Recap: The Amazing Race 22, Episode 1 – Business in the Front, Party in the Back
The 22nd Amazing Race begins at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Phil tells the teams that there’ll be TWO Express Passes given to the winner of this first leg; one for the winning team and another to a team of their choice.
Phil says they’ll be heading to a brand new destination where they’ll have a task that’ll take their breath away. And just like that, he tells them the world is waiting, wishes them luck and sees them off.
Teams hop into shiny new Ford Fusions where they learn they will be heading to Bora Bora.
At LAX, teams get buddy-buddy, hoping to make friends that’ll be close enough to want to give them that 2nd Express Pass.
There are two flights, the first one arriving an hour earlier than the 2nd in Bora Bora. Only five teams can take that earlier flight.
Chuck & Wynona excitedly get the first tickets with Pam & Winnie, Idries & Jamil, Dave & Connor, and Jessica & John snatching up the remaining four spots. The rest of the teams have to take other flight.
Before catching their connecting flight in Papeete, Tahiti, the first flight group decide to make a secret alliance, suggested by twins Idries & Jamil, that whoever wins the Express Pass would give the 2nd one to the 2nd place team to avoid any hurt feelings and awkwardness.
The teams move on to Bora Bora and right out of the airport, they find the Road Block.
For this Road Block, teams must first sign up for one of six helicopter flights, each carrying two teams, and then do a tandem skydive. Their partners will take a water taxi and meet them at the landing site.
John and Jamil are on the first flight, Connor and Winnie are on the second and Chuck is alone on the third.
After the skydive, teams must take a water taxi to Eden Beach where they must search for their next clue.
There, they find a second Road Block.
For this Road Block, teams must search for one of 11 clues hidden under 400 sandcastles. If they don’t find a clue under a sandcastle they’ve knocked over, they must rebuild it before moving on.
The teams are struggling (since they’re merely knocking castles over instead of digging under). But before the 2nd flight teams can catch up, Jessica & John manage to move on.
After the sandcastles, teams must assemble a canoe known as a Va’a before paddling and balancing themselves to the next Pit Stop, the Motu Café.
Jessica & John maintain their big lead and step on the Mat first. Phil hands them their Express Passes. Phil says they have until the end of the 4th Leg to gift the 2nd Express Pass.
Back at the other beach, 2nd flighters have caught up. And Bates & Anthony quickly find the clue, frustrating the other teams. The hockey brothers officially check-in 2nd.
All the teams are now at the Road Block and Dave realizes he must not have dug deep enough to find a clue. And he finds a clue. Father and son Dave & Connor head to the Pit Stop and finish 3rd. They expect, that since they’re 2nd out of the secret alliance to finish, they’ll be getting that Express Pass.
Mona & Beth, who arrived last at the Road Block, find the clue next, but Pam & Winnie are right behind them and manage to pass them in the water allowing Pam & Winnie to officially check-in 4th and Mona & Beth to officially finish 5th.
Joey & Meghan step on the Mat in 6th and Chuck & Wynona take 7th. Idries & Jamil finish 8th.
The final three teams feel helpless so they all agree to take the four hour penalty and quit the Road Block, hoping to just head to the next task on equal footing and continue Racing from there.
But it is firefighters Matt & Daniel who get left behind when they struggle with their canoe. Max & Katie and Caroline & Jennifer step on the Mat 9th and 10th with Phil informing them of their four hour penalty being assessed on the next Leg.
That leaves Matt & Daniel in last and eliminated.
Episode Thoughts And here we are with season 22 of The Amazing Race. It was an alright premiere. A pretty simple Leg with not much drama.
There was no Starting Line task, which I thought would be okay when Phil teased a task that would take their breath away, literally. I didn’t expect he was referring to a skydive.
It was a spectacular and gorgeous skydive, but a skydive all the same. The second Road Block was good and something TAR would usually save for a later Leg. But for it to be the highlight of the entire episode?
