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Eleven teams of two, joined by family or relationship, follow a path of twists and turns in a frenetic race around the world for $1 million...again! They tried before and failed...so this is Unfinished Business!

Who will be the first to cross the finish line?

Recaps by Chris Wolvie, GSNN

Host Phil Keoghan
Creator Bertram van Munster
Elise Doganieri
EP Jerry Bruckheimer
Bertram van Munster
Jonathan Littman
Elise Doganieri
Mark Vertullo
Packager Jerry Bruckheimer TV
Worldrace Productions
Amazing Race Productions
CBS Television Studios
ABC Studios
Web www.cbs.com/amazingrace
Airs 8p Sun, CBS

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Head Down and Hold On
February 20

They came, they Raced, they lost.

Throughout the 17 Amazing Races, nearly 400 Americans have gone on a Race around the world and back again...but only 34 of them walked away with the million-dollar check. The others...not so much. Now, 22 Americans from previous Races as far back as #12 will get a second chance to win the seven-digit payout. Some may call this another "All-Star" edition. For the 11 teams, however, it's "Unfinished Business"!


The second windiest place on Earth (somehow, I doubt Chicago's number one) and a gross of modern windmills welcome the Racers, riding in small electrical ATVs. Let's see if you can remember these folks:

Ron & Christina Hsu (Team Who's Your Daddy): father-daughter team from Tacoma, WA. They finished as first runners-up of AR 12 after blowing the last ROADBLOCK.
Kent Kaliber & Vyxsin Fiala (Team Dating Goths): dating Goths and wait staffers from Louisville, KY. They came in 5th in AR 12, Philiminated in Mumbai, India, wasting a U-TURN along the way.
Amanda Blackledge & Kris Klicka (Team Amandakris): recently-engage couple from San Diego. They were 8th in AR 14, Philiminated in Krasnoyarsk, Russia following a U-TURN.
Mel & Mike White (Team West Hollywood): Mike is a writer and actor on such films as "Nacho Libre" and "School of Rock". Mel is his clergyman father, who also happens to be gay. Mike doesn't mind it being a gay man himself. They were 6th in AR 14, Philiminated in Jaipur, India when the went WAY off course during a leg.
LaKisha & Jennifer Hoffman (Team Cardinal Sisters): former collegiate athletes and sisters from Kentucky. Both attended the University of Louisville, where Kisha played basketball and Jen played volleyball. They were 4th in AR 14, Philiminated on Bejing, China after (literally) wizzing their chance away in a urinal mere yards from the PIT STOP.
Margie & Luke Adams (Team Hear My Song!): a mother & son from Denver. Luke was the first deaf Racer, and Margie is his link to the hearing world. They finished AR 14 in third place after Luke tripped on the last ROADBLOCK.
Jaime Edmondson & Cara Rosenthal (Team Hollaback Girls): former Miami Dolphins cheerleaders. Cara's a law student. Jaime's a police officer. They finished first runners-up of AR 14 who lost their way at the final destination city (Yup, that's FOUR teams from AR 14).
Zev Glassenberg & Justin Kanew (Team Puzzle Pieces): friends from SoCal. Zev was the first Racer with Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism. They left in 9th place in AR 15, Philiminated in Phnom Penh, Cambodia after losing their passports.
Herb "Flight Time" Lang & Nate "Big Easy" Lofton (The Trotters): two members of the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters. They came in 4th in AR 15, Philiminated in Prague, Czech Republic when Nate couldn't figure out a ROADBLOCK and took a four-hour penalty.
Jet & Cord McCoy (Team Cowboy Bebop) - Cowboy brothers from Oklahoma. They finished as first runners-up in AR 16 after the winners cut in front of them at the airport booking their flight to the final destination.
Gary & Mallory Ervin (Miss KY and Dad); She was Miss Kentucky 2009 and he's...her father. They came in 6th in AR 17, Philiminated in Muscat, Oman after getting lost.

(Much obliged for Chico for coming up with the nicknames over the years)

Phil Keoghan greets them all...again...and goes back over the rules in case they forget. Go to clue, follow clue to next one, eventually get to PIT STOP. You arrive last at eight of said STOPs, you're out. You arrive last at the three others, you're still in...but you'll be forced to take a SPEED BUMP task somewhere along the following Leg. And the first to cross the FINISH LINE!! somewhere in America...gets the one million bucks that eluded them before!

