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Author Topic: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"  (Read 12022 times)

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Offline georgiapeach

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"THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« on: April 17, 2011, 10:22:30 PM »
THE DEATH OF THE FERN


A "Fern", in original Amazing Race terminology, is someone who helps a racer find their way through their own hometown. It later became applied to anyone who helps a racer along the way.
The name is a homage to the original Fern, a young woman who played hooky from school all day to help Danny and Oswald (TAR 2, episode 5) navigate their way through Bangkok.





We have seen a lot of  "Ferns" through the past seasons of The Amazing Race. Good ferns and bad ferns, ferns who helped a team jump ahead, ferns who got racers hopelessly lost, ferns who just wanted a ride home from the airport, and ferns who ended up left behind miles from where they started. But "Ferns" there have always been.

Until now.

If you have been watching TAR 18 closely, you may have noticed a severe lack of "Ferns".  While we have certainly seen a lot of teams asking for directions, we really haven't seen any  "Can you show me the way?" moments, or locals leading a team to a destination, or any examples of locals  going with a team to find their way. On several occasions, racers have been heard to say instead "Can you point out the way?".

It seems possible to infer from this that there are some new rules in place for TAR 18.  No  more following a local on foot through the town. No more having a local lead the way in their car. No more locals piling into the taxis to direct the driver.  It does appear that racers may still ask for directions, and have someone point them in the right direction, but that is all. In essence, no more FERNS.


There  has always been a decision factor involved in asking for help from people during the race, as signing the releases may be time consuming.  But asking for and getting knowledgeable help from someone is a race skill just like map reading, navigation, finding a flight, or driving a stick shift. The ability to make a connection, person to person, and hopefully then receive help has been crucial to some teams' success in former seasons. Danny and Oswald were true masters  at this. But more importantly, some of the most memorable moments on the show have been when a bond between people is formed, and help is asked for and given. The fleeting moments where strangers become friends.

While I was very happy to see the latest rule prohibiting racers from paying a taxi to lead them around, the loss of Ferns saddens me. Even though this is a different world than it was when Season 1 was filmed, and safety is paramount, I still believe that the scenes of racers interacting with each other and locals remain at the heart of the show. And with so much of the personal contact between the racers themselves having been lost (Eating, Sleeping, Mingling and Elimination Station both seem to be things of the past), it would be tremendously sad to also lose the often humorous, sometimes silly, touching times where cultures meet, and friendships are born.

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Offline Cocoa

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 10:28:53 PM »
Quote
There  has always been a decision factor involved in asking for help from people during the race, as signing the releases may be time consuming.  But asking for and getting knowledgeable help from someone is a race skill just like map reading, navigation, finding a flight, or driving a stick shift. The ability to make a connection, person to person, and hopefully then receive help has been crucial to some teams' success in former seasons. Danny and Oswald were true masters  at this. But more importantly, some of the most memorable moments on the show have been when a bond between people is formed, and help is asked for and given. The fleeting moments where strangers become friends.

And Charla and Mirna. :lol:

Yes, I do agree that it is a race skill some teams are really good at. Without the ability to communicate with people, "weaker" teams get more weaker. Imagine this rule being applied in S11. Charla and Mirna would have been eliminated earlier (plus no psycho freak-outs with Taxi Drivers in Atacama). Its sad. Very sad.

Its sad. I dream to be a good fern someday if they visit this country, now my dreams are crushed. :(
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 10:33:56 PM by Cocoa »

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2011, 10:32:22 PM »
Izad!! Best Fern evah!!
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Offline chill_sd

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 10:33:29 PM »
It is indeed sad to see the loss of Ferns.  I agree that it was right to eliminate the hiring of taxis when the racers were self-driving, or even traveling on foot.

One of the things I've always enjoyed about TAR, though, was the additional interaction we get to see in the extra videos.  The loss of Elimination Station is huge in my enjoyment of the show.   If they ever get rid of Mat Chats, I don't know if I could enjoy this show so much.  It is just so great to see Phil interact with the teams on the mat.  I hope they never eliminate the extra clips completely.

Offline AmazingRace

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 03:36:01 AM »
Izad!! Best Fern evah!!

