Amazing Race 17 - 5 Teams - E9 I Hate the U-Turn, but…

I dislike the U-Turn because it’s somewhat unfair. It puts people in a huge disadvantage, especially this episode with a heavy lifting task and two of the three teams having only women. Then again, it shows the true character of the people playing the game. Those that U-Turn are not really great players. Why? Because you have to create a disadvantage to win. You can’t win on your own merits, so it’s cheating within the rules. Yes it’s part of the game, but not all parts of a game are needed to win.

They all went to Bangladesh.

Chad and Stephanie talked abut using the U-Turn on Nat and Kat. He doesn’t want to be beaten by two women. It’s a mentality that is infused in the same greasy thought as Brooke and Claire later on when they find out that they’ve been U-Turned by Jill and Thomas. Brooke was like well why would a man do that to a woman. This coming from a woman that is trying to prove that they can do everything men can do and be the first two women team to win on Amazing Race. You can’t do that if you can’t play by the same rules as everyone else.

On the flights to Bangladesh Jill and Thomas find an earlier flight that would get them to the city by 5am. No other team gets on their flight or arrives even close to that time.

Nick and Vicki find a flight that arrives just a few hours after Jill and Thomas. The funny thing about that was they barely got the tickets before Brooke and Claire. Just seconds.

Everyone else is on the same flight (even though Nat and Kat tried to circumvent in hopes of getting their earlier) to arrive in Bangladesh at noon.

There is something wrong with Thomas. He talks to Jill as if she’s dumb and she lets him. It’s not as abrasive as what Nick does to Vicki. Nevertheless, when Jill didn’t know what extremities meant he repeated with your arms and legs. That’s fine if you didn’t know she wouldn’t understand that word, it’s not fine when you do know that she wouldn’t understand that word and use it. It’s as if he’s subtly pointing out he’s smarter because he went to a prestigious school and she didn’t. I’m not vouching for her stating she’s much smarter than he thinks, I’m stating he’s creating a room for her to stand in and not allowing her much room to grow. Schooling doesn’t always mean smarter. I know those that have schooling who are socially retarded.

The first thing the teams have to do when they get to Bangladesh is press sugarcane to get juice and then drink the juice. According to Nick, it tastes like sweet grass. That doesn’t sound too appealing.

The Detour is between Balance Meals -- delivering meals and Balance Bricks -- transporting 100 bricks from one location to another.

Jill and Thomas decide to do the balance bricks. They are the only team that decides to do the bricks. On the rickshaw they squeeze past busses. No white lines to drive within. It can get scary. However, if I were there, I’d just trust that these people know what they’re doing and enjoy the ride…or at least try to enjoy the ride.

After finishing the task, they head to the Double U-Turn and put up Brooke and Claire. Then Thomas condescendingly states, “Sorry.” Okay, if you really were sorry you wouldn’t have done it at all. Simple. As. That. They go on to Road Block where they have to put a rickshaw together. Jill does it quickly until she can’t figure out why the man says she’s not done. The chain wasn’t on right. They are sweating up a storm. Just watching them sweat made me feel hot.

When Nick and Vicki arrive, Nick complains about the body odors he encounters. He complains a lot. I would be like him on the race, except my complaining is funnier. After finishing the drinking of the sweet grass, as Nick said, they choose to do balance meals where they work together as if they read each other minds. They delivered food on a boat to a ship in a shipping yard. They never have worked so gracefully together.

While Nick and Vicki are almost done with their Detour and Jill is almost done with her Road Block the other three teams arrive and started running like mad man and women.

Chad and Stephanie still wanted to U-turn Nat and Kat, but they first have to get there.

Jill still at the Road block because she had grave difficulty realizing that the chain was not on correctly. I don’t know how long it took her, but this is one of the reasons why I don’t think they can win the entire race. They head off to the Pit Stop.

Vicki complains that the food smells like poop as they finish their Detour. She also wonders why anyone would swim in that dirty brown water.

The three remaining teams all decide to do the balance meals.

