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The Schroeder family becomes the fourth team eliminated from 'The Amazing Race: Family Edition'


By Andrea Sellers, 10/19/2005 

Going home now has a double meaning for the Schroeder family, as the Louisiana natives were the last to check in at the New Orleans pit stop and became the fourth team eliminated from The Amazing Race: Family Edition.

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The Amazing Race: Family Edition's fourth episode began with the teams departing the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the location of the race's third pit stop. As they left the pit stop, the teams received instructions to drive 100 miles to the World's Largest Office Chair in Anniston, Alabama.

Once there, teams were spared a search for the world’s largest stapler and were instead instructed to drive another 18 miles to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega. This turned out to be a major challenge for the Weaver family, since the family patriarch had been killed in a Florida race track accident, but the team overcame their dread and continued in the competition. After finding the Hall Of Fame, the teams were instructed to complete one lap around the Talladega Super Speedway, the world's biggest motorsports facility. Most of the teams were excited at the prospect of riding on the track -- until they realized they wouldn't be driving a car. Instead, the teams pedaled a party bike around the 2.6 mile track.

After completing their rides around the oval track, the teams were then instructed to drive 260 miles and find the Southern Colonel in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Once in Hattiesburg, teams were underwhelmed to discover that the Southern Colonel was a trailer home dealership. For the Linz and Bransen families, the highlight of the leg was a Bransen daughter mooning the Linzes as they passed them on the highway. The Schroeder family did not believe a local sheriff who told them their destination was a mobile home dealer and instead drove around awhile before finally confirming the sheriff’s directions. The decision dismayed teenage daughter Stassi Schroeder, who kept crying "one minute makes the difference." After finding the Southern Colonel and searching for tags assigning them one of three morning departure times, the teams spent the night (or at least what was left of it) in the dealership's mobile homes. The Paolo family was the last team to arrive at the dealership, but ended up in the morning's second departure group, since three teams ahead of them settled for the 8:00 departure time instead of trying to find an earlier 7:40 departure tag.

At the designated times, teams left the trailer dealership for the obligatory product placement plug, when they were instructed to drive to a BP gas station in Richland, Mississippi and find a guy named Les. Taking advantage of yet another team's mistake, the Paolos once again moved up in the standings when the Godlewskis drove past the gas station and were forced to turn back. After finding Les, the teams were challenged to drive to "the Pelican State" (psst, that’s Louisiana) and find Fairview Riverside State Park.

Once at the park, the teams were given Detour task options of "Work" or "Play." Teams that chose "Work" used two-man handsaws to saw logs, while the teams that chose "Play" rowed to a nearby riverboat to play blackjack against a professional dealer. But wait, there was more -- the teams had to change into "period costumes" prior to completing the task. The Paolos jumped into the lead by choosing "Work," while the Linzes were frustrated by bad luck at the blackjack table before abandoning the game to saw wood. The Gaghan family also ended up leaving the blackjack table after a period of bad luck, even though they were at the back of the pack. Meanwhile, the Schroeders were delighted to be so close to home, since the park was within a mile of where father Mark Schroeder had worked for a year. Although they admitted that they had never heard of the park, the Louisiana residents were encouraged that their knowledge of the area could help vault them out of last place and avoid elimination.

Once the teams completed their chosen Detour task, they raced to the race leg's pit stop -- Preservation Hall in New Orleans. The Bransen family won their second leg in a row, and were rewarded with a trip to Orlando. The Paolos were delighted to finish second, with father Tony declaring, "we ran the perfect race today." The Gaghan family once again stayed in the competition by finishing second to last, while the hometown team, the Schroeders, sobbed as they were eliminated from The Amazing Race in their own backyard.

Next week's The Amazing Race: Family Edition episode prompts the question -- if the teams finally leave the United States (for Central America apparently), but nobody’s left to watch, does it really matter?

(Photo credit CBS)


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