Why ''The Amazing Race'' should go on
Why ”The Amazing Race” should go on
No sense sugarcoating matters: The Amazing Race: Family Edition was a big-time suckfest! As much as we’ve always loved the Race, we’re not quite ready to forgive and forget, so we insisted that executive producer Bertram van Munster and host Phil Keoghan give us five good reasons to tune in again when CBS’ Amazing Race 9 debuts on Feb. 28 at 9 p.m. Ready, set, go!
1 NO MORE ANNOYING KIDS! The biggest problem with Family Edition was the sheer number of people on the screen. Of course, now van Munster admits that telling a story about 40 family members in 43 minutes probably wasn’t the best idea (ya think?). ”Would we do that again? Probably not,” he says. ”It looked better on paper.” (No, it didn’t.) ”People prefer a format with fewer faces and more places,” adds Keoghan. ”This show is best when it allows ordinary people to go to extraordinary places, and when it allows the viewing public to live vicariously through the teams.” Which means the next installment will have…
2 DYNAMIC DUOS! Rageaholic Jonathan and his masochistic wife Victoria from season 6 set the standard for scary intensity, but Keoghan hints AR9‘s uptight dentist Lake (teamed with his dental assistant/wife Michelle) might not be too far behind. There are also two 60-something jet-setters named Fran and Barry, and a couple of gut-busting, book-smart hippies named BJ and Tyler, who apparently love ”good times.” (We’re high on that!)
3 PHIL HAS A CRUSH! The normally stoic Keoghan has a special place in his heart for one pair, former track star Yolanda and attorney Ray. Actually, it’s more like he has a special place in his heart for Yolanda’s legs. ”The best…ever,” swoons Keoghan. ”I mean, they’re powerhouses. Toned, athletically pleasing. It’s like, she comes to the Pit Stop in slo-mo, it’s so distracting, it’s…” Okay, okay, Phil…we get it.
4 NEW, EXOTIC LOCALES! This edition makes first-ever stops in Moscow, Sicily, and Oman, which is ”one of the cleanest places in the world — like Singapore,” says Keoghan. ”All anybody hears about the Middle East is negative. This proves to be a real eye-opener.”
5 MORE AGITA-INDUCING CHALLENGES! Not only will the teams have to cover more miles in fewer days (”Trust me, it gets really hard on the contestants,” promises van Munster), they’ll have to partake in some just plain cruel challenges: A roadblock in Brazil will require them to rappel down a 500-foot building, while in Russia, they’ll have to jump off a 10-meter high dive in the dead of winter to retrieve a clue at the bottom of a pool. Of course, that’s nothing compared with the challenge in Brazil where they’ll have to turn sugarcane into fuel to operate their automobiles. Exclaims van Munster: ”Viewers will want to turn the TV off because they won’t be able to take the tension anymore!” Turning off TVs! That’s exactly what CBS wants.
Phil Keoghan hosts the globe-trotting adventure series.