The Amazing Race Season 18 Episode 1 premiered on Feb. 20, 2011. A full recap follows:
Gary and Mallory were first place in the first leg of the Amazing Race. Cowboys Jet and Cord were last when the episode ended, though the race was still going when the credits rolled and it's unknown if they were eliminated.
The race starts in Palm Springs, Calif. Eleven teams are about to leave from a landscape filled with wind turbines. They arrive in four wheelers, and Phil reintroduces everyone.
The teams arrive at the start point, and Phil tells them they are about to begin their second shot at winning $1 million. He says the first team to finish this leg will get the Express Pass, which enables that team to skip a challenge. He also says that this race will different.
Phil has the first clue; there are no clues waiting on the team's bags. He tells them that he wants Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services from the desert. The acronym is Qantas - an Australian airline company. Around them, the desert is filled with paper airplanes with various words written on them, but Phil will only accept Qantas.
Mel and Mike are first. Zev and Justin are second. Jet and Cord are third. The first eight will be on the first flight. The rest will be on a flight that arrives 90 minutes later. The last team will get U-turned, meaning they must complete both tasks in this leg's Detour.
Kent and Vyxsin are fourth. Ronald and Christina then get the clue followed by the Harlem Globetrotters. The remaining teams get worried about being last.
Kisha and Jen are on the second flight and hop in the car.
Once they get their clue, the teams hop into awaiting cars and drive to the airport.
Gary and Mallory are second to last, meaning Amanda and Kris are last and they get the U-turn.
At the airport, the first group boards the airplane. The remaining three teams then get on their plane and take off toward Sydney, Australia.
The first flight must land in Hawaii because a passenger had a heart attack during the flight. That means that instead of arriving 90 minutes behind the first flight, the three teams on the second flight are on a train in Australia before the first group is in the country.
When they arrive, they must go to Sydney Harbor and search for their next clue.
The teams hop on a train and the second group learns that the first plane hasn't yet landed. They buy tickets to a ferry, which will take them to Oceanworld.
The first, now second, flight arrives. Ronald and Christina and Jet and Cord miss the train, putting them in the last two places.
Gary and Mallory get the clue first and learn the Roadblock: A team member must search for a compass laying at the bottom of a water tank filled with 16-foot sharks and a stingray. Once they get the compass, they must use it to decipher nautical flags. The decoded message will direct them to a sailing club, where they'll find a commodore. They must then tell him a secret phrase - I am between the Devil and the deep blue sea - to get their next clue.
The second group is on the ferry and heading toward Oceanworld.
Mallory gets a compass and looks for the way out of the tank. Amanda then finds a compass.
Jet and Cord are hunting for the right ferry, and they miss it by only minutes.
Mallory has the compass and is looking at the flags. She begins the arduous process of deciphering the code.
Margie and Luke are in fourth place. Kent and Vyxsin are in sixth place.
Meanwhile, Kisha and Jen have just gotten their compass.
Ron and Christina are ninth place and have just gotten their clue leading them to the tanks.
Gary and Mallory have their decoded message and are heading to the sailing club.
Jet and Cord have just arrived at Oceanworld.
Gary and Mallory find the commodore. They give him the correct message and learn their next task: They must sail a 16-foot skiff out to a buoy that will have their next clue.
Kisha and Jen are second place. Amanda and Kris are third place.
Gary and Mallory spot the clue on the buoy. Gary leans out from the boat and snags the clue on the first try. They get back to land and learn they must go to Shelly Beach - the first Pit Stop of the race. Amanda and Kris are second. Kisha and Jen are third.
Vyxsin gets the compass, but she starts having a panic attack while under the water. She manages to calm down and get out of the tank.
Gary and Mallory run to Shelly Beach, as do Amanda and Kris.
Gary and Mallory are first place. They get the Express Pass.
And they're still racing. Phil hands them another clue and they race off.
Amanda and Kris are second place.
Kisha and Jen are third place.
The Globetrotters have the secret message passed to them by Zev and Justin, and they whisper it to the commodore.
Jet and Cord didn't get the whole clue, and they realize it when they reach the commodore. Several other teams pass the information to each other to reach the skiff sailing part of the race.
Zev and Justin are fourth. The Globetrotters are fifth. Jaime and Cara are sixth. Margie and Luke are seventh. Ron and Christina are eighth. Mel and Mike are ninth. Kent and Vyxsin are tenth.
Jet and Cord again give the commodore the wrong message and they run back to the flags for another try.
The show ends with the cowboys desperately trying to decipher the code and the words "to be continued."