Monday, March 30, 2009

The Amazing Race, "Gorilla? Gorilla?? Gorilla???": Stay with the pack!

Very quick spoilers for last night's "The Amazing Race" coming right up...

Watching the episode on a DVR delay, I had a very bad feeling early on that Mel and Mike White were digging themselves too big a hole by choosing to look for the gorilla statue on their own when it was clear the other five teams were all traveling in a different direction. I had 17 other things I needed to watch, and didn't want to put one of those off just to suffer through the end of Team Schneebly, so I asked a friend who watched it live to tell me if my suspicions were correct. He said they were, I turned it off and got back to watching the new season of "In Treatment." (More on that later on the week.)

As Kisha and Jen pointed out a few episodes back, one of the elementary rules of racing is that, when in doubt, stay with the herd. Even if you're all wrong, you'll all be wrong together. But if you're wrong by yourself, you're screwed. The potential reward of being the first team to find the first clue of the leg doesn't come close to outweighing the huge risk of being by far the last team to find it.

Ah, well. Team Schneebly was my favorite, but I'm sure I'll be back next week, and for the rest of the season. Feel free to discuss all the parts of the episode I missed.

23 comments:

Bobman said...

I know a lot of it is the producers highlighting certain things, but wow was Jaime of Jaime and Cara a biotch this week. She usually is, but this week, all her screaming at cab drivers and the poor guy with the drawers to open made me want to punch her in the mouth.

The Tweedles, however, is an awesome nickname.

Very sad to see Mel and Mike go, but they handled it with aplomb as expected.

BF said...

Gotta give Mel/Mike at least a little dig: Mel made a big show on the moutaintop of *NOT* praying for divine intervention. Yet last night, with their backs against the wall, Mike let out a little "Please God..." during the cab ride. Mel must be *SO* disapointed in his son.

I also think that the Tweedles were unfairly punished over the bike pump gambit. It's not like they took the pumps with them or hid them in a ditch. I don't see their crime as any worse than a team that gives another team intentionally bad directions

Bobman said...

I also think that the Tweedles were unfairly punished over the bike pump gambit. It's not like they took the pumps with them or hid them in a ditch. I don't see their crime as any worse than a team that gives another team intentionally bad directions

Feinberg made a decent point about this - if the teams were told that there were pumps or at least maintenance equipment beforehand, then the Tweeles probably shouldn't have been punished as much. But if the teams had no idea that the pumps even existed, but the producers had put them out in plain sight for everyone to use if they saw them, then essentially hiding them is kind of sabotage.

polkadotoes said...

I am gonna miss Mel and Mike. I think they were one of my all time favorite teams. How can you not love them when, knowing they were in last place, they let out those unison Nooo! in the herb shop? Especially compared to Jaime who must think yelling and insulting the locals is the best way to get their cooperation, yuck.

I hope Margie recuperated well. That was scary when she started complaining about going numb and cold at the end. Poor Luke could only look on, not being able to communicate or know what the med staff was saying.

Jaime and Cara can leave anytime they want.

Now that Tammy and Victor seem to be working together better, they are definitely the team to beat.

Sister T said...

I thought the punishment was inappropriate for the "following the taxi" violation. I expected the Tweedles would have to re-do the Detour. Considering that on some other detours, when a team fails to fully or faithfully complete the task the ticket master will not give them the next clue, I expected the Tweedles would have to go back.

And it seemed the half hour penalty for the sabotage wasn't a sufficient deterrent for future violations. Judging by how much effort it took the other teams to race without properly inflated tires, it seems like the brothers gained an advantage greater than a half hour. If they hadn't had the additional penalty, they would have been in first place anyway, and even with the added penalty were only a few minutes behind the first two teams. It seems that if you can calculate that sabotaging the other teams will slow them down by more than a half hour, sabotage is worth it.

I have to say though, I was surprised at the sabotage penalty. I guess I'm too used to all the other cut-throat reality shows. I never expected that would be penalized.

