Amazing Race 19 – Season Premiere – Episode 1 – Kindness of Strangers
The 19th season begins with 11 two-member teams, including former “Survivor” winners Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca, being introduced to a new Hazard penalty before departing Southern California for Taipei, Taiwan.
(Note: Sorry this is so late. But I couldn’t edit this on time last Sunday night, so better late than never. Now if I can only get up to speed with my Project Runway posts…)
The winner of the first leg wins the all important Express Pass.
The teams immediately start their first challenge in L.A.:
Challenge: Word Puzzle on Umbrellas
For being the last to finish the first challenge, Team Showgirls gets a Hazard sometime during the race.
However, that’s not the worst of their problems: one of the girls dropped their passport at the gas station. They drove back, but it wasn’t there anymore!
But then, a miracle: someone found the passport at the gas station and brought it to the airport!
reality blurred has a great report on how this went down on Twitter. It seems that the girls were about to get disqualified, but thanks to the good samaritan, the passport was given back — all thanks to Twitter and some fans! (Team Survivor however think the producers were “cheating” — oh no, sourgraping so early, I guess they did not win).
At the airport: 2 flights. 20 minutes apart.
The teams fly to Taiwan!
The first clue at the commercial district was confusing for some. They needed to look up at a billboard with Chinese characters. The translation: The Confucius Temple!
The grandparents who were last to get to the commercial area of Taipei could not get the clue. They were there for FOUR HOURS.
At the temple:
Road Block: Memorize a proverb after calling a telephone hotline.
After this Road Block, Team Showgirls’s Hazard kicked in and they needed to go to a mall and bungee jump to get their clue!
At some bridge:
Challenge: Join a Dragon Boat Race Team
Pit Stop: Martyrs’ Shrine
Ernie and Cindi were first and won the Express Pass.
Bill and Cathi (Team Grandparents) were the last team to arrive — and since it was a non-elimination round, they get to race another day. They will get an extra road block though on the next leg.
Next week double elimination!
This was another solid start for the Amazing Race and while watching I was really engaged during the whole passport drama. However, looking back at the challenges — nothing really happened (again). I guess the non-elimination result was better since Team Grandparents looked like they lost already the moment they arrived in Taiwan.
Will the season get better? Fingers crossed?