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The Amazing Race: Family Edition--Live Thread

Posted on 09/27/2005 4:54:50 AM PDT by silent_jonny

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TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Music/Entertainment; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: tar; theamazingrace
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The picturesque New York skyline emerges as water taxis speed the 10 families across the New York Harbor as they ready themselves for a high-energy race through Manhattan …

And the Race is ON!!!

For the first time 10 families of 4, ranging in age from 8 to 57, will compete in a 30,000 mile race around the world for
$1 million dollars!


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Howdy! It’s my pleasure to be your TAR host this season.
Thanks to our previous host Veto! for granting me this opportunity. I’ll do my best to make sure this thread lives up to the standards that she met and surpassed last season.



The following are the official family photos and bios from
Words in italics are from additional sources.
Words in [brackets] are from me.

Now without further ado, let’s meet …

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The Aiello Family
Tony, 57; Kevin, 31; Matt, 31; David, 26
Mansfield, Massachusetts

When Tony Aiello first met the men who would eventually capture the hearts of his three beloved daughters, he never thought he’d end up racing around the world with them. “Forget about it,” he’d quip.

Compelled by a gnawing curiosity about how his three sons-in-law would handle such a competition, Tony, leads the unlikely foursome from Mansfield, Massachusetts, for their first official trip without wives by their side.

Tony, 57, is the leader in both age and experience. He works as a restaurant consultant and describes himself as protective and competitive. Even though his favorite movie of all time is the “Godfather”, his tough exterior melts away when it comes to his daughters, who he says are his greatest accomplishment.

Kevin, 31, is married to one of Tony’s twin daughters. His successful career in public relations for a high-tech company has honed his diplomatic skills. The father of two is a self-described risk-taker with a love for travel and adventure.

Matt, also 31, works as a corporate project manager and is known for his fearlessness and sense of humor. Matt, married to Tony’s other twin daughter, is a father of two as well.

David, 26, is the youngest on the team, but the most well-trained. His career as a police officer in Rhode Island is preceded by eight years as an infantryman in the U.S. Marine Corps. He’s married to Tony’s youngest daughter.

The Race will surely show these in-laws the different sides to each other as they are forced to bond outside the familiar comfort of their family circle.



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The Black Family
Reggie, 42; Kenneth, 11; Austin, 8; Kimberly, 40
Woodbridge, Virgina

The Black family is from Woodbridge, Virginia. Reggie and Kimberly, who met in undergraduate school, have been married for over 17 years. Their two sons, Kenneth, 11, and Austin, 8, round out this team of four who compete competitively in Tae Kwon Do tournaments.

Reggie, 42, is the team leader. He is a high school teacher who describes himself as calm yet competitive. Reggie graduated from Norfolk State University with a degree in mathematics.

Kimberly, 40, is a fifth grade teacher who considers herself to be witty and determined. She earned her Masters in Education from Marymount University.

Kenneth is entering sixth grade. His favorite hobbies are soccer and Tae won Do. Kenneth earned his black belt in Tae Kwon Do over two years ago.

At 8 years old, Austin is the youngest contestant to compete in The Amazing Race. He will be in the fourth grade and has an advanced brown belt in Tae Kwon Do. Austin plans on earning his black belt within the next few months.

The Black family is the epitome of dedication and heart. Despite their limited traveling experience, they are determined to show they have what it takes to compete on The Amazing Race.



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The Bransen Family
Lindsay, 20; Walter, 51; Elizabeth, 25; Lauren, 22
Park Ridge, Illinois

The Bransen family team, from Park Ridge, Illinois, is made up of a father and his three daughters, who once appeared together in a Pert shampoo commercial several years ago.

Walter, 51, the self-proclaimed leader of the group, has been married for 31 years. He works as a CFO and is a native of Chicago. The proud dad of five children, Walter describes himself as being reserved and analytical. He is also a history buff in regards to anything about Abraham Lincoln and belongs to the Abraham Lincoln Association.

Elizabeth, 25, is the oldest daughter. She recently obtained a Masters in Social Work from the University of Illinois. Elizabeth describes herself as personable and trustworthy and has a fear of heights. She and Walter have similar personalities and sometimes their stubbornness can cause friction between the two.

