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Amazing Race All-Stars Recap: A Flash in the Pancreas

11 Amazing Race teams return to compete in Amazing Race All-Stars

Rob and Jessica Liese break down all the big stories from the Season Premiere of Amazing Race All-Stars

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It’s the season premiere of the Amazing Race All-Stars and Rob Cesternino (@RobCesternino) and Jessica Liese (@HaymakerHattie) are back to discuss all of the major stories from opening night.

Bopper Out, Mallory In

Mark and Bopper were forced to split up by the Amazing Race Doctors

The Amazing Race doctors were the only thing that could ever get between Mark and Bopper

In a shocking development, Amazing Race 20 standout Bopper was replaced by Mallory Ervin to run the race with Bopper’s partner Mark Jackson. Bopper was administered to Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and evaluated by Amazing Race doctors before the Race began. Bopper was diagnosed as having a pancreas condition that would prevent him from competing in the race. At the starting line, Phil Keoghan let the teams know that Bopper was out but would be replaced by a fellow Kentucky contestant, Mallory.

Jessica feels like this is a big blow to Mark’s chances because it is very difficult to run the race with someone who is a virtual stranger. Some signs of trouble show up in the premiere episode when Mark and Mallory argue over the clue to get to the stadium that is on the river in Guangzhou, China. Overall, Mallory’s pinch-hitting for Bopper didn’t slow them down too much on night one as Mark and Mallory finished in 6th place at the pit stop.

Natalie and Nadiya Have a Complete Meltdown

Natalie and Nadiya are the first team eliminated from The Amazing Race All-Stars

No Twinnie Nooooooo!!

There were few teams that we were more excited to see back this season for the Amazing Race than Natalie and Nadiya but they would be the first team eliminated from the show. Despite getting on the first flight to China, the wheels came off early as Natalie and Nadiya could not find the bridal gown show that they needed to find.

Once a bit of adversity hit, Natalie and Nadiya began to turn on themselves. Rob thinks that their panic caused them to swap partnerships too fast in this leg. Shortly after they ditched the Afghanimals, they found the clue and ended up in 7th place. The editors of the show completely showed ever bit of the collapse in favor of trying to make it seem like it would be a footrace to the map against team Youtube. While the Twinnies will be pissed, they definitely left a lasting impression that we won’t forget.

Cowboys Finish First? Who Gets the Express Pass

The Cowboys finish Leg #1 in first place

Unlike in the NFC East, the Cowboys finish a Sunday night in first.

Jessica was not surprised at all to see Cord and Jet aka The Cowboys come in first on leg #1 in Amazing Race All-Stars. As three time players, Jess feels like this should have been a very simple leg for the pair. As the winners of the first leg, the Cowboys will now get to decide who gets the second express pass. Both Rob and Jess think that the Cowboys owe it to the viewers to give the express pass to John and Jessica just for the comedy value.

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Rob Cesternino is a two-time Survivor player and reality TV aficionado. Rob gives his thoughts on his favorite Reality TV shows as the host of "Rob Has a Podcast" More From Rob Cesternino »

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  • yesimsquidward

    I am so crushed to see the Twinnies out of it already :(

  • Stephen

    Recap name: The Amazing Racists??? (I don’t know the joke is there somewhere)

    • Trixie02

      That was BB15.

    • Jason

      I keep thinking the same thing, but I’m pretty sure Ari Shaffir has that corner.

  • Stephen

    Was it Jess, Rob or Eric that said throughout season 22 that any of the final 5 from season 21 would run rings around all of the teams from that season? In this leg we had 1 strong team out early, 1 strong team who fell apart on an early leg and 2 mid pack teams from season 22 and ALL of them ran rings around arguably the strongest team from season 21.

    Also, I was highly disappointed no one made a blades of glory reference to the outfits in the flips task.

    That has to rank up among the top 3 meltdowns in a season premier of the Race though, wow.

    Finally for those playing at home, 82 seconds. That is how far into the season we got before the girls sang “we’re gonna win the amazing race”

    • Flame

      Also, Team Magpies started their bitching at other teams (“Stupid Afghanimals”) 5 minutes before Queen Mal could bring religion into the mix.

    • You have a good memory for our podcasts a year ago. That was definitely said.

      • Stephen

        Do we want to say it was Eric?

        I may have relistened to a podcast or two from that season when the cast was leaked to freshen my memory on a few of the teams as well, since so many are from season 22 (which I liked more than most people).

    • Shaun Walton

      Getting 8th, 9th and 10th respectively is running rings around someone?

