Amazing Race
I'm Not A Miner! No, You're An Idiot!, Part II

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Dorks on Golf

9:19 PM. Thunk opens the clue. Dave interviews that some of the other teams are experiencing friction (Taraweasel) and screwups of various kinds (the Teeth), so he and Gary have concluded that they are emerging as "one of the stronger teams." Apparently, Dave did not see the most recent episode, in which he and Gary sniped at each other and piloted that boat with all the skill you'd expect from a couple of sleep-deprived chimps. "All we've got to do is maintain our pace, play our own game, and we're going to be fine. We're going to get to the final leg." Yeah, right on, Cheetah.

Cha-Cha-Cha prevails upon the nice hotel staff to let them check their bags with the bellman, fibbing that they just checked out of the hotel and are waiting for a ride. With this, they plunk down in one of the little lobbies and fall asleep. Aside from the firm "tsk, tsk" that I feel compelled to deliver regarding the lying (and I'm always a little more likely to forgive lying in a situation like this where there's really no marginal cost), this is a good thought. Won't cost them anything, and it keeps them out of the rain.

Thunk is second to sign up for the BridgeClimb.

9:59 PM. Taraweasel. ACK! Wil is wearing the Horrible Hat again. He voices over that Tara doesn't really think he's pulling his weight at this point in the race, and that their game has been slipping because he's obsessed with what everybody else is doing, and he thinks she's right. I actually...agree with Wil and Tara! Both! At the same time! Will wonders never cease? As they hop in a cab, we see the first of what will be a series of incidents in this leg in which Wil and Tara discover another crucial difference in their approaches -- she pays attention and asks for what she actually needs, and he doesn't. Here, he just asks the taxi driver for "Cumberland Street," which is where the address is, but if you've ever been in a big city, you know that just finding the street isn't necessarily going to help if you don't know how long it is and you don't get directions to the specific address. (Go into St. Paul and ask where Grand Avenue is, and you could very easily wind up no closer to your destination than you were before.) Tara, on the other hand, provides the necessary context that they're looking for the place where you "do the bridge." I'm betting they're more likely to get where they're going that way.

Alex, in the Boston cab, explains a bit of the Fast Forward intrigue that's suddenly cropped up. In the previous leg, Tara told Alex that she and Wil were going for the Fast Forward and then they didn't, which "messed up [Boston's] game plan." This time, therefore, Boston opted to "guarantee" themselves the Fast Forward by telling Blake and Paige that they were going to take it, even though they "didn't want to do that to [Wil and Tara]." This didn't make sense to me at first, but I think I get it. Boston gave Blake and Paige the scoop that they were going for the FF so that Blake and Paige wouldn't fight them for it, despite the fact that Blake and Paige wasting time going for it might have been a real help to Wil and Tara in staying out of last place. Here's the other thing, though -- you'll note that Boston is counting on Paige and Blake to be more sure that they have no chance against Boston than Boston is. After all, the boys wouldn't be trying to back Blake and Paige down if they really believed there was no chance the Teeth would beat them out for the Fast Forward -- that's what "guaranteeing it" means. They're still counting on the Teeth to skip it, though, on the assumption that they can't get it if they go up against Boston. These guys really are a little smarter than I originally thought, because as much as I usually don't like intrigue, this is a nice piece of play. Furthermore, as much as I have always argued that you have little to gain in this game from intimidation, if this plan of Boston's were to work, it would mean that anything they've done to convince Blake and Paige that they're invincible would pay off in spades.

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Amazing Race

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