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'The Amazing Race' ousts Vanck Zhu and Ashton Theiss after opposing teams agree on Double U-Turn plan


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/28/2017 

The Amazing Race eliminated Vanck Zhu and Ashton Theiss during Thursday night's Season 29 episode on CBS.

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Vanck, a 28-year-old Wall Street analyst from New York, NY, and Ashton, a 25-year-old residential realtor from Fort Worth, TX, became the fifth team ousted from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the season's sixth Pit Stop along the shoreline in the town of Tremezzo, Milan, Italy, in last place out of the seven remaining couples. Vanck had asked Ashton to be his partner when they met on Day 1 of the Race and were total strangers.

"I think we were really getting there, but this is where it stops. I'm disappointed. I'm mad, sad -- I'm all these things right now. The fact we did as well as we did with how different we are, I'm proud of ourselves for being able to work through that," Ashton said in her final words, referencing the fact the pair come from completely different backgrounds and had opposite personalities.

The sixth leg kicked off 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 in Norway in first place after discovering the fifth leg was a non-elimination leg and they must keep racing.

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, departed the fifth Pit Stop in second place. They were then followed by 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, in third place, and then Vanck and Ashton leaving in fourth place.

London Kaye, a 27-year-old artist from Brooklyn, NY, and Logan Bauer, a 27-year-old surgical consultant from Columbus, GA, departed next, and behind them were 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, in sixth place.

Liz Espey, a 24-year-old auctioneer from Maryville, MO, and Michael Rado, a 37-year-old butcher from Pittsburgh, PA, survived the non-elimination leg and began racing the sixth leg in seventh -- and last -- place.

The teams' first set of clues sent them to Milan, Italy, where they must travel to Piazza Fontana and search for their next clue. There was also a Double U-Turn ahead, and The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan gave everyone a smart phone in order to book their flights on the Travelocity mobile app.

Everyone hopped on the same flight that landed at 11:30PM the following night.

All the teams wanted Vanck and Ashton out of the competition because they were rubbing people the wrong way and didn't mesh well socially with everyone. The teams therefore agreed to U-Turn Vanck and Ashton and make sure they're the only team U-Turned so their elimination would be guaranteed.

Tara and Joey arrived at the next cluebox in first place. The clue instructed one member from each team to complete a Roadblock task in which the participating Racers had to travel in a restaurant tram through the city and spot three marked Italian words out the window. They'd also have to finish two plates of food before the end of the ride.

Liz and Michael arrived at the tram in second place, and they were soon followed by Vanck and Ashton, Matt and Redmond, Becca and Floyd, Scott and Brooke, and finally London and Logan.

Tara opted to take on this task as well as Michael, Vanck, Redmond, Floyd, Scott, and Logan. Logan, however, had to wait for the very last tram by himself because the other ones were full.

When the first tram returned to the station, Tara read off "Cernobbio, Concordia and Lago" to the judge, who then handed her the next set of clues.

Vanck missed one of the words entirely and had to do the task over again, while Scott, Floyd, Redmond and Logan all chose one word that was incorrect.

Tara and Joey finished the Roadblock task in first place. They were then followed by Liz and Michael, Vanck and Ashton, Becca and Floyd, Brooke and Scott, Matt and Redmond, and then London and Logan.

The teams then had to make their way to the town of Cernobbio on Lake Como, where they'd spend the night on a steamship complete with wine and food.

Liz and Michael arrived at the steamship at 7:05AM. Becca and Floyd departed on the ship at 7:10AM, followed by Matt and Redmond at 7:15AM, Vanck and Ashton at 7:20AM, Brooke and Scott at 7:25AM, and finally London and Logan at 7:30AM.

Tara and Joey eventually ran off the boat in first place and ripped open the clue, which gave the exact address of their next destination. Teams were also warned of a "Double U-Turn directly ahead." The location was only three minutes away on foot.

Descending on the U-Turn mat at the board in first place, Tara and Joey debated what to do. They reminded viewers how they had previously U-Turned Seth and Olive back in Leg 3 and didn't want to be viewed as bad guys in the Race. They decided to leave the U-Turn decision to Liz and Michael, who were right behind them.

Liz and Michael chose to U-Turn Vanck and Ashton, which went along with everyone's plan. Becca and Floyd got the U-Turn board next in third place and decided to U-Turn Liz and Michael knowing the team was in front of them. The move resulted in Vanck and Ashton being the only team who must complete both sides of the upcoming Detour task.

Matt and Redmond then arrived at the U-Turn board, and they were followed by Brooke and Scott, London and Logan, and Vanck and Ashton, who struggled to find the board. Once Vanck and Ashton discovered they had been U-Turned, they both remained optimistic, with Ashton pointing out they could power through it.

It then became time for the teams to select one of two possible Detour tasks to complete: "Make a Mold" or "Grab a Hold."

"Make a Mold" required one team member to don a wire-mesh frame while his or her partner covered that person in Plaster of Paris to create a mold of a ghost.

"Grab a Hold" required one team member to scale a 90-foot rock face and retrieve the next clue while his or her partner belayed from below.

Tara and Joey opted to make a mold, as well as London and Logan and Vanck and Ashton.

Matt and Redmond decided to try climbing in addition to Becca and Floyd, Liz and Michael, and Brooke and Scott. (Vanck and Ashton had to finish this task as well due to the U-Turn).

While Brooke struggled to grab her footing, Matt flew up and down the rock wall. Scott suggested the team must have super powers because of their speed and ability.

Matt and Redmond therefore finished the Detour before any of the other teams. On their heels were Becca and Floyd, Tara and Joey, Liz and Michael, Brooke and Scott, London and Logan, and finally Vanck and Ashton in last place after completing both tasks.

Vanck and Ashton ran by Michael and Liz at one point and gave the team a hard time for U-Turning them, but Michael and Liz didn't seem to care.

The teams were then instructed to make their way to the next Pit Stop, the town of Tremezzo, via Riva boats and search for Phil along the shoreline.

In a race to the Pit Stop, Matt and Redmond and Becca and Floyd watched for Phil on the shoreline. Both teams spotted him. Matt and Redmond were about 100 yards ahead of Becca and Floyd but realized their boat was floundering just a few feet from the dock as its driver struggled to park.

Matt and Redmond therefore had to tie up loose ends and lost first place to Becca and Floyd, who won a trip for two to Argentina.

Matt and Redmond claimed second place, Tara and Joey finished third, Liz and Michael arrived at the Pit Stop in fourth place, and then Brooke and Scott finished in fifth place. London and Logan completed the leg in sixth place, and finally Vanck and Ashton arrived dead last.

Ashton said that despite being an "odd ball, polar opposite combination," she and Vanck did pretty well together on the Race overall.



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