'The Amazing Race 10' "marks" Dave and Mary Conley for elimination
By Reality TV World staff, 10/16/2006
Last night's broadcast of The Amazing Race 10's first non-elimination leg introduced a new twist to the long-running CBS reality show -- being "marked for elimination."
After five seasons of forcing a non-elimination leg's last place team to hand over all their money, three seasons of also forcing them to give up all of their possessions, and one season in which both penalties were shown to be largely ineffectual by having a team that finished last not once but twice still go on to win the entire competition, The Amazing Race 10's last place teams (and viewers) will be spared from having to awkwardly beg for money in what were frequently less developed nations. Instead, The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan informed David and Mary Conley that, as the last team to arrive at The Amazing Race 10's first non-elimination Pit Stop, they would get to keep their money and possessions but, should they fail to be the first team to check-in at the next Pit Stop, will instead have a 30-minute "marked for elimination" time penalty added to their actual Pit Stop arrival time.
The Amazing Race 10's fifth episode began with the seven remaining teams departing Soi Sim Island, a northern Vietnam island that served as the Race's fourth Pit Stop location. As they left the Pit Stop, the teams received a clue instructing them to take a train back to Hanoi and then fly more than 3,000 miles to Chennai, India. Since Vietnamese regulations prevent airplane tickets from being purchased at an airline counter, the teams would have to purchase their tickets at a local travel agency.
Although more than an hour separated the first team to leave the Pit Stop (dating couple Rob Diaz and Kimberly Chabollao) from the sixth team to leave the Pit Stop (single moms Lyn Turk and Karlyn Harris) and the sixth place team departed the Pit Stop nearly an hour ahead of seventh place beauty queens Dustin Konzelman and Kandice Pelletier, all seven teams ended up traveling back to the Hanoi on the same 5AM train.
While on the train, Peter Harsch -- in what Dustin and Kandice took as an attempt to flirt with them but instead appeared to be a reaction to the information that brothers Erwin and Godwin Cho were sharing with fellow "the Back Pack" alliance members Lyn and Karlyn and David and Mary -- approached the beauty queens with an offer to ally together share his team's map of Hanoi with the women. Although they later admitted to not trusting Peter, Dustin and Kandice accepted his offer to form a nascent alliance. Afterward, Godwin's attempt to use a fake phone to trick Peter into thinking that he had already booked tickets to Chennai backfired when Peter, thinking that Godwin had in fact booked tickets, used another passenger's phone to find a Hanoi travel agency that could help both Dustin and Kandice and his own team book tickets.
Once the teams arrived in Hanoi, heavy traffic and an outdated map forced "the Back Pack" to abandon their joint plans and instead scramble for whatever travel agencies they could find. Meanwhile, as they have for the Race's last couple of legs, Dustin and Kandice continued to act in a manner consistent with the cut-throat stereotypes associated with the highly competitive beauty pageant world. Although Peter had been the one to pre-arrange for a travel agency to help them, Dustin and Kandice used their seconds earlier arrival to beg the travel agent to help them first. Somewhat ironically, Rob and Kim and former drug addicts and models Tyler Denk and James Branaman -- the two teams that didn't appear to get involved in the train ride shenanigans -- appeared to be the teams that worked best together, with a lengthy wait for a ticket courier to arrive at the travel agency they jointly visited being their biggest drama.
After purchasing their tickets, all the teams traveled to the airport. Once there, Lyn and Karlyn and David and Mary learned that while their travel agents had made reservations that took them to Chennai via a Bangkok layover that wouldn't get them into Chennai until noon the following day, Erwin and Godwin's agent had booked the brothers reservations that, although they required layovers in both Hong Kong and Delhi, would get them into Chennai nearly three hours earlier. Armed with Erwin and Godwin's new information, Lyn and Karlyn and David and Mary both quickly persuaded a Cathay Pacific airline employee to help book them into the same flights, even though the change meant that they wouldn't have confirmed seats on the final Delhi-departing flight.
After sharing their flight information with his "the Back Pack" alliances, Erwin and Godwin also shared their flight information with Peter and Sarah Reinertsen and Dustin and Kandice (both of whom were still booked to travel on the later noontime arriving flight and were using their waiting time to make fun of "the Back Pack" teams.) However, after discovering that changing their reservations would require them to risk not having seats on the final Delhi-departing flight, both teams decided to keep their original reservations.
