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The Amazing Race is an American multiple Emmy Award-winning reality game show in which teams of two or four race around the world against other teams.

As the original version of the Amazing Race franchise, the CBS program has been on-air since 2001.[1] Created by Elise Doganieri and Bertram van Munster, they, along with Jonathan Littman, serve as the show's executive producers. The show is produced by Earthview Inc. (now renamed as Worldwide Production, headed by Doganieri and van Munster), Jerry Bruckheimer Television for CBS and ABC Studios (formerly named as Touchstone Television, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company). Phil Keoghan is the host.

The original version of the show was originally on Game Show Network from 2005 to 2008 with Seasons 1 to 8.

The series has been awarded the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality/Competition Program ten times since the category was created in 2003. Although it has moved around various primetime timeslots, the program has had modest but sustainable viewership throughout its history.

Concept[]

The original idea for The Amazing Race began as a bet between current producers Elise Doganieri and Bertram van Munster, with van Munster challenging Doganieri to develop a concept for a TV show in less than 5 minutes while both were attending a trade convention. With Doganieri's suggestion of a race around the world, the two refined the concept and sold it to CBS.[2]

The present form of The Amazing Race, for the most part, has not changed from the first season. The race utilizes progressive elimination; the last team to arrive at a designated checkpoint (Pit Stops) leaves the game. The race starts in a US city. Teams must then follow clues and instructions and make their way to checkpoints in places around the world, eventually racing back to the finish line in the US. Along the way they perform tasks that represent the culture of the present country or city. Tasks include Detours (an option between two tasks of various difficulty) and Roadblocks (a task that can be done by only one member of a team); additionally, other optional markers, if reached first, can provide a team with a Fast Forward (allowing a team to skip remaining tasks and go to the checkpoint), a Yield (the ability to delay another team for a short amount of time), or a U-Turn (one team forcing another to complete the other side of a Detour). Teams race with limited possessions and are given a fixed amount of money for all travel purposes save for airline tickets, which are paid for by production-issued credit cards.

Format[]

For details about the terminology, activities, and rules of The Amazing Race, including examples from the American version, see The Amazing Race.

Teams[]

For a list of all teams, see Category:The Amazing Race (US) teams and List of The Amazing Race (US) contestants.

Production[]

The production of the Amazing Race is an extremely difficult aspect, given that unlike other reality TV shows, the show continues to move about the world all the time. Despite such difficulties, the show has been nominated and awarded several Emmys for Cinematography, Sound Editing and Mixing, and Picture Editing for a Nonfiction program since 2003.


Pre-Race[]

Production will scope out several locations for the Race and will send people to investigate potential tasks and activities to be performed in the locations. Production also must work with the local governments to acquire filming rights and allowances for the race. Most of the tasks are attempted by production to determine the difficulty and timing with each task as well as to determine how to shoot that task.

Teams are selected through a multi-step interview process, usually starting with country-wide interviews at a few major cities. Once teams have been selected, teams are given a list of countries that they will need to apply for visas for. To avoid spoiling too much of the race, this list includes more countries than are planned to be visited, so that teams cannot plan on where they will be visiting, even countries that contestants don't have to apply for.

For clothing, teams are generally asked to plan for coordinating clothes, at least in the first few legs, to help with team identity and differentiation. Some teams have taken it upon themselves to procure custom clothes with their personal team moniker or names (examples include Joe & Bill from Season 1, Ken & Gerard and Aaron & Arianne from Season 3, Marshall & Lance and Linda & Karen from Season 5, Erwin & Godwin from Season 10, and Brendon & Rachel from Season 24), though these are not required.

A few days before the race, teams and last minute replacements are flown into the same city (usually not the same as the actual start city) and sequestered in a hotel. Teams are asked to prepare their bags for the race, and production verifies the contents, removing any items prohibited by the race. On the day before or the day of the race, teams are then flown to the actual starting city and to the start line.

Prior to actually starting the race, teams are asked to take off by foot from the starting line several times in order to get several shots of the teams both in close-up and while racing away.

During the Race[]

Each team is accompanied by a two-person audio/video crew, who must stay with the team at all times, except at the Pit Stop and during certain Detours or Roadblocks. The crews rotate between teams at Pit Stops to avoid any possible favoritism that may develop between a team and its crew. This A/V crew must be able to ride with the team when they take transportation such as cabs or planes. Even though the program shows teams asking for only two tickets, they actually have to purchase four tickets to account for the A/V crew; what usually happens is that teams first ask the agents for four tickets, and then the AV crew reshoots the request, this time only asking for two.

Similarly, the A/V crew will often ask teams to redo certain actions during a leg in order to get a better camera shot (such as getting into and out of taxis), or to adjust the microphones that each team member is usually wearing. These events can lead to "production difficulties", which are usually credited to the team when they reach the Pit Stop. Along story producers keep track of any developing storylines and begin editing near the end of the race.[3]

Many Detours and Roadblocks use special cameras to get more dramatic shots of the racers as they complete the task, such as helmet-mounted cameras for climbing, rappelling, and sky-diving stunts. The producers may also get helicopters and high overhead cranes to get wide-area camera footage when appropriate. There are also special camera crews known as 'Zone' cameras that are used near clue boxes, Detours, and Roadblocks, which take over for the team's assigned A/V crew in order to get more dramatic shots.

