Amazing Race 21 – The Premier! (UPDATED)

Eric will be covering the Amazing Race for us. Join us at 8/7c pm on CBS

ETA: Rob and Sheila were eliminated

The Teams start off in Pasadena on what appears to be the Magical School Bus. Phil explains with has his self-assuring smile that the teams will start from the Colorado Street Bridge.

The show starts by introducing the teams listed below with my Nickname for them (Nicknames subject to change):

  • Trey and Lexie (Team Longhorn): Playing so Trey can put a ring on it. I predict he proposes at some point during the race.
  • Natalie and Nadiya (Team Twins): Raised outside the US so could be ok traveling. Also seem like they could work well together.
  • James and Mark (Team Rocker): James played with a lot of great rockers. They have travelIed around the world and say they will be comfortable in any environment. I wonder if Mark gets hired more by rockers because of the way he looks.
  • Josh and Brent (Team Goat): Farmers who could be ok in the animal challenges
  • Amy and Daniel (Team Extreme): Amy seems like she can overcome major obstacles but I wonder if she’ll be able to outrun people. I can see Daniel being the one that holds her back.
  • Caitlin and Brittany (Team Fierce): They initially seem like they’ll be ruthless and do what is needed to win
  • Rob and Sheila (Team Lumberjack): They could do well in the strength and balance challenges.
  • Gary and Will (Team Sub): They seem unique to say it nicely. I think they are the initial underdogs but will be fan favorites.
  • Abbie and Ryan (Team Ego): Ryan came off as kind of a tool and I can see these two being the team that argues the most.
  • Jaymes and James (Team Chippendale): If they get to the challenges where they need to convince locals to buy something or do something they could easily use their bodies.
  • Rob and Kelly (Team Monster Truck): Not sure what driving a Monster Truck brings to the table. Unless there is a monster truck challenge which would be awesome to see them having to take a lesson in driving.

Phil explains that the race will be 12 legs,  going through 9 countries and more then 25000 miles with lots of surprises. He starts with the first twist: The teams can double your money if they win the first and last legs. I say there is no way this happens.

Phil explains the first challenge. Teams must repel off the bridge ten storeys to the ground where they will find the first clue. Maybe I`m twisted but I always wish someone takes out Phil at the starting line. He also takes the time to show the first product placement in a show that loves their product placement. The amazing Ford Explorer.

The teams are off and Team Fierce start by saying they are afraid of heights which might not be good in a race that involves a few challenges that require you to climb, jump, or repel down things I might be wrong but Team Goat is the first ones down.

The first clue sends everyone to Shanghai, China. There are two flights: The first flight is reserved for the first seven teams followed by a second flight for the remaining four teams. First Flight consists of Team Chippendale, Team Fierce, Team Rocker, Team Extreme, Team Ego, Team Twin, and Team Monster Truck who made it on because Josh let them get in line first which pisses off Brent. I can totally understand the anger. Seriously Nice people never win this race.

The first flight gets an hour and fifteen minute head start which doesn’t seem like a lot but in this game is huge. I also noticed that Google maps sponsored the Map segment. Surprised they didn’t use Apple’s Map app.

Teams must land and head to Yuanshen Sports Center Staduim by Taxi. They get the First Roadblock: Who’s Ready to get paddled. Teams have to score a point on a Ping Pong Junior Champion who is using household paddles and hates to lose.

First competitors include Natalie, James, Caitlin, Daniel,  Abbie, Rocker James, Kelley. This challenge is great for the kid sticking out her tongue and the graphic they show when the kid scores a point. Rob and Kelley also have their first blunder by looking for the box in the tennis courts

Abbie gets the point first followed by Rocker James. The teams must now make way to Cui Ping Jiu Jia which is a Restaurant. Team Rocker get into a Taxi first jumping into the lead. James, Caitlin and Daniel are in the next batch of people to finish and head off for the next stop.

My early pick to win is already arguing because Natalie can’t get a point, I am no longer feeling optimistic with picking Team Twin to win. The Junior Champion proceeds to play using clipboard, Tambourine, Frying pan, and what appears to be a pencil case before using the actual clue as a paddle.

Natalie finally gets a point followed with Kelley as the last of the first flight to get a point and move on.

Team Rocker reach the restaurant first and get the second roadblock where the other teammate must eat Hasma, which is the Fallopean Tubes of a frog. I also love that the clue says “Who wants to go tubing?” The producers are sure to make sure that someone states that the clue says that you cannot use your hands to lift the bowl which means someone will use their hands. Abbie also takes the time to request that Ryan not eat her Tubes.

Rocker James finishes first and gets the next clue. Teams must go to The Bund and find a woman using an Abacas. This seems to be an easy challenge but I have a feeling the teams will overthink it and majority of teams will mess it up. Most of the teams mispronounce Abacas which makes me wonder if you can find something you can’t pronounce.

Ryan finished next as the second flight arrives. Jaymes proceeds to start eating directly off the table to finish up and is followed by Amy and Caitlin. I love the locals watching people compete. The always have the best facial expressions. Nadiya proceeds to eat while dancing Bollywood style.

