Nov 28, 2011, Ep 9: Preparation is Key

The Amazing Race 19 Secret Scenes, Episode 9:  Preparation is Key

If Ernie & Cindy have a mantra, it would have to be the title of this article.  Not only do they speak six languages (per Andy & Tommy), they even trained with Legos and sensory overload to practice command & response exercises.  These videos do reveal that the other teams are well aware that Ernie & Cindy are a force to be reckoned with although one video reveals that being in front isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!  Read on for more, including Marcus’ nearly-disastrous encounter at a Dutch gas station!

Extra Race Footage

Featured Team:  Amani & Marcus

Amani & Marcus’ Advantage:  As they drive to Legoland, Marcus anticipates that when they get there they’ll have to build something, like a castle.  He hopes to just find the puzzle, knock it out, and find Phil.  Amani admits they play with Legos with their kids and hope that that will give them an advantage.

Featured Team:  Amani & Marcus

Overcoming a Language Barrier:  As they drive away from a gas station, Marcus tells us that there was a language barrier issue as the attendant only spoke Dutch or German, although he isn’t sure which.   Marcus admits to panicking as the attendant seemed to be yelling that they don’t take US dollars.  They’re nearly out of gas and he isn’t sure what they’re going to do.  He had asked others at the station for translation help but no one there was able to help.  Marcus also asked for money and no one would give him that either.  Finally a woman who spoke English showed up and helped translate and told him that the attendant was telling him to pump the gas first and then pay.   Marcus is still visibly relieved she was there as they had to get gas as they still have 100 km to go.  He hopes they didn’t spend too much time looking for a gas station as he knows other teams are right behind them.

Featured Team:  Ernie & Cindy

Ernie & Cindy in Front:  While driving to Hamburg, Ernie tells us that leading in the front can be a scary experience.  You’re not racing with anybody else so you’re not positive you’re doing the right thing or what everyone else is doing.  Even with driving to Hamburg, Ernie tells us that the clue could be interpreted differently but they’ve made the assumption that it means to drive to Hamburg.  Also when you’re in front, you don’t get the reassurance of seeing the typical race ruckus at marker points.   All in all, it’s a very insecure feeling running in the front of the pack.

Featured Team:  Bill & Cathi

Home Sweet Home:   Nestled in their train compartment while heading to Brussels, Bill & Cathi like these accommodations over just sitting in some coach chair.  They notice there’s pillows and blankets and even a mirror.  Cathi thinks it’s better than an airplane and is especially happy to get a mirror.  Bill tells her she can put her eyebrows on which gets him a sarcastic “thanks, Bill” in response.  Cathi hopes for a bathroom on the train somewhere while Bill notices that they’ll likely have company as there are six beds total in the compartment.  I’ve ridden in a similar compartment before and if you’re exhausted, it’s great as you won’t hear the other people.  Otherwise, it’s a bit disconcerting.  Cathi hasn’t slept on a train like this before while Bill has, although it wasn’t exactly the same.  On his previous experience, the beds were aligned the same as the train, not perpendicular.

Featured Team:  Andy & Tommy

Tommy’s Dramatic Pause:  As they drive to Legoland which is about 300 km away, Andy & Tommy discuss whether they’re driving to a different island or the main peninsula of Denmark.  Tommy flashes back to the bike ride to the theater and admits he flailed on getting there.  He also wasn’t dramatic enough the first time.  On the second time he was successful but Tommy worried at first because he had added a dramatic pause in his performance.  Andy laughs as he figures a pause would add drama!  Tommy admits that it was a big pause though.

Featured Team:  Ernie & Cindy

No Lego Left Unturned:   As Ernie & Cindy drive to Legoland, Cindy tells us that she & Ernie actually prepared for the race using Legos.  They would do drills in which she would direct Ernie to build certain structures without any guides.  They’d even add loud TV, music and flashing lights to further distract them in their training.  Wow.  She’s now hoping it’s something similar waiting for them at Legoland as they are already expecting it.

