Recap: The Amazing Race 1, Episode 7 – Triumph and Loss
Original Airdate: Wednesday, October 24, 2001
Phil informs us that during the mandatory 12-hour rest period where teams can eat, sleep and mingle with the other teams, the “controversy” over Team Guido’s behavior remains on everyone’s minds. During dinner, Joe & Bill eat separately from everyone else.
Phil adds that “the competition has gotten ugly” and by the end of this Leg, only five teams will remain.
Frank & Margarita begin the Leg at 3:30am and immediately learn of the Detour: Glide or Ride. Regardless of which Detour teams choose, teams will end up at a train station in Ferrara. In Glide, teams will be taken directly to the train station in a free taxi after one team member takes a flight in a glider which is towed into the air and then released to fly on its own. However, there is only one glider, so it is first come, first served. In Ride, teams will have to find their own way to the train station using a bike and map. It is a shorter distance and there are enough bikes for everyone.
Frank & Margarita decide to go for the Fast Forward in which they have to find a castle in Ferrara using only a provided photo. To claim the Fast Forward award, they must hop in a boat on a moat.
Joe & Bill depart at 4:01am, followed by Rob & Brennan at 4:13am. Kevin & Drew begin at 4:36am with Nancy & Emily at 4:59am and Lenny & Karyn at 5am.
Rob & Brennan decide to go to the glider and find they are the first in line. Kevin & Drew decide to wait here with their friends instead of wait miserably at the bike shop with Joe & Bill.
Nancy & Emily debate whether to enjoy the glider, which is something they likely would never get another chance to do, or try to “hang in there” and go for the bikes. They ultimately choose the bikes which Lenny & Karyn have also chosen.
At 7:30am, Frank & Margarita are able to enter the castle and hop in the boat on the moat to find the clue in the wall. They can now make their way directly to the Pit Stop in Agra, India.
At 9am, teams at both Detours begin their respective tasks. Brennan chooses to go in the glider with Rob in the regular plane as the other three teams start biking through town.
Joe & Bill end up arriving at the train station first and open the clue telling teams to make their way to the Red Fort in Delhi, India. With no international airport in the immediate area, teams will first need to head to one in Rome or Milan.
Rob & Brennan catch up to Joe & Bill for the train to Rome. Nancy & Emily and Lenny & Karyn get to the train station next with Kevin & Drew in last. Though Nancy & Emily and Lenny & Karyn are eager to get to Rome, Kevin & Drew decide to check if there are any available flights out of the closer Milan airport. They manage to find tickets on a flight leaving at 7pm tonight via Copenhagen for all of them.
The train to Milan, however, is just pulling into the station. Kevin tells Karyn they need to make a scene on the platform so as to delay the train while he finishes up the bookings.
Nancy waits with Kevin at the phonebooth while Drew, Karyn and Emily do all they can to stall. And it works as they get the tickets and catch the next train.
Meanwhile, Frank & Margarita have arrived in New Delhi and take a taxi to the Taj Khema Hotel, the Pit Stop for this Leg of the Race. They officially check-in as Team #1.
Over in Copenhagen, all five remaining teams end up getting on the same flight to New Delhi. Upon arrival, teams scramble for taxis and hurry over to the Red Fort while enjoying the various sights, sounds and smells along the way.
At the Red Fort, teams find the Road Block: For a person with a good sense of direction. For this Road Block, teams must hire a rickshaw and find shopkeeper Ashef Sadev in Chandni Chowk market with a provided address. But that is a challenge in the congested streets.
Joe, Karyn, Rob, Kevin and Nancy perform the Road Block.
Once they find Ashef Sadev, he will show them a replica of the Taj Mahal and teams will have to figure out the Pit Stop is adjacent to the iconic landmark at the Taj Khema Hotel.
Karyn gets back to the Red Fort first and she and Lenny hop in a taxi. But nobody seems to know where the Taj Khema Hotel is. Joe & Bill and Kevin & Drew reunite next with Rob & Brennan close behind and Nancy & Emily in last.
Nancy is already crying and upset that they could be eliminated. A huge crowd of people hovers around the taxi. Emily grows incredibly frustrated and starts yelling at the “stupid” locals and grabs their driver’s collar. Nancy gets even more upset by hearing Emily’s cursing.
All the teams are struggling to find the Pit Stop location and are also frustrated with the locals who are of no help whatsoever. That then turns into frustration with each other, especially for Lenny and Karyn.