The quitting that was teased in the commercials and promos for the episode wasn’t all that dramatic. And for me who absolutely hates quitting on The Amazing Race, it didn’t even annoy me. It was definitely not the TAR7, Rob-induced debacle. And the editing didn’t really make the task seem all that difficult or painful. No one collapsed or had a heat stroke or anything. Pretty much the most drama-less quitting TAR’s ever seen.
The double Express Pass is a simple twist. We’ll have to wait and see what kind of fun that brings.
I did kinda enjoy the return of the airport shuttle introductions between teams. It’s been a while since we’ve had those scenes.
A little bummed we didn’t get any of the sprucing up of graphics that I’ve been hoping for since TARAu debuted a snazzy and fresh TAR graphics package. But they did decide to use a panning motion for the team shots in the credits instead of the quick cuts and fades they’ve used in the last couple of years. It’s a start I guess.
And again, Bora Bora looked absolutely amazing, especially in HD. Damn, just crystal clear blue waters and breathtaking views. Definitely one of the most beautiful places TAR has visited.
One interesting thing, the Canadian version of the episode had Caroline & Jennifer singing “Oh My Darling Clementine” in their intro package instead of that song I guess their band sings that was used in the CBS episode. Very interesting, I guess music rights and all that.
STARTING LINE Griffith Observatory Los Angeles, California
CONNECTIONS Papeete, Tahiti
ROAD BLOCKS Motu Piti A’au, Eden Beach Bora Bora
PIT STOP Motu Cafe Bora Bora, French Polynesia
DEPARTURE Griffith Observatory Los Angeles, California
There was no Starting Line Task
In order of completion > or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? Who’s ready to take a giant leap toward a million bucks? In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
1st Jessica & John = 2nd Bates & Anthony = 3rd Dave & Connor = 4th Pam & Winnie = 5th Mona & Beth = 6th Joey & Meghan = 7th Chuck & Wynona = 8th Idries & Jamil = 9th Max & Katie = 10th Caroline & Jennifer = Eliminated Matt & Daniel =
Pamela & Winnie – They definitely seem like the kind of team that could get really feisty and crazy on the Race. Their CBS.com profile interviews are hilarious, so I hope to see that come out on the show. And they Raced well enough this first Leg.
Chuck & Wynonna – They definitely seem like a nice, down to earth couple. A sort of less country David & Mary. They seem like they have big personalities too, so I hope they get to show more of that. If they do, they might become my underdog favorites this season.
David & Connor – A great story (as long as it doesn’t get shoved down our throats all the time, TAR Editors!) and definitely inspiring to see them Race together. I definitely hope they can go far in the Race. We need a good parent-child team to do well.
Mona & Beth – I’m definitely hoping they have even half the entertainment and rootability factor of the immortal Bowling Moms. They might have lucked out at the Road Block, but I would love to see them really step it up and do well.
Max & Katie – I have high hopes for this team. Not because I’m particularly hoping they’ll win, but hoping that they provide some fun to watch drama. That they embrace their villainous and unlikeable characters should be fun if they find adversaries on the Race. Otherwise, they’ll just across as trying too hard?
Caroline & Jennifer – Definitely not a good start for them. All their country singing experience and Daniel Boone genes aren’t going to help if they let their frustrations get the better of them. They definitely need to step it up.
Bates & Anthony – Okay so far. Reminds me of TAR20’s Elliot & Andrew, except less intense and they don’t hang out with an anti-Rachel Reilly clique.
Jessica & John – Here we go. A bland dating couple easily takes the Leg. I hope they either show more personality or not go on some winning streak. TAR doesn’t need that.
Matthew & Daniel – Well, definitely not a good way to start the Race and definitely an even worse way to end the Race. Eliminated on the first Leg after quitting. Ouch.
Joey & Meghan – I find myself wasting so much time on YouTube, but I’ve definitely never heard of them before. And maybe I’m glad I didn’t. Their overly-cutesy shtick is like Korean pop “aegyo” x100. And that’s not a good thing.
Idries & Jamil – They started out alright, but their whining at the Road Block and the possibility of overthinking the competition could hurt them down the line.
Quotes from Episode 22.01
Winnie: “Unless you have a million dollars taped to your body, I’m not touching you.”