The Amazing Race

The Amazing Race is an adventure reality game show in which teams of two people race around the world in competition with other teams. The Race is split into legs, with teams tasked to deduce clues, navigate themselves in foreign areas, interact with locals, and perform physical and mental challenges that often highlight aspects of a location's culture, history, or economy. Over the course of the Race, teams travel by airplanes, hot air balloons, helicopters, trucks, bicycles, taxicabs, cars, trains, buses, boats and by foot. Teams are progressively eliminated at the end of most legs for being the last to arrive at designated Pit Stops, until only three remain. The first team to arrive at the finish line is awarded the grand prize.

The Amazing Race
The Amazing Race.svg
Created byElise Doganieri
Bertram van Munster
Original workThe Amazing Race (United States)
Films and television
Television seriesThe Amazing Race (see international versions)
Miscellaneous
First airedSeptember 5, 2001 (2001-09-05)
DistributorCBS Television Distribution (U.S.)
Disney Media Distribution (International)

Created by Elise Doganieri and Bertram van Munster, the original series has aired in the United States since 2001 and has earned thirteen Primetime Emmy Awards, ten of which being for the award for "Outstanding Reality-Competition Program". Emmy-award-winning New Zealand television personality Phil Keoghan has been the host of the U.S. version of the show since its inception. The show has branched out to include a number of international versions following a similar format.

The RaceEdit

Each race depicted in The Amazing Race is broken up into a number of legs — 11 to 13 in the original American version. In each leg, teams leave the pit stop of the previous leg and travel to a different location, where they perform two or more tasks — often including one Detour and one Roadblock — before being given instructions to go to the next pit stop. It is every team's goal to complete each leg as quickly as possible, as the first team to check in at the pit stop will often win a prize; the prizes have included all-expenses-paid trips, new cars or other vehicles, money, entertainment provided during the pit stop, and advantages to be used later in the race (see Express Pass, Salvage Pass, and Double Your Money). The last team to arrive at the pit stop will often be eliminated from the competition, but occasionally the team is allowed to continue racing, though they will be given a race-imposed disadvantage in the next leg (see Non-elimination leg). When teams are otherwise not performing tasks or traveling during a leg, they are free to use their time as they see fit, although they will often resort to eating cheaply or sleeping outside a location to save their Race money.

TeamsEdit

 
Top row: best friends Danny Jimenez & Oswald Mendez of Season 2 and the first All Stars, and spouses Kim & Chip McAllister of Season 5.
Bottom row: dating couple Lori Willems & Dave Spiker of Season 9, and brothers Gerard & Ken Duphiney of Season 3

Typically, each cycle of the Race features eleven teams, each composed of two people with a preexisting relationship. Examples include dating, married, and divorced couples; siblings; parents and their children; lifelong friends; sports team colleagues; and co-workers. Original Race rules required that teammates have had a preexisting relationship of more than three years, and no previous acquaintances with other racers during that cycle.[1] Individual racers must be of a specific nationality and meet specific age requirements; this is necessary to allow teams to obtain the necessary passport documentation to travel across the world without incident.[2]

The team format has varied in some seasons. Four seasons featured 12 teams of two rather than the standard 11, while the "Family Edition" featured ten teams of four players, some of whom were young children. Seasons 26 and 29 included teams made up of people who met for the first time just prior to the start of the race. Some formats featured as few as eight (as seen in the Chinese celebrity series) or as many as 14 (fourth and fifth seasons of the Israeli version) teams.

Normally unseen, a two-person audio and video production crew accompanies every team, recording them as they race. Generally, teams may not travel without their production crew, who are switched among teams after each leg to avoid biases from developing.

MoneyEdit

At the beginning of each leg of the race, each team receives a cash allowance with their first clue, from which they must cover all expenses (food, transportation, lodging, attraction admission, and supplies) except for airfare, which is covered by a production-provided credit card (in the eighth season, this card could also be used to purchase gasoline).[3] Allowance money is usually given in the same currency as the show's nation regardless of location; U.S. versions of the Race usually provide racers with U.S. dollars, (although in one exception, teams were given Vietnamese đồng at the start of a leg in Vietnam). The amount of money varies from leg to leg, and has ranged from hundreds of dollars to nothing. The teams are allowed to keep any unused money for future legs, barring certain penalties for finishing last.

If team members spend all of their money or have it taken away in a non-elimination leg, they may then attempt to obtain more money in any way that does not violate local laws; this includes borrowing money from other teams, begging from locals, or selling their possessions. Since Season Seven, teams have been prevented from begging at United States airports, and teams may not use their personal possessions to barter payment for services.

Teams have reported on the existence of an emergency fund of approximately $200 that is carried by their crew and can only be used in extreme circumstances, but generally not as a means to pay for any activity related to the race.[4] However, neither the exact amount nor the specific circumstances when it can be used have been confirmed.

Route markersEdit

Route markers are uniquely-colored flags that mark the places where teams must go. Most route markers are attached to the boxes that contain clue envelopes, but some may mark the places where the teams must go in order to complete tasks, or may be used to line courses that the teams must follow.

