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The Amazing Race, Season 25, Leg 1: Go Big or Go Home
Meet the New Teams
It's time to meet the new teams as they roll up in NYC cabs. Each team runs to the starting line to the cheers of the crowd. Also, this year each team gets a #hashtag. The team's hashtag appears under their names.
Go Big or Go Home
This is it!!!! Season 25 is beginning with a twist. This is the first time the show did a shout out for fans to join the racers at the start of the race – and it looked like it worked. Fans line the barricades at Times Square even though its 3:00 in the morning. Yikes!
Adam & Bethany
Adam & Bethany are newlywed professional surfers from Princeville, Hawaii, Bethany lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark when she was only 13-years old. She's had a movie made about her called Soul Surfer – thus the hashtag – and still become a professional surfer with only one arm.
Adam says when he met Bethany he had no idea she was famous for her encounter with the tiger shark. He thinks this was a, “Blessing in disguise.” The part about getting to know each other – not the part about Bethany's arm being chewed off.
Adam & Bethany seem like a strong team. They are both professional athletes and Bethany can obviously keep her cool under the worst circumstances. I'm not convinced about their intellectual strengths, but Bethany has written a few books too. What does Adam do again?
Meet Adam & Bethany
Amy & Maya
From Madison, Wisconsin, Amy & Maya are actual sweet scientists as they work as food scientists specializing in ice cream and candy. They are, of course, my kids' favorite team. Probably mine too. Maya says she and Amy want to show the world, “Scientists are so much more than lab coats, beakers, and goggles.”
Amy & Maya seem like a lot of fun. They're obviously smart and can hopefully use their critical thinking skills to good use on the race. I'd say their physicality is in question. But I so want this team to candy crush every other one!
Meet Amy & Maya
Do you like the team #hashtag idea?
Dennis & Isabelle
I wonder if the producers are mocking us with this hashtag? Each year we have one or more random dating couples who are hard to remember. Are they just telling us Dennis & Isabelle are this year's couple?
Anyway, Dennis & Isabelle are from Tustin, California. He's in financial accounting and she's a model. Yawn. Oh, and they're dating. Yep, looks like the boring team. But Dennis does threaten to body slam Isabelle in the opening package.
It's really unclear what this couple brings to the race. They look reasonably athletic, they look reasonably intelligent, they seem to act reasonably with each other. This makes them reasonably boring.
Meet Dennis & Isabelle
Brooke & Robbie:
Brooke & Robbie are dating too. But this is a pair of professional wrestlers! (The race's second pair. Wrestlers Lori & Bolo appeared on Season 6.) They live in Houston, Texas and New Jersey. Robbie says, “We're not like other people.” The couple agrees they are all about winning as we see Brooke shake her booty in the wrestling ring.
Well, these two are obviously strong and must be pretty agile too. They don't come across as the smartest team in the world, but maybe that's me putting my professional-wrestlers blinders on.
Meet Brooke & Robbie
Keith & Whitney
Now, why this team isn't #TeamSurvivor I don't know. Keith & Whitney met on Survivor: South Pacific. Whitney is a country singer/songwriter. Keith works as an energy advisor. Maybe he can advise Whitney how to use her energy on the race? Both Keith & Whitney are sure that even though they didn't win on Survivor they'll win here.
Since Keith & Whitney were on Survivor they're more used to people following them around everywhere with cameras. That should be an advantage at the start. They didn't come across as the greatest strategists ever on that show, but both did well in challenges. So, physicality shouldn't be an issue.
Meet Keith & Whitney
Kym & Alli
These women are a duo of competitive speed cyclists from New York City – so they should have just ridden their bikes to the start line! Kym says she and her friend Alli are, “Adrenaline junkies, definitely! It takes a certain amount of crazy to fling yourself at moving cars – for fun.” Apparently that's what you do in competitive speed cycling. Who knew?
Kym & Alli look in crazy good shape and certainly seem able to laugh at themselves. They have to work well under pressure too. I'd say so far so good for this pair of friends.