Lauren, 22, recently earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Business Management from Hope College. Punctual and adaptable, Lauren admits she can be impatient.

Lindsay, 20, is the youngest of the sisters. Currently, she’s enrolled at Hope College, also majoring in Social Work. Lindsay complains that her older sisters are always telling her what to do.

The Bransens are well-traveled and eager to compete as a family for the chance to win the $1 million prize.



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The Gaghan Family
Carissa, 9; Bill, 40; Tammy, 42; Billy, 12
Glastonbury, Connecticut

The Gaghan family, from Glastonbury, Connecticut, consists of Bill, 40, Tammy, 42, and their children, Billy, 12, and Carissa, 9.

Bill works in jet-engine sales and admits his biggest pet peeve about himself is his lack of patience. Bill is hoping the Race will show his family the importance of working together as a team and the benefits of never giving up.

Tammy is a substitute teacher for her local school district. Having lived in Korea for over three years, Tammy and Bill have traveled extensively. Both compete in marathons across the country and are planning to run one in each state.

Billy is entering seventh grade and describes himself as outgoing and adventurous. His mother says he’s currently going through typical pre-teen mood swings and hopes that this won’t interfere with his ability to focus on the Race. Billy’s favorite activities are football and running. He intends to show his dad that he has what it takes to compete in the Race.

Carissa, who will be in the fourth grade, is playful and silly. While she one of the younger Racers, her dad feels her keen eyes and fighting spirit will make up for her small size. She enjoys running with her dog, Blaze, and playing soccer. Carissa wants to show her parents that she is tough competitor ready to take on the adults in the Race.

The Gaghan family has traveled around the world and are hoping those experiences have prepared them for this competition.



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The Godlewski Family
Michelle, 42; Christine, 37; Sharon, 39; Tricia, 26
Des Plains, Illinois

Godlewski family is a team of sisters from Des Plains, Illinois. The four siblings, from oldest to youngest, are Michelle, Sharon, Christine and Tricia. Each sister has her own personality, which might cause some roadblocks of their own along the way.

Michelle, 42, is the most direct of the team. She describes her self as excitable and competitive.

Sharon, 39, works as an insurance claim consultant. She says she’s alluring and personable and admits that she thrives on challenges.

Christine, 37, is a bit obsessive. A homemaker and the mother of four, Christine’s biggest pet peeve about herself is not being able to defend herself when she gets into an argument with her siblings.

Tricia, the youngest of the team at 26, is always forced to play the role of peacemaker. Tricia is hoping the Race will show her big sisters that she has what it takes to endure The Amazing Race.

All four sisters live within 30 minutes of one another. Although they have traveled extensively together, the Race will surely put their relationships to the test as they embark on a much different kind of family vacation.



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The Linz Family
Tommy, 19; Megan, 21; Alex, 22; Nick, 24
Cincinnati, Ohio

The Linz family is from Cincinnati, Ohio. This close-knit team is comprised of three brothers and one feisty sister who are so deeply rooted in Cincinnati that they have over 50 first cousins living in or near the Cincinnati area. The Linz’s parents have been married for more than 38 years

Nick is the oldest on the team at 24 and works in Sales in Buffalo, New York. He describes himself as hardworking and friendly.

Alex, 22, recently graduated from the University of Cincinnati and works as an emergency room tech. He says he is optimistic and proud.

Tommy, 19, is currently enrolled at Miami University of Ohio. Tommy, who played on the Miami University lacrosse team, is willing and outgoing.

Megan, 21, is the only female on the team. She also attends Miami University of Ohio and is studying Strategic Communications. Megan enjoys cheerleading and field hockey. Although she’s outnumbered by the boys, she and her brothers are very close.

The Linz siblings are well-traveled, athletic, very competitive and ready to embark on a race around the world.

Read more about the Linz family here.



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The Paola Family
Tony, 52; DJ, 24; Marion, 52; Brian, 16
Carmel, New York

Tony and Marion Paolo, from Carmel, New York, are the proud parents of two sons, DJ and Brian. The bickering is constant for these lovable New Yorkers.

Tony, 52, is a sanitation worker in New York City. He describes himself as hardworking and charismatic and says the most exciting moment of his life was coming to the United States from Italy.

