The Amazing Race 15
|The Amazing Race 15|
|Season run||September 27 – December 6, 2009|
|Filming dates||July 18 – August 7, 2009|
|No. of episodes||11|
|Winning team||Meghan Rickey and Cheyne Whitney|
|Unfinished Business||Herbert "Flight Time" Lang and Nathaniel "Big Easy" Lofton,|
Zev Glassenberg and Justin Kanew
|All-Stars||Herbert "Flight Time" Lang and Nathaniel "Big Easy" Lofton|
|No. of legs||12|
|Distance traveled||25,000 mi (40,000 km)|
The Amazing Race 15 is the fifteenth installment of the American reality television show The Amazing Race. This season featured 12 teams of two, with a pre-existing relationship, in a race around the world.
The fifteenth cycle started on Sunday, September 27, 2009, with a two-hour premiere. It aired on CBS in the United States, and CTV Television Network (CTV) in Canada, on Sunday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT with the season finale on December 6, 2009. The show was hosted by Phil Keoghan. In Asia, it was on-air on AXN.
Dating couple Meghan Rickey and Cheyne Whitney were the winners of this Race.
The complete season was released on DVD on May 21, 2014.
- 1 Production
- 2 Results
- 3 Episode title quotes
- 4 Prizes
- 5 Elimination Station
- 6 Race summary
- 6.1 Leg 1 (United States → Japan)
- 6.2 Leg 2 (Japan → Vietnam)
- 6.3 Leg 3 (Vietnam)
- 6.4 Leg 4 (Vietnam → Cambodia)
- 6.5 Leg 5 (Cambodia → United Arab Emirates)
- 6.6 Leg 6 (United Arab Emirates)
- 6.7 Leg 7 (United Arab Emirates → Netherlands)
- 6.8 Leg 8 (Netherlands → Sweden)
- 6.9 Leg 9 (Sweden → Estonia)
- 6.10 Leg 10 (Estonia → Czech Republic)
- 6.11 Leg 11 (Czech Republic)
- 6.12 Leg 12 (Czech Republic → United States)
- 7 Ratings
- 8 Awards
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Development and filming
CBS aired the fifteenth season during the start of the 2009–2010 television season. CBS was the first broadcaster to announce that the show would be broadcast on Twitter, following Keoghan's own announcement of the show's renewal via Twitter.
The fifteenth season spans eight countries in 21 days. Teams traveled 25,000 miles (40,000 km) visiting: Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands and Sweden, as well as Estonia and the Czech Republic, which appeared on the show for the first time. It also introduces new features to the race: One team was eliminated right at the Starting Line and a new twist was added, the Switchback, where teams faced one of the series' previous most challenging Roadblocks. The race revisited the infamous Stockholm Roadblock of Season 6, in which one team member had to unroll one of 270 hay bales with only 20 containing clues. Instead of being an exact duplicate, however, this Race's Stockholm Roadblock involved fewer bales (186) and instead of 20 clues, only seven flags were hidden. Additionally, the original version had the nine teams competing; by the time this race reached the task, only five teams were involved. Also, the original version's task leg was an elimination leg, but the leg that featured the Switchback was a non-elimination leg.
All route markers and clue boxes in Vietnam were colored yellow with a white stripe rather than the typical yellow with a red stripe to avoid confusion with the flag of the former independent state of South Vietnam. This was also done in Season 10, and later in Season 22. These were also the original route markers in Season 1. As of Season 29 (the recent season to feature Vietnam), typical route markers were used.
This was the second season with a surprise elimination at some location other than a Pit Stop; the other was Season 10. The eliminated team, Eric & Lisa Paskel, who were eliminated at the Starting Line, acknowledged in a post-race interview that they were the first team to leave the show voluntarily instead of spending the remainder of the Race at the Elimination Station, as they had previous plans to travel to India. As a consequence, they were not allowed to have any further involvement in the show; although their travel was over by the time the race ended, Eric and Lisa were not told where the Finish Line was and as a result they were the second team (the first was Toni & Dallas from Season 13) to be absent at the Finish Line to cheer for the top three teams, and had no knowledge of the outcome of the Race before the season finale aired.
This was the first season since Season 11 to have more than two non-elimination points (Season 11 had four non-elimination points). This was also the first US season where the first leg was a non-elimination leg. As such, all clues leading to the Pit Stops (including the first leg) ended with the sentence "The last team to check in may be eliminated."
Applications were originally due by February 24, 2009, but the deadline was later extended. Semi-finalist interviews were held between March 20 and March 29, 2009. Following this, finalists were invited to Los Angeles between April 23 and April 30, 2009, for final interviews with the producers. From there, 12 teams were selected as contestants. Filming took place around July and August 2009.
Casting calls were also held as host Phil Keoghan cycled across the United States during the months of April and early May 2009 to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; Keoghan made stops to help with those casting calls.
Some of the more prominent members of the cast are: professional poker players Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle, Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap, Harlem Globetrotters Herbert "Flight Time" Lang and Nathaniel "Big Easy" Lofton, and country singer-songwriter Canaan Smith. One member of the cast, Zev Glassenberg, has Asperger's Syndrome. His teammate, Justin Kanew, is the son of Jeff Kanew, who directed Revenge of the Nerds.
Meghan and Cheyne were married on May 7, 2011; the teams of Sam and Dan, Maria and Tiffany, and Brian and Ericka were in the wedding party. Brian and Ericka recently decided to divorce prior to this event.