Jill and Thomas are, of course, first. They did the smartest thing which was find an earlier flight instead of eat like Chad and Stephanie, but the more fun and entertaining team of the two is Chad and Stephanie. Jill and Thomas are a lot boring. Congrats to them. They won a Mastercard gift card for $15,000. If I were to give them a percentage on winning the entire thing, I’d say they have a 25% chance of winning. With out U-Turns and earlier flights on accident, they don’t have much going for them.

One reason why Chad and Stephanie lose this leg is that their rickshaw man went the wrong way. Actually, I think that is the only reason…a major reason. They got lost a lot this leg.

Nick and Vicki make it to the U-Turn and Vicki decided that they wouldn’t U-Turn anyone. She wanted to be nice. I think that nice mentality will help, because those that don’t U-Turn tend to do better than those that do. That’s not good enough since their track record isn’t that great and I’d give them a 15% chance of winning. They argue too much, he’s too negative to allow thinking, and blocks out all the good things, they could accomplish such as working in sync as they did with the food task.

Nat and Kat arrive first to deliver food.
Brooke and Claire arrive next.
Chad and Stephanie are lost.

At the Road Block Nick decides to fix the rickshaw because the growing up with bike thing reigns supreme. However, he had trouble like Jill, not realizing that there’s a chain and it needs to be fixed.

Nat and Kat get through the task quickly using their ingenuity. They arrive at the U-Turn and as if they knew of Chad and Stephanie’s pick, decided to U-Turn Chad and Stephanie. The terrible thing about this isn’t that they did it, but that Nat said they had to. They didn’t have to. Had they not done it Claire and Brooke would have went home giving them a greater chance of being the first woman team to win.

Chad and Stephanie start to get irritated at one another because of the heat and the frustration of losing their lead they had going into this leg.

Nick and Vicki are team number 2.

Brooke and Claire get annoyed that they have to go and do the other task. They start with the bricks where Brooke speeds ahead of Claire and Claire begs her to slow down because she felt sick. During this leg their stress with one another shows and proves that they can’t be the woman team to win over Nat and Kat. I think their chance is lower than Jill and Thomas, but only by five percent. Make them have a 20% chance of winning.

Chad and Stephanie continue to wonder like lost sheep as if that’s what they always were this entire game.

Nat fixes the rickshaw and compares it to putting Ikea furniture together.

Brooke and Claire go slower and slower with the bricks and Chad and Stephanie continue to meander lost. By the time Chad and Stephanie are hauling the bricks, Brooke and Claire are off to do the rickshaw. On the way to the rickshaw Claire complains about how she’s being treated, more reason why they can’t win. Brooke’s hindsight saw her being less empathetic toward Claire’s lack of ability. Hindsight doesn’t, however, win races. If that’s how you are in the moment, prepare to lose.

At the rickshaw there’s Nat, Brooke and Stephanie all working hard. Chad spouts some angry words at Nat over what she can’t do because of her degree. She proceeded to state that the U-Turn wasn’t personal when it was personal. You can’t do something like that and act like it wasn’t personal. If it was logical then the smart thing would have been to not U-Turn anyone and watch as you end up being the only women team and not have hostility where it wasn’t necessary. Nat does say sorry for what she decided to do, but the unnecessary damage was done. Their beef should have always been with Brooke and Claire. If they truly want to be the only woman team standing and win, they can’t have another on their tail. Moreover, if you can’t handle the hostility of a team catching up mad for the U-Turn then don’t do it.

Brooke had trouble with the bell and Stephanie had trouble with the seat. Brooke finished first and moments later Stephanie finished.

Nat and Kat are team number 3. I believe they have 40% chance of winning the entire race and being the first woman team to win the Amazing Race. Making Jill and Thomas too stupid to realize that they were the real threat. Oh and they had no regrets over using the U-Turn. Yes, they will...looking at Nat’s face when Kat said that proved it.

Chad and Stephanie as well as Brooke and Claire ran to the Pit Stop…who’ll get there? Brook and Claire are still in the race team number 4.

Chad and Stephanie team number 5. They were eliminated. I don’t want Nat and Kat to win, but they have the greatest chance of winning. I would have liked them more if they didn’t U-Turn and lie.