The route markers used in Season One were colored yellow and white. They were changed to yellow and red for The Amazing Race 2, and this has remained the standard color scheme since. Occasionally, different color schemes are adopted for certain legs, seasons, or versions of the race.[a][b][c][d][e]

CluesEdit

When teams start a leg, arrive at route markers, or complete tasks, they normally receive a letter-sized tear-away envelope that contains their next clue inside a vertical-fold folder. The clues themselves are typically printed on a vertical strip of paper, although additional information is often provided inside the clue folder. After retrieving the clue, teams open the envelope and must read aloud the instructions given on the clue sheet, then follow those instructions. Teams are generally required to collect every clue during each leg and keep that information with them until they reach the next pit stop, surrendering them once they have checked in. Teams may not take an additional clue from the clue box should they lose their first one; teams who do so are assessed a penalty. Teams are not directly penalized for misplacing their clue but will lose time either searching for it or trying to learn from other teams of where to go next.[f]

At route markers, clue envelopes are placed inside a box mounted to the marker. In early seasons, the box contained exactly the number of clues for teams on that leg, allowing teams to indirectly determine their current placement in the leg by counting envelopes. In more recent seasons, extra envelopes are left in clue boxes to prevent this from occurring.

In some cases, clues – most often of the Route Information type – have been provided by more unorthodox means, such as in an advertisement in a local newspaper or on some item related to the task just performed. A common unorthodox means in the U.S. version is to place the clue at the bottom of the Roaming Gnome, the mascot of Travelocity, the sponsor of the U.S. version.

Route InformationEdit

Route Information clues usually instruct the teams where to go next. Such a clue often provides only the name of the team's next destination; it is up to the teams to figure out how to get there. The destination may be given in a cryptic manner, such as a flag representing the country whose capital they are to fly to, or an obfuscation such as the "westernmost point in mainland Europe". In these cases, teams may use any resources, such as the help of locals or borrowing an Internet-connected device, to deduce the required destination.

Route Information clues will sometimes specify one or more modes of transportation that teams must take. This may include prearranged travel or for charter flights, buses, or boats to more remote locations. Teams may also be provided with a rented vehicle and will be required to navigate themselves with it until further notice. Route Information clues may also restrict teams to specific modes of transport, such as requiring them to walk to their next destination. Teams who fail to follow travel instructions will usually be required to go back and follow them correctly if possible, or else they will receive a penalty at the next pit stop (See "Penalties and time credits", below). If no mode of transport is specified, teams are free to use any option available excluding private vehicles.

DetourEdit

A Detour presents the team with a decision between two tasks. The two tasks are named, often based on rhymes or puns such as "Plow" / "Fowl" to differentiate between a task involving plowing against a task involving corralling ducks. Teams are given several details about both tasks, but may need to travel a short distance by foot or car to the different task locations. The two tasks generally involve different skills, often pairing physically-demanding or fear-challenging tasks alongside tasks that rely on intelligence or craftsmanship. The decision about which task to attempt lies solely with the team, though due to logistical constraints some Detours may impose additional limits, such as how many teams may attempt one of the tasks at one time, or the hours when a task may be available. A team may choose to switch tasks as many times as they wish with no penalty other than the time lost in attempting the tasks and traveling between task locations. Unless otherwise instructed, teams can work together to finish a Detour option. Once a team has completed one of the tasks, they are given the clue to their next location. A team that is unable to complete either Detour option will incur a six-hour penalty (24 hours in earlier seasons).

Occasionally there may be a twist to the Detour format. Season 25 introduced a "Blind Detour" where competitors were only given the name and locations of the tasks. Season 26 featured a "Roulette Detour", where the Detour choice was determined by a spin of a roulette wheel, with Red leading to one task and Black leading to the other. The seventh Canadian season introduced a "One Way" twist that forces a team to perform a specified Detour task.

RoadblockEdit

 
Rob Mariano (light-blue shirt and baseball cap) and Alex Ali (blue-and-black jacket) attempt to eat 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of barbecued meat as part of a Roadblock in Season 7's visit to Argentina.

A Roadblock is a task that only one team member may perform. A Roadblock clue is given as a cryptic question, such as "Who's really hungry?" (leading to task involving exotic food) or "Who wants to get down and dirty?" (for a task related to laundry). Based on this information and observation of any other racers at the task, the team must declare which member will complete the task before reading the full task description. Once a team announces its decision of who will complete the Roadblock, it cannot be changed or taken back.[g] The Roadblock task is performed by only the selected racer while his or her partner waits in a designated area, although the partner is sometimes able to supply words of encouragement and advice. Unless directed by the task instructions, the selected racer may gain help from other racers that have been selected to do the Roadblock or from locals. Some Roadblocks may involve the non-selected racer, such as leading a camel his or her partner rides, or helping his or her partner solve a puzzle. On completing the Roadblock, the selected racer receives their next clue, at which point they may return to their partner and continue on. Should a racer be unable to complete a Roadblock, or opts to quit, the team must take a four-hour penalty, which either starts when the next team arrives at the Roadblock, or if all teams are present, when they reach the Pit Stop for that leg. Some legs feature two Roadblocks, each of which must be completed by different teammates.[h]

Through the first five seasons, there was no limit on the number of Roadblocks that a single team member could perform throughout the race. In practice, this often led to one team member performing the majority of Roadblocks during the race[5] Since Season Six, teams have been limited in the number of Roadblocks each teammate may do over the course of a race, effectively making both racers complete about an equal number of Roadblocks.[6][7][8]

Fast ForwardEdit

 
Nancy & Emily Hoyt and Joe Baldassare & Bill Bartek compete in a coin-counting Fast Forward task during Season 1

A Fast Forward is an optional task that, once completed, allows the team that completes it to bypass all remaining tasks in the leg and proceed directly to the pit stop. The Fast Forward clue is given with another task clue and is a separate task from the others. Only one team may complete a Fast Forward in any given leg, and a team generally may claim only one Fast Forward in the entire race, though Fast Forwards claimed in conjunction with the Intersection do not count towards this limit. Teams that win a Fast Forward pass are not guaranteed a first-place finish for that leg and still face elimination if they arrive at the pit stop last. Multiple teams may attempt Fast Forward tasks, but only the first team to complete the task may claim the pass; all other teams must return to the main course and complete the leg as normal.

