FIGHTING FOR FIRST
In picturesque Iquique, Chile, bickering exes Tim & Marie found a way to work together and win the first leg along with two Express Passes while father and daughter Hoskote & Naina were eliminated.
THE WORLD IS WAITING
On the dusty streets of an old Western movie ranch in Southern California, eleven teams gathered at the starting line where host Phil Keoghan welcomed them to the adventure of a lifetime. After tantalizing teams by telling them their first destination would be along the exotic coastline of South America, Phil informed them that once again two Express Passes would be up for grabs for winning the first leg; one for themselves and one to give to a team of their choice by the end of the fifth leg. With the first clue just a phone call away to the other side of the world from inside an allnew Ford C-Max Energi hybrid cars, Phil wished the teams good luck, uttered his familiar phrase, "The world is waiting for you", and officially signaled the beginning of The Amazing Race. After a short sprint past the old West saloon to pick up their backpacks, the eleven teams jumped into their Ford C-Max Energi hybrids and used the car's voiceactivated feature to dial a number that informed teams they would be flying to Iquique, Chile. However, with only a limited number of seats on the first flight, teams had to hurry to LAX to keep their Express Pass hopes alive.
A ROUGH START
On the drive to the airport, the magnitude and difficulty of the running the Race as a cohesive team truly began to sink in. The tumultuous relationship between exes Tim & Marie took no time to reveal itself as the pair hurled insults towards one another. After Tim wondered how Marie's voice could be so shrill, she sniped back, "I didn't know they made people as dumb as you." Meanwhile, best friends Tim & Danny became confused driving on the sprawling freeways of Southern California and pulled over to ask a woman with limited English speaking skills for directions. When that plan didn't pan out particularly well, Danny lamented, "There's not this many freeways in Oklahoma." When the dust settled at LAX, cousins Leo & Jamal, former NFL players Chester & Ephraim, theater actors Rowan & Shane, exes Tim & Marie, NHL Ice Crew members Ally & Ashley, baseball wives Nicki & Kim, and married ER doctors Travis & Nicole all booked tickets on the first flight to Iquique. That left childhood friends Adam & Brandon, dating couple Jason & Amy, father and daughter Hoskote & Naina, and best friends Tim & Danny on the second flight over two and a half hours behind. While waiting for their flights to Chile, teams took the time to meet, greet, and forge new alliances with one another. Adam explained to Hoskote & Naina that he and his wife live deep in the woods of Northern California embarking on a project to build a hostel. When Adam said that during winter he would only see four cars in a month, Hoskote quipped of his daughter, "My princess couldn't live like that." Meanwhile, NHL Ice Crew members Ally & Ashley met cousins Leo & Jamal and instantly bonded with the fellow Southern Californians. Ally said, "They had a good vibe going towards us and we felt the same about them." Jamal joked, "My brides. How are you?" Leo added, "They might be playing us to get that Express Pass, but we may be playing everyone else too. That's part of the game."
HIGH FLYING IN CHILE
Landing in the coastal city of Iquique along the shores of the Pacific Ocean, the seven teams on the first American Airlines flight bolted out of the airport and into taxis headed to Alto Hospicio where they had to search the Zona de Parapentes for Javier who would hand them their next clue. Looking out the window of their taxi that slowly ascended the steep incline to Alto Hospicio, former NFL players Chester & Ephraim reacted to the paraglider they spotted soaring high above them. Half kidding, half afraid, Ephraim joked, "Did my voice go up four octaves right there?" Running to Javier who stood near the edge of a cliff at Zona de Parapentes, married ER doctors Travis & Nicole ripped open their clue in first place to find a Roadblock that asked, "Who's good at follow the leader?" In the Roadblock, one team member had to follow their partner who would be paragliding from the rugged cliffs atop Alto Hospicio, a training ground for many of the best acrobatic pilots in the world. Once they were reunited with their partner on Brave Beach, the jumpmaster would hand them their next clue.
