While Big Brother 13’s resident metalhead Adam Poch hasn’t been on The Amazing Race, the reality show contestant and fan did such a great job recapping Big Brother 14, which featured former Kittie bassist Jennifer Arroyo, that we thought we’d give him a chance to write about The Amazing Race, specifically Team Headbangers, consisting of former White Lion/Megadeth/Black Label Society bassist James LoMenzo and Mark “Abba” Abbattista. You can follow Adam on Twitter at @heavymetalteddy.
Welcome everyone to my Amazing Race 21 Recap – focusing on TEAM HEADBANGERS aka James LoMenzo & Mark ‘Abba’ Abbattista. For those of you that do not know, James was a member of White Lion during their heyday – and then has gone on to perform in Megadeth & Black Label Society among other bands. Abba is an entertainment lawyer who has dealt with some of the worlds biggest rock stars. Together they have traveled the world – but never on national TV with the chance to win up to $2 million dollars.
Episode 1 we were introduced to the 11 teams of 2 competing in this years race. This year, the teams were told they could double the prize money of $1 million for the team, if they could win the first leg of the race & the last leg of the race. This added a lot more intensity to the normally hectic Race. Once host Phil Keoghan told the teams about the added money – he yelled GO and the race was off.
The teams first had to propel themselves off a bridge to get their first clue. Then they were off to Shanghai China. The first 7 teams to get to the airport would be on a quicker flight and give them a huge advantage on the other 4. James & Abba got on the first flight – and once in China – they had to play against a 10 yr old Ping Pong champion. All they had to do was get 1 point vs. this junior champion. Easy right? Well that’s what James thought and he stepped up to the table only to get served over and over again. The 10 year old tried to make it easier by using things such as a clipboard and frying pan as a paddle. James was the 2nd person to finally get a point off the kid, and him & Abba were off to their next stop. As they got outside and into a taxi, they passed Abbie & Ryan who scored the first point and were off to a Chinese restaurant where Abba would have to compete in the next challenge.
Eating rare & exotic foods is nothing new on Amazing race – and Abba had to finish 2 papayas full of frog fallopian tubes using nothing but his mouth & chopsticks. Knowing they were in the lead – and if they were the first team to check in at the pit stop could double their prize money – Abba slurped down the tubes as fast as he could – and then got the next clue. They had to go to a historic waterfront park and find a woman using an abacus. Seeing the irony in an “Abba-Kiss” Abba makes an air kiss right in front of James’ face. After eating the fallopian tubes his breath must have stank and you could see James was not too pleased, but laughed it off.
Our Metalheads got to the park first – and were on their way to winning the first leg, potentially doubling their prize money. But once there – they could not find the woman – and Abba even walked right by her. If only Abba turned his head to the left – they would have gotten the last clue and been on their way to checking in first. While the two of them were searching all over – the other teams started catching up and one by one, five other teams found the woman & passed them. Eventually James & Abba found the woman, and would run to the pit stop where they checked in as team #6. They were happy to have made it to the next leg, but very disappointed in themselves in blowing their lead and losing the chance to win $2,000,000.
While some teams get frustrated and start fighting with each other – James & Abba kept their cool the entire time, and seemed like they were having fun. Hopefully this will continue in the weeks to come as we have seen teams on the Race before implode and end up going home without anything.