'The Amazing Race' recap: Season premiere, 'Tears of a Clown'

It's "The Amazing Race" Season 20! I need a flashy hand signal, but I don’t have enough fingers! Oh, wait, I figured it out. Make your own flashy hand signal at home, because this recap requires audience participation.

Do you know what Phil Keoghan has been up to? Well, what he was up to a couple of years ago? He was riding his bike across America and making a documentary about it. To commemorate that ride, Phil is making all of the teams cycle to the starting line while wearing skintight "Amazing Race" jerseys. Does this foreshadow physical tasks ahead? Or merely the wearing of skintight clothing?

Enough of my rambling. Let’s meet some teams! We’ve got clowns, we’ve got sisters, we’ve got former Big Brother contestants, we’ve got married couples, dating couples, twin brothers, Guidos, cousins and coworkers. But most of all, we’ve got Bopper.

Kentucky is in the house. And in the garage.  And in the backseat of your car, throwing up.

Bopper and Mark are middle-aged men, best friends “from the wrong side of the tracks” in Kentucky. Bopper hoots and hollers his excitement, Mark gets carsick in the backseat. “We’re after a million dollars -- we ain’t stoppin’ to throw up,” Bopper tells him.

Maybe some people will find them completely annoying, but they were my favorite team from the moment their intro footage showed them having a big dinner party in a garage. Usually my favorite team is eliminated first (I sure can pick ‘em!), but not this time! Ninth place was cutting it close, but I’ll take it.

We have exceeded our recommended daily allowance of biceps.

Joey from New Jersey insists on using the nickname “Fitness,” and he and teammate Danny embrace the Guido lifestyle. Then there’s Dave, the military guy (self-described alpha male), and there’s the twin brothers, and then Ralph the boyfriend. Who can think with all this testosterone around? No wonder my affection went straight to Bopper – he has removable teeth!

Girls are tough, too!

Two sisters are golf pros, and two women are federal agents. I’ll also include the cousins from Mississippi in this category, because they like eyeliner and puffy hair.

Anybody watch "Big Brother"?

I’m sorry, I don’t. Brendon and Rachel met and fell in love on that show, she won, and now they are engaged. They were mid-pack during this episode, so I’ll reserve judgment until they do something notable. I’m sure it will happen.

I don’t know why the Universe was after you, but man, the Universe was totally after you.

Let me tell you the tale of Misa and Maiya, two sisters who play professional golf. After Phil told them to travel safe and go, it took them an hour and forty-four minutes to find the needle-in-a-haystack clue that would send them to the airport. If not for the pre-determined flights, they would have lost the race right there.

In Argentina, the Roadblock required one team member to jump out of an airplane and the other team member to drive to a marked location to meet up. The non-jumping sister turned her car off the road at the wrong spot and got stuck in some deep sand. She had to wait for friendly locals to drive past and tow her car out. If not for the friendly locals, they would have lost the race right there.

The final challenge was to assemble 120 empanadas, and then “search the grounds on foot” for Phil. The sisters wanted to be the comeback kids on this challenge, and they worked efficiently. It was them versus the Jersey boys at the end, and the sisters finished first.

But wait! They left their bags in the car! They run out and collect their bags while the Jersey boys are still working. The sisters search the grounds for Phil. Phil sees them! He points to them!

But wait! They don’t see Phil! They turn around and search the grounds some more. Phil looks heartbroken as he asks the greeter, “Where are they going?” The Jersey boys finish the challenge and start hunting. It looks as though the sisters are getting close again.

But wait! They trip and fall. Jersey boys make it to the mat first, forcing Phil to say “Joey Fitness and Danny, you don’t know how close that was.” Phil rubs it in to the sisters, too, saying never has a team been so close to the mat and still lost. I bet they’re wishing there was a band at the Pit Stop so they could have heard it. I bet they’re wishing a lot of things, actually.

Join me again next week to see who gets the fiery finger of dumb luck pointed at them!

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad