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Never mind Richard Karn's lame show; THIS is a REAL Family Feud! Ten families of four race for $1,000,000. Who will be the first to cross the finish line? And, more importantly, will anyone mutter, "Are we there yet?"

For more information and current standings, visit GSNN's Amazing Race Log!

Recaps by Chris Wolvie, GSNN

Phil Keoghan
Creator: Bertram van Munster, Elise Doganieri
EP: Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Bertram van Munster
Packager: Jerry Bruckheimer TV, Worldrace Productions, Amazing Race Productions
Airs: Tuesdays at 9:00pm ET on CBS

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"I Don't Kiss, I Make Out! - Leg 3" - October 11


Wasn't all that much of a trek from Pennsylvania to the middle of Virginia for the families on The Amazing Race, though the stop in Washington, D.C. left SOME families wondering if they'd EVER find their way! Confusion in "Reflecting Pools" cause some teams to go from the head of the pack to the back. After some "covert" actions, the families made their way to a Civil War re-enactment and either hauled bodies or filled and lit lanterns. In the end, the Weavers wobbled but didn't fall down until they made it in first. The Paolos, despite ALL their bickering (and, possibly, their CONTINUED bickering) is still in the Race while the Rogers, after a wrong turn thanks to the father's thick-headed-ness, were Philiminated

This PIT STOP was, in fact, a 12-hour variety. At 2:26amET, Linda, Rebecca, Rachel and Rolly Weaver started off on the third leg with this bit of cryptic:

Fly to Charleston, South Carolina (500 miles away) out of Washington Dulles Airport. Once you land, choose a marked SUV and drive into the historical district to "The Battery". In the gazebo there, you'll find your next clue. You have $??? for this leg of the Race.

The widower and her kids, knowing they're one of the more STABLE teams, get into their chauffered vehicle and head for Dulles Airport. One minute behind them are Tommy, Megan, Alex and Nick Linz. The brothers and sister. Megan's a little cheesed that the boys won't listen to her much...and she's out to prove she can play with the boys. Two minutes behind THEM are Michelle, Christine, Sharon and Tricia Godlewski. Sharon seems to be the "boss" of this sister act as she talks to the driver about getting them to Dulles quickly.

Mark, Char, Stassi and Hunter Schroeder are next to depart at 2:35am. Char's happy to not be the "Cinderella"-esque stepmother in the eyes of her step-kids. As they head off, Tony Aiello and his sons-in law Kevin , Matt and David depart two minutes later (after a small jig by Matt, who just wants to have a little more fun with the Race), followed a minute later by Walter, Elizabeth, Lauren and Lindsay Bransen. They've been doing all right, even though "Walder" can only do physical activities "in spurts". Next out at 2:43 are Bill, Tammy, Carissa and Billy Gaghan. The parents are happy with the way their kids are doing in this Race.

As the Paolos wait their turn to, race, the road to Dulles is being paved with a double-wide tractor trailer. This causes all the teams to create a convoy behind the trailer, since there's no way to pass them. The Bransens aren't dumb, though. They ask their driver for a cell phone and call a travel agent to get info on flights out of Dulles to Charleston. The Gaghans get the same idea. They both find out that the earliest USAir flight into Charleston arrives at 10:06am...and, thus, they both book seats.

And the Paolos...well, Tony, Marion, D.J. and Brian are last out of the PIT STOP at 3:05am. Tony says that, no matter HOW much they argue, they will ALWAYS remember this Race. And Marion says what has been on most of our minds for a while: "It's The Amazing Race, American style". Sure looks like it, doesn't it?


The Linzes are the first to the airport...because the Weavers overshot the exit. Both teams head for the Independence Air booth and book tickets on an 8:15 flight that arrives at 10:04. The Godlewskis, Schroeders, Aiellos and Bransens are right behind them. The Bransens inform the others of them being booked...and then wonder about the Linzes and Weavers huddling at Independence Air. When they find out that the Indie Air flight arrives two minutes earlier, the Godlewskis, Schroeders and Aiellos get on the same flight. The Bransens, however, are SOL. The flight only has ONE seat left. According to the Rules of the Race, team members MUST all be on the same flight and must book enough tickets for them, the cameraman and the sound guy with them. Since they can't fit six to a seat, they're stuck with the USAir flight. When the Gaghans arrive and go to USAir, they're informed that theirs are the last seats on the flight.

