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Offline puddin

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The Amazing Race ON Line Articles
« on: November 15, 2004, 05:57:30 PM »

And they're off ...

November 15, 2004


Chicago all but glistens as its gray skies melt into a postcard palette of blues. An ominous, unseasonably cool and blustery mid-summer morning in Grant Park has been transformed for prime time -- in the nick of time.

"Absolutely just one of those stunning Chicago days," marvels Phil Keoghan, host of CBS' "The Amazing Race," which makes its sixth-season debut Tuesday night at 8 on WBBM-Channel 2, but actually launched its serpentine 29-day, 75,000-mile round-the-world rally from Buckingham Fountain on Aug. 13.

Off-duty police officers on security detail have sealed off the fountain's perimeter. A helicopter hovers nearby. For theatrical effect, the 11 competing couples have been brought in across Lake Michigan aboard high-speed boats. Their backpacks are carefully arranged in a row a sprint away from the "Race" starting line.

A two-person camera and sound crew assigned to each team awaits just behind the corresponding knapsacks. Other cameras, including one suspended from a boom, are discreetly off to the side, where a handful of other personnel watch.

Within moments, almost everyone will be scurrying on their way to Iceland, the first stop for the first leg of this season's race.

The winning team, which will collect a $1 million prize, will spend the next few weeks not only trying to beat the others -- overcoming various travel obstacles as well as physical and mental challenges and stunts -- but also resisting bickering among themselves.

The people behind the scenes, meanwhile, must do nearly everything the contestants do but often running backwards and looking through a viewfinder. The phrase "logistical nightmare" comes up a lot in conversations.

"The teams, they're like sprinters," Keoghan said. "They run. They rest. They run. They rest. We just run. If they're running 400-meter races every leg, we're running a marathon."

"Even when they're resting ... we are working ahead, setting up for the next show, anticipating new schedule changes. The people that make this show are truly extraordinary at what they do."

The results are just as extraordinary. "The Amazing Race" has grown in popularity at a time when reality TV is in recession, in part because it's a reality series even those who say they hate the genre can embrace.

Not for nothing has it won two straight Emmy Awards. It's packed with drama that plays out against a backdrop of international locales. Each episode is a video coffee-table book of gorgeous scenery in exotic, faraway places.

"Race" is not just the road less traveled. It is the road almost never traveled, though series co-creator/executive producer Bertram van Munster, a Dutch producer, says his lifetime of far-flung sightseeing has helped shape the show's globetrotting.

"I sit in the car, some broken piece of [garbage] car," van Munster said. "I drive around and say: 'Wait. Stop. Back up. This is really cool.' That's how we got Calcutta [in season five], with the [car] engines hanging in the trees like fruits. That's the kind of wacky stuff we get organically.

"A lot of people have tried to do [this] type of show, but it's kind of lukewarm because -- without being arrogant about it -- there's not enough knowledge to put things together like that."

Most of the planet is open to a "Race" stop, with a few easy-to-guess exceptions. "Obviously we're not going into Iraq or Afghanistan and places like that," said van Munster, who has contingency plans for evacuating teams in an emergency. "Ninety-nine percent of the world is perfectly safe."

Boston originally was to be the starting point for season six, but van Munster and his producers realized it would be better to take a less direct path to Iceland.

Once the 11 teams hustle from Chicago's lakefront to O'Hare on the Blue Line, there are three possible flights out of town and, as always, each plane has a limited number of available seats.

"I love Chicago," said Keoghan, a New Zealander by birth. "It's probably the most telegenic city in America. It has all the qualities that you want in a big city. It's got a great skyline. It's got a great lakefront. The streets and everything have a little bit of history.

"Sometimes you get places where the weather isn't great and where the city might not be showing off in a way that the locals would like to see it shown off. ... [Chicago] is just one of those cities where, no matter where you put the camera, it's going to look good."

Most places look good on "Race," though. The only reality show to compare in terms of polish and shine is CBS' "Survivor," which has the considerable advantage of taking place in one location and shooting over more time.

"[They] don't have to factor in pieces of equipment going missing on flights, customs holding pieces of equipment," Keoghan said. "We're constantly having to make compromises and adjustments to the way ['Race'] is shot.

