Saturday, April 1, 2017

TAR 29, Recap Leg 1, 3/30/17

Welcome to Leg 1 of The Amazing Race 29!  The Amazing Camera careens through Los Angeles, as usual, to Phil, who is waiting for us in Grand Hope Park.  Oh, TAR, I’ve missed you!  Never wait fourteen months to premiere again!  Anyway, we find out the twist of the season: none of the twenty-two contestants are related!  Thus, we need to pair them up. (click for more)

Phil explains that the Race this time will visit nine countries, seventeen cities and racers will travel 36000 miles, but everyone has been sequestered, so no one knows anyone or who they are racing with.  Thus, our first challenge.

TASK: Contestants must travel by foot to the F&M Gallery Luggage shop, which is 2 blocks southwest and 7 blocks southeast from the park.  Once there, they must choose a piece of luggage that has a tag in the shape of the Panamanian Flag and return to the park.  The order of correct return determines the order for picking teams.

So, Phil describes the task.  “What are you waiting for, go get your luggage!”  And teams race for the luggage shop.  There is mingling, a little working together, a scuffle between two female contestants.  Teams get their luggage and return to the park in the following order:

1) Seth
2) Matt
3) Olive
4) Shamir
5) Sara
6) Scott
7) Becca
8) Vanck
9) Redmond
10) Tara
11) London
12) Floyd
13) Jenn
14) Michael
15) Kevin
16) Brooke
17) Liz
18) Logan
19) Jessie
20) Francesca
21) Ashton
22) Joey – who actually checked in ninth, but had a Czech flag on his tag and had to go back to the shop.

So now, teams can be picked!  Thus, the teams are chosen in order in which contestants returned, and Seth has first pick.

So the eleven teams are:

Seth and Olive, Team Justice League, #TeamAmerica.  Seth thinks that Olive, placing as high as she did, would be a fantastic person to work with.  Also, thirteen year age difference.

Matt and Redmond, Team Athletic Men. #TheBoys.  Matt thinks that Redmond seems cool and just as athletic as he is.  Also, thirteen year age difference.

Shamir and Sara, Team Hot Young People, #TheSAndSExpress.  Shamir wanted a girl to race with anyway.  But totally because mixed gender teams win the race more often.

Brooke and Scott, Team Will and Grace, #TeamBrookeandScott.  Scott actually got next pick, and I’m not sure what his logic was in picking Brooke.  As a gay man, I can see the need for a witty straight woman, but that just seems like a random pick.

Becca and Floyd, Team Nerdgasm, #TeamFun.  I actually wanted this team to happen.  I think they have similar personalities, and it really shows how younger kids seem to have a different perspective on working with people.

Vanck and Ashton, Team Beauty and the Geek, #TeamVanckAndAshton.  Ashton starts talking about how she really wants to work with a hot guy and then gets picked by Vanck.  This is not going to go well.

Tara and Joey, Team Old Folks, #TeamMomAndDad.  Tara doesn’t hold Joey’s mistake against him, and picks him.  I think it helps that she finished very close to his original check-in, and knows he’s capable of moving quickly.  This sets up the oldest two people in this race (38 and 46, respectively) racing together as a result.

London and Logan, Team Vapid Models, #TeamLoLo.  London picks Logan because he’s hot, and the Amazing Editors manage to get a shot of Ashton looking annoyed at not getting paired with Logan.

Kevin and Jenn, Team Asians Unite!, #LongHairDontCare.   Jenn picks Kevin because, Asians?  Why not! (Toyouke: "Exactly")

Liz and Michael, Team Backwoods Hipster, #TeamLizandMike.  Michael, with the last pick, chose unexperienced Liz.  Of the three girls, I would have also picked her, if I was a hipster butcher.

Jessie and Francesca, Team Lori And Bolo Redux, #SwoleSisters.  Jessie would have gotten the next pick, but she has to pick Francesca, so that squabble from earlier between them?  Yeah.  That could have been disastrous.

Now that we FINALLY have teams, they learn that there is an Express Pass, the only one of the season, hidden in one of the twenty-two pieces of luggage, which is also where they will get their first clue.  Teams are instructed to run from the park and take a taxi to LAX, where they will catch their flight, but there are only two available.  And, because Jessie and Francesca didn’t get to pick their teammate, Phil will drive them there himself!  Oh, and the first team to finish will win ONE MILLION DOLLARS (US$1000000)!  Then oh so sexy Phil does his standard patter: “Ready?  The world is waiting for you.  Good luck, travel safe.  Cue Phil's eyebrow pop.  GO!”  Who will be eliminated . . . tonight?

Los Angeles, California, USA 

Teams head to LAX in their cab or Phil-chauffeured car.