      • Stephen

        The twins had an hour? start on them because of the flight, and they were a long way back. Joey and Meghan (according to the twins on their exit interview) were about 20 minutes ahead of the twins (which is a long way considering the jump the twins had) and Macklemore/Jessica and the Stealing Angels were probably a further 20 minutes ahead of YouTube (I guess we will find out when we see the pit start times).

    • Michael Norris

      The Beekmans won 21. How could anyone think that was a competitive season?

      • Stephen

        Well the Beekmens were saved by a lot of things, including:
        -a non-elimination leg
        -Abba’s lost passport
        -Double U-Turn collusion specifically to get Abbie/Ryan out

        basically everything that could have gone their way did

  • Ryan Oakley

    Jessica, I don’t know why you’re so anti-Cowboys. In the preview show you said they were a ‘polarising team’, yet in their first season I’d say they were one of the most popular teams of all time. You even said they don’t really have a sense of humour – not true at all!
    I think something must have happened outside of the show involving them, because your bias is coming across very strongly, you wouldn’t even give them props on running a strong first leg, when it quite clearly was a strong showing for them.

    • Stephen

      Apparently one of them called one of the winners from their original season a name (not very flattering). Look at who won that season and you can probably join the dots.

      • Ryan Oakley

        Ah, that makes sense. I just don’t think a comment said outside of the game should change what are objective facts: a) they’re strong racers [not just because this was an easy leg, like Jessica said] and b) they’re immensely popular amongst casual fans [certainly not polarising like Jessica said]

        But I totally get why a homophobic slur would sour her opinion of them.

        • susan appleby

          The are polarizing within the entire fan base. You can’t discount the passionate fans because they are vital to the success of the show.

    • I didn’t say they didn’t have a sense of humor, just that a particular thing was NOT their sense of humor.

      Why else am I anti-cowboys?

      1. In addition to what Stephen mentions, there was also a bit of an Afghanimals thing at play in their second season where other teams seemed to dislike them for reasons we were never shown. I have always wondered what went down. It had to be more than just the fact that they were a threat.
      2. They’re third-time players. I think there were plenty of teams who haven’t been back a second time who should have been there over the third-time players.
      3. As I have mentioned many times on this podcast, teams whose entire schtick consists of matching outfits and a moniker of “the” something are a harder sell with me. I’d rather root for a team whose personalities define them over their occupation and what they’re wearing.

      But I guess I knew going in that this entire season would be nothing but a parade of fans getting up in my face about how their favorite team is not my favorite team therefore I’m unfairly biased or don’t know my stuff or what have you. So congratulations on being the first of what I suspect will be many.

      • susan appleby

        The third time players is a great point and very fair to bring up. Experience is a huge advantage.

      • Cindy

        The afghanimal comparison isn’t fair cause after the show ended we knew why all the teams hated them. After s23 ended I saw/read a few interviews and the all acted like they were friends with the afghanimals and that it was all just a game( except for team bingo, but their reason was dumb ( something about how religious people should stick together but the afghans didn’t do that and they were lying ). So there wasnt really anything behind the dislike towards the afghanimals

      • Flame

        I would be second, but I’m just shrugging off that the three favourite teams you mentioned are ranked at 2-4 on my “Most Unnerving Race Teams ever” list – 2 Magpies, now thankfully out, 3 Big Brother, 4 Guidos.

        What I want to say? Probably nothing, I accept your opinion.

        • Favorites? Really? I wouldn’t call any of them favorites.

          Well, except maybe the Guidos. But they aren’t racing this season, just being guests on the podcast.

          • Flame

            Hm, it sounded that way. Guess it came out wrong, the way you talked about the Guidos being the first team that you met and such… Sorry.

    • Dan C

      The Cowboys are beasts at the challenges. I hope they do well.

  • jeuntique

    I am so sad that I won’t be able to listen to this or Tuesday night’s show until the weekend. Nevertheless, if Rob gets an exit interview with N+N please tell them many of us expect them to make good on their promise to “go back to Sri Lanka and never coming back”. Good riddance. Youtubers eliminated next week and this will be my favorite season of TAR evah!

  • The track at UCLA (the “stadium” they started the race) is less than 20 minutes from LAX, pretty much straight south on the 405. Strangely enough, when the show returned from commercial, with the teams travelling on the 405, the overhead shot showed the Getty Center which is northwest of UCLA.

    • That’s because that wasn’t the UCLA track, but the track at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita County, which is actually northwest of LA. (I think they picked a less visible landmark in an attempt to foil spoilers…fat lot of good that did them!)

      • And I just thought they built stands on the backside of the track in the 20 years since we would train there. Sneaky people.

