The Amazing Race All-Stars Recap

By Daron Aldridge

February 21, 2011

Ha ha, suckers! No elimination today!

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It’s time for CBS to unleash another batch of hurried Americans on the world with the next installment of the Amazing Race - this time with a nifty subtitle: Unfinished Business. This could only mean we are in store for the show’s second foray into All-Star land but with a caveat. None of the teams this season actually won.

Without having seen a second of the new season, here are my power rankings for the teams:

1. Globetrotters Flight Time & Big Easy (Season 15)
2. Cowboys Jet & Cord (Season 16)
3. Former NFL cheerleaders Jaime & Cara (Season 14)
4. Best friends Zev & Justin (Season 15)
5. Mother/son Margie & Luke (Season 14)
6. Sisters Kisha & Jen (Season 14)
7. Father/Daughter Ron & Christina (Season 12)
8. Dating Goths and color pink enthusiasts Kent & Vyxsin (Season 12)
9. Engaged Amanda & Kris (Season 14)
10. Father/daughter Gary & Mallory (Season 17)
11. Father/son Mel & Mike (Season 14)

If you happened to have read my Pre-Game column you know my rationale (however sound or unsound) for these rankings. If not, feel free to jump over there now and see how wrong or right I may be only one episode in.




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Cue everyone’s favorite New Zealander, Phil Keoghan. Our host stands in a field in Palm Springs, California (the second windiest place on Earth, according to Phil) and the teams are driving themselves up a dirt road in an ATV and golf cart crossbreed. Let’s see the pieces of unfinished business the producers dredge up about the teams’ last race (i.e. the mistake or event that was their undoing).

  • Jet & Cord were cut in front of by eventual winners Dan & Jordan in Shanghai.
  • Luke choked on the memory challenge on the last leg and let down mom.
  • Kris & Amanda were U-Turned by Luke & Margie and thus eliminated.
  • Big Easy took a hefty time penalty, which knocked him and Flight Time out.
  • Mel & Mike wandered Thailand lost and alone.
  • Kent & Vyxsin melted down with Kent threatening to jump from a moving car in Italy.
  • Gary & Mallory pulled a Mel & Mike in Oman (see above).
  • Nature called and Jen answered, "steps away" from the Beijing pitstop.
  • Justin loses his & Zev’s passports, which bumped them from first to elimination in Cambodia.
  • Christina set the final memory challenge precedent for Luke and froze at the end.
  • Jaime & Cara could not navigate the roads of Hawaii to the finish line.


Phil welcomes them back and explains an Express Pass is up for grabs again to the team that checks in first on this leg. They introduced this on last season and it is a nice new element to the race. It makes the teams try more than just NOT being last on the first leg and gives them the incentive to secure a competitive edge. Phil then explains another change in plans. They aren’t merely given their clue but have to find "something in the desert" and bring it to Phil for their route info. The first eight teams get one flight and the remaining teams get a second flight that arrives 90 minutes later. And the hits just keep coming from Phil. He breaks the news that the last team to finish this first task will receive and automatic U-Turn, which will be performed at the first Detour they have on the race. The producers are quickly trying to shatter these teams' comfort level with knowing what to expect. Judging by the furrowed brows and displeasure on some faces, the producers have succeeded.


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