Ray Housteau and Deana Shane get eliminated from 'The Amazing Race 7'
By Andrea Sellers, 03/30/2005
Despite using the Fast Forward and finishing first during the first leg of last night's special two-hour The Amazing Race 7 broadcast, Ray Housteau and Deana Shane weren't as lucky in the second half of last night's CBS broadcast, finishing last and getting eliminated in South Africa.
After winning cars for finishing first in the fifth leg of The Amazing Race 7, Ray and Deana lost a finish line sprint to brothers Brian and Greg Smith in the next leg -- a development that will no doubt spark speculation that perhaps Survivor's long-running "car curse" has found a new home on The Amazing Race. Or maybe it's just visiting, having accompanied The Amazing Race 7 contestant Rob Mariano, the former Survivor contestant who fell victim to the curse during his Survivor All-Stars season.
CBS's action-packed two-hour broadcast began with a typical feature of The Amazing Race - bunching. Even though race leaders Rob and Amber Brkich left more than six hours ahead of last place married couple Gretchen and Meredith Smith, all seven remaining teams were on the same flight from Argentina to Johannesburg, South Africa. However, Ron Young, Kelly McCorkle, and Uchenna and Joyce Agu had been forced to check their backpacks for the flight, allowing the other five teams to gain a valuable head start upon their arrival.
The Amazing Race 7's fifth leg offered the contestants a chance at the first of two Fast Forwards available in the race. The first team able to walk across a wobbly suspension bridge atop the Orlando Cooling Towers in Soweto would win the Fast Forward and be allowed to skip all tasks and proceed straight to the Pit Stop. Ray and Deana, eager to move from their perennial status in the slower pack, opted to try the Fast Forward. Rob and Amber also headed to the water tower, losing valuable time as they waited in line and debated the daters' ability to complete the task. Ray and Deana were ultimately successful in their quest, and once they checked in at the Pit Stop, they were also given the wonderful news that they had won matching Toyota Rav4ís as their prize for finishing first.
Meanwhile, the rest of teams were presented with the Detour options of "Tunnels or Tribes." Most teams chose to repeal into narrow caves and search for a clue, but Lynn Warren and Alex Ali and Rob and Amber chose to deliver items to the tribes in Lesedi Cultural Village. The tunnels option was dirty, narrow, and confusing to the teams, as both Ron and Kelly and Meredith and Gretchen initially left the caves without their clue. Unfortunately for Gretchen, the return to the cave turned out to be a painful experience, as she fell and cut her head. While she received a stitch and was bandaged, she urged her tearful husband to continue searching for the clue.
Once teams completed the Detour, they were instructed to find the Baragwanath Market. To complete the Roadblock, one member of each team had to shop for various children's items on a list. Some teams completed this task quickly, while Amber struggled until a fan recognized her from Survivor and walked her through the task. After they finished shopping, the teams had to deliver the items to the Orlando Children's Home. Some of the teams were particularly moved by this visit, with both Kelly and Joyce commenting on how the children affected them.
After leaving the Children's Home, the teams had to find the Soweto Overlook at the end of the street where Nelson Mandela had once lived. Ron and Kelly were the second team to arrive at this pit stop, followed by the brothers. Lynn and Alex finished fourth, while Rob and Amber (and their new friend) were the fifth team to check in at the Pit Stop. Uchenna and Joyce finished sixth, followed by Meredith and Gretchen in last place, however instead of being eliminated, the couple was relieved to learn that this was the first non-elimination leg of The Amazing Race 7. Unfortunately for them, they had to give Phil all of their money, and, in a new twist for this season, everything except for their passports and the clothes on their backs. For those fans already dissatisfied with the begging required by this twist, the added difficulty of taking their possessions will provide even more fodder for water cooler (or message board) discussion.
CBS's "special presentation" meant two straight hours of The Amazing Race, and Ray and Deana kicked off the next leg by driving to the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve. Once there, teams were instructed to sign up for one of two shuttles for feeding the lions in the Reserve. Sorry fans, the Racers weren't the meals -- they were provided raw meat for the task. Sadly too, this was another bunching leg, as the teams were forced to wait several hours for the shuttles. While with the other teams, Meredith and Gretchen took advantage of the chance to beg other teams for handouts. Uchenna and Joyce had already shown up on their doorstep with a bag of clothes, and most of the other teams were willing to give a little to the desperate and injured team. Rob chose not to give to "the biggest con artists of the Race," while Ray insisted that he was looking out for the "sacrificial lambs" by not prolonging their agony.
