'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' eliminates Uchenna and Joyce Agu
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/09/2007
Uchenna and Joyce Agu took a risk on a flight to Malaysia that found them stuck in Frankfurt at the beginning of The Amazing Race: All-Stars' ninth leg, and as a result the married couple from Houston, TX were the seventh team eliminated from the competition.
Uchenna and Joyce's elimination marked the first time in 20 Race legs that The Amazing Race 7 winners were sent packing.
"I guess we can't win them all," said Uchenna during last night's All-Stars broadcast on CBS. "We've won this race before. We know how hard it is to win it." Added Joyce, "Having never been eliminated before, it's a strange feeling because this is it for us. This is the end of the road."
The Amazing Race: All-Stars eighth broadcast began with Uchenna and Joyce and Ozwald Mendez and Danilo Jimenez departing the eighth leg's Pit Stop at Pieskowa Skala Castle in Krakow, Poland together in first place at 9:48PM. Upon opening their clue, both teams learned they would be flying more than 5,500 miles to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
"It's getting down to the wire. There are only five [teams] left and it's getting to be more dog eat dog so I just feel like everyone's a lot more desperate to stay in," said Joyce.
No sooner were the words out of her mouth when Uchenna and Joyce decided to make their own desperate move. Both Ozzy and Danny and Uchenna and Joyce discovered a 7AM flight to Frankfurt that would arrive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at 6:40AM the following morning. But the biggest concern was a tight one-hour connection in Frankfurt. Ozzy and Danny got some good advice from the travel adviser they were working with, who advised them to take a flight through Paris that would land in Kuala Lumpur at 7:25AM. The pair accepted the connection through Paris while Uchenna and Joyce opted for the riskier flight through Frankfurt.
"We'll have a short window in Frankfurt so we have to really hustle," said Uchenna.
Beauty queens Dustin Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier departed the eighth leg's Pit Stop next at 2:52AM, followed closely by cousins Charla Baklayan Faddoul and Mirna Hindoyan at 3:16AM as well as Eric Sanchez and Danielle Turner at 3:22AM. Dustin and Kandice decided to book a flight to Malaysia at the airport, but both Charla and Mirna and Eric and Danielle decided to try their luck on the Internet at their hotel. When the cousins monopolized both the computers and Eric and Danielle asked if they cold possibly use one, they were turned away.
"We're just going to leave and go to the airport," explained Danielle, followed by Eric in his best Mirna impression, "Oh... I don't know why people don't like us." Danielle was able to provide an answer, answering "Because they're rude."
Charla and Mirna then booked a flight through Warsaw and Vienna that was landing in Kuala Lumpur at 4:45AM, and when they arrived at the airport, Eric repaid the favor by making them wait a few extra moments before they checked in on the best flight all the teams had booked.
"Since we made him wait on the Internet, he's making us wait. Touche... he has a point. We're not going to argue with that," commented Mirna.
Dustin and Kandice and Eric and Danielle booked the same flight as Ozzy and Danny -- which connected through Paris and was scheduled to land at 7:25AM in Kuala Lumpur. The teams noticed that Uchenna and Joyce decided to risk the tight connection in Frankfurt.
"I wouldn't risk that, with all the stuff we've been through," said Eric, referencing when he and Danielle were stuck in Kilimanjaro when they missed a tight connection during the race's eighth leg. "As long as you make those connections, you guys are braver than me." Explained Uchenna, "It's going to be very tight. But we're optimistic about it. Things should work out."
That optimism was short lived because Uchenna and Joyce's flight landed in Frankfurt 10 minutes late. Despite begging, pleading and explaining their "desperate" situation to an airline representative, the married couple were told the earliest they could find a flight out of Frankfurt would be the next day.
"It's done... that flight's gone," said a visibly upset Uchenna. "All we can do at this point is stay positive, figure out a way to do it..." before Joyce finished his thought with, "And hopefully the other people have issues."
Charla and Mirna were the first to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 4:45AM, and learned teams had to now take a train and a bus to the Batu Caves, with the catch being they had to decide which train and bus "would serve them best." The cousins received some help from locals on their plane and boarded the correct train and bus to the Batu Caves. When they arrived at the steps of the caves, Charla and Mirna spotted the clue box perched high above them requiring a long walk up a very long set of steep stairs. After reaching the top, they opened their clue and learned they had to travel 10 miles by taxi to Kampung Baru Mosque and search the nearby streets for their next clue and the first opportunity in the race for a Yield, which allows a team to slow down another team behind them but can only be used once by each team during the race.
