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The Amazing Race 20, Episode 1: Running Around, Trying Everything Newby Jenn Brasler -- 02/20/2012
The truth is he never left you
While you were making
You didn’t see him?
You leave with nada.
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Our good friend Phil Keoghan is riding his bike in Santa Barbara, leading a group of identically dressed bikers who happen to be our racers this season. I outlined the teams in my preview article, so I won’t go into too much detail here.
Dave G. believes in karma and hopes his and Cherie’s will work in their favor. Bopper & Mark are “from the other side of the tracks,” so they’re used to having nothing. Misa & Maiya aren’t as prissy as people thing, and promise not to cry. Brendon & Rachel R., AKA Brenchel, AKA Radon (as we call them here at RNO), aren’t here to make friends. No, seriously, Rachel says that. Also, mission accomplished. Rachel continues that no one comes between her and her million dollars, so feel free to jump out the window whenever you get the chance.
Joey & Danny have been released into the wild and need to be tagged and returned to the Jersey Shore. One of them goes by “Fitness,” and I refuse to call him that. Nary & Jamie work in a field where there aren’t many men. Nary thinks the race will be easy. Rachel B. & Dave B. hope to reconnect on the race. I am extremely grateful to Elliot & Andrew for having different haircuts so I can tell them apart.
Kerri tells us that she and Stacy are like Daisy Duke, but they’re not afraid to get dirty. Vanessa admits to stalking Ralph before (and during) his first marriage. Terrific. J.J. & Art have to be teammates at work, so they’re used to working together in high-pressure situations.
The teams change out of their biking clothes and meet Phil. The winners of the first leg get the Express Pass and can use it to skip a task before the eighth leg. “The fact is, I will be eliminating most of you,” Phil says. Heh. Of course, the first noneliminated team to cross the finish line wins a million dollars.
The first clue is floating a few feet off the ground in a hot air balloon. There are a bunch of balloons and only 11 clues, though. Phil tells the team that the world is waiting for them, wishes them safety, and sends them on their way.
The racers run up a hill and through a vineyard to start grabbing balloons. Most of the baskets are empty, but Elliot & Andrew and Vanessa & Ralph catch a break. They’re supposed to fly to Santa Barbara. I’m guessing that’s not Santa Barbara, California, since they’re already there. Other teams start grabbing clues. In the product-placed cars, the teams learn from Phil via video that they need to go to Santa Barbara, Argentina. Kerri wonders if they have burritos there. Chances are good, Kerri. Chances are really good.
Only the first six teams to reach the airport get on an earlier connecting flight, so driving fast is a good idea. Finding a clue in a basket is also a good idea, but one that Bopper & Mark and Misa & Maiya are having trouble with. They’re finding the trek through the vineyard difficult enough. The guys find their clue first, leaving the sisters in last place. By the way, Bopper needs to switch to decaf. In their car, Mark needs to puke, but Bopper doesn’t want to stop to let him.
An hour and 44 minutes after the start of the race, Misa & Maiya are still looking at balloons. That’s… really bad. But they finally get a clue and head to the airport.
There’s no airport jockeying, just Phil telling us that Art & J.J., Radon, Rachel & Dave, Vanessa & Ralph, Nary & Jamie, and Elliot & Andrew are on the first connecting flight to Salta. They get clues sending them to the Aerodromo Gilberto Lavaque before the second connecting flight lands. Dave & Cherie wind up behind everyone, with car trouble to boot. Cue the season’s first instance of racers worrying they’ve already doomed themselves.
Art & J.J. are first to the Aerodromo, which turns out to be… another airport. It holds a Roadblock requiring a racer from each team to jump out of a plane. The other racer has to find his or her partner. Art, Brendon, and Dave B. realize that the person taking the task is not the skydiver. Nice twist. So J.J., both Rachels, Vanessa, Nary, and Elliot are jumping. Meanwhile, Art and Dave B. form a quick alliance, connecting because their agencies work together. Their partners drive to the spot where they’ll be meeting the jumpers.
J.J. gets the honor of jumping first. The other racers on the plane cheer him on. He’s really nervous but doesn’t hesitate to jump. Rachel R. is next and takes time to admire the Argentine countryside. Rachel B. enjoys herself, throwing gang signs at the camera. Their partners run out to join them and collect their clues sending them to Patios de Cafayate.
Misa & Maiya, Kerri & Stacy, Mark & Bopper, and Joey & Danny are now on their way to the aerodromo. Kerri can sense that something involving heights is coming. Dave G. & Cherie are behind them, but I’m not sure how far. Nary, Elliot, and Vanessa jump as Vanessa wonders who was the first person to decide to jump out of a plane.
Maiya, Bopper, Kerri, Danny, and Cherie opt to do the Roadblock. This means Misa, Mark, Stacy, Joey, and Dave G. will be jumping. Stacy isn’t happy about this development. Elsewhere, Danny & Joey have failed to learn to drive stick. Good job, guys! Excellent preparation for a race that involves you to drive stick almost every day!1 2 Next-->
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