Seeing the gliders and instructors lined up near the cliff, most teams (incorrectly) assumed that the person choosing to perform the Roadblock would be the one paragliding. When he realized he would be jumping off a cliff, a very nervous Chester shouted, "Oh man!" Hoping to avoid the task because of her acute fear of heights, Kim had to step away from her partner for a moment when she realized what she now faced. When she returned to Kim, Nicki admitted, "I'm freaking out." After putting on a helmet and strapping into a glider with his instructor, Travis took a running start towards the sloped cliff and let the wind take over once he stepped off the edge into the air. Increasing altitude and soaring over the city, Travis marveled, exclaiming, "Look at that view and feel that wind!" He later added, "It was just one of those moments that's really so awe inspiring." Jumping into a taxi to follow her husband, Nicole communicated in fluent Spanish to her driver as she kept her eye out the window to track Travis gliding through the sky towards the beach. Watching with trepidation as Chester, Rowan, Ally, and Leo all took their big leap off of the edge of Alto Hospicio, a visibly nervous Kim began to gear up, telling Nicki, "I feel like I'm going to throw up." With her son, Spidey, back home, Kim worried who would take care of him if something happened to her while paragliding. Ultimately, Kim harnessed the worry she had over her son into motivation by trying to become a role model for him (like her husband, professional baseball player David DeJesus) to show Spidey his mom went after her dreams. When Kim finally lifted off the ground with her instructor, she said a prayer and added, "Spidey baby, this is for you. I hope you're proud of me."
While Leo, Ally, Kim, and Tim enjoyed some truly breathtaking scenery soaring over Iquique, their partners had to solve a crisis of their own making. Jamal, Ashley, Nicki, and Marie had no taxis to follow their partners because the teams let their cabs go before reading the Roadblock clue. Building on the relationship formed at LAX, Jamal borrowed a local man's phone to call for two taxis, one for him and one for Ashley. However, by the time the two taxis arrived, Jamal had separated from Ashley in their search for a vehicle as Ashley walked along the road with Marie. The two women spotted the taxis driving towards them and raised their arms to hail the cabs. At this point, Jamal turned his head and saw Marie getting in one of the taxis he ordered and ran down the street trying to prevent it, saying, "I don't want Marie to get in there. She's annoying." Safely in her own taxi, Ashley lamented, "I feel bad for Jamal." Walking past Marie who rode off in the taxi, Jamal muttered, "What just happened here was straight up robbery." Moments later however, Jamal found a new taxi just ahead of Nicki as all four racers now tried to make up for their mistake.
On the sandy shore of Brave Beach, Travis, Chester (who Ephraim called "a military grade jeep in a parachute" in the sky), and Rowan all landed just steps from the Pacific Ocean and waited for their partners to arrive. Although Nicole and Ephraim arrived in the area first, their taxi dropped them off almost a mile away forcing them to run the remaining distance to Brave Beach. Meanwhile, Shane's driver dropped him off directly in front of the landing zone allowing him to reach Rowan in first place. The theater actors ripped open their clue sending them to Muelle Prat and left Brave Beach just ahead of Chester & Ephraim and Nicole & Travis. As Ally, Leo, Kim, and Tim all touched down on the beach and reunited with their partners, the four teams on the second flight finally landed in Iquique. Jumping into taxis, Hoskote & Naina, Adam & Brandon, Jason & Amy, and Tim & Danny all worried about the threat of elimination looming over them. Oklahoman Tim commented, "I don't want our trip to end. Just thinking about my family. This means a lot to us."
ROW YOUR BOAT
While sea lions lounged languidly on the wooden docks of Muelle Prat, married ER doctors Nicole & Travis sprinted to the cluebox to find a second Roadblock. In it, the person who paraglided in the first Roadblock had to choose a rowboat and search Iquique's harbor. Rowing cumbersome boats and searching among hundreds of ships, they had to collect a total of five fish from any of three specific fishing boats, the San Francisco, the Dona Hilda, and the Scarleth, each containing a limited number of fish. Once they were delivered to the fishmonger, he would hand them their next clue. Trying to nurture a slim lead he held over Jamal (who mistakenly started the Roadblock instead of Leo) and Rowan, Travis jumped into a rowboat and quickly became familiar with the oars to propel him into the harbor. After floating past boats named Navegante, San Lorenzo, and Soy Como Soy, Travis spotted the Dona Hilda, pulled up next to the side of the ship, and took five fish from the captain. As Travis used all his strength to row back to the dock, Nicole shouted encouragement, "Think of the kids!" After Travis hung his fish on the dock, the fishmonger handed him a picture of the Pit Stop. Teams needed to figure out they had to proceed on foot to Teatro Municipal de Iquique.