Friends Zev Glassenberg & Justin Kanew and Harlem Globetrotters Nate "Big Easy" Lofton & Herbert "Flight Time" Lang raced again in The Amazing Race 18 among a cast made up of returning teams from seasons 12-17. Flight Time & Big Easy were also chosen to compete in the second All-Stars edition.
The following teams participated in the Race, each listed along with their placements in each leg and relationships as identified by the program. Note that this table is not necessarily reflective of all content broadcast on television, owing to the inclusion or exclusion of some data. Placements are listed in finishing order:
|Team||Relationship||Position (by leg)||Roadblocks|
|Meghan & Cheyne||Dating||1st||6th||2nd||5th||1stƒ||1st||2nd||2nd||1st||1st||1st||1st||Meghan 5, Cheyne 6|
|Sam & Dan||Brothers||9th||2nd||5th||1st||5th||3rd||1st||4th||2nd||2nd||2nd||2nd||Sam 6, Dan 6|
|Brian & Ericka||Married||6th||10th||4th||3rd||2nd||4th||5th7||3rd||4th||4th||3rd9||3rd||Brian 6, Ericka 6|
|Flight Time & Big Easy||Harlem Globetrotters||5th||3rd||1st||2nd||3rd||6th||3rd||1st||3rd||3rd||4th10||Flight Time 5, Big Easy 610|
|Gary & Matt||Father/Son||7th||1st||3rd||4th||4th||5th||4th||5th||5th||Gary 4, Matt 5|
|Maria & Tiffany||Professional Poker Players||11th3||7th||6th||8th||6th||2nd||6th8||Maria 2, Tiffany 5|
|Mika & Canaan||Newly Dating||10th2||8th||7th||7th||7th||7th6||Mika 1, Canaan 5|
|Lance & Keri||Engaged||3rd||4th||9th⊃4||6th||8th||Lance 3, Keri 2|
|Zev & Justin||Friends||2nd||5th||8th||9th5||Zev 2, Justin 2|
|Marcy & Ron||Dating||4th||9th||10th||Marcy 1, Ron 2|
|Garrett & Jessica||Dating On & Off||8th||11th||Garrett 1, Jessica 1|
|Eric & Lisa||Married Yoga Teachers||12th1||Eric 0, Lisa 0|
- A red team placement indicates that the team was eliminated.
- A green ƒ indicates that the team won a Fast Forward clue.
- An underlined blue team's placement indicates that the team came in last on a non-elimination leg and had to perform a Speed Bump task in the following leg.
- A brown ⊃ means the team chose to use a U-Turn; ⊂ indicates the team who received it; ⊂⊃ around a leg number indicates a leg where the U-Turn was available but not used.
- ^ Eric & Lisa were eliminated at the Starting Line as per the provisions of the first task (see below).
- ^ Mika & Canaan initially arrived 10th, but had lost one of the tourists that they were required bring with them. They were required to backtrack to find their missing tourist before being allowed to check in. This did not affect their placement.
- ^ Maria & Tiffany lost two of the tourists that they were required bring with them to the Pit Stop; they chose not to backtrack to find the missing tourists and instead took a 2-hour penalty upon checking-in at the Pit Stop. They arrived at the Pit Stop last, but were notified that it was a non-elimination leg. The 2-hour penalty they would have taken from the task was instead applied to their starting time in Leg 2.
- ^ In an unaired scene, Lance & Keri used their Blind U-Turn onto Sam & Dan; however, they had already passed the U-Turn point and were therefore unaffected by it.
- ^ Zev & Justin initially arrived 1st, but soon discovered that Zev did not have his passport. They were not allowed to be checked in until they found it and brought it back to the Pit Stop. All other teams checked into the Pit Stop before Zev's passport could be found, resulting in Zev & Justin's elimination.
- ^ Mika & Canaan did not finish the task at the Atlantis, The Palm resort due to Mika's fear of heights and swimming/water. However, since Mika & Canaan checked-in at the Pit Stop last, they were eliminated without the penalty being applied.
- ^ Brian & Ericka initially arrived 5th, but were issued a 30-minute penalty as they did not travel by bicycle to the Detour as instructed in their clue. This did not affect their placement.
- ^ Maria & Tiffany failed to complete either of the Detour tasks and they elected to take a 24-hour penalty. Long after every other teams had checked-in at the Pit Stop, Phil came to the Detour location to inform them of their elimination, without the 24-hour penalty issued.
- ^ Brian & Ericka initially arrived 3rd, but were issued a 30-minute penalty for writing down the letters in the Roadblock task before reaching the office, which was explicitly prohibited in the clue. However, this did not affect their placement, and it was unaired. 
- ^ Big Easy chose to forfeit the Roadblock at Leg 11 and he & Flight Time were issued a 4-hour penalty at the Roadblock site. Long after they were able to continue racing, all the other teams had checked-in at the Pit Stop. When they finally found their next Route Marker at Kryocentrum, instead of performing the remaining tasks left for this leg, Flight Time & Big Easy were instead instructed to go directly to the Pit Stop for elimination.
Episode title quotes
Episode titles are often taken from quotes made by the racers. The first episode is a two-part episode that shows legs 1 and 2 of the race.
