Author Topic: "THE DEATH OF THE FERN"  (Read 11783 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.

"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


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!!
"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

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:

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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funny things are everywhere

Offline theschnauzers

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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 Kandace

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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?

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.
"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

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.

Offline DrRox

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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?
"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

Offline ZBC Company

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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:
"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

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.


 

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