Recap: The Amazing Race 25, Episode 1 – “Go Big or Go Home”
The milestone silver season of The Amazing Race begins with Phil standing at the first Starting Line, Bethesda Fountain. But this 25th season wlll be starting at 3am in Times Square in New York City.
The teams each arrive in their own taxi to the cheers of TAR fans. The 11 teams are:
Adam & Bethany; she lost her arm to a shark at age 13. Adam is her boyfriend.
Amy & Maya, food scientists from Wisconsin.
Dennis & Isabelle, dating accountant and model from California. He’s Cambodian and she’s Vietnamese.
Brooke & Robbie, dating wrestlers.
Keith & Whitney, engaged Survivor alums from Nashville.
Kym & Alli, competitive street cyclists from New York.
Lisa & Michelle, top realtor sisters from Miami.
Michael & Scott, Boston firefighters.
Tim & Te Jay, college sweethearts fom Pasadena.
Shelley & Nici, mother and daughter flight attendants from Michigan.
Misti & Jim, married dentists from South Carolina.
The fans cheer even louder as Phil welcomes the teams to the Starting Line. including some TAR alums like Frank, Terrence and Dan.
Phil tells the teams about The Save which the winners of this First Leg will win. The holders of The Save can hand it over if ever they arrive last in a Leg and are in danger of elimination. They can use it until the end of the 9th Leg.
“The world is waiting for you. Good luck, travel safe…” Phil tells the teams to Go! and they run up the stairs to the clues on their bags.
Teams must now make their way to the Finish Line of season 1. They hurry back down and towards the crowd where Frank tells them the Finish Line was at the Globe at Flushing Meadows Park.
Adam & Bethany arrive at the cluebox first and open the clue telling them to fly to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. There are only seats for five seats on the first American Airlines flight and six seats on the 2nd Delta Airlines flight.
Adam & Bethany just stand around near the American Airlines counters. That allows Tim & Te Jay to arrive at the check-in counter first. When Adam & Bethany see Dennis & Isabelle run by, they hurry over and still manage to make the first flight along with Kym & Alli and Misti & Jim.
Keith & Whitney, Shelley & Nici, Brooke & Robbie, Michael & Scot and Lisa & Michelle are on the Delta flight.
Once in St. Thomas, teams must make their way to Vendor’s Plaza to sign up for a seaplane flight to Lovango Cay.
Adam & Bethany and Tim & Te Jay get on the first seaplane flight. Kym & Alli and Misti & Jim are on the 2nd seaplane with Dennis & Isabelle alone on the 3rd.
The 2nd flight arrives and several teams share a taxi on their way to Vendor’s Plaza. Keith & Whitney and Shelley & Nici sign-up for the 4th flight and Amy & Maya get on the 5th. But things get physical for the 2nd spot on that 5th seaplane.
Michael & Scott say they already had the pen they needed to use to sign-up, but Lisa & Michelle grabbed it from them to secure that 5th seaplane spot. The firefighters end up on the last flight with Brooke & Robbie.
The first seaplane arrives in Lovango Cay. Tim & Te Jay say hi to Phil who is walking past them ready to describe their first task.
Teams must cross Carvel Rock and leap two stories into the sea where they will find their next clue floating in the ocean.
Tim & Te Jay maintain first place and must now speed off to Blackbeard’s Revenge. They climb onto the ship to receive the next clue telling them to paddle themselves to shore.
And there, they find the first Road Block.
For this Road Block, teams must each choose a unique set of coordinates that will lead them to their clue inside a buried treasure chest. They are provided one of four starting landmarks, a liquid-based compass and a shovel that is exactly one yard to help them find where to dig.
Tim and Adam do the Road Block. Tim starts digging at the first marking, but Adam starts doing measurements, though he’s not sure how to read the compass.
Kym & Alli and Misti & Jim arrive.
Jim uses his watch compass to figure out how this strange provided compass works and sees that the direction pointing toward him is the direction he is facing. Adam is with him when he figures it out. When Tim comes over to ask Jim how to use the compass, Jim doesn’t mind telling him.
Jim says it’s okay to help since he quickly finds the treasure chest first and the gold plated clue telling them to head to the Pit Stop at Fort Christian. Misti & Jim speed off in the boat and then a taxi and arrive at the Mat where Phil compliments their white teeth before awarding them The Save.
All teams are at the Road Block. Robbie asks Shelley for help on how to read the compass. Lisa thinks the sun rises in the west.
Tim finally finds the treasure chest and he and Te Jay are off. Robbie, who arrived last, finds the treasure chest next and he and Brooke leave in 3rd. The other teams quickly follow.
Tim & Te Jay officially check-in as Team #2. Kym & Alli are 3rd and Brooke & Robbie are 4th. Adam comes in carrying the treasure chest and he and Bethany are Team #5. Amy & Maya are 6th, Dennis & Isabelle are 7th and Shelley & Nici are 8th.
It is now nighttime. The last three teams still can’t find their clues.
