Salt Lake father-son team withdraws from 'The Amazing Race'

Published: Monday, March 18 2013 4:20 p.m. MDT

The most challenging experience was hands down the sandcastle challenge in Bora Bora during the first leg, Connor O’Leary said. One team member went skydiving and later, the other team member had to find the next clue hidden under sandcastles in a field of hundreds of them. Each sandcastle that was torn down had to be rebuilt. Connor went skydiving as Dave had a fear of heights and Dave ended up hunting in the sand.

“I was in the sand, squatting for 3½ hours and it was really hot and humid,” Dave O’Leary said.

Both have enjoyed watching the show and it’s also been interesting to see what led to different teams being eliminated.

“When you’re running your race, you don’t see what other people are doing,” said Connor. “There are so many things that surprise you.”

They were shocked when they heard that John Erck and Jessica Hoel were eliminated during the fourth leg in Bali — while they still had an Express Pass. They found out about their elimination while in Vietnam, but it wasn’t until watching the show that they saw what led to it.

Dave and Connor O’Leary had the second Express Pass that they used on a fishing Detour in New Zealand after Dave was injured and they were determined to win that leg of the race. Both had been flyfishing and after being there for a few hours without any bites, and realizing they weren’t going to accomplish anything quickly, they used the pass.

Dave is a prostate cancer survivor and Connor is a testicular cancer survivor and both are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Holladay 25th Ward, Salt Lake Holladay South Stake.

They withdrew not knowing what the challenges were going to be during the show and didn’t see them until Sunday’s episode.

The teams had to watch a political performance and pick out a poster with a particular phrase on it, then participate in a Mua Sapa, the Vietnamese bamboo dance, and then either collect ingredients and make Pho (a Vietnamese chicken dish) or replicate the pieces placed on a Chinese chess board onto a life-sized board using human characters, before going to the Pit Stop. A Double Blind U-Turn was also in play, which allowed the first two teams to the U-Turn board to require another team to do the other Detour challenge, too, and not know who it was who put their name up there.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” Dave O'Leary said. “Considering where we were, we could have continued and completed the leg.”

Even the Mua Sapa bamboo dance?

“It would have been comical,” Dave said, adding “But probably embarrassing for me.”

As they ran the race, they really didn’t have too much interaction with many of the other teams.

“We didn’t have any beef with any team and everyone was really nice,” Connor O’Leary said. “May the best team win.”

During Sunday’s episode, friends Pamela Chien and Winnie Sung came in first and sent YouTube channel hosts Joey Graceffa and Meghan Camarena on the U-Turn to do the other detour challenge. Graceffa and Camarena were the second team to the U-Turn station and sent married couple Chuck and Wynona McCall to do both detour challenges. It was a blind U-Turn, so the teams didn’t know who sent them back.

Graceffa and Camarena were the second to last team to come in and the McCalls were the last team on the mat.

Because the O’Learys had withdrawn from the race, no other teams were eliminated Sunday. Next week, the teams head to Botswana in southern Africa.

“The Amazing Race” airs Sunday evenings on CBS.

Email: rappleye@desnews.com Twitter: CTRappleye

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