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Hall of Shame Moment: Three Climbs Up the Eiffel Tower for Lenny

by Jeffrey Clinard -- 11/11/2002
Lenny and Karyn from The Amazing Race 1 were never a good racing team - nor even a good "team" at all together. But one moment stands out from all the others, when Lenny made not one, not two, but three trips up the Eiffel Tower.

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Lenny and Karyn from the first Amazing Race were never a good racing team. They managed to make it to the midpoint of the race, largely due to other teams making bigger mistakes than they did. Along the way they fought, and bickered, and in the end, the race determined their relationship was not strong enough for marriage and children. This is probably a good thing; better to learn that sooner than later.

They raced well in the first leg, then fell apart. They secured several next-to-last positions, and even finished last in one leg, but, fortunately for them, it was a non-elimination pit stop. However, teams can't rely on the luck of the devil in the long run, and eventually the leg in India eliminated them.

They may have been a bad racing team, but that's not enough for induction into the Reality TV Hall of Shame. However, they had a moment that is definitely worthy of mention, and that was in the second leg of the race. Teams had to climb (not take the elevator) up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower. They were instructed to find a view that was "Monumental." This should have been easy; the most famous structure in France save the Eiffel Tower is the Arc de Triumph, which was indeed where the checkpoint was. Lenny, however, didn't have a clue about the clue.

The roadblock required him to climb the stairs, which he did. He then failed to find the flag, and walked back down again. That was a mistake. After a chewing out by Karyn, he climbed the stairs again, and once more failed to locate the clue. He climbed down again, with a story that the flag might be at Notre Dame. Nope. After more fruitless searching (and cabfare), he returned once again to the Tower and made the long climb up. He encountered Emily, who told him she didn't know any monuments except for the Arc de whatever. She then proceeded to look at it, and see the flag. She then made her mistake, in asking Lenny to confirm that the yellow and white flag was on the Arc instead of strolling around the tower at once (to confuse Lenny as to where the clue was), then hightailing it to the stairs, leaving Lenny in the dark. Lenny tailgated on Emily's error, and he and Karyn made it to the checkpoint in time to beat out the teacher team.

Lenny and Karyn... bad racing team... yes. Bad relationship? Well, not a match. Bad people? No. Three trips up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower? Bad move. I wrote at the time that if Emily hadn't pointed out the flag, he'd probably still be standing there looking. I see no reason to change my opinion. Lenny was clueless, but he compounded it by walking down twice, once in defeat, and once in a false hope. It's a Reality TV Hall of Shame Moment.

Jeffrey Clinard lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his kittens, Lam and Princess. He can be reached at

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