Kindness of Strangers
Ten years ago, a new phenomenon in
reality shows was born. Pairs of Americans, bonded by blood or friendship,
raced around the world for one million dollars. Now, just over a
decade later, eleven more pairs have shown up to hop from one country
to another, compete in events based on the local culture, see beautiful
cities, meet foreign but friendly people and beat the others back
to the States for that seven-digit check. It's time for another
rendition of the eight-time Emmy(TM)-award winning show! It's time
for THE AMAZING RACE 19!
HSI LAI TEMPLE
HACIENDA HEIGHTS, OUTSIDE OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA
The City of Angels once again hosts
a start to a Race as the eleven teams of two make their way via
bus to the shrine built by the International Buddhist Progress Society.
The teams range from 60-something teachers to 20-something Olympians,
from twins to domestic partners, from Survivor winners to
a 'round-the-world sailor and his pappy. And they are...:
Andy Finch & Tommy Czeschin
(Team Snow Shredders): Friends from Cali. Both are Olympic and
X-Games-level snowboarders, they've already travelled the world...just
not too many places that DON'T have snow on the ground.
Ethan Zohn & Jenna Morasca (Team Sole Survivors):
Dating couple from New York. Ethan won Survivor: Africa and
Jenna won Survivor: The Amazon. They met after Jenna won
and have been dating ever since. Ethan is still recovering from
Hodgkin's lymphoma, a rare strain of cancer.
Laurence & Zac Sunderland (Team Drake Wannabes)
- Father and son from Thousand Oaks, CA. Zac knows all about travelling
around the world; at 16, he was the youngest man to sail solo around
the world. His father's a yacht manager who Zac wants to show the
world to himself.
Ernie Halvorson & Cindy Chiang (Team Contradiction):
Recently-engaged couple from Chicago. They say opposites attract
and this is proof: she's more for planning while he's spontanious.
Justin & Jennifer Young (Team Georgia Sibs): Brother
and sister from Stone Mountain, GA. A doctor and a teacher respectively,
they look to get closer as a family during this Race.
Bill & Cathi Alden (Team Sexagenarians): Married grandparents
from Albany, OR. Bill's a teacher-turned farmer and Cathi's a principal-turned-online
teacher. (Sexagenarian = person in the sixties age-wise.)
Liz & Marie Canavan (Team Twin Grads): Twin sisters
from Deerfield, IL. They just recently graduated from U of Kentucky
and are living what they call a "quarter-life crisis";
ready for a job but unable to really find the right one.
Jeremy Cline & Sandy Draghi (Team Get-To-Know) - Dating
couple from San Francisco Bay Area, California. They both have busy
lives and don't see each other very often. They consider this a
sort of "crash course" in getting to know each other.
Ron Zeitz & Bill Smith
(Team Flight Partners): Domestic partners and flight attendants
from California. They've been together for over a decade and have
flown quite extensively...just rarely together.
Amani & Marcus Pollard (Team Hut-Hut!): Married couple
originally from Pine Mountain, GA. Marcus played in the NFL for
14 years and now coaches a high-school team in Alabama. Amani's
a small business owner and a mother.
Kaylani Paliotta & Lisa Tilley (Team Showgirls): Friends
from Las Vegas. They list their occupation as "cocktail waitresses"
but they often call themselves "showgirls" due to they're
flashy waitress outfits.
Phil Keoghan greets them all and goes
over the rules. ROUTE INFO leads to place...which has another ROUTE
INFO...occassionaly hit a DETOUR or ROADBLOCK and get around it...reach
a PIT STOP. Last to the PIT STOP (for most of the 12 Legs) is gone.
The winner of Leg 1 will win something
that could mean the difference between first and last in a Leg:
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, up to and including the 8th Leg, so you must determine
when it is in your best interests to use it.
Oh, right, and the first team across
the FINISH LINE!!, somewhere in the US, wins ONE MILLION
And now for something COMPLETELY different.
Remember how the last Race started with a task and the last place
team had to U-TURN the first DETOUR? Well, it's back...but now the
U-TURN is like a SPEED BUMP-meets-ROADBLOCK and has an official
The task is as such: behind Phil are
a WHOLE bunch of Chinese umbrellas. This word puzzle starts with
the letters in the word that appears above the umbrellas (which
are "WANPEI"). Teams must find an umbrella with another
MYSTERY three letters on them. Take those three letters, double
them and add them to the letters above the umbrellas. They will
then discover where the first destination city is. They'll show
the umbrella to Phil and, if they're right, he'll give them keys
to a 2012 Ford Explorer(TM) with which they can haul-ass to LAX
and book their flight to said location. The LAST team to leave with
the right answer must perform a HAZARD at some point during this
first Leg. Savvy?
