March 23, 2009 at 02:08 PM EDT

Wow, who knew there could be so many questions about my underwear?Okay, for the record, here’s the deal. Boxers…too much dingle dangle,briefs…too tighty whitey looking. Support is a necessity, looking likea overly tanned European tourist in a Speedo is an absolute no no. Atthe end of the day it’s all about personal preference and whatworks…after spending three days at a nudist resort shooting anepisode aptly named, Nude Awakenings, I am way beyond passing judgmentabout how or where people hang out.

Really good to know so many of you are enjoying the fresh aspects ofthe show. I agree that this has been one of our best seasons yet. Beingable to choose fresh locations and new challenges never seen beforereally helps but of course this cast is really starting to heatup…and it’s only going to get better. Remember that Mat meltdown Itold you about? Well, it’s coming soon.

What’s interesting about doing a show like Race is the reaction people have to the challenges, both the racers and the viewers. Some people wrote to me and said having people run like that in the cold is way too extreme, others felt it wasn’t extreme enough. Everything from — “You could have killed those people” to “Ah, when I was young we used to run backwards ten times as far, on our hands.” 

At the end of the day we are simply trying to push people outside their comfort zone, to challenge them. This is something I believe is an essential part of life. I really believe there are way too many people who forget to really live. Why? Because you can…because life is too short to be a spectator…because sometimes it’s okay to do something just for the fun of it and you don’t have to analyze everything to the point of exhaustion. Pushing someone outside their comfort zone is relative. What’s extreme for one person may be quite tame for another…that’s okay. And it’s one of the reasons we don’t pick people who would simply waltz through every challenge. As far as safety goes, as I’ve said before, everything we do is tested and retested, and at the end of the day the most dangerous thing we have people do is get in a taxi cab. Race is about getting people to take mental leaps not having people risk life and limb.

Look at the mental leap the teams took arriving in India. The reaction of Luke and Jamie is quite typical. It is very difficult for some people to suddenly be exposed to the realities of a world that many people simply try to ignore. Naturally there is a feeling of helplessness. One of the great things about the Race is that we are able to show real Americans the world in a way that is seldom seen on primetime television. Usually when you see the world there is a war, a natural disaster, political disruption. On Race we have been able to show the kindness of strangers, provide an insight into a different culture and capture moments of everyday life while driving down an Indian street.

I think Mel is great. I hope that when I’m 68 I have the same sense of humor and passion for life. The connection he has with Mike is very cool to watch. Mike definitely got his comedic timing from his dad.

Maybe some of you might want to be one of the next Amazing Racers … well I’m six days away from heading out across America on a bike, and part of my tour includes casting for the new season of Race. Please check out the route and if you have time sign up to ride a few miles with me. See you soon!

More ‘Amazing Race’:

‘The Amazing Race’ recap: episode 6

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