Race around the World…

Here we are…InsidePulse.com’s Steve Coogan and The Amazing Race 6’s highly controversial player, Jonathan Baker bringing you the BEST commentary of The Amazing Race out there. We’ll be looking at some major issues on the series each week. Some may be more obvious and others may look at the show in a way that only someone who’s gone through it could truly appreciate.

We can’t guarantee you’ll like everything said in this column, but we’ll definitely guarantee you we won’t be boring and we will be entertaining!

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Rob and Amber steal the show”¦whether you like how they played or not.

After a lengthy “get to know you” debut episode that led the Race teams to Peru, the next leg of their race is to Santiago, Chile.

According to the CBS Web site, Santiago is “a modern metropolis located at the foot of the snow-capped Andes Mountains. The fifth largest city in South America, Santiago is the capital of Chile, as well as its historic, economic and cultural center.”

In actuality, it was more like the “modern metropolis where Rob and Amber stole the show.”

“I called it at the beginning. I thought it was going to be Rob and Amber,” Jonathan confidently said.

It’s hard to see where he’s wrong. It’s hard to misplace Rob and Amber. Not only are they recognizable from their days on Survivor: All-Stars and their whirlwind romance, but they are the team from The Amazing Race performing the best at this early juncture in the game.

“It’s the Rob and Amber show without a doubt and it should be,” Jonathan said.

One of the biggest issues in the game that came up during this episode was the play of the famous “Boston Rob.” He certainly played smart, choosing the “schlep” task and, while at the book store, wisely loaded all 180 books onto his cart and making the trek to the library in one trip where as no other team that chose that task was smart enough to do so.

But it could be argued that he played a little dirty as well. As the third team to get to the bus station that led them to the first part of the mission, the shoe shining task, Rob paid off one of the attendants to not help the other teams that asked him for help.

It went even further when he convinced some of the other teams to throw in some of their Race allotted money to convince the bus driver to keep the back of the bus closed as long as possible slowing down several of the teams.

Was he playing dirty?

“That was brilliant! He was doing it subtly. “ Jonathan astutely said.

So, that means you don’t think Rob is “cheating” or “playing the wrong way?”

“I don’t care what anyone says. They are the playing the best game,” Jonathan said.

Jonathan noted that this is what the game is all about, but few teams have actually chosen to play in a way that might give them any sort of additional advantage, primarily deciding to play it straight for one reason or another.

What about the team of Rob and Amber? I mean is the only reason they’ve done well to this point are because Rob knows how to stack books and bribe some South American locals?

Jonathan has also talked about the fact that Rob and Amber are good for each other. Amber herself was edited into the last episode saying that they work well together because she does some things well and he does other things well. Even more telling, she knows he is the dominant personality and she lets him be the leader of the team.

But it goes beyond that as well. Jonathan noted that Rob and Amber work well together because he is WILLING to do some things she might not want to. She lets him to do whatever it is that needs to get done to win the race. In turn, she helps out by keeping him grounded and staying positive. That could be hard considering he’s such a passionate person.

“She’s the light of light and he’s the dark of darkness,” Jonathan said.

What about the other teams?

Surprisingly, Jonathan is quite high on Brian and Greg, the team of brothers living in Santa Monica, Calif. I say “surprisingly” because the two did finish ninth out of 10 teams in the second leg of the race.

“The boys are doing well. They’re comical, fun, doing great things. They’re just playing the game straight,” Jonathan said.

But you did notice that they finished in ninth place, right?

“I truly believe they were following the eye candy. That’ll change.” Jonathan said in regards to Megan and Heidi, the two blonde beauties who probably would be confused as sisters who finished last in the second episode.

Equally surprising, despite the fact that Ron and Kelly finished a strong second in the second leg of the race, Jonathan doesn’t really like their chances.

“Ron and Kelly bother me the most. They came in second but they seem so weak to me,” Jonathan said.

What about Meredith and Gretchen, the older couple that finished in the middle of the pack for the second leg of the race, but appeared to be a lot more tired and winded in doing so?

“They’re just there. They don’t have a shot. They’re definitely going in the next two weeks?”

Ouch.

One team I openly wonder about is Susan and Patrick, the mother/son team, the Ohio voters who probably helped President Bush take his comfy seat for his second term. While the two apparently have a solid relationship and they have worked very well together so far, I just get the impression they would be one of the first teams to have a significant blow out. The son becomes defiant…The mother starts to flex her parental muscles a bit. Then again, Jonathan may not agree with me there.

“They are going to do surprisingly well. They have a good understanding of the game,” Jonathan said.

Even though they had to beg for money just to get through this last leg of the race?

“They’re sneaky. I get the feeling they’re going to do well.”

And there’s Lynn and Alex, the gay couple both living in the Los Angeles area as executive assistants.

“Lynn and Alex are the comic relief,” Jonathan said.

On that note, it’s probably time to wrap this bad boy up.

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Make sure you visit the Web site of Jonathan and his beautiful wife/Amazing Race playing partner, Victoria. There’s loads of great stuff up including commentary from Jonathan and a poll asking if you’re sick of Rob and Amber, or if they are they growing on you!

Also”¦if you’re interested, go ahead and email Jonathan through his site for some personal Q & A! (I don’t think that’s a license to ask him anything you want though”¦Keep it clean kids”¦

That’s JonathanBakerandVictoriaFuller.com!

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— Steve Coogan
InsidePulse.com

— Jonathan Baker
The Amazing Race 6

SirLinksalot: The Amazing Race