The ATC Report

In Control, Leg 10

Tonight’s episode showed what should have happened to the poo-diggers, and why toting cheese didn’t seem like too bad of an idea.
We have finally been vindicated! There have been those of you who have derided, questioned, mocked, and generally laughed at our decision to lug cheese instead of digging through poo. Tonight’s episode showed what should have happened to the poo-diggers, and why toting cheese didn’t seem like too bad of an idea. Let’s compare, shall we?

THEM: Distance to the whitewater slightly further than to the mud.
US: Distance to the cheese slightly further than the poo.

THEM: One choice will get you covered in a warm, grayish-brown substance.
US: One choice will get you covered in a warm, brownish-gray substance.

THEM: Got to wear special suit doing the non-digging choice.
US: Got to wear special shoes doing the non-digging choice.

THEM: Had no one around the digging choice but the racers.
US: Had no one around the digging choice but the racers.

THEM: Had “experts” at the non-digging choice to show racers the proper way.
US: Had “experts” at the non-digging choice to mock us while we struggled.

THEM: Clues well-hidden in mud, very hard to find.
US: Clues sticking out of surface of poo, with neon lights pointing to location.

THEM: Only two teams chose to dig in mud.
US: Only two teams chose NOT to dig in poo.

US: Got to keep the cheese, but no one cared.
THEM: Got to cut the cheese, but no one heard.

You see, if the clues had been truly buried in “a fifteen foot tall pile of manure, with fresh manure being added to the top” (as the additional information on the Detour clue said), the choice of hauling 500 Kg of cheese was the smart choice. Tonight you saw exactly how hard it should have been to find the poo clues. Unfortunately for Steve and Dave, the clues weren’t nearly as well hidden in the poo as they were in tonight’s mud, and the rest (as well as Steve and Dave) was history.

Are you getting a sense that we’re rationalizing? Does the specter of eighth place haunt us every night? Yeah, it does – not a day goes by that something reminds us of The Amazing Race. But the eleventh place ghost is a much scarier poltergeist. So we got that going for us, which is good. We figure elimination from eight through fifth is okay for the mind. Before eighth, you think how miserably you’ve failed yourself. After fifth, you can drive yourself nutzy-cuckoo thinking about how close you came to winning a million bucks, right Al? Are you getting a sense that we’re rationalizing? Yeah…
Does anyone else feel that Freud would have a field day with the New Zealanders and their “Zorb” balls?
Does anyone else feel that Freud would have a field day with the New Zealanders and their “Zorb” balls? Something about sliding out of those balls with the splash of water put us in mind of a child leaving the womb.

Hey, that’s two legs in a row now that we’ve seen the Yield. Let’s see – four teams left, three legs left, and no one has used it yet. We guess that makes it an incredible success – far better than those dumb Fast Forwards where we got to see teams actually doing something endemic to the country they were in. Colin and Christie say they won’t use it (we doubt that’s true), Chip and Kim are kicking themselves for not using it (on the team that finished last), and the Bowling Moms figure they can’t use it because they are already last (or second, depending on whether or not you believe Phil). What about the penalty for finishing last during a NEL and the subsequent begging for money? How foolish we were to think that it would be harder in India. We forgot that Calcutta had a Grand Hyatt filled with wealthy international travelers.

Tonight also showed all future contestants the importance of being able to read maps. To begin with, it is a good idea to know where you are on the map (try and avoid doing a Tribiani with the map, though – it pisses Chandler off). Once you’ve determined your location, determine where you want to go. Then figure out a route that goes from where you are to where you want to be. It may sound complicated, but with a little practice you should be errorlessly navigating distances in excess of tens of feet in no time. By the way – the arrow pointing towards the “N” should always point toward the top as you are looking at the map. The “N” stands for “North”, which is Latin for “do I get fries with that?” That has no bearing on anything, but you can always do like we did and use this little mnemonic aid to help you remember that “N” goes up: “Down? No, up!” There are two Ns in that phrase. Two, as we all know, is an even number, but since there is another N in “even” we now have three Ns, which is odd. An odd number leaves a remainder when divided by 2. The number 2 is expressed as “II” in Roman numerals. If you erase the middle of the letter “N” (this part ‘’), you are left with “II”. Thus, 2 = N - , which if you turn your head and squint your eyes kind of looks like an arrow pointing up, “N” goes up. Pretty clever, huh?

In a nod to TAR5 featuring the first-ever “recycling” of CBS reality show contestants, our ratings this week will have nothing to do with the actual race, but instead, our ratings center on how each of the teams would do on other popular reality shows. Therefore we have the “Survivor” icon (which measures how well the team members would do on Survivor); the “Apprentice” icon (ditto, except on the Apprentice); and finally the ‘Fear Factor’ icon (this time the show would be Fear Factor).

Colin/Christie:

Steve: I give up. I can’t make fun of these two anymore. If only Dave or I were psychotic and treated our wives like crap, maybe we could have been one of the best racing teams ever. Just like Colin and Christie. Perhaps they found one of the field producer’s crib sheets.
CBS wants us to think that they are a shoo-in – therefore they will lose.
Dave: Steve, I have to admit that I’m fresh out of material for these two as well. Leaders now for three consecutive legs, and six out of ten legs overall – they look unbeatable. Therefore, I am going to publicly announce right here: Colin and Christie will NOT win The Amazing Race 5. Call it a hunch, gut instinct, sheer stupidity on my part, whatever. CBS wants us to think that they are a shoo-in – therefore they will lose. I don’t know who is going to win, but it won’t be Colin and Christie. (If it turns out I’m wrong, I’m blaming it on the fact that I swiped some of your pain meds while you weren’t looking. I’ve never heard of these “placebos” before, but I gotta tell you I am freaking hammered right now.)

