Tonight, the season premiere of The Amazing Race airs tonight on CBS. Read a live recap, and join the discussion here.
The Amazing Race is back! After a year off the air, the Emmy-winning reality competition show is back, and this time it’s with a twist. Usually we see teams of people with an established relationship compete on the race. This time, however, complete strangers will be paired together, and they won’t meet until they are all at the starting line.
Before they find out who their partners will be, host Phil Keoghan informs them they have a challenge they must complete first. They must go to a luggage store and bring back a piece of luggage with a Panamanian flag on it. His only instructions are to go two blocks southwest and seven blocks southeast. How fast they complete the challenge will determine how likely they are to choose their ideal partner for the race.
The challenge begins, and we meet some of the participants as they try to locate the luggage store. Seth is a police officer, and he says he’s been trained on how to work well with a partner right off the bat. Brooke is a criminal attorney, and she admits she comes across as a high-strung New Yorker. She likes to be in control, but will try to step aside and let someone else lead if she must. Scott is a recruiting manager and claims to be a “big achiever.” He’s a Harvard graduate, and he says it’s tough for him to build a rapport with another Type-A personality like himself. Redmond is a former Navy Corpsman who lost a leg after stepping on an IED. He started competing in sports afterwards to show the world that you should continue to go after your goals and succeed no matter what. Vanck is a Wall Street analyst who considers himself to be an intellectual. He hopes to be paired with a pretty girl on the race. Kevin and Jenn are unsure if they are going the right way, but they jokingly agree to just “follow the white people.” Jenn is a model, and she’s hoping to be paired with Kevin, who she only knows now as “the surfer kid from Hawaii.” She thinks he would be a lot of fun. Meanwhile, Jessie is getting frustrated trying to find the luggage store. She is the first ever female K-9 police officer at the Youngstown Police Department. She’s 6’3” and admits others find her intimidating. She’s annoyed at herself for following Francesca, and she snaps “You went the wrong way from the beginning, so I’m not even going to listen to you now!” when Francesca suggests another direction. “She’s feisty,” Francesca says to the cameraman. As for Francesca, she is an Army drill sergeant who has been in the military for fifteen years.
Some of the racers have finally found the luggage store, and there are decoys with other countries’ flags on several of the suitcases too. We meet some more racers, including professional snowboarder Matt. He won the 2016 X Games. Floyd is a college drum major who boasts about memorizing all the flags before coming on the show. He’s been dreaming about being on The Amazing Race since he was in the fifth grade, and calls himself a very positive person. We see a few more racers grab suitcases, but Joey grabbed one with the incorrect flag. We don’t hear a confessional from him yet though. We next see Becca grab a correct suitcase as we hear a little bit about her. She is a rock climbing instructor and describes herself as fun-loving and goofy, and she even has a badge pinned to her vest that says, “Fun Meter.” Liz is an auctioneer who is more comfortable in the farm than in the city. We next meet Michael, a butcher. He boasts about his 140 IQ, and insists people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
Seth and Matt are the first two to bring a suitcase, followed by Olive (a firefighter). We see more people bring back suitcases, but Joey is told he must go back as he brought the wrong flag. He’s a police sergeant, and he’s worried no one will want to be his partner after his mistake. All the racers are back, and Seth gets the first pick. He chooses to team up with Olive. He picked her since she’s the first lady to arrive. Matt gets next pick, and he chooses Redmond. He says Redmond seems like someone that won’t give up. Shamir picks Sara. Scott picks Brooke. Becca picks Floyd. Vanck picks Ashton, and Tara picks Joey. London picks Logan, and Jenn picks Kevin. Michael picks Liz, and Jessie and Francesca are automatically stuck together. They joke about how they already exchanged words with each other.
Phil informs them that the Express Pass is in one of the suitcases they grabbed, and they’ll know who has it once they open them up. Phil then tells them to grab a taxi to LAX. Also, since Jessie and Francesca couldn’t pick a partner, Phil will take them to the airport himself. Afterwards, the race begins. The teams get to know each other as they open their suitcases. The Express Pass was in Floyd’s suitcase.
The teams get to the airport and book their tickets to Panama City, Panama. The teams on the first flight are Matt and Redmond, Becca and Floyd, Brooke and Scott, London and Logan, and Seth and Olive. Everyone else is on the second flight. Once at Panama City, they must proceed to Miraflores Locks to find their next clue. The teams arrive, but struggle finding the Panama Canal.
