The Amazing Race 2017 edition returns tonight on CBS! Fans of the popular reality competition series can expect some drama tonight, as a rappelling challenge leaves at least one of the teams “scared spitless,” TV Guide is reporting.
Warning: The remainder of this article contains open spoilers for both last week’s episode of The Amazing Race and this week’s episode.
Tonight, the teams will be in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where they’ll face the first Road Block of this season. There, as you can see in the clip below, they’ll have to rappel down a building and clean dirty windows. As Liz says, “The building doesn’t look that big from below, but when you get up here — oh my gosh, I am scared spitless.”
As you may or may not know (although by now you should) is that this season of The Amazing Race is different from every previous season. In the previous 28 seasons, the competing teams have all had existing relationships – siblings, husbands and wives, parents and children, and so on.
But this season will throw that tradition out the window: instead, the competing teams will be total strangers who meet each other for the first time at the starting line.
— Sam Harris (@SamHarris221) March 17, 2017
Host Phil Keoghan tells WBZ (Boston) that it’s a twist that’s been in the making for some time.
“I think the idea was just to try something new. We’ve had a lot of really good people apply for the show that maybe haven’t necessarily had a great partner, where we liked maybe one of two people on the team. Also a lot of people apply saying, ‘Hey I can’t find someone to go with, I’d really love to go,’ and so this is an opportunity for a great individual who is prepared to roll the dice and try racing with a complete stranger. We just thought it would be an interesting experiment.”
Last week’s season-opener showed how the teams were picked; a competition determined who would get to pick a partner first, and second, and so on. Picking players had absolutely nothing to go on when picking their partners except first impressions. Some of the picks were hardly surprising; a police officer (Olive) and a firefighter (Seth) were paired up, creating #TeamAmerica. Similarly, weird Colorado rock-climbing instructor chose nerdy African American college student Floyd (not knowing his name, she called him “Urkel”) for #TeamFun. Other combinations were a little… strange. Nerdy and short Asian investment researcher Vanck chose tall, blonde, and buff real estate agent Ashton for #TeamVanckAndAshton, for example.
— The Amazing Race (@AmazingRaceCBS) April 4, 2017
By the end of the first episode, the same dynamics that you see in regular, existing couples started to emerge. Power couple TeamAmerica (Seth and Olive) dominated physically and mentally, and are the team to beat. Weird couple Becca and Floyd, meanwhile, are living up to their name as TeamFun. Other teams can’t seem to get their act together: both Mike & Liz and Vanck & Ashton bickered throughout the competition.
In other Amazing Race news, it seems like fans may not have been as eager for this season’s twist as CBS had hoped. As Deadline reports, last Thursday’s season-opener scored record lows, down 31 percent in the coveted 18-49 demographic, and 28 percent in total viewers, compared to last year’s season debut. Before jumping to any conclusions, however, do keep in mind that, in addition to the weird twist being rolled out this season, the show is also running in a new time slot, and it may just be taking its time in finding its audience.
The Amazing Race returns to CBS tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time.
[Featured Image by dpullicino/Thinkstock]