Marion, 52, is a proud homemaker who considers herself to be persevering and hard-headed. Marion’s pet peeve about Tony is that eh lets his sons get away with too much.

DJ, 24, works in title report production. Spontaneous and stubborn, DJ admits to having a fear of heights as well as a big mouth.

His brother, Brian, 16, is entering his senior year of high school. Brian is painfully embarrassed by his family and is conviced he’s the only sane one in the bunch [LOL!]. Neither son things their mother will be able to last long on the Race.

No matter how much picking and nagging goes on amongst this foursome, the Paolos are ready to put all of that aside for the chance to win $1 million.

“They are the best. I've known them for the past 10 years, but I feel as though I've known them for all my life. They are caring, concerned and hard-working people. They always extend themselves and are all exceptional," said [Judy] Racic [family friend and spokesperson].

Read more about the Paolas here.



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The Rogers Family
Brittney, 22; Denny, 46; Renee, 42; Brock, 19
Shreveport, Louisiana *

The Rogers family is from Shreveport, Louisiana. This team of Southerners consists of Denny, 46, his wife Renee, 42, and their two children, Brittney, 22, a former Miss Louisiana [2003], and her younger brother Brock, 19.

Denny has been in the car business for 26 years and is a self-proclaimed workaholic. He enjoys hunting and fishing and describes himself as being goal-oriented and stern.

Renee owns a boutique and also works as a beauty pageant trainer. Outgoing and talkative, Renee says that she is responsible for holding the family together.

Brittney currently works in the pharmaceutical sales. A graduate of Louisiana State University, Brittney is talkative and sassy. She likes shopping and kickboxing. [And she’s no stranger to reality TV, either—she also competed in an episode of “Fear Factor” that featured Miss USA contestants. She won and earned $50,000, donating half of her winnings to the charity of her choice, the National Cancer Society. To read more about her “Fear Factor” experience click here. And to see a photo of Brittney in full Miss USA regalia click here.]

Brock graduated from high school and is entering college this fall. He enjoys wakeboarding and golf and admits he has little patience.

The Rogers are competitive and ready to race. Denny’s motto regarding the Race is: “We never enter anything unless we intend to win.”

[*There are two TAR families from Louisiana, The Rogers family and the Schroeder family (see below). Both felt the effects of hurricane Katrina, but in different ways.]

[Brock] Rogers, 19, is returning home to Shreveport, La., to use the first showing Tuesday night as a chance to raise funds for the American Red Cross with his family.

"We're renting out a big restaurant and we're going to charge $5 and give it to the Red Cross," he said.


He did share that fellow contestants, the Schroeder family, stayed at his parents' home for a couple of weeks because their home was under water after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.

Excerpt from



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The Schroeder Family
STEP-MOM, DAD & TWO KIDS (both his)
Mark, 40; Char, 39; Stassi, 17; Hunter, 15
New Orleans, Louisiana *

Mark and Char Schroeder are from New Orleans, Louisiana.* Mark’s two children from a previous marriage, Stassi, 17, and Hunter, 15, round out the well-traveled team.

Mark, 40, is an architect. He enjoys painting, working out and is admittedly arrogant and confident. Mark hopes the Race will teach his family how to rely on each other.

Char, 39, works as a public relations director. Focused and friendly, Char is the family mediator and is forced to step in to resolve family conflicts from time to time.

Stassi is the queen of the family. Outgoing and adventurous, she is entering her senior year of high school.

Her younger brother, Hunter, is entering ninth grade this fall. He describes himself as preppy and hyper. Several of Hunter’s teammates complain that he can be lazy at times—a trait not commonly found in the Race.

As they embark on the ultimate family vacation, the ultra-competitive Schroeders are ready for any challenges the Race throws their way.

[* The Schroeders, like many evacuated New Orleans families, apparently won’t be moving back to the Crescent City.]

Any conflict that may have taken place on the road stayed there, at least where one other family is concerned. The Schroeder family of New Orleans picked the Rogers' house as their refuge after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their home. Now they are building a new house in Shreveport …

Excerpt from



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The Weaver Family
Linda, 46; Rachel, 16; Rebecca, 19; Rolly, 14
Ormond Beach, Florida

The Weaver family hails from Ormond Beach, Florida. Linda, the mother of three, lost her husband and their father almost two years ago in an accident at Daytona International Speedway. Linda’s children are Rebecca, 19, Rachel, 16, and the lone man of the team, Rolly, who’s 14.

