Previously, 11 teams of two set out from somewhere in the U.S. in a race around the world for $1 million. They solved clues along the way to get to their next destination. The challenges were both physical and mental and periodically a team was eliminated when they came in last.
Now, TEN teams of THREE set out from two separate locations in the U.S. in a race around the world for a TREASURE WORTH MILLIONS. They will solve clues along the way to get to their next destination OR MAYBE AN ARTIFACT. The challenges will be both physical and mental and periodically a team will be eliminated.
This is no amazing race. This is Treasure Hunters!
After a voiceover explains the rules of the game to us (sort of), host Laird Macinstosh remotely introduces us to the five teams that would be starting this race from a cabin in Independence Mine, Alaska - Ex-CIA, Southie, Miss USA, Hanlon, and Young Professionals. Yes, the teams are pre-named for our convenience.
Meanwhile, Laird does the same thing to the five teams on the USS Jefferson sailing near Maui, Hawaii - Fogal, Geniuses. Grad Students, Air Force, Brown.
Laird tells them (and us) about the special tools they will have on this race - a Motorola Razr Phone so they can make and receive calls, a laptop specially set up with Ask.com so the teams can do research, and a special VISA card because you can never have too much product placement on these shows.
We stick around the boat to hear the next clue - it's in Morse Code. There's also a printout. Laird cautions them that they can't leave the boat until they figure it out. Nobody seems to know what to do with it until the Geniuses find a book to decipher it. They translate - DIVE HANA BAY with coordinates - and take an early lead. The Grad Students are close behind. They get to take a boat to Hana Bay.
Back to Alaska. There's Morse Code in their cabin and they receive instructions not to leave until they figure it out. The clue is, of course, different - SEARCH GLACIER with coordinates. The Ex-CIA, Southie, and Young Professional teams take a lead over the other two. They take individual choppers to the glacier.
At the glacier, the teams got a call from Laird to tell them that they had to follow a path marked by cairns (piles of rock) to get to their next clue. The twist was they had to do a little rappeling, a little wading, and a little swimming to get where they needed to go. Eventually our three lead teams find the cue - a brick of ice with "STILLWATER WASHINGTON" marked on it, and a map of the general area inside. They had to figure out where they needed to go before they could get anywhere else. The lead teams eventually all figured out that Stillwater = Lake, and Washington = George; therefore, they had to get to Lake George. So they fly out there.
A bit behind the other teams, the Hanlons and Miss USA are already tired and resting, and they've barely started hiking the glacier trail. This does not bode well for any of them. The Miss that was assigned to get the clue had a brilliant idea. No, not world peace. She chipped away at the clue so she didn't have to carry that heavy block of ice all the way back. Never mind that silly clue on the front. Anyway, the Hanlons are fourth out, and Miss USA is last.
At Lake George, Laird rings everyone again. There are a bunch of cairns around, and the teams need to dig until they find their next clue. Hmmm, haven't I seen this kind of thing on that other show a few times? After some digging, the Ex-CIA team finds it first (it's a silver cylinder), and the message is to head to Lincoln, Nebraska's State Capitol Building. So they do, by helicopter. The Southies are second out, followed by the Young Professionals, and the Hanlons. Miss USA is still digging, but we've got more important things to do...
..In Hawaii, the first teams have reached the dive site. Laird tells them that there are five boxes down there, each with a log book containing a map. Geniuses and Air Force are in and out efficiently, but the Grad Students had problems opening and hanging on to their clue. The Fogals snatched it from them and took a momentary lead over them. Who says God doesn't play favorites? The clue leads them to Black Sand Beach.
The Air Force team is already there. There's a shipwreck here, and they need to find that, a cane that contains a key, and a box that has a painting with a coded map and their next clue. They get the job done and figure out that they also need to head to Lincoln's Capitol Building. They get to go by plane.
The Fogals and the Geniuses followed in short order, the latter by opening a box claimed by the Grad Students. Not a good day for them, but they recovered well enough. The Browns, who had been bumbling about, were the last to find their clue. But they weren't eliminated.
Meanwhile, back in Alaska, Miss USA got the bad news - they were the last team to find their clue. But they wouldn't be eliminated either. They were happy about this.
A day later, all the teams are in Lincoln and Laird asks them to meet up by Honest Abe's statue. The race is on - and finally the five teams from Alaska meet the five from Hawaii. Needless to say that none of them are thrilled.
Laird sets up the situation for them (in person this time) - there are 10 teams racing for untold wealth instead of five (duh). Each team would be temporarily paired with one from the opposite location. Ex-CIA and Air Force were paired with each other because they both finished first in their respective locations; similarly, Southies and the Fogals, Young Professionals and Geniuses, Hanlons and Grad Students, and Miss USA and the Browns. They have to board a bus and figure out their next destination. Each of the teams received a call on the bus telling them the bad news - their bus is heading in the wrong direction, and only one of two destinations spoken to him will turn him around. So figure it out in a hurry, please.
Shockingly, the Brown-USA alliance figured it out first - Mount Rushmore. Ex-CIA-Air Force were second, and Southie-Fogal was third. The Young Professionals and Geniuses took their thinking to another level and figured out that they needed to head to Mount Roosevelt. Is that the music of doom I'm hearing? Nah, can't be. Hanlons and Grad Students were the last to head to Mt. Rushmore, about 45 minutes behind the lead bus.
When they got to Mount Rushmore, The Browns and Miss USA get another call from Laird with more instructions. They had to stick to the Presidential Trail and go to the place where only two Presidents' faces are visible. Near there would be some capsules with artifacts - only nine of them, so the one that is without goes home.
Some teams had more trouble than others with the path - none more so than the Hanlons, who were looking for that yellow & red route marker in all sorts of strange places. Only THERE IS NO YELLOW AND RED ROUTE MARKER, FOLKS; that's a different show.
Then again, the teams that were in real trouble were at Mt. Teddy. There was a nice commemorative marker of President #26, but not a lot else. The Geniuses wanted to look around and around, but the Young Professionals showed real aptitude in giving a call to one of the other teams - the Hanlons. The Hanlons stated that they were at Mount Rushmore, and that was all the Y.P.s needed. The rest was just spy games. They eventually got going to the right place - better late than never?
Meanwhile, some of the teams have found the artifact. It's guarded by a combination, which happens to be the presidential order of the Presidents on the mountain - 1-3-26-16 for the lazy.
For the record, here's the order the first teams received their artifacts, the first of seven:
1) Air Force
3) Miss USA
6) Grad Students
The Brown bunch have a terrible time with the combination, but finish seventh anyway.
The Hanlons eventually stumble to the artifact location, and receive some timely help from the Geniuses (nice of them, but the Young Professionals hadn't arrived yet), and so finish eighth.
That means that the Geniuses and the Young Professionals are fighting to avoid last place. The Geniuses have the lead and kept it as they opened the last artifact. Laird told the Young Pros the bad news and added a new tag line that is sure not to catch on - "Your hunt ends here".
Coming up on Treasure Hunters in the next weeks - some are happy, some are not so happy, and some want to quit.