Recap: The Amazing Race 1, Episode 3 – Home For Some
Original Airdate: Wednesday, September 26, 2001
The 3rd Leg begins with teams being told to find “La Grande Roue” aka “The Big Wheel,” a Ferris wheel that closes at 12:30am.
Pat & Brenda depart at 9:06pm, initially not wanting to even attempt to find the first Route Marker since it’s so late. Joe & Bill depart at 11:38pm, Rob & Brennan at 12:11am and Frank & Margarita at 12:18am.
Pat & Brenda arrive at the Ferris wheel and open the next clue revealing the Detour: Tough Climb or Easy Walk. In Tough Climb, teams must walk up 297 steps to ring Quasimodo’s bell atop Notre Dame. In Easy Walk, teams must find the statue of a cat sitting beside Foucault’s pendulum. However, there are two Foucault pendulums in Paris. One at the Museum of Arts and Crafts and the other, the one they want, is at the Pantheon.
Both Detour locations open at 10am so the four teams have the rest of the night and morning to figure things out.
Kevin & Drew depart at 12:27am and consider the Fast Forward, but initially decide against it. They head to the Ferris wheel, but it is now closed and will open at 9am. Drew is upset and says they definitely have to go for the Fast Forward now because he doesn’t want to be 12 hours behind the lead pack.
For this Fast Forward, teams must find an obscure tea shop called Mariage Freres and ask for the tea “L’aventurier” to win the award.
Paul & Amie depart at 2:18am with Nancy & Emily departing at 2:23am. Meanwhile, Phil informs us that Dave & Margaretta did not complete the Road Block in the last Leg. They had passed the Route Marker at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and instead went directly up to the observation floor where they learned of the Pit Stop location from Paul. Though they could have easily fulfilled the Road Block requirement by merely having one team member walk back up and back down, Dave & Margaretta have instead been issued a penalty and have fallen to 8th place. They are departing now at 2:46am.
Last place Lenny & Karyn depart at 3:03am.
Kevin & Drew arrive at the tea shop and sleep at the door. Paul & Amie, Lenny & Karyn and Dave & Margaretta decide to sleep by the Ferris wheel. But it starts to rain. Nancy & Emily decide to go to a hotel. Joe & Bill enjoy a cup of tea at one of their old haunts.
Frank & Margarita and Rob & Brennan arrive at the Pantheon. And though they believe Joe & Bill will also come here, they think the others would never exert the effort and will go to the more well-known Notre Dame instead.
Pat & Brenda, who have chosen Easy Find also, go to the incorrect Museum of Arts and Crafts.
It is 9am and the trailing teams head into the Ferris wheel to grab the next clue. They all choose Notre Dame.
The tea shop opens for Kevin & Drew and they walk in to grab the Fast Forward out of a tea tin. They can now head to the Pit Stop by train in Les Baux in Southern France.
Meanwhile in Paris, the other teams await 10am. At the Pantheon, Joe & Bill arrive much to the annoyance of Rob & Brennan and Frank & Margarita. They all agree to walk into the Pantheon in the order they originally arrived. But as Rob & Brennan and Frank & Margarita walk the wrong way inside, Joe & Bill are pointed to the clue by the lady at the door so they move into first. Yet another thing to annoy the other two teams with. Team Guido don’t think they did anything wrong.
Pat & Brenda are walking around the museum and are told they are in the wrong place. They drop to last place as they have to make their way over to the Pantheon.
Over at Notre Dame, the teams run up the stairs together and each ring the bell. All teams must now find a man in a blue suit waiting across from the Hotel de Ville.
Joe & Bill think none of the other teams would ever be able to make their way around Paris better than them. But Notre Dame teams Paul & Amie, Lenny & Karyn, Nancy & Emily plus Frank & Margarita arrive at the blue suit man first and open the next clue revealing a Road Block.
For this Road Block, teams must navigate themselves through the Paris sewers and its steaming raw sewage to find the Place du Châtelet. All teams are bunched up. Paul, Karyn, Emily, Frank, Brennan, Dave and Joe perform the Road Block. Pat & Brenda are firmly in last place.
Teams can now make their way to the Pit Stop at Château des Baux by train.
At the station, Joe & Bill notice Nancy & Emily, Lenny & Karyn and Paul & Amie are standing around unsure what to do. So the Guidos decide to help them with the understanding that they will get something in return down the line. But on the way to the train, everyone else walks the wrong way on the platform and Joe & Bill do not call after them.
The three teams are upset that Joe & Bill would act like that and think their help is so valuable, yet willingly allow them to almost get on the wrong train.
All the teams except Dave & Margaretta and Pat & Brenda make this train to Les Baux-de-Provence.
