'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' cuts Joe Baldassare and Bill Bartek
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/02/2007
Eric Sanchez and Danielle Turner were the last team to arrive at the eighth leg's Pit Stop during last night's The Amazing Race: All-Stars -- however because Joe Baldassare and Bill Bartek had received a 30 minute "marked for elimination" penalty for being the last team to reach the Race's seventh Pit Stop, Joe and Bill became the sixth team eliminated from the competition.
"I think we can walk away with our heads held high and be proud of ourselves... proud of what we've accomplished and achieved," said Joe. "You find the one person who's your true soul mate, that you just know you're destined to be with. Life is supposed to be enjoyed. You're supposed to surround yourself with love and happiness. And I think I've done that. It's really wonderful."
The Amazing Race: All-Stars seventh episode began with cousins Mirna Hindoyan and Charla Baklayan Faddoul -- the winners of the Race's two most recent legs -- departing the sixth leg's Pit Stop in Zanzibar at 4:20AM and learning they needed to fly over 5,000 miles to Warsaw, Poland and then make their way to Czapski Palace, Frederic Chopin's childhood home. Since flights to Warsaw were limited, the teams were provided with tickets on a flight that would arrive at 11:25AM the next day. However, they were under no obligation to use the tickets.
"I really love the feeling of coming in first, but it's almost better to be going under the radar than have all these people see you as a threat," said Mirna, who decided with Charla to wait and share a taxi with Ozwald Mendez and Danilo Jimenez, who left the Pit Stop at 4:28AM and called their brief partnership with the cousins a "joint venture."
Uchenna and Joyce Agu left next at 7:55AM, followed closely by Dustin Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier at 8AM. Charla and Mirna, Ozzy and Danny and Dustin and Kandice all found themselves at a travel agency hoping to book an earlier flight to Warsaw, while Uchenna and Joyce went to the South African Airlines office to try and get a better flight. Both opened at 8:30AM, but Uchenna and Joyce tried to "work something over the phone" before the airlines office opened. They called the travel agency where the other teams were waiting.
"People are telling them to hang the phone up," said Uchenna to Joyce, who tried to explain to the travel agency they were all competing. The agent still hung-up on Uchenna to the delight of the other teams. Dustin and Kandice eventually booked the last two tickets on a flight connecting through Addis Ababa and Frankfurt landing in Warsaw at 9:10AM. At South African Airways, Uchenna and Joyce booked the same connection through Frankfurt landing in Warsaw at 9:10AM, but they needed to pick-up their tickets at the Frankfurt Airport to make the flight. Ozzy and Danny and Charla and Mirna eventually found a flight through Amsterdam landing in Warsaw at 9:45AM.
Eric and Danielle were the next to leave the Pit Stop, departing at 3:15PM -- almost 11 hours after Charla and Mirna. Joe and Bill left the Pit Stop at 7:01PM -- nearly 16 hours behind the leaders. Eric and Danielle found themselves at the same ticket agency as the other teams, but with all the flights booked, they decided to travel with the tickets provided them along with Joe and Bill. Their flight went to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, then to Amsterdam and onto Warsaw. However a problem quickly arose as the teams' first flight was late, causing Eric, Danielle, Bill and Joe to miss their connecting flight in Kilimanjaro. This didn't sit too well with them, as they physically saw the plane take-off without them.
"We have to be on this airplane... you cannot let this airplane leave without us!" yelled Joe at an airport employee, who told them they missed the flight. Joe tried to physically wave the plane to a stop to no avail. "Why is it not possible! We have tickets! What's wrong with these people... so we're going to be stuck here in Kilimanjaro for God knows how long?"
"God knows how long" turned into a 12 hour delay for Eric and Danielle and Joe and Bill. Bill tried to calm Joe down and Danielle echoed the same sentiments as Teri Pollack when she was stranded at the airport.
"I want to go home... I want to go on a flight to home," said Danielle. "It's very hard to stay optimistic because every single time we start another leg we're miserable again."
Dustin and Kandice were the first to arrive in Warsaw at 9:07AM, and while they were supposed to be accompanied by Uchenna and Joyce, they were told they were too late to pick-up tickets at the stop over in Frankfurt.
