analysis of everyone else. Thank God that info was wrong! I was really tempted to post against them but held back. Unlike Survivor Editing analysis, the Amazing Race winner edits haven't been so cut and dry. But I think the death knell for a Nate/Jen victory was given two weeks ago when they replayed the "push" in the car in dramatic black and white no less! Oh well onto the finale at hand...

So if Nate/Jen is to Amanda, which group is Todd?

Going back to my guess at the theme of the season "self-destruction" I think it explained the Race's last three boots and glancing at the previews which two teams do we seeing having problems already, TK/Rachel and Don/Nic. That leaves the redeeming Ron/Christina as our winners and this makes sense looking at their opponents edits. TK/Rachel have been kept in the background most of the race and while they have been easy going they have had their share of problems locating sites and their competitiveness has been challenged quite a few times. Don/Nic by contrast have gotten good exposure with a lot more glaring warts, you'd think Don would have gotten a more triumphant tone if he was the oldest winner on the race despite his generally cantankerous attitude.

To respond to CTgirl, I think the editing has done a great job of highlighting the last two dueling teams but it's clear who will win. It'd be interesting if anyone would like to revisit that airport fight between them in episode 2, I thought the editing heavily favored Ron/Christina as they got the most time to explain the situation.

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01-18-08, 07:03 AM (EST)
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46. "RE: Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christina"
Nice thoughts CTGirl and dabeat! To me it's about who is peaking...I think Don and Nick peaked last week, they are thrilled to have made it into the final 3. I think the race for the big money will include TK and R and Ron and Christina....TK and Rachel have a last surge, is it enough to get them ahead of the first place team? Considering all of the editing of the show, I don't think it will be. I have pondered this alot this week as I think it will be a good's what I anticipate....all along it's been Christina that has stepped up to the plate and helped her dad calm down and learn to be constructive through the adventure, noting that his bad attitude is detrimental to their quest....we have seen him defer and support his daughter as she has taken the lead...and they have capitalized. I think in this last leg it will be Ron that ultimately steps up in constructive, level-headed ways to pull Christina through the final leg to the win.

I think an ending like this would make their editing come full many of us along the way thought their end point would be to have Ron change and conform, which he already has...I think there is a bit more to the complete edit....whereas I think the pinnacle of TK/R's edit came last week when they survived their poor finish and the speed bump. I also think D/N's edit ended with the comments from them after their third place finish, in the final three.

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01-18-08, 12:23 PM (EST)
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47. "RE: Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christina"
LAST EDITED ON 01-18-08 AT 12:29 PM (EST)

CTgirl asked: "Any thoughts?"

I really should do like Rudy and say: "I dunno." I see however that no one has made a case for TK and Rachel. What happened to hippy power, FP?

I like the irony of Don and Nic beating Ron and Christina at the mat. It is the only remaining story involving two teams. I like the idea of Daddy finally coming through. I like the story of TK and Rachel keeping their cool despite the tension of the race.

We have:

Talent: Will it be Christina winning it because she is the smartest, having gone to a high falutin' college?

Experience: Will it be Don winning because he knows how to do everything?

Strength: Will it be TK winning because he is young and strong?

Really, I don't know, I haven't been able to read the story of the season. I seem to recall that most of the detours involved learning how to do a local task: Mining for gold, stringing flowers, posting a billboard, building a wall. I would tend to go with Experience being the underlying story and that is Don and Nic's story.

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01-19-08, 09:07 AM (EST)
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48. "RE: Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christina"
I seem to recall that most of the detours involved learning how to do a local task: Mining for gold, stringing flowers, posting a billboard, building a wall. I would tend to go with Experience being the underlying story and that is Don and Nic's story.

Wow, as good a theory as ANY, michel! I love it! I would be really happy with an ending like that! Who knows about the could happen! Clearly, it's anyone's race...

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01-19-08, 11:17 AM (EST)
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49. "RE: Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christina"

This is the best TAR ever. Sort of hate to see it end. Guess it`s anybody`s race. If it`s close, TK and RA will have the speed.

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01-19-08, 12:29 PM (EST)
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50. "RE: Don and Nic vs. Ron and Christina"
Even though this has been a frustrating race edit-wise, it has been a great season. I am glad that you think Don's experience could come into play. It makes me feel like I am not crazy! There is something about their story that has been niggling at me that makes me think they have as good a chance at winning as TK and Rachel or Ron and Christina.

This week's casino bet: the.hardest.ever!

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01-21-08, 07:59 AM (EST)
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51. "RE: TAR 12: The Racers and the Editing"
Well, the theory that TAR favors the hippy's lives on!

Great race, great ending...

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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01-21-08, 05:48 PM (EST)
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52. "RE: TAR 12: The Racers and the Editing"
Of course, no one has the experience of Hippies. They're always on a trip.

Seriously, I can't understand why they didn't let us know more about TK and Rachel. For one of the few times we had likeable winners, why hide them so much? If the right questions are asked in confessionals, anyone can have an interesting story to tell.

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01-22-08, 09:18 PM (EST)
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54. "RE: TAR 12: The Racers and the Editing"
The only thing I can think of to explain Rachel and TK’s editing is the fact that they won versus a team with a 68 year old man and a team with a 50-something year old man. Youth and fitness always seems to win out! They didn’t want it to be obvious so they made them look clueless and only pointed out what they were doing poorly.

Thanks again for starting this thread Michel. I always enjoy reading about what you have noticed. Yeah, it was frustrating, but it was still fun. Now the countdown until Survivor starts….

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01-23-08, 09:19 AM (EST)
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55. "RE: TAR 12: The Racers and the Editing"
I still remember the first season of TAR. The winners Rob and Brennan were quite invisible during the race too. This show does not always spend alot of time on the winners.
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01-21-08, 09:44 PM (EST)
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53. "RE: TAR 12: The Racers and the Editing"
I think we knew right off the bat that Ron and Chris wouldn't win it. Chris was shown saying time and again that they wouldn't relinquish their lead.

Unless your name is Secretariat, that's not usually a good thing to say.

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