Monday, September 29, 2008

Amazing Race 13: Episode One

Last night the thirteenth run of the Amazing Race started at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The teams were sent immediately to Salvador, Brazil. After the introductory pieces on each team, my family chose favorites.

My husband and son both picked Anita and Arthur, the married beekeepers wearing tie dyed shirts. I could understand their choice. They seemed like nice people and a hippie team won it all once before. I probably would have labeled them Sentimental Favorites. Watching them move ever so s-l-o-w-l-y towards the stairs of the Coliseum however, I decided they probably didn't have what it took for the race.

Instead, I was impressed by the brother and sister team team of Nick and Starr. They were obviously young, physically fit, and beyond that seemed to have a positive energy pushing them forwards.

A team that will probably provide some drama along the way is Team Frat Boys, Andrew and Dan. They messed up in two key moments. At the airport, they followed the herd mentality and went to the counter where other team members had lined up without checking to see that it was the right one. It wasn't. This mistake cost them the chance to be on the first flight to Brazil. Their second mistake came when they broke away from everyone else and were the only ones who chose Detour option: Hard Way Up. This would have worked out great for them if only they had read the directions carefully. A "mystery question" was going to be asked once they climbed to the top of the stairs on their hands and knees. Really what other question could it be except how many stairs had they just climbed? Because they hadn't prepared they had to do the task over costing them time. Hopefully they learned from their mistakes on this first leg and will do better next time.

Nick and Starr made a nice strategic move on this first leg of the race. They realized being younger they lacked some of the travel experience of the other teams. They approached Ken and Tina and asked if they could form a loose alliance with them for two legs of the race. To make the deal even more palatable, they told them they were going to refer to themselves as "The Kids" and they wanted to call Ken and Tina "Mom and Dad". Nice. Of course, Ken and Tina went for it.

The team dynamics of Terence and Sarah seemed really strange to me. At the group's first overnight stop, Sarah took the opportunity to meet the other racers. This seemed like a good strategy to me - sizing up one's opponents in a friendly manner. But Terence pouted that she should have been paying attention to him. In this duo Sarah seems like the smart one as she used her Portugese language skills to propel them forward in Brazil. Terence should be showing her some respect!

In the end, Nick and Starr came in first and won a trip to Belize. Sadly, Arthur and Anita were last and were eliminated. A full recap of the episode can be found on one of my favorite sites, Reality News Online. All photos are from the CBS Amazing Race 13 website.

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