Gotta love Sam, he's an excellent blogger!The Amazing Race 16: McMillen's Moments, Episode 8
The eighth leg of The Amazing Race Season 16 was in full blast this past Sunday night, so I'm bringing in back-up! This week, we'll hear from Brian (of Brian and Ericka) along with Meghan and Cheyne, providing an extra dose of Season 15 brainwaves. This episode took the Teams from The Seychelles to Penang, Malaysia via over 30 hours of travel through Dubai. The first clue awaits The Racers at The Snake Temple, sending them to the Detour. After the Detour, teams head to the Roadblock where a Speed Bump awaits Jet and Cord. The teams are relieved that the Pit-Stop comes right after that, marking the end of this grueling leg. Let's hear from Brian first, followed by Meghan and Cheyne, and wrapped up by yours truly.
WORDS FROM BRIAN
Anything and everything can happen on the Race and, this past Sunday, anything and everything did happen. Last went to first and first went to last. If there's one thing that Ericka and I learned on the Race, it was to stay with the pack if you're lost. It is better to be lost with a group than to be lost on your own. Steve and Allie found themselves trying to pull away from the group and they wound up lost by themselves which cost them. There was a time in our season that everyone was lost in Cambodia and Ericka and I decided to break away from the group and find our own way. Big mistake. We just found ourselves more lost with no other teams in sight. A wise man once told me, "If a group of people is being chased by a bear in the woods, all you have to do is run faster than the slowest person and you'll be fine." Same is true with the race...stay with the pack, get lost together, find your way together, and last one to Phil gets eaten by the elimination bear.
MEGHAN AND CHEYNE'S TWO CENTS
You can learn a little something from every episode of the Amazing Race. Last Sunday's wild goose chase showcased a few tips to remember when you're out there racing for your dreams. So for those of you who are hoping to race in the future or are crossing your fingers for a washed-up racer reunion season like we are, take note!
Here are the top three lessons learned from this episode:
If you catch yourself saying "We have the best cab driver in all of (insert location here)" then by all means do everything in your power to keep him for the rest of the leg! Team Jor-Dan realized this mistake real quick when their second cab driver leisurely stopped for gas on the way to the detour after they had let their Malaysian version of Jeff Gordon get away right after getting their initial clue. We always found this to be a little difficult because you never know how long the task will take, but we learned that you can always go back and ditch your driver if you need to. We think these guys are smart enough to not make the same mistake twice. Lesson learned: KEEP THE CRAZY CABBIES!
Sometimes people race better under pressure- just ask Brian and Ericka from our season. Though the cowboys are used to a lot of tight situations in their boot-cut Levi's, they handled the pressure of the speed bump like champions. It was refreshing to see the mixture of positivity and intensity these two portrayed while they had to complete one more challenge than all the other teams. You can let a speed bump dwarf your optimism or you can use it to your advantage and let it light a fire under your ass. Lesson learned: MAKE A SPEED BUMP A SPEED BOOST.
When you're playing a sport your coach may tell you to focus on your strategy rather than how big and scary the other team looks. This episode showed us that this mentality should be carried over onto the race course. Brent and Caite and the Cardio Kings shared their disgust for Carol and Brandy at the beginning of the leg and hoped to see a U-turn sign once they arrived in Penang. At each task, the models compared themselves to the girls- whether they couldn't believe Carol and Brandy beat them to the roadblock or how they were proud to smoke them at the detour. Regardless of what happened along the leg, Carol and Brandy got to stand in front of Phil first when it really mattered. During our season, we learned quickly not to waste time sizing up the competition (including all 13 ½ feet of the Globetrotters) and we focused on our game play. Lesson learned: TAKE ON THE RACE NOT THE RACERS.
All in all, these teams have learned a handful of lessons along their journey and we have to say that the remaining racers all deserve to be there. Stay tuned to Sammy's blog to find out what the Amazing Race will teach us next week!
Okay, me again...
So this season's version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde showed up again this leg. I'm talking (of course) about Louie's alter ego, Cardioman. About halfway through the incense challenge, Louie goes into a fit of coughing, gagging, choking and probably a little farting at the same time. My original reaction of "oh gosh, not again" was overcome by a sudden feeling of bummerness when I realized what the poor guy must have been going through. Imagine scaling a hundred stairs multiple times in >100° dead heat while choking to even breathe. That's enough to make you pass out cold. What a total "Race buzz kill". Nonetheless, I still had to roll my eyes a little at the return of Cardioman.
