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Offline puddin

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2009, 11:15:13 PM »
'The Amazing Race' is back with more scenery, fewer days
   
 
 
CBS' The Amazing Race can't match the ratings success of American Idol, Dancing With the Stars or Survivor, but it has outshined all of them in claiming trophies: Race has won the Emmy for best competition-reality series for six straight years, ever since the category was created.

Now, with a 14th edition that kicks off Sunday (8 ET/PT), the series is making several subtle shifts in its formula, which might corral more travel-hungry viewers.

"The show has been on the air for eight years; it needed a new coat of paint," executive producer Bertram van Munster says. (Last season averaged 11.2 million viewers, down 5% from the previous cycle.)

Gone are the lengthy scenes at airport ticket counters as contestants jostle for available flights, a frequent complaint of fans. Cameras will linger longer on the breathtaking scenery that's the show's hallmark.

And in cosmetic fixes, Race's route will be updated with Google maps, the show will sport new graphics and a new opening sequence, and the musical score will get a tuneup. "We had a little too many cymbals crashing," van Munster says.

In all, this 12-episode season travels 40,000 miles in just 22 days, a week shorter than past editions. Racers begin in Los Angeles and hit their first pit stop — Stechelberg, Switzerland — in Sunday's premiere, after they've wrangled 50-pound wheels of cheese down a steep hill.

Then they traipse across Europe and Asia, stopping in India, China and Thailand, before hitting the finish line on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Along the way, the show treks for the first time to Romania and Siberia, where contestants endure a 13-hour ride on the Trans-Siberian Railroad and face a major snowstorm.

"When you go from Siberia, where it's bitter cold, to India, which is unbearably hot, that's a shock," van Munster says. "We really wore these people out."

This season's racers are a more diverse lot: The show's 11 teams include Luke Adams, 23, a deaf college graduate from Monument, Colo., who travels with his mom, Margie, 51.

"We had to work a little harder because I can't hear," said Luke in a telephone interview interpreted by his mother, who noted that their choices were limited in some challenges. But "I'm a big fan and I've been watching since Season 1, and I really wanted to be the first deaf person on the show."

Also on the chase for the $1 million prize: a brother/sister team of Chinese-Americans with Harvard law degrees; a pair of former NFL cheerleaders; two flight attendants; diminutive stuntmen brothers; and Mike White, a screenwriter (School of Rock) and actor (Chuck & Buck) who travels with his gay activist dad, Mel.

 
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2009-02-12-amazing-race_N.htm
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 11:28:11 PM by puddin »


Offline puddin

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2009, 10:39:09 AM »
INTERVIEW: PHIL KEOGHAN ON PUTTING THE AMAZING IN CBS'S "RACE"
By Jim Halterman

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
While the fourteenth season of any series is usually time that last rites are being administered, CBS's "The Amazing Race" marches into Season 14 with a renewed vigor and freshness, according to longtime host Phil Keoghan. Speaking from Los Angeles, Keoghan spoke of the endurance of the competition series, how the contestants are chosen and what brings him the most joy in his host role.

Keoghan said that conscious efforts have been made this season to keep the show from growing stale. "The network really wanted to freshen everything up including the graphics and the music; all the dressing elements of the show. And that now with all the other stuff that we've always been able to keep fresh, I think it's given us something that's a premiere show like Season One out of the gate; that's how fresh it looks to me."

"The Amazing Race" has been a groundbreaking show in that it has regularly brought an eclectic group of people to each season's casts. "I've gotta tell you," Keoghan said, "to CBS's credit, they have consistently made quite radical choices with casting [but] the final say goes to Les Moonves and he has an unbelievable eye for talent and knowing what's going to work on TV." Case in point, Keoghan explained that one of the teams in the new season (Margie and Luke) is a mother and her deaf son, who doesn't read lips and will rely completely on his mother to communicate. "It would've been an easy one to shy away from them. Most people would say 'we don't want to get into too extreme a choice. It's going to be too hard for them.' But we've had an amputee, we've had a short person, we've had gay, straight, tall, short. We've had such extremes with the casting that I love being a part of it because I love that we don't shy away from any combination that works." Other contestants this season include a gay father and son, sibling lawyers and shapely blonde flight attendants, who say in the season premiere that they are ready to use their looks to get them far in the game.

While challenges may get bigger and scarier every season (in Sunday's episode, racers bungee jump off the second highest point in the world) Keoghan said there's another aspect of the challenges that appeal to him. "It's about immersing people in some aspect of culture in that place. Those to me are my favorite challenges. Milking a camel or this cheese challenge [where contestants have to carry 200 lbs of cheese down a slippery hill], which was such a huge effort. You kind of throw people something that is inherently part of the culture there... [for example,] they're in Cambodia and they have to go fishing and they have to do it the way people in Cambodia do it."

In terms of the show's popularity, Keoghan shared, "I feel like 'The Amazing Race' is kind of at a tipping point. Before, people would say 'you're that guy from that great race.' They sort of knew the face, knew the show, they'd heard about it but it hadn't gotten to that tipping point where it becomes a part of people's vernacular where it was mainstream or where it was a recognizable show to just about anyone on the street. Now, people get the name right, people have seen it, people say, 'Oh, I know that show, The Amazing Race. I love this team or I love that team.' But the thing I consistently hear from people is we just love it when you just show us the world."

