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The Black family becomes the first team eliminated from 'The Amazing Race: Family Edition'

By Andrea Sellers, 09/28/2005 

In the first leg of The Amazing Race: Family Edition, the Black family achieved a milestone when 8-year-old Austin Black became the youngest participant in The Amazing Race. Unfortunately, the team also had the distinction of being the first team eliminated, after struggling near the back of the pack for the entire leg of the race. But was it youth or lack of travel experience that led Austin, 11-year-old big brother Kenneth, and parents Reggie and Kimberly to an early elimination?

The Amazing Race: Family Edition's special two-hour premiere began with the ten competing families starting their journey in New York City, where they were instructed to drive through Manhattan to Soho to pick up camping supplies for their teams. The Rogers family got off to a tough start when both mom Renee and son Brock fell on their way to grab their bags during the initial dash to their clues.

The Linz siblings -- a strong, mostly college-age team comprised of three brothers and their sister -- were the first team to get to the sporting goods store, and after picking up their supplies, they were instructed to find a frank on a designated street corner. Operating the hot dog stand were a couple of faces familiar to long-time Race viewers -- Kevin O'Connor and Drew Feinberg, the popular bald-headed New Yorkers who competed on The Amazing Race's very first season. After finding Kevin and Drew's hot dog stand, the teams received clues directing them to Washington Crossing, 97 miles away in Pennsylvania. Once at the crossing, the teams recreated Washington's boat ride across the Potomac, rowing to the New Jersey bank of the river to retrieve a 13-star colonial flag.

During the drive, the Aiello family was able to take the lead, and the father/sons-in-law team was easily able to navigate the river to maintain their lead over the father/daughters Bransen team. Next, the teams had to drive to Fairmont Park in Philadelphia, where they would pitch their tents in Belmont Plateau. Once they had completed the tent assembly, Eagle Scouts would give them their departure times for the next morning, and the teams would spend the night in the camp. The Aiellos were able to keep their lead and get the coveted 10:00AM departure time, but the Bransens were passed by both the Weaver and Gaghin families and forced to wait until 10:30AM the next morning.

At the designated departure times, the teams set out in the rain to find the Brubaker farm in Mount Joy, PA. There, teams were faced with their first Detour -- a choice between "Build It" or "Buggy It." The Weaver family arrived first and decided to try navigating the Amish buggy on a 1.5 mile path, but turned back after losing control of the buggy and crashing. Even with the setback, the Weavers were able to finish building their miniature waterwheel building before the other teams could complete the grueling buggy trek. The Godlewski sisters were also able to move ahead of several teams by choosing to build, while the Aiellos and Linz teams lost several places in the team standings by choosing the more physically demanding buggy task.

Once the teams completed the Detour, they were directed to the Rohrer family farm in Lancaster, PA -- the location of The Amazing Race: Family Edition's first pit stop. Teams took different roads to Lancaster, which led some teams to drastically move up or down in the standings, as some teams got lost along the way. Although they had spent much of the race toward the middle of the pack, the Godlewski sisters were able to beat the other teams to the pit stop and claimed a $20,000 bonus for being the first team to check in. The Linz team was the last team to complete the Detour, but they made the wise choice to take a different route instead of following the Black family to the Pit Stop, which allowed them to avoid elimination. So instead the Black family, who had been in seventh place or worse at each route marker along the leg, was the last team to check in at the pit stop, eliminating them from the million dollar competition after traveling only a couple of hundred miles.

Coming up on the next episode of The Amazing Race: Family Edition: the feuding Paolo family continues to argue, teams participate in a Civil War reenactment, and the Bransen dad struggles to keep up with his daughters.

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