The Amazing Race premiered its twenty sixth season last night, showing that if there’s one thing reality shows have, it’s longevity. While ten seasons is long for a sitcom or drama, twenty six seasons is nothing for reality television. To keep people interested and tuning in each season, they have to mix things up. This season they’re accomplishing this by composing five of the teams of people who have never met before, essentially setting them up on blind dates that take them around the world. These five couples are joined by six already established couples as they all race to win the one million dollars.
As the race kicked off, the first leg took all the couples to Tokyo, Japan where they memorized the names of bottles of sake and learned new dance moves. It was fun to see the blind date couples interact as they got to know each other in such a high stakes situation. For some couples, like Hayley and Blair, the sparks did not immediately fly. In fact, Hayley’s non-stop talking could not have been annoying Blair more. The two did not communicate well, ending up on the second flight and spending much of the first leg in last place. However, they were able to pass some of the established couples when learning dance moves, allowing them to continue on. They will be a good couple to keep an eye on, as they will surely cause more drama in the future.
Some of the other blind date couples found themselves getting along much better and actually excelled in the first leg of the race. Jenny’s patience with Jelani while he struggled to learn the dance moves helped them land a first place finish, earning them the first Express Pass of the season. The next two couples to finish the first leg were also blind date couples, Jeff and Jackie and Tyler and Laura. It was fascinating to watch these people who had never met before work together so well. In fact, in many ways, they worked together better than couples who had been together for years.
It was Jeff and Lyda, one of the established couples, who were the first to be eliminated this season thanks to an unnecessary detour. With so much happening in the season premiere, the detour added complications that seemed like too much. Jeff and Lyda spent all night learning the new dance while another established couple, Libby and CJ, spent that time trying to find a cab, a task that shouldn’t have been that difficult. But because of the detour on Jeff and Lyda, they couldn’t make it to the finish line before Libby and CJ, no matter how much more they deserved it.
Overall, the premiere of The Amazing Race was captivating and the added twist, while it sounds like it could be a disaster, also seems like it might add some interesting drama and team dynamics to the race. Will any of the blind date couples find love? Or will they remain platonic but still be able to win the race? Maybe they’ll find both love and a million dollars. Or maybe the blind date couples will all fall apart, leaving room for one of the established couples to win. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a long and interesting race.
[Photo via CBS]