We've been waiting all summer for those
wonderful eleven words...so take it away, Phil!
"The world is waiting for you...
Twenty-two brave souls sprint past
Phil, grab umbrellas and show them one by one to Phil. Phil repeats
"That is not correct" many times before they settle down
and look more methodically. Andy & Tommy return with one bearing
the letters "TAI". Phil declares them correct and they
head for the Explorers parked outside the Temple. A minute later,
Amani & Marcus get it right...but they ALMOST leave without
the keys. Upon entring the vehicle, a video of Phil congratulating
the team plays on the onboard computer and tells them their first
destination: TAI-PEI, TAI-WAN. The official clue is IN said auto
and reads as such:
FLY TO TAIPEI,
Drive to LAX and then fly
over 6500 miles to Taipei, Taiwan. Upon arriving, travel by
bus to the Ximending Commercial District. Your next clue is
NOT in a clue box; you'll find it if you keep looking up.
You may ONLY fly on one of
two flights: China Airlines, which will accomodate the first
eight teams to check-in, and Eva Air, which will take the
last three teams and depart 20 minutes later.
The other teams keep looking.
Liz & Marie are next out of the Temple, followed closely by
Ethan & Jenna. Jeremy & Sandy are 5th, Ernie & Cindy
6th, and Ron & Bill 7th. The teams start to get a bit desperate,
scrambling for the right umbrella. Bill & Cathi stumble upon
the right one and, assuming they don't get lost or passed, will
be the last team on the China Airlines flight. Out
in 9th...is Laurence & Zac. So the showgirls and siblings are
fighting to find a "TAI" umbrella and avoid the HAZARD.
Who will not be inconvenienced in Taipei?
Justin & Jennifer
get it right and leave in 10th! And that means Kaylani & Lisa
will have a HAZARD to endure a quarter of a world away.
For being California dudes,
Team Snow Shredders are quite ignorant about where LAX is. They
get instructions from a gas station attendee. At the SAME station,
Team Showgirls ask for the same directions. They get it...but Keylani
has dropped her passport! Oh, @#$%! It's Zev & Justin all over
again!! Fortunately, Keylani notices this about halfway to LAX and
Lisa heads back to the gas station to get it. The question now is...will
they show up in time to catch the late flight at...
ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA
Team Flight Partners are
the first to the China Airlines counter, followed closely by Team
Sole Survivors. Team Contradiction get on the flight 3rd as others
start to trickle in.
Back at the gas station,
no one has turned in the passport...and it's nowhere on the concrete.
They decide they're only chance is in the hope that one of the other
teams (despite themselves being last out of the gate) picked it
up and is holding it for them. If not,...their Race is over before
it even begins!
Team Hut-Hut and Team
Drake Wannabes check-in for the China Air flight. As the sun starts
to set, Team Georgia Sibs check-in, followed by Team Snow Shredders.
The last team on the first flight out? Team Team Get-To-Know! This
means Team Sexagenarians and Team Twin Grads must take the India
Keylani & Lisa arrive
at the China Air counter and ask if anyone has brought in a lost
passport...and the agents say no. This starts an argument between
the two girls over what they can do. Meanwhile, the other teams
realize what Ethan & Jenna aren't telling: that Ethan &
Jenna were Survivor winners. Oh, that means a major target
is on their backsides.
Suddenly, an announcment
is heard over the LAX intercom: "Would passenger Keylani Paliotta
please report to the information desk?" The girls, all confused,
go there. Someone asks for them out loud...and hands them the missing
passport! And there was much rejoicing! Two guys were at the station
when Team Snow Shredders and Team Showgirls arrived and they found
the passport. One of them, a "Randy Storms", even Tweeted
about it. A reply told him to get it to LAX...and, so, he did. Keylani
& Lisa are back in the hunt...even though they STILL have a
HAZARD to worry about upon arrival.
FLIGHT (CHINA AIRLINES, LEAVING 12:55am):
Ron & Bill, Ethan
& Jenna, Ernie & Cindy, Amani & Marcus, Laurence &
Zac, Justin & Jennifer, Andy & Tommy, Jeremy & Sandy
FLIGHT (EVA AIR, LEAVING 01:15am):
Bill & Cathi, Liz & Marie, Keylani & Lisa
flights take off without a hitch...no in-flight emergencies...so
we pick up the Race in the afternoon in...