- "They Thought Godzilla Was Walking Down the Street" – Flight Time
- "It's Like Being Dropped on Planet Mars" – Lance
- "Sean Penn Cambodia Here We Come" – Justin
- "I'm Like Ricky Bobby" – Cheyne
- "Do It for the Hood! Do It for the Suburbs!" – Flight Time/Sam
- "This Is Not My Finest Hour" – Ericka
- "This Is the Worst Thing I've Ever Done in My Life" – Meghan
- "We're Not Meant for the Swamp" – Brian
- "We're Not Working With Anybody, Ever, Anymore!" – Ericka
- "It Starts With an 'F', That's All I'm Saying" – Dan
- "Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound" – Elvis Presley impersonator; a cluegiver (non-racer)
The prize for each leg is awarded to the first place team for that leg. All trips are sponsored by Travelocity.
- Leg 1 – A trip for two to Aspen and Vail, Colorado
- Leg 2 – A kayak for each person
- Leg 3 – A trip for two to Aruba
- Leg 4 – A pair of motorcycles (unaired)
- Leg 5 – A trip for two to Jamaica
- Leg 6 – Two personal watercrafts
- Leg 7 – A pair of dune buggies
- Leg 8 – A trip for two to the Turks and Caicos Islands
- Leg 9 – A red cedar sauna
- Leg 10 – A trip for two to Lanai, Hawaii
- Leg 11 – A pair of 52 inch HD LCD TVs
- Leg 12 – $1,000,000
After elimination, five of the first six teams were sequestered at a villa in Phú Quốc, Vietnam to await the finale. The exception was Eric and Lisa, who chose to leave the show upon their elimination. CBS posted short videos on its website after each episode aired in the Pacific Time Zone to show the eliminated teams interacting at the villa.
- Leg 1 was a non-elimination leg, hence no team was sent to the villa and no episode was shown. Eric & Lisa were the first team eliminated, at the Starting Line, but they did not go to the Elimination Station (see above).
- After Leg 2, Garrett & Jessica were the second team to be eliminated and were the first team sent to the villa. They both expressed their disappointment after having been in second place earlier in the leg and then being the first eliminated. Garrett believed that either Maria and Tiffany or Mika and Canaan would be the next team eliminated but both agreed that any of the teams could be eliminated next because of the animal challenges that faced them in the prior leg. Garrett noticed that Jessica was extremely bummed since being eliminated and he wanted to ask her to marry him at the Finish Line. Garrett proposed to Jessica at the beach and she said yes, after which her mood was significantly raised.
- After Leg 3, Marcy & Ron were the third team eliminated and were the second team sent to the villa. Ron told Garrett & Jessica that the intensity had gone up a notch between the remaining racers in the last leg. The eliminated teams did a Vietnamese Martial Arts Exercise, then went out to a luxurious restaurant called Việt Xưa. They had different views as to who would be the next team eliminated; Marcy believed that Flight Time & Big Easy would be eliminated next, Garrett, Jessica and Ron went with Meghan & Cheyne, Sam & Dan, and Mika & Canaan, respectively.
- After Leg 4, Zev & Justin were the fourth team eliminated but were not immediately sent to the villa due to Zev losing his passport. At the villa, Marcy and Ron asked Garrett and Jessica about the marriage proposal. Noting it had been two days since the next eliminated team was supposed to arrive, the two teams discussed what might have happened to the next eliminated team. Ron speculated that the team had either lost their passports or were seriously injured. Meanwhile, in Phnom Penh, Zev & Justin went to the U.S. Embassy to request a replacement passport for Zev, only to find it had been found in a temple near the Roadblock and was turned in. They grew even more disappointed when they figured out the passport likely fell out of the fanny pack when Justin opened it to retrieve a headlight while they were searching for the Roadblock in the wrong place. They later called the villa and informed the two teams there of their elimination because of the passport mishap and told them that they would join them as soon as they could.
- After Leg 5, Lance & Keri were the fifth team eliminated. The two teams at the villa were discussing Zev & Justin, speculating about their elimination. A van arrived at the villa and the teams went outside, fully expecting to see Zev & Justin. They were surprised to see that the van contained Lance & Keri; the third team to arrive at the villa. They explained to the other teams that their bad directional skills had led to their elimination, as well as the lodging conditions during the Cambodia Pit Stop. The three eliminated teams drove to a nearby river and started a race in a traditional Vietnamese boat between the boys (Garrett, Ron and Lance) and the girls (Jessica, Marcy and Keri).
- After Leg 6, Mika & Canaan were the sixth team to be eliminated. In the race teased in the previous episode, the eliminated girls managed to beat the boys in the boat race by nine seconds. Back at the villa, as the other three eliminated teams were relaxing, they noticed that Zev and Justin had showed up; the fourth team to arrive at the villa. The three eliminated teams were happy to see Zev & Justin who explained how they were eliminated and what they went through after this. The four eliminated teams went out to the night market where Zev sampled a chicken foot. Mika & Canaan were the fifth and last team to arrive at the villa. They explained to the other four eliminated teams of Mika's fear of water and heights that led to their elimination. Canaan noted they were at the water slide for around 45 minutes.
- After Leg 7, Maria & Tiffany were the seventh team to be eliminated. While the eliminated teams were playing cards, Maria & Tiffany called the villa to inform them of their elimination. They tried to explain to the other teams the true reason they were eliminated, but none of the other teams believed their story, as Maria & Tiffany had lied about their professions in the early stages of the race. Maria & Tiffany told the teams they would see them at the End City. Several teams expressed their resentment of Maria & Tiffany as well as their satisfaction that they were eliminated from the race and would not be joining them at the villa. The teams at the villa traveled to a rough-looking soccer field where they believed they would be playing against 7-9 year old children from the area, but instead played against a teenage-looking group of soccer players.
