The Amazing Race Season 21 Episode 1 Recap: Double Your Money
Oct 01 2012 12:17 pm ET
We begin the episode for some reason traveling from the coast of California to Pasadena. I'm not sure exactly why, possibly because the Santa Monica Pier is one of those iconic places, you know? Our actual stop is the Colorado Street Bridge. We meet our eleven teams, all too many to describe at the moment. The ones that stand out, though most seem to have some "slightly famous" perk about them are The Beekman Boys, city gays that turned into country gays, two Chippendales with the unfortunate naming of a variation of "James," and a pro-paraplegic snowboarder with no legs. The rest of the couples and teams blend in, especially in the fact that we have a guy named Abba, but then a girl who insists on being called "Abbie." You think in the one season we could have a better diversity in names.
We awkwardly watch all eleven teams run towards Phil in a perfect arc after leaving their hippy school bus. After some seasons being on motorboats and tour busses, this season's relegated to a painted school bus. Phil welcomed the groups and explained that there will be "surprises" including the chance to win two million dollars. All they have to do is win leg one and the final leg and boom: two million dollars. It seems like whoever had their cards stacked against them. Rachel & Dave won their first and last legs last season, but they had an Express Pass to help them with Leg 3. The contestants had to start the race with a ten-story rappel to get their bags and clue. As Phil said go, the alpha males seemed to run to the rappel first, but the helmets and harnesses must have taken so long that the set of blondes and an older couple got there soon enough. The unfortunate thing was that they were sent down in groups of four-ish. That meant that three groups were already placed in the back. So while the Chippendales seemed to have a leg up to run to their product placement cars, it didn't matter much. Their clue set the racers to Shanghai, China. There were only two flights with a 10:50AM (seven teams) or 12:05PM (the other four) arrival.
The credits. Mostly the same, especially considering we saw most of the background video in the introductions to the teams. I love how the Beekman Boys are holding a goat in their main shot.
Insert frantic Amazing Race editing here. In a blink of an eye, we fast forward to the airport. The rappel has made little difference because while The Beekman Boys were one of the first teams down, they let the Monster Trucking couple in front of them and made them eighth to arrive for the 10:50AM flight. The back flight consisting of the teams that most likely would be eliminated were The Beekman boys, daters Trey & Lexi, lumberjack Rob & yes-woman Sheila, and superfans Gary & Will.
As the airplane touched down the contests headed to the Yuanshen Sports Centre Stadium. The first flight arrived with no delays or anything at the airport that we were given. I hope that there are extra scenes online or something. The Chippendales were sweating profusely, which of all the people here I'd assume that they had hot stage lamps on them most of the time and be more adjusted to the heat. The Chippendales arrived first and were clued in that the Roadblock was to "Get Paddled." Since we were at a sports center (and not some seedy street) one could have assumed ping pong. The person doing the roadblock would have to score one point in Table Tennis against the female junior champion. I only emphasize female, because if you listen to the rest of the episode, most teams call her something masculine.
The junior champion had an item rotation: Normal Paddle, Clipboard (paper-side), Frying Pan, Tambourine, Metal Pencil Case, the actual clue. Even with slick editing, you kinda knew where everyone was due to her rotation. Obviously, it got harder for the champion because of both size issues and then how flimsy the actual clue would be at the end.
Even though the monster truckers were on the first flight, they were completely lost. Something that doesn't bode well for the group. All the other six teams lined up and even though the twins claimed experience, whichever twin that was playing botched her first time and had to wait the rotation as each contestant struggled with the normal "paddle" round. Monster truckers were still looking.
Abbie was the first contestant out and headed to Cui Ping Jiu Jia Restaurant. They were quickly followed by Rocker James. The two teams left even before the monster truckers even got to the clue box. Kelley joined in the rotation as Chippendale James left with his clue. Natalie got to the frying pan round (two) and botched it again. Eventually Caitlyn and Daniel finished, while Natalie got to the tambourine. It was the pencil case that finally landed her clue. Kelley on the other hand had to go all the way to the clue itself until she got the clue. Maybe the junior champion was told to be more aggressive with the first seven groups in hopes of getting all of the teams bunched up better.
