1. You’re going to see the credits and hear the theme music 12 times, and each time is going to be AWESOME.
2. If the producers changed the credits from the previous season, you’re going to be thrown for a serious loop.
3. If it’s the fall season, you’re never actually sure when the episode is going to start because of the NFL game airing earlier in the day.
4. Phil Keoghan will introduce the contestants in his AMAZING New Zealand accent.
5. Half the teams will be from L.A./some part of Southern California.
6. There is always a team of doctors. They will do really, really well.
7. There will be an old, married couple as a team. They will shock everyone and do amazingly well.
8. There will be one team who clearly does not have their shit together and YOU KNOW they will be eliminated in the first episode.
9. One team will have some amazing job that will give them a leg up on the competition — they are on the Harlem Globetrotters, ice hockey players, mountain bikers — because life just isn’t fair.
10. One team will have a job you could only dream of, like “YouTubers” or QVC hostesses.
11. Another team will be from a rural location in America. They will either be eliminated in one of the first episodes or exceed everyone’s expectations.
12. Yet another team will be dating, and talk about how they want to get closer and think the race will be a perfect experience to do so. This is complete and utter bullshit and they will fight like gamecocks.
13. There will be at least one team of D-list celebrities, most likely from another reality TV show.
14. There will be an insanely attractive team and they will look good for every challenge, even during the one where they are covered in mud.
15. One of the teams will make incredibly bold and asinine comments in their team intro, like “We’re not here to make friends” and “We’re here to win the million dollars” as if the rest of the teams are looking to sit around and make friendship bracelets together.
16. You’ll wonder why you didn’t apply to be on this season of The Amazing Race because honestly, you could beat at least half the teams without breaking a sweat.
17. The teams will give each other nicknames. Some of these will be cute and creative like “Afghanimals,” some will be incredibly boring like “the Cowboys,” and others will be sexist, like “the Bunnies.”
18. The teams will first convene in a remote and completely arbitrary location that under no circumstances would you ever travel to, like a ghost town, an abandoned oil field, or a high school football stadium.
19. You’ll finally get to see all the matching outfits the teams are wearing. Most of them will be smart and wear some sort of athletic clothing, like Nike or Under Armour.
20. For some reason, at least one team will always wear jeans. Don’t ask why, they just do.
21. At least one team will wear a unique clothing item like bedazzled shorts or a cowboy hat to “stand out” and you really have to just let them do their damn thing.
22. Phil will explain to the contestants how the race works, as if this show hasn’t been on TV for 20+ seasons and we all could recite the rules in our sleep.
23. Phil will do that weird thing where he arches his eyebrow for the first time of many times all season.
24. The race will start, and it will be complete and utter chaos. Some teams will run, some teams will jog, and others will do this weird galloping thing where it looks like they’re walking and running at the same time.
25. There is going to be a first flight and a second flight, and also a healthy dose of drama.
26. Even though the first flight will be across an entire ocean or continent, it’ll seem like no time has elapsed at all, setting a trend for the rest of the season. Yay editing!
27. The teams will be on the FIRST LEG and already there will be talk of alliances forming, despite the fact these will last for at most two episodes before someone stabs someone else in the back.
28. In the confessional one team will talk about how, even though it’s the first episode in, they’ve already developed a foolproof strategy that will carry them all the way to the final three. Three episodes later, they will be eliminated.
29. There will be insane building challenges and you will suddenly have a proper appreciation for your parents for assembling all your toys as a child.
30. It will seem as if half the season is spent in taxicabs, because it probably is.
31. At some point during the season, one contestant is going to suffer an outlandish injury, like a sprained ankle or a watermelon to the face.
32. At least one contestant will cry because a challenge like shaving their head or going down a water slide is “too difficult.”
33. Through the powers of editing, every episode will seem like a down-to-the-wire footrace, even though you know halfway through the episode who is going to be eliminated on this leg of the race.
34. You will develop a sixth sense as to when an episode is a non-elimination leg.
35. There will be a food-related challenge that at first will make you very hungry, but after watching a dozen contestants stuff their face with cake, frogs legs, or whatever, you will question whether you will ever want to eat a meal again.
36. At some point, the teams will have to drive a car with stick shift. This happens every season, yet there is always at least one team who is totally and utterly unprepared to do so.
37. Lots of hugs will be given on the Pit Stop mat. Some hugs will involve Phil.
38. Teams will perform a local dance, and will fail miserably.
39. A lot of screaming will happen in taxicabs.
40. Somehow, one team per leg will end up with the absolute worst taxi driver in the city they are in and end up hopelessly lost.