If a team should engage with a non-Race participant, they will need to have the AV crew get the consent of that person to be used on camera via agreement forms. Footage of people that have not consented is either not used, or with the person's face pixelated out.

The production team tends to arrive in a country a day or a half-day before the racers themselves arrive; however, there have been times that the lead production crew, including Phil Keoghan, has flown along with the Racers into that country. While the teams are racing, production sets up shots of Phil describing the various tasks, and then prepare for the arrival at the Pit Stop. In a few cases, production had barely arrived just before the teams started to arrive at the Pit Stop.

While in a country, the various production crews keep apprised of the status of each team in order to prepare the location for the arrival. For example, clue boxes are only set up minutes before the first team arrives to prevent non-Racers from getting involved or stealing clues. Additionally, any obvious penalties or missed tasks are relayed to the Pit Stop crew so that Phil can inform teams appropriately of these. Once teams have arrived at the Pit Stop, production checks with each AV crew to identify if any additional penalties or time credits are necessary.

When teams check in, they are usually requested to move to the lodging area for the Pit Stop, though during Season 1 this usually did not occur, as teams can be seen hanging around the Pit Stop to greet the other teams as they arrived. The eliminated team usually gets a chance to say goodbye to the remaining racers. Teams eliminated early in the race are then flown to a common location known as "Sequesterville" where teams are allowed to relax and sight-see (though with restrictions), until they are then flown to the final city for the very end of the Race. Beginning in Season 11, CBS began posting videos of the "Elimination Station" on its website. These videos showed eliminated teams at the location in which they are sequestered. Some teams do not necessarily get sequestered; instead, they may either accompany production through the last few legs as to meet with the rest of the eliminated teams at the final mat to cut down on travel costs, or they may be asked to perform "decoy runs", usually flying into the final city or a different city with an AV crew, a day or so before the final 3 teams arrive, as to throw off potential spoilers for the final teams.

The final mat is usually chosen in a well-isolated spot and planned so that teams are arriving mid-day during a weekday, or early on a Saturday or Sunday, as to reduce the amount of potential sightings of the final teams.

Post-Race[]

All teams are compensated for the time missed off their jobs, though the amount is undisclosed and confidential. As with most reality TV shows, teams are not allowed to reveal their performance on the race until the episode with their elimination, or in the case of the Final 3, after the final mat, has aired, with two exceptions in Season 10 and Season 11 when winning teams Tyler & James and Eric & Danielle each got to call their family and friend, respectively after both teams had won. Even after their elimination episode has aired, teams are not allowed to reveal any events, eliminations, or the ultimate winners of the race. In the past, eliminated teams have typically been asked to appear for an interview on The Early Show on CBS on the day after the airing of their eliminated episode, though this practice has been hit or miss in later seasons.

Each episode is worked on by a separate team of editors as soon as the race starts; as such, there are usually no 'arcs' unless they have developed over a previous show (for example, the dislike of most of the teams in Season 1 towards Joe & Bill, or the so-called Six Pack/Backpack alliance between David & Mary, Lyn & Karlyn, and Erwin & Godwin in Season 10).

Complete tasks have been known to be cut from an episode, usually due to the lack of impact on race standings for that task. Roadblocks are most commonly edited out should teams depart in the same order as they arrive, though evidence for these Roadblocks can be found from footage still shown, interviews with racers, or from spoiler information. For example, teams arriving on Mauritius for a kayaking Roadblock in Season 10 was recorded by vacationers and posted to the Internet shortly afterwards, but the entire Roadblock was removed from the episode as shown. In another case, in the first leg in Poland in Season 11, Joe & Bill confirmed that a Roadblock involving rowing across a pond to the Pit Stop was edited out. An ostrich egg eating Roadblock was edited from the first episode in Season 1 but included as part of the extras in the DVD release. In order to keep continuity with clues, editors will use sound bites from the readings of multiple clues to mask the missing task.

The opening credits for the first season used a combination of pictures of locations in the race and teams, both posing as well as performing tasks during the race. However, many fans were able to identify the elimination order simply based on these tasks shots. Since then, the introduction sequence has used only a combination of location shots from both the current race as well as past races, and only teams posing at their residence or home city, reducing the amount of spoiler content within the introduction.

In two instances of the race, a natural disaster has occurred in an area that the race has been through but prior to first airing of that Race; specifically the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that struck Sri Lanka after Season 6, and Hurricane Katrina which struck New Orleans after Season 8. In the latter case, one of the teams racing, the Schroeder family, lost their home from the event. In both cases, the episodes which have included race legs within these areas have been given a moment to reflect on that natural disaster with text and a voice-over by Phil to send their regards to the people of the country/area that were affected.

Seasons 35 and 36 are the two seasons swapped between filming and airing at each other, with the former season had aired first but filmed second by production date due to the 2023 Writers Guild of America Strike caused many scripted shows paused writing works, the latter season had to be postponed indefinitely to avoid spoiler information.