Meet Kym & Alli
Lisa & Michelle
Sisters Lisa & Michelle are, you guessed it, real estate agents from Miami, Florida. They run to the starting line in obnoxiously pink matching jackets. Okay, I hate them already. Now we get to hear the ladies tell us how they are the top real estate agents in Miami – mostly while wearing bikinis. They think their looks will help them out on the race and one sister murmurs, “We're so ready,” while they both toss their hair around like they're in a bad '80s rock video.
I'll never be able to tell these two apart. Sigh. Luckily, I don't think that's going to be a problem for long. Lisa & Michelle are right that their looks and social skills might help them on some challenges, but too many Roadblocks and Detours require straight on physical or mental skills and I'm not convinced the sisters have either.
Meet Lisa & Michelle
Michael & Scott
Michael & Scott are firefighters from Boston, Massachusetts. Michael talks about his experience helping victims at the Boston marathon bombing. Scott says, “We're strong individually. We're unbeatable together.”
This is another physically strong team. Firefighters have to stay in great shape and stay very strong too. Presumably, this team also works well under pressure. So why do I have a bad feeling about this? Something about Michael & Scott is making me think early exit, but I'm not sure what it is.
Meet Michael & Scott
Tim & Te Jay
Tim & The Jay live together in Pasadena, California. They met the first day of college and The Jay says, “The rest is hair-story.” Product, anyone? The Jay's mom still has trouble accepting that he's gay, even though he lives with Tim. The Jay is hoping going on The Amazing Race will force his mother to acknowledge his sexual orientation.
Tim is a flight attendant while The Jay is a server/female impersonator. They seem like a fun couple, but I get no real vibe from them on how strong – or weak – a team they are. I'm leaning towards weak, though.
Meet Tim & Te Jay
Shelley & Nici
This mother and daughter duo is from Detroit, Michigan. They're only 17 years apart in age so a lot of times people assume they're sisters. Shelley & Nici are both flight attendants.
I guess CBS didn't have time to come up with a more interesting #hashtag for this team. I've got the early boot vibe going with this team as well, but mostly because we didn't really learn much about them except that they're a young mother/daughter pair. Meh.
Meet Shelley & Nici
Misti & Jim
Misti & Jim are married professional dentists from Columbia, South Carolina. Jim says, “I feel like our lives have led us to be perfect competitors for the race.” Misti & Jim say all the dreams they've ever had have come true. Their goal is to be the most dominant team in Amazing Race history. Yikes! They also have white teeth. Really, really freaky white teeth. It's scary.
I think Misti & Jim are a little bullish on their chances in the race – especially their goal of becoming the most dominant team in race history. But this sort of strong, athletic, married couple have gone really far – and even won – on the race before and I'll be surprised if these two go out early. But they scare me.
Meet Misti & Jim
Let's Get Racing!
Host Phil Keoghan welcomes teams to the section of Times Square known as the Crossroads of the World. It's got all the Times Square flash and some glowing red steps. Phil tells them they are part of TV show history because they're part of The Amazing Race's 25th season – it's silver anniversary. It's been more than 10 years since the race began and now its the new racers' chance to run.
Phil then tells us about a new twist in the game – the Save. The team that wins this first leg of the race wins the Save. If you have the Save and you're facing elimination you just have to hand it over and you can go on racing. The Save is good through the ninth leg of the race.
Wow, that's pretty powerful. I guess its replacing one of the standard non-elimination legs. I wonder if it will hurt the drama if the team with the Save is lagging in a leg – because we'll know they aren't going home? I'm not sure I like this new twist.
And We're Off!
With that, Phil sends the teams racing up the steps to find their first clue. The clue reads, “Begin the 25thAmazing Race where the very first race ended.” Hmmm.... That clue requires a lot of Amazing Race knowledge to solve. So what can racers do? Oh, right, ask the thousands of fans surrounding them!
