Mark and Michael Munoz finish last but avoid 'The Amazing Race' exit
By John Bracchitta, 04/13/2009
The "Brothers/Stuntmen" team of Mark and Michael Munoz were the last team to arrive at The Amazing Race 14's seventh Pit Stop. However instead of being eliminated, the team discovered that the leg was the race's second (and final) non-elimination leg.
Instead of going home, Mark, a 48-year-old stuntman/jockey from Los Angeles, CA, and Michael, a 51-year-old stuntman/actor from Maui, HI, will get to continue in the race's eighth leg but have to overcome a Speed Bump, a special task that only they will have to complete, as well as four hours worth of additional time penalties for using personal items to pay for cab rides during two of their seventh-leg taxi rides.
"The last couple legs we've really made some poor decisions," said Mike following the revelation by The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan that they had been spared elimination. "We have to do this and just kinda stay level headed and not panic."
The Amazing Race 14's eighth leg began with the five remaining teams departing from the Tim Wat Theo Nimit Temple, a temple in Phuket, Thailand that served as the Pit Stop for the Race's seventh Pit Stop.
Following the mandatory rest period, the "Sibling Lawyers" team of Tammy Jih, a 26-year-old lawyer from San Francisco, CA, and Victor Jih, a 35-year-old lawyer from Los Angeles, CA, were the first team to depart at 9:27PM and instructed to fly to Bangkok, Thailand. Once there, they would have to travel via taxi to a local boat town and search it for their next clue.
They were followed by the teams of "Former NFL Cheerleaders" Cara Rosenthal, a 26-year-old law student from Boca Raton, FL, and Jaime Edmondson, a 29-year-old former police officer from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, at 12:31AM; Mark and Michael at 12:46AM; "Mother and Son" Margie Adams, a 51-year-old clinical research associate from Denver, CO, and Luke Adams, a 23-year-old college graduate from Denver, CO, at 12:53AM; and Sisters" Jennifer Hoffman, a 24-year-old marketing assistant from Louisville, KY, and LaKisha Hoffman, a 28-year-old program coordinator from Bronx, NY, who left at 1:05AM.
Upon arriving at the airport first, Victor and Tammy discovered that the first flight from Phuket to Bangkok would not leave until 7:25AM, allowing all of the teams ample time to make it to the airport and board the same flight.
After eventually boarding the flight, the five teams headed to Bangkok on the same flight and, upon landing there, all ran out to grab taxis.
Margie and Luke were the first team to grab a taxi and head to the boat town. They were followed by Kisha and Jen, Jaime and Cara, Tammy and Victor, and Mark and Michael.
While Kisha and Jen were able to jump into the lead momentarily en route to the town, Margie and Luke re-took the lead after telling their cab driver to give Kisha and Jen's driver incorrect directions when the two cabs stopped momentarily to discuss where to go.
After re-taking the lead, Margie and Luke were the first team to arrive at the town and receive their next clue, which informed the teams that one member of each team to complete a Roadblock task that required them to attach a rear propeller to a traditional longtail boat in order to receive their next clue.
Margie took part in the challenge for her team, as did Jaime, Victor, Mark and Kisha for their teams after arriving at the town in that order.
Margie had no problem attaching the propeller allowing her team to maintain their first-place lead. After completing the task, she and Luke received a clue that instructed them to use a provided map to navigate their longtail boat through the town to Peninsula Pier.
Jaime completed the challenge in second and got in the longtail boat with Cara to leave. However as they left they quickly turned their boat around to run and get their bags from their taxi in case they didn't return to the site.
Mark finished the challenge in third. He and Mike, as well as Jen and Kisha who finished the challenge in fourth, decided to leave their bags with their cabs, despite Jen's pleas to Kisha to think otherwise.
Once on the boat, Jen also realized that in addition to their bags, they had also left a fanny pack that contained their money and passports on the boat dock. However Kisha insisted that they keep moving forward and just hope that they would get to return to the site to get their bags later.
Tammy and Victor were the last team to finish the challenge, and grabbed their bags as they left to catch up.
