'The Amazing Race' eliminates Oswald Mendez and Danilo Jimenez
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/30/2007
It was deja vu all over again for Oswald Mendez and Danilo Jimenez, who just like during The Amazing Race's second season, finished in fourth place during CBS' The Amazing Race: All-Stars.
While the pair was "marked for elimination" since they were the last team to arrive at the eleventh leg's Pit Stop, the penalty never came into play as they were also the last team to reach the twelfth leg's Pit Stop during last night's penultimate episode of All-Stars.
"To be able to go through this and survive it twice leads me to believe that I will have Oswald in my life always," said Danny upon finding he and Ozzy were eliminated. "He'll be pushing the wheelchair as I'm going into the home... the gay nursing home that I'm going to open up."
The Amazing Race: All-Stars' twelfth episode began with beauty queens Dustin Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier, the first team to complete the eleventh leg, departing the eleventh leg's Macau, China Pit Stop at 2:15AM and receiving a clue instructing them to fly over 7,500 miles to the island of Guam and then drive nine miles to the United States' Andersen Air Force Base. Due to military security, teams would then select a military escort to drive them to an air traffic control tower where they had to climb the stairs to find their next clue on top.
"We are so pumped for this leg because we realize this is kind of do or die for us," said Dustin. "You win or you go home, and we've gone home before, so we know what that feels like... and we didn't like it."
The beauty queens booked a 3AM ferry that would take them from Macau to mainland China, and they would then travel to the airport. Cousins Charla Baklayan Faddoul and Mirna Hindoyan were the next to leave the Pit Stop at 2:50AM, followed closely by Eric Sanchez and Danielle Turner, who departed at 3:06AM. Both teams were on the 4AM ferry from Macau to mainland China.
"At first, I was a little hesitant on coming back to the race because it is challenging on my body, and having the best racers of The Amazing Race compete against you is even more scary," said Charla. "You have to be tough. There's no other way of playing the game." Eric and Danielle -- who were the victims of both of All-Stars' Yields -- realized, like Dustin and Kandice, that they two were at a crucial point in the race.
"It's definitely down to everything for Danielle and I," said Eric. "It's been a long road, and we didn't come this far and go through all this crap to lose." Ozzy and Danny were the last team to leave the Pit Stop at 4:37AM and took a 6AM ferry to the mainland.
"Danny and I are marked for elimination, so basically, we need to be the first to arrive at the Pit Stop or we have a half-hour penalty," explained Ozzy. "We know that karma was a particular bitch on the last leg of the race, and we got slapped hard for it. However we've asked for forgiveness to the universe and we hope that things will go our way."
Dustin and Kandice were the first to arrive at the airport, and booked a Cathay Pacific flight that would depart Hong Kong at 9:05AM, connect through Tokyo and land in Guam 9:50PM that night. With the beauty queens having their tickets in hand, Charla and Mirna and Eric and Danielle then arrived at the airport. Both were also able to purchase tickets on the same flight as the Dustin and Kandice.
"The beauty of being first," said Kandice, before Dustin finished her thought. "Yeah we did all the work and they go, 'I'll have what they have.'"
With Dustin and Kandice, Eric and Danielle and Charla and Mirna all on the same flight, Ozzy and Danny arrived at the airport and frantically rushed through it towards the ticket counter.
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"I've never run so fast in my life," commented Danny. Added Eric -- who was Yielded with Danielle during the last leg by Ozzy and Danny, "The Cha-Chas are not on this plane at this point. Hopefully they get lost or the ferries got canceled for today."
While they were too late to make the same flight as the other teams, an agent informed Danny and Ozzy a 10:15AM flight to Tokyo would also connect to the plane landing in Guam at 9:50PM. However, they received a warning that they had only 45 minutes to make the connection in Tokyo.
"Hopefully there's enough time for the connection," said Ozzy, aware of how tight connections had already spelled doom for other teams such as Uchenna and Joyce Agu. "When we get there, we'll need to haul ass, hopefully we can catch-up."
The three teams on the 9:05AM flight easily caught the connector in Tokyo and wondered aloud where Danny and Ozzy were. Frantically sprinting through the Tokyo airport, Ozzy and Danny were able to get seats on the connector just as the flight finished boarding.
