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HOME > The Amazing Race > The Amazing Race 15

Gary and Matt Tomljenovich avoid 'The Amazing Race' elimination


By Christopher Rocchio, 11/09/2009 

Gary and Matt Tomljenovich's bad day could have culminated in being ousted from The Amazing Race, however they instead received good news upon being the final team to reach the Pit Stop.

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The father and son team from Montana were able to avoid elimination as they encountered the fifteenth season's second non-elimination leg during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality series.

Instead of being booted, Gary and Matt will get to continue in the race's ninth leg but will have to overcome a Speed Bump, a special task that only they will have to complete.

"We're still racing right now, we're going to continue racing," said Gary. "We're not going to give up. We're going to take it to the limit."

The Amazing Race's seventh fifteenth-season episode began at the previous Pit Stop at Zoutkamp Harbor in Amsterdam.

Since "Brothers" Daniel and Samuel McMillen were the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop, they were the first team to depart at 9:33PM.

They opened their clue, which instructed them to fly 700 miles to Stockholm, Sweden. When they landed, they had to travel by train and ferry to the Tivoli Grona Lund Amusement Park and find the ride known as the Fritt Fall.

Sam and Dan were followed by "Dating Couple" Meghan Rickey and Cheyne Whitney (9:48PM), "Teammates" Herbert "Flight Time" Lang and Nathaniel "The Big Easy" Lofton (10:32PM), Gary and Matt (11:08PM), and "Married Couple" Ericka Dunlap and Brian Kleinschmidt (1:38AM).

All of the teams arrived at the airport and learned that there were two KLM flights to Stockholm -- one leaving at 6:55AM and another at 9:25AM.  Once the ticket counter opened at 5:30AM, Sam and Dan, Meghan and Cheyne and Flight Time and Big Easy were able to get seats on the first flight, while Gary and Matt and Brian and Ericka had to wait until the second flight.

"Not good at all," lamented Gary. "We've got our work cut out for us today."

The first flight touched down in Stockholm and Sam and Dan and Meghan and Cheyne took a slight lead over Flight Time and Big Easy -- who couldn't purchase tickets fast enough at the automated machine, which caused them to miss the first available train.

Sam and Dan and Meghan and Cheyne arrived at the Tivoli Grona Lund Amusement Park and found their next clue inside of the park at the Fritt Fall, where they were met by a Roadblock.

In this Roadblock, one team member had to ride the Fritt Fall and spot an arrow pointing to the location of their next clue, which was visible for only 15 seconds before the ride plunged 24 stories in less than three seconds. When they thought they knew the location of their next clue, they had to go find it in the park.

Sam and Cheyne decided to work together and easily spotted the arrow on their first attempt.  They followed it to their next clue and learned they had to take part in a carnival game of Roaming Gnome Ring Toss.

In this game, teams had to toss a ring onto one of the many giant red cone hats before them. If the hat they landed a ring on had a gnome hiding underneath, the game attendant would hand them a Roaming Gnome -- which they would have to keep until the next Pit Stop -- containing their next clue.

Both teams were able to complete the ring toss easily and received their next clue and a Detour, where they had to choose between "Nobel Dynamite" or "Viking Alphabet."

In "Nobel Dynamite," teams had to create sandbags to create a protective bunker in a rock quarry. Once they were protected, they would set off an enormous explosion and unearth a box containing their next clue. In "Viking Alphabet," teams had to decode a message using ancient Viking runes. Once they solved the message, they would receive their next clue.

Sam and Dan and Meghan and Cheyne both chose "Nobel Dynamite," as did Flight Time and Big Easy once Flight Time completed the Roadblock and they finished the ring toss.

The second flight arrived in Stockholm, and Gary and Matt encountered the same problem as Flight Time and Big Easy -- as they were unable to purchase tickets fast enough to catch the first train, giving Brian and Ericka a lead and placing the father and son in last place.

"We lost 15 minutes," said Gary. "But we're still racing. It's not over. You can't give up hope."

