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Amazing Race: Season 23 Premiere

October 4th, 2013 · No Comments

Season 23 of The Amazing Race starts on an Old West movie set, with the teams arriving by stagecoach.  They are:

1.  Chester Pitts II and Ephraim Salaam, former teammates for the Houston Texans, one of three major team sports-related teams on this race.

2.  Rowan Joseph and Shane Partlow, middle-aged actors who play bingo-loving old ladies in the play Queen of Bingo.  They describe themselves as best friends and business partners, so they’re apparently not life partners.

3.  Tim and Marie, ex-lovers who remain friends, but bickering friends.

4.  Leo and Jamal, young Afghan-American cousins who call themselves the “Afghanimals.”

5.  Ally and Ashley, young blonde women who are part of the Los Angeles’ Kings ice crew.  It’s their job to groom the ice during game breaks.

6.  Nicole and Travis, married ER doctors.  They and the football players are the two African-American teams in this field.

7.  Hoskote and Naina, an Indian-American father-daughter team.  They remind me a little of Chris and Ron from seasons 12 and 18.

8.  Tim and Danny, two young friends who work in the Oklahoma oil fields.

9.  Brandon and Adam, bearded friends and latter-day hippies from Chico, California.  They could turn into this season’s BJ and Tyler (Season 9 winners).

10.  Nicole “Nicky” Getz, wife of Chris Getz, and Kim De Jesus, wife of David De Jesus.  At one time both their husbands played for the Kansas City Royals, but De Jesus now plays for the Tampa Bay Rays.

11.  Dating New England couple Jason and Amy.  He owns a snowplow company.  She earned three degrees by the time she was 21.

Phil explains that, like in last season, the first team that wins this leg will receive two express passes.  One is for them, the other they must give to another team before the fifth leg.  The race’s first clue will be by the built-in phones in the waiting C-Max energy plug-in hybrid cars.  He gives the signal, “Go!”

The first clue is to drive to the Los Angeles airport (LAX) and fly to Iquique, Chile.  There are two flights available and only a limited number of seats for the first flight (as usual).

Leo/Jamal get to the airport first.  They wonder if they win the leg, if they should give the second express pass to one of the girls.  Seven teams make the first flight:  Leo/Jamal, Tim/Marie, Nicole/Travis, Rowan/Shane, Chester/Ephram, Ally/Ashley, and the baseball wives.

The four teams on the second flight, which will arrive about three hours later, are:  Tim/Danny, Brandon/Adam, Jason/Amy, and Hoskote/Naina.

When the front seven teams arrive in the seaside town of Iquique, Chile, their destination turns out to be a paragliding place.  They open the next clue and find a roadblock.  It reads, “Follow the leader.”  In a twist, the person who performs the roadblock is not the paraglider.  It’s the person who directs their taxi down to the beach to pick up the paraglider.

Travis is first to strap up with a paraglide instructor and sail off.  His wife knows Spanish, so she can easily explain to her cabbie exactly how to follow her husband down to the beach.

Four teams dismissed their cabs, so Jamal borrows a cell phone and calls for two taxis for himself and Ashley.  Marie gets the second cab before he can.  He swears and complains, but he and baseball wife Nicky apparently get other cabs.

Nicole/Travis are first to complete the paragliding RB.  The football players are 2nd and the actors, 3rd.  They pick up the next clue, “Make your way to Muelle Pratt and search for your next clue.”  Muelle Pratt is a harbor with hundreds of fishing boats.  The next four teams also reunite on the beach and head for Muelle Pratt.

While this is happening, the four trailing teams arrive in Iquique, after their flight was delayed, putting them even further behind.  While the front seven are starting the next task, the back of the pack is still traveling to the paragliding site.

Nicole/Travis are first to reach Muelle Pratt harbor.  As was the case last season, this first leg includes two roadblocks.  This one requires one team member to row a large heavy rowboat between hundreds of fishing vessels, looking for the Dona Hilda, the Scarleth, or the San Francisco.  The person performing the RB must bring five large fish back to the rowboat dock.  

One twist is that no one boat has enough fish for everyone, so some racers will have to visit two boats.  In another twist, the person that paraglided must row, because they were not the ones who performed the first RB.  This trips up a couple of teams, as we will see.  The trailing teams are by now paragliding.

Travis is first to get five fish and finish the RB.  He and his wife get the clue to the pit stop in front of a historical theater.  They’re all excited by the thought of getting the express passes and they jump in a taxi.  However, when they get to the mat, Phil tells them, “You must make your way on foot.  You took a taxi.”  He tells them they must wait out a 30-min. penalty.

At the dock, one of the women tells Leo he paraglided, so he should be rowing.  He yells like crazy to call Jamal back.  They switch.

Tim is 2nd and Rowan 3rd to complete the 2nd RB.  Tim/Marie reach the pit stop while Travis/Nicole are still waiting out their penalty.  That means the bickering ex-lovers win the leg and get the two express passes.

However, Tim/Marie are the only team that passes Nicole/Travis, making the doctors second.  Rowan/Shane are 3rd and yell, “Bingo!”

Back at Muelle Pratt harbor, a football player finds one of the fishing boats, but it only has four fish.  He has to find another boat to get the fifth fish.  He does, and the football players reach the pit stop in 4th place.  The baseball wives are a step behind.

Leo finds a boat, but it doesn’t have enough fish.  He has to find a 2nd one.  NHL girls Ally/Ashley come to the mat in 6th place.  Leo/Jamal are the last of the front seven teams to get to the pit stop. 

At the paragliding site, Brandon botches a take-off attempt and has to go last. However, Naina is the last to the beach to find her father.  At the 2nd RB, Jason’s 1st in the water.  He says he rowed crew in prep school.  The other teams have more trouble rowing.  Brandon finds a boat but it’s out of fish.  One of the oil field workers points him to another one.  Jason/Amy get to the mat in 8th place.  The oil workers are 9th

The father-daughter team arrives when it looks like only Brandon/Adam are left.  She starts the RB.  How much of this blunder was genuine confusion and how much of it was looking good for the TV cameras has become this season’s first controversy.

About the time Brandon gets his fish, Naina checks her clue and sees her father should be rowing instead.  They switch.  (I think they were far behind enough, that even if her father had rowed to begin with, it wouldn’t have mattered.)  Brandon/Adam race to the mat and get 10th place.  The father and daughter work into the darkness to finish the 2nd RB.  (They said in a post-race interview they started the roadblocks around 4 p. m and it got dark early.)  They arrive at the pit stop last and are the first team to be eliminated in season 23, regardless of how they were eliminated.

Tags: Amazing Race