So let's run the stats: we've got two married couples, two dating couples, three sets of siblings, two parent/child teams, two friend/coworker teams, a Jen and a Jennifer, a Mike and a Michael, two teams of people whose names begin with M, and several single-gender teams where I can't yet tell which of them is who. Confused yet?
With the introductions out of the way, the teams all line up along the tarmac before Phil, who delivers his usual speech. If there's anything new they need to know, he's not telling them now. "Go!" he hollers. The teams sprint to their luggage and open the clues waiting there for them. They're going to Switzerland! And then it's off to the usual line of parked Mercedeses, and onto the road, while everyone expresses amazement at being on The Amazing Race. Well, it wouldn't be Amazing otherwise, would it?
Hey, here's something new: check out these fancy credits! It's the same theme, but now it's all punched up with electric guitars and bursts of choral singing. And the editing is somehow zippier, befitting a late-aughts show. Welcome to Season 14.
Okay, I have to come clean about something. I watched this live, assuming the little red light on my DVR meant it was recording the show, when in fact it was only recording Big Love over on HBO. So I lost a couple of minutes while scrambling to transfer the show from the DVR's one-hour memory to VHS. Rookie mistake, I know. But look at it this way: the producers have promised a lot less airport wrangling this season, and since most of what I missed concentrated on airport wrangling, let's just say I took it a step further.
So even though I don't have precise details or exact quotes, I can tell you that as usual, when the teams get to LAX they have to choose between two flights out of the originating airport to their first destination. The plane that leaves first is a Lufthansa flight to Zurich. Aboard this one are Tammy and Victor, who explain that they didn't want to purposely pick the latest-leaving flight; the Flight Attendants, Christie and Jodi; Team Go Team, Jaime and Cara; Mark|Michael, Brad|Victoria, and Margie|Luke. In an interview, Margie has to translate a comment from Luke about how he's worried about his mom being far behind him. "So I'm an old, slow person," she signs back. "Nooo," he says in his own voice. These two seem to get along pretty well, which is good since she's his link to the hearing world. The plane Lufts off.