OF CHINA (TAIWAN)
China Air touches down
in the largest and capital city in the Republic of China that's
apparently NOT for the "People". The eight teams get off
the plane and on the awaiting bus to Ximending. En route to the
district, Marcus is questioned about his profession...and he says
he's "done some round balling" and some "protection".
He does NOT say that he "protected" Peyton Manning for
many a year.
Twenty minutes later,
Eva Air's plane hits the runway and the remaining six Americans
head for the second express bus. Unfortunately, Team Saxagenarians'
age catches up to them; whereas Team Showgirls and Team Twin Grads
sprint to the bus and make it, the 60-plus couple miss it. They're
optimistic, though, as they board the third bus to...
it's foreigners coming to a big city like New York of Los Angeles
that spend many a minute looking up at the architecture. Not THIS
time, though; sixteen Americans hop off the bus and, per the clue,
look up at the billboards and video screens, looking for something
that will tell them where to go next. Team Contradiction notes a
sign to the Commerical District's "walking area" and follow
it, Team Sole Survivors on their tail (who get confused by the red-and-yellow
hats of the maintenance crews).
One video screen in the
district has red and yellow balloons...which occassionally separate
to reveal Chinese characters. THIS is the next clue. But Ernie &
Cindy pass it up when they see what looks like a red-and-yellow
arrow. Team Snow Shredders think a garbageman with red-and-yellow
boxers under his jean-shorts has the clue...but nope. Team Drake
Wannabes and Ethan & Jenna pass right by the sign as well. Amani
& Marcus notice the screen right away...but they also pass on
it. The others are just as lost...and Team Georgia Sibs are arguing
about it. They run into Team Hut-Hut!, who think the balloon screen
might be it after all. When they get back to the screen, they do
their best to right down the characters...while Team Flight Partners
come up from behind and follow suit. They show the scratchings to
a local who speaks English...and he translates it as the "Taipei
Confucius Temple". As the three teams quietly leave the
area, other teams get the hint and copy the characters on the screen,
get them translated and get looking for the Temple.
Now comes the second bus,
with both all-female teams on board. The four girls decide to work
together for this clue...and they likewise pass up the screen, thinking
the clue would be "more obvious". When the final bus dump
off Bill & Cathi,...they're literally and figuatively clueless.
Ethan & Jenna find the clue and split...but Andy & Tommy
are looking for Amazing Race STRIPES, not BALLOONS.
Confucius says, "Wheresoever
you go, go with all your heart." That what four teams who caught
the earliest train to the Temple are doing. Those teams - Hut-Hut!,
Georgia Sibs, Get-To-Know and Contradiction - arrive and find clues
not in a typical "clue box" but hanging on what looks
like a key wall. They run into their first....
"WHO'S READY TO PLAY TELEPHONE?"
Confucius lived over 2000
years ago, but his many sayings live on today. One of you
must go to a nearby pay phone, dial the number provided on
this clue and listen carefully to the Confucius saying being
spoken. DO NOT TAKE NOTES! Go to the monk at the Temple and
repeat the saying verbatum. If you're right, the monk will
give you your next clue. Otherwise, you must return to the
pay phone and listen more carefully.
Your first "operators"
for this ROADBLOCK are Sandy, Cindy, Amani and Jennifer. Team Flight
Partners arrive close behind and Ron chooses to do it. There's just
one problem: finding the damned PHONE! Ethan from Team Sole Survivors
is next to the clue and next to do the task. Finally, Cindy finds
to phone, dials (though I dunno if it actually was "1-800-CONFUCIUS";
CBS isn't THAT obvious, are they?) and hears this:
"In all things
success depends on previous preparation, and without such previous
preparation there is sure to be failure." (From "The
Doctrine of the Mean".)
Cindy runs to the monk
and says, "In all things success depends on previous preparation,
and without such there will be failure." Nope...not it. Jennifer
tries it next...and fails. Cindy blows it again...as does Ron...as
does Sandy...and Ethan, too. Perhaps they should pay head to ANOTHER
saying: "Listen widely to remove your doubts and be careful
when speaking about the rest and your mistakes will be few."
One by one, the six listen again, run and talk...only to be turned.
Finally, Cindy tries again...and the monk hands her the next clue!
She squeals in delight and reads the clue with Ernie:
GO DOWN BY
Travel by taxi to Dajia Riverside
Park and search under the bridge for your next clue.