"Everything was going perfect, and then boom... we get yanked off the flight," said Uchenna. Uchenna and Joyce ended up getting tickets on a flight that landed in Warsaw at 11:02AM, while Eric, Danielle, Joe and Bill finally left Kilimanjaro and were scheduled to fly via Mombassa and Frankfurt and land in Warsaw that night.
Back in Warsaw, Dustin and Kandice traveled to Czapski Palace and were met by the leg's Detour options, "Perfect Pitch" and "Perfect Angle." In "Perfect Pitch," teams had to make their way three-quarters of a mile to the Prymas Palace and choose a grand piano. Then, they needed to use the provided tools to tune one key of the keyboard. Once the concert pianist played a piece of Chopin's music and determined that their piano was in tune, he would hand them their next clue. In "Perfect Angle," teams made their way approximately half a mile to the Escada Boutique to pick up a mannequin and carry it another 400 yards to the Panoramik Laboratory. Once there, teams had to use an x-ray machine to locate a clue imbedded somewhere inside their mannequin which needed to be positioned at a very specific angle for the image to capture the name of their next destination.
Since Dustin had played the piano since she was 6-years-old, the two beauty queens decided to do "Perfect Pitch." Ozzy, Danny, Charla and Mirna landed in Warsaw at 9:22AM and also chose "Perfect Pitch." In the cab on the way to the palace, Charla and Mirna mocked their cab driver, asking if he "liked Polish hot dogs" or "Polish sausage." The cruel jokes would haunt them later in the episode, and karma was already kicking them in the butt as they couldn't find Czapski Palace.
Dustin excelled at the Detour and tuned the piano quickly without snapping any strings. Their next clue instructed them to travel to Jan III Sobieski Lazienki, a monument honoring a king of Poland. Upon arriving at the monument in first place and finding their next clue, Dustin and Kandice received instructions telling them to search the palace grounds for the next Pit Stop, which they were the first to arrive at.
"We definitely think it's possible to be the first all-girl team to win," said Kandice to host Phil Keoghan. "It's just that constant focus that we have to have."
Ozzy and Danny had problems with the piano, as they snapped two strings and even contemplated leaving and trying "Perfect Angle" before they were finally able to tune it. They finished the seventh leg second. Once they found the palace, Charla and Mirna had a myriad of problems with the piano and couldn't even follow directions correctly, allowing Uchenna and Joyce to quickly catch-up when their flight landed. Joyce -- another former piano player -- quickly tuned her team's piano, resulting in her team becoming the third team to check-in at the Pit Stop.
Charla and Mirna eventually gave up and decided to try "Perfect Angle." Walking down the streets of Poland carrying a half-naked male mannequin, the cousins couldn't find the Panoramik Laboratory. After verbally assaulting numerous people for help, Charla and Mirna eventually found somebody to give them a hand. Pieces of their mannequin fell-off as they walked, but they found the lab, got the x-rays, found the clue and finished fourth.
Remember Joe, Bill, Eric and Danielle? They're still racing, and their plane finally landed in Warsaw at the same time as when Dustin and Kandice began the eighth leg of the race at 10:54PM. Upon opening their departing clue, the beauty queens learned they would be traveling over 150 miles to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp where over one million people were killed in the Nazi Genocide. To get to Auschwitz, teams had to take one of two charter buses leaving at 1:00PM and 5:00PM the following day.
Meanwhile, while Dustin and Kandice grabbed their bus tickets and got some rest waiting for their 1:00PM charter, Joe and Bill were trying "Perfect Angle" and Eric and Danielle were trying "Perfect Pitch." Joe and Bill had no problems collecting the mannequin and bringing it to the lab, but then couldn't find the clue. Eric and Danielle also had problems tuning the piano, snapping a string and seemingly having no idea what they were doing. But they eventually figured it out and were the fifth team to reach the seventh leg's Pit Stop.