- Leg 8 was a non-elimination leg, hence no new teams were sent to the villa. In the soccer match teased in the previous episode, the Vietnamese soccer players easily defeated the eliminated boys 4-0. The eliminated teams at the villa had a Shaman visit the villa and the teams had their futures told to them. Canaan decided to break up with Mika, saying the reason was not because of the Race, but because he was not ready for a relationship and hoped they would remain friends. In a post race interview, however, they mentioned that they made up.
- After Leg 9, Gary & Matt were the eighth team eliminated. Prior to the call, the eliminated teams at the villa made predictions as to who would be eliminated next. All teams believed it was Brian and Ericka, except for Zev & Justin who believed it would be Gary & Matt who would be eliminated next. Gary & Matt then called the teams at the villa to inform them of their elimination. They told them about their Speed Bump that helped lead to their elimination, saying they were just minutes behind the last team. When asked who would win the race, they believed any one of the teams could win.
- Leg 10 was a non-elimination leg, hence no new teams were sent to the villa. A taekwondo instructor was brought in to teach the eliminated teams how to spar. Lance, who was a blackbelt, took on the taekwondo master's student – ultimately cheating by wrestling him to the floor. They all then tried breaking tiles with their hands. All the eliminated teams had to pack up and fly to the End City. Jessica believed it was in Portland, Oregon, or maybe in Los Angeles, while Lance wished for it to be on the East Coast so he could easily return to Boston afterward.
- After Leg 11, Flight Time & Big Easy were the ninth and final team eliminated. Elimination Station showed five of the six eliminated teams arriving at the End City in Las Vegas, Nevada. After arriving there, the teams checked into a hotel. Once they checked in, they discussed with each other who would be eliminated next prior to a phone call from the ninth team. The teams at the hotel were shocked and disappointed to hear about Flight Time & Big Easy's elimination especially Zev & Justin who wanted them to win. They told them about what went wrong at the Roadblock. Flight Time & Big Easy said that they wanted to see Meghan & Cheyne to win it all and told them that they would see them at the Finish Line. Lance & Keri were happy to see the end of the race and to know who they think is going to win. Garrett said that it's anybody's race. All the eliminated teams wanted to see Meghan and Cheyne to win, except for Garrett & Jessica who wanted to see Sam & Dan to come in 1st, Brian & Ericka in 2nd, and Meghan & Cheyne in 3rd.
- Leg 12 was the final leg of The Amazing Race 15. Maria & Tiffany, Gary & Matt, and Flight Time & Big Easy reunited with the other eliminated teams (except Eric & Lisa) at the Finish Line at Casa de Shenandoah. Most of the teams believed that they wanted to see Meghan & Cheyne win. Teams expressed their opinions about the final three teams at the Finish Line along with their joys and disappointments.
|Destinations||Air travel Rail travel Water travel Bus travel|
|Route Markers||Detour Roadblock Fast Forward U-Turn Speed Bump Pit Stop|
Leg 1 (United States → Japan)
Airdate: September 27, 2009
- Los Angeles, United States (Los Angeles River – Sixth Street Viaduct) (Starting Line and Elimination Point)
- Los Angeles (Los Angeles International Airport) to Tokyo, Japan (Narita International Airport)
- Minato (Tokyo Tower Studios)
- Shibuya (Shibuya Scramble Crossing)
- Shibuya (Konnō Hachimangū Shrine) (in Japanese)
The first Roadblock of the race required one team member to participate in a Japanese-style game show called Sushi Roulette. Once all the teams arrived at the Roadblock location, the host would spin a wheel with eleven plates of sushi, two of which were "wasabi bombs" – temaki-style sushi filled only with hot wasabi. If the racer received a wasabi bomb, he or she had two minutes to eat it in order to receive the next clue. If they failed to finish it within the time allotted, they had to play again until they received a new wasabi bomb and could complete the task. Racers who received plain sushi had to eat the sushi and play until they received a wasabi bomb.
- Additional tasks
- At the Starting Line on Sixth Street Viaduct, teams had to search through over 1,000 license plates for one of eleven Japanese plates from Shinagawa, and present it to Phil to receive tickets for one of two flights, with room for eleven teams, for their first destination: Tokyo, Japan. The kanji for Shinagawa (品川) were provided in the clue, though not explicitly. The last team without the correct license plate would not be given a flight to Tokyo and was eliminated.
- After completing the Roadblock, teams received a colored flag as a clue and had to lead a group of 20 Japanese tourists wearing the same colored visors as their flag via the scramble crossing in Shibuya to the Pit Stop at Konnō Hachimangū Shrine. Teams were not allowed to check in unless all 20 members of their group were present at the mat. If at least one member of their group was not present, they had to go back to find them and bring them to the Pit Stop before being allowed to check in.