Seasons[]

Season Number of Teams/Families Destinations Filming Dates Season Run Winners Unique Distinctions
TARlogo-USseason1
The Amazing Race 1
11 United States, South Africa, Zambia, France, Tunisia, Italy, India, Thailand, China March 8, 2001 - April 8, 2001 September 5, 2001 - December 13, 2001 S1 RobBrennan
Rob Frisbee & Brennan Swain
Introduced the Detour, Fast Forward, and the Roadblock
TARlogo-USoriginal
The Amazing Race 2
11 United States, Brazil, South Africa, Namibia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand January 7, 2002 - February 3, 2002 March 11, 2002 - May 15, 2002 S2 ChrisAlex
Chris Luca & Alex Boylan
First season to feature the Starting Line and the Finish Line in two different locations
TARlogo-USoriginal
The Amazing Race 3
12 United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam August 9, 2002 - September 8, 2002 October 3, 2002 - December 18, 2002 S3 FloZach
Flo Pesenti & Zach Behr
First season to feature 12 teams, introduced the Final Memory Challenge
TARlogo-USoriginal
The Amazing Race 4
12 United States, Italy, Austria, France, Netherlands, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Australia January 18, 2003 - February 14, 2003 May 29, 2003 - August 21, 2003 S4 ReichenChip
Reichen Lehmkuhl & Chip Arndt
Last season to feature ties that would allow to check at the Pit Stop mat
TARlogo-USoriginal
The Amazing Race 5
11 United States, Uruguay, Argentina, Russia, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, India, New Zealand, Philippines, Canada January 30, 2004 - February 27, 2004 July 6, 2004 - September 21, 2004 S5 ChipKim
Chip McAllister & Kim McAllister
Introduced the Yield and Non-Elimination penalty
TARlogo-USoriginal
The Amazing Race 6
11 United States, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Senegal, Germany, Hungary, France, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, China August 13, 2004 - September 12, 2004 November 16, 2004 - February 8, 2005[1] S6 FreddyKendra
Freddy Holliday & Kendra Bentley
First season to implement the Roadblock limit rule per team member, introduced the Superleg
TARlogo-USoriginal
The Amazing Race 7
11 United States, Peru, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Botswana, India, Turkey, United Kingdom, Jamaica, Puerto Rico November 20, 2004 - December 19, 2004 March 1, 2005 - May 10, 2005 S7 UchennaJoyce
Uchenna Agu & Joyce Agu
First season not to travel across the International Date Line
TARlogo-USFamilyEdition
The Amazing Race: Family Edition
10 New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Panama, Costa Rica, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Canada July 7, 2005 - July 31, 2005 September 27, 2005 - December 13, 2005 S8 LinzFamily
Nick Linz, Alex Linz, Megan Linz & Tommy Linz
Family Edition, featured 10 families of four, including children as young as below 18 years old
Season set mostly in the United States, with locations in Central America and Canada
TARlogo-USoriginal
The Amazing Race 9
11 United States, Brazil, Russia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Oman, Australia, Thailand, Japan November 7, 2005 - December 3, 2005 February 28, 2006 - May 17, 2006 S9 BJTyler
BJ Averell & Tyler MacNiven
Returned to international travel
Returned to standard two-person team format
TARlogo-USoriginal
The Amazing Race 10
11 United States, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, India, Kuwait, Mauritius, Madagascar, Finland, Ukraine, Morocco, Spain, France May 27, 2006 - June 24, 2006 September 17, 2006 - December 10, 2006 S10 TylerJames
Tyler Denk & James Branaman
First season to travel in westward direction, introduced the surprise elimination outside of the Pit Stop and Intersection
TARlogo-USoriginal
The Amazing Race: All-Stars (2007)
11 United States, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Mozambique, Tanzania, Poland, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, Guam November 20, 2006 - December 17, 2006 February 18, 2007 - May 6, 2007 S11 EricDanielle
Eric Sanchez & Danielle Turner
All-Stars, featured returning teams and a new team that began dating after their original season
TARlogo-USoriginal
The Amazing Race 12
11 United States, Ireland, Netherlands, Burkina Faso, Lithuania, Croatia, Italy, India, Japan, Taiwan July 8, 2007 - July 29, 2007 November 4, 2007 - January 20, 2008[2] S12 TKRachel
TK Erwin & Rachel Rosales
Introduced the U-Turn and Speed Bump, first season to shorten to 11 single legs
TARlogo-USoriginal
The Amazing Race 13
11 United States, Brazil, Bolivia, New Zealand, Cambodia, India, Kazakhstan, Russia April 22, 2008 - May 14, 2008 September 28, 2008 - December 7, 2008 S13 NickStarr
Nick Spangler & Starr Spangler
None
TARlogo-US
The Amazing Race 14
11 United States, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Romania, Russia, India, Thailand, China October 31, 2008 - November 21, 2008 February 15, 2009 - May 10, 2009 S14 TammyVictor
Tammy Jih & Victor Jih
Introduced the Blind U-Turn
TARlogo-US
The Amazing Race 15
12 United States, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Sweden, Estonia, Czech Republic July 18, 2009 - August 7, 2009 September 27, 2009 - December 6, 2009 S15 MeghanCheyne
Meghan Rickey & Cheyne Whitney
Introduced the Starting Line Task and Switchback
TARlogo-US
The Amazing Race 16
11 United States, Chile, Argentina, Germany, France, Seychelles, Malaysia, Singapore, China November 28, 2009 - December 20, 2009 February 14, 2010 - May 9, 2010 S16 DanJordan
Dan Pious & Jordan Pious
First season to feature two Roadblocks on a single leg
TARlogo-US
The Amazing Race 17
11 United States, United Kingdom, Ghana, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Oman, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, South Korea May 26, 2010 - June 15, 2010 September 26, 2010 - December 12, 2010 S17 NatKat
Nat Strand & Kat Chang
Introduced the Express Pass and Double U-Turn
TARlogo-US
The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business
11 United States, Australia, Japan, China, India, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Brazil November 20, 2010 - December 13, 2010 February 20, 2011 - May 8, 2011 S18 KishaJen
Kisha Hoffman & Jen Hoffman
Unfinished Business, featured returning teams who had lost their first race and wanted to compete that could win another Race, introduced the Automatic U-Turn and No-Rest Leg
TARlogo-US
The Amazing Race 19
