Amazing Race
The World Is Waiting: Go!

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Miss Alli: B+ | Grade It Now!
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It'll be just like starting over

Shola and Doyin. (Incidentally, Phil pronounces it "Dween," but I actually think it's more like "Da-Ween.") They're twins. They have psych degrees. I couldn't tell you which is which if you tied me to a tree and threatened to sic large dogs on me. They definitely are cute, but they are in fact freakishly identical, which some identical twins actually aren't. We see them playing basketball, which is especially eerie because you can see that they really do move exactly the same way. They think the expectations for twins will be extra-high. I shake my head so it makes that wogga-wogga cartoon noise, hoping this will clear things up, but there are still two of them when I look again.

Phil wonders aloud if the teams can handle the stress of the long journey. He wonders whether the competing teams will be friends or enemies. Just as he did last year, he mentions the need for "brains, brawn, and teamwork." And in his inimitable Phil fashion, he says that these are the questions as we "get ready to begin...[dramatic pause]...The Amazing Race."

Man, they totally faked me out here, because I thought this was going to be the credits. Anyway, the teams stand in a line facing Phil as he explains the rules. Blah blah blah. For some reason, the flags this year are red and yellow instead of white and yellow (maybe because they need to tell them apart from all the dummy flags in circulation because last year's teams STOLE them). I am deprived of Exposition Hands, because Phil does the full-on explanation of the sealed envelopes and such. "If you're last...you'll be eliminated." Phil is the master of the dramatic pause. Anyway, the idea is to grab your luggage (which has your first clue on top), jump in a Ford Explorer, and go, go, go. "The world is waiting for you, good luck," Phil says. "Travel safe," he continues, an expression that would seem to have an added twinge to it these days. "GO!"

Fastest by far in the footrace are Chris and Alex, who make it to their packs in a jif. The clue says to motivate your suddenly-slightly-famous behind to Rio de Janeiro, which makes Wil say, "Yeah, baby!" and I'm calling that Just The First Of Many Reasons To Hate Wil's Sorry Guts. You have to get on one of three flights, and in an ugly and Survivor-esque development, this is apparently The Amazing Race Of Product Placements, because American Airlines is The Official Carrier Of Being The First Team To Get Going, which they tell us about six times. They also give the teams $200 for the leg, which seems like they've gotten a raise over last time.

Everybody runs to the Ford Explorers and jumps in. I have to say that, as good as I think the first round of this show was, they made a good choice by going directly to a race element right away (the driving) as opposed to last time, when the first thing you saw most teams do was make a bunch of phone calls to airlines. SUVs streak across the desert, surrounded by a cloud of dust, in a classic "specially trained drivers on closed course, do not try this at home" shot.

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Amazing Race

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