It’s been a good week for CBS reality fans. First Survivor starts off season 18 with new twists and fascinating new players, and now we have the fourteenth season of The Amazing Race tonight. Phil Keoghan kicked it off on Friday with yet another hilarious appearance on Bonnie Hunt, and it only let me bright-eyed, waiting for tonight’s debut of this new season.
All eleven teams meet with Phil at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, California, being transported there via helicopter. Our teams are:
Christie and Jodi, friends, flight attendants. They feel they have a lot of travel tips and insider information that others might not be aware of. They also think they can get away with murder in foreign countries because of being blonde.
Tammy and Victor, siblings and lawyers. They both went to Harvard Law School, although a decade apart. He’s used to her being the 3-year-old running around the house looking for attention, and she’d love to get to the point of him feeling like he can rely on her.
Margie and Luke, mother and deaf son. He’s totally deaf and doesn’t read lips, so she’s his link to hearing people on the Race. She thinks their advantage is that they can communicate with sign language, and no one will know what they’re saying. He wants to do this to show everyone deaf people can do it.
Linda and Steve, married. They think they’ll be known as the Hicks From the Sticks. That’s good and hopefully all true, according to them.
Kisha and Jen, sisters and former college athletes. It will be the first time they will both be on the same team, heavily relying on each other, so will have to deal with each other’s issues. Note this: they’re very sweet, but Kisha has an annoying laugh, second only to Tatiana Del Toro on American Idol.
Preston and Jennifer, dating. Their relationship is a constant battle for control, and while she says she longs to be in charge, he says when he’s in charge everything goes correctly, which she states simply isn’t true. Whew! This one’s going to get interesting!
Brad and Victoria, married. She calls them “The Bad Ass Older Couple.” Being that she’s only three years older than me, I just want to say “older couple?” I’m now depressed. They’re active and work out regularly and think they’re on a level playing field, even though they’re older.
Mel and Mike, father and son, writers. They’re both gay, and Mike says it’s an advantage being gay and having a gay dad, as he doesn’t have to worry about disappointing him, as he beat him to the punch.
Amanda and Kris, dating. They’re together all the time and are practically attached at the hip, according to her. He knows 110% he wants to be with her and no one else. This one has trouble written all over it.
Mark and Michael, brothers and stuntmen. They’re in a small niche, as they stunt double children in film and television. They have a lot to bring to the table and believe good things come in small packages. Mark is also a jockey, making me wonder if he also thought about being on Jockeys on Animal Planet.
Jaime and Cara, former NFL cheerleaders. Jaime notes that oftentimes women who are aggressive and assertive are viewed as a bitch or villain, and while she doesn’t think it’s fair, she also doesn’t give a crap. We’ll see about that.
Phil welcomes everyone, and as he speaks, Margie is signing to Luke. The first clue is waiting on top of their luggage, and when he gives the word, they will run to their bags and take off in the marked cars. He sends them off with a “Travel safe,” then a “Go.” Is the Travel Safe wish new?
The clue has the teams flying to Switzerland on one of two flights, Lufthansa or Air France. Lufthansa connects in Zurich, and Air France in Milan. Either way, they’ll need to travel by train after that to Locarno, Switzerland. Cara says “It’s on like Donkey Kong.” Luke is just as excited, signing, “We’re on The Amazing Race.“
Tammy and Victor are the first ones to LAX. Victor wants to try the Lufthansa flight first as it leaves first, and a group containing Mel and Mike, Preston and Jennifer, and Amanda and Kris, decide do Air France as Milan seems closer to Locarno. On the Lufthansa flight, it ends up being Tammy and Victor, along with Christie and Jodi, Jaime and Cara, Mark and Michael, Brad and Victoria, and Margie and Luke. Luke is worried his mom might be far behind him during the Race and wants to be sure he stays with her. She laughs that he thinks she’s the old, slow person. Enough with the old comments; she’s only six years older than I am.
The other flight carries Kisha and Jen, saying they got news this flight is a lot shorter, Mel and Mike, with Mel thinking they’ll surprise people as he’s been doing pushups and sit-ups til the cows come home. Mike knows some people might think his dad is Cloris Leachman, but he’s really McGyver. Or is he McGruber? Also on the flight, Amanda and Kris, Preston and Jennifer, and Steve and Linda. They say they come from a small town and have done limited traveling, but nothing like what they’re about to do. They’re nervous to leave the States, and he refers to that as a major hurdle.
The Lufthansa flight teams will connect with their train via the station in the airport. The teams on the Air France flight have to walk a ways to find their station, and Preston and Jennifer struggle a little to find it, saying they don’t think they’re in the right place, and she admits she’s never been in a train station. Do they not have trains in North Carolina? They miss the train.
Everyone is awed by the sights out their train windows, and Mark and Michael stick their heads out the window like dogs. Brad seems to get choked up to be in the Swiss Alps. Tammy and Victor don’t want to be in the last group with Margie and Luke, as their communication with each other is amazing, and they see him as just as capable as anyone else there. Luke is only hoping for the other flight to have been cancelled.