By People Staff
October 13, 2008 12:00 AM
Robert Voets/CBS

In a night of surprises (shockers?) on Sunday’s The Amazing Race (as teams were narrowed from nine to eight), unpredictable developments threw everyone for a loop. The powerhouse team of Mark and Bill was ordered home, but unlike the hippie beekeepers and tepid couple Stephanie and Anthony before them, saying goodbye to the lovable geeks was a bit harder. New favorites include the whiny Terence and Sarah, and the pink and charismatic Brooke and Marisa. The gang ended the day in Bolivia, greeting a woman in a colored-feather headdress, after starting around 1 a.m. in Fortaleza, Brazil. — Nicholas White

Here’s a rundown of the best surprises from Sunday’s episode of The Amazing Race:

Christy’s sports bra drama. Pointing her finger angrily at the camera, Christy blamed Starr for her undergarment being knocked from a ledge. While it’s plausible that Starr would commit such an act, Christy seemed a little kooky and paranoid in her accusation. “If she wants to play dirty, she’s going to get something else,” Christy said.

The geeks go home. Nothing went right for Mark and Bill, who were physically flabby but (supposedly) mentally dominant. Bill, covered in flop sweat, had trouble choreographing a wrestling fight at high altitude. Mark had no choice but to sit with a dumb smile. The brainiacs arrived next-to-last at the finish line but, after failing to read a clue properly, were penalized 30 minutes and finished last.

How low will Nick and Starr go? We knew they were competitive but throwing the divorcees under the bus after a crash — that’s dirty. Offered a U Turn challenge, where they could set another team back, Nick begged another team to U Turn Christy and Kelly, after Christy wrecked her rickety wooden bike into the curb. It would have set the ladies back further. “I’m going to confront them,” Christy promised.

The blondes are hanging tough! Even though Marisa and Brooke — Reese Witherspoon-like “Southern belles” — have scraped by in the first two races, they finished fourth on Sunday’s leg of the race and are surviving with a positive attitude.

Terence didn’t whine once. Known for temper tantrums, the part-time running instructor got his act together and chilled out (despite his usual restlessness). “You’re doing great, babe,” type-A girlfriend Sarah reassured him.

Toni betrayed her age. The 50-year-old mom rode the bumpy bike and hiked slow and steady in the oxygen-deprived altitude. “Just think positive,” Dallas told his mom. “You think I’m doing this on purpose?” the exhausted, slow-moving Toni said.

What’s NOT surprising? The constant back-and-forth relationship chatter between Ken and Tina. Who cares if the divorced 50-somethings get back together? They’re boring. But their communication must be working if Ken (a former NFL player) and Tina (a scrappy beast of energy) have won two of the first three legs of the Race.

Tell us: Were you surprised by Mark and Bill were eliminated? Are Ken and Tina the team to beat?Robert Voets/CBS