The fact that the race itself literally goes around the world, Keoghan initially wanted to convey the grand scope of that fact at the starting line of the race. He revealed that at the beginning of the series, "I wanted a line that sort of encapsulated what was awaiting the teams and what was awaiting the viewers and I came up with this line. I felt like I needed something to set up the premise. I came up with this line, 'The world is waiting for you.'"

Keoghan added that it's the world that is truly the biggest appeal of the series. "Yes, we have a great show, yes, we have a great cast but what people really love about the show, one of the big pulls or draws of the show is that we're the show that is part of the world and we'll show them the world in a way that they just don't get to see anywhere else in mainstream media."

Another popular draw of the show is the testing that the various relationships go through in the course of the race. To hear Keoghan describe it, it's not just the already weak relationships that are subject to the pressures of the race. "I don't know if even some of the strongest relationships aren't going to be tested somehow during the whole journey because it is very stressful. It's hard enough to take a family trip on the weekend and go away for a camping trip. In a perfect relationship there's still going to be some tension but now you've upped the ante and you put a million dollars out there and you've got other people racing to get there before you... you really create a lot of tension, a lot of energy there that manifests itself and teams really testing their relationship."

Keoghan, who is also an author of the book "No Opportunity Wasted: Creating A List For Life," clearly finds much joy in helping people make the most out of their lives. "It's uplifting. It's invigorating. It makes people want to get out there and do things. There's something very cool about working on a show this long and being a part of something that has that kind of energy." The host also said that he's heard first hand from past contestants how the race has impacted their lives. "I stay in contact with many of the racers. They email. It's changed their lives for the better. The audience loves to see the changes that people go through and the idea that they're pushing themselves. It's a unique opportunity to work on something that actually does something positive, I think."

When asked if he ever stands on the sidelines and secretly wishes he could do the challenges that he sees play out season after season, Keoghan admitted that he's not a newbie at doing extreme challenges. "Since the age of 19, I have spent most of my career doing crazy things. I have an unofficial world record for bungee jumping where nine of us jumped off a bridge at one time. I have my reindeer skiing license, which I got in 1998... I spent three days in a nudist resort [and] I putted a golf ball across Scotland last year in four days. 107 miles. One golf club, many golf balls lost from the West coast of Scotland to the East. So I've spent my entire career doing many of the things that they do on the race."

"The Amazing Race" kicks off its latest season this Sunday at 8:00/7:00c on CBS.
 
http://www.thefutoncritic.com/rant.aspx?id=20090213_amazingrace

Offline puddin

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2009, 06:15:10 PM »
Today's News: Our TakeWhat's In Store for the New Amazing Racers
Feb 13, 2009 05:52 PM ET by Robyn Ross
Amazing Race
The 14th installment of The Amazing Race kicks off Sunday (CBS, 8 pm/ET) as 11 teams dash around the world toward the finish line and the $1 million dollar prize. TVGuide.com checked in with Murtz Jaffer, editor of InsidePulse.com and host of Reality Obsessed, to get his take on the teams to watch, what's up with those pit stops, and why patience is the key to victory.

TVGuide.com: Who are your teams to watch?
Murtz Jaffer: There's one team that I'm favoring and that's Cara and Jaime, the cheerleaders from Florida. One is 26, one is 29 [and] typically younger teams win the race. Everybody wants two females to win this show. They're my heavy favorites right now, I have a feeling about these two.

Another team that I like is Tammy and Victor, the lawyers. Victor is modeling his game-play style on Rob and Amber [Season 7]. You drop Boston Rob and I'm obviously going to pick you. I like the fact that Tammy is 26 and Victor is 35, that's a really good age.  You got the mature one who's not that old but has still been around, and you have the younger one to dominate the physical. Plus they both went to Harvard.

Mark (48) and Michael (51) Munoz, the stunt brothers, are another team. They remind me a lot of Jon and Al, the clowns [Season 4]. Whenever Jon and Al were at the airport they'd put on their noses and make nice with the ticketing agent and I can see [Mark and Michael] doing a lot of tricks and stuff. [Their height —4'9"] can work for them, it can work against them, too. We'll never know what we're going to get in a challenge with them. They're either going to kill it, and we'll be like, "Oh my god, I can't believe those guys won" or "I feel so bad for them, this is totally not fair." Either way you're entertained.

TVGuide.com: Are there any other interesting teams?
Jaffer: Everybody is going to be talking about Margie and Luke. Luke (22) is the first-ever hearing impaired contestant. Communication is a big thing on the race. Teams that do well are the ones that don't freak out at the ticketing agent, that keep their cool. Obviously Margie (50) is patient, she had to learn sign language to communicate to her son [Luke]. In the pandemonium of the whole, "Let's go, we gotta go to the pit stop," they're going to be more concentrated on doing their own thing. Boston Rob and Amber have long said that that has always been their secret; they just did not care what anyone else was doing.

