'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' eliminates Rob and Amber Mariano
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/12/2007
Rob and Amber Mariano went from first to worst during the fourth leg of CBS' The Amazing Race: All-Stars, and the team that everyone else seemed to fear was abruptly eliminated from the reality competition series at the end of Sunday night's broadcast.
Also compounding the surprise nature of the couple's elimination was the fact that not only had they finished first in the Race's third leg, they'd also finished first in its first and second legs.
The Amazing Race: All-Stars' fourth episode began with the eight remaining teams departing Playa Petrohue, a Chilean black volcanic sand beach that served as the Race's third Pit Stop. As the first team to finish the third leg, Rob and Amber were the first team to leave for the fourth leg.
"I'm not trying to be arrogant or cocky, I'm just saying I know I believe in us. I know we're the strongest team here," said Rob at the beginning of the fourth leg. Added Amber, "I think that Rob and I have great communication skills. I almost feel that we're peaking." But Rob was quick to correct her when he answered, "I'm not peaking. I'm not even close to my prime."
As they left the Pit Stop, the team learned that they would have to fly more than 800 miles to the city of Punta Arenas, Chile. Then, once they landed, they would have to travel 15 miles by taxi to the shipwreck of Lord Lonsdale, where they would find their next clue. Uchenna and Joyce Agu, who beat Rob and Amber on the seventh season of The Amazing Race, left for Punta Arenas 15 minutes after their old rivals.
"Rob and Amber beat us a lot on our season," said Joyce. "But they didn't beat us when it counted. That hurt [them], I'm sure." Added Uchenna, "I believe there's somewhat of a rivalry that's built up from us beating them. I'm sure they want to set the record straight. We welcome the rematch. It's healthy competition."
Eric Sanchez and Danielle Turner, Dustin Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier, Ozwald Mendez and Danilo Jimenez, as well as Teri and Ian Pollack all left for the airport within 42 minutes of Rob and Amber. Bringing up the rear were Joe Baldassare and Bill Bartek and Charla Baklayan Faddoul and Mirna Hindoyan, who left the Pit Stop more than 90 minutes behind Rob and Amber.
Upon their arrival at the airport, Rob and Amber booked a 9:40AM flight to Punta Arenas -- the same flight that Uchenna and Joyce, Eric and Danielle, Dustin and Kandice and Ozzy and Danny all later also ended up booking.
Teri and Ian looked set to become the first team that was going to end up departing on a later 11:15AM flight, however they were eventually able to get on-board the first flight after some haggling with the person working the ticket counter. "We're so lucky," said Teri. "It puts us at such a bigger advantage." Joe and Bill and Charla and Mirna were the only teams on the later flight, and they both tried to compensate by finding out as much about Punta Arenas as they could before even stepping foot on the plane.
"I work very hard physically [and] mentally to do well," said Mirna. "Charla obviously wants to contribute. But I do more than any one single person has probably had to do on the race to compensate for any shortcomings we have."
The first flight arrived at 11:50AM, and as all the teams got in taxis, Rob revealed that he had taken a note that a stewardesses had written for Uchenna saying where the shipwreck could be located.
Once at the Lord Lonsdale shipwreck, the teams faced a Detour with two tasks related to explorer Ferdinand Magellan. In "Navigate It," teams had to use a map of Punta Arenas to get to the town plaza, where they were met by a sailor, who gave them a compass. Then, traveling directly south and using the compass as their guide, the teams had to find the Nautilus building and receive their next clue. In "Sign It," teams had to recover a poll and a set of building supplies, which they had to transport up some steep steps. Once there, they had to use Magellan's map as a reference to figure out his voyage began and ended in Seville. Building a traditional sign post listing the 14 ports from Magellan's voyage got the teams their next clue, however all of the names of the port had to be spelled correctly.
Rob and Amber, who arrived first, chose "Sign It" because Rob said he was good with building things. They were followed by Uchenna and Joyce and Dustin and Kandice, while Eric and Danielle, Ozzy and Danny and Teri and Ian all chose "Navigate It." Once the teams started their "Detour" options, it quickly became clear that "Navigate It" was the easier choice. Eric and Danielle received the next clue first, followed closely by Ozzy and Danny and Teri and Ian.
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After completing the "Detour," the teams received clues telling them to to sign-up for one of two charter planes that left three hours apart. The flights would carry them 165 miles to the city of Ushuaia, Argentina. They would then make their way to Playa Laga Beach along the Beagle Channel, where they would find their next clue.