Seth and Olive are the first to find the clue box and learn they must go to the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center and find their next clue at the canopy tower. Becca and Floyd are the next to find the clue, and they are followed by Brooke and Scott. Brooke and Scott were lost and are super relieved they aren’t in last place. Matt and Redmond find the clue too as the rest of the teams’ flight lands in Panama City. The second flight teams are still in traffic as Seth and Olive reach the discovery center. They find the clue and learn they have a Detour to complete: Shoot (use bow and arrow to knock down fish) or Scoot (race against a professional canoer). They choose Scoot. Becca and Floyd and Brooke and Scott choose Shoot.
Becca and Floyd and Seth and Olive are the first to attempt their Detours. Seth and Olive lose their first race as Becca and Floyd are having success knocking down fish. Meanwhile, all the other teams from the second flight are still in traffic. On Seth and Olive’s third attempt, they manage to finally complete the Detour. They get their next clue and learn they can go to the Pit Stop: Cinta Costera Tres. The last team to check-in will be eliminated. Right behind them are Becca and Floyd who have completed their Detour too. Meanwhile, Brooke and Scott have switched Detours and are rowing. Brooke is trying to bond with Scott and have fun, but Scott says he just wants to get through the Detour. He’s visibly irritated by her.
London and Logan switch Detours, and they (along with Brooke and Scott) watch Redmond and Matt complete the Scoot Detour on their first attempt. Meanwhile, the other teams are finally at the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center. Jenn and Kevin, however, are still lost in traffic.
Seth and Olive arrive at the Pit Stop. They are Team #1! They are followed by Becca and Floyd, and they are Team #2.
Brooke and Scott finally complete the Scoot Detour as we see Matt and Redmond arrive at the Pit Stop as Team #3. Right behind them are Brooke and Scott as Team #4. Phil asks Scott if he’s unhappy with his partner, and Scott hesitates before answering no. Phil notices, but Scott asserts he has no regrets choosing Brooke.
We see more teams attempt the Scoot Detour, with Tara and Joey and Vanck and Ashton falling into the water. Vanck and Ashton switch Detours. We hear a confessional from them as they admit to getting on each other nerves and being the most opposite team on the race. Ashton tells Vanck to be quiet as she attempts the Shoot Detour. They then choose to switch to the other Detour again.
London and Logan fail the Scoot Detour on their second attempt, and Logan is visibly frustrated. Tara and Joey, Vanck and Ashton, and Jessie and Francesca are also working on the Scoot Detour as Shamir and Sara check-in at the Pit Stop as Team #5. The Scoot Detour participants manage to complete the task and make their way to the Pit Stop. Liz and Michael were working on the Shoot Detour, but they switch to the Scoot Detour. Meanwhile, Jenn and Kevin are still lost.
We next see the next teams arrive at the Pit Stop. Tara and Joey are Team #6, Vanck and Ashton are Team #7, and London and Logan are Team #8.
Jenn and Kevin finally find the discovery center as Liz and Michael begin their first attempt at the Scoot Detour. They fall into the water, and Michael is extremely frustrated. He thinks they’re done. Michael feels like giving up, but he refuses to quit. He and Liz attempt the Scoot Detour again as Jessie and Francesca arrive at the Pit Stop as Team #9.
Jenn and Kevin finally arrive at the Scoot Detour, and they see Liz and Michael are still there. They realize they are still in the game. However, Liz and Michael finally complete the task as Jenn and Kevin fail on their first attempt.
Due to safety reasons, the Detour is closed. Jenn and Kevin are handed a clue to the Pit Stop, and Jenn and Kevin manage to arrive at the Pit Stop before Liz and Michael. However, they have incurred a penalty due to not completing the Detour. They must wait two hours before they can check-in. They hope Liza and Michael will get lost for two hours so they can stay in the race.
Liz and Michael arrive at the Pit Stop before Jenn and Kevin’s penalty time is up. Liz and Michael are officially Team #10, and Jenn and Kevin are the first team eliminated from the race.
1st place: Seth & Olive
2nd place: Becca & Floyd
3rd place: Matt & Redmond
4th place: Brooke & Scott
5th place: Shamir & Sara
6th place: Tara & Joey
7th place: Vanck & Ashton
8th place: London & Logan
9th place: Jessie & Francesca
10th place: Liz and Michael
Eliminated: Jenn and Kevin
And that wraps up the season premiere of The Amazing Race! Thanks for reading, post your thoughts in the comments section below, and come back next week for another live recap.