The Amazing Race: Great Way To Start A Relationship
February 26, 2015 4:57 PM - Season 26, Episode 1 - Subscribe

11 teams race from LA to Tokyo on the first leg of a race around the world. 6 teams features couples who have been dating anywhere from 8 months to 10 years; the other 5 features couple who first meet on the starting line, a twist the show refers to as a "blind date".

This leg features squealing, sake, outdoors showers, dancing, awkward questions, clue-lawyering, mud, parking spaces, instances where taxis were faster than the trains, cameras the show provided for these people to take selfies, and of course, Phil's eyebrow.

The teams include 2 Olympic Athletes, a former New Kid on the Block, people matched based on profession, a Vegas showgirl, and miscellaneous examples of the classic TAR archetype of the dating couple.

The show will air on Fridays going forward.
posted by julen (8 comments total)
I didn't hate the blind date thing like I thought I was going to when I first heard about it. Probably helped that the blind date couples finished pretty well overall, including the top 3 spots.

Clearly the sake side of the detour was the way to go, but that's hindsight and I can't fault the 9 teams who chose the dancing. When they first got to the detour and Phil described the two options, I thought the dancing would be the easier one too. And yeah, I was expecting Jonathan and Harley to choose the dancing, but then I suppose Jonathan would know better than anyone else on the race how difficult it is to learn a dance routine.

Not feeling strongly about any of the teams either way yet. There aren't any teams that I outright hate, but also none that I'm really pulling for yet. Not sure that's a good thing for the show.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:41 PM on February 26, 2015

I'm not so sure about the blind date thing. I thought it was kind of skeevy when they were all talking about how hot their partner was. One of the things I liked about the Amazing Race is that it's usually got real people on it, not just 100% beautiful people like the dating reality shows. And now this bit (which I do think could be interesting) starts off with how pretty they all are. Which was also awkward and cringey because, you know, they're standing right there. And I kind of wish they would have matched them up a little more creatively than people who work in the same industry. Maybe they could have partnered with a dating site like eHarmony and used their algorithms to match them.

Nobody really sticks out yet. I'm not so sure the man in the blind date doctor couple is having such a great time. (Also, is this how people talk on blind dates? With the ridiculous fawning and fake laughs? I mean, I'll try anything, but if that's how blind dating is; blind dating is not for me.)
posted by Weeping_angel at 2:18 AM on February 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also, is this how people talk on blind dates? With the ridiculous fawning and fake laughs? I mean, I'll try anything, but if that's how blind dating is; blind dating is not for me.

I wouldn't hold this up as an example of anything.

I was rooting for the one team at the end...UNTIL they got lost and they turned down the cab driver's offer to show them where the park was for 100 Yen...which is a dollar.

What's with the selfies? The show doesn't have a cellphone or camera sponsor this year (unlike Fitbit which joined this year).

So we can all agree, we're going to hear the opening notes of "The Right Stuff" A LOT this season, right?
posted by inturnaround at 6:25 AM on February 27, 2015

Yeah, I found the whole selfie/self-video thing annoying. I don't think it adds anything to the show. I'm not anti-selfie on social media in general, but it seems unnecessary here.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:27 AM on February 27, 2015

I don't give a crap about the blind date stuff, although the Navy Doc (who is cute, but seems a little supercilious) is so hilariously not into his partner that I'm kinda amused. (I would also have difficulty interacting for a long time with someone of her particular personality type - the whole self-described silly little blonde thing is off-putting're a pediatric ER nurse, lady, you've got a brain.)

At any rate, things were slow until they got to Tokyo. I do wonder why nobody thought to switch? The sake task sounded really hard but turned out to be easy, but after you were at the dance task for a few hours, nobody even contemplated switching?

The selfie stuff is stupid.
posted by PussKillian at 8:31 AM on February 27, 2015

Immediately before the show began, I read the odds from this article out loud to my husband. And then watched as they got blown to bits by frigging Hayley. Oh my god.

Laura grated on me a little in the beginning, but it was okay.

Jenny and Jelani look pretty great so far.

For the record, even though I feel as though it was obligatory to like Joe (and, uh, to like NKOTB at all... ugh, being a pre-teen sucked), Jonathan was my favorite New Kid pretty much because he was under the radar. He and his boyfriend are adorable, and I have to say it makes me a little misty to see him being quietly himself in a longterm relationship when most of the world only found out he was gay a couple years ago.

Also, did anybody else think Jeff was WAY too casual at the end? Lyda was about to fall apart, and he was all, "Yeah, my bad." I turned to my husband and said, "If you ever did that, I think I would kick you."

Finally, I think I would have preferred them stopping and spouting slogans to these stupid selfies. It's so obvious that nobody uses Windows phones. I was on a plane last week and the guy next to me had a Windows phone. "Huh," I thought; sure enough, he told the flight attendant that he works for Microsoft. It's like that interview where someone asked Bill Gates if his kids had iPods and he said, "Well, we have this great little device called a Zune..."
posted by St. Hubbins at 10:33 AM on February 27, 2015

Oh, the Doc is so not into her. I don't know about the attorney couple's chances at dating, but they might work out as a team - they were certainly trying to work together and be supportive and bonded over lawyering that clue.

I thought it was interesting the Showgirl came right out and said she wasn't as smart as everyone else right as she was showing good on-the-spot strategic thinking about the Sake bottle labels (number of characters matching syllables) and basically helping her partner do his half of the task.

I tend to initially root for the fish-out-of-water folks, so the Tuskegee couple, the truckstop couple, and the sheltered Kentucky guy in the gay blind date automatically have my sympathy. The Tuskegee folks recovered from the confusion of the train station more quickly than from being lost and looking for the last clue box (and probably didn't know/remember the exchange rate). They'll have to get better at handling the unknown, but I hope they do.

I thought Jeff was horribly embarrassed by his problems with the dance, and she was SO intense about how they don't quit that I was relieved he did well at the sake challenge. I didn't even notice his nonchalance/My bad! Heh. funny what sticks out to different people.

I just got rid of my windows phone! It was actually a nice little phone that didn't eat too much battery and did everything I needed ... but had a version of IE on it (and constraints on other browsers) that was so archaic, doing anything modern whizbang on the web was like the mud run, only you never reach the end.
posted by julen at 10:39 AM on February 27, 2015

You're reminding me that there were any number of things that made me think, "Have you never watched this show before???"

Which of course I can't remember right now...
posted by St. Hubbins at 10:51 AM on February 27, 2015

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