Fast Forwards were initially offered on every leg of the Race, excluding the final leg. To reduce costs of production involved with unused Fast Forward tasks, the number of Fast Forwards available was reduced to two on each Race starting in Season Five, and then down to one in Season 14.[i] Only Season 18 and 19 weren't featured the Fast Forward.

Pit StopEdit

The pit stop is the final destination in each leg. Once teams have arrived there and checked in, they are given lodging (which can range from simple accommodations such as tents or cots to complete hotel service) and food free of charge as they wait for the next leg to begin. Teams will also give interviews with the production team to describe their activities from the last leg; this is interspersed during Race footage of that leg on subsequent broadcast. Teams are generally sequestered to the lodgings but may otherwise use their time freely. In early seasons, teams were allowed to socialize with each other at pit stops, but between Season 14 and Season 25, teams were sequestered from each other, and often would not learn of the previous elimination until they saw other teams on the next leg.[9] Following Season 25, teams have once again been allowed to mingle with other teams during Pit Stops.

Originally, teams would remain at each pit stop for exactly 12 hours — before accounting for any time credits or penalties accrued in the previous leg — starting from moment they reached the mat. These breaks could be extended by 24-hour increments as needed as to appear 12 hours long during broadcast.[j] In more recent seasons, Pit Stop lengths have varied to avoid teams loitering in airports or other areas. Teams are responsible for being ready to leave at the correct time, and are given no time credit should they miss their departure time.

AdvantagesEdit

Express PassEdit

The Express Pass, introduced in Season 17, allows the team who possesses it to skip one task of the team's choosing. Most often, an Express Pass is awarded to the first-place team in a specific leg, though occasionally it is awarded through other mechanics (such as being given to the first team to complete an optional task, by forcing a team to give a pass to another team of their choosing, or even randomly). The choice of which task to skip is at the team's discretion, but the pass will expire if it is not used by a specific point. In Season 22 to 24 was featured the "Double Express Pass", which one they kept as normal, with the difference that the another Express Pass must given to the other teams until fifth leg. This Express Pass was absent in Season 25, instead replaced by The Save, and were featured again in Season 26 with back to normal single-Express Pass. However, this Express Pass was totally removed since Season 29.

Salvage PassEdit

The Salvage Pass, introduced in the second Australian version, is awarded to the winners of the first leg. The team who receives the pass may choose to give themselves a one-hour head start for the start of the next leg of the race or save the last team to arrive at the Pit Stop from elimination. The Salvage Pass was also used alongside the Express Pass in Philippine version; however, teams in the Philippine version have the option of using it to gain a 30-minute advantage at a task.

The SaveEdit

The Save, used in Season 25 replaced the Express Pass, which given to the winner of the first leg, allows the team holding it to avoid elimination once should they finish last in an elimination leg, and they must face Speed Bump in the next leg as usual like the teams were saved in non-elimination leg. They can keep it up until the ninth leg. The Save can also be given to another team to use if desired.[10] The Save featured again as a reward if teams completed both Detours in Season 26 on third leg, however it was unaired because no teams were done the both Detours. Since no teams used the Save on both seasons, the advantage was removed since Season 27, as they bring back again the Express Pass for subsequent seasons.

Return TicketEdit

A twist also called the Save was introduced in the Chinese celebrity edition where the team who won it was required to bring another team back into the competition.[11] In the third season, the Save was renamed to Return Ticket, and the team who won the ticket could bring back another team before the fourth leg. The sixth Israeli season also incorporated the Return Ticket by bringing back previously eliminated teams to compete a leg with the winner earning the Return Ticket and the ability to return to the competition.[12]

Double Your MoneyEdit

In Season 21, the first team to finish the first leg won the Double Your Money advantage; if that team won the race, their grand prize would double from US$1 million to US$2 million.[13] However, since no teams to get off the prize, the advantage was removed since Season 22, and replaced with Double Express Pass for subsequent seasons.

ObstaclesEdit

Besides clues, teams may encounter the following obstacles, which could affect their placements in a leg:

Starting Line TaskEdit

First introduced in Season 15, the Starting Line Task forces teams to complete a nearby challenge before receiving the clue to their first international destination. Often, the challenge merely determines which teams will receive the right to take the quickest flight; on several occasions, the last team to finish received a penalty to be served later in the race, or was immediately eliminated from the race altogether.

In The Amazing Race: Australia v New Zealand, the two nations' teams were pitted against each other in a game of tug of war, with the winning nation's teams given a ten-minute head start.

In the fourth and fifth seasons of the Israeli edition, the 14 teams were divided into two groups of seven on the first leg; each group began the Race at separate starting lines, and had separate tasks to complete before reaching the Pit Stop, where the last-place teams in each group were eliminated. The remaining teams were merged at the start of the second leg, at which point the race returned to its standard format.