TVGuide.com: So who's most likely to go first?
Jaffer: Linda (52) and Steve (43), the married couple, are going to be in trouble. Brad (52) and Victoria (47) are also going to be in trouble, once again because of age. On Survivor you can get past age. You have the opportunity to align and you can bring in people to make up for any deficiencies you may have, whether it be social, physical, or survivalist. On The Amazing Race sorry, if you're old you're not going to be able to run as fast. It's over.

TVGuide.com: Can you tell us any other scoop about this season?
Jaffer: Less airports. It gets annoying when one team just kills at a challenge and all of a sudden they go to bed, the airport opens at 7 am, and they're all evened up again. Very annoying, I'm sure, for the contestants and for the people watching. I think that reality shows now, in 2009, are actually learning. And that's a very big thing — not just going with the status quo. The Amazing Race has learned that these airports and conjoined pit stops have to go.

Also, they are going to suffer through blizzards in [Russia] and I'm also hearing that there's going to be Olympic-themed challenges because the teams went to Beijing. Other locations that were featured are Switzerland, Austria, Romania, Siberia, Thailand, and Beijing.

There are no alpha male teams at all, not one. It's such an interesting thing to make a reality show, you have to make it fair and it's hard to answer what is fair. One person could say it's only fair that they have two males on the show because that means that the race wasn't watered down. So now if two older people win, I'm always going to say, "Well yeah, they won that season with an asterisk," because they didn't really have to face two 30-year-old guys. At the same time, you put two 30-year-old guys there and they're going to win every single time. My ideal casting would be two 30-year-old guys that are like Napoleon Dynamite because then you still have two 30-year-old guys but they're not these physical power houses

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Amazing-Race-Preview-1002892.aspx

Offline anon1akacolby

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2009, 04:04:00 PM »
Mike White's dream is reality on 'The Amazing Race'

The writer and actor got hooked on the show during the writers strike. Being paired with his dad made it even better.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-white14-2009feb14,0,2659399.story

By Chris Lee
February 14, 2009

CBS' Emmy-winning reality show, "The Amazing Race," has seen its share of eclectic contestants come and go over the series' 13 seasons: beauty pageant winners and bickering married couples, jock siblings and even little people. But this winter's installment marks the first time that "Race" has included a "Hollywood star" in its contestant ranks -- even if that famous face hardly counts as a household name.  Enter Mike White, the actor-screenwriter-producer-director who's best known for writing hit comedies, including "Nacho Libre" and "School of Rock" (in which he also plays a supporting role). White, a former producing partner of Jack Black, calls himself a "scholar" of CBS' multiple-Emmy-winning reality show and a self-professed "weird reality fanatic" who began his quest to become an "Amazing Race" contestant during the Hollywood writers strike in late 2007.  "I couldn't write. I'd been watching for so long, I was just like, 'I want to go on the show!' " White recalled. "I made a tape with a friend and sent it in. It wasn't like I tried to pull rank. We just sent in an audition and they called."

In fact, White, a Pasadena native who earned his stripes as a writer for Judd Apatow's late, great 1999-2000 television series, "Freaks and Geeks," places his burning ambition to be on "The Amazing Race" right up there with his abiding goals in life. "It's definitely on the bucket list," White said over a plate of roasted vegetables at the Brentwood Country Mart earlier this week. "Do 'The Amazing Race,' do a few movies, die happy."

But that doesn't quite explain how the whippet-thin Hollywood hotshot -- whose boyish physical presence and unblinking demeanor can't help but bring to mind the slightly demented naif-stalker he portrayed in 2000's oddball dramedy "Chuck & Buck" -- wound up on the physically arduous, globe-spanning obstacle course/time trial, which kicks off its 14th season at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Before White could take his place at the starting line, he had to persuade producers to cast him despite his professional pedigree; unlike so much programming on VH1, "The Amazing Race" had largely resisted anything resembling "celebreality" stunt casting until White came along (one exception being the casting of "Survivor" alumni Rob and Amber in Season 7). Then, White's original partner, filmmaker Jon Kasdan (who wrote 2007's "In the Land of Women"), dropped out during semifinal callbacks. And in a turn of events that surprised White as much as anyone, the show's casting director helped choose Kasdan's replacement: White's father, Mel White, a 69-year-old documentary filmmaker, author and leader in the gay evangelical Christian movement -- one of the oldest contestants to appear on the show. "I thought I'd collapse," Mel said of his expectations at the outset. "I thought when Michael said go, I'd fall down dead."

As well, Mike White had to overcome his own professional misgivings. "You feel a little weird as a writer of scripted television for many years to say you're a fan of reality TV. You feel like a traitor. But I am a total fan. There are life lessons that can be derived from reality television. It was a . . . blast."

