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No one strikes out in the first 'The Amazing Race: Family Edition' non-elimination leg


By Andrea Sellers, 10/26/2005 

And it's one, two, three strikes you're not eliminated in the latest leg of CBS' The Amazing Race: Family Edition, as the Godlewski sisters are still in the Race despite finishing in last place in Panama.

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The Amazing Race: Family Edition's fifth episode began with the six remaining teams (sharing a sentiment also felt by many home viewers) excited to learn that they would finally be leaving the United States and flying to Panama City, Panama. The Bransens, Paolos, and Linzes all made it onto the first flight, while the remaining three teams were forced to wait for another flight three hours later. But as The Amazing Race fans know, getting an earlier flight doesn't mean much when the subsequent route marker location is closed, so although half of them had arrived in Panama three hours earlier, all six teams spent the night together as they waited for a boat dock to open.

Once the dock opened the next morning, each team boarded a boat in the same order that they'd arrived and headed to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to retrieve their next clue. On the way, the teams were at the mercy of both their boat power and drivers. The Linzes lost ground to several other teams and the Gaghans ended up in last place when their boat driver attempted to go off course so that he could pick up another fare (after noticing, the family was eventually able to convince him to instead drop them off first.)

Once on the island, the teams searched through the park for a "scientist" named Ricardo Diaz who would hand them their next clue. After finding Diaz, the teams were instructed to either complete a Detour or go after this Race edition's only Fast Forward, To complete the Fast Forward, the four team members would need to do two tandem bungee jumps. Already disliked by the other teams, the Weavers generated additional animosity with the Linz family when mom Linda called out to the Linz boat driver to go slowly as the teams were returning to the mainland. Unfortunately for the Weaver, Linz, and Godlewski families, they lost their leads over the other teams when their boats passed the dock. After their boat ride experience, the Godlewski sisters made an alliance with the Linz family to work together on the Detour in an effort to take out the Weaver family.

Back on land, the teams boarded red buses known as "Diablo Rojos" to travel to their chosen options. The Gaghans realized that the Paolos had also chosen to go for the Fast Forward, but hoped to either beat them in a footrace or cash in when the Paolos chickened out. DJ Paolo confessed to being afraid of heights, and after watching his father and brother complete the jump, he told his mother he wouldn't be able to do it. The normally nervous Mama Paolo was able to encourage her contentious son into taking that one step with her and completing the jump, leaving the Gaghans scrambling back to complete the Detour as the Paolos checked in at the Miraflores Locks Pit Stop, winning a return trip to Panama for their efforts.

Meanwhile, the remaining teams completed the Detour -- "Rhythm" or "Coos." The "Rhythm" teams searched the Casco Viejo neighborhood for four different musical instruments to deliver to a jazz club, while the coos teams went birdwatching to identify five bird models hidden in the El Parque Metropolitano rainforest. It took them two tries, but the Weavers were able to correctly complete the birdwatching task and take the lead, with the Bransens behind them, leaving the instrumental teams to play catch-up.

After the Detour, teams headed to the Estadio Juan Demostenes Arosemena baseball stadium to complete the Roadblock. One member of each team had to get a hit off a Little League pitcher before the team could proceed. Rolly Weaver completed the task in his second at-bat, while his mother continued the feud with the Linz team. She labeled them rude for bantering while Rolly batted, claiming her family was "always encouraging" (apparently telling other drivers to impede the progress of other teams was "encouragement" in her book.) Beth Bransen also completed the task on her second try, while the Linz were able to keep their standing when brother Nick got a hit in his first at-bat. When Sharon Godlewski was unable to get a hit, daddy Bill Gaghan pulled his team out of last place with a first pitch home run.

With the Roadblock complete, the teams raced to the Pit Stop. The Gaghans lead over the sisters seemed to evaporate when their route was blocked by a truck moving a Pepsi machine, continuing what Bill Gaghan called a "roller coaster through this leg." Meanwhile, the Godlewskis pulled as much clothing out of their backpacks as possible and dressed on their bus, knowing that they would be forced to surrender everything but "the clothes on their backs" if they were to check in last at a non-elimination leg.

One by one the teams checked in, with all teams receiving good news from host Phil Keoghan. The Gaghans were delighted to yet again finish second-to-last, while the Godlewskis were pleased to discover that since it was indeed a non-elimination leg, their bold fashion choice had paid off. Even Phil was in good spirits as he took their remaining possessions, joking that "it's illegal in Panama to wear underpants on top of underpants on top of your pants." The sisters were optimistic that they could rely on the kindness of the Panamanian people as they were forced to start the next leg with no money, just the considerable wardrobe on their backs.

Next week: The teams cross a wobbly bridge over the rainforest and the Weavers hope that God can (literally, not figuratively) pull them out of the mud.

(Photo credit CBS)


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