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'The Amazing Race' premiere recap: "Ring Girls" Dessie Mitcheson and Kayla Fitzgerald ousted in Iceland


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/04/2018 

The Amazing Race premiered with 11 teams traveling to Iceland Dessie Mitcheson and Kayla Fitzgerald getting eliminated during Wednesday night's broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 30th season.

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The "Ring Girls and Friends" became the first team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's first Pit Stop at Reykjavikurtjorn in Reykjavik, Iceland in last place.

The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan greeted the girls at the lakeshore and delivered the bad news that they would not be able to continue racing.

"We got [knocked out]," Kayla noted following her team's ouster.

"We're super bummed. We wanted to continue racing," Dessie added.

"It's definitely been one of the most amazing experiences that both of us have done," Kayla said. "And we got to do it together!"

The Amazing Race began with the 11 teams gathered in Washington Square Park in New York City at the starting line, where fans surrounded them and cheered them on.

The rest of this season's teams are "Retired NBA Players" Cedric Ceballos and Shawn Marion, "Friends and Goat Yoga Instructors" April Gould and Sarah Williams, "Dating Couple and former Big Brother houseguests" Cody Nickson and Jessica Graf, and "Dating Couple and Yale Debating Teammates" Henry Zhang and Evan Lynyak.

The rest of the pairs are "Dating Couple and Musicians" Trevor Wadleigh and Chris Marchant, "Friends and IndyCar Drivers" Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly, "Competitive Eaters and Friends" Joey Chestnut and Tim Janus, "Retired Professional Skiers and Friends" Kristi Leskinen and Jen Hudak, "Dating Couple and Lifeguards" Lucas Bocanegra and Brittany Austin, and "Twin Brothers and Firefighters" Eric Guiffreda and Daniel Guiffreda.

Lucas, who has been dating Brittany for nine years now, shared with the cameras that he plans to propose to his girlfriend at some point during the Race when the timing feels right.

Phil then instructed the teams to search for their first clue in the giant fountain.

One by one, teams grabbed their clues and ran out of the fountain. They learned they must travel to Reykjavik, Iceland, and upon landing, drive to a river canyon waterfall called Geitargljufur.

Teams were starting to fall apart this early in the Race. Dessie and Kayla got lost, and so did Joey and Tim as well as April and Sarah. The yoga instructors also got into an argument over directions in which April, who admitted she's sensitive, demanded Sarah be nicer to her. Sarah, however, found that April takes offense so easily to things.

Henry and Evan were the first team to arrive at the waterfall, where they discovered one team member must traverse the large canyon high above the raging Geitargljufur River to grab an Icelandic flag.

Jessica and Cody made it to the canyon in second place, and they were then followed by Alex and Conor, Cedric and Shawn, Kristi and Jen, Dessie and Kayla, Trevor and Chris, Joey and Tim, Lucas and Brittany, April and Sarah, and finally Eric and Daniel.

Evan chose to do the task on behalf of her team, and Jessica decided to conquer her fears by volunteering to do the job.

The ladies were later joined by Alex, Cedric, Kristi, Kayla, Chris, Joey, Lucas, Sarah, and Eric, and the Racers completed the task in that order.

The teams then received their next set of clues, which instructed them to drive themselves to Esjumelur and search for their next clue.

Evan and Henry got there first and learned it was time for one member from each team to complete a Roadblock task.

Alex and Conor arrived at the Roadblock in second place, and on their heels were Cody and Jessica.

The Roadblock required the participating Racers to ride in an off-road buggy with an expert driver and race back and forth through puddles and mud across the riverbend as many times as necessary while looking for large letters that would eventually spell out "Ingo Fstorg," which is the name of a square in downtown Reykjavik.

The trick, however, was to spot a number on each letter that represented the order in which the letters would be placed.

Henry opted to try the Roadblock, as well as Conor, Cody, Jen, Shawn, Trevor, Brittany, Dessie, Tim, Daniel, and Sarah. That's also the order in which the Racers arrived.

