'The Amazing Race' Uchenna and Joyce Agu finish last but still alive
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/19/2007
The seven teams remaining on CBS' The Amazing Race : All-Stars flew from South America to Africa during the fifth leg of the race. And while The Amazing Race 7 winners Uchenna and Joyce Agu were the last team to arrive at the fifth leg's Pit Stop during Sunday night's broadcast, they were happy to learn it was a non-elimination leg.
"We're going to work like hell the next leg to come in first," promised Joyce. "We certainly can make miracles happen... we did on the last race."
Since Rob and Amber Mariano -- who had won the first three legs of the race -- were eliminated at the fourth leg's Pit Stop at "The End of the World" in Ushuaia, Argentina, the seven remaining All-Stars duos were excited. "I was pretty much shocked to see Rob and Amber eliminated," said Ian Pollack. Added Joyce, "They're great to beat because they're such great competitors."
"The other teams were very happy that we were the ones to beat Rob and Amber and kick them out of this Amazing Race," said Mirna Hindoyan, who with her cousin Charla Baklayan Faddoul finished second to last at the end of the fourth leg.
As the teams left the fourth leg's Pit Stop, they received clues instructing them to take a taxi to the base of Ushuaia's Martial Mountain chain, ride a chair lift, and hike half a mile to Martial Glacier. Once there, they had to use an avalanche beacon to search the glacier for another beacon buried in the snow with their next clue.
Ozwald Mendez and Danilo Jimenez had been the first team to arrive at the fourth Pit Stop, so they were the first team to leave and departed at 12:02AM. Eric Sanchez and Danielle Turner left four minutes later.
"Eric thinks he's the best at everything... so it's a little annoying. He's very cocky, but I don't really care because we're in second place," said Danielle.
Teri and Ian left an hour after Ozzy and Danny. Joe Baldassare and Bill Bartek departed for the glacier 50 minutes after Teri and Ian, followed closely by Dustin Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier. Uchenna and Joyce left 40 minutes after Dustin and Kandice, while Charla and Mirna were the last team to depart, leaving more than two-and-a-half hours after Ozzy and Danny.
"Somehow, Charla and I muster up our strength every leg of the race," said Mirna. "We just pull through it. It doesn't matter how much pain we're in, or the fact that [Charla's] out of breath and can't run anymore."
Ozzy and Danny were first to arrive at the glacier, but found it didn't open until 8AM, so they went back to the hotel to rest with Eric and Danielle. As the other teams learned this, some woke-up a bit earlier to ensure their spot in line and Joe and Bill jumped to first. After getting off the chair lift, the teams were instructed to pick up a pack of equipment containing a shovel and their beacon.
Joe and Bill were the first to find their beacon and receive their next clue, which told them they'd be flying over 7,000 miles to the southeast African city of Maputo, Mozambique. However prior to leaving, teams needed to book tickets at a travel agency because travelers cannot book international flights at Ushuaia's airport. Since departing flights from Ushuaia's airport were limited, teams were provided with tickets to Maputo scheduled to arrive at 3PM in case they could not find an earlier flight.
While they reached the glacier in fourth, Dustin and Kandice went to the glacier without their equipment, so they had to go back and retrieve it. On the way back, they passed Charla and Mirna. Charla called the beauty queens "dumb," while Mirna added "they're not that smart." Uchenna and Joyce were next to receive the clue.
"My father's from Nigeria. Now we're going to Mozambique... I'm excited," said Uchenna. While Ozzy and Danny argued after continuously losing their beacon's signal, Eric and Danielle finished third and Teri and Ian finished fourth. Charla and Mirna then finished fifth, and even Dustin and Kandice were able to find their beacon before Ozzy and Danny picked-up their signal.
"Danny and I found out on this leg of the race that if you get caught in an avalanche, never come looking for Ozzy and Danny to get you out," said Ozzy.
While Ozzy and Danny called their situation "super frustrating," all of the teams still ended up booking tickets on the same 9:40AM flight to Mozambique. After landing in Maputo, the teams had to choose a marked car with a driver and travel 45 miles to the Apopo Training Field where they would find their next clue. With Uchenna and Joyce leading the pack, Eric and Danielle decided to have their driver pass Joe and Bill, something that didn't sit too well with the Guidos.
"We like making fun of the Guidos," said Eric. Added Danielle, "It's not even anything they're specifically doing, they're just so annoying." One they arrived at the training field, they learned it wasn't open yet -- a development that gave Joe and Bill some time to yell at Eric and Danielle.
"You need to watch your speed guy," said Joe. When Eric explained it was a joke, Joe told him, "You need to watch your jokes, guy." Answered Eric, "You guys are just being freaks." As Joe and Bill walked away to end the confrontation, Bill asked for "peace, peace, peace." This prompted Eric to come back with, "freaks, freaks, freaks."
"Joe and I are not going to allow negativity to get in our way," said Bill. "We're going to stay positive."