Joe J. said...

I agree about the 30-min penalty for sabotage being too soft. I can think of a lot of situations where sabotaging another team would be worth eating a 30-min penalty. Suppose a team got to a clue box and took extra clues from it, leaving none for the last teams? Or if a team paid another team's cab driver to ditch them somewhere?

Personally, I think the punishment for sabotage should be automatic ejection from the race. Barring that, 4 hours (which was the punishment one team got for giving up on a Roadblock a few seasons back) would be appropriate.

Tiana said...

I thought it was funny how some teammates echoed each other while running through the zoo, looking for the gorilla, tiger &/or elephants?

Alex said...

So I'm the only person who was enraged by the appearance of a chained tiger being beaten with a stick for the enjoyment of tourists? I couldn't believe not a single team seemed put off by that.

Bobman said...

So I'm the only person who was enraged by the appearance of a chained tiger being beaten with a stick for the enjoyment of tourists? I couldn't believe not a single team seemed put off by that.

With all the poverty and human rights violations in some of these countries, tiger abuse is kind of down on the list of concerns, no? Sad to see, no doubt, but hardly glaring in the face of last week's India episode.

Nicole said...

I was surprised about the sabotage penalty, although I don't disagree with it. I think 30 minutes was appropriate based on what they actually did, which was put the pumps in a box. They didn't hide the box, and the other teams didn't seem to even look for the pumps, which was a part of the task. Having a harder time moving the rickshaw is partly the other teams' own fault because it doesn't seem as though they read the clue properly. Had a team made an issue about it, they would have aired it.

I was also confused with Jaime and Cara not getting a penalty for using a cab, because it seems at one point that they were getting their driver to help. I guess they didn't use him all the way, but I am so tired of Jamie and her horribly bitchy attitude that she can be eliminated as soon as possible.

I'm sad to the Mike and Mel go. I suspected that they were goners this week based on the early interviews even before the divergence, but at least they were good sports.

I think Tammy and Victor are the team to beat, although I suspect that Jamie and Cara will still be there for the final three.

David Thiel said...

I was surprised at the penalty for being led by the cab, as I've seen plenty of other examples of teams hiring cabs to follow when the instructions involved driving one of the provided cars. Was there something specific about this challenge that prohibited such help?

On the other hand, I was glad to see the penalty for hiding the pumps. At the time, I was thinking that I'd never seen anyone deliberately sabotaging other teams in such a fashion, and wondered what difference there would be between hiding race equipment and (for example) tearing down a path marker.

David Dean said...

I mentioned this over at the Entertainment Weekly recap, but this is the very first time I've ever seen a member of the crew in a shot -- a soundman with a boom mic in the background, when Margie collapsed. Pretty amazing, considering how many people following multiple teams are never, ever visible.

Nicole said...

There must have been something in the clue that prohibited the use of a cab because Victor specifically told the cabbie that they couldn't follow him. That was the only time I realized the Tweedles may be in trouble.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame you didn't watch the full episode Alan if only to see Mel and Mike's last day on the race. They seemed like they knew they were done once they got to the zoo, but rather than bitch at each other and those around them they truly seemed to be enjoying themselves-- It's already been referenced above but compare Jaime's reaction to old man opening drawers for them to Mel and Mike who made the best of it, and didn't let any frustration at clearly being in last place get the best of them.

My favorite team since the hippies a few years ago, sorry to see them go as I no longer have a clear favorite for the rest of the season--
I've officially reached the point where I'm just rooting for certain teams to be eliminated (looking at you Victor, Jaime, and little stuntmen)

Anonymous said...

I am starting to dislike Jamie more and more. I wished they would be eliminated. Too bad we can't just kick off Jamie and Victor and put Cara and Tammy together. They'd make a nice teahm.

Anna said...

When they arrived in Phuket, the screen said "14 hours later". It shouldn't take 14 hours to get from India to Phuket.

