'The Amazing Race': Can Teams Succeed While Facing Their Fears?
'The Amazing Race': Can Teams Succeed While Facing Their Fears?
Esther Gim
Esther Gim
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
As humans, we all have a fear or something, whether it be closed spaces, heights, snakes, etc. What would you do and how would you react if you had to confront that fear on a show like The Amazing Race, with $1 million at stake?

That's exactly what the first eliminated team, Idries and Jamil, went through during their brief time this season. This begs the question: Is there a chance to succeed on the show if you have a fear of something? And why would you even compete in the first place?

Sink Or Swim

Let's examine Idries and Jamil a bit further. They were doomed from the start as they admitted their uneasiness with the water. (Hey, I'm not the most confident person in the water either, but if I knew I was going to compete in The Amazing Race, I'd practice hardcore until I had to leave.)

Because of his fear though, Jamil couldn't even think straight. He wanted to take an unnecessary six-hour penalty without even attempting the challenge. They wasted so much time deciding one way or the other rather than just sticking with whatever decision they wanted to make.

In the end, they do try the challenge of picking pearls and then decide to switch to the other challenge -- and they were totally fine! This didn't require swimming, but diving underwater and setting up a picnic. It looked like they finished it in no time. I bet they're feeling pretty dumb because I feel like even with the fear of the water, in this specific detour, they could've gone through it faster if they weren't so wishy-washy about getting in the water.

No one seemed to have trouble with the very first challenge of jumping out of the helicopter -- but then again, both team members didn't have to do this. It makes me wonder how the teams get casted. Having teams be afraid of a bunch of things crucial to taking part of the show isn't going to make for good television. But Idries/Jamil clearly were. In the end, like I said, the fear did hold them back, but they just weren't smart on dealing with said fear.

Lost and Found

If there's two things that could make or break your time on The Amazing Race, it's not just learning how to swim but knowing how to drive a stick shift. Besides Idries and Jamil, none of the other teams seemed to have had an issue with that. Wynona didn't get in the water at first, but the challenge didn't require both players to swim for the pearl.

Not learning to successfully drive a stick shift can also hurt a team. I don't know why, after all these seasons, some of the teams don't seem to realize this. We saw Max continually struggle to drive his manual during the obstacle detour, while his partner/wife, Katie, excelled. 

Not having a sense of direction is another "skill," that hurts teams in the end. I suppose it's not a skill. If you have bad sense of direction, you can't really get better by practice. Lack of direction/reading a map so far has hurt Max and Katie, the hockey brothers and Pam and Winnie.

Pam and Winnie are getting hurt the most because not only did they get lost navigating by car but also in the ocean too, in Bora Bora. They were the only team to be completely off the map, but eventually they got to where they were supposed to go.

The Amazing Race airs Sundays at 8pm on CBS.

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(Image Courtesy of CBS)