As the engaged split,
Jennifer tries again. SHE gets it right and she and bro Justin leave
in second. When the next two teams arrive, Zac decides to try his
luck...while Andy loses the roshambo and gets the nod for the task.
As they line up by the phone, Sandy gets the phrase right and she
and Jeremy leave in third.
Back at the District,
Andy & Tommy and Laurence & Zac work out the clue and depart
for the station. The four girls, however, aren't doing so hot; they
head back to where the bus dropped them off. Meanwhile Team Sexagenarians
decide to look for high buildings a fair ways from the District.
Liz & Marie and Kaylani & Lisa return to where the sign
is...but don't BOTHER to look up as they get frustrated. FINALLY,
Marie points out the sign...and Lisa asks someone for a translation.
They depart for the Temple tied for 9th...while Bill & Cathi
- two TEACHERS, mind you - go to the tallest building and ride the
elevator to the top, hoping to see a clue box on the roof. But,
of course, there ain't. "Color me stupid," says Bill as
they walk back to the District.
Andy's sounding like an
extra from "Dude, Where's My Car?" as he tries to speak
Confucius...and he's not even CLOSE. Zac is CLOSER but missed a
conjunction. Ehtan...is spot-on. He and Jenna leave in fourth.
ZHONGSHAN DISTRICT, TAIPEI, TAIWAN .
First one to the park
is Team Contradiction. They run to a drummer under the magnificant
DaZhi Bridge and pick his pocket for this clue:
JOIN A DRAGON
BOAT RACE TEAM!
Go to the dock and pick a
dragon boat race team to join. One must paddle with the others
while the other keeps rythym on a drum. If the boat captain
feels you have helped navigate the course well enough, he
will hand over your next clue.
They choose the purple
team with Ernie paddling and Cindy banging the drum slowly. Cindy
"feels so Asian" as the boat moves on.
Back at the Temple, Amani
FINALLY gets it right and she and hubby Marcus depart in fifth.
Zac is next to get it spot-on; he and pop Laurence scram in sixth...followed
closely by Ron & Bill in seventh as Ron gets it right. This
leaves Team Snow Shredders alone...and unhappy. That is, until Andy
gets it right and the dudes leave in eighth, opening the way for
the two girl teams. Lisa and Liz will do the phoning for this round.
Back on the water, Team
Contradiction rounds the turn and heads for home as Team Georgia
Sibs and Team Get-To-Know arrive and pick THEIR boats with the men
paddling and the women pounding. As such, Ernie & Cindy pass
the two teams on the way back. And, when they arrive at the dock
again, the captain finds them adequate and hands them this important
MAKE YOUR WAY
TO THE PIT STOP!
Head for National Revolutionary
Martyrs' Shrine, a shrine built in dedication to the hundreds
of thousands of soldiers who died defending Taiwan. The PIT
STOP for this Leg of the Race is on the grounds in front of
the guards, who do a ceremonial "changing of the guards"
WARNING! The last team to
check-in MAY BE ELIMINATED!
As they sprint to get
that EXPRESS PASS, Jeremy & Sandy and Justin & Jennifer
land their craft back on the docks and get their PIT STOP clues...and
Ethan & Jenna arrive to start THEIR boat ride.
Confucius says, "To
study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous."
Liz seems to be doing a LOT of that as she blows the saying. Lisa,
however, rocks it and she and Kaylani move to ninth...but NOT to
the Dajia Park. Rather, they get this:
LET'S GO SHOPPING!
Travel by taxi to the Core
City Pacific Mall (also known as the "Living Mall").
Once there, search the eleventh floor for your next clue.
Liz blows it again as
Team Showgirls departs.
And, then, there's Team
Sexagenarians. They are pretty much off the map now, looking for
ANYTHING resembling a clue. Right now, they're trying to find the
District itself and they hope they can go from there
CITY PACIFIC MALL
Kaylani & Lisa arrive
at this ten-year-old mall. When they get to the eleventh floor,
they find their picture on a yellow triangular sign. They then rip
open the clue:
- KEYLANI & LISA
You have reached the HAZARD.
Having exited the first task in last place, you must complete
this task before continuing the Race.
One of you must do an indoor
bungee jump nearby, leaping down the middle of this crowded
mall. Once you have been hauled back up to the platform you
dove off, return to this HAZARD and take your next clue.
This will not count towards
your ROADBLOCK count.
