Uchenna and Joyce Agu win CBS's 'The Amazing Race 7' as "Romber" place second
By Andrea Sellers, 05/11/2005
After 5 continents, 25 cities, and more than 40,000 miles, The Amazing Race team of Uchenna and Joyce Agu managed to move from worst to first during the competition's final leg and win the seventh edition of the CBS reality series. Despite the fact that their last place finish in the penultimate leg forced them to beg for cash up until the very end, the married couple was able to hold off Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich and Ron Young and Kelly McCorkle to win The Amazing Race 7's million dollar prize.
The Amazing Race 7's finale broadcast began where the previous week's episode had left off -- at the show's tenth Pit Stop at Potter’s Field Park in London, England. Departing the Pit Stop in the wee hours of the morning, the teams were instructed to fly to Kingston, Jamaica and then drive 90 miles to Frenchman's Cove at Port Antonio. Heading to Heathrow Airport, Rob reprised a phase he used during his Survivor: All-Stars appearance, confidently announcing that they should "just write the check" out to him and his fiance. Once they arrived at the airport, they realized the teams would be bunched and all end up on the same flight to Kingston. As the teams waited at the airport, Kelly lamented that Ron was unwilling to commit to marriage with her. Ron explained he wanted to focus on the Race, and struggled to deal with Kelly's emotions while they attempted to head to the finish line. Once the Air Jamaica ticket counter opened, all three teams bought tickets for the same flight.
After arriving in Kingston, the teams faced a Roadblock in which one member of each team was given eight chances to do the limbo. With each progressively lower limbo level representing an earlier departure time, the lowest bar that each contestant cleared would determine the departure time for their team. With the female members of all three teams opting to complete the task, both Amber and Kelly earned their teams an 8:15AM departure by clearing the lowest bar, while Joyce was only able to secure an 8:30AM start time for her team. After resting overnight at the Cove, the teams left at their appointed times in the morning, heading for Grant’s Level to retrieve their next clue. Along the way, Rob announced yet again that his team would win the Race, while Kelly declared that she and Ron were the "thorn in their side."
At Grant’s Level, the teams faced a Detour option to either select an existing raft and "Raft It" eight miles down river to receive their clue or "Build It" and construct a new bamboo raft that they could use to cross the river and get their next clue. Rob and Amber quickly chose to build, while Ron and Kelly argued about making the decision before also deciding upon the build option. Once Uchenna and Joyce arrived, they also chose to build and thanks to their "slow and steady" approach, were able to quickly catch up to the other teams. In the end, Ron and Kelly’s bickering and inability to work together dropped them into third place, with the couple still struggling to launch their raft as the other two teams returned from their river crossings.
After the men climbed to grab the next clue, the teams were instructed to head back across the river and take an eighty mile cab ride to the Pit Stop in Montego Bay, with Rob and Amber in first place, Uchenna and Joyce second, and Ron and Kelly trailing slightly behind. For some reason, all three cabs stopped to get gas at the same gas station along the way, and afterward Rob and Amber appeared to suddenly be headed for a last place finish when their cab was subsequently stopped at a routine police checkpoint.
The development caused Rob to hope for a miracle and he got two, with his cab not only managing to catch up with the other two racing teams, but also being on hand to witness the rear tire of Uchenna and Joyce’s cab go flat and blow out. As the teams approached the Pit Stop, Ron and Kelly's driver took them on the "top road" and they checked in first. Rob and Amber were right behind, with Uchenna and Joyce bringing up the rear due to the flat. Fortunately for them, the leg was a non-elimination leg, but unfortunately for them, the last place finish caused them to be stripped of all their money and possessions for The Amazing Race 7's final leg. Despite the loss, Uchenna refused to lose hope, declaring that "two things they haven't taken from us are our hearts and our minds, and those are working in fine order."
After the mandatory rest stop, The Amazing Race 7's final leg began with Ron and Kelly departing at 2:37AM and receiving clue instructions to travel 25 miles to Lucea and pick up a bag of onions. After arriving at the resort gate and asking the attendant to call them a cab, Ron instructed the attendant to not call one for the other soon-to-follow team, but the attendant objected to the request, refusing to let them "cheat." Departing a minute behind Rob and Kelly, Rob and Amber arrived at the gate and asked the other team to save money and share a cab with them, but the former alliance pals refused Rob's suggestion, deciding instead to hop into their approaching cab and ask their driver to ignore Rob's request that he radio in a request for a second cab. Meanwhile, departing at 2:48AM, Uchenna and Joyce realized that they would need to be resourceful to get money in the middle of the night and caught a ride into the airport so that they could beg. Their first efforts were unsuccessful, reducing Joyce to tears.
Despite their later departure from the resort, Rob and Amber were the first team to arrive at the Cool Breeze House Onion Shack and pick up their onions. Taking them to the 3 Dives Shack, they were told that they had to finely dice all fifty onions in order to be given their next clue. After asking a cop for directions, Ron and Kelly finally got their onions and joined the former Survivor contestants in chopping onions. Once the teams finished, they were instructed to take a taxi sixty miles to Rose Hall Resort. At the resort, the teams were given a Detour. The teams could either "Pony Up," where they would go horseback swimming in the ocean, or "Tee It Up" and try to hit a golf ball onto a 16-foot green. Fans of Survivor were fondly reminded of Rob throwing a golf club into the ocean when his team chose the golf option. Since Kelly had taken some golf lessons, Ron and Kelly decided to try golfing as well. As both teams showed their lack of golfing prowess, Uchenna and Joyce arrived at 3 Dives with their onions and began chopping. After a number of tries that made their golf instructors cringe, Rob and Kelly were able to complete the tasks for their teams, retrieving the next clue which instructed the teams to fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Arriving at the airport, Rob and Amber tried -- unsuccessfully -- to beg, plead, and grovel and grovel their way on to an Air Jamaica flight about to leave for San Juan. Rebuffed in their efforts, the couple moved on to American Airlines, where they were able to get on a 9:54AM flight that had been delayed since 8:03AM. Reaching the airport several minutes later, Ron and Kelly also attempted to get on the departing 9:54AM flight but failed, forcing them to wait for the 12:42 flight.
Back at the restaurant, Uchenna and Joyce finished their chopping and headed to Rose Hill, where Uchenna’s golfing practice paid off in a quick Detour for the team. Arriving at the airport several hours behind the other two teams, the couple quickly bought tickets for the 4:58PM flight... and then took advantage of the momentary downtime to beg for more money (this time with more success.)
Arriving in San Juan with a several hour lead, Rob and Amber drove to the Castillo de San Felipe de Moro. After picking up their next clue, they drove to Aguadilla and found Muelle de Azucar, only to discover that the gates would not open until 7:30AM, causing them to decide to get some much-needed rest at a nearby hotel. Arriving in San Juan after nightfall, Ron and Kelly also worked their way to the gates and decided to spend the evening sleeping in their vehicle. Pulling up to the gates later in the evening, Uchenna and Joyce were delighted to spot Ron and Kelly's SUV and discover that despite leaving Jamaica over seven hours after Rob and Amber, they had managed to catch up to the other two teams.
When the gates opened the next morning, all three teams ran to pick up their next clue. Retrieving the clue, the teams learned that the leg's Roadblock would require one team member to jump off of a nearby 30-foot bridge and swim 90 yards to their next clue. Since Rob had completed his six Roadblocks, Amber was forced to complete this task, but she got lost trying to find the jumping point. Meanwhile, Ron and Uchenna put their teams ahead as they jumped off the platform and swam for their clues. Spotting Ron and Uchenna already returning to shore, Amber finally realized where she needed to be and quickly completed the task, creating a situation in which all three teams were headed back to San Juan Airport to catch flights to their final destination – Miami, Florida.
With all three teams scrambling to drive themselves back to the airport, Rob and Amber were able to catch up and pass the other two teams by choosing the right tollbooth lane. Meanwhile, Ron and Kelly made the crucial error of taking a wrong turn and got lost (somehow, the pictures of airplanes and the word "Aeropuerto" on the street sign wasn't enough to save them.)
Arriving at the airport within minutes of each other, Rob and Amber and Uchenna and Joyce were individually told that the 10AM flight to Miami was closed. After purchasing tickets on the next available flight, Rob and Amber immediately headed to another counter, where they were able to get an agent to put them on the already-boarding 10AM flight's stand-by list, and after running to the gate, they were able to secure seats on the earlier flight.
Having boarded the flight, Rob and Amber decided that they'd leave their backpacks on the plane and hope that someone sent them along after the Race so that they could travel light during the Race's final sprint. Having been in line directly behind Rob and Amber as they booked their initial tickets, Uchenna and Joyce were also told that the 10AM flight was closed, forcing them to book tickets on the later 11:15AM flight. However, noticing the other flight had still not left the ground, Uchenna and Joyce wandered over to the 10AM flight's departure gate, where luck finally went their way when the gate attendants called the pilot and got permission to put them on the plane (much to the disappointment of a crestfallen Rob.)
After the plane arrived in Miami, the two lead teams took cabs to the Rickenbacker Causeway, where they were instructed to find the King of Havana in Little Havana. Rob and Amber's cabbie originally took them to the wrong end of Calle Ocho, resulting in Uchenna and Joyce being able to take over the lead when their cabbie asked for directions in Spanish and found the right location. Retrieving the Race's final clue, Uchenna and Joyce were instructed to travel to the finish line at the Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale. With Uchenna and Joyce already on their way to the finish line, Rob and Amber finally got to the right location, leaving both teams scrambling to get to the Bonnet House. During their ride, Uchenna told their cab driver that they didn't have enough money to pay for what would eventually become a $100+ fare, but he tried to beg (seemingly unsuccessfully) for money at every traffic stop. Once Uchenna and Joyce arrived at the Bonnet House, their cabbie insisted on getting his full fare, causing the couple to frantically beg passersby for cash, hoping they'd be able to scrape together enough money before Rob and Amber could catch up.
Meanwhile, at the final Pit Stop inside the Bonnet House grounds, the other teams were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the winning team. With Patrick whispering a plea that Uchenna and Joyce get there first, the winners finally rounded the corner and his plea was answered. Scrambling up the finish line platform, a shocked Uchenna and Joyce heard the beautiful words that they had hoped to hear from host Phil Keoghan:
"Uchenna and Joyce, after 5 continents... 25 cities... over 40,000 miles... YOU are the official winners of The Amazing Race!"
As the other teams cheered excitedly, Uchenna triumphantly told Phil that the couple would be "goin’ for baby" and hoped that either in vitro fertilization or adoption would bring them the child that they've desired for so long. The grateful winners thanked the other teams for their support and prayers and they laughed, cried, and danced with their fellow competitors. A few minutes later, the mood was definitely more subdued when runner-ups Rob and Amber checked in as the second place team. Rob admitted to being disappointed (even though, given his Survivor: All-Stars performance, he should be used to second place by now), but said that he's in first place since he has Amber. Ron and Kelly finally reached the Pit Stop in third, with Kelly lamenting that she was a typical girl, ready for marriage, while Ron is the typical guy on a different path.