Joe & Bill get to the Mat and officially check-in as Team #2.
The sun has set in India and Rob & Brennan finish as Team #3. Kevin & Drew take 4th.
It comes down to the final two teams. And it is Nancy & Emily who survive as Team #5.
That means Lenny & Karyn are last. After Lenny vomits by the taxi, they head to the Mat where Phil confirms they are eliminated. Karyn admits that this Race has taken a toll on them as a team. They have discovered they are total opposites and think their relationship will just not work anymore.
The momentum from last week definitely carried over into this week. And add in the usual TV gold that is an India Leg and these teams? You’ve got a perfect recipe for a fun episode.
The fact that they started this episode with even more emotional, angry confessionals is crazy! The #AirportIncident lived on, at least for the start of this episode. Seeing the teams even more upset this week is kinda funny. But it’s the kind of fun drama that you definitely don’t see anymore on TAR.
Now, I will definitely whine about the Leg design where this episode almost felt like two different Legs in one. Of course, this Leg structure is typical of early TAR. Having two halves of a Leg in completely different countries. Very cool for TAR to flex such travel back then. Not so much today.
Anyway, the Detour was actually pretty exciting. At least, the editing helped to make it so. All the teams were Racing at the same time. Neck and neck. And considering we haven’t really seen that too much this Race, it helped to add to the excitement here. The glider was actually a fun task. And the choice between that and bike is a good example of the “pros and cons” of Detours. The wonderful, picturesque scenery of provincial Italy was also great.
The excitement didn’t stop there though. The scramble for the train and flight and the decision whether to go to Rome and Milan was almost as exciting as the Detour choice. A great example of TAR’s actually amazing editing in the early days. Maybe even the first bit of excellent editing this season.
Of course, it is not always fun to have the Leg decided on only one task like the Road Block here and then a taxi ride. But the culture shock for teams is the first of its kind. It would be so commonplace for TAR to have teams be shocked by the poverty around the world. But this, again, was the first time probably most American audiences got to see a poor, urban Asian city on TV.
So while there was definitely some ugly American behavior during this entire sequence of events, it was an eye-opening moment in 2001. Just a fascinating study of how far (or how little) we’ve come since then.
It was so strange to see the teams try to figure out the hotel location while in the market instead or hurrying back to their partners though. Like, that probably wasted so much time. And was completely unnecessary from a Race perspective. But it did add to the television perspective of chaos in the streets.
This probably would’ve been a better Non-Elimination location (with an earlier Non-Elim placed before it to still have six teams), but that’s alright.
Overall, the Leg was okay. But again the teams delivered to make the episode actually exciting and interesting to watch. Even more fascinating to watch with a 2021 lens.
My Subjective Team Rankings
I don’t even know how to rank the teams this week. I think they’re all on equal footing as each team contributed to the episode’s excitement. Frank & Margarita are probably at the bottom only because we didn’t see them for most of the episode. But I definitely did not remember their great language skills. That’s actually pretty awesome. Especially when they just randomly start speaking French or Italian. Unlike Joe & Bill who brag about their world travels every episode. lol
The most interesting team though this week was Lenny & Karyn. I don’t know, but I remember Lenny & Karyn having such an explosive relationship. But honestly, they are pretty tame. Perhaps it’s from a 2001 lens that I remember them. Because I was surprised they would be eliminated now without the supposedly huge blowups I somehow remembered in my head. Honestly, there have been far more volatile and abusive (physically and emotionally) couples on the Race since them. But I guess back in 2001, it was shocking to have a couple break up after Racing around the world.
I definitely cringed when Nancy & Emily were frustrated with the locals after the Road Block. Definitely the kind of ugly American behavior you hate to see. Though more on Emily’s part than Nancy’s. Nancy’s defeatist attitude was also sad to watch.
Rob & Brennan, Kevin & Drew and Joe & Bill experienced some bumps on this Leg. But they probably Raced the best out of all the teams. Not letting the culture shock truly affect their Racing.
Rob: “Somebody treats a woman like that, they get their ass kicked.”
Phil: “The competition has gotten ugly.”
Joe: “A glider ride is a helluva lot more sexy and fun.”
Karyn: “Who are you?! We can’t take you.”
Drew: “Kids coming up and they had this stare in their eyes… like they’re looking right through you into your soul.”
Emily: “Where’s our damn driver?!”