'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' eliminates Kevin and Drew
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/26/2007
Two teams saw an alliance quickly form and vanish during Sunday night's broadcast of The Amazing Race: All-Stars' second episode, however in the end, it was another duo that was sent packing at the conclusion of global race's second leg.
Kevin O'Connor, a 40-year-old forensic accountant from Bayonne, NJ, and Drew Feinberg, a 41-year-old Senior Court Officer from Staten Island, NY, were the second team eliminated at the All-Stars second Pit Stop. After finishing fourth in the original 2001 installment of The Amazing Race, Kevin and Drew came back for All-Stars six years older, and it showed. During the first Pit Stop in Quito, Ecuador, Race host Phil Keoghan said Drew required medical attention for symptoms of altitude sickness.
"I can't get a full deep breath," said Drew. "During the night I was vomiting and I had a headache... I've had oxygen administered like four times now."
Rob and Amber Mariano were the first to leave the Pit Stop in Quito, Ecuador to fly 2,400 miles to Santiago, Chile, where they would take a taxi anther 12 miles to the corporate headquarters of Codelco, the largest copper-mining company in the world. It was there that the teams would receive their next clue. "The other teams have no idea what they're in for," said Rob. "I don't even want them to be afraid of us. I want them to be preoccupied with us because it distracts them from what they should be doing."
Following Rob and Amber's departure, the nine other teams left in the order they arrived at the first Pit Stop -- Oswald Mendez and Danilo Jimenez, Teri and Ian Pollack, Eric Sanchez and Danielle Turner, Joe Baldassare and Bill Bartek, Dustin Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier, Uchenna and Joyce Agu, Charla Baklayan Faddoul and Mirna Hindoyan, David Jr. and Mary Conley, and finally Kevin and Drew. While driving back to the airport in Quito, Charla and Mirna found their vehicle stuck in a muddy ditch, but David and Mary towed them out.
"I got to the game thinking I'm not gonna like Charla and Mirna, I'm not gonna like the way they're going to play this game," said Mary. "But from the time I've met them, I love them." Upon being towed by David and Mary, Mirna shouted to them, "We owe you." She added, "We like David and Mary, they're definitely the most trustworthy... so I guess you could call it a little bit of an alliance."
Already in last place, Kevin and Drew also found themselves stuck due to Drew's driving. "Drew's trying his hardest. he's got his ailments," said Kevin. "It gets a little frustrating for me, but what's my alternative? Not to do this? We just got to keep pushing." With no other vehicles or teams to help them, Kevin attached a tow rope to himself and physically pulled his team's vehicle out of the ditch while Drew navigated (and almost hit Kevin).
Rob and Amber and Ozzy and Danny were the first to arrive at Quito's airport and were faced with a decision. They chose to leave 40 minutes earlier then the other teams by flying to Guayaquil, Ecuador then to Lima, Peru and eventually to Santiago, Chile. The other eight teams left 40 minutes later, but flew directly to Lima and onto Santiago. Rob said he thought the other teams would be "paranoid" that they didn't know where he and Amber were, and he was right, as the hot question among the eight teams on the later flight was "Where's Rob and Amber?"
But Rob, Amber, Ozzy and Danny's flight from Guayaquil to Lima was delayed, forcing them to miss the flight from Lima to Santiago. "The lead that we thought we had over the other teams no longer exists," said Ozzy. After begging with flight personnel to be let on the same flight as the eight other teams once they arrived late in Lima, Rob, Amber, Danny and Ozzy had to wait for another plane to Santiago. "Within a period of 10 minutes you can go from being in first place to last place," said Rob. "It's a miserable game this race."
All the teams arrived in Santiago, with Rob, Amber, Ozzy and Danny about 15 minutes behind the others. Uchenna and Joyce and Eric and Danielle led the way to Codelco, where they would face the task of completing their first All-Stars Roadblock -- a challenge that only one person from each team may perform. In this Roadblock, that person was required to search a boardroom full of people for letters from the alphabet that were on display. What teams had to figure out was that when unscrambled, a majority of the letters would spell out one of the 10 destinations on the plaques hanging on the wall. Once they thought they'd solved the puzzle, they had to show their answer to the security guard, who would hand them their next clue.
