'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' sends Teri and Ian Pollack packing
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/26/2007
Cousins Mirna Hindoyan and Charla Baklayan Faddoul continued their "Romber" impression during the sixth leg of The Amazing Race: All-Stars, winning their second leg in a row during last night's broadcast before married parents Teri and Ian Pollack were the fifth team eliminated from the reality competition series.
"We're going home. We're going home to our family, our children... continue a great life," said Ian before Teri interjected, "25 years worth." Ian continued, "Teri's the love of my life, she's always been there for me. I wouldn't want to be in life without her." Teri repaid the compliment, saying, "Ian loves me like no one else can."
The Amazing Race: All-Stars' sixth episode began at the fifth leg's Pit Stop in Maputo, Mozambique, where Uchenna and Joyce Agu arrived last but remained in the competition because it was a non-elimination leg. Although the fact that the leg was a non-elimination leg had prevented them from being eliminated from the competition, 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 force them to become the last team to check-in.
"No one will lose any sleep if we're gone, so we know that we have to rely on ourselves," said Uchenna.
Charla and Mirna were the first to arrive at the fifth leg's Pit Stop and thus were the first team to receive the next clue. The clue revealed they'd be flying nearly 1,400 miles to Dar Es Salaam, the largest city in the African nation of Tanzania. Once they landed, teams needed to travel 10 miles by taxi to a ferry terminal where they would pull a number for one of four traditional boats, called dhows, to sail to the island of Zanzibar, where they would receive their next clue. Charla and Mirna departed at 9:07PM.
"Charla and I are leaving in first place. It's kind of nerve-wracking because we've never been in first place," said Mirna as she barked orders at the cab driver taking them to the airport. "We want to prove that it wasn't just a quirk, and to do that we just have to take risks. If you don't take risks how are you going to win?"
Dustin Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier left for the airport 40 minutes after Charla and Mirna, and Teri and Ian departed 26 minutes after them. They were followed closely by Ozwald Mendez and Danilo Jimenez, who left at 10:18PM; Joe Baldassare and Bill Bartek , who departed 14 minutes later; and Danielle Turner and Eric Sanchez, who left at 10:33PM. Uchenna and Joyce departed at 10:36PM.
Charla and Mirna were the first to arrive at the airport, and after badgering an agent for several minutes they learned that the the earliest flight to Dar Es Salaam departed at 8:30AM the next morning, but since the ticket counters were closed, they couldn't purchase tickets until 5AM. They decided to return to the hotel, as did Dustin and Kandice. Teri and Ian and Joe and Bill took a different approach, deciding to stay at the airport overnight.
"I know it's an inconvenience... do you want to be in the back of the line or do you want to be inconvenienced?" said Ian to Teri, who voiced that she'd rather rest at a hotel rather than the airport. "I cannot believe that we're going to stay here. I'm frustrated," said Teri. "Ian is a strong personality, he's opinionated, he's black and white... and there really isn't very much in between." Ian reminded her it was time to "start racing smart," while Teri pondered if there were any flights left to their hometown of Miami.
"Every time we see Teri she says, 'Oh I want to go to Miami, I want to go back to my hometown,'" said Charla. "I'm just about to tell her, 'Go back! What are you waiting for!'"
Despite staying overnight in the terminal, Teri and Ian were met with some bad news the following morning when they learned that the 8:30AM direct flight to Dar Es Salaam was fully booked. Along with five other teams, Teri and Ian took their chances by placing their names on the standby list for the 8:30AM direct flight. However Charla and Mirna discovered a 7:00AM flight to Johannesburg that connected to Dar Es Salaam. While the connecting flight from Johannesburg was fully booked, the cousins decided to take a chance.
"It's a big risk," said Mirna. "It's a bigger airport than this one... once we get to Johannesburg we'll figure out a way to get to Dar Es Salaam."
The other teams recognized the risk Charla and Mirna were taking, but could do nothing as they waited on standby at Maputo International Airport. They quickly learned Charla and Mirna's chance paid off, as there were no seats left on the 8:30AM flight, and the ticket agent recommended the six remaining teams take a South African Airlines flight that opened at 9:45AM. "Now Mirna and Charla look like they're geniuses," commented Bill.