And someone needs to tell Jamie that when you are in a non-English speaking nation, YOU are the one speaking a foreign language.

BF said...

So I'm the only person who was enraged by the appearance of a chained tiger being beaten with a stick for the enjoyment of tourists?

I was just wondering if he rooted for LSU or not. Seeing a tiger day in and day out tends to desensitive you a little. Though I must say it's pretty obvious that the feline did get his revenge in the end as evidenced by that dude's missing arm.

Suppose a team got to a clue box and took extra clues from it, leaving none for the last teams? Or if a team paid another team's cab driver to ditch them somewhere?

Yeah, but that's a different level of race treachery than merely hiding a bike pump. Granted, the producers may have come down hard so as to discourage future attempts. But that's not even the most egregious case in race history. (That belongs to Charla & Mirna, who told airport personnel that their co-racers were terrorists and shouldn't be allowed to board a plane.) If that didn't get penalized, I don't see why the Tweedles should suffer.

but this is the very first time I've ever seen a member of the crew in a shot

Well, there WAS that one time where Brian & Greg crashed their jeep and injured their cameraman.

Marquis said...

But that's not even the most egregious case in race history. (That belongs to Charla & Mirna, who told airport personnel that their co-racers were terrorists and shouldn't be allowed to board a plane.) If that didn't get penalized, I don't see why the Tweedles should suffer.

Had that affected the race and the other team wasn't allowed to get on, then yeah they should be penalised or eliminated right there.


And yeah that was a really dumb move of the Whites' part. You see everyone stopped and then all leave together. At least find out where they are going. Because obviously they all got the same info. go join them if it's wrong you probably still have the edge as to where the statue might be.

i think after Mel outsmarted everyone on the detour, they kinda got a little over confident.

I'd love to know how far back they were.

kathy said...

I hate all Race tasks that involve animals, this is one of my favorite shows but when they have tasks that involve animals which invariably means mistreatment of animals, I flip the channel. I don't give a rat's ass how cultural "authentic" the task is - in some cultures, eating puppies and stoning people are authentic - doesn't mean I want to see it on my TV though. And yes I feel the same about making teams beg in India -- it's not entertaining for me to watch that either.

I have no problem with the Twerps being penalized with time delays. They are so so stupid and so lacking in self-awareness, I think they shoudl get a one hour time penalty every episode just for being so annonying and lame.

Why yes, I'm cranky about Mike and Mel leaving, what gave it away?

BTW Alan, now that you have teased that you've seen the new season of "In Treatment", I'm dying for info on it (but no spoilers). I watched the episode when Sophie's dad tries to go to her therapy session and the one with Glynn Turman this weekend and it really got me psyched for S2 so I hope you only have good things to say about it...

Sharon said...

I was also confused with Jaime and Cara not getting a penalty for using a cab, because it seems at one point that they were getting their driver to help.

Nicole, I thought J&C asked their cab driver to go on ahead and meet them at the end of the route. The Tweedles asked their cab driver to lead them there, hence the difference.

Was there something specific about this challenge that prohibited such help?

David Thiel, one of the racers (sorry, can't remember which one) read the prohibition from the clue.
Suppose a team got to a clue box and took extra clues from it, leaving none for the last teams?

Joe J., the despised Freddie and Kendra took an extra clue in race 6 because they'd lost theirs and were penalized. Can't remember what the exact penalty was, tho.

dez said...

I was so bummed to when Melon Mike were eliminated :( They were by far my favorites this season. I hope they had a good time in Sequesterville!

Jamie needs to shut it. I hope Jamie's at least learning something about her horrible self by watching these eps.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are faithful watchers of The Amazing Race. We were so upset to see Mel and Mike eliminated as they were our favorite team! I think that every season there is at least one person who complains about the language or the people or the poverty... I always wonder why did you apply to be on the race then???

Eric said...

"Ah, well. Team Schneebly was my favorite, but I'm sure I'll be back next week, and for the rest of the season. "

Well, Alan?