Eleven teams met at the starting line in Gloucester, Massachusetts for the globe trotting race. They were brought to the coast by lobster boats as the teams were introduced. (Read more about the cast of “The Amazing Race.”)
A game change was introduced right away – The Express Pass. The team that completed the first leg of the race first was to receive an Express Pass. With the Express Pass a team could choose to use it to skip any one challenge and go directly to the destination in their chosen leg of the race.
The start was intense, as the first plane had limited spaces, but would arrive at its destination 30 minutes earlier than the second plane. The destination was England; “The Amazing Race,” season 17, was underway to Stonehenge. The teams were off and running and in their Smart Cars. It was an exciting start.
Conner and Jonathan were the first team to get lost.
The 3 teams that made it to the airport for the first flight were Ron and Tony, Chad and Stephanie, and Jill and Thomas. Chad and Stephanie went to the wrong place in the airport and almost lost their space on the first plane to Katie and Rachel. They barely made their way to the ticket counter in front of Katie and Rachel.
The win was marginal, but it was enough to push Katie and Rachel back to the next flight.
Conner and Jonathan made it to the airport last.
Nick and Vicki were largely ostracized by the rest of the teams at the airport. They may be right in expecting the other teams to judge them by appearance. I wish they had made a stronger start so they could prove their point: Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. They don’t want to be judged by their appearance, but in order to establish credibility in this game you have to be smart and on the move.
The chance to win an Express Pass had everybody moving in high gear.
“The Amazing Race,” season 17, episode 1 in England
Jill and Thomas made it out of the airport in a hurry, but they didn’t take time to find out where they were going. On the other hand, Tony and Ron stopped to get a map to make their journey sure and straight, but they got lost and completely lost their lead.
Chad and Stephanie went in circles initially, which got Chad irritated and he was yelling at Stephanie into the first leg of the race. He is going to snap early and often. “The Amazing Race” will be a true test of their relationship. They didn’t even beat Andie and Jenna to Stonehenge.
Andie thought she burned out the clutch in her car and caused a traffic jam. Conner and Jonathan stopped and tried to help them, but only for a minute. Andie and Jenna, the newly united mother and daughter, sat in the middle of the highway infuriating everyone on the road around them. Maybe, Andie should have let Jenna drive. Eventually, Andie remembered how to drive a straight shift and got them going.
Kat and Nat were the first team to Stonehenge, followed, literally, by Brook and Claire. They were headed to Eastnor castle. The women worked together, but Jill and Thomas arrived at about the same time as the women.
The contestants had to climb a wall of the castle while being bombarded by muddy water, retrieve a flag, and meet their knight to receive their next clue. Nat and Kat, Jill and Thomas, and Brook and Claire were in the lead.
Gary and Mallory had a flat tire on the way to the castle. Once again, Jonathan and Conner stopped, but again decided they had to be on their way. I can’t figure out why they stopped in the first place.
From the castle the teams had to cross a lake in a tortoise shell boat. The boats kept capsizing at first. The teams had to figure out how to balance the boats and pull themselves across a lake by holding onto a rope.
Jill and Thomas made it across the lake first, with Nat and Kat, and Brook and Claire close behind.
When Chad and Stephanie reached the lake there was more fighting. It took them forever to get going across the lake.
Those contestants who made it to their knight they had to ride with their knight through a tournament joust. Then, they had to knock down a knight by catapulting watermelons at a knight. Claire and Brooke, Jill and Thomas, and Nat and Kat all ended up on the jousting field at the same time. Thomas was the first to knock down his knight and receive the clue that would lead them to the pit stop for the first leg of the race.
Winners of the first leg of “The Amazing Race” 17
Jill and Thomas were the first to reach the pit stop. Not only had they won that leg of the race, but they won the Express Pass, which could help them regain a lead later in the race.
Nat and Kat were the second team to reach the first pit stop.
Katie and Rachel caught up to Brook and Claire catapulting a knight with watermelons. Claire let go of the catapult and got smashed in the face by a watermelon. I’m sure it was painful, but it was pretty funny. Claire’s setback was only momentary, she pulled herself together and crushed the knight.
Claire and Brook set off to the end of the race, but Jonathan and Conner ran ahead of them to finish. Jonathan and Conner were team 3. Claire and Brook were the fourth team to finish, which was incredible following the watermelon Claire took in the face.
Katie and Rachel finished fifth.
Chad and Stephanie finally made it across the lake. It was difficult for them, but Chad immediately took down the knight with a watermelon. Then, they set out in the wrong direction looking for the first pit stop of “The Amazing Race.” They even went into the castle.
Michael and Kevin kept sinking their boat, which allowed Gary and Mallory to catch up and hit the jousting match ahead of them. They finished obliterating the knight with a watermelon at about the same time, but Gary and Mallory made it to the pit stop ahead of them.
Gary and Mallory finished sixth.
Michael and Kevin finished seventh.
Chad and Stephanie finally found the pit stop and finished eighth. At which point Chad promised to change his hard-headed and argumentative ways. I doubt that will happen.
Andie and Jenna finished ninth.
Ron and Tony and Nick and Vicki had trouble with directions. They were the last two teams on “The Amazing Race” to reach Eastnor castle, but Nick and Vicki cruised quickly across the lake. Ron and Tony kept capsizing in the lake.
Nick and Vicki managed to finish tenth.
Ron and Tony were calm and focused. They tried hard, but they had too tough of a day. They made it last to the pit stop. They were eliminated from the race, but they left graciously.
Watch “The Amazing Race 17,” episode 2 next Sunday at 8:00 pm ET, on CBS.
Watch videos and read more about “The Amazing Race,” season 17.
The Amazing Race, CBS
The Amazing Race 17 – Cast, CBS.com