http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/lifestyle/lifestyle/view_article.php?article_id=85217Conversation with an amazing TV hostBy Niņo Mark Sablan
MANILA, Philippines - After hosting the first season of the AXN Original Production "The Amazing Race Asia," Singapore-based Chinese-American actor Allan Wu was deluged with endorsement deals, commercial offers and other various proposals - even invitations to star in a Filipino movie.
And while he did accept some of those irresistible offers (the Filipino flick sadly not being a part of it), he is now back as the host of season two of one of the world's greatest, most exciting and most successful reality TV franchises.
"The Amazing Race Asia" Season 2 (TARA 2) is set to premiere soon on AXN. While host Wu admits to trying to look a lot less like Phil Keoghan of the US edition and a lot more like himself in the new season, the show itself has undergone several exciting changes.
"You can never rest on your laurels," he says, referring to both his career and the show's success. Allan also states that while the first season put the show on the map, "TARA 2" will now be writing the map.
In an exclusive phoner with 2bU!, "TARA 2's" hot and ***y host reveals how not-so-nice some of the teams are in this season, what the challenges are like and how long he plans to be part of the show.What can viewers expect from "TARA 2"?
You can expect a lot more surprises and a lot more drama. This year, the producers spent a lot of time and energy trying to pick out colorful and provocative and combustible contestants in the race and have them all thrown in the mix racing around the world. It's just a hundred percent unadulterated entertainment. The teams will go a lot farther. If you enjoyed last season, you'll definitely enjoy this season. It's even more exciting this year.How different are the contestants in this new batch?
Last season, the teams were all quite nice people, this season they're laying their true colors out for everyone to see. Some of the teams even wanted to start fighting with me! They're very, very angry people!
With the new season we have new rules implemented also. Sometimes the teams refuse to accept their fate or the consequences of their actions. They think they're right.
Honestly, I think some of these teams might have been a little delusional but it obviously makes for great television, too.
Last year, all the teams were pretty much excited to be on the show. Last season, a lot of the teams were saying, wow, we're in the premiere, the maiden voyage of "The Amazing Race Asia." This time around, people know sort of what to expect but, I think, even more importantly, they are out to win that money and to be the champion. Some of them will stop at nothing to try and achieve that goal.Are the contestants from "TARA 2" more interesting than those from the first season?
I would love to say most definitely for sure but I don't want to offend the first season contestants. But I definitely think they are more controversial. They are definitely more multifaceted and a lot more colorful.Is there a special way of introducing the new season of "TARA"?
We're going to have a special episode before the actual premiere of the first leg of the race. It's called Racers Revealed and it gives the audience the chance to get more familiar with the racers before they actually start competing on the show. In that show, there's a good chance they're going to show some of these audition tapes so in the future, people will have a better idea of what it takes to be in the show.Were there any improvements made?
For me personally as a host I think I needed to be more myself. I think I was trying probably too much to be like Phil (Keoghan), trying to fill Phil's shoes. But the show itself, people were saying there wasn't enough self driving or the teams were all always clumped up on the same flight. This year, you can expect none of that to really happen.
There's a lot more driving, with the teams going from location to location, which tests how well these teams work together.How different are the challenges in this season?
There's probably less fear-related ones this time and more thinking and skill-related ones, too, but all the challenges reflect on the venue or location or country or continent we're at because we do travel very very far this time around.Did the first season rate well?
I heard about it from the producers and the TV station and they were all very excited with the ratings and viewership and response so I think that's part of the reason why we came back for season two. It was hard for me to imagine this season being better but this season's going to be off the wall.How long will you be committed to "TARA"?
I am committed to as many as they need me for, so as long as the show is there and as long as I don't do too bad of a job, I think I'll still be in line to host and be a part of "The Amazing Race Asia." It's a unique, special and historic opportunity for me. It's by far the most exciting, the most memorable and the most enjoyable job that I have ever had.