February 17, 2013 10:13 PM by Stephanie Gustafson
Amazing Race is back for another exciting season! Despite being on the air for over a decade, the show is still able to come up with fascinating contestants. This year, we’ll get to witness country singers, roller derby moms, pro hockey players and more!
Excited for the return of The Amazing Race? I sure am! Adding to the excitement is the news of an added twist for the 22nd season: the winner of today’s leg will win not one, but two express passes! Unfortunately, that team will only be able to keep one of them — the other will have to be given to a rival team by the end of the 4th leg of the race. This sort of thing always adds and interesting dynamic, as we get to learn what the team with the express pass thinks of all the other teams…and how the lucky team receiving an express pass without even earning it will responds to being (most likely) labeled the weakest team. Because, let’s face it, this extra express pass is definitely going to the weakest team.
The first five teams can make the initial flight which will land a full hour before the second flight. So obviously, everyone’s eager to make the first plane. As they load shuttles to get to the planes, several contestants begin with the obligatory intros. The hockey players are more than interested in Jenna and Caroline and admit that they’ll “have [their] eyes on” the girls.
Pam and Winnie are trying to make friends with everyone they can in hopes of winning the express pass. Because there is a remote chance that someone will give the express pass to their friends, as opposed to the weakest team. But the new “twinnies” Idries and Jamal (who are far less annoying than last season’s twins Natalie and Nadiya) have an excellent idea: form an alliance with the other four teams in the lead with the agreement that whoever comes in second will automatically be given the second express pass. This is a really smart idea as it will eliminate the agonizing that is sure to take place once the first team has earned its initial express pass.
The first Road Block today involves skydiving! Some contestants are freaked out by heights, but the rest are super excited about the opportunity. Especially Connor, the young cancer surviver. Connor’s dad explains how much this opportunity means to both father and I can’t help but instantly like this team.
Ridiculously attractive couple Jessica and John are in the lead as they reach the second Road Block. For this challenge, the contestants must knock down sand castles until they find the next clue. The twist? Every sand castle that is knocked down must be rebuilt. Jessica explains that it’s a lot like tearing the wrapping paper off of a Christmas present…only to find out there’s no present. And then having to put the wrapping paper back on. It’s a time-consuming challenge and eventually Jessica and John are joined by several other teams.
Finally, Jess lands on the next clue. She and John will need to take a special canoe to the first pit stop. But keeping this thing right side up is not as easy as it might seem. Jess learns this quickly – she leans over just a little bit end ends up toppling everyone into the water!
Hockey players Bates and Anthony reach the sand castle Road Block and almost immediately go from sixth place to second simply by landing on their ticket at the right time. Jamal is pissed, as he’s been building sand castles for ages. Also, his little alliance plan might not work out so well now, as the hockey players haven’t been informed and thus are less likely to simply hand the second express pass to the second place team. In fact, given how much they enjoy the company of the blondies, it’s almost guaranteed that they’ll be passing the express pass on to Jenna and Caroline should they come in first.
Dave and Connor get their clue, successful navigate the canoe and come in third place. Assuming Jess and John stick to the initial plan, Dave and Connor should be awarded the extra express pass, as they are the second team from the alliance to arrive. But Jess and John are starting to have doubts about the plan, as they want to play the game in the way that will benefit them most. Somehow, though, I don’t think pissing off the other four alliance teams will help them too much, so hopefully they stick to the initial plan. Also, I want them to go with that plan because I already have a soft spot for the cancer beating dad and son.
Idries and Jamal finally, finally get their clue. They are initially ecstatic until they realize that the next challenge involves water. This is problematic, as the twins never learned to swim. Honestly, if I didn’t know how to swim, I wouldn’t bother trying to get on the show until I learned. If you watch even a few episodes, you quickly realize how essential this skill is. Remember last season when the contestants had to perform synchronized swimming routines? Fortunately, the water is shallow, and the twins ultimately arrive at the pit stop in eighth place.
The last three teams decide to quit building sand castles in exchange for four hour penalties. This means that they’re one canoe race away from the next pit stop. Firefighters Matt and Daniel are convinced that this decision is mostly in their favor, as they canoe all the time. They’re feeling pretty darn smug, assuming that their big firefighter muscles will easily allow them to beat both Max & Katie and Caroline & Jenny. What they don’t realize is that the canoes are incredibly difficult to keep upright. After falling into the water several times, they realize that they’ve (gasp) been beaten by “two blondies.”
Moral of the story? Pride comes before a fall. Literally.
Photo Credit: CBS