Linda Weaver takes the time to ask a lot of questions about airports, admitting she's intimidated by them. The Aiellos get paranoid when the Weavers talk to another counter person, believing the mom and kids are looking for a quicker flight.

And the Paolos...when they arrive, they get the skinny on the flights the others have taken. They realize that they are stuck with a United flight that lands in Charleston at 10:30. The Weavers, however, tell them that the half-hour is "no big deal". Uh-huh...sure...

INDEPENDENCE AIR, arriving at 10:04: Linz, Weaver, Godlewski, Schroeder and Aiello
USAirways, arriving at 10:06: Bransen and Gaghan
UNITED AIRLINES, arriving at 10:30: Paolo

After the first two flights depart, the Paolos...start arguing yet again. It's mostly between "spoiled" D.J. and mama Marion about getting a South Carolina map. DJ claims that, "if she wasn't my mother, she'd be my worst enemy". (Guess what, brat? Sometimes they HAVE to be both!)


At 10:04am, the Indie Air flight touches down in the "deep south". And twenty Racers disembark to look for the marked vehicles. Some choose a vehicle by look, some by color and others simply by proximity. But all five families haul towards the historical district. Two minutes later, the Gaghans and Bransens touch down and go in pursuit.

The Battery ain't that hard to find. A few simple directions puts both the Schroeders, Linzes and Weavers right near the gazebo. As such, all three families find out they're at a:

DETOUR: Forrest Gump or Muddy Waters? (Two common tasks in SC)
FORREST GUMP - As you probably know, Forrest Gump made millions from shrimping. Drive yourselves 7 miles to Wando Shrimp company and hop onto a traditional shrimping boat. There you must use your hands to de-head 200 pounds of shrimp. Once the shrimp has been de-headed, the boat captain (no relation to Bubba) will hand you your next clue.
MUDDY WATERS - Drive 37 miles to the city of Ridgeville and compete in a "mud run". You'll drive a 4x4 through deep mud in a 400-foot-long "mud bog". Once you drive up and back through the bog, the trainer will give you your next clue. Should you get stuck, a tractor may be used. Note that there are only two mud-boggers first-come, first-serve.

The Weavers decide to get muddy while the Linzes and Schroeders order "shrimp to go".

10:37am. The Paolos' flight finally touches terra asfaulta. As they drive towards the Battery, the Godlewskis ARRIVE at the DETOUR and decide on FORREST GUMP. The Aiellos are right behind them and decide to do MUDDY WATERS.

The Schroeders get to the shrimp boat first and, after a little tutorial on pinching heads off, get to de-heading. They FREAK a bit when they find out that they have TWO crates of shrimp to go through. The Linzes lose some time after taking a wrong turn, but Megan gets the boys back on the straight-and-narrow. They arrive just before the Godlewskis do. The three teams are each on a boat that will circle near the harbor until 200 pounds of pint-size Pleocyemata get pinched.

Meanwhile, the Bransens and Gaghans both arrive at the DETOUR at the same time. The Gaghans choose MUDDY WATERS and Bransens FORREST GUMP.



The Weavers are the first to get themselves dirty. They get out onto the course JUST as the Aiellos arrive. The daughter tell their mom to "keep it steady as they plow through the mud. But the back-seat drivers lead Linda astray and, sure enough, they get stuck. As the girls and boy get out and push, the Aiellos board their craft and have a relatively easy go with it. They make the U-turn and head for home...but mere feet from the end, they get stuck as well. Since the Weavers got stuck first, THEY get to get the tractor first to get un-stuck. The BAD news is that they have to start from the beginning.

The Bransons get on THEIR shrimping boat while the Paolos arrive at the DETOUR and choose FORREST GUMP...despite Marion's worry about her hands. Back in the bog, the Weavers get stuck again and the Aiellos go into their second attempt...which is much LESS successful than the first run. Well, hell, at least it's "a lot more fun than pinching shrimp"!.