Joe and Bill finished in last but were pleasantly surprised when they learned it was All-Stars'second non-elimination leg. However they were now "marked for elimination" -- a penalty that meant they had to arrive at the next Pit Stop first or incur a 30 minute penalty that could allow the other teams to check-in before them and potentially force them to become the last team to check-in.
"You can't make-up 10, 12, 14 hours easily... on TheAmazing Race1, we were nineteen hours behind everybody else and we never caught up to them," said Joe, referring to his team's third place finish at their first Race try. "It's certainly hard trying to think that you could actually win it."
As the second team to have arrived at the non-elimination Pit Stop, Ozzy and Danny departed the Pit Stop at 1:06AM. Uchenna and Joyce followed them at 2:26AM. Both teams joined Dustin and Kandice on the first charter bus departing for Aushwitz-Birkenau at 1PM. Charla and Mirna left the Pit Stop at 4:50AM -- which would have given them plenty of time to make the 1:00PM charter, however since the first charter bus only had tickets for three teams, they were forced to take tickets for the later bus.
Eric and Danielle left the Pit Stop at 1:50PM, followed by Joe and Bill at 3:32PM. Despite leaving the Pit Stop nearly half a day behind them, both teams ended up on the same 5PM charter to Aushwitz-Birkenau as Charla and Mirna. Waiting for the bus, Eric and Danielle continued to bicker when she wanted to buy a coffee.
"Danielle's not as focused on the race as she could be... she's not used to the stress," said Eric as the two shouted at each other and he kept telling her to "shut up." Danielle accused Eric of "ignoring" her, and thought arguing over "stupid little things" could cost them.
After lighting candles at Aushwitz-Birkenau to remember the millions of lives lost there, Dustin and Kandice, Uchenna and Joyce and Ozzy and Danny traveled 40 miles to Krakow and arrived at Teatr im Julusza, where they found All-Stars' first Intersection -- a point where the teams had to pair up and perform tasks and make decisions together until further notice.
With Dustin and Kandice lost in their taxi, Uchenna and Joyce and Ozzy and Danny paired up, opting to try for the Race's first Fast Forward. The Fast Forward required the newly joined teams to make their way a quarter mile to Market Square, where they had to climb the Fire Guard Tower of St. Mary's Church and the Town Hall Tower. As they climbed, the teams had to correctly count the total number of steps in both towers. Once they were done, they had present the final combined number to a waiting guard.
After agreeing on the number of steps in the church, the teams came up with some differing estimates on the number of steps at Town Hall. However Uchenna and Ozzy agreed on 348 as the final number, and the guess proved correct as the two teams made their way to the Pit Stop at Pieskowa Skala Castle.
Finishing the eighth leg at the same time, Ozzy and Danny chose to give the leg's prize to Uchenna and Joyce. "We won't be giving away a million dollars though," said Ozzy.
Upon finally arriving at Teatr im Julusza, Dustin and Kandice saw the sign telling them it was an Intersection that required them to work together with another team -- a big problem given all the remaining teams were four hours behind them on the second charter bus.
"This totally stinks... now we're in the back group," said Kandice. "I can't believed this happened to us." With hours to wait for the three teams that were on their way to Krakow from Aushwitz-Birkenau, Dustin and Kandice said they'd most like to work with Joe and Bill. However Charla and Mirna were the first to arrive at Teatr im Julusza -- and rather than wasting more time -- they just decided to team-up with the cousins.
After pairing up at the Intersection, the teams were faced with the leg's Detour options, "Eat It Up" and "Roll It Out." In "Eat It Up," the joined teams make their way one and a half miles to an old market. Once there, each member had to use traditional methods to make one three-inch length of Polish Kielbasa sausage. After finishing, the teams would be served eight feet of cooked Kielbasa. Once each person ate two feet of sausage, the teams would receive their next clue. In "Roll It Out," the joined teams made their way one and a half miles to the J. Mazurek bakery and properly roll out twenty bagels. When finished, they would make their way on foot one quarter of a mile to a nearby restaurant with a delivery of fresh bagels for the headwaiter.
