'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' sends David and Mary Conley packing
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/05/2007
Rob and Amber Mariano impressively won their third straight leg at the end of Sunday night's broadcast of The Amazing Race: All-Stars on CBS -- but their victory meant another team's defeat, as David Conley Jr. and his wife Mary were the third team eliminated from the eleventh installment of reality competition series.
David, a 33-year-old coal miner, and Mary, a 32-year-old homemaker and reality television fanatic, left their Stone, KY home to compete on All-Stars after finishing sixth on the most recently concluded tenth edition of The Amazing Race. However they were the second-to-last team to reach the Pit Stop during last week's episode, which meant they were the last team to leave the Pit Stop this week -- more than an hour after leaders Rob and Amber.
"Charla and Mirna... they were my friends. But during the last leg of the race, they're going to try and pass me!" said Mary, referring to her team's short-lived alliance with cousins Charla Baklayan Faddoul and Mirna Hindoyan. "The race is on now. Them two girls, they will not beat me at nothing."
After leaving the Pit Stop and driving four miles through the dessert to the town of San Pedro de Atacama to find the church that bears its name, the teams ripped open their next clue and learned they had to fly over 800 miles to the town of Puerto Montt and then drive another 30 miles to a fishery in the town of Metri. Aware the airport's ticket counters would be closed, Rob and Amber tried to find a travel agency to book a flight, and they were successful in finding a flight that arrived at 12:55PM. Meanwhile Joe Baldassare and Bill Bartek stopped for directions to the church, and Eric Sanchez and Danielle Turner listened in before speeding past the Guidos.
"I'm a little bit upset about that because I did the work,"said Bill, who proceeded to physically block Eric and Danielle's car by standing in-front of it. "You can't block my car!," said Eric. Added Danielle, "That is so rude!" Once Joe calmed Bill down, explaining they had made their point, both teams were on their way. "What is wrong with them?" asked Danielle. "They're such whiners," Eric added.
As they left the Pit Stop, a nascent alliance formed between Dustin Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier and Teri Pollack and Ian Pollack. The beauty queens said they joined with the married parents because they're "good with directions" while Terri said she and Ian aligned with Dustin and Kandice because they are "strong racers."
When the other teams began to arrive at the airport, they quickly realized Rob and Amber were nowhere to be found. While the teams began to line-up at the closed ticket counter, Ozwald Mendez and Danilo Jimenez, Joe and Bill and, Eric and Danielle gave their credit card information to Uchenna and Joyce Agu -- who tried to find a hotel to book flights for those four teams online. Meanwhile, Rob and Amber hid at the airport so none of the other teams knew where they were, however despite the effort, Uchenna and Joyce eventually found the same 12:55PM flight to Santiago. They booked it for themselves, as well as Joe and Bill, but the other teams forgot to give their credit card security code.
With Rob and Amber, Uchenna and Joyce and Joe and Bill on the earlier flight, the rest of the teams were set to be an hour behind. However Eric noticed the Uchenna and Joyce's boarding pass was earlier and changed his flight to 12:55PM, prompting Teri and Ian and Charla and Mirna to also try to get on that flight. It was sold out, but they were told if they got to the connector in Santiago quick enough, they might be able to be put on stand by. Once in Santiago, a "showdown" at the ticket counter occurred between Teri and Ian and Mirna and Charla.
"This is my counter! Do not talk to my person while he is helping me," Teri shouted as Mirna and Charla tried to steal the attention of the sole ticket counter agent. "Teri, you don't own the world," Mirna replied.
When Ian said Mirna was being rude, she responded, "I took lessons from the king of rude, you." Ian tried to call security, but the shouting match amounted to nothing as neither team could get tickets on the 12:55PM flight that would carry only Rob and Amber, Uchenna and Joyce, Joe and Bill and Eric and Danielle.
As those four teams arrived in Puerto Montt, Rob and Amber quickly fell to fourth when they took a wrong turn. However all four eventually found themselves at the third leg's Roadblock, which had a member from each team choose an 1,800-gallon fish-breeding tank, jump in, and catch and transfer 80 fish from the breeding tank to a holding tank at the other end of the farm. Once finished, their clue would be revealed at the bottom of the tank. Danielle, Uchenna, Joe and Amber all decided to do the Roadblock, a decision Eric seemed to quickly regret.
"This is disgusting. I don't even like fish looking at me," said Danielle. "This is not my thing. Oh gosh! I can't even pick it up." Encouraged Eric, "Don't be a baby! Pick it up! Pick-up the damn fish!" The teams on the later flight all arrived shortly thereafter, except for David and Mary, because David couldn't figure out how to drive out of Peurto Montt's airport terminal. Back at the Roadblock, it truly became a fish-farming frenzy with all of the teams present. Joe referred to himself as a "fish whisperer" and Danielle -- after repeated needling from Eric -- eventually decided to use her boobs to hold the fish.
