BJ Averell, Tyler Macniven survive 'Amazing Race' elimination... again
By Andrea Sellers, 05/04/2006
A mad three-way sprint to the competition's ninth Pit Stop led to... well, nothing, in last night's broadcast of the The Amazing Race 9's second non-elimination leg. Hippie team BJ Averell and Tyler Macniven, who had already been stripped of all their possessions during the show's previous elimination leg broadcast of two weeks ago, were once again at the back of the pack and were forced to surrender what little money they had managed to scrounge up since their last last place finish.
The Amazing Race 9's tenth episode began with the four remaining teams departing the Fremantle Sailing Club, a Perth, Australia landmark that had served as the previous episode's Pit Stop. As they left the Pit Stop, the teams received a clue instructing telling them to travel to the Swan Bells Tower, a copper and glass structure which houses eighteen church bells that had been sent from Great Britain to celebrate the Australian bicentennial.
After traveling fifteen miles to the tower, the teams were forced to wait for the structure to open the next morning. While long-distance daters Ray Whitty and Yolanda Brown-Moore drifted away from the rest of the group, "friends" team member Eric Sanchez flirted with opponent Monica Cayce to pass the time. BJ and Tyler, already aware of the growing friction between Monica and her boyfriend and partner Joseph Meadows, saw the development as an opportunity to attempt to break up the foursome's "pretty teams" alliance by pointing out Monica and Eric's flirting to Joseph.
Before the tower opened the next morning, Ray and Tyler each called a local taxi company to have taxis waiting once they retrieved their clues. Eric decided to follow their lead, but while on the phone with the taxi company, he and partner Jeremy Ryan also decided to cancel the other teams' reservations. However unfortunately for Eric and Jeremy, the final joke turned out to be on them when the taxi dispatcher, presumably suspecting pranksters were at play, apparently canceled their reservation as well. Afterward, the pair admitted that "karma [had] bit (them) in the ass" as they scrambled for transportation to the next clue. At the tower, the teams had received instructions to fly more than 1,700 miles to Darwin, a city on Australia's north coast, and drive to the Crocodylus Park crocodile farm where they would have to through a pool of crocodiles to retrieve the next clue. In a development that continued to keep the race tight, all four teams ended up the same flight and once again were bunched as they waited for the park to open.
After visiting the crocodile farm and navigating through the crocodile pool, teams had to drive more than fifty miles to the town of Batchelor. Once there, they would find their next clue at an airfield, where they were also cautioned that the second of the Race's two Yields would be awaiting them. After finishing last in Episode 8's leg, BJ and Tyler had promised that they would yield any team that did not give them some money at the start of the Race's previous leg, and they were eager to follow through on that promise to Monica and Joseph, who had refused to help the pair. Even though Monica and Joseph managed to arrive at the field first, the hippies parked closer to the Yield marker and were the first team to reach it.
Once at the Yield, BJ and Tyler quickly -- much to Joseph and Monica's dismay -- followed through with their threat and announced that they would be yielding the dating couple. Adding to Joseph's frustration, Monica appeared to whine and cry incessantly as the couple was forced to wait for the sand to run through the Yield hourglass before resuming racing. As they waited, the pair watched helplessly as both of the other teams proceeded to the Roadblock, where one team member "took a fall for their team" by completing a tandem skydive. Acting quickly, BJ, Eric, and Ray all completed their jumps while Monica continued to vocally complain about the "fairness" of BJ and Tyler's move -- a comment that seemed particularly ironic given that Joseph had witnessed Eric and Jeremy's cancellations of the other teams' Swan Bells Tower taxi reservations but felt no need to keep the competition "fair" by informing either team of the action.
After completing their jumps, the teams were instructed to drive more than twenty miles to the Magnetic Termite Mounds in Litchfield National Park. Once there, the teams were given Detour options of "Wet" or "Dry." "Wet" teams had to drive six miles to a park, where they had to hike and swim one mile upriver through a jungle river. "Dry" teams had to drive six miles and then drive off-road for another six miles until they found the rock formation known as the Lost City. Once there, the teams had to choose a didgeridoo (an aboriginal musical instrument) and then search for an aborigine with a matching didgeridoo who would teach them how to play a note on the instrument. BJ and Tyler and Eric and Jeremy, the first two teams to arrive at the Detour, chose the "Wet" option. Meanwhile, Ray and Yolanda stayed dry and took the lead, while Joseph and Monica made up valuable time by also choosing what clearly turned out to be the less grueling "Dry" option.
Once they completed the Detour, teams were told to drive to the Lake Bennett Wilderness Resort, the site of the race's next Pit Stop. After arriving, Ray and Yolanda were delighted to learn that they were the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop. As the first team to check-in, they were each rewarded with a one-year lease on a Mercedes vehicle. Meanwhile, BJ and Tyler and Eric and Jeremy were neck and neck as they left the "Wet" Detour, and the pressure only grew stronger when "MoJo" -- having managed to catch back up to the other two teams -- joined them on the highway trip to the Pit Stop.
All three teams arrived at the resort in a three vehicle caravan, turning the finish into a sprint to the mat. Although Monica appeared to be well behind all of the men, she was able to get ahead of BJ when he -- in a rather foolish and potentially game-ending move -- decided to skip the dock ramp that everyone else (including Monica) was using to access the dockside Pit Stop mat and instead attempt to jump and crawl across a rock outcropping. The risky strategy backfired, allowing Monica to race down the dock ramp and reach the mat before BJ managed to stumble his way onto the dock. When the photo finish was over, Eric and Jeremy had finished in second place and Joseph and Monica were gloating about overcoming the Yield to check in as the third place team. Meanwhile, BJ and Tyler were relieved to learn that BJ's mistake hadn't proven fatal and despite their second last place finish, they would still once again survive to race another day.
Next week, inquiries minds will learn whether BJ, who wasn't wearing shoes when Phil declared they must surrender everything but the clothes on their backs, will be forced to continue the competition barefoot.