Leg 2 (Japan → Vietnam)
Airdate: September 27, 2009
- Tokyo (Narita International Airport) to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Tan Son Nhat International Airport)
- Ho Chi Minh City (Bến xe Miền Tây (in Vietnamese)) to Cái Bè (Cái Bè Bus Terminal)
- Cái Bè (Bến Tàu Du Lịch Dock)
- Cái Bè (Fruit Farm Mud Pits)
- Cái Bè (Cai Be Township Sports Ground)
- Cái Bè (Cai Be Market (in Vietnamese) – Bassac III Riverboat)
For this leg's Speed Bump, Maria & Tiffany have to prepare a serving of the Vietnamese soup phở for the Bến Tàu Du Lịch dockmaster by collecting the ingredients at a soup stand and then combining and serve the completed phở to the dockmaster to receive their next clue.
The Roadblock for this leg requires one team member to herd 150 ducks out of their pen, lead them across a bridge and back, and then herd them back into their pen in ten minutes using two flags as means to guide the ducks. When they were completed, they could get their next clue. With only three available fields, if the team member failed to complete the task within ten minutes, they will have to relinquish the spot to other teams before they could start over.
- Additional task
- Upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh City, they have to travel by bus to Cái Bè and made their way to Bến Tàu Du Lịch Dock. At the Dock, teams had to take a sampan along the Mekong Delta to a Fruit Farm Mud Pit. There, teams had to collect nutrient-rich mud in buckets and pile it at the base of a fruit tree to a designated line to receive their next clue.
Leg 3 (Vietnam)
Airdate: October 4, 2009
- Cái Bè to Mỹ Tho (Mỹ Tho Boat Pier)
- Ho Chi Minh City (Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre)
- Ho Chi Minh City (Ho Chi Minh City Post Office)
- Ho Chi Minh City (Tao Dan Park (in Vietnamese) or Hotel A Dong)
- Ho Chi Minh City (Điện cơ 008)
- Ho Chi Minh City (Reunification Palace)
During the Pit Stop, the Bassac III traveled from Cái Bè to Mỹ Tho, as all teams had to begin this leg of the Race.
The first Detour of the race was a choice between Child's Play or Word Play. In Child's Play, teams had to find a kiosk named Nhiep Anh Công viên Tao Đàn Kiosque Giao Anh in Tao Dan Park and transport a concrete animal statue to a children's playground, collecting five different colored balloons along their route, in order to receive their next clue. In Word Play, teams had to go up to Hotel A Dong's observation deck and search the traffic circle of Ngã sáu Cộng Hoà (Six-way Intersection of the Republic) in front of the hotel for six Vietnamese letters hidden atop vehicles passing through the circle. Teams will have to get assistance from the locals to unscramble the letters to spell the Vietnamese word Độc Lập, which means "independence", to receive their next clue.
In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to disassemble two VCRs and organize the parts into two separate piles in order to receive their next clue.
- Additional task
- At the start of the leg, teams had to travel to Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City. There, teams had to grab a flag containing their clue from the mouth of a dragon puppet moving about in the water. The clue consisted solely of a postage stamp concealed inside a small container, leaving teams to figure out that the stamp depicted the Saigon Central Post Office (referred to as the "Ho Chi Minh City Post Office" in the show) and had to find their next clue.
Leg 4 (Vietnam → Cambodia)
Airdate: October 11, 2009
- Ho Chi Minh City (Tan Son Nhat International Airport) to Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Phnom Penh International Airport)
- Phnom Penh (Foreign Correspondents' Club)
- Phnom Penh (Hotel Le Royal)
- Phnom Penh (Russian Market (in Khmer))
- Phnom Penh (Wat Toul Tom Pong)
- Phnom Penh (Wat Phnom)
The Detour was a choice between Cover or Wrap. In Cover, teams headed to a marked motorcycle helmet shop (located at Russian Market), choose four helmets, then sold them to a family of four (two adults and two children) for US$10. When the sale was completed, they handed the money to the store owner who handed them their next clue in exchange. In Wrap, teams had to find the Russian Market (Psar Toul Tom Poung) and find stalls 980 and 981, where the shopkeeper handed them a silk scarf. They then had to search the market for a woman wearing an identical scarf and bring the woman back to the stall. When they correctly matched the two scarfs, the shopkeeper would give them their next clue.
In this Roadblock, one team member had to put on a monkey mask and tail, then perform three Classical Khmer monkey dance maneuvers as demonstrated by the monkey dancer. If the monkey dancer was satisfied with the performance, they could receive their next clue.
- Additional tasks
- Upon arrival at Phnom Penh, teams made their way to the Foreign Correspondents' Club and had to find two correspondents reading newspapers and whisper to them, "May I have my next assignment?". With their next clue hidden inside a newspaper, they then got a duplicate photo of King Norodom Sihanouk and Jacqueline Kennedy taken in 1967. Teams were left to figure out that such a photo could be found at a hotel suite named after Kennedy at the Hotel Le Royal, where they would receive their next clue.
- After completing the Detour, the clue instructed teams to travel by foot to Wat Toul Tom Pong for their Roadblock clue.
Leg 5 (Cambodia → United Arab Emirates)
Airdate: October 18, 2009
- Phnom Penh (Phnom Penh International Airport) to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Dubai International Airport)
- Dubai (Dubai Fountain)
- Dubai (Burj Dubai – Observation Deck)
- Dubai (Dubai Autodrome)
- Dubai (The Dubai Mall – Park # P2)
- Margham (Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve)
- Dubai (Mall of the Emirates – Ski Dubai)
- Dubai (Souk Madinat Jumeirah)
The only Fast Forward for this race asked teams to travel to the Dubai Autodrome where one team member had to drive a Formula Three open wheel race car and complete a single lap around the track in 45 seconds or less. If successful, they would win the Fast Forward and be driven to the Pit Stop in a Maserati.