Missing the information in their clue about traveling on foot, an excited Nicole & Travis looked ahead to winning two Express Passes as they jumped into a taxi. Seeing Phil standing near the steps of the theater, the married ER doctors sprinted from their cab onto the mat. As soon as Phil said, "You are the first team to arrive" Nicole knew something was amiss. When Phil informed the stunned doctors they had wait out a 30-minute penalty for taking a taxi, Travis blurted out, "Boy, the Express Pass!" Taking a seat, Nicole added, "This will be the longest 30-minutes probably of our lives." As the clock ticked on the married ER doctors' penalty, it initially appeared that no team would be able to catch them before time ran out. Even though Ashley and Nicki informed Leo that he needed to perform the Roadblock, Leo couldn't get Jamal's attention on the boat because Jamal was preoccupied with a broken oar. However, tuning out the irritating shouts from his partner (and ex) Marie, Tim found the San Francisco and loaded five fish into his rowboat. Rowing back to shore with Marie still shouting, Tim joked, "She can't even stop annoying me from the dock." Once Tim delivered his fish to the fishmonger, he and Marie didn't make the same mistake as Nicole & Travis. The exes ran all the way to the theater and passed right by the married ER doctors on their way to the mat to win the leg and the two Express Passes. With a smile on her face, Marie told Tim, "This is proof. All the yelling it works!" After Nicole & Travis officially finished in second place, Travis commented, "We're really usually careful about paying attention to details so not winning the Express Passes was really a disappointment." With Jamal finally returning to shore to allow Leo to begin the Roadblock properly, theater actors Rowan & Shane capped off a strong leg in third place, former NFL players Chester & Ephraim took fourth place, and baseball wives Nicki & Kim snagged fifth place. The Afghanimals' major blunders dropped them all the way to seventh place, right behind their alliance partners NHL Ice Crew members Ally & Ashley.
THE RACE FOR LAST
On the edge of Alto Hospicio, Brandon appeared poised to take the lead over Jason, Hoskote, and Oklahoman Tim by being the first off the cliff and into the air. However, as soon as Brandon hit the sloped part of the cliff, he expected to be lifted up by the wind so he stopped running. This didn't work as Brandon went tumbling down with his paraglide behind him. Having to walk back up the hill and reset the paraglide put Brandon in last place as he watched Jason, Hoskote, and Tim all soar ahead of him. One by one, Jason, Hoskote, Tim, and Brandon landed on Brave Beach and each reunited immediately with their partners except for Hoskote. After landing second behind Jason, Hoskote watched as Tim & Danny and Adam & Brandon both departed the beach ahead of him wondering what happened to his daughter. When Naina finally arrived at the beach, she was shocked when her dad told her they were now in last place, guessing, "He [taxi driver] must have taken a longer route."
Arriving at Muelle Prat moments apart, Tim, Brandon, and Jason all jumped into rowboats trying to maintain their narrow lead over Hoskote & Naina. While Jason showed off the rowing skills he picked up on the crew team in prep school, Tim and Brandon flailed around the harbor unable to propel their boats in any specific direction. Tim later commented, "We have motors in our boats back home." Rowing back from the San Francisco with five fish, eighth place Jason helped out the struggling Tim by telling him where he got the fish. Once ninth place Tim also got his fish, he paid it forward by sharing the boat name with the equally inept Brandon just as Hoskote & Naina arrived at Muelle Prat. With Brandon unable to row his boat with any accuracy and skill, Hoskote had an opportunity to catch up since he needed to perform the task. However, Naina misread the clue and jumped into a boat immediately after declaring that she would do the Roadblock instead. As Naina fell in her boat and complained about not being able to row, Brandon made it out to the San Francisco and returned to the dock with five fish while partner Adam showered him with encouragement. By the time Naina realized she read the clue wrong, it was too late. Childhood friends Adam & Brandon survived the leg in tenth place.
RACE CUT SHORT
As the sun set over Iquiquie, Naina began to cry as watched her father row in the harbor, saying, "I didn't expect to go out like this. The adventure didn't even begin for us." After Phil told the father and daughter they had been eliminated from the Race, Hoskote remarked, "It ended for us way too soon." Naina added, "What I wanted to show my dad was cut short. I think he has a ways to go as far as lightening that grip that he has on me. And his expectations." When Phil asked how much of a say her father would have in picking the right man for Naina to marry, Hoskote told him, "Father knows best." ...