Dec 8, 2011, Ep 11: The Taxi Driver Judgment

The Amazing Race 19 Secret Scenes, Episode 11:  The Taxi Driver Judgement

The high-performance Olympians, Andy & Tommy (pictured), aptly compare the race to the Olympics, and while your fate is determined quite objectively, the taxi driver element can certainly work for and against you, just like Olympic judges.  Meanwhile, the other teams definitely had Andy & Tommy on the brain, with Ernie & Cindy rejoicing the playing field is level while Jeremy & Sandy while happy are still obsessed with their sandbar delay.  Marcus of course has more football talk to share, but what was he most relieved about when he & Amani left the village the next morning?  Read on to find out!

Extra Race Footage

Featured Team:  Andy & Tommy

Customizing the Mustang:  Andy is first to configure his Mustang on the Ford website.  He keeps toggling between white and dark blue, both of which are greatly appealing to him.  Andy then jumps to black but finds the color slider bar and is suddenly amazed that his Mustang can be any color.  Now the choices are too much but Andy is actually firm and for him, his Mustang is going to be black stripes on black paint.  It’s now time to choose the hood style and they cycle through the numerous options, finally settling on the prominent middle intake ridge.  Wheel options are next and there are 22 to choose from. He picks more black and gets black wheels for his black Mustang.  They marvel that they also get to choose a roof option and are torn when a convertible option appears, as they are located mostly in the cold climate.  But summer would be awesome with a convertible.  The 8 grille options are up next, and they find the perfect one with the Mustang horse in the center and inset fog lights on the sides.

Featured Team:  Amani & Marcus

Marcus Improvises:  Dressed in his Jonson & Johnson outfit, Marcus is having problems keeping his pants up as there isn’t a belt.  He’s using his fanny pack instead.  Marcus marvels at people who wear their pants down low intentionally and can even run around like that.  He’s having problems just walking.  Amani comes to his aid to help run the fanny pack around the back belt loops.  She realizes he skipped a lot of the back loops but Marcus doesn’t care as it just needs to do enough to keep his pants up.  As he gets the fanny pack all the way around, he starts to complain that the producers got all his stuff too big.  Amani reminds him that he has lost a lot of weight on the race.

Featured Team:  Andy & Tommy

It All Comes Together:  As Andy & Tommy ride in their taxi from the San Francisco Towers high-wire Roadblock, Andy admits they just realized that in addition to the letters in their tattoo, the buildings themselves were also drawn.  Andy notices some swells in the water and apparently they had asked about where the best waves were.  He jokes that it would be great if they were that far ahead that there was enough time to take a surf break.  I suppose they have that time now.

Andy realizes it’s a tight race still as they saw all the other teams at the Roadblock as they were leaving.  He then goes on a slight tangent as the tattoo puzzle is lingering with him.  He realizes that they had to put their tattoos together in order to get the complete destination spelled out.  Andy is surprised their taxi driver knew where to go as they just now put it all together.  

Featured Team:  Andy & Tommy

Different Teams, Different Strategies:  At the airport, Andy & Tommy discuss the remaining teams.  Andy has noticed that Ernie is a bit under the weather so he & Cindy are somewhat saving their energy for the end.  Jeremy & Sandy are much more obvious about their ambition to win.  Andy admits that at this point, he & Tommy are also going to be racing hard and on pure determination.  Tommy also admits that they both really want this and will do anything to get into the final leg.  He recognizes that the other teams also want into the final leg just as much.  It’s crucial though that they race the best leg they can and not make any huge mistakes.  Andy has seen a recent fire in Jeremy & Sandy’s eyes and understands it’s any one’s game at this point.

Featured Team:  Amani & Marcus

A Good Night’s Sleep:  As Marcus rides on their little motored canoe away from getting a tattoo, he recounts feeling like a burrito in his mosquito bed.  It’s funny that he’s been getting better sleep in strange situations rather than on a regular bed.  He hopes that he’ll be able to get that out of his system when it’s time to go home.  Concerning last night’s festivities, Marcus loved all the music and dancing but couldn’t tell if there was head-shrinking or alligator-eating going on.  Now they’re on their way back to the shore and he’s not positive, but it seems like they’re going to San Francisco.  He is really glad that his head didn’t get shrunk.  He admits maybe it would have helped reduce the size of his already big head.

