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The Amazing Race 8: Family Edition Episode 1, Part 2

By Reagen Sulewski

October 6, 2005

Three members of this family approve of wearing tye dye.

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Day two of The Amazing Race Family Edition sees the teams now segmented into three packs, with the Aiellos, Weavers and Gaghans out first, in the middle of a rainstorm. The first clue of the day has them on the way to a farm in Mt. Joy, Pennsylvania (still a state, Linda) for the next clue. Now, I really don't like picking on kids, but Billy on the Gaghans seems to be doing his best to be an annoying know-it-all. Now, this is pretty typical little kid behavior, but he invaded my entertainment, so he has what's coming to him. Stop your incessant commenting, Billy!

The Bransens, Rogers, and Schroeders get out in the second pack just half an hour behind, with those last two teams, both hailing from Louisiana, deciding to stick together for now. The last group, including the Blacks, Godlewskis, Linzs and Paolos, has some time to make up here, although the gaps are not that large at the moment. One of the Linz brothers (I've already lost track of which is which) sets out his secondary goal of landing one of the Godlewski sisters but another brother quite accurately points out how out of his league that whole team is for his frat boy ass.

The Weavers find the farm first and we have our first choice of the race with the first Detour. The decision is between building a working watermill from pre-assembled parts (IKEA has everything) or pushing an Amish buggy one and a half miles with two team members inside. The Weavers choose buggy, which seems like the easy choice to me at this stage of the game, but Detours can be tricky. The Aiellos are close behind (Weavers: SCREAM!) and make the same choice.

The Gaghans in third also choose the buggy, which is even more an obvious choice given the small dead weights... er, team members in Billy and Clarissa that they have to pull along.

The trick of the buggy comes up quickly when they reach a downhill slope, and the buggy gets out of control of the Weavers. It actually drives over Linda, although she fits nicely between the fairly widely spaced wheels. That doesn't stop the melodrama for this team, who start playing the what if game. For an incident with no injuries, they lay it on a little thick. If you're so afraid of risk, was this the best show to come on? Their buggy appears to be either jammed or broken or they're just a little gun shy, and they head back to do the building task, leaving the Aiellos to take a clear lead.

All three teams from the second grouping have proven somewhat unworthy, managing to get lost, and both the Linzs and the Godlewskis get in ahead for fourth and fifth. The Linzs go for the brute strength option while both the Godlewskis and the Bransens, who get to the Detour in sixth, choose to build. There's a moment for the Linzs that could pretty much only happen between siblings, as one of the brothers decides to scent up the buggy, and then blames it on Megan. He's got a point, since after all, she smelt it, and therefore, dealt it.

Out on the track, the Gaghans have used their advantage to the fullest and catch up to the Aiellos, pulling about 300 pounds less of weight in their buggy. In a fairly humiliating moment, the Gaghans then blow past them, with Billy singing an off key rendition of "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain". It's amazing they don't quit right there. As they make the turnaround and head back, Billy comments that he's sorry he couldn't contribute, to which Clarissa cuts down as only a little sibling can: "Get used to it, dork."

The Blacks do not recognize their advantage in the buggy pulling task and decide to go for the building option, as do both the Schroeders and Rogers. The Paolos are just as functional as yesterday, arriving tenth and then proceeding to argue about the task until finally deciding to take the building option.

The Linzs are starting to feel the strain of the buggy task but decide to solider on. Meanwhile, the Weavers have managed to complete their watermill, and are out in first place on the way to the Pitstop (with apparently no Roadblock in this leg). The pitstop is on another farm in nearby Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Godlewskis are not far behind in second place, and the Gaghans have managed to come around in third, after finishing the buggy course. Luckily for the other teams stuck out there, the Paolos have about as much teamwork while building the watermill as Shaq and Kobe.

Detours are finishing left and right here, with the Bransens getting out in fourth and the Aiellos finally making it in off the buggy course (and with strokes = 0) in fifth spot. The Linzs make the turnaround on the buggy course with, I believe, Alex deciding he has to puke. But correct me if I'm wrong here, he's just been sitting in the buggy this whole time. That is, in a word, laaaaame.

The Weavers seem to not be able to handle the pressure of being out in the lead, getting lost almost immediately, and don't know how to get to Lancaster. Considering they pretty much had to pass through that town on their way to the Detour, I consider it non-controversial to say that this team has pathetic map reading skills. They invoke Jesus for about the 15th time this episode, but I think everyone knows he's busy helping wide receivers score touchdowns and isn't interested in reality show contestants.

After a couple of snit fits in the car, the Godlewskis get it together and find the correct farm, sprinting to Phil and the mat. Screaming and yelping, they get there and win The Amazing Race! Er, wait, it's just the first leg. Sorry, my bad, the way they were jumping around, it was an easy mistake (yes, I made this joke last season. So sue me). Even the normally stoic Phil looks taken aback somewhat. As with last season, the bonus prize for the first leg is a cash prize, this time $20,000 to split among the four.

The Weavers and Gaghans find themselves in a head to head race on the roads for second, although they're not aware it's sort of a pointless and risky race at this point. Linda invokes the Jesus Good Luck Charm yet again, and Rebecca speeds up and unbuckles her seatbelt. Okay, competitive spirit getting a little out of hand for the first leg of the race, am I right? The marathon training mentioned in the opening for the Gaghans seems to be a major factor here, and in the sprint to the mat, Clarissa outsprints all the other members of the Weavers to bring them into second spot, relegating the Weavers to third on this first leg.


Back at the Detour, the Rogers and Schroeders finish their watermills in sixth and seventh, while the Paolos have somehow managed to stop tearing out each others' throats long enough to get to eighth. It is, however, taking a nasty toll and Marion finally starts trying to shame her sons' extremely rude and pointlessly mean behavior. Tony, damningly, has been almost entirely silent the entire time, which has just encouraged his sons more.

The two Louisiana teams have managed to come up from the lower middle to the upper middle of the pack, with the Rogers taking fourth and the Schroeders finding fifth. The Paolos find that sixth place cures all ills, or something, although given how nasty this team is bound to get again when something goes wrong, it would almost be merciful to eliminate them just because.

The Bransens and Aiellos both ended up fairly lost, costing them several positions at the end, and they finish seventh and eighth. Both these teams are going to have to work on not bleeding time unnecessarily if they want to stick around.

The final two teams at the Detour, the Linzs and the Blacks, both finish at approximately the same time, meaning that nearly every team that attempted the buggy challenge lost a fair amount of time. Not content to follow the Blacks, the Linzs make a bold move and try another route. Meanwhile, Reggie misinterprets Blue Rock Road in the pitstop clue as "something unusual on a rock", leaving the door open. Megan correctly identifies her team's major weakness when the comment is made that their team isn't about "supporting each other", it's also not about "listening to each other". With double the team members, the teamwork element is proving to be more crucial than ever.

Ultimately, the Linzs sneak in for ninth, leaving the Blacks on the outside and looking in. In the end, I didn't see a lot of hustle out of this team, and that combined with physical weaknesses just did them in.


     


 
 

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