7th leg of ‘The Amazing Race’ takes Salt Lake team to ‘the eternal city’

Published: Monday, April 14 2014 4:40 p.m. MDT

In Detour B, Salt Lake father/son team Connor, left, and Dave O'Leary, right, must make their way to the legendary Colosseum in Rome, change into gladiator costumes, and steer a horse and chariot around a timed race course in order to receive the next clue, on the All-Star edition of "The Amazing Race," on Sunday, April 13.

CBS Broadcasting

The seventh leg of “The Amazing Race: All Stars” took the teams, including a Salt Lake father-son duo, from Sri Lanka to Rome, where they competed in a Detour challenge next to the Colosseum during Sunday’s episode.

In this leg of the race, the clues didn’t always include the name of the location where they were going, and the teams had to figure out the name of the place from the clues. In Sri Lanka, the clue told them they were going to “the eternal city” and they had to figure out through a travel agency that it was Rome.

This season includes returning teams, and it has been a tight race.

“This race has been so super competitive,” host Phil Keoghan said at the end of the episode. “I don’t know if we’ve had a season where teams are this close running in to the mat.”

All of the teams were on the same flight to Rome. Once in Rome, they had to go to the Bridge of Hadrian at Ponte Sant'Angelo for their next clue, which was for a Detour challenge. Teams either re-enacted a choreographed Gladiator battle or raced remote-controlled chariots, with one team member controlling the direction and the other the speed, around the course five times before a timed flame went out.

Dave O’Leary, 59, a real estate investor, and his son, 22-year-old Connor O’Leary, a professional cyclist and a University of Utah student, were one of several teams that picked the chariot race.

“You don’t have the most control over those chariots,” Connor O’Leary said. “The more teams that came to the Detour, the harder it got.”

There were four teams there, and they were trying to avoid the rocks and the other teams’ chariots. The O'Learys' chariot made it across the finish line at the last second.

From there, the clue told them to go to “Piazza de John Keats” and also included the words “unhappy Roman holiday.” With help from their taxi drivers, the O'Learys, along with a couple of other teams, figured out that it was Piazza de Spangna, the location of poet John Keats’ former home.

However, the taxi driver for engaged couple John Erck, 28, and Jessica Hoel, 27, of Minnesota, who were in first after the gladiator/chariot Detour, took them to Via John Keats or John Keats Street, where there was an apartment building, and they eventually had to find a hotel with a business center to figure out where to go.

Other teams, including Harlem Globetrotters Herbert “Flight Time” Lang, 37, and Nate “Big Easy” Lofton, 32; brothers and cowboys Cord McCoy, 33, and 34-year-old Jet McCoy, of Oklahoma; and "Afghanimals" cousins Leo Temory, 27, and Jamal Zadran, 26, had to stop and ask for help to figure out where they were going.

At the Piazza de Spangna, there was a Road Block that involved counting the steps (135) and adding it to the date the obelisk was erected (1789), which was written in Roman numerals (MDCCLXXXVIII). They then had to write the sum (1924) in Roman numerals (MCMXXIV) on a postcard and give it to the happy couple modeled after Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in the movie “Roman Holiday” to get their next clue.

Newlyweds Brendon Villegas, 33, and Rachel Reilly, 30, who have been at the back of the race the past several legs, were the first team to the steps, and the O’Learys were second to the steps.

“I did my best to figure out the Roman numerals,” said Dave O’Leary, who said he hadn’t seen Roman numerals since probably the 10th grade. His first try wasn’t right.

While they were there, country singers Caroline Cutbirth, 30, and Jennifer Wayne, 31, arrived, and they worked together as they asked others around the steps for help.

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