Cindy now reveals what their training regimen also included.  They went two-man kayaking, which is the ultimate team-building exercise.  Ernie still has flashbacks to his days of Lego training with Cindy.  The mental picture is still there with he and Cindy back-to-back and her shouting instructions to him while trying to assemble correctly.  After 10 steps, he’d lose it.  

It actually is Ernie’s own doing as when they were shopping for a friend’s baby shower, Ernie wandered over to the Legos and suggested getting a complicated set.  He remembers from a previous season when teams were split up with one member shouting directions while the other was in a green-screen virtual reality room.  I remember that too from Amazing Race Season 16 (Dan & Jordan, Jet & Cord and Caite & Brent)!  Ernie figured this Lego exercise was a low-budget way to replicate that kind of challenge.

At the Starting Line

Featured Team:  Andy & Tommy (leaving third)

Andy & Tommy’s Competition:  Andy knows that none of the remaining five teams can be counted out at this point.  Amani & Marcus have recovered numerous times from the brink of disaster.  Ernie & Cindy are scary fast with some things and have the best traveling abilities.  Bill & Cathi are well-rounded and have lots of experience.  Jeremy & Sandy always surprise as you think they’re over but there they are still in it.  Andy remembers from past races that a lot of times, the teams that were mostly middle-of-the-pack surge forward at the end and win the whole thing.

Tommy won’t count anyone out at this point.  Both Bill & Cathi and Marcus & Amani have been last yet don’t get eliminated.  They are super solid teams.  Tommy reiterates Andy’s point that Jeremy & Sandy are always just there.  Ernie & Cindy are just scary as apparently they speak six different languages between the two of them.  Cindy is hardcore when it comes to researching flights on the Internet and they always get the best ones.  As a male/female team, they also seem to get along very well.  They’re a “gnarly, super solid” team.

After the Race

Featured Team:  Bill & Cathi

Searching Through Legoland:  Cathi tells us that when they saw the Hamburg Train Station mentioned in the clue, she & Bill automatically assumed that was “MiniLand” in Denmark’s Legoland and after getting the clue, started heading there.  Quickly they realized that the clue said stay with your car and figured out they were wrong as their car wasn’t inside the park.  After asking around for verification, they realized they were indeed supposed to drive three hours to Hamburg.  Cathi was surprised there was another three hours of driving as it had been two hours of driving just to go to Legoland.  That’s why she had a bit of confusion at the outset but finally realized, yes, there’s more driving ahead.

Featured Team:  Andy & Tommy

The Comeback Kids Again:  Andy, apparently still amazed, talks about how when Amani left and then quickly returned, successful, from the dramatic interpretation Roadblock.  Marcus’ reaction is what is funny especially how he was “preparing” Amani to memorize the poem before she left.  Andy respects the tactic as it did actually help make sure she wouldn’t forget it when getting distracted by the bike ride to the theater.  Both Andy & Tommy are impressed with how well Marcus & Amani are doing, because whether they’re in last place or first, they bring the same high levels of enthusiasm and motivation.  There is no middle ground in their performance though, as either they struggle with the challenge or completely nail it.

Featured Team:  Jeremy & Sandy

Jeremy & Sandy Strike a Pose:  Sandy tells us that when they got to the BodyBuilding challenge, they picked the biggest bodybuilder there.  He was a nice guy and instructed them on how to apply tanner, which took a long time, as well as all the moves they needed to perform.  They took longer to practice than the other teams but it was worth it, as on the first try, they succeeded and did very well but only got a 10 when a 12 was needed.   The judges’ critique was that they didn’t flex their lats which makes Sandy laugh as she admits she doesn’t have lats.  It’s amazing, but they actually did well and had fun today.

Jeremy remembers that the feedback they were getting was to stop watching each other during the performance.  It’s hard to keep in sync without watching each other, but it was a common complaint about all the teams.   They tried once to stay in sync by counting, but they got in trouble for that too.  So instead they counted to themselves to beat the judging, which was very tough.  They both thought that they nailed it the first try but that wasn’t the case.

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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