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October 4, 2015

'The Amazing Race' Season 17, Episode 1 (Season Premiere) Recap

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Sep 27th 2010 7:35AM
Phil Keoghan, the host supreme of 'The Amazing Race'['The Amazing Race' - 'They Don't Call It the Amazing Race for Nothin'!']

Teams ready? Let's go! Just hearing the theme music for the show gets my adrenaline going. If there's one reality show that folks tend to go on as much for the adventure as the possible winnings, it's 'The Amazing Race.' As a result, I think the show often attracts a more interesting cast. They're not all bartenders or models in their twenties. Phew!

Even as fans, we can vicariously take that whirlwind trip around the world and see sights we'd never see otherwise. Tonight, we start out in Gloucester, Mass. Not to fear, we didn't stay there long.

Let's talk the teams first. There are definitely too many blond women this season and it's hard to get a good grasp on the teams in the season premiere. So here's a quick take on the pairs:

-- The girls from New Jersey, Katie and Rachel, really should be required to wear name tags as we're going to be confused for the rest of the season. They're into making up nicknames for the other teams.

-- Kevin and Michael, the Asian father and son, I think I love 'em already. How well they'll do, I don't know. But they're going to entertain us along the way and have a great relationship. Kevin's YouTube channel is a hoot!

-- Self-proclaimed nerds, doctors Nat and Kat, are proving to be a strong team even though one has Type 1 diabetes and has to control her blood sugar levels during the race.

-- Nick and Vicki, full of tattoos and he sports a Mohawk, are as dumb as a box of rocks. But for some odd reason, I liked them. Maybe it's because they don't bicker.

-- The Princeton tenors, Connor and Jonathan, might be too nice for the race. They not only stopped once, but twice, for other teams with car problems. Don't they get the concept of the word "race"? Yikes!

-- The winners of the leg, Jill and Thomas, didn't really impress one way or the other so much. Well, he could try to speak in something other than a monotone. That might help.

-- Let's hope that Chad of "dating couple" Chad and Stephanie heeds his advice to himself and becomes more humble. This might be the team to hate this year, the McBickersons.

-- I'm not sure if 'The Amazing Race' is a great venue for Andie and Jenna (birth mom and daughter) to get to know each other. Lots of stress going on, but it's their call. I wasn't all that impressed with their performance.

-- Although nothing else they did had much "oomph" to it, Claire's watermelon face-smack (Brook and Claire), showed that she can be a tough cookie and Brook can be really pushy and uncaring.

-- Ron and Tony
might have been first in the beginning, but they blew it and were Philiminated. It's a shame, but we didn't even get to know them.

-- Father and daughter Gary and Mallory seem to have a decent relationship. At least they're not out to mend fences or anything.

New this season, the Express Pass, which seemed to be in lieu of the usual vacation trip or fancy toys prize for first place, is intriguing. You can see where the team using it might get a huge lead just by choosing to skip a task. It could be on the par with a Fast Forward if used wisely. The winning team, Jill and Thomas, have until the eighth leg to use it or lose it.

While there was no detour tonight, there was a rollicking roadblock and some way cool tasks they had to perform as they hit England. Storming the walls of Eastnor Castle looked like fun, as long as they kept their heads down. It's always great to see how involved the locals get in these things! But, of course, the best part was dim bulbs Nick and Vicki wandering around confused while looking for the medieval flags and the battlements.

The boats looked near impossible -- I'm surprised that Ron and Tony even finished the trek in their boat because they had already lost the leg. Nick and Vicki also couldn't figure out that the boats were boats. The watermelon smack with the catapult went viral before the show even started, so we knew that one was coming. But it looked even more painful than imagined. Was anyone else hoping that Chad and Stephanie would remain lost wandering the castle grounds and be out of there?

All in all, I was satisfied with the season premiere. We have some entertaining teams to watch and we know the countries visited are always a hit, no matter where they go. Shaking my head as I write this, I must admit I want Box of Rocks Tattoo Team Nick and Vicki to remain in it for a while solely for my personal entertainment.

