Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Letter To The TAR Families

To: Bransens, Godlewskis, Linzes, Paolos
From: Jason Borelli, alleged "Closet Optimist"/fan of The Amazing Race
Subject: The Yield

After watching last night's episode, I felt the need to write to you in regards to your group decision to Yield the Weaver family. Yes, I know that one of the Paolo kids ended up doing the deed, but all of you seemed hellbent on forcing Linda and her brood to stand on the mat. I have a question for all sixteen of you:

What the hell were you thinking?

First of all, I know that from whatever edited footage I saw, the Weavers don't seem to be a fun family. Linda looks and acts like Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien during Survivor: All-Stars; namely, a very ugly human being, inside and out. The daughters seem to be sterotypical snotty teen girls. I'm guessing Rolly might need lots of therapy in his future. And yes, I do sympathize with the fact that Roy Weaver got killed on the race track. But it's like seeing footage of the Schroeders' house damaged after Hurricane Katrina...I may feel bad, but my pity pool can be drained. By the time Mark Schroeder was quipping about Roy's death in the fourth episode, and Stassi was bawling in the car, that pool was empty.

So I can emphasize about the five-team pile-up at the Yield mat, as all of you seemed eager to be the ones to put the Weavers out of their misery, as well as the audience's misery (I haven't seen any popularity polls, but the forums at Television Without Pity have gone anti-Weaver, big time). Yet, none of you seemed to think long-term. All of you wanted the instant gratification. And you guys screwed up in two ways.

1. The Weavers Are Not a Strong Team

I sense that they're holding on by a thread, and that thread has been fraying since their detour at the Waffle House. Why take the air out of their tires? This is not about sympathy, but strategy. A team like theirs can and will self-destruct on their own. So why put them over the edge? Use the power of the Yield on somebody worth stopping. Did you see the penulitmate episode of TAR5? Three teams ended up running to the mat to put the Yield on Colin & Christie, not just because they were rude and boorish, but because they were great Racers. They won six out of thirteen legs, including an unprecented three in a row. Who could blame Chip & Kim for dropping the hammer?

Let's say that I got to the Yield five seconds before any of you. I would want to race against a weaker family should we go into the final leg. I'd think the Weavers would implode at any given I wouldn't Yield them. I'd take their annoyance in the near future for the chance to kill a stronger team now. Paolos? Same thing...they got their act together in the previous leg, but one cross word from one member might lead to an all-out fiasco. Bransens? I'm sure that I could beat Wally in a footrace, so he and his daughters are spared. In the end, I would've Yielded the Linzes. Sorry, guys, but I think you're the strongest team, and a major obstacle between my team and a million dollars. If you survived the leg and accosted me about that, I would tell you that it's nothing personal, but it's a Race. I'd offer a peace offering...if they end up beating my team, I'd wear a Reds jersey and a "WHO DEY?" cap at TARCon. And if you weren't pacified? The heck with you, then.

2. What If They Came Back?

Look at the history of the Yield. Prior to last night's episode, the Yield has been used four times. Only one has a Yielded team come in last place. None of those teams ended up eliminated. You forced a team to wait, a team that you hated, and I'm sure the feeling was mutual. They bagged on the Paolos posing in front of a garbage truck, and muttered "retards" at the thought of some of you. But none of you wondered what would have happened if they were still in the Race. None of you seem to think about how Linda would have stepped up the drama at the Pit Stop during the mandatory eat/sleep/mingle phase.

Well...they made it to at least two more legs. And who got the shaft? Thanks to the screwy karma that has visited this season, none of you got eliminated. No, that went to the Gaghans. Tammy couldn't find that one red coffee bean right away, and they couldn't overtake the Weavers. I'm fairly certain that the Gaghans might have been part of the hate jamboree, and that the editors took out that footage to make them more lovable. Honestly, I don't care. They were the last truly lovable team left in the Race, and I had to watch little Carissa try and fight back the tears. Gut-wrenching stuff. It's amazing that Billy and Carissa proved to be more mature than most of the adult Racers.

My point? You guys pissed off the Weavers. They will give you grief at the Pit Stop. They will give you even more of the evil eye. They will step up their rantings, everybody will suffer for it, and you guys made it even more possible. And a word to the Paolos: not only will you bear the full brunt of their storm, they will hit you with the second Yield if they can. The only bright side to your decision is that you are no longer the most hated team this season. As long as DJ keeps his trapped mostly shut and Marion tries to hustle, the fans will like you. But this whole season is playing out like Kill Bill. The Weavers are The Bride, you guys are the ones who tried to kill them, and the Gaghans were Buck (note: nobody tell Billy and Carissa what Buck did to deserve to die). And with an already flaky season falling apart, there's a tiny bit of my heart that hopes the Weavers win...because if that pisses all of you off, that might not be such a bad thing. This season already why not skip to the worst possible ending? But don't worry...once TAR9 starts up, the family format will be forgotten, as well as most of you and your lack of strategic thinking at the Yield mat.

Jason Borelli

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