Eleven teams began their journey on "The Amazing Race" 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.
In Shanghai, they headed to Yuanshen Sports Centre Stadium where they faced Roadblock. One of each team's members had to play a table tennis against a Chinese junior champion and score one point. Things got hilarious as the young athlete began using household items like a tambourine, a clipboard and a frying pan instead of a paddle.
Abbie already scored a point when Rob and Kelley were still lost on their way to the sports stadium. Abbie & Ryan headed to CuiPing Restaurant, followed by James & Abba and chippendales dancers Jaymes & James. At the restaurant, the team member who didn't play table tennis had to eat a traditional Chinese dessert, frog fallopian tubes inside a papaya, with chopsticks.
James & Abba quickly finished the dessert and got the next clue. Meanwhile, Rob had to eat three times because he broke the rules by picking up the food off the table. The clue led them to the Bund Conservatory, where they had to find a woman using an abacus.
Abbie & Ryan were the first team to find the woman and finished in the first place, meaning they have a shot at winning $2 million. Amy & Daniel came in second place, followed by Caitlin & Brittany, Nat & Nadia, Rob & Kelley, James & Abba and Josh & Brent. Gary & Will finished in the eighth place after giving a wrong hint to Jaymes & James about where to find the woman.
Trey & Levi finished ninth, leaving it between Jaymes & James and Rob & Sheila to compete for the last spot. Rob & Sheila slowed down on their way to the pit stop and Jaymes & James arrived 15 seconds ahead of the engaged couple. Despite being the first to be sent home, Rob & Sheila were relieved that they didn't have a conflict during their time on the show.