During the start of a new season, one team tried to lose their passport before the race even began, but no worries since Twitter saved the day! What is really important here though is the crazy blue statue at the airport. What is that?!?
Once again, the Amazing Race begins with way too many teams to keep track of until a few episodes in:
- Andy & Tommy – Olympic snowboarders
- Ethan & Jenna – former Survivor winners
- Laurence & Zac – father/son – kid sailed around the world solo
- Ernie & Cindy – she’s a control freak
- Justin & Jennifer – brother/sister
- Bill & Cathi – Oregon farmers
- Liz & Marie – twins
- Jeremy & Sandy – dating divorcees
- Ron & Bill – flight attendants
- Amani & Marcus – he’s an ex-football player
- Kaylani & Lisa – Vegas showgirls
Unnecessarily Complicated Rules
After the introductions, Phil talked about how the tasks will challenge them before he described what seemed like a challenging task, but really wasn’t. They didn’t get to just run to their backpacks and take off, like normal. They had a challenge right off the bat with instructions that were way too confusing to share. They were supposed to solve a puzzle, but it led to everyone just grabbing various parasols and running over to Phil to see if it was correct. Once they had the correct one, they received keys to a car with a video screen inside congratulating them on solving the puzzle. Then Phil told them where they are headed. While I am sure that no one actually solved the puzzle and had no idea where they were headed until the tiny tv screen head of Phil told them, it would have been better if they wouldn’t know where to fly until they actually unscrambled some letters to figure out their destination.
The only twist on this stunt was the last team was given a hazard, which is an extra task they had to complete on this leg of the race. In a non-suspenseful way, even with all the goofy sound effects, everyone got the keys. The showgirls were last and receive the hazard. The showgirls then gave themselves their own hazard by dropping their passport at at gas station they stopped at to get directions. They didn’t notice they had dropped it until they were driving again. They went back to look for it, but it wasn’t there. They headed to the airport, hoping some other team member picked it up and would have it there. I’m not sure why they would since they were the last team to leave, but that’s their logic. They arrived at the airport and nothing had been turned in. That’s when one showgirl immediately turned on the other since she destroyed everything by losing her passport. I can’t tell them apart so no clue who is mad at who and which one lost a passport.
Next thing you know, some random dudes walk up with their passport. They saw it in the gas station parking lot and started talking on Twitter about finding a passport from an Amazing Race team. Someone else said that he should go to LAX since that would be where they were headed and they had no communication. Magically, it all happened. I would normally not buy such a thing. It seemed a bit too convenient, but the show did have a team lose their passports before and get kicked off so it makes me think that it might have actually happened like that.
Everything is Yellow and Red
The teams landed in Taipei, Taiwan and had to find their clue in a commercial district. They had to get there by bus. All the teams were on two airplanes. All eight teams on the first plane made it onto the first bus. Two of the last three teams (twins and showgirls) made it on one bus after landing and that left the farmers all by themselves, which didn’t help their situation later on.
In the commercial district, teams had to look up to find a clue so everyone was looking around for the race colors of yellow and red. The message was written in yellow and red characters on a billboard, but it wasn’t obvious so no one noticed it at first. What teams did notice was a garbage man was wearing a yellow and red hat while the snowboarders wondered if a shirtless guy with yellow and red underwear sticking out of his pants might have their clue. No such luck!
They did eventually figured out it was the billboard, got it translated and were off to the Confucius Temple. The only team that didn’t find the billboard in a reasonable amount of time was the Oregon farmers. They arrived on the last bus so no other teams were around when they got off in the district. They soon left the district and wandered off somewhere where they spent hours in the wrong area, taking elevators to tops of random buildings to see if they could see anything and then they finally got it after everyone else pretty much finished the next two tasks.
Super Hard Telephone
At the Confucius Temple, it was a Roadblock where one team member had to memorize a Confucius phrase without taking notes that they listened to on a nearby phone and then repeat it to a monk to get the next clue. This seemed to be more difficult than it seemed since no one got it on the first try and had to try over and over again. Marcus commented that almost all women were taking the task since all women like to use telephones. Come over here Marcus while I whap you on the head with the receiver. The only entertainment during this clue was the twins. One could not get it to save her life while her sister proceeded to scream at her for not getting it correctly. They were one of the last teams to do the task. They were so bad at it that I thought the farmers were going to catch up to them, but they did finish it just before the farmers arrived. Cathi actually got it on the first try. If only they hadn’t got lost so early in the race, they wouldn’t be in last place!
After the roadblock, the teams moved onto dragon boat races, except the showgirls who ran into their hazard. They had to go to a nearby mall to bungee jump and then they caught up with other teams at the dragon boats. While dragon boats themselves are cool, this task was boring. One person beat the drum while the other rowed with the rest of the dragon boat team. This task did not allow any team to get ahead or behind anyone else since an entire dragon boat team was helping row. It was just a time waster.
Moving to the pit stop, Ernie and control freak were the first team to get to the pit stop. They earned an express pass that they can use to skip a task somewhere before the end of the 8th leg. Other teams checked in after them in non-interesting order until the last team, which was the farmers. Shockingly, the first leg was a non-elimination leg! Last season it was a continuation leg, which I like better than non-elimination so early, but I did feel bad for the farmers when I thought they were eliminated since they are from Oregon! They were informed they would have a Speedbump in the next leg and there would be a double elimination.
- Not all teams recognized Ethan and Jenna as people from Survivor, but at the airport those that did told the other teams that they each previously won $1 million. Some teams thought they were greedy trying to win more money.
- The producers were super subtle with their reggae music playing when the snowboarders were on screen.
- Jennifer from brother & sister team freaked out and started yelling at her brother on the first major task in Taiwan when it seemed they had barely started looking for the clue. I know some teams get frustrated after they have done something for a while or raced for many legs, but the race just started! How long will she last before she blows a gasket?
- Just for fun, who would you pick to win overall at this point of the race? Let’s see if they at least make it to the finals.
- What do you think about the non-elimination in the first leg? Do you like a continuation leg better or do you think the first leg should just end with a normal elimination?
- Do you think it was too convenient for the showgirls to get their passports back at the airport after losing it?
- Do you think the Survivor kids are being greedy by trying to win more money or do you think they are just hooked on competing?