The Amazing Race 9 is the ninth installment of the American reality television show The Amazing Race. This season featured eleven teams of two with a pre-existing relationship in a race around the world to win one million dollars. The show premiered on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 and concluded on May 17, 2006.
The new edition of The Amazing Race begins in Denver, Colorado, where the teams receive a clue instructing them to take one of three flights to SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil. One team makes an immediate mistake by, contrary to instructions, booking the flight by phone and a flight delay causes an unexpected arrival time. Once in Brazil, the teams find a clue directing them to take a taxi three miles to the Viaduto Santa Efigenia bridge. There, they find a Detour choice of either Rotor Head or Motor Head. Most teams opt for Rotor Head, which requires the teams to fly by helicopter to one of three buildings. A few opt for Motor Head, which requires them to assemble a motorcycle from a frame. A couple that choose this option later opt for Rotor Head instead. The teams then participate in a Brazilian religious ceremony culminating in a candle-lighting. They then travel 2½ miles to the Pit Stop at Estadio de Pacaembu. Two teams fall greatly behind and one is unable to recover and is eliminated.
The teams continue racing in the second episode. "Chemistry" begins to develop. The teams face a watery Detour option.
The teams travel from their Pit Stop in Bratas, Brazil three miles to a farm, where they must travel 300' on a zipline. Some teams make it in time for the 7 A.M. opening, but others are behind and end up falling back. However, all teams make the same flight to Moscow, Russia. There, one member from each team takes a dive in a watery Roadblock, requiring them to swim down into the depths of a pool to retrieve a clue. Two team-members initially panic, but overcome their fears and succesfully complete the task. The teams then travel to the Smolenk Cathedral at the Novodevichy Monastery and find a clue directing them to one of two Detours. The Scrub option requires them to completely clean a trolley bus, while the Scour option finds them searching through 1,500 Russian nesting dolls for one of ten clues. The language-barrier causes some teams to end up at a task other than the one originally chosen, which proves advantageous to some. At the end of the episode, one team learns that the leg is not over, the leg is "To Be Continued..."
The teams arrive at the mat in Russia after completing the Nesting Dolls/Trolley Wash Detour and receive a clue instructing them to fly 1,000 miles to Frankfurt, Germany and then travel 100 by train to Stuttgart. Three teams land nighttime flights and take a lead, while others have to wait until morning for their flights. The teams take a ride with a professional driver at the "Wall of Death" at a Mercedes-Benz factory. They then drive 200 miles to the marked Ellbach Field in Bad Tolz, where they search for one of eleven Travelocity roaming gnomes buring among 150 feet and hats. As some teams extend their leads, others become hopelessly lost. The teams then travel to Bavaria Films in Grunwald and face a Detour choice of Break It or Slap It. Break It requires them to break bottles over each other's heads at the sound of a cuckoo bird, while Slap It requires them to learn a complicated German dance. Finally, the teams check in at the Pit Stop at Siegestor in Munich and another team is eliminated.
The teams take off from their Pit Stop in Munich, Germany and receive a clue instructing them to fly 850 miles to a one-hundred-year-old opera house in Palermo, Italy. One team manages an early flight and takes off to a nice lead. Once at the opera house, the teams receive a clue instructing them to travel 42 miles in a marked car to Castellammare del Golfo. There, they face a Detour --- Laundry, in which they must search through 2,400 items of laundry or Foundry, in which they must transport a heavy bell. Finally, the Roadblock requires one member of each team to assemble a Greek statue, but they are not told that there are two additional pieces. Once they complete the statue, they travel on foot one mile to the Pit Stop at the Tempio di Siegesto. One team makes a critical error by heading for the Pit Stop before the Roadblock, but ultimately different circumstances cause another team's downfall.
The teams take off from their Pit Stop at the Tempio di Segesta and receive a clue instructing them to drive 135 miles to Catania, Sicily and find the Antiteatro, Romano. This theater doesn't open until 8:30 A.M. and B.J. and Tyler jokingly put up an "official" sign-in sheet which is quickly declared a phoney by Eric and Jeremy. As it stands, these two teams are the only ones to make it in at the opening time, as the others find themselves stuck in traffic or confused on directions. After counting heads on the fence surrounding the grounds of the theater, the teams do a Detour --- Big Fish, requiring each member to carry a 17 kilo swordfish 1/3 of a mile, or Little Fish, requiring them to travel 1/3 of a mile to the same market and then sell 4 kilos of small Sicilian fish. The teams then travel approximately 40 miles to Siracusa, where one member of each team does a Roadblock requiring them to score a goal in kayak polo. Finally, they make their way on foot to the PIt Stop, the natural spring Funte Aretusa, and another team is eliminated.
The teams take off from their Pit Stop at the Fonte Aretusa in Sircusa, Italy and travel 350 miles by train and ferry to Rome, Italy where they search for a man on a yellow-and-red scooter. The teams then receive a clue directing them to travel a mile and search for horse carriages where they'll find black leather portfolios. These portfolios contain information that helps them to "decode" a clue related to the movie The DaVinci Code, resulting in a prize for one team. They then travel to Athens, Greece, 665 miles away and find a marketplace in Agora. One team surges ahead with a fast forward that requires them to break plates, while the others travel by 70 miles by train to Ishthmos Station. Some teams fall behind after a failed attempt at the Fast Forward and others make a critical mistake by taking a bus part of the way instead of the train. The Roadblock requires one member of each team to to bungee jump over 200 feet into the Corinth Canal. It's immediately followed by a Detour --- Herculean Effort (a set of Greek games --- discus toss, javelin, and wrestling) or It's All Greek to Me (search an archaelogical site for Greek letters and get help from locals in translating to find the name of a location.) Finally, the teams drive 107 miles to the Pit Stop at the Fortress of Rion, where two teams face penalties for their earlier error and another team is eliminated.
