"I don't like losing at all. So for me to not be able to finish something like that, it was just gut-wrenching for me."
The Amazing Race's sixteenth-season premiere began with the 11 teams meeting in downtown Los Angeles at the starting line.
Host Phil Keoghan immediately surprised the teams by informing them that they would have to figure out how to get to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) using public transportation. The three fastest teams would be rewarded with tickets on the first flight, which would depart almost an hour ahead of the other eight teams' flight.
Phil then signaled the start of the race and teams raced to their bags and ripped open their first clue -- which instructed them to fly to Santiago, Chile, where they would have to scramble for buses to travel another 60 miles to Valparaiso and find Ascensor Villaseca.
Four teams -- Adrian and Dana, "Dating Couple" Carol Rosenfeld and Brandy Snow, "Newly Dating Couple" Jeff Schroeder and Jordan Lloyd, and "Moms/Attorneys" Monique Pryor and Shawne Morgan -- all learned that the fastest way to the airport was walking to Union Station to take the Flyaway bus, which they did.
The moved paid off as they were the first teams to arrive at LAX.
They raced to the ticket counter to secure one of the three spots, which were eventually secured by Adrian and Dana, Jeff and Jordan, and Monique and Shawne. They would take a flight to Santiago connecting through Dallas, while Carol and Brandy and the other seven teams would take a flight to Santiago connecting through Miami.
"We're praying for weather in Dallas and or a major mechanical failure," said Brandy as she walked through the airport with Carol.
Her wish was granted, as an announcement at the gate for the first flight informed the three lead teams that they couldn't board their flight because of a "maintenance" issue.
While they were going to get another aircraft, the three teams didn't want to take their chances and instead all booked seats on the flight to Santiago through Miami with the other eight teams.
"There is that mechanical failure I was praying for," said Brandy when she spotted the other three teams.
The flight arrived in Santiago and Monique and Shawne, Jeff and Jordan, Adrian and Dana, and "Dating Models" Caite Upton and Brent Horne secured seats on the first bus to Valparaiso, which was departing at 12:15PM.
Carol and Brandy, "Brothers" Dan Pious and Jordan Pious, "Married Couple" Joe Wang and Heidi Wang, and "Father/Daughter" Steve Smith and Allie Smith then secured seats on the second bus at 12:20PM.
While "Brothers/Cowboys" Jet McCoy and Cord McCoy also tried to board that bus, they couldn't pay for it because they accidentally exchanged their money for Brazilian Real instead of Chilean pesos when at LAX.
They instead took the third bus, which departed at 12:30PM, with "Detectives" Louis Stravato and Michael Naylor and "Grandmother/Granddaughter" Jody Kelly and Shannon Foster.
Brent and Caite and Jeff and Jordan were the first team to reach the Ascensor Villaseca, where they were met by a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to balance 120-feet above the ground and walk a cable the length of a football field across a valley to the other side.
Caite and Jordan both undertook the task, with Caite finishing first. She and Brent opened their next clue, which instructed them to take one of Valparaiso's 120-year old funiculars down the hillside. However they instead unknowingly ran down the hill.
Dan and Jordan were the next team to reach the Roadblock, followed by Heidi and Joe and Steve and Allie. Dan, Joe and Allie all decided to do the Roadblock.
Brandy and Carol were the next to reach the Roadblock, and Brandy offered to undertake the task -- a decision she immediately seemed to regret as she was incredibly shaky as she walked on the wire while constantly chanting, "I can do this."
Dan did lose his balance and fell off the wire he was walking on, however he was able to grab on with his hands and pull himself across -- reaching the other side just behind Jordan. Both Jeff and Jordan and Dan and Jordan then took the funicular down the hillside.
Monique and Shawne and Adrian and Dana then arrived at the Roadblock, and Shawne and Adrian decided to do it. Adrian was instantly nervous since he's afraid of heights.
