The Amazing Race 17
|The Amazing Race 17|
|Presented by||Phil Keoghan|
|No. of teams||11|
|Winners||Natalie "Nat" Strand & Katherine "Kat" Chang|
|No. of legs||12|
|Distance traveled||32,000 mi (51,000 km)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||12|
|Original release||September 26 –|
December 12, 2010
|Filming dates||May 26 –|
June 15, 2010
The Amazing Race 17 is the seventeenth installment of the American reality television show The Amazing Race. This season featured eleven teams of two, with a pre-existing relationship, in a race around the world.
The seventeenth cycle started on Sunday, September 26, 2010. It aired on CBS in the United States with a special 90-minute premiere, then returned to its normal hour-long format the following week on Sunday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT The season finale was on December 12, 2010. The show was again hosted by Phil Keoghan.
This was the final season filmed and broadcast in Standard Definition.
Development and filming
CBS renewed the 17th edition of The Amazing Race on January 25, 2010. The season premiered on September 26, 2010, with a special 90-minute episode. The show returned to its regular hour-long format the following week.
This season spanned 32,000 miles (51,000 km) while racing across four continents with first-time visits to Ghana and Bangladesh. Also for the first time in the show's history, teams crossed the Arctic Circle.
Filming began on May 26, 2010, with the Starting Line at the Eastern Point Yacht Club in Gloucester, Massachusetts, making this the first season since The Amazing Race: All-Stars to start in a city other than Los Angeles. The season ended on June 15, 2010, with the Finish Line in Los Angeles, California.
Prior to the season's broadcast, CBS posted a short preview video clip from an episode on the Internet, showing Brook & Claire competing at a watermelon launching challenge using an elastic slingshot. The clip showed Claire being hit in the face full-on with a watermelon after it failed to launch correctly from the slingshot, leaving her momentarily stunned but otherwise not seriously injured. The clip spread virally on the Internet.
Two new game elements were introduced in Season 17. The first was the Express Pass, which was awarded to the team who finished first on the first Leg. The Pass allowed the team to skip any Detour, Roadblock, or Route Info task before Leg 8. Dating couple Jill & Thomas won the Express Pass, which they later used to bypass the Beds Detour in Leg 4. Another new element was the Double U-Turn, where two teams were allowed to use U-Turns in a single leg. Jill & Thomas U-Turned Brook & Claire, while Nat & Kat U-Turned Chad & Stephanie.
Applications were due on February 4, 2010. Semi-finalist interviews were held in March 2010, and the final casting interviews took place in Los Angeles around March 2010. From there, eleven teams were selected as contestants and filming took place approximately from May to June 2010.
The cast included a team of home shopping hosts, Internet entertainer Kevin Wu – popularly known as "KevJumba" – and his father Michael, director and choreographer Ron Kellum, Ivy League a cappella singers, and a birth mother and daughter who recently reunited following an adoption over twenty years earlier. There were also three beauty queens competing: Mallory Ervin, who competed in Miss America 2010, where she placed fourth runner-up; Brook Roberts, who competed in Miss America 2005; and Stephanie Smith, who was Miss South Carolina USA 2009.
Chad Waltrip proposed to Stephanie Smith during the eighth leg, who accepted. They were married on November 20, 2010. They were the second team to get engaged on the racecourse after Hayden & Aaron in The Amazing Race 6.
Gary & Mallory raced again in The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business among a cast of returning teams from seasons 12 to 17. Mallory also returned on the second All-Star edition, racing with Mark Jackson from Season 20 to replace an ill Bopper Minton.
Outside of The Amazing Race, Mallory appeared on the Discovery Channel reality show Backyard Oil in 2013. On May 25, 2016, Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire appeared on an Amazing Race-themed The Price is Right primetime special.
The following teams participated in the season, 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|
|Nat & Kat||Doctors||2nd||7th||8th||1st||1stƒ||4th||1st||5th||3rd⋑||1st||3rd||1st||Nat 6, Kat 5|
|Brook & Claire||Home Shopping Hosts||4th||1st||6th||3rd||5th||2nd||2nd||4th||4th⊂||3rd||2nd8||2nd||Brook 7, Claire 5|
|Jill & Thomas||Dating||1st||5th||7th||5thε2||3rd||1st||5th||2nd6||1st⊃||2nd||1st||3rd||Jill 5, Thomas 7|
|Nick & Vicki||Dating||10th||8th||5th||6th||6th||7th3||3rd||3rd||2nd||4th7||4th9||Nick 6, Vicki 5|
|Chad & Stephanie||Newly Dating→Engaged||8th||4th||3rd||7th||7th||5th||6th4,5||1st||5th⋐||Chad 5, Stephanie 4|
|Gary & Mallory||Father/Daughter||6th||9th||2nd||2nd||2nd||6th||4th||6th||Gary 4, Mallory 4|
|Michael & Kevin||Father/Son||7th||3rd||9th||4th||4th||3rd||7th4||Michael 3, Kevin 4|
|Katie & Rachel||Beach Volleyball Partners||5th||2nd||4th||8th||8th||Katie 3, Rachel 2|
|Connor & Jonathan||Ivy League A Cappella Singers||3rd||6th||1st||9th||Connor 4, Jonathan 0|
|Andie & Jenna||Birth Mom/Daughter||9th||10th||Andie 0, Jenna 2|
|Ron & Tony||Best Friends||11th1||Ron 1, Tony 0|
- A red team placement means the team was eliminated.
