If you’ve been watching The Amazing Race for the past 21 seasons, you may think you’ve seen it all: The bungee jumps, the head-shavings, the awkward dances, the emotionally abusive couples, the adorable friend teams. How on earth could they make the show feel fresh? Watch the clip below and you’ll find out.
For the first time, Racers have to jump out of helicopters and skydive from 10,000 feet above hundreds of French Polynesian islands. Even if you’re like me and the thought of jumping out of a helicopter makes you break out in hives, you have to admit that this footage is pretty awesome.
“The contestants know what they’re in for at this point,” says host Phil Keoghan of the season that kicks off Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. “They know it’s not a bus ride with ‘And on the left side you’ll see a lovely…’ Every season we’ve upped the ante with the challenges.” (This seems to be especially true this season, judging from the fact that the contestants will go scorpion hunting and partake in something called a “Shemozzle,” which seems to be some kind of endurance challenge performed with bull testicles in your mouth.)
But the best part of the season premiere has to be father-son team David and Connor O’Leary, both cancer survivors. Sure, a lot of people are going into the season more eager to check out John Wayne and Daniel Boone’s descendants, former NHL player Bates Battaglia and his brother Anthony, along with YouTube channel hosts Joey Graceffa and Meghan Camarena. (See our gallery of all the contestants here.) But just try not to tear up every time Papa David gets choked up talking about how his son almost died. If you’re not rooting for them to win, no offense, but you have no heart.