Recap: The Amazing Race 13, Episode 1 – “I’m about to pee my pants!”


Well, it’s definitely been a while!  How great is it to hear Phil saying “The world is waiting for you” to a brand new group of teams ready to embark on a race around the world.  As well as prove exactly why they’ve won those 6 Emmys.

The teams are taken in vintage cars to the home of the Trojans as we meet them while they run into the stadium.  After Phil wishes them well, he sets them off and they run to the top of the stadium to begin their new adventure.

They find their first clue that tells them their first destination is Santiago, Brazil.  They jump into their Mercedes and drive to LAX.

Looks like TAR actually tells them which of the two planes gets them to Brazil first.  After some maneuvering on the highway (and Terence wrongly insisting his city streets shortcut was the fastest way to the airport), the teams get confused as to which ticket counter they need to go to.

Dating couple Aja & Ty arrive there first and make their way to the American Airlines counter where they are told that there is nowhere else for them to buy tickets, but Aja rightly wonders why there are no flags.  A couple of teams see them and think they are at the right place.

A few of the teams though realize they’re at the wrong counter and run to the right one.  Once the rest of them realize their mistake, they are too late for the first flight.  

While waiting for the flights, Nick & Starr and Ken & Tina form a “loose” 2-leg alliance. 

On the American flight, scheduled to arrive first are Mark & Bill , Ken & Tina, Nick & Starr, Terence & Sarah, Aja & Ty, and Kelly & Christy.  On the United flight, scheduled to arrive 3 hours after the first are Ton & Dallas, Andrew & Dan, Anita & Arthur, Marisa & Brooke, and Anthony & Stephanie. 

The first flight is delayed an hour and a half, but still arrive first.  

Once in Salvador, teams make their way to O Rei Do Pernil a sandwich shop where they will find their next clue. 

The clue tells them to become a barista “old school style” by wheeling a local vending cart through the streets and delivering it to Indio at the plaza, Praca da Se, where they will get their next clue. 

The teams navigate the cobbled streets of Salvador with their cart and take the always cool funicular up to the plaza.

Terence & Sarah get there first and are given their next clue telling them to make their way to a nearby military base where they must sign up for one of three departure times for the next morning.  They will also spend the night under mosquito nests at the base.

Meanwhile, the 2nd flight has finally arrived and the teams make their way to the sandwich shop.

After all the teams make it to the military base, they spend the night socializing.  Divorcée Kelly voices her attraction to shirtless and “well built” Dallas while Terence is annoyed and frustrated by Sarah talking to the other teams instead of “holding” him.

The next morning, the teams depart according to their time for a church in the historic center of Salvador, Pelourinho. 
There, they find their first Detour: Hard Way Up or Soft Way Down.

In Hard Way Up, teams have to climb up a stone staircase called Escadaria Do Passo leading up to the front of the church using only their hands and knees, making a traditional spiritual pledge as the locals do.  Once at the top, a samba drum leader will ask them a question.  If answered correctly, they get the next clue.  If not, they must go around the church back down and repeat the task.

In Soft Way Down, teams make their way to an outdoor elevator called Elevador Lacerda then climb down a cargo net to the street, 240 feet below.

All the teams except Andrew & Dan choose Soft Way Down.  Team Superbad climb up the stairs, knowing they’d be asked a question, but not knowing it would be “How many steps did you just climb?”  They run all the way back down and do the task again.

Nick & Starr finish the Detour first and get the next clue telling them to make their way to the Pit Stop, Forte Sao Marcelo, a floating battlement that once defended the city from pirates.  Ken & Tina follow, take a cab, but realize they just had to run to the boat that would take them to the Pit Stop.

Nick & Starr win the leg and a trip for 2 to Belize.  (What, no $20,000?)  Ken & Tina are a close 2nd.  Terence & Sarah are 3rd.

Mark & Bill are 4th, Kelly & Christy are 5th, Toni & Dallas are 6th, Andrew & Dan are 7th, Aja & Ty are 8th, Anthony & Stephanie are 9th, Marisa & Brooke 10th and our first eliminated team, the married beekeepers Anita & Arthur.

Every time I see Phil being zoomed in on standing on a rooftop, I know it’s time to get excited.  And after an almost 8 month wait since TAR12, this week’s premiere was definitely a welcome sight.

Fresh off of their 6th straight, and well deserved Emmy win, The Amazing Race is definitely back and promises to be better than ever.  Now while I admit the premiere wasn’t the most exciting episode ever, any Amazing Race leg still gets the adrenaline pumping. 

First, I have to congratulate the show on the Emmy.  I will defend the show to the ends of the earth when trying to justify its Emmy dominance.  While Project: Runway, Top Chef and the inexplicably snubbed Survivor are worthy nominees, none, save for the very best of Survivor could ever be seen as superior to a series that takes ordinary Americans on an adventure around the world.  The sheer scope of the production alone is enough to score the show extra points over its Emmy competitors, but add the diverse mix of teams, the comedy, drama, tension, excitement that comes with them and the challenges and tasks plus throw in the breathtaking destinations and you’ve got an unbeatable television force.  

I would hope that Betram and Co. never decide to pull themselves out of the Emmy race just to give other shows a chance.  If they lose, they lose, but it’ll be up to the voters.  The team believes in the quality of their show.  And when TAR is written off by many, the Emmys are just one way to validate the hard work that is put in the Race.

