March 3 2006

Amazing Race 9, Episode 1

The Amazing Race is back to the original format. 11 teams of 2 racing around the world instead of the Family Edition version where they raced around city blocks.

The race started in the seats of the famour Red Rock Ampitheater in Denver, CO. The teams were given their usual start and they raced up to the top to grab their bags and the waiting clues. BJ & Tyler were the first out, while other teams slowed due to the high altitude. Their clues instructed them to take 1 of 3 flights to Sao Paulo, Brazil and once there, locate the Unique Hotel where their next clue was waiting on the roof.

En route to the airport one team, Lake & Michelle, decided to pull over and call ahead to reserve their seats. You know, it might have been a good idea to notice where it said in the rules that you couldn’t reserve your seats via phone. This cost them valuable time and made them the last team to arrive at the airport. The flights worked out as:

American (1st to arrive) – Danielle & Dani, BJ & Tyler, Fran & Berry
United (2nd to arrive) – Eric & Jeremy, Wanda & Desiree, Dave & Lori, John & Scott
Continental (3rd to arrive) – Joseph & Monica, Ray & Yolanda, Lake & Michelle, Lisa & Joni

Due to delays in their lay over flights, United came in first, then American came in 40 minutes later. Wanda & Desiree were first to the hotel and their clue instructed them to take a taxi three miles Viaduto Santa Efigenia bridge where they would search for their next clue. Upon finding this clue, teams were faced with their first Detour of the race. Motor Head vs. Rotor Head. The official site explains them as follows:

In Motor Head, Teams had to travel one mile to a motorcycle shop and choose a motorcycle frame. Then, using the parts provided and a finished model for reference, they had to finish assembling that motorcycle. Once the mechanic can kick start the bike, Teams would receive their next clue. In Rotor Head, Teams had to travel three miles to an airport and use a flight directory to locate one of three buildings that they would fly to by helicopter. Since the three buildings varied in distance and each location had a limited number of tickets, Teams needed to race to find the closest available building. Once arriving at the rooftop of their selected building, Teams had to search the designated area for their next clue.

Wow…for once they had a Detour I have no clue which one I would have gone with! In the end though, it probably would have been Rotor Head.

The race got massively mixed-up from here on out. Fran & Barry fell from fourth place to seventh as they spent 30 minutes trying to find the Detour clue, and even walked within inches of the box twice. (Once they found it, they claimed it wasn’t there before) Wanda & Desiree, BJ & Tyler and Eric & Jeremy all went for Rotor Head, but got delayed by their cab drivers taking them to the wrong airport entrance. John & Scott couldn’t even find the bridge to start looking for the clue. Danielle & Dani and Fran & Barry had gone for Motor Head and ended up changing Detour tasks because they couldn’t assemble the motorcycles. (always stupid to change tasks I think)

Once the teams finished their tasks, they were instructed to travel to the neighborhood of Santa Cecilia and locate a warehouse where they would watch Candomblé ceremony, a unique religion practiced by over 2 million Brazilians, and then they would light a white candle for good fortune to receive their next clue. This clue was for the Pit Stop at Estadio de Pacaembu, a World Cup soccer stadium.

Eric & Jeremy came in first, winning $10,000 each. The big excitement was the race for last place with Lisa & Joni barely beating out John & Scott for last place, and the first elimination of the race.

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