There are no eliminations in the Race to Survive: New Zealand premiere but the Top 3 and Bottom 2 are revealed

RACE TO SURVIVE: NEW ZEALAND -- Pictured: "New Zealand" Key Art -- (Photo by: USA Network)
RACE TO SURVIVE: NEW ZEALAND -- Pictured: "New Zealand" Key Art -- (Photo by: USA Network) /

Race to Survive: New Zealand is underway! The season premiere, "Water and Ice," saw the teams of nine get a real understanding of how challenging this race to $500,000 will be, starting with a trek across marshland that drastically impacted who got out in front for the first leg of the competition and who needed to make-up serious ground to ensure they didn't land in the bottom.

The first episode, however, doesn't include an elimination. The teams' journey through four zones of differing terrain is so arduous and long that it all can't be fit into one episode. But we do get a clear picture of which contestants will be the frontrunners for this leg of the competition and which are at risk of getting eliminated in episode 2.

The top 3 teams in Race to Survive: New Zealand episode 1

Race to Survive: New Zealand - Season 2
RACE TO SURVIVE: New Zealand -- "Water and Ice" Episode 201 -- Pictured: (l-r) Oliver Dev, Spencer "Corry" Jones -- (Photo by: Brian Finestone/USA Network) /

First place - Oliver Dev and Spencer "Corry" Jones

Best friends Oliver (29) and Corry (26), the river guides from Wyoming, got a head of the pack after they cleared the bog and made it to their canoe. Briefly, Ethan and Tyrie passed them, collecting their rations from the first food cache and heading into Zone 2, the Forest Labyrinth. But the buddies were able to make up ground and reclaimed first place before all the teams were forced to rest 12 hours into the leg.

They ceded the frontrunner position once more after clearing the Alpine Pass (Zone 3) but got in front of Ethan and Tyrie again during the second food cache grab. From there, they sped off in order to put what distance they could between them and their fellow competitors vying for a top position including Bronsen and Ryan who were closing in on them.

Oliver and Corry made it through the chasm portion of Zone 4 just fine but "Water and Ice" ends with their first place ranking in jeopardy as their raft tips in the white water rapids which could give the teams behind them an opportunity to get ahead.

Race to Survive: New Zealand - Season 2
RACE TO SURVIVE: NEW ZEALAND -- "Water and Ice" Episode 201 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ryan Stewart, Bronsen Iverson -- (Photo by: Daniel Allen/USA Network) /

Second Place - Ryan Stewart and Bronsen Iverson

The father and son-in-law duo from Utah, Ryan (43) and Bronsen (20), were contenders for a top position from the beginning even with their setback while canoeing early on in the episode. In the middle of rowing, Ryan knocked his hat off which required them to go back and get it so he would have the necessary head covering for the competition. This drained precious time but they were able to make up for it during the Forest Labyrinth and their strategic move to forgo the second food cache propelled them past Ethan and Tyrie.

With Oliver and Corry needing to recover due to their raft tipping, Ryan and Bronsen could pull out ahead if they don't suffer a similar fate in the rapids. But they, too, have another team on their heels which means it's still anyone's leg to win.

Race to Survive: New Zealand - Season 2
RACE TO SURVIVE: NEW ZEALAND -- "Water and Ice" Episode 201 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ethan Greenberg, Tyrie Mann Merrill -- (Photo by: Daniel Allen/USA Network) /

Third Place - Ethan Greenberg and Tyrie Mann Merrill

Friends and fellow smokejumpers from Boston and Reno, Ethan (32) and Tyrie (28), slipped down to the third pole position toward the end of the premiere. They had been battling it out with Oliver and Corry for first place for much of the leg until Ryan and Bronsen snuck ahead of them. This was because the trek to the second food cache added an hour to the chasm portion of the leg.

With the river guides quickly overtaking them and hurrying off, and the in-laws skipping the cache all together, this put the firefighters behind. But there aren't miles between them and the frontrunning teams. They still have a chance to beat them to the end crate, particularly if the rapids prove to be a challenge for Bronsen and Ryan like they were shown to be for Oliver and Corry.

The Bottom 2 teams in the premiere

Race to Survive: New Zealand - Season 2
RACE TO SURVIVE: NEW ZEALAND -- "Water and Ice" Episode 201 -- Pictured: (l-r) Steffen Jean-Pierre, Mikhail Martin -- (Photo by: Daniel Allen/USA Network) /

Eighth Place - Steffen Jean-Pierre and Mikhail Martin

While Steffen (35) and Mikhail (33) are in their element when it comes to rock climbing, the two hail from New York. As such the marshland slowed them down considerably on the first day of the competition. In order to compensate for the time lost, they decided to forego the first food cache which turned out not to be a good idea as they were hungry and depleted on the second day when they reached the Alpine Pass.

They'll need to find some stores of energy because they're in 8th place and the team in last place was quickly catching up to them. Said team had decided to go for the first food cache so they're energized and it's likely Steffen and Mikhail will be forced to skip their second opportunity for rations with their second to last position under threat.

Race to Survive: New Zealand - Season 2
RACE TO SURVIVE: NEW ZEALAND -- "Water and Ice" Episode 201 -- Pictured: (l-r) Heather Sishco, Emilio Navarro -- (Photo by: Daniel Allen/USA Network) /

Last Place - Heather Sishco and Emilio Navarro

Like the New Yorkers, Heather (42) and Emilio (56) hail from the North East. The Rhode Island racers struggled immensely in the marshland. The Forest Labyrinth didn't best them but Emilio was feeling the strain of the competition while in the woods. Still, spirited and determined to catch up, the duo managed to close the distance between themselves and Steffen and Mikhail. With that feat accomplished, it's now become a race to see which team can push, keep from being in last place, and not get eliminated.

In Race to Survive: New Zealand episode 2, we should learn who won the first leg of the journey and therefore gets first pick of the beneficial tools in the end cart. Only the Top 4 teams will have access to these tools which will give them advantage against their fellow contestants. The team that reaches the finish line last will be eliminated.


Race to Survive: New Zealand airs Mondays at 11 p.m. ET on USA Network. New episodes will be available to stream on Peacock seven days after they air.