'The Amazing Race' eliminates James LoMenzo and Mark "Abba" Abbattista
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/19/2012
The Amazing Race eliminated Racers James LoMenzo and Mark "Abba" Abbattista during Sunday night's broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 21st season.
The "Friends" team became the sixth team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's eighth Pit Stop at Sokolniki Park's public performance pavilion in Moscow, Russia in last place. The pair's primary reason for finishing in last place appeared to be because they were forced to waste most of their time during the leg trying to find their stolen bags and retrieve Abba's passport in order to continue on, but they failed to get their hands on both of them.
"It's been an amazing experience. I'm glad I got to run it with my friend James. It's a little bitter today, but hopefully the aftertaste will disappear," Abba said.
"I don't want to be saying goodbye. I want to be holding the check next to my buddy here, you know? And so you know, we put another couple thousand miles on together and hope there will be many more," Abba continued. Just go about life having fun. Make people smile, make yourself smile, laugh, and move forward."
"It's like my old boxing coach said, 'You was robbed!'" James L. said.
"But literally, yeah, we were," Abba added.
Last night's broadcast began where last week's The Amazing Race episode had left off -- with "Dating Divorcees" Abbie Ginsberg and Ryan Danz and "Goat Farmers and Life Partners" Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge still attempting to complete the seventh leg.
Josh and Brent were finishing up their "Synchronized" Detour task, while Abbie and Ryan were waiting patiently for them to complete it because both teams had promised each other they'd work and travel together and help each other considering they were already so far behind all the other teams.
Meanwhile, James L. and Abba were each trying to produce their passport after making it to the seventh Pit Stop at The Bolshoi Theater in fourth place and discovering they had some time to make phone calls and bring their case to the police. The team was determined to make it through the eighth leg and then continue racing afterwards.
At the "Synchronized" Detour task, Josh and Brent continued to struggle until the pool actually closed down for the day. Because they had to leave but were unable to finish, Josh and Brent automatically received their next clue but were told they'd receive a four-hour penalty. Josh and Brent knew at that moment they were going to be eliminated from the Race because they were basically just racing Abbie and Ryan.
Both teams then traveled together to The Luzhkov Most, where they found the "trees of love" and had to complete a Roadblock task. For the Roadblock, one member of each team was instructed to find a Race ribbon and discover which key would open all 10 of its locks to ultimately unlock the "trees of love." Josh and Abbie opted to take on the task for his and her team respectively.
Josh breezed through the Roadblock but Abbie had a lot of trouble figuring out what to do. She eventually sat on the ground and began to break down, but Josh quickly helped her and guided her through the remainder of the task. Both teams were grateful they had one another to lean on for support.
After completing the Roadblock task, both teams continued moving forward together to the Pit Stop at the theater. Abbie and Ryan were declared the fourth-place team, and Josh and Brent soon found out they had finished in fifth place because another team was still out there struggling in the course.
However, Phil told Josh and Brent they must endure a four-hour penalty that would be assessed at the start of the next leg due to the Detour task they had never completed. Although Josh and Brent were a little down about how their future looked in the Race, saying it was "almost impossible" to catch up, they had no idea how grim James L. and Abba's fate in the competition looked due to the missing passport incident.
After failing to find their bags and Abba's passport, James L. and Abba then returned to the Pit Stop where Phil told them they were now the sixth -- and last -- place team to arrive at the seventh Pit Stop. However, even though they were still without their bags and passports, Phil announced they would survive the leg because it was a non-elimination one.
Phil also told them that for arriving in last place, they'd be forced to complete an additional Speed Bump task in the next leg. The pair would also have to find their passports in order to make it to the ninth leg if they were capable of not finishing the eighth leg in last place.
The broadcast then featured the beginning of the eighth leg mid-episode with "Dating Couple" Trey Wier and Alexis "Lexi" Beerman departing the seventh Pit Stop at the theater before any of the other teams. They were then followed by "Chippendales Dancers and Best Friends" Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis in second place and "Twin Sisters" Natalie Anderson and Nadiya Anderson in third.
Upon opening their departure clues, the teams were instructed to make their way to study building No. 6 at the Agricultural Academy. Once there, they must follow the marked path to Large Chemistry Auditorium No. 1, where they'd find their next clue.