THE "MEAN LESBIANS"
Before the teams even leave The Seychelles, we see Mike and Louie having a little powwow with Brent and Caite. Obviously getting along swimmingly, the teams unanimously agree that Carol is the "serpent" of the season. Mike even goes as far to say that he's trained his "wolf cubs" (Brent and Ciate) to U-Turn the only remaining female team if given the chance. Good move by Mike and Louie (that's one fewer team they need to worry about U-Turning them), but it presents a question in my mind. What on Earth could Carol and Brandy have done to deserve such degradation? Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Carol who encouraged Mike on the stairs at the Detour, saying "Mike, you're a Rockstar"? That doesn't seem too "mean" to me. There's always going to be some behind the scenes that we the audience don't see, but coming from one of the "bickering brothers", I think I've heard enough of the label "mean lesbians". I'm really enjoying the ladies this season, and I'm sorry to see that everyone is ganging up on them so much. In fact, I find them quite lovely. To quote Chris Crocker, "Leave them alone!".
A lot of teams had some very discouraging moments this week. The one that takes the cake for me is when Dan and Jordan get lost after ditching their cab on the way to the Detour. We see them running up and down a hill with no cabs in sight, frantically trying to find the temple, or at least someone who knew where it is. When their short lived attempt at jumping into Steve and Allie's cab fails, their expressions turn to pure devastation. This must have been a complete nightmare for the brothers. It's hot, you're lost and even worse, you're on foot. In what must have been their darkest moment of the race so far, they just kept their hopes up and persisted. I know I've said it before, but staying positive is super important because you never know when another team is even more screwed than you are. In this case, Steve and Allie.
GOOD COCONUT HANDLING SKILLS
The Roadblock this week reminded me a lot of what I personally consider my finest hour: the hay bale challenge in Sweden. The teams arrive at the Roadblock after an intense session of incense carrying, undoubtedly in the most exhausted physical state of their lives. For Jet and Carol, finding the colored coconut took quite some time and a lot of innocent coconuts were sacrificed. Louie, on the other hand, finds brightly colored milk in the second one he smashes. Total luck of the draw. The image of Brian finding a flag in a hay bale before me still haunts my dreams. He unrolled a handful, while I unrolled upwards of 80 bales. I'm just glad Carol finished before Louie had his lucky break because there's nothing worse than being passed on The Race while doing a challenge like this. Factor in the physical exhaustion? That's a recipe for some very choice words and a few flying birdies.
AN ODE TO TEAM STALLIE
So my beloved father/daughter team found Malaysia to be the last stop on their Race. I'm incredibly proud of these guys and I think they really ran a great Race. They consistently finished near the front, they had great attitudes and Steve is hilarious to boot. I think the saddest part for me is that I was really excited to watch them run a few legs without their backpacks. The fact that they didn't go back for them in The Seychelles was one of the coolest things ever, so I wish they could have enjoyed that decision a little longer. We can see that they already had a great bond, but I think it's obvious that the Race brought them even closer together. I always say the one thing that is guaranteed to make me cry is seeing a grown man crying. Thanks to Steve, I had to tell everyone in the room that my eyes were watering up merely because of my allergies. My hat is off to Team Stallie, they will be missed not only by me, but by most TAR fans.
This leg was full of interesting little tidbits. It was the first time a team has overcome a Speed Bump and arrived in first place. Seriously, the cowboys could do no wrong this leg. The flag challenge was perfect for them (low to the ground, quick feet, good balance), and they finish it long before most teams even got to the site of the other Detour. They kicked butt and the best part is... they did it in jeans! Cord gets the "Sweaty McSweaterson" award; at one point in the taxi there's sweat literally flying off of his face at Mach 3 speeds. Another weird little tid-bit is that this week's finish order was a complete mirror image to last week's. Last week's 1-2-3-4-5-6 turned into this week's 6-5-4-3-2-1. Who knew Malaysia was the twilight zone? Anyways, I was sad to see Stallie go, but I'm glad Dan and Jordan are still in it. There were definitely the last two teams I wanted to see fighting for 5th this leg. Next week is in Singapore, and the previews show Dan and Jordan attempting a gnarly heights challenge. And, of course, we're in for some drama between Brent/Caite and Carol/Brandy. Can't we all just get along!?http://www.realitywanted.com/newsitem/3137-the-amazing-race-16-mcmillens-moments-episode-8