11 United States, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malawi, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Panama June 18, 2011 - July 10, 2011 September 25, 2011 - December 11, 2011 S19 ErnieCindy
Ernie Halvorsen & Cindy Chiang
Introduced the Hazard and Double Elimination
TARlogo-US
The Amazing Race 20
11 United States, Argentina, Paraguay, Italy, Germany, Azerbaijan, Tanzania, India, Japan November 26, 2011 - December 19, 2011 February 19, 2012 - May 6, 2012 S20 RachelDave
Rachel Brown & Dave Brown
None
TARlogo-US
The Amazing Race 21
11 United States, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Russia, Netherlands, Spain, France May 26, 2012 - June 16, 2012 September 30, 2012 - December 9, 2012 S21 JoshBrent
Josh Kilmer-Purcell & Brent Ridge
Introduced the Double Your Money and Blind Double U-Turn
TARlogo-US
The Amazing Race 22
11 United States, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Botswana, Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom November 13, 2012 - December 7, 2012 February 17, 2013 - May 5, 2013 S22 BatesAnthony
Bates Battaglia & Anthony Battaglia
Introduced a second Express Pass that must be given to another team
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 23
11 United States, Chile, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Austria, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Japan June 9, 2013 - July 2, 2013 September 28, 2013 - December 8, 2013 S23 JasonAmy
Jason Case & Amy Diaz
None
TARlogo-US24
The Amazing Race: All-Stars (2014)
11[3] United States, China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom November 16, 2013 - December 6, 2013 February 23, 2014 - May 18, 2014 S24 DaveConnor
Dave O'Leary & Connor O'Leary
All-Stars, featured returning teams and a composite team
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 25
11 United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Morocco, Italy, Malta, Singapore, Philippines May 31, 2014 - June 22, 2014 September 26, 2014 - December 19, 2014 S25 AmyMaya
Amy DeJong & Maya Warren
Introduced the Save, Blind Detour and final four teams racing into the Final Leg
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 26
11[4] United States, Japan, Thailand, Germany, France, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, Peru November 14, 2014 - December 6, 2014 February 25, 2015 - May 15, 2015 S26 LauraTyler
Laura Pierson & Tyler Adams
Featured dating teams, including five blind date teams
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 27
11 United States, Brazil, Argentina, Zambia, Zimbabwe, France, Netherlands, Poland, India, Hong Kong, Macau June 22, 2015 - July 14, 2015 September 25, 2015 - December 11, 2015 S27 KelseyJoey
Kelsey Gerckens & Joey Buttitta
Introduced a single Express Pass that must be given to another team once they used and the recipients must use it in the following leg
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 28
11 United States, Mexico, Colombia, Switzerland, France, Armenia, Georgia, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, China November 15, 2015 - December 6, 2015 February 12, 2016 - May 6, 2016 S28 DanaMatt
Dana Borriello & Matt Steffanina
Featured internet celebrities and first season not to feature a Starting Line
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 29
11[5] United States, Panama, Brazil, Tanzania, Norway, Italy, Greece, Vietnam, South Korea June 10, 2016 - July 2, 2016 March 30, 2017 - June 1, 2017[6] S29 BrookeScott
Brooke Camhi & Scott Flanary
Featured individual contestants that met and formed to team up at the start of the Race
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 30
11 United States, Iceland, Belgium, Morocco, France, Czech Republic, Zimbabwe, Bahrain, Thailand, Hong Kong October 1, 2017 - October 23, 2017 January 3, 2018 - February 21, 2018 S30 CodyJessica
Cody Nickson & Jessica Graf
Introduced the Head-to-Head and Partner Swap
Returned to standard pre-existing relationship format
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 31
11 United States, Japan, Laos, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Switzerland, Croatia, Netherlands, United Kingdom June 10, 2018 - July 3, 2018 April 17, 2019 - June 26, 2019[7] S31 ColinChristie
Colin Guinn & Christie Woods
Featured teams from The Amazing Race, Survivor and Big Brother, introduced the U-Turn vote
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 32
11 United States, Trinidad & Tobago, Colombia, Brazil, Paraguay, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, India, Cambodia, Philippines November 10, 2018 - December 3, 2018 October 14, 2020 - December 16, 2020[8] S32 WillJames
Will Jardell & James Wallington
Introduced the Megaleg and City Sprint
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 33
11 United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Greece, Portugal Original: February 22, 2020 - February 28, 2020
Resumption: September 19, 2021 - October 6, 2021
January 5, 2022 - March 2, 2022 S33 KimPenn
Kim Holderness & Penn Holderness
First season suspended during the middle of the filming in the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting unexpected turn of events
First season to use an Amazing Race charter airplane
Season set entirely in Europe (due to COVID-19)
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 34
12 Germany, Austria, Italy, Jordan, France, Spain, Iceland, United States May 25, 2022 - June 16, 2022 September 21, 2022 - December 7, 2022 S34 DerekClaire
Derek Xiao & Claire Rehfuss
First season to start outside of the United States
Introduced the Scramble and every leg would face elimination at the end
Season set mostly in Europe (due to COVID-19)
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 35
13 United States, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Germany, Slovenia, Sweden, Ireland June 13, 2023 - July 8, 2023 September 27, 2023 - December 13, 2023 S35 GregJohn
Greg Franklin & John Franklin
First season to feature 13 teams
First season to feature the same-gender Final Three
Returned to use of commercial flights
Returned to standard international travel
TARlogo-US23
The Amazing Race 36
13[4] Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Barbados, Dominican Republic, United States October 25, 2022 - November 17, 2022 March 13, 2024 - May 15, 2024 S36 RickyCesar
Ricky Rotandi & Cesar Aldrete
Last season to use an Amazing Race charter airplane
Season set in the Americas (due to COVID-19)

