'The Amazing Race's Harley Rodriguez and Jonathan Knight survive non-elimination leg and one couple gets engaged
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/09/2015
The Amazing Race's dating couple Harley Rodriguez and his partner Jonathan Knight survived a non-elimination leg during the 26th season's third episode Friday night on CBS.
Harley, a 41-year-old group fitness trainer, and Jonathan, a 46-year-old entertainer, finished the third leg of the Race in last place but were informed by host Phil Keoghan it was a non-elimination leg, so they could continue racing. However, at some point in the next leg, the pair must complete an additional Speed Bump before they can move on.
Harley and Jonathan are both from New York, NY, and have been dating for seven years.
"Being on the Race has been a dream of mine, and I don't want to go home right now. I want to stick around. I want to win this thing. Our non-elimination, that was the shockingliest shock of all shocks. It's an emotional roller coaster going up and down," Jonathan said after learning his team's fate.
"And now, we're back up!" Harley added.
The Amazing Race's third episode began with blind-dating couple Jelani Roy and Jenny Wu leaving the prior Pit Stop in first place at 4:35PM. On their heels was fellow blind-dating couple Laura Pierson and Tyler Adams at 4:44PM.
In third place right out of the gate were Aly Dudek and her boyfriend Steven Langton at 5:31PM, Harley and Jonathan in fourth place at 6:19PM, and blind-dating couple Bergen Olson and Kurt Jordan in fifth place at 6:32PM. No other departure times were shown.
The teams' first set of clues instructed them to fly to Phuket, Thailand and then make their way to Patong Beach, where they'd find their next clue.
However, the teams soon learned the ticket counter didn't open up until the following morning, so everyone had to wait out the night. The teams in front were upset to lose their lead in this equalizer.
The next morning, Matt and his girlfriend Ashley, Aly and Steve, blind-dating couple Jeff and Jackie, blind-dating couple Hayley and Blair, and Mike and his girlfriend Rochelle all got on the first flight out that arrived in Phuket at 4:50PM.
Laura and Tyler, as well as Jelani and Jenny, got on the second available flight due to arrive in Thailand at 9:10PM.
Bergen and Kurt booked another flight that wouldn't allow them to land until 11:59PM. Lastly, Harley and Jonathan got stuck on a flight alone that wouldn't arrive in Phuket until the following morning at 9:35AM. They knew anything could happen in the Race, and so they remained optimistic about their chances.
Matt and Ashley arrived at Patong Beach in first place, followed by Aly and Steve. Both couples discovered they were to stay in a bed and breakfast and then head out the next morning at 8:30AM. The pair was excited to party that night, and that's exactly what they ended up doing.
Mike and Rochelle were able to depart the next morning at 8:30AM as well, but Jeff and Jackie, Jelani and Jenny, and Hayley and Blair couldn't head out until 8:45AM.
At 9AM, Bergen and Kurt and Laura and Tyler could leave. Harley and Jonathan were able to somewhat catch up to the other teams because of this twist, so they were able to really start the leg at around 10AM.
The teams' next set of clues instructed them to head to Baan Teelanka, an upside down house.
Aly and Steve got there first. They were then followed by Mike and Rochelle, Matt and Ashley, Hayley and Blair, Jelani and Jenny, Jeff and Jackie, Bergen and Kurt, and finally Harley and Jonathan.
It then became time for the teams to select one of two possible Detour tasks: "Ski" or "Tree."
"Ski" required the teams to survive one lap around the Wake Park by wakeboarding while being attached to a cable that moves at speeds up to 20mph.
"Tree" required the teams to play the role of a waiter. They had to carefully deliver a full meal through the treetops via ziplining 100 feet above the jungle floor. If they could successfully serve their order without dropping anything, their tip would be their next clue.
Aly and Steve opted to take on the "Ski" task just like Jeff and Jackie. The rest of the teams chose "Tree."
Blair ignored a sign on the food hut that listed the day's special meal. He only picked a couple items to bring to the hungry guests, and Hayley yelled at him for probably making a mistake. He didn't listen, and she ended up being right -- that they had to zipline over a full-course meal rather than its parts. Blair hoped Hayley would eventually let it go and not nag him for the rest of the leg.
After many attempts, Aly and Steve chose to switch Detour tasks because they found the skiing challenge extremely difficult. Jeff and Jackie followed in their footsteps, afraid they wouldn't be able to complete the lap.
Meanwhile, Matt and Ashley really struggled to not spill their food while ziplining. Matt got especially frustrated, but after a handful of tries, they ended up succeeding.
Mike and Rochelle finished the Detour in first place. They were then followed by Hayley and Blair, Laura and Tyler, Bergen and Kurt, Jelani and Jenny, Aly and Steve, Matt and Ashley, Jeff and Jackie, and finally Harley and Jonathan.
The teams were then instructed to proceed to My Way Cabaret.
Mike and Rochelle got there first. Behind them were Hayley and Blair, Laura and Tyler, Bergen and Kurt -- who received a "date night" card at this location to enjoy after reaching the Pit Stop -- Jelani and Jenny, Matt and Ashley, Jeff and Jackie, Aly and Steve, and Harley and Jonathan.
For this task, both members of each couple had to dress up like women and then learn and perform the choreography to a song. Once the professional performers thought the Racers had their act together, they'd receive their next clue.
Mike and Rochelle were very nervous about this task because they had greatly struggled with the previous dancing task. However, they managed to do just fine and finished the task in first place.
They were soon followed by Hayley and Blair, Jelani and Jenny, Matt and Ashley, Aly and Steve, Laura and Tyler, Bergen and Kurt, Jeff and Jackie, and Harley and Jonathan.
The teams then had to head to the Pit Stop at Baba Nest Rooftop Bar.
On the ride over, Matt realized he had left his fanny pack at the Cabaret place. Although they were gunning for second place, they had to go back. Ashley didn't blame him for his mistake and was very supportive, which Matt really appreciated.
Mike and Rochelle got to the Pit Stop in first place and won a trip for two to Prague in the Czech Republic.
Hayley and Blair finished the leg in second place, and then Jelani and Jenny claimed third. Laura and Tyler landed in fourth place, and Aly and Steve arrived at the Pit Stop in fifth.
Matt and Ashley soon arrived in sixth place, followed by Bergen and Kurt in seventh and then Jeff and Jackie in eighth place.
At this moment, Matt got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend Ashley. She cried tears of joy and all of the other teams clapped and cheered. Bergen and Kurt then offered the newly-engaged couple their "date night."
Harley and Jonathan arrived at the Pit Stop later on in ninth -- and last -- place. They were thrilled to learn it was a non-elimination leg.