"Where the hell are Rob and Amber?" Danielle, shocked that the Race's previous frontrunners weren't already at the airport, remarked as she and Eric became the first team to signup for the first charter flight. Answered Eric, "Who knows. Hopefully they're really lost."
While Rob and Amber had quickly solved the puzzle part of "Sign It" task -- something both Uchenna and Joyce and Dustin and Kandice struggled with -- Rob incorrectly spelled Philippines. Rob didn't understand why the judge wouldn't permit he and Amber to move along, even commenting at one point, "It better not be the spelling." Amber tried to convince Rob to switch to "Navigate It," a strategy that worked in their favor during the first leg of the race, but Rob declined.
"This is stupid babe. We're wasting so much time," said Amber. "We've got to know when to quit."
Meanwhile, while the "Sign It" teams continued to struggle, Eric and Danielle, Ozzy and Danny, and Teri and Ian all booked seats on the first charter, and while doing so they saw Charla and Mirna as well as Joe and Bill arrive in Punta Arenas as the last place teams.
Back at "Sign It," Uchenna and Joyce finally received their clue and moved onto the airport, while Rob was still confused. After Uchenna and Joyce left, Dustin and Kandice -- realizing they weren't getting anywhere fast with "Sign It" -- formed a loose partnership with Rob and Amber and the two teams finally decided to switch to "Navigate It." Eventually Charla and Mirna showed up and chose "Sign It," while Joe and Bill chose "Navigate It." Charla struggled carrying the supplies up the stairs.
"Charla, concentrate for a second! You're wasting a lot of time! Why can't we just go quickly! You're making this so much harder for us!" were just some of the things Mirna yelled at her cousin, who finally answered, "What do you want me to do?"
When Joe and Bill saw Romber and the beauty queens arriving at "Navigate It," they were stunned. "I don't know what the hell they're doing here," said Bill. Rob further complicated things when he initially took Amber, Dustin and Kandice to the wrong nautical location, where they were surprised to find their clue was not waiting for them. Joe and Bill passed them and were second team on the second charter flight, joining Uchenna and Joyce. Meanwhile, back at "Sign It," Charla and Mirna decided to switch to "Navigate It." Once Dustin and Kandice and Rob and Amber got their clue, both teams put some perspective on the alliance.
"I don't think teaming up with Rob and Amber was necessarily helpful," said Dustin. Commented Rob, "This is one of the first times in the race Amber and I aren't at the head of the pack. It's a little frustrating." Rob and Amber, Dustin and Kandice and Charla and Mirna rounded out the second charter flight, which left three hours behind the first.
"Three hours is a long time," Rob opined. "It's okay," answered Amber. "Amber, I know it's okay," replied Rob. "I'm trying to comfort you. Don't get mad at me for comforting you. From now on and in the rest of the race I will never try to comfort you," answered Amber, who called Rob out. "He's full of crap. He wants to finish first and he's deeply upset we're not on the first plane." Hounding him, Amber finally got Rob to admit he wished he was on the first plane.
After the first charter flight arrived in Argentina, Eric and Danielle, Ozzy and Danny and Teri and Ian all managed to retrieve their next clue, which was pretty well hidden along the Beagle Channel. The clue instructed the teams to travel by taxi to Bahai Lapataia, where they would catch a shuttle boat that departed every 20 minutes and could carry only two teams. The boat would take them to Isla Redonda, a location called "The End of the World" because it is the southern-most tip of South America. Once there, they'd find a remote post office that would yield their next clue.
After arriving on the island, the teams learned that the post office would also serve as the site of the leg's Roadblock. One person from each team had to take on "the duties of a postal worker" and sort through a mailbag containing 1,600 envelopes in order to find one of two letters that were addressed to their team. The letters were written by a set of former competitors from each team's original The Amazing Race season, and once recovered, the letter had to be read aloud. After finding one of their letters and reading it aloud, the teams would receive a clue that instructing them to search the island by foot to find the fourth leg's Pit Stop.
As the second charter flight arrived in Argentina, Rob and Amber and Charla and Mirna both found their teams in a search of taxis. As Rob and Amber approached a cab, Charla claimed it was the one she had called for. "You're crazy," said Rob. "Amber get in the car. You're crazy. We called too." The cousins were stunned "their" cab was stolen, and awaited another one.
