The Amazing Race Season 10; Episode 1, Part 1

Real Fast! Quack, Quack!

By Stephanie DeGateo

September 20, 2006

Browns fans just can't win.

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Welcome to the tenth installment of The Amazing Race. Let's get started, shall we?

We start off in Seattle, which Phil - looking quite nice in a suede jacket, by the way - informs us is the Emerald City. Sea planes land and here are the teams: Peter & Sarah, dating triathletes. Their hook, she has an artificial leg from the knee down. Bilal & Sa'eed, identified by Phil as "best friends from Cleveland, Ohio." This is a vast improvement over the identification that CBS hung on them when they introduced the teams on their Web site. There they were identified as Muslim best friends and Cleveland Browns fans. It was like someone at CBS thought that just hanging them with the tag "Muslim best friends" would be too incendiary, so they decided to soften it by flaunting their allegiance with the Browns. I'm sure there is a whole group of Steeler fans that are offended by their allegiance to the Browns. Anyway, their hook is the aforementioned devout Muslim angle. Rob & Kimberly comprise the obligatory couple testing their relationship on the Race. I always hate this couple. The Race is not made up of normal conditions – you do not normally function with little sleep, little food, constant togetherness, constant travel, and a TV crew hanging on your every word. And let's not forget the whole competing for a million dollars thing. This is like testing your ability to drive on the autobahn. They are nice looking, from LA, and Rob is a "human being" who can't be "controlled" by Kimberly. Lovely.

Speaking of lovely, off the next plane come Dustin & Kandice, beauty queens. Kandace is Miss New York, Dustin is Miss California. I already can tell I'm going to have trouble telling them apart. They claim they are competitive. We'll see. Next up are David & Mary and you can't get much different from Miss New York than this pair. David is a coal miner and Mary is his wife, straight out of Kentucky. He mentions he'll be good under pressure, given his job. Mary notes that she thought David wanted nothing to do with her because he was cute and she was normal. Okay, so who names their kids Erwin and Godwin? These two brothers are shown working out with weights, but the voiceover informs us of their prestige academic credentials. I'm sorry, but Harvard only gets you so far here on the Race. Go ask Heather and Eve from Season 3.

Plane three lands and out disembark Duke & Lauren, father and daughter. Their hook – Lauren's a lesbian and dad does not approve. Seriously, the man just said he was a "teeny bit disappointed" in her while crying. Vipul & Arti are a married couple. They are Indian and ready to get the adventure of the Race out of their system before they settle down to having kids. Having just taken my three-year-old away for a weekend, I say more power to them. Traveling with one kid more than triples the amount of planning and energy then when it is just the two of you. Yikes, here come Kellie & Jamie, cheerleaders from South Carolina. Okay, they just interviewed about having fun in a cardboard box and talking to door knobs. Yikes again.

Exiting the last plane are Tyler & James, who are recovering drug addicts and models. There are stills of them as addicts and models. Somehow, their modeling shots are more scary. Next up are Lyn & Karlyn. They are single moms and best friends from Alabama. They are all about being independent. Last, we get Tom & Terry, a gay couple from NYC. Oh about your walking stereotypes. Over shots of them getting manicures, they talk about how much they want to win. As the teams run up a hill to the starting point, Tom & Terry do the silliest dance/cheer. Is it okay to say that it is the gayest dance/cheer if the couple doing so is actually gay? Really, this recap is going to be a challenge ... how do you comment on teams like this one and David & Mary without sounding homophobic or like some snotty Blue Stater?

Phil gives his normal pep talk, noting eight elimination points in this Race. He then deviates from the usual canned opening by promising surprises that the teams won't expect. "The world is waiting for you...good luck, travel safe, GO!" And we are off to Beijing, China on two dedicated flights one hour apart. The teams have $66 for this leg of the race.

