Ready for another race around the world? It’s the Season 22 of The Amazing Race already! Two more years until I can apply as a contestant. It’s time to live vicariously through the teams by watching The Amazing Race, pretending like I’m traveling around the world when I’m actually just sitting on my bed in my pajamas. Well, I’ll take what I can get. Follow along with me this season, starting with my recap of tonight’s premiere episode.
- Chuck and Wynona, Married for 15 years. They’re a combination of “redneck and country,” as they say. Chuck also loves taxidermy.
- Bates and Anthony, Hockey Brothers. Bates, the elder, played for five different pro hockey teams, and Anthony is still active in the pros.
- Mona and Beth, Roller Derby Moms. They’re mothers of three, self-proclaimed “stereotypical soccer moms.” But, they both do roller derby, which is awesome!
- Max and Katie, Newlyweds. They’ve only been married for three weeks! The Race probably isn’t too ideal for a honeymoon, since there’s always a lot of stress and bickering involved with the show
- David and Connor, Father/Son Cancer Survivors. David had prostate cancer and Connor had testicular cancer, but they both overcame their illnesses.
- Jessica and John, Dating for four years. Jessica wants a ring on her finger!
- Idries and Jamil, Twin Doctors. They’re OB/GYNs who look identical. Alright, good luck to myself trying to tell them apart over the course of the season.
- Pamela and Winnie, Best Friends. Yay Asians! They say they’re not afraid of anything.
- Joey and Meghan, Friends/YouTube Hosts. They have over half a million subscribers on Youtube, combined! I remember when Kevin and his dad (KevJumba and PapaJumba, as they’re known in the YouTube community) were on the show; they were awesome.
- Matthew and Daniel, Best Friends/Firefighters. They’ve been BFFs since they were five years old.
- Caroline and Jennifer, Friends/Country Singers. They’re in the band Stealing Angels.
Ready, set, RACE!
The race starts off at the gorgeous Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California. Phil informs the teams that the winning of this leg of the race gets not only an Express Pass, but also a second Express Pass that they must give to another team before the end of the fourth leg. That’s a lot of power, both good and bad!
And they’re off! The first clue says they’re flying to Bora Bora in the French Polynesia, the first time the show has ever been there! I love new destinations. Five teams get on the first flight, which leaves an hour earlier than the second.
The first five teams are:
- Chuck and Wynona
- Pam and Winnie
- Idries and Jamil
- Dave and Connor
- Jessica and John
Idries and Jamil tell Pam and Winnie that they’re deliverymen, but Pam and Winnie immediately can see through their lie since they look too smart to be deliverymen. Max and Katie say they don’t have many friends in real life, but they’re still trying to pretend to be friends with the other teams.
Idries and Jamil think that whoever wins the leg should give the second Express Pass to the second-place finisher. The five teams agree, and already, we have the first alliance of the race! I feel like this won’t last for too long.
“Who’s ready to take a giant leap for a million bucks?”
One teammate must skydive from a helicopter! Oh gosh, Bora Bora looks beautiful. It’s so cold up here in the northeast. John, Jamil, Connor, Winnie, and Chuck are the ones to “take a leap of faith,” as those on The Bachelor franchise would say. The view from the helicopter looks absolutely gorgeous. Hmm, helicopter rides and leaps of faith… what show are we on, anyway?!
Caroline, Anthony, Matt, Max, Meghan, and Mona are the ones from the second group skydiving.
The teams must travel by water taxi to Eden Beach to get their next clue.
“Who likes to play in the sand?” ME!
There are hundreds of sandcastles lined up in rows on the beach, and one team member must dig for their next clue in the sandcastles. They must rebuild each sandcastle they knock down. As a beachgoer whose favorite activity is building sandcastles, I would definitely enjoy doing this roadblock much more than the first one.
The heat is bearing down on the contestants as they dig in the sand, which gives us some nice soundbites:
- Winnie to Pam: “You’re going to look like Tom Hanks from Castaway real soon.”
- Anthony and Bates, about their connection as brothers:
- Anthony: “People say we finish each other’s –”
- Bates: “Sandwiches, it’s weird.”
- Wynona, explaining why she wanted to travel somewhere tropical on the show: “I was hoping there would be lawn chairs and vodka.”
Most of the teams struggle for a long time in the heat until they finally find a clue. Imagine if this task was on The Bachelor… those girls would NOT be happy. Jessica, the first one there, finds the clue first! Anthony finds the clue second, followed by Connor, Mona, Pam, Joey, Jamil, and Wynona.
They must form a canoe and keep their boat afloat while paddling to the pitstop at Motu Café. The boat is very lean and long, so it tips easily.
Jessica and John are the first ones at the pitstop! I like them a lot so far. They want to stay true to their word, but they want to play the game smart as well, so they’re still not sure what they’re going to do with the second Express Pass they’ve been granted.
Three teams are at the back of the pack: Max and Katie, Caroline and Jennifer, and Matt and Daniel. Max and Katie want to stop digging. Seriously, you’re giving up? There’s a four-hour penalty associated with that, which, frankly, I don’t think is worth it. All three remaining teams agree to take the four hour penalty, which means the race for not-last comes down to a canoe race. I guess that works as a strategy! Matt and Daniel tip over twice, and they’re the ones eliminated.
Here’s the final order of finish:
- Jessica and John (winners of the Express Pass)
- Bates and Anthony
- Dave and Connor. It seems like they’ll get the second Express Pass if Jessica and John stick to their word.
- Pam and Winnie
- Mona and Beth, going from last mid-episode to fifth at the end.
- Joey and Meghan
- Chuck and Wynona. “We’ve never had hair like this on The Amazing Race,” Phil says.
- Idries and Jamil
- Max and Katie
- Caroline and Jennifer
- Matt and Daniel (ELIMINATED)
There wasn’t much skill involved in this episode, so it’s tough to predict who might win, but I’m going to place a guess anyway. I think the Top 3 will be Mona and Beth, Bates and Anthony, and Jessica and John, with Max and Katie, Pam and Winnie, and Caroline and Jennifer as wildcards. Mona and Beth seem tough and determined, and Jessica and John seem capable — though maybe they just got lucky this round? Bates and Anthony so far don’t seem as charismatic as the Globetrotters, the Chippendales, and the Goat Farmers (three other recent male-male teams that have fared well), but athletes tend to do decently on the show.
My personal early favorites are Pam and Winnie , Jessica and John, and Mona and Beth. They all seem like cool people! My least favorite pair is Max and Katie; I mean, who doesn’t try to make friends in real life?
The last three teams must take their four-hour penalty at the beginning of the next leg. Sure, they avoided elimination in this round, but that’s going to put Max and Katie and Caroline and Jennifer in a serious disadvantage next leg. In the next episode, Jessica and John consider taking back their Express Pass agreement, and Dave thinks he fractures his Achilles. Yikes.
So, what did you all think? Who are your early favorites, and who do you dislike? Who do you think will finish in the Top 3, and what do you think of my prediction? Let me know in the comments!