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Chickens with Their Heads Cut Off
December 1

With twelve series of The Amazing Race having already been produced, I am continually baffled to see things that any fan of the show would scoff at. To wit:

From three weeks ago, the second of the two Fast Forward passes was available. Seeing another team going for it, Terence and Sarah decide to "take a risk" and go for it. Racing fans say it with me: The Amazing Race is not about risks. It is about staying with the pack and not coming in last. Taking risks comes into play at the end when the teams are in the final leg racing for all the money.

All the same, Terence and Sarah plow ahead and find out that the task required is to eat a pile of meat. Since Terence is a vegetarian, he can't do it. He and Sarah bail and head back to where they broke free. That move guaranteed at best they would finish second to second, and that says nothing of the time lost doubling back to the next task.  

Let's take something into account here: this is a competition for a million dollars. If you're not prepared to eat just about anything, bungee jump or do wild and crazy stuff, you have absolutely no business appearing as a contestant. And if you're going for the most coveted prize along the way, you should expect that it's going to be something off the wall or doubly difficult.

But that's not to say that Terence and Sarah are the only sinners along the way. There have been teams that have failed to properly read their clue (taking a forbidden form of transport to the next clue point), or not having all of their clue documentation when arriving at the mat, having to retreat back to and find a passed over box. 

Andrew and Dan have created their own lowlight reel of goofs and gaffes along the way. Whether it's failing to properly read a clue, leaving their shoes behind at a theater, or spending all of their travel money on new shoes and being bankrupt, it is no less than a miracle that Andrew and Dan are in the running for the big prize.

Yet the gold medal winner has to go to Dallas leaving his Race pouch in a Moscow cab. With no money and no passports, he and his mother Toni were left behind, eliminated in fourth place. I'm not even sure how they would be able to escape the country, or if they had to enlist the assistance of the local embassy. 

The laundry list there proves just how hard the Race is. You can't drop out for even a minute, lest you lose your place or belongings. I suppose watching people being smart racers, making good tactical decisions and not arguing would lead to less interesting television, but I sure wouldn't mind something like that.

Travis Eberle is happy to be home again. Greet him at the Pit Stop Mat by e-mailing him at