41. One team will defy all logic and forget to pay their taxi driver.
42. Half the destinations the teams travel to will be places you’ve never heard of.
43. Several of the teams will talk about how other teams underestimate them and to watch out, as if they’re Cinderella on the night of her ball.
44. Somehow, every team will be able to open up the clue envelopes without ripping them. Every. Single. Time.
45. Also, the sound of the envelope being ripped open is magical.
46. A team will walk right past the clue box as if they’re wearing a blindfold; meanwhile, you are screaming at the television because they need to open their damn eyes.
47. Someone will leave behind a backpack or bag, and the thought of wearing the same underwear for three weeks in a row is so cringe-inducing they will go back to retrieve said bag, despite the protests of their teammate.
48. You will roll your eyes at the punny names the producers gave to each episode’s Roadblock and Detour.
49. Someone will have an emotional breakdown over something trivial like making cocktails or building a model robot.
50. Many, many tears will be shed.
51. One team will make an entirely illogical travel decision, like booking a connecting flight with a 15 minute layover, and you will want to scream at them for making such a boneheaded move.
52. You will swallow your words because against all odds, their decision paid off.
53. The over/under on times someone screams “I can’t DO this!!!” during a Roadblock is eight, and the betting man definitely takes the “over.”
54. Phil will ALWAYS wear a button-down shirt, jeans, and a large belt at the Pit Stop mat. If it’s sunny out, he may also wear a hat. This will NEVER change.
55. Some of the challenges will be mind-boggling simple like shooting a bow-and-arrow, while others will be absolutely insane, like finding a clue in one of 400 sand castles. The contestants’ pain is your pleasure, though.
56. At several points during the season, you will question how “authentic” the cultural challenges are.
57. Randomly, one team will be fluent in like, seven different languages.
58. You will want to travel to EVERY country the teams travel to.
59. At least one challenge will seemingly involve a near-death experience (scorpions! sharks!) that seems way crazier than it could possibly be in real life.
60. You will see the Travelocity Roaming Gnome. A lot.
61. There will be product placement, and a lot of it.
62. Contestants will say ridiculous things like “I don’t do yolks,” which out of context are used as episode titles and sound even more insane when you actually hear it come out of their mouths.
63. At least one flight will be delayed at some point, and everyone will collectively lose their shit.
64. Also, someone will miss their connecting flight.
65. Many teams will think about U-Turning another team, then think better of it.
66. At some point during the race, one team will oversleep and barely make it to the starting point on time.
67. Teams will have to take an insanely long bus ride at some point — like, 24 hours — that you would never wish upon your worst enemy.
68. Teammates who are not performing a Roadblock will cheer and/or scream at their teammate who actually is doing the challenge, which nine times out of 10 will only drive said teammate more insane.
69. Some teams actually will U-Turn another team, and look like complete assholes while doing so.
70. Contestants will travel on forms of transportation you never knew existed.
71. One Roadblock or Detour will involve some degree of public nudity, and you as a viewer will be OK with this.
72. You’re ALWAYS going to stay after the commercial break to see the preview of next week’s episode.
73. The preview ALWAYS will contain a clip of one team melting down and another team falling off something (like a bicycle) or breaking something they were supposed to build.
74. An insane vacation will be given away at the end of every episode and you will be salivating at pictures of the hotels contestants will be staying at.
75. If it is a non-elimination leg, Phil will shock a team by telling them they are not eliminated. They will be very, very happy.
76. Two of the final three teams will be insanely competitive. Like, you could have called it from the first episode of the season.
77. One of the teams will be a complete underdog. They’ll spend most of the season finale out of breath and talk about how happy they were just to make it this far.
78. Within the first five minutes of the season finale, you will be able to tell who is going to win the million dollars.
79. And yet again, through the magic of editing, the producers will try and trick you into thinking the whole season will come down to the wire on the last leg.
80. One of the final tasks will involve a memory challenge from all the previous destinations of the season. This ALWAYS happens and yet only one team will have the foresight to write important details down as the season goes along.
81. One team will run to the final Pit Stop, scream a lot, and jump up and down as the other eliminated contestants cheer them on.
82. Phil will tell them they have won the Amazing Race!
83. More importantly, one team wins a million dollars.
84. The second and third teams to arrive to the end of the Race will smile, but their eyes will say it all — they are PISSED to not have won the million dollars.
85. All the contestants will hug, as if the previous few weeks where they wanted to strangle one another never happened.
86. You will sit on your couch as you watch three teams make it all the way around the world, and be insanely jealous for every minute of it.
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