The ATC Report

"In Control" Vol. XV, No. 6

We fully expected to see a non-elimination leg this week. See? Even Steve & Dave can be wrong occasionally. Throughout the leg we saw Erika (and Brian, to a lesser extent) stating that they did not want to be eliminated. That is generally a HUGE clue to how the leg will turn out.

If the leg seems to be close, and one team keeps stating that they don't want to be, that's what will probably happen. On the other hand, if one team seems to be hopelessly out of contention, and keeps saying they don't want to be eliminated...that's a sign that somehow they will most likely survive. Usually, that survival is via a non-elimination leg. So you see, we assumed a NEL when in fact what we had was a FTCAC (failure to complete a challenge). For all you die-hard race aficionados out there that is a GENUINE realistic authentic faux Amazing Race term that we just made up.

Even though they failed to finish either of the Detour choices, we still felt kind of sorry for Maria and Tiffany. Not only did they get eliminated, but they also lost their pretend fantasy boyfriends - all in the same leg. Yet still they tried until Phil left the comfort of his mat to join them in the farmer's golf field and eliminate them. Or did they?

We suspect that they officially "gave up" and told their camera crew that they were doing so. Thus, they had to wait in the field until Phil could be hustled out to meet them. Did you notice that Phil's first question was to ask them if they were quitting? Even though they tried to sugarcoat their reason ("we've given 100% and we just can't complete either task..."), the fact remains that they quit. You know what? We don't feel so sorry for these two quitters after all!

Even though Maria's anemic sledge-hammer efforts reminded us of someone who spent most of their weight training time curling their hair, it wasn't the only thing that cost them the race. But that did get us thinking about other times that one member of a team caused the entire team to be eliminated from the Amazing Race. (By now you should all recognize the lead-in to another of our Top-10 lists, as you just read one.) So let us now present "Steve & Dave's Top 10 Ways To Lose The Amazing Race Because Of Your Lousy Partner".

10) The alarm goes off to wake you for next leg. Partner shuts it off before it wakes you up.

9) Partner fails to read clue that says, "FLY to your next destination..." - you spend 5 days and $45,913.50 taking a cab. Even Phil doesn't wait around to eliminate you.

8) During middle of leg, partner notices Lance Bass in crowd watching the teams perform a Detour choice. He strikes up a conversation with Lance. You win race, but lose partner.

(Note: Sorry, that one should not have appeared in this list. It should have been in the "Top 10 Ways To Know You Chose A Lousy Partner" list.)

7) Partner decides that you are so far ahead of the field that you can afford to stop for lunch. During the middle of the 3rd course, Phil shows up to tell you your partner was wrong.

6) Partner got a new pair of "cruel shoes" to run the race in, but forgot to break them in. His legs give out in a sandbox in Egypt, you become first team EVER to ‘quit' the race.

5) Partner decides to reveal racist streak you never knew she had during middle of leg in South Africa. To date, police still have no leads as to her whereabouts.

4) After completing soccer challenge, partner fails to read part of clue that says ‘walk/run to next pit stop". You take taxi. Phil is not amused, and after checking in all the other teams assesses you a long enough penalty to eliminate you.

3) In middle of race, your partner has you served with divorce paperwork. He claims ‘irreconcilable differences', but you notice he's been having a great time with one of the 20-year old females also on the race.

2) Partner decides to interpret "fly to your next destination..." a little differently than most and buys small quantity of hashish from guy on corner. Soon afterwards he's flying. You decide to follow suit. You lose the race but see some awesome colors.

And the #1 Way To Lose The Amazing Race Because Of Your Lousy Partner:

1) Partner decides at last possible second that she won't go down water slide due to her fear of heights, roller coasters, sky-diving, sharks, water, air, chili, rabbits, 45 RPM records, pocket lint, computers, remote controls, football, men, women, bowling, grass, semprini, Spam, public toilets, and winning. She spends 45 minutes posturing and crying, you spend rest of life wondering what might have been.

Mika, Canaan, and Phil look back at that troublesome slide, pictured at right (arrow).