John Lowe and Scott Braginton-Smith exit 'The Amazing Race 9'
By Andrea Sellers, 03/01/2006
After a less-than-compelling family edition, The Amazing Race returned to its standard two-member team, race-around-the-world format for its ninth edition that premiered Tuesday night. The debut featured The Amazing Race 9 racers John Lowe and Scott Braginton-Smith overcoming John's fear of flying, however not even the duo's "genie power" could help them overcome a cab ride to nowhere, causing them to become the first team eliminated from the Race.
The Amazing Race 9 began at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver, Colorado, where teams received their first clue instructing them to fly to San Paolo, Brazil on one of three designated flights. Once they arrived in San Paolo, teams headed for the rooftop of the Hotel Unique, where they received a clue telling them to take a taxi three miles to the Viaduto Santa Efigenia, a historic bridge where they would find their next clue.
However finding the bridge -- and the clue box itself -- turned out to be quite a challenge for a number of teams. John and Scott's cab driver drove them around in circles, while long-time married couple Fran and Barry Lazarus walked past the clue box several times as they spent more than a half hour trying to find the clue.
On the bridge, teams were presented with their first Detour - "Motor Head" or "Rotor Head." The "Motor Head" teams chose to travel to a nearby motorcycle shop and assemble a motorcycle, while the "Rotor Heads" traveled to a nearby airport and used a flight directory photo book to pinpoint one of three downtown buildings to which they would then be flown to by helicopter. Two of the teams that initially chose the "Motor Head" option -- Fran and Barry and childhood friends Dani Torchio and Danielle Turner -- were forced to give up and move to the other option when they couldn't assemble the motorcycles, leaving dating couple Yolanda Brown-Moore and Ray Whitty and married parents Michelle Garner and Lake Garner as the only teams to successfully complete the more technical task.
After completing the Detour, teams were instructed to travel by taxi to the San Paolo neighborhood of Santa Cecilia and find a warehouse in which they would witness a traditional religious ceremony. After watching the ceremony and lighting a candle for luck, the teams traveled a couple of miles to the leg's Pit Stop at Estadio de Pacaembu, the city's World Cup soccer stadium. The first team to check in, friends Eric Sanchez and Jeremy Ryan, won $10,000 each for finishing first in The Amazing Race 9's initial leg.
One by one, the remaining teams checked into the soccer stadium, leaving self-described "Glamazon" sisters Joni Glaze and Lisa Hinds screaming and scrambling to beat John and Scott to the finish line. As the teams frustratingly battled San Paolo traffic to get to the Pit Stop, John and Scott invoked "genie power" to try and will themselves to the finish line in time to avoid elimination. However although they claimed it had never let them down before, the invocation wasn't enough to get them to the line before the sisters, resulting in The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan having to tell them that they were the first team eliminated from the Race.
Both John and Scott had nothing but priase for their relatively short journey, with Scott proclaiming that "so many things were in (Johnís) big fear closet, but he just ripped that closet open."