A Dose of Reality: The Amazing Race 10 - Episode 01: Diversity, We Hardly Knew Ya
by Dan Weltin
Published: September 19, 2006
Welcome to another season of The Amazing Race.
We start this year in Seattle and host Phil Keoghan greets the 12 teams of two – that’s right, this season we have one more team than usual – and goes over the ground rules. There will be a number of Pit Stops along the race and eight of those will be elimination legs. So we’re lead to believe that means four teams will compete at the end, or maybe two teams will be eliminated at one Pit Stop. But then Phil tells us that this race will be filled with new surprises, meaning everything we understand about TAR is now thrown out the window.
Finally, Phil gives us the countdown and this race officially begins. As always teams sprint their hardest at the start of the race and someone falls. Some aspects to the race never change!
Teams begin their journey by heading to Beijing, China. There are only two flights available. The second flight lands nearly a full hour later.
The teams fight traffic in their race to the airport. Those that take side streets instead of the freeway system arrive at the airport first. Already Dating Couple Rob and Kim are fighting with each other and crumbling. They arrive last.
Teams get pretty excited and nervous while waiting for their flights. To help relieve the tension, the Cho Bros. Erwin and Godwin break out some squirt guns in the airport, but their hijinks are cut short due to airport security.
Afterwards, Plane One begins boarding and amputee Sarah gets to board first because of her disability. That’s not really fair for the other teams since Sarah goes around boasting that she’s equal and runs in Ironman competitions.
Plane One gets delayed by 20 minutes helping to reduce the time difference between the two flights. Once landed, teams must find the Gold House Restaurant by taxi for their next clue.
So far I’m not doing so hot with my picks. I really thought Muslims Bilal and Sa’eed, Vipul and Arti, and Cho Bros. Erwin and Godwin would be stronger teams. All three are bringing up the rear and my last place pick, Daddy/Daughter Duke and Lauren, are leading the pack. Who knew!
At the Gold House Restaurant it’s a Roadblock and a gross food challenge. As always only one team member can perform a Roadblock. It’s nice to see the food challenge this early. Hopefully there will be more than one. For this challenge, one member of each team must eat fish eyes. Gross, yes, but not as bad as eating a bowl of fried grasshoppers or an entire ostrich egg. Teams don’t seem to have much problem with this task and no one pukes (at least on camera).
After the fish eyes, teams take a taxi to the Forbidden City where they have to locate the Meridian Gate to get their departure time for tomorrow.
The Beauty Queens Dustin and Candace were on the first plane, but arrive at the wrong restaurant. It takes them so long to find where to go that teams on Plane Two pass them.
It comes down to a tight foot race between the Cho Bros. and the Muslims, but Bilal and Sa’eed are last. And in the game’s first twist, Phil announces they’ve been eliminated. A very surprising move, but a good one. Twelve teams are just too many and it’s a nice way to keep everyone on their toes.
The next day groups of teams leave in 15-minute intervals. They have to ride in the sidecar of a World War Two motorcycle and direct their driver to a pedicab station. Once there it’s a Detour. Teams can choose between Labor and Leisure. In Labor, teams have to pave a 45-square foot design in the sidewalk. In Leisure teams have to master a Chinese dance.
All teams except for Cheerleaders Kellie and Jamie and Gay Guys Tom and Terry choose Labor. What teams don’t know about the Labor Detour, however, is that they have to lay large gray bricks before they can start their colored pattern. It’s not until Team Rehab Tyler and James arrives four teams later that anyone figures it out. Team Rehab also completes the task first.
The Labor Detour is difficult, but teams who chose Leisure are stuck in bad traffic, which really slows them down.
After the Detour, teams can head to Juyonguan – a gateway to the Great Wall of China and this leg’s Pit Stop. However, teams just don’t run up to Phil, they must scale the wall to cross the finish line.
Under the direction of her coach... er, boyfriend, Peter, Amputee Sarah runs up all the stairs to the top of the Wall before figuring out they’re heading the wrong way. Maybe Peter should pay more attention to the Race and less time cheering her on. When she gets to the wall Sarah has a difficult time climbing up. I guess this is the flip side to telling cabbies you’re handicapped so they’ll take you and not others.
In the end, Team Rehab Tyler and James finish first and win $20,000. Much to my embarrassment Daddy/Daughter Duke and Lauren nab second place. Amputee Sarah and Coach Peter finish third despite her initial trouble with the wall.
Beauty Queens Dustin and Candace make quick work of the wall and arrive in fourth place. Dating Couple Rob and Kim get their act together long enough to finish fifth. Cheerleaders Kellie and Jamie are sixth; Cho Bros. Erwin and Godwin are seventh; Gay Guys Tom and Terry are eighth.
Two teams fell under the radar for most of this leg: the ‘Bama Moms Lyn and Karlyn (whom Amputee Sarah is taking advantage of with her handicap) finished ninth; and Coalminer David and his Wife Mary (who like to tell each other to shut up) finished tenth. Finally, Vipul and Arti finished last and were eliminated. It wasn’t even close – there were no other teams for them to race at the Wall.
I guess I need to reevaluate the teams. The Cho Bros. Erwin and Godwin and the Vipul and Arti were the last two teams to leave the Detour and here I thought they’d be the two teams battling it out for a million dollars. I certainly underestimated Daddy/Daughter Duke and Lauren. Already I have a bad feeling about Team Rehab Tyler and James. Something about those guys I don’t care for. Already I’m casting them as this season’s villains.
And so much for diversity this season. The show’s first Muslim team and the first team of Indian descent were the first two to go! Oh well.