The ATC Report

“In Control” – Vol. IX, No. 10

This season has reminded us once again how little the racers really know about what to do and not do when running The Amazing Race. With our boatloads of experience (gained from re-hashing our dismal 8th place finish), we have compiled a quick list of things you should probably avoid should you become a contestant on a future race. So without further ado, here are...


10) When you are in a foot race to the pit stop and are within 20 feet of it, it's generally a good idea to avoid trying a short cut, particularly if the team you Yielded earlier in the leg is racing against you and you are winning.

9) Never hit the snooze button, and don't count on production personnel to wake you up. Odds are good that if you are asleep at your allotted departure time from the pit stop, a camera crew will be filming your door, while you snore within. Either set multiple alarm clocks or train yourself to become hypersensitive to the sound of a video camera filming.

8) Never say ANYTHING like, "We have this leg locked up," "There's no WAY we can lose," "The other team is bound to follow us," etc. If you are foolish enough to say something along those lines, your crew is then obligated to slow you down with fake equipment problems, and you will finish last. Guaranteed.

7) If you should happen to be the recipients of a Yield, stand quietly at the yield point and wait for the sand to run out. Don't bad-mouth the team that yielded you. In fact, it's best not to say anything. Even if you say something innocuous like, "We are really fortunate to be able to take a rest in the middle of the leg like this. How thoughtful of that team to allow us this nice break. We are going to have to send them a thank-you card," the Amazing Editors [see "In Control", Vol. IX, No. 9] will have you saying, "We are teams...leg."

6) You have glasses for a reason. Deciding not to wear them because of misguided vanity is a really poor decision. You could walk right past a clue box. You could mistake Phil for a local and attempt to get directions from him. Maps get real blurry and you could end up in Cleveland instead of Croatia.

Hey, we know we've used this picture before, but we photoshopped it and we like it. Besides which, it's our column and we'll do what we want.

5) Never bring along your set of custom horseshoes in case anyone wants a game during pitstops.

4) When given a choice at a Detour, if one of the two choices involves far less distance than the other, it is far more disgusting and/or life threatening. Unless you enjoy disgusting and/or life threatening tasks, you should avoid the shorter of the two Detour choices. Here is a map of last episode's ‘Wet' choice - we think you will see what we mean.

3) Never start the race with more than one partner. If you find yourself at the start line with three partners, you have been cast on a "Family Edition" of The Amazing Race, and your ratings will suffer. Not only that, but odds are good that your only excursion outside the United States will be to Oklahoma.

2) Never claim that the animal you are required to perform a specific task with is broken. For instance, "my ox is broken" is a very dumb thing to say on national television, and should be avoided. Other dumb things to say include: "My lemur is on the fritz," "I have a defective hippo," "I need someone to repair this gazelle," and "you may be gay, but we're virgins."

And the number one thing to avoid doing when on The Amazing Race...

Never, ever keep the cheese. No matter how big a laugh Phil gets from you saying you're keeping it, the future legal battles just aren't worth it. The folks at CBS know that they can get a reward for squealing on you should you be foolish enough to attempt to walk away with a "gift" for being a contestant on TAR. And those Customs folks! Who knew civil servants didn't have to be civil? Just forget about it. Chuck the cheese at the greeter. Pass out free cheese samples on your way to the pit stop. Use the cheese like a bowling ball and attempt to knock over teams in front of you. You could even cut the cheese - just don't keep it.