It's hard not to harbor certain suspicions about Mike White's motivations -- namely, that his appearance on "Race" is some kind of Andy Kaufman-esque gag -- especially if you are at all familiar with White's view-askew comedy. Plumbing the aesthetic of discomfort for laughs as well as pathos, White's well-meaning but often dim-witted characters tend to find their bliss only after coming through the fire of ritual humiliation (see: Jack Black as a doofus music teacher in "School of Rock" or Molly Shannon as a misguided animal rights zealot in White's directorial debut, "Year of the Dog").

But to hear him tell it with wide-eyed sincerity, White didn't do the show for greater fame. He wanted to go on in large part to shake himself from complacency. "No matter what your job is, to be kicked out of that bubble is a healthy thing. You're asked to do things you'd never do. And the whole time it's slightly embarrassing, slightly humiliating. You get over yourself."

When Kasdan suffered what White jokingly refers to as a "nervous breakdown" during a battery of psychological tests administered by show producers, White had already won the admiration of Lynne Spillman, casting director for "The Amazing Race." She gauged him as someone who "was doing it purely for the love of the show and not for any kudos or fame."

After the two became chummy, White invited Spillman to a party at his house, where she met the openly bisexual filmmaker's friends and family members with an eye toward casting a replacement. Which is when she met Mel White, a prize-winning documentary producer and bestselling writer who ghost-wrote the autobiographies of such religious firebrands as Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. After undergoing three decades of "anti-gay" therapy in conjunction with the church, however, White came out of the closet in 1994 with his autobiography, "Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America."

"He was fascinating: opinionated, complex, sarcastic," Spillman said. "I didn't realize he was Mike's father at first. I tried to be cool, but I was so excited. Mike said, 'You gotta be kidding! He's the only person I'm not funny around.' "

Added Mike White: "To be perfectly honest, I'm competitive. I wanted to win. As much as my dad is spry for someone who's almost 70, he is still 20 years older than the next-oldest person on the show."

Nonetheless, both were persuaded that the experience would be positive and provide for plenty of father-son bonding that occasional lunches and cross-country visits can't approximate. Still, boundaries had to be established upfront. "Right at the beginning, he told me, 'Dad, don't go aggro on me.' I had to look it up. What's 'aggro'?" recalled Mel White from his home in Virginia. "I thought it was agriculture. But it's aggro-vated. He knows I'm a gay Christian activist. I'm aggravated half the time!"

Asked if he learned anything surprising about his son while traveling together under the battlefield conditions of reality television, Mel White grew suddenly emotional. "I couldn't pay for what 'The Amazing Race' did for me, to have this time with my son," he said.

Shooting wrapped in late November, after the racers hit five continents, 15 countries and traveled 30,000 miles. But so far, neither White has seen any footage from the show outside of a quietly hilarious CBS promo in which father and son are introduced simply as "writers" and shown pecking away at side-by-side laptops, doing tandem yoga and tooling around on Segway PTs. Mike White admits he stage-managed the commercial to temper people's expectations. But it seems like he also couldn't resist imposing some small measure of his comedic worldview on the show.

"They always have people doing this sporty stuff like volleyball," he said. "What would be the laziest thing we could do for our promo? Let's just ride on Segways in our neighborhood! I was thinking, 'Let's just do the goofiest stuff possible.' "

Offline mswood

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2009, 01:27:42 PM »
Here is what Aint it cool has to say.
Hercules Has Seen
Big-Deal Writer-Actor-Director Mike White Compete In CBS’ THE AMAZING RACE!!!!

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/40133

I am – Hercules!!


Mike White is the “Freaks and Geeks” vet who went on to write and star in “Chuck & Buck,” “Orange County,” “The Good Girl” and “School of Rock.” He more recently wrote and directed the hilarious and harrowing “Year of the Dog,” one of 2007’s best movies if you’re asking me.

Dad Mel White is described as a writer, filmmaker, professor, pastor and gay-rights activist.

On tonight's "Amazing Race," the Whites are seen racing against a deaf guy and his mom, a pair of dwarf sibling stuntmen, a pair of sibling Harvard Law grads, a pair of hot redheads, a pair of blonde flight attendants and a pair of twentysomethings from The Bronx.

Have a look at all the contestants here.

Notes on tonight’s premiere:

* The trademark jetliner CGI is gone; the series has a new set of opening titles.

* The race starts in Los Alamitos, Calif., then heads east.

* It turns out that both Whites are gay. I’ve suspected the younger White might have homosexual leanings since I saw the brilliantly creepy “Chuck and Buck,” but I don’t recall him earlier making mention of his orientation. Indeed, CBS’ press materials only identify the elder White as gay.

* The deaf kid doesn’t read lips, and so must rely entirely on his mother to deal with the hearing world.

* The little people, as one might expect, make their livings as stunt doubles for child actors.

* The first road block, involving a dam, is fricking nightmarish.

* Further into the episode, teams must each transport four 50-pound cheese wheels down a steep, slippery slope using fragile antique cheese carriers. Contestants often lose control of these mammoth lumps of cheese, causing the wheels to turn into potentially deadly dairy projectiles as they careen downward.

* There’s more crying when the first team hits the finish line than when the last team does.

* The ending is quite exciting. The last-place team hits the finish line only seconds after a not-last-place team.


