TAR: No Begging or Borrowing

Lesson for all future Amazing Racers, courtesy of the Cho brothers: if, while on a train, you pantomime talking on a cell phone to talk to a ticket agent and book tickets, your opponents might actually get on a cell phone and book tickets. Actually, if you give any opposing team the idea of something to do to get ahead, the opposing team will probably do that.
Flight drama! The last few races have been relatively weak on teams actually having to work the airport to get better flights. It’s good to see teams working the airports.
The simple juxtaposition of perception diverging from reality is entertaining. For example, “We do not think we’re in last” while a “currently in last place” caption is on screen.
And finally, the rules changes for TAR 10 have at least one change for the better. The new NEL penalty is a major improvement. It’s a real penalty affecting time– the most important part of racing. And, it affects teams at the end of the next leg– so, unlike losing time at the beginning of a leg, the penalty won’t be eliminated at a bunch point.
The only drawback of this penalty, as opposed to a time penalty at the beginning of the next leg, is that it is more difficult to explain. The beauty of the Amazing Race is that the rules are all straightforward and easy to understand: Teams of two racing from place to place, solving clues and completing tasks to get the next clue. The last team to arrive is eliminated. That’s it. It’s a simple formula that is difficult to improve upon. The new NEL penalty, however, is logical, and shouldn’t be too confusing to explain in the next episode.
As far as the effect on the tension of finishing the next leg, the NEL penalty could go both ways. If the non-eliminated team arrives in the middle of the pack, with one of the other trailing teams far behind, the trailing team’s demise is not certain until that team hits the mat. However, if the non-eliminated team is in a close footrace to the mat with another team to avoid elimination, that could detract from the drama of the situation.
No matter what happens with the finishes on the next leg, this penalty is a major improvement.

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