"Things don't work and you can't get replacements in time. ... Throw in weather, mechanical problems with planes, schedule changes, delays, all of those things, it becomes a huge logistical nightmare because our playing field is global."

"Race" crew members tell harrowing stories of nearly failing to capture critical situations because of travel delays and other snafus. "We literally have had occasions where I have been running up one side of the mat [marking the end of a leg of the race] while the first-place team is running up from the other direction," Keoghan said.

"I will not allow myself to be intimidated by logistics," van Munster said. "Of course, I have a whole army of people that are always kind of scared. But I say: 'No, you can actually do this. You can go from here to here to here [in time], and how do I know? Because I have done it 50 times.'

"I have meetings with my producers [to arrange] where every camera goes for weeks on end. We know how to catch [players] at the right moment, and we have extremely talented cinematographers that catch these moments in real time."

(Interestingly enough, while the start of "Race" went off without a hitch in Chicago, CBS News' Harry Smith and Dave Price required a second take when kicking off their version of the first leg for a feature about the series set to air Tuesday on "The Early Show." While it's not clear this will be included in their report, they shot a retake of their sprint from the starting line to their bags and feigned surprise they were headed to Iceland.)

While locations usually look good, competitors often don't. As in most reality shows, the blend of participants is vital to "Race." There inevitably are teams to root for and teams to root against. Each pair has some prior existing relationship, be they best friends, parent and child, lovers, former lovers, high school pals, siblings, married couples, long-distance daters or engaged to be married.

Within the teams, there also tend to be twists and some are more obvious than others.

A husband and wife this time, for example, happen to be pro wrestlers. One engaged couple is made up of two models. Two sisters are Mormon, with one traditionally conservative and the other hyped as a wee bit wilder.

Less promoted is the fact a pair of dating actors includes a woman who participated in last winter's pay-per-view Lingerie Bowl football game. And while one pair is billed simply as "married entrepreneurs," it turns out the hothead hubby is wed to Playboy's Miss January 1996.

"The cool thing about the show is it just seems to be getting better," said Keoghan, who has a new book and new cable show, both called "No Opportunity Wasted," encouraging people to set life goals and break out of their comfort zones a la "Race."

"We're getting better at making ['Race'] ... and choosing people that we know are going to deliver material. It's the first time I've worked on a show that's grown in popularity every season. ... This thing seems to be getting stronger and stronger."

One great handicap to "Race" initially building an audience was that it made its debut in September 2001 less than a week before the attacks of 9/11 cast a pall on a show about Americans abroad.

The series has always been a critical favorite, however, and CBS chiefs Leslie Moonves and Nancy Tellem didn't waver in their support even when its ratings hardly ensured renewal.

Fortunately, a 2003 Emmy win over "Survivor" and "American Idol" proved an eye-opener to viewers, helping last summer's edition become a breakout hit.

"People suddenly found the show that had been there for a while but that maybe hadn't gotten the attention," Keoghan said. "It just exploded this summer and suddenly it became water-cooler talk. Now there's an expectation, particularly with the second Emmy award [in September]."

Those expectations are such that CBS already has ordered a seventh "Race," so things already were brightening for the show before the clouds broke right on cue three months ago in Grant Park.

"You guys have a phenomenally beautiful city," van Munster said. "It is extraordinary. When the wind is dying down, I love it."

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Saydel grad embarks on TV's 'Race'
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2004, 05:58:40 PM »
Saydel grad embarks on TV's 'Race'

November 15, 2004

  On TV
The sixth season of "The Amazing Race" debuts at 8 p.m. Tuesday on CBS.
If you're a reality TV fan and wondered who to root for now that Des Moines resident Rory Freeman is off "Survivor," you're in luck. An Iowa native is part of another CBS hit show that starts Tuesday.

Kris Perkins, a 30-year-old who graduated from Saydel High School in 1992 and now lives in Long Beach, Calif., will compete on "The Amazing Race."

Perkins is a former go-go dancer and is working as a cocktail waitress and studying at UCLA. Her boyfriend, described by CBS only as Jon, is a bartender at a nightclub in Scottsdale, Ariz.

She figures if she and her boyfriend can make it to the end of the race, maybe they can make it to the altar.

