'The Amazing Race' Recap: And Away We Go!
'The Amazing Race' Recap: And Away We Go!
Well, it's another season of The Amazing Race, which means that it is time for all of us to put on our "Well, if that was me, I would..." pants and see which team will make it to the end. So let's get the race started already!

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The Teams

When it comes to meeting people in real life, I'm terrible with names. This is no different when I begin a new season of Amazing Race. So instead of memorizing names of people who won't be there much longer, I instead come up with team names. This year the eleven teams consist of Team Bozo, which consists of a married clown couple (both of which are already haunting my dreams).

Then there is the obligatory couples teams, only this year with a few fun twists. Team Big Brother is a couple who met and fell in love on the toilet bowl of a show called Big Brother, which allows for a bit of cross promotion for CBS. The other team is an Army wife who wants to rekindle her broken relationship with her husband who was in Iraq for a year, which sounds just plain unstable. The final couples team is a couple who were each married to different people, got divorced and fell in love. It would be a cute story if it weren't slightly disturbing, which is why I call them Team Creepy Couple.

There seems to be a team consisting of unlikely friends every season, and this year it involves two good ol' boys from Kentucky. While this might sound like a team of racists, one is black while the other is white, which is refreshing. Team Border Patrol is self-explanatory, which can also be said about Team Female Police officers.

Finally, there are the family teams. Team Prissy Sisters consist of two athletic sisters who won't be put down or come off as weak. Then there is Team Country Cousins, Team Twins, and my favorite, Team Guido, who at one point say they want to shatter the illusions of the Jersey Shore while at the same time showing off their abs.

99 Red Balloons

The first thing the teams must do is go into the middle of wine country, where there are 100 balloons floating in the sky. There are 11 clues in select balloons, and the teams must find the clue before going forward. With the clues, they learn that they are headed to Santa Barbara, Argentina for their next clue. The first six teams that make it to LAX will get a better flight and start off the race with a bit of an advantage. I love when the show does this, because airports and flights is usually code for "Let's get all the teams together again and start fresh," which drives me nuts.

The first six teams are Big Brother, Female Police, Team Army, Team Twin, Creepy Couple, and Border Patrol. As they are wide eyed and smiling while driving toward the airport, the other teams slowly fall behind. At one point, one of the members of Team Kentucky decides that it would be best to just start throwing up. This is while he is still in America and hasn't eaten crazy food yet. As the teams slowly get their clues and leave, the Prissy Sisters are the last ones to leave. This looks to be a bad omen.

Free Falling

The teams arrive in Argentina and drive to the middle of nowhere to find their first foreign clue. It says to go to an airport to perform their first road block. The first team to arrive is Team Border Patrol, where they learn that one person will be sky diving while the other has to drive and pick them up at a landing point. The first alliance is formed when Art of Border Patrol teams up with Dave the former Army man and finds the drop zone. The teams start to fly out of the plane, and everyone looks like they're having a great time, instead of JJ, the other member of Border Patrol.

No matter how uncomfortable he was, he still maintains his first place edge and Team Border Patrol heads to their next destination. Just as they are finishing up, the group from the second flight start to get their clues. It looks like Team Bozo is starting to fall behind, causing the wife to start crying. The game has just started; you can't start crying now!

Baked Goods

The next step in the race involves making 120 empanadas, 60 each of beef and cheese. The trick is that each type is folded a different way. Big Brother is first to arrive, but tailed closely by Border Patrol. Unfortunately, the men that are in charge of protecting our borders fail to pay close enough attention to the differences in folding techniques, so that sets them back.

As the first group gets settled in the fine art of the meat pie, the second group starts to encounter problems. Team Jersey's driver doesn't know how to drive stick, which may make it hard to pick up his bro at the drop point. Team Cousin has an intense fear of heights, but has to jump because she thought that not performing the challenge meant she would be driving. Oops. Team Prissy Sisters drive to the side of the road and immediately gets stuck in soft sand and needs a tow truck. Double oops.

First Finish Line

As the troubled groups slowly get their acts together, everyone ends up making empanadas. The first team to finish and check in at the Pit Stop is Team US Army. I'm sure this means that their marriage is saved and there will be no drama on the show. The second is Team Big Brother. It looks likes reality television success translates over shows. Then comes Border Patrol, Female Police, Creepy Couple and the Twins.

In the second group, the cousins make a huge come from behind, finish and take seventh. They are followed by Team Bozo and Team Kentucky, who may be the most obnoxious team this season. I thought this would go to Team Jersey, but I may be wrong. This leaves the Sisters against Team Jersey. The sisters came into the empanada competition in last, but due to the Jersey Boys inability to effectively use their fingers appeared to be the last team to make it. They grabbed their bags, went outside and were 20 yards from the Pit Stop. Then, they turned around and got lost.

I don't know what happened, but they somehow missed Phil, his cultural ambassador and a camera crew in the middle of a yard and turned around. This left the door open for Team Jersey to come in 10th while the Sisters were sent home. So much for not being a pushover.

It looks like we have another exciting season ahead, but I don't have a favorite team yet. It seems as if they all have some weird problem that makes it hard to like any of them, unlike last year's Surfers. Let's see where they go and if any of them can become likable personalities that I want to cheer on.

Chase Gamradt
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of CBS)