The Amazing Race is a tough show to cover the first few weeks as it’s hard to get to know twenty-two contestants all at once. It took me the entire two hours to learn the difference between the two young female racing duos, and still can’t keep straight Ray and Deana and Ron and Kelly. Just like last season, the easiest pair to get to know and identify is the first to leave.
The racers take off from Long Beach, California and need to run to marked cars, then drive to LAX where they will fly on one of two flights to Lima, Peru. Phil Keoghan starts the race, saying, “The world is waiting for you; good luck, travel safe, go!”
Debbie and Bianca, lifelong friends, get a slow start because they can’t figure out how to move the driver’s seat up. Leaving last are Survivor alums, Rob and Amber. He can’t figure out how to open the trunk.
Married couple, Uchenna and Joyce, grew up in California, so feel they have the advantage here, knowing how to get to LAX easily. This is great, but what about the rest of the world you will be traveling through? Retired couple, Gretchen and Meredith are wondering why they aren’t sitting in their easy chairs watching the race.
On-again off-again dating couple, Ray and Deana argue right off the bat about driving. It’s not the first time they will remind us of Jonathon and Victoria from last season. Megan and Heidi, roommates that look like twins, talk about how much they love gay couple, Lynn and Alex, and while doing so, nearly crash. They pull over and switch drivers. This would be why if I was on The Amazing Race I would be in charge of the map.
Rob says he is starving and says they should stop to get something to eat, as unlike Survivor, they have the option. Amber says no, as she wants to lose weight. Rob goes on to say he really wants to win the million, but if he doesn’t, that’s okay as they’ve already done that. Amber just smiles. Same ole Rob; same ole Amber.
Brothers Brian and Greg act gentlemanly letting Megan and Heidi cut in front of them pulling into the airport parking lot, then make a crass comment about their “cute little pink butts.” In the shuttle Megan and Heidi borrow a cell phone to check on the two flight choices.
The next shuttle holds Rob and Amber, and they urge the driver to not wait for Gretchen and Meredith. The bus eventually stops anyway, and when Gretchen confronts Rob and Amber about not letting them on, Rob and Amber deny it. Same ole Romber.
Lynn and Alex, and many of the other teams go back and forth checking which flight is better and has room still on it. Eventually, dating couple Ron and Kelly, the mother/son team of Susan and Patrick, best friends Ryan and Chuck, Debbie and Bianca, Ray and Deana, and Megan and Heidi leave on the first flight. On the second flight are Lynn & Alex, Rob and Amber, Meredith & Gretchen, Brian & Greg, and Uchenna & Joyce. The flights land one-and-a-half hours apart, and after the teams land, they need to find the Plaza de Armas.
Everyone on the first flight catches the same bus to the Plaza. Ron feels like he is in downtown Baghdad again, just returning from the war not too long ago. Debbie and Bianca believe it helps that one of them has a Spanish speaking mom, and Chuck is using his Portugese speaking skills.
Once at Plaza de Armas, the race now sends them on a bus to the city of Ancon, to the Playa Hermosa. They will dig through sand mounds for plane tickets to Cuzco, Peru, which has an altitude of approximately 11,000 feet. They will be leaving at three separate times, 6:00 AM, 7:00 AM, and 7:40 AM.
Patrick and Susan team up with Debbie and Bianca, and one of them thinks Patrick looks like her ex-boyfriend, leading him to point out he is gay. Rob and Amber, instead of making alliances, want to get away from the other teams, Rob believing everyone is out to screw each other. Same ole Rob. Patrick apparently didn’t watch Survivor closely, as he believes Rob is as dumb as a rock. Rob and Amber at this point meet up with a man that remembers seeing them on Survivor and helps them grab a separate, faster bus.
Once in Ancon, they need to take a rickshaw to get to the beach of Playa Hermosa. Ryan and Chuck call out “beep, beep, beep” riding in the rickshaw, and abandon their ride to run alongside and pull it to speed things up.
Susan and Patrick and Debbie and Bianca, once they are at the beach, see that 6:00 AM is the earliest flight and dig and grab those tickets right away. Once they find their tickets, they also find they will be spending the evening on the beach before catching their early morning flight. The four racers say the one team they hope does not get the third and last spot on their flight is Rob and Amber. Foreshadowing at its best, Rob and Amber get just that. Ray and Deana who had also been searching for 6:00, move on and grab a 7:00.
Debbie and Bianca send Ron and Kelly to the 7:40 sand pile, leading them to believe this is the last earliest flight, instead of the remaining 7:00 flights, leading Ron and Kelly to swear not to trust them again. Megan and Heidi, without anyone else’s urging, grab the 7:40 tickets with 7:00 tickets still left to be grabbed.
Greg and Brian see the 7:40s all gone and 7:00s left and ask each other if 7:00 isn’t before 7:40. One of them makes a joke and says where he grew up it was, even funnier since being brothers they grew up together. Lynn and Alex and Uchenna and Joyce get the last 7:00 flights, and Meredith and Gretchen are left with the remaining 7:40 flight. All have a bonfire on the beach at night, leading Rob to feel like he needs to worry about others plotting to kick him out. I think they would if they could.
