On this week’s episode of ‘The Amazing Race’, teams departed Russia for the Middle East and raced one of the longest stages in the show’s history.
“The leg was over 16 hours and that’s not even counting the flight,” Mallory, 25 told us exclusively.
As teams got their clues and headed off to make their travel arrangements to Oman, the newly dating Chad and Stephanie were accidentally sound asleep in their hotel room, clueless they had missed their “Pit Start” time. The lovebirds started a full two hours late but got a lucky break when they caught a flight just ten minutes behind the other teams.
“That’s the only leg of the race where they could have gotten away with that,” says Mallory.
Once the teams arrived in Oman, they were almost neck-and-neck but had to wait their turn to climb up a tower to fetch their next clue. While waiting for their time slot to run up, Chad gets all mushy and decides to purpose to girlfriend Stephanie. While it may have been a cheesy reality show proposal, it was just refreshing to not see this couple fighting for a change!
After Chad and Stephanie’s romantic moment, the race was back on and teams jumped into vans and drove to the tallest mountain in Oman. Here, for this week’s Roadblock Challenge, teams were to rappel over 500ft down the side of a cliff. Once at the bottom, they had to search through hundreds of genies lamps and find the one with a ring inside of it. Having luck with rings that day, Chad and Stephanie found it in a minute and moved on to the next clue.
Teams followed one-by-one down the cliff with the exception of doctors Nat and Kat and Mallory and her father Gary, who were struggling to even find the mountain.
“We thought we had a great map so we kept trying to follow that,” says Gary, who as a pilot felt experienced navigating. “But we kept having to go round-about ways because of the terrain. Our fatal mistake was not stopping and asking for directions.”
Meanwhile, the other teams made their way to the detour challenge with the choice of “Water Table”- pumping water from an ancient well and delivering it to a designated house or “Wedding Table”- heading to a local market and preparing a traditional wedding meal. Shockingly, not a single team chose to attend the wedding! That poor bride and groom must have been starving!
“The water challenge seemed more physical than the wedding, but from our experience in the race, the more physical challenges usually take less time,” says Mallory.
“Plus we live on a farm,” adds Gary. “We have some experience with things like water pumping.”
After the teams head to a market to deliver some smoking incense to Ali Baba, it’s a battle for first place between the couples Chad and Stephanie and Jill and Thomas. Determined to win, Thomas pays a taxi driver to guide them to the pit stop and although him and Jill are first to arrive, host Phil informs the team that they received a penalty for that decision and are forced to wait 30 minutes before checking in again. The newly engaged couple shows up minutes later and are declared the winners of this leg of the race, receiving a trip to Belize! Guess they already have their honeymoon picked out! Jill and Thomas kick themselves for breaking the rules.
“It was really special for Chad and Stephanie to win,” says Mallory. “If it wasn’t us in first, we were happy it was them.”
Unfortunately Mallory and Gary were nowhere near first. They fell nearly nine hours behind thanks to their misdirection on the way to the mountain. And although they almost caught up to the doctors who had fallen behind as well, it wasn’t enough and they were eliminated.
“We had nothing to lose and just stayed as positive as we could,” says Mallory. “The race is about 30% physical 35% mental and the rest of it is pure luck.”
“We were a strong team,” says Gary. “We had 25 years of being around each other and 25 years of communication between us.