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The Amazing Race
Season 26
CBS 8p ET Fridays

MONDAY | TUESDAY | WEDNESDAY | THURSDAY | WEEKEND | PRIMETIME | SCHEDULE | ARCHIVES: 30 90 | WLTI | STATE OF PLAY | ABOUT
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Eleven couples - six LTRs and five just meeting today - are on the date night of their lives as they race around the world for $1 million!

Recaps by Chico Alexander & 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
Origins Castaic Lake, Los Angeles
Web cbs.com/amazingrace
Airs 8p ET Fri, CBS
Available
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Great Way to Start a Relationship: Leg 1 Season Premiere
February 25
In the past 25 runnings of The Amazing Race, the teams of two have always been connected through blood, marriage and/or admiration. The two on each team KNEW each other...KNEW their strengths and weaknesses...KNEW how to motivate each other. For this upcoming Race, though, things have changed. While six of the eleven teams circumnavigating the globe have been dating from between seven months and ten years, five teams will be going on the most exciting "blind dates" ever; they will have only first met mere MINUTES before the Race begins and will have to take on the other teams with very little advanced knowledge of their partners! Can any of them beat out Winter Olympians, hairstylists and two boy band members to win the million dollars at the FINISH LINE!!? Find out now as we begin the twenty-sixth iteration of THE AMAZING RACE!!

STARTING LINE
CASTAIC LAKE
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA


Our six teams of previous knowledge are...

- Aly Dudek & Steven Langton (24/31; Milwaukee/Boston, Olympic athletes) - #SochiLove
- Harley Rodriguez & Jonathan Knight (41/46; New York City, fitness trainer/former New Kid on the Block) - #TeamNewKid
- Jeff Magee & Lyda Grawn (57/49; McCall, ID/Scottsdale, AZ; pilot/flight attendant) - #FlightCrew
- CJ Harris & Lebya Simpson (26/25; Tuskegee, AL; IT tech/medical support assistant) - #TeamTuskegee
- Matt Cucolo & Ashley Gordon (30/28; Scarsdale, NY; hairstylist) - #TheHairstylists
- Rochelle Nevedal & Michael Dombrowski (29/26; Kalkaska/Traverse City, MI; contract engineer/truck stop manager & pro wrestling promoter) - #TruckStopLove

And the five teams that are meeting each other for the first time are...

- Hayley Keel & Blair Townsend (28/31; St. Petersburg/Jacksonville, FL; registered nurse/Navy physician) - #RxForLove
- Jackie Ibarra & Jeffrey Weldon (27/26; Las Vegas/Tampa; dancer/account executive) - #TeamJJ
- Laura Pierson & Tyler Adams (29/26; Los Angeles/Santa Monica, CA; talent booker & mobile app developer) - #TeamSoCal
- Jenny Wu & Jelani Roy (32; Los Angeles/New York City; lawyers) - #TheLegalTeam
- Bergen Olsen & Kurt Jordan Belcher (23/24; Sunnyvale, CA/Butler, KY; HR project manager/pageant consultant) - #TeamBlondeDate

As interesting (?) as this twist is, the rules for the Race remain the same. The clue you're about to receive will lead to another... and another... until ultimately you arrive at a Pit Stop. There are 12 legs in the 26th Race, so eight of them have been designated as Elimination Legs. Arrive last to one of these Pit Stops... and your date is OVER. But survive and you are one step closer to the million.

And we begin right here with a Starting Line obstacle course mud run. As a team, you have to navigate the course as fast as you can to get one of eight seats on the first flight to your first destination city... TOKYO, JAPAN! There are three other seats, but they are on a later flight. Once you have your tickets and your clue, hop into your Ford Fusion Hybrid, the official hybrid of the Amazing Race, and head to the airport.

If you win the first leg of the Race, you will get... THIS.

L EXPRESS PASS
The Express Pass allows a team to skip any single task (including Roadblocks, Detours, and miscellaneous tasks, but not the Fast Forward task), once, during the race. The choice of which task to skip is at the team's discretion, but the power, if unused, expires at the end of Leg 8.

... and that might get you out of trouble sooner rather than later, because in this first leg, there is a Blind U-Turn.

The mud run and the Race will not begin until Phil has given the signal... speaking of... Phil Keoghan, IT IS YOURS!

"The world is waiting for you.... Good luck.... Travel safe... GO!!!!" And the 26th Amazing Race is UNDERWAY!

And the mud run is indeed one tough mudder.

FIRST FLIGHT
- Matt & Ashley
- Jeff & Jackie
- Laura & Tyler
- Aly & Steve
- Harley & Jonathan
- Jeff & Lyda
- Bergen & Kurt
- Jelani & Jenny

LAST FLIGHT
- Hayley & Blair
- Mike & Rochelle
- Libby & CJ

Now that everyone's showered, they all get the same video clue from Phil in their Fusions...

i ROUTE INFO
FLY TO TOKYO!

"Fly to Tokyo, Japan! When you land, make your way to Kanda-myojin and search for your next clue. CAUTION! There's a Blind U-Turn ahead! Bon voyage!"

TOKYO, JAPAN
NARITA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT


The fastest way to the shrine is the Skyliner train. This according to the clerk at the airport. Some people have opted for the taxi. Others, the Narita Express.

The second flight touches down, and they're all going to the shrine via taxi or Skyliner... except for Hayley & Blair, who are left behind. "Worst. First date. Ever." They get another one.

First team to the shrine are Jelani & Jenny. And they get...

DETOUR
SYNCING STEPS or SAMURAI SAKE

SYNCING STEPS: Make your way to Shinjuku Central Park where you must perform a series of synchronized dance of "robotic" moves along with members of World Order. When World Order leader Genki Sudo is satisfied with their performance, you will receive your next clue.

