Tears of a Clown
The Amazing Race Season 20 Episode 1 (02/19/12)
The opening leg of the twentieth season of The Amazing Race started and ended in Santa Barbara. The teams started in Santa Barbara, California looking through 100 balloons for their first clue. Confusingly the clue would only tell them that they are flying out of LAX to Santa Barbara and not until getting in to their cars would they be informed they were going to Santa Barbara, Argentina. The first six teams to get flights would be two and a half hours ahead of the trailing five teams.
Upon arriving in Santa Barbara, Argentina the teams were directed to Aerodromo de Cafayete where they encountered a Roadblock. The well worded clue asked for the teammate with a good sense of direction and then sent the remaining teammate up in to the air to sky dive. The selected teammate had to find their diving teammate using only the provided aerial photo.
Although JJ experienced some trepidation about diving, the leading six teams otherwise did not have any difficulty with the Roadblock. The same can not be said for Dan and Maiya who had no trouble finding the drop spot, they just couldn't handle their cars. Dan struggled with the stick shift while Maiya got her car caught in the sand. The slip-ups pushed the teams in to 10th and 11th place.
Once the teammates found each other they could progress to Patios de Cafayete where they would have to make 120 empanadas in traditional Argentinian fashion. The empanada making station was located at the Pit Stop, so once the teams completed the empanada making, they could finish. In theory anyway.
There was some drama with the leading teams when Rachel and Dave were third to the challenge, but the only team to complete the challenge without having to redo any empanadas and won the opening leg and the Express Pass that came with it. The other five leading teams were not close to being caught by the trailing five teams.
For the trailing five teams, the drama was much more intense. After trailing for virtually the entire leg, Dave and Cherie took advantage of Dan and Maiya's mistakes during the Roadblock, mastered the empanadas and finished a surprising 8th. Kerri and Stacie made up even more ground making empanadas going from 10th to finishing 7th. Misa and Maiya almost replicated Kerri and Stacie's success, but couldn't find the Pit Stop mere feet away from where they were making empanadas. This mistake allowed Joey and Dan to overcome all of their mistakes and stay in the race.