The teams immediately question the crowd and learn they have to go to the Globe at Flushing Meadow Park. The taxi race is on! We get a montage of excited racers chattering in taxis about being on the race. Who blames them? I'd be excited too.
Realtors Lisa & Michelle really want the Save. But I don't think you're getting it girls. Adam & Bethany are the first team to the Globe. They find the next clue and learn they need to get to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands on one of two flights – 5 teams on American and 6 on Delta. Adam indicates teams on the first flight will have about 40 minutes on the other teams.
Adam & Bethany arrive in the American airlines section of the airport and sort of stand around helplessly. Bethany feels like there should be somewhere to go, but they don't really seem to do anything about it.
Tim & The Jay arrive next and immediately go to the right spot. They are first on the American flight. Adam & Bethany are still standing around. Finally, they see Dennis & Isabelle running for the check in line and both team check in behind Tim & The Jay. Kym & Alli also make the American flight. Misti & Jim beat Keith & Whitney in an airport scramble and they're the last team to make the American flight.
As the teams settle in on the first flight are settling in, Dennis notes how white Misti & Jim's teeth are. The producers give us their mega watt smiles with an added gleaming flash. Snork.
The teams on the second flight are: Keith & Whitney, Shelley & Nici, Amy & Maya, Michael & Scott, Lisa & Michelle, and Brooke & Robbie. Despite being 40 minutes behind the other teams, Robbie thinks he and Brooke will get the Save. I think Robbie the wrestler is wrong.
The World is Waiting
Watch More Amzing Race!
The first thing teams have to do when they arrive in the Virgin Islands is go to Vendors Plaza and sign up for one of six seaplane flights. Misti & Jim have trouble finding the sign up board, but they still make the second flight.
Adam & Bethany and Tim & The Jay are on the first flight. Both teams are excited by how low they're flying over the water. They also want the Save. On the second flight with Misti & Jim and Kym & All there is some concern over Kym puking on her competitors.
When the next group of teams arrives in the Virgin Islands Keith & Whitney and Shelley & Nici get on the fourth sea plane – and they're thrilled. The rest of the teams on the last flight charge the sign in board. There is a scramble and one of the real estate sisters – Lisa & Michelle – actually grabs the marker out of firefighter Scott's hand and writes their name in as the last on flight five.
Michael & Scott cannot believe that just happened. Michael says, “We can't be gentlemen anymore.” They both hope karma helps them now.
Wear Your Amazing Race Love
Look Before You Leap
Meanwhile, back with the lead pack of Adam & Bethany and Tim & The Jay, Phil is actually there to greet them as they jump off their plane. The teams have to take a boat and go to a rocky islet. They have to climb the length and height of the jagged pile of rocks in the ocean. They then have to jump two stories into the ocean and grab a clue in a bottle. The clue tells them to go to Blackbeard's Revenge, an awaiting ship, for their next clue.
Some teams have a bit more trouble than others with this task, but it doesn't really have an effect on race results. The giant pile of rocks is cool. And Adam says he falls more and more in love with Bethany every day. Aw!
Once the teams get to Blackbeard's Revenge they find the pirate himself, or at least a scenery chewing cousin, and they find they must pull themselves to shore using a wooden dory (boat) and a rope. The Roadblock awaits them on shore.
Adam and Tim at the Roadblock
Phil tells us Blackbeard was the most feared pirate in the seven seas and that many people think his treasure is still buried somewhere nearby. In a Roadblock only one team member gets to do the task. In this Roadblock, the racer will have to take a parchment with a set of coordinates and a starting location on it. They must use a liquid compass – which is basically a magnetized ball floating in liquid on a stick – to figure out where to go. Apparently, when you use a liquid compass the direction its pointing is facing you – which is exactly the opposite from how a regular compass works. This could prove challenging. The racers also get shovels.
Once a racer thinks they have found their spot they have to dig until they find a chest. Racers will get their next clue after they find their chest. Each team gets a unique set of coordinates so they will all be digging in different locations – if they're doing it right.