Chad said that he was going away without the million dollars, but the best prize…Stephanie. Awww. He grew a lot this race, that’s for sure.

Until next time…


Anonymous said...

Using the U-Turn is a part of the game. Have you ever played a game and you have had a wild card? That's what a U-Turn is like. No one likes them but they are part of the game. It has nothing to do with character unless you make using the U-Turn personal. Using the U-Turn is not cheating. Nat and Kat logically made the right decision on using the U-Turn. Chad and Stephanie who are physically stronger than Nat and Kat were basically right behind them. If the Roadblock was something physical, then Nat and Kat knew that Chad and Stephanie would bypass them. Why just rely on Brook and Claire being behind? Anything could have happened at the other Detour. They had to use that U-Turn to give them cushion. If they got to the Roadblock and they made mistakes or took a long time, which it seemed Nat did, then they could have possibly been eliminated. They never said anything negative to Chad and Stephanie. They didn't regret using the U-Turn. Also they handled Chad's hostility pretty well. Chad even said he understood when they told him it was nothing personal.

Also if anything, Chad and Stephanie seemed to be wanting to use the U-Turn for more personal reasons. "I don't want to lose to a couple of girls. I'm sick of them winning." How about I'm sick of Chad and Stephanie whining! I mean cry me a river. The only thing we saw Nat and Kat say was that the Double U-Turn could change the game. They said if they would have gotten in 4 hours earlier, their decision to U-Turn a team might have been different. So they didn't lie about the reason for U-Turning Chad and Stephanie who were probably no more than 20 minutes behind them. Anyone who watches the race knows a team can be ahead going into a Detour or Roadblock and be last coming out of it. I don't feel like the U-Turn is an unfair part of the game. All teams have the opportunity to get to the U-Turn first and all teams use the U-Turn at their discretion.

If I were on the show racing with another female and I were in that position, I would do the same thing. It wouldn't have anything to do with personal feelings or how well of a player I may or may not be. This is all about survival and making it to the next leg. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. In Nat and Kat's case, this is a team of women who constantly have to think about what ifs. That is what it means to be logical when you race.


J_Jammer said...

In Survivor you can lie. You don't have to lie. You chose to lie.

Same in Amazing Race, you don't have to use the U turn, Nat and Kat said they did. First lie. Second was stating it was bot personal. A lie because if not personal then there would be no need to defend it at all. They did, making it a lie.

Also he said he did not want to be defeated by two girls. They did not want to be defeat by a girl and a guy. U turn is personal period.

Character revealing 100%.

Making Vicki the better woman.

Anonymous said...

Since I'm up late I guess I can respond to this. The whole point of the game is to win. The whole point of U-Turns and Yields and even Fast Forwards is to help a team get to the mat before another team(s). You don't have to use any of it but it can be beneficial to use the tools the race gives you if you are in a position of survival.

Nat and Kat have for the most part been honest with everything they've done on the race. They didn't lie. They had a team minutes behind them and to let them catch up and possibly pass them putting themselves in an even tighter position to not be eliminated makes no sense. Like they said if there were 4 hours between them and the other teams the choice to U-Turn may have been different. This time they had no choice. I mean I hear people defending Jill and Thomas. While I think 7 hours is ahead is just crazy in terms of using a U-Turn, I understand it's part of the game. Just because a team has to go do the other Detour, it doesn't mean that it will take all day to do that task. And it's not about defending anything. I'm sure they were asked by the cameramen and they were asked by Phil. When you use it, there's not going to be a quiet moment about it. You're going to have to say something.

Also they never said they were going to use the U-Turn on Chad and Stephanie, Brook and Claire did. They never said they had an issue with a guy and girl team. They never said they didn't like Chad and Stephanie. If they did then the U-Turn would have been personal. That's the problem so many people in life have, they don't understand personal and professional. In this case personal and non-personal. If you use it for survival, then it's NOT personal. Nat and Kat were behind everyone. Also because there are more guy/girl teams, the odds of them losing that leg to a guy/girl team were high. You can't say they didn't want to lose to a guy and a girl. They were going to lose to one anyway.