Upon arriving in Johannesburg, Charla and Mirna befriended an airline worker named Christo. The three held hands in the terminal and prayed together, which Charla described as "awkward," before Christo was able to get them tickets on the connecting flight.
In the end, Charla and Mirna's gamble paid off big and they were able to board the flight to Dar Es Salaam before any of the other teams even left Maputo. "This is a major breakthrough," said Mirna as she and Charla celebrated in the terminal.
While the teams waited for the South African Airlines gate to open at 9:45AM, Eric and Danielle, Ozzy and Danny, Uchenna and Joyce and Dustin and Kandice decided to walk upstairs to the airline's office where they booked tickets to Johannesburg and put their names on the waitlist for the connecting flight to Dar Es Salaam landing at 6:30PM. Joe and Bill and Teri and Ian decided to remain in line at the gate.
"There just doing something to be doing something," said Ian. "We need to stay here."
After the counter opened, the two teams also bought tickets to Johannesburg and submitted their names for the waitlist to Dar Es Salaam. All six teams landed in Johannesburg and ran to the gates of Air Tanzania where a ticket agent informed them that enough space opened up for Uchenna and Joyce, Dustin and Kandice, Ozzy and Danny, and Eric and Danielle. Joe and Bill and Teri and Ian were left waiting at the gate.
As they boarded the plane, Eric couldn't help but jinx he and Danielle. "I can't believe that it actually happened," said Eric. "I'm still waiting for someone to run after us and tell us to stop." Once in their seats, an airport employee got on the plane and told them they were accidentally given someone else's seats. Eric offered $50 cash for someone to give-up their seats to no avail, and they joined Teri and Ian and Joe and Bill back in the terminal.
"This is ridiculous! I'm not going to calm down and I don't want to do this anymore," said a visibly frustrated Danielle before Eric reminded her there were two other teams they were still racing against. The airport employee informed them they could attempt to buy tickets the next morning on a South African Airlines flight departing at 9:45AM. While the flight was fully booked at the moment, the couple's names were placed on priority standby, which left Bill and Joe and Teri and Ian wondering what was going to be done for them. They also placed their names on standby.
"We're going to spend another night in an airport," commented a bewildered Teri.
Charla and Mirna were the first to arrive in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania at 2:52PM and found the ferry terminal to claim the first dhow to Zanzibar. However because of stormy weather between Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar, the dhow wouldn't leave until the next morning at 5:30AM.
"We will be on the boat as team No. 1," said Mirna, which left her to wonder, "Where the heck is everybody else?"
The second plane carrying Dustin and Kandice, Ozzy and Danny, and Uchenna and Joyce landed in Dar Es Salaam at 6:50PM and the teams engaged in a footrace to claim numbers for the dhow. Ozzy and Danny grabbed the last spot on the first dhow with Charla and Mirna while Dustin and Kandice and Uchenna and Joyce settled for the second dhow departing three hours later.
"It's a little frustrating to stop because we're all ready to race and keep going, knowing that the 30 minutes penalty is looming over our heads," said Uchenna.
Meanwhile, back in Johannesburg, Eric tried to establish a line at the empty terminal by bullying Ian, which the retired police lieutenant didn't seem to appreciate. "Let's not fight over it," said Ian, who finally gave-in and got in line behind Eric. The line didn't matter, as Eric and Danielle found they were the only team to make the 9:45AM flight to Dar Es Salaam based on the priority standby.
"I can't believe that this is happening again," said Teri. "Just get me out of here." Her wish would be granted, as both she and Ian and Joe and Bill booked an Air Malawi flight that departed at 12:00PM. "I've never been so happy to leave a country in my life," said Bill as they boarded the flight.
In Dar Es Salaam, the two dhows embarked for Zanzibar the next morning, with the first one carrying a sea-sick Charla who continuously threw-up over the side of the vessel. Ozzy helped by placing an ice pack on Charla's neck, and she was grateful. "Charla and I are together all day everyday, so it was kind of nice to have other companions with us," said Mirna.
