For the first time in 29 seasons, “The Amazing Race” is being run by teams of total strangers. To pair up, the contestants had to complete a seemingly simple challenge: get to a luggage store nine blocks from their meeting point at a park in downtown Los Angeles, find a suitcase with a Panama flag tag, and make their way back to Phil Keoghan. The players got to pick their partners in the order that they returned to the starting line.
First up was Seattle police officer Seth Tyler, 37, who went with third-place finisher Olive Beauregard, a 24-year-old firefighter from Providence, who was the first woman in contention. The show tagged them as #TeamAmerica. In last week’s premiere set in Panama, they were first to find route marker, first to finish the Detour (despite needing three tries) and first to the Pit Stop, a point on the coastal beltway Cinta Costera marked by a large Panamanian flag. Not surprisingly, when we asked you which team will win the Race, you give them the edge at 31%.
This week’s episode, “Scared Spitless,” sees the teams travel from Panama to Brazil. Tensions will rise between two teams when one goes back on its word. Take a look at the teaser trailer above and then read our recap of last week’s episode and the rest of the teams below. And, if you haven’t already, be sure to cast your vote in our winners poll.
Following simple directions proved tough for some from the start last week. Those who fell in behind Los Angeleno Scott Flanary had an easier time of it in the initial task, at least until the got to the store. One, Boston cop Joey Covino, was stymied by the flags while another, college student Floyd Pierce, had memorized all of standards in the world.
And once they made it to the airport in Panama, teams had to make their way to the Miraflores Locks on the canal. This iconic landmark proved hard to find for most of the teams.
The choices on the Detour in the Gamboa rainforest were:
Shoot: Row a primitive canoe out on the river to a series of wooden fish sitting atop poles. Knock two of them off using a simple bow and arrow; and
Scoot: Row a sleekly built canoe against a professional pair in a race down the river, with a 50 meter head-start being added each time a team loses.
While Shoot sounds simple, only Becca Droz was able to master the archery and finish this task. The other teams that had chosen it quickly abandoned ship in favor of the race. Of the 10 teams to complete this challenge, only Matt Ladley and Redmond Ramos (#The Boys) edged out the professional crew in their second attempt. While Jenn Lee and Kevin Ng were the 10th team to arrive at the Pit Stop, they had to wait out a 2-hour penalty incurred when they couldn’t complete the Detour. Before that wait had elapsed, Liz Espey and Michael Radbo (#TeamLizandMike) made it to the mat. In the end, this was one tangle that Team LongHairDontCare couldn’t unknot.
Below, a brief description of each of the other nine teams still in contention, in the order in which they currently rank in our winners poll.
Matt and Redmond, #TheBoys – 25% [Leg 1 Result: 3rd place]
Ladley, 25, is a professional snowboarder who won gold at the 2016 X-Games. He chose Ramos, a 28-year-old Navy vet who lost a leg to an IED in Afghanistan.
Becca and Floyd, #TeamFun – 15% [Leg 1 Result: 2nd place]
Rock climbing instructor Droz, 26, chose fellow Coloradan, Pierce who, at 21, is the youngest contestant on the race. She dubs this college student “Urkel” and he is the one who find the only Express Pass in his luggage.
London and Logan, #TeamLoLo – 10% [Leg 1 Result: 8th place]
Artist London Kaye, 27, found a perfect model in Logan Bauer, a medical devices salesman. They are the same age and their names start with the same two letters. Will LoLo end up in love?
Jessie and Francesa, #SwoleSisters – 5% [Leg 1 Result: 9th place]
These two powerhouse women were thrown together as a team. Jessie Shield, 28, is a K-9 police officer and Francesca Piccoli, 33, is an Army drill sergeant. Because they didn’t get to pick a partner, Keoghan drove them to the airport. However, he wasn’t fast enough as they ended up on the second flight to Panama.
Liz and Michael, #TeamLizandMike – 4% [Leg 1 Result: 10th place]
Michael Radbo, 37, ditched corporate life to be a butcher. He liked the cut of Liz Espey, 24, a fifth generation livestock auctioneer.
Shamir and Sara, #TheSandSExpress – 4% [Leg 1 Result: 5th place]
Wall Street banker Shamir Arzeno, 28, was on the lookout for a looker and went with Sara Fowler, a 27-year-old realtor from Baltimore
Brooke and Scott, #TeamBrookeandScott – 2% [Leg 1 Result: 4th place]
Flanary, 34, may have known his way around the city but he took a misstep when he selected Brooke Camhi, 36, a high-powered criminal attorney. They rubbed each other the wrong way from minute one.
Tara and Joey, #TeamMomandDad – 2% [Leg 1 Result: 6th place]
Army officer Tara Carr, 38, threw Covino, 46, a lifeline and picked him despite his being the last to qualify. They are the oldest contestants on the race.
Vanck and Ashton, #TeamVankandAston – 2% [Leg 1 Result: 7th place]
Financial analyst Vanck Zhu, 28, opted for beauty to match his brains and picked Texas realtor Ashton Theiss, 25, who was obviously underwhelmed with her partner.