The 6:00 AM flight takes off without a hitch, but the 7:00 is delayed. The teams with the 7:00 departure are allowed to board the 7:40 flight, making none of them very happy to be bunched up like that.
The 6:00 flight lands in Cuzco, and the teams of Rob and Amber, Susan and Patrick and Debbie and Bianca find a clue that will now take them to Huambutio Peru where they must find a Coca Cola kiosk to receive the next clue. Debbie and Bianca say “gracias” after receiving the clue and Rob says, “Sayonara.” What was that again that Patrick had said about him? After arriving at the kiosk, they are sent to a gorge where they will zipline across the gorge one by one, then zipline a second time back to the bottom.
Debbie and Bianca zipline across the gorge first. At the bottom they find a Detour. Rope and Llama or Rope and Basket. In Rope and Llama, the teams need to rope two llamas and walk them to their pens. In Rope and Basket, they teams have to tip baskets on their backs that are filled with thirty-five pounds of alfalfa and carry them to a store. Bianca and Debbie argue over which Detour to take.
Finishing across the zipline, Patrick says he is happy he peed first. Debbie and Bianca are still arguing. Rob ziplines down while saying, “Holy Cannoli.” Rob and Amber decide to do the Rope and Basket.
Lynn and Alex are riding to the kiosk and Lynn is making up a song about “we are racing in Peru.” Ryan and Chuck are back to the “beep beep” language telling their driver to hurry. Meredith and Gretchen pass Lynn and Alex.
Debbie and Bianca have finally settled on the Rope the Llamas as have Susan and Patrick. As Rob and Amber dress in full traditional gear to carry their baskets, Rob quips, “When in Incaville, do as the Incas.” I’m pretty sure the Incas did a better job carrying the baskets than Rob, as he dropped his at one point. Debbie and Bianca are not having an easy time with the llamas and continue to argue over their choice, causing them to switch to Baskets. Patrick tells his llama he will let him get close and blow as much spit in his face as the llama wants if he will only get in his pen.
Rob and Amber finish delivering their alfalfa and find a clue sending them to the Huambutio Police Station where they will catch a ride on a delivery truck and take it to the marketplace in the town of Pisac. Rob and Amber and Susan and Patrick catch the first delivery truck, and Bianca and Debbie catch the second.
Lynn says riding the zipline is like being at Splash Mountain, and once at the bottom, he and Alex decide to do Rope and Basket. Gretchen, being fitted to the zipline says, “This is what the kids call wedgies.” She and Meredith decide to do Rope and Llama. Uchenna and Joyce and Ryan and Chuck do the Rope and Llama as well, while Greg and Brian, Ray and Deana, Megan and Heidi and Ron and Kelly do baskets. Ray begins yelling at Deana and reminds us of Jonathon and Victoria once again. Trying to get the llamas to move, Ryan and Chuck resort to sound effects again, saying, “Scooch scooch.”
Once at the marketplace, Susan and Patrick now team up with Rob and Amber to find the clue. Patrick says he is just setting a trap for them. I’m not so sure Patrick realizes the full scope of who he is dealing with. Susan and Patrick find the clue first, followed by Rob and Amber and then Debbie and Bianca who have now arrived.
On another of the delivery truck rides, Lynn is holding a tiny sheep and Gretchen loses her step and breaks someone’s eggs on the back of the delivery truck. She offers to pay for them.
Rob and Amber’s taxi takes a different route than Susan and Patrick, and end up in a traffic jam, as do Susan and Patrick. Rob and Amber end up getting out and pushing a stalled van out of their way.
At the finish line, Debbie and Bianca come in first, being awarded $10,000 each by Phil. Susan and Patrick come in second and Rob and Amber third. Phil remarks how Rob and Amber were dead last, only to be in first and now third. Brian and Greg arrive in fourth, Lynn and Alex fifth.
At the marketplace, Uchenna and Joyce hang with Ray and Deana to look for the clue. They have a miscommunication and each team thinks the other left without them. Back in a delivery truck, Ryan and Chuck are singing “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain.”
Gretchen and Meredith arrive in sixth place where they were for much of the race, so they appear to be an even keeled team. Ray and Deana come in seventh and Uchenna and Joyce eighth. Phil takes this opportunity to ask Uchenna if he wants a llama for a pet, causing Uchenna to say no, only pets that he can pick up are allowed. Perhaps he wants Lynn’s small sheep.
Megan and Heidi take a short cut with their taxi driver and come in ninth to the pit stop. Ron and Kelly come in tenth, leaving Ryan and Chuck in last place, causing them to be Philiminated. Ryan says he is proud of Chuck, and notes Chuck is the only person to ever stick by him. Chuck says he believes after this they will be best friends for life.
While not getting to know the racers very well throughout the show yet, it seems like it’s bound to be an interesting season. Despite the departure of characters Ryan and Chuck, there are still many characters left. Patrick, Rob and Amber, and Lynn, just to name a few. As Phil said, the world is waiting for them.
I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com