Oh, right...and, just like the last Race, the winner of Leg 1 will not win a trip or a car or cash or anything like that. They'll win this:


The Express Pass will allow one team the opportunity to bypass ANY task. If you cannot or will not perform a task, simply hand the presiding local your Express Pass, and he or she will give you the next clue, no questions asked!

You may only use the Express Pass ONCE, so you must determine when it is in your best interests to use it.

And...one more thing. The teams' first clue is NOT on their bags; it's in Phil's hands. To GET said clue, they must get a "paper airplane" in a field well behind Phil that has to do with the clue "Queensland And Northern Territorie Aerial Services". First eight teams to do so get on the first flight out...after driving to LAX in the (PRODUCT PLACEMENT ALERT!) 2012 Ford Focus cars awaiting all teams. The other three are on the second flight, arriving ninety minutes later. And the LAST team to do the task...will get an automatic U-TURN! That means they must do BOTH parts of the first DETOUR upon arriving at it. Did you REALLY think a "second chance" would come THAT easy?!

"The world is waiting for you...

"Good luck...

"Travel safe...


Twenty-two bodies run over cold, wet, rough terrain to get to the field of planes. Team Amandakris are the first to run back, followed closely by Team Who's Your Daddy. But Phil says both of their guesses - "Queensland Pacific" and "Pan-Am" respectively - are wrong and send them back. Team West Hollywood think they have it and grab it. They run back and show Phil...and "QUANTAS" is correct! (Had no IDEA it was an acronym, seriously!) And the host hands them their clue:



Drive to LAX and then fly over 7500 miles to Sydney, Australia. Upon arriving, travel by train to Sydney Harbor and by ferry to Oceanworld in Manly. Your next clue awaits there.

Right behind them are Team Puzzle Pieces and Team Cowboy Bebop. But Team Hear My Song gets "Aeral" incorrect and Team Cardinal Sisters miss it as well. As the first three teams split, the others keep searching. Many seem to get the jist...but Amanda & Kris and Team KY/Dad struggle. Team Dating Goths are fourth to depart for LAX, Ron & Christina in fifth, Team Trotters in sixth, Margie & Luke in seventh. And rounding out the first flight...

Team Hollaback Girls! And there was much rejoicing...particularly amid those eight teams.

Now the race is for avoiding the U-TURN. Kishi & Jen are first on the second flight, so the couple and the dad and daughter freak. They look...and look...and look...

...and Gary & Mallory return first! Which, of course, means Team Amandakris will have to double dip the DETOUR approaching. Always a U-TURN for these guys, huh?

Mel & Mike, Zev & Justin, Jet & Cord, Kent & Vyxsin, Ron & Christina, Herb & Nate, Margie & Luke, Jaime & Cara
Kishi & Jen, Gary & Mallory, Amanda & Kris (Auto U-TURNed)

The flights take off without a hitch. But ANYTHING can happen....


"Ladies and gentlemen, it is a medical emergency..."

A person on the flight (though not a Racer) has a heart attack and, as such, the flight is re-routed to Honolulu to get him medical attention and get the plane re-feuled. Many think it sucks that their 90-minute lead is gone...but Nate says the important thing is that the person is fine and getting the proper attention. As such, it is the SECOND flight that arrives FIRST in...


After close to 15 hours on the plane, the three teams make their way to the trains. Upon boarding, Mallory lets them know that she heard a flight attendant talk about Flight #12 being delayed and, as such, THEY are the ones in the lead now! But Jen doesn't believe Mallory, flat-out calling her a liar. And Mallory claims that Kentuckians do NOT lie! (There ARE politicians in that state, right?) Anyhow, they all hop the ferry that passes the famed Sydney Opera House and enjoy the view.

Close to a half-hour later, the first flight arrives. The eight teams and head for the train...but Team Who's Your Daddy miss the train that all the others are on. They're not alone: Team Cowboy Bebop and Team West Hollywood likewise didn't make it. That means that, unless the ferry stays before they arrive, they'll be the last group to get to...


Meanwhile, Team KY/Dad, Team Cardinal Sisters and Team Amandakris find their way to the aquarium and run smack into the Race's first...



Prepare to face your most primal fears. One of you must don scuba gear and search a 1.5-million-gallon tank filled with sharks (some as long as 60 feet) and a stingray (as big as a queen-sized bed) to find a large compass somewhere on the floor. The rim of the compass has nautical flags on them and their corresponding English letters. Take the compass outside to a string of nautical flags and work out the destination. Go there, find the person also told in the flags and give him the secret catch phrase (also in the flags) to get your next clue


Mallory, Kisha (we all remember the sisters can't swim for squat, right?) and Amanda choose the task. Mallory is the first in and confidently trolls the bottom. Kishi...look like she's soiling her wetsuit. Amanda was in full "Race mode" and just focused on finding a compass.

