'The Amazing Race' eliminates "Father/Son" Michael and Kevin Wu
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/08/2010
The Amazing Race eliminated the "Father/Son" team of Michael Wu and Kevin Wu during Sunday night's broadcast of the seventeenth edition's seventh episode.
Michael and Kevin became the fifth team eliminated from the around-the-world competition.
"I'm really proud of my dad for doing this race with me... he's always been my role model, so of course he sets a good example. I'm learning every day to not get frustrated and to be positive towards each other," Kevin said.
"I also learned more about Kevin -- I know my son a lot better than before the Race -- when kids turn into teenagers they think their parents don't know anything, and I kind of feel like Kevin's become a stranger to me. I think this race kind of pulled us together again. I'm really proud of him," Michael added.
The Amazing Race's seventh seventeenth-season episode began with the Race's seven remaining teams leaving the course's sixth Pit Stop in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Since they had been the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop, "Dating Couple" Jill Haney and Thomas Wolfard were the first team to depart at 8:30AM.
Upon opening their departure clues, the teams were instructed to travel from St. Isaac's Cathedral to the Abtobo Circus. Despite Jill and Thomas' early head start advantage, all seven teams ended up on equal playing field as the gates of the circus were initially closed.
Jill and Thomas were the first team to arrive at the Abtobo Circus, and were followed by "Father/Daughter" Gary Ervin and Mallory Ervin, "Newly Dating Couple" Chad Waltrip and Stephanie Smith, Michael and Kevin, "Home Shopping Hosts" Brook Roberts and Claire Champlin, and "Dating Couple" Nick DeCarlo and Vicki Casciola.
Once inside the Abtobo Circus, the teams received clues which instructed them to complete one of two Detour tasks: "Circus Band" or "Circus Clown."
"Circus Band" required the teams to have an accordion player to teach them how to play a Russian folk song. When they could perform the complex three-part song correctly, they would receive their next clue.
"Circus Clown" required the teams to learn a traditional plate spinning routine. If the teams could keep 10 plates spinning simultaneously for at least 10 seconds, a clown would hand them their next clue.
Gary and Mallory, Nat and Kat, and Chad and Stephanie initially selected "Circus Band" while Nick and Vicki, Brook and Claire, Michael and Kevin, and Jill and Thomas opted for "Circus Clown."
While both Detour tasks created a lot of frustration for the teams, the "Circus Clown" option appeared to prove harder for the teams -- resulting in Jill and Thomas and Chad and Stephanie both deciding to change to "Circus Band."
Chad and Stephanie worked quickly and easily through the accordion task once they swapped, but Jill and Thomas eventually opted to switch back to "Circus Clown" after finding "Circus Band" too complicated.
Jill and Thomas then returned to an empty tent, discovering everyone else had already completed the detour, but their decision ended up working out in their favor when they finally managed to successfully complete the plate-spinning task.
Brook and Claire were the first team to complete the Detour and were followed by Nat and Kat, Nick and Vicki, Gary and Mallory, Michael and Kevin, Chad and Stephanie, and finally Jill and Thomas.
After completing the Detour task, the teams had to solve a Russian mystery by figuring out they had to find Bank Bridge, the canal bridge guarded by four creatures with golden wings.
Brook and Claire were the first team to arrive at Bank Bridge and were followed by Nat and Kat, Nick and Vicki, Michael and Kevin, Gary and Mallory, Jill and Thomas, and Chad and Stephanie.
Upon arriving at Bank Bridge, the teams received a clue that instructed them to travel on foot to One Vladimirskiy Street, a nearby building with a tower. The teams could ask locals for directions, but they could not pay a taxi to lead them to the location.
Nat and Kat and Nick and Vicki assumed they were the first two teams to arrive at the tower, so they decided to help each other out. They were then followed by Michael and Kevin, Brook and Claire, Jill and Thomas, Gary and Mallory and Chad and Stephanie. However Michael and Kevin chose to hire a taxi to lead them to the tower -- violating the clue's instructions.