Adam and Jim are digging for their teams. They are both clearly reading the compasses wrong. They are digging, but not finding anything. Misti & Jim and Kym & Alli arrive and start the challenge. Jim has a traditional compass in his watch. He uses it to figure out how the liquid compass works. Jim lets Adam in on the information.
Alli, Tim, Jim, and Adam are all digging. Everyone's coming to Jim for help. He does help some, and then finds his chest. Misti & Jim celebrate. They read the clue that tells them to go to Fort Christian, the Pit Stop for this leg of the race. Phil tells us the last team to check in will be eliminated. “Save, here we come!” shouts Jim.
As Misti & Jim head for the Pit Stop all the other teams are still struggling with the Roadblock. More and more teams are showing up. Keith & Whitney arrive and Keith decides to do the Roadblock. Shelley is doing it for team #MomDaughter.
Misti & Jim check in at the Pit Stop before anyone else even finds their chest. Phil remarks upon #TheDentists teeth and hands them the Save. Jim thinks the Save makes them almost invincible because as long as they have it every leg is a non-elimination leg for them. He's right, it is a way powerful thing, the Save.
Was this Roadblock too hard?
Phil and the Greeter at the Pit Stop
More Amazing Race Articles
Check out these other Amazing Race articles:
- The Most Memorable Amazing Race Challenges
- The Amazing Race, Season 25, Leg 2: When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go
- The Amazing Race, Season 25, Leg 3: Get Your Sheep Together
- The Amazing Race, Season 25, Leg 4: Thinly Sliced Anchovies
- The Amazing Race, Season 25, Leg 5: Morocc' and Roll
- The Amazing Race, Season 25, Leg 6: I Feel Like I Just Kissed a Goat
Back at the beach the racers are struggling. Despite Jim's help, Adam hasn't found his chest. Then again, no one else has either. Realtor Lisa is doing the Roadblock for the sisters. She is scrambling around the beach with her butt strategically blurred out. Then she outdoes herself when she checks in with some other teams and tells them, “The sun sets in the East and rises in the West.” Ouch.
Tim finally finds the chest and Tim & The Jay leave second for the Pit Stop. The other teams struggle. One by one they begin to get the hang of things and finish. Shelley still hasn't found the box and says she's never been less pleased to be on the beach in her life. Shelley finally finds her chest and she team #MomDaughter head for the Pit Stop.
Now only three teams remain at the Roadblock: Survivors Keith & Whitney, firefighters Michael & Scott, and realtors Lisa & Michelle. They are all exhausted, bleeding, and blistered. The sun is setting and they are having no luck at all. Keith & Whitney snap a bit at each other, but the teams are actually doing a good job holding themselves together.
Its now completely dark out and all three teams are still digging. The producers give us a graphic showing how each of the teams is digging a few feet from their trunk's actual location. Keith & Whitney decide to give up on the challenge and take a 4 hour penalty. Whitney remembers how three teams took a 4 hour penalty back on Season 22 in the Sandcastles Roadblocks.
Keith & Whitney convince Michael & Scott , and Lisa & Michelle to also give up and take a 4 hour penalty. The realtors are sure they can beat the firefighters in a footrace. Hmmm...
Now it's a race for cabs and finding the Pit Stop. Lisa & Michelle try to get in firefighter Michael & Scott's cab, but this time they're not being gentlemen and Scott keeps them out. We get the cab montage as the teams get ready to sprint to the Pit Stop.
And... Keith & Whitney arrive followed by Michael & Scott. Realtor sisters Lisa & Michelle arrive last and are eliminated.
Keith & Whitney and Michael & Scott will have to hope for a solid catch up spot next leg to make up for the huge time gap they have with the other teams.
Leg 1 Finish Oder
Misti & Jim
Winners of the Save
Tim & Te Jay
Kym & Alli
Brooke & Robbie
Adam & Bethany
Amy & Maya
Dennis & Isabelle
Shelley & Nici
Keith & Whitney
Michael & Scott
Lisa & Michelle