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The 19th season of The Amazing Race began from a Chinese temple on the coast of California. Before learning of their first city, the eleven teams had to solve a word puzzle using six given letters and three on an Asian umbrella. When correctly solved, the word puzzle revealed their destination – Taipei, Taiwan. After completing the challenge eight teams would be on the first flight to Taipei with the remaining three teams 20 minutes behind.
On the way to the airport Kaylani and Lisa stopped at a gas station to get directions. While at the station Kaylani’s passport fell out of the car, but she did not realize until the pair was down the road, away from the gas station. Returning to the gas station proved fruitless in finding the passport. However, upon arriving at the airport Kaylani discovered that someone saw her drop her passport, knew she was on The Amazing Race and brought the passport to the airport. The incredible kindness by two strangers allowed the cocktail waitresses to continue racing.
Upon landing the teams took a bus to a central square in Taipei with the instructions to ‘look up’ for race colors to get their next clue. Initially all teams struggled with what would prove to be a simple clue. Marcus was the first to realize the clue was written in Chinese behind red and yellow bursting balloons on a digital screen. Teaming up with brother and sister, Justin and Jennifer, the two couples were the first to find the clue.
The deciphered ‘hidden’ clue sent the teams to the Taipei Confucius Temple for the first Roadblock of the race. The selected team member needed to recite, without notes, a Confucius saying they heard over the telephone. The two part phrase proved challenging initially, but Cindy stayed focused and finished the task first.
After successfully memorizing the Confucius phrase the teams were sent to the Daija Riverside Park to join a dragon boat crew in a race. One team member had to row while the other kept the rowing beat on a traditional Chinese drum.
Ernie and Cindy maintained their first place standing through the dragon boat race and found the Pit Stop, Martyr’s Shrine, in first place as well. For their efforts the recently engaged couple was awarded an Express Pass.
Despite finishing last after the first challenge, losing a passport and being forced to complete a Hazard challenge, Kaylani and Lisa took advantage of mistakes by Bill and Cathi and Liz and Marie to finish in ninth place. Similarly, Liz struggled mightily at the Roadblock, but took advantage of how long Bill and Cathi took to find the ‘hidden’ clue to escape finishing last. Fortunately for the grandparents, the first leg was non-elimination.