The Amazing Race 15: Calculators Still Come in Handy
- Monday, October 26, 2009
I still have my little solar-powered pocket calculator that I've had since college. But I haven't used it in a while.
And had I been a contestant on this season of The Amazing Race, I doubt that I would have thought about packing it in my bag either. But Team Bro sure did, and it pretty much saved their—and Team Poker's—bacon this week.
Let's start in the middle, and then I'll backtrack …
Still at the resort in Dubai (where last week's fifth pit stop left them), once Team Bro (Sam and Dan) got to a Detour where they had to choose between tasks involving one of two materials (glass or gold), both they and Team Poker chose gold.
Team Bro got to the jewelry/gold store first, where they had to weigh exactly $500,000 in gold. But first, they had to figure out the formula for how much it would weigh depending on the price per ounce; the gold exchange rate was displayed on a large monitor in the store and changed about every minute or so. Team Bro then whipped out their handy-dandy calculator that they said they had thrown in when packing for the race—almost as an afterthought. It was just the little-technology-that-could they needed to make up time and surge ahead.
Team Poker (Maria and Tiffany) arrived at the store at about the same time as Team Bro and knew immediately how to figure out the formula. Because of the two team's continuing alliance (yes, it's still working for them!), Team Poker asked for the calculator and said they'd figure it out and then would tell Team Bro the figure. Once the amount of gold was determined, each team had to pile up gold pieces onto their scales until they reached the right amount and then ring the bell for the shopkeeper-attendant to verify the amount and give them the next clue.
Both teams passed, got their next clues, zipped down a giant water slide, ran on the beach like Chariots of Fire (no slo-mo, but still) and ended up in second and third places at the final pit stop.
Now, let's go back to the beginning and flesh out the rest of this most recent episode …
Since they came in first place last week, Team All American (Meghan & Cheyne) left the resort first and received the clue to choose a locked brief case and then taxi to a marina. Once there, a Road Block involved rowing an inflatable dinghy to a yacht where a "sheik" would hand them their next clue: a watch in a gift box. Teams then would have to row back to the dock and figure out that the time set on the face of the watch (8:35) was the combination to unlock the brief case.
Team All American flew through all of these challenges, and all of the other teams also completed the work with relative ease. Except for Team Globetrotter (Herbert and Nathaniel). For some reason, Nathaniel could not figure this out—he got the "8" but interpreted the second number as the hour ("7") instead of as the minutes ("35"). As he struggled and struggled to try and figure out what the combination on the briefcase should be, he and Herbert watched all of the other teams find success and pass them up. Finally it clicked (in his mind and in the lock on the case), and Team Globetrotter was on their way to try to make up some serious time and avoid being eliminated.
The clue found inside the briefcase then took the teams to Abra Station in Dubai where they encountered the Detour of choosing between the materials. Team Jungle Fever (Brian and Ericka) tried going for the gold first, gave up and then switched to glass. All of the other teams (except for the previously mentioned Team Bro, Team Poker and then later on Team Globetrotter) went for the glass.
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