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"Lifelong friends" Debbie Cloyed and Bianca Smith get eliminated from CBS's 'The Amazing Race 7'


By Andrea Sellers, 03/16/2005 

What started so well for Race team Debbie Cloyed and Bianca Smith came to a sudden and abrupt end during last night's broadcast of CBS's third episode of The Amazing Race 7.

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Despite having established themselves as strong competitors by winning $20,000 and becoming the first team to reach the pit stop of the initial leg of The Amazing Race, the duo got lost while driving 150 miles through the Andes mountains, overshooting their third leg detour destination by more than two hours. The driving gaffe created a huge time gap that the lifelong friends could not overcome, resulting in the girls becoming the third team to be eliminated from the seventh The Amazing Race edition.

The Amazing Race 7's third episode began with its nine remaining teams recuperating in Santiago, Chile before receiving instructions to drive across the border to Puente Viejo in Argentina. Taking advantage of the earlier departure time that they had received via their first place arrival at the second episode pit stop, former Survivor contestants Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich exploited an opportunity to gain revenge on Debbie and Bianca for publicly accusing them of lying (albeit correctly) during The Amazing Race's second leg. With the women in a hotel lobby getting directions for the day's drive, Rob bribed the driver of their waiting cab -- convincing him to abandon his original passengers and instead transport "Romber" to the parking garage where the vehicles that they'd be driving during the their trip were waiting. The incident marked the second straight leg in which Rob bribed drivers in an attempt to put other teams at a disadvantage -- which given the limited budgets distributed for each leg of the Race, might result in one questioning Rob's propensity to throw his teamís money around just to spite his fellow teams.

After being forced to bunch up and wait until the garage opened at 5AM, the teams picked up their cars and began their drive through the gorgeous Andes to the Argentine border, with the Mother/Son team of Susan and Patrick Vaughn quickly falling far behind the other teams by taking nearly two hours to get out of Santiago. Meanwhile, despite making it out of the city without issue, Debbie and Bianca missed a crucial turnoff for their Puente Viejo destination and instead stayed on the main highway for more than two hours extra, taking them horrendously off-course.

Upon arriving at Puente Viejo, the teams faced the first of The Amazing Race 7's three yields. Most of the teams had expressed interest in yielding the survivors, however Rob and Amber effectively thwarted their plans by arriving first at the yield marker, resulting in none of the teams choosing to exercise their yield option.

After having passed on the yield, the teams were forced to execute the leg's detour, which, as The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan dutifully explains every episode, is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. This week the teams were given the option of paddling a seven-mile river course with three expert rowers or pedaling mountain bikes over a seven-mile railroad track course. All of the teams except for brothers Brian and Greg Smith chose the paddling option. Having arrived second, gay couple Lynn Warren and Alex Ali were delighted to pass Rob and Amber during the rafting trip, taking over first place of the race's third leg. Watching the rafting teams from shore, Brian and Greg quickly regretted their cycling decision after one of their bikes got a flat tire, forcing them to walk the rest of the trail as they watched retirees Meredith and Gretchen Smith (among others) pass them on the river.

Following completion of the detour, teams were instructed to drive toward the city of Mendoza -- and to the scene of their next destination, a roadblock task that only one team member could perform. In this episode's roadblock, team members were "treated" to a traditional Argentinean barbecue that required eating four pound of ribs, cow intestine, kidney, and other bovine food products.

After struggling to eat the food, Rob began strategizing for a way to stay in the competition without actually completing the eating challenge -- a development that should not have surprised reality viewers who witnessed his pathetic performance in Survivor: Marquesas' gross food challenge. Brainstorming the situation with Amber, Rob decided to quit the roadblock, a decision that meant that his team would be assessed a four-hour penalty starting from the moment when the next team arrived at the challenge. Having loudly announced his intentions, Rob then began working on the second part of his plan -- "fool proofing it" by convincing another team to also quit the challenge. Approaching recent arrivals Meredith and Deanna Shane, Rob convinced them to quit the challenge as well, giving Rob and Amber confidence that since Meredith and Deanna's penalties would not start until another team arrived at the roadblock, their strategy would successfully allow them to avoid a last-place finish.

As more teams arrived, the roadblock task quickly unfolded as a grueling one for those who completed it. After several hours, despite Alex vomiting on his foot, Uchenna Agu managed to complete the task first, vaulting the married couple into the lead just ahead of Lynne and Alex. However, Uchenna and his wife Joyce quickly got lost on the eight mile drive between the roadblock and the pit stop, allowing Alex and Lynn to sneak back in and finish first in the third leg of the race. Unfortunately for Alex and Lynn, unlike the race's prior two legs, there didn't appear to be any fabulous prizes awaiting their first place arrival, leaving the boys to simply bask in their contentment over finishing ahead of Rob and Amber. Arriving next were Brian and Greg, who reached the pit stop at the same time as former POW Ron Young and his beauty queen girlfriend Kelly Mccorkle, placing the teams third and fourth in the leg.

Meanwhile, as The Survivors, The Off and On Daters, and The Retired Couple sat out their penalties, Patrick grew concerned that he would be unable to finish the food and wanted to quit the roadblock as well. However Mommy Dearest Susan resisted Patrick's idea, suggesting that she would have gotten through it by vomiting. Their argument resulted in Patrick threatening to quit just to spite her, but when Debbie and Bianca made it to the roadblock, Patrick decided to continue the task. Once the penalized teams were permitted to leave, it became a bite-to-bite challenge for the two remaining teams. In the end, Patrick was able to join the Clean Plate Club first, leaving the girls to meet Phil at the pit stop and hear those dreaded words -- "you've both been eliminated from the race."

Apparently quitters never win... unless you're talking about The Amazing Race.

(Photo credit CBS)


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