Married couple Lake and Michelle Garner exit 'The Amazing Race 9'
By Reality TV World staff, 04/13/2006
Married couple Lake and Michelle Garner got horribly lost at the wrong time, resulting in the frequently bickering couple becoming the sixth team to be eliminated from The Amazing Race 9.
The Amazing Race 9's seventh episode began with the six remaining teams departing last episode's Pit Stop at the Fonte Aretusa natural spring in Siracusa, Italy and receiving a clue instructing them to travel 350 miles by train to Rome. Once there, they would have to find the famed Trevi Fountain, where a man on a yellow and red scooter would give them their next clue.
Although first place team Eric Sanchez and Jeremy Ryan left the Pit Stop two and half hours before last place dating couple Yolanda Brown-Moore and Ray Whitty, the late hour meant another "bunching" would occur, with all six teams ending up traveling on the next morning's 8AM train to Rome.
Once in Rome, Eric and Jeremy and quickly jumped back into the lead by deciding to take a taxi to the fountain (presumably looking to save their money for later, all of the other teams except dating couple Monica Cayce and Joseph Meadows opted to take the slower Metro rail.) After finding the scooter driver, the teams were instructed to travel less than a mile to some horse carriages near Rome's famous Spanish Steps and also given the first half of a Leonardo Da Vinci Vitruvian Man bonus product placement clue intended to promote the upcoming The Da Vinci Code film.
Once at the Spanish Steps, the teams found a portfolio containing a clue telling them to fly 665 miles to Athens, Greece and the second part of the lame The Da Vinci Code tie-in, a kindergarten-level "code" that required the teams to line up two transparent sheets of paper that each contained half of Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man drawing to reveal text stating "You cracked the clue." Since all six teams had arrived in Rome only an hour or two earlier, all six ended up on the exact same evening flight to Athens.
After arriving in Athens, the teams had to travel to the Agora, an ancient Greek marketplace. Older couple Barry Lazarus and Fran Lazarus were surprisingly the first team arrive at the site, but unfortunately it did them no good -- due to the late hour, the Agora had already closed for the night, creating yet another bunching of the teams. When the gates opened at 8AM the next morning, the cluebox held an extra surprise -- in addition to informing the teams of their next task, it also presented them with the option to attempt to land a Fast Forward pass, one of only two available in the whole race.
Eric and Jeremy, Joseph and Monica, and Fran and Barry all opted to attempt to go for the Fast Forward, a decision that required the teams to walk to a nearby restaurant and break plates until they found the special yellow and red route marker that had been baked into only one of the hundreds of plates stacked on the restaurant's tables. The three other teams decided to instead follow the new clue's route instructions, traveling by train 70 miles to the city of Corinth, where they would exit at the Isthmos Station and receive their next clue.
While the restaurant's tables contained hundreds of plates, it didn't seem to take very long for the marker to be found, with Eric and Jeremy finding the marker as Joseph and Monica, furiously smashing some plates of their own, looked on helplessly. The entire event was over by the time that Fran and Barry managed to walk over to the restaurant, with Eric and Jeremy having already departed for the Fortress of Rion 14th century coastal stronghold that would serve as the leg's Pit Stop and Joseph and a depressed Monica and Joseph already traveling to the train station to catch up to the rest of the teams. As the first team to turn in the "cracked" Da Vinci code, Eric and Jeremy received a decidedly non-Travelocity prize: the opportunity to walk down the red carpet at The Da Vinci Code's upcoming May 19, 2006 theatrical premiere.
Although they ended up on a later train than the three other teams, fortune smiled on Fran and Barry and Joseph and Monica when Ray and Yolanda, Lake and Michelle, and best friends BJ Averell and Tyler Macniven all incorrectly got off at Corinth's main train station and took a bus to the Isthmos train station -- a mistake that would later result in a 15 minute time penalty being added to the check-in times of all three teams.
Once they arrived at the Isthmos station, the teams performed the leg's Roadblock -- a 240-feet bungle jump into the Corith Canal. While Ray, Tyler, Michelle, and Monica all appeared to accomplish the task without issue, a hysterically scared Fran struggled to complete the jump, finally dropping from a crouched position after having previously received some words of encouragement from Ray and Yolanda. After completing the jump, the teams were given their two Detour choices -- "Herculean Effort" and "It's All Greek To Me."
"Herculean Effort," chosen by Ray and Yolanda, Joseph and Monica, and BJ and Tyler, required the teams to drive to a 2,300-year-old stadium and complete three events from the ancient Olympic Games: an individual discus throw, an individual javelin throw, and a ridiculous task in which both team members had to push a diaper-clad professional wrestler outside a 20-foot circle.
"It's All Greek To Me," chosen by Fran and Barry and Lake and Michelle, required the teams to drive to the same ancient stadium, visit one of its archeological sites and find nine pottery shards containing Greek letters, Then, with the help of a group of toga-clad "Greek spectators" who served as translators, the teams had to translate the letters into the English language name of one of the Greek cities listed on an accompanying map.
Unfortunately for BJ and Tyler, they drove an hour in the wrong direction on their way to the stadium, resulting in them becoming the last team -- by far -- to complete the Detour. However, fortunately for them, Lake and Michelle had similarly gotten lost during the 107 mile drive to the Rion Pit Stop location, allowing BJ and Tyler to recover from their gaffe and somehow manage to check in before the husband and wife team. When they arrived at the Pit Stop, The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan told them the words that no Race team ever wants to hear: "Lake and Michelle, you're the last team to arrive. I'm sorry to tell you that you have been eliminated from the Race."