Reprinted with permission from www.travelfreak.com
Welcome to Season 22 of The Amazing Race! Let’s meet the teams. Per usual, I am not going to bother learning all of their names but will instead refer to them based solely upon first impressions and/or stereotypes:
- Idries and Jamill are twins, and they’re both OG/GYNs? The
- Mona and Beth are mothers who like to toss on some wheels and beat the crap out of each other. Welcome to the race, Team Roller Derby.
- Chuck and Wynona. Oh dear. He’s got a Permullet, the rarest mullet of them all.
- Caroline is a descendant of Daniel Boone, and Jen is John Wayne’s granddaughter. And yes, that sound you hear is The Duke rolling over in his grave. I have dubbed them Team My Family Is Famous, but reserve the right to start calling them Botox.
- Pamela and Winnie are best friends and I like them already because they are semi-devious and not at all insane. So go Team BFF!
- Matthew and Daniel are firefighters. It’s weird, because I thought all firefighters were hot. Anyway, Team Not Hot.
- Max and Katie are the obligatory Newlyweds who will fight and whine and call each other “babe.”
- Anthony and Bates are brothers and professional hockey players. I don’t know much about hockey so for now I’ll just call them Team Bro.
- David and Conner are father and son, and they may also be the models from The Photo That Came With Your Picture Frame.
- Joey and Meghan are both YouTube hosts (I didn’t know that was a thing but it is now my dream job), so I will call them Team YouTube.
- John and Jessica are Team Pretty Pretty Pretty because, well, they’re not giving me much else to work with here.
The teams start out at the Griffin Conservatory in Los Angeles and are headed to Bora Bora where one team member must jump out of a perfectly good helicopter. The winner of the first leg will win not one but TWO express passes—one for themselves, and one to bestow upon another team at some point before the fourth leg.
There are two flights to Bora Bora, and only the first five teams will get on the first flight that lands one hour ahead. Somehow Permullet gets to the airport first, followed by BFF, The Gyno Twins, Pretty Pretty Pretty and The Photo In Your Picture Frame. They make a pact that the winning team will give the second express pass to whichever one of them comes in second, and make a second pact to not speak about Express Pass Club.
There’s a sign-up sheet for one of six helicopter flights, which means they’re going in pairs. After willing yourself to jump out of a helicopter, freefalling, and hopefully landing on, well, land, the teams must go to a beach where the non-jumping teammate will dig through four hundred sandcastles to find the next clue. Oh, and whatever sandcastle is destroyed must be rebuilt. So, fun! Right? Wrong. There isn’t enough sunblock in the world to get teams through this challenge alive.
Digging digging digging, building building building (I’m not sure why everyone is being such a perfectionist with the sandcastles—fill ’em up and dump ’em out!), and Pretty Pretty Pretty are the first to find a clue. Teams must assemble an outrigger canoe and paddle to the pit stop at a beachside café.
The second batch of teams show up to the sandcastle nightmare. Hockey Bro, who have been on the beach for all of two minutes, find the next clue. Hmm. That throws a bit of a wrench into the Express Pass Pact.
Team Pretty Pretty Pretty checks in first, winning the two express passes, and Hockey Bro paddles to a second place finish. Next to get a clue is The Photo That Came With Your Picture Frame (which means they should get the second Express Pass). Shortly after is Roller Derby, then BFFs. But, BFFs are super fast paddlers and inch out Roller Derby for the fourth spot.
The rest of the teams are cracking under the heat of the sun. Team YouTube finds a clue and check in as team number six. Finally The Gyno Twins pull a clue out of the sand, but their canoe tips over which allows Permullet to grab the seventh spot. A very soggy set of doctors check in with Phil as team number eight.
Back at the beach, Not Hot is complaining about how hot it is, and the Newlyweds’ natural Buffalo tan turns an amazing shade of mahogany. Then something incredible happens—the teams yell out a collective, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Rather than continue the futile task of digging and building sandcastles (and risk a visit from Phil on a lonely beach as the sun dips below the horizon), the three remaining teams (Not Hot, My Family Is Famous, and Newlyweds) agree to skip the task and take the four-hour penalty.
So that just leaves a mad paddle to the finish. First to tip over is Not Hot, the Newlyweds call each other “baby” a half dozen times, and Botox use all of their Zumba skills to pass the fledgling firefighters. In the end, the Newlyweds come in ninth and My Family Is Famous comes in tenth. You can almost catch the moment it dawns on them that a four-hour penalty is, like, a lot. But, at least they’re not last like the firefighters. So long, boys.
Next week, Pretty Pretty Pretty wiggle out of the Express Pass Pact and someone ruptures their Achilles tendon.