'The Amazing Race' eliminates C.J. Harris and longtime girlfriend Lebya Simpson
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/02/2015
The Amazing Race eliminated C.J. Harris and his girlfriend Lebya Simpson during the 26th season's second episode Friday night on CBS.
C.J. Harris, a 26-year-old IT technician, and Lebya Simpson, a 25-year-old medical support assistant, were ousted from the race around the world after they arrived at the second Pit Stop in last place. The couple is from Tuskagee, AK. C.J. and Lebya have been dating for 10 years although they've known each other for 15 years.
"I'm still waiting on that ring," Lebya joked following her team's ouster.
"We gave it our all!" C.J. said.
The second episode began with Jenny Wu, a 32-year-old blogger and lawyer from Los Angeles, CA, and her blind date Jelani Roy, a 32-year-old lawyer from New York, NY, leaving the first Pit Stop at 5:30AM.
Jackie Ibarra, a 27-year-old professional dancer from Las Vegas, NV, and her blind date Jeffrey Weldon, a 26-year-old account executive and salesman from Tampa, FL, departed the starting location at 5:33AM followed by blind-dating couple Laura Pierson, a 29-year-old talent booker from Los Angeles, CA, and Tyler Adams, a 26-year-old mobile app developer from Santa Monica, CA, at 5:45AM.
Aly Dudek, a 24-year-old Olympic athlete from Milwaukee, WI, and her boyfriend Steven Langton, a 31-year-old Olympic athlete from Boston, MA, left at 6:14AM followed by pre-existing couple Harley Rodriguez, a 41-year-old group fitness trainer, and Jonathan Knight, a 46-year-old entertainer at 6:52AM.
After Harley and Jonathan, Bergen Olson, a 23-year-old human resources project manager from Sunnyvale, CA, and his blind date Kurt Jordan Belcher, a 24-year-old pageant consultant from Butler, KY, departed the first Pit Stop at 7:10AM.
Rochelle Nevedal, a 29-year-old contract engineer from Kalkaska, MI, and her boyfriend Michael Dombrowski, a 26-year-old truck stop manager and pro wrestling promoter from Traverse City, MI, left at 7:15AM, followed by blind-dating couple Hayley Keel, a 28-year-old registered nurse from St. Petersburg, FL, and Blair Townsend, a 31-year-old Navy physician from Jacksonville, FL, at 7:33AM.
Matt Cucolo, a 30-year-old from Scarsdale, NY, and his girlfriend Ashley Gordon, a 28-year-old hairstylist from Scarsdale, NY, departed the first Pit Stop in ninth place at 7:36AM, followed by Lebya and C.J. in tenth place at 8:20AM.
The teams' first set of clues instructed them to travel by bullet train to Nagano, Japan -- which hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics -- and then make their way to a castle.
Three teams got on the first train to Nagano at 6:30AM. They were Jelani and Jenny, Jackie and Jeff, and Laura and Tyler.
Aly and Steve hopped on the second available train. On the third train out was Harley and Jonathan, Bergen and Kurt, and Mike and Rochelle. The fourth train seated Hayley and Blair as well as Matt and Ashley.
C.J. and Lebya finally got on the fifth train to Nagano. However, they missed their train at 9:04AM because they were joking with the cameras about being a strong team and taking selfies. The next available train arrived at 9:20AM, and they also had to deal with an emergency stop.
Jeff and Jackie arrived at the castle in first place. They were soon followed by Laura and Tyler, Jelani and Jenny, Aly and Steve, Mike and Rochelle, Harley and Jonathan, Kurt and Bergen, Matt and Ashley, Hayley and Blair, and finally Lebya and C.J.
One person from each team was then instructed to complete a Roadblock task.
For the Roadblock, the Racers had to solve an intricate Japanese puzzle box. They had to figure out how to open one of the trick boxes using a series of complicated moves that must be performed in an exact order. If a Racer could master the maneuvers, he or she would unlock a password to repeat correctly to the castle guards in order to receive their next clue.
In a new The Amazing Race twist, a ticket was randomly hidden in one of the clues for a "date night," which would be a relaxing getaway for one lucky couple to enjoy after reaching the Pit Stop.
Jeff opted to take on the Roadblock task on behalf of his team. He was soon joined by Tyler, Jelani, Aly, Mike, Hayley, Ashley, Bergen, Jonathan, and Lebya.
Jonathan really struggled with the puzzle, losing some ground in the leg.
Laura and Tyler were the first team to finish the Roadblock challenge. They were then followed by Jelani and Jenny, Aly and Steve, Jeff and Jackie, Mike and Rochelle, Harley and Jonathan, Bergen and Kurt, Matt and Ashley, Hayley and Blair, and Lebya and C.J.
Harley and Jonathan ended up getting the "date night" card, which turned out to be a spa night they were very excited about.
The next clue instructed the couples to make their way to Nishi-Guchi Zenko-Ji and search for their next clue.
Laura and Tyler got there first. They were then followed by Jelani and Jenny, Aly and Steve, Jeff and Jackie, Mike and Rochelle, Harley and Jonathan, Bergen and Kurt, Matt and Ashley, Hayley and Blair, and Lebya and C.J.
It then became time for the teams to complete one of two possible Detour tasks: "Share" or "Chair."
"Share" required the couples to feed each other noodles using only the provided chopsticks in front of a large blowing fan.
"Chair" required the couples to push each other around an Olympic speed-skating track. One Racer had to push his or her partner around the track for one full lap before switching places and doing it all over again. A team had to finish two laps in under 3 minutes and 55 seconds to earn their next clue.
Jeff and Jackie opted to take on the "Chair" task as well as Aly and Steve, Matt and Ashley, Mike and Rochelle, and Hayley and Blair.
Laura and Tyler chose to take on the "Share" task in addition to Jelani and Jenny, Harley and Jonathan, Bergen and Kurt, and Lebya and C.J.
Mike fell multiple times trying to push Rochelle around the track, and at one point, she fell out of her chair and injured her wrist. The couple therefore decided to switch tasks and ended up completing the noodle-eating one instead.
Laura and Tyler finished the Detour in first place. They were then followed by Jelani and Jenny, Aly and Steve, Jeff and Jackie, Harley and Jonathan, Bergen and Kurt, Matt and Ashley, Mike and Rochelle, Hayley and Blair, and Lebya and C.J.
On their way out, Laura and Tyler's taxi left them seemingly because the couple had neglected to ask him to stay and wait. As a result, Jelani and Jenny were able to jump into the lead and head to the Pit Stop at Patio Daimon, an old storage facility which is now a popular restaurant complex.
Jenny and Jelani arrived at the Pit Stop and met Phil Keoghan in first place. For winning the leg, they won a Fitbit Wellness kid -- which included one of everything the brand makes, a personal chef, cooking classes for one year, and a one-year gym membership or one year of delivered fresh groceries.
Laura and Tyler finished the leg in second place, Aly and Steve claimed third place, and Harley and Jonathan landed in fourth place.
Bergen and Kurt then made it to the Pit Stop mat in fifth place, followed by Jeff and Jackie in sixth, Matt and Ashley in seventh, and Mike and Rochelle in eighth place.
Hayley and Blair ran to the Pit Stop and met Phil in ninth place. Lebya and C.J. then finally made it and learned they had finished the leg in tenth -- and last -- place. Phil quickly announced their elimination.