Notes:
1: Season delayed from the initial September 25, 2004 premiere date.
2: Season moved forward from the initial midseason schedule in the 2007–08 network television schedule.
3: Eleven original teams entered during production, but one pair from the team competed in The Amazing Race 20 pulled out due to suffering from pancreatitis before filming, it was replaced by a contestant from The Amazing Race 17 and The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business, who entered as last-minute replacement.
4: This season featured six teams with a pre-existing relationship and ten individuals to form as a blind date teams.
5: This season featured entirely consisting of twenty-two individuals as strangers.
6: Season moved forward from the initial April 21, 2017 premiere date.
7: Season moved forward from the initial May 22, 2019 premiere date.
8: Season delayed from the initial May 20, 2020 premiere date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Countries and Locales Visited[]

Countries[]

Africa[]

Country Season(s) Visited Total Number of Visits Total Number of Pit Stops/Finish Lines
Botswana Botswana 7, 22 2 4
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso 12 1 2
Egypt Egypt 5 1 2
Ethiopia Ethiopia 6 1 1
Ghana Ghana 17 1 2
Kenya Kenya 5 1 0
Madagascar Madagascar 10 1 1
Flag of Malawi Malawi 19 1 2
Mauritius Mauritius 10 1 1
Morocco Morocco 3, 10, 25, 30 4 6
Mozambique Mozambique 11 1 1
Namibia Namibia 2, 26 2 3
Senegal Senegal 6 1 1
Seychelles Seychelles 16 1 1
South Africa South Africa 1, 2, 7 3 3
Tanzania Tanzania 5, 11, 20, 29 4 6
Tunisia Tunisia 1 1 2
Uganda Uganda 31 1 1
Zambia Zambia 1, 27 2 1
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe 27, 30 2 4

Asia[]

Country Season(s) Visited Total Number of Visits Total Number of Pit Stops/Finish Lines
Armenia Armenia 28 1 1
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 20 1 1
Bahrain Bahrain 30 1 1
Bangladesh Bangladesh 17, 21 2 3
Cambodia Cambodia 13, 15, 32 3 2
China China 1, 6, 10, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 28 9 14
Georgia Georgia 28 1 1
India India 1, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 18, 20, 27, 32, 35 13 20
Indonesia Indonesia 19, 21, 22, 23, 28 5 9
Japan Japan 9, 12, 15, 18, 20, 23, 26, 31 8 9
Jordan Jordan 34 1 1
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 13, 32 2 2
Kuwait Kuwait 10 1 1
Laos Laos 31 1 1
Malaysia Malaysia 3, 4, 11, 16, 24 5 6
Mongolia Mongolia 10 1 1
Oman Oman 9, 17 2 2
Flag of the Philippines Philippines 5, 25, 32 3 4
Singapore Singapore 3, 16, 25 3 3
South Korea South Korea 4, 17, 29 3 3
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 6, 24 2 3
Flag of Taiwan Taiwan 12, 19 2 2
Flag of Thailand Thailand 1, 2, 9, 14, 19, 26, 30, 35 8 14
Turkey Turkey 7, 21 2 2
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 5, 15, 23, 28, 31 5 7
Vietnam Vietnam 3, 10, 15, 22, 29, 31, 35 7 13
Territory Season(s) Visited Total Number of Visits Total Number of Pit Stops/Finish Lines
Hong Kong Hong Kong 2, 11, 17, 27, 30 5 4
Macau Macau 11, 27 2 2