Once the park opened, the teams had to follow a marked path that led to the leg's Roadblock task. In Mozambique -- once overrun by Guerilla warfare -- trained rats actually save lives on a daily basis by locating leftover land mines. In the Roadblock, one team member had to use a rat to find a race marker above a deactivated mine. Once their rat gave the signal that it found something, an Apopo Mine Technician would search the area. When the marker was found the team would receive their clue. Joe, Uchenna, Dustin, Ozzy, Ian, Charla and Eric all guided the rats for their teams.
"When I was in the military, I became very, very afraid of rats," said Ian. "But you know what, I kind of changed my opinion. The rat was friendly, I wasn't afraid of it at all and it's doing a great job."
Joe and Bill's rat found the clue first. After opened it, they learned they had to travel with their driver 50 miles back to Maputo and find Praca dos Trabalhadores -- a building designed by renowned French engineer Gustave Eiffel -- where they would find their next clue. As the rest of the teams found their markers, Charla was left in last. However driving back to Maputo, Eric and Danielle had their driver take a wrong turn, and they were followed by Teri and Ian and Dustin and Kandice.
Joe and Bill and Ozzy and Danny went the right way, as did Charla and Mirna once they completed the Roadblock, and all three arrived at Praca dos Trabalhadores, where they were met by the leg's Detour options -- "Pamper" or "Porter." In "Pamper," teams had to travel half a mile to the Maputo Central Market, choose a nail polish kit and convince people to pay them to paint their nails, which in Maputo is a job usually performed by men. Teams needed to earn at least 30 metecais -- about one U.S. dollar -- to receive their next clue. In "Porter," teams made their way two miles to Market de Janet, where they would use their bare hands to fill 10 large 45-pound bags with coal, and sew each of them shut. Then, teams had to carry one of the ten bags to a specified address where the owner would hand them their next clue.
While "Porter" seemed like it would be the more difficult challenge, it was the more popular choice. Joe and Bill, Ozzy and Danny, Uchenna and Joyce and Eric and Danielle all got dirty by shoveling coal into bags using their hands. Charla and Mirna smartly chose "Pamper." After painting the nails of the gentleman who led them to the market, Mirna used her booming voice to attract customers. They quickly collected 30 metecais while the other teams struggled with the coal.
After opening their clue, the cousins learned they had to travel to the Pit Stop at Fortaleza, a fort completed in 1781 that is the oldest building in Maputo. The pair succeeded in completing the trip without any major issues, meaning that after finishing second to last at the fourth Pit Stop and leaving more than two-and-a-half hours after the first place team, Charla and Mirna managed to finish first in The Amazing Race: All-Stars' fifth leg. The finish also marked the first time the former The Amazing Race 5 racers had ever finished a leg first.
"Just because someone's a little shorter or a little skinnier doesn't really matter," said Mirna. "We work hard and we're a damn good team, and if coming in first let's people have a little more respect for us, then that's a wonderful thing to accomplish."
Dustin and Kandice also chose "Pamper," and finished the fifth leg in second while also completing a good deed. "During the task, this little girls came up to me and she didn't have any money," said Kandice. "But she just had like little, tiny fingernails and I painted them for free." Teri and Ian originally planned to do "Porter," but after reading the clue incorrectly and traveling to the Maputo Central Market, the site of "Pamper," they decided to paint nails and finished the fifth leg in third place.
Ozzy and Danny and Joe and Bill each finished "Porter" and embarked to deliver their sacks of coal. While both had trouble finding the address where the coal needed to be delivered, Ozzy and Danny eventually finished fourth. Covered in coal, Ozzy and Danny decided to have some fun with host Phil Keoghan.
"I'm hugging you!" the filthy Cha-Chas yelled as they ran up to Phil to check-in on the Pit Stop mat. "No Way!" Phil shouted as he ran away and the Cha-Chas gave chase. "I'm surprised you went for the coal, but that's just me," Phil remarked after the brief chase ended and Ozzy and Danny were formally checked in.
Even though they eventually found the address, Joe and Bill's cab driver had a hard time finding the Pit Stop, setting up a foot race between them and Eric and Danielle, who had also completed the Detour. Joe and Bill finished a step ahead of Eric and Danielle (which Eric blamed on Danielle), placing the two teams in fifth and sixth respectively.
"Eric and Danielle are kind of like competing in a footrace with Olympic athletes but we outran them," said Joe. Commented Eric, "The Guidos remind me of old women who are passed their prime. [Danielle] got beat by a bunch of queens."
Uchenna and Joyce were completely lost. "At this point, we have no idea which way to go," said Uchenna. They eventually found the Pit Stop, but Phil informed them this was a non-elimination leg. However there was some bad news, as Phil told Uchenna and Joyce they are now "marked for elimination," which means they must arrive at the next Pit Stop in first. If they fail to do that, they'll incur a 30 minute penalty, allowing other teams to check-in before them and possibly spelling the end to their game.
"The threat of elimination rides on our shoulders, and I don't like being in this position," said Uchenna. "We need to rock and roll. We just have to keep our intention right and stay forward and never let up." Added Joyce, "With the competitive people here, 30 minutes could be disastrous."
The Amazing Race: All-Stars will continue on Sunday, March 25 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.