SAMURAI SAKE: Make your way to Nakano Sakaue Station Tavern. You will be shown ten bottles of sake (Tōkō, Nanbubijin, Okunomatsu, Kanbe, Yoshinogawa, Michisakari, Tsukasabotan, Zaou, Momokawa, Shōchikubai). One of you must take an order for one brand of sake from a table of "Samurai." Your teammate then has to find the correct bottle from a much larger display of bottles. Once you present the correct bottle to the Samurai, and take a toast, you will receive your next clue.

Jelani & Jenny step off, while Jeff & Jackie take a sake. Focus... Speaking of, Jelani & Jenny are learning how to robot like champs. Laura & Tyler will follow them... Harley & Jonathan choose sake. Instead of dancing. Which Jonathan used to do... Irony.

Jeff & Jackie get the right order of sake, take a toast, and get this...

i ROUTE INFO
MAKE YOUR WAY TO SHINJUKU WAKABA HIGASHI PARK!

Make your way to Wakaba Higashi Park in Shinjuku, where you will find your next clue.

CAUTION! Blind U-Turn Ahead!

Dancing like robots is hard. Jelani can't seem to hit that four-count. Well, the dancing steps is about to get a little bit crowded, because all three of our late teams are going to see World Order, including Hayley & Blair, who start their relationship... by going in the wrong direction.

Jonathan & Harley serve up sake to the samurai, and get seen off... just as Jeff & Jackie find a cab, finally.

Jelani & Jenny are at their fifth attempt at dancing.... and mess up. Matt & Ashley are on their seventh.... And mess up.

CJ & Libby head to the Detour via the subway. The same subway they admit to knowing nothing about.

And Matt & Ashley mess up again. Yep. A lot of teams relearning how to walk.

Laura & Tyler, though... making it look EASY. Jelani & Jenny ALSO get it on the 9th try. Meanwhile, Jonathan & Harley are taken to the WRONG PLACE. That kills.

Jeff & Jackie arrive at...

O U-TURN
DOUBLE BLIND U-TURN!

Any team that arrives at a U-Turn may choose to force another team to complete the Detour option that they did not complete. However, teams may only U-Turn another team once in the entire Race, so it is to the discretion of the teams as to when it is most advantageous to use it.

In a Double Blind U-Turn, two teams may U-Turn other teams, but they do not have to disclose themselves as the perpetrators.

Jeff & Jackie decide not to use the U-Turn, so it's on to the Clue Box...

i ROUTE INFO
MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE PIT STOP!

Phil is waiting for you at one of Tokyo's rarest commodities - a parking space. Search for him in the vicinity of the UDX Building in Akihabara.

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

Bergen & Kurt don't even wait until the music starts in order to make their first mistake. Meanwhile Aly & Steve finish on their 10th.

At the U-Turn... still no takers, as Jelani/Jenny & Tyler/Laura decline.

PIT STOP
UDX BUILDING PARKING
AKIHABARA, TOKYO, JAPAN


Jeff & Jackie are the first to find the parking lot... but where's Phil? Jenny & Jelani decide that they are to look AROUND the building, but not necessarily in the building. Who is in the right?

"Welcome to Tokyo, Japan!"

Jelani & Jenny have been dating for all of ONE DAY... and they are TEAM #1! This gives them the right to the Express Pass. Jeff & Jackie end up in the 2 spot. Laura & Tyler... Team #3!

At the U-Turn... no one wants to block anybody. At the Detour... no one can concentrate. Except for Hayley & Blair.

Twenty-five times later... Matt & Ashley... FINALLY get it while Aly/Steve and Harley/Jonathan clock in.

Three teams left at the Detour... and not one of them is getting the hang of the World Order steps... except for Libby & CJ. That leaves Mike/Rochelle & Lyda/Jeff. Mike & Rochelle finally nail it.

Hayley finally finds a taxi for Blair. The rest of the teams... just struggle to calm down.

Meanwhile, Bergen & Kurt are locked into the six-spot, while teams are wondering where they are.

At the U-Turn, Mike & Rochelle apologetically U-Turn Jeff & Lyda. So far, they're the only teams to do so.

Back at the Detour... 3 hours and 42 minutes after arriving, Lyda is not going to give up, telling Jeff to get his head in the game. They... FINALLY get the dance right, but they're NOT going to like what Mike & Rochelle left for them. Speaking of, they're Team #7. Jeff & Lyda find the U-Turn and decide to use it on Jeff & Jackie, who have ALREADY CHECKED IN!

Hayley & Blair come in 8th. Matt & Ashley, 9th. Jeff & Lyda... sake.

Libby & CJ... are still looking for the park, so Jeff & Lyda are still alive. Interesting thing, Libby & CJ run into the same taxi driver THREE times, and ask about the park THREE TIMES! They FINALLY find the park and head to the Pit Stop.

But only one team will get there in time... it's LIBBY & CJ! Jeff & Lyda are on the first plane back the States. A lot of missteps, but ultimately the ones with World Order cost them a chance to survive THIS Japanese game show.

i ROUTE INFO
AFTER LEG 1: USA - JAPAN

1) Jelani & Jenny - Express Pass
2) Jeff & Jackie
3) Laura & Tyler
4) Aly & Steve
5) Harley & Jonathan
6) Bergen & Kurt
7) Mike & Rochelle
8) Hayley & Blair
9) Matt & Ashley
10) Libby & CJ
ELIMINATED) Jeff & Lyda

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

To see this episode in its entirety, go to cbs.com/amazingrace.