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The Paolo family becomes the sixth team eliminated from 'The Amazing Race: Family Edition'


By Andrea Sellers, 11/09/2005 

The Paolo family fell from first to worst during last night's special two-hour edition of The Amazing Race: Family Edition, resulting in the bickering New Yorkers becoming the sixth team to be eliminated from the CBS reality show.

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The Amazing Race: Family Edition's seventh episode began with the teams leaving the previous leg's Pit Stop in Quepos, Costa Rica and receiving instructions to travel by foot to nearby Playa Maracas. Once at the beach, one member of each team had to swim out to a buoy to collect the next clue. The Paolo, Linz, and Bransen families were all within minutes of each other at the start of the leg, but the Paolos quickly fell behind when the rescue swimmers had to give Tony Paolo a life jacket so that he'd be able to complete the swim back to shore.

After retrieving their buoy clue, the teams were instructed to travel 60 miles by taxi to Grecia and find a metal church called -- not surprisingly -- La Iglesia Metal ("The Metal Church.") Even though the church was hosting a funeral service when the teams arrived, the racers were able to retrieve their next clue. The clue provided instructions for the leg’s Detour options -- "Brush," a task in which the teams had to carefully paint decorative patterns on boxcart wheels, or Barrel." a task in which the teams had to load a ton of sugar cane onto a tractor, transport it to a rum factory, and then find a clue that was hidden inside a barrel stored inside a large warehouse. The Paolo and Linz families chose the more physical "Barrel" option, while the remaining three teams painted. After completing the tasks, the next clue directed the families to fly to Phoenix, Arizona (apparently the show's long awaited international travels lasted only two and a half episodes!)

At the airport, the Linz family -- thinking they were building a lead on the other teams -- quickly departed on the first flight that they found out of Costa Rica (an Atlanta-bound flight.) For once, the teams with bad luck at the airport turned out to be the lucky ones. The Paolos, who were unable to purchase tickets for the Linz flight before the gate closed, found a flight route (via New York City) that got them to Phoenix 15 minutes earlier than the Linzes, and three other teams all quickly made reservations for the same flights.

While at the airport, the Weavers confronted the DJ Paolo about his family's decision to yield "Florida" during the race's prior leg. After making an offer of friendship, mom Linda Weaver also offered a veiled threat: "You don't have Yields left and we do, sweets." During the New York layover, the Godlewski sisters were told that their reservations had been lost and that the flight to Phoenix was full. Unable to get on a flight out of JFK Airport, they drove to Newark Airport, where their flight actually ended up getting them into Phoenix slightly ahead of the other teams.

Once in Phoenix, teams were instructed to drive to the Bonderant Superkarts School, where one team member performed a Roadblock by completing a 50-lap race in 100-degree heat while wearing racing gear. Since their family patriarch had been killed in a recent racetrack accident. the Weavers had to once again deal with their trepidation of being on a track.

After completing the Roadblock, the teams headed to the leg's Pit Stop, the ranch at Fort McDowell Adventures. The Godlewskis kept their lead and won a trip to Belize. The Weaver and Linz families checked in moments later. Thinking they might be in last place as they approached the Pit Stop and hopeful that it would be a non-elimination leg, the Paolos decided to put on all of their clothes before checking in. As they dressed, the Bransen family drove up, prompting the Paolos to make a hasty and ill-attired dash to the Pit Stop. After The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan checked them in (and joked about their attire), the Paolos urged the Bransens not to check in until after they had put on all of their clothes. Once the Bransens did as instructed, they checked in and were told that this was indeed a non-elimination leg. While they were not eliminated from The Amazing Race: Family Edition, the Bransens were stripped of everything except for their passports and the clothes on their backs.

After the Pit Stop's mandatory rest period, the Race's next leg began. As they departed the Pit Stop the teams were instructed to drive 33 miles to Mesa, Arizona. Needing funds, the Bransens first made a side trip to a local casino, where the young Bransen women begged for money in the parking lot. Dad Wally hung back, noting that "older men are not a turn on" when it comes to convincing people (mostly other men) to give away their money. Once in Mesa, the teams were given the opportunity to complete an aerobatic Roadblock, with one member of the team taking the controls of a fighter plane and performing a 360-degree loop. Rolly Weaver, Megan Linz, and Sharon Godlewski were in the first group, and all three performed the task on their first attempt. Brian Paolo and Lauren Bransen were the second group, and both lost additional time on the lead teams by needing two attempts to complete the loop.

After the teams completed the Roadblock, they were instructed to drive 277 miles to Lipan Point, on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Once there, teams were instructed to drive another 137 miles to the Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona. Along the way, poor driving decisions caused the already last place Paolos to fall even farther behind. Meanwhile, the Bransens also struggled with the drive, with their over-dependence on stopping and asking for directions resulting in the team remaining near the back of the pack (obviously, Mrs. Bransen trained Wally a little too well about stopping for directions.)

At the dam, the teams were given the Detour choice -- "Bearing" or "Bailing." The Weavers chose "Bearing," a task that required them to use a compass to find cards at three clue boxes hidden throughout Horseshoe Bend. The rest of the teams chose "Bailing," a task that required them to bail out a partially submerged boat and then carry it to shore. After completing the Detour, teams raced to the Pit Stop -- a houseboat on Lake Powell. The Godlewskis passed the Linzes on the way to the houseboat, landing the sisters their second consecutive first place finish and a travel trailer prize. After the Linzes and Weavers finished second and third, fourth place became a battle between the Bransens and the Paolos but the Paolo family's earlier driving mistakes turned out to be too much for them to overcome, making them the sixth family to be eliminated from The Amazing Race: Family Edition.

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