I Told You Less Martinis and More Cardio
The eleventh season of The Amazing Race kicks off from Miami, Florida. Oswald and Danny took the early lead, but John Vito and Jill beat them to the airport and Rob and Amber (yes, that Rob and Amber) beat them to the shuttle.
Since Rob and Amber followed Oswald and Danny to the airport, Rob actually held the shuttle for them - though to be fair it wasn't all out of the kindness of his heart. He did mention that he wanted everyone to remember what he did. As if anyone will remember anything on the next leg, much less a few weeks from now.
The rest of the times made their way to the airport, and found that there were two flights out of town. Though one flight left later, it actually arrived earlier. Though I'm not terribly familiar with international travel, I've always thought this would be a fun wrench to throw into the works. I'm glad to see that it was done. Of course, at this early stage, it's not going to matter much, but it's still fun to watch teams jockey for position.
Once in Quito, Ecuador, teams had to head for the Plaza San Francisco for their next clue. Rob and Amber made it there first, just ahead of Oswald and Danny. The clue told them to travel 3 miles to Pim's Restaurant, where they would get one of three departure times for the next morning.
Rob and Amber, John Vito and Jill, Charla and Mirna and Oswald and Danny received the first departure time - at 7:00am. The second departure slot, 7:15am, was nailed down by Teri and Ian, Dustin and Kandice, Joe and Bill and Uchenna and Joyce. The final departure time - 7:30am - was reserved for David and Mary, Eric and Danielle and Kevin and Drew.
The next morning, teams took the road to Hacienda Yanahurco, an ecological reserver in Cotopaxi National Park. Teams were advised to enter through the North entrance. Did you get that? They were advised to do so. That means two things. First, they don't have to do it and second, some teams didn't.
Once arriving at Hacienda Yanahurco, teams encounter their first Detour, where they have to choose one of two different tasks before proceeding. Here, they had to choose between Wrangle It and Recover It.
In Wrangle It, teams had to help local cowboys to lasso, tie down and groom one wild horse whose hooves have grown so long that they cannot walk properly. Team members had to use traditional tools to clip its hooves to a safe length, and to trim its mane and tail. When they set the horse free, they would receive their next clue. In Recover It, one team member had to put on an historical military uniform. Then, the team must search the field for three items missing from the uniform: an epaulette, a button and a sword. Once done, a general would hand them their next clue.
Only Rob and Amber chose Recover It, but after failing to find the epaulette or button after looking for a few minutes, and seeing other teams approaching, they quickly decided to switch tasks, and after a speedy finish to Wrangle It, received the clue for the Pit Stop - head up the hill to Mirador Cotopaxi. After stepping on the mat in first place, they won a trip for two to the Four Seasons Resort in Whistler, Canada. I guess their fifteen minutes of fame isn't up yet. But if they don't start to pick tasks better, it might be before long.
There were some troubles, however. Charla and Mirna came into the park through the South side, not the North. Kevin and Drew had a flat tire that was completely shredded, but rather than change the tire, they drove on the rim. John Vito and Jill followed someone in the wrong direction, and were ultimately eliminated from the race.
- Newlyweds Rob and Amber are looking strong. While Rob can be annoying, it seems that they might be in it for the win this time.
- Oswald and Danny turned in a somewhat surprising second-place finish, and have that unknown quality that may take them far. They don't take things too seriously, and don't seem a threat. Watch them.
- Elder statesmen Teri and Ian are a puzzle. Ian takes things too seriously, and they tend to miss markers. But if they concentrate, they might do well.
- Mix-matched couple Eric and Danielle don't seem to have the chemistry of the others. While they have the physical traits, they might not have the rest.
- Joe and Bill apparently still think too much of themselves. I suspect this will be their ultimate undoing. Don't expect much and you won't be disappointed.
- Beauty queens Dustin and Kandice have some strengths, but they just came back from a race around the world. Is it too much to do back-to-back?
- Uchenna and Joyce won the race once already, and they've admitted to marital issues. They can win it, but I don't know if they have what it takes.
- Cousins Charla and Mirna get on everyone's nerves - including each other's. I don't think that they will be around long. At least, I hope not.
- David and Mary, Team Kentucky, is back again for another try at going around the world. Back-to-back for another team is just too much. They won't be here long.
- The bald brothers Kevin and Drew are mostly whiners. With the foot (or leg) injury in the first leg, I don't think we're going to see much from them, especially at the back of the pack.
I'm glad the race is back, and I like the idea of an all-star edition. I'd actually think that a "where are they now" version would be cool, just to see how many people are doing. But some of the novelty has worn off. Seeing people who have never traveled - or never traveled far - is the fun part. Seeing those who have gone around the world already is good too, but it will be interesting to see if any of these people have learned anything. If so, then it would seem to be those that did better that rise to the top. We'll have to watch to see.