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Great Way to Start a Relationship is the season premiere of The Amazing Race 26.

Story

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Route Markers

Teams must run through an obstacle course by the lakeshore, involving predominantly filled mud and an ice tub towards the end, where they must retrieve rings that contain tickets for their first destination: Tokyo, Japan, on two available flights, both with flight connections in Taipei, Taiwan. The first flight on EVA Air can accommodate eight teams, while the second flight on China Airlines can accommodate the remaining three teams. After retrieving the rings that contain their tickets, teams must drive themselves to Los Angeles International Airport in Ford Fusion Hybrid cars.

Upon arrival at Narita International Airport, teams must travel by taxi to Kanda Shrine to find their next clue.

Choice A: Singing Steps
Teams have to travel to Shinjuku Central Park to learn a series of synchronized "robotic" dance moves performed by members of World Order. Once World Order leader Genki Sudo approves of their dance, he will deliver them their next clue.

Aly & Steve, Bergen & Kurt, Hayley & Blair, Jeff & Lyda, Jelani & Jenny, Laura & Tyler, Libby & CJ, Matt & Ashley, and Mike & Rochelle chose this task.

Choice B: Samurai Sake
Teams have to travel to Nakano Sakaue Station Tavern, and are shown ten bottles of sake: tōkō, nanbubijin, okunomatsu, kanbe, yoshinogawa, michisakari, tsukasabotan, zaou, momokawa, shōchikubai. One team member has to take one of ten bottles of sake to a table of Samurais, while the other team member finds the correct bottle from a much larger display of bottles. The teams will receive the next clue once they present the correct bottle to the Samurais, and take a toast.

Harley & Jonathan and Jeff & Jackie chose this task.

Teams must travel by taxi to Wakaba Higashi Park to find their next clue.

At Wakaba Higashi Park, teams would have the option to U-Turn a team, with two slots available, and anonymously. Mike & Rochelle used the first slot of the U-Turn on Jeff & Lyda. Jeff & Lyda attempted used the second slot of the U-Turn on Jeff & Jackie, however Jeff & Jackie already passed the U-Turn before Jeff & Lyda, thus having no effect on them.

Since Jeff & Lyda completed the Singing Steps Detour, they would be forced to backtrack and complete the Samurai Sake Detour before continuing.

Teams must travel by taxi to the Akihabara UDX Building parking space to check in.

For coming in first, Jelani & Jenny won the Express Pass.

Leaderboard

Legend:
     First Place •      Eliminated     Last placer on a Non-Elimination Leg     Season winner •      Season 2nd place •      Season 3rd place • Used the Fast Forwardϵ Used the Express Pass User of the first Double U-Turn slot • Recipient of the first Double U-Turn slot • User of the second Double U-Turn slot • Recipient of the second Double U-Turn slot
S26 JelaniJenny
 1st place 
Jelani & Jenny
Blind Dating
S26 JeffJackie
 2nd place 
Jeff & Jackie
Blind Dating
S26 LauraTyler
 3rd place 
Laura & Tyler
Blind Dating
S26 AlySteve
 4th place 
Aly & Steve
Dating Olympians
S26 HarleyJonathan
 5th place 
Harley & Jonathan
Dating
S26 BergenKurt
 6th place 
Bergen & Kurt
Blind Dating
S26 MikeRochelle
 7th place 
Mike & Rochelle
Dating
S26 HayleyBlair
 8th place 
Hayley & Blair
Blind Dating
S26 MattAshley
 9th place 
Matt & Ashley
Dating
S26 LibbyCJ
 10th place 
Libby & CJ
Dating
S26 JeffLyda
 11th place 
Jeff & Lyda
Dating

Trivia

  • This 90-minute premiere aired on a special night, Wednesday at 9:30 pm, before moving to its regular timeslot of Fridays at 8 pm.
    • The first time that an episode of the US version had a 9:30 pm start time.
  • This episode marks the first time in the original American version that the U-Turn appeared in the first leg of the race.[2]
  • This episode's title was said by Hayley.
  • This marks the first time since The Amazing Race 13 that a Detour is featured on the first leg of the race, as well as the first time that a Roadblock is not featured on the first leg.
  • Among those who test ran the muddy obstacle course at the Starting Line were Jordan & Jeff [3] and Mashable reporter Sandra Gonzalez.[4]
  • The Shinjuku Central Park in Shinjuku was previously visited as the site of the Roadblock of The Amazing Race 23's penultimate leg.
  • Within the original American version, Jeff & Lyda becomes the first team to get eliminated after a U-Turn on the first leg of the race.
  • The song used during the Syncing Steps Detour option was World Order's titular debut single, "World Order," in which the race utilized their choral dance routine for the task.[5]
  • The first time in thirteen years that the show was directly preceded by an episode of Survivor since "My Alarm Clock Didn't Go Off!".

Reception

  • Ken Tucker at Yahoo! TV (02/25/2015): "Premiere Review: The New Dating Game?"

References

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