The Amazing Race Season 26 Recap - Episode 2

I Got the Smartest Dude

By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis

March 2, 2015

They're going to be camera shy in the future.

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Previously on The Amazing Race, someone named Hayley hoarded all of the screen time while a nice couple of airline professionals failed to capitalize on the most natural competitive advantage in the game. Also, a bunch of people on their first dates outperformed some couples who have been together many months if not years. Under our sabermetrics scoring system, #TeamTinder is waaaaaaaay ahead of #TeamLongTermMonogamy, which bothers us as long term monogamists. Will the trend continue this week? We’re starting to suspect that the early energy of the blind date teams will propel them forward while the innate understanding and compatibility of the established couples will prove helpful later in the race.

Tonight’s episode begins in unusual fashion. Rather than show teams tearing open clues, some of the first timers explore Tokyo as a couple. All of them confirm that they’re exhausted, and Jenny continues to relish her victory with Jelani during the first leg. Since they have the all-important Express Pass, they should be on a natural high for a while. Jackie, on the other hand, is busy mentally evaluating partner Jeffrey’s qualities as a potential mate. He’ll be a lot hotter if he has the money that comes with winning the race, Jackie. Focus!

The series-long social experiment continues with further embarrassment. The break after the first leg occurs at an Internet café. The players will rest in tiny cubicles. The dudes cannot even stretch their full length in such tight quarters. The show’s producers have ensured that nobody will be ducking their partner tonight. Fortunately, everyone is a good sport about the situation. We…wouldn’t be.


Jelani & Jenny are first to depart at 5:30. They discover that their first leg tonight will require travel to Nagano, Japan, by bullet train. It’s obvious that Jenny has already asserted dominance in the relationship. She seems like a bit of a control freak, a net positive on The Amazing Race, while Jelani has decided that his life will be easier if he lets her call the shots. He’s a genius (at least as long as they continue perform well.)

These two teams plus Tyler & Laura are separated by only 15 minutes. Unsurprisingly, they catch an earlier train than the rest of the competitors. Their transportation departs at 6:30 a.m. local time. Olympians Aly & Steve walk up just in time to watch it depart. They become the only team on the second train, but none of the departure times are listed from this point forward. The third train includes Jonathan & Harley, Bergen & Kurt, and Mike & Rochelle. The last departure of this trio occurs at 7:15 a.m., which indicates there are probably a couple of hours between the two trains.

The divide in time schedules indicates that the following teams are in some trouble: Hayley & Blair, Matt & Ashley, and Libby & CJ. The news is especially grim for the Alabama team, as they are the last to depart at 8:20. They are running so late that they don’t even make the fourth train. The gap between them and the other stragglers is presumably significant.

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