Ericka completed the Roadblock and they finished the ring toss before also choosing the "Nobel Dynamite" Detour task, while Matt completed the Roadblock and they also chose "Nobel Dynamite."

Sam and Dan, Meghan and Cheyne and Flight Time and Big Easy all started building their bunkers at the Detour task, and tension started to run a little high between Meghan and Cheyne -- as she accused them of not working as a team. Sam and Dan were able to complete building their bunkers first since they used their hands to fill the bags instead of a shovel.

They set off their explosion, retrieved the metal box and opened their next clue, which instructed them to drive to Bogs Gard Farm -- the site of one of the most infamous and daunting challenges in The Amazing Race history from the long-running reality show's sixth season.

Flight Time and Big Easy finished the Detour task in second, followed by Meghan and Cheyne.

"That was awful teamwork. I'm kind of frustrated right now," said Meghan.  "I asked you like 5,000 times to work with me."

"Babe, come on," said Cheyne. "The task is over. Are you going to dwell on it?"

"You just didn't even listen to me the whole time," she responded.

Gary and Matt got lost trying to find the Detour so they had to stop for directions, giving Brian and Ericka more of a lead in building the bunkers. Meanwhile the other three teams arrived at the farm and were met by a Switchback.

In this Switchback, one team member had to unroll hay bales to find one of only seven race flags hidden among the 186 bales. The farm was also the Pit Stop for this leg of the race.  It took " Sisters" Lena and Kristy Jensen nearly 10 hours to complete the same task during The Amazing Race's sixth season and they were ousted for it.

Sam and -- somewhat surprisingly -- Meghan decided to compete in the Roadblock, which was a physical task.

"I kind of felt like she was taking the lead this leg and that she was calling the shots," said Cheyne in a subsequent confessional.

"I just wish that he would have said do it," said Meghan. "We're kind of having a rough day today."

Dan reminded Sam how long it took Lena and Kristy to complete the Roadblock and he didn't appreciate it. In addition, Dan was constantly criticizing Sam's technique in meticulously checking each hay bale once it was unrolled.  Meghan also complained about the challenge.

"This is the worst thing I've even done in my whole life," she lamented.

Flight Time and Big Easy arrived, with Big Easy deciding to do the task. Back at the Detour, Brian and Ericka completed building their bunker just as Gary and Matt arrived -- as the married couple was able to keep their lead over the father and son team.

As Sam, Meghan and Big Easy continued to unroll the massive hay bales trying to find the clue, Dan continued to be critical while Cheyne decided to be supportive. Still, the task was beginning to take its toll on Meghan.

"I don't know how much longer I can do this," she said.

As Brian and Ericka and Matt and Gary arrived at the farm -- with Brian and Gary deciding to do the Roadblock task -- Big Easy was the first to find one of the flags. The teammates were subsequently the first team to reach the Pit Stop and received a trip for two to Turks and Caicos.

Sam and Dan's bickering only got worse, as Sam refused to listen to his brother's advice.

"Oh my gosh... I am going to kill my brother," said Sam.

Dan eventually seemed to realize that what was his brother was doing was incredibly difficult.

"It was kind of an epiphany," said Dan. "I was yelling at him over hay. I probably should've shut my mouth from the very beginning."

Meghan was the next to find a flag, and she and Cheyne reached the Pit Stop in second, followed by Brian and Ericka who finished in third. Despite being the first team there, Sam was the fourth to find a flag and the brothers were the second-to-last team to reach the Pit Stop.

"That's not a good sign," said Gary.

"No," replied his son. "Not our day."

Nearly three hours into it, Gary finally found a flag and he and Matt reached the Pit Stop in last place. However host Phil Keoghan informed them it was a non-elimination leg and they were still in the race and would encounter a Speed Bump during the upcoming leg.

The Amazing Race's next fifteenth-season episode will air Sunday, November 15 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.

(Photo credit CBS)


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