Ah, the premiere of a new season of “The Amazing Race,” the first opportunity we get to separate the wheat from the chaff. Wait, those are big words. There’s just no way that the contestant we met first this season, Caite (the Miss Teen USA contestant), possibly understands some of those words. With apologies to her, let’s continue, yes?
Caite told us that she had gotten a bum rap with her famed speech and that she was going to surprise us. I was almost surprised this week, she and Brent looked to start off really well, but then… well, we’ll get there. I’ll give you that they were able to make it to the same Los Angeles metro rail station as other teams, but all those people ought to have been on the bus, not the train. Those train folks all ended up on the second flight and I don’t think that Caite could have predicted that the first plane was going to have mechanical trouble.
It actually made it far more interesting that everyone ended up on the same plane. The teams were all headed – by bus after the plane – to Valparaiso, Chile (not China) and their first Road Block. For that, the teams had to walk across some pretty high wires roughly the length of a football field. As for Caite, she was the first one up there on a line and seemed to do really well (see, I’m not completely biased). Caite was certainly way better than Brandy who was wobbling like jell-o up there and Jordan who fell off the line. Thank god for those harnesses, right?
Adrian actually had more trouble than anyone else, being wobbly, really slow, and falling. The safety folks had to come out and save him, bringing him back to the starting point. . . twice.
Brent & Caite ought to have been way out in front still when they arrived at the next challenge which required painting part of a house. They were, sort of, out in front. I mean, no one had passed them yet, but they had violated the rules of the leg which required them to take a funicular down instead of walking. They were going to incur a 30 minute penalty at the Pit Stop, but no one had passed them to that point. A pass did happen soon enough as Brent & Caite couldn’t figure out where to paint once they had their paint, but they did, kind of, get to that challenge first.
I’m not quite sure what was up with the painting location actually. Almost everyone seemed to have some serious trouble figuring out where they were supposed to be going. That’s really not an excuse however for Steve & Allie completely disregarding the rules and going into a random person’s house to start painting it, but most teams did seem to have trouble at that point. At least Steve & Allie made the housepainters’ job easier. It was kind of like their good deed for the season.
It was actually Jeff & Jordan who made it to the location of the houses which had to be painted first. Those two also left the painting first and made it to the Pit Stop first. Brent & Caite got to the mat second, but then had that 30 minute penalty. They were never going to be eliminated because Adrian was light years behind everyone else due to the Road Block, but Caite & Brent did slip to seventh place. Dan & Jordan, who also incurred a penalty as they lost a brush came in eighth.
Poor Dana & Adrian didn’t even make it to the mat. As happens every so often, Phil had to come out onto the course and tell them they were eliminated. That’s a tough way to go out in the first leg.
People, it was a leg full of teams not being able to follow directions or figure out where they were going. I think we ought to give the teams the benefit of the doubt this week. Maybe they weren’t quite ready, maybe the clues and directions were a little vague, maybe they were told to mess things up on purpose (to add to the tension). Whatever the case, I’m expecting better next week.
Odds and ends:
You have to love that Jordan had Caite’s speech memorized, right? Jordan & Dan may be my choice this season solely because of that.
Okay I made fun of Caite this week, but a lot of the teams didn’t seem any brighter. Take the cowboys, they were going to Chile and yet exchanged their money for Brazilian currency. There was some odd excuse given about how the currency changer at LAX had no Chilean currency, but that’s certainly not what we saw, is it?
Big dog gotta roar, Adrian? Don’t big dogs bark and growl? Big cats (like lions) roar, dogs growl.
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