The Amazing Race 33

Episode 1 Recap – We’re Back!

The race returns!

Photo: CBS

For the 33rd time, the world is waiting…

The much anticipated and delayed season premiere of The Amazing Race‘s 33rd season is finally underway. Host Phil Keoghan explains to the audience that the opening two legs of the race were filmed in a pre-COVID world, with production coming to a grinding halt during the third leg due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It would not be easy to name a show that COVID-19 has impacted more than The Amazing Race, which has had to navigate through a new world revolving around stay-at-home orders, opposing the very fibre of the series’ being—world travel. Before we stumble upon that real-world roadblock, let’s unravel what season 33’s premiere had in store for us.

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The premiere begins with all teams receiving a call from Phil, advising them to get themselves from their respective home cities to London, where their first clue awaits. En route to airports and London, we are introduced to the teams, the first of which being:

Akbar & Sheri: educators and married college sweethearts from New Jersey.
Anthony & Spencer: best friends from California.
Raquel & Cayla: flight attendants and best friends from Chicago and Florida .
Ryan & Dusty: best friends from Missouri.

ROUTE INFO: Trafalgar Square

All teams are now in London and must make their way to Trafalgar Square, where they will find a man dressed as a traditional English red phone box who will hand them their first clue. Most importantly, we see Phil’s iconic eyebrow raise for the first time this season.

TAR33 Ep1
Photo: CBS

As the teams are making their way to Trafalgar Square, we are introduced to the latest pairing of:

Arun & Natalia: father and daughter from Michigan.

At Trafalgar Square, the flight attending duo of Raquel & Cayla receives the first clue.

ROUTE INFO: Buckingham Palace

Teams must make their way on foot to Buckingham Palace to find their next clue.

Back of the pack, and now thanks to the relentless London traffic, we find our latest team in:

Connie & Sam: married parents from North Carolina.

Raquel & Cayla extend their lead and arrive at Buckingham Palace.

TAR33 Ep1
Photo: CBS

DETOUR: Artist Den or Digi Ben

In Artist Den, teams must create their Banksy-themed art and have it approved by a judge. In Digi Ben, teams must find a Bobby (police officer) near Big Ben, then locate Little Ben, culminating in Digi Ben situated in Piccadilly Circus station.

Back of the pack backpackers Connie & Sam continue struggling as they are the last team to receive their clue in Trafalgar square, as teams ahead of them are already detouring at Buckingham Palace.

Next, we are introduced to:

Lulu & Lala: twins and radio hosts from New Jersey.
Michael & Moe: police officers from New York.

Working together, both pairs of best friends in Anthony & Spencer and Ryan & Dusty are the first teams to work out what/or instead WHO The Bobby is and make their way to Little Ben as part of the Detour.

Teams arriving at Artist Den include the yet-to-be-introduced pairings of:

Kim & Penn: married parents from North Carolina.
Caro & Ray: couple from California and New Jersey.
Taylor & Isaiah: married couple from Oregon.

Best friends Anthony & Spencer are the first team to complete the Detour and receive their next clue.

TAR33 Ep1
Photo: CBS

ROUTE INFO: The Chipping Forecast

Teams are to make their wait to The Chipping Forecast restaurant, where they will receive their next clue from lookalikes of The Queen and Boris Johnson.

The best friend pairings of Ryan & Dusty and Anthony & Spencer only extend their leads as they greet (the lookalike) The Queen and Boris Johnson, while teams still struggle to locate “Bobby” and butcher their Banksys. The first three teams arrive at the first Pit Stop.