Anyway… this should be an interesting Race.  CBS actually released the entire route map a few days ago.  And I couldn’t avoid it, so I saw the entire race course, though I’m sure we’ll be in for a few surprises along the way.   

The teams are all okay so far.  No one team has stood out yet, save for Terence & Sarah. 
I was disappointed that there were no animals this leg, but the little truck carts came close. 

Seeing how amazing Survivor looked in HD, I can’t wait for high definition to be feasible for TAR.  How amazing would the show look in HD?  (And I don’t even have an HD set yet!)

So it is great having the show back after the long wait.  And with TAR14 on the way at midseason, knowing we’ll get 2 TARs in one season, as we should, makes me just giddy with excitement.


         LEG ONE

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Sao Paulo
Rio de Janeiro

O Rei Do Pernil, Santiago, Brazil
Praça de Se, Santiago, Brazil
Military Base, Santiago, Brazil

Pelourinho, Santiago, Brazil
Escadaria del Paso, Santiago, Brazil
Elevador Lacerda, Santiago, Brazil

Forte São Marcelo
Santiago, Brazil

Military Base, Santiago, Brazil
Terence & Sarah 9:00am
Nick & Starr 9:00am
Mark & Bill 9:00am
Ken & Tina 9:00am
Kelly & Christy 9:30am
Aja & Ty 9:30am
Andrew & Dan 9:30am
Toni & Dallas 9:45am
Anita & Arthur 9:45am
Marisa & Brooke 9:45am
Anthony & Stephanie 9:45am



No Road Block This Week

(in order of my rankings for the week, which isn’t much considering we saw very little on the teams this premiere)
Toni & Dallas Toni & Dallas – It is always great to see a parent/child team on the Race, and it seems like these two are going to have fun.  It will also be interesting to see how Mom reacts if Dallas makes a love connection on the Race.  Race-wise, they haven’t made any moves yet, but it’s only the first leg.
Nick & Starr Nick & Starr seem to be a mix of the aw shucks-ness of TAR2’s Blake & Paige and the intensity of TAR12’s Azaria & Hendekia.  They raced very well, but peaking too early seemed to do in Azaria & Hendekia last season.  Alliances never seem to be the best thing on TAR, so we’ll have to wait and see how their alliance with “Mom and Dad” work out. 
Mark & Bill Mark & Bill – They definitely raced well enough.  Professional gaming could come in handy for these two, and I was pleasantly surprised that they were able to keep up with the other teams.
Anita & Arthur Anita & Arthur didn’t get a chance to show their personalities, which I’m sure would be tons more interesting than other “hippies” of the past.  Race-wise though, they almost seemed like they were walking through the whole leg, no sense of urgency much from them, but they were happy for the experience, and it is sad we couldn’t have seen more from them.
Aja & Ty Aja & Ty could be a good team, but you already see some differences between them that could hurt them later on.  For example, Ty wouldn’t listen to Aja at the airport.  We’ll see how far they go.
Kelly & Christy
Marisa & Brooke
Kelly & Christy, the divorcees.  They could do well also, they seem like they have the potential to be a strong team.  Same goes for Marisa & Brooke, the “southern belles” (what a title, yeah?).  Nothing much from either team this leg though.
Ken & Tina Ken & Tina don’t seem to be a team that you can easily push aside.  They fought hard this leg, and did very well.  Their alliance with Nick & Starr could help them more than they could help the siblings.
Anthony & Stephanie Anthony & Stephanie were a little invisible this leg as well.  Nothing much Race-wise or personality wise, so we’ll have to wait and see how they do.
Andrew & Dan Andrew & Dan, Team Superbad.  Definitely not the same kind of frat boys we’ve had in the past, but still the typical “frat boy” in its most stereotypical sense.  (Come on, the original frats, Eric & Jeremy… neither team had intro videos of them scoping out the ladies by the pool.)  Technically they didn’t make any big mistakes, so they could do okay.
Terence & Sarah Terence & Sarah – Well, definitely not what I expected from their pre-Race videos.  I don’t even know if I could compare them to a previous team.  Maybe a mix of TAR10’s Peter & Sarah, maybe a little TAR5 Colin & Christie… I don’t know.  They had immediate dislike for the sibling/parent alliance, he had immediate dislike for his partner’s socializing… if you had to bet on which team is going to provide drama this season, it’s them.
Quotes from Episode 13-01
Dan: “The United flight could be even more delayed.  I’m just trying to balance it out.  That’s the reality of the airline industry.  I’ve worked in it.”
Nick: “He hasn’t worked in customer relations.”

Terence: “I need english.  I love you dearly, but you keep saying things I don’t know.”

Tina: “Yikey schnikeies.”

Anita: “Bees are much calmer than this!”

Terence: “Sarah was talking to the other teams.  And here I am, I want you to hold me, I want you to connect with me, yet she was engaged with them.  And that was very frustrating for me.”  

Terence: “This is not a popularity game.  Sarah wants people to like her and be friends with her… I could care less if nobody speaks to me, I don’t want to have friends.”

Kelly: “We’re spiderwomen!”
Christy: “We are spiderwomen.”

Brooke: “I can’t even enjoy the view ‘cause I’m about to pee in my pants.”


250+ episode screencaps now at Photobucket: xangatheamazingracecaps

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