The 25th edition of The Amazing Race is back with more thrills, upsets and adventures than ever before including the first ever public start of the race as well as the unveiling of a gripping new game-changing element.
From the start of the season it was evident that this wasn't going to be any ordinary race. In contrast to the starts of previous challenges, typically held in private or restricted-access locations to prevent potential spoilers, the race kicked off with the first ever public start of the 11 new teams from New York City's famous Times Square.
Season 25 also has a good combination and mix of teams with brains pitted against brawn. Among the competitors are married professional surfers Bethany Hamilton and her husband, Adam Dirks. Hamilton is a shark attack survivor whose story was told in her memoirs and the film Soul Surfer.
There's also a pair of Survivor alums: Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan, who met on the South Pacific edition and are now engaged; TNA wrestling stars Brooke Adams and Robbie E Strauss; Boston firefighters Michael Ward and Scott Strazzullo as well as "unabashed spazz's" and food scientists Amy DeJong and Maya Warren.
At the start of the race Keoghan reveals a new game-changing element called 'The Save'. The team that finishes first in the premiere episode will be awarded this new prize which they can use to rescue themselves if they come in last during a particular leg of the race and face elimination.
Teams this season will be put to the test as they travel through eight countries and 20 cities. For the first time in the show's history, the race will visit St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, where teams will fly high in the sky; Valletta, Malta, where they'll rappel 200 feet into a breath taking Blue Grotto sea cave and the Shetland Islands, Scotland, to test their sheep-herding skills.
The Amazing Race sends 11 teams on a trek around the world. Each Team is comprised of two people who have a pre-existing relationship with one another.
At every destination, each Team competes in a series of challenges - some mental and some physical - and when the tasks have been completed, they learn their next destination.
Teams who are farthest behind will gradually be eliminated as the contest progresses, with the first team to arrive at the final destination winning at least $1 million.
Jerry Bruckheimer, Bertram van Munster, Jonathan Littman, Elise Doganieri and Mark Vertullo are the executive producers for Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Earthview Inc. in association with ABC Studios and Amazing Race Productions. The Amazing Race was created by Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri.
Season 25 Teams
Amy DeJong and Maya Warren
"We're physically fit. We've run marathons. We may not look like the buffest, but stamina-wise, we can definitely kick butt."
Brooke Adams and Robbie E. Strauss
"We tried to condense our cosmetics bag from huge, which is normal travel for us, to small. We'll race better if we feel better about ourselves and we'll feel better about ourselves if we have our jewellery and our clothes brands that we like and our eye cream before we go to bed."
Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks
Pro surfer and motivational speaker and "professional husband"
"Obviously we'll have to be strategic with one arm. Some tasks will be really hard for me, so hopefully we can be balance it out. ... Having one arm, people might be more prone to help you or underestimate you."
Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan
Engaged former Survivors
Environmental field tech and singer/songwriter
"We've wanted to do this since Survivor and have expressed our interest for a long, long time. I guess our relationship has lasted long enough that they saw it wasn't just a showmance."
Kym Perfetto and Alli Forsythe
Friends and urban bike racers
SoulCycle instructor and YouTuber and educator
"I know this sounds crazy, but I get really uneasy on planes when there's turbulence. I have motion sickness. You probably will at some point on the show see me throw up."
Lisa and Michelle Thompson
"We will work with other teams and we're going to be really nice to everyone. Everyone always underestimate the blondes, but we're tough and we can deal with high-stress situations."
Isabelle Du and Dennis Hour
Model and accountant
"I actually bought an old car just to make sure I'll be used to driving manual. When she tried driving manual, she cried."
Michael Ward and Scott Strazzullo
Friends and firefighters
"We might say we're exotic dancers or underwater basket weavers. We don't want to say too much, but they can probably guess."
Misti and Jim Raman
Cosmetic dentist and orthodontist
"I was Miss Galaxy and I was about to give up the title. There was not really anywhere to go after that. I didn't want to stop competing... so we asked my pageant coach and he was like, 'You guys would be great on The Amazing Race'."
Shelley and Nici Porter
Mother and daughter
"We're not telling teams we're flight attendants. We both were in the military as well - Air Force and Army - so we're not sharing that either. We're going to hold onto that as long as we can. We're going to let them think we're the ditzy sisters."
Tim Tsao and Te Jay McGrath
Flight attendant and restaurant server
"One of our advantages is travel. I'm a flight attendant, so I know that like the back of my hand. And any performance task - we want dancing tasks. We're very manipulative and charming, but we don't want to come off as that. We want to come off as the underdog and just be friendly, but little do they know we're playing them the whole time."
||14 February 2018