'The Amazing Race' eliminates Bill Alden and Cathi Alden
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/28/2011
The Amazing Race's nineteenth season eliminated Bill Alden and Cathi Alden during Sunday night's broadcast of the CBS reality competition.
The "Grandparents" team became the seventh team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's tenth Pit Stop at the Atomium structure in Belgium in last place.
"It's been a wonderful Race and we've enjoyed every minute of it," Bill said following his team's ouster.
"One of the main reasons that we really did want to do the Race was because lots of times, older Americans are just overlooked and it's like you're invisible. We can make a contribution. We can be competitive and I think we were," Cathi explained.
"I think we were. No matter what, we stand together and win, lose or draw, there's no reason for us to ever fall apart. This was one more chance to be with my best friend and do some really, really special things in the world and I would do it all over again -- same person, same way," Bill added.
The tenth episode of The Amazing Race's nineteenth season began where last week's broadcast left off, with the Race's five teams meeting with The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan and leaving the course's ninth Pit Stop at Parc Elisabeth -- a symmetrical park in Brussels, Belgium -- after they learned there would be no mandatory rest period and they must immediately begin the next leg of the Race instead.
Since they had been the team to finish in first place at the Race's ninth Pit Stop, "Married Couple" Marcus Pollard and Amani Pollard were the first team to depart from Parc Elisabeth and learned they must drive to the Lommel Ford Proving Ground to retrieve their next set of clues.
"Engaged Couple" Ernie Halvorsen and Cindy Chiang were the next team to arrive at the ninth Pit Stop in second place. They then took off for the next leg.
Following Ernie and Cindy were "Dating Couple" Jeremy Cline and Sandy Draghi in third place, "Friends and former Olympic Snowboarders" Andy Finch and Tommy Czeschin in fourth, and Bill and Cathi in fifth place -- who arrived at the Pit Stop expecting their fate as the last-place finishers but were thrilled to discover it was a non-elimination leg and they could continue on in the Race.
Amani and Marcus got lost driving to the Proving Ground but eventually found their way. Ernie and Cindy were the first team to arrive at the Ford Proving Ground and were then followed by Jeremy and Sandy, Amani and Marcus, Andy and Tommy, and Bill and Cathi.
After arriving at the Ford location, the teams learned one member of each team would have to complete a Roadblock task which required them to get suited up and put a Ford Mustang through a series or performance maneuvers. They had to reach a speed of 100mph, brake in a designated spot, navigate a slalom course in 16 seconds or less, and then finally complete a double victory donut.
Ernie, Jeremy, Marcus, Tommy, and Bill opted to complete the Roadblock task for their teams. The slalom course portion of the Roadblock task proved to be the most difficult, as many of the team members had to repeat the challenge numerous times in order to be successful. Ernie, especially, had trouble completing the task and attempted it about 15 times.
However, since Ernie and Cindy had a great lead on the other teams, they still managed to complete the Roadblock task before any of the other teams. Jeremy and Sandy were the next team to finish the task, and they were then followed by Amani and Marcus, Andy and Tommy, and Bill and Cathi.
After completing the Roadblock task, the teams were required to drive themselves to the city of Gent and search the Hoofdbrug for their next clue. Ernie and Cindy arrived at Gent first and were followed by Jeremy and Sandy, Amani and Marcus, Andy and Tommy, and Bill and Cathi.
Once the teams received their next set of clues, it then became time for them to complete one of two Detour tasks: "Water" or "Waffle."
"Water" required the teams to use materials to build a floatable raft and then search the waterways for two pieces of a clue that would reveal their next destination.
"Waffle" required the teams to assemble a waffle stand and working together, they had to make and decorate 18 "perfectly-formed" waffles.
Ernie and Cindy and Jeremy and Sandy opted to do the "Waffle" task, while Amani and Marcus, Andy and Tommy, and Bill and Cathi attempted to complete the "Water" task.
Amani and Marcus and Bill and Cathi originally chose to take on the "Waffle" task, but once they arrived at the location and realized Ernie and Cindy and Jeremy and Sandy -- who told them the task was flat out "really hard" -- were struggling, they chose to head to the "Water" task instead.
Amani and Marcus and Bill and Cathi ended up making the right decision, because the "Water" task proved to be a little easier and faster than the "Waffle" task. Jeremy and Sandy were so frustrated with the "Waffle" task at one point that they considered switching tasks entirely because they weren't decorating the waffles correctly.
Ernie and Cindy -- remaining in the lead -- were the first team to complete the Detour task. They were then followed by Andy and Tommy, Amani and Marcus, Jeremy and Sandy, and Bill and Cathi.
After finishing the Detour tasks, the teams were then instructed to drive to the De Muur Van Geraardsbergen, where they would find their next clue.
Ernie and Cindy arrived at De Muur Van Geraardsbergen first. Following Ernie and Cindy were Andy and Tommy, Amani and Marcus, Jeremy and Sandy, and Bill and Cathi.
Upon retrieving their clues, the teams learned they must work with a pigeon trainer and release hundreds of humming pigeons into the sky. Afterward, they'd be required to race to meet up with the pigeons at a specific given address, where they would receive their next set of clues.
Ernie and Cindy had trouble finding their address and ultimately lost about 30 minutes of time in the Race, while Amani and Marcus and Bill and Cathi also got a little lost.
As a result, Andy and Tommy arrived at their address before any of the other teams. They were then followed by Jeremy and Sandy, Ernie and Cindy, Amani and Marcus, and finally Bill and Cathi.
Each team was handed one of their pigeons after arriving at their specific locations, and the birds held a little picture wrapped around their feet. The picture was of Belgium's Atomium, which would serve as the Race's tenth Pit Stop.
All the teams rushed to drive to the enormous structure and Andy and Tommy arrived on the Pit Stop mat in first place and were greeted by Phil. Andy and Tommy each won a brand new Ford mustang, and Phil told them they would be allowed to customize their mustangs online to fit their individual tastes and styles.
Jeremy and Sandy were the next team to make it to the Pit Stop, securing second place. Ernie and Cindy, upset because they had been in the lead for most of the leg, subsequently arrived in third place.
Amani and Marcus then made it to the Atomium in fourth place, while Bill and Cathi finally arrived in fifth -- and last -- place.