Now in its sixth season, "The Amazing Race" sends 11 teams around the world racing to various destinations, performing various tasks along the way that reflect the local culture. At the end of most of the episodes, the last pair to arrive gets the boot. The last episode finds the three remaining teams sprinting to the finish line and a $1 million prize.

The other teams competing against Perkins and her boyfriend include a pair of married professional wrestlers, actors, models and a few normal people.
"They're an interesting team in that they are very, very compatible," Phil Keoghan, host of the program, said of Kris and Jon. "It's hard to believe they have only been together a few months."

Like "Survivor," CBS keeps the contestants on "The Amazing Race" away from the media in order to avoid spoiling the outcome. The CBS Web site does say: "Kris and Jon are hoping that doing the race together will show them if their relationship can work on a 24/7 basis, and if they should put an end to the long-distance part of their relationship."

If Perkins has one advantage to give her a leg up in the race, it's that she's studying geography in college. That might help her realize when they're in Bora Bora as opposed to, say, Argentina.

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Ellen Gray | 'Amazing' creator writes a list for life
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2004, 06:00:05 PM »
Ellen Gray | 'Amazing' creator writes a list for life

THE AMAZING RACE. 9 p.m. tomorrow, Channel 3.

PHIL KEOGHAN is not really interested in talking about the number of posers on the latest edition of CBS' "The Amazing Race," but I can tell you that six of the 22 contestants this time around list "model" as one of their descriptive characteristics.

Not only is that slightly out of proportion to the population, but it's one model for every round of the Emmy-winning "Race," which this summer finally shed its cult-hit status as the "reality" show for people who don't like "reality" shows and became a genuine hit.

And before I saw tomorrow's two-hour season premiere, I'll admit I was worried CBS might be trying to pretty it up for its new fans.

But bundled up in parkas to go camping atop a glacier in Iceland, the models don't stand out nearly as much as the married pro wrestlers do.

"If you actually look at these people who've called themselves's a pretty ambiguous word," Keoghan, who hosts the show, reassured me last week.

Indeed, in most cases it's combined with actor or artist - or pilot! - suggesting that "model" has replaced "bartender" as shorthand for "flexibly enough employed to take time off for a race around the world."


Keoghan may be TV's most self-effacing "reality" host - you'd never know from watching "Race" that he's the one conducting most of the contestant interviews that pepper the show - but he's not going to get drawn into a discussion of whether the contestants are getting prettier. Not when he has a book to promote.

"We really do get people [on 'Race'] who see this as an opportunity of a lifetime," he said, adding, "This book that I have is about this, about people being pushed a little bit...It's only by experiencing a bit of discomfort that you can appreciate the true value of comfort."

"No Opportunity Wasted: Creating a List for Life" was, like Keoghan's cable show "No Opportunity Wasted" (8 p.m. Thursdays, Discovery), inspired by a near-death experience Keoghan had while diving in a shipwreck at age 19.

"I thought, 'I'm done,' " and got "really angry," he recalled, adding, "Obviously, I got out."

But "I was so charged" afterward, that "I sat down and wrote this list of things to do before I die. That list really became a life contract for me," said Keoghan, who sees both "The Amazing Race" and his book as offering others the opportunity to share the kind of adventures he's sought out for himself.

"I do get a kick out of seeing them have this once in a lifetime experience," he said.

Even the models.

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Harry And Dave Go 'Amazing'
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2004, 10:58:02 AM »
Harry And Dave Go 'Amazing'

WHO KNOWS WHERE? Nov. 16, 2004

Harry, Dave In 'Amazing Race'


(CBS) Tonight on CBS: The premiere of "The Amazing Race." Two of the show's biggest fans are The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith and weatherman Dave Price -- so much, in fact, that, this time out, the producers actually allowed them to run the first leg of the race. This week, they'll show you how they did. And, warns Dave, it's not always pretty.

"Now we should make it clear," says Harry, "we were racing against ourselves and not the other 11 teams. And, of course, we were never eligible for the million-dollar price. But it was still an experience (that was) nothing short of amazing."

Here is their chronicle:

Harry: "Tomorrow: the big start. And I found out that traveling with Dave was definitely not what I expected."

Two contestants, one goal: To run a leg of "The Amazing Race." Harry Smith: outdoorsman and veteran mountain climber. Dave Price: indoorsman and social climber.

