'The Amazing Race', the most popular competition reality TV show, is "an experience of a lifetime"
As season 31 premiere came to an end, contestants talk about what makes TAR one of the most popular reality shows.
The 31st season of 'The Amazing Race' premiered on April 17 on CBS, and the teams raced through sand castles, chocolate shoes and the world's biggest pedestrian crossing to get through the first episode.
Eleven teams from past seasons of TAR, 'Survivor' and 'Big Brother' raced all the way to Mount Fiji in Japan in the much-awaited premiere, which host Phil Keoghan described as "fast, furious, and feisty."
As Keoghan kicked off the Race on Hermosa Beach in Los Angeles, California, he said: "This is a reality clash between fierce competitors who all think they have what it takes to race more than 25,000 miles around the world and win one million dollars!"
This is perhaps the best way to describe the show that aired first in 2001 as a bet between creators Elise Doganieri and Bertram van Munster. Since then, the Race has traveled to more than 100 countries, right from Senegal to Tokyo, becoming a favorite with prime-time reality TV audience.
The new season is all the rage, and as Keoghan said, it's something that fans have been demanding for a long time now. The Houseguests, Castaways and past Racers have more than just the grand cash prize at stake this season -- bragging rights on their own shows. This is also triggering quite a few nasty comments on the new season.
Keoghan's excitement and enthusiasm are at peak this new season and so are the teams'. "We're actually in the world interacting with people on the TAR. Other reality shows create worlds for their characters but on TAR, we’re part of the world," said Rachel Reilly, who has been on past seasons of TAR as well as 'Big Brother'.
But this hasn't stopped fans from rooting for their favorites. The teams-of-two from past TAR seasons include Leo Temory and Jamal Zadran, Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl, Colin Guinn and Christie Woods, Rebecca "Becca" Droz and Floyd Pierce, and Arturo "Art" Velez and John James "JJ" Carrell (eliminated).
Teams from 'Big Brother' are Janelle Pierzina and Britney Haynes, Nicole Franzel and Victor Arroyo, and Rachel Reilly and Elissa Slater, while teams from 'Survivor' include Rupert and Laura Boneham, Corinne Kaplan and Eliza Orlins, and Chris Hammons and Bret LaBelle.
the season premiere of @AmazingRaceCBS is tonight 9pm on CBS!! it’s been a few years since #TeamTylerAndKorey competed... will we have what it takes to win the $1,000,000?!— tyler oakley (@tyleroakley) April 17, 2019
who is gonna be watching?! here’s a lil sneak preview of the first episode... pic.twitter.com/6IpWQifrPV
"Each season, the show allows viewers a taste of the cultures around the world. I find it fascinating the diverse traditions around the world and race shows viewers that with each episode. To be able to experience the magic first hand was indescribable," said Elissa.
"I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to be part of such a phenomenal show- on the air for 18 years and still going strong!" said Laura, to which Ruper added: "I feel honored, lucky, and thrilled to have a chance to run around the world with my wife!"
The teams raced past various hurdles and got through difficult tasks to earn their golden ticket on the first leg of the Race, which culminated at Mount Fiji.
Keoghan told MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) in an exclusive interview that no one team would have an advantage over the other on the Race because of the unpredictability of the show.
"Nothing on the show, even if you have been on TAR before, will prepare you for tearing open an envelope and having to fish like a local fisherman would do, without any explanation — you just have to cope!" he said. Touche!
Get ready for a reality showdown! @PhilKeoghan breaks down the teams from #AmazingRace, #Survivor, and #BigBrother: https://t.co/CQxzuj8VOQ 🏃🏽 Premieres Wednesday at 9/8c! (via @ParadeMagazine) pic.twitter.com/QRcaMpJZgl— The Amazing Race (@AmazingRaceCBS) April 11, 2019
Teams are confident and have prepared for the Race and are clear even on who their biggest competitors are! Art, who was eliminated at the end of the premiere episode, said: "I just feel honored and incredibly lucky to be on the Race not once but twice. It has been an experience of a lifetime that has truly changed my world view and made me appreciate cultures and people from all over the world."
He added that it has truly been a blessing to be part of the Race.