Salt Lake father-son team on 'The Amazing Race' takes 3rd in race's first leg

Published: Monday, Feb. 24 2014 7:13 p.m. MST

Updated: Monday, Feb. 24 2014 7:13 p.m. MST

Teams make their way to the starting line at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif., on "The Amazing Race: All Stars," premiering Sunday, Feb. 23, on CBS. Pictured from left are Jennifer, Caroline, Jet, Cord, Natalie, Bredon, Nadiya, Rachel, Jessica, Herb, John, Nate, Utahns David and Connor (in yellow), Leo, Joey, Jamal, Meghan, Margie, Luke, Bopper, and Mark

Robert Voets, CBS Broadcasting

The Salt Lake father-son team was third after the first leg of “The Amazing Race: All Stars,” which took the teams to China and premiered Sunday evening on CBS.

Dave and Connor O’Leary are one of 11 returning teams in the show that gives each two-person team clues and obstacles to complete as they race around the world for a chance to win $1 million.

The race started in Los Angeles, and their first stop was Guangzhou, China.

“The world is waiting for you again!” host Phil Keoghan said. “Travel safe.”

One member of Team Kentucky, William “Bopper” Minton, 47, of Clay County, Ky., was pulled from the race the night before it started because of an inflamed pancreas.

Mallory Ervin, who competed on seasons 17 and 18 of “The Amazing Race” with her father Gary, and who is from Kentucky, will be racing with Minton’s teammate, 43-year-old Mark Jackson.

The O’Learys, who were on season 22 and had to pull out of the race due to Dave’s leg injury, were one of four teams on the first flight to China. Once in Guangzhou, the teams had to find one of three wedding dress shops among hundreds for their next clue.

That clue took them to Canton Tower, which had a Ferris wheel on top with bubble-shaped cars, for their next clue — which was on the inside the door of some of the cars (apparently the even-numbered cars had the clue and the odd ones didn’t).

The O’Learys had to ride two cars to get the clue to the stadium.

That clue took them to the Haixinsha Stadium below the tower, which was the site of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 Asian Games, for a Roadblock.

At the stadium, a team member had to perform five flips while traveling 300 feet to the top of the stadium’s tower.

Connor O’Leary donned the pink and yellow costume and did the challenge, yelling as he did the flips.

“Way to go, my boy,” his father said from the ground.

Brothers and cowboys Cord, 34, and Jet McCoy, 33, of Oklahoma were first to the mat at the Guangzhou Opera House and won two Express Passes, one to keep and one they had to give away before the end of the fifth leg.

Newlyweds Brendon Villegas, 33, and Rachel Reilly, 30, who were on season 20, were in second.

The O’Learys high-fived each other when Keoghan told them they were third at the mat.

Dave, 59, is a prostate cancer survivor, and Connor, 22, 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.

The 27-year-old twins Natalie and Nadiya Anderson, who were on the first flight to China, were last to the mat and were eliminated.

“The Amazing Race” airs Sunday evenings on CBS.

Email: rappleye@deseretnews.com Twitter: CTRappleye

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