Europe[]

Country Season(s) Visited Total Number of Visits Total Number of Pit Stops/Finish Lines
Austria Austria 3, 4, 14, 18, 23, 34 6 5
Belgium Belgium 19, 30 2 3
Croatia Croatia 12, 31 2 2
Czech Republic Czech Republic 15, 30 2 3
Denmark Denmark 19, 25 2 2
Estonia Estonia 15 1 1
Finland Finland 10 1 0
France France 1, 4, 6, 10, 16, 21, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32, 33, 34 13 16
Germany Germany 3, 6, 9, 14, 16, 19, 20, 22, 26, 32, 34, 35 12 10
Greece Greece 9, 29, 33 3 4
Hungary Hungary 6 1 1
Iceland Iceland 6, 30, 34 3 3
Ireland Ireland 12, 35 2 2
Italy Italy 1, 4, 9, 12, 20, 24, 25, 29, 34 9 12
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein 18 1 0
Lithuania Lithuania 12 1 1
Malta Malta 25 1 1
Monaco Monaco 26 1 0
Netherlands Netherlands 4, 12, 15, 19, 21, 26, 27, 31 8 7
Norway Norway 6, 17, 23, 29 4 4
Poland Poland 11, 23, 27 3 4
Portugal Portugal 3, 23, 33 3 3
Romania Romania 14 1 1
Russia Russia 5, 9, 13, 14, 17, 21 6 9
Slovenia Slovenia 35 1 2
Spain Spain 3, 10, 21, 24, 34 4 3
Sweden Sweden 6, 15, 17, 25, 35 5 4
Switzerland Switzerland 3, 14, 18, 22, 24, 28, 31, 33 8 10
Ukraine Ukraine 10 1 1
United Kingdom United Kingdom 3, 7, 17, 22, 24, 25, 31, 33 8 11

North America[]

Country Season(s) Visited Total Number of Visits Total Number of Pit Stops/Finish Lines
Barbados Barbados 36 1 1
Costa Rica Costa Rica 8 1 1
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 36 1 2
Jamaica Jamaica 7 1 1
Mexico Mexico 3, 28, 36 3 5
Panama Panama 8, 19, 29 3 3
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago 32 1 1
United States United States All seasons All 41
Territory Season(s) Visited Total Number of Visits Total Number of Pit Stops/Finish Lines
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 7 1 0
U.S U.S. Virgin Islands 25 1 1

Oceania[]

Country Season(s) Visited

Total Number of Visits

Total Number of Pit Stops/Finish Lines
Australia Australia 2, 4, 9, 18 4 8
New Zealand New Zealand 2, 5, 13, 22 4 5
Territory Season(s) Visited Total Number of Visits Total Number of Pit Stops/Finish Lines
French Polynesia French Polynesia 22 1 2
Guam Guam 11 1 1

South America[]

Country Season(s) Visited Total Number of Visits Total Number of Pit Stops/Finish Lines
Argentina Argentina 5, 7, 11, 16, 20, 27, 36 7 11
Brazil Brazil 2, 9, 13, 18, 27, 29, 32 7 10
Bolivia Bolivia 13 1 1
Chile Chile 7, 11, 16, 23, 36 5 8
Colombia Colombia 28, 32, 36 3 5
Ecuador Ecuador 11 1 1
Paraguay Paraguay 20, 32 2 2
Peru Peru 7, 26 2 3
Uruguay Uruguay 5, 36 2 2

United States[]

States[]

State Season(s) Visited Total Number of Visits Total Number of Pit Stops/Finish Lines
Alabama Alabama 8 1 1
Alaska Alaska 1, 2, 9, 12, 23 5 3
Arizona Arizona 4, 8 2 3
California California 2, 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35 28 8
Colorado Colorado 9 1 1
Florida Florida 3, 7, 11, 18 4 3
Georgia Georgia 19 1 1
Hawaii Hawaii 2, 3, 4, 6, 11, 14, 20 7 3
Illinois Illinois 6, 29 2 2
Louisiana Louisiana 8, 32 2 2
Michigan Michigan 31 1 1
Mississippi Mississippi 8 1 0
Montana Montana 8 1 1
Nevada Nevada 2, 15, 24 3 2
New Jersey New Jersey 8 1 0
New York New York 1, 8, 10, 21, 25, 27, 30 7 5
Oregon Oregon 13 1 1
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 8, 36 2 2
South Carolina South Carolina 8 1 0
Tennessee Tennessee 34 1 1
Texas Texas 5, 26 2 2
Utah Utah 8 1 1
Virginia Virginia 8, 22 2 2
Washington Washington 3, 10, 35 3 2
Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. 8, 22 2 0
Wyoming Wyoming 8 1 1

Public reception[]

Television viewership[]

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of The Amazing Race on CBS.

