The ATC Report

“In Control” – Vol. XIV, No. 6

We admit to being a little perplexed about this episode. Since the teams finished in Russia at the end of last leg, we assumed that they would be starting there this episode. Perhaps they did, but we got no real indication of it as the show began.

After the commercials that normally precede the show, we opened with all of the teams standing on the sideline of what appeared to be a basketball court. As a voiceover talked about something called "points in the paint" (perhaps a new type of clue?), the teams began playing.

Mike drops a hard foul on Victor.

The action was pretty intense right from the start, but we were never really given an explanation of what was going on. It was pretty obvious that Christi & Jodi were outclassed by the backcourt tandem of Mark & Michael, but that was offset by the superior inside play of Luke. That, combined with Mel doing a superlative job of crashing the boards, led to an outstanding game.

The score stayed somewhat close throughout the game, but we got the sense that the score might be a bit more lopsided if either Mark or Michael were to have to sit for any period of time. Our worst fears were realized on the play pictured below.

Mark and Jennifer scramble for a loose ball. Lakisha looks on.

Mark and Jennifer went to the floor after a loose ball, and Mark picked up his fifth foul. This effectively ended any chance that they had of winning, and in the end, Michigan State managed to squeak by with a 74-69 win.

We wondered where the teams would head next, and we didn't have to wait long. We think that CBS must be picking contestants for The Race based on their potential for future appearances on the network, since all of the teams headed off to practice their news-reporting skills while a stopwatch counted down every so often.

Jodi "interviews" Mel

This "practice" interview task went on for some time. We weren't really sure that the show was over, but we checked the clock and saw that an hour had elapsed, so...

Another strange thing. We never saw Phil this episode. Usually we always see him as the teams hit the mat. Tonight there was no mat, so we assumed that it was one of those "To Be Continued" episodes. Then, we checked the CBS website and discovered that Christie and Jodi had been eliminated. Somehow we missed it. Maybe they did the worst interview.

OK, you Eastern and Central time zone folks can stop reading now. For you, this column is finished. For you Mountain and Pacific time zone people, read on...

Special Note To Mountain/Pacific Time Zone Residents:

We realize that this column doesn't make much sense to you. You folks never have to deal with the start time of your favorite shows being pushed back by football games that go past their allotted time. Or basketball tournament games that last an hour longer than they were supposed to. Or golf tournaments that take forever. Your shows always start on time. When a football game runs 30 minutes longer than it's supposed to for us folks in the Eastern and Central time zones, all of the shows start that same 30 minutes later. For you, the game is still over an hour and one-half before the shows start.

So tonight, you didn't get to put up with 55 of 60 Minutes when you sat down to watch The Amazing Race, since Michigan State's thrilling (we assume) victory over USC still ended an hour and five minutes before the start of your evening lineup. Lucky bastages.