September 26, 2010 09:58 PM by Rebecca Ford
The 17th season of The Amazing Race takes off tonight with a trip to London, a new game changing pass and a watermelon to the face!
This season on The Amazing Race, the teams start in Massachusetts. The teams are transported by lobster boats.
Brooke and Claire, home shopping TV hosts.
Chad and Stephanie, dating from Miami, Florida. He says heâ€™s going to ask Stephanie to marry him on the race!
Katie and Rachel, beach volleyball competitors.
Connor and Jonathan, A cappella singers and college friends.
Nat and Kat, doctors who also happen to be beautiful. Michael and Kevin, father and son internet sensations.
Nick and Vicki, tattooed bikers who are dating.
Ron and Tony, best friends and actors from Los Angeles.
Jill and Thomas, dating from California.â€¨Gary and Mallory, father and daughter from Kentucky.
Andie and Jenna, biological mother and daughter who were recently reunited.
Phil Keoghan greets the contestants. He tells them thereâ€™s a new element in this race. The first team to check in of this leg of the race will receive the Express Pass. That team can use it any time during the race for a challenge or task they donâ€™t want to complete. They can skip the task and move on!Â He then tells them that the first flight only has room for three teams, and will arrive 30 minutes earlier.
Phil flags the team to begin the race, and they are off. They find out that they are flying to London, England and then driving themselves to Stonehenge. They jump in their smart cars and are off to the airport.
Andie and Jenna say that this is their first time being in a car together. Their story is going to be really interesting!
Ron and Tony are in first place when they reach the airport. They are the first on the flight. Chad and Stephanie are the second into the airport, but make a beginner mistake of missing the flags. Jill and Thomas get the second tickets on the first flight. The third set goes to Chad and Stephanie. The fourth team is Katie and Rachel, who have to run over to Virgin Atlantic because they missed the early flight.
The rest of the teams get on the second flight. They notice that the A cappella team still isnâ€™t there. The other teams call them â€œTeam Glee.â€
The green team finally arrives to a warm welcome from the other teams. The first flight heads out, followed half an hour later by the second flights
In London, the contestants dash to the parking garage. Stephanie and Chad are out of the gate first. Ron and Tony decide to get a map first at a gas station. Turns out Tony has a lot of education degrees, so he feels that will help him on the race. Chad and Stephanie start arguing when they get lost.
The second teams arrive, and, like the other teams, get in on the wrong side of the car. Itâ€™s stick shift on the wrong side. Nat is a diabetic, and says that she just has to be careful about her blood sugar.
Ron and Tony discover that they are going the wrong way. Andie isnâ€™t doing well with the stick shift, and she kills the car. (If you were going to be on The Amazing Race, wouldnâ€™t you practice driving stick?) They are stuck in traffic.
They get the car started. Andie realizes that she was riding the clutch too hard. Nat and Kat arrive at Stonehenge first. They are amazing by it. They are told to find â€œthe opposite of Noreasterâ€ aka Eastnor Castle. The doctors get help, and are on their way.
Nat and Kat are caught by Brooke and Claire and they decide to work together. The volleyball players are really struggling with their car, or their driving skills. Ron and Tony are lost, and becoming frustrated with each other.
Nick and Vicky are near the end of the group. Vicky says sheâ€™s never even heard of Stonehenge.
Nat and Kat, Brooke and Claire and Jill and Thomas arrive first to Eastnor castle. They must climb a wall being guarded, and then make it across the moat to a waiting knight for their next clue.
Claire and Brooke get doused on their way up, but keep going. Jill and Thomas also keep storming, even with the dirty water coming down on them.Â They each grab a flag, and then must find a boat with a matching flag.
Gary and Mallory, the father and daughter pair, pull over to get directions, and their car gets a flat! Connor and Jonathan decide they have to leave them while Gary changes the tire.
Brook (screaming) and Claire make it to the â€œboatâ€ first, which is more like a large turtle shell. The teams have to turn around because they sink. On their second attempt, they realize they have to balance their weight.
Ron and Tony finally make it to Stonehenge, and realize that many of the teams are ahead of them.
For some reason, Jill is pulling the boat across the lake. The doctors are taking it really slow across, but it seems to be working for them. Jill and Thomas make it across first.
Chad and Stephanie, at the boat, are not working well together and they argue again. Chad is freaking out at Stephanie.
Jill and Thomas find the knight that matches their flags, and then get their Road Block. The team member must shoot watermelon at a knight standing 50 feet away.
Thomas decides to do it, as does Claire. They jump on a horse with their knight, and then head off to the watermelon shoot. They must knock everything off but the legs.Â Connor and Jonathan, who are missing their graduation to be on the race, are just storming the castle.
Stephanie and Chad sink once again. The volleyball players pass them up, and call them â€œTinkerbell and Pan.â€
Back at the watermelon throw, Thomas knocks down the knight, and then start running to find the Pit Stop. They are the first to reach the Pit Stop! They win the very first Express Pass.
Claire continues shooting, as Brook cheers on. Nat and Kat knock over the knight and head to the pit stop. They get second place.Â Michael and Kevin storm the wall, and move on to the next phase.
The moment that everyone knows so well now, finally occurs, as Claire shoots the watermelon, and it slingshots back into her face. That probably would have happened to anyone with Brook screaming in your ear like that.
She says she has the worst headache ever, but Brook says she has to finish the task. Katie and Rachel continue to try to shoot the knight.
Back on the river, â€œthe nerdsâ€ pass Stephanie and Chad, who are very surprised.
Claire finally knock over the knight, and they can move on. Connor and Jonathan knock over their knight, just as Katie and Rachel also finish. Connor and Johnathan start sprinting and beat out Brook and Claire for the third spot. Brook and Claire get fourth. Rachel and Katie get fifth.
Andie and Jenna are still looking for the castle, as are Nick and Vicki and Ron and Tony.
Kevin and Michael are struggling to stay afloat in the boat. Gary and Mallory figure it out quickly, and Kevin and Michael follow their lead.
Andie and Jenna finally make it to the castle.
Chad and Stephanie are struggling to find the Pit Stop. Michael is being very encouraging to his dad as they cross the river. Itâ€™s good to see a young person being so kind to his parent.
Nick and Vicki arrive, and storm the castle. They canâ€™t even understand the clue because they donâ€™t know what a â€œbattlementâ€ is. They are clearly the â€œspecialâ€ team. They look really stupid. They continue to look stupid when they walk right past the boats and canâ€™t find them.
They finally find the boats, and head out, but of course canâ€™t figure out how to balance at first.
Michael and Kevin knock over their knight as do Gary and Mallory. Gary and Mallory are sixth. Michael and Kevin are seventh. These two teams might be my favorite.Mallory has a done of personality, and Kevin has a great personality.
Chad and Stephanie get eight. They feel humbled.
Andie and Jenna knock over their knight and head to the Pitt Stop. They get ninth.
Ron and Tony struggle with the boat, which keeps on sinking. Vicki and Nick are shooting watermelons at the knight, and Nick knocks it over. Nick and Vicki arrive at the Pitt Stop, and are asked what country they are in. She says London. Phil says, â€œThatâ€™s right, the country of London.â€ Idiots! Still, they get tenth.
Ron and Tony finish the leg, even though it was tough. They are eliminated from the race, which is too bad because they have a ton of personality and would have been fun to watch on the race.
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Photo Courtesy of CBS