Margie and Luke were the first team to find the pier. Once there, they learned that it was time for them to complete one of the leg's two Detour task options, "Broken Teeth" or "Broken Record."
For "Broken Teeth" the teams would have to make their way to the area of town called the "Street of Happy Smiles" and then search through 50 pairs of dentures and find the appropriately sized pairs for five waiting patients in order to receive their next clue.
For "Broken Record" teams would have to make their way to a parking lot where they would choose a party taxi equipped with an onboard karaoke as well as a group of local singers. The team would then have to sing a popular Taiwanese song as the cab drove a five-mile course. While no actual skill was particularly needed for the challenge, teams who chose it would be at the mercy of Bangkok's bad traffic before receiving their next clue.
Margie and Luke chose "Teeth" because they felt they were bad singers, while Jaime and Cara, Mark and Mike, Kisha and Jen and Victor and Tammy all chose to do "Records."
"We're Chinese, we have to do karaoke," joked Victor.
"Mamma would be proud," added Tammy.
Meanwhile, after discovering they would be doing a Detour task instead of returning to the boat dock, Mark and Michael began arguing about how to get their bags back, with Mark suggesting that they have the taxi driver meet them at the Chinatown location they needed to travel to for the Detour task and Mike insisting they have the taxi driver meet them at their current location.
After discussing the situation with some locals, they ultimately decided to have another taxi driver drive them back to their previous cab, however they continued arguing about the matter along the way.
"You don't want the million dollars, you just want to play," Mark told Mike sternly.
Jen was also angry about having left her bags and personal items behind as she and Kisha proceeded forward with the "Records" challenge.
"I'm upset, I'm mad, I'm worried about the fact that my passport is on a dock somewhere and we don't have any money," she said.
After initially having trouble with their "Teeth" challenge, Margie and Luke were still able to finish it and be the first team to receive their next clue instructing them to go to the Phya Thai Palace, the Race's Pit Stop for its eighth leg.
Margie and Luke continued to maintain their lead on the way to the Pit Stop, resulting in the mother and son becoming the first team to check-in and winning a trip to a spa resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Jaime and Cara finished their Detour task second and also maintained their spot all the way to the Pit Stop, where they were the second team to check-in.
Meanwhile, Markand Mike arrived back at their previous cab and discovered that "someone else" had made the same mistake and had also left their bags behind in a still-waiting taxi. After paying the taxi driver that had driven them back from the pier, they then re-boarded their original cab and drove to the Detour task location in Chinatown. However given the extra taxi travel, the brothers only had enough money for about three-quarters of the taxi fare when they reached the Detour task location, causing them to use a compass and a flashlight that were among their personal items to pay the balance.
While Jen and Kisha finished the Detour and headed to the Pit Stop just ahead of Tammy and Victor, they were not allowed to check into the Pit Stop because they did had left their travel documents in the fanny pack back at the boat dock. Phil told them that they needed to go back and retrieve them before they could officially finish their leg of the race.
Jen and Kisha's mistake allowed Tammy and Victor to bump up one spot and finished the leg in third place. While the "Sisters" team went to retrieve their bags, Mark and Mike were able to finish up their Detour and head to the Pit Stop, once again paying part of the cab driver's fare with some of their own personal goods.
However upon arriving at the Pit Stop, Phil informed Mark and Mike that while they had arrived in fourth place, that they would be assessed a two-hour penalty for each time they had paid the cab driver with personal goods before they could check in.
Fifty minutes into Mark and Mike's penalty, Kisha and Jen returned to the Pit Stop with their personal items and bags and were officially able to check-in as the fourth team to finish the leg. With three-hours-and-ten-minutes left in their penalty, Phil had Mark and Mike check in and revealed to them that the leg was indeed the season's second non-elimination leg. He also then added that, in addition to the Speed Bump task they would have to complete due to finishing last, their remaining penalty time would be added to their departure time for the next leg.
The next episode of The Amazing Race will air Sunday, April 19 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.
(Photo credit CBS)
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