Harry was born with the right stuff: Dave had to buy it all.

Shopping at the Paragon Sporting Goods Store, Dave had a odd encounter with a salesperson:

Dave: "I need some stuff. I'm going away."

Salesperson: "Where?"

Dave: "I don't know."

Salesperson: "What will you be doing?"

Dave: "I don't know."

Salesperson: "Do you know what the weather is going to be like?"

Dave: "In general, I do. In this case, I don't."

Because team members must called everything all the time, they're advised to pack light. In the airport, Dave came to an unhappy realization:

Dave: "I got 80 pounds of stuff on my back."

Harry: "Well, then, you'll have to schlep that, I'm nice and light." (Eying Dave's backpack) "Is your mother in there?"

Dave: "No. She doesn't fly coach."

Team Early Show reported to the start city and the hotel that was the pre-race headquarters. To avoid being recognized, Harry and Dave tried to keep a low profile, wearing glasses, false noses and mustaches.

Producer Evan Weinstein gave them a quick briefing on the rules, and it was time to see if they could bond as a team.

Harry: "I knew this was a bad idea."

Dave: "I asked if I could do it with Cronkite."

Harry: "(Dan) Rather. Bob Simon."

Dave: "That would have been fine."

Harry: "Mike Wallace was arrested."

Dave: "So he couldn't make it."

Like all contestants, Harry and Dave were searched for phones, maps, cash, credit cards -- anything that might give them a leg up.

Fully briefed and thoroughly searched, team Early Show was confined to a single room, a ritual known as "lockdown," on the eve of their own "Amazing Race."

You can watch the other teams compete tonight (Nov. 16) on a special two-hour premiere of "The Amazing Race" at 9 p.m./ 8 p.m. Central

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TV Guide interview w Phil Keoghan
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2004, 06:07:57 PM »

Laughter. Route markers. Noisy fights in airports. A snowmobile race across the world's largest glacier. That's right, TV's best reality show is back for another action-packed season! Tonight's premiere of The Amazing Race (9 pm/ET on CBS) finds 11 new daring duos racing from downtown Chicago to Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon, with lots of difficult — but hugely entertaining — challenges along the way. Here, TAR host and published author Phil Keoghan (whose book No Opportunity Wasted is out now) shares his thoughts about the show's eagerly anticipated sixth season.

TV Guide Online: This is the first time Amazing Race has gone to Iceland, right? It's a great location for the premiere.
Phil Keoghan: Yeah, we always try to do something that captures people's imaginations, and it's a challenge because you've got to outdo yourself every time. But this season has a great start to it.

TVGO: Any other big "firsts" planned?
Keoghan: There's a slight alteration to one of the rules, which has quite a dramatic impact. I'm not going to tell you what it is because it's nicely revealed in the series, but we've been looking at different ways to tweak the show and make it more challenging. People study this show; they really understand every intricate detail of it. There's one guy this season, Jonathan, who is a huge race fan and knows everything about the show.

TVGO: Tell us more about Jonathan. Based on the first episode, he's shaping up to be this season's Colin.
Keoghan: I think he is, without a doubt, the loudest contestant we've ever had on the show. It will be interesting to see how the fans respond to that. We definitely had people getting upset with him. It seems like the race gets more intense every single time. We're at that point where there's less and less of a honeymoon period. Now it's really about just getting straight into it.

TVGO: Who else should we keep an eye on?
Keoghan: There are these pro wrestlers [Bolo and Lori] who are larger than life. We have a lot of couples this season as well. One couple [Kris and Jon] has been dating long-distance and this is the longest period they will have been together. We have this interesting couple Adam and Rebecca where she thought he was gay but he actually liked her. They've gotten together now, and you have to question whether they should be together. There's also Avi and Joe who are from Brooklyn...

TVGO: Those are my guys. This New Yawker's gotta support his borough!
Keoghan: Yeah, they're funny. They're just outright funny guys. The sisters, Lena and Kristy, are polar opposites. One of them is really out there and the other one is really not out there at all. It's kind of interesting to see them [interact].

