The Amazing Race

Season 19 Episode 1

Kindness of Strangers

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Sep 25, 2011 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
31 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Eleven teams depart from the Hsi Lai Temple in Los Angeles and fly to Taipei, Taiwan, with the team finishing the departure task last being placed in a hazardous situation. A frustrating search for their first route marker clue at the Ximending Commercial District directs them to a memorization Roadblock at the Taipei Confucius Temple. Forcing racers to hear some of his wisdom and properly recite it to a monk, success meant being directed to Dajia Riverside Park, where teams join a dragon boat racing team. Getting to the end of the course earned the location of the Pit Stop: the National Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrine.


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  • And the race kicks off!

    Very nice premiere episode. Was totally worth it. It sorted reminded me of the TAR 6 penultimate leg.

    Taipei was the first destination, and although it was interesting, I have seen much better. I guess however, a small island in Asia is a rather nice change from previous seasons.

    Now, the starting challenge was fairly straight forward, but enjoyable. Lalaynie and Lisa's mistake of losing their passports, well I really thought it was over for them. Just after the event, I was kind of hoping that they would be eliminated. As the leg progressed, I knew they had a bigger significance and therefore I would like them to stay, for now.

    All the way through this leg I knew it would be anon-elimination, and it looks like the first of four non-elimination points due to the SHOCK double-elimination next leg. It was a great leg, my team in the pool Jeremy & Sandy scored a nice second place. I like all of the teams at this point, except maybe Amani & Marcus and Liz & Marie. My favorite teams judging by the first leg are currently Ernie & Cindy (or is it Justin & Jennifer who were bickering?), Jeremy & Sandy, Ethan & Jenna, Andy & Tommy and Laurence & Zac.

    The Roadblock was decent as well, proving to be somewhat of a challenge for some teams.

    The boat challenge was the highlight of the tasks this leg I believe. I enjoyed watching that. The end ended with Ernie & Cindy winning theExpress Pass, Kaylani & Lisa getting the 'new' Hazard task, and Bill & Cathi getting hit with a Speed Bump in thefirstoffourpre-determined non-elimination legs. I can't wrap my mind around this, but obviously the season would have its final leg with 3 teams, rather than 4. That would be impossible to keep up with a total of 12 legs. Maybe one or two of thesenon-eliminationpoints will beTo Be Continuedlegs as it was in the Unfinished Business edition. We'll see. Definitely be interesting.

    Overall, a nice first episode, though I guess I am not exactly interested in Taiwan or much of eastern Asia. I can't wait for Africa and Europe this season, if they so shall be visited.

    We really didn't get much of an opportunity to get to know the teams yet, and I am still trying to observe them myself. Lets see how we go in the next leg.moreless
  • TAR is back (for season 19) and it kicks off in interesting fashion (Possible spoilers ahead!).

    It is great to have TAR back, after four months (and more) of its absence, and this was certainly an interesting start to TAR19. I was very glad that we once again had a Starting Line Challenge, although I didn't particularly like the challenge itself. However, things were still highly interesting before we even left the USA, after Kaylani & Lisa lost their passports! I found that to be hliarious - given their comments about how they are (supposedly) not stupid!

    I loved the early scramble in Taiwan as teams searched for the clue! I thought that the challenge was quite hard, and I know I may have struggled with that too!

    The Roadblock, on the face of it, seemed very very easy - but that is not how it eventuated! I can't belive hthat teams struggled with it so thoroughly, especially Liz & Marie, who were my pick in thae TAR19 Pool.

    The dragon baots were the highlight of the episode for me. Even though it was a fairly straightforward challenge, it was still a nice snippet into the Taiwanese culture, and I ratehr enjoyed viewing that - especially Andy & Tommy's comment about Amani & Marcus' pink shitrts!!!

    Overall, an interesting start! I was quite surprised with Ernie & Cindy pulling off the victory, as I Wouldn't have thought that they'd be getting too far on my first impression, but that Express Pass will sure come in handy! Jeremy & Sandy appear to be a very strong team - or so I gather so far.

    I am hoping the Bottom Three can recuperate and make up some time on the teams ahead of them, as I really like all of them. I am also really liking Amani & Marcus and Justin & Jennifer, and even Jeremy & Sandy and Laurence & Zac.

    Actually, so far I don't hate or dislike anybaody - which is a nice, fresh change!

    Keep it up, guys, and I hope TAR19 is just as good as TAR17 and TAR18 - and hopefully it is as good as TAR's golden days!moreless
  • Good start...I dunno if the changes are going to be effective...

    First off, I kinda liked this episode...The teams involved, the challenges , the comebacks...Was nice to see the Survivor winners pair, I think they are solid, what surprised me was seeing they didn't got much coverage...Didn't saw them perform in several challenges and for a while I saw under the impression that they were still stuck at the first Taiwan task... But they finished 4th so was OK...The Grandparents teams seems underrated but with a bit of luck they have a fighting chance...The last minute Passport recovery was a star scene of this episode, and even though it seems to good to be true I was glad it ended well...

    About the double elimination, I think it's a bad idea and it wasn't needed...We had in the past really good teams who barely finished in a leg and ended up winning the next one.moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The eleven teams checked into the first Pit Stop at the Martyrs' Shrine in Taipei, Taiwan in the following order:

      1. Ernie & Cindy (Prize: Express Pass)
      2. Jeremy & Sandy
      3. Justin & Jennifer
      4. Ethan & Jenna
      5. Amani & Marcus
      6. Laurence & Zac
      7. Andy & Tommy
      8. Ron & Bill
      9. Kaylani & Lisa
      10. Liz & Marie
      11. Bill & Cathi (Speed Bump in next leg)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Ethan: [The other racers] knowing that we were on Survivor—we would have a little bit of a target on our backs.
      Jenna: "A little bit?" It's a giant one.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Phil Keoghan (@PhilKeoghan) live-tweeted during the East Coast airing of the episode. During the drama showing Kaylani and Lisa seemingly impossibly stranded in the US due to Kaylani's lost passport, he tweeted, "Right now we are frantically trying to work out how and where we do the elimination before the flight."
      He also expressed marvel at how Twitter (which was years away when TAR debuted in 2001) saved the girls' race, revealed he had just finished filming the intro to the dragon boat challenge as the first team was arriving there, and how even though it was very humid at the Pit Stop, the honor guard member standing with him as the greeter never broke a sweat.

    • An article in the next day's New York Times fully detailed the way Twitter was used by both a show fan to save the day for Kaylani and Lisa, as well as producers monitoring it from Taiwan for mentions of the show and relaying information back to crew in California that all hope for the girls might not be lost. (

    • This episode was delayed 25 minutes in some broadcast markets due to an overrun of the New York Jets/Oakland NFL game.

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: October 6, 2011 on Channel Seven
      Sweden: February 10, 2013 on TV6