Featured Team:  Ernie & Cindy

Ernie & Cindy’s Anticipation:  Ernie & Cindy are on the flight to Panama City with everyone else and are slightly annoyed that there wasn’t an opportunity to get a better flight.  There just aren’t that many flights from Amsterdam to Panama City.  Cindy is pretty sure they’re a lock for final three but it’s crucial they make no major errors on this leg.  Yet knowing how they’ve done so far, she admits they always find a way to make one.  Ernie believes that with everyone on an even footing once the flight lands, they’ll probably be in the head of the pack as that’s where they usually end up when everyone’s bunched together.

Cindy confesses that she & Ernie have been telling Amani & Marcus and Jeremy & Sandy that their goal is to get rid of Andy & Tommy so it will be a fair final three.  She laughs that she’s not really serious and Ernie admits there’s not really any way you can sabotage other teams.  Ernie figures that if there is a way, Jeremy and Marcus will figure it out.  Ernie recognizes that Andy & Tommy are the strongest competition and while there’s no real clear reason why, it’s mostly that they don’t make mistakes and are very physically capable.  He jokes that if there’s an arts & crafts challenge coming up, maybe Andy & Tommy will falter (I guess that sandal challenge shot that theory down).  

At the Pit Stop

Featured Team:  Jeremy & Sandy (first place)

Sandy’s Leap of Faith:  Phil asks Jeremy about Sandy’s initial concerns about high-wire walking 35 stories above the ground.  Jeremy knew she was nervous but he encouraged her and she was a champ and kept focused on him and avoided looking down.  He’s proud of her determination and drive to keep putting one foot in front of the other and not panicking in the face of her biggest fear.  It’s actually the most proud he’s ever been of her.  She confronted her fear and didn’t even hesitate and just did it.

For Sandy, she knew that she to overcome this biggest of fears so she didn’t look down.  Being a very competitive person, she knew there was no time to panic.  She kept looking forward and had no idea how far down it was.  Now that it’s all said and done, she is shocked that she actually did it.  

Featured Teams:  Ernie & Cindy (second place), Jeremy & Sandy, Amani & Marcus

Ernie & Cindy’s Big Plan:  Cindy tells Phil that this race was perfect for them as they got to see the world and interact with a lot of locals who need help.  She also saw people who just need a small investment to allow them to open up a shop, which she sees as something that can help pay it forward.  Phil asks if this race has helped solidify their desire to help the world.  Ernie agrees and says that he wants to be able to help people by teaching them they can reach higher.  He’d like to provide them with some US experience and enlightenment in order to enable the locals to make their own situation better.

Phil levels with everyone now, asking if there’s any team there that isn’t relieved that Andy & Tommy are out of the race.  He figures everyone feels that there’s more of a chance as things have been equalized a little bit.  Cindy speaks for the group and acknowledges that with the fact everyone arrived within minutes of each other, there’s a sense of relief and hope that the remaining teams are on the same level.  She admits that getting into the final leg was more important than winning cars, although some are probably still bitter about that.  Everyone laughs as Marcus admits he really wanted to win that prize.  Phil is thrilled that they are all finalists and is excited to award one of these teams a million dollars.  He wishes he could give them all a million dollars but he can’t.  Amani wishes he could too.  

Featured Team:  Amani & Marcus (third place)

A Perfect Teammate:  Marcus can’t tell Phil enough about how perfect of a teammate Amani is.  To actually witness her tenacity, her strength, and her endurance under stress is amazing.  They even figured out how to get through the squabbling phase and race efficiently.  That chemistry they have is what members of good sports team have.  Amani laughs and tells Phil that she’s always said that you can’t measure her heart.  She thinks that now Marcus has a real sense of it as well anybody else who may have doubted her.  As for their kids’ response to them making it so far, Amani knows that they’ll be screaming and jumping for joy when they see this.

After the Race

Featured Team:  Ernie & Cindy

The Perfect Combination:   Cindy recalls that at Malawi’s Pit Stop, Phil asked them who their ideal final three would be.  Their answer was exactly what happened this leg: Jeremy & Sandy and Amani & Marcus.  Cindy thinks this is the perfect combination as she & Ernie are a stronger team than the other remaining teams.  Those other teams are strong too, but Ernie & Cindy have constantly outperformed them. Ernie is still in shock at the fact that Andy & Tommy aren’t in the final three as he naturally assumed they would be.  There is no longer a worry about Andy & Tommy beating them Cindy in a footrace as it’s now an evenly matched boy/girl ratio across all the teams, and the girls just have to beat the girls and the boys just have to beat the boys.

Ernie breaks down the upcoming matchups.  He thinks he’s much more agile than Marcus and Jeremy while also having more knowledge about things than Jeremy.  Ernie and Marcus may be on a level-playing field when it comes to puzzles though.  If it’s speed, he can beat Marcus.  When it comes to sheer physicality, Marcus will beat him while Jeremy is an even match.  As for Cindy, he’s optimistic that she would be able to outsmart both Amani and Sandy. They both admit that Amani and Sandy are actually quite smart so it may not be that cut and dry.  Cindy jokes that she is better than the other girls when it comes to calculus and science though!  Ernie laughs and hopes there are some practical things there too.  

Featured Team:  Amani & Marcus

On to the Super Bowl:  Marcus thinks he can finally say he’s achieved something like a conference championship.  There have been many tries in his football career but he never reached the Super Bowl.  He knows the Amazing Race isn’t the Super Bowl, but the championship feeling of the final leg is very much the same.  He’d love to have beat 12 other teams and come out as the victor in this challenge.  More meaningful is being able to reach this accomplishment with Amani as he was never able to do so with his football teammates.  It says a lot about who they are as a couple and as teammates.

Amani discusses that Marcus has had many good teammates and coaches in both basketball and football.  She’s honored to be ranked among the elite in his mind.  Amani is thrilled to have had this opportunity as a couple and is proud to be the only remaining married couple left in the race.  She’s proud of their communication skills and knows that those have helped.  Marcus affirms that of all his teammates in his career, Amani is the one he is most excited to hit the showers with.  

Featured Team:  Jeremy & Sandy

Rough Start, Great Finish:  The most frustrating part of this leg for Jeremy was when they got stuck on the sandbar just mere yards from the shore.  He immediately jumped out to help push the boat off but in that time, Andy & Tommy swept in and grabbed the first tattoo slot right out from them. It was yet again a typical situation where Andy & Tommy had luck on their side and beat out Jeremy & Sandy.   The frustration grew even more when that few seconds of misfortune resulted in a 20-minute delay between the first and second tattoo appointments.  Sandy was still glad to have 20 minutes ahead of the third and fourth teams, but in leg 11, 20 minutes behind Andy & Tommy is a huge disadvantage.

They still can’t believe they won this leg.  They’re still in shock as their goal for this leg was to beat just one team but instead they beat everyone.  Sandy can’t really describe how much it means to be able to race in the final leg.  Jeremy is stoked that they get to leave first in the next leg but Sandy reminds him that really there’s only a three-minute differential between all the teams when they start tomorrow.  Both acknowledge it’s going to be a new experience starting out first.

Featured Team:  Andy & Tommy

Andy & Tommy Put It In Perspective:  Andy explains that being in the race was a gift.  Participating in the Olympics and the X-Games were serious accomplishments, but the race was a gift.  He knows their competitive mindset played a part in how well they did and allowed them to not stew in frustration.  Tommy’s comparison of the Amazing Race with their snowboarding career is that it’s quite a big deal.  You get to compete and travel the world but there aren’t any judges, which is the case with snowboarding.  The race is determined by performance and not by a panel, and if you come up short, you may be eliminated.  Tommy is happy to have been part of this but noticeably can’t believe that they came in last on the 11th leg.

Andy talks about the judging comparison and realizes that perhaps the taxi drivers on the race are your judges.  Sometimes they’re in your favor, sometimes they’re not!  Tommy reflects that in the Olympics, even though he gave it his absolute best, the Japanese judge gave him a low score on amplitude but the fact was that he had the highest amplitude there.  He ended up in sixth place but should have got a medal.  In the race though it’s much more cut and dry with the fact you need to get to the finish line before someone else. Andy mentions you can’t blame anyone else but yourself.  Tommy agrees that this leg is all because of them and their elimination was fair.  

Hobie Barnes lives in Santa Monica, California after enjoying the hectic Manhattan life for 3 or so years.  He just got back from traveling in Turkey, Italy & Greece and can’t wait to see if the places he visited end up on this season of the race.  When not busy fighting the 405 and 101 freeways on the commute to Burbank, he is patiently waiting for an Amazing Race or Survivor scout to cast him!  He can be reached at <a href=””></a>.


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