The Amazing Race Recap: Episode 1
By Daron Aldridge
October 2, 2012
Now that the introductions are done, let’s check in with our intrepid host Phil as he explains the new season to the aforementioned teams.
An obnoxiously, 60s-decorated school bus drives the teams around the streets of Pasadena, California, until they get to the starting line. I immediately feel pretty good about my observations and here are a few other things I noted. 1) I am somewhat vindicated in my confusion of Natalie and Nadiya when they explain that they have switched places to break up with the other’s boyfriend. 2) Heavy metal James’ goatee is dark brown/black and Abba’s is lighter brown, so I should be able to tell them apart. 3) Apparently, Jaymes & James explain that Chippendales isn’t about stripping and G-strings but a stage show revue. So I guess I will go with Team Beefcake for them. 4) And yes, Team Trainwreck’s divorcee Ryan exudes the exact amount of arrogance that I suspected he would.
The producers waste no time kicking off this season in a dramatic fashion. First, Phil dangles a million dollar carrot in front of the teams in the form of this possibility: If the team to finish first on the first leg of the Race is also the team to win the whole thing, the end prize will be $2 million this season. Next, they don’t just let the teams run to their bag for their clue. As they have done the last few seasons, the teams immediately have a challenge before they get their bags and clue. This time, it’s a doozy. They have to rappel down 10 stories off the side of a highway bridge to their bags.
Then the producers up the difficulty a bit by tethering the teammates together to make them descend at a similar speed. Everyone is just taking a big breath and doing it, except sub Gary. I do find it a bit humorous that the tallest guy this season (Gary’s six and a half feet tall) is the one having the biggest issue with height.
The first four teams to complete the descent and get the clue pointing them to Shanghai, China are Team Beefcake Jaymes & James, Team Longhorn Trey & Lexi, blondes Caitlin & Brittany and Team Beekman Josh & Brent. Once in their product placement vehicle, they learn that there are only two flights available to them and they land approximately an hour and 15 minutes apart. Seven teams are on the first flight and the remaining four are on the second.
Not far behind the leading quartet of teams are Amy & Daniel, monster truckers Rob & Kelley and Headbangers Ball James & Abba. Unfortunately for these leading teams, it doesn’t seem to matter what order they got their clue. As the teams scramble for the ticket counters, the first flight is set and Team Beekman is left out because Josh politely (and foolishly) let monster trucker Kelley in front of them in line. So the leading plane has Team Beefcake Jaymes & James, James & Abba, Caitlin & Brittany, Natalie & Nadiya, divorcees Abbie & Ryan, snowboarder Amy & Daniel and trucker Rob & Kelley. That means that Longhorns Trey & Lexi faltered already. Not looking good for my first impression.