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The Fast Forward allows the team that receives it to skip all remaining tasks on that leg of the race and proceed directly to the Pit Stop. To receive the Fast Forward, the team must be the first team to perform and complete the task described on the Fast Forward clue. The clue is found along with a regular clue at one of the Route Markers.
Only one team may use each Fast Forward. Any team that is beaten to the Fast Forward will have wasted their time and must go back and pick up where they left off. Also, prior to Season 10, each team was allowed to use only one Fast Forward during the whole race, requiring teams to decide when it was most advantageous to use it. With the introduction of the Intersection route marker in Season 10, a team can claim two Fast Forwards in a single race, one while part of a grouped team during an Intersection, and another as a single team.
Originally, Fast Forwards were offered in every leg of the race (provided that there was as least one team left that had not used one), except for the final two legs. Starting in Season 5, the number of Fast Forwards was reduced to two on the entire race. In the event a Fast Forward was not attempted by any team on a leg, the task involved was not shown, though clue envelopes with the green Fast Forward marker can usually be spotted by the viewers.
A Fast Forward usually results in the team arriving at the Pit Stop first, but does not guarantee it. In the history of the show, two teams who earned a Fast Forward still arrived last at the Pit Stop. In Season 1, Joe & Bill won the Fast Forward but still arrived last (but were not eliminated due to a penalty received by Nancy & Emily). After winning the Fast Forward on Leg 3 (Mexico - United Kingdom) of Season 3, Dennis & Andrew were still eliminated due to their late arrival into England. Similarly, NFL wives Monica and Sheree of Season 4 earned the Fast Forward but only placed 4th in the first leg (behind a three-way tie for first). On Leg 8 of Season 10, Tyler & James and Rob & Kimberly both won the Fast Forward as a result of the Intersection, the first time two teams have ever won the Fast Forward on the same leg. They, however, arrived second and third respectively behind Dustin & Kandice, becoming only the second and third teams ever to place neither first nor last after winning a Fast Forward. Chip & Kim of Season 5, Freddy & Kendra of Season 6, Eric and Danielle of Season 11, the Linz siblings of Season 8, and TK and Rachel of Season 12 are the only teams to have won the entire Race without using a Fast Forward. On Season 14 there was 1 Fast Forward on leg 7 that involved purchasing items for orphans using the teams own money. However it was unused, so it was unaired.
It is unknown if the fast forward will be in season 18.
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