As well as the first ever public start of the Race in Times Square
The 25th edition of award-winning The Amazing Race is back on the Sony Channel this month 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.
It’s the world’s most famous reality show and winner of 13 Emmy Awards so the producers were out to do something special to celebrate its 25th anniversary. 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.
Host Phil Keoghan reveals that it was the decision to embrace social media that led to the start of the race in Times Square: “In the past we tried to keep secret what we were doing, where we were and where we were going. It was becoming more and more of a challenge because the world is not the way it was when we first started the show. People weren’t tweeting and posting pictures on Instagram. Now people are literally shooting video of us and firing it up around the world in real time. It’s very exciting. I think that it drives even more people to watch the show and it doesn’t detract from it at all. The energy in Times Square was palpable; it was an awesome start to an awesome race.”
Keoghan also says that surfer Bethany will prove to be an inspiration to many young women watching the race: “She doesn’t talk about the fact that she doesn’t have one of her arms; she talks about what she wants to do in life and gets on with it. She’s a tough competitor who kicks some serious butt.”
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.
“It’s the most powerful Amazing Race prize ever. Essentially, if you win it, you become almighty and powerful – kind of like the king of a country,” says Keoghan.
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 Season 25 premieres on the Sony Channel (DStv Channel 127) on Sunday, August 30th at 19h35.