Eleven teams began their journey on "" in the premiere episode of season 21 which aired Sunday, September 30. After being informed that a team who won the first and last leg could get a $2 million grand prize, everyone rappelled off of the Colorado Street Bridge in California. Once they hit the ground, they learned that they would travel to Shanghai, China.
The first seven teams to arrive at Los Angeles airport got tickets for the first flight, and they were James & Jaymes, Caitlin & Brittany, James & Abba, Amy & Daniel, Abbie & Ryan, Nat & Nadia and Rob & Kelley. Rob & Sheila, Gary & Will and Trey & Lexi, meanwhile, were on the second flight.