TVGO: Going into every season, can you tell which cast members will be the most popular with viewers?
Keoghan: No, you never know who is going to pay off for the audience. And when we're out there, we never know which teams are actually going to do well because it's completely unpredictable. Case in point was Charla and Mirna. Nobody thought they would go as far as they did, but they did. And who thought they would capture people's imaginations as much as they did? We actually thought that Alison and Donny were going to capture people's imaginations, but they didn't stay in it as long. We also didn't think that Colin and Christie would be as big as they were. And when I say "we," I guess I really should say "I" because I don't want people saying, "Well, we knew!" I can't speak for anybody else, but I can tell you honestly that I never know who is going to win the race. I am never able to predict all the teams at the end. I've been lucky with a couple of guesses, but I haven't worked out any science to it.

TVGO: Last season scored big ratings and brought the show renewed media attention. Does that make you more confident going into this race?
Keoghan: I've never worked on a show where it has actually gotten bigger season by season. If you work on a show that's big, it often comes out of the gate big or takes a little while to build up speed. But this show has progressively gotten stronger and stronger and then, last season, it just exploded. And now we're in this great situation: We have two Emmys, Season 5 was big and we've got a great time slot for Season 6. You never want to anticipate [success] because you just never know, but I'd be lying if I said we didn't think we had the opportunity to take the show to another level again.

TVGO: Finally, have you got anything to say to Donald Trump, who dissed TAR after it beat The Apprentice at the Emmys?
Keoghan: Yeah, I heard that he wasn't happy. You know, I didn't say this, but somebody said I should tell him: "I'm sorry to tell you, you've been eliminated." I guess he was eliminated before he was able to fire us. But that's just what somebody suggested I say. I don't want The Donald coming after me with his heavies. (Laughs)

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An audience finally catches up to 'The Amazing Race'
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2004, 08:37:18 PM »
An audience finally catches up to 'The Amazing Race'

Joe Rhodes
New York Times News Service
Nov. 16, 2004 12:00 AM

In the relatively short history of reality television there seems to have been one inescapable pattern: A show is either successful right out of the gate or it sputters and quickly dies. Slow starts are rarely allowed.

That makes CBS' late-blooming "Amazing Race" a notable survivor: It flirted with cancellation for four seasons before ratings suddenly escalated last summer, making it the most-watched reality series on television. After years of bouncing around in low-priority time slots, "The Amazing Race," in which 11 two-person teams race around the world in pursuit of a million-dollar prize, will have its sixth-season premiere with a two-hour special on Tuesday night (Nov. 16), in the high-profile heart of the prime-time November sweeps.

"Sometimes you just get a perfect storm of elements, and that's clearly what happened in Season five," said Kelly Kahl, executive vice president of programming at CBS. His theory? The cumulative effect of a hard-core fan base, years of effusive reviews (a number of which called "The Amazing Race" the best reality show on television in its first season), back-to-back Emmy Awards in 2003 and 2004 for best reality program, and a particularly appealing cast of competitors all came together to bolster the show's ratings, particularly among the younger viewers prized by the networks. advertisement 

The late-September season finale drew nearly 13 million viewers and the summer episodes averaged 10.7 million, high numbers for that time of year. More important from CBS' perspective, the show nearly doubled its ratings among its 18-to-34 viewers and won its time period every week.

The ratings resurrection has been especially gratifying for Bertram van Munster, the show's Dutch-born co-creator and executive producer. For van Munster, the show is the culmination of his lengthy career as a globe-trotting documentarian, a rough-and-tumble life that included several seasons in harm's way as the chief cameraman on "Cops." The "Amazing Race" had such a shaky start, though, that he was convinced it would not survive.

The series had its premiere on Sept. 5, 2001, six days before the terrorist attacks. The opening sequence, which had seemed so exhilarating when it was first broadcast - a computer-generated close-up of a passenger jet racing through clouds - suddenly seemed ominous.

"Once we saw our billboards covered in dust from the 9/11 tragedy, we knew we had a problem," van Munster said. "The world had changed from one second to another, and we were doing a show about traveling overseas, about airplanes. At that point, I thought the show was over. I didn't think we had a chance."

There were other problems. In the wake of the enormous success of "Survivor," the first big wave of reality programming was flooding the networks and, programming analysts say, "The Amazing Race" got lost in the crowd.

