February 14, 2010 10:12 PM by Nancy Floyd
A new season of The Amazing Race kicks off tonight onÂ CBS. Eleven teams from all across the US have come together to compete for the one million dollar grand prize. The 16th edition of this reality show brings together a diverse group of players that include a notorious beauty pageant contestant (and YouTube sensation), two former reality TV stars, and a couple of cowboys. Keep reading to find out about the exciting adventures that took place on tonightâ€™s debutâ€¦
The 16th season ofÂ The Amazing Race kicks off in Los Angeles as the eleven competing teams arrive by bus. As always, this yearâ€™s players are diverse and full of drama. Among the competitors are undercover detectives, high school sweethearts, professional cowboys, lesbians, and a couple of pseudo-celebrities. One team boasts two former reality stars: Big Brother 11 winnerÂ Jordan and housemateÂ Jeff . The long-distance couple met on the reality show and has been dating ever since. Another familiar face on this season ofÂ The Amazing Race is Caite, former Miss Teen South Carolina. She became a viral sensation after butchering an answer about geography at the pageant. In case youâ€™re one of the few people who hasnâ€™t seen the clip, she talks about how some people in America canâ€™t afford maps and she makes mention of South Africa and THE Iraq and says â€œsuch asâ€ more times than I can count. In other words, sheâ€™s brilliant. Sheâ€™s competing with boyfriend (and fellow model) Brent.
The teams assemble in Los Angeles for a quick meeting with host Phil Keoghan who tells them their first clue is waiting for them with their bags. The teams scurry to find out where the first lag of this journey will take them. Destination: Santiago, Chile. The teams must use public transportation to get to the airport. The first three teams to arrive at LAX will get on an earlier flight, with the remaining 8 teams flying out 1 hour later.
Everyone sets off running, desperately trying to find public transportation in LA. No small feat. After running frantically through the streets and waving down passers-by, the teams head out in search for Union Station. One group of travelers ends up on a train to the airport, while another group takes a bus. Which team will arrive first? The bus wins and the three teams getting on the earlier flight are Monique and Shawn (best friends/attorneys),Â Jeff and Jordan (former Big Brother contestants), andÂ Adrian and Dana (high school sweethearts/married for 17 years). Itâ€™s a wonder thatÂ Jeff and Jordan get the right tickets at all since Jordan originally asks for a flight to China. Apparently, sheâ€™s been taking geography lessons from Miss Teen South Carolina if she thinks Chile and China are even remotely close to each other. Someone should let her know the countries arenâ€™t arranged alphabetically around the globe.
While waiting at the airport, Team Cowboy Jet & Cord–yes, those are their real names. What other profession could these two be expected to go into with names like that? Cowboy was pretty much their only choice–decide to get a jump on the competition and exchange their money. They exchange all of it (yes ALL of it) for Brazilian money. Just a reminder: theyâ€™re heading to Chile not to Brazil, but hey, every South American country is the same, right? Wrong.
The three teams on the first flight lose their advantage when their flight is delayed due to mechanical problems. What?! A flight thatâ€™s delayed? What are the odds of that?! All three teams then switch over to the second flight, putting all eleven teams on an even playing field once again.
Once they arrive in Santiago, Chile, the teams must travel 60 miles to Valparaiso. Not surprisingly, Team Cowboy (Jet & Cord) canâ€™t buy a bus ticket with their Brazilian money so itâ€™s back into the airport for them to exchange their money once again. Once the teams arrive in Valparaiso, itâ€™s time for the first Roadblock. One member from each team must walk across a cable thatâ€™s 120 feet above the ground and the length of a football field.
Miss SCÂ Caite and her model boyfriend,Â Brent are the first to arrive at the Roadblock andÂ Caite decides sheâ€™s up for the challenge since sheâ€™s a â€œtomboy at heart.â€ A tomboy that has dedicated her entire life to donning evening gowns and way too much makeup in an attempt to win a sparkly tiara. Nothing says tomboy like big hair and a swimsuit competition. Big Brother winnerÂ Jordan is right behindÂ Caite as the two women set across the wobbly cable.
As the remaining teams slowly make their way to the roadblock,Â Caite is the first to finish. She and Brent call each other â€œbabeâ€ repeatedly as they try to figure out what to do next. The next clue instructs the teams to travel downhill by funicular. Whatâ€™s a funicular you ask? Who the heck knows?Â Brent andÂ Caite donâ€™t seem all that interested in figuring out what one is because they opt to walk down the hill instead. Maybe they think â€œfunicularâ€ means â€œstairsâ€ in Spanish. (In reality, a funicular is basically a South American cable car).
The next challenge instructs the teams to â€œpaint the town.â€ Each team must choose four cans of paint and supplies before walking up a steep street to find a house that matches the color theyâ€™ve selected. They must then repaint a section of the homeâ€™s exterior before receiving their final clue.
Brent andÂ Caite take so long looking for the house they need to paint that two other teams catch up. The race is neck and neck as all three teams hurry to paint their houses. The Big Brother team (Jeff and Jordan) manages to sneak into first place, quickly painting their house, and hurrying to the pit stop. Phil Keoghan is waiting for them with a festive mariachi band because nothing says â€œjob well doneâ€ like a few overweight men in Three Amigos costumes playing fast-paced music. In addition to finishing in first, Jeff and Jordan also win a trip for two to Vancouver. Letâ€™s hope theyâ€™re still together by the time this stressful race is over.
Meanwhile, several of the other teams have finished the roadblock and moved onto the house painting. The father/daughter team of Steve and Allie canâ€™t find a bright red house to paint so they walk inside a home and decide to start painting the living room.Â Allie is thrilled that her dad had such a brilliant idea until theyâ€™ve finished the work and realize thereâ€™s no clue waiting for them. Oh yeah, and they just painted some random personâ€™s living room bright red!! Someoneâ€™s gonna be pissed when they get home from work.
Back at the cable walk, high school sweethearts Adrian and Dana are struggling. Adrian is huffing and puffing but he canâ€™t seem to make his way across the cable. After getting passed by several teams, he eventually falls headfirst off the cable and canâ€™t pull himself back up. The safety specialist comes to assist him but ends up pulling him back to the starting point. After what feels like an eternity, he decides to give it another go but barely makes it a quarter of the way before falling off again.
Back at the Pit Stop, the teams are finishing one-by-one asÂ Brent andÂ Caite endure their penalty. Their 30-minute punishment is up, putting them in 7th place. I bet all the people in the Iraq are cheering for them now. The remaining teams finish beforeÂ Adrian and Dana ever move beyond the cable walk.
The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan meetsÂ Adrian and Dana to deliver the harsh news that theyâ€™ve been eliminated. Man, it sucks to be the first ones knocked out. The good news is thatÂ Adrian and Dana still love each other. Or at least they claim to.
The Amazing Race continues next week as the teams start forming alliances and stirring up drama. Tune in to CBS for all the action!Â For other greatÂ The Amazing Race news, please feel free to check outÂ SirLinksALot: Amazing Race. Discuss on ourÂ reality TV message boards.