 :hearts: For the Malaysia leg in AS!  :hearts:

I'll miss the ferns very much.  :(
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Offline Jobby

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 04:42:37 AM »
All ferns should be named Izad to honour the term in future. :lol:
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Offline Prophet

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 08:52:05 AM »
Were teams allowed to use Ferns in TAR 17? I can't remember. ???
If so, then this may be a special rule for TAR 18 to make the race harder. If not, then TPTB must have implemented a new permanent for the safety of the Racers. :duno:
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 08:55:22 AM by The Prophet »
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Offline walkingpneumonia

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 09:04:08 AM »
Its probably an insurance issue.

Imagine if a fern got injured in an accident while helping a team. They may see an opportunity to sue the rich Americans in their own, perhaps biased, courts.
Insurance companies don't like to take risks, the easiest thing to do is just prohibit the use of local ferns.
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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 12:17:11 PM »
It may well be an insurance issue that is noticeable this season because of all of the self-driving.
There really hasn't been a lot of tasks where a Fern would have been particularly helpful this season other than navigating a vehicle, or taking a hired vehicle. In fact this week with the local rail in Vienna that has been one of the few times it would have mattered.
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Offline apskip

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2011, 02:51:38 PM »
I seem to be one of the few who are happy about the "death of ferns." I like to see a level playing field and one that is easily tilted by developing instant personal relationships (or in the case of Charla and Mirna coercion) is too much tilt!


Offline Reilly Queens

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2011, 02:57:22 PM »
Can someone please tell me what  "FERN" stands for? If it stands for anything?
By the way, my child is not a brat (:

Offline Prophet

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2011, 02:58:09 PM »
The first post here explains it: http://forum.realityfanforum.com/index.php/topic,25171.msg605547.html#msg605547

This topic title is odd isn't it? :lol3:
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Offline connayyy

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2011, 09:40:53 PM »
Were teams allowed to use Ferns in TAR 17? I can't remember. ???
If so, then this may be a special rule for TAR 18 to make the race harder. If not, then TPTB must have implemented a new permanent for the safety of the Racers. :duno:

Yes - Nick and Vicki had that one man in South Korea lead them around everywhere!

Offline Neobie

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2011, 10:00:04 PM »
Would this be an all-star specific rule then? Could we still have hope?
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Offline georgiapeach

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 09:20:02 AM »
There is always HOPE.

And perhaps someone, somewhere will realize that we cherish the racers' moments together (bring back ES and ESM!!) and the moments of connection between strangers (FERNS!!).

Until then, R.I.P. FERNS. You will be missed.
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Offline Slowhatch

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2011, 09:29:03 AM »
Sounds like some good questions for Tarcon: Ferns, ESM, talking to civilians (NDA), etc.

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2011, 09:53:34 AM »
They probably have ways to screen out teams that would be pre-disposed to using Ferns........in the interview/testing process.
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Offline redskevin88

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2011, 03:13:37 AM »
Jamie & Cara and Kent & Vxysin had help getting around in Sydney in Leg 1....


Offline georgiapeach

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2011, 10:09:32 AM »
Directions, not being led. Right?
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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2011, 10:29:28 AM »
i thought that local who do it

Offline redskevin88

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2011, 04:20:00 AM »
Directions, not being led. Right?

One of them was pointed to a cluebox. I had a friend who was on holiday at that time, she told me that. I can't remember which team though.

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2011, 04:22:05 AM »
Pointing is the point. :lol:
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Offline BayBay

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2011, 06:32:46 AM »
I always dreamt of being a fern squashed into a taxi leading the way to victory!  :<3

Offline NoluckBoston

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2011, 02:09:09 PM »
At first it thought the original Fern has died.  :(

Its sad to see this happen. Rob and Amber would be lost today.

Offline Best Loser

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2011, 01:30:35 PM »
Cord's stated in an interview that people are allowed to point but not lead, so that confirms it.  :'(

But I guess it means teams can't just piggyback the locals the entire race, it's good.

Offline apskip

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2011, 03:52:26 PM »
At first it thought the original Fern has died.  :(

Its sad to see this happen. Rob and Amber would be lost today.

