Welcome to a 23rd season of secondhand airport fatigue, feeling half-embarrassed and half-delighted at the way our American compadres handle themselves in foreign affairs, and watching brightly colored sneakers dart around as you sit perfectly still! It’s The Amazing Race — the next best thing to traveling on your own.
The big takeaway of Sunday’s premiere? READ THE CLUE. It’s the number-one rule of the Race! Married ER doctors Nicole and Travis arrived at the pit stop — the municipal theater in Iquique, Chile — first, but incurred a 30-minute penalty because they’d taken a taxi instead of making their way on foot. Their unlikely disregard for detail opened the door for Tim and Marie — a balloon of positivity and the needle that keeps pricking the balloon even when it does something well — to finish the first leg of the Race on top.
Meanwhile, two other teams failed to read the oversize print: Leo and Jamal and Hoskote and Naina lost time after not realizing they were supposed to put the paraglider into the rowboat to collect five giant fish in Muelle Prat, Iquique’s harbor. Shaggy-haired Jamal even read the entire clue out loud, while making sure the camera captured his best angle, and still determined it was he who had to row the boat. He was so excited for more screen time that it didn’t even matter what was happening!
An earlier detection of the rowing mistake likely wouldn’t have much helped eliminated pair Hoskote and Naina, a father-daughter team from Laguna Niguel, California. They’d had to take the second-string flight to Chile; plus, Naina’s taxi had taken her on a stunning tour of seemingly the entire Chilean highway system instead of directly to the beach to meet her paragliding pop. We get the sense we might have seen some growth in their relationship over more time and adventure, but who knows?
Hoskote wants an arranged marriage for Naina. And has anything changed, asked Phil?
“Well, father knows best.” BOOM. The Amazing Race.
Huh. A bit depressing, but nothing we can’t handle. They’re gone. I hope Hoskote doesn’t tumble off a sandy hill during their next yoga session like he almost did during their filmed intro. (“In an entirely new twist!” Phil Keoghan would have yelled. “Someone! May have already died.”)
NEXT: The 10 remaining teams and how they placed