After 14 interminable months, “The Amazing Race” and Phil Keoghan‘s eyebrow-raise are finally back on Wednesday, April 17 at 9/8c — and Season 31 is definitely worth the wait. For the first time ever, we have a reality showdown with contestants from CBS’ Holy Trinity of reality shows, “Race,” “Survivor” and “Big Brother.”
The 11 teams are:
“The Amazing Race”
Art Velez and John James “JJ” Carrell — Season 20
Colin Guinn and Christie Woods — Season 5
Becca Droz and Floyd Pierce — Season 29
Leo Temory and Jamal Zadran — Season 23 and Season 24 (All-Stars)
Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl — Season 28
Chris Hammons and Bret Labelle — “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X”
Corinne Kaplan and Eliza Orlins — “Survivor: Gabon and Survivor: Caramoan” (Corinne); “Survivor: Vanuatu and Survivor: Micronesia” (Eliza)
Rupert and Laura Boneham — “Survivor: Pearl Islands,” “Survivor: All-Stars,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” and “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” (Rupert); “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” (Laura)
Janelle Pierzina and Britney Haynes — “Big Brother 6,” “Big Brother 7: All-Stars” and “Big Brother 14” (Janelle); “Big Brother 12” and “Big Brother 14” (Britney)
Rachel Reilly and Elissa Slater — “Big Brother 12,” “Big Brother 13,” “The Amazing Race 20” and “The Amazing Race 24: All-Stars” (Rachel); “Big Brother 15” (Elissa)
Nicole Franzel and Victor Arroyo — “Big Brother 16,” “Big Brother 18” (Nicole); “Big Brother 18” (Victor)
Below, check out our minute-by-minute blog of the season premiere, which takes the teams to Tokyo and includes a sandal-eating task (don’t worry, they’re edible).
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9:00 p.m. – The racers kick things off on the golden sands of Hermosa Beach in Los Angeles, California. Some of these reality stars have gone home big winners in their previous attempts, but others are thirsty for their first taste of victory. Let the first ever showdown between “The Amazing Race,” “Big Brother,” and “Survivor” begins now!
9:10 p.m. – The contestants for each series are already talking trash, with Rupert adamant that “Survivor” contestants are the strongest. Rachel is the only player who has been on “Big Brother” and “The Amazing Race” and she says the players will be shocked at how grueling this is. The race begins and the contestants are digging into a giant sand formation in search for their first clue. Gradually teams find their golden tickets and realize they’re heading off to Tokyo, Japan! Art and JJ are currently in last place.
9:15 p.m. – Corinne and Eliza are giving the juiciest commentary so far. They clearly fear some of the “Amazing Race” teams with experience, but feel others will be easy pickings. They’ve named Victor and Nicole “Team Dum Dum,” think Rachel is helpless without her husband and believe Rupert is too old to compete. Ouch! All teams are now flying more than 5,000 miles and then taking a bus to Shibuya, home to the world’s biggest pedestrian crossing. Teams must travel on foot to one of two locations to find their next clue. There is only a limited number of clues at each location.
9:25 p.m. – Competitors nervously search for anyone who speaks English in hopes they can get some sort of help finding their destination. Rupert and Laura strike gold with some help from a good Samaritan and are the first to receive their next clue. Leo and Jamal found theirs as well, but are hiding it from other teams. They’re the first to arrive at the Road Block. Who wants a sweet new pair of shoes? Teams must find one of only 12 shoes that are made of chocolate…and there’s only one way to figure it out. Take a bite! Some teams start trickling into the shoe store, while others have yet to find their first clue to get there. Jamal and Leo find the chocolate sandal and begin to dig in! Suddenly Janelle and Britney walk in and Janelle find a chocolate sandal on her first attempt! Amazing!
9:30 p.m. – Teams have to hop in a taxi to get to their next clue, but most teams have yet to find their chocolate sandal. Jamal and Leo are the first to reach the Road Block, “Who Wants to Climb Mount Fuji?” Teams have to climb to the 20 foot summit to reach their clue, but it’s as slippery as a wet noodle. Leo quickly learns this won’t be easy and he can barely climb five feet, let alone 20. Meanwhile, Victor has tried snacking on over 40 sandals before he finally finds one and launches himself and Nicole into third place.
9:35 p.m. – Multiple teams have found their chocolate sandals, but Colin and Christie are first to catch the “Afghanimals” at Mount Fuji. Just in time, Leo snags their clue and him and Jamal are off to the first pit stop. I love the Afghanimals. Meanwhile, Colin scales the slippery slope like it’s nothing and they’re hot on the trail for first place. Meanwhile, a trio of teams have yet to even reach the shoe store – including s***-talkers Corinne and Eliza. And the winner’s of the first leg of the race are…Leo and Jamal! They’ve won a seven-day cruise. Colin and Christie roll in with second place.
9:40 p.m. – Korey makes short work of Mount Fuji and him and Tyler are off to the Pit Stop. Then, Nicole showed shocking athleticism and puts herself and Victor into fourth place. Rupert, Laura, Eliza and Corinne finally arrive at the shoe store and are mortified that they’ve horribly represented “Survivor.” Rupert and Laura find their chocolate shoe and Corinne thinks her and Eliza are going home. It serves her right for all her trash talking, but little does she know, they aren’t in last place!
9:45 p.m. – Rachel is scaling Mount Fuji while Elissa cheers her on to success. Becca and Floyd are hot on their tails in sixth place. I’m impressed that Rachel hasn’t cried yet, the sisters are killing it! It’s Eliza who is sobbing in the back of a taxi with no clue her and Corinne are still ahead of Art and JJ. After a strong start, Janelle and Britney got lost but finally make their way to Mount Fuji. While there, they run into Chris and Bret. Bret makes it to the top of Mount Fuji, but slides down without the clue. He has no idea that he had to grab it and, unable to help, Chris looks on in agony. Bret realizes his mistake, but now he’s exhausted and is struggling to get back up.
9:50 p.m. – Art and JJ finally find their chocolate sandal and can make their way to Mount Fuji. Both Bret and Britney make their way up the slippery slide and make their way to the pit stop. Corinne and Eliza arrive next and complete the task. They still haven’t seen any team behind them, but arrive at the Pit Stop to find they have finished in ninth place. Art/JJ and Rupert/Laura are still on the course. Corinne and Eliza eat crow and realize they were just humiliated by teams the smack-talked.
9:59 p.m. – Art and JJ look completely deflated and Art is embarrassed he can’t get up Mount Fuji. Finally he begins to cramp, but lucky for him and JJ, Rupert and Laura are completely lost and twiddling their thumbs. JJ convinces Art to take the four hour penalty because his health is suffering. Finally, Laura and Rupert arrive at Mount Fuji after being lost in the park for over two hours! All Rupert has to do to save their game is make it up the mountain. Art and JJ are hoping he fails and are shocked when Rupert scales it with ease! Art is dumbfounded and JJ is furious. They have been eliminated from the race.
Results of Leg One: 1. Leo and Jamal (“The Amazing Race”) 2. Colin and Christie (“The Amazing Race”) 3. Tyler and Korey (“The Amazing Race”) 4. Rachel and Elissa (“Big Brother”/”The Amazing Race”) 5. Becca and Floyd (“The Amazing Race”) 6. Nicole and Victor (“Big Brother”) 7. Chris and Bret (“Survivor”) 8. Janelle and Britney (“Big Brother”) 9. Corinne and Eliza (“Survivor”) 10. Rupert and Laura (“Survivor”) ELIMINATED: 11. Art and JJ (“The Amazing Race”)