YieldEdit

The Yield, introduced in Season Five, allows any one team to force another team to stop racing for a predetermined amount of time. The Yield marker is placed just before a route marker, and teams are required to stop at it and declare their intentions to employ or decline the Yield. A team choosing to use a Yield must stick a photo of the yielded team on the Yield marker, as well as a smaller photo of themselves onto an attached section labeled "Courtesy of". When a team who has been yielded arrives at the marker, they must turn over an hourglass and wait for the sand to drain before they are allowed to continue on to the next route marker. Similar to the Fast Forward, a team may use its Yield power only once on the race, and only one team may be yielded at each marker, although a team may be yielded multiple times during the same race. If a team loses its "Courtesy of" photo, they also lose their Yield power.[14][15] If a team yields a team that has already passed the marker, the Yield is nullified.

When the Yield was introduced, teams would not be warned of any upcoming Yields. Beginning in Season Six, teams were given warning in the preceding clue that a Yield marker was just ahead. Teams were given opportunities to yield on all but the final leg of Season Five; opportunities were reduced in subsequent seasons until the Yield was replaced by a similar obstacle: the U-Turn. While the Yield was not a presence in the U.S. Race for twenty cycles, they are still used within foreign editions, and later made a return to the U.S. version in Season 32.

Some variants and twists on the Yield include:

  • The second season of the Israeli version and the second season of the Philippine version both allowed teams to vote among themselves for which team would be Yielded later in the leg.
  • The first season of the Philippine edition introduced the "Anonymous Yield," in which yielding teams were not required to attach a "Courtesy of" photo, allowing them to keep their identities as secret.
  • In Season 32, teams were tasked to find either a 10-minute or a 20-minute hourglass at an early challenge; teams using their Yield later in the race would force the yielded team to wait for the amount of time marked on the hourglass the yielding team found.

U-TurnEdit

The U-Turn, introduced in season 12, allows a team to force another team to complete both Detour tasks in the leg. Similar to the Yield, a U-Turn marker board is placed on the route either immediately before or immediately after the Detour on certain legs and teams must pause at the marker to declare their intentions to employ or decline the U-Turn before continuing. The team choosing to U-Turn must stick a photo of the yielded team on the Yield marker, as well as a smaller photo of themselves onto an attached section labeled "Courtesy of". A team generally may exercise their U-Turn power once throughout the race, though in U.S. Season 29 and The Amazing Race Canada, teams were allowed to U-Turn twice. If a U-Turned team is in possession of an Express Pass, it may use it to skip one — but not both — of the Detour tasks. If a team U-Turns a team which has already passed the marker, the U-Turn is nullified.

Some variants and twists on the U-Turn include:

  • The "Blind U-Turn" (or "Anonymous U-Turn") introduced in Season 14, forgoes the "Courtesy of" sticker, allowing teams to U-Turn one another anonymously.
  • The "Double U-Turn", introduced in Season 17, allows two teams to U-Turn at the same marker. The two teams must U-Turn different teams, though it is possible for a team to U-Turn another and be U-Turned themselves.
    • The "Blind Double U-Turn", introduced in Season 21, combines the Blind and Double U-Turns; both of the teams who choose to U-Turn may do so anonymously.
  • The "Automatic U-Turn", introduced in Season 18, forced the team who came in last in the starting line task to do both tasks of the first Detour. Similarly, the Automatic U-Turn has been used to handicap teams finishing last in the Norwegian edition of the show as well as in the Fourth Latin American version.
  • Occasionally, teams have been tasked with voting among themselves for who should be U-Turned, with the team(s) receiving the most votes being forced to do both Detour tasks. This was introduced in the second season of the Israeli version, and has since been employed in other versions, with some variations or additional twists.

One WayEdit

The One Way, introduced in the seventh Canadian season, allows a team to force another team to do a specific Detour task, in a similar manner to the U-Turn.

IntersectionEdit

The Intersection, introduced in Season 10, requires each team to pair up with one other team; the two teams are to perform all tasks and make decisions together until further notice. Both teams must choose the same Detour option, and if a Fast Forward is offered, both teams may claim credit. During Roadblocks, each team must contribute a team member to do the task.

When a team arrives at the Intersection marker and no other team is already waiting, it must wait there until another team arrives. A team may opt not to partner with a particular team, though it must then wait for another team to arrive. Teams are free to choose their partner team if multiple teams are present. In the second and third China celebrity editions, teams voted for the team they wished to pair with.

HazardEdit

The Hazard, seen in season 19, is a penalty applied to the team who came in last at the starting line task. After completing a task (in season 19 it was a Roadblock), the team was given a different clue that directed them to another location where they found the Hazard clue. The Hazard consisted of a task that only one of the team members had to perform.[16] The Hazard has not reappeared since season 20.

SwitchbackEdit

A Switchback is a challenge in which teams encounter a task from a previous season that was markedly difficult[17] or memorable. The Switchback is associated with the same country or city as the original task, and often done at the same specific location. For example, the first Switchback in Season 15 recreated a hay-rolling Roadblock from Season Six's visit to Sweden; and a Switchback in Season 27 forced teams teams to free fall 200 feet (61 m) into the Batoka Gorge and swing above the Zambezi River, as was done in the first leg of The Amazing Race 1.

