Amazing Race: Unfinished Business ep01: Premiere

Amazing Race is back. And 11 teams worth of your favorite losing contestants are back and they have some unfinished business to take care. Like winning the race this time. Phil Keoghan starts off by giving the contestants some big news: the Express Pass is back and the last person to finish the initial challenge will receive an automatic U-Turn.

The Race starts off in Palm Springs, one of the windiest places on earth as evidenced by the giant wind turbines behind Phil, and contestants have to find a giant paper airplane with the not so subtle product placement for Qantas Air on it. Despite the windy conditions, the cowboy’s hats remain perfectly planted on their heads. The racers manage to resist temptation to launch the giant paper airplanes when Phil says they have the wrong ones. Amanda and Kris finish last and get the automatic U-Turn penalty. Kris somehow manages not to cry about it like a 2 year old this season.

Eight groups of contestants take their (product placement!) Ford cars to claim their spots on the first plane, with three on the second plane heading to Sydney, Australia. BUT OH NO! There’s a medical emergency and the 90 minute lead of the first plane has now become a 30 minute deficit thanks to a pit stop in Honolulu. At least Big Easy is concerned about the sick passenger, unlike Justin who only expresses concern about being second…..or is all just editing? Probably editing but who cares.

The teams take the subway to the ferry where Mallory informs the other two second flight teams that the first flight was delayed. Kisha doesn’t believe her. Mallory says there are no liars in the entire state of Kentucky. Pisha manages to hold in both her delight and her bladder this time and not lose the entire race for her team due to a bathroom break, again. We’ll still call her Pisha though.

The teams head to Ocean World aquarium in Manly where they have to actually swim in the shark tank. Luckily for the contestants, this tank just has real sharks with big teeth and not mean sharks like that other Shark Tank. There’s also a Crocodile Hunter killer sized stingray in the tank. Maybe the rules in Australia are different but this somehow doesn’t seem like a good idea at all, although to exec producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s credit, it would be freakin’ awesome TV if a contestant got eaten by a shark. Unfortunately nobody got bit, although a shark did brush up against Amanda’s leg (Kris held back the tears, thank goodness).

While the first group of contests “swam” through the tank and found the impossible to miss compasses, we learned that Jet and Cord have no idea how public transportation works. Later we would learn that cowboys don’t wear hats underwater, cowboys do not float and therefore not witches, they don’t take baths in Oklahoma, and have no idea how to decode a simple word puzzle. Meanwhile Phil tells us that contestants doing the next leg, the sailboat, must wait for the “firing of the seaman’s gun”. I gotta give props to Phil, cause would take me 20 takes minimum to say that without laughing.

Meanwhile Vyxsin, who might have lost a vowel or two in between seasons is “stuck” in the tank and can’t find her way out. More surprising is the fact we learned that when Goths are exposed to water they do not actually melt but instead turn into beautiful flowing rainbows of color.

While the slower teams battle it out, Gary and Mallory head to the beach to the Pit Stop. Phil is waiting there in his manly Crocodile Dundee hat BUT WAIT PHIL, there’s an even manlier man from Manly next to you, a shirtless surfer. Mallory, so flustered by the victory and awarding of the Express Pass (or maybe it’s shirtless muscle man) won’t shut up long enough for Phil to tell them the race is still on. Go go go!

Back in Manly, the rest of the teams pair up to help each other out with the flag clues, forming early alliances. Big Easy, true to his name, is a bit too big for the sailboat but manages to right it before tipping it over. Not so much for our redheads who capsize the boat and immediately start berating the crew for not flipping it back over. Apparently sex appeal does not right boats (who knew?) The teams one by one reach the check-in point, highlighted by womanly Kent slapping the manly man from Manly on his manly ass. I will assume that Phil’s jealous reaction shot was somehow edited out. The episode ends on a TBC (to be continued) with the cowboys struggling to finish the flag clue because obviously they don’t have puzzles in OK either.

So the season looks good so far, and the HD scenery is spectacular. HD closeups of Mike and Mel, eeh not so much. But really this needed to be a 2 hour episode. You can’t leave us hanging like that. Unfair. Until next week…

(photo credits)

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