The Amazing Race 26 Recap

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

February 26, 2015

It's The New Dating Game, with special guest host Chuck Woolery!

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The big announcement is that the first leg will take the travelers to Tokyo, Japan. There is also a Survivor-esque challenge standing nearby. The first eight teams to complete this slog through mud, water and ropes will earn a spot on the first flight. The other three teams will ride the next plane and presumably battle to avoid finishing in last place. There is also an Express Pass for first place and a U-Turn on the first leg.

The 22 entrants dash to the mud pit where the challenge occurs. It is deviously set up to ruin all of the hard work the singles have put into their appearance for their blind dates. Less than 10 minutes into their experience on The Amazing Race, these 10 people have already looked their best and their worst. One woman states afterward that she looks like she has diarrhea, which is not a word anybody should ever use on a first date.

Eventually, the eight teams are determined. Everyone but Hayley & Blair, Mike & Rochelle, and Libby & CJ winds up on the first flight. As predicted, the single men all perform well. They push harder to impress their new potentials. The single women generally seem to be caught off-guard by the physical requirements of the first obstacle course. They almost universally drag. The only interesting revelation during this entire segment involves Aly & Steve. As it turns out, they are both Olympians. She is a short track speed skater while he is a bobsledder. He notes that he brought home two bronzes but in reality got the gold with her. Aly wants to be mad about the delivery of such a cheesy line, but then her involuntary smile reveals that she absolutely loves it. To a larger point, a pair of world class athletes on The Amazing Race really ups the ante for the other 20 players.


Lest we forget, the ride to the airport represents the first opportunity for conversation among the participants. The usual questions pop up such as career, education and the like, all set against the backdrop of a cheap plug for the Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid. Hopefully, that will be the last one this season. Spoiler: it won’t be.

Jelani & Jenny talk strategy. Their major bonding point is why they decided to be lawyers, which is basically a single conversation topic. It’s early, but our guess for them is that whether sparks ignite or not, these two should mesh well as cerebral players. They will also butt heads at various points since both of them want to lead. Jeff reveals his weaknesses to new partner Jackie. He’s terrible at singing and even worse at dancing. This is problematic to Jackie, a professional dancer. We envision many training sessions in his future.

Hayley & Blair learn about one another’s medical backgrounds, which causes Blair to blather something about hoping not to have to provide emergency assistance to anyone. That should be true whether you’re a doctor or not, dude. Blair further struggles when he asks Hayley to guess at his age. She says 35, which he absorbs like a physical blow. In reality, he is 31, her second guess, but now he knows that she thinks he looks old. You (literally) asked for it, dude.

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