InvasionEdit

The Invasion was first introduced on the second Chinese celebrity version, where intruder teams had the opportunity to enter the competition mid-season. The intruders had finish the leg they invaded within a stated placement, otherwise they would be eliminated even if they did not finish in last place. If they succeed, the intruders could continue racing in the remaining legs as normal.[18]

Partner SwapEdit

Introduced on the thirtieth American season, the partner swap requires teams to swap partners for the duration of a leg. The new team pairings would complete the leg's remaining tasks. Once they reached the Pit Stop, they had to wait for their original partner in order to finish the leg.[19]

Head-to-HeadEdit

The Head-to-Head forces teams to compete against each other one-on-one in a specific task. The winning team is given the next clue (or is allowed to check in at the nearby pit stop), while the losing team(s) must wait for the next team's arrival to start the task over. In one variation, the Head-to-Head appears in the middle of a leg, and the team that loses the last round will often receive a penalty — most often a predetermined time penalty — before receiving the next clue. In another variation, introduced in Season 30, the Head-to-Head was placed immediately before the pit stop, with winning teams allowed to check in and the last team standing declared to be in last place. This was first introduced in second Latin American version as the "Intersection" (not to be confused with the collaborative obstical outlined above), and it has appeared in other versions under different names, including "Double Battle" (Israeli version), "Face Off" (Canadian and Chinese celebrity versions) and "Duel" (Philippine version).

Intersection with Integration VersusEdit

Introduced on the second Chinese celebrity version, the "Intersection with Integration Versus" forced the four remaining teams to pair up as in the Intersection. Within each pair, the two teams would face off in a best-of-five series of challenges over the course of the leg; the two teams who finished best in each pair are declared tied for first place in the leg; the two losing teams face off in a final challenge, with the losing team declared the last-place team.

Double-length legs and no-rest legsEdit

Some seasons have included one or more double-length legs, where teams are not checked in at a pit stop but instead are given a clue to continue racing, after which they might move on to a new location and perform a second Roadblock and Detour task before arriving at the next pit stop.

A variant of this introduced in Season 18 is the no-rest leg, in which teams are checked in at a pit stop as normal, after which they are told that the next leg is to begin immediately and are handed their next clue.

Double-length legs were born out of necessity during season six. The sixth leg in Hungary was originally planned to be two legs, with a non-elimination point between the legs which would have stripped the last team of their money and not given them any at the start of the next leg. Producers, however, discovered during the race that begging is illegal in Hungary, which would have made it nearly impossible for the last place team to acquire the money needed for the upcoming leg, and quickly devised the extended leg to mimic the effects of a non-elimination leg (keeping the same number of teams in the race), and using a simple video message clue to provide teams the goal for the first task of the second half of the leg.[20]

On Season 32 a new version of this twist titled the "Mega Leg" was introduced. This resembles the first version of the twist (where one leg is played out over two episodes, with double the tasks), but teams are informed prior to the start of the leg that it would be a double-length leg - eliminating the surprise element that had previously occurred with simular twists.[21]

Non-elimination legsEdit

A number of legs on each Race are predetermined "non-elimination legs", where the last team to check in is not eliminated. Up through U.S. season four, there was no penalty for finishing last on a non-elimination leg; this was repeated on one of the legs in season 17 (to make up for a production error). The first season of the French edition also lacks penalties for non-elimination legs, the first among the non-American editions to do so. Beginning with the fifth American season, teams who have finished in last place in a non-elimination leg have been subjected to one of the following penalties in the next leg:

  • Stripped of money and belongings: In seasons five through nine of the U.S. version, the last team to check in was stripped of all their money and was not given any money at the start of the next leg, forcing that team to literally beg for money from the local population of the city they were in for such expenses as cab, bus, or train fare. In addition, from seasons seven through nine, these teams would also be forced to give up all their bags and possessions therein, leaving them with only the clothes on their backs and the fanny pack teams use to carry their passports and Race documentation; this latter penalty caused many teams, thinking themselves to be in last place, to wear as much clothing as possible before checking in.
  • Marked for elimination: In most international versions of the show, as well as in seasons 10 and 11 of the U.S. version, a team that finished last on a non-elimination leg would be "marked for elimination" on the next leg: a 30-minute penalty would be issued on the team if they fail to check-in first, allowing a possibility of other teams to check in ahead of them, and the team would face elimination once the remaining teams trailing them checked-in.
  • Speed Bump: From season 12 onward, the penalty for finishing last in a non-elimination leg is that the affected team will have to perform a "Speed Bump" task at some point during the next leg. Teams would be alerted to the upcoming Speed Bump by a Route Marker clue prior to it, while the Speed Bump itself is displayed in a manner similar to the Yield showing the affected team's picture at a stand near to the regular Route Marker. Once the team completes the Speed Bump task, they may receive the next clue that they would have gotten at the Route Marker, or they may have to backtrack to the location of the cluebox to get their next clue, depending on the task. If the team fails to complete the Speed Bump, they will receive a four-hour penalty at the Pit Stop. The tasks that teams have been called on to perform are generally not very difficult or time-consuming, and the majority of teams that have been hit by the Speed Bump have recovered from it quickly enough to avoid immediate elimination (to date, four teams who were subjected to Speed Bump had even won the leg; one team that was subjected to two Speed Bumps throughout the race had even gone on to win the season).