In the Roadblock, one team member will have to pick a traditional water bag and had to search the Desert Reserve for a series of urns buried in the sand. Some of the urns contained water, while others were empty. When they found enough water to fill their bag, they gave it to a Bedouin and his thirsty camels to receive their next clue.
The Detour was a choice between Build a Snowman or Find a Snowman. In Build a Snowman, teams had to take snow from Ski Dubai and carry it outside, where the temperature was approximately 120 °F (49 °C). They then had to build a snowman – complete with two coal eyes, carrot nose and a top hat – before the snow melted. If the snowman was to the attendant's satisfaction, she would hand them their next clue. In Find a Snowman, teams had to ride the ski lift to the top of the artificial mountain, sled down to the bottom, dig through piles of snow for a toy snowman buried within it. Teams who found one have to give it to a person in a polar bear suit who could trade it for their next clue.
- Additional tasks
- At the start of the leg, teams were only told to find the tallest building in the world, which directed them to their next destination, the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Upon arriving, teams will travel to Dubai Fountain and signed up for one of two departure times to Burj Dubai (now Burj Khalifa) the following morning. At the designated time, teams boarded an elevator bound for a balcony located on the 120th floor of the then still-under-construction building, where teams would locate their next clue.
- Teams who didn't choose the Fast Forward had to travel to the parking area in The Dubai Mall and search the marked cars to drive them to Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve where teams could find their next clue.
Leg 6 (United Arab Emirates)
Airdate: October 25, 2009
- Dubai (Dubai Creek – Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club)
- Dubai (Old Textile Souq Quarter – Abra Station)
- Bur Dubai (Dubai Old Souk Abra Station) to Deira (Deira Old Souk Abra Station)
- Deira (Gold Souk (Deepu Jewellers) or Spice Souk)
- Palm Jumeirah (Atlantis, The Palm – Aquaventure (Leap of Faith))
- Palm Jumeirah (Atlantis, The Palm – Dolphin Bay Beach)
The Roadblock for the leg requires one team member to row an inflatable dinghy out to a yacht anchored offshore and meet a sheikh on board who gave the team member a watch. After rowing back to the dock, they had to open a locked briefcase they had been told to pick up at the beginning of the leg, figuring out that the time displayed on the watch corresponded with the combination to the briefcase's lock (8:35 → 8-3-5). When they opened their briefcase, they could retrieve their next clue in the briefcase.
The Detour was a choice between Gold or Glass. In Gold, teams had to find Deepu Jewellers in New Gold Centre in Deira where they would use a precision scale to weigh out US$500,000 worth of gold to the nearest ounce. The price of gold per ounce was displayed on a television monitor and changed by the minute. Once the correct amount was placed on the scale, they would receive their next clue. In Glass, teams made their way to a spice market in Deira where they had to open a crate and assemble twelve hookahs – using all parts from the crate using three displayed hookahs as guides – before receiving their next clue.
- Additional tasks
- At the start of the leg at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, teams had to pick up a locked briefcase along with their next clue inside of it.
- After the Detour, teams will make their way to Atlantis in Palm Jumeirah. There, both team members had to slide down the resort's Leap of Faith water slide which dropped them six stories down a nearly 90° incline and through a tunnel beneath the aquarium's shark lagoon. At the bottom, teams found their next clue, which instruct teams to search the grounds of the Dolphin Bay Beach for the Pit Stop. If multiple teams were at the top of the slide at the same time, the leading team had two minutes to go down the slide; if the two minutes elapsed, the leading team was required to move aside and allow the trailing team the opportunity to slide down. This task later appeared on Season 28 as a switchback.
Leg 7 (United Arab Emirates → Netherlands)
Airdate: November 1, 2009
- Dubai (Dubai International Airport) to Amsterdam, Netherlands (Amsterdam Airport Schiphol)
- Afsluitdijk (Cornelis Lely Monument)
- Groningen (Martinitoren)
- Vierhuizen (in Dutch), De Marne (Windmill De Onderneming (in Dutch))
- Zoutkamp (Harbor)
In this Roadblock, one team member had to climb to the top of the Martinitoren and count all of the bells in the carillon. When the team member provided the correct number (62) to the carillonneur, they received their next clue. Otherwise they had to climb back up to the carillon to count again.
The leg's Detour requires teams to dress in traditional Dutch costumes—one male and one female— and rode their bicycles to their Detour: Farmer's Game or Farmer's Dance. In Farmer's Game, teams had to strip down to their Dutch underwear and swim across a creek. On the other side, they had to retrieve a special set of golf clubs and play 3 holes of Farmersgolf. Team members took turns with each stroke and had to finish within par of eight strokes on each hole to receive their next clue. In Farmer's Dance, teams had to find a country festival where one team member had to hit the bell on a high striker (team members will alternate until one team member successfully hit the bell). They then had to enter a dance hall to learn a traditional Dutch folk dance and perform that dance in front of a crowd. If the dance was to the instructor's satisfaction, they would give each team member a serving of soused herring which they had to eat in order to receive their next clue.
- Additional tasks
- Upon arriving at Amsterdam, teams picked up a marked vehicle and drive to the Cornelis Lely Monument in Afsluitdijk, at the center of Frisian coast to find the next clue.
- After completing the Detour, teams have to ride their bicycles to the Pit Stop at Zoutkamp Harbor.
