An early departure kicked off the 24th edition of "The Amazing Race". In the season premiere aired on Sunday, February 23, host Phil Keoghan revealed that William "Bopper" Minton could not participate in the competition because he was diagnosed with an inflamed pancreas just the night before the race.
While Bopper was forced to withdraw from the competition, his friend Mark Jackson stays in the race with a new partner. He chose Mallory Ervin, who had played before in season 17 and 18, as his new teammate.
Now that all 11 teams were ready, they played the first game which was to locate the Cantonese symbols for Guangzhou on the helmets of the UCLA Bruin Marching Band members. Jet & Cord, Dave & Connor, Leo & Jamal, and Nadiya & Natalie earned tickets for the first flight to Guangzhou, China, while the other teams took a flight which departed an hour later.
Once they arrived in Guangzhou, the teams had to locate one of three wedding gown stores along Jiangnan Avenue. They would get their next clue in the stores which eventually led them to the Canton Tower. Twin sisters Natalie & Nadiya bickered a lot on their way which didn't help them find the store while other teams were ahead of them.
Jet & Cord easily found the Canton Tower with the help of local people. There, they rode the ferris wheel, which some of the bubble cars had clues but some had no clues. The teams had to complete the ride to find out if they picked the right bubble. The twins once again wasted their time bickering, letting other teams slip past them.
Jet & Cord, still leading, arrived at Haixinshea Stadium first. They faced Roadblock, which required one of each team members to dress in a special outfit and flip through the air five times. Cord happily did the challenge while Margie almost cried as she's afraid of heights.
After completing the Roadblock, they headed to the Pit Stop in Guangzhou Opera House. Jet & Cord arrived first and earned an Express Pass. Brendan & Rachel finished second, followed by Dave & Connor, Margie & Luke, Leo & Jamal, Mark & Mallory, Flight Time & Big Easy, Jessica & John, Caroline & Jen, and Joey & Meghan in respective order. The twins, Natalie & Nadiya, arrived the last and were eliminated.