I think if TPTB had really told Bopper and Mark that it was a non elimination leg and they he should try "just one more time" that they would have edited it differently. There was no reason to show the fact that Mark had taken off his costume and was ready to give up. They can edit it any way they choose and I don't think they would be obvious about it if there had been interference. Despite what you may or may not see, i think there would be major penalties for any game show that tried to manipulate results.
And yet... he was going to give up. Despite his huge loyalty and fandom for the show, he was going to pack it in. As far as why they edited it the way they edited it... yes, they could have avoided showing the part that he was going to give up. They could have just gone seamlessly from attempt #11 to attempt #12, then showed them checking in at the pit stop and getting told it was a NEL. But then we wouldn't have gotten t3h DRAMA!!!! And the touching sad story! Oh my, here's this man with three kids risking his life for the chance to win. Let's all sob with him and his friend when he decides that it's not worth it. Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!?! [/Helen Lovejoy] Oh wait, Yes, he will go on for his children! And they're saved! Oh what a feel good story!
I also think the fact that they emphasized how big a fan of the show Mark is also helps explain his reluctance to give up. Bopper pointed out that Mark's seen every episode and has watched the show for years, and I know as an TAR superfan myself I'd find it really difficult to quit on any of the tasks.
I'm still cynical. I'm not saying that somebody said to them sotto voce, "you might really want to think about trying one more time, this is a non elimination and you'll be saved and still in the race". But I wouldn't be at all surprised if something to the effect of "maybe you should try one more time, I really believe in you and feel this is it, and you never know what might happen at the pit stop, anything is possible" was said.
Edited by blackwing, Apr 24, 2012 @ 12:37 PM.