While fans said goodbye to "Breaking Bad," CBS and "The Amazing Race" said hello to its 23rd installment and 11 new teams who think they have what it takes to run around the world and win a million. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, we figured we'd introduce the "screen-cap." Think of it as recap meets scrapbook meets our chance to catch players with their tongues out, pants down, hearts racing, and eyes watering.
1. From the Wild West to Very South of the Border: Eleven teams, including married doctors, Oklahoma oilers, bickering exes, a set of baseball wives, former NFL players, a dad-daughter duo, and some dudes who look like distant "Duck Dynasty" cousins, assembled outside of Los Angeles on the Wild West town set of an old movie ranch. It's the moment in the race when everyone is still in good spirits, everything is possible, and no one has taken a watermelon to the face or smells yet.
2. Prized Possessions: After Phil lit a fire under their bums by saying the team that finished first would win two express passes (one for them and one for their new BFFs) and counted them down, the race was on. Their first task was to run to a waiting car, make a phone call to determine their first stop (Iquique, Chile), and get to Los Angeles International Airport for one of two planes. The earlier flight had room for only seven teams, so four fell behind almost instantly.
3. I Believe I Can Fly: Once they landed in South America, the pairs made their way to Alto Hospicio, a paraglider's paradise, for the kickoff challenge. One contestant floated down the mountain while the teammate followed his or her descent in a car and reunited with the first contestant on the beach below. The braver players jumped at the chance to participate, but because production switched things up (nice twist!), calling dibs landed you back in the taxi. The docs arrived first, followed by the NFLers, the L.A. Kings ice queens, the bingo queens, the baseball wives, the exes, and the Afghanimals. Most seemed thrilled to take to the sky except wife Kim, who felt like she was "going to throw up" but rallied to "be a good role model for [her] son." We also got the first taste of playing dirty as ex Marie snagged one of the taxis that Afghanimal Jamal had called for him and icey Ashley. He complained, "What just happened was straight up robbery." Footballer Ephraim and doc Nicole were dropped off prematurely at the beach, allowing the bingo queens to get ahead, but the advantage was short-lived, as the docs arrived at the next clue box first. (Perhaps Nicole's Spanish came in handy again.)
4. Get a Clue: The Road Block required the glider to choose a bulky rowboat, float around the harbor until he or she spied one of three boats, collect five fish, and then deliver said swimmers to the fishmonger. The closest boats had a limited number of fish. The oars gave doc Travis some issues initially, but he was the first in the boat and the first back to shore as the next sets were just paddling out. The Afghanimals committed the season's first clue fail when the wrong member set sail, and they owe the ice queens for pointing out their misstep in time for them to correct it.
5. Read the Clue (Carefully!): Maybe it was the emotions that Nicole kicked up by telling Travis to do it for the kids, but once the fishmonger gave them the postcard clue to the pit stop, the docs misread the clue and took a taxi to Phil's mat at the Teatro Municipal de Iquique instead of walking. They were in first place, already intoxicated with the sweet taste of victory and pass power, when Phil handed down a 30-minute penalty. Phil cracked, "What's the biggest rule in the race?" Deflated, they groaned, "Read the clue."
6. Unsafe Harbor: Rowing proved frustrating for most teams and comical for the locals. Kim complained about having no upper-body strength, Chester rocked out of control, the oilers muttered that their boats had engines back home and exposed butt crack. The second planeload was simultaneously gliding through the first task, which surprisingly gave Brandon the bearded some trouble. He was forced to the back of the line and was the last to jump. Boston Strong raced through, however, having done crew at prep school.
7. And the Winners of the First Leg Are...: After Marie continually nagged and yelled from the dock, Tim rowed his catch of the day back and they found Phil before the docs' penalty clock had run down. Marie boasted, "It's proof that all the yelling works." It's going to be a long season with all that screeching and the passes in their possession. Bingo came in third, NFL fourth, wives fifth, ice queens sixth, Afghanimals seventh, Boston eighth, oilers ninth.
8.First Philimination: It was a tight race for last place between the beards and the dad-daughter duo when Naina became the episode's third casualty of a misread clue. Her dad, Hoskate, was supposed to paddle, which she didn't realize until after she'd struggled to stay afloat and made her way away from the dock. Night had fallen by the time they found the host. She cried, "It wasn't supposed to happen like this. The adventure didn't even begin for us. He has a ways to go as far as lightening the grip he has on me."
"The Amazing Race" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBS.