How did island woman's son fare in "The Amazing Race?"
By DANIEL BROWNSTEIN
Over beer, wine and a massive bowl of onion dip, Susan Citron watched her son begin his well-documented race around the world.
From their home overlooking Broad Creek on the south end of Hilton Head Island, the doting mother and her husband, Arnie Blakeman, nervously watched the season premier of CBS' "The Amazing Race." Her son, Terence Gerchberg, and his girlfriend, Sarah Leshner, are one of 11 teams competing for $1 million.
Terence, 35, is a running coach and marathon runner who sells real
estate on the side. Sarah, 32, is a financial analyst on Wall Street who has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and has studied abroad.
The couple live in New York and had been dating for six months when they embarked on the race that spans 30,000 miles and five continents. In real life, it took 23 days. On television, it'll play out over the next 10 weeks.
Mental and physical challenges produce clues to the next destination. A team is eliminated after eight of the 11 legs.
Because the race was filmed in April and May, the secret of who won "The Amazing Race" is fiercely guarded. Contestants can't even tell their loved ones how they fared.
Citron and Blakeman had never seen the show before Sunday.
"Oh my God!" exclaimed Citron when Terence and Sarah, who are characterized as opposites, were introduced. "He looks great, doesn't he?"
The first leg of the race took the teams from Los Angeles to Brazil. Both locations were strong suits for Terence, who lived in L.A. and dated a woman in Buenos Aires, and Sarah, who speaks several languages including, it seemed on Sunday, Portuguese.
The team bickered early on, providing some signs that their intensity might end up causing a meltdown. Terence said he just wanted to be "held" and "connected with" while Sarah chatted up other teams.
"This isn't a popularity contest," Terence later said in a taxi in Salvador. "Sarah wants everybody to like her. I could care less if nobody speaks to me ... ."
That made his mother laugh.
"That's my boy," she said. "He's the luckiest kid ever. He goes against the odds, and it doesn't matter. He just doesn't take 'no' for an answer."
After making the mistake of taking the elevator instead of stairs to the top of a tower, the team recovered on the first leg of the race. They ended up in third place on a floating fort, Forte Sao Marcelo, which was built to defend the port from pirates.
"What do you think?" Citron asked. "Does my kid have a chance?" http://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/story/624160.html