Other non-elimination penaltiesEdit

Other international versions of the Race had different non-elimination penalties that issued to the last-placed teams:

  • Handicap (Handikap in Norwegian): Featured in the Norwegian edition, teams were handicapped to a specific task by making the task more difficult for the team with the penalty, such as increasing the output requirements for a task (e.g., teams only have to make 50 items at the task, but the team with the Handicap has to make 75) or a penalty may be given, such as requiring both Detours to be done.
  • In the Vietnamese edition, a "Stripped of money and belongings" variant of the "Marked for Elimination" penalty was featured, where the team that comes in last on some non-elimination legs was stripped of all their money (and in addition to not acquiring any money at the start of the following leg) if they fail to finish first in the next leg. In later seasons, teams were forced to wait for a certain time period before they could depart and start racing the next leg (as seen in the second and third season).
  • In the Ukrainian edition, the team that comes in last on non-elimination legs will receive a one-hour penalty at the next Pit Stop, regardless of their position.
  • In the second Chinese celebrity edition, two (of the four) non-eliminations legs have the penalty on the rest period of the teams instead of a "Speed Bump" (Leg 3 had the last team staying on a shop for a night sleeping on the ground, while Leg 8 was given tickets to fly on economy class instead of business class (which is usual in the series)).

Unusual eliminationsEdit

There have been many eliminations which have been unusual which may involve a team being eliminated outside a Pit Stop or more than one team being eliminated.

  • The first unusual elimination occurred in U.S. season 10 where the last team to arrive at the midpoint in the first leg (which is an overnight rest area) was eliminated (the leg ended with a standard end-of-leg elimination, accumulating the effects of the first double-elimination leg). A similar twist later occurred in Seasons 25 and 26, but both occurred in the final leg with four teams being reduced to three.
  • Season 15 featured another unusual elimination in its first leg. The race began with 12 teams and the first task offered 11 sets of airline tickets were available to the first destination city; after eleven teams completed the task at the Starting Line and received tickets to their first destination, the last team remaining was eliminated. The third Chinese and fifth Asian season (in both cases, 11 teams began the race and only 10 sets of bus tickets or clues were offered) later repeated the Start Line elimination; the latter however, also have a standard end-of-leg elimination, whereas the first two versions did not.
  • Season 19 featured the first double-elimination leg where the last two teams to arrive at a Pit Stop were both eliminated. The fourth and fifth Latin American, the second Philippine season, and the sixth Vietnamese season also featured a double-elimination leg.
  • Season two of the Israeli edition also featured a double-elimination; one team arriving at the airport last was eliminated (they were not given tickets to travel to the first destination city), in addition to the standard end-of-leg elimination. The airport elimination was also used in the inaugural Norwegian season; however, the first leg was a non-elimination leg.
  • Season 32, the second Norwegian season and the first Chinese celebrity edition had a "to be continued"/double-length leg, but featured an elimination for the team who arrived last at the first Pit Stop was eliminated. The remaining teams were given their next clue and told to keep on racing. Season 32 featured this on the first leg, while the first Chinese edition featured this on the final leg.

Final legEdit

The final leg of the race is run by the three remaining teams. In earlier U.S. seasons, the leg was a non-elimination or double-length leg, with an intermediate destination in or near the home country (such as Hawaii, Alaska or Canada for the U.S. version) prior to traveling to the final city back in the home country. However, in more recent Races, final legs have been single legs, whereby teams are flown directly from the final foreign country to the final city in the home country. In some races, which first seen in the Brazilian version, the finish line was held outside the home country.

Teams still must complete all of the tasks in the final city before they are directed to the Finish Line mat (with a design of the series logo, though some versions used a Pit Stop mat, as seen in the Asian version) to claim the cash reward for the winning team as well as various prizes. In the U.S. version, the grand prize was a cash prize of US$1 million.[k] At the check-in mat, the host and in most cases the other eliminated teams [l] celebrate the arrival of the teams. Generally, all three teams are allowed to arrive, but in seasons one and four, the third place team was so far behind and outside the final city that they were given a clue at their next Route Marker that informed them of the results.

A typical feature of the final leg is what is unofficially dubbed the "Final Memory Challenge" - a challenge (either "Route Info" or a "Roadblock") which tests the contestants on their time spent during the race, with examples such as knowing how well they understand their partner or the other teams, memory-based tasks based on their observation skills (such as finding items related to the race which they encountered along, usually in sequential order), or any tasks relating to the theme of the final leg (such as counting poker chips amounting to US$1 million). While the first instance of such a challenge was in the third American season, it had become a larger trend beginning with season nine of the American version - with most subsequent seasons (both of the American edition and international versions) including a Memory Challenge. The "Final Memory Challenge" usually appears as the second-to-last or last challenge before reaching the Finish line.

In the fourth and fifth Israeli seasons, while the Finish Line was still located outside the home country of Israel (which was usual in the series), teams who arrived at the Finish Line (an empty Pit Stop mat and the final clue box) was only told to return to Israel and travel to a specific location before being informed the final Race outcome. The French version was identical to the Israeli season, except that Finish Line was held at the home country of France.

In seasons 25 and 26, four teams raced the final leg, but at some point during the leg one of the four teams was eliminated from the race. This twist was also included on The Amazing Race Vietnam 2019 without the mid-leg elimination, effectively making the latter the first time in the franchise's history four teams crossed the Finish Line.

Rules and penaltiesEdit

All teams must abide by the rules set at the beginning of the race. Failure to do so can result in time penalties, which can negatively affect finishing position in that leg of the race. In a non-elimination leg, if the last team to arrive at the mat is checked in before a previous team has completed its penalty, any remainder of the penalty time will be applied at the start of the next leg of the race, beginning at the departure time of the next-to-last team.[m] In a no-rest leg, the last team will be given their next clue immediately while any remainder of the penalty will be removed.