Trey and Lexi had bad luck with multiple cab drivers who didn't know where they were going. As a result, Jaymes V. and James D. were able to jump ahead of the "Dating Couple" and arrive at the auditorium in first place. Trey and Lexi arrived shortly afterwards in second. When Trey and Lexi got there, Jaymes V. and James D. were waiting for the academy to open at 8AM.
Once the doors opened, both teams learned they must complete a Roadblock task. For the Roadblock, one member from each team would be required to glance at Russia's nine different time zones and then calculate the time of day in five Russian cities. Jaymes V. and Lexi opted to do the task for their teams.
After their twelfth test, Lexi and Jaymes V. finally got it right and finished the Roadblock at the same time. Later on, Natalie and Nadiya arrived at the Roadblock task but decided to use their Express Pass -- which they had won earlier in the season for finishing a leg in first place -- to skip the task entirely and move on to the awaiting Detour task.
It then became time for the teams to complete one of two Detour tasks: "Movers" or "Shakers."
"Movers" required the teams to learn and perform a Russian soldier dance. After choosing an instructor, they'd be taught a "punishing routine." After learning the choreography, they'd be forced to perform the moves in time with the music
"Shakers" required the teams to identify seven historic Russian leaders at an elegant cocktail party. Working from a list of names, they had to find a specific number of look-alikes for each of the seven historical leaders.
Trey and Lexi, Jaymes V. and James D., and eventually Natalie and Nadiya all opted to take on the "Movers" task.
Jaymes V. and James D. and Trey and Lexi got through the task fairly quickly and were able to finish it in first and second place respectively. A little while later, Natalie and Nadiya finished the Detour task in third place.
After completing the Detour task, the teams received their next set of clues and were instructed to make their way to Sokolniki Park, and hidden within the fairgrounds would be a public performance pavilion, which would serve as the Race's eighth Pit Stop.
Jaymes V. and James D. were the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop, greeting Phil in first place. For beating the other teams, the "Chippendales" learned they had won a trip for two to Costa Rica.
Trey and Lexi subsequently secured second place at the Pit Stop.
Meanwhile, James L. and Abba continued to look for Abba's existing passport and attempt to get a replacement issued, and Josh and Brent waited out their four-hour time penalty before to begin the Race's eighth leg.
In addition, Abbie and Ryan arrived at the "Russian time zones" Roadblock task. Ryan attempted the task on behalf of his team confident he could get it done extremely quickly and efficiently because he was good with numbers.
However, that didn't happen in the first 20 or so attempts, and Ryan began convincing himself the system itself was corrupt rather than blame his own math skills or confusion. He managed to figure out the Roadblock task after 25 tests and was kicking himself for being "so stupid" although he was relieved to have finally finished it.
Natalie and Nadiya then arrived at the Pit Stop mat in third place.
In the meantime, Abbie and Ryan went onto the Detour task and chose to attempt the "Movers" one, and Brent took on the "Russian time zones" Roadblock task instead of Josh. Brent nailed the task within his first try and then wanted to take on the "Shakers" Detour task.
Throughout all this time, James L. and Abba went on with their Race although they had not resolved Abba's passport situation yet. They were hoping someone would contact them and that the passport would eventually turn up, but they knew they needed to complete the leg's tasks in order to survive even if the passport issue were to eventually be resolved.
Abbie and Ryan then finished the "Movers" Detour task just as Josh and Brent were beginning their selected Detour task.
Abbie and Ryan rushed to find Phil at the Pit Stop and found out they had finished it in fourth place. After completing the "Shakers" task, Josh and Brent soon made it to the same spot and were declared the official fifth-place team.
James L. and Abba had to complete a Speed Bump task, but none of their racing in the eighth leg was shown. Viewers are unaware of whether they attempted and actually completed the Speed Bump, Roadblock and Detour tasks.
Once James L. and Abba were greeted by Phil, they were expecting bad news.
"James and Abba, passports?" Phil asked the last-place team, referring to their documents that had been stolen by their cab driver in the seventh leg.
"Just one," James L. replied.
"The other one?" Phil asked to receive confirmation.
"Floating around somewhere in Russia," a deflated Abba responded.
"I'm very sorry to tell you that you are in fact the last team to arrive and you both have been eliminated from the Race," Phil explained.