The Amazing Race Season 28 Recap - Episode 1
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
February 19, 2016
The challenge is seriously the stuff of nightmares. One member of each team has to enter the catacombs below in order to “Pick up the pieces.” They are searching for 13 pieces of a mask, all of which are found inside through some careful digging. Once they have the pieces, the contestants must assemble the mask and present it to one of the super-creepy dungeon dancers behind them, many of whom are playing aggressively loud drums. There’s a fine line these days between an Amazing Race challenge and an Eli Roth gorno.
Whether the editing is misleading or not, it shows that as teams count their mask pieces for the first time, the fence opens in a different locale. Here, the 7:40 teams try to make up the ten minute difference. Tyler & Korey, Zach & Rachel, Scott & Blair, and Marty & Hagan comprise this group. We’re still not sure how big an advantage the head start is yet. This challenge doesn’t seem difficult, but we expect some teams to grow confused by the dizzying, claustrophobic underground warren.
The trick to assembling the mask is finding the correct amount of pieces. There are only two colors on this mask, blue and white. Some people fail to understand that getting 13 pieces of the same color is the only way to solve the puzzle. Others don’t grasp the core concept of the challenge. Dr. Lawyer walks around outside, shaking closed gates for no apparent reason. Surely he realizes that pieces aren't going to fall out of them, right? This goes back to the confusion caused by the subterranean setting. Alternately, he cheated on both the MCAT and LSAT.
Every Frisbee superstars can’t win every time. Matt the dancer completes his mask before anyone else. In fact, if the editing is reliable, they conclude the challenge only moments after the final three teams begin. That’s not good news for Darius & Cameron, Brittany & Jessica, and Burnie & Ashley since they need this challenge to stretch out. Fortunately for them, Dr. Lawyer may have accidentally left Mexico City by this point.
The dancers head to an amazing building named the Museo Soumaya. Phil informs us it’s the most visited museum in Mexico, and if you google pictures of it, you’ll want to go, too. Moments after they leave, Tyler & Korey finish their masks. Thus far, we understand their popularity. They seem like goofy, affable guys. They do not, however, catch the dancers, who win the first leg of The Amazing Race season 28. Tyler & Korey finish second.
Breaking news: Dr. Lawyer is still lost. He’s the only competitor in this challenge who is standing outside, which really ought to clue him in on the fact that he’s in the wrong place. What we find particularly mystifying is that he seems to picking up random rocks off the ground. We’re not sure he understands the directions for this challenge even as he watches the television episode tonight. He seems that lost. This team needs a miracle.
They don’t get one. Few teams struggle with the challenge. The magic newlyweds from the 7:40 group do very well on their way to a third place finish. Even more impressive are Darius & Cameron, who started 20 minutes behind several of their competitors. They still finish in fourth place. Burnie & Ashley similarly wreck the challenge, elevating them from last place at 7:50 to sixth place at the end of the leg, just behind Brodie & Kurt, who had been in first place at 7:30.
A few other teams deliver nondescript performances. Brittany & Jessica, Marty & Hagan, and Sheri & Cole reach the finish line in seventh through ninth place. Only the Crybabies received much screen time, and while the editing makes it seem as if they’re temporarily in danger, they’re clearly getting a non-elimination narrative.
That leaves two teams struggling for survival. Erin & Joslyn and Scott & Blair theoretically are in a race to finish in tenth place. There’s absolutely no mystery to this contest, though. Erin & Joslyn actually left before Sheri & Cole, and no team has struggled to find the final destination in this episode. So, it’s Scott & Blair, and it deserves to be Scott & Blair. Dr. Lawyer is never going to walk into a dark basement again, much less a subterranean cavern.
Oh wait, they did get one. The aforementioned break occurs when the father/daughter team reaches Phil. He informs them that – God, this show drives us nuts – the FIRST LEG of the season is a non-elimination challenge. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT???
So, that was a pointless hour of television. Thanks, CBS.