NoluckBoston,
I don't see Rob and Amber from that perspective. They are amazingly resourceful individuals. Yes, they got significant help throughout Amazing Race 7 and probably in the first 3 episodes of AR11 from locals who had admired them from their time on Survivor.  They were not lost in the Little Havana section of Miami searching for El Rey Dos Habaneros; it was their taxi driver who was totally at fault in the finale of AR7. The design of the 4th leg of AR11 did not give them much opportunity to benefit from locals. It was a random letter finding task that did them in.

Offline racer

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2011, 05:17:38 AM »
I actually find this new rule to be ridiculous. For those of you who mentioned that you love to see teams interact with random strangers, I totally agree! WE even had an episode in All-Stars named by a "Fern", in Malaysia, "The Way You Look, Yeah", when they were talking to Dustin & Kandice.

I HOPE that this is changed for TAR19, as I think it is an awful rule, and it gives an unfair advantage to certain teams over others, which I can't accept. Bad rule, I love Ferns! (:;)
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Offline dryedmangoez

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2011, 03:01:27 PM »
Aww, I'll miss Ferns on the Race.  I get the safety aspect and all the singing releases stuff, but it's still kinda sad.  There's already less interaction with the locals as it is.  Teams don't even ask locals anymore and instead go straight to internets.


Offline #HEEL

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2011, 05:23:03 AM »
I actually find this new rule to be ridiculous. For those of you who mentioned that you love to see teams interact with random strangers, I totally agree! WE even had an episode in All-Stars named by a "Fern", in Malaysia, "The Way You Look, Yeah", when they were talking to Dustin & Kandice.

I HOPE that this is changed for TAR19, as I think it is an awful rule, and it gives an unfair advantage to certain teams over others, which I can't accept. Bad rule, I love Ferns! (:;)

The only advantage I see is towards teams that are smart, or good at doing research. An advantage that they've earned by being smart or good at doing research.

Offline racer

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2011, 05:03:16 AM »
I actually find this new rule to be ridiculous. For those of you who mentioned that you love to see teams interact with random strangers, I totally agree! WE even had an episode in All-Stars named by a "Fern", in Malaysia, "The Way You Look, Yeah", when they were talking to Dustin & Kandice.

I HOPE that this is changed for TAR19, as I think it is an awful rule, and it gives an unfair advantage to certain teams over others, which I can't accept. Bad rule, I love Ferns! (:;)

The only advantage I see is towards teams that are smart, or good at doing research. An advantage that they've earned by being smart or good at doing research.

Yeah, those people definitely earn their advantage by being smart, but unfortunately people who have excellent interpersonal skills will lose that aspect of the race. This would suit me just fine if I were to ever participate, as I'd be very good with maps and navigation and I would be very bad with communicating with locals.  :res: It certainly changes the dynamics of the race, whether or not you like or hate the change... :duno:
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Offline kiki

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2011, 05:55:51 AM »
It's not so much a matter of advantage for the teams, as it was great for us to see them interacting with locals. There were good moments like the original Fern and bad moments like in Vietnam with Duke and Lauren, but it was all interesting for us, the viewers, and I missed that from the last TAR as I have missed the search for flights.


edited to correct the typo in the name
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 10:33:15 AM by kiki »
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Offline AmazingRace

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2011, 09:37:18 AM »
It's not so much a matter of advantage for the teams, as it was great for us to see them interacting with locals. There were good moments like the original Fern and bad moments like in Vietnam with Luke Duke and Lauren, but it was all interesting for us, the viewers, and I missed that from the last TAR as I have missed the search for flights.

Fixed!  ;)
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Offline kathleenykl

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2011, 04:16:06 AM »
Well, there was one fern I absolutely hated... it was the lady the father and (lesbian) daughter met on the plane to hanoi in season 10. she told them she could take them around town. she was such a memorably hateful fern  (:;)
First she made them wait for her at the airport, then she told the taxi driver to take her to her house first to get her brother somewhere. Such a freeloader, that fern, she actually wanted to get a free ride for her (and later her brother)! She was also very rude  B:) "Do you not understand what I saying?" B:) and not remorseful at all for telling the racers half-truths throughout.
By the time they wisened up to throw the fern out of the taxi, the additional distance travelled to said fern's house had cost them their money and they only got to their next clue by the grace of their taxi driver who accepted $11 as payment. That was also the start of the bad luck that team had throughout the leg and eventually they came in last. foreshadowing much? I don't know but not all ferns are helpful and fans of the show, some just want to piss racers off and get screen time. And in this case, a free ride.  :jam: BEEYOTCH!

