Tonight is the season premiere of The Amazing Race! Read a live recap of the episode here.
This season will feature eleven dating couples. Six of the teams are already an established pair of dating couples, but the other five teams will be made up of “blind date couples” that are meeting each other for the first time right before the race begins. The blind date teams are Bergen and Kurt, Hayley and Blair, Jeff and Jackie, Jelani and Jenny, and Laura and Tyler. The already established pairs are Aly and Steve, Harley and Jonathan, Jeff and Lyda, Libby and CJ, Matt and Ashley, and Mike and Rochelle.
Phil informs the teams their first destination: Tokyo, Japan. There are only eight spots for the first flight, and there is also a U-Turn in play on this first leg of the race. However, the winning team will win the Express Pass. The race begins and the teams must crawl through a muddy obstacle course first to claim which eight teams will get to be on the first flight to Tokyo. Missing out on the first flight are Hayley and Blair, Mike and Rochelle, and Libby and CJ.
All the teams clean up and get into cars to drive themselves to the airport. The blind date teams get to know one another on their way there. Hayley is chatting nonstop and Blair seems to be visibly annoyed by her.
The first eight teams board the first flight to Tokyo, but the other three are not too far behind. Once they land, they must go to Kanda Myojin to find their next clue. Hayley and Blair miss their train by seconds and are currently in last place.
Jelani and Jenny are the first team to arrive at the clue box. They have a Detour choice. Syncing Steps (slow-motion choreography) or Samurai Sake (remember the names and bottles of ten different sake and serve the one the customers order.) They choose to do Syncing Steps. Jeff and Jackie are right behind, but they choose Samurai Sake. They get their first order wrong. Meanwhile, Jelani and Jenny are practicing the dance routine. The other teams arrive at the clue box and choose their Detours.
Jeff and Jackie complete their Detour and are now in first place. At the Syncing Steps multiple teams attempt the routine, but no one has completed it successfully yet. At Samurai Sake, Harley and Jonathan attempt the task. They get it right on their first attempt and are now in second place. They get in a cab at the same time as Jeff and Jackie since it took them a long time to find a cab.
Hayley and Blair arrive at the Syncing Steps before any team has completed it yet despite originally being in last place. However, Laura and Tyler complete the routine successfully first and are now in third place. Jelani and Jenny complete it next and are now in fourth place.
Jeff and Jackie arrive at the U-Turn mat, but choose not to U-Turn anyone. They read their next clue and learn they must find Phil in a parking spot, which will be the Pit Stop for this leg of the race.
Back at Syncing Steps, Aly and Steve complete it successfully and are now in fifth place. Laura and Tyler and Jelani and Jenny arrive at the U-Turn at the same time, but choose not to U-Turn anyone and make their way to the Pit Stop. Harley and Jonathan were in second place, but are lost and cannot find the U-Turn mat.
Jeff and Jackie go inside the parking garage, even though Phil is waiting outside. They finally realize their mistake, but this allows another team to potentially claim the first place spot and the Express Pass before them. And that’s exactly what happens as Jelani and Jenny greet Phil first and are Team #1. They win the Express Pass. While they’re still talking to Phil, Jeff and Jackie greet Phil as Team #2. Phil notes how two blind date couples came in the Top 2 for this first leg of the race.
Bergen and Kurt are now in sixth place after completing the dance routine as Laura and Tyler greet Phil as Team #3. Harley and Jonathan finally find the U-Turn mat with Aly and Steve right behind them. Hayley and Blair complete the dance routine too and are now in seventh place. Matt and Ashley finally get it right too and are now in eighth place. There are still three teams attempting the Syncing Steps Detour. Aly and Steve greet Phil as Team #4 and Harley and Jonathan greet Phil as Team #5. After numerous attempts, Libby and CJ finally get the dance routine right and are now in ninth place. Mike and Rochelle and Jeff and Lyda are the last two teams working on the Detour.
However, Mike and Rochelle finally do the dance routine successfully and Jeff and Lyda are now in last place. However, Hayley and Blair are lost trying to find the U-Turn mat. Meanwhile, Bergen and Kurt greet Phil as Team #6. Mike and Rochelle arrive at the U-Turn mat and they choose to U-Turn Jeff and Lyda. Hayley and Blair go to the U-Turn mat, but won’t U-Turn anyone. Matt and Ashley make the same decision too. Jeff and Lyda are still working on the Syncing Steps, but they finally get it right. But unknown to them yet, they have a U-Turn ahead of them. So they’ll need to make their way to the Samurai Sake Detour when they arrive at the U-Turn mat.
Mike and Rochelle greet Phil as Team #7. They felt they were second to last place, so that’s why they used the U-Turn. Jeff and Lyda find out they have been U-Turned, so they U-Turn Jeff and Jackie not knowing that they already greeted Phil. Meanwhile, Hayley and Blair and Matt and Ashley greet Phil as Teams #8 and #9 respectively.
Jeff and Lyda successfully complete the Samurai Sake Detour before Libby and CJ have greeted Phil, so they might have a chance. They are the last two teams who have yet to check-in. Which team will greet Phil first?
It’s Libby and CJ. Although they made the mistake of going inside the parking garage, they check-in at the mat before Jeff and Lyda and are Team #10. Jeff and Lyda arrive last and have been eliminated from the race. Lyda is visibly disappointed and Jeff takes the blame for their loss since he messed up numerous times at the Syncing Steps Detour.
1st place: Jelani and Jenny (Won the Express Pass)
2nd place: Jeff and Jackie
3rd place: Laura and Tyler
4th place: Aly and Steve
5th place: Harley and Jonathan
6th place: Bergen and Kurt
7th place: Mike and Rochelle
8th place: Hayley and Blair
9th place: Matt and Ashley
10th place: Libby and CJ
11th place: Jeff and Lyda (Eliminated)
Thanks for reading and come back Friday for another episode of The Amazing Race!