Since her husband’s death, Linda, 46, has been forced to play the role of both breadwinner and nurturer. Linda is an elementary school teacher who is hoping her experiences on The Amazing Race will alleviate some of the heartache from the past couple of years.

Rebecca enjoys surfing and horseback riding. Her proudest accomplishment is getting through the turmoil of losing her father without going crazy.

Rachel is a junior in high school who likes four-wheeling and riding horses.

Rolly, the youngest team member, enjoys football and basketball. He admits that he’s running the Race for his father.

All three children and their mother have dealt with their loss in their own distinct ways and are looking forward to the experience of traveling and competing together as a family.

[More about the loss of Mrs. Weaver’s husband …]

The father of the family, Roy Weaver III, was struck and killed by a race car at the speedway Feb. 8, 2004, as he was removing debris from the track. The family has a wrongful-death lawsuit pending against the track and the race-car driver involved [Ray Paprota].

Excerpt from

[And this …]

The lawsuit claims that the “track lacked adequate safety procedures and the driver who struck him was traveling too fast [over 100 MPH].” The lawsuit also alleges that officials did not immediately stop the race and drivers continued to “strike, drive over, desecrate and mutilate" her husband’s body. According to the News-Journal the lawsuit “seeks an unspecified amount of damages in excess of $75,000.”

Excerpt from



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About TAR: Winner of three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality/Competition Program, THE AMAZING RACE pits teams against each other in a race around the world for approximately 30 days. At every destination, each team must compete in a series of challenges, some mental and some physical, and only when the tasks have been completed will they learn their next destination. Teams who are the farthest behind will gradually be eliminated as the contest progresses, with the first team to arrive at the final destination winning $1 million.

Read more about TAR here.


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About the host: Phil Keoghan, born May 31, 1967 in Christchurch, New Zealand, is also the host of No Opportunity Wasted on the Discovery Channel. He has worked in over 60 countries as a television host, producer, writer, and cameraman. He currently lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles.

Read more about Phil Keoghan here.


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FYI, the first season of The Amazing Race will be released on DVD TODAY!

1 posted on 09/27/2005 4:54:52 AM PDT by silent_jonny
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To: mystery-ak; EmilyGeiger; sola_fide; Chani; Wrigley; Jabba the Nutt; Chancellor Palpatine; ...
(((TAR Ping)))

Fire up your TIVOs and set your VCRs—
or better yet, join the fun with the rest of us tonight on the live thread :)
The next ping will be at 8:55 PM EST!

This is a low-volume list.
Names are pinged only on Tuesday nights, coinciding with every new TAR episode.
If there’s a TAR related story or thread that you think would be of interest, please post a link or an excerpt here on this thread.
And as always, if you want on or off this ping list, just let me know.

2 posted on 09/27/2005 4:56:00 AM PDT by silent_jonny
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To: silent_jonny

I'll be watching! The family angle should be fun.

3 posted on 09/27/2005 4:57:03 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
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To: mystery-ak; twin2; EmilyGeiger; CAluvdubya; ConservativeMind; jocon307; kingu; TonyWpi; homemom; ...
(((Idol & Dance Ping)))

This is a double-ping for some of you (sorry), but if anyone is
interested in The Amazing Race and would like to be added to this ping list,
let me know. If you’re not interested, then just ignore this post.
Have a great day and we hope to see you tonight!

4 posted on 09/27/2005 4:57:13 AM PDT by silent_jonny
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To: silent_jonny
Isn't this tonight?

Jeeze, you scared me SJ!!

Please add me to your ping list. And we have to remember to respect the West Coasters (which I usually am -- but I am still here in Texas).

And we should dedicate this season to Texaschick

5 posted on 09/27/2005 4:58:15 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Durka Durka Durka. Muhammed Jihad Durka.)
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To: silent_jonny

Looking really good jonny, but I knew it would...;0

6 posted on 09/27/2005 4:59:09 AM PDT by mystery-ak (A soldier only dies if he's forgotten.....a Gold Star Dad...Mr. Wroblewski)
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To: silent_jonny

I love TAR, but I have a lot of trepidation about this edition. I live by the motto "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Here's hoping they prove me wrong.