Speaking of which, the four families are doing all right. The Schroeders (unlike the Paolos) enjoy some light-hearted arguing among each other, the Linzes are playing around with the shrimp whilst decapitating them, the Godlewskis talk like they're in a race with each OTHER and the Bransens are happy...or, rather, WALLY is happy that this isn't TOO physical.

Back at the bog, the Gaghans arrive. The Weavers and Aiellos are on their SIXTH attempts through the muck. And, sure enough, they both bomb. That means it's the Gaghans' turn once one team gets out of the mud (there's a two-vehicle limit, y'know). The Weavers, however, decide to abandon the task and head for the shrimp boats.

On the seas, the Schroeders are the first to turn out their tenth-of-a-ton of de-headed shrimp and receive their next clue:

Make your way by foot to the Charleston Visitor Center and sign-up for one of two charter buses (which leave at 3pm and 5pm). Only four families can board each bus. You will be travelling to a MYSTERY DESTINATION.

As the Schroeders disembark and look for the center, the Linzes and Godlewskis finish their task in a close race for second. As they jog up the dock, the Paolos finally arrive and start the beheading process...not just of the shrimp but of each other. The Bransens finish THEIR shrimping as the Paolos just get started.

"3...2...1...BLAST OFF!" yells Bill Gaghan as they try the mud bogging for the first time. They RIP down the road (much to the Aiellos' chagrin) and the kids whoop and holler as they do. The trip back is a LITTLE rough...but they are the first to complete MUDDY WATERS and they depart the DETOUR with a slightly DIFFERENT variation of the clue:

Drive back to Charleston and head for the Visitor Center and sign-up for one of two charter buses (which leave at 3pm and 5pm). Only four families can board each bus. You will be travelling to a MYSTERY DESTINATION. Once you reach said destination, the next clue will be at the bus terminal.

(Like they're gonna WALK 37 miles...c'mon...)

Back in town, the Schroeders and Linzes run neck and neck almost, looking for the center. The Linzes are first to sign for the first bus with the Schroeders seconds behind. The Godlewskis are third...leaving the Bransens to leg it out (which, as we know, is a tough thing for Wally) as the last team on the 3pm bus. The four families board the bus at 3pm and make their way to "parts unknown"...OOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Back at the DETOUR, the Aiellos try for the THIRTEENTH TIME to plow through the mud. They make it to the half-way point without too much of a struggle, but the trip back is "moida"! They slow down with a few bounces...and, once more, get stuck! And they...are...PISSED! Unlike the Weavers, they stick with it, taking a different jeep into the muck (HOPEFULLY the one the Gaghans used). And, on the 14th attempt, they are FINALLY successful! They haul back to Charleston.

The Gaghans arrive at the Center first...and find out that the 3pm bus is gone. They sign up for the 5pm charter. The Paolos...argue AGAIN! Marion wants the task to be divided equally but the boys just want her to shut up and work! And Tony...he's wise enough to remain silent. Despite all of that, they finish their task and become the second team to sign for the 5pm bus (much to their dismay).

And just in time, too. The Weavers have finally arrived back in town and are ready to de-head shrimp in a VAGUE attempt to catch up. As the Aiellos are third to the center for the 5pm ride, the Weavers continue to toss shrimp around. They finish the task and JUST MAKE the 5pm bus.

But...where are they all GOING?! Why, they're going to...


Who knew that it would be an EIGHT-HOUR RIDE west to 'Bama?! It's near 10pm CT as the first bus pulls into the station and four families wipe the crust from their eyelids and get circulation back in their legs. They rush out and retrieve the clue:

Welcome to Huntsville, Alabama! Drive yourselves in one of the marked SUVs provided to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (5 miles away). Find the Edward O. Buckbee Hanger there to get your next clue.

