'The Amazing Race's Gary and Mallory Ervin get off to strong start
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/21/2011
The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business' "Father/Daughter" team of Gary Ervin and Mallory Ervin got their The Amazing Race return off to a strong start during Sunday night's premiere of the CBS reality competition's all-stars edition.
Gary and Mallory finished the first leg of the The Amazing Race's eighteenth edition in first place. However, after they arrived at the Race's first Pit Stop, the competition's 11 returning teams learned there would be no mandatory rest period and they immediately began the next leg instead.
The first episode of The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business' second all-stars edition began with the Race's 11 teams -- all of whom didn't win their original The Amazing Race editions -- meeting with The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan in Palm Springs, CA before beginning their race to the first Pit Stop.
The 11 returning The Amazing Race teams included Gary and Mallory, who originally competed on the show's seventeenth edition; sixteenth season "Cowboys" Jet McCoy and his brother Cord McCoy; fifteenth-season "Harlem Globetrotters" Nathaniel "The Big Easy" Lofton and Herbert "Flight Time" Lang and "Friends" Zev Glassenberg and Justin Kanew; and twelfth-season "Father/Daughter" Ronald Hsu and Christina Hsu and "Dating Goths" Vyxsin Fiala and Kent Kaliber, who was known as Kynt Cothron during his initial Race edition.
Phil then explained to the teams that winner of the first leg would earn the Express Pass, which would allow the couple to skip one challenge at any point in the Race that they would not want to complete, giving them a big advantage.
The teams then learned in order to earn their first clue, they would have to run into a desert, search within a field filled with hundreds of small labeled airplanes and find "Queensland and Northern Territories Aerial Services," which was what Phil was looking for. The first eight teams to solve the riddle and realize it was reffing to Qantas Airlines would be placed on the first flight out of Palm Springs, CA, while the other three teams would be forced to take the second flight landing 90 minutes later.
The last team to complete the initial airplane task would receive an automatic U-Turn, which would force the couple to complete both sides of the first Detour task the teams encountered. Once the teams found the right answer, they would then need to drive themselves to Los Angeles International Airport to catch their flights.
The first team to find the correct answer was Mel and Mike. They were then followed by the seven teams who would join them on the first flight: Zev and Justin, Jet and Cord, Kent and Vyxsin, Ron and Christina, Flight Time and Big Easy, Margie and Luke, and Jaime and Cara.
Upon finishing the challenge, the teams learned they would be flying to Sydney, Australia.
Kisha and Jen were the next team to complete the task and were followed by Gary and Mallory and finally Amanda and Kris -- who were announced the last team and would therefore receive the automatic U-Turn penalty -- all of whom were left to take the second flight.
The teams on the first flight thought they received a good head start, but an unfortunate series of events led them to land behind the other teams on the second flight. A medical emergency involving a sick passenger, who apparently had a heart attack, forced the place to touch down in Honolulu, HI. The patient needed immediate medical attention, so the unexpected landing and an additional refueling, resulted in the eight teams realizing their 90-minute lead on the other plane had "evaporated" completely.
Therefore, the second flight landed at 10:20AM, followed by the first plane at 10:47AM. Once the teams landed, they learned they must make their way by train to Sydney Harbor and then hop on a ferry to Oceanworld in Manly in order to receive their first clue.
Kisha and Jen, Amanda and Kris and Gary and Mallory all were able to make the same train, putting them in the lead to claim the first three spots at the Race's first Pit Stop. After Ron and Christina, Mel and Mike, and Jet and Cord missed the first train they got on the next available train.
Gary and Mallory, Kisha and Jen and Amanda and Kris made the first ferry. Meanwhile, the first flight landed at Sydney airport and Flight Time and Big Easy, Zev and Justin, Margie and Luke, Jaime and Cara, Kent and Vyxsin, Ron and Christina, Jet and Cord, and Mel and Mike all rushed to make the train.
Flight Time and Big Easy, Zev and Justin, Margie and Luke, Jaime and Cara, Kent and Vyxsin made the first available train, but Ron and Christina, Mel and Mike and Jet and Cord didn't make it there on time and missed it.
Meanwhile, Gary and Mallory were the first team to arrive at Oceanworld and were followed by Kisha and Jen and then Amanda and Kris.
The other teams were still attempting to make their trains and ferries to Oceanworld, as Kent and Vyxsin, Flight Time and Big Easy, Margie and Luke, Jaime and Cara, and Zev and Justin got on the next ferry.