  • CatLover04

    I think that if the Twinnies had stuck with the Afghanimals that both teams would have been in trouble at the end. Those girls have strong opinions and don’t listen to others well. Leo and Jamal recovered well from their short partnership with them and I was glad to see that. I really didn’t expect N&N to get off to such a poor start though. As I recall, last time they bickered a lot but still made some good decisions. They just could not get it together right from the get go here.

    First time on one of Rob’s recaps. Looking forward to checking it out further. Looks like there is a lot of good stuff here if you are a Amazing Race and Survivor fan, like me. :-}}

  • CatLover04

    I agree that the Mark and Mallory team will have a tough road just because they don’t know each other at all. The concept of this show is “two people with a pre-existing relationship” so they would seem to be at a disadvatage.

    Love the suggestion of Kynt or Vixon to pair with Mark. That would have been a hoot. Mark and Kynt…..heh….getting a great picture in my head of that.

    • Flame

      They did several charity work appearances together in Kentucky, so there was a pre-existing realtionship at least. It will still be difficult.

      • CatLover04

        I didn’t know that but still, doing charity work together is not the same as being life partners, or a son or a daughter or a lifelong best friend. I’m sure they don’t really know each other the same as one of those kinds of relationships. :-}}

    • Singtoast

      I have enjoyed Mallory on previous seasons so glad to see her back. I also love the framing of her and Mark since she is so tiny and he is so tall. Looks hilarious!

  • Rohit Philip

    Did anyone else feel that the start (the UCLA field and introductions) for an All-Star season was a bit flat? Personally I like the Survivor All-Star entry on helicopters and being all gung-ho and ready to play. TAR did it earlier with classic cars and that sort of thing. Unfinished Business also had a nice setting at the start.

    On a slightly related note, how cool must it have been for Brendon to start at his alma mater’s field, and to sing the Bruins’ fight song! Super awesome.

  • Suzi!

    Amazing Race After Dark–It’s got a nice right to it ~

  • Ame M Galloway

    TAR Trek

    • I like this.

      • Kevin Wong

        Would that make the Racer alumni podcasts TAR Trek: TNG?

  • susan appleby

    The Amazing Podcast

    Amazing Race after dark with Rob and Jessica

    The Amazing Race has a podcast (A RHAP)

    Amazing Race Post Mat Recap

    ( sorry I’m not creative)

    Ps Rob: I know Rachel will melt down under pressure. She may be more confident but she gets stressed. They are my pick to win.

  • masbond84

    I actually like the Twinnies from the previous seasons. they have never really gone out of their way to antagonize other racers, they usually just bicker with the other. heh. what i like is they are not like some racers who are not self-aware of how they come across to others. i think they are big personalities and it’s a bit of a shame they are out this early. i will love to see how the rest react to them cheering on each other when the fatigue sets in. i know about the bopper elimination, unfortunately, cos i was spoiled reading the comments from one of the earlier discussions on here. i did feel a bit sad about him leaving but having mallory back will be fun too. cos she’s definitely a ball of joy. and not having her father but mark as a partner seems that maybe she won’t be a ball of joy for long.

    jamal, especially, still bugs me with his over-the-top. thankfully, there were just too many teams to focus on him. a good start so far, but not the toughest leg they had. i wished it was a mega-leg just like TAR 18. we would have gotten the twinnes in and that early fatigue might set in faster. anyway, great recap as usual and can’t wait to see more of what happens.

  • andrew14

    Favorites out in the first episode…. I have a feeling I am not going to like this season now..

  • susan appleby

    Rob: I wanted to make this a separate comment. While you are undoubtedly a star at what you do and your ability to interview, you have chosen co- podcasters who are also so entertaining, enthusiastic, knowledgable and likable. You have done a great job with choosing fabulous people to work with on each different podcast. That is a great skill.

    I wanted to give you a vote of confidence in your success as a podcaster in all these venues. I know that must have been a big decision with a new baby in the house. I give Nicole props too for being so supportive. I will listen to all of these podcasts. The robo-cop review was great too and I look forward to more of them.

    Plus, I live in an area outside NYC where it is easier to just buy stuff on Amazon. I’m trying to remember to order everything through you. I need to bookmark that link. I guess there is no way to retroactively assigns purchases?

    • Hey Susan, thank you so much. I’ve been really lucky to find people like Jessica, Brian Lynch, Curt Clark and others who are committed and talented.

      I don’t think you can assign a purchase retroactively, but don’t sweat it. I appreciate you using our links when you can remember. Thanks!!

  • Glad to see so many comments on the new podcast so early.