Already there are Kevin & Drew who get checked in as Team #1 by the mayor.
Phil explains that there are two possible ways to get to Les Baux. “Tourists” take the train to Marseilles and take a taxi to Les Baux. But “locals” save an hour of travel time by getting off at Avignon and taking a taxi from there.
That is exactly what Joe & Bill, Frank & Margarita and Rob & Brennan do. Seeing them get off, the other teams are confused and unsure what to do, but ultimately stay on the train. Dave & Margaretta, on the second train from Paris, also get off at Avignon.
To get to the Pit Stop, teams must hike half a mile up the hill. Frank & Margarita end up checking in 2nd followed by Rob & Brennan and Joe & Bill as Teams 3 and 4. Dave & Margaretta check-in as Team #5.
The “Underdogs” Paul & Amie, Lenny & Karyn and Nancy & Emily check-in as Teams 6 through 8.
That means Pat & Brenda are last and eliminated after dark.
Let’s get our weekly refrain out of the way: Horrible Leg design! Everything was actually going alright until that final train ride out of Paris. And what’s funny is this Leg apparently inspires the horrible pre-Pit Stop train ride in TAR28. In FRANCE again. What is it with France and poorly designed Legs? TAR1 is excusable, but in TAR28?! No no no. lol
Anyway, the rest of the Leg was actually alright. And as close to post-TAR1 Amazing Race so far. Even though all the tasks were, relatively speaking, so simple and frankly boring.
The most interesting thing was seeing teams not thinking about Hours of Operation. That is, modern day teams know that they’ll likely all be bunched up somewhere. But back in TAR1, teams were very mindful (and afraid) that they could fall behind as much as 12 hours or more because of closed locations.
The Hours of Operation here were probably the best logistical decision so far this season. And I’m not sure TAR actually intended it to be. It just so happened to be the actual hours of operation for each place. Which worked in TAR’s favor.
As for the tasks, none are going to be ones you’ll remember, that’s for sure. Every single task involved merely walking somewhere. Walking into a tea shop, Walking into the Pantheon. Walking up Notre Dame’s stairwell. Walking through the sewers. Walking up the hill to the Pit Stop.
Walking is certainly a physical task of course. But definitely not the kind of task we would expect to see on an entire Leg of TAR for every single Route Marker.
So, once again the teams had to pick up the slack. And they did. Though not as much as Leg 2. It’s interesting to watch the team dynamics. Especially the alliances/non-alliances forming. Thinking about it, alliances probably worked a bit better here because with all the walking, teams helping each other is merely walking together to the next Route Marker. It’s not the kind of alliance nonsense like on TAR32 where you have teams actually doing tasks (non-walking tasks) for other teams.
In that sense, there’s a bit of a strategy and social game aspect here. Especially in this Leg where teams were bunched together and naturally gravitated toward each other.
Not the most exciting Leg. But again, another fascinating look at TAR in a different universe almost.
My Subjective Team Rankings
Not really much to change how I feel about most of the teams this week since all they did was walk around Paris.
I definitely do not remember Dave & Margaretta getting a penalty for not doing the Road Block. I think that would’ve been a good thing to include in the last episode. Would have definitely been more exciting. Though I guess that explains why they were so invisible and just popped up out of nowhere. Happy to see them luck out with good info on getting to Les Baux faster.
I like the “Underdogs.” Nancy & Emily, Paul & Amie and Lenny & Karyn. Threatening to step on the Mat together is kinda cringe in 2021. But would’ve been so sweet back in 2001, I’m sure. lol No fireworks from either couple this week, so that’s a bit of a bummer. But nice to see them working well at least for this Leg.
Rob & Brennan and Frank & Margarita, even now in just Leg 3, already look like Final Leg contenders. No subtlety in editing here. You could see they would become fierce and competitive rivals all the way through. Other than Joe & Bill, you don’t really see any other team come close to rivaling them as the strongest competitors.
It’s too bad Pat & Brenda‘s Race was decided on the Detour. The Detour certainly didn’t seem balanced. And the two possible locations gimmick seems to be a favorite on this first season of TAR.
Joe & Bill being villains definitely took a huge step forward this Leg. Though I don’t think they’re malicious in any way, they definitely leaned in to their sneaky reputation. And paired with a bit of arrogance and otherwise solid Racing, they certainly are a threat. And that will make already suspicious teams even more wary of them.
Kevin & Drew were invisible most of this Leg. And I don’t think the Fast Forward was really necessary here. But it got them to the next Leg. So that’s all that matters for them.
Margaretta: “The only time I feel my age is when I look in the mirror. And it almost does me in!”
Frank: “I just need your brain. I don’t need your emotion.”
Margarita: “The whole thing comes together. You can’t have the brain…”