Learning that the Roadblock required an "eye for detail," Eric and Joyce went in for their teams. Bill went in for he and Joe and Dustin went in for the blondes shortly thereafter. While Eric and Joyce continued to struggle, Dustin said "I knew that the clue to solve the Roadblock was somewhere in the room and I realized there are pictures all over the wall." After matching only several of the letters she had gathered with one of the corresponding pictures on the wall, she found the puzzle's answer was "Chuquicamata."
The clue Dustin received from Codelco's security guard revealed teams had to fly 230 miles to the city of Calama and make their way to Chuquicamata -- the world's largest open-pit copper mine -- where they'd find their next clue. Most of the other teams struggled with the Roadblock, allowing Rob, Amber, Ozzy and Danny to catch up.
Bill followed Dustin's strategy and he and Joe were on their way. True to their alliance, Mary helped Mirna and they were the third and fourth teams to leave. Kevin eavesdropped on Mary and Mirna getting the clue for their teams, allowing his to leave fifth. Amber and Danny also worked together, got their clue and helped their teams be the next two to leave. Eric finally figured it out -- after it was all but spelled out for him -- and he and Danielle left.
"This is driving me nuts," said Uchenna as he waited for Joyce, who was taking such a long time her duo went all the way from first place to ninth before she eventually solved the puzzle. Despite his "attention to detail" as a former private investigator and police lieutenant, Ian struggled and finished last. "I didn't do good at all on that one," lamented Ian. "My observations were just not good enough today."
As the teams waited in line to buy tickets at the Santiago airport, Rob noticed Eric went from the back of one line to the front of a newly opened line, and proceeded to confront him over it. "I don't really have anything personal against Eric, I was just trying to stir the pot up," said Rob. When Amber instructed Rob not to get upset because she knew he'd do the same thing as Eric if the opportunity arose, Rob took exception. "The only thing I didn't like in the whole situation was Amber defending [Eric]," Rob told the cameras later. "It's not that I don't mind Rob stirring trouble. But it was so wrong it made him look silly," said Amber. Added Rob, "We're a team over here. You're supposed to have my back. There's a method to my madness."
Unbelievably, Kevin and Drew were in first place once the plane landed in Calama, followed by the other nine teams. Imploring their driver, Rob and Amber quickly claimed third place as the teams approached the Detour, where teams had to choose between two "By Hand" and "By Machine," two tasks "essential to the smooth running" of a large copper mine. In "By Hand," teams had to properly align the bolts and washers of a two-ton tire in order to properly secure it to a truck. When finished, a foreman inspected their work and gave them their next clue. In "By Machine," each team member had to take a turn driving a "huge" front loader to transfer gravel. Once the level of gravel surpassed a yellow line, the foreman handed them their next clue.
Rob and Amber were one of only two teams, along with Joe and Bill, that decided to work with machines instead of their hands. "I have a lot of experience with backhoes," said Rob. "I was in construction for like 10 years." Their decision was a good one, as they quickly completed the Detour first. "It's pretty cool to see Amber behind the wheel of a backhoe," said Rob. "She did good. I was proud of her." All of the teams working by hand struggled, including Charla, who needed a step stool and even carried Mirna on her shoulders at one point. Mary was also having a hard time, and as David tried to show her the correct way to do it, she answered "Whatever."
Dustin and Kandice noticed the difficulties Charla and Mirna were having and commented that the cousins "do things with such stress and such drama... it's kind of their style. It can be kind of abrasive." Slowly but surely, all the teams completed the Detour and learned they'd have to choose a marked vehicle parked at the copper mine and drive 71 miles through the Valley of the Moon. Phil said the "sharp winds and shifting sands" restricted the teams to driving "no more than 40 kilometers an hour" in the Valley of the Moon. However once they exited the "moon valley," they could begin driving 50 kilometers an hour for the reminder of their ride to the Valley of the Dead -- the Pit Stop for the second leg of the race.