While the complete set of official rules has not been released to the public, certain rules have been revealed during the various editions of the race:

RulesEdit

  • Unless otherwise stated, such as during Roadblocks, team members must stay within 20 feet (6.1 m) of each other and stay close to their assigned camera and sound crew. When using any form of transportation, unless otherwise stated, teams must be able to travel with the camera crew. Teams are recorded requesting only two tickets after they have made their initial request for four.[22]
  • Teams are required to purchase economy class airfare when they fly, using the credit card provided by the show.[23][24] The airline, at its discretion however, may upgrade the team(s) so long as there are no additional costs.[25] Teams may use their cash stipend to purchase first-class fares for other modes of transportation.[26] Teams may be forbidden from flying on certain airlines or restricted to specific airlines or restricted to transit in certain countries varying on seasons.
  • Teams are prohibited from contacting friends, family, and acquaintances during the Race without supervision. The Race however may provide them with an opportunity to contact them at select times.[27] When this happens while the race is going on, teams are not allowed to proceed to their next task.[n] In special circumstances, the production team will allow racers to contact family members outside of a race-required task.[o]
  • Unless otherwise stated by the clues, teams are allowed to use the help of locals for navigating and during tasks. Teams are required to have any locals who appear on camera sign release forms that legally clear the footage for use; some teams have avoided or reduced contacts with random local strangers because the release process can take a very long time to complete.
  • Teams are free to work together at any point unless otherwise stated by the rules.[28][29] Excluding the use of the Yield and U-Turn, teams are prohibited from hindering the performance of other teams such as by taking extra clues from a clue box, taking another team's assigned vehicle, altering the equipment for other teams at a task or using more than one Yield or one U-Turn at a time.
  • In any tasks that provides the teams with equipment, tools, animals, guides, or other props, teams are forbidden from changing these mid-task. Teams are forbidden from interfering with such equipment for other teams. When teams are given rental cars, and the car breaks down outside of the team's control, they will be given a replacement vehicle but given no additional time credits for the time it takes to replacement.
  • Teams are prohibited from possessing maps, guidebooks, cell phones, personal digital assistants and other similar aids at the start of the Race, but may use the provided money to purchase these as they progress. These may be provided by the show if required for a certain task.[30]
  • Teams are prohibited from using their personal items to barter for services on the race, though they are not necessarily prohibited from selling them for cash. The teams' bags may be subject to review during Pit Stops by production. Teams are free to sell or barter any items they have purchased during the course of the race.
  • In cases where teams are instructed to walk or drive themselves to a destination, teams are not allowed to hire a taxi to guide or take them through the route. In early seasons of the original series, teams frequently employed this tactic; several exchanges of dialogue in Season 17 indicate that it is now prohibited.
  • Teams are expected to keep the Race fanny pack containing their cash, passports, clues, and other documents with them at all times. Teams that do not have these upon check-in at a Pit Stop are required to go back and retrieve the pack and any missing mandatory contents (e.g., passports) before being checked in. In one case, during Season 21, a team had one of their passports stolen by a cab driver during a non-elimination leg that was followed by a leg in the same country. The team was checked-in last for a non-elimination finish and allowed to race in the following leg but would be eliminated if they still lacked their passport by the time they were required to produce one for international travel. Teams may check in after losing or abandoning any non-mandatory items (e.g., items of clothing), but they must continue the race without them.
  • Teams must complete each challenge as specified by the clues given to them throughout the Race. Should a team fail to properly complete a challenge, violate any provisions made in a clue or task description, or miss a clue altogether (unless specifically allowed to do so, e.g., by winning the Fast Forward, or by using an Express Pass), they must either go back to the location of the challenge and complete the challenge, or incur a penalty when they check in (see Penalties and time credits below).
  • In order to check in, all team members must step on the mat. As seen in U.S. Season 30, the first leg ended in a photo finish between the last two teams; the team of the last racer to step onto the map was eliminated. This rule was also eluded to orally by teams on The Amazing Race Australia 4. [p]
  • Teams are forbidden from touching another team's belongings, such as removing them from a taxi to use the new taxi. However, if the taxi driver removes the items, the team will not be penalized. Teams also may not intentionally hinder another team by hiding materials needed for a task.
  • Teams are prohibited from begging where it is illegal. On the American version, teams are additionally prohibited from begging at U.S. airports.
  • Racers may not smoke during the season.
  • Teams are required to abide by all local laws of the country where they are racing.
  • Starting in U.S. season 25, teams may only book one travel itinerary for themselves. They were no longer able to book a second set of tickets if they subsequently discovered a second flight that they preferred once they purchased the first booking. DVD commentary for the first season reveals that this was originally a rule, but was dropped for the second season.

The teams are often given additional rules and instructions that apply specifically to a given leg or to a task supplied with one of the clues; these are usually not explained to the viewer unless they affect the Race results.

Penalties and time creditsEdit

If a team trying to check in at the Pit Stop has committed an infraction during the leg, the team generally must return to the point of infraction and perform the task or action correctly before being allowed to check in. If it is impossible to correct the action, the team is instead asked to wait at a nearby spot to serve a penalty period before being allowed to officially check-in. The penalty for most rule infractions is 30 minutes, plus any time gained from breaking the rule. Minor violations for various tasks would have a penalty of 15 minutes, while some violations have longer penalties: two hours for bartering personal goods for services, up to four hours for failing to complete a miscellaneous task, four hours for failing to complete a Roadblock or Speed Bump, six hours for failing to complete a Detour (or completing a Fast Forward incorrectly), or 24 hours for flying outside of economy class, if doing so cost more than the economy class fare.[31] Earlier seasons of the Race enforced a 24-hour penalty for not completing either Detour option, but by season 17, the penalty was reduced to six hours.[32][33] If teams incur multiple penalties, they are cumulative.