- A green ƒ indicates that the team won a Fast Forward.
- A purple ε indicates that the team decided to use the Express Pass on that leg.
- An underlined blue team placement indicates that the team came in last on a non-elimination leg and had to perform a Speed Bump in the next leg, whereas an underlined and italicized blue placement signifies that there was no Speed Bump on the next leg due to technical difficulties (see below).
- A brown ⊃ or a cyan ⋑ indicates that the team chose to use one of the two U-Turns in a Double U-Turn; ⊂ or ⋐ indicates the team who received it.
- ^ Ron & Tony were unable to perform the coracle task. Already in last place, production informed them to swim across the moat without a penalty being applied. Ron then performed the Roadblock, which went unaired.
- ^ Jill & Thomas used the Express Pass to bypass the Detour in Leg 4.
- ^ While Nick & Vicki came in last in a non-elimination leg, they did not face a Speed Bump in the following leg. Post-show interviews revealed that the Speed Bump was waived, and that everyone's placement in the following leg was equalized at the Detour, in compensation for various technical difficulties in the previous leg affecting all of the teams. One of the problems involved the judge at the Classical Music Detour, who made erroneous calls causing teams (Nick & Vicki in particular) to spend more time at the task than they needed to.
- ^a b Chad & Stephanie arrived without their bags, having failed to pay the taxi that drove them to the Pit Stop. They were required to return to their taxi, pay their fare, and retrieve their bags before being allowed to check in. During this time, Michael & Kevin arrived in 6th, but were issued two 30-minute penalties totaling 1-hour (one for hiring a taxi to lead them from Bank Bridge to 1 Vladimirsky Prospekt Tower, and another for taking a taxi from the tower to the Church on Spilled Blood, both of which were explicitly prohibited by two clues). Chad & Stephanie returned during Michael & Kevin's penalty time, but were issued a 30-minute penalty for taking a taxi to Church on Spilled Blood when the clue instructed them to travel on foot. At that time they were the only two teams left to check in, and since Michael & Kevin had more than 30 minutes remaining on their penalty time, Chad & Stephanie were allowed to check-in immediately for a 6th-place finish, with their 30-minute penalty time to be assessed at the start of the next leg; Michael & Kevin then fell to last place, which resulted in their elimination.
- ^ Chad & Stephanie left the Pit Start in Saint Petersburg 2 hours after their scheduled departure time because they accidentally overslept. This did not affect their departure placement since they were the last to depart. Later on the same leg, Chad proposed to Stephanie, who accepted. Their relationship title was changed from "Newly Dating" to "Engaged".
- ^ Jill & Thomas initially arrived 1st, but were issued a 30-minute penalty for paying a taxi driver to lead them to the Pit Stop, which was explicitly prohibited in the rules. Chad & Stephanie checked-in during their penalty time, dropping Jill & Thomas to 2nd.
- ^ Nick & Vicki elect to forfeit the Detour because they were too exhausted to continue. They asubsequently checked into the Pit Stop last, but were notified that the leg was a non-elimination leg. The 6-hour penalty they incurred from the Detour would be instead applied at the starting time at Leg 11.
- ^ Brook & Claire initially arrived 1st, but were issued a 30-minute penalty for taking a taxi to their Detour location when the clue instructed teams to travel either on foot or take the subway. Jill & Thomas checked in during their penalty time, dropping Brook & Claire to 2nd.
- ^ By the time Nick & Vicki made it to the Seung-il Bridge in Cheorwon, all the other teams had already checked in at the Pit Stop and it had become too dark for them to safely perform some of the tasks after they fell behind all the other teams due to the penalty issued at the start of the leg (see note 7). During the leg's broadcast, they were only shown performing the Speed Bump (which was not described by Phil, but which apparently involved washing a tank) and then immediately checking in at the Pit Stop for elimination. In interviews after the episode was broadcast, they also revealed that they did the Detour prior. Also in the unaired scene Vicki revealed that she did the final road block after the speed bump.
Episode title quotes
Episode titles are often taken from quotes made by the racers.
- "They Don't Call It The Amazing Race For Nothin!" – Brook
- "A Kiss Saves the Day" – Brook
- "In Phil We Trust" – Connor
- "We Should Have Brought Gloves and Butt Pads" – Kevin
- "Tastes Like a Million Dollars" – Kat
- "Run, Babushka, Run" – Vicki
- "I Want to Be in the Circus, That's Where I Belong" – Brook
- "Ali Baba in a Suit" – Nick
- "There's a Lot of Nuts and Bullets" – Jill
- "I Hate Chinese Food" – Vicki
- "I'm Surrounded by Ninjas" – Brook
- "Hi. I'm Sorry. I'm in a Race" – Nat
The prize for each leg is awarded to the first place team for that leg. Trips were provided by Travelocity. The prizes were:
- Leg 1 – The Express Pass – an item that can be used to skip any one task of the team's choosing up until Leg 8.
- Leg 2 – A trip for two to Oahu and Kauai in Hawaii.
- Leg 3 – US$5,000 for each team member.
- Leg 4 – A trip for two to Belize.
- Leg 5 – A trip for two to Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica.
- Leg 6 – A trip for two to São Paulo, Brazil.
- Leg 7 – US$5,000 for each team member.
