Wade on Birmingham

Simply Amazing: Chinese takeouts

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And they’re off! Twelve teams, including single moms Karlyn Harris and Lyn Turk of Birmingham, took off for China in tonight’s supersize premiere of “The Amazing Race.”

The CBS reality competition snuck in at least a couple of surprises, as the pairs ate, ran, climbed, flew and tiled their way through Beijing. Did the Alabama gang speed ahead or hit the wall?

amazing race

Lyn scales the Great Wall of China in the
final obstacle before the Pit Stop.

Highlights from the first leg of the series …

Route: Starting line (in Seattle) to Beijing.

If you ain’t first, you’re last: Team Birmingham just barely makes it onto the first flight (with five other teams) to land in Beijing, though a delay means their lead shrinks to 40 minutes.

The eyes have it: Team Birmingham sneaks ahead at the Roadblock by eating fish eyes. Karlyn’s snack attack brings them from second to first. The team manages to stay in the top third for most of the leg.

Allah back, grr: In the Forbidden City, Bilal and Sa’eed, the first Muslim team on the “Race,” becomes its first casualty. Surprise! Host Phil Keoghan ambushes them, mat and all, in the first of two eliminations. Worse: no final message of hope and awe from the pair. Aw.

Handicapping the competition: Karlyn: “I am so sick of Peter and Sarah. One minute, she’s got a disability; the next minute, she’s fine and she can do this and she can do that. … It’s on.”

Karlyn’s mad because Sarah, who uses a prosthetic leg, could pre-board the flight to China. Next season: a blind team with no sense of taste.

A pattern emerges: Karlyn and Lyn choose the labor challenge at the Detour, laying bricks in a pattern. Lyn reveals that Karlyn has a quick-tempered control freak. We would’ve never guessed that from her trash-talking the cripple. They head to the Pit Stop in fourth place.

Not-so-Great Wall: Yay, the first Pit Stop! All they have to do is climb the Great Wall of China. Karlyn struggles mightily, as several teams pull past. Sarah, she of the artificial limb, appeared to struggle, too, but conquered it in the feel-good moment of the ep.

Pit check: Karlyn and Lyn finish ninth. Pretty boys/druggies Tyler and James are first. And married couple Vipul and Arti, the show’s first Indian-American team, are gone, the second casualty in this first double-elimination episode.

“The Amazing Race” airs at 7 p.m. Sundays on CBS 42.

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Pit stop: more “Amazing Race” coverage.

2 Yips for “Simply Amazing: Chinese takeouts”

  1. Ginny
    Wednesday, September 20, 2006, 5:41 pm
    1

    I thought the surprise philimination was a low blow.

  2. Wade
    Wednesday, September 20, 2006, 10:48 pm
    2

    No, it was patriotic — the Muslim team was first to go.

    Ah, just like Family Edition: “Black family, you have been eliminated!”

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