The Amazing Race 13 ended on a high note when the strongest team brother and sister Nick & Starr were the winners. Now a new group of contestants will be racing across 40,000 miles and nine countries in 22 days. The Amazing Race 14 cast of 11 teams of two includes the first ever deaf contestant (at least in the US version… The Amazing Race Asia 2 winner included one deaf contestant), Harvard law graduates, a father who realized he was gay when his son (who is his teammate who is also gay) was 11, brothers who are stuntmen, former NFL cheerleaders, and at least one couple using this race as a way to prove their relationship (which never works).
The good news about midseason TAR: at least it’s starting on time (more often than it does in the fall anyway).
Teams will depart from the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alimitos, CA, home to the CA national guard and army reserve.
The flight attendants believe their knowledge of airports will work to their advantage. Tammy, the sister in the brother/sister lawyer team, feels left out, probably because she usually is. Luke doesn’t even read lips, so he’ll need to communicate by using sign language. Linda & Steve realize they’re hicks. LaKisha & Jen were college athletes, which could come in handy, if only they can get past the fact that they have “issues.” Jennifer & Preston both want to be in charge, a disaster waiting to happen. Brad & Victoria say they’re in better shape than you may think. Mark and Michael, standing at 4′9″, stunt double children. Cara & Jaime are perfectly willing to be this season’s bitches. I hate them already.
From LAX, the teams will be heading to Switzerland on one of two flights.
First flight (via Zurich): Tammy & Victor, Christie & Jodi, Jaime & Cara, Mark & Michael, Brad & Victoria, Margie & Luke
Second flight (via Milan): Kisha & Jen, Mel & Mike, Amanda & Kris, Preston & Jennifer, Steve & Linda
The decision on which flight to pick seems relatively random. They’ll be taking the train to Locarno from the city they take the plane to. The train station in Zurich is right in the airport. Jennifer & Preston have already missed their train, not the best start. They’re also already fighting. On the way to Switzerland, Christie & Jodi meet a local who wants them to go with her, which they believe will save them 13 minutes.
With that and the fact that they’re in the first group, Christie & Jodi arrive first. That puts plane one ahead of plane two.
They must now head to the Church of San Antonio, where they will sign for departure times. For the night they will be camping out.
7:15 - Christie & Jodi, Tammy & Victor, Margie & Luke, Mark & Michael
7:30 - Brad & Victoria, Jaime & Cara, Mel & Mike (first from plane two)
7:45 - Kisha & Jen, Amanda & Kris, Steve & Linda, Preston & Jennifer
Steve’s already arguing with Linda for being too slow. And he keeps harping on it until she’s in tears.
Using the provided picture, teams must now race to the Verzasca Dam. Christie & Jodi struggle to get a cab, which allows Brad & Victoria to pass them. Jaime & Cara also struggle to get a cab, so the teams in last catch up to them.
At the dam is the road block, a 70 story bungee jump, the second highest in the world.
Road block (in order of arrival): Victor, Michael (I think), Luke, Mike, Victoria, Jodi, Kris, Jaime, Preston, Jen, Steve
The next stop is Interlaken via train. Tammy & Victor are trying to act sneaky (not overly convincingly) already, pretending they’re taking a train on the advice of some lady, a train that they claim may or may not be correct.
When another group arrives at the train station, Christie & Jodi opt for the earlier train, but Brad & Victoria take the one that leaves over an hour later but arrives earlier (but lie to Christie & Jodi and tell them they’ll take the earlier one). It’s unclear what train order anybody’s in.
Upon arrival, teams will join the local workforce, transporting 200 pounds of cheese downhill. The biggest trick appears to be to get these cheese holders to not break. Nobody is having any luck, and the result is cheese rolling down the hill and/or people falling down. Apparently, though, if the cheese rolls down the hill and you’re able to find it, it still counts. Logically, why not just fling the cheese down the hill and then run down? Mel just slides down the hill on his butt. On their second trek down, Luke & Margie follow his example, which puts them in the lead. Only a couple people in the first group are actually successfully able to use the cheese holders. All the remaining teams arrive after the first four are finished, and it looks like a fairly close race. The only exception is Christie & Jodi, who are on that train they just made by one minute, which was not the right train to take. Steve ain’t as dumb as he looks. Instead of trying to carry the cheese on his back, he ties his cheese to the wood and slides it down the hill, allowing him to take 150 pounds at once, while most people struggle with just 50, which should allow them to get up from their previous tenth place.
The pitstop for this leg of the race is Stechelberg. They’ll have to follow the sound of the yodelling.
First: Margie & Luke (win a trip to Puerto Vallarta)
Second: Tammy & Victor
Third: Mark & Michael
Fourth: Mel & Mike
Fifth: Amanda & Kris
Sixth: Brad & Victoria
Seventh: Jaime & Cara
Eighth: LaKisha & Jennifer
Ninth: Steve & Linda (after wandering around for a while)
Tenth: Christie & Jodi
Eliminated: Preston & Jennifer
In the mad dash to the finish, Christie & Jodi outrun Preston carrying Jennifer on his back, and Jennifer & Preston are eliminated. I’m not sure that Jennifer & Preston were necessarily the weakest link, although they did have more than their share of mistakes and bickering, but I’m glad to see Christie & Jodi weren’t eliminated just based on their train choice, as they are a fairly strong team.