- Leg 8 – A trip for two to Ambergris Caye, Belize.
- Leg 9 – US$15,000 Discover gift card.
- Leg 10 – A trip for two to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- Leg 11 – A trip for two to Iguazu Falls, Argentina.
- Leg 12 – US$1,000,000
After elimination, the first five eliminated teams were sequestered at a villa in Cancún, Mexico, to await the finale. 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.
- After Leg 1, Ron & Tony were the first team eliminated and were sent to the villa. They expressed their disappointment at being the first team eliminated but decided to make the most of their situation. After they settled into the villa, they decided to go kayaking, remarking how much easier it was compared to the coracle that they unsuccessfully manned during the season. Afterward, Ron & Tony sat by the pool and tried to predict who would be the first to join them in the villa, and they agreed that it could be anyone.
- After Leg 2, Andie & Jenna were the second team eliminated and were sent to the villa. Ron and Tony welcomed them, glad to finally have another team at the villa to keep them company. Andie and Jenna revealed that they had only recently met, which shocked and moved both Ron and Tony. Andie and Jenna talked at length about their relationship over dinner with Ron & Tony, with Andie revealing the circumstances surrounding Jenna's adoption, and that she has ten other children.
- Leg 3 was a non-elimination leg; hence, no new teams were sent to the villa. Ron & Tony gave Andie & Jenna salsa dancing lessons. Afterward, Andie & Jenna sat by the pool and discussed their relationship.
- After Leg 4, Connor & Jonathan were the third team eliminated and were sent to the villa. Prior to their arrival, the eliminated teams went on a whale shark watching excursion, but after Andie & Jenna became seasick from the rough waves, everyone returned to the villa without seeing any. Later, Connor & Jonathan arrived and shared the song they sang for Phil when they were eliminated. Connor & Jonathan then recounted what happened on their last leg, claiming that the remaining teams were starting to become more cutthroat – news which disappointed Andie & Jenna.
- After Leg 5, Katie & Rachel were the fourth team eliminated and were sent to the villa. Before their arrival, the three eliminated teams went to Kings Bath, where legend holds that the King bathed his children. Afterward, the three teams speculated on who would show up next, wanting another "fun" team to join them in the villa. Katie and Rachel arrived and immediately expressed how angry and disappointed they were to be eliminated, ignoring the other eliminated teams' attempts to console them. This irritated Ron & Tony, who claimed that Katie & Rachel's bitter attitudes were bringing a negative energy to the house. Later, Katie & Rachel admitted that they did enter the villa in a foul mood, but did not regret anything they had said, further bemoaning the fact that they had lost The Amazing Race.
- Leg 6 was a non-elimination leg; hence, no new teams were sent to the villa. The group played a game of water volleyball together in the villa's pool. Afterward, they went to the beach. Katie & Rachel, still bitter about being eliminated, said that they did not want one of the remaining all-female teams to win the season, since they had wanted to be the first all-female winners.
- After Leg 7, Michael & Kevin were the fifth team eliminated and were sent to the villa. After the other teams went snorkeling during the day, Katie & Rachel continued to state that they wanted an all-female team (specifically Brook & Claire) to be eliminated next, as they still were upset that they would not be the first all-female team to win; the two girls were disappointed when they saw Michael & Kevin arrive. Kevin stated his disappointment at their elimination because of an hour-long penalty, while Michael joked that he was glad to finally be done with the stresses of racing. While alone, Kevin continued to lament their elimination, as they could have potentially gone to Asia, specifically China, where they would have had a linguistic advantage, but Michael told him to just drop the issue. The next day, the eliminated teams visited Punta Sur, where Katie & Rachel spoke with Michael & Kevin about their elimination. Michael told the group that none of them should dwell on losing, and that it should be a learning experience on how to accept even the biggest disappointments in life.
- After Leg 8, Gary & Mallory were the sixth team eliminated. The teams gathered around a phone, waiting for a call to see who was eliminated. Before the call, Jenna stated that she and Rachel had dreams the previous night that either Gary & Mallory or Brook & Claire were eliminated. Katie & Rachel stated, again, that they wanted Brook & Claire to be eliminated. Everyone was surprised when Gary & Mallory called, and told the teams that it was the hardest leg ever, and that they traveled for 16 hours and ended up losing to Nat & Kat with minutes to spare. After the call, the teams continued to comment on Katie & Rachel's obsession that an all-female team should not win The Amazing Race this season. The next day, the eliminated teams went down to the docks to pick up an amberjack and then cook it in the traditional Mayan Tikin Xic style. Once the food was prepared, Andie told everyone that it reminded her of home and being with family, and that the eliminated teams were her substitute family, and Connor joked that she was their substitute birth mom. Later, Ron & Tony spoke with Andie about her relationship with Jenna, and Andie said that whatever Jenna wanted to do from this point on was fine with her.
- After Leg 9, Chad & Stephanie were the seventh team eliminated. Connor & Jonathan spoke about how they felt the fact that they did not attend their graduation at Princeton makes it better that they did not have the transition from college student into adulthood. Later, the eliminated teams went to Alux, an underground restaurant inside a natural cavern, and Jenna had everyone around the table say what they learned from their time on The Amazing Race.
