The Amazing Race is back!
I’m happy about that. To be honest, it originally seemed like we might never see the 33rd installment of The Amazing Race. Filming on the 33rd season started in 2020, before the COVID lockdowns. Once the lockdowns went into effect, filming was suspended. (According to Phil, this happened right after the completion of the third leg of the race.) The racers were sent home. It wasn’t until September of 2021 that the teams returned and completed the race, albeit with a modified route and chartered flights. In other words, after the third leg, I presume we won’t see any more desperate races to the airport.
So, the 33rd season has finally been completed. Last night, CBS premiered the first two episodes and we followed 11 teams of two as the flew from the U.S.A. to London. At the end of the first hour, one team was eliminated. At the end of the second hour, Phil announced that the second leg of the race was a “continue racing” leg (which I guess has replaced the “non-elimination” leg) and that the last team to arrive at the pit stop had not been eliminated. Yay!
Now, with The Amazing Race, it takes about half-a-season to really get to know the teams. The first few episodes are always a bit hectic and it can be difficult to keep track of everyone. With that in mind, here are my first impressions of the teams, in order of what place they were in at the end of the last night’s premiere:
Ryan and Dusty: Ryan and Dusty are this season’s best friends. Ryan spent decades in prison for a murder he didn’t commit but he still seems to be surprisingly cheerful and optimistic. They ended the first leg of the race in 2nd place. At the end of the 2nd leg, they’re in first place. They’re a strong team.
Connie and Sam: Connie and Sam are a married couple. They seem likable enough. They ended the first leg in 7th place but are currently in 2nd. I think they’re going to be around for a while because they know how to work together and they seem to have a pretty good attitude, even when things get tough. We’ll see.
Arun and Natalia: This father-and-daughter team is from Detroit and they definitely want you to know it. I’m not sure how they’re “Detroit vs Everybody” shirts will play in certain countries. They struggled during the 1st leg, coming in 9th. However, they rallied during the 2nd episode an are currently in 3rd place.
Raquel and Cayla: The flight attendants! They finished the first leg in third and are currently in fourth. They seem like a typical middle-of-the-road team, the type who is destined to come in 5th or 4th.
Kim and Penn: Kim and Penn are a married couple of have a YouTube channel. They’re kind of annoying. They seem to be another typical middle-of-the-road team but Penn has a tendency to overthink things and I think that will be their downfall. After coming in 4th during the first leg, they’re currently in 5th place.
Caro and Ray: Call them Team Doomed. This dating couple met on Love Island. They finished in 5th place during the first leg of the race and they’re currently in 6th. Last night, they spent too much time fighting. I think they’re the team most likely to have a massive meltdown.
Anthony and Spencer: Anthony and Spencer are childhood friends. They’re also famous for preventing a terrorist attack on a train in France in 2015. They even starred in the film that Clint Eastwood made about the incident, The 15:17 to Paris. Anthony and Spencer finished the 1st leg in first and but they struggled during the second leg and are currently in 7th. That said, I think they’re a strong team and I think they’ll be around for a while.
Akbar and Sheri: The married teachers, they struggled during both legs of the race. They ended the first leg in 6th and are currently in 8th. they seem like nice people but I don’t expect them to make it far in the race.
Taylor and Isiah: This married couple has their own YouTube Channel. They struggled during both legs. They finished the first leg in 8th place. They’re currently in 9th.
Lula and Lala: The twins are not doing well at all. They narrowly avoided elimination by coming in 10th at the end of the first leg. At the end of the second leg, they’re still in last place and would have been eliminated if not for the 2nd leg being a “continue racing” leg. They need to start paying more attention to detail if they’re going to make it to the end.
Mike and Moe: The singing cops seemed nice enough but they were eliminated at the end of the first leg.
And that’s it for now. To be honest, it might be a mistake to read too much into the early legs. We know that the race is going to be suspended after the third leg and that the racers will end up waiting over a year to return to the race. So, the fourth leg of the race will essentially be the start of a totally new race.
We’ll see what happens. For now, I’m just happy to have my favorite reality show back!