The Amazing Race is (finally) back and this season is a special edition, The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business. We have eleven of our favorite team to ever NOT win The Amazing Race coming back to compete for another chance to win the one million dollar first place prize.
What a better way to start the season than by flying to one of my favorite places in the world, Sydney, Australia. I love to watch The Amazing Race for the dynamics between the teams and the competition, but also for the incredible travel that the teams get to experience. When teams arrive somewhere that I’ve been before, I get even more excited.
All of this builds up for a tremendous start to the new season. There are plenty of things to discuss from this opening episode, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t start with the returning teams.Right off the bat I was absolutely thrilled to see two of my favorite teams, Jet and Cord and Flight Time and Big Easy, back for another shot to win the race. Both pairs of best friends were extremely entertaining in their first seasons and even through just one episode neither team disappointed.
Flight Time: The last time we were in this race, Big Easy got us eliminated.
Big Easy: We’re easy on the eyes too. If I had to look at me for hours, I would.
Jet: I’m from Oklahoma, I don’t do water. I don’t even take baths.
Though not a team I was immediately excited to have back, Zev and Justin have already proven themselves equally hilarious as well. How funny was it to see the pair in Harlem Globetrotters shirts that were identical to the shirts Flight Time and Big Easy were wearing? Zev has already given us a few great one liners to start the season as well.
On the opposite end of the spectrum were some teams I was less excited to see back. I understand that the premise of the show is to have teams that came close to winning but took one wrong turn and lost, but how can you have Kisha and Jen back? They didn’t take a wrong turn, they went to the bathroom and lost! Come on, they don’t deserve another chance.
I don’t have anything against Kisha and Jen, I just don’t think they deserve a chance. Margie and Luke and Amanda and Kris are two teams that shouldn’t have a chance because they’re not engaging teams.
Margie and Luke were very angry people in their first season and I’m not excited to have a repeat performance from them this season. Amanda and Kris were less painful, but didn’t bring much to the team. Hard to believe there wasn’t a better couple to put in their spot.
Nevertheless, the cast seems pretty good this season. Similarly, the quality of the race has already been tremendous and we’re not even through the first leg. The idea to start the racers with a challenge vs. just giving them their clue and have the last place team receive a penalty was great drama. Here’s hoping we see more twists like this going forward this season and in future seasons.
Knowing who I’m rooting for and who I’d be ok with getting bounced you can imagine my initial excitement at how the eleven teams divided in to the eight on the first place plane and the three on the last place team. Alas, it was too good to be true. An emergency landing for a man who had a heart attack? Really? My three favorite teams are on that plane!
As the leg continued from there, I began to worry about the fate of Flight Time and Big Easy. When we learned that one part of the Roadblock would be to decode a flag-based message, I feared one of my favorite teams would be going home in the first episode.
Fortunately for the pair of Harlem Globetrotters, they forged an early alliance with Zev and Justin – who raced with them on each team’s first time around – and got the answer to the clue from them. What I didn’t see happening is that the clue would trip up Jet and Cord, the normally reliable cowboys from Oklahoma.
In their previous season Jet and Cord never seemed to struggle with anything, handling every challenge whether it was mental or physical with ease. As this week’s episode ended and Jet and Cord were still struggling with the message, my heart sank believing they had no chance of being saved from elimination.
Fortunately, The Amazing Race gods smiled on us when Phil announced to a hilariously stunned Mallory and Gary that while they had reached the first Pit Stop in first place and won the Express Pass, their leg was not over, they were still racing. What a great exchange between Phil and Mallory on the Pit Stop
Phil: You guys are still racing. No rest. You’re still going.
Mallory: Whoa, you’re serious.
Phil: Yes, I’m serious. Mallory, this is no time for dilly-dallying!
What does this all mean? For starters, despite being way back, Jet and Cord are still alive. Theoretically at least. It also likely means that Amanda and Kris will have to take on their U-Turn in the first leg, rather than in the second leg like they had imagined. Will this be enough time for Jet and Cord to get back in the race? I suspect not, they seem really far behind, but I’m sure hoping so.
Other thoughts from this week:
- If nothing else, I don’t want to see Jet and Cord go because I love the music they play for them.
- Why do these teams continually help each other in the race? I was surprised to see Zev and Justin do it, but at least they had some rationale and connection with Flight Time and Big Easy? Why did Ron and Christina and Mel and Mike help Margie and Luke and Jaime and Cara? In exchange for finding the next place to go? Come on.
- Normally Mallory’s very apparent reliance on religion would annoy me. God is not going to get involved in who wins The Amazing Race. But, she’s so honest and endearing, how could you not like her?