PIT STOP:

Team Number 1: Anthony & Spencer
Team Number 2: Ryan & Dusty
Team Number 3: Raquel & Cayla

Some of these teams would be lying if they said they didn’t think the stand-in Queen wasn’t the ACTUAL queen, as more and more teams greet the lookalikes and make their way to the ACTUAL Phil:

Team Number 4: Kim & Penn
Team Number 5: Caro & Ray
Team Number 6: Akbar & Sheri
Team Number 7: Connie & Sam
Team Number 8: Taylor & Isaiah
Team Number 9: Arun & Natalia

TAR33 Ep1
Photo: CBS

The last team to arrive WILL be eliminated. These famous words ring truest to the final two pairings of Michael & Moe and Lulu & Lana, seeing the sisters pull it out and sneak by the Buffalo-bred cops into tenth place.

The second leg begins with Anthony & Spencer leading and making their way to London’s Mail Rail to receive their next clue.

ROADBLOCK: Who Still Gets the Mail?

One member of each team must take a ride on the Mail Rail trail and find a clue amidst the undelivered and underground mail.

Anthony & Spencer suffer the inevitable Mail Rail taxi hail fail, opening the door for Ryan & Dusty to leapfrog them into first place and complete the Road Block in no time.

ROUTE INFO: Leicester Square

Teams make their way to London’s theatre capital, where they will find their next clue.

The Over-Thinker of the Night Award: It’s a tie between Ray and Penn, who find the clue at Mail Rail but believe it couldn’t have been THAT easy of a Road Block. So they insist on making up their own task and start arranging the mail by name for some sort of extracurricular credit with Phil, forcing their partners to agonisingly wait for them.

Ryan & Dusty extend their lead and arrive at Leicester Square.

TAR33 Ep1
Photo: CBS

DETOUR: Bullseye, Mate, or Decorate

In Bullseye, Mate, each team member must hit a bullseye during a set of three thrown darts. In Decorate, teams must decorate two blank cakes with the nations of two flags part of the European Union.

Ryan & Dusty opt for Bullseye, Mate, as The Overthinkers continue to honour their namesakes and allow teams to catch up and even pass them at the Road Block.

Sisters Lulu & Lana are stuck at the back of the pack and are the last team to complete the Road Block. Shortly after, we are gifted the line of the night: “Okay, good luck…hope you don’t find it,” says Arun to Caro, trying to find the Decorate portion of the Detour.

A quick save by Cayla as she yells “NO!” followed by an equally-enthusiastic “Hi!” as best friends Anthony & Spencer arrive and level the playing field at Decorate. Ryan & Dusty, guess what, extend their lead, make fast work of Bullseye, Mate, and make their way to Phil.

Team Number 1: Ryan & Dusty
Team Number 2: Connie & Sam
Team Number 3: Arun & Natalia

TAR33 Ep1
Photo: CBS

The only three teams to partake in Bullseye, Mate were the top 3 teams, funnily enough, leaving the remaining duos decorating and discovering who’s in the European Union. An EU slew of cakes begin to be successfully decorated by the teams, again seeing sisters Lulu & Lala remain in last place.

Team Number 4: Raquel and Cayla
Team Number 5: Kim & Penn
Team Number 6: Caro & Ray
Team Number 7: Anthony & Spencer
Team Number 8: Akbar & Sheri

In an all-too-familiar position, Lulu & Lala find themselves battling NOT to be last but are ultimately bested by:

Team Number 9: Taylor & Isaiah

Not all hope is lost for Lulu & Lala as Phil reveals that this is NOT a Pit Stop, and the teams are still racing.

Next stop: Glasgow!

Final 10 Team Power Rankings
(based on previous leg finishes)

1) Ryan & Dusty (1.5)
2) Raquel & Cayla (3.5)
3) Anthony & Spencer (4)
T4) Connie & Sam (4.5)
T4) Kim & Penn (4.5)
6) Caro & Ray (5.5)
7) Arun & Natalia (6)
8) Akbar & Sheri (7)
9) Taylor & Isaiah (8.5)
10) Lulu & Lala (9.5)


Written by

Toby King

Toby's a London-based and Canadian-born writer who's been raised on television and cinema. He's an avid sport fan despite never supporting a winning team, along with being an avid film fan despite his favourite film being Hook.


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