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps. Times mentioned are Eastern and Pacific.

Viewership Note: Starting in the 2013-2014 series rankings (The Amazing Race 23 and The Amazing Race: All-Stars), the two seasons aired in that time were listed under The Amazing Race, rather than separately.

TV Season Season Timeslot Season Premiere Season Finale Rank Viewership
(millions)
2001-2002 1 Wednesday 9pm September 5, 2001 December 13, 2001 1 #73 8.8
2 March 11, 2002 2 May 15, 2002 #49 10.3
2002-2003 3 October 2, 2002 December 18, 2002 #71 8.98
2003 4 Thursday 8pm May 29, 2003 August 21, 2003 n/a 8.32
2004 5 Tuesday 10pm July 6, 2004 September 21, 2004 n/a 10.73
2004-2005 6 Tuesday 9pm November 16, 2004 February 8, 2005 #31 11.5
7 March 1, 2005 May 10, 2005 #25 13.0
2005-2006 8 September 27, 2005 December 13, 2005 #42 10.8
9 Tuesday 9pm
Tuesday 10pm
Wednesday 8pm 3
February 28, 2006 May 17, 2006 #56 9.1
2006-2007 10 Sunday 8pm September 17, 2006 December 10, 2006 #31 11.5
11 February 18, 2007 May 6, 2007 #44 10.1
2007-2008 12 November 4, 2007 January 20, 2008 #25 11.84
2008-2009 13 September 28, 2008 December 7, 2008 #27 11.14
14 February 15, 2009 May 10, 2009 #29 10.91
2009-2010 15 September 27, 2009 December 6, 2009 #28 11.14
16 February 14, 2010 May 9, 2010 #29 10.4
2010-2011 17 September 26, 2010 December 12, 2010 #22 11.93
18 February 20, 2011 May 8, 2011 #39 10.35
2011-2012 19 September 25, 2011 December 11, 2011 #34 11.13
20 February 19, 2012 May 6, 2012 #37 10.3
2012-2013 21 September 30, 2012 December 9, 2012 #29 10.68
22 February 17, 2013 May 5, 2013 #36 10.17
2013-2014 23 September 28, 2013 December 8, 2013 #34 9.49
24 February 23, 2014 May 18, 2014
2014-2015 25 Friday 8pm September 26, 2014 December 19, 2014 #69 7.49*
26 February 25, 2015 4 May 15, 2015
2015-2016 27 September 25, 2015 December 11, 2015 #58 7.56*
28 February 12, 2016 May 13, 2016
2016-2017 29 Thursday 10pm 5 March 30, 2017 June 1, 2017 #64 6.33
2017-2018 30 Wednesday 8pm
Wednesday 9pm 7
January 3, 2018 February 21, 2018 #50 7.70
2018-2019 31 Wednesday 9pm
Wednesday 8pm 7
April 17, 2019 June 26, 2019 #57 6.86
2020-2021 32 Wednesday 9pm
Wednesday 8pm 8
October 14, 2020 December 16, 2020 #59 5.41
2021-2022 33 Wednesday 8pm9
Wednesday 9pm
January 5, 2022 March 2, 2022 #49 5.50
2022-2023 34 Wednesday 10pm10
Wednesday 9pm
September 21, 2022 December 7, 2022 #54 4.65
2023-2024 35 Wednesday 9:30pm September 27, 2023 December 13, 2023 N/A N/A
36 March 13, 2024 May 15, 2024 N/A N/A

Notes:
1: The season finale was the only episode to air Thursday at 9:00 pm.
2: The season premiere was the only episode to air Monday at 9:00 pm.
3: The two-hour premiere was the only episode to air Tuesday at 9:00 pm. Episodes aired Tuesdays at 10:00 pm during the entire month of March 2006, and then moved to Wednesdays at 8:00 pm for the remainder of the season to make room for CSI: NY.
4: The ninety-minute premiere was the only episode to air Wednesday at 9:30 pm.
5: Two episodes aired on April 20, 2017 and May 18, 2017, with the first airing at the earlier time of 9:00 pm and the second at the regular time.
6: Episodes aired Wednesdays at 8:00 pm during the entire month of January 2018, and then moved to Wednesdays at 9:00 pm for the remainder of the season to make way for Celebrity Big Brother, all in 2-hour episodes.
7: Episodes aired Wednesdays at 9:00 pm in the first four episodes after Survivor: Edge of Extinction, and then moved to Wednesdays at 8:00 pm for the remainder of the season. The season finale aired on June 26, 2019 to its former time slot to make way for Big Brother 21.
8: Episodes aired Wednesdays at 9:00 pm for the first two episodes after Big Brother: All-Stars, and then moved to Wednesdays at 8:00 pm for the remainder of the season.
9: The two-hour premiere and the finale was the only two episodes to air Wednesday at 8:00 pm.
10: Episode two was the only episode to air on September 28, 2022 at 9:30 pm, and then moved to 8:00pm for the remainder to the season.

