Okay - you guys have convinced me that using production staff to drive is not in keeping with the spirit of the game. I humbly withdraw the suggestion.
Regarding the Bob Irsay/1984 comment. The link to this season of Amazing Race is real for me and at least one other FoRT member. In 1984, Bob Irsay, owner of the BALTIMORE Colts, snuck the team out of town - literally in the middle of the night - and moved them to Indianapolis. This was done in spite of the fact that city officials and fans matched every offer that Indianapolis made to keep our team. It was bad enough that they left under less-than-honorable circumstances, but when they kept the team name, the logo . . . everything, it was like a knife in the heart to true football fans in the city.
That's the night my love for football died. I have liked some of the people who have coached or played for the team since then, but to hear their names tied to the word "Colts" just always brings that memory to the forefront. The running joke at our house is that if I walk into the living room while hubby is watching a game, if the Colts are playing, I tell him, "You KNOW that team is NOT allowed on the TVs in our house." He (not a Baltimorean) says, "You need to get over it." I always reply, "Never. You just don't understand."
Nevertheless, go Marcus and Amani!
The cab drivers being good or bad ones is a part of the race and personally I don't mind them as part of the race.
I think where Amazing Race had a miss in this instance was they should have had one of those people there to confirm whether or not you had the correct location before you left the dancing girls. I'm sure they were looking for some excitement with people heading for the wrong locations, but they ended up with what felt like an unfair situation because of it.
It's quite possible the finish would have been the same with the boarders losing. I could have handled that in this instance, because it feels fair. Even if, say, Ernie and Cindy cheated and simply followed a team to the pitstop and then had to go back and give the right location and THEN still beat the boarders... I could have handled that too.
I would just like it if the race were based a little more on the teams abilities and a little less on luck. Production could tighten that up a little, to be sure.
Racers must confirm that they got the right answer in a task before they move on. If someone helps them get an answer they should be assessed a penalty at the pitstop. This would help reduce undue ganging up on teams.
Racers must figure out the correct location themselves, either with the help of their cab driver or with locals. If another team helps however, they should be assessed a penalty.
If a team does not figure out a location, and simply follows another team to the pitstop or wherever... penalty or return to the location and come back. (I understand this can work either for or against a team, but at least the team has to do the work themselves, even if they chose a wrong location.)
I just think I would find the race more likeable if the best racers had a little more of a chance to make it to the finale. These rules wouldn't eliminate luck as a part of the race, and racers will still get screwed by bad taxis or just plain bad luck sometimes. Also, there is the U-turn to use at some point against racers one finds as threats. But there would be a better chance of the best racers making it through to the finale.