Offline TARAsia Fan

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Re: The Amazing Race 14 Locations, spoiler summary on page 1
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2009, 09:30:01 PM »
Just to let you all know. I'm writing the famous TARAsia Fan Amazing Race recap. Right now!

Now back to writing.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2009, 09:39:56 PM by TARAsia Fan »
Just here to visit.

Offline TARAsia Fan

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Re: The Amazing Race 14 Locations, spoiler summary on page 1
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2009, 01:35:18 AM »
Here's the recap!
Just here to visit.

Offline puddin

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2009, 02:00:15 PM »
I found this clip on UGO

Amazing Race 14 - Team Interviews - PowerWe talk strategy with the lastest crop of racers!
 

Offline mswood

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2009, 02:03:52 PM »
Here's the recap!
That was quick, dont you have a job?

Offline puddin

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2009, 02:07:56 PM »
LOOK!! :hearts:
FYI, Bonnie Hunt it a repeat featuring Mark & Bill! Not Jen & Preston.


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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2009, 02:54:56 PM »
Here's the recap!
That was quick, dont you have a job?
Because of the job, I made sure I finished it last night. No more foot dragging on recaps.
Just here to visit.

Offline puddin

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2009, 04:17:38 PM »
We Go to Some Places Where I Know No American Show Has Ever Been Shot” – RealityNewsOnline’s Exclusive Interview with The Amazing Race’s Co-Creator, Director, and Executive Producer, Bertram van Munster
by Teeuwynn Woodruff -- 02/16/2009

 
The Amazing Race 14 premiered Sunday! In anticipation, RealityNewsOnline’s Teeuwynn Woodruff sat down with co-creator, producer, and director Bertram van Munster to talk about the multiple-Emmy winning reality series and why it is so successful. What does he have to say about this season, last season, and plans for future seasons? Read on to find out everything!

RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Bertram, and thank you for talking to RealityNewsOnline today!

Bertram van Munster: Thank you!

RNO: Do you have anything you can share with us about the upcoming race?

van Munster: Yes. But first I would like to talk about the last race, if that’s okay?

RNO: Sure!

van Munster: It leads into the next one. What I’m doing now, I’m going to more and more original places. The casting – for some mysterious reason – is getting better every time. Maybe we’re actually getting good at this, little by little!

Like in the last race, for instance, we went to places like Cambodia, and to Kazakhstan. Cambodia is a place that, if you had gone there ten years ago to Angkor Wat, they would shoot you and arrest you. Now, we can shoot an entire television show there.

The fact that we can get more exotic and phenomenal places in this crazy world is just really fantastic! And Kazakhstan, of course, we were shooting there and got a lot of cooperation from the government. Of course, they were slightly scared that we would do another Borat. That’s the only thing everyone was worried about! “Are you going to do the Borat?” Borat wasn’t even shot in Kazakhstan. It was shot in Romania. But they were all afraid we were going to do a Borat on them.

We weren’t doing a Borat. But we were still running around [with people] dressed up like a cow. It’s a little odd, but really fun.

What I’m doing now, in the new race coming up… I’ve got to tell you, we have beaten ourselves with getting a cast that is really, really good – which is instrumental to the success of the show. And then I laid out a race that is going through a lot of original territory – where people constantly say, “Nobody speaks English! I can’t take it anymore!” And that is exactly why we go there. “Remember? This is why we take you around the world.”

They get so frustrated because nobody speaks English. I find that kind of odd. Of course nobody speaks English. But they’re almost insulted that nobody speaks English. “How can you take me to a country where nobody speaks English?”

RNO: I think a lot of Americans are used to feeling that everybody will speak their language. It’s a big difference when they are exposed to different cultures like they are on the race.

van Munster: And [expect them] to kowtow and say, “Yes, we speak fluent English. Where do you want to go, sir?” That’s not the case at all. You see a lot of generosity on the part of people they run into. You see also a lot of stubbornness. You see some very exotic locales.

We go to some places where I know no American show has ever been shot. Ever. Of that I can assure you. So, it’s going to be really, really unique. And, in terms of weather, we go from extremely hot to extremely cold to extremely hot – rain and misery and what have you. Every piece of weather you can imagine, we have in the show. And that, included with the language barriers, and food, and pressure… I can assure you that this thing is off the scale!

RNO: The new locations and cast are ways you keep the show fresh. Is there anything else you do to keep the show interesting and evolving?

van Munster: The challenges. You know, the challenges in the show this time around are really original, and cultural in nature. [Some of them] are just a huge pain in the ass to do as challenges.

RNO: It must be an incredible logistical challenge to put the race itself together. Do you have to have backup challenges ready?

van Munster: In the past I have had moments… We were once shooting in Central America and there was this huge storm coming in, and I had to change one show completely. We couldn’t stay there. I have back-up challenges, and I even have back-up countries we can go to in case something really gets off track.

When I lay out a race, I run the whole thing myself. Twice. I start up by doing exactly what the teams are supposed to do. I get on this plane, I see what all the connections are, and I make all these connections for myself. So I know it works. Then I hand it over to my logistical team – but I know it already works before I hand it over to them.

