The Amazing Race season 21 premiere show

The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan, 2006
The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan, 2006 | Source

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be nice in a reality show, as seen during the season 21 premiere episode of “The Amazing Race”.

The team in the lead, Colorado couple Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale, had received their clue and were headed to the pit stop in Shanghai. This was more important than usual for this first “Amazing Race” stop. If the winners of the first leg happen to finish as “The Amazing Race” champions, they would earn two million dollars, double the usual prize money.

As Purdy, the most inspirational of this season’s racers as a double amputee, and Gale headed to the Bund Observatory pit stop overlooking the Shanghai skyline, southern California dating divorcees Abbie Ginsberg and Ryan Danz caught up with them. Ginsberg and Danz asked Purdy and Gale if they had found the clue held by a woman using an abacus,and the Colorado team said yes. The Colorado pair kindly pointed out where the the woman was located, about 150 yards from where the two teams had met up with each other. After Ginsberg and Danz received the clue, they sprinted past Purdy and Gale to be the first team at the pit stop. By beating Purdy and Gale by just a few seconds,, they became the only team with an opportunity to go for a possible two million dollars in prize money. “I see Amy as more of a threat than any other woman or man running this race right now” Danz said on camera after the victory. ”So, yeah, when we can pass them, I have to take advantage of that. It’s a game. It’s a race, worth two million dollars at this point.”

It was a close call for Las Vegas Chippendales dancers Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis, as they just barely got to the pit stop before engaged couple Rob Scheer (a lumberjack from Ketchikan, Alaska) and his fiancée, Sheila Castle. The dancing duo could not find the woman with an abacus holding the clue. After fellow racers Trey Wier and Lexi Beerman also nicely told Vaughan and Davis where the “abacus lady” was, the dancers went on to just barely pass Scheer and Castle before the pit stop. So, Scheer and Castle were the last team to arrive at the stop, and were eliminated from the race.

One Roadblock during the episode found a member of each team having to eat a traditional Chinese dessert called hasma, or a frog’s fallopian tubes.Monster Truckers Rob and Kelley French almost incurred a penalty as Rob used his hands to “gulp down”, as best as he could, the hasma. The clue instructions stated that the food had to be eaten using chopsticks, and not by using your hands. After realizing his mistake, Rob ended up having to eat a double portion of hasma.

Earlier in the broadcast, one member of each team faced a Chinese Junior Champion in table tennis. To receive the clue, a team member had to successfully score one point against this powerful young opponent, who “Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan said “hates losing”. But if the “Amazing Race”competitor missed a shot, they had to wait their turn until after the other teams had faced the challenge. For the next round, the champ used some unique items in place of their paddle, including a clip board, frying pan, tambourine, and even an “Amazing Race” clue envelope. So, the challengers then had a better chance at winning the point

The race began at Pasadena’s Colorado State Bridge, making southern California the starting point for 12 of the 21 “Amazing Race” season premiere episodes. The teams were shown traveling from the California coastline to Pasadena in a psychedelic, 1960’s style, painted bus. Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters would have been proud to call it their own. It was perfect for the long haired, bearded team of ex-White Lion and Megadeth bassist James LoMenzo and entertainment lawyer Mark “Abba” Abbatista.

Results of "The Amazing Race" Season 21, Leg 1

1) Abbie Ginsberg and Ryan Danz

2) Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale

3) Caitlyn King and Brittany Fletcher

4) Natalie and Nadiya Anderson

5) Rob and Kelley French

6) James LoMenzo and Mark “Abba” Abbatista

7) Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge

8) Gary Wojnar and Will Chiola

9) Trey Wier and Alexis “Lexi” Beerman

10) Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis

11) Rob Scheer and Sheila Castle

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