- Leg 10 was a non-elimination leg, but this Elimination Station featured eliminated teams waiting for the phone call with Chad & Stephanie calling the villa after their elimination in Leg 9. They told the other teams how being U-Turned by Nat & Kat had led to their elimination, and then shared the news about their engagement. Ron joked with them by asking if the elimination affected their engagement. The eliminated teams discussed who they wanted in the Top 3, with Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire both mentioned. Jokes were made about Katie & Rachel's dislike that an all-female team might win and that it was not going to be them. Later, all the eliminated teams packed up and prepared for their flight to the final destination city. Michael finally admitted to Kevin that if he were more confident in himself, they might have been able to go farther in the competition. Andie & Jenna were glad that they would be returning home soon, and Jenna expressed how she felt about her relationship with her biological mother. As the eliminated teams left he villa, all of them speculated on what the final destination would be, with guesses ranging from somewhere in Arizona to Seattle to New York City.
- After Leg 11, Nick & Vicki were the eighth and final team eliminated. Elimination Station showed the five eliminated teams arriving at the final destination in Los Angeles, California. After arriving in Los Angeles, the teams checked into a hotel, settled into their rooms, and awaited the phone call from the eighth team eliminated. Ron commented that he and Tony were in their home city; Kevin commented that there would be a lot of interesting things to do in Los Angeles, while also saying to his father what it would be like if they were still racing; and Andie and Jenna discussed how their future relationship would develop. Later, the teams gathered to get the call from the field to learn that Nick & Vicki had been eliminated. Vicki mentioned how she had gotten sick in the previous leg and their penalty had contributed to their loss. Nick said that he believed that Jill & Thomas would win, as they had been coming in first lately, but Vicki said that she thought Nat & Kat would win. The eliminated teams joked that Rachel would physically attack either Brook & Claire or Nat & Kat if they came across the finish line first; although Rachel said she was no longer upset that an all-female team could win this season.
- Leg 12 was the final leg of The Amazing Race 17. Elimination Station showed the Finish Line that took place in Greystone Mansion. Gary & Mallory, Chad & Stephanie, and Nick & Vicki reunited with the other eliminated teams. Andie asked to see Stephanie's engagement ring, and she told the others that they had finished in first place that leg and won a trip to Belize for their honeymoon. Tony led the eliminated teams in a dance before waiting for the remaining teams to cross the Finish Line. All the eliminated teams were waiting to find out who would cross the Finish Line first and win $1,000,000. When they found out that Nat & Kat crossed the Finish Line first and won $1,000,000, everyone congratulated them on being the first all-female team to win. Rachel, although still upset that she and Katie were not that team, said she was still happy for their win. The teams then greeted Brook & Claire as they crossed the Finish Line in 2nd Place, with everyone noting that the top two teams were both female teams. When Jill & Thomas finally crossed the Finish Line in 3rd Place, Thomas conceded that even though he and Jill were top competitors, Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire were truly the top two teams. Teams expressed their opinions about the final three teams at the Finish Line along with their joys and disappointments and the learning experiences they could draw from it.
|Destinations|| Air travel Rail travel Water travel Bus travel |
Helicopter travel Bicycle travel Gondola travel
|Route Markers||Detour Roadblock Fast Forward U-Turn Speed Bump Pit Stop|
|Icons placed after a location indicate the clue was picked up at this location,|
while icons placed before a location indicate that the clue was picked up at a prior location.
Leg 1 (United States → England)
Airdate: September 26, 2010
- Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States (Eastern Point Yacht Club) (Starting Line)
- Boston (Logan International Airport) to London, England, United Kingdom (Heathrow Airport)
- Amesbury (Stonehenge)
- Ledbury (Eastnor Castle)
In this season's first Roadblock, one team member had to travel on horseback to a tournament area and use a giant slingshot to launch a watermelon and knock over a suit of armor standing 50 feet (15 m) away to receive their next clue from a court jester.
- Additional tasks
- At Logan International Airport, teams had to book one of two flights to London, England. The first three teams would be booked on an American Airlines flight, while all the other teams would be booked on a Virgin Atlantic flight departing a half-hour later.
- Upon arrival in London, teams had to drive to Stonehenge in Amesbury to pick up their clue and solve a riddle ("Find the castle that is the opposite of Nor'easter.") to discover that their next destination was Eastnor Castle.
- Once at Eastnor Castle, teams had to climb a ladder on an exterior wall of the castle while peasants standing atop the wall taunted and poured dirty water on them. Once they scaled the wall, they had to retrieve a medieval flag and then use a coracle to cross the castle's moat to bring the flag to a knight in shining armor with the same colors as their flag, who would give them their next clue.
- After completing the Roadblock, teams had to search the nearby castle grounds for the Pit Stop.
Leg 2 (England → Ghana)
Airdate: October 3, 2010
- London (Heathrow Airport) to Accra, Ghana (Kotoka International Airport)
- Accra (Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park)
- Accra (Makola Market)
- Teshie (Peace Motor Spare Parts)
- Teshie (Adom Electronics or Emmanuel's Woodshop and Hello Coffin Showroom)
- Accra (Kaneshie Market)
This season's first Detour was a choice between Tune In or Check Out. In Tune In, teams had to travel to Adom Electronics and pick up a television antenna setup, bring it to a marked house, and set it up to the customer's preference. Once the television set picked up a proper signal, the house owner would give teams their next clue. In Check Out, teams had to bring a fantasy coffin from Emmanuel's Woodshop to a showroom across town to receive their next clue.