"I think they had a hard time differentiating themselves from some of those other shows," said Stacey Lynn Koerner, a broadcast ratings analyst and executive vice president of Initiative Media Worldwide. "The ratings performances were never bad, but they didn't compare to the blockbuster numbers that 'Survivor' was getting."

The ratings might have been mediocre, but audience reaction to "The Amazing Race" was intense from the start. Reviewers gushed and Internet devotees sang its praises. Andy Dehnart, the creator and editor of, a Web site devoted to reality television, said viewers were quickly hooked on the show's deceptively simple premise: Teams of people with existing relationships - married couples, best friends, siblings - race from one designated location to another, performing tasks and picking up clues to their next destination, experiencing local customs and frequently getting lost along the way. The last team to arrive at each pit stop is eliminated from the race.

"I think one of the biggest reasons people love this show is that you get to live vicariously through the people on the screen," Dehnart said. "It's not like other shows where people are made to suffer or humiliate themselves. Most of the time, these people are doing things you'd like to do yourself."

"I think the cast is very important, that's half the battle," van Munster said, acknowledging that the quirky assortment of contestants in season five - including a maniacally intense man named Colin, born-again Christian fashion models and an easygoing middle-aged couple who eventually won the race - had a lot to do with the increased audience interest. "We want people between 21 and 70 from all walks of life," he said.

The first season saw competitors travel from New York to Johannesburg, Paris to Tunis, Rome to New Delhi, and then to Bangkok, Beijing, Anchorage, San Francisco and back to New York. Scheming, bickering and exhausted, participants in the first five seasons have found themselves bungee jumping in New Zealand, searching archaeological digs in Egypt, stuffing themselves with cheese in Switzerland and with caviar in Russia. They have raced sampans and ox carts, crawled through temples filled with rats, ridden elephants and camels, climbed mountains, kayaked over waterfalls and hang-glided from cliffs.

Through it all, the ratings remained good but not great. "There were times when it was close to being canceled," Kahl of CBS said. "It's a show that was always on the bubble. But it had a lot of things going for it. It was always one of the youngest-skewing shows on our air, if not the youngest. And the response we got from fans - letters, e-mails, phone calls - was almost unprecedented."

For his part, van Muster said: "They never told us it was in trouble or that it wasn't coming back. But sometimes the phone would be awfully quiet for a couple of months. That always made me nervous."

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Amazing Race promises a lively sixth season
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2004, 07:38:10 PM »
Amazing Race promises a lively sixth season

By Hal Boedeker
Orlando Sentinel
Posted November 19 2004

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If ever a show delivered on its title, The Amazing Race is it.

Through skillful editing and daring games, the CBS series provides rare excitement for television and even rarer class for the reality genre.

The global adventure has won the Emmy for best reality series two years in a row. It has triumphed, deservedly, over such higher-rated competitors as American Idol, Survivor and The Apprentice.

The fifth edition of The Amazing Race emerged as the highest-rated reality series this summer. Most shows' numbers decline with age, but this one's keep growing.

So CBS has started the sixth edition of The Amazing Race this week at 9 p.m. Tuesdays against heavier competition. (The premiere encores at 8 p.m. Saturday on WFOR-Ch. 4 and WPEC-Ch. 12.)

"It's a time slot where no one is dominating," says Kelly Kahl, who oversees CBS's schedule. "If you talk to people, they're passionate about the show. It has a viral effect. More people tell other people. It keeps spreading."

The Amazing Race sends 11 two-person teams on an exhausting quest that will bring the winning duo a $1 million prize. The fifth edition covered 72,000 miles and six continents in a month; the new version travels roughly 40,000 miles and hits 24 cities on four continents.

The fifth version also thrived from excellent casting. Charla, a plucky dwarf, emerged as an admired player despite her obnoxious cousin Mirna. That show also offered the bowling moms Linda and Karen and the eventual winners, spouses Chip and Kim.

The sixth edition rolls out colorful contestants, such as married entrepreneurs Jonathan and Victoria.

"He is without a doubt the loudest, most competitive person we have ever had on the race," says host Phil Keoghan. "Right from the beginning, he made it clear that he understood the show and that he's going to win."

Then there are married wrestlers Lori and Bolo. "He tries to be so mean, but he's really a sweetheart and so is she," says executive producer Bertram van Munster.

