Aaaaaaand, they’re off! The Amazing Race 17 began last night out of the city of Gloucester, MA, and sadly our buddy JimmyT from Survivor wasn’t there to send them off, but we’ll take Phil anyway. Before Phil sent them off on their wild journey around the world, he announced something new to this season’s race, and no, it wasn’t that one team was going to be eliminated before even leaving the country, it was the Express Pass. The first team to finish this leg of the race earns this pass which they can use at their choice, and it allows them to skip an event which could be huge later in the race.
Like my buddy Jimmy T, Phil isn’t much for words, so he tells them their bags are nearby, go get them and fuck off.. oops, wrong show. That’s on Wednesday night on Fox… oh that Ramsay.
So their first challenge was to get into these micro machine cars and make their way to Boston’s Logan Airport where teams will board a plane to London where they can officially begin the madness. A little snag was the first 3 teams will board an earlier plane that will give them a 30 minute advantage over there, but as we know in this race, 30 minutes can go by in a blink depending on the road blocks (or their driving abilities).
After a relatively uneventful trip to Boston, Team Silent Thunder proved they have excellent navigation abilities and arrived first, followed by Team EPL and Team Romance. Team Volleyball just barely misses the first plane, so they’re all upset for a few minutes. Oh well, should have driven a little faster in your micro machines! The rest of the teams arrive at the airport, get to know each other a little better, and they all realize Team Princeton is a little off.
Off to London they go!
Team Eat, Pray, Love must have been doing a lot of praying on the flight because they were first out of the Airport and had a mission like Julia Roberts was going to be waiting for them at the checkpoint, assuming they get in the correct side of the car. Silent Thunder drops by a gas station (or is it called petrol pump over there?), get a map and use Tony’s amazing education to find one of the more popular landmarks, in the World, that being Stonehenge. I’m sure with your super brains, you guys will find that with no problem, I mean even Clark Griswold was able to find it.
With the first group cruising towards Stonehenge, the rest of the teams arrive and also have to find out the hard way that driving is reversed and struggle with that a bit. Hasn’t anyone seen National Lampoons European Vacation? It’s a classic! I shouldn’t say all teams, because not only does Team KNat rock the shit out of those cars, Nat is so badass she checks her sugar level while driving backwards (we learn she’s a type 1 diabetic).. take that, Team Adoption!
Jenna, the mom from Team Adoption, hasn’t driven a manual transmission in awhile, and thought the third pedal must have been the fast forward to finish line that Phil secretly installed in her car, which is why she was holding it down the entire time she was driving. Sorry Jenna! Oh, and this is also a lesson in why it’s a very risky move to buy a former rental car!
Chad and Stephanie (team romance), decide to pop in to a local McDonald’s and ask for directions, and this little old British guy with the cutest accent in the world told them where to go. I swear, I wish I could put that guy in my pocket and ask him things randomly through the day!
While Team Adoption is burning their clutch and Team Romance chatting up old British guys in McDonald’s, Team Knat cruises ahead and is the first to arrive at Stonehenge followed shortly by Team Watermelon Face, Team EPL, and Team Volleyball.
Hmm, where is Team Silent Thunder and the amazing education?
Teams must now figure out that they need to find the castle that is opposite of NorEaster, which ends up being Eastnor Castle.
It didn’t take long for teams to ask locals about the clue which they quickly deciphered as the Eastnor Castle, so off the front runners drove… or pushed in Team Volleyball’s case. I guess they were good at driving until they found a steep hill, so Katie decides she’s going to get out of the car and try pushing it up the hill! haha. Rachel realizes she needs to actually give the car more gas when on an incline, and promptly drives away without Katie… don’t worry though, I’m sure she figured out the brakes shortly after.
Those who didn’t have driving problems quickly found Eastnor castle with Team EPL, Team Knat, and Team Watermelon Face pulling ahead and doing the next challenge first.
Teams must scale the castle wall while crazy looking Brits with bad teeth throw “water” on them,
then grab a flag up top and search for a little turtle boat so they can cross a moat.