Leg 3 (Ghana)
Airdate: October 10, 2010
- Accra (Jamestown – Akotoku Boxing Academy)
- Dodowa (Supply Depot)
- Dodowa (Asebi D/A Primary School)
- Doryumu (Home of Awusa Ntso)
In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to perform a boxing workout. After first wrapping their hands properly, the team member had to punch a punching bag and then jump rope for 60 seconds on each exercise without stopping to receive their next clue from their boxing trainer.
This leg's Detour was a choice between Bicycle Parts or Language Arts. In Bicycle Parts, both team members had to use a stick to roll a bicycle wheel's rim down the length of a soccer field and back without touching the rim with their hands or letting it fall over to receive their next clue from one of the school children. In Language Arts, teams chose a proverb with eight highlighted phrases that corresponded to a series of eight Adinkra symbols. Using a nearby decoder key, teams had to locate the eight symbols in a massive word search-like puzzle and circle the correct set of Adinkra symbols to receive their next clue from one of the school children.
- Additional tasks
- At the supply depot in Dodowa, teams had to load up two wheelbarrows with building supplies and deliver the correct supplies to the Asebi D/A Primary School to receive their next clue.
- At the Asebi D/A Primary School, teams had to join a geography class studying a map of Africa. While the children located other nations in Africa, teams had to correctly locate Ghana on the map to receive their next clue from the students.
- Additional note
- After checking into the Pit Stop, teams helped renovate the school they visited during this leg.
Leg 4 (Ghana → Sweden)
Airdate: October 17, 2010
- Accra (Kotoka International Airport) to Kiruna, Lapland, Sweden (Kiruna Airport)
- Jukkasjärvi (Icehotel)
- Poikkijärvi (Fjellborg's Lodge)
- Riksgränsen (Vassijaure Railway Station (in Swedish))
- Riksgränsen (Swedish–Norwegian Border)
For their Speed Bump, Michael & Kevin had to sit on chairs made of ice in the Icehotel for 10 minutes before they could continue racing.
In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to choose a sled dog team and hitch them to a summer training sled. They then had to take the dogs on a course to a hunter's camp, collect five different flags along the way, trade the flags for fur pelts at the end, and bring the pelts back to the lodge for their next clue. They would have to take a penalty lap around the camp for each missed flag in order to obtain the pelts.
This leg's Detour was a choice between Sleds or Beds. In Sleds, teams had to use TechSleds to race down a mountain course in less than one minute and 58 seconds to receive their next clue. In Beds, teams had to properly build a traditional Sami dwelling known as a goahti and furnish the inside with furs and a fire pit to receive their next clue from a Sami elder.
- Additional task
- At the Icehotel, teams had to find the storage room and pick up a block of ice. Teams had to figure out that their next location was etched on their block of ice (Swedish: Pietaras Järvivägen Fjellborgs Vid Väkkäräjärvi, lit. Fjellborg's Lodge in Poikkijärvi) in order to find their next clue.
- Additional note
- Due to limited availability of flights from Accra, teams were given tickets on a flight to Kiruna via Frankfurt, Germany but were under no obligation to use them.
Leg 5 (Sweden → Norway)
Airdate: October 24, 2010
- Narvik, Nordland, Norway (Fagernesfjellet Mountain)
- Vidrek (Stornaustet)
- Skjomen (Skjomen Bridge)
- Sandtorg, Troms (Hårvika)
- Ankenesstranda (Ankenes Marina)
In this season's only available Fast Forward, one team had to drive themselves to the Stornaustet immersive restaurant in Vidrek to participate in a traditional Christmas ritual. After arriving, they would find out that they had eat an entire serving of smalahove, a dish made of a boiled sheep's head, between the two of them to claim the Fast Forward.
In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to rappel off the Skjomen Bridge and then signal for one of two waiting boats to give them their next clue. After retrieving the clue from the boat, the team member had to use a mechanical ascender to return to the bridge deck.
This leg's Detour was a choice between Bike or Boat. In Bike, teams had to ride a bicycle along a course to a sign, where combinations of numbers and colors were shown. Teams then had to memorize the combination of the color that matched the color on their bicycle lock, return to the starting point, and then use the combination to unlock their next clue. In Boat, teams had to use a map for reference to navigate a fishing trawler to a specific location. They then had to deliver two cod and a chainsaw to a summer lodge to receive their next clue.
- Additional task
- Upon arrival in Narvik, teams had to find the Fagernesfjellet Mountain, where they had to ride the gondola to the top of the mountain to retrieve their next clue.
Leg 6 (Norway → Russia)
Airdate: October 31, 2010
- Narvik (Narvik Station) to Uppsala, Sweden (Uppsala Central Station)
- Stockholm (Stockholm Arlanda Airport) to Saint Petersburg, Russia (Pulkovo Airport)
- Saint Petersburg (Vasilyevsky Island – Birzhevaya Square (Rostral Columns))
- Saint Petersburg (Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace or Lenfilm)
- Saint Petersburg (Palace Square)
- Saint Petersburg (Alexandrovskaya (in Russian) – Neighborhood Store)
- Saint Petersburg (Alexander Garden overlooking Saint Isaac's Cathedral)
This leg's Detour was a choice between Classical Music or Classic Cinema. In Classical Music, teams had to travel to Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace and listen to three different compositions (Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, and Tchaikovsky's Troika ) playing on three numbered gramophones. They then entered a music hall full of pianists playing several different compositions and had to take a copy of the sheet music from the pianist playing one of the three compositions. Once the correct compositions were placed in the correct order, a maestro would give teams their next clue. In Classic Cinema, teams had to travel to Lenfilm and search through several hundred filmstrips until they found one matching the film playing in the theatre (Sergei Eisenstein's October ). When they showed the correct filmstrip to the projectionist, he would give teams their next clue.
