‘The Amazing Race’ New Episode Shows Life Days Before The Pandemic

Nick Davis


Last Wednesday, The Amazing Race kicked off their newest season with the first episode. It was a jam-packed, two-hour, two-leg episode that had the teams exploring London thoroughly. Through flag-themed bakeoffs, art competitions, and dart throwing they raced. A couple of teams immediately stood out as being consistently back-of-the-pack but the frontrunners changed between each leg. Meaning there is no clear favorite to win right out of the gate.

The most interesting part of the first episode is the timeframe in which it was shot. Just days before COVID lockdowns, we see locals and tourists moving all over London mask-free. Not knowing what the upcoming days would hold.

London, the location of both legs of Episode 1

The New Amazing Race

In the first leg of the race, the famous 15:17 To Paris heroic duo Anthony and Spencer took home first place. They established right out of the gate that they mean business. Falling short was the pair of singing police officers from Buffalo, New York. Ultimately they spent more time on the street art challenge than anyone else. They tore up their pieces, placed them randomly on the wall, and just generally didn’t get how the challenge worked. The first leg was, in fact, an elimination leg so fans said goodbye to them very quickly.

The second leg of The Amazing Race changed the power dynamic entirely. The former first-place finishers Anthony and Spencer dropped to below the top 3 all the way to 7th place. Their spot was taken by best-friend duo Ryan and Dusty. They took second on the first leg and thus are the only team so far this season to finish top-3 back-to-back. The other 2 in the top-3 were pairs who had a rougher time in the first leg and managed to pull off an upset this time around. The North Carolina football parents Connie and Sam, as well as Detroit father-daughter duo Arun and Natalia.

Episode 2 Preview

The end of the episode had a harrowing preview of what Episode 2 will hold. It showed host Phil Keoghan breaking the sad news about the race being paused to the shocked contestants. At the time, the pause was indefinite. Nobody knew the effect COVID was going to have or how long it would last. Like many at the time, the racers probably thought they would be free to roam again by spring of 2020. A few months in lockdown turned into well over a year and here everyone is now. It’s a big part of the interest between Episodes 1 and 2. watching everyone’s unexpected reactions to COVID and relating with the initial reactions most people shared at the time. Many viewers will certainly be able to relate to the anxiety those first days of the pandemic created.

Season 33, Episode 2 will be airing on Paramount Plus on Wednesday.

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