After some careful maneuvering of their vehicles, the first five teams to arrive at the Pit Stop with little to no trouble were Rob and Amber (first for the second leg in a row), Ozzy and Danny, Joe and Bill, Eric and Danielle, and Uchenna and Joyce. Despite being one of the earlier teams to complete the Detour, Teri and Ian couldn't find the marked vehicle they were supposed to drive to the Pit Stop -- slowing them down considerably and taking them from sixth to last. Kevin and Drew were also slowed as Drew took his "medicine," but they were still in relatively decent shape --sixth place -- when they left the Detour.
As they left the Detour, Kandice and Dustin followed Charla and Mirna, who were following a taxi. Mirna said she gave the driver all their money to lead them to the Valley of the Moon, and was visibly upset when she noticed Kandice and Dustin were following them. "You think they're going to use me?," said Mirna, who shortly thereafter stopped when the cab she was following stopped. Mirna gave Dustin and Kandice the ultimatum of splitting the cost of the cab or going ahead without its help. "What would you like to do?" asked Charla. "Decide!" Kandice and Dustin asked how much was needed, decided against paying it and left the whole ugly scene behind. Teri and Ian passed Charla and Mirna, as did Mary and David -- both excited they were no longer in last.
Once out of the Valley of the Moon, Kevin and Drew didn't pay enough attention to the directions given to them and proceeded to continue to drive only 40 kilometers an hour despite the fact the speed limit was now higher. With Drew driving, Kevin sat in the back and tried to calm him as the other four teams passed them on the road. "If anybody passed us, that means they're going more than 40 kilometers," explained Kevin, who had Drew drive down the center of the road. "So this is the way we have to go to the end at this point and time." Remarked Ian as he passed them, "The gate guard told me there was no [40 kilometers an hour] speed limit anymore. But [Drew and Kevin] are working under the assumption that it's still 40."
As the road race to the Pit Stop continued, Mary was upset when her new alliance, Charla and Mirna, passed her team. "When I saw what I believed were my friends trying to pass me... no. The game was on," said Mary. "I ain't giving this game to nobody. We're in this to win." Dustin and Kandice eventually finished sixth, followed by Teri and Ian in seventh.
After initially taking a wrong turn, Kevin and Drew, Charla and Mirna, and David and Mary turned around. Amazingly, Kevin and Drew had a chance to realize their speed limit mistake but did not and continued to drive only 40 kilometers an hour. "Go! Go!," yelled Mirna at Drew. "What's your problem! You drive like a girl!" Kevin and Drew yelled "Speeding!" as Charla and Mirna passed them to finish eighth and David and Mary came in ninth.
"I'm dissatisfied," Mary told Phil. "For two races now all I've done is help people. Charla and Mirna, they were my friends. After what went on today... no. It's the last time I'm going to help anybody."
As Phil tried to tell Drew and Kevin they were eliminated, Drew looked disoriented and continuously tried to walk away. "Drew, stay here and please be a good sport," implored Kevin. "I am being a good sport," answered Drew, who walked back to the vehicle to get his hat. "He doesn't look that happy," Phil said to Kevin, who answered "He's not. Those were two excruciating legs and he's doing all the driving. So you know, he's got a lot of pressure on his shoulder, his neck and his back. It's pretty bad."
"I can't breath. My back hurts from driving. My voice is gone," said Drew. "I didn't quit. I tried my hardest. Kevin stepped up and held us together." Added Kevin, "We came into this as a team, and if I were hurting, [Drew] would certainly pick-up the slack for me. I'll look back on this as a great opportunity and I wouldn't have passed it up for the world... but it's bittersweet."
The Amazing Race: All-Stars will continue on Sunday, March 4 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.