The Amazing Race
returns to CBS for its 30th season! As per usual, 11 teams of two will race around the world to 10 continents and 21 countries in the name of $1 million. Host Phil Keoghan welcomes the duos, which include the likes of former NBA players, competitive eaters, models and a new couple from Big Brother
We kick things off in Manhattan, New York as hundreds gather in Washington Square Park to witness one of the greatest games ever televised. NBA legends standing next to goat yoga instructors. Cannot make this stuff up, folks. With interesting achievements under their belts, the teams jump into the race immediately and literally. Into the fountain they go! They must get wet to grab the first clue and Reykjavik, Iceland is the first destination of many.
And They're Off!
The competition kicks into gear as the plane lands in the Icelandic capitol of Reykjavik. From here, the teams must drive themselves to the Geitargljufur River. Couple Henry and Evan (aka Team Yale) reach the marker first. From the air, they must grab a small Iceland flag. Air by plane? It couldn't be that easy! No, they must traverse themselves to where the flags hang hundreds of feet above the water.
Team Yale leads the pack with Team Big Brother (Cody and Jessica) and Team Indy Car (Alex and Conor) not far behind. The Goat Yoga moms, April and Sarah, leave the gate in a cloud of drama. (There's always one, or two if we get lucky.) The entire drive from the airport is nothing but conflict and argument complete with eye rolls and one-liners such as "Are you going to cry again?" Perhaps this is a reason they work so well with animals. While these two are sorting out years of tension, their competitors are taking their flags one by one.
Team Yale reaches the first Road Block. One of the teammates must jump in a dune buggy, write down a series of letters with numbers attached to them as they spot them along the bumpy trail and, in conclusion, figure out how to arrange them so that they make some sort of sense. If you haven't already figured it out, the numbers simply delegate which letter comes in sequence, spelling out Ingolfstorg, the name of a square back in Reykjavik. It's there that they will find the next clue.
Henry of Team Yale is struggling to arrange the letters which shortens their lead and allows for Team Indy Car and Team Big Brother to catch up. In quite the interesting twist, Cody of the Big Brother duo beats out the "Yale Wizards," catapulting them from 3rd place to 1st place. They start the drive back to the capitol as Henry finally arranges the letters correctly.
Team Big Brother reach the square where an incredibly strong woman who is pulling a vehicle by rope asks them two questions. "What do Icelanders call the "Black Death?" and "What is Porskalysi?" By asking innocent bystanders, Jessica finds the latter to be cod liver oil and an elderly cool cat explains that Brennivin is better known as "black death" because it burns so much as it goes down. Before moving on to the next leg, they must enjoy (or endure) a shot of Brennivin. Cody and Jessica maintain their lead as they race to meet Phil at check-in. Team Extreme (Kristi and Jen who are former professional skiers) are hot on their tails thanks to getting lost along the way.
Detour to Second Place
Ah, how easy they fall. After giving his team a bump up to first place, Cody makes the mistake of taking a detour and falling behind to Team Extreme. Kristi and Jen reach the mat, Phil and "Miss Iceland" first and win a trip to Santorini, Greece for their efforts. Team Big Brother walks aimlessly around what looks to be a neighborhood and finally reaches the mat for second place. Team Yale rounds out the top three.
Team Indy Car has finally figured out the puzzle and moved on from the Road Block, leaving Team Slam Dunk (Cedric and Shawn) to see five other teams come and go. They now stand toe to toe with the Yoga Moms who have caught up to the bunch despite arguing. When Shawn accidentally gives them the right answer, he finds himself wondering why his arrangement of letters still hasn't been awarded the green light. They sit in last place. All he has to do is switch the "O's." One has an accent, one doesn't. Once he figures that out, they answer the strong lady's questions and manage to reach the mat for 8th place, but (and this is a huge but) it seems they have broken the rules along the way.
Every Man for Themselves
Phil informs them that teammates are not allowed to help out during Road Blocks. Cedric yelled out to Shawn "to pay attention to the P's and O's" while arranging those letters. Even though Shawn didn't hear him, they must still sit out and watch other duos touch the mat for 30 minutes. Team Firefighters take 8th place. With 30 seconds to go, two teams (Ring Girls and Goat Yoga) engage in a foot race to the mat. It comes down to a photo finish where Dessie of the Ring Girls reaches Phil last, eliminating them from the competition. Whew! What a suspenseful first leg!
Who is your pick, so far, to fight their way to the grand prize? What did you think of that photo finish? Let us know what you think and join the conversation below!
(Images courtesy of CBS)