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2011, 03:01:17 AM »
I remembered the one that followed an all-female team in the car.. was it? It was an all-female team that the guy followed ALL THE WAY to the next location.. and the team just dropped him at a random secluded location. </3
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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2011, 03:03:06 AM »
At first it thought the original Fern has died.  :(

Its sad to see this happen. Rob and Amber would be lost today.

NoluckBoston,
I don't see Rob and Amber from that perspective. They are amazingly resourceful individuals. Yes, they got significant help throughout Amazing Race 7 and probably in the first 3 episodes of AR11 from locals who had admired them from their time on Survivor.  They were not lost in the Little Havana section of Miami searching for El Rey Dos Habaneros; it was their taxi driver who was totally at fault in the finale of AR7. The design of the 4th leg of AR11 did not give them much opportunity to benefit from locals. It was a random letter finding task that did them in.

And by the blessings of Mirna's dead grandmama. :lol:
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Offline Jareb

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2011, 08:41:37 PM »
I'm glad the Fern is gone. These people should have to make their way on their own, only asking for directions. Let them see what it's like to have to make their way around when they don't speak the language and can't read the signs. Let them stay home if they aren't up for a challenge like that.

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #36 on: October 02, 2011, 08:46:35 PM »
Ad I am SO delighted to be able to say that the FERN is alive and well!!

Rumors of her death have been greatly exaggerated!! :yess:

We have seen extraordinary clues REQUIRING the use of FERNS in the first episode!!

Thank you whoever brought them back!! :tu

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #37 on: October 04, 2011, 08:08:30 PM »
In the second episode they need to interact with the locals in BOTH Detours in order to complete the Detour as well! Not much of ferns, but I like tasks like these which require locals to help them to complete it... :)
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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #38 on: October 05, 2011, 09:06:35 PM »
Having to interact with the locals, and getting at least a glimpse of the local culture has always been, and should always be, part of TAR. That includes the Ferns.
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Offline DeafRacer

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #39 on: October 05, 2011, 11:26:25 PM »
I know the answer about the ferns........

But, I'll let you guys  :meow:

 :neener:

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2011, 11:28:08 PM »
AND!

Don't forget about the lovely Fern in Beijing who saved our lives! Then, we all tried fit in the back of cab but it's too cramp and we couldn't get the door close so we had to ditch our Fern  :(

Offline BayBay

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #41 on: October 06, 2011, 07:14:14 AM »
I know the answer about the ferns........

But, I'll let you guys  :meow:

 :neener:

Where you explicitly banned from using them? do spill the goss  :<3

Offline Flamant

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #42 on: October 06, 2011, 09:45:25 AM »
Must be hard not be allowed to say anything.... lol

Offline DeafRacer

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #43 on: October 06, 2011, 03:31:12 PM »
I'm actually friend with few Ferns on Facebook that helped us on Season 14 and 18 so that's pretty cool to have the connection.

There were one part that weren't shown on Season 14's Second Leg.  We ran into this sweet old couple at the dock after we finished our cake detour. They were sweet enough to offer to lead us to the pit stop. That's our first Ferns!

Now, there's the editing... It made it look like we left first before Brad & Victoria.... But for real, Brad & Victoria actually left the dock to the pit stop before we could leave. We were at the dock for like good 30 minutes after Brad & Victoria left. But with the ferns' help, we managed to beat Brad & Victoria to the pit stop.

Ferns def. do have an impact on the Race!

Now, it's up to you guys to debate if the Ferns are really dead or they're still around...

The detours from last week's episode - they are not really the Ferns. They're just random people on streets just happened to donates their $$ to the racers.

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"
« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2011, 08:46:33 PM »
Many of them had to use Ferns to get the phonecard thing right...we see shots of at least one!
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan


 

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