By Phil Keoghan
Updated February 16, 2009 at 10:01 AM EST

What can I say? Season 14 is officially under way. It’s actually pretty crazy to write season 14. I think we’ve really outdone ourselves this time around and also performed some spring-cleaning, if you will. We freshened up the graphics, the music, the maps, and we’re letting the show breathe a little more when we have the opportunity to show off the spectacular places that we travel to each week. Maybe a little less airport process and a little more postcard moments.

Love our cast…so diverse and colorful, including our first-ever deafcontestant, a pair of Harvard grads, a carpenter, a jockey, former NFLcheerleaders, a Hollywood screenwriter and even a gay rightsactivist/minister. Of course, the other big stars of the show are thelocations, including first-ever stops in Siberia and Romania. Becausewe never repeat ourselves by going back to the same locations, we haveendless opportunities to keep it fresh. We have tons of drama,adventure and even a few occasions where I was forced to mediateseveral Mat meltdowns.

The Joint Forces in Los Alamitos, Calif. came out in full force tosupport us with two massive military helicopters. While flying into thestart of the race, the teams were treated to a couple of spectacularrainbows. A good sign that we had a golden opportunity to createanother Amazing season.

As always, the adrenaline started pumping right from the start. Theteams have been waiting in anticipation for months or, in the case ofLuke, who has been an avid fan since season 1, years. They all have aton of built-up energy and they’re eager to start the race. As I alwayssay, the world is waiting for you.

Right out of the starting block our oldest racer, Mel White, suffers agroin injury. Not a great way to start the race, but something tells mehe’s not going to throw in the jock strap just yet. When it comes tocomedy, the Whites are going to be the kings this season.

People ask me if I ever grow tired of racing around the world with theteams. But how could I when everything is so unique every time we makethe journey. This isn’t like going to the same old studio where you canguarantee 69 degrees and perfect weather. Just like the teams, we haveto be ready for anything.

Speaking of unpredictable, Switzerland took us to a whole new level ofmayhem. You know you’re capturing classic television moments when allaround you people are yelling out “watch out for the flying cheese.”The locals lost it. The teams certainly lost it. And to be perfectlyhonest with you, no one in production knew what might happen next.Thank goodness for those fences or who knows where those cheese bombsmight have ended up.

Personally there are many special moments that I will treasure when Ilook back on my time hosting The Amazing Race: Gus during season 6 whenhe pays tribute to his ancestors; Ian from Season 3 remembering histime in Vietnam. But being able to sign to Margie and Luke that theywere team #1 on the first leg and knowing how much it meant to himmakes this one of those moments I will never forget.

More on ‘The Amazing Race’:
‘The Amazing Race’ season 14, episode 1 recap