Kellie & Jamie have some trouble starting their car, but before I can type a joke about dumb cheerleaders, three other teams have the same problem. There must be something really special about Mercedes. Erwin (or Godwin, I haven't quite identified who is who yet) makes some crack about heading to his homeland, even though they are Korean, justifying the conduct of all those Americans who think all Asians are Chinese or Japanese. According to Karlyn, the Chinese like people from Alabama because of the movie "Forrest Gump." Using this logic, as someone who hated the movie "Forrest Gump" with a burning passion, I must hate people from Alabama. And given Karlyn's behavior during this leg, the logic is holding.


The teams hit traffic due to an accident on the Interstate leading to the airport. Peter & Sarah get off at an exit and skirt around the accident, allowing them to get to the airport first. In an interview, Mary explains that "where they come from," women sit quiet and simply take care of the kids. On the Race, however, she wants to be an equal partner. Bilal and Sa'eed think it is the will of God that they get on the first flight. Allow me to rant about this particular habit. I don't care who your particular deity is; I would like to think that Allah or God or Jesus or whomever has a lot better things to do than make sure two reality contestants win a million bucks. Or see this link to have it put another way by someone more witty than me.

The beauty queens have just introduced themselves as Miss New York & Miss California to Mary, who is immediately star struck. David looks sufficiently uncomfortable. Kellie & Jamie ask Duke whether he and Lauren are dating. After explaining their relationship, Duke says "I've been trying to ask her out for years." That's just creepy on so many different levels.

After some teams not finding the right parking lot immediately, everyone gets assigned their flights. Sarah & Peter, the Beauty Queens, Mary & David, Tyler & James, Duke & Lauren, and Lyn & Karlyn are on the first flight. The second flight has Tom & Terry, Bilal & Sa'eed, Jamie & Kellie (who wonder if Muslims believe in Buddha {sigh}), Erwin & Godwin, Rob & Kimberly and Vipul & Arti. The boys with the fancy degrees decide it would be fun to use water guns in a freakin' airport. Airport security disagrees and confiscates the guns. Sarah pre-boards for her flight, and gets a bunch of nasty looks and comments from the other teams for doing so.

The first plane is delayed, and gets in at 8:22 p.m. The teams are off to find a restaurant where they encounter their first roadblock. Lyn & Karlyn seem to be falling victim to that old Race tendency of focusing too much on one particular team. They are complaining pretty heavily about Sarah sometimes using her disability to gain an edge (a la pre-boarding). Karlyn has already decided to use their yield on Sarah and Peter. Hmm, this is never a good way to go.

The first roadblock involves eating fish eyes. Yuck. Duke, Karlyn and Peter get there early and take the challenge for their teams. The beauty queens get dropped off in the wrong restaurant and it takes them a long time to get back on track. They lose ground to some of the teams that were on the second flight. Each team arrives in what seems like fairly regular intervals and eats the eyes. No one has a particularly hard time with this eating challenge, which thankfully focuses on local delicacies rather than just volume of food needed to be consumed.

After fish eyes, the teams are off to the Forbidden City. Phil lets us know that this is where the first big surprise will come. Each team is to pull a time that corresponds with their departure time the next morning. The 7 a.m. departure times are taken by Peter & Sarah, Duke & Lauren, Lyn & Karalyn, and Tyler & James. The 7:15 a.m. times are taken by Tom & Terry, Kellie & Jamie (who do this annoying cheerleading clap every time something goes their way), David & Mary, and Dustin & Kandice (who offer the opinion that they worked so long and hard to get on the first plane ride only to be passed by teams on the second flight. Worked long and hard?!? They managed to drive from the starting line to the airport faster than six other teams. If that's what they consider hard work, this is going to be a long, long Race for them). Rob & Kimberly pull a 7:30 time marker. Vipul & Arti and Bilal & Sa'eed are having the typical cab driver bad luck. Vipul & Artie pull the next 7:30 time, followed by Erwin & Godwin. Bilal & Sa'eed get a marker that says "Last Team." With everyone watching, they are eliminated. Bilal comments that his team's elimination shows that the teams have no control over their fate, only the "creator" does. I'm wondering if he meant Bertram Van Munster or Allah. Anyway, tears are shed, the remaining teams comment that they won't take anything for granted and we're down to 11 teams 40 minutes in.

Be sure to come back tomorrow to read part two of the recap for Episode One.



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