Once the teams arrived at the Tower, only two team members at a time could climb the ladders leading to the tower, where they would have to figure out that a small figurine on the ledge was inviting them to visit the famous St. Petersburg building, the Church on Spilled Blood.
However according to their clue instructions, the teams then had to walk to the church to find their next clue -- a rule that Michael and Kevin and Brook and Claire both broke when they took taxis to the church.
Nat and Kat arrived at the Church on Spilled Blood in first place and were followed by Nick and Vicki, Michael and Kevin, Brook and Claire, Gary and Mallory, Jill and Thomas, and Chad and Stephanie, who were still in last place.
Upon arrival at the church, the teams opened their next clue instructing them to solve the riddle of where Peter the Great is buried, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and travel there next.
Once Brook and Claire got into a taxi to move on to the next destination, they noticed their previous clue instructed them to walk or run from the tower to the church but they taken a taxi -- resulting in the home shopping hosts directing their taxi to return to the tower so they could correct their mistake.
Meanwhile, Michael and Kevin failed to realize either of their errors and continued towards the fortress unaware.
Nat and Kat were the first to arrive at the Peter and Paul Fortress and were followed by Michael and Kevin, Brook and Claire, Nick and Vicki, Gary and Mallory, Jill and Thomas and Chad and Stephanie.
Upon arriving at the fortress, the teams were instructed one member of each team complete a Roadblock task which required to them to play gorodki, an ancient Russian folk-sport.
Using a wooden bat, the team member had two attempts to clear all the pins before they were reset again, similar to American bowling. If they succeeded, they could move on to another pin formation. Once they cleared three different pin formations, they would receive their next clue.
Nat chose to do the Roadblock task for her team and was later joined by Michael, Brook, Nick, Gary, Thomas, and Stephanie.
Nat and Kat finished the Roadblock first and were followed by Brook and Claire, Nick and Vicki, Jill and Thomas, Gary and Mallory, and Chad and Stephanie. Michael and Kevin slid from second place to last as they were the last team to complete the Roadblock.
Upon completion of the Roadblock, the teams received clues which instructed them to make their way inside the Peter and Paul Fortress and search for a bastion which would serve as the Race's seventh Pit Stop.
Nat and Kat were the first team to find The Amazing Race's host Phil Keoghan inside the fortress, as they claimed their third victory of the race along with five-thousand dollars each.
Brook and Claire, Nick and Vicki, Gary and Mallory, Jill and Thomas then arrived at the Pit Stop next, leaving Michael and Kevin and Chad and Stephanie to error-filled battle for sixth place.
Chad and Stephanie were the sixth team to arrive at the Pit Stop, however they failed to pay their taxi (and retrieve their bags) before doing so, resulting in Phil explaining that the couple needed to settle up with their driver before they could formally be checked-in.
Michael and Kevin then arrived at the Pit Stop while Chad and Stephanie were resolving their taxi issue, however Phil then informed them that they had broken two rules during the leg -- one when they hired a taxi to lead them to the tower, and another they took a taxi from the tower to the Church on Spilled Blood -- and each mistake would cost them a 30-minute penalty.
Meanwhile, as Kevin and Michael were sitting out their penalty time, Chad and Stephanie returned to the Pit Stop and Phil revealed they had also broken one of the rules by taking a taxi from the tower to the church, resulting in a 30-minute penalty.
However Kevin and Michael still had more than 30 minutes remaining on their own penalities -- which meant Chad and Stephanie had come in sixth place and Michael and Kevin were in last place.
After their penalty ended, Phil then confirmed Michael and Kevin's elimination to them.
"Michael and Kevin, I'm sorry to tell you that you both have been eliminated from the Race," Phil said.
"We did our best. If you're last, you're last -- We had been penalized for one hour," Michael noted.
"You're son on the other hand doesn't look so happy," Phil replied.