RNO: Are there any countries you would love to race in, but haven’t had a chance to do so?

van Munster: No. I mean, what’s on the menu this time around is very original. I have to tell you, the logistical side of things is actually the most logical. Planes fly the way they fly. They have calculated these flight patterns long before we invented The Amazing Race. So, there is a logic to it.

You can look at it two ways. You can look at it like this is an un-overcomeable pile of information you don’t understand. Or you can look at it through the logic of how airlines fly their planes and how they make their money. That’s how I look at it. If you look at it from that perspective, there’s a great deal of logic to it.

Now, of course, not everybody has the time and energy to look at that kind of logic – particularly the contestants, because they are always in a hurry, you know, trying to cut each other off.

RNO: They’re in a race.

van Munster: They’re more in panic mode all the time. You have to just step back and look at the logic of the whole thing and then you’ll say, “Oh! That’s what’s going on.” Nobody takes the time to do it.

RNO: I have noticed that, when the teams take the time to really read their clues tend to do a lot better.

van Munster: Absolutely. It makes all the difference in the world. We can tell them that 100 times, and they won’t listen anyway – which makes for exciting television. Sometimes they are very individualistic in their decision-making in this race, and sometimes there is a little herd mentality going on [where] they all make the same huge mistake.

RNO: Have you ever seen teams do something you had no idea a team would ever do – running off in an entirely different direction?

van Munster: I see them all the time doing things they shouldn’t be doing. It’s the craziest thing. Sometimes, in the middle of the race, they get so panicky. Sometimes you see just a total breakdown of their energy. They just make the weirdest decisions that have nothing to do with the instructions they have.

RNO: Then you just have to follow along and see what happens?

van Munster: Well, there’s always a camera team with them, so I don’t care if they try to go off to North Korea, as long as there’s a camera team with them.

RNO: How do you make the call between giving a team penalty time for doing something wrong in the race vs. making a team go back and do what they were supposed to do?

van Munster: Well, speeding is a very dangerous thing. Countries have different rules, different regulations, so we are very careful with speeding. The camera team [tells teams] if they think they are driving unsafely. They call us and say they are driving unsafely and we have them pull over on the spot. That’s just the way it is. They have to adhere to the speed limits.

Our biggest worry is that people are going to get hurt. So, we are very, very strict with it. They know that up front. That is not a last-minute decision.

If someone comes to the mat [Pit Stop] and doesn’t have a clue in their hand – if you just stumble upon it by accident… Sorry, pal. You have to go back and find your clue.

RNO: When you cast teams, do you generally have an idea about who’s going to do well on the race and who isn’t?

van Munster: You know, all of us together have never been able to pick a winner. We have never, ever been able to pick it – which is good. So, the audience sees what I see happen. When you put people under pressure and make them race for a million bucks, someone will make an irrational decision. We see them do it all the time, and they are really smart people. They’re exhausted and under pressure.

RNO: Are there any specific teams that have surprised you by how well or poorly they have done on the race?

van Munster: You know, I am always impressed with the older guys. It also confirms what I’ve said – this race can be run by anybody. You don’t necessarily have to have incredible athletic ability to win this thing.

If you step back, and as you say, read your clue and really calculate which way you want to go, you’re just as good as the guy who runs six miles ahead of you and makes a mistake somewhere.

RNO: When you’re casting teams, do you look for a balance between different types of teams –athletic, young, old, etc.?

van Munster: Yes. We look for folks in all ages in good physical and mental health. We look for pre-existing relationships. We want people who love each other, people who want to break up, people who are not sure of their relationship, brothers, sisters, gay, whatever.

[Running the race] people look at each other very differently… It is a life-changing experience, to the point that when they come back and sit in their living rooms they say, “What the hell just happened to me? Was I really doing this?” Seeing these people is almost like holding up a mirror for the audience.

RNO: Do you think you’ll ever do another All-Star race?

van Munster: I personally don’t like All-Star reality shows. There are so many great competitors, I don’t see the point. Just because you’ve done it before doesn’t make you a star, it just means you’ve done it before.

I think it’s more fun to see different people every time – really original, new people. To me, that’s more exciting. CBS’s opinion may differ from mine on that one. But, if it were only up to me, I would say no.

RNO: Are there any new game elements – like the Yield or Fast Forward – in this race?

van Munster: I like to keep that a surprise, but there are some new game elements that are really a lot of fun. It will be minor tweaks… but enough to throw the teams off.

RNO: How do you pick the greeters for a country?

van Munster: I just make it up. I see a guy walking down the street – I mean, last time, I had a guy who sells lottery tickets! I saw him in Brazil and thought he’d be a nice greeter. But now I’m making some changes, and you will see some very funny changes in the show that are going to be much more elaborate – who the greeters are and how they are going to get involved.

RNO: So, my colleagues wanted me to ask if you would ever accept a team made up of two reality TV writers?

van Munster: Absolutely! I don’t see any reason why not. Everybody’s welcome.