The Bransens are first out of the bus terminal, with the Linzes, Schroeders and Godlewskis right behind. "Walder" and her three daughters arrive at the hanger in quick time and run right into a:

ROAD BLOCK (Who wants to pull more than 3 Gs?)
Two members must go to the main building and ride in the Centrifuge, a machine which astronauts use to simulate massive G-forces that they feel during lift-off. You must ride until the Centrifuge reaches 3.2 Gs of force (or 3.2 times the force of gravity). When you do that, you will receive your next clue. It's first-come-first-serve, so make sure you grab a marker for order in the Centrifuge.

Beth and Lindsay volunteer to deal with the massive Gs. While they get instructions from the trainer, the Linz family arrive at the hangar. Upon reading the ROAD BLOCK, Nick and Tommy decide to go for the ride... though they'll have to wait for the Bransens to finish. They DO get to WATCH the Bransen girls suffer first, though. Meanwhile, the Schroeders get Stassi and Mark to do the deed.

Lindsay Bransen is NOT having a good time. At 2 Gs, she looks really scared on the monitor that the other teams are watching. But, somehow, they make it to 3.2 Gs and finish the ROAD BLOCK. As the wheels slow down, the sisters Godlewski find the hanger and pick Christine and Michelle to pull the Gs.

Lindsay and Beth, none the worse for their adventure, stagger out of the centrifuge and are given a clue by the trainer...who tells them, "You'll need this where you're going." The clue reads:

Go by foot to the Saturn V rocket on the grounds of Rocket Park (the same rocket used to send man to the moon in the 60s and 70s). . In front of the manor house you will find your next clue. Enter the Space Museum and find a computer station. When you find the station, (PRODUCT PLACEMENT ALERT! PRODUCT PLACEMENT ALERT! ) use it to log on to America Online(TM) using the username and password provided to receive your next clue.

(Please note that the clue says NOTHING about a PIT STOP...and the LAST time teams had to log-on to AOL during a Race at the end of an episode, it WASN'T a PIT STOP. Why do I sense three evil words in these teams' future?)

The Bransen jog out of the building and towards the Rocket Park as fast as the girls' wobbly feet can carry them. Meanwhile, Nick and Tommy Linz board the Centrifuge...where Tommy claims he has to...ahem... "release some intestinal gas" would be putting it the nicest. They likewise reach 3.2 Gs and wait for the ride to come to a full and complete stop before receiving their clue and moving on.

Meanwhile, Wally Bransen is slowing the team down yet again while Stassi and Mark Schroeder get their stab at the massive gravity. As Mark plays with his very heavy arm, the Bransens finally arrive at the 36-story rocket and head for the museum, the Linzes right on their tail (with Megan muttering, "I can do this").

And I guess I was wrong because we do NOT see "TO BE CONTINUED" on the screen. Because the mail is a video message from host Phil Keoghan:

"You are surrounded the history of space exploration. Now race on foot to the next PIT STOP: The Space Shuttle Pathfinder! WARNING: the last team to check in...MAY be ELIMINATED!"

(Thank you, Mr. Obvious.)

The Bransens run OUT of the museum...just as the Linzes run INTO it. They, too, get Phil's message to head for the PIT STOP...and follow the Bransens' lead to...


(For those of you saying, "When did NASA build THIS Space Shuttle and why isn't it being used right now?"...the Pathfinder was merely a mock-up of a Shuttle used to practice handling and moving of actual Shuttles before the Columbia first lifted off. A Japanese company re-furbished the Shuttle and named it. Now, it's just a display piece.)

Phil and a official at the Center await the arrival of the families. At last, a family consisting of three of one gender and one of another hit the mat. After the usual greeting by the official, Phil says:

"Bransen family, you're TEAM NUMBER ONE!"

And what's the big prize? A trip? Cash? A chance to be the first tourist in space who doesn't have to pony-up $20 million? Nope. Something considerably better, especially THESE days! All licensed drivers of the family have won free BP(TM) and Arco(TM) gasoline FOR LIFE! In a time where $5-a-gallon gas seems to be the norm, this is a BOON! They're as happy for THAT as they are that they went from sixth-to-first!

The Linzes just couldn't outrun the Bransens, so they check-in as Team # 2. And, as Phil says, "There's nothing wrong with that."

