The Amazing Race season premiere recap: Back in the Saddle

The 'All-Star' teams -- minus one very lovable hospital patient -- head to China
Ep. 01 | Aired Feb 23, 2014

Host Phil Keoghan's left eyebrow, Browsie, signals the official start of season 24's race around the world.


The four quickest teams to locate secret codes on the hats of the Bruins marching band members earned spots on the first flight to Guangzhou, China -- Jet and Cord, Dave and Connor, Leo and Jamal, and Nadiya and Natalie. Everyone else lagged about an hour behind....

And they made it! In Street of Wedding Dresses, Jet and Cord blazed their own trail to a shop called Silver Gorgeous, as destiny had always intended for the good-natured cowboys. The pair rode this early lead right on through to the first leg's pit stop with zero challengers, which made for a fairly lackluster premiere.

Meanwhile, Rachel, of Brendan and Rachel or ugh, "Brenchel," established herself as the most annoying cheer-chanter of this season's cast. No challengers there, either. Not yet.

The highlight of the bridal shop hunt, for me, was father-son team Dave and Connor's initial question to a shop owner -- "Are you Rich Forest and Beauty?" -- followed by Dave leaning in for an incredibly awkward, unrequited hug that turned into some sort of ill-advised shoulder-kiss:

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"Ooh. Bye-bye." were the put-off lady's exact words. But Dave and Connor recovered nicely. "Too close!" Dave announced. You never know. Sometimes you've just gotta thrust your love into the rich forest of beauty that is the South Chinese bridal shopping landscape and see what happens. (It's almost certain Dave would have fared better at Precious One.)

The second-string racers were at one point pawing through gowns with their grubby airplane hands for no reason -- unless determining once and for all that white is not "YouTube sensation" John's color is a valid reason, WHICH IT IS NOT.

Local Hero Left Behind of the Week:

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Did anyone give her anything? A tip? A thank you? A verbal threat to check him out on YouTube or else?

NEXT PAGE: Bubbles of despair

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