CBS' 'The Amazing Race: Family Edition' Weaver family lives to race another day
By Andrea Sellers, 11/23/2005
After taking a disastrous scenic route through Utah and being yielded, The Amazing Race: Family Edition's Weaver family finished in last place during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality show. But although the underwhelmed underdogs appeared unable to muster any enthusiasm about their good fortune, the family was not eliminated when Race host Phil Keoghan revealed that the remaining teams had just completed one of the show's non-elimination legs.
The Amazing Race: Family Edition's ninth episode began the four remaining teams driving campers to Monument Valley, Utah where they were instructed to find John Fordís Point, a site made famous in countless 1940ís movie westerns. Once they received their clue, two members of the team were helicoptered to the top of one of Monument Valley's majestic natural monuments, Elephant Butte, to get their next clue. After that, the teams drove their campers 180 miles to Gemini Bridges in Moab, Utah. Along the way, the campers presented numerous challenges to the teams, particularly when forced to turn around or back out after stopping. The Weaver team also struggled with maintaining speed while hauling such a heavy load, and were passed by the Linz family during the ride. The Godlewski sisters dropped from the front of the pack to the back when the cameras attached to their car battery drained the battery and forced them to wait for a replacement vehicle.
In Moab, teams were faced with the Detour options of "Ride Down" or "Drop Down." The Linz siblings eagerly tackled the challenge of a two-stage rappel, while the Weavers instead chose to ride mountain bikes to the bottom. Since his daughters were excited about rappelling, Wally Bransen put aside his fear of heights, and soon afterward, they were joined by the Godlewskis. After completing the Detour, teams were instructed to drive 52 miles to Green River State Park, where they would spend the night. Their departure times would be based on the order in which they checked into the park.
The next morning, teams headed to Heber City, UT, where they had to find "Bart." Once in the town, the teams learned that Bart was a trained grizzly bear, who brought the delighted teams their next clue. Armed with their new bear drool-soaked clues, the teams then headed to Utah Olympic Park in Park City where, according to the clue, the second of the race's two Yields awaited them. The Linz family hoped to keep their lead over the second place Weavers so that they would be able to use their Yield. Three of the four teams headed back to the highway, but the Weavers chose a scenic option that proved disastrous, taking them way off course and putting them in last place once they arrived in Park City. Once they arrived in Park City, they were not surprised to learn that they had once again been Yielded.
In Park City, the Roadblock awaited the teams -- one member of each team would have to go down a 60-foot ski ramp and land in a pool of water. Nick Linz attacked the challenge for his team, and his acrobatics led to a face plant that delighted his siblings. Lindsey Bransen, Christine Godlewski, and Rolly Weaver all managed to complete the Roadblock more gracefully, but alas, style points did not change their positions in the standings.
After completing the Roadblock, teams raced to Salt Lake City and searched for the city's public library, the pit stop for this leg of the race. Once there, the Linzes were delighted to finally break their streak of second-place finishes and win their first leg of the race, and they were rewarded with a ski trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Bransens and Godlewskis followed in second in third place respectively. Meanwhile, the dejected and discouraged Weavers prepared themselves for elimination, and seemed disappointed when host Phil Keoghan told them this was a non-elimination leg. After telling them he did not "see a hunger" in them, Phil tried to encourage the family by noting that previous The Amazing Race editions have featured teams moving from worst to first.
Next week, the Bransens and Linzes have a mid-air collision in their hot-air balloons. And the Weavers decide to put even more animosity between them and the other teams by attacking the Linzes for using the Yield.