Phil: "What country are you in?"
Vicki: "London."

'The Amazing Race' airs Sun., 8PM ET on CBS.

Have you a favorite team yet?
Michael and Kevin151 (27.9%)
Brook and Claire12 (2.2%)
Connor and Jonathan35 (6.5%)
Gary and Mallory31 (5.7%)
Chad and Stephanie8 (1.5%)
Nat and Kat121 (22.4%)
Andie and Jenna8 (1.5%)
Katie and Rachel27 (5.0%)
Nick and Vicki16 (3.0%)
Jill and Thomas18 (3.3%)
No favorite yet114 (21.1%)

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Jan Crump

So far I'm liking them all (even Chad since he decided to be humble) so all's fair at this point. I think they are all decent and none of them seem to be hateful like last season. Wishing them all the best of luck and I'll be watching all season!

September 27 2010 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

I'm loving most of the teams already. TAR and Survivor are the best of the reality genre and It's nice to have both seasons on at once. I'm missing Jackie here too reporting on Survivor. Just love here way with words!

September 27 2010 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like a ton of this cast already, which is always what I'm looking for at the start of TAR. I'm already rooting for Nat&Kat; I think the Volleyballers have a decent shot at it; I thought Michael&Kevin were adorable; "Sunshine&Gary" were super cute; and I even liked how Nick&Vicki were able to laugh at themselves. It's a good group!

September 27 2010 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As "stupid" as Nick and Vicki, it's just SO easy for some of us to say we would've ran the race different. To be honest, unless you have raced the race, you really don't know how you would react so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt (for now) especially since they are quite light-hearted about it all. As opposed to Chad who I hope is eliminated as soon as possible.

Other than Chad, I actually have no real problems with anyone yet. Rooting for Nat/Kat because they consider themselves nerds, seem totally grounded and amiable, and it would be fantastic to finally see an all-female team to win.

September 27 2010 at 11:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nick and Vicki are a fun pair to watch, aren't they? They take themselves lightly and seemed to have fun. I hope they last longer than a few others, like Chad and Stephanie. I doubt he is changing his ways anytime soon.

Interesting that both TAR and Survivor have this new twist that is so similar. When to use the Express Pass will be a big part of the game play, I think.

September 27 2010 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jackie, ecstatic you're doing TAR! We miss you so much in the Survivor recaps!

Personally, while amusing, I think it's kind of silly for them to cast people they know are stupid. I mean, it's one thing to learn over the course of the race that this girl is stupid and doesn't know where she is... it's entirely another to cast her knowing that. I mean... jeez... I thought Jordan was bad of Jeff/Jordan, but she's a rocket scientist comparatively.

September 27 2010 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike's comment
Jackie Schnoop

Thanks, Mike. I'm glad to be doing TAR! As for Vicki, I forgot to mention the Stonehenge bit -- "a bunch of rocks." Perhaps I live in a different world, but I find it hard to believe someone has never ever heard about Stonehenge. She must live under a bunch of rocks!

September 27 2010 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How come at this point in time, after 17 seasons, people signup for TAR not knowing how to drive a stick car? c'mon!!! that's stupid really

September 27 2010 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Couchtime With Jill

I'm going with the volleyball girls as my pick to win, with the docs as a close second. I like some of the other teams, but there's never been an all-female winning team and I'd love for that to happen. Check out my recap at http://couchtimewithjill.com and tell me who you like!

September 27 2010 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Connor and Jonathan seem like nice guys, but the singing is already on my nerves. I am sure the producers are encouraging them, but it still grates.

September 27 2010 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am so glad to have Phil back on my screen but how did I miss that the start of the race was a mere 20 miles away from me? I was very geeky about the Mass. coast and Logan airport. Right now it's Nat and Kat for me, am pulling for a female team FTW.

September 27 2010 at 8:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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