Meanwhile, trailing behind, you had Team Miss Kentucky which had some pretty crappy luck getting a flat tire on their car (maybe Team Adoption drove it first?). Team Princeton was sticking with them for the most part seen that they had a flat and did what any helpful young men would do, they sped off and left them behind! And the other teams? They’re all slowly making their way to the Castle, except for one team that just finally found Stonehenge! Good to see that education paying off there.
Back in front, all three teams figure out that these little turtle shell boats aren’t too sturdy, so they all had a nice refreshing bath in the moat before they learn about balance and all make it across with relative ease after that.
Team EPL are the first to successfully cross the moat Thomas makes Jill do all the work to get them across while he gets a nice turtle ride across a swampy moat. They hit the road block (which one player of a team must do alone), and it consists of them riding a horse a short distance, then use a machine called a “ballista” (or large sling shot) where they shoot watermelons at some empty armor guy. When they knock him down, they can get their final clue which brings them to the check-point for this leg of the race.
While the top 3 teams are working on their watermelons, Team Romance, Team Volleyball and Team Princeton are all shortly on their tail.. well, they would be assuming Team Romance could ever cross the moat
Not much exciting happened for the top 3 with the watermelons. Oh wait, I forgot about something…
As Claire was doing her 50th attempt I think, I don’t know how it happened but the watermelon shot back at her, and BAM right in the face. Seriously, how did she not die? It knocked her down for a bit, but because of the rules, she had to keep going along with the road block, so after brushing herself off, cleaning the seeds from her pupils, she was able to take about 2 more shots and nail the knight…. despite not being able to feel her face. Poor girl, seriously, move over team KNat because driving while taking blood is nothing compared to being smashed in the face with a watermelon at that speed, then continuing with the race. They’re the new bad-asses of the race.
However, as Claire was getting mashed in the face, one important thing to mention is that Team Eat, Pray, Love beat them and finished the race first. Normally this would be highlighted more, but come on, you can beat a watermelon to the face. But, it’s one thing to note that not only are they a pretty strong team, but they now have the Express Pass, which I can likely see them saving until much later in the race and possibly making the difference.
As the top teams trickle in one by one, you had some really funny moments towards the bottom of the pack.
– Team Romance, despite finishing the watermelon challenge relatively quickly, they decided to take a massive scenic tour around the castle, and possibly all of London, before finally finding the check point.
– Team Tattoo, who never even heard of Stonehenge until this race, and found out it was just a bunch of rocks! Shocking. This should be an entertaining team to watch, mostly because they’re dumb as the rocks in Stonehenge. After navigating very poorly to the Castle, they climb up the wall and searched around for the flag that was right in front of them! Then, after looking like idiots, they ran by the boats they were searching for, they ran by them twice!
– Team Youtube and Team Miss Kentucky appear to be decent teams that will be enjoyable to watch and will probably finish in the middle of the pack through the season, until of course that middle of the pack gets smaller and smaller and they get flushed out. Hopefully not, I like them.
– I also really like Team Watermelon Face, mostly because Claire is simply a pure bad ass, and they’re pretty funny.
– However, team Volleyball I don’t care for. Honestly they seem like bitches and kind of hope they get eliminated early.
– Team Silent Thunder. These poor guys got off to a good start in Boston, had a 30 minute lead, but they couldn’t handle navigation in London and were the first team eliminated from the race. It’s shocking too, they had a lot of World travel experience, and I thought they were going to go far, but when you can’t navigate through the UK, where it’s not even a foreign language, you were going to be screwed later on in the race.
Sorry for the weird post, this is my first blog of The Amazing Race, and it’s hard to blog with this type of format since it bounces all around. I’ll keep working on my style and hopefully my blogs get better through the season 🙂 Thanks for reading, and make sure you subscribe for more updates!
Team Eat, Pray, Love
Team Watermelon Face
Team Beach Volleyball
Team Miss Kentucky
Team Youtube Star
Team Silent Thunder (eliminated)