The Amazing Race is back, and it’s time for anyone else with a horrible sense of direction (like me) to sit back and watch teams race around the world, performing a myriad of tasks that range from fun to freaky.

This season’s 11 teams will visit eight countries in their quest to win a million dollars. The Amazing Race has also introduced a brand new twist: The Save. The team that finishes first during the first leg will receive The Save, which will allow them to save themselves if they are in the dreaded position of being the last team to arrive on an elimination leg. Pretty handy, right?

Our host, Phil Keoghan, meets the hopefuls in Times Square, New York City. Let’s get ready to meet the teams.

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The Teams

Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks

These newlywed professional surfers are from Princeville, Hawaii. Bethany lost her left arm in a shark attack.

Kym Perfetto and Alli Forsythe

These urban bike racers, and friends, are from Brooklyn, New York.

Amy DeJong and Maya Warren

These friends and co-workers are food scientists from Madison, Wisconsin. They want to show the world that scientists can do more than just wear lab coats.

Lisa Thomson and Michelle Thomson

These sisters are both realtors and hale from Miami, Florida.

Dennis Hour and Isabelle Du

This accountant and model are dating and are from Tustin, California.

Brooke Adams and Robbie E. Strauss

This duo looks fierce, and I suspect it has something to do with them being dating pro-wrestlers.

Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan

This engaged pair call Nashville, Tennessee home. They met on the show Survivor. Awww.

Michael Ward and Scott Strazzullo

These Boston firefighters are representing the spirit of the city and its people.

Tim Tsao and Te Jay McGrath

These racers are college sweethearts from Pasadena, California.

Shelley and Nici Porter

These flight attendants are also a mother and daughter. They are from Detroit, Michigan.

Misti and Jim Raman

These married dentists are from Columbia, South Carolina.

Save Yourself

Phil pumps up the teams by emphasizing that this is The Amazing Race’s silver anniversary. Once again, whoever wins The Save can turn it over and avoid elimination, and it can be used up until the end of the ninth leg.

And They Are Off

The clue tells the teams to find the place where the first race ended, so they ask the crowd for advice. They are off to the globe at Flushing Meadow Park. Adam and Bethany get to the clue box first, and they are on the way to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. There are only five teams on the first flight out of JFK airport. Adam and Bethany relax for a moment, and two other teams book the flight before them.

Tim and Te Jay, Bethany and Adam, Dennis and Isabelle, Kym and Alli, and Misti and Jim all manage to make it on the first flight. I must say that Misti and Jim have the brightest, whitest teeth that I have ever seen, even for dentists!

Sea Plane Adventure

When the planes land, teams must make their way to Vendor’s plaza and sign up for a sea plane flight to another part of the island. Adam and Bethany and Tim and Te Jay nab the first flight. Kym and Alli and Misti and Jim are on the second sea plane.

Meanwhile the other teams finally reach the US Virgin Islands. There is a bit of a scuffle at the sea plane sign-up board, and Lisa and Michelle snatch the pen out of one of the firefighter’s hands and bump themselves up one flight. Not very nice, ladies!

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Leap First, and Ask Questions Later

When the teams reach the clue box, they discover that they must scramble across a rocky outcrop and then jump two stories into the ocean where they will find their next clue floating in the sea. Tim and Te Jay are the first to complete the challenge and board a boat to take them to Blackbeard’s ship. Blackbeard, who seems pretty jolly rather than frightening, hands off the next clue.

Blackbeard’s Treasure

Next up is a Roadblock, which is performed by one team member. Teams must use a liquid compass to find their way around the beach, beginning at one of four particular landmarks. Teams must use a shovel and their own personal set of coordinates to locate a treasure chest buried in the sand. What is in the chest? The next clue, of course.

Tim and Adam both get to work, but everyone is confused by the unusual compass. Jim finds his chest easily, and he and his wife are on the way to the first Pit Stop, which is at Fort Christian.

The firefighters are in last place as they race to the beach, until Brooke and Robbie’s boat sinks as they are leaving Blackbeard’s ship. Now that is an embarrassing turn of events. Meanwhile, on the beach, one of the realtor sisters is confused because the sun “sets in the east and rises in the west.” Okay. Kym and Alli also take some valuable time out of their game to check out Adam and salivate over his muscles.

A Risky Decision

Tim is the next one to find the chest, followed by Robbie. Keith and Whitney, Lisa and Michelle and Michael and Scott are still stuck on the beach looking for their treasure chests, and the sun is setting. Keith and Whitney want to take the four hour penalty, and hope to convince the other teams to do the same. They all agree to race it out to the end. The realtors are angry when the firemen refuse to let them into their taxi, and complain that their arm was scraped. What is that saying about karma, ladies?

And the First to Arrive

Misti and Jim are team number one, and they win The Save. Phil even comments on their bright sparkling teeth. Hilarious!

The Last to Arrive

Lisa and Michelle are the last team to arrive, and have been eliminated from The Amazing Race.

The Amazing Race airs Friday at 8pm on CBS

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(Image courtesy of CBS)  

Kim Stempel

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Kim has been covering television entertainment since 2013. She is addicted to Real Housewives, Pump Rules, Dancing with the Stars, and many more shows.