"My fear of heights is pretty serious," he said as he was being strapped in. "But I never back down from a challenge. I'm the big dog. Big dog's gotta role, right?"
Dana said Adrian was doing the Roadblock because he had "the strength to get across faster."
"I don't know," she thought out loud. "It could be contradictory because he's heavier."
Brent and Caite were the first team to reach the clue box -- after incorrectly walking down the stairs -- and their next clue instructed them to grab four cans of paint and supplies and carry them up the steep incline of Templeman Street.
The teams would have to search the rows of houses for one that matched their paint color. When they completed painting an unfinished section of the house, the local painter would hand them their next clue.
All three teams struggled while searching for their different houses until Jeff realized they needed to hike a steep hill. He and Jordan did just that, located their house and began painting. Once they finished the received their next clue, which instructed them to make their way on foot to the Pit Stop at Palacio Baburizza, a 90-year old chalet.
Brent and Caite finished their painting right behind Jeff and Jordan and it was a race to the Pit Stop, which was eventually won by the former Big Brother lovebirds -- who won a trip to Vancouver for their first-leg victory.
In addition, while Brent and Caite reached the Pit Stop in second Phil informed them that they incurred a 30-minute penalty for traveling on foot instead of taking the funicular as instructed.
"That definitely sucks," said Brent as Monique and Shawne arrived at the Pit Stop in the second-place slot after making up quite a bit of lost time.
Louie and Michael arrived at the Roadblock in ninth, and Louie quickly overtook Adrian. Jet and Cord and Jody and Shannon also arrived at the Roadblock in the last two spots, with Cord and Shannon doing the task. After struggling with maintaining his balance, Adrian finally fell backwards and tumbled off the cable.
"You have to lift yourself back up babe!" shouted Dana to Adrian, who was met on the cable by a safety specialist.
"Now we go slowly back to the other side," said the specialist to a dangling Adrian.
"No, I wanna go," replied Adrian.
"You can try," said the specialist.
Despite his effort, Adrian was unable to pull himself along.
"Oh yeah, that's impossible," he said before being taken back to the start.
As Louie, Cord and Shannon all completed the Roadblock, Adrian couldn't even get back out onto the course.
"My arms were fatigued, my heart was racing," he explained.
Jet and Cord weren't in the back of the pack for long as they quickly completed the house-painting task and reached the Pit Stop in third. They were followed by Dan and Jordan -- however the brothers were also disallowed from checking in since they lost a paint brush.
They incurred a 15-minute penalty for their mistake, which allowed Steve and Allie to reach the Pit Stop in fourth, followed by Joe and Heidi in fifth and Carol and Brandy in sixth. Brent and Caite's penalty then expired and they checked in in seventh place, followed by Dan and Jordan in eighth.
Back at the Roadblock, Dana yelled to Adrian that him retrying the task was "crucial."
"We're the last ones!" she shouted.
"She's going to ride me like a horse," said Adrian to the specialist as he contemplated his decision. "I'll give it a try again."
"I'll never stop loving him, but I'm going to push him," said Dana as Adrian ventured back onto the course.
At the Pit Stop, Louie and Michael finished in ninth and Jody and Shannon came in tenth.
With Adrian still on the wire, he began to mutter, "I'm getting tired" before he fell backwards again.
"I tried!" he shouted Dana.
"For me, the main thing is that he tried his best," said Dana. "By him trying his best, I can't help but to be proud of him."
Phil then arrived at the Roadblock and -- while Adrian said they were "hoping for a non-elimination" -- the host informed the "Married High School Sweethearts" that they had been eliminated.
"He is an iron man," said Dana about Adrian. "I know he beat himself up internally enough."
"She and I had each other before the race, she and I will have each other after the race," added Adrian. "Ultimately, we know we've got each other."
The Amazing Race's next sixteenth-season episode will air Sunday, February 21 at 8PM ET/PT.
(Photo credit CBS)
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