Amazing Race
Cheaters Never Win — And They Cheated!

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Miss Alli: A | Grade It Now!
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Again with the racing

At 2:00 AM, Millie and Chuck, Chris and Amanda, Josh and Steve, and Dave and Steve all take off on their charter bus. Phil reminds us yet again of the whole charter bus situation. Yeah, Phil, I've got it. The second bus will be taking Russell and Cindy, Kelly and Jon, Jon and Al, and Monica and Sheree. The last bus? Brings up the rear with Debra and Steve, Tian and Jaree, David and Jeff, and Chip and Reichen.

We cut to fabulous snowy scenery as Phil explains that the teams are headed to the Dolomite Mountains, to a town called Cortina D'Ampezzo. (Bravo to the Eagle-Eyed Forum Posters who noticed the adorable sign at Cortina that looks like a symbol for "No Bugles." We suspect it means, "No honking.") At 9:00 AM, the first bus arrives at the clue box in town. Everyone hops off and gets going. First to the box is actually AirSteve, surprisingly, but everyone else is right behind him. The clue tells them to proceed to Cinque Torri, which appears to be a mountain. At the bottom of the mountain, they have to board a chair lift, and when they reach the top, they'll follow a marked path through the snow to a route marker. Josh asks a local for help getting to Cinque Torri, and learns that he needs a bus. All four teams correctly locate the necessary bus, and they get to boarding the chair lift. On the ride up, Chris says he's curious about what it is they're doing. "Whatever we're doing, it's really high," Amanda replies. Everyone admires the scenery. Once they're all off the lift, Chris/Amanda, Josh/Steve, and Millie/Chuck all run across the snowy ground toward the route marker. Millie, dressed all in white, smokes everyone else's ass, running like a hunted ostrich. Once again, though, Steve and Dave are taking their sweet time. Dave talks in an interview about how they don't have much of a chance in a sprint to the finish, so they know that they're at some physical disadvantage as compared to these other teams. They catch up with the rest of the teams at the clue box, though, and it's a Detour.

Know what a Detour is? Well, it's a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. No, it is. Ask Phil. The choices for this Detour are Search and Rescue. In Search, you use a locator beacon to search a 160-acre snowfield for a set of snowmobile keys. When you find them, you can use the keys to start the snowmobile and ride to your next clue. I'm sorry, a hundred and sixty acres? Of searching? Heavens, I think I'd need the keys just to look for the keys. In Rescue, you climb up a very tall rock formation, cross a very high, very skimpy-looking cable bridge, and take a trip on a very high zip line. In classic Detour analysis, this turns out to be something of a combination of Reckless/Chicken and Tortoise/Hare, because while Rescue is the Reckless option, it may also be the Tortoise option, in that you don't get the speedy snowmobile to take you to the clue once you finish it. It's not clear how much of the hike they eventually have to do at the end of Rescue would have had to be done at the end of Search, but it's an interesting arrangement of Detour options, and I like that it's more complex than the usual very obvious Reckless/Chickens, where it's clear that you'll be totally screwed if you don't jump or dive or whatever. I half-expect Josh to use the words "Reckless" and "Chicken" when he's asked which they should do and he says, "The scary one!" All four of these lead teams ultimately select Rescue.

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Amazing Race

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