The Amazing Race is back with a new All-Stars season titled Unfinished Business. This is the 18th edition of the series, and 11 teams that have competed previously meet up in Palm Springs, California to take off on a new Amazing Race adventure. Each of the teams competing ran into issues during their previous season that left them unable to finish first, and each one intends to better this time around. The competitors include:
-Ron and Christina, the father/daughter pair from season 12 who finished in 2nd place.
-Kent and Vyxsin, the Goth couple also from season 12 who finished in 5th place.
-Kisha and Jen, sisters from season 14 who finished in 4th place.
-Amanda and Kris were dating their first season and are now engaged. They finished in 8th place on season 14.
-Margie and Luke are a mother and son pair and Luke was the first hearing-impaired competitor on the series. They finished in 3rd place on season 14.
-Mel and Mike are a father and son team, and both men are gay. They were also on season 14 and finished in 6th place.
-Jaime and Cara are the final season 14 team returning. These former NFL cheerleaders finished in 2nd place.
-Flight Time and Big Easy return from season 15. These Harlem Globetrotters finished in 4th place and were viewer favorites.
-Zev and Justin are best friends who competed on season 15, finishing in 9th place.
-Jet and Cord are brothers and cowboys from season 16 where they took 2nd place.
-Gary and Mallory are another father and daughter team who competed on season 17, finishing in 6th place.
The teams race up to the starting point in dune buggies, and learn that this version of the race will have some new components. There will be 12 legs in this race and the first team to check in on each leg receives an Express Pass that allows them to bypass a task at some later point of the race. This Express Pass was introduced in season 17, so it is new to most of the teams. The race starts with a scramble as the teams rush to search a field of paper airlines in search of their first clue. The first eight teams to bring a plane back to Phil labeled “QANTAS” get to jump onto the first flight for the next destination. The next three teams will leave 90 minutes later, and the last team is also penalized with a U-Turn at the first Detour along the route.
The first flight has Jet/Cord, Kent/Vyxsin, Mel/Mike, Zev/Justin, Ron/Christina, Margie/Luke, Jaime/Cara and Flight Time/Big Easy as the teams head off to Sydney, Australia. Gary/Mallory and Jen/Kisha are on the second flight with Amanda/Kris being hit with the U-Turn. Flight 1 is diverted due to a medical emergency with another passenger, so flight 2 takes the lead.
For the first task, the teams face a Roadblock at the Sydney Harbor. One team member needs to go into an aquarium tank with scuba gear to find large compasses adorned with letters and symbols. The racers need to navigate past sharks and enormous rays, and then take the compass outside to figure out two clues. They next need to find the commodore at the Manly Skiff Sailing Club and repeat the phrase “I am between the devil and the deep blue sea” to him.
Gary and Mallory finish the task first and head off across Manly Bay in a 16-foot skiff. They need to find the clue attached to a buoy and then head to the check-in with Phil. Several other teams run into trouble with the tasks, as several teams translate the clues wrong and others have trouble with the skiff and buoy. Gary and Mallory maintain their first place lead and receive the Express Pass. They are shocked to learn that this season of The Amazing Race starts with a bang, in that the leg is not over yet and they need to keep going.
All of the teams check in and receive the news of the leg continuing except the Cowboys who are still deciphering their clue. The show leaves the audience hanging with the dreaded “to be continued…” The season is off to a strong start where this combination of teams will certainly keep us guessing. Will the crowd favorites make it to the end, or will some of the under-performers from previous seasons come back with a winning strategy?