Amazing Race
Counting Bears Is Not Rocket Science

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Miss Alli: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Bale out

When the first clump of teams finds its way to the bins, Hayden is put off by the imposing number of items. "Oh my God, you guys," she says. "Should we build?" "This is going to take forever," Aaron agrees. "Build." And off they go. They open up the boxes, while Nuance, which has decided to stick with counting, tackles the bins. Kendra takes the stuffed animals and suggests that Freddy do the pots and pans. Hornio splits it up, too, again with the girl taking the stuffed animals. El Hornio holds up a pack of two pans, saying he doesn't know how to count it. "Those are two pans," she says, and I do think that if the clue said to count the number of pots and pans, rather than the number of packs of pots and pans, the teams should have gotten it right. (If it said "items"? Tougher.) As always, reading the clue is essential. Lori and Bolo start counting, as do Lena and Kristy. Don and MJ are running behind even finding the counting bins, and that's not a good sign, particularly.

Jonathan pours out the box of parts for the desk. Victoria tells him to find the directions and lay out all the pieces. Hayden calls Aaron "baby," so...not much to report there that's new. Kris and Jon open the desk boxes, as do Gus and Hera. We watch several teams counting, and it's clear that they're not sure what's going to be most efficient at first. If I were doing it, I think I would have had one counter and one recorder, and the counter would have simply counted ten of something by twos, and then said "ten," and the recorder would make a hash mark. I think you can get the counting down to about two items a second by that method, meaning you'd be done in under 20 minutes. Don't get me wrong -- I think the desk is faster than any way of doing the counting, but I wouldn't have tried to have two people counting and running separate totals. Too easy to screw up. This is a task where the risk isn't how long it will take you; the risk is getting it wrong and having to start over, so it seems like it's well worth a slightly more deliberate method to make sure you get it right the first time. Thus endeth this edition of Armchair Quarterbacking By Somebody Who Will Never Have To Put Her Money Where Her Mouth Is, So Who Cares What She Thinks, Really?

Of course, the best part is where Bolo is counting by twos, and he says, "66, 68...80." See, that's why I wouldn't have two people doing it. One mistake like that, and you blow half an hour of work. Moreover, some of the teams have trouble because they're counting out loud and competing with each other -- another reason to only be running one count.

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