In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to dress up like a babushka, pick up a sack of 50 potatoes, and fill a wheelbarrow with cow manure. A babushka would then show them how to properly plant the potatoes. Once the potatoes were planted, they would receive their next clue from a babushka.
- Additional tasks
- Upon arrival in Saint Petersburg, teams had to find the Rostral Columns on Birzhevaya Square on the spit of Vasilyevsky Island to find their next clue.
- Depending on which Detour they completed, teams were given a record or a film canister with a photo of the location of their next clue: Palace Square.
Leg 7 (Russia)
Airdate: November 7, 2010
- Saint Petersburg (Avtovo Circus)
- Saint Petersburg (Bank Bridge)
- Saint Petersburg (1 Vladimirsky Prospekt Tower)
- Saint Petersburg (Church on Spilled Blood)
- Saint Petersburg (Peter and Paul Fortress – Gorodki Courts)
- Saint Petersburg (Peter and Paul Fortress – Naryshkin Bastion)
This leg's circus-inspired Detour was a choice between Circus Band or Circus Clown. In Circus Band, team members had to learn and correctly play a Russian folk song (Ivan Larionov's "Kalinka") on the accordion to receive their next clue from the band leader. In Circus Clown, teams had to learn plate spinning and get ten plates to spin simultaneously for ten seconds without falling to receive their clue from a clown.
In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to clear three gorodki pin formations by tossing a wooden bat to receive their next clue. After two attempts at a formation, the pins would be reset.
- Additional task
- After completing the Detour, teams began a "Russian mystery" task. The first clue was to find the canal bridge guarded by four creatures with golden wings, Bank Bridge. The next clue told teams to head on foot without a taxi leading them to the tower at 1 Vladimirsky Prospekt. At the top of the tower, only one team member from two teams at most were allowed to look around for a clue to the next location - a figurine of the Church on Spilled Blood. After locating the figurine, teams then had to walk to the church to get their next clue, which said, "What am I? Peter the Great is buried inside me. The writer Dostoevsky was imprisoned within me. Find me and then search for the Gorodki Courts." Teams had to figure out that their next destination was the Peter and Paul Fortress, where their next clue was located.
Leg 8 (Russia → Oman)
Airdate: November 14, 2010
- Saint Petersburg (Senate Square – Bronze Horseman) (Pit Start)
- Saint Petersburg (Pulkovo Airport) to Muscat, Oman (Muscat International Airport)
- Muscat (Riyam Park – Burj Al Mubkharah) (Overnight Rest)
- Al Hamra (Jebel Shams)
- Nizwa (Stack of Books)
- Muttrah (Muttrah Souq – Ghalib Bakheet Salem Bait Kalshat Al-Mahari Store)
- Muscat (Al Alam Palace)
In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to rappel 500 feet (150 m) down the side of the mountain to a field of hundreds of oil lamps, a handful of which held Aladdin's magic ring. Once they found the lamp with the ring, they had to exchange it for their next clue.
This leg's Detour was a choice between Water Table or Wedding Table. In Water Table, teams have to pump water from a well to fill a water truck and then direct the truck's driver to deliver the water to their assigned house in the neighborhood of Aswat Al Eid before receiving their next clue from the home owner. In Wedding Table, teams had to travel to an Arab market and purchase 25 chickens and several other ingredients needed to prepare a traditional Omani dish, maqbous. Once the dish was complete, teams had to serve the dish to a bride and groom for their next clue.
- Additional tasks
- Upon arrival in Muscat, teams made their way to the Burj Al Mubkharah in Riyam Park, where teams were given small silver ingots with three separate times that would determine when teams would climb the fort's watchtower the following morning.
- The clue at the watchtower instructed teams to drive themselves to the highest point of Oman, Jebel Shams. At the base of the mountain, a safety driver would take teams to their next clue.
- At Muttrah Souq, teams had to find a frankincense vendor at Ghalib Bakheet Salem Bait Kalshat Al-Mahari Store and then search the marketplace for "Ali Baba" to trade the frankincense for their next clue.
Leg 9 (Oman → Bangladesh)
Airdate: November 21, 2010
- Muscat (Muscat International Airport) to Dhaka, Bangladesh (Shahjalal International Airport)
- Dhaka (Sundarban Square Supermarket)
- Dhaka (Dhaka Harbor)
- Dhaka (Sadarghat)
- Dhaka (Nazira Bazaar – Tekka Mistiri Rickshaw Garage)
- Dhaka (Lalbagh Fort)
This leg's Detour was a choice between Balanced Meal or Balanced Bricks. In Balanced Meal, teams had to pick up 30 filled tiffin carriers and take them by boat to a cargo ship in the harbor. After lifting the carriers onto the ship, teams had to bring ten empty carriers back to shore, where they could exchange them for the next clue. In Balanced Bricks, teams had to unload bricks from a supply barge and carry them in baskets on top of their heads to a nearby shop. Once they delivered 100 intact bricks, the shop manager would give them their next clue.