The Amazing Race is notable in that it is one of the few reality shows to grow substantially more popular in subsequent seasons. Even with extensive critical praise the show faced low Nielsen Ratings for the first several seasons, facing cancellation a number of times. Reportedly, it was saved by calls from celebrity fans including Sarah Jessica Parker. Thanks to word-of-mouth and the Emmy wins, popularity of The Amazing Race surged in 2005, making it one of the most-watched reality shows on the air. The show has managed to maintain a steady ratings plateau, and is one of the longest-running reality series in the United States, among which only Survivor and The Real World have aired more seasons.

Beginning with the 10th season, which moved the show to Sunday nights (until the 24th season), The Amazing Race saw further increases in its numbers. It is believed that part of this increase was due to "sports overruns" (football, basketball, or golf) that result from games played earlier on Sunday pushing the airtime for The Amazing Race back by some amount on the East Coast along with other CBS programming. Due to decreasing ratings, the show moved starting with the 25th season to Fridays at 8pm before eventually having only one season air per year.

Awards[]

The Amazing Race had won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program each year from 2003 to 2014 (except in 2010, won by Top Chef, and in 2013, won by The Voice), against other, more popular reality TV shows such as Survivor and American Idol, which have also been nominated each year. The show has also been nominated and won several times for technical production Emmy awards, including for Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Cinematography, and Picture Editing for Non-Fiction programs.

The production staff of The Amazing Race has been nominated each year since 2004 for the Producers Guild of America's Golden Laurel award for Television Producer of a Non-Fiction Program, and won this award in 2005.

Fandom[]

TARCon was a convention and viewing party held after the evening of the season finale. The event was held in New York City and is organized by Television Without Pity, a popular television website. TARCon gave fans an opportunity to meet past and present racers and host Phil Keoghan, although it was cancelled recently.

The popularity of the series has also spawned 2 board games. A DVD Board Game and a traditional board game. Plus, local homemade races, inspired by the show, have occurred, some of which have been mistaken for actual filming of the television program.

The show has also inspired a book, titled "My Ox Is Broken!": Detours, Roadblocks, Fast Forwards and Other Great Moments from TV's The Amazing Race, that is now available to purchase. It is written by Adam-Troy Castro and features an introduction from Family Edition Racers Billy and Carissa Gaghan.

Reception[]

  • Tom Jicha at Sun Sentinel (03/11/2002): "CBS Reality Show Has Plenty To Get Viewers' Hearts Racing"
  • Tara Ariano at MSNBC.com (07/02/2004): "The Amazing Race runs on its own merit: Emmy-winning CBS programis cream of reality-show crop"
  • Jennifer Frey at Washington Post (09/21/2004): "Amazing Race Gets a Move On"
  • Daniel Fienberg at Hitfix.com (12/04/2009): "TV's Best of the Decade: No. 28 -- The Amazing Race"
  • Andy Dehnart at realityblurred (05/11/2010): "How The Amazing Race should fix itself"
  • David Bindley at The Fabric of Reality (04/29/2012): "The Amazing Race: Yield, U-Turn, and Lame Variants"
  • David Bindley at The Fabric of Reality (11/19/2012): "Firing On All Cylinders, Volume II: The Amazing Race, Original Recipe"
  • David Bindley at The Fabric of Reality (03/01/2015): "TAR's renaissance and decline: Race in the Hole"
  • Michael Harmstone, Logan Saunders, & David Bindley at RTV Warriors (12/29/2020): "What did The Amazing Race ever do for us?"

Criticisms[]

Despite The Amazing Race's popularity, the show is not without its share of criticism and controversy. Main problems include:

  • Bunching, where teams are constantly grouped together due to bottlenecks such as chartered flights and pre-planned hours of operation of businesses.
  • The confrontational, arrogant, defeatist, and sometimes abusive behavior presented by certain players, most notably Jonathan Baker.
  • The stunt casting of teams where producers have tended to cast models, actors and, more recently, past reality show stars.
  • Making clues less cryptic in later seasons; e.g., directing teams to a specific location as opposed to giving them a clue or picture that they must decipher in order to find their next destination.
  • The design of challenges, especially those requiring eating large volumes of food or that require "needle in a haystack" searching.
  • The introduction of the Yield, and the reduction in the number of Fast Forwards available.
  • Excessive product placement, particularly in seasons such as the Family Edition.
  • The amount of spoiler information generated during some seasons, most notably Season 7 and the first All-Stars season.

International versions[]

In October 2005, CBS optioned The Amazing Race for franchising to other countries.

External links[]


References[]

The Amazing Race Season Index
United States 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36
Asia 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5
Australia 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7
Brazil 1
Canada 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10
Central Europe Cancelled
China 1 · 2 · 3 · 4
China Rush 1 · 2 · 3
Finland 1 · 2
France 1
Israel 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8
Latin America 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6
Norway 1 · 2
Philippines 1 · 2
Ukraine 1
Vietnam 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6
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