The back four teams breeze though Ping Pong with Trey takes out kid quickly, Followed by Rob, Gary, and Josh. This happens as Team Rocker appear to walk right by the lady using abacas. Back at the restaurant the prediction comes true as Rob is give the first penalty for picking up bowl and has to start over.

Abbie and Daniel find abacus first and head for the first Pit Stop: The Bund Observatory and must travel on foot. Phil classifies that last team to arrive will be eliminated which is good since I hate when no one gets eliminated on the first leg.

Team Extreme prove how nice (or stupid) they are by helping out Team Ego and Team Fierce. This comes back to haunt them as Team Ego outruns them and finished first and have the shot to win 2 Million Dollars. Team Extreme finishes second as they lament how nice they were. Hopefully Team Extreme smartens up and stops helping people. I also think Amy and Daniel will have trouble with any footraces and hopefully it doesn’t come back to hurt them. They then skate over Team Fierce finishing third while Team Chippendale follow them looking for the Abacas.

Team Rocker decide to go ring shopping rather then look for the Lady with the abacas. I kinda felt bad for the sales man who looked disappointed when he realized they were  not buying rings.

Team Twin shows why I chose them by lying to Team Monster Truck and finishing fourth. They also hated finishing fourth which makes me feel better.

On the other hand Team Lumberjack decide to ask for someone counting and get sent to the Bank of China which somehow makes sense to them. Because Chinese people like to count money with an abacas.

Team Monster Truck then finish fifth as Team Lumberjack gets to the Bank. I wish we could have gotten footage of them inside the Bank.

Team Rocker finally figure it out and finish sixth as Team Goat luck out with a local/tourist pointing out the lady. Team Chippendale proceed to stand in the exact same spot complaining about not finding the lady. But they do mention that she may be in the water or be a statue. I was Kind of hoping they would go crazy and jump in the water to search for the clue.

Team Goat finish seventh. Meanwhile Team Lumberjack walk right by the lady while Team Sub lets them go and takes the clue. The also proceed to lie to the Chippendales instantly making me like them more for being smart and trying to take out a team who looks to be strong. The entire challenge also shows how the teams continue to look for the standard Red and Yellow that the show always uses. Team Sub finishes eighth followed by Team Longhorn.

It’s down to the Chippendales and the Lumberjacks and the editing makes it look like a real footrace. Team Chippendales is able to outrun Team Lumberjacks who get sent home first. It’s lucky for the producers who can now use any log rolling challenge.

After one episode I feel slightly better about my pre-season pick but I’m not overly confident. I think Team Ego will be a tough team to beat and I think Team Longhorn can climb through the ranks.  It was a good premiere and I look forward to the Emmy winning season ahead.


Amazing Race starts its journey towards next year’s Emmy award for Best Reality Competition tonight and since MJ has given me the pleasure to recap the season for you all I thought I’d start by listing the teams in my pre-season rankings. This is based on watching ever season of Amazing Race. Before each season I rank the teams based on their bios and pictures. Usually I am way off but I did pick the winners last season so it sometimes works.

11. Caitlin King, 24; Atlanta; special ed teacher; Brittany Fletcher, 25; Chicago; medical device sales (best friends)

10. Rob French, 46; Boston, Ga.; professional monster truck driver; Kelley Carrington-French, 50; Boston, Ga.; professional monster truck driver (married)

9. Rob Scheer, 52; Ketchikan, Alaska; lumberjack and entrepreneur; Sheila Castle, 44; Pigeon Forge, Tenn.; retail manager (engaged)

8. Amy Purdy, 32; Summit County, Colo.; motivational speaker/snowboarder (double amputee); Daniel Gale, 36; Summit County, Colo.; executive director (dating on and off)

7. Abbie Ginsberg, 31; Encinitas, Calif.; dance instructor/choreographer; Ryan Danz, 35; San Diego; financial service company owner (dating divorcees)

6. James LoMenzo, 53; Burbank, Calif.; professional musician/former band member of White Lion and Megadeth; Mark “Abba” Abbattista, 45; Denver; entertainment lawyer (friends)

5. Gary Wojnar, 52, Livonia, Mich.; substitute teacher; Will Chiola, 53; Dearborn, Mich.; substitute teacher (best friends)

4. Jaymes Vaughan, 30; Las Vegas; Chippendales emcee; James Davis, 27; Las Vegas; Chippendales dancer (best friends)

3. Josh Kilmer-Purcell, 42; Sharon Springs, N.Y.; goat farmer/advertising executive/author; Brent Ridge, 38; Sharon Springs, N.Y.; CEO of Beekman 1802 (life partners)

2. Trey Wier, 23; Austin, Texas; land consultant/former college athlete; Alexis “Lexi” Beerman, 22; Dripping Springs, Texas; clothing designer (dating)

1. Natalie Anderson, 26; Edgewater, N.J.; physical therapy student; Nadiya Anderson, 26; Edgewater, N.J.; project coordinator at Bridge2Peace (Twin Sisters)

I look forward to seeing everyones thoughts and hope you enjoy my recaps.

About mj santilli 35004 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!