Van Munster also points to Avi and Joe as promising characters. "They're loud and proud and best friends," he says. :)*

The producer cites careful casting as crucial to the show's success.

"There is this whole army of reality people out there that wants to be on the shows," van Munster says. "We circumvent them. We always get the real things. If you want to be lazy in casting, you can put together a conglomerate of people who are professional reality contestants."

The show has ritzier production values than most reality series. Van Munster says he started thinking bigger when agents paired him with Jerry Bruckheimer, who also produces the CSI series and big-screen blockbusters.

"The reason Jerry and I hooked up was `let's raise the quality of television and have fun.' Otherwise, why do it?"

The show presents breathtaking views of Iceland, and the series will travel later to Africa and Asia. The locales are often so arresting that The Amazing Race seems as much an epic travelogue as a game.

Keoghan marvels at being at the foot of the Great Sphinx in Egypt last season.

"It's a thrill for us," the host says. "People at home are living that vicariously through the teams. We all dream of doing these things,0,615574.story?coll=sfla-features-headlines

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Re: The Amazing Race ON Line Articles
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2004, 11:34:44 AM »
WOW so many articles!!! Okay the last 2 i just skimmed.

Less promoted is the fact a pair of dating actors includes a woman who participated in last winter's pay-per-view Lingerie Bowl football game

So which one of them was the lingerie bowl participant?

Curiousl why they mention some contestants and not they make it far or are they the frist boots?  H/A never mentioned nor the grandparents or Gus and Hera

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Re: The Amazing Race ON Line Articles
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2004, 01:58:55 PM »
Maybe he is out christmas shopping with pittgirl for you.  Where is that pittgirl...she should be on school break?

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More than one way to win at Amazing Race
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2004, 04:49:39 PM »
So which one of them was the lingerie bowl participant?
I'm thinking its Haydon & Aaron?
Maybe he is out christmas shopping with pittgirl for you.  Where is that pittgirl...she should be on school break?
...Yeah probably it.. :)_| I do miss our Pittgirl too..Maybe I'll email her and see how shes doing  **:)**
Tue, November 23, 2004

More than one way to win at Amazing Race

Why do people get hooked on shows like The Amazing Race? It's genetic, explains Phil Keoghan, thrill-seeking host of the around-the-world reality series that continues tonight at 8 p.m. on CTV and CBS. Keoghan (rhymes with Hogan) believes that there is a risk-taking gene in all of us.

"The reason that shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race have captured people's imagination is that they speak to that gene," he says. "They allow us to vicariously escape and do the very things we feel we need to do, but we're not getting in our everyday life."

Too many of us back off our destiny due to fear or other excuses, he says.

"The two big excuses I hear from people are 'I don't have time' and 'I don't have money.' "

His own priorities changed at 19 when the New Zealander was trapped diving in a shipwreck.

"It was the first time in my life I really felt like I could die," he says. "Obviously I managed to get out, and as a result I was really motivated to start living the biggest life I could. I wrote this list of things to do before I die and that list became a career for me. I wound up getting paid to do the things on my list."

For a similar approach, just look at the first two people tossed from last week's Amazing Race premiere. High school buddies Avi and Joe came last out of 11 teams, but were blown away by the experience and thrilled to make that first trek from Chicago to Iceland.

"If these guys were only going to go in the race to win and not for any other reason and they were going to measure it that way, then, yes, they failed. But life isn't like that," says Keoghan. "What's so great about people who get on the show is they do truly embrace the experience and they do see it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And it's not just about the money."

That even applies to Jonathan, one of the "married entrepreneurs" who instantly stepped into the villain role last week. Keoghan concedes Jonathan is "without a doubt the loudest person we've ever had compete on the race," but he's also the biggest fan.

"He's analyzed every challenge, he knows what worked and what didn't work. This is a guy who's on a mission to win The Amazing Race."

Keoghan says putting "married pro wrestlers" on your application form, as gung ho grapplers Lori and Bolo did this time, doesn't automatically qualify you for the event.

"Only if they deliver as people," he says. "We get a lot of applicants with pretty good headlines -- wannabe astronauts or whatever."

And don't be fooled by all those contestants who call themselves "dating models" or "actors," either.