RNO: I’ll tell them that. Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

van Munster: You know, to do a reality show like this one, you have to take a leap of faith. That’s why it’s still a reality show. A lot of reality shows are manipulated, they’re discussed – we don’t do any of that. That is where the leap of faith comes in.

RNO: I think that’s one of the things that keeps The Amazing Race interesting to watch. As are seeing how people behave in such an unusual situation.

van Munster: The great thing is, we turn them loose, then they have to get themselves somewhere and somewhere else, and do the challenges. We have control points at the challenges, but otherwise they are on their own. The reality is they are completely on their own for 50-60% of the race.

We’re the only show that goes around the world. We’ve made a lot of friends around the world. People get excited and generous, and they are nice and friendly. Just like we saw with the Russians last season with Toni & Dallas.

Oh, and common sense always wins. It applies to the racers and it applies to us.

RNO: Thank you so much for talking to us today.

van Munster: Thank you, and tell your colleagues to send a tape!

RNO: I will!

http://www.realitynewsonline.com/cgi-bin/ae.pl?mode=4&article=article8657.art&page=1

Offline puddin

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2009, 09:47:22 PM »
'The Amazing Race': 'The outcome for us is a surprise every time'

Here are the answers to your questions for Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri (pictured below with the show's host Phil Keoghan) about "The Amazing Race," which bowed its 14th edition Sunday.

I have not yet chosen a favorite team in the latest incarnation, but it's hard not to root for filmmaker Mike White and his dad.


"The Amazing Race" has won six consecutive Emmy Awards for outstanding reality program — and remains the only show to ever win that category. In addition van Munster won the 2007 Directors Guild of America award and van Munster and Doganieri — along with producing team Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Hayma Washington, Amy Chacon and Mark A. Vertullo — won the 2005 Producers Guild of America award.

Van Munster's other credits include ABC's "Oprah's Big Give," the Discovery Channel's "Raw Nature," ABC's "Profiles From the Front Line," syndicated series "Wild Things" and Fox's long-running "Cops." Prior to her producing career, Doganieri, a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, worked in advertising and in 1994 co-founded an Internet consulting firm.

I sat down with the ever so charming Bertram and his equally charming wife and partner Elise Doganieri at the "Race" offices a couple of weeks ago. The office was a real treat for this fan of TAR. It was like a museum of previous seasons with totem poles and puzzles and other reminders of challenges past. You'll notice in the video behind Bertram and Elise is a painting that a local did based on the fish puzzle contestants did at a Roadblock in Zanibar during the All-Star season.


They answered all of your questions with enthusiasm. I've transcribed most of the answers here and will be posting the full videos shortly — as soon as I figure out the little glitch in the Flip software that makes everyone sound like they just inhaled helium.



much more here.....

http://weblogs.variety.com/season_pass/2009/02/the-amazing-race-the-outcome-for-us-is-a-surprise-every-time.html
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 03:45:28 PM by puddin »

Offline TARAsia Fan

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2009, 03:07:42 AM »
I've got your episode 2 recap right here!
Just here to visit.

Offline apskip

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2009, 08:28:38 AM »
I found the RealityNewsOnline interview with Bertram van Munster very revealing on two points:

1. His claims about not using Borat per se in Kazakhstan (season 13) are totally undercut by the way in which CBS publicized that epiosde, which was Borat, Borat and more Borat.

2. The reference to a weather issue in Central America could have been one of two things, the AR8 Family Edition visits to Panama and Costa Rica or the not-filmed opening episode of AR12 rumored to be from some East Coast city to Belize, then replaced with a pullback to a Los Angeles to Ireland opening episode. I am betting on the latter since we never found out why the Belize episode was not the opener.

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2009, 12:22:54 PM »
Belize was never scheduled to be the Season 12 opener.

It was however, scheduled to be a leg in TAR 8, which had to be cancelled due to a hurricane.
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline TARAsia Fan

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2009, 05:22:32 PM »
A day late thanks to the snow, but the recap has just been put up.

http://www.fangsbites.com/2009/03/amazing-race-14-im-not-wearing-that.html
Just here to visit.

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2009, 02:34:09 PM »
Kynt and Vyxsin will be featured on TONIGHT's  TV Guide Channel's Reality Chat, discussing the TAR 14 season.

Times:

Channel Date & Time Episode Get More

TVGN 237 Tue, Mar 3
8:00 PM Reality Chat
Included: "The Bachelor"; "Survivor: Tocantins---The Brazilian Highlands"; "Amazing Race 14"; Top... more VCR+: 8406

TVGN 237 Wed, Mar 4
3:00 PM Reality Chat
Included: "The Bachelor"; "Survivor: Tocantins---The Brazilian Highlands"; "Amazing Race 14"; Top... more VCR+: 3203

TVGN 237 Thu, Mar 5
5:00 PM Reality Chat
Included: "The Bachelor"; "Survivor: Tocantins---The Brazilian Highlands"; "Amazing Race 14"; Top... more


Can't wait! :hearts:
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline TARAsia Fan

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2009, 02:34:53 PM »
The Pink & Black Attack are back!  :hearts: :hearts: :hearts: :jumpy: :jumpy: :jumpy:

If I can, I'll transcribe their guest spot!  :yess: :yess: :lol: :lol:
Just here to visit.

