When The Amazing Race resumed production for Season 33, host Phil Keoghan dropped a huge bomb on the remaining teams.
As we saw in Wednesday’s episode, not only were four teams not available to return to the Race post-COVID quarantine, but two teams were added to the season!
Nineteen months later, when the teams reconvene with Phil in Switzerland, only five of the nine duos are on the mat: Raquel and Cayla, Ryan and Dusty, Akbar and Sheridan, Lulu and Lala, and Kim and Penn. To make up for the lack of racers, Phil says that a few familiar faces will take their place. As many of you suspected in the comments from last week’s recap, the returnees are Natalia and Arun, and Michael and Moe — the season’s first two eliminated teams! (Worth noting, the season was supposed to have nine teams for Episode 4, and even with the additions, that number has dropped to seven. Will there be more non-elimination legs than usual up ahead?)
So what was everyone up to during the break? Natalia got married since we last saw her (yay!), while the flight attendants unfortunately got laid off for a year. And in even worse news, Lulu and Lala lost their grandma to COVID, and since it was during the peak of the pandemic, they couldn’t even be there when she passed. But now, they have a new reason to race, and they’re doing it all for grams.
Phil tells them there will be a few adjustments made to guarantee their safety. The entire cast will fly on private charters, and they’ll be avoiding public transportation as much as possible. You know what that means: a lot more self driving! Good for us, but very, very bad for them. (Bring on the fights!)
Their first task: Find the Museum Strasse and get on one of the three provided busses. The rides are first come, first served. The clue: Head to Schwägalp and ride a cable car 8,000 feet above sea level to find the next clue.
The busses all arrive at the same time, so all of the teams ride the tram up together. Akbar notes that they’re higher than the clouds, and it looks absolutely gorgeous — if you aren’t afraid of heights, that is.
ROAD BLOCK | In “Who Wants to Take in the View,” teams must navigate an arduous hike to retrieve their next clue, which is perched on a lookout point where one can see six countries at once. (That’s pretty dang cool.) Each team member is strapped to a professional Swiss navigator who helps them clip into ropes, and walk on the narrow ledges. Not only does it look scary AF, but the hike looks hard, too, causing Akbar to question his decision to have Sheridan tackle the challenge. And she is struggling. The altitude hits her hard, and she’s scared out of her mind.
ROUTE INFO | Ryan gets back first, and the next clue directs them to drive themselves to Gasthaus Sonne. However, they miss the tram by seconds and blow their big lead. When the tram eventually returns, every team except for Sheri and Akbar share the same ride back.
In a huge twist… the cars are all automatic! (C’mon, Phil! I admittedly haven’t seen every season. Race diehards: Is this a first?) Michael and Moe are first to the Gaushaus where they find the clue to their next…
DETOUR | In “Punch It,” teams must attach ornaments to a Swiss belt in the correct order to tell a story. Or they can choose “Toss It,” where they will perform a traditional flag routine. Kim and Penn, and Ryan and Dusty opt for the flags, as do the twins and Raquel/Cayla. Natalia and Arun, and Michael and Moe, meanwhile, tackle the belts.
Kim and Penn attempt their first performance, but fail when Penn steps on his flag. Ryan and Dusty, however, perform it and pass, making them the first team hustling to the Pit Stop, which this time is located in the town of Altstätten.
At the belt task, Natalia and Arun pass on their first try, which clues Michael and Moe in on the fact that they did their belt completely backwards! Luckily for them, Akbar and Sheridan are still fighting their flags, while Natalia and Arun get supremely lost. (Arun is a treasure, and now that we have him back, we need him to STAY.)
PIT STOP | Ryan and Dusty hit the mat first, winning $2,500 each, with Kim and Penn coming in second. Rounding out the Top 3 are Raquel and Cayla, but it’s a footrace finish, with the twins right behind them. So who came in last? Michael and Moe, and unfortunately for them, they are eliminated from the race… again.
Surprised to see the eliminated teams back? Thoughts on the new safety measures? And do you love Arun as much as I do? Tell us everything in the Comments!