The Amazing Race is back! Season 27 started at Venice Beach, with teams introducing themselves intercut with footage of them running down the beach. The cheerleaders are apparently looking to defy the cheerleader, Jersey Girl stereotype, although they sang a different tune in their cast preview interviews. Phil announces that Rob and Brennan, the winners of The Amazing Race Season 1 are here, and then the crowd announces the racers’ first destination: Rio, Brazil. Once Phil says “go,” teams will take taxis to a beach, then compete in a water bike race to win the one and only ticket on the first flight to Rio. The second flight leaves 30 minutes later. As usual, the team that wins this leg of the race will earn the Express Pass.
In the cab on the way to the beach race, Kelsey & Joey do a funny reporter bit, where they talk to the camera as if they’re traveling news reporters. Once teams reach the beach, it’s a mad dash to the water bikes, which are pretty interesting. Tanner & Josh were tied for first with Justin & Diana when their water bike breaks. Justin & Diana beat the mother/son team, Denise & James, in a footrace to win the ticket on the earlier flight. The other 10 teams are on the same flight, and the TMZ women give us their snarky opinions on the other teams (which are pretty on point). The first flight ended up being delayed by 20 minutes, while the second flight was 5 minutes early, so the teams are pretty neck in neck as they head to the Lagoa Helipad. At the helipad, Justin & Diana discover the fast forward, Leap of Fath, which requires both team members to go hand gliding. The fast forward is weather dependent, so this could either be an easy way to win the express pass, or a fatal mistake that puts them in last place.
Teams now take a helicopter ride, and the view is absolutely gorgeous. The cheerleaders are in last place right now, waiting for a helicopter ride. At the fast forward, the director announces that the wind is too powerful, so they can’t fly today. Justin & Diana are now in last place, as they have to go wait for a helicopter ride with the rest of the teams. Once Cindy & Rick land, a man asks them what monument they passed on the flight. They answer correctly, and the man hands them their next clue, which is a detour. Sand requires teams to play foot volley (a type of soccer on a volleyball court) against local pros. To somewhat even the unfair balance of talent in this sport, racers are allowed to use their hands, instead of just their feet. Teams need to score 6 points before the pros score 18 in order to receive their next clue. In Sidewalk, teams have to put a giant geometric slide puzzle together while standing on a similar geometric sidewalk design. Cindy & Rick choose Sidewalk, and for some reason they have to change into white bathing suits before they can work on the puzzle.
Denise & James arrive at Sidewalk to find Cindy & Rick struggling to complete the puzzle. Tanner & Josh
thought that Sand would be an easy detour, but soon discovered that the professionals weren’t hindered in the least by only using their feet. Tanner & Josh eventually get the hang of it, score 6 points, and head to the pit stop at Arpoador Lookout. Jazmine & Danielle finish shortly thereafter, and grab a cab to the pit stop. Josh and Tanner decided to walk, so we’ll see which team gets to Phil first. Denise & James finish the puzzle, leaving Cindy & Rick in their dust. Apparently puzzles really aren’t their thing. Tanner & Josh arrive at the pit stop first, and win the Express Pass! This season, there’s a twist with the Express Pass – Tanner & Josh need to use it by the end of the fifth leg, then pass it on to another team that has to use it in the next leg. Jazmine & Danielle come in 2nd place, while the TMZ women struggled so much with Sand that they switched detours to try the puzzle. After what seemed like a comically long time, Cindy & Rick finally finish the puzzle! Cindy & Rick come in 3rd place, and Denise & James are in 4th place.
Logan & Chris finish Sand while Ernest & Jin are failing miserably at foot volley. For some reason, the cheerleader’s cabbie basically forced them out of the car at the very beginning of the beach, even though the detour is much farther down the beach. Justin & Diana are also struggling to get to the detour asap, to make up for the failed fast forward attempt. Logan & Chris make it to the mat in 5th place. Justin & Diana reach Sidewalk while 2 other teams are still there, which boosts their spirits. Tiffany & Krista finally arrive, and Kelsey & Joey switch detours to try Sand. Tiffany & Krista decided to try the puzzle detour after they were scored on 11 times (and they only had 1 point). Alex & Adam complete Sand and get 6th place, Ernest & Jin come in 7th place, and Kelsey & Joey are in 8th place.
Yet another team switches detours – Justin & Diana go from the puzzle to foot volley, which they are much better at. Justin & Diana finish Sand pretty fast and come in 9th place, and they are clearly so appreciative to still be in the race. I feel bad that they’re beating themselves up so much for trying the fast forward, as that’s what most teams in first place would’ve done. I’m just so glad they’re still in the race! It’s now a meltdown contest between team TMZ and the cheerleaders, as both teams try to finish their puzzle to stay in the race. Tiffany & Krista finish the puzzle, then Kelly turns to Shevonne and says, “That’s disappointing, I really thought we were smarter than the cheerleaders.” I don’t really blame her for being snarky in that moment, because the cheerleaders came in 10th place, ahead of them. After 3 hours and 45 minutes, team TMZ finished their puzzle, only to be greeted by Phil with a beach elimination. Kelly & Shevonne briefly talk to Phil, then say that they’re going to hit the bar.
What did you think about the first episode of The Amazing Race Season 27? I’m not too sad to see team TMZ go, their snark was funny at times, but they weren’t exactly my favorite racers. They do have a pretty tight friendship though, and they seemed to enjoy themselves – aside from the puzzle. Now that we’ve seen the teams in action, who is your pick for the winner of TAR Season 27? I’m rooting for Logan & Chris and Justin & Diana. Let me know who you think will be eliminated next in the comments below!