7 posted on 09/27/2005 5:01:27 AM PDT by YourAdHere (Ask me about my book, Bradypalooza.)
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To: mystery-ak
but I knew it would...;0

Thanks, buddy :)

8 posted on 09/27/2005 5:01:29 AM PDT by silent_jonny
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To: silent_jonny; Veto!; jriemer

veto! ran a tar ping last season IIRC. Before that it was jreimer doing the first several seasons until his son came along.

Thanks for firing this one up!

9 posted on 09/27/2005 5:03:06 AM PDT by Fierce Allegiance (Anyone want to be on my Civil Engineers ping list? Infrequent pings only to relevant stuff.)
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To: freedumb2003
You've been added :)

(The next Idol thread will be dedicated to Texasflower)

10 posted on 09/27/2005 5:04:08 AM PDT by silent_jonny
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To: YourAdHere

I think it looks fun, but I do question the entry of the smaller children....I hope they have not toned down some of the competition feats, but with kids participating, I bet they had to..

11 posted on 09/27/2005 5:06:33 AM PDT by mystery-ak (A soldier only dies if he's forgotten.....a Gold Star Dad...Mr. Wroblewski)
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To: silent_jonny

I am pleasantly shocked to find zero results for the word GAY on this page. CBS hasn't started pushing the gay angle yet on this TAR.

12 posted on 09/27/2005 5:07:52 AM PDT by Fierce Allegiance (Anyone want to be on my Civil Engineers ping list? Infrequent pings only to relevant stuff.)
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To: silent_jonny

Of course -- the Idol thread makes better sense.

Early morning minus coffee = Freedumb underthought.

13 posted on 09/27/2005 5:12:07 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Durka Durka Durka. Muhammed Jihad Durka.)
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To: mystery-ak
Because of the kids TAR did lower the mileage that the teams would have to cover from 30,000 to 11,000 (I meant to correct that above), but the Race still lasted for 30 days and according to the producers the kids proved to be an advantage in some cases--they can crawl into places that the adults can't and they can maneuver through crowds much faster than their parents.

But we'll have to see how this works out ... There are only 4 young kids so the difference shouldn't be that noticeable.

14 posted on 09/27/2005 5:12:52 AM PDT by silent_jonny
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To: silent_jonny

LOL....we all know kids have more energy....

15 posted on 09/27/2005 5:15:44 AM PDT by mystery-ak (A soldier only dies if he's forgotten.....a Gold Star Dad...Mr. Wroblewski)
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To: Fierce Allegiance; mystery-ak
I am pleasantly shocked to find zero results for the word GAY on this page. CBS hasn't started pushing the gay angle yet on this TAR.

CBS surprised me too! I half-joked to Mystery that I expected them to throw in an "all gay family" or something. But I'm happy to see that they went the traditional route--almost half of the families are nuclear.

16 posted on 09/27/2005 5:16:00 AM PDT by silent_jonny
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To: silent_jonny

Besides, they always have the equalizers. They always have to wait for an 8 am opening of a library or zoo when they leave at 11 the night before. Having a time advantage isn't usually much of an advantage.

17 posted on 09/27/2005 5:18:55 AM PDT by Fierce Allegiance (Anyone want to be on my Civil Engineers ping list? Infrequent pings only to relevant stuff.)
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To: silent_jonny

This will be the first season that CBS has not put a gay couple in TAR...that I can recall....unless one of the siblings turns out to be gay..

18 posted on 09/27/2005 5:20:00 AM PDT by mystery-ak (A soldier only dies if he's forgotten.....a Gold Star Dad...Mr. Wroblewski)
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To: Fierce Allegiance
They always have to wait for an 8 am opening of a library or zoo when they leave at 11 the night before

That's irritating, isn't it? A team works up a three hour lead, then they have to sleep outside of the next challenge area until it opens. But I guess it's better that way--the show would be boring if one team had an insurmountable lead.

19 posted on 09/27/2005 5:24:10 AM PDT by silent_jonny
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To: mystery-ak
unless one of the siblings turns out to be gay..

Oh Lord ... :)

On the surface, they all look straight to me, but who knows ...

20 posted on 09/27/2005 5:26:35 AM PDT by silent_jonny
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