Kaylani bungee-jumped off the Stratosphere
in Vegas once...but her harness wasn't too tight (tight enough,
but looser than it should've been) so she's a BIT edgy about doing
this. But, hell, she'll do anything for a million...even jumping
on a rubberband with dozens of people watching in awe. She completes
the task with no problem at all, much to Lisa's happiness. They
get their clue and depart in 9th...
...and that's because Liz STILL can't
get the phrase right. She tries and tries and tries...and both she
and Marie are getting VERY frustrated about this!
NATIOANL REVOLUTIONARY MARTYRS' SHRINE
After flying over 6500
miles from LA, Team Contradiction jogs to the mat where Phil and
one of the Shrine guards are waiting. After the traditional greeting
by the guard, Phil says, "Ernie
& Cindy...you are TEAM #1!"
And here's your Golden
Ticket...should you use it wisely enough, that is: the EXPRESS PASS.
A Get-Out-Of-Task-Free card, essentially, which could mean the difference
between a million bucks...and being Philiminated.
THIS time around: Team Get-To-Know arrives as Team #2 and Team Georgia
Sibs as #3.
Back under the bridge,
Team Snow Shredders and Team Drake Wannabes arrive to start their
boat race...just as Team Sole Survivors FINISH theirs and leave
in fourth. Team Hut-Hut! arrive 7th and start their paddle session...after
Marcus shouts like he's running out the tunnel at Lucas Oil(TM)
Stadium again. Laurence is in HIS element, as he was a coaxswain
in England once...and this pounding is not much different. It's
Andy & Tommy who arrive ahead of the others, of course, and
they leave for the PIT STOP in 5th. Laurence & Zac are in 6th...and
an uber-pumped Amani & Marcus (though more Marcus being pumped,
really) in 7th.
Meanwhile, Bill &
Cathi FINALLY return to the District...and, unlike the OTHER teams,
they go STRAIGHT to the balloon screen and ask for a translation
from a local. They leave for the ROADBLOCK in dead last...but they
might be in luck yet...
...because Liz is STILL
struggling! "The cautious seldom err," the wise man says...so
Liz must not be too cautious in what she's hearing. She tries again,
exhausted from the attempts. The monk looks down at her solemnly...and
hands her the next clue! With a DEEP sigh of relief, Liz & Marie
depart the ROADBLOCK in 10th. As they get in the cab, Team Sexagenarians
arrive at last and Cathi decides to do it...and, wouldn'tcha know
it? She gets it on the FIRST TRY!! They're still in last, but they
just made up a LOT of ground!
Back at the park, Team
Flight Partners choose THEIR boat while Team Showgirls arrive fresh
from their HAZARD. They do the course without issue and receive
their PIT STOP clues.
And, at the PIT STOP,
Team Sole Survivors are checked-in as Team #4. Team Hut-Hut! is
Team #5. As Team Twin Grads do the rowing, Team Drake Wannabes and
Team Snow Shredders arrive at just about the same time and become
#6 and #7 respectively. And as the twins finish the course, Team
Flight Partners arrive as #8. And a QUITE estatic Team Showgirls
are happy to have survived losing their passport AND the HAZARD
and arrive as Team #9.
The time made up by Bill
& Cathi in the ROADBLOCK was not enough; Liz & Marie arrive
and hug Phil warmly as Team #10. Still, Bill & Cathi do the
boating and feel that they've run a good Race...even though it may
be over all too soon.
"Bill & Cathi,"
says Phil upon Team Sexagenarians hitting the mat, "you are
the last team to arrive."
Ayup...for the second
straight Race, the first Leg is an N.E.L.! The teachers are still
in the Race! Of course, they'll have to perform a SPEED BUMP at
some point in the next Leg...and that'll make things more difficult.
Oh,...one other thing:
the second Leg will have the first-ever Double Elimination! The
last TWO teams will be Philiminated on that Leg. Well, at least
the old couple can stock up on genseng and think positive thoughts
for the time being. They've earned their teaching credits today
for certain. After all, as Confucius says, "Reviewing what
you have learned and learning anew, you are fit to be a teacher."
AFTER LEG 1:
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA to TAIPEI, TAIWAN
1) Ernie & Cindy
- Express Pass
2) Jeremy & Sandy
3) Justin & Jennifer
4) Ethan & Jenna
5) Amani & Marcus
6) Laurence & Zac
7) Andy & Tommy
8) Ron & Bill
9) Kaylani & Mike
10) Liz & Marie
11) Bill & Cathi (SPEED BUMP forthcoming)
To see this episode in its
entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "The Amazing Race", visit the
official website at