The Ledger-Enquirer live blogged the premiere of the Amazing Race Season 20, which first aired Feb. 19, 2012. See a full recap below:
The show begins in California's wine country. Phil, the host, is leading a peloton down a two-lane road as he introduces this season's contestants. A few notables: Dave and Cherie, who are clowns. And married. Married clowns.
Also, the hated and despised Brenden and Rachel.
Rachel: "No one comes between me and my million dollars." Me: Please, God, put out my eyes.
Also, Nary and Jamie, who are federal agents.
All right, let's start this thing. The teams are at a winery in California. They run toward an awaiting Phil, who gives the cursory explanation about the race. There are 12 legs. The winner of the first leg gets the Express Pass, which lets a team pass a task they don't want to complete.
The first clue is in the air. The teams look up and see 100 hot air balloons floating above. Phil says only 11 of them hold a clue. Once they get the clue, the teams will get into awaiting Fords and drive to their next destination.
Phil gives the signal and the teams run into the depths of a winery. They start pulling down the balloons, which are attached to ropes throughout the winery.
Vanessa and Ralph and Joey and Danny get the clue and learn they must get to Santa Barbara, which turns out to be in Argentina. Other teams soon get their clues as well. In the cars, Phil tells them that they'll be flying to Santa Barbara, in South America. Only the first six teams will get on the first flight.
The teams start heading to Los Angeles. Misa and Maiya are the last team at the winery. Everyone else has gotten their clue and left for the airport.
The first six teams get a 2 1/2 hour head start once they land in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After landing, they hop in awaiting SUVs and drive to their next destination. Art and JJ are in first place. They reach Santa Barbara and learn they must drive to Aerodomo Gilberto Lavaque to get their next clue.
The first few teams arrive at what turns out to be an airport. The teams learn this leg's Road Block: X Marks the Spot. One team member will jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet. The other member must find their team member once they've landed.
Art and JJ and Brenden and Rachel are here. Rachel and Dave are also at the Road Block. The plane takes off with Rachel inside it. Yes. Rachel will be jumping out of a plane.
The other team members then drive their SUVs to a sign, which tells them to stop. They see the plane in the air, and the skydive begins.
Cue exciting skydiving footage.
JJ lands first. Art is quickly finds him and they get their next clue: Drive to the Patios de Cafayate Winery for the next clue.
Brenden finds Rachel next. They're in second place. Rachel and Dave are third.
Dave and Cherie have become sad clowns, as they are apparently lost and in last place.
Bopper and Mark are in eighth place. Dave and Cherie come out of nowhere and show up at the airport.
Art and JJ get to the Patios de Cafayate Winery. Brenden and Rachel just beat them to the clue.
Teams must make 120 empanadas. Sixth must be filled with meat and 60 must be filled with cheese. The secret is the different kinds have different kinds of folds in the dough.
Art and JJ realize they have to twist and pinch the different types of empanadas. Brenden and Rachel, however, seemed to have picked it up fairly quickly.
Maiya, meanwhile, gets her SUV stuck in the sand while she's trying to find the pickup spot for Misa. Luckily, a nice man stops and pulls her from the sand.
Elliott and Andrew are in sixth place at the empanadas task. Misa and Maiya are in last place and haven't yet reached the winery.
The judge then checks Brenden and Rachel's food, but she doesn't approve of it. Art and JJ are also denied.
Rachel and Dave, however, are the first to get the OK. They get their clue and leave. Then Brenden and Rachel get the OK.
The Pit Stop is in a courtyard at the winery, so the teams don't have to go far to find Phil. Rachel and Dave are first place. They win the Express Pass.
Brenden and Rachel are second place.
Art and JJ finally get the OK. They are third place.
Nary and Jamie are fourth place. Vanessa and Ralph are fifth place. Elliott and Andrew are sixth place.
Bopper and Mark just arrived at the winery and learn their task. Clowns Dave and Cherie are right behind them, as are Jersey Shore clones Joey and Danny.
Kerri and Stacy are seventh place.
Dave and Cherie come from behind and finish in eighth place. Bopper and Mark then finish their task and finish in ninth place.
Misa and Maiya have to return to the car to get their backpacks, because they didn't take them in initially. They then start wandering the grounds in search of Phil, who actually sees them meandering through the grounds.
That gives Joey and Danny enough time to finish the task, grab their bags and get to Phil in 10th place.
That puts Misa and Maiya in last place. They are eliminated from the Amazing Race.