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Welcome to the Accidental TARist, a weekly article from the mods and writers of the FORT staff. Each week, teams will be dissected and analyzed for the good, the bad, and the ugly for each leg of the race. Join us in laughing at each team's triumphs, misadventures, and what just might keep them in the race another leg or send them home sooner.
Team Blind As Bats aka Fran & Barry
I Can See Clearly Now.....
Fran and Barry have been married for 40 years, and call themselves very competitive. They were off to a good start, getting on the first flight out, but this small lead was ruined by flight delays. They wasted a lot of valuable time walking past the second clue box at least four times, only noticing it when another team found it. Keen eyesight is not one of their strong racing qualities.
Get Your Motor Runnin'......
At the detour, Fran and Barry chose "Motorhead", where they were to assemble a motorcycle, because Fran said she's good at putting things together. This proved to not be a true statement, as Fran didn't know the engine from the spark plug. After wasting more time waiting on some not-very-helpful advice from Lake, they realized this was not their forte and stopped. They switched to the "Rotorhead" helicopter choice. Even though they arrived next to last for this, they managed to finish quickly and got on their way. After some luck with taxis, they moved up in the pack, finishing 8th.
You Gotta Have Faith.....
This team needs some Gingko Bilboa to keep their minds sharp. They have strong desire, and may very well be competive, however their lack of attention may be their downfall. They also need to learn when it's a good idea to trust other teams for help, and when they need to cut their losses. Look for this team to hang on for maybe one more leg.
Team 'These Ain't No Still Waters' - aka Lake & Michelle
Confidence Is A Good Thing
With a name like Lake, you might expect a calm, serene person. You'd be wrong. Married parents Lake and Michelle have tons of competitive spirit and even more confidence. Well, mostly that's just Lake. Despite a huge oversight early on, Lake & Michelle were able to capitalize at the motorcycle building detour; just one of the many things Lake has mastered.
Most Likely To Blame It All On Bad Editing
Early in the race, as in on the way to the airport, Lake made a huge error by not reading the clue correctly. Sorry, he was partially responsible for the oversight. Perhaps the rest of the blame lands with the maker of the clue for not using a larger font. Obviously a graduate of the Jonathan Baker school of racing, Lake has so far alternated between yelling at his wife and boasting about how great he is. No wonder he doesn't have time to properly read a clue.
Destined for Greatness
It's too early to tell if Lake and Michelle work was as a team, as Lake's Type A personality dominated every scene they were in. As his wife and mother of his children, you'd think Michelle would be used to him, but his intensity seemed to rattle even her. The pair did rebound from an early crucial mistake, but only time will tell if Lake's truly as great as he thinks he is.
Team Abercrombie a.k.a. Eric and Jeremy
Totally Rad, Dude!
First place. Not bad for a couple of lunks whose main mission is to score chicks in every city they visit. Winning 10K got them one step closer to being millionaires they aspire to be. That and the fact that the cards played in their favor. All in all, the one thing this team has going for them is they are having fun. Of course, everyone has fun when they’re in first.
You Mean You Don’t Dig Me?”
Perhaps nobody should tell these two over inflated ego’s that the girls in pink blew them off. That’s about the only thing that went wrong for this team in this leg of the race.
The Manager At The Juice Bar Says
Top three all the way. Charisma, adventure and the desire to achieve everything for doing nothing will take this duo far. Just be careful of how friendly you get with the local girls. VD clinics are hard to find in this race.
Team Spicy Latinas - aka Wanda & Desiree
Operation Hot Mother
Desiree describes her mother as a 'cool' Mom, which is always a good thing when you're going to spend the next 30 days racing around the world with her. Wanda's knowledge of both Spanish and Portuguese helped them immensly in the first leg of the race, while Desiree proved she's more than just a pretty face by putting every ounce of effort into everything she's done so far.
30 Days Is A Lot of Mother/Daughter Time
Despite their early success, they showed signs of cracking early on. Wanda clearly likes to be in control at all times and Desiree does her best to keep her mother from falling apart when that's just not possible. I don't care who you are, racing around the world with a family member is stressful. Wanda might have some trouble keeping her composure as minor inconveniences have already rattled her chains, and Desiree might not be able to keep calm putting up with her.
On the upside, no one loves you like your family, and Wanda & Desiree not only love each other, but clearly like each other as people too. Both women are bright, strong and very competitive. It's always an uphill battle for the all women teams, but Wanda & Desiree have the right stuff.
Team Zero Airtime - aka Ray and Yolanda
Ray and Yolanda are bright, athletic and seemingly even-keeled, the classic TAR trifecta for longevity. Ray's experience with the legal profession gives him a leg up when it comes to not only manipulation and deceit, but also cutting to the heart of any issue and quickly disseminating and analyzing the available choices. Yolanda's experience with teaching should help her, and, by extension, Ray deal with the whining and idiotic politics that crop up with the other teams.
A Wisp of Smoke
Part of the reason that Ray and Yolanda had so little facetime this week is because they flat-out weren't very interesting. They may feel that this race is going to be a cakewalk, due to their aforementioned strengths, and they don't have the sense of urgency necessary to be standouts. Brains and brawn are all well and good, but a competitive drive is also a huge factor and at this point we just haven't seen that from these two.
On paper, this looks like the team to beat. The Nerds have the brains, the Frat Boys have the athleticism, Ray and Yolanda have it all. It seems clear that in a busy premiere episode there isn't enough time to thoroughly cover all teams well, and my money is on these two stepping up to the plate in coming weeks and possibly knocking this race out of the park, even if they have to ride in a Wonder Woman jet to the final pit stop.
Team Slow and Steady never win the race aka Lisa & Joni
Giants of the Amazon
Lisa and Joni are the freakishly tall sister team who like to refer to themselves as Glamazons. Their height might be able to help them spot a clue box in a crowd but unfortunately they were never part of the crowd. They have a good attitude about the race and seem to be getting along well for sisters.
Orators of Spain
They got off to a slow start and were the last to leave from the starting point. They were never able to get ahead and didn’t really seem to care. They spent the whole race at the back of the pack and showed no urgency of wanting to move ahead. Their other big fault was thinking that Spanish was the universal language of the world, they ended up just confusing their cab driver putting them farther behind.
Lollygaggers of Brazil
This team’s chance of longevity on this show is slim to none. If they make it past two more episodes it will be a miracle. They just don’t seem like the competitive types and they have showed no drive for wanting to win and are just counting their days till elimination.
Team Kissyface - aka David and Lori
One Time, at Band Camp...
Self-proclaimed "in your face nerdy" couple David and Lori have been dating 3 years...and it was obvious that the newness hasn't worn off yet, with the two kissing and proclaiming their undying love at every opportunity. The intelligent duo made it through the first episode without any squabbling, and they seemed to genuinely enjoy the experience.
Brains vs. Brawn?
This team got off to a good start. Knowing their strengths (and weaknesses), they wisely chose the rotorhead challenge over the motorcycle assembly. Dave and Lori kept their focus and made no major mistakes until the end, entering the soccer stadium through the wrong gate and losing third place by a few minutes.
Revenge of the Nerds
If they can keep their mind on the game and less on making googly-eyes and silly secret handshakes, this team should do well. They seem to have the intelligence and competitive spirit to make it far. It remains to be seen how well they will fare in a highly physical challenge, however. Look for them to stick around a while.
Team Fancypants- aka BJ and Tyler
The clothes make the man
This group has a lot going for them- they are well traveled, multi-lingual, old friends… and very, very quirky They were the first team to make it to the backpacks, booked the “first” flight to Brazil, and schmoozed with their cab driver in Portuguese. They are fun-loving goofballs, with the knack to remain at the top of the pack.
First rule of The Amazing Race…
Don’t follow the pretty boys because they are bound to get lost. On the way to the helicopter hangar, BJ and Tyler followed Eric and Jeremy to Nowhereville, rather than using their combined intellect and world experience to get them to the correct location. Maybe if these guys use their energy on navigation, rather than puns and nicknames, they’ll be able to take the lead on the next leg.
If BJ and Tyler can find the right balance between silliness and competition, they have an excellent shot at sticking around for a while.
Team Bad Mojo- aka Joseph and Monica
After getting off to a rough start and arriving on the last flight to reach Brazil, Frodo and Barbie rallied from eighth place by finding the clue fairly quickly and choosing Rotorhead over Motorhead. Monica proved she can be decisive when not almost moved to tears by deciding they shouldn’t chose the closest building because it was probably already all taken. By the time they finished the task, they had leaped into fifth place. They did manage to lose a place when it took them a few minutes to find 114A, but in the end sixth was quite respectable given their start.
Pride and Prejudice
Monica can’t decide whether she wants to play Flo or Victoria in this version of The Amazing Race. One minute she’s about to burst into tears. The next she’s letting Joseph boss her around. One thing is for sure, Joseph may be Jonathan 2.0 but he’s no Zach. The two of them let not getting an earlier flight out of Denver bother them.
Good Night and Good Luck
If these two keep letting little adversities get to them, they are in real trouble. Joseph needs to develop a little compassion and Monica needs to be more resilient. At the end of the leg, the two of them seemed to be having a good time with Monica jumping around and Joseph feeling like they had redeemed themselves. Right now, they look like a middle of the pack team, but they may surprise us all.
Team Double ‘D’ a.k.a. Danielle and Dani
That’s Hot *giggle*
If you’ve got it, flaunt it. That’s pretty much how this team will stay in this race.
That’s So Grody
Axel grease is so not a girl’s best friend. Why in the world these two picked Motor Head in a crucial part of the leg has left many in disbelief.
The Girl’s At The Salon Think
Latch on to those hotties and learn from them. Make choices that fit your way of life. Oh yeah, toss those hippies some deodorant and make a play for them. They’ll help you in the long run or you won’t make it past the fourth leg.
Team Brokeback, aka John and Scott
You Can't Keep a Good Queen Down
These two started off well, managing to keep somewhere around the middle of the pack all the way to Sao Paulo, despite self-confessed fears of heights, planes and white before Labor Day (just kidding.) They bonded with Team Frostie, and seemed energized, if a little scatterbrained.
Off With Their Heads
But that scatterbrained bit turned out to be more of a problem than expected. The team had bad, bad luck with their cab driver, who apparently took them into the wilds of Sao Paolo, but once they abandoned him things didn't get better. They wasted time wandering the streets and arguing about who should be coming up with a plan. And in the end, this debacle cost them the race. Now, why couldn't Lake have picked that cabbie?
Special thanks to the contributors, in alphabetical order: Amanda, Lucy, Mariner, Miss F., speedbump, SueEllenMishke, Suncat7, Waywyrd and Yardgnome.