Salt Lake father-son Dave and Connor O’Leary are one of the final four teams in “The Amazing Race: All-Stars,” which took teams to Seville, Spain, and faced them with another U-Turn during Sunday’s episode.
The O’Learys, who are both cancer survivors, won the 10th leg of the race — their fourth win so far this season.
This season of “The Amazing Race” includes returning teams racing around the world for $1 million as they follow clues in yellow and red envelopes, navigate transportation and complete challenges called Road Blocks and Detours along the way to get the next clues.
Because they won the ninth leg of the race, 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 first to leave from Engelberg, Switzerland, and head to the Zurich airport to go to the Alameda square to find next the clue between statues of Hercules and Ceasar.
The O’Learys and the Afghanimals, cousins Leo Temory, 27, and Jamal Zadran, 26, were on a direct flight that arrived that night, and when they got to the square, there were instructions to come at 8:30 a.m. for the clue.
The other three teams — newlyweds Brendon Villegas, 33, and Rachel Reilly, 30; country singers Caroline Cutbirth, 30, and Jennifer Wayne, 31; and brothers and cowboys Cord McCoy, 33, and 34-year-old Jet McCoy, of Oklahoma — were on a later flight that had an overnight layover in Barcelona and didn’t arrive until midmorning in Seville.
The clue directed them to a Road Block at Malado Peluqueros, a barbershop, where they had to use a sharp, straight blade to “shave” a balloon head in 60 seconds or less without popping the balloon while being serenaded with music from “The Barber of Seville.”
“I’ve never used a straight-edged razor in my life,” Connor said. It took him two times to get it, and it took Zadran three times.
They finished before the other teams arrived, and Villegas and Reilly, known as the Brenchels, ended up with a taxi driver that couldn’t find it, and they were last to arrive at the Malado Peluqueros but the first of the remaining three teams to finish.
From there, the clues took them to Real Alcazar where they had to find the next clue, which was for the Detour challenges — either “Spanish Steps,” which required learning a Flamenco dance, or “Run with the Ballz,” which required donning a plastic bubble-like bumper decorated like a bull, running through the narrow streets, looking for posters with a saying and avoiding the other bulls, who were aggressive.
The O’Learys and Temory and Zadran chose to “Run with the Ballz.”
“This is going to be wild,” Connor O’Leary said. “There are these plastic balls you funnel into, and you are the bull.”
Parts of the saying “A matador never thinks about his own death” were on posters in different intersections, but other bulls in similar plastic bumpers waited there, too.
“And it was a demolition derby,” Dave O’Leary said of the other bulls. “I was just praying to get through this.”
In their previous run on “The Amazing Race,” he had detached his Achilles and another tendon running to the mat during the second leg, and he and Connor ultimately withdrew during the fifth leg of the race. Dave had to have surgery and physical therapy.
Villegas and Reilly and the McCoys also decided to do “Run with the Ballz.” All the teams that did the detour were surprised at the other bulls’ aggression.
“These bubble boys are no joke,” Temory said. “They mean business.”
However, because Cutbirth and Wayne were last in the previous leg of the race in Switzerland and it was a non-elimination round, they had an extra challenge, known as a Speed Bump, to complete before getting the clue about the Detours. Their Speed Bump was to carry six Spanish hams through the streets and deliver them to Las Teresas restaurant.
Cutbirth and Wayne then decided to do “Spanish Steps” and learn the Flamenco dance.
The O’Learys were first to finish.
“I was laughing the entire time,” Connor said. “I would have done it again if I could.”
Temory and Zadran were second, despite Zadran’s knee getting injured during the Detour.
Next, clues pointed teams to go to the General Archives of the Indies, where the U-Turn board was. The U-Turn allows teams who get there first to force another team to complete both Detour challenges. Each team gets one Detour during the race, and the O’Learys used theirs on the eighth leg — right after they were U-Turned by Villegas and Reilly. The Afghanimals reached the board first.
“The strongest team in this race is the cowboys,” Zadran said as they U-Turned the McCoys. With Zadran’s knee injury, Temory and Zadran team figured they had a better chance of beating Villegas and Reilly over the McCoys. And Villegas and Reilly were pleasantly surprised when they got to the U-Turn board and didn’t see their picture there.
“No parent-child team has won ‘The Amazing Race,’ ” Dave O’Leary said. “We would love to be the first.”
Villegas and Reilly were second, Temory and Zadran were third and Cutbirth and Wayne were fourth. The McCoys were last and were eliminated.
The McCoys missed the first poster during “Run with the Ballz” and had to go back and get the first part of the clue. And after being U-Turned, they had to finish the “Spanish Steps” Detour, too.
“Quite frankly, I think that everybody was outright scared of you guys,” host Phil Keoghan told them at the Pit Stop.
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.Comment on this story
“The Amazing Race” airs Sunday evenings on CBS.
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