"What people call themselves doesn't necessarily mean that's what they are. I live in L.A. where people call themselves actors, models, producers, directors and writers and they work down at the 7 -Eleven."

Offline puddin

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Amazing Race's Mr. Nasty has R.I. ties
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2004, 04:51:45 PM »
Amazing Race's Mr. Nasty has R.I. ties
11:03 AM EST on Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Journal Television Writer

Jonathan Baker, who has family in Providence and spent time here while growing up, is taking his tensions out on wife Victoria Fuller in The Amazing Race.
Reality TV relishes its villains, the folks you love to hate. Richard Hatch on Survivor. Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth on The Apprentice.

Now, just one show into its sixth season, Jonathan Baker on CBS's The Amazing Race is shaping up as a Bad Guy -- hyper-competitive, over-caffeinated, and nasty to his traveling partner and wife, Victoria Fuller.

"Maybe you should have taken someone else," Fuller said at one point.

"Maybe I should have," Baker snapped back.

(The Amazing Race, in which teams of contestants race around the world for a $1-million prize, airs on CBS at 9 p.m. tonight.) Turns out Baker, described as a "Hollywood entrepreneur" by CBS, has ties to Providence.

In a phone interview last week, Baker said he grew up in New York, Boston and Providence. He said his grandparents, Max and Ann Golden, live on the East Side of Providence, and when he was still a teenager he did some stories for Channel 10's PM Magazine.

Baker, 42, went to the University of Southern California, although he didn't graduate. Now he owns a day spa in Los Angeles and works on movie projects.

Fuller, 32, whom CBS describes as a pop artist/model, was a Playboy Playmate of the Month in 1996. The two got married in 2001.

Baker was not very pleased the way he came across on The Amazing Race.

"The editing wasn't kind to me, was it?" he said. "They used everything bad that was there. Victoria and I are like any married couple, we fight sometimes, but not like that. . . .

"We do love each other. But the way we're represented, I'm abusing her."

Baker is not allowed to talk about what happens on subsequent episodes of The Amazing Race, but he believes his portrayal will become less nasty as time goes on.

In the first episode of the show, which aired last Tuesday, contestants left Chicago for Iceland, where they had to find a particular waterfall, camp overnight on a glacier, and then choose between climbing a wall of ice or seaching for a buoy among hundreds of icebergs.

"We were up for days, and I was drinking a lot of Red Bull [a caffeine drink]," said Baker.

Baker said that while his portrayal on The Amazing Race so far has exaggerated his nasty side, he never intended to be meek and mild.

"In a way, I did this to myself. I went in wearing crazy colors. I didn't want to play the nice guy. I wanted to be colorful and over-the-top," he said.

That explains the canary-yellow shirt he was wearing in the first episode.

"I didn't want to be just nice," he said. "It wouldn't be fun. It wouldn't get any attention. . . . if you just be real, it will be boring. If you take it to a heightened level, it will be interesting."

Offline puddin

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‘Amazing Race' gets off to fast start
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2004, 05:00:40 PM »
Posted on Tue, Nov. 23, 2004 

‘Amazing Race' gets off to fast start

The Kansas City Star

We're here for you again!

‘The Amazing Race'

(8 tonight, CBS)

The lowdown: 10 teams race around the world for a million dollar prize. The teams began in Chicago, then flew to Iceland, where they had to find a waterfall, do some ice climbing and sleep on a glacier. Last team to the pit stop was eliminated. It's an adrenaline-packed and fast-moving show.

Wrong show: Married couples Lori and Bolo and Jonathan and Victoria might do better on Dr. Phil's “Relationship Rescue.” Lori and Bolo are professional wrestlers; Jonathan and Victoria, entrepreneurs. They had a lot in common, calling loved ones names and sporting over-plucked eyebrows.

Sorry to see them go: New York high school buddies Avi and Joe were fun and funny. But they made a tactical error at the race's first “detour,” skipping scaling the ice wall to search for a buoy in a big lagoon, which took longer than expected. Goodbye!

Brilliant: Loving sequences like engaged models Freddy and Kendra bragging that their jobs have made them seasoned travelers, giving them an edge, followed by a scene of them at the airport counter being told, “I don't know how to help you, sir. We fly to Canada.” There is a reason “Race” won the Emmy for best reality show.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2004, 06:25:35 PM by puddin »