  • Petr Slavík

    What about Amazing Race Rear-view? Amazing Express Cast?

    • I kind of like ExpressCast. That could be a contender.

  • Owen Craig

    Amazing Race and Survivor back this week, along with the excellent RHAP recaps. My commutes just don’t feel right without it. Welcome back, Rob and Jessica! I’ve missed you!

    • Owen Craig

      Well… I’ve had other Rob recaps… so I guess I technically haven’t MISSED Rob… but I’ve missed the Survivor/Amazing Race recaps.

  • Trixie02

    The Last Leg?

  • Trev

    I’m glad the twinnies are gone……….their voices are worse than nails on a chalkboard. They should guest star on True Detective as interrogators. I would give it up in a second.

    • Flame

      And afterwards check my wallet if I still have all my money.

    • Leave Comments

      They are funny and full of life but their constant bickering and voices do drive me mad. I was relieved they went first.

  • Matthew Jadd

    name for the show, backseat racers?

  • Ben Lischwe

    “Race Day Recap?” Simple & to the point?

  • Individual Immunity

    That was the most emotional first 5 minutes we’ve had on the race in quite a while, I’m already in love with this season!

  • joethehobo

    I know you must be crazy busy with all of these premiere podcasts, exit interviews, regular interviews, Mr. and Mrs. Survivor, and, oh yeah, being a husband and a father and everything, but I haven’t heard anything from you about Big Brother Canada coming up. I think it premieres March 5th. Will you be covering it this year?

    RHAP has never been better than the groove it’s in right now. Keep it up, Rob!

  • Wow. I actually picked Natalie and Nadiya to win in an Amazing Race pool, though it was mostly wanting someone to root for that I liked. They just seemed off their game, and that can happen on a second appearance. It reminds me of Kevin and Drew from the first All-Stars. Drew was so grumpy due to an injury right before the race, and I was sad to see it after loving them in Season 1.

    I’d been spoiled about Mallory taking over for Bopper, but I still found it really interesting. I don’t expect them to do that well, which is too bad since Mark seems like a great guy. This is going to be an interesting season.

    One thing that I didn’t like was the game design of this leg. The five flips Roadblock gave teams no chance to catch up. Success on this leg mostly came down to the flight distribution and finding the wedding dress shop. I guess there was a minor element of skill to the Ferris Wheel in watching other teams, but that’s about it. There were some very impressive shots, but the challenge was limited.

  • JJ

    Potential show name… Amazing Race Rewind? (rewind being the opposite of Fast Forward, alluding to the show task)

    • Sarah

      I was going to suggest TAR Talk, but I like yours better!

  • Brian Lynch

    The Amazing Chasers? because you’re chasing the story? I have no idea 😉

  • Rohit Philip

    The Pit Stop!

    • Rohit Philip

      Oh wait they actually use that on the show. Never mind.

      • Rohit Philip

        The Paddock! (But that’s more of a Formula 1 term.)
        The Pit Lane!
        The Amazing Replay!
        The Amazing Review!

        I liked TAR Trek by Ame M. Galloway down below too.

  • Josh M.

    “The Fun & Good Show with Rob & Jess”.
    It sucks that Natalie and Nadiya are out, I hope we’ll see them racing again. They bring a lot to the game.

    • Tjimi Cole

      This gets my vote.

  • Steven

    The Amazing Recappers

  • JMD

    The Amazing Racecap

  • JJ

    Many good suggestions for a show name. I think this calls for a fan vote.

  • NatalieKuchik

    I could really have lived without ever seeing Jessica and John / Joey and Meghan (so annoying) / Caroline and Jennifer. I’m rooting for Brenchel, Dave and Connor or Mark and Mallory (mainly Mark from that duo). The live viewership was horrid (just over 5 million which is the worst TAR premiere ever). I don’t know if it was because of the Olympics or because this cast is weak. (The Walking Dead managed to pull in 13 million or so viewers in the same timeslot).

  • Jacinta Mary Paul

    There’s nothing more fun than watching people on TV behave like members of your family. Will miss the twins.

  • afca_oc

    the amazing nerds? the race nerds? so many puns possible with ‘the amazing’ and/or ‘the race’

  • Tjimi Cole

    What about “Backseat Drivers”? It’s kind of like “Know-it-alls” but with an element of “roadtrip” to it.

  • Leave Comments

    John and Jess. I thought they would of broken up after that last show. Also how are they allstars? So being arrogant and stupid gets you back on the show?

  • MtlMike

    Sorry late to the discussion. Hope it’s not too late for podcast name suggestions! How about “The Road Scholars” (or Roads Scholars?)

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