Tony and Ron let Phil know they were “ready” for the news when they approached the pit stop last. The best friend team went from first to last quickly as the first leg of the race progressed, showing just how easily this game can change.
Also announced last night was a new “game changer” prize for the first team to arrive at the pit stop on Sunday’s episode. The prize is called the “Express Pass” which allows the team that is lucky enough to win it to skip a task they do not wish to do, once, at any time during the race prior to the 9th leg.
The long awaited Amazing Race 17 premiered Sunday with 11 teams departing from the starting line in Gloucester, MA. on their race for 1 million dollars. I, however, was on the edge of my seat all night, anxiously awaiting the horrific looking “watermelon” incident.
The race began like all others, on Phil’s “travel safe” and go. The teams raced to the airport, after Phil had informed them that there was only room for 3 teams on the first flight. Their first destination? London, England and a visit to Stonehenge. Ron and Tony were the first to arrive and book their tickets on the earlier flight, putting them in first place. “Newly dating couple” Chad Waltrip and Stephanie Smith were the second to arrive, however were third to book their tickets on the first flight because they weren’t able to locate the counter to purchase their tickets, allowing “Dating Couple” Jill Haney and Thomas Wolfard to become team 2 on the first flight.
Once landing at their destination however, most teams had a really hard time locating Stonehenge, which resulted in a very different order then we saw leaving the airport. Ron and Tony, who were on the first flight, landing 20 minutes prior to 8 other teams, entered their downward spiral on the hunt for their first destination, then had more trouble on their second destination, Eastnor Castle.
The race continued, with Jill and Thomas leading the pack to the Castle. Still no watermelon incident, but I knew we must be getting closer.
After “storming the castle” (climbing a ladder up the castle walls while a “mob of peasants” poured dirty water on them) teams needed to grab a flag and head on over to a dock where they had to take what appeared to be a turtle shell boat over to the other bank. It was definitely not easy to keep these boats afloat, and many teams had trouble doing so. Once getting to the other side, they made their way to deliver the flags to the awaiting knight (now I know we are getting closer to the watermelon fiasco) and use a ballista (a medieval slingshot) to fire watermelons at a suit of armor 50 feet away and topple it, the jester (a man standing on a ball and juggling) would give them their next clue.
Jill and Thomas were the first team to complete the road block, get their clue, and find the pitstop, resulting in the win for the “game changing” Express Pass.
Back at the roadblock, the “home shopping hosts” Brook Roberts and Claire “Watermelon” Champlin were busy at work, Brook cheering for her teammate, and Claire working hard to hit the knight. We had to watch her do this awhile, cutting to other teams and their whereabouts, but we knew what was coming! Then, FINALLY, they showed it, then in slow motion again, then commercial break before they came back and showed it again. Wow it looked horrible! What they did not show last night was that there were medics that gave her a look over at the scene to make sure she was ok, thank goodness. That had to be painful, Claire noting a few times that she couldn’t feel her face. Claire continued on though, hitting the knight eventually, arriving at the pit stop in 4th place. Not bad at all considering!
All in all it was a great start to a great show. I give mad respect to Claire for pulling through, and am liking them a lot. Everyone, so far, seem pretty nice… Although Chad can use a bit of an attitude adjustment. Right now, he is the only one that I am not liking very much. Hopefully, as he stated at the end of the show, he has been humbled, and will take it as a lesson to calm down and adjust the ‘tude.
Until I know these teams better, I did start using some nicknames on the first night. “Tatooies” Nick and Vicki, boyfriend/girlfriend from Henderson Nevada, and of course the “Gleeks” (Geeks and Glee combo) Connor and Jonathon, Princeton students from Chesterland, Ohio.
Have any nicknames you came up with? Let us know here or in the FORUM!