The Amazing Race Season 30: Episode 1 Recap

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

January 15, 2018

Surprise! Wait, no, this one wasn't surprising at all.

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Welcome to Season 30 of The Amazing Race! Pay attention, because this season is going to move quickly.

Our host, Phil Keoghan, is helicopter flying over the island of Manhattan. He wants us to know that this season is special. The cast is comprised of champions, although you shouldn’t take that literally in some cases. We’re just going to quote him on this. “They’re world champions, gold medalists, life savers, and music sensations.” Um, can we bet against the music sensations right now?

The first contestants they introduce are ones we actually know. #TeamChomp consists of Joey & Tim. We don’t recognize Tim right off the bat because he’s usually wearing face paint. He’s better known by his alter ego, Eater X. Yes, competitive eaters are participating in this season of The Amazing Race. So, in one challenge this season they’ll have a major advantage. The rest of the season? Well, they might not make that challenge.

His partner is Joey Chestnut, the multi-time reigning champion of the famous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Nothing says champion like gluttony. USA! USA!

We also know the next two contestants. They’re former NBA players Shawn “The Matrix” Marion & Cedric Ceballos. They make sure to let us know that winning The Amazing Race will be “a slam dunk.” Also, we’d like to point out that while Shawn is a world champion, Cedric is only a champion if we count the Slam Dunk competition. Do you think we’ll see a blindfolded dunk competition this season?


We do want to make one other note. We’ve had Harlem Globetrotters players on two seasons. This NBA duo is different, because they are both huge dudes. One of the Globetrotters was a point guard.

Next we have Dessie & Kayla, #TheRingGirls. No, they aren’t professional wrestlers. Or MMA fighters. Or actresses from The Ring franchise. They’re not even from “Say Yes to the Dress.” They’re the women who go out between boxing rounds and, well, look pretty. They tell us their plight, which is that they are shorter than 5’7”, but we’re too busy trying to figure out if we can bet against them online to pay attention.

We now meet a team with a bona fide champion. Alex Rossi was the winner of the 100th Indy 500. His partner is Conor Daly, who is also an Indy Car driver. He is currently sleeping on Alex’s couch, so their goal is to make enough money that Conor can move out. Outside of driving, Conor doesn’t seem to have a lot of adulting skills.

Jen Hudak & Kristi Leskinen are X Games professional skiers. Kristi has been named one of the 20 Greatest Adventure Sport Athletes, and won the gold medal for Halfpipe at the Gravity Games, so she seems well suited for the race. Jen is also a Halfpipe skier, with several medals from the X-Games.

And then we have Cody & Jessica from Big Brother. No, neither of them won Big Brother. It seems that they are champions at Showmance. The good news is that they legitimately seem to like each other, which doesn’t always seem to be the case for contestants who hail from that show.

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