Clue: Fly to Panama City, Panama!  Once there, choose a marked rental car and drive yourselves to the Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal  to get your next clue.
So, teams make their ways to LAX to catch their flights, and arrive in the following order:

1- Matt/Redmond
2- Becca/Floyd – and Floyd opens his luggage to find the Express Pass!
3- Brooke/Scott
4- London/Logan  
5- Seth/Olive
6- Jessie/Francesca 
7- Vanck/Ashton
8- Tara/Joey
9- Shamir/Sara
10- Kevin/Jenn – Jenn: “All Asians look like they are 12.”  *cue side eye from Asian cab driver who is probably 60* (Toyouke: "Fair, he doesn't look 12, but he is probably at least 75")
11- Liz/Michael

Teams arrive at LAX and make their way to the Copa Air counter to get tickets for their flights to Panama City.
Flight 1, Copa Air 362, departs 9:47 PM, arrives 6:16 AM:
1) Matt/Redmond
2) Becca/Floyd
3) Brooke/Scott
4) London/Logan
5) Seth/Olive  

Flight 2, Copa Air 303, departs 11:50 PM, arrives 8:11 AM: 
1) Jessie/Francesca – which then makes me file away for the future that a car with Phil may not be the fastest mode of transportation. (Toyouke: "Oh please, like you'd turn down a car ride with Phil")
2) Vanck/Ashton
3) Tara/Joey
4) Shamir/Sara
5) Kevin/Jenn 
6) Liz/Michael

So, teams board their respective flights.  The Amazing Blue Lines take us to Tocumen International Airport in Panama City.  The first flight arrives on time, but the second flight arrives an hour later than planned, giving the first flight a three hour head start.  Teams land and arrive in Panama City in the following order:

1- London/Logan
2- Becca/Floyd
3- Brooke/Scott
4- Seth/Olive  
5- Matt/Redmond
6- Tara/Joey 
7- Jessie/Francesca
8- Liz/Michael
9- Shamir/Sara
10- Vanck/Ashton
11- Kevin/Jenn

Teams drive themselves to the Miraflores Locks.  However, apparently none of the locals actually know where the Panama Canal is, which makes finding these oddly difficult.  Once everyone gets pointed in the right direction, the teams get their clues in the following order:

1- Seth/Olive
2- Becca/Floyd
3- Brooke/Scott
4- London/Logan  
5- Matt/Redmond
6- Shamir/Sara 
7- Vanck/Ashton
8- Tara/Joey
9- Jessie/Francesca
10- Liz/Michael
11- Kevin/Jenn

Teams are now instructed to drive themselves to Soberania National Park and find the Canopy Tower at the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center to get their next clue.  Teams arrive at the Canopy Tower (dizzied from the spiral staircase) in the following order:

1- Seth/Olive
2- Becca/Floyd
3- Brooke/Scott
4- London/Logan  
5- Matt/Redmond
6- Shamir/Sara 
7- Vanck/Ashton
8- Tara/Joey
9- Jessie/Francesca
10- Liz/Michael
11- Kevin/Jenn

And we get the Detour Clue.

Shoot OR Scoot
Teams must travel by foot to the Detour location.
*Shoot: Teams travel by traditional canoe to use a bow and arrow to knock over two silver fish.
*Scoot: Teams travel by modern canoe through a race against a professional team.  If they do not beat them to the finish line the first time, they will get successively more head starts until they get beaten.

Teams arrive at their Detours in the following order:

1- Becca/Floyd choose Shoot 
2- Seth/Olive choose Scoot
3- Brooke/Scott choose Shoot – and then, in the first Bald Snark of the season, they determine this is too difficult (even though Brooke can’t paddle) and Bald Snark to Scoot.
4- London/Logan choose Shoot – who also Bald Snark to Scoot.
5- Matt/Redmond choose Scoot
6- Shamir/Sara choose Scoot
7- Tara/Joey choose Scoot
8- Vanck/Ashton choose Scoot – but find it too difficult and Bald Snark to Shoot, and then realize Shoot is too complicated, and in the first Double Bald Snark of the season, return to Scoot.
9- Jessie/Francesca choose Scoot
10- Liz/Michael choose Shoot – who also Bald Snark to Scoot.
11- Kevin/Jenn choose Scoot – but then get shut down by Hours of Operation / Safety Reasons before completing the Detour.

After much canoe paddling and arrow shooting, teams complete the detour in the following order:

1- Seth/Olive
2- Becca/Floyd
3- Matt/Redmond
4- Brooke/Scott  
5- Shamir/Sara
6- London/Logan 
7- Tara/Joey
8- Vanck/Ashton
9- Jessie/Francesca
10- Liz/Michael
11- Kevin/Jenn

Teams are now instructed to travel to the PIT STOP, the Cinta Costera III, under the giant Panamanian Flag.  This is the first pit stop in a racearoundtheworld.  The last team to arrive MAY be eliminated!

1- Seth/Olive – who . . .win nothing?  Maybe we’ll find out later.
2- Becca/Floyd
3- Matt/Redmond
4- Brooke/Scott  
5- Shamir/Sara
6- Tara/Joey 
7- Vanck/Ashton
8- London/Logan
9- Jessie/Francesca
10- Liz/Michael – who actually arrive last, however, . . . 
11- Kevin/Jenn – who arrive 10th, incur a 2 hour penalty for not completing the detour.

And Kevin and Jenn are eliminated!  They got really lost and hope to remain friends.

1st – Seth/Olive  
2nd – Becca/Floyd 
3rd – Matt/Redmond 
4th – Brooke/Scott 
5th – Shamir/Scott 
6th – Tara/Joey 
7th – Vanck/Ashton
8th – London/Logan
9th – Jessie/Francesca
10th – Liz/Michael

Next week: We are off to Brazil!  Until next time!

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