Charla, Mirna, Dustin and Kandice decided to do "Eat It Up," while Joe, Bill, Eric and Danielle -- concerned that Danielle wouldn't be able to eat two feet of sausage -- decided to do "Roll It Up." After the women bonded over sausage making, they quickly found themselves sitting at a table and stuffing their faces. Meanwhile, Joe, Bill, Eric and Danielle couldn't find the bakery in Krakow's Jewish quarters and eventually decided to switch to "Eat It Up."
Despite arriving at the sausage market, after the women, Joe was the first one to finish scarving down his two feet of sausage. Kandice and Dustin followed next, but as the last bite crossed her lips, Dustin threw-up. "Ladies and gentlemen Ms. California!" said Eric, a joke that broke the tension and had everybody laughing. Mirna then finished and the pressure was on Charla. As Bill finished, Eric ate slowly and Danielle was going faster than he was.
"We came here worried about Dani. Now I'm more worried about Eric," said Joe. "Bill and I are the ones with the 30-minute penalty so we got to keep this process moving. Pretty much, we're at their mercy."
Charla decided it might be effective if she induced vomiting, which she did by ramming a butter knife down her throat to the horror of the other racers trying to eat sausage. It didn't help, as Danielle finished sixth and Eric finished seventh, allowing them to move forward with Joe and Bill. Upon opening their next clue, newly separated teams Joe and Bill and Eric and Danielle learned they needed to drive themselves over 20 miles to the town of Skala and find the Pieskowa Skala Castle.
Charla slowly ate the last few bits of sausage and she was on her way with Charla while Dustin and Kandice also left. Mirna couldn't even figure how to release the brake on her vehicle, as Dustin and Kandice hired a taxi to follow to the castle. Joe and Bill got directions, Eric and Danielle also followed a cab, and Charla and Mirna got in an argument with her cab driver. He asked for $100 to lead them to the castle, Charla and Mirna said they didn't have enough to pay it, and the waterworks started.
"I'm crying and he's laughing," said a tearful Mirna as the cab driver started to walk away. "You think I'm made of money... I'm a young girl. Have a little bit of sympathy as a human being! Just show me please my friend I'm begging you!" He eventually decided to help for $50. "God help me get out of this country," said Mirna.
Upon arriving at Pieskowa Skala Castle in third place, Dustin and Kandice discovered the leg's Roadblock, a task that required one team member had to don a full suit of authentic medieval armor and lead a horse half a mile through the forest to the castle gates. Once at the castle, they had to deliver the horse to the stable boy, enter the courtyard and search for the Pit Stop.
Meanwhile, somewhere on the road to Skala, Mirna -- lost and worried that her team was going to finish last -- decided to take her anger out on a sausage-stuffed Charla.
"What are you doing? I don't understand... am I supposed to do everything?" said Mirna to Charla, who responded, "You're just supposed to yell at me... you're right, you're doing everything. Can you yell a little more at me? Is it not enough?"
Despite their squabbling, Charla and Mirna arrived at the castle next because Eric and Danielle and Joe and Bill became briefly lost in the town of Skala. While it probably wasn't the best time for her to show Mirna she's capable of carrying her own weight, Charla decided to wear the armor and lead the horse. "The horse could trample over me. God help us," said Charla.
Eric and Danielle and Joe and Bill eventually arrived at the castle as Charla was walking her horse in circles. "This is a nightmare!" yelled Mirna, who continuously screamed at her cousin, and it wasn't very encouraging. Dustin and Kandice finished the eighth leg in third. Joe and Bill and Eric and Danielle caught-up to Charla and Mirna, as Charla couldn't even keep her arm up and fell on her face twice in between walking into bushes. Rather unbelievably, Charla and Mirna still managed to finish the leg just ahead of Joe and Bill and Eric and Danielle in fourth place.
While Joe and Bill actually finished the eighth leg fifth, it was only a couple of minutes ahead of Eric and Danielle, so due to their 30 minute "marked for elimination" time penalty, they were eliminated from the race.
"In our life I can't really think of a time when we've had more fun together," said Bill through tears. "It's been great... I mean I'm crying but it's happy. You know it's the best times we've had together..."
The Amazing Race: All-Stars will continue on Sunday, April 8 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.
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