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The Amazing Race season premiere recap: Chile Reception

Season 16 kicks off with 11 teams doing their own high-wire act and heading out to paint the town

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Amazing
Monty Brinton/CBS

The Amazing Race

type:
TV Show
genre:
Reality TV
run date:
03/08/01
performer:
Phil Keoghan
Producer:
Jerry Bruckheimer
broadcaster:
CBS
seasons:
29
Current Status:
In Season

Welcome back for another season, Amazing Race fans! After last year’s less-than-stellar Race, Bertram van Munster and his gang of less-awesomely-named producers are finally back in the groove with plenty of great casting…and Joe and Heidi. Plus, they managed to pack this first episode with important lessons for us viewers. For example, black people get better directions from black people! Who knew, Monique and Shawne? Also: Willing a technical glitch on a massive piece of equipment can sometimes cause it to break down. Thanks for showing us how it’s done, Brandy! And there’s always the ol’ rule about how the best way to remind yourself to actually follow instructions on a show all about following instructions is to write ”details” on your arm. Too bad you didn’t heed your own wisdom, Brent and of-course-you-spell-your-name-that-way Caite!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s rewind back to Los Angeles where Phil Keoghan kicked off the 16th Amazing Race by telling teams they’d have to find their way to LAX via (pause for dramatic music) public transportation. ”Here in Los Angeles that can be a major challenge,” Phil tells us. And just when you were about to hate on Phil for being totally elitist and snobby, the princessy lesbian couple (who’ve already told us that they’d win the race if the clue sent them to find the nearest Louis Vuitton) Brandy and Carol sounded even more horrified. ”Public transportation to us is, like, not using a valet parker,” Carol says. Shockingly — shockingly! — people in Los Angeles seem to know how to direct the teams to the Metro and the Flyaway Bus that takes them directly to the airport. Okay, I’ll let my screw-you-Porsche-drivers rant go now.

Phil has already told us that the first three teams will make it onto a plane that arrives in Chile one hour earlier than the second team. And Joe has already declared to his teammate wife Heidi that they’re in the lead, which, of course, is wrong. But it’s just the first of what is sure to be plenty of opportunities for Joe to make himself look like a fool. He’s told us with apparent pride that he’s going to be the ”problem child” of the race. ”Joe is very confrontational,” his wife Heidi tells us. ”He certainly has said things that really piss people off.” Is it his obnoxious demeanor or simply the puffy-faced disdain for his wife that makes him somewhat resemble Jon Gosselin to me?

Nonetheless, Jeff and Jordan (the absolutely adorable — if occasionally lacking on the IQ front — couple from last year’s Big Brother house), Monique and Shawne (moms/attorneys who wear shirts that say cutesy bumper-sticker-sayings like ”Mompreneurs”), and Dana and Adrian (the doomed but lovey dovey high school sweethearts) luckily secure the only three spots on that first flight. And I say luckily because even after assuring Jeff that she knew Chile was a country, Jordan still showed up at the ticket counter and asked for a flight to China. Should we give her a free pass and say it’s easy to confuse Chile with China? Both start with C. Both have two syllables and end in a vowel? Or should we be irate that the $1 million $500,000 winner of Big Brother couldn’t even use a drop of that money for enrollment in a ”Hooked on Geographic Phonics” seminar? For now, I’m still Team Jordan.

NEXT: Jet and Cord show us the money

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