Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle eliminated from 'The Amazing Race'
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/02/2009
Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle's physical strength was tested during a Detour, and the professional poker players were unable to meet the challenge.
Maria, a 26-year-old from Arcadia, CA, and Tiffany, a 25-year-old from Los Angeles, CA, quit the task and became the seventh team eliminated from The Amazing Race's fifteenth season during Sunday night's broadcast of the CBS reality series.
"We know in our hearts that we've really, really given -- not just on this challenge -- but on every challenge, our all. And that's all we can do," said Maria.
Since "Dating Couple" Meghan Rickey and Cheyne Whitney were the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop, they were the first team to depart at 1:13PM.
They opened their clue, which instructed them to fly over 3,000 miles to Amsterdam. Once there, they would have to drive themselves to Afsluitdijk, a 19-mile causeway that connects North Holland and Friesland, where they would find the Lely Monument for their next clue.
All of the teams arrived at the airport and learned the first flight to Amsterdam wasn't until midnight -- meaning they'd all be on the same flight together. Sam and Dan took the downtime in the airport as an opportunity to reveal to the other teams that they're gay.
"Dan and I usually like to come out to people when it feels right," said Sam.
Maria and Tiffany -- who were aligned with the brothers and had been flirting with them throughout the competition -- took the news well.
"Gay or straight, it doesn't matter," said Tiffany. "They're still the most sweet and adorable and gentlemanly guys on this race with us. Who they choose to date, we could really care less -- even though maybe there's a little teardrop it's not us."
The teams arrived in Amsterdam neck-and-neck and raced to the causeway -- except for Brian and Ericka, as he couldn't figure out how to get the car in gear. The two bickered before they finally got a local to help them, however they were already well behind the others teams and Brian had a hard time letting the mistake go.
"Stop tripping out!" instructed Ericka. "You dictate my mood and you know I have a shorter fuse than you!"
Meghan and Cheyne, Sam and Dan, Gary and Matt, Flight Time and Big Easy, and Maria and Tiffany all arrived at the Lely Monument and opened their next clue, which instructed them to drive to the city of Groningen and find Martinitoren -- the highest building in the city.
Meghan and Cheyne and Sam and Dan were the first to arrive at Martinitoren, where they were met by a Roadblock.
In it, one team member had to navigate up the narrow, winding staircases and through the maze of doors inside the tower's two floors while counting the bells that make up the city's famed carillon. If they came up with the correct number, 62, the carillon player would hand them their next clue.
Meghan and Sam decided to work together on the Roadblock and got a quick lead on Flight Time, Matt and Tiffany. While Meghan and Sam's plan worked at first, the carillon player started to play a song and made it difficult for the two to communicate with each other. This allowed Matt to correctly count the bells first.
Gary and Matt opened the next clue, which instructed them to drive to the town of Vierhuizen de Marne and find the large windmill. They were followed by Meghan and Cheyne and Sam and Dan, as both teams also correctly counted the bells.
In addition, Sam made true to his alliance with the poker players as he whispered the answer to Tiffany on his way out of the tower.
"It was a smart move in my opinion because they're a team that we can beat," explained Sam after getting guff for the decision from Meghan and Cheyne.
Flight Time was also able to get the correct number of bells, however Ericka wasn't so lucky -- as she counted numbers ranging from 43 to 57 and was starting to get really frustrated.
Sam and Dan and Meghan and Cheyne arrived at the windmill and were met by a Detour where they'd have to choose between "Farmer's Game" or "Farmer's Dance."
In "Farmer's Game," teams had to find a creek, strip down to their farmer's underwear, and swim across. Then, using a unique set of golf clubs shaped like wooden shoes, teams had to play three holes of golf. Taking turns, they had to finish each hole in eight strokes or less to receive their next clue.
In "Farmer's Dance," teams had to find a country festival where one team member would have to ring the bell on top of a high striker. Then they had to learn a Dutch folk dance and perform the moves correctly in front of a crowd. After the performance, teams would receive a reward of salted herring with onions from their instructor. When they finished the herring, they would receive their next clue.
Both Detour tasks involved the teams dressing in traditional Dutch garb and using bikes provided for them to travel between the different destinations.