Meanwhile, back on dry land...Team Trotters, Team Dating Goths, Team Hollaback Girls, Team Hear My Song and Team Puzzle Pieces take the ferry, leaving the other three far behind. The other three show up and, while Mel & Mike and Ron & Christina get info right at the dock, Jet & Cord run someplace ELSE to get info. As such, they are now in last...and feeling a little broke back. Uh,...wait a sec...

In the drink, Mallory finds a compass and gets a thumbs-up from Gary as she surfaces. Amanda is second and gives the "shaka bra" sign to Kris. At the flags, Mal works out "F" and "I" and automatically thinks it's "FIND YOUR WAY"...though she continues with the diciphering as Amanda joins her and the second ferry makes dock. The five teams spill out and sprint for the aquarium where Margie, Herb, Justin, Jaime (who assumes "shark tank") and Vyxsin decide to hit the tank. IN said tank, Kisha finally finds a compass and surfaces. The other five start their search, Justin TRYING not to panic in order to control his breathing and Vyxsin looking like a "pink little mermaid" according to Kent.

Back at the dock, the third ferry arrives and the straight father/daughter and gay father/son hit the ROADBLOCK in 9th and 10th, respectively. Christina and Mel decide to take the plunge. Meanwhile, Mallory finishes her deciphering, repeats the phrase correctly to her dad and they head off to the Skiff Sailing Club while Kisha arrives to start THEIR puzzle. In the tank, Justin and Margie find the compass, with "Flight Time" right behind. Jaime finds hers...but Vyxsin is still down as the final ferry docks and Jet & Cord disembark in last. Jet opts for the ROADBLOCK.

Christine and Mel begin their search under da...water with Jet close on their fins. With four under and six drying and/or deciphering, Team KY/Dad tell the commodore at the club the phrase...and he hands them their next clue:



Head for the club and change into sailing gear. Then you will help a small crew sail a 16-foot skiff sailboat out onto Manly Bay. When you get to a certain boat, a seaman will fire a gun and only THEN will you be allowed to sail towards one of three large numbered bouys that have your next clue attached to them. You may NOT swim to the clue. Do NOT open your clue until you have returned to the club.

The father and daughter don their sailing gear...but getting the hang of sailing a boat no longer than two-and-a-half men ain't easy. They're going so fast that Mallory is PRAYING against a flip. Back at Oceanworld, Justin and Margie join the decipherers. Kisha and Amanda decide to pool their resources and work out the clue together. As they finish, the others still work on it and Herb and Jaime get to working it out. Just like in AR14, the cheerleaders and the mother/son team work together to work out the clue. Team Cardinal Sisters and Team Amandakris get the commodore's clue in 2nd & 3rd and get set to hit the high seas (and Kishi's SO happy not having to swim to the clue).

Meanwhile, on said seas, Gary spots one of the buoys and LEANS out to grab it on his first try. As they head back, Amanda & Kris grabs a clue of their own...with Jen grabbing one close behind. Back in the depths, Christina finds a compass and surfaces to get to working the clue out. Mel quickly follows as does Cord. Vyxsin is the last one to get it as they all get to drying out and code-cracking...though the pink-haired goth DOES have some difficulty finding her way OUT of the tank.

Gary & Mallory beach the skiff and read their next clue:



Head for Shelly Beach, one of the hottest surfing beaches along the Pacific Coast. The PIT STOP for this Leg of the Race is on the beach amid the crowds..

WARNING! The last team to check-in MAY BE ELIMINATED!

With a scream of delight, Mallory leads her dad back to the club to get out of the sailing rigs. Team Amandakris and Team Cardinal Sisters depart in 2nd and 3rd.


It's apparantly not that far to the beach as Team KY/Dad find their way on foot...but they seem to have a hard time finding the actual BEACH...and Amanda & Kris have closed the gap, feeling they HAVE to get that EXPRESS PASS in order to counter the Auto U-TURN they still need to face. Phil and a surfer-shorts-wearing Aussie await as two Americans hit the small mat...and then Phil lets them have it:

"Gary & Mallory...you are the first team to arrive..."

Ut oh...