"[Eric] was constantly making comments about [Danielle's] breasts," said Rob. "Not to say I wasn't making comments about Amber... they're different types of comments."
Uchenna used a "system" to get the fish under control and finished the Roadblock first. The clue at the bottom of the tank revealed teams had to find the sign for La Maquina along the river, and just before they enter Petrohue, search for the next clue. Joe also finished -- but didn't read the entire clue -- never learning the part about Petrohue. Amber and Danielle also finished and decided to work as a team to find the next clue.
"We decided to work with Eric and Danielle, and we didn't mind because I have another team with me. That's my insurance," explained Rob. "Eric and Danielle, against Amber and Rob, any day of the week we're the odds on favorite." Mirna, David and Danny all struggled at fish farming, with their teams being the last to complete the Roadblock.
"I'm from Kentucky. I'm not a water person period," said David. "Lakes, rivers, fishing, kayaking... I don't ever do none of it." But David finished, leaving Mirna and Danny as the only ones left in the tank. Eventually Danny finished, and Mirna thought she and Charla were doomed, unaware that Joe and Bill didn't have the entire clue. "Donde esta La Maquina?" asked the Guidos as they drove lost along the Chilean coast, eventually realizing their mistake and driving back into town.
As Mirna finished the Roadblock, Rob and Amber, Eric and Danielle and Uchenna and Joyce reached the Detour. Teams had to choose between two activities common in Chile's lake district, "Vertical Limit" or "River Wild." In "Vertical Limit," teams had to walk 200 yards to a cliff where both members needed to complete a 40-foot rock climb. Each member would grab one half of their clue at the top of the climb. In "River Wild," teams had to backtrack two miles to the banks of Rio Petrohue where they would complete a two and a half mile white water rafting course through category three and four rapids to retrieve their clue. Every team picked "River Wild," and once it was completed, the teams learned the Pit Stop was only three and a half miles away at Playa Petrohue, a Chilean beach made of black volcanic sand.
As the rest of the teams tried to find the Detour, David and Mary drove right by the Petrohue sign and were quickly lost. "I'm just hoping somebody else made a big mistake," said Mary. Unbelievably, Charla and Mirna and Joe and Bill ran into each other in town. Splitting a $50 fee, the teams hired a local man to lead them to La Maquina. "Don't screw us like the girls did!" yelled Charla, referring to Dustin and Kandice, who in the second leg of the race followed a cab Charla and Mirna had used all their money on. Charla also eventually informed Joe that he missed part of the clue at the fishery.
"You're lucky you're with us," she told Joe and Bill. "I missed this word Petrohue. I just never saw it," said Joe. When Charla realized they inadvertently helped Joe and Bill, she said, "They could have completely lost the game. Maybe we're not cut out for this game."
Rob and Amber finished first ("Three for three, you guys got to slow down a little bit," commented host Phil Keoghan.), followed shortly thereafter by Uchenna and Joyce and Eric and Danielle. Kandice and Dustin also completed the rafting course -- but never received their clue at the Detour, having blindly stumbled upon the river. When Phil told them they had to go back to get their clue before they could check in at the Pit Stop, they did so and still finished fourth. While navigating the rapids, Teri got knocked out of the raft and was quickly submerged in the rough water before being pulled out by a guide.
"It was exciting to fall out of the boat," said Teri, who eventually finished sixth with her husband, right behind Ozzy and Danny.
Charla and Mirna squared off against Joe and Bill as the two teams raced through the rapids neck and neck with David and Mary close behind. "I'm scared to death of white water rafting," said Mary. "I'm not a thrills and chills kind of lady." While Charla and Mirna finished the rapids ahead of the other three teams, they left the keys to their vehicle back in the tent where they changed their clothes. While going back for their keys, Joe and Bill passed them and finished seventh.
"This is like a nightmare," said Mirna, who eventually found the keys. She and Charla finished eighth. Unaware they were already eliminated, David and Mary still tried their hardest to get to the Pit Stop. "If it's the end it's the end," said David. Added Mary, "It was just awesome to be able to do it once, let alone twice. I mean wow... I'm a true West Virginian now. I got to white water raft." Phil informed them they were the last team to arrive.
"This time, I think that we both came to the realization that I'm me and he's him," said Mary about her husband. "We got to accept each other for who we are." Added David, "I'm not going to change her and she's not going to change me. You got to go with the flow."
The Amazing Race: All-Stars will continue on Sunday, March 11 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.