Leg 8 (Netherlands → Sweden)
Airdate: November 8, 2009
- Vierhuizen, De Marne (Windmill De Onderneming)
- Amsterdam (Amsterdam Airport Schiphol) to Stockholm, Sweden (Stockholm-Arlanda Airport)
- Sigtuna (Arlanda North Station) to Stockholm City (Stockholm Central Station)
- Stockholm (Terminal Nybroviken) to Djurgården (Terminal Allmänna Gränd (in Swedish))
- Djurgården, Stockholm (Tivoli Gröna Lund – Fritt Fall (in Swedish))
- Djurgården, Stockholm (Tivoli Gröna Lund – Ring Toss Booth)
- Sigtuna (Skokloster (in Swedish))
- Väsby (Bögs Gård Farm (in Swedish))
During the Pit Stop, all teams were moved to De Ondernmeming Windmill to start the leg.
The Detour was a choice between Nobel Dynamite or Viking Alphabet. In Nobel Dynamite, teams traveled to a rock quarry and had to fill sandbags to create a protective bunker. Once they were protected, they set off an explosion with dynamite, which unearthed a metal box containing the next clue. In Viking Alphabet, teams had to decode a message in Elder Futhark on a runestone (using smaller stones with both runes and letters) that told them to "Find the Strong Viking" in order to receive their next clue.
The Roadblock for this leg's is a switchback to Season 6, where one team member had to search through 186 hay bales to find one of seven flags. When teams found one of the flags, they were allowed to proceed to the nearby Pit Stop.
- Additional task
- At Tivoli Gröna Lund, one team member had to ride the Fritt Fall drop tower to look for an arrow that pointed them in the direction of their next clue, located among some carnival games. Teams then had to play a game of ring toss until they ringed a cone with a Travelocity Roaming Gnome concealed beneath it. If successful, the game attendant will hand them the gnome, which contained their next clue on the bottom of its base. Teams had to keep the gnome with them for the duration of the leg.
Leg 9 (Sweden → Estonia)
Airdate: November 15, 2009
- Stockholm (Frihamnsterminalen (in Swedish)) to Tallinn, Estonia (Port of Tallinn)
- Tallinn (Mustpeade Maja (in Estonian))
- Tallinn (Saunabuss (in Estonian))
- Tallinn (Pikk Hermann Tower Gardens)
- Keava (Keava Raba (in Estonian))
- Keava (Keava Raba Overlook Tower)
In this Speed Bump, Gary & Matt had to find a Saunabuss parked nearby. They will then have to strip naked, and spend five minutes in the sauna with some locals before they could continue racing.
This leg's Roadblock requires one team member to enter the cellar of the Mustpeade Maja and participated in a ceremony of the Brotherhood of the Blackheads Guild. Team members took a candelabra with a room number attached to it from a table of revelers. When they found the room, they were given what appeared to be a blank scroll and a crayon. Team members had to figure out that their next clue was written in invisible ink and could be revealed by holding the scroll over the light of the candle. The clue reads "Pikk Hermann Tower Gardens", which is their next destination.
The Detour was a choice between Serve or Sling. In Serve, teams participated in a game of volleyball in the Keava bog, where they had to score a total of five points against a local team in order to receive their next clue. In Sling, teams put on bog shoes and walked out onto the bog where they used slingshots to fire assorted vegetables at a target, which when hit would collapse a table full of cabbages along with their next clue.
- Additional task
- At the start of the leg, teams were given a set of keys along with their clue and instructed to travel to the capital city of Tallinn in Estonia. Upon arrival, teams made their way to Mustpeade Maja, where they had to find the right key that would sound an alarm to open the door.
Leg 10 (Estonia → Czech Republic)
Airdate: November 22, 2009
- Tallinn (Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport) to Prague, Czech Republic (Ruzyně Airport)
- Prague (Old Town Square)
- Prague (Vltava – Kajaky Trója)
- Prague (Estates Theatre)
- Prague (Prague Castle)
The leg's Detour was a choice between Fast & Furious or Slow & Steady. In Fast & Furious, teams had to row a kayak down a man-made whitewater rafting course used by professional kayakers and grab a ribbon suspended over the course which had their next clue written on it; if their boat capsized before reaching the clue, they had to start the course over. In Slow & Steady, teams had to pull themselves along an aerial rope course suspended above the rafting course. When they reached the end of the rope, they got a ribbon that had the next clue written on them.
For this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to search the Estates Theatre for a miniature mandolin. Once they found it, they had to bring it onstage to an actor dressed as the titular character from the Mozart opera Don Giovanni (which premiered at the theatre), to receive their next clue.
- Additional tasks
- Upon arrival at Prague, teams had to head to Old Town Square. There, teams have to find a man in a vintage Praga who would give them their next clue.
- Once they completed the Detour, and returned to safety, teams had to join the two halves of the ribbons (– Stavovské Divadlo – referred to the Estates Theatre) to reveal their location of the next clue.
Leg 11 (Czech Republic)
Airdate: November 29, 2009
- Prague (Spanish Synagogue)
- Prague (M1 Lounge)
- Prague (Ekotechnické Museum)
- Prague (Kryocentrum (in Czech))
- Prague (Charles Bridge)
- Prague (Old New Synagogue or Pivovar a Restaurace "U Fleků" (in Czech) to Restaurace Kozička (in Czech))
- Prague (Střelecký Island (in Czech))
For the Speed Bump, Brian & Ericka must make their way to the M1 Lounge, where each of them had to prepare and drink a traditional shot of absinthe before they could continue racing with the others.
