The Amazing Race 12: Episode 1, Live Thoughts
It's like Christmas!  The Amazing Race is back, and my excitement level is very, very high. Goth couples, hot sisters, hippies, middle-aged lesbians and Phil!  Another season of vicarious travel that leaves me jealous and invigorated all at once.  There's a reason The Amazing Race has won so many Emmys: it is the best produced and planned reality series on television.   We're getting a late start tonight thanks to football, but once the episode gets underway, we'll be updating throughout the hour. 

The race kicks off from Hollywood this year.  More specifically, the Playboy Mansion.  Awesome.

The teams are brought to the starting line in classic convertibles.  We briefly meet every team.  I'm not going to go through this with you.  Take a look at the profiles or the interviews we've posted with every single team.

So, the lesbians are both clergy members.  That definitely baffles me. 

Rachel and Stella look better in motion as they do in pictures.  Nothing lewd about that, some people don't photograph well. 

No Hefner cameo....weak. 

Eight of the eleven legs are elimination stops. 

And they're off.  The teams grab their first clue and head into an SUV.  The teams are heading to Shannon, Ireland.

So, they're going to LAX.  Having been a former LA dweller, I know that the multiple terminals at LAX can be confusing.  I very much hope that this messes people up.  Standard credit sequence.

Donald is a crotchety old man.  I like him.

Kynt, the goth guy, actually uses the phrase, “Oh my goth!”  Strike one, goth dude. 

The LA blondes are one of the only teams to head the right direction out of the mansion. 

Lorena and Jason are the first team into LAX, followed by TK and Rachel

The first flight is a British Airways flight.

Only five teams make it onto the first flight.  I'm not positive, but I think it's the blondes, TK and Rachel, Lorena and Jason, and Ronald and Christina.  Not positive, though.  So many teams!

Azaria and Hendekea are the first team to miss the flight.  They are followed by the rest.  The brother/sister team seems pretty smart – they arrange for taxi pick-up when they arrive.

Nevermind.  Ronald and Christina and TK and Rachel miss the first flight.  The old lesbians are also on the first flight.  It looks like the first flight got delayed, letting the second flight to land first. 

Ari and Staella steal A and H's cab once they arrive.

Everyone is now on the way to an ancient temple, which is on an island.  The teams have to take a ferry there.  First come, first serve.

The lesbians call The Amazing Race a love letter to the earth.  I would agree.
The first teams arrive on the island.  It's raining, which it tends to do in Ireland.  The teams run to this old church. 

Nathan chews out Jennifer, calling her the worst person he's ever met.  This could get ugly fast. 

The sisters and Ronald and Christina went the wrong way after receiving bad directions. 

Once at the temple, teams sign up for another ferry.  There are two different ferrys, an hour and a half apart.  The goth kids lead the pack. 

The teams head back to the mainland, where they get a car and a clue. 

Julia is pronounce “Hoo-lia.”

The teams head to Cleggan Farm, forty miles away, where they have to ride a tandem bicycle to their next clue.  Jason takes the wrong way, and Lorena yells at hium, then starts crying.  He's quite stubborn.  

Lorena and Jason went totally the wrong way.  The second ferry takes off. 

The Goths are the first to tandem bike away.  Their chain breaks. 

TK and Rachel get to the Road Block first.  They have to take a high-wire bike across the water, 200-feet in the air.  One person rides the bike, the other sits ten feet below, along for the ride.  It looks really fun and really terrifying. 

Next, the teams have to choose a donkey and load fifteen pieces of peet into the donkey's bags and walk him to the next clue. 

The blondes drive the wrong way after coming across on the second ferry. Jen and Nathan keep yelling at each other.  Their donkey doesn't want to walk.  More yelling ensues.  They got a bad donkey.  It's broken.

Nathan is kind of a drama queen.  The donkey still won't move. 

TK and Rachel get their next clue: they have to drive thirteen miles to the first pit stop, a heritage center.  Uh-oh.  TK and Rachel mayu have gone the wrong way.  Or not.

Azaria and Hendekea reach the pit stop in first place.  They win a trip for two to Alberta, Canada near Banff. 

Ari and Staella are also having donkey issues.

Kynt and Vixsin are team number two. 

TK and Rachel are team number three. 

The blondes are still in last place, right behind the lesbian clergy. 

Lorena and Jason are team number four. 

Ari and Staella are officially in last place now, thanks to the donkey.  Nathan and Jennifer  are stil lnot moving.

Nicholas and Donald are team number five.

Shana and Jennifer are team number six.  They lapped five teams right at the end. 

Nathan and Jennifer finally get their donkey moving and make it to the end of the trail. 

Ronald and Christina are team number seven. 

Kate and Pat are team number eight. 

Marianna and Julia are team number nine, Nathan Jennifer are number ten.

Ari and Staella arrive last and are eliminated.  They got really bad donkey luck tonight.  That's rough.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)