To allow yourself to be taken out of a race for whatever reason, going to the bathroom, not looking for earlier flights, or even not U-Turning a strong team right behind you is ridiculous. It has nothing to do with character. You can still be a good person for wanting to win.

And for the record, the only reason Chad and Stephanie weren't U-Turned by Nick and Vicki is because Vicki said they were so far ahead of the other teams that they would let the cards fall where they would. I bet if Nick and Vicki had been in the thick of it with those last four teams, Nick would have made sure they U-Turned someone.

Sorry it's so long, I talk a lot.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Margaret. It's fair game utilise the U-turn as it is a feature of the game and within the rules. Especially when you could get eliminated. There was no way knowing for Team Doctors, how far ahead they were of Team HSN and Team Douche. They did it to increase whatever time lead they had on the others, and they needed it, given how time consuming putting together a rickshaw was.

I don't see how either U-turn was personal. Both Jill and Thomas and Nat and Kat are trying to win a competition, and they are playing by the rules, the same applies to all sports. Someone gives you a penalty to score a goal, you take it, you don't ummm and ahhh about how that rule sucks.

For a U-Turn to be personal it means that there is something you inherently dislike about that other team that has nothing to do with the actual competition.

In other words, you want to smack them into oblivion. I don't get a vibe of any of the teams this season disliking any other teams too much.

If Nat and Kat really didn't like Chad and Stephanie personally, they would have had a verbal stoush at the road block, and that didn't happen. In fact Nat and Kat were really civil to Chad, even when he tried to goad them, and when they left the road block, Chad was all good with them again. In a post interview, Chad and Stephanie said there are no hard feelings and they know it is part of the game, and from a strategic viewpoint, they would have done the same thing if they were in the same position as Nat and Kat.

I see both U-turns as strategic moves, the first to fatigue a tough team, and the second to slow down a team which may overtake you at the roadblock before the pitstop. With only 5 teams left, there is little margin for error.

I absolutely agree, you can still be a good person for wanting to win.

As for Vicki, she needs to grow a spine and tell Nick that him shouting at her isn't acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Post interviews with Chad and Stephanie:

Wasn't really pulling for them, but wish them well with their marriage.

J_Jammer said...

Playing but the rules is not an excuse to suggest that someone isn't making something personal. You can make it personal within the rules and it was personal. You don't want them to win, you want to win = personal. Simple as that.

Also Nat and Kat sucked at putting the rickshaw together. And those that suck shouldn't be in the race. They didn't expect to see Chad at the rickshaw. Meaning they hoped he wouldn't make it that far making it again...personal. If you can't handle your own choices in the game then it was personal.

If it was just a logical move then you don't get ruffled by what someone else said about what you did. Nat got ruffled.

As for Jill and Thomas it was also person. They were upset that the girls were better than them. And what made it even more personal was Jill's comment about how uncomfortable it'll be if they are not eliminated.

It doesn't matter what people would do...the U-Turn is personal. So was the yield, but they don't do that any more.

Dismissing what Vicki did as nothing, is a joke. It means something just like it means something to U-Turn.

I have watched this game for ages and know what the U-Turn is used for. I'm well aware. Saying it's part of the game doesn't make using it right. You can tackle people in football, but the force you use is up to you..meaning you can be more forceful than necessary, but still within the rules. So when someone gets hurt in the game it's within the rules you could mock the injured player and state that it's just a game. Which a smart player would ask if it were just a game, then why do more than necessary? Because it becomes personal.

Nat and Kat if they were as good as they suggested then they wouldn't ever need to use the U-Turn or the fastforward. Rules or not, they are not needed to win. Just like the immunity idol isn't necessary to win Survivor and if it were up to the jury between someone that won immunity and made it there and someone that never had to but still made it...the never had to has a greater chance of winning.

And Vicki is fine. No need to get a-hole poisoning just because her boyfriend is one. He needs to stop it, she doesn't need to start it.

Anonymous said...

