‘The Amazing Race’ season 20: the legend of Bopper & Mark is born

It begins…

The Amazing Race” is back — and just twelve minutes into this season, we admit that we were already screaming at the TV. No show manages to make us so angry and excited at the very same time, mostly because we grow attached to teams in an insanely short period of time.

So who stood out during this premiere? While there are the same collection of predictable “dating” and “sibling” teams, there were a few notable standouts.

Bopper & Mark – These two may already be reality TV legends. They are quite possibly the biggest fish out of water we have ever seen on this show (at least since Dave & Mary), and we love them for it through and through. They also seem to honestly need the money more than any team we’ve ever seen, as it appears that they’re not even living in an actual house. We had our fears that they would go home this week, but they did manage to pull themselves together to land a few spots ahead of going home.

Brendon & Rachel – We know that people are not going to like them very much on the race, and even most fans on “Big Brother” aren’t exactly major supporters. But we were actually excited to see “Brenchel” on here mostly because we were hoping for them to bring massive amounts of bickering and drama. Unfortunately, their biggest disappointment here was not their second-place finish — but rather that they did not bring much in the way of drama this week.

Art & JJ – The Border Patrol needs to learn how to pay attention! These guys did not make too big of an impression early on, but they were the first team this season to fall victim to the mistake of not being patient on a leg. For one challenge this week, the teams had to learn to make empanadas in Argentina — but these two didn’t realize that each empanada had to be made differently. Nevertheless, having a major advantage still caused them to finish in third.

Dave & Cherie – Our second-ever team of clowns are here (following Jon & Al from season 4) — but unfortunately, they were not necessarily as exciting as the masters of laughter from the first time around. They spent nearly the entire first half of this episode in last place, but thanks to some mistakes by some other teams (including the resident “Jersey Shore” impersonators), they were able to surge ahead and escape in eighth place this leg.

Rachel & Dave – While this Rachel may not be famous as the one from “Big Brother,” the Army Wife can celebrate a first-place finish along with the Express Pass.

Joey “Fitness” & Danny – We mentioned the “Shore” crew earlier, and here we go again — these guys do seem to at least be a little bit nicer than Mike “The Situation,” but they also violated a classic rule of “Race” in not studying up how to learn to use a stick before coming on the show. This was a major situation (har har), and one of the craziest eliminations ever is the only reason they are still around.

Misa & Maiya – We have never seen a team leave the show like this in 20 seasons — these two ladies were literally just feet away from the Pit Stop, but they couldn’t find it. Instead, they ran around lost for so long that “Fitness” (who we will probably be calling “The Fitness” by the end of the season) were able to jump ahead and finish.

Overall, this season has promise — the first team to leave was admittedly not the most exciting, and there are plenty of memorable people left worth rooting for. If there was one glaring problem here, it’s that none of the challenges (including the skydiving task that led to the “Fitness” driving disaster) were entirety original. Thanks to an extended preview at the end, it also felt far shorter than any other season premiere we’ve seen.

What did you think of this first episode?

Photo: CBS

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