I barely looked at the teams before the show began, but based on their intro packages I like the roller derby moms, the cancer fighting father/son and the dating surfers.
To Bora Bora
The first flight from L.A. to Bora Bora took five teams, with the rest on a second flight. The newlyweds Max and Katie, who were on the second flight, made me laugh. They seemingly can’t stand anyone, but did a good job of fooling the YouTube “stars” into thinking that they’re nice people. I can get down with the eye rolling. They might be awful, but I might like them anyway. (I won’t – I just read in their bios that Max is a Republican who relates to Rush Limbaugh. Gross.)
Meanwhile, the teams on the first flight made a Flight Club-esque secret alliance. This is a little more important since there are two Express Passes (one must be given to another team), but TAR alliances make me yawn.
The first challenge in Bora Bora was super exciting. One person from each team had to parachute out of a helicopter. The view over Bora Bora was INSANE. Gorgeous.
Sandcastles in the Sand
(That subtitle is a HIMYM reference, btw.) As the second group of teams arrived to do the helicopter jump, the first pack hit the Roadblock, which saw one team member search through sandcastles for a clue. Every time they knocked one down that was empty, they had to rebuild it – that way, new teams wouldn’t know which ones definitely didn’t have clues.
It’s pretty clear that the most annoying team this season will be the YouTube stars. Have you guys ever seen Saturday Night Live to “J-Pop American Funtime Now”? I think it might be based on these guys.
Once a team found the clue, they had to canoe to the pit stop.
Jessica and John – the cute, dating surfers – came first. I’m glad they got the two Express Passes. They’re an early favorite for me – they seem nice, but competitive, and they’re physically fit enough to make it to the end.
The hockey player bros came in second – I can see them being a final three team. The father/son team came in third, which was nice to see. Pam and Winnie came fourth, and Mona and Beth (the roller derby moms) came fifth – a nice finish considering they’d done the skydiving last. Yay, all-girl teams! These two seem like some strong ones. Team YouTube placed sixth, Chuck (mullet guy) and Wynona placed seventh, and the brother docs placed eighth.
The last teams left searching through sandcastles were the Republican and his pretty blond wife, the pretty blond country singers, and the firefighters. Katie proposed the idea that all three teams ditch the Roadblock and take the penalty – they’d start the next challenge on an even playing field and whoever was slowest would be out. So they all agreed to take a four hour penalty, and set out for an incredibly high-pressure canoe ride.
The firefighters capsized and fell into last place. Max and Katie were right – they did finish quickest, but the country singers were right there behind them. I felt like we’d barely seen Matt and Daniel throughout the episode, so I had no feelings about them getting eliminated.
All in all, I thought this was a solid premiere. There’s some big personalities, and as long as the challenges and locations are exciting this could be a great season. What did you guys think?