Why Didn't "Hometown Heroes" Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone Return to 'The Amazing Race'?

Toni Sutton - Author

Jan. 19 2022, Published 8:03 p.m. ET

Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone
Source: CBS

After a very long hiatus, audiences were thrilled when the hit reality competition show The Amazing Race finally returned for Season 33. At the beginning of the season, 11 teams were taking part to race around the world for a chance to win the $1 million cash prize. From famous YouTubers to married couples, twin sisters, father-daughter duos, and friends of 24 years, the cast of Season 33 included all kinds of people from all over the United States.

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Unfortunately, as the teams were racing through Scotland in February 2020, production came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During Episode 3, host Phil Keoghan made the announcement, telling the contestants that the competition would have to end for now. He also stated that he hoped that all the teams would be able to return and start the race again at a later date.

Filming for The Amazing Race stayed on pause until September 2021, a staggering 19 months after they initially stopped. Sadly, since so much time had passed, a few teams weren't able to make it back in order to compete. When The Amazing Race picked up back in Switzerland, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone were among the teams who didn’t return. Why weren't the dynamic duo able to compete any longer?

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Spencer and Anthony on 'The Amazing Race' Season 33
Source: CBS

Why did Anthony and Spencer not return to Season 33 of 'The Amazing Race'?

Hailing from Sacramento, Anthony Sandler and his best friend Spencer Stone were dubbed the "Hometown Heroes" of Season 33. For those that don't know, Anthony and Spencer made headlines along with their other best friend, Alek Skarlatos, when they stopped a terrorist attack on a train headed from Amsterdam to Paris in August 2015. They were on vacation when an armed terrorist stormed their section of the train, and Spencer courageously subdued the gunman.

All three men received the highest honor by the French President and wrote a book about their mind-blowing experience. The men also played themselves the 2018 Clint Eastwood film The 15:17 to Paris, based on the real events.

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Like the rest of the teams, Anthony and Spencer arrived for the first leg of The Amazing Race in London, which the duo eventually won. Even though they didn't perform as well on the second leg during the cake decorating challenge, they rebounded and placed high on the third. The third leg, however, would sadly be their last.

Spencer and Anthony on 'The Amazing Race' Season 33
Source: CBS

Many fans and even some competitors considered Anthony and Spencer to be frontrunners and were disappointed when they didn't return. In a recent YouTube interview with fellow Season 33 competitors Lulu and Lala Gonzalez, Anthony and Spencer revealed the real reason why they didn't come back.

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"We did want to come back," Anthony said, but the timing just wasn't right. He went on to say that, not too long before they got the call to come back, he's landed a new financial advisor job that he'd been working towards for years, and he couldn't take an extended leave of absence.

Spencer said that he was "ready to rock" when it was time to film again, adding that he's been "sad watching the episodes knowing that we couldn't go back."

While, of course, we were all bummed not to see them return to the show, fans shouldn't count these guys out of the competition just yet. It sounds like they're both totally open to rerunning the race if the timing was right. Hopefully, sometime in the very near future, viewers will once again see these guys on The Amazing Race.

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