Old Rockers James & Abba arrived at the double roadblock was which suggested they "Go Tubing" for frog fallopian tubes. In their mouths. They read out loud to themselves and the audience that: you may not pick up the plate or the papaya. That left them to only use chopsticks or lean in, pie eating contest style. As Daniel was eating, I think the true episode quote was uttered, "I have two but please don't eat mine" as Amy noted her fallopian tubes. The eating challenge proved to be no problem as the old rockers were told to go to "The Bund" as Abbie & Ryan were next to eat.
The second flight arrived as most of the other teams were eating. The blonde Chippendale looked like a monster eating the tablecloth because he lost all eating etiquette and was in race-mode. He vacuumed the table with his lips. Is that a Chippendale talent? Amy was clearly touching the papaya as they got the clue. So it must be a "degree of touching" violation. Brittany finished before the twin began. In the back group Trey had experience with ping pong as he only had to get to the clipboard to get his clue.
The old rockers walked past the umbrella with the woman several times. Rob the lumberjack missed his first ping pong round and got to the frying pan to score. There was something odd about the pacing of the second flight that editing didn't help. The twins were dancing Bollywood-style in support as they finished before Rob & Kelley arrived. Rob took a bite and realized that there was a lot as he picked up the papaya and spit out his food onto his plate. No one said anything as he was obviously holding the papaya.
Gary got past clipboard and headed out. The Beekman Boys were last as Josh got his point immediately from the ping pong paddle. That's a stroke of good luck for those two. He squealed in glee as they left.
Rob had issues finishing, but he finished. Then the dreaded event happened: he didn't get the clue. The couple checked the paper and realized that it was because he used his hands. After the commercial, Rob calmly ate his third and fourth papaya full of tubes.
At the Bund, the Chippendales were lost. Trucker Rob finished as Lexi started to eat. The rest of the front teams were confused at the whole abacus concept. Amy & Daniel were the first to find the woman and were clued in on the pitstop: Shanghai Bund Weather Signal Station. Also in the clue: they had to go by foot.
Amy & Daniel started running towards the signal tower which was marked "Observatory" in their clue. Phil wearing an unsexy hat told us that this was the pitstop. In a moment of "we're all friends right?" Amy & Daniel decided to tell Abbie & Ryan where the woman was. Amy & Daniel were close to the finish as Abbie & Ryan grabbed the clue and started running back to where they saw Amy & Daniel. They immediately were overtaken, mostly due to Amy's inability to run really fast. Abbie & Ryan were first and Amy & Daniel arrived in second. They knew they shot themselves in the prosthetic foot.
The Chippendales were lost as the blondes ran to the pit stop past them with good directions to the tower. They checked in third as the Chippendales followed them blindly. They realized it was the pitstop and they turned around even before Phil could tell them so. At least they knew where the Pitstop was.
Sheila started eating frog tubes as Lexi finished. There were minor fibs as the twins found the abacus but didn't tell the monster truckers. Sheila finished as Will ate his food. What is up with the timing of this final flight where they keep showing up one at a time? This episode also embarrassed me by the failure to pronounce abacus. The best being "abascus." Rob & Sheila asked what looked like a hotel and they suggested that maybe it was the Bank of China near the Bund area. I mean on paper it makes sense, abacuses and counting money.
Rob & Kelley found the clue as they rolled their bags away. The Chippendales were still lost as all the other teams arrived. James & Abba were next to find the clue. As a running sense of good fortune the Beekman boys a woman noticed all the other Americans checking in to this umbrella and pointed them in the right direction. The two Chippendales stood around and used their binoculars to figure out what was wrong.
Luck must have been on their side because The Beekman Boys arrived in seventh: the place they gave up on the plane. Rob & Sheila got more directions, but they ran past the abacus as the amazing editors laughed at their stupidity. Team vertically challenged got their clue and lied to the Chippendales. Trey & Lexi got directions which allowed Rob & Sheila to find the umbrella as well. Unfortunately, Lexi & Trey told the Chippendales as they were heading to the pitstop about the clue. These couples are too nice. The non-couples (twins, teachers) were both willing to race their own race and knew all the others were competition for a potential two million dollars.
Rob & Sheila ran as hard as they could, but the Chippendales knew exactly where the pitstop was. They popped up in 10th, forcing Rob & Sheila to be the last team and were eliminated.
It was a decent opening for the race, I'm happy to see the twins do decently because a lot of contestants of Indian/Sri Lankan descent don't do well on this race. The beta males (Beekman, Vertically Challenged) need to put on their game face or they will be eliminated next.
Michael Pascua - TVLatest.com
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