The race heads to Oman. The teams, and particularly B.J. struggle with heat in a challenge that involves digging for a clue. Ray and Yolanda argue over Ray's choice of language.
The teams receive a clue instructing them to travel by plane over 9,000 miles to Perth, Australia. After receiving money from some of the teams (following being stripped of all cash and possessions in the last leg), B.J. and Tyler then make the same flight as everyone else, disappointing them, as they were hoping they might miss it. Once in Australia, the teams travel to the State War Memorial in King's Park and then receive a clue directing them to travel to Rottnest Island via ferry. They then travel on tandem bikes to a lighthouse and then do a Detour. Sand requires them to drag forty large branches to a marked sand dune (a task called "brushing the beach") while sea requires them to search through fifty crayfish traps and retrieve two crayfish (one per member.) The teams then travel to Fremantle Prison where one member of each team takes part in a Roadblock. The task requires them to search inside the unused prison for a Duracell flashlight and batteries. They then travel through wet and dry waterways to locate a clue. It's a close race to the Pit Stop at South Breakwater by the Fremantle Fishing Club and one team finishes literally right behind another. Unfortunately for another team, this Pit Stop is the end.
The teams receive a clue instructing them to travel fifteen miles from their Pit Stop at the South Breakwater to the Silver Bells Tower. Tensions ensue when Eric and Jeremy cancel other teams taxis and then shift the blame to Joseph and Monica. However, it doesn't affect placings as all teams make the same flight to Darwin, Australia --- 1,700 miles away. The teams wade through crocodile-infested waters for a clue and then travel 50 miles to an airfield in the town of Batchelor. One team just manages to reach a Yield before another and then Yields the team they beat. In a Roadblock, one member of each team must take part in a tandem skydive. The teams then travel to the Magnetic Termite Mounds where they face a Detour choice of either Wet or Dry. Some teams fall behind after choosing the extremely challenging Wet task, requiring them to hike and swim one mile through treacherous wilderness. The other two teams choose Dry and duplicate a note on a didgeridoo. While one team arrives comfortably in first place, the rest find themselves facing a three-way foot-race.
The teams take off from their Pit Stop at Lake Bennett in the Australian outback and receive a clue instructing them to fly nearly 7,000 miles to Bangkok, Thailand. After a scramble for airplane flights and bus rides, three teams arrive in time for the opening of the Three Spires Pagoda, but one is late after a critical mistake. One team catapults ahead by taking a challenging Fast Forward requiring them to eat stir-fried crickets and grasshoppers. Another team quickly opts out of the Fast Forward and joins the remaining teams for the Roadblock, which requires one member of each team to prepare a traditional feast for monkeys. This proves difficult, as the monkeys are all around and make difficulties in the efforts to craft the feast. After finally completing the task, the teams receive a clue instructing them to take a taxi 90 miles and then travel by ferry to Koh Kret Island. There, at the Buddha Gardens, they choose between a Detour --- Move It or Altar It. The Move It task involves the transporation of 72 clay pots, while the Altar It task requires the teams to make their way on foot to a Buddhist temple and then create a shrine to Buddha. The Move It task frustrates one team and ultimately they are eliminated from the race, leaving the final three.
As the final stretch of the race begins, the teams travel 75 miles to the Royal Kraal and receive clues on T-Mobile Sidekicks. They're directed to fly over 7,000 miles to Tokyo, Japan and then locate the world's busiest intersection in Shibuya, Tokyo and find a clue on a giant screen. The clue directs them to a statue of a dog named Hachiko, and then to a Detour --- Maiden or Messenger. Maiden requires them to transport a maiden a third of a mile, while Messenger requires them to assemble folding bikes and then deliver messages to two buildings. After completing this task and sleeping in capsules at the Capsule Land Hotel, the teams travel to the Fujikyu Highland amusement park where a Roadblock requires one member of each team to ride on three rides and search for a clue. The clue takes them to the Pit Stop at Lake Yamanaka, where they then use a duck boat to cross to the Big Swan.
On the second leg, the teams are directed to fly 9,000 miles to Anchorage, Alaska. A scramble for flights eventually ends with all teams making it on the same flight to Anchorage. Once in Anchorage, the teams travel 30 miles to Mirror Lake. There, a Detour involves a choice of Drill It or Deliver It. As Deliver It is snowed out, all teams choose Drill It, which requires them to drill ten holes in a lake and then use a shack to cover at least two of them. After completing this task, the teams head to Kincaid Park, don snowshoes and hunt for a clue. This clue directs them to fly to their final destination city --- Denver, Colorado --- the same town in which they started. Ultimately, the teams find themselves back at the Red Rocks Ampitheater. The difference between winning and losing comes down to a Roadblock that requires the teams to find a flag for each country they visited and place them in the correct order. Their teammate is allowed to assist verbally, but not physically.