"We have nothing to say to Danny and Ozzy. As far as we're concerned, the sooner they're gone, the better," said Eric as he saw the Cha-Chas board the plane. Commented Ozzy, ""We're not sure whether we landed in Japan or in Alaska, because we felt the cold breeze -- freezing cold -- but we don't care."
With all four of the remaining teams on the same flight to Guam, the plane touched down at 9:50PM. Surprisingly, Ozzy and Danny were the first team out of the airport, followed by Charla and Mirna, Dustin and Kandice and Eric and Danielle. However all the teams found that military escorts wouldn't arrive to take them to the air traffic control tower on Andersen Air Force Base until 7:00AM.
Once the escorts arrived the next morning, the teams raced to the tower where they found a Detour having to choose between "Care Package" and "Engine Care."
In "Care Package," teams made their way to a warehouse to take part in an Air Force humanitarian relief training exercise by filling a box with 500 pounds of essential relief supplies. Once their box reached 500 pounds of supplies, teams would board a massive C-17 cargo plane for a one in a lifetime opportunity to experience an Air Force airdrop exercise. When they returned to the ground the Load Master would hand them their next clue. The task required relatively little physical activity, but the training exercise took roughly 30 minutes to complete.
In "Engine Care," teams had to scour a B-52 bomber by choosing an engine pod, including its sail and wing flap, and wash it clean. Once the Senior Air Force Maintenance Officer was satisfied with their job, he would hand them their next clue.
Dustin and Kandice, Ozzy and Danny and Eric and Danielle all chose "Engine Care," while Charla and Mirna picked "Care Package."
"We decided to do the humanitarian Detour because I like to help people who are in need," explained Charla. With the three other teams suddenly realizing the size of the task at hand in cleaning a B-52, Charla and Mirna quickly threw a wide array of items -- from food and clothing to mathematic books -- into the box, reaching the required weight of 500 pounds and allowing them to board the enormous C-17 cargo plane to make their airdrop. Danny pointed out to Ozzy they should have chosen the other Detour, to which Ozzy replied, "But we're here."
Scrubbing along, the three teams on the ground needed plenty of effort to clean the large wing flap, which was black with dirt. While the beauty queens thought they were the first to be done, the maintenance officer quickly pointed out some missed spots and put them back to work to fully complete the job. "There's no charming the sergeant. The sergeant was all about business," said Kandice. "We weren't getting anywhere with a smile. We had to scrub."
Meanwhile, having already completed the physical portion of their own Detour task, Charla and Mirna sat back in a C-17 cargo plane and enjoyed an experience that Mirna said "was the best thing I ever did in my life." The cargo plane also did a nose dive, and Charla and Mirna experienced "zero gravity."
Although Charla and Mirna's Detour choice was emotionally rewarding and exciting, the time it took to deliver the cargo ultimately left them in last place, as Dustin and Kandice, Eric and Danielle and Ozzy and Danny all left their task as the cousins flight touched down. Upon opening their next clue, the teams discovered they needed to drive 21 miles to the U.S. Naval Base Guam where a naval escort would drive them to the next route marker. Dustin and Kandice drove to the base with Eric and Danielle hot on their heels, followed closely by Ozzy and Danny. The cousins realized the situation they had put themselves in.
"Damn Charla, we've fallen to fourth. We're worried because it's the final elimination before the final three, a race 'til the end," opined Mirna. "We don't want to finish today. It's so awful."
Meanwhile, as Danielle also began explaining how she was "nervous," Ozzy and Danny found themselves lost. Charla and Mirna stopped at a market for directions and followed a women in another vehicle to the base. Unable to find the base on their own, Ozzy and Danny ultimately hired a taxi to lead them.
Dustin and Kandice were the first to arrive at the U.S. Naval Base. Once there, they selected an escort who drove them to their next clue, where they discovered it was time for the leg's Roadblock.