Meanwhile, back on the island, Ozzy and Danny found their letter from The Amazing Race 2 team Blake and Paige. In addition to offering well wishes, the letter told them to follow a path around the island to Mastil De Belgrand, a scenic overlook that served as the Race's Pit Stop. Eric and Danielle received a letter from both their original teammates during the ninth season of The Amazing Race and reached the Pit Stop second behind Ozzy and Danny. Teri and Ian received a letter from The Amazing Race 3 winners Flo and Zach, and checked-in third.
Meanwhile, back on the mainland, Amber reminded Rob they don't need to come in first at the end of every leg, which led Rob to imagine that they still had a chance to finish first during the fourth leg. The remaining five teams all dashed to the Playa Laga Beach, where Rob and Amber had a hard time finding the clue along the Beagle Channel.
After realizing they had made a mistake and gone down the wrong path right before they encountered Charla and Mirna, Amber told the cousins she and Rob had found the clue, while Rob clutched an old clue in his hands. "They actually believed me telling them the clue was down there," said Amber. "That's just dumb."
"As an attorney, I can tell when somebody is lying," Charla insisted after she and Mirna seemed to spend time falling for Amber's deception.
Recognizing that there was still likely to be a Roadblock task ahead of them, Rob warned the rest of the waiting boat shuttle teams not to count he and Amber out just yet. Meanwhile, Amber used some of the wait time to tell the other teams how she had tricked Mirna and Charla, however when Charla and Mirna later arrived and asked Amber about the encounter, she told a different story.
Amber claimed she didn't lie and instead said she was talking to Rob the entire time and alleged she never uttered a word to Charla and Mirna. "I'm rubbing off on [Amber]," said Rob. The cousins didn't completely buy what Amber was selling. "It didn't make sense," Charla said. "It was another lie." "We're done," Mirna, seemingly throwing in the towel after learning her team would be alone on the last boat, remarked.
"I felt the tension of competition," said Uchenna as he and Joyce boarded a shuttle boat with Rob and Amber and left Charla and Mirna alone on the dock. "After the Charla and Mirna lie, I felt the desire to beat Rob and Amber."
Meanwhile, back on the island, Bill found a letter for he and Joe from Frank, who competed on the first season of The Amazing Race with his partner, and the pair checked-in fourth at the Pit Stop. Dustin and Kandice got a letter from Lyn, one of their "'Bama" competitors from The Amazing Race 10,and checked-in fifth. As Rob and Joyce both looked through letters, Charla and Mirna arrived at the post office, creating a three-way race. Suddenly, Joyce found a letter from The Amazing Race 7's Susan and Patrick, helping them check-in sixth and setting up a classic battle between Rob and Amber and Charla and Mirna.
As the two teams exchanged words, Mirna found her letter first, which was from the fifth season's Lance and Marshall. "This sucks," muttered Rob under his breath as he continued to search for his team's letter. "I'm sorry Amber."
Amber told him it was okay, and assured him they could beat Mirna and Charla in a foot race. "They're just mad because we lied to them," said Amber. Rob found the letter for he and Amber, which was also from Susan and Patrick, but despite the show's editing, it didn't seem to quite setup the frantic "foot race" Amber was talking about. Mirna and Charla seemed to do their best to get to the Pit Stop as fast as possible, and Charla fell several times, but Rob and Amber -- presumably realizing they were already the last team -- didn't appear to be running at full speed.
"Way to keep it up. Way to never quit," said Uchenna to Charla and Mirna when he greeted them at the Pit Stop. "That's the key to this game. Never quit. Because you don't know what will ever happen."
When Rob and Amber arrived, TheAmazingRace host Phil Keoghan told them they were eliminated. "At least we had a good run in the beginning," Amber responded. Added Rob, "We started off strong, we just had a bad leg today." Corrected Amber, "A really bad leg. And to tell you the truth, what better place to end the race than the end of the world."
"You know this isn't the end. It might be the end of the race for us, but the fact that we got to come back and do it a second time is pretty spectacular. We did really, really well during the first three legs, and just to spend this time [with Rob] means the world to me." Concluded Rob, "I think the thing I'm going to miss the most is not being able to compete. Knowing that there's a game going on, and I'm not in the game. But you know, at the end of it all, I still have an amazing wife, a great life and a great family. I'm a lucky guy. I'm already a winner."