The Amazing Race 23: Episode 1
By Daron Aldridge
September 30, 2013
Welcome back to the Amazing Race. It's time to kick things off proper following my highly insightful first impressions and completely subjective predictions. Here's a recap of that preview and how I feel the teams will perform from best to worst:
1. Travis & Nicole (Married ER doctors)
2. Jason & Amy (Boston dating couple)
3. Nicky & Kim (MLB wives)
4. Leo & Jamal (Cousins/”Aghanimals”)
5. Chester & Ephraim (former Houston Texans teammates)
6. Tim & Marie (Exes from Jersey and my pick for this season's villains)
7. Brandon & Adam (Heavily bearded childhood friends)
8. Hoskote & Naina (father/daughter - possibly this season's Ron & Christina)
9. Ally & Ashley (LA Kings Ice Crew members)
10. Tim & Danny (friends from Oklahoma)
11. Rowan & Shane (actors and fake professional bingo players)
For a glimpse into my prediction process, here it is: I watch their two minute interviews, read their Q&A and then rank them primarily upon gut instinct, first impression and how similar teams have fared in previous seasons. Oh yeah, and I am usually very wrong.
Let's get this party going and see what exciting city Phil will be greeting them at for their first task.
Well, I was wrong by calling their departure location both “exciting” and a “city” since they are all converging on the dusty streets of an old West movie backlot. To ratchet up the cheese factor, as the teams arrive in stagecoaches, there are old west street fights going on. Wow...they have committed to this theme.
Anyway, the packaged video intros in the first five minutes do nothing to debunk my initial prediction. I'm feeling pretty good here since there are usually one or two revelations that I must acknowledge as caveats to my guesses. Not yet this season, though. Hoskote seems to be an overbearing parent, Rowan & Shane and Tim & Danny seem over their heads and Tim & Marie will likely annoy us as much as these exes annoy each other. At least, this Jersey team is happily not dating anymore and won't be testing their relationship on the Race.
Phil breaks the news to the teams that the double Express Pass is once again in play this season. Whoever wins the first leg will get an Express Pass for themselves and another to gift to a team before the end of the fifth leg. Last season, there was a quick alliance for the front of the pack teams that resulted in making the second Pass less of a potential landmine and more of an easy out, especially since the benefiting team was one or two legs from a medical disqualification. This year should prove to be different.
After delivering the news of an Express Pass surplus, Phil already drops a product placement bomb in the form of the all new eco-friendly _____ from ______ that the teams will drive to the airport. (I stand by my previously stated stance that the Amazing Race's sponsors aren't paying me or BOP, so why should I mention them or their product?)