Amazing Race 25 – Episode One!

the best watch/compass combo I could find.

A watch with a compass. Who wudda thunk it?

The Amazing Race, Season 25 (wow!) started this week. And the team that came in far and away in first place was able to do so, because a team member had a watch with a compass on it. (SPOILER ALERT, don’t keep reading if you haven’t seen the episode yet!)

The Episode started with all the teams getting out in front of a “ring of fans” in New York City. The first clue was actually pretty fun – you had to know something about TAR history – where Season 1 started. As such, the teams had to ask the “fans” for the answer. I liked that a lot – gave the fans something to be proud of knowing. As it was a question about TAR-1, and I only started at about TAR-15 or so, I wouldn’t have known the answer either!

The final clue had the teams given a set of “coordinates” by “Blackbeard,” and they had to dig up a “treasure box” to finish. They were given a water compass (I think that’s what it’s called – see HERE for the video showing this part of the show) and a yard-long shovel to figure out their directions and paces.

The compass (as you can see from the video, if you clicked on it) says what is facing you. For example, if the ball says NORTH and you’re holding it in front of your face, then NORTH is the direction you’re facing. This is 180 degrees from what a “Regular” compass would show – as in, if you held up a regular compass and wanted to go North, then SOUTH would be “facing” you (with North on the “far side” of the compass).

I would totally have gotten this wrong, too. No doubt. It’s actually far easier to use (if you think about it) than a “regular” compass – because where you are going is right in your face. It’s just we are all programmed to think of it working the other way around!

HOWEVER, the he-dentist figured it out right away. As it looked like the sun was up around noon, that wasn’t helpful for figuring out East/West. HOWEVER, he had a COMPASS ON HIS WATCH. So he pointed himself in the direction the watch said, then looked at the ball. And figured it out immediately.

The other teams kept coming up to him to ask him how to do it. He found his treasure box quite quickly, and then was off – so the folks who actually got to talk to him wound up being able to find their boxes too (after some trial and error). The teams that did NOT talk to him – that got to the island after they’d left – didn’t really figure it out. Well – they did once the sun was setting (as in “rises in the East sets in the West” – though the “hot girls” that are always on TAR (blonde realtor girls), when asked, said “Um, rises in the West, sets in the East?” – um….why, ‘cos they’re from Florida??).

The three teams that were left wound up, after digging into the setting sun and working like dogs, just taking the 4 hour penalty together. This was like a couple seasons ago in Bali, when the 3 teams that couldn’t get the task done just all agreed to take the penalty. In this case, they all got close – in fact, it showed on the screen where each team was digging – and where the box was (usually within a yard to so of where they were).

One thing I didn’t really understand was how DEEP folks were digging. I would have walked over to the hole of the folks who got away quickest, to figure out how far down the boxes were (not very far at all). Once I knew that, if I didn’t find it where I thought it was, I would have started making little “tester holes” in the vicinity, not dug these grave-deep holes like a couple of the teams did!

Interestingly, the realtor girls – who are the ones who came up with the idea of “everyone” taking the 4 hour penalty – did it because they thought they would be able to beat the other 2 teams to the mat. As always, the first round is ALWAYS an elimination round.

The thing is, the girls had actually “stolen a grease pencil away” from the firefighter team (who I know they were SURE they would beat, because one of the guys is heavy-set), and the firefighter team was really sore about it. This had happened earlier in the day. So once they got off the island, all making this “pact” to take the 4 hour penalty, the “lighter” of the firefighter team got to a taxi van first. Then one of the realtor gals tried to get into it, too, and the heavier firefighter basically grabbed her by the arm, and pulled her out, said “Um, no.” The realtors wound up getting eliminated, and on the mat they were whinging about how the firefighters hadn’t “played fair,” etc. But in reality, they sort of had karma come back to bite them for “elbowing out” the firefighters earlier in the show!

This show (at the beginning) has a REALLY GOOD “intro” of the teams. I think that doing a TAR tape JUST like they introduced the teams as they came out of their cars in New York City would be awesome. It shows their hashtag, tells their story, shows a little bit about them. Granted you get 3 minutes in the submission tape – these were about a minute – but I think that it is THE WAY to present a team in the intro tape. Food for thought ;-)

That said, am I losing weight? Getting stronger? Even GOING to Crossfit? Nope. Was in Colorado for holiday with Herbert, and we did get out and bike, do some hiking, etc. but we mainly ate and drank (surprise surprise!) I’m in Utah now, and plan to go to Crossfit here, but I don’t have a car. The closest Crossfit is CLOSE (less than a mile away), but no walking or jogging through the thunder ;-) I also had work to do today and tomorrow, but after that, time to climb back on the bandwagon! How many times have I said THAT!

Too many times! LOL.

Are you watching The Amazing Race?

Would you want to be ON The Amazing Race?

If so – what do you think would be important as a racer – besides a watch with a compass? ;-)