Upon opening their clue, the teams learned they would have to complete a Roadblock task.
The Roadblock task required one member from each team to swim in a tank surrounded by sharks and a stingray, where he or she must search for a large compass. Once the team member discovered the compass, the teams would then instructed to decipher a sentence written out in nautical flags by matching each flag to the corresponding letter or number on the compass.
Once the teams decoded the sentence, they learned they must make their way to the Manly 16 Ft. Skiff Sailing Club, where they would find the commodore and reveal the sentence "I am between the devil and the deep blue sea" to him. Once the task was completed, they would then receive their next clue.
Margie and Luke were the next to arrive at Oceanworld and were followed by Big Easy and Flight Time, Zev and Justin, Jaime and Cara, and Kent and Vyxsin.
Meanwhile, Ron and Christina and Mel and Mike got on the next available ferry at 12:20, but Jet and Cord missed it and were still lagging behind in last place.
At Oceanworld, Mallory opted to do the Roadblock for her team and was later joined by Kisha, Amanda, Margie, Justin, Flight Time, Cara, Vyxsin, Christina, and Mel.
Ron and Christina and Mel and Mike were next to arrive at Oceanworld and found the clue, but Jet and Cord had yet to make it.
The first team member to find the compass in the tank was Mallory, and she was later followed by Amanda, Kisha, Justin, Margie, Flight Time, Cara, Mel and Christina.
Jet and Cord eventually got to Oceanworld, received the tank clue, and decided Jet would take on the Roadblock task for his team. Jet then found his compass after Christina.
But Vyxsin was struggling to complete the task, as she couldn't find her way out of the tank but finally was able to do it, putting them in last place.
Gary and Mallory were still ahead of all the teams and figured out the sentence retrieved from decoding the flags and compass and received their next clue first. They learned they must sail a 16-foot skiff and race across the waters of Manly Bay upon hearing the firing of the seaman's gunshot. They would then need to locate a specific buoy, which would reveal their next clue.
Kisha and Jen were the next team to decode the sentence and were followed by Amanda and Kris, Zev and Justin, Flight Time and Big Easy, Ron and Christina, Mel and Mike, Jaime and Cara, Margie and Luke, Kent and Vyxsin and finally Jet and Cord.
Zev and Justin decided to tell Flight Time and Big Easy the sentence which would allow them to begin sailing their boat, because they had previously teamed up and helped each other in their first The Amazing Race experience, but refused to share the answer with Jaime and Cara and Margie and Luke.
Afterward, Ron and Christina and Mel and Mike told Margie and Luke, along with Jaime and Cara, the word they were missing to help them move on in the leg. However, Jet and Cord could not figure out the sentence and received no help from any of their competitors.
Meanwhile, still in the lead, Gary and Mallory were the first to reach land after sailing, where they received their next clue. They then learned they must make their way to Shelly Beach, which would serve as the Race's first Pit Stop.
Amanda and Kris were the next team to arrive at the clue and were followed by Kisha and Jen, and Flight Time and Big Easy. Jaime and Cara's sailboat tipped over and they fell into the water, which caused them to lose a little time, but they still managed to find the buoy's clue next. They were then followed by Ron and Christina, Margie and Luke, and Mel and Mike. Jet and Cord still had yet to decode their sentence and move on.
Gary and Mallory arrived at the Race's first Pit Stop and learned they had come in first place.
"Gary and Mallory, you are the first team to arrive, which means you have won the Express Pass, and of course, you can use that before or during any challenge that you don't want to complete on the Race -- anywhere on the Race -- that's going to give you a major advantage. But you guys are still racing," Phil told them.
"Oh no!" Gary said.
"This is your next clue. Rip it right here, read it, and you'll be on your way. No rest. You're still going," Phil continued.
"Whoa, are you serious?" Mallory asked.
"Yes, I'm very serious," Phil said.
Phil then joked with Mallory telling her to stop talking and get a move on, and the team went on their way continuing on with the Race's second leg.
Amanda and Kris were the next to arrive at Shelly Beach, although Phil reiterated the team would be performing both sides of the next Detour because of the U-Turn they had received. Kisha and Jen then came in third place and were followed by Zev and Justin in fourth.
Flight Time and Big Easy came in fifth place, while Jaime and Cara finished in sixth place. They were then followed by Margie and Luke, Ron and Christina, Mel and Mike, Kent and Vyxsin, and lastly Jet and Cord -- who were not shown sailing or arriving at the Race's first Pit Stop.