In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to properly assemble a cycle rickshaw using the parts provided to receive their clue.
- Additional tasks
- At Sundarban Square Supermarket, teams had to search for a marked sugarcane stall. There, teams had to press sugarcane to collect enough sugarcane juice to fill a glass, and one team member would have to drink all of the juice to receive the next clue.
- After completing the Detour, teams were instructed to go on foot to Sadarghat, where they would find a new U-Turn twist (Double U-Turn). Teams then had to travel by cycle rickshaw to Nazira Bazaar for their next clue.
Leg 10 (Bangladesh → Hong Kong)
Airdate: November 28, 2010
- Dhaka (Shahjalal International Airport) to Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong, China (Hong Kong International Airport)
- Chek Lap Kok, Islands District (Airport Ground Transportation Centre) to Central and Western District (Jardine House)
- Central and Western District (Central Piers) to Cheung Chau, Islands District (Cheung Chau Ferry Pier)
- Cheung Chau (Cheung Po Tsai Cave)
- Cheung Chau (Cheung Chau Ferry Pier) to Yau Tsim Mong District (Star Ferry Pier, Tsim Sha Tsui)
- Yau Tsim Mong District (Majesty Chinese Restaurant)
- Yau Tsim Mong District (Avenue of Stars – Statue of Bruce Lee)
- Wan Chai District (Hong Kong Tramways) or Southern District (Aberdeen Harbour)
- Central and Western District (Statue Square overlooking The Cenotaph)
In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to use chopsticks to search among several plates of food on a buffet for one of five pieces of fake food normally used for display to receive their next clue from a chef. Team members had to eat any real food they picked up.
This leg's Detour was a choice between Ding Ding or Sampan. In Ding Ding, teams had to ride the Hong Kong Tramways, colloquially known as the "Ding Ding", between Arsenal Street and Causeway Bay Tram Terminus, while searching through thousands of sign for three signs (reading "Pit Stop", "Statue", and "Square") that, when combined, would reveal the location of the Pit Stop. In Sampan, teams went to the Jumbo Kingdom's dock and took a pair of budgerigars in a birdcage on a sampan. Then they had to search along the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelters for a boat with the registration number matching the number on their birdcage. When found, teams could then trade the birdcage for the location of the Pit Stop: Statue Square.
- Additional tasks
- Once in Hong Kong, teams had to travel by bus and ferry to Cheung Chau, where they had to find the Cheung Po Tsai Cave to find their next clue.
- At the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui, teams had to locate the statue of Bruce Lee to find their next clue.
Leg 11 (Hong Kong → South Korea)
Airdate: December 5, 2010
- Central and Western District (Conrad Hong Kong) (Pit Start)
- Chek Lap Kok (Hong Kong International Airport) to Seoul, South Korea (Incheon International Airport)
- Cheorwon (Seung-il Bridge (in Korean))
- Dongducheon (Camp Casey)
- Dongducheon (Dongducheon Station) to Seoul (World Cup Stadium Station)
- Seoul (Seoul World Cup Stadium)
- Seoul (Mokdong Ice Rink or Namdaemun Market)
- Seoul (Yeouido Hangang Park – Airplane Statue)
- Seoul (Temple of Heaven)
For their Speed Bump, Nick & Vicki had to clean a M109 Self-Propelled Howitzers; however, this task was not described by Phil on-air because they fell much further behind the other teams due to the previous leg.
In this leg's Roadblock, one team member had to pick a headband and then search among two hundred soldiers practicing taekwondo for the one wearing a matching headband. Once they found the right soldier, the soldier would break open a wooden board that contained the next clue. If not, the soldier would take their headband, and team members had to retrieve another headband.
This season's final Detour was a choice between Full Throttle or Full Bottle. For both Detour options, teams had to travel by subway or by foot to the specified location. In Full Throttle, teams had to travel to the Mokdong Ice Rink, where they had to put on short track speed skating suits and complete a two-person skating relay of 24 laps around the rink to receive their next clue. In Full Bottle, teams had to travel to Namdaemun Market, where they had to put on delivery uniforms and then deliver six large glass jars of ginseng roots to a holistic wellness store without breaking any of them. When they were done, both team members had to finish a bottle of ginseng tonic to receive their next clue.
- Additional tasks
- Upon arrival in Seoul, teams have to drive towards North Korea to the Seung-il Bridge in the Korean Demilitarized Zone. There, teams had to whitewater raft down the Hantan River and board a Humvee that would take them to Camp Casey in Dongducheon, where the next clue was located.
- At Yeouido Hangang Park, teams had to search the park for an airplane statue to find their next clue.
Leg 12 (South Korea → United States)
Airdate: December 12, 2010
- Seoul (Incheon International Airport) to Los Angeles, California, United States (Los Angeles International Airport)
- Long Beach (Port of Long Beach – Pier J 266)
- San Pedro (Catalina Heliport) to Pasadena (Rose Bowl)
- Los Angeles (Quixote Studios)
- Beverly Hills (Greystone Mansion)
In this season's final Roadblock, one team member had to decorate three sections of the theme float for the Tournament of Roses Parade by gluing chrysanthemums to one section, placing roses in special vials of water and then placing them in a section of the float, and then covering a giant cardboard rose with finely ground straw in compliance with the "natural materials" requirement as stated in the rules for decorating the floats. When they completed the float sections correctly, the floral director would tell them that they could obtain their next clue from 2009 Rose Queen Courtney Lee.