The first shuttle riders, including Ray and Deana, Ron and Kelly, and Brian and Greg, were given brief instructions before heading into the Reserve to throw raw meat at wild animals. Once the task had been completed, they received their next clue -- fly to Gaborone, Botswana. Teams arrived at the airport and booked their tickets.
The second shuttle, with the four remaining teams, departed an hour after the first. Once the task was completed, Rob and Amber and Meredith and Gretchen were content to let Alex and Lynn take the lead "and do all the work" leading the other teams to the airport. Unfortunately for them, the couple got the teams lost, forcing a turnaround at the toll booths. Taking advantage of their decision not to blindly follow the other teams, Uchenna and Joyce got to the airport in time to make the same flight as the first shuttle teams. Meanwhile, Lynn and Alex had a harrowing ride though the city before finally asking someone to guide them to the airport, and the three remaining teams took the second flight to Botswana.
Once in Botswana, the teams headed to the train station to catch the train to Francistown. The rivalry between Rob and Amber and Lynn and Alex continued when the boys would not allow the Survivors to share their spacious cab. They claimed that there was not enough room for both teams, confessing to the camera later that if it had been any other team, they would have shared. After the teams arrived in Francistown, they took a bus into town to find the Giant Aardvark.
This legís roadblock required one team member to throw a spear 20 feet into a moving target. Each team chose a bushman to help them with their task (although most of the help seemed to entail pushing the target). The brothers took the lead with the help of a short bushman they nicknamed "Yoda." Ron, Lynn, Ray, and Joyce were the next racers to complete the Roadblock, but Joyce and Uchenna fell into last place when they had trouble finding their bags.
The next task was to drive 35 miles through the bush to Xau Xarra. Ron and Kelly were the first to drive off, and with Ronís military Humvee driving experience, they were confident they'd keep that lead. Disaster struck the brothers when their vehicle flipped over. While the boys were uninjured, Brian was noticeably shaken, particularly when they realized that their cameraman was hurt. A concerned Lynn and Alex stopped to stay with the brothers, and even though Brian and Greg urged them to continue in the Race, the twosome refused to leave until they learned that medical help was on the way. Rob and Amber saw the accident and continued on with the Race, with Rob commenting that while he didn't want to see anyone hurt, this was a competition. As Ray and Deana approached the accident, they also stopped to see if everyone was all right, but Brian and Greg sent them on their way -- a scene that was repeated with the two other remaining teams. After the medical team and a replacement vehicle arrived, the brothers were back in the Race. As they drove toward the Detour, they prayed for their injured cameraman and hoped that the Detour would be physically grueling so that they would have a chance to get back into the competition.
The Detour for this task was "Grind or Suck" (oops, the producers called it "Food or Water"). Teams had to choose between grinding corn into flour and sucking water from an underground spring into ostrich eggs. When the first six teams arrived at the Detour, all but Rob and Amber chose to grind the corn. During the Detour, Ron and Kelly learned that Rob and Amber had failed to stop for the accident, and Kelly vowed to Ron that they couldn't let them win. The water task turned out to be a lot less grueling, allowing the Survivors to make up time on the leaders. However, Ron and Kelly beat them to the Makgadikgadi Pans finish line in a foot race to finish first. While they had the satisfaction of finishing ahead of a team they considered unworthy, they were not given a first place prize. Phil did grill Rob and Amber at the finish line on their decision not to stop when they saw the accident, during which Rob admitted he didn't even know which team had been involved, Lynn and Alex or Brian and Greg.
Back at the Detour, Uchenna and Joyce worked together to pass the other teams and finish third, with a frustrated Lynn and Alex falling into fourth. Finally arriving at the Detour, Brian and Greg were delighted to still see two other cars in the parking lot. Thinking that they would have the better chance of catching the other teams by completing the water option, the two began filling the ostrich eggs. Meanwhile, to the shock of Ray and Deana, the "oldsters" were able to complete the corn grinding before they did. As Meredith and Gretchen approached the finish line, they were cheered by other teams, and Phil marveled at how they were able to move up to their best finish so far despite having everything taken from them.
At the Detour, the final two teams finished their tasks at nearly the same time, with Ray and Deana having about a car-length lead for most of the drive to the Pit Stop. Once the teams arrived in the parking area, it was a spring to the finish line, with the emotional brothers beating the daters to the finish line. Phil made the sprint even sweeter for the boys by letting them know that their cameraman was going to be fine. Then Phil informed Ray and Deana that they would not achieve their goal of finishing ahead of the sacrificial lambs and that Ray would have to deal with losing to 70-year-olds (even if it weren't at checkers.) Despite the elimination, Ray stayed true to his nature, complaining bitterly about his team's (ie. his partner's) performance and questioning the future of his relationship with Deana.
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