'The Amazing Race's Liz Espey and Michael Rado survive Season 29's first non-elimination leg
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/21/2017
The Amazing Race featured a non-elimination leg in which Liz Espey and Michael Rado survived to see another day during the second Season 29 broadcast of Thursday night's double-episode event on CBS.
Liz, a 24-year-old auctioneer from Maryville, MO, and Michael, a 37-year-old butcher from Pittsburgh, PA, avoided elimination when they arrived at the season's fifth Pit Stop in Norway in last place out of the seven remaining couples. The pair teamed up on Day 1 when they were total strangers and became the fifth team ousted from the around-the-world competition.
The night's second episode began with Tara Carr, a 38-year-old U.S. Army officer from Alexandria, VA, and Joey Covino, a 46-year-old police sergeant from Saugus, MA, ripping open their first clue at Coco Beach at 3:16pm.
Becca Droz, a 26-year-old rock climbing instructor from Boulder, CO, and Floyd Pierce, a 21-year-old college drum major from Boulder, CO, departed the Pit Stop at 3:20PM and planned to use their Express Pass in this leg since it could only be used through Leg 5.
Liz and Michael left at 4:04PM, followed by Matt Ladley, a 25-year-old pro snowboarder from Denver, CO, and Redmond Ramos, a 28-year-old former U.S. Navy corpsman from Murrieta, CA, at 4:09PM.
London Kaye, a 27-year-old artist from Brooklyn, NY, and Logan Bauer, a 27-year-old surgical consultant from Columbus, GA, left the fourth Pit Stop at 4:17PM, followed by Vanck Zhu, a 28-year-old Wall Street analyst from New York, NY, and Ashton Theiss, a 25-year-old residential realtor from Fort Worth, TX, at 4:56PM, and finally Scott Flanary, a 34-year-old recruiting manager from West Hollywood, CA, and Brooke Camhi, a 36-year-old criminal attorney from New York, NY, at 5:33PM.
The teams were instructed to fly about 5,000 miles to Alesund, Norway, and then travel to Hogsteinen Fyr Lighthouse and sample rakfish, a local dish.
All teams booked seats on the same 11PM flight, so they started this leg on an equal playing field.
The teams received their next clue after eating the raw fish in the following order: Becca and Floyd, Vanck and Ashton, Brooke and Scott -- who were actually the second team to arrive at this task but fell behind because Brooke insisted she couldn't breathe and eat the fish -- London and Logan, Matt and Redmond, Tara and Joey, and then Liz and Michael.
The teams then learned they must drive themselves to the village of Slinningen and search for the Slinningsbalet. There was also a Fast Forward: "Take a helicopter ride into the great unknown."
Only one team can complete the "Fast Forward," and if the pair is successful, they can advance straight to the leg's Pit Stop.
Becca and Floyd rushed to the helicopter in first place and decided to try the "Fast Forward," which can be a risk because some teams in the past weren't able to do it and then fell into last place trying to complete the whole leg of Detour and Roadblock tasks.
Scott was frustrated because his team was so close to being able to do the "Fast Forward," but Brooke lost them that opportunity due to her hesitancy to eat the fish.
Becca and Floyd soon found out they'd be skydiving in Norway for their "Fast Forward" as other teams trickled in to the village.
Matt and Redmond arrived at the village in first place and discovered it was time for one member from each team to complete a Roadblock task.
Tara and Joey got there next, and they were soon followed by Vanck and Ashton, Brooke and Scott, London and Logan, and Liz and Michael.
The Roadblock required Racers to climb a thirteen-story stack of wooden pallets. Norwegians try to break their own world record for the tallest hand-stacked bonfire every year -- made with about 31,000 wooden pallets -- and the Racers had to climb to the top of the stack and nail down one pallet in contribution.
Matt took on the Roadblock task on behalf of his team because he considers himself an expert climber. Joey also attempted the task, along with Ashton, London, Liz, and Scott -- who was overcoming his fear of heights once again this season.
Matt "beasted through" the task, according to Redmond, as did Liz, according to Michael.
Matt and Redmond completed the Roadblock task in first place. They were then followed by Tara and Joey, Vanck and Ashton, London and Logan, Brooke and Scott, and Liz and Michael.
A Detour task was up next: "Trolls" or "Troll."
"Trolls" required the teams to search for mythical trolls in specific buildings around Alesund. They had to recite a spell at each door, after which a troll would emerge and hand them a giant firework. When the teams collected and delivered six fireworks, they'd earn their next clue.
In "Troll," teams had to kayak through the canals of the city and locate a fishing lure in the water with the name of the next Pit Stop.
London and Logan, Brooke and Scott, Vanck and Ashton, and Liz and Michael all decided to look for the mythical trolls. Meanwhile, Tara and Joey and Matt and Redmond decided to kayak.
Before any teams finished the Detour task, Becca and Floyd completed their "Fast Forward" and headed to the Pit Stop at the top of Mount Aksla. Although it was not clear to any of the teams, they could either drive up or hike up the mountain. Becca and Floyd felt confident they were in first place while driving their car, but they were wrong.
Tara and Joey completed the Detour task in first place, followed by Matt and Redmond, Vanck and Ashton, London and Logan, Brooke and Scott, and finally Liz and Michael, who bickered throughout the task.
When Michael and Liz hopped in their car to head up the mountain, Michael was driving and accidentally hit the parked van in front of him. The driver of the van let them go scot-free, but instead of heading to the correct destination, they parked in a garage and took an elevator up, which brought them to the wrong place. Liz decided they should walk up the mountain against Michael's wishes.
Tara and Joey arrived first at the Pit Stop mat again and were greeted by The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan. Matt and Redmond placed second, Becca and Floyd placed third -- and they didn't use their Express Pass -- Vanck and Ashton finished fourth, London and Logan finished fifth, and then Brooke and Scott placed sixth after Brooke struggled to walk up the mountain.
When Liz and Michael met Phil at the Pit Stop in seventh -- and last -- place, they learned it was a non-elimination leg and could keep racing.
Phil told the team they had to put their problems behind them, but Liz and Michael couldn't stop taking shots at one another. Liz accused Michael of being negative, while Michael was annoyed that Liz always thought she was right and didn't take responsibility for any of their issues.