Offline puddin

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2009, 10:52:08 AM »
thanks to traveler224


Kynt and Vyxsin from Amazing Race 12 appear on Reality Chat, March 3, 2009.


Offline puddin

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #45 on: March 06, 2009, 04:54:45 PM »
March 6, 2009 12:55 PM

Adalian Column: Reality Is the Small Screen’s Survivor
By Josef Adalian

There is no cure for reality TV.

This fact will no doubt crush many who work in the business of television, people who have silently prayed for the end of unscripted programming ever since Richard Hatch first strutted naked across the small screen on “Survivor” in the summer of 2000.

These folks generally regard reality as some sort of mutant virus that needs to be purged from TV’s bloodstream. They regularly pounce on any of the genre’s failures or controversies as an opportunity to proclaim its demise.

Not gonna happen, at least if recent events are any indication. If anything, it turns out that reality shows seem to get better with age, rather than fade out quickly.

Last week, ABC’s “The Bachelor” ended its 13th season with a blockbuster finale that scored higher ratings than younger, supposedly “hotter” shows such as “Lost,” “Heroes,” “The Office” and “House.” A series that just a year or two ago was presumed dead by most industry insiders was suddenly dominating the pop culture zeitgeist, from the pages of People to the global Internet partyline that is Twitter.

Meanwhile, CBS last month announced it’s bringing back “Survivor” for its 19th and 20th cycles next season. “Ugly Betty” and “My Name Is Earl” have tried to steal the spotlight away from time to time, but nearly a decade after it premiered, “Survivor” continues to dominate the 8 p.m. hour on Thursdays.

Over at NBC, one of the network’s biggest success stories this season has been the surging ratings for “The Biggest Loser.” Marking its fifth year in October, the franchise continues to lure audiences, even against the biggest show on TV, Fox’s “American Idol.”

And speaking of “Idol,” despite the best efforts of some journalists (and everyone who works at networks not named Fox) to spin otherwise, in its eighth season, the series remains a dominant force in pop culture. Its ratings are down somewhat, but it has shed viewers much more slowly than the typical scripted hit.

Likewise, even if ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” suffers a bit of erosion this month without the presence of rubbernecker magnet Cloris Leachman, it almost certainly will continue to attract millions more viewers than most comedies or dramas currently on TV. And that’s after more than 125 episodes.

There are other unscripted tentpoles of varying ages and success levels scattered across the TV landscape.

“The Amazing Race,” which also has cheated death a few times, continues to do a nice job anchoring CBS’ Sunday lineup. “Hell’s Kitchen” has helped Fox turn Thursdays from an embarrassment into an asset, while in the summertime, CBS’ “Big Brother” and Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” dominate the warm-weather cultural scene.

And on the cable side of the business, MTV’s never-ending “The Real World” cannot be ignored (even if it becomes less and less real with each successive season). Bravo’s “Project Runway” has grown big enough to spark multimillion-dollar legal wars between giant conglomerates.

The recent success of “The Bachelor,” however, is the clearest proof of just how indestructible the reality genre has become.

This was a series, after all, that went from a peak of 25 million viewers in 2002 down to barely 8 million in 2005. It has been copied so many times, by so many networks, even the original was beginning to feel a bit like a parody of itself.

ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson easily could have decided to ditch the show when he took over the network. He chose to stick with it.

“I saw it as a great asset that had fallen on hard times creatively,” Mr. McPherson told me recently.

A good call, clearly.

“It’s a miracle, man,” creator Mike Fleiss told me last month. “How many shows have reversed a trend like this?”

Mr. Fleiss traces the turning point for his show’s resurgence to 2007, when Bachelor Brad opted to reject both his suitors. Since then, “Rather than force the format (onto the contestants), we’ve made the show more real and less predictable,” he said.

That statement likely will produce guffaws among the cynical types who found last week’s “Bachelor” finale to be the ultimate in reality show manipulation. No way, these folks argue, did Bachelor Jason decide on his own to change his mind about which woman he loved.

Given the ratings and fierce reactions from viewers, however, it’s clear that millions of Americans had no problem believing in the genuineness of the unscripted drama ABC served up last week.

Those who doubt the power of such programming continue to underestimate the very real appeal of a TV genre that shows no signs of fading any time soon.

http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/03/adalian_column_reality_is_the.php

Offline 2old4tech

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #46 on: March 08, 2009, 02:56:42 PM »
From the current issue of Time magazine...



« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 03:00:13 PM by 2old4tech »

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2009, 02:58:41 PM »
I'm not seeing your pic, 2old4tech....

Is it me?
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline 2old4tech

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2009, 03:02:14 PM »
No, it was me.  First time uploading a pic.  I didn't do it right.  I looked up your instructions in Support.  Sorry for the size. :groan:

Offline puddin

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Re: TAR 14 in the Media/News/Videos
« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2009, 03:11:05 PM »
Thanks 2old4tech, I get Time magazine but usually toss it out  :lol:


 

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