Fans of CBS’s reality game show The Amazing Race can rejoice because Season 33 is here. This new season marks the 20th anniversary of the popular competition series that first made its debut on CBS in September 2001. Over more than 30 seasons, 600 racers from all over the United States have joined the action-packed reality competition.
This season will go down in Amazing Race history after filming was halted (just three episodes in) in 2020 for almost 20 months due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the competitors are back and looking to finally run their race.
Distractify spoke exclusively with Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan about filming post-pandemic, changes implemented in the show, and more.
When was Season 33 of 'The Amazing Race' filmed? Host Phil Keoghan talks COVID-19 changes.
In February 2020, production made the decision to stop filming and send competitors home due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Reflecting on the moment when the longtime host had to make the announcement that everyone was going home, Phil told us that "it was very difficult to look everybody in the eye and not be able to give them concrete answers about when we would be back and how we would come back." He added, "I never saw 19 months."
After 19 (very long) months, CBS felt confident that The Amazing Race could resume with safety measures in place.
"Any of the changes that you see are reflective of the changes that we've made in our everyday lives with COVID," Phil told us. "So there's nothing that you'll see or that the fans will see that is jarring."
He continued, "We've all made adjustments. None of us saw us adapting the way that we've all adapted."
One major change that Phil points out is that the competitors will not be hugging and interacting with locals like they did pre-pandemic.
"[They're still] connecting with locals. It's just done in a different way," he commented. "[It's] also done in a way that we do it ourselves in our everyday lives. We have interactions with taxicab drivers, and we have interactions with people on the street. But we just don't get right up in their face or choose to hug a stranger in the same way that we used to work, [or] shake their hands the way we used to."
He concluded, "The world has changed."
Here are the 11 teams for Season 33 of 'The Amazing Race.'
Throughout the years, The Amazing Race has featured some rather interesting teams as they traveled all over the world to win the big prize. The 11 teams for Season 33 will showcase YouTube influencers, radio show hosts, twin siblings, and police officers who love to sing. Two of the original groups were eliminated before filming was halted, and once the competition restarted, two of them couldn’t return. So after the third leg, only seven pairs will remain. Here’s the entire cast of Season 33.
Akbar Cook Sr. and Sheridan Cook
Akbar and Sheridan are two married teachers from New Jersey who are looking forward to seeing how far they can go in the game.
Arun Kumar and Natalie Kumar
This father-daughter duo is sure to capture the hearts of Amazing Race fans. The Detroit natives are ready to battle it out and take home their share of the million-dollar prize.
Connie Greiner and Sam Greiner
Sam and Connie are another married couple joining the reality series this season and hail from Charlotte, N.C.
Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone
Just like prior seasons, there will be a team of two best friends. Anthony and Spencer, who are from Sacramento, have been besties since childhood.
Caro Viehweg and Ray Gantt
These two reality stars from Love Island USA are currently dating one another. These two are also from New Jersey, but they are involved in a long-distance relationship with Caro living in Los Angeles. It will be exciting to see how this couple works together when the going gets tough.
Kim Holderness and Penn Holderness
Kim and Penn are an outgoing married couple from Raleigh, N.C., known online as the Holderness Family. Can these two outlast the other married teams this season on The Amazing Race?
Michael Norwood and Armonde "Moe" Badger
These two police officers from Buffalo, N.Y., that love to sing, will be pretty enjoyable to watch. We can't wait to hear them belt-out songs as they make their way through The Amazing Race.
Raquel Moore and Cayla Platt
Raquel and Cayla work together as flight attendants. Hopefully, these two co-workers will work well together as they embark on a trip of a lifetime.
Taylor Green-Jones and Isaiah Green-Jones
These online sensations are from Portland, Ore., and are ready to show their fans what they’re made of when it comes to competing.
Ryan Ferguson and Dusty Harris
Season 33 of The Amazing Race will feature another pair of best friends competing. Ryan and Dusty are from Columbia, Mo. When Ryan was wrongfully convicted of murder in 2001, Dusty was one of the few people who stood by him. If they can make it through that, they can do anything.
Marianela Gonzalez and Marissa Gonzalez
It appears that New Jersey is a dominating roster for Season 33 of The Amazing Race. Marianela and Marissa are not only twin sisters, but they also work together hosting a radio show in North Bergen.
Season 33 of The Amazing Race airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS. Watch previous seasons on Hulu and Paramount Plus.
Reporting by: Gabrielle Bernardini