In this Roadblock, one team member entered the museum and searched among several hundred ringing telephones for the five that had a person on the other end of the line. A voice from each phone would give the team member one letter of the word "FRANZ"—a reference to Franz Kafka. Additionally, team members had to memorize each letter they received and were not allowed to write any of them down for reference before entering the supervisor's office. After obtaining all five letters, the team member had to fill out a form with several biographical questions and attempt to unscramble the five letters to form his name. If they were correct, the inspector hands the teams their next clue. This task would be featured again on Season 30 as a Switchback.
The Detour was a choice between Legend or Lager. In Legend, teams built a golem by placing wet clay around a hay frame, then transported it to the Old New Synagogue. If the golem was to the rabbis' satisfaction, he would hand them their next clue. In Lager, teams had to carry a total of thirty glasses of beer from a brewery called Pivovar a Restaurace "U Fleků" through the busy town square and deliver them to a bar called Restaurace Kozička to obtain their next clue.
- Additional task
- At Kryocentrum, teams had to strip down to their underwear and spend two minutes in a cryotherapy chamber which reached temperatures of −160 °C (−256 °F). After enduring a therapy of two minutes, they would get their next clue.
Leg 12 (Czech Republic → United States)
Airdate: December 6, 2009
- Prague (Ruzyně Airport) to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (McCarran International Airport)
- Las Vegas (Graceland Wedding Chapel)
- Las Vegas (Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino)
- Las Vegas (The Mirage)
- Las Vegas (Monte Carlo Resort and Casino)
- Las Vegas (MGM Grand Las Vegas)
- Las Vegas (Wayne Newton's House, the Casa de Shenandoah)
The final Roadblock of the Race requires one team member to rappel down the exterior of the Mandalay Bay hotel tower face-down in order to retrieve the next clue.
- Additional tasks
- On arrival in Las Vegas, teams made their way to Graceland Wedding Chapel and had to search for the next clue right behind an Elvis Presley impersonator.
- At The Mirage, teams must find the Love theater. One team member was harnessed in a bungee cord and launched by his or her teammate in an attempt to retrieve a bouquet of flowers dangling in the air. Once the entire bouquet was obtained, they had to hand it to an actress acting as a flower girl to obtain their next clue.
- The clue after the flower task instructed teams to go to "the most famous casino in Monaco", and left them to figure out that this was a reference to the namesake of the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. There, teams had to count out a total of $1,000,000 worth of poker chips which were scattered on several poker tables. Once the dealer verified their count was correct, they would receive a $1,000,000 poker chip along with their final clue. This task was incorrectly presented as a Roadblock.
- The final clue instructed teams to travel to MGM Grand, where they had to visit Suite 88 and find Wayne Newton, who would tell them the location of the Finish Line: his house at Casa de Shenandoah.
US Nielsen ratings
|1 – 2||September 27, 2009||"They Thought Godzilla Was Walking Down the Street"||6.5||10||3.3/8||10.40||#25|
|3||October 4, 2009||"It's Like Being Dropped on Planet Mars"||5.9||9||2.8/7||9.95||#26|
|4||October 11, 2009||"Sean Penn Cambodia Here We Come"||6.7||10||3.0/8||10.52||#20|
|5||October 18, 2009||"I'm Like Ricky Bobby"||5.8||9||3.0/7||10.92||#20|
|6||October 25, 2009||"Do It for the Hood! Do It for the Suburbs!"||6.4||10||3.4/8||11.20||#22|
|7||November 1, 2009||"This Is Not My Finest Hour"||6.5||10||3.3/8||11.22||#18|
|8||November 8, 2009||"This Is the Worst Thing I've Ever Done in My Life"||6.9||10||3.5/9||11.62||#24|
|9||November 15, 2009||"We're Not Meant for the Swamp"||6.6||10||3.2/8||11.39||#24|
|10||November 22, 2009||"We're Not Working With Anybody, Ever, Anymore!"||6.9||11||3.7/9||12.19||#20|
|11||November 29, 2009||"It Starts With an "F", That's All I'm Saying"||6.8||10||3.4/8||11.61||#18|
|12||December 6, 2009||"Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound"||7.1||11||3.7/9||12.32||#9|
|1 – 2||September 27, 2009||"They Thought Godzilla Was Walking Down the Street"||2.861||#6|
|3||October 4, 2009||"It's Like Being Dropped on Planet Mars"||2.669||#5|
|4||October 11, 2009||"Sean Penn Cambodia Here We Come"||2.001||#13|
|5||October 18, 2009||"I'm Like Ricky Bobby"||2.413||#9|
|6||October 25, 2009||"Do It for the Hood! Do It for the Suburbs!"||2.619||#5|
|7||November 1, 2009||"This Is Not My Finest Hour"||2.575||#3|
|8||November 8, 2009||"This Is the Worst Thing I've Ever Done in My Life"||2.763||#3|
|9||November 15, 2009||"We're Not Meant for the Swamp"||2.619||#8|
|10||November 22, 2009||"We're Not Working With Anybody, Ever, Anymore!"||2.260||#9|
|11||November 29, 2009||"It Starts With an "F", That's All I'm Saying"||2.419||#7|
|12||December 6, 2009||"Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound"||3.074||#1|
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