It’s been 3 hours and 42 minutes.
Lisa, Michael and Keith are actually digging just meters away from each of the actual location of the chest.
Keith & Whitney decide to take the penalty, they convince Lisa & Michelle to also take it and they go to Michael & Scott and they all agree to take the penalty together.
Four hours later, it is a mad dash to the taxis. The Firefighters block Lisa & Michelle from taking the taxi. But Lisa & Michelle are sure they can beat the Firefighters in a foot race.
At the Pit Stop, Keith & Whitney step on the Mat in 9th, Michael & Scott take 10th. And that means Lisa & Michelle are in last and eliminated.
Yes! We can officially start to erase TAR24 from our minds! Thank you Season 25.
Now this was actually just a pretty standard Leg. Very linear, unfortunately. Even if the Road Block was very tricky (and one of the more creative ones they’ve done in a while) and Robbie jumped up to 3rd after arriving last, the rest of the Leg was just a procession of tasks, especially with the seaplanes and then walking across the big rock and speeding off to the ship.
I enjoyed it sure, but I was still underwhelmed, maybe because of watching a summer of both TAR Canada and TAR Australia, at the same time for the first time ever. Both of those premieres were much more exciting and full.
#RaceCDA had medical emergencies, teams thrown into a flooded submarine and BOTH a skydive and zipline. TARAu had sheeps and rapids and people getting lost.
And while the U.S. Virgin Islands looked absolutely stunning, there’s still just something different with how Canada and Australia film that really adds so much to the show. Even the drone shots in TAR Philippines’ now-deleted trailer looked a little more “amazing.”
It’s going to take a little getting used to those #hashtag #teamrelationships and #titles.
HELLO FULL OPENING CREDITS SEQUENCE AND THEME SONG! Please don’t leave next week.
I definitely did like Phil actually on the Race course as teams ran by him. That was very creative. There were also a lot more little moments of comedy and fun than usual.
And the trolling Blackbeard laugh and treasure chest graphic was a nice touch at the end.
Never a fan of quitting though.
Overall, it was a good premiere, but still left me underwhelmed. Also, this is the 25th season. I expect something more than just an awesome clip from the very first episode or inviting fans to the Starting Line, which was definitely nice including the brand new music, but still…
My Subjective Team Rankings
I am liking Tim & Te Jay the most so far right now. They were fun, but also did very well in the (linear) Leg and show a great potential to do even better. I really want to root for Dennis & Isabelle. Their pre-show intro was maybe my favorite one and we got to see a lot of them this episode, actually proving a lot of quotable quotes. Being TAR fans is definitely bonus points for them in my book.
Adam & Bethany were surprisingly under the radar considering how much of the pre-show hype they’ve been getting in the promos. Brooke & Robbie can be the next Lori & Bolo and I’d be happy. I don’t expect frozen implants, but I want to see them be a fun team. Kudos to Robbie for being able to quickly move ahead at the Road Block.
Amy & Maya were almost invisible this episode. I wish we saw more of them though. They seem like a big underdog or at least, under the radar kind of team who could surprise. Shelley & Nici have nice potential too. It was great to see Shelley know how to use the compass, but it sucked when it didn’t help her get ahead much. I would love to root for a nice parent-child team after TAR24’s debacle.
Misti & Jim are okay so far, but I kinda hope their wish of being the most dominant team ever to run the Race does not come true. We’ve had one Rachel & Dave, I don’t really want to see another one. (Though they could totally be a Natalie & Meaghan, but I doubt it.)
Kym & Alli seem like they could be fierce competitors. With Lisa & Michelle gone, I could easily see them slip into the “cutthroat ladies” position (sorry, I’m avoiding using a word that might offend hehe) and that could definitely be fun and interesting to watch. They don’t mind appreciating a competing team’s boyfriend’s hot body either, so that adds a to their personality. (lol) Did you see them give Misti & Jim bunny ears in the sea plane? I want more of that!
Maybe it’s because they remind me too much of Art & JJ (lol), Michael & Scott are just a meh team to me right now. I do like them being more aggressive on the way to the Pit Stop (after quitting, ugh) without being jerks. I haven’t regularly watched Survivor in years, so I have no idea who Keith & Whitney are. But they definitely didn’t show much in this first episode. Quitting is a big no-no.
Lisa & Michelle maybe went too hard, too fast and then had nothing to back it up in the end. It is hilarious though seeing them absolutely shocked at Michael & Scott’s actions after getting involved in that physical sign-up at the seaplanes.
Isabelle: “We’re ready to get wet.”
Dennis: “I wanted to throw up, but I didn’t eat anything.”
Isabelle: “Ow, my stupid butt hurts.”
Tim: “The salt is burning my lips.”
Whitney: “I peed, I peed a lot.”
Over 430 HD Episode Caps from this episode are now available at
Recaps are nice, but watching the episode yourself is even better! Miss it or want to watch it again?
Watch it for free at CBS.com.
Or download episodes to keep at