This “Amazing Race” not so amazing

From left: Lisa and Michelle Thomson (Credit: CBS)
From left: Lisa and Michelle Thomson (Credit: CBS)

Friday marked the premiere episode of the 25th season of “The Amazing Race.” The premise of the CBS show is that 12 teams compete for $1M by racing around the world, performing physical and mental challenges along the way — with the slowest being eliminated each week.

The show has been big news in the South Florida real estate industry because of one team: #MiamiRealtors (each team was given a descriptive hashtag). The duo consists of blonde look-alike sisters Lisa and Michelle Thomson, two Realtors who run Coldwell Banker’s Thomson Team and who introduce themselves during the show as being “number one in Miami.” They go on to say that because their looks have helped them so much in the real estate industry, they plan on using their physical attributes to their advantage in the reality show as well. Toward that, they note that they have brought “12 pounds of makeup” along with them.

The debut episode, aptly titled “Go Big or Go Home,” opened in NYC, coming full circle to where the show began 25 seasons ago. Teams comprised of surfers, dentists, scientists and firefighters, among others, quickly made their way to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands to begin the challenge. Knowing that both the real estate industry and competing on “The Amazing Race” can be dog-eat-dog, here are some other similarities we noted:

1) It’s not over until you have a signature: Upon arrival, we got a look at the “take no prisoners” attitude of the #MiamiRealtors – hereby referred to jointly as “Lischelle” because, frankly, we can’t tell them apart – when they line up to put their names on a sign-up sheet to be passengers on a seaplane to take them to their first pit stop. It’s first-come first-serve so the Realtors steal the pen right out of the hand of their opponent, a Boston firefighter. Lischelle quickly signs, getting a plane ahead of the other team, knowing it’s not a done deal until you put a signature on it. The firefighters comment to the camera that hopefully karma addresses the Realtors’ rude behavior.

2) It’s all about the ocean views: In the second half of the pack, the Thomson sisters fly along the water in a seaplane to their first physical challenge — climbing a rock mountain and then jumping two stories into the sea to pick up their next set of instructions. Still having made no moves toward being one of the leaders, the girls reach the first roadblock: use a compass to locate a buried treasure.

3) Location, location, location: As most teams struggle trying with using a liquid bizarro compass they’ve been given, Lischelle explains that even though they give and get directions all day long for property showings and probably have to travel quite a bit, “at our job we have a GPS.”

4) Eastern and Western exposures are key: As a Realtor in Miami, a huge selling point for many properties is being able to see the sun rise and set. Seeking assistance from a fellow contestant on how to use the compass, Lischelle is told she should note where the sun is setting, asking her if she knew what direction that would be. “The sun sets in the East and rises in the West,” she answers. Shockingly, she never finds the treasure she’s looking for.

5) Karma is a bitch: As the sun sets (in the West, no less), only three teams are left battling it out on the sand trying to find the buried treasure and their last clue to where the pit stop is. Bruised, weary and exhausted, they collectively decide to take the four-hour penalty the show allows and race each other back to the final stop. Turnabout’s fair play when the firefighters elbow Lischelle out of the way into a cab and the Realtors are left flailing, looking for each other. Still, the Realtors are confident they can run faster than the others, but — as foreshadowed by their “karma” comment — end up losing, coming in right behind the firefighters.

6) Go Big or Go Home: In the final exit interview, the girls remark that their performance was an embarrassment and that they would not have taken the four-hour penalty if “there was even 1 percent chance” they would lose the final sprint. They remarked that they are ruthless in business — but weren’t ruthless enough in the race — and are not used to losing. As the show title suggests, they didn’t go big, so they went home. Maybe the episode should have been called “One and Done.”