Both Sam and Dan and Meghan and Cheyne decided to do "Farmer's Game," while Gary and Matt chose "Farmer's Dance." Back at Martinitoren, Ericka continued to struggle with the bells.
"It seems like this should be really easy, but clearly it's not," she opined. "I just don't want to go home on account of bells."
Ericka eventually took a short break and received comfort from Brian, who said he understood her frustration. A little calmer, Ericka returned to give it another try and correctly counted 62 bells, allowing the team to receive their next clue.
Maria and Tiffany arrived at the windmill in fourth and chose "Farmer's Dance," as did Big Easy and Flight Time in fifth place and eventually Brian and Ericka in last. However Brian and Ericka further put themselves in a hole when they left for the festival sans bikes.
While Meghan struggled initially with "Farmer's Game," she eventually got the hang of it. However it wasn't before Sam and Dan already completed the Detour task and received their next clue, which instructed them to ride bicycles to the next Pit Stop at Zoutkamp Harbor.
Sam and Dan arrived at the Pit Stop in first and won a sand buggy. Meghan and Cheyne finished in second.
"We're very, very excited about this," said Sam. "Cheyne and Meghan had been first the past two times. It was nice to kind of take them off their throne and get a win for us."
Gary and Matt had no problem with the high striker and began to learn the dance when they abruptly switched because Matt said he doesn't eat fish -- hence he wouldn't eat the herring at the end of the task.
As they made their way to "Farmer's Game," Maria and Tiffany struggled mightily with the high striker as neither was able to muster up enough strength to ring the bell. Maria and Tiffany also switched and joined Gary and Matt on the golf course.
Back at "Farmer's Dance," Flight Time and Big Easy had no problems hitting the striker, learning the dance and -- while Flight Time didn't enjoy it -- eating the herrings. They reached the Pit Stop in third place.
Brian and Ericka eventually realized they didn't have bikes upon rereading the clue, however by this point they decided to continue to the festival on foot. The two argued as Ericka was clearly tired and frustrated following the Roadblock.
"If you wanna quit right now we quit," said Brian.
"I'm not saying I want to quit," she told Brian. "I'm just saying my knee hurts and I'm a little bit agitated. You have no idea what kind of pain I'm going in."
While Gary and Matt eventually got the hang of "Farmer's Game" and reached the Pit Stop in fourth, the same couldn't be said for Maria and Tiffany -- as they couldn't even get close to the first hole in eight shots or less.
They initially stuck with it since they knew they couldn't hit the high striker in "Farmer's Dance," however golf also quickly became impossible and they decided to try the high striker again.
As Maria and Tiffany's attempts to hit the high striker reached into the 70s, they were clearly growing more tired and defeated despite Tiffany coming up just short on several occasions. The two decided to take a break and shared a hug.
"What are you thinking?" asked Tiffany.
"Let's just go do the other thing because we've tried this a lot," said Maria.
As they switched back to "Farmer's Game," Brian and Ericka arrived at the festival. He hit the high striker and the two quickly mastered the dance before eating the herring to receive their next clue.
"I think the dance was a good choice for us because it just brought us back down to earth," explained Brian.
"That was the moment that I totally fell in love with him again," added Ericka.
The couple borrowed a pair of bikes from a local and traveled to the Pit Stop. While they arrived in fifth place, host Phil Keoghan explained that since they didn't ride bikes to the Detour task they'd incur a 30-minute penalty.
"I'm really nervous," lamented Ericka. "I want to stay."
"Right now there's nothing we can do about it," said Brian. "So we've just got to stay calm."
They waited patiently as Maria and Tiffany continued to struggle on the golf course -- coming nowhere near reaching the hole in eight or less shots. The 30-minute penalty came to an end and Brian and Ericka were officially checked into the Pit Stop in fifth place.
Maria and Tiffany never even finished the Detour task, as they quit before sinking a single shot.
"I think I'm done," said Maria.
Phil then arrived on the course.
"Maria and Tiffany I understand you want to give up on the race?" asked Phil
"We don't want to give up on the race, but we do not foresee that we will be able to finish this challenge with this weather," answered Tiffany. "We are quitting the race and as a result we understand that we will be eliminated."
The Amazing Race's next fifteenth-season episode will air Sunday, November 8 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.
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