To the returning readers, Welcome back! It’s nice to see you again. And for those of you new to my blog and my Amazing Race Recaps, a hearty welcome as well, and a couple of things you should know: a) the recaps should be up within 30 minutes (often less) of when the show ends on the East Coast, b) the pictures will all have hidden captions underneath, so make sure to mouse over them if you want to see them, and c) I love Comments, so let’s all get involved in the Comments section for this season.
And with a raise of my very own eyebrow--since Phil didn't do it--we’re off!
My Random Thoughts:
- I liked Kynt and Vyxsin in their first season, but it was way over-the-top on how often they reminded us that they were “Goths” and what the Goth lifestyle was like. I’m implementing a season-long “Goth” count that we will revisit every week, similar to last season’s “C’Mon Claire!” count, or the previous season’s “Bro” and “Oh My Gravy.” Damn, I just realized I’ll have to do an “Oh My Gravy” count this season, too…I may need a chart. Make your predictions in the Comments section, what will we hear more of this season: Goth or Oh My Gravy? We’ll keep track for the season. Keep in mind that the Goth count will only be valid if Kynt and Vyxsin say it.
- In the opening montage where we saw all the teams riding up the hill with the wind farm in the background, we were treated to the backstory on everyone and their demise in each of their respective seasons. A basic recap, but two things stood out to me: 1) That Zev and Justin wearing Harlem Globetrotters T-shirts was a nice touch, and 2) that when Kisha and Jen were eliminated in Beijing dressed as geishas, I didn’t realize just how much Kisha looked like 90’s pro wrestler Papa Shango.
- I absolutely loved the new way of opening the race. Instead of racing to the airport to try and find flights, the teams had to first complete a task for Phil, and the first ones to finish were awarded seats on the premium flight. Additionally, the last team to complete would get an automatic U-Turn on the first Detour, and from the recap footage that reminded us how annoyed Amanda and Kris were over being U-Turned in their season, it was painfully obvious that they would be the ones in last place.
As a side note, the premium flight became the last-place flight after a medical emergency caused the flight to make an unscheduled landing. I'm shocked that in 18 seasons, this is the first time we've seen this.
- This is the first season of The Amazing Race in HD, and they sure gave us a good showcase of it in this episode, didn't they? Beaches, sailing, and sharks and stingrays...it was a great visual episode. I really liked the Shark Tank task, and it reminded me of Mandalay Bay and how much I miss Las Vegas. (soon...very soon.)
- Between the constant shots of signs that said "Manly Ferry" and the use of the phrase "firing of the seaman’s gun", this season may have already used their full quotient of innuendo. And did every shot of the "Manly Ferry" signs need to be followed by a shot of Mel, Mike, or Kynt? (seriously, go back and look) Very unnecessary and low-brow.
- Jet (or Cord, I don't remember which one) declared “I’m from Oklahoma. I don't do water. I don't even take baths.” That sound you heard was the collective screams of the employees of the Tourism Board of Oklahoma.
- The Margie & Luke / Jaime & Cara alliance decided that their best way to solve the flag task was to hang out by the commodore and try to listen in to what the other teams say. First of all (and I'm not trying to make fun of Luke here...I'll do that enough this season), is this the best strategy for a team with a deaf contestant? And second, how awesome was it that the Globetrotters whispered their answer so they couldn't hear?
- As the teams checed in with Outback Phil & a random surf dude, they were told to keep racing. Nobody seemed overly surprised except Mallory, who Phil essentially had to kick off the mat to tell her to get moving.
- A lot of what we saw tonight was essentially "Same shit, different season": Jaime yelled at Cara (and her sailing partners who righted the boat after it flipped), Luke acted like a petulant infant, Ron was exhausted, and Mallory prayed for anything and everything. Seriously, she prayed for help before even receiving the first clue, and at the flag task, asked "Jesus, help me." Discussion topic: Was Gary and Mallory's first-place finish due to divine intervention from above, or simply Mallory's ability to solve a cryptogram?
- I’m putting my support behind two teams this season, The Goths and the Globetrotters, which is probably the name of some horrible B-Movie sitting on a discount rack for 99 cents in some mom-and-pop video store.
- I really enjoyed the Season Premiere, but it can’t compare with last season’s starting episode because no one took a watermelon to the face from a catapult. That is still the stuff that legends are made of. (Here’s a link if you need to see it again.)
Next Week: The First Leg Continues.
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Darren Franich's EW.com Amazing Race Recap
Spoiler TV Recap