Winning its sixth consecutive Emmy award last week for Outstanding Reality Competition Program, the thirteenth premiere of
The Amazing Race looks as if this season will continue to keep running without huffing and puffing. Are you ready for another whirlwind race around the world? I am. And so are the 11 teams that met up with
Phil Keoghan at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. With $1 million at stake, let's see who's first out of the gate, where they're going and which team will be the first to be eliminated.
The race began with teams heading to LAX and locating the marked gates for flights on United or American Airlines taking them to Salvador, Brazil. The AA flight has a three-hour advantage and every split second counts as the teams rush to the desk to get in line for those limited available seats. Even with an hour and a half delayed layover in Rio de Janeiro the AA flight still landed before the later United flight.
Teams on the first flight include:
" Comic book geeks Mark and Bill who benefit as experienced gamers but their physical stamina remains in question.
" Former NFL player Ken and wife Tina who are separated after he cheated on her. She says she's forgiven him though it's obvious she hasn't forgotten. Ken is a strong player but Tina's nagging (sometimes with merit) could be their biggest obstacle to overcome.
" Nick and his cheerleader sister Starr have a lot of Rah! Rah! Sis boom bah to carry them a long way.
" Long-distance daters Aja and Ty rely a little too much on Ty's strength, witnessed by his carrying both backpacks, which could eventually weigh them down.
" Newly dating, Terence is a strong player but a bit of a whiner when Sarah is not immediately on board with his directions.
" Kelly and Christy are best friends and divorcees, not to be confused with the team of blonde southern belles.
Upon arrival, the teams travel by taxi to a sandwich shop where they learn they must become a barrista "old school style" by pushing a vending cart topped with boxes through the small cobbled streets and up a funicular. They then head to a military base where they will sleep outside in mosquito nets. (Hate those insects!) Arrival order will determine morning departure times of 9am, 9:30am and 9:45am. Terence and Sarah arrived first for 9am departure followed by Bro and Sis who have taken to calling Ken and Tina "Mom and Dad". A loose alliance is proposed - "for like two legs" - but the siblings later don't mind leaving them in the dust.
At this point, we see the second group of teams arrive in Salvador. With so much commotion I almost forgot about them! Teams include:
" Single mom Toni and her hunky son Dallas. Though Toni keeps up Dallas is definitely the brawn of the team. Will she be the brain?
" Fraternity brothers Andrew and Dan who never met a six-pack they didn't like - to drink. They look primed to star in the next Seth Rogen movie.
" Anita and Arthur are the tie-dyed t-shirt wearing hippies who are also beekeepers. They have a likeable, easy way about them that comes through in their game playing.
" Anthony and Stephanie are putting their on-again off-again relationship to the test, hoping that the race will help them overcome their differences. This is probably not the best playing field for that.
" Marisa and Brooke are the look-alike blondes not to be confused with strong-showing
TAR 10 and All-Star players Dustin and Kandice.
The teams take off in the morning for Pelourinho, the historic center of Salvador and the location of the first Detour. Most teams took the more exciting challenge, Soft Way Down, by riding up an outdoor elevator, then climbing down a cargo net to the street 240 feet below.
Seeing that the other challenge is crowded only the frat boys take Hard Way Up. They are to make a spiritual pledge as the locals do by climbing a stairway on their hands and knees. At the top they incorrectly answered a mystery question asking how many steps they climbed. (They should have prayed for help from the god named Heineken.) Their penalty was to walk back to the bottom of the stairs all the way around the city streets and start again. They must have hustled because I didn't guess their placing as team number seven.
The Pit Stop for this leg of the race is the floating Forte Sao Marcelo. The first team to arrive is Nick and Starr, winning a trip to Belize. (I'm not fond of ads or product placement but I do like that Travelocity gnome!) They are followed by probably the next overall strongest teams: Ken/Tina, Terence/Sarah, and Mark/Bill.
When Anita commented that "the bees are much calmer than all this" it not only created a visual relationship between the bees and the teams buzzing and scurrying about but may have been a telltale sign that Anita and Arthur were not up to the frantic pace of the race. In any event, they were the last team to arrive and the first to be eliminated. Save the bees, save the world!
" Tina complained to Ken numerous times but among them was that he was supposed to have learned how to say "the fastest way there" in Spanish for the race. Shouldn't he have learned Brazil's national language of Portuguese?
" Terence was upset that he was alone when Sarah was fraternizing with the other teams saying she should have been with him. Was this a valid complaint? He later barks that she can't climb and talk at the same time. Focusing on the game is important but is this the way to win?
" Starr had a flirty moment with Dallas. Will we see more of that?
" I mentioned who I thought were the stronger teams, and would add Toni and Dallas. I'm thinking the next to leave could be Marisa and Brooke or Aja and Ty. What are your early predictions?
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Winning its sixth consecutive Emmy award last week for Outstanding Reality Competition Program the thirteenth premiere of The Amazing Race looks as if this season will continue to keep running without huffing and puffing Are you ready for another whirlwind race around the world I am And so are the 11 teams that met up with TAR host Phil Keoghan at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum With 1 million at stake lets see whos first out of the gate where theyre going and which team will be the first to be eliminatedThe race began with teams heading to LAX and locating the marked gates for flights on United or American Airlines taking them to Salvador Brazil The AA flight has a three-hour advantage and every split second counts as the teams rush to the desk to get in line for those limited available seats Even with an hour and a half delayed layover in Rio de Janeiro the AA flight still landed before the later United flight Teams on the first flight include 149 Comic book