- Additional tasks
- At Pier J on the Port of Long Beach, teams rode an elevator to the top of one of the pier's gantry cranes, where they received their clue. They were then dropped from the crane on a tandem bungee swing over the water. Once teams were on the pier they could read their clue, which informed them that they would be riding a helicopter to a surprise destination: the Rose Bowl.
- The clue after the Roadblock was presented to teams as three riddles to solve: (1) I am Sancho Panza's master (Don Quixote), (2) I am the place to hear The Symphony in the Glen (Griffith Park), (3) Monroe's Year of the Itch (The Seven Year Itch). Teams had to combine the answers to figure out their next destination was located at Quixote Studios Stage 7 located near Griffith Park.
- At Quixote Studios, teams were put in front of a large game show-like board that flashed videos of 48 people wearing different kinds of hats, 11 of which were the greeters that welcomed them to the Pit Stops. Teams had to use a control panel to pick the greeters and place them in the order they appeared during the season to receive their final clue from game show host Bob Eubanks.
The Amazing Race 17 received mixed-to-positive reviews. Andy Dehnart of reality blurred wrote that its was "an average (at best) season, one plagued by a consistent lack of surprise, few actually challenging challenges, and a lot of stupidity." Scott Von Doviak of The A.V. Club wrote that "the season has been somewhat less than amazing, exhibiting the same flaws that have plagued the last several editions of the long-running series: lackluster challenges, repetitive airport and taxicab drama, too many unlikeable teams, too many equalizing points along the route, and a distinct lack of suspense at the end of too many legs." Luke Dwyer of TV Fanatic wrote that this season had "an unusually likable cast. Only a handful of contestants were the kind you actively root against and even those were tamed by The Amazing Race standards. Instead we were treated to a cast without a dominant group, but one that was easy to root for." In 2016, this season was ranked 3rd out of the first 27 seasons by the Rob Has a Podcast Amazing Race correspondents. Likewise in 2021, Jane Andrews of Gossip Cop also ranked this season as the show's 3rd best season. Val Barone of TheThings ranked this season as the show's 2nd best season. In 2022, Jason Shomer of Collider ranked this season among the show's top seven seasons.
U.S. Nielsen ratings
|1||September 26, 2010||"They Don't Call It The Amazing Race For Nothin!"||6.3||10||3.7/9||11.54||#2||#2||#26|
|2||October 3, 2010||"A Kiss Saves the Day"||6.2||10||3.4/9||10.67||#2||#2||#28||#25|
|3||October 10, 2010||"In Phil We Trust"||6.9||11||3.8/9||11.99||#3||#3||#20||#13|
|4||October 17, 2010||"We Should Have Brought Gloves and Butt Pads"||6.3||10||3.5/9||10.94||#2||#2||#21||#21|
|5||October 24, 2010||"Tastes Like a Million Dollars"||6.7||10||3.4/8||11.42||#2||#2||#20||#19|
|6||October 31, 2010||"Run, Babushka, Run"||5.3||9||2.6/7||9.09||#3||#3||(<#25)||(<#25)|
|7||November 7, 2010||"I Want to Be in the Circus, That's Where I Belong"||6.5||10||3.3/8||11.01||#20||#23|
|8||November 14, 2010||"Ali Baba in a Suit"||6.0||9||2.8/7||10.34||#2||#2|
|9||November 21, 2010||"There's a Lot of Nuts and Bullets"||6.2||9||3.0/7||10.59||#2||#2||#24|
|10||November 28, 2010||"I Hate Chinese Food"||6.3||10||3.1/8||11.07||#13||#17|
|11||December 5, 2010||"I'm Surrounded by Ninjas"||6.1||9||3.1/8||10.34||#2||#2||#17||#14|
|12||December 12, 2010||"Hi. I'm Sorry. I'm in a Race"||7.0||11||3.7/9||12.12||#2||#2||#11||#10|
- Episode 6, "Run, Babushka, Run", aired on Halloween when viewership was down for all shows and where it went up against Sunday Night Football and Game 4 of the World Series.
|1||September 26, 2010||"They Don't Call It The Amazing Race For Nothin!"||2.44||#8|
|2||October 3, 2010||"A Kiss Saves the Day"||2.62||#3|
|3||October 10, 2010||"In Phil We Trust"||2.30||#7|
|4||October 17, 2010||"We Should Have Brought Gloves and Butt Pads"||2.99||#1|
|5||October 24, 2010||"Tastes Like a Million Dollars"||2.72||#2|
|6||October 31, 2010||"Run, Babushka, Run"||2.36||#6|
|7||November 7, 2010||"I Want to Be in the Circus, That's Where I Belong"||2.67||#4|
|8||November 14, 2010||"Ali Baba in a Suit"||2.79||#2|
|9||November 21, 2010||"There's a Lot of Nuts and Bullets"||2.63||#3|
|10||November 28, 2010||"I Hate Chinese Food"||2.51||#4|
|11||December 5, 2010||"I'm Surrounded by Ninjas"||2.68||#1|
|12||December 12, 2010||"Hi. I'm Sorry. I'm in a Race"||2.74||#1|
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