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The season premiere of the 16th season of The Amazing Race began with the racers placed on the outskirts of Los Angeles with racers instructed to get themselves to LAX with the catch of using only public transportation.  The teams are racing for one of three spots on the first flight to Santiago, Chile with the remainder of the racers on the second flight, an hour behind the first. 

After a few minutes of chaos as the teams try to figure out how to get to LAX using only public transportation, the teams split between taking the metro to the airport or the bus option, the FlyAway.  Joe and Heidi assure the racers taking the metro that they’ll be first to the airport, but are stunned to find that the four teams who took the FlyAway have beat them and the three spots on the first flight are taken already. 

Monique and Shawn, Jordan and Jeff and Dana and Adrian’s excitement at being on the first plane is short lived as mechanical issues with their plane force them to rebook on the flight with the remaining eight teams.  The eleven teams land in Santiago together and are told to catch buses leaving at different times to Valparaiso, Chile.  The dash to get on the busses split the teams into groups of four, four and a final three.

Once in Valparaiso, teams encounter their first detour where the team member “who has the balance of a cat and the courage of a lion.”  Teams have to walk across a 300-foot wire that is 120 feet in the air to complete the Detour.  Caite, Jordan, Dan, Joe, Allie manage to get across the wire in the order they arrived, but Dan does it his own style.  After falling and then hanging by his support ropes, Dan pulls himself across the rest of the way on his carabineers, much like one of the last challenges of the previous season.

A funicular ride down the hill brings the teams to their next challenge: finishing painting a local house that is being restored.  Though they finish the detour first, Brent and Caite do not take the funicular down to the bottom and will face a 30 minute penalty when they get to the finish line.  Despite their lead, Brent and Caite can’t figure out where to go once given their painting instructions and have to wait for Jordan and Jeff to arrive to figure out the directions. 

Back at the wire challenge teams are starting to struggle.  Brandy is psyching herself out on the wire and shaking like a leaf on a tree.  Shawne, meanwhile, invokes God while slowly making her way across the wire.  Finally, Adrian hits the wire and is clearly struggling to get across.  Brandy finally makes it across with Shawne close behind, but Adrian continues to struggle.  Louie, Cord and Shannon all pass Adrian who falls off and has to be towed back to the start.

Once teams have successfully finished repainting the restored houses they’re told to find Palacio Baburizza, the first pit stop.  Jordan and Jeff beat out Brent and Caite for first, but would have won anyway as Brent and Caite had to wait out a 30 minute penalty for not taking the funicular earlier in the leg.  The penalty forces Brent and Caite to 7th place, just ahead of Dan and Jordan who also suffer a penalty for losing a paint brush.  Fortunately for the rest of the racers, Adrian is unable to complete the detour and Dana and Adrian are eliminated.

The Amazing Race
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