The Roadblock required one team member to take part in a naval search and rescue training exercise. Using a hand held GPS device, they needed to navigate through the jungle and locate one of four Search & Rescue training officer, after which the officer would program the location of a jungle clearing pickup location into their GPS unit. Once there, the team member had to call a helicopter to request "extraction," set off a smoke grenade to signal their exact position and wait to be picked-up and returned to their teammate.
Dustin decided to try the Roadblock, and compared the challenge to "searching for your Easter basket." Since Eric had already hit his Roadblock limit, Danielle was forced to do the Roadblock for her team. Thinking that it would be better if Mirna was still eligible to do All-Stars' final Roadblock, Charla also did the Roadblock for her team. Dustin was the first to find the officer and receive the coordinates for the clearing, while Charla had all sorts of problems.
"You should not press any buttons [on the GPS]!" yelled Mirna at Charla as she embarked. Charla's military escort had to frequently remind her of the same fact. "Ma'am, I told you not to touch the screen," the escort instructed Charla several times. "Oh God help me," replied Charla. "I would be dead if I were in the Navy right now."
Danielle was the second person to find her officer, but became incredibly lost when trying to find the clearing, suffering an emotional breakdown that caused her to cry as she stumbled through the jungle.
Meanwhile, Dustin found her clearing and called for her military helicopter pickup without any major issues. As the helicopter picked her up, Dustin commented that her brothers would be "so jealous" of her. Once the helicopter dropped Dustin back off at the Roadblock starting point where Kandice was still waiting, the pair received a clue instructing them to drive 11 miles to the Pit Stop at Fort Soledad, a 19th Century fortification built to protect Spanish galleons from pirates.
When Ozzy and Danny finally arrived at the base in last place, Ozzy set-off to find his lost officer and with Charla and Danielle having difficulties, appeared to have a chance to catch-up. However while he quickly walked to the GPS location of the officer, he couldn't actually find the officer once he was there and basically wandered around in circles, unable to find his officer in the brush.
At the same time, Dustin and Kandice reached the twelfth leg's Pit Stop and became the first team to become members of All-Stars' final leg -- a finish that will give them the chance to accomplish their oft-stated goal of becoming the first all-female team to win The Amazing Race.
Back on the naval base, Charla and Ozzy still couldn't find their officer, and Danielle still couldn't find the landing. Danielle finally realized she was having the same problem as Charla, pushing buttons on her GPS, which was throwing her off course. She eventually found the landing and the helicopter came to retrieve her. Mercifully, Charla eventually found her officer, as did Ozzy.
"Hello. Did I just pass you like a thousand times?" Ozzy asked his officer, who answered yes. "You were right here? All the time? How much do I not like you?" replied Ozzy to the officer, who could only answer with, "It's good camouflage."
Despite her GPS problems, Danielle still finished the Roadblock well ahead of Charla and Ozzy. After receiving their next clue, Danielle and Eric easily arrived at the Pit Stop in second place, making them the second team who will compete in All-Stars' finale.
Meanwhile, with only one The Amazing Race's finale leg slot remaining, Charla managed to hustle to the helicopter pickup clearing ahead of Ozzy. "Oh my God... the Teletubbies go to war," Ozzy remarked as he radioed his own pickup request in and watched Charla run towards her helicopter dressed in military garb. However despite Ozzy's comment, the joke was actually on Ozzy and Danny, who were now in last place and already "marked for elimination."
While the cousins were the first to leave the base, they went in the complete opposite direction of Fort Soledad, forcing them to turn around. However the snafu wasn't enough to hinder their effort, as Charla and Mirna finished the twelfth leg in third place, making them the last team to secure a spot in All-Stars' finale.
On their way to the Pit Stop, Ozzy and Danny rehearsed how they would react when The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan told them they were eliminated. They reached the Pit Stop and were sent packing.
"I'll tell you who we want to win... we would love for Charla and Mirna to win," Ozzy told Phil. Added Danny, "I sincerely feel like those ladies are a class act." Referring to Phil as "darling," Ozzy and Danny said they had no regrets what so ever about All-Stars.
"We ran the race the way we wanted to run it. We had an amazing time doing it," said Ozzy. "There will be many chapters written about Oswald and Danny and The Amazing Race happens to be a paragraph."