Victor’s Amazing Race Blog: The Big Trust Question
On Sunday’s episode of The Amazing Race, the remaining seven teams started from a military base in Massiges, France, where they drove to Reims to search for a Joan of Arc statue, tackled a cave rappel roadblock at the Leclerk Briant Winery in Epernay, and chose between searching for grapes in a barren vineyard and stacking 680 champagne glasses fifteen levels high, before racing to the pit stop at the Office Regional Culturel de Champagne Ardenne in Epernay.
SPOILER ALERT: Louie and Michael came in first again. Carol and Brandy moved out of obscurity into second place, while Dan and Jordan almost made a move (and were the only team to successfully stack the glasses) before falling back to fourth. Jeff and Jordan needed to race a perfect leg, but could not make it happen and were eliminated. At least they showed gratitude and grace!
The word that kept coming to my mind as I watched was “trust.” First, don’t always trust your instincts — especially when you have no reason to think you’re right! Remember this rule: It is dangerous to assume, because it makes an “a–” out of “u” and “me.” Educators and Sunday school teachers around the world cringed as we realized 1 out of 7 Americans (i.e., Jordan and Caite) think Joan of Arc refers to Noah and his Ark. Fortunately, they are both teamed with who knew better. Jet and Cord made a costly mistake when they assumed a champagne roadblock must be located in the city of Champagne and took off in the wrong direction.
What really separated the teams this leg was finding the detour location, Champagne Tattinger La Marquetterie. Teams who asked the local tourism office were all sent to the wrong city — Dan and Jordan, Steve and Allie, Jet and Cord, and Jeff and Jordan drive to the Tattinger store in Reims instead of the Tattinger La Marquetterie in Pierry. It would be easy to blame underpaid French tourism employees, but I blame the teams themselves. And so the second lesson — don’t always trust what tell you. Put it this way: If you were walking down the street in the United States, stop two pretty girls, and ask Jordan and Caite where the nearest Joan of Arc statue was located, you’d end up on a wild-goose chase for Noah’s Ark. So why do teams suddenly trust whatever a random stranger in another country says? Having been there, I know how easy it is to get overexcited when you finally find one person who even pretends to know what you are talking about. I did it all the time. So teams jump as soon as they find someone who recognizes the word “Tattinger.” But a healthy dose of skepticism is needed — and teams should have made sure their sources also recognized the word “Marquetterie.” Teams would have either corrected the mistake or realized that the stranger really didn’t know what they were talking about.
I’m going to give this week’s award for biggest mistake to Jet and Cord, since they had to learn both of this week’s “trust” lessons. That said, I’m really worried about Brent and Caite. The detour highlighted the biggest issue facing their team — they no longer trust each other. As a result, they had a hard time listening to ideas or discussing rationally what decisions to make or how to accomplish the task at hand. If they do not work through those issues quickly, the next leg may be their last.
Tell us: Can Brent and Caite work things out or will they be the next to go? Will Louie and Michael’s streak continue? Are you sad to see Jeff and Jordan get eliminated?Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic