Ada — The season 24 premier of the CBS-TV reality series “The Amazing Race” was aptly titled, “Back in the Saddle.”
Ranch-raised brothers Jet and Cord McCoy battled the opening episode of the 12-week series in a comfortable place in the race around the world for the $1 million first-place prize. When they arrived at the finish line of the first leg, they were greeted by host Phil Keoghan near the Guangzhou (China) Opera House.
“Cowboys, you’re back for the third time, and it’s starting well,” Keoghan told the McCoys. “You’re team No. 1.”
Season 24 is dubbed the series’ All-Star Edition and features the fan favorites that have been part of the program over the last dozen years.
The McCoys were joined at the starting line in Las Angeles by 10 other teams.
They ended the opening leg of the race atop the leaderboard and set a strong tone for the remaining weeks of the show. Their victory also earned the McCoys an Express Pass, which will enable them to skip a single task in order to advance through the race more rapidly.
They also received a second Express Pass that they must pass along to another team before the end of the fifth leg.
“We’re running our own race,” Cord said. “We have two Express Passes for doing our own thing.”
But his brother was a little more cautious.
“It’s a good thing we have the Express Pass,” Jet said, “but I’d just as soon not give the other one away.”
The series started with a bit of a twist. One team, William “Bopper” Minton and Mark Jackson, suffered a loss when Minton was found to be too ill to compete. He was replaced by Mallory Ervin, who had competed in Season 16 with her father, Gary. Mallory Ervin and Jackson were left to learning about themselves while racing around the world.