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'The Amazing Race': Don't let the cowboy hats fool you

February 21, 2010 | 10:56 pm

98733_D0628 It's official: the cowboys are now my favorite team.

Referred to as "the most magical people ever," Jet and Cord have quickly become the team to beat. 

Perhaps it was their aw shucks accents or their choice of accessories, but the cowboys managed to get the other teams to fail to see them as a threat. In a game as fiercely fought as "The Amazing Race," that's the quickest way to get ahead, really.

This week's episode of "The Amazing Race" found the Stetson-wearing brothers taking an early lead, thanks to some swift thinking with regard to public transportation while several other teams reinforced certain preconceptions I had about them.

Did certain activities this week--milking cows, dressing llamas--play to their strengths? Certainly, but it was their decisive action as well as unflappable nature that kept these two ranchers at the front of the pack.

My question for those running the race: if you discover that your bus is about to leave at another terminal, do you (A) inquire if there's room on the bus leaving in a half an hour from the terminal you're at and wait around patiently or (B) attempt to race across town in a taxi to catch said bus? Most logical people would choose (A), I would think, but that's not what the Model Alliance of Brent and Caite and Jordan and Jeff did. Instead, they raced to catch the bus, only to discover that it had already left... and then turned around to come back to the original bus station, only to learn that that bus too had left without them.

The cowboys, on the other hand, simply stayed put and got on their original bus and got to their destination ahead of every other team. They also wisely sought a faster route by booking a trip where they had to change buses. It may not have been nonstop but it also got them there faster. That's thinking with your head. (It also helps to check your tickets.)

And the cowboys also seem to be having a blast. They're noticing the gorgeous environs that the race is taking them through, stopping to eat some cake (or kuchen in this case), and admiring everything around them with their homespun charm, which typically includes exclamations of "oh my gravy." (How could you not love them, really?)

They also seem to be playing their own game. In a season that's only two episodes old, we already have alliances forming, which I never understand. Besides for kindred spirits going on between Miss Teen South Carolina (Caite) and Brent and the "Big Brother" team, there's also another alliance underway between girlfriends Carol and Brandy (who seem to implode next week) and married couple Joe and Heidi. When will contestants learn to stop worrying about other teams and focus on running the race on their own?

This week, Joe and Heidi managed to irritate just about every other team by attempting to save spots in the bus queue for Brandy and Carol, a move that hasn't exactly earned them brownie points with their fellow competitors. I get that you're in an alliance, guys, but really saving spots? Is this fifth grade?

Some amusing moments this week: Caite's efforts to pronounce the word "adoration" (she's not exactly disproving her reputation); the Model Alliance nearly having a meltdown in an Chilean bus terminal; Cord sneaking a piece of kuchen during the Road Block (and not telling Jet that he had any); the awful looks thrown at Caite after she spit; and Jordan spelling San Jose as "San H-O-S-E." Aw.

I wasn't that surprised that iron-pumping grandma Jody and granddaughter Shannon would be the ones to get cut from the competition this week (though it could have just as easily been directionally challenged detectives Louie and Michael), but I was shocked when Jody was kicked in the head by that cow during the Road Block. (Ouch.) But like a true trouper, she picked up her now-empty mug and kept milking away. 

The cowboys, meanwhile, walked away with a first place spot and... a pair of sailboats. Not sure how useful they'll be for this cowboy and professional bull rider, but I'm happy for these guys. I always like an underdog, especially when they prove that they can surprise everyone. 

What did you think of this week's episode? Are you loving the cowboys? Sad that Jody got the boot? Wondering when Caite's lack of literacy will prove to be dangerous? Or when Brandy and Carol will get their comeuppance? Head to the comments section to discuss.

-- Jace Lacob (Follow my musings on television, food, and more television on Twitter at @televisionary)

Photo: Jet and Cord McCoy prove that you can't judge a book by its cover (or its choice in hats) on "The Amazing Race." Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton.

Related:
'The Amazing Race': Painting the town red
'The Amazing Race 16': Five reasons to tune in
Complete 'Amazing Race' coverage on Showtracker

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