Once the teams arrived in Zanzibar, they were faced with the sixth leg's Detour options -- "Solve It" and "Schlep It." In "Solve It," teams had to make their way one third of a mile to the hotel known as Bet al Chai where they would put together a 62-piece puzzle that recreates an image from a style of local artwork known as Tinga Tinga. In "Schlep It," teams made their way one mile to the Kijangwani Lumber Yard. Once there, they had to choose a local handcart and load two 50-pound logs into their cart. The uniquely shaped logs are highly sought after for use in the construction of the native dhow. Once loaded, teams had to travel more than a mile to deliver the logs to a shipyard.
Both Charla and Mirna and Ozzy and Danny decided to "Solve It." Ozzy and Danny completed the puzzle first and received the next clue, which informed them they needed to travel more than 15 miles to the tiny village of Kikungwi, home to the members of the Massai tribe on the island of Zanzibar. Unbelievably, Ozzy and Danny decided to stop on their way to Kikungwi for some fruit.
"We wanted to get some energy because after being on the water for so long and being in the sun, we were dehydrated," said Danny. "So we stopped and we got some fruit."
Charla and Mirna arrived in Kikungwi first and were met by the leg's Roadblock task. The Roadblock required one team member to learn how to use a traditional wooden weapon -- called a Rungu -- used by members of the Maasai Tribe and throw it 65 feet to destroy a clay target. Inside the target was their next clue.
"Danny and Ozzy should have been here already," said Charla. Mirna decided to do the Roadblock, as did Danny once he and Ozzy arrived. Mirna was the first to destroy the target and cart wheeled to retrieve the clue to the delight of the Maasai Tribe. The cousins learned they had to travel 15 miles to the Pit Stop at Old Fort, an 18-century fortress built by Omani tradesmen. For the second leg in a row, Charla and Mirna finished in first. Danny and Ozzy finished shortly thereafter and arrived at the Pit Stop second.
"Mirna and Charla, they're really formidably contenders," said Ozzy before Danny quickly pointed out, "We lost out for fruit."
Arriving in Zanzibar on the second dhow, Uchenna and Joyce attempted "Solve It" while Dustin and Kandice tried "Schlep It." Both finished the Detour with little trouble as Eric and Danielle finally arrived in Dar Es Salaam and headed for the ferry.
"We've got to play a lot of catch-up with the other teams, but I'm still glad we're away fro the Guidos and Teri and Ian too. At least we have two-and-a-half hours on them hopefully," said Eric. Joe and Bill and Teri and Ian eventually arrived in Dar Es Salaam at 5:48PM, almost a full 15 hours after Charla and Mirna.
"We were not going to quit racing. We're going to race to the bitter end... we never throw in the towel," said Ian. "They got to beat us... it's just a flat out race between us two. The winner takes all, the loser goes home."
Uchenna easily completed the Roadblock, an experience he thoroughly enjoyed since his father is from Nigeria. "Jumping with the Maasai... this is a dream come true," said Uchenna. Despite the 30 minute penalty, Uchenna and Joyce still finished third. Dustin used the Rungu to destroy the clay target, and she and Kandice finished fourth. Eric and Danielle chose "Solve It" once they landed in Zanzibar, Danielle broke the clay target with the Rungu, and they finished in fifth.
Joe and Bill and Teri and Ian finally arrived at the Detour and both chose "Solve It" so Bill said the two teams could "stay neck and neck." While Joe and Bill separated the puzzle pieces by color, Teri and Ian had a hard time figuring out that was a key to solving it. Joe and Bill finished first, which caused Teri to comment, "We're in trouble." Bill smashed the clay target before Teri and Ian even arrived. On their way to the Pit Stop, they hit some traffic and started to get paranoid, but still finished sixth.
Ian also broke the clay target and claimed they weren't "going to throw in the towel." As they arrived at the Pit Stop, they learned they were the fifth team eliminated from The Amazing Race: All-Stars.
"We had fun... we're sorry to be eliminated," said Teri as host Phil Keoghan broke the bad news.
The Amazing Race: All-Stars will continue on Sunday, April 1 with a special two-hour broadcast beginning at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.