Oh, wait,...there are EIGHT teams in this Race, right? Well, around this time, Bus #2 motors with the four slacking teams: the Gaghans, Paolos, Aiellos and Weavers. Rebecca Weaver is exhausted and Linda is concerned. This wouldn't matter much save that she acts concerned OUT LOUD... which bugs the heck out of the Aiellos. Rebecca is DEFINITELY suffering from exhaustion and sleep depravation as she's mumbling out loud like a lunatic. When the bus has to stop for gas near a Waffle House(TM) [UNINTENTIONAL PRODUCT PLACEMENT!], she says she's just about had it. But Linda and Rachael pulls her through it getting them all to fake being TOTAL nutcases. And it WORKS! Even the Paolos, the most whacked-out family in the whole Race, think that the Weavers have gone non compos mentis! (Let us PRAY that they don't torture the other teams with endless verses of "The Wheels On The Bus (Go Round And Round)"!!)

Back in Huntsville, the Schroeders make it through the Centrifuge without incident and get their next clue to the Saturn V rocket. As Michelle and Christine go through the task with a huge smile on their faces, the Schroeders find the museum, get Phil's e-mail and head for the Shuttle. The Godlewskis get to 3.2 easy and follow them.

Meanwhile, the second bus FINALLY reaches the bus depot and the four families get their clues and start the SUV race to the Space & Rocket Center.

"Schroeder family, you're Team # 3. Godlewski family, you're Team # 4." (Sorry, just wanted to get them out of the way.)

The Weavers seem to have gotten over their collective dementia long enough to arrive at the Edward O. Buckbee Hanger (Buckbee, BTW, was director of the Center between '68 and '94). When they read the ROAD BLOCK, Rolly and Rebecca buck up to ride the Centrifuge. Meanwhile, the other three families arrive at just about the same time. Bill and Billy Gaghan, Tony and Brian Paolo, and Matt and David of the Aiellos are selected. Now it's just a foot race to the building to grab a marker for order IN the Centrifuge. Unfortunately for the Aiellos, they read THAT part of the clue a split-second too late. The order will be Weavers, Paolos, Gaghans and Aiellos.

Rolly and Rebecca get to 3.2 without incident and the brother and sister join their step-mom and sister to read the Saturn V clue together whilst the Paolos enter the "ride". Tony seems to like the Gs...while Brian could do WITHOUT them. Still, they reach their target and depart in sixth.

The Weaver check-in (as you might've guessed) as Team # 5. And they are RELIEVED that the leg is over! The Paolos...have NO idea where they would put a 300-foot rocket. The twin Bills blast to their target while Matt and David anxiously await THEIR turn. They hope that a team gets lost and they can sprint to the PIT STOP in at LEAST seventh. Sure enough, as the Gaghans leave, Bill goes back to the hanger to see if there's a map to the place. While he does that, the Aiellos make quick work of their challenge

The Paolos...(you guessed it) are arguing again. Brian thinks that the rockets are in another direction...but the family gets directions that they're going the right way. The Gaghans and Aiellos know that Megan will be the Achilles heel of the team and they hope to catch up to her and the rest of the family. The Paolos arrive at Phil's "Video Daily Double" first. They finish hearing the message...just as the Gaghans (with some help from Carissa) find the entrance. As the Paolos start to think the shuttle is IN the museum, the Gaghans get the clue and sprint off. And, of course, the Paolos argue with each other on how they let sixth place slip away from them. (OK, they don't really...but they might as well have.) The Aiellos are right behind them, getting the clue and sprinting. Who will win this run for sixth?

Unfortunately, it's the Paolos who are Team #6. Tony hugs Phil...even though Marion says not to because "he's full of shrimp!" The marathon running Gaghans arrive as Team #7.

The father and the three men who married his daughters finally hit the mat, absolutely exhausted. But Phil gives the Aiello group the bad news: they're last...and they're out. They are quite bummed...but Tony is proud of his sons-in-law...and he assures Phil that Kevin, Matt and David ARE part of his family now. The boys are glad for their "pop" and respect them more immensely than ever. But the fact is that the Massachusetts men must make their march back to Mansfield and their mates. (For some reason, I was in an illiterative mood for this recap. So SUE me!)

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