"...which means you have won the EXPRESS PASS!"

(Don't DO that, Phil!!)

Good thing Team KY/Dad was too excited to hear that.

But, WAIT,...this isn't a usual PIT STOP. Normally, a PIT STOP lets you rest for at least 12 hours. At THIS one...it's more like 12 SECONDS! Phil hands them their next clue and explains, "You're STILL Racing!" They open their clue right there (which says something about going to "Back and Beyond")...and Phil has to almost literally push Mallory out to keep her and Gary going!

Amanda & Kris are a little disappointed to have missed the EXPRESS PASS...but it's quickly replaced by SHOCK when they're handed their next clue right away which will MORE than likely include the two DETOURs they must do. Kishi & Jen get the same: "third team, here's your clue, get a-goin'!".

At the Skiff Sailing Club, Team Puzzle Pieces finish the ROADBLOCK in 4th and get set to sail. Team Hear My Song arrives...but Margie misses the word "BETWEEN" in the message...which means Team Hollaback Girls have it wrong as well. Team Trotters didn't finish ALL the flags...but they get HELP from the departing Zev & Justin in telling the clue, re-forming ANOTHER alliance from a previous Race. (Wonder if that was the idea? Hmmm...) Margie gets an idea and waits for Herb & Nate to say the phrase aloud...but they ain't falling for THAT as they WHISPER the phrase and get the fifth clue from the commodore. Back to the aquarium for the AR14 alliance...and onto the skiffs for the AR 15 alliance. Cara TRIES to get Team Puzzle Pieces to help them...but they no can do (since the girls are strangers, unlike "Flight Time" and "Big Easy").

On the skiffs, Zev & Justin seem to be fine with the sailing. Team Trotters...not so much. They nearly SINK their skiff at first but once they get the balance down, they have fun with the other crew members. They actually run INTO the bouy to get their clue, right behind Team Puzzle Pieces.

Meanwhile, Mel and Christina pool their talents to work out the flag clue. They get the phrase...but only part of the destination. That's enough for them to skedaddle, leaving Vyxsin and Jet behind. Those two teams run into the two AR14 teams and agree to help them. They return to the Club and agree to all say the phrase together. It's Who's Your Daddy in 6th, West Hollywood in 7th, Hollaback Girls in 8th and Hear My Song in 9th. But will the goth or the cowboy finish the code next?

Well, Jet & Cord leave first...though what Jet wrote looks like garbage. Still, it's enough to freak out Kent & Vyxsin into only finishing part of the message before running off. Team Cowboy Bebop arrive at the commodore...but they DON'T have the phrase. Team Dating Goths get help from Margie on the phrase...not so much out of kindness as the thinking that, between them and the cowboys, she thinks she and Luke can beat them to the FINISH LINE!! later on. As such, they leave the ROADBLOCK in 10th.

On the seas, Jaime & Cara capsize their boat. It takes time for the rest of the crew to flip it back, telling the girls, "Head down and hold on." Despite the little setback, they are the next to get their PIT STOP clue, followed by Rob & Christina, Margie & Luke and Mel & Mike.

Back at Shelly Beach, more teams get the "still Racing" treatment from Phil: Zev & Justin in 4th, "Flight Time" & "Big Easy" in 5th (with an "oh no" from Herb), Jaime & Cara in 6th, Margie & Luke in 7th, Ron & Christina in 8th and Mel & Mike in 9th. All of them are checked-in and just as switly checked-out. All the while, Jet continues with the deciphering...and Cord starts to think they're doomed. And they may be right, since Team Dating Goths grab their clue (and drag the bouy with them for a few feet) and head back to shore before Jet leaves. They tell the commodore the destination...but they STILL don't know the phrase!!

Needless to say, Kent & Vyxsin are the tenth (and possibly final) team to get the hello-and-heave-ho from Phil on the beach! Jet is confused as all hell and says, "We're screwed." And the next thing on the screen is...


(To quote Chris Griffin, "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?")



1) Gary & Mallory - Express Pass
2) Amanda & Kris (Auto U-TURN forthcoming)
3) Jill & Thomas
4) Zev & Justin
5) "Flight Time" & "Big Easy"
6) Jaime & Cara
7) Margie & Luke
8) Ron & Christina
9) Mel & Mike
10) Kent & Vyxsin
11) Jet & Cord (ELIMINATED?!)

To see this episode in its entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "The Amazing Race", visit the official website at www.cbs.com/amazingrace