Eric and Danielle, Dustin and Kandice and Ozzy and Danny all arrived in Malaysia at 7:25AM and used different tactics to find the best route to the Batu Caves. Eric and Danielle asked for help at the airport, Dustin and Kandice followed Charla and Mirna's idea and received help on the plane and Ozzy and Danny did research at the hotel. While they all used different routes, they all eventually arrived at the caves, with Dustin and Kandice second behind Charla and Mirna, followed by Ozzy and Danny in third and Eric and Danielle in fourth.
Meanwhile, Charla and Mirna arrived at Kampung Baru Mosque and spotted their clue. After choosing not to yield anyone, the cousins opened their clue and learned it was time of the leg's Detour options -- "Artistic Expression" or "Cookie Confection."
In "Artistic Expression," teams needed to travel one third of a mile on foot to Dewan Lama. Once there, they had to use an ancient technique known as batik to exactly duplicate one of three patterns onto and then dye a 45 square-foot piece of cloth. The task required the careful application of an artistic skill, but teams with an eye for detail could find them selves jumping ahead.
In "Cookie Confection," teams made their way on foot half a mile to Chow Kit Bomba and were required to search through 600 boxes of traditional Malaysian special cookies and find the one that had a black licorice center. The task required no skill, but teams with a bit of luck could finish quickly. Apparently not full from the sausages they ate during the eighth leg, the cousins chose "Cookie Confection."
"I like the cookie one... cookies and licorice, can't get better than this!" said Mirna. Added Charla, "Sounds like a fun one!" However finding the cookie they were looking for proved to be harder than the cousins thought. "That's a lot of damn cookies," commented Charla.
With all the teams extra exhausted due to the heat in Malaysia, Dustin and Kandice were the second team to reach the Detour. Unsure where the other teams were, they decided to Yield Eric and Danielle. "This is a game. We could very well be fighting for last now. They're gonna hate us forever," said Kandice. "It's pure strategy. It's nothing personal." The beauty queens then chose "Artistic Expression," deciding 600 boxes of cookies was "way too much" for them to handle. Back at Chow Kit Bomba, Charla and Mirna were finding that out, but received some encouragement from people on the streets.
"We have a lot of fans it turns out here in Malaysia," said Mirna. "They recognized us, and they really boosted our egos." Apparently their egos weren't boosted enough to eat more cookies, as they still eventually decided to switch Detour challenges and do "Artistic Expression." Ozzy and Danny were lost on the street looking for the Detour and when they eventually found it they argued which task to do. Danny asked for a reluctant Ozzy to trust him and the two decided Cookie Confection. Eric and Danielle then found the Detour and learned they had been Yielded by the beauty queens.
"Those dirty, dirty hookers," said Eric upon learning he had to wait in the Malaysian heat before he and Danielle could proceed. "They're dirty pirate hookers. I hope we catch them." Commented Danielle, "We were just really shocked that the blondes did it to us because we have gotten along with them... maybe the blondes are a little fake and phony. All they really did was just make enemies for no reason."
As Danny and Ozzy began to bite through cookies, Ozzy noticed Danny left some whole cookies on the ground. Danny incorrectly believed that he could only taste one cookie in a box and toss it on the ground since all the cookies in a box would taste like licorice if he found the right one. Ozzy correctly tried to explain that only one cookie in all 600 boxes would taste like licorice. Bickering ensued and time was wasted before they decided to try "Artistic Expression." On their way to Dewan Lama, they changed their minds when Danny insisted Ozzy never listed to his suggestions and the two went back to Chow Kit Bomba to eat more cookies.
At Dewan Lama, Mirna had to pick up the slack for Charla because she couldn't reach high enough on the table to make the pattern, and Dustin and Kandice finished painting the beautiful cloth first to earn their next clue. Opening it, the beauty queens learned they had to travel six miles by taxi to the neighborhood of Taman Sri Hartamas and locate a newspaper truck. The licorice cookie continued to elude Danny and Ozzy and the arguing continued.
"We don't see eye to eye, so let's just go to the other place and do that thing," said Danny as he and Ozzy switched challenges yet again. However the time they wasted allowed Eric and Danielle to finish their yield and -- in what appeared to be a bad idea -- head to search through the boxes of cookies.
"We're not out of this yet. If any team has to win besides us I'd rather see Ozzy and Danny," commented Eric. Ozzy repaid the compliment when he said, "Eric and Danielle, they're good competitors. They're cunning." As Ozzy and Danny and Charla and Mirna tried to complete their patterns, Ozzy and Danny learned they incorrectly duplicated a pattern and the cousins finished the Detour challenge ahead of them.
Upon becoming the first team to arrive in Taman Sri Hartamas, Dustin and Kandice discovered it was time for the leg's Roadblock, a task that required one team member to give a nod to Malaysia's eco-friendly practice of recycling. Team members had to chose a bicycle with a side cart attached and scour the neighborhood for residents willing to sell them their used newspapers. Once they had collected enough newspapers to make an eight-hands high stack, they would receive their next clue. Kandice chose to do it and excelled for an obvious reason according to a local man.
"You should have no problem getting newspaper," the local explained to the former Miss New York. "The way you look." Despite the heat, Kandice had no problems as she returned to where Dustin waited with the required eight-hand high stack of papers just as Charla and Mirna showed up. Upon opening their clue, the beauty queens learned they needed to travel six miles by taxi to the next Pit Stop at Caracosa Seri Negara. They were the first team to arrive at the ninth leg's Pit Stop.
"We don't want to be overconfident," said Dustin. Added Kandice, "If we stay on this pace, we're looking good."
Since the Roadblock involved a bicycle, Mirna had no choice but to do the task. She struggled to move the bike in the direction she wanted and barely began scouring for newspapers. Meanwhile, back at the Detour, Danielle found her team's cookie and she and Eric reached the Roadblock in third. Ozzy and Danny followed next, with Ozzy saying he was "exhausted" and "emotionally drained" and Danny saying he "needed space" as the two continued to argue on the way to the Roadblock.
While initially it looked like she would have a hard time keeping her team's lead with Danielle and Danny both attempting the Roadblock hot on her heels, Mirna hit the jackpot as a team of locals she called "Team Charla Mirna" helped her collect newspapers and push her bike to where the stack could be counted.
"These are the future Charlas and Mirnas of the world... the juniors. Stay out of drugs. Go to school. Be a professional and you're in good shape," Mirna told her team. She and Charla finished the ninth leg in second.
Danny and Danielle both struggled in the Malaysian heat. As Ozzy tried to offer encouragement, Danny said he was "hating" Ozzy with a passion. "I think he's upset with me because he's doing the Roadblock," said Ozzy. "I need to let him blow off some steam. He's going to be unhappy for the rest of the day." Danielle also recruited some locals to help her when her bike broke, and Danny was able to get some lemonade from a local woman. Danielle finished the Roadblock ahead of Danny.
"Every Roadblock... that's designed for a guy... I am doing," said Danielle in between gasps of air. "And every Roadblock for a girl Eric does. He's a woman." But Eric kept things in perspective, saying the only reason he wanted to get to the Pit Stop was to "give the blondies the old finger" for yielding them earlier in the leg. Danielle and Eric finished the leg in third.
After struggling to find enough local residents willing to give him their newspapers, Danny found himself at a local gas station and offered to buy all of the old newspapers they had there. His plan worked, but it left he and Ozzy with very little money. It didn't matter as they finished the ninth leg in fourth, presumably far ahead of Uchenna and Joyce (remember them?). With the sun setting over Kuala Lumpur, Uchenna and Joyce finally landed in Malaysia.
"We finally reached Kuala Lumpur," said Uchenna. Added Joyce, "When the sun goes down and it turns to night and you're in the position we're in, it feels like you might have to throw in the towel. But we're not ready to do that yet." Commented Uchenna, "The best we can do at this point is look to each other, keep the spirits up and just keep plugging along until either we're either caught up or... I don't even want to say it."
However upon picking up their first clue, Uchenna and Joyce appeared to receive instructions telling them to proceed directly to the Pit Stop -- a huge hint that Uchenna's unspeakable scenario had happened. Sure enough, upon reaching the Pit Stop, Race host Phil Keoghan told Uchenna and Joyce that they had been eliminated from the competition.
"It's been worth it, every minute," said Uchenna. Commented Joyce, "There's a new spark. I can see that I appreciate Uchenna. he's my life partner and I just can't imagine being without him." Replied Uchenna, "Joyce and I have decided to stay together and to try to work every kink out and find that place where we can be together happily for the rest of our lives."
The Amazing Race: All-Stars will continue on Sunday, April 15 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.