Left out of the airport chess moves were Rob and Kim and Tyler and James, who, after spending most of their time waiting at the travel agency they used, appeared to sneak into the airport unnoticed and depart on a Singapore-board flight that, after boarding another connecting flight to Delhi, would put the teams on the same Delhi-departing flight that the Cho brothers had ultimately informed all the other teams about.
After all the teams left the airport, Peter and Sarah and Dustin and Kandice's decisions to stay with their initial reservations paid off big when, upon arriving in Bangkok, they were all able to -- despite the beauty queen's best efforts to keep the information from Peter and Sarah -- instead book tickets on a much earlier flight that would get them into Chennai at 7:50AM. Not only did the new flight get them into Chennai more than four hours earlier than their original flight and an hour and a half ahead of the Delhi-departing flight that the rest of the teams were planning to travel on, but their decision to not gamble on the Delhi-departing flight also proved correct. Although Lyn an Karlyn ended up being able to join Rob and Kim, Tyler and James, and Erwin and Godwin on the flight, David and Mary were not, forcing them to instead fly on an Air Sahara flight that didn't arrive in Chennai until 10:00AM.
Once all the airport games -- which took up fully half of the episode -- ended, the remainder of the episode seemed nearly anti-climatic. After the teams arrived in Chennai, they had to find a bus station or bus stop, take a 40-mile bus ride to the town of Mamallapuram, and then find a crafts store. Although their 90-minute lead on the rest of the teams meant they could likely afford a brief moment of quasi-generosity, Candice took the drastic step of covering her taxi driver's mouth in order to prevent him from telling Peter and Sarah's team how to find the bus station.
After finding the craft shop (and in Peter and Sarah and Dustin and Kandice's cases, waiting for it to open) the teams had to complete the Race's fifth Detour -- "Wild Things" or "Wild Rice." "Wild Things" required the teams to take a taxi nine miles a "crocodile bank." Once there, they had to locate Pit 16 and help two wranglers secure and transport a large crocodile to the new pit. "Wild Rice" required the teams to walk 200 yards to a nearby temple and select a large chalk outline drawn on the temple floor. Then, armed with a picture of what the completed design should look like, the teams had to fill in the traditional Indian design with specially colored powdered rice.
Most of the teams ended up completing the crocodile task, with karma striking back at Dustin and Kandice and giving their taxi a flat tire that dropped them back into second place behind Peter and Sarah during the ride to the "crocodile bank." While Erwin and Godwin and Lyn and Karlyn (still working together) initially decided to try the "Wild Rice" Detour, they quickly decided to switch to "Wild Things" after discovering how labor intensive the task appeared to be. Ironically, the only teams that ended up deciding to do the "Wild Things" option were the last two teams to arrive -- Tyler and James (who after ending up on a later bus to Mamallapuram and falling to sixth place, decided to complete the closer task) and David and Mary (who despite knowing her team was behind, didn't want any part of the crocodile task.)
After completing the Detour, the teams received clues instructing them to take another bus back to Chenna and then locate the Karthik Driving School. Once they found the driving school, the teams discovered that it would serve as one of The Amazing Race's most humorous Roadblock tasks -- getting an Indian driver's license. After sitting through an Indian "driver's ed" class and passing a road test, the teams received clues telling them to get back into their driving school car and, with their driving school instructor still riding shotgun, drive themselves ten miles to Chettinad House, a royal palace that served as the Race's fifth Pit Stop.
Since the buses from Mamallapuram back to Chenna only ran every 30 minutes, the five front-running teams appeared to arrive at the driving school (and later the Pit Stop) in two main waves. As the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop, Peter and Sarah each won home gym systems. Since Dustin and Kandice had, despite the flat tire they'd suffered on the way to the "crocodile bank," still managed to end up on the same returning bus as Peter and Sarah, they checked in second. After being the first second bus team to find the driving school, Rob and Kimberly were the third team to arrive at the Pit Stop. Erwin and Godwin and Lyn and Karlyn followed in fourth and fifth place, leaving the two "Wild Rice" teams, Tyler and James and David and Mary, to compete for sixth place -- a development that Tyler and James found "humbling."
Although David and Mary knew they were in last place immediately upon reaching the Roadblock, they continued on anyways, and, upon arriving at the Pit Stop, Phil greeted them with the words that last place racers always love to hear -- "David and Mary, you're the last team to arrive... but I'm pleased to tell you however that this is a non-elimination leg and you are still in the Race."