Henry understood what needed to be done, but he got a couple of letters wrong on his first try. After repeating the process, he realized an accent was on one of the O's and he had them mixed up.

Meanwhile, Conor completely missed the fact there were numbers to notice on the letters. Conor therefore had no idea how the letters needed to be arranged. Shawn also greatly struggled with the task.

It got to the point where Shawn and Sarah were the last Racers trying to finish the task, and Shawn asked Sarah for help. However, Shawn seemed to give the answer away to Sarah, while he was left behind confused over the accent letter, just like Henry had been. But in the end, Shawn figured it out and his team fell into last place.

Cody surprised everyone and finished the Roadblock in first place, seemingly on the very first try. Jessica was so proud of Cody for defeated the Yale debaters in a spelling competition.

The next team to complete the task was Henry and Evan, and they were then followed by Kristi and Jen, Trevor and Chris, Alex and Conor, Joey and Tim, Eric and Daniel, Lucas and Brittany, Dessie and Kayla, April and Sarah, and finally Shawn and Cedric.

The teams' next set of clues told them to proceed to Ingolfstorg, and find a female weightlifter who would ask them to identify the names of two popular national tonics.

Jessica and Cody met the weightlifter in first place, and it took them no time at all to figure out that Icelanders called Brennivin the "Black Death" and cod liver oil "Porskalysi."

Kristi and Jen were in second place at this point, followed by Henry and Evan in third place. And in the back of the pack were Cedric and Shawn in eighth place, followed by Eric and Daniel in ninth, April and Sarah in tenth, and Dessie and Kayla in last place.

April and Sarah appeared to get lost on their way to the weightlifters, while Dessie and Kayla had some trouble fitting their SUV vehicle into a tiny parking spot.

Before moving on to their next destination, each team had to take a shot of cod liver oil.

Jessica and Cody downed the shot and were soon followed by Henry and Evan, Trevor and Chris, Alex and Conor, Joey and Tim, Lucas and Brittany, Cedric and Shawn, Eric and Daniel, April and Sarah, and finally Dessie and Kayla.

The teams were then required to head to the season's first Pit Stop at Reykjavikurtjorn, where Phil was standing along the lakeshore.

Jessica and Cody got a little confused about what direction to head in, and Jessica said that because Cody didn't listen to her opinion, they got lost.

This "disheartening" mistake, according to Jessica, allowed Kristi and Jen to run ahead of them.

Kristin and Jen therefore arrived at the Pit Stop in first place and won a trip for two for five nights to Santorini, Greece.

Cody and Jessica finished the leg in second place, and Henry and Evan placed third. Trevor and Chris soon met Phil at the Pit Stop in fourth place, and they were followed by Alex and Conor in fifth, Joey and Tim in sixth, and Lucas and Brittany in seventh.

Cedric and Shawn then made it to the Pit Stop in eighth place; however, Phil explained that Cedric attempted to help Shawn during the Roadblock task by yelling out that he needed to pay attention to his O's and P's.

Since the rules state Racers are not allowed to give teammates any help during Roadblock tasks, Cedric and Shawn had to wait out a 30-minute time penalty.

Cedric didn't think his comment helped Shawn at all during the task, nor did the former NBA player believe it gave anything away, but the guys still had to go through with the penalty.

This mistake allowed Eric and Daniel to officially check in as Team No. 8.

It was then a footrace to the finish between the remaining two teams as Cedric and Shawn only had seconds life of their time penalty. Phil said in all 30 seasons of the show, it had never been so close between three teams. Only seconds separated the winners from the losers.

In the end, Cedric and Shawn were able to check in as Team No. 9, and then the girls raced to the finish.

April and Sarah arrived at the mat in tenth place by what appeared to be one step. This meant that Dessie and Kayla finished the leg in eleventh -- and last -- place and were to be eliminated from the Race.


Dessie Mitcheson/Instagram

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