This is what I mean by not understanding what's personal and not personal. If I want to do something to you because I don't like you, it's personal. I'm attacking you. There is something about you. If I'm trying to save myself, then it's not personal. Chad and Stephanie, "I don't want to lose to girls, I don't like they've won." That's personal. They never said Nat and Kat are threats. If anything why not first try to take out Jill and Thomas? I don't think they've ever finished below 5th. Also they had won as many legs as the doctors. In their case, they have a male and female on their team so if you think in terms of the final legs being physical, why not get rid of another male and thus increase your chances against the females?

Nat and Kat were in a three way race and did what they had to do. You can be a good player and have difficulty doing a task. It doesn't mean you're bad, it just means this is something that takes time. I was always a good student in school. A's, B's, and some C's here and there. I sucked in Math but does that mean I was never a good student? You don't have to be perfect to be good. I'm sure Nat doesn't put together things that often. And I'm willing to bet it takes her all day to put together IKEA furniture. I tried putting together a bed and thank god I had my brother to help me. There is no way of knowing that you're going to have to put something together on the show until you have to do it.

Everyone is on the show to win a million dollars. No one is going to get that far on the show and risk getting eliminated because they want to be nice or they think they are a better player. You can be the best player the race has ever had but you don't know what the next challenge could be when you get there. And that could be the one to do you in.

Nat and Kat have been at a roadblock before other teams before and left last. They understand that you can fall behind and in this case falling behind meant elimination.

Chad and Stephanie had plans to U-Turn the doctors. They got there last and according to Claire, Chad said he understood because it's a part of the game. The doctors didn't do anything to Chad and Stephanie that Chad and Stephanie weren't willing to do to them. I mean if they were such good racers, why try to U-Turn the doctors out of the gate? When they first got in the cab, the first words they said in regards to the U-Turn is they wanted to U-Turn Nat and Kat. Because they saw them as a threat? Nat and Kat may have been winning but their performance has been downplayed this whole season. Brook and Claire have been made the threat. Also they have been all over the place as far as their positions in the race. Chad and Stephanie were just not ready to lose to Nat and Kat, who they saw as the weaker team.

I've been watching The Amazing Race since Season 6. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. You never know what's on the other side of that U-Turn waiting for you. Once again it's not about being a good racer and it's not about being a bad racer, it's about making sure you're not the last team on the mat.

Like I said before, I like to talk.


Anonymous said...

I almost forgot, as far as Vicki is concerned, I'm not saying she's a bad person or anything because I like her. But she cosigned to Nick saying they would rather see Brook and Claire gone than Chad and Stephanie. Because they thought Chad and Stephanie were the weaker team. Like I said before, if they were in the back of the pack with the others, and they got to that U-Turn first, they would have U-Turned.

Me and you, we can sit at home or work or wherever and say what we will about using or not using the U-Turn but if either of us were to go on The Amazing Race and be in Nat and Kat's position or Nick and Vicki's position, we don't know what we'd do.


J_Jammer said...

Based on what I know from watching those that use the U-Turn rarely EVER win the entire game.

There have been 8 uses of the U-Turn since season 12 when it was initiated. Only once in all 8 has the team that used it win the entire game.

Meaning that 7 people who used it never won the race.

So between winning a million dollars and not winning it. I choose winning...meaning no U-Turn use from me.

And it's just like winning the car (when Survivor had that) every time a person won the car...they never, ever won the million. It was a curse and yet even after they were told of that curse someone sill thought they could win the car and the million. They were wrong.

Anonymous said...

Using the U-Turn does not mean you won't win the race. People talk about race karma but I think if you're a good person, if you respect your partner, if you respect other teams, if you respect the people that you encounter in all these countries you go to, that's good karma.

I don't know if Brook and Claire won, I don't know if Nat and Kat won, I don't know if Jill and Thomas won. I will say that the two teams that mentioned U-Turning an actual team were the ones who got U-Turned.

I don't watch Survivor so I can't comment on that show. But I believe in life what is meant for you is going to happen for you no matter what you do. I mean if you really think about race karma, how many people have been total assholes to everyone and still won? How many people have been really good players and generally nice and still lost? You can't base winning or losing on using a U-Turn. Whatever is going to come to you is going to come to you. If you use the U-Turn and win, then you were always going to win. And the same goes if you U-Turn and don't win the money, then you were never going to win it in the first place.


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