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:

SurvivorSurvivorSurvivor
3 SURVIVORS

ApprenticeApprentice
2 APPRENTICES

Fear Factor
1 FEAR FACTOR



Linda/Karen:

Dave: Once again, Mr. Nice Guy Chip leads for the whole leg but allows Colin and Christie to slip past him at the end and has to settle for…second…errr… Well, isn’t THIS a pleasant surprise? Ladies, every time I write you off you shock the heck out of me. Congratulations on a second-place finish this leg. After last week’s show, I told everyone that I thought you two were dragging and probably wouldn’t make the top three. I still think the race is really wearing on you, but you overcame your usual bad luck and did quite well. I’m still holding out hope.
Those aren’t hot flashes you’ve been having, they’re power surges.
Steve: All right ladies! Those aren’t hot flashes you’ve been having, they’re power surges. Steve and Dave are proud of you. It seems you’ve been energized this leg. It also seems you DID bring along your 16 pound balls, because that’s what it took to jump in that river. And the neoprene you wore is so slimming, perfect for a night on the town at the foam bars.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:

Survivor
1 SURVIVOR

ApprenticeApprentice
2 APPRENTICES

Fear FactorFear Factor
2 FEAR FACTORS



Brandon/Nicole:

Steve: “Dear God, we know you’re busy in Iraq, Russia and Florida, but if you can multitask we’d sure appreciate it if you’d help us slog through this mud and find an envelope.” Stop it, stop it, and stop it. You’ve made me consider atheism, but there aren’t enough holidays. And while I’m at it, Brandon, stop using Nicole as an excuse for your decisions. Even Dr. Phil could see how scared you were of the idea to sledge.
There’s got to be something sacrilegious about praying for help from above at a place called “Hell’s Gate” – especially when you made the choice to go there.
Dave: I don’t know. There’s got to be something sacrilegious about praying for help from above at a place called “Hell’s Gate” – especially when you made the choice to go there. Watching these two I’m reminded of the joke about the blond who prays that God will let her win the lottery. Every week she prays to win, and every week it doesn’t happen. Finally, as she’s on her knees praying once again to win the lottery she hears a voice from above saying, “I can’t help you if you don’t buy a ticket.”

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:

SurvivorSurvivorSurvivor
3 SURVIVORS

ApprenticeApprentice
2 APPRENTICES

Fear FactorFear Factor
2 FEAR FACTORS



Chip/Kim:

Dave: Dude, why is it that every week you let Colin slip in front of you at the key moment (this week it was at the Singapore Airlines office) to take the lead? I really like you two, and I’m hoping you win – but you just have to get a little more aggressive! Other than that, I was actually laughing out loud when you faked the use of the Yield. Of course, I already knew what you found out seconds later (that you were in fourth with a miniscule lead over fifth) but it was still just plain funny. When you finally decide to drop the Y-Bomb, try to use it on C&C, okay?

Steve: Chip, do you use the “Yield” or not? Remember, indecision may or may not be your problem. Time to shift gears and hunker down. The “fast” girls are gone and you must {enter vapid cliché here, Dave}. No time to lose now as you {nonsensical synonym for speed}on the last 3 legs. Try not to make anymore {direct comparison to a Mirna blunder please}. Then you can sit in bed and count your coin like Scrooge McDuck.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:

SurvivorSurvivorSurvivorSurvivor
4 SURVIVORS

ApprenticeApprenticeApprentice
3 APPRENTICES

Fear FactorFear FactorFear FactorFear Factor
4 FEAR FACTORS



Kami/Karli (eliminated):

Steve: Shit. I just figured out which one was Kami and which one was Karli. Off to Loser Lodge for a delightful two-day stay, which by now is now halfway across the world from New Zealand. Ooohh, maybe it’s back in India where the rooms are less than a hundred bucks a night according to Orbitz. Two blondes walk into a building. You’d think one of them would have seen it.
I should have known that they would pick the dumbest leg to get eliminated on.
Dave: Since their first next-to-last finish in leg two, I’ve been expecting these two to get eliminated almost every leg. They almost made it once (back in Dubai), but have somehow been hanging on by the skin of their teeth. I should have known that they would pick the dumbest leg to get eliminated on. The fourth place team doesn’t go to Loser Lodge, but instead travels with production to the end city. The fifth place team gets a whirlwind flight one-third of the way back around the world the other way, arriving in Loser Lodge just long enough to spend their one day there catching up on their sleep. Then they get to hop on another flight that will take them the additional third of the way around the world to the end city. Yep, with the utter brilliance these two displayed throughout the race, a fifth-place finish was logical.

STEVE & DAVE’S RATINGS:

SurvivorSurvivorSurvivor
3 SURVIVORS

Apprentice
1 APPRENTICE

Fear FactorFear FactorFear Factor
3 FEAR FACTORS




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