By Phil Keoghan
March 16, 2009 at 02:47 PM EDT

Loved last night’s episode. Talk about taking people out of their comfortzone. The racers got a firsthand taste of the frigid Russian climatewe’ve grown to love on this show. I’ve never seen so many stunnedlocals in my life.

People always ask me what goes on while I’m waiting for the teams.Well, we never really know exactly how much time there is in between sowe all stay close to the mat, at times for up to 19 hours. Back inseason 2, we were in the middle of the Hong Kong harbor with peoplehurling over the side while waiting for Teams to arrive – that was alittle rough – but being out of the cold and sharing time with thesetalented people was a real buzz.

At the pit-stops, I shoot the welcome to the pit-stop stand up, (explaining that teams have to come to a specific spot) then the opening for the next show. If there is a good spread between the teams then I get longer interviews with teams at the mat…sometimes up to 30 minutes each depending on what they want to share. Talking to the teams is actually the best part of everything I do. I love the energy they bring to the mat and capturing their emotions in the moment. The other thing I try and complete is a Phil’s Diary segment.

No matter how much we prepare for teams arriving they still sneak up on us — like you saw in last week’s Diary. Even when we think we know when and how they are going to arrive someone will come flying in out of nowhere.

Still, loads of questions being fired at me…people wonder why teams run out of money. All teams get the same amount of money each leg but some spend more wisely than others, some get taken by taxi drivers, and, of course, sometimes find themselves cut short.

It never ceases to amaze me the number of fans who write in from Canada…and the number one question, “Why can’t Canadians be a part of the Race?” Australians, New Zealanders…people from all over the world ask the same thing about their eligibility. There are lots of reasons from passports, logistics, casting resources, legal coverage…it is way more complicated than you might think. The fact is there are simply so many choices for casting here in the States for a great show and of course there are now other versions being made around the world.

As far as an international race down the line…maybe, but again think of the challenges. Many people have suggested four networks get together (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA) and each puts in say three teams and equal money. But who would be in control of the show? What happens if all three Australian teams get eliminated in the first three episodes? Fun to talk about but it didn’t work for the international Idol series.

A lot of people stop me and say, “Phil, if I was on the Race I would win that thing. I can’t believe some of those people.” First off, trust me, this is a lot harder than it looks and secondly, we are not picking people for their extraordinary racing skills…the fittest, fastest etc. We pick people who are extraordinary people who we think are going to be the most interesting at getting from one place to another. This season I really think we ended up with a great mix.

And lastly, one of the best things about the Race is how momentum can shift on a dime for all the teams. Just when you think you’re in control, one bad leg puts you at the back of the pack. Jodi and Christie were truly shocked when I told them they weren’t eliminated courtesy of this season’s first non-elimination leg.

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