A penalized team does not generally have to wait out its full penalty time at the Pit Stop if the team is in last place and all other teams have already checked in; unless if the leg was a non-elimination or a no-rest, the team will be eliminated immediately; otherwise, either the remainder of the penalty will be applied to the team's start time on the next leg,[m] or in the event of a no-rest leg, any penalty would be nullified. Occasionally, infractions have come to the production team's attention only after the team has checked in; in these cases, the penalty will be applied to the start of the next leg (with viewers given notification if it affects the departure order). In U.S. Season 3, such a situation resulted in changing which team finished in last place; production brought the penalized team back to the Pit Stop, where the host explained to the teammates what had happened before their elimination.

Should a vehicle (including cars and boats) break down through no fault of the team using it, a replacement vehicle is provided for them, but "no time credit is given for their wait in this unlucky situation."[34]

Teams may also receive time credits, applied to the next leg, that results from "production difficulties." These are only revealed to the viewer if they affect the placement at the start of the next leg.

Roadblock penaltiesEdit

In most versions, there is a four-hour penalty for not completing a Roadblock, which is served upon arrival at the Pit Stop. On the U.S. version, the penalty can be enforced in a number of ways:

  • If circumstances force the penalized team to continue racing (e.g., the site is about to close for the day), the penalty is served at the Pit Stop.
  • If they are not forced to continue racing, and all teams have arrived at the Roadblock, the penalty begins the moment the team announces its intention to quit.
  • If they are not forced to continue racing, and at least one team has yet to arrive at the Roadblock, the penalty does not begin until the next team arrives.[35] In two cases, the second Israeli version has only a one-hour penalty for not finishing a Roadblock task, while in U.S. Season 20, one Roadblock had a task which only had a limited number of props for teams to use in attempting the task; if they ran out, they only had to serve a two-hour penalty before checking in at the Pit Stop.
  • If a team member provides illegal assistance to their partner completing a roadblock, the penalty is served at the Pit Stop

ProductionEdit

The production of The Amazing Race is a challenge due to its premise being a race around the world. Among the difficult duties that producers face, scouting out locations, designing tasks, selecting teams, and planning logistics for the entire course are the most important to accomplish in pre-production. During the Race, the camera crews need to keep up with the movement of the teams and the host. And when the footage for the entire season has been recorded and edited, team members, production crew as well as the local staff who hosted or facilitated the tasks are obliged to keep the details of the race confidential and not leak out anything that hints at locations, events, or outcomes of the Race. An exception is the television network that airs the show in a country which hosted one of the legs where they can air teasers such as "Who among the teams will come here to (the network's home country name)?"[citation needed] However, in recent U.S. seasons, CBS had released a map to show the locations that the racers would be visiting.

The show is broadcast on CBS in the United States and simulcast via satellite in various networks around the world.[36]

Through its efforts, the U.S. version has received many accolades, including Primetime Emmy Awards and nominations in categories for audio and video production and editing. In 2010, CBS announced that season 18 of the show would be broadcast in high definition.[37]

International versionsEdit

 
Countries and areas with their own version of The Amazing Race
  HaMerotz LaMillion ("The Race To The Million") (Israel)
  The Amazing Race: China Rush (and other Chinese editions)
  Velyki Perehony (Ukraine)

The original version of The Amazing Race is the American version, which debuted on CBS on September 5, 2001, with Phil Keoghan as the host. In October 2005, CBS optioned The Amazing Race for franchising to other countries.[38]

Asia-PacificEdit

The Amazing Race Asia was the first Asian version of the show. The regional version was bought by Buena Vista International Television – Asia Pacific (BVITV–AP) and Sony Pictures Television International in October 2005.[38] Auditions were then announced that took place in February to March 2006.[39] The show first aired on November 9, 2006, on AXN Asia and was hosted by Allan Wu. The show aired for three more seasons, with the last season having ended in 2010. After a six-year hiatus, the series was announced to be returning for a 5th season to air in late 2016.[40]

In Israel, on April 8, 2008, the Israeli television network Reshet announced their plans to produce their version of the show, HaMerotz LaMillion (lt. The Race to the Million).[41] Its first season premiered on February 5, 2009, on Channel 2. The first four seasons of the show was a co-production by Reshet and activeTV, an Australian production company that had also produced the Asian version of the race. Since the fifth season, the show has been produced in-house by Reshet, and in 2017 Reshet launched their own channel that became the new home of the show starting with the sixth season.

In March 2010, a Chinese version of the show, The Amazing Race: China Rush, was announced by the Disney–ABC International Television Asia Pacific. The show was produced by Shanghai-based international production company Fly Films;[42] the company had previously produced Shanghai Rush in 2009, a show heavily influenced by The Amazing Race. The first season was filmed between March and April 2010 and aired in August 2010 by International Channel of Shanghai and was hosted by Allan Wu, who had also previously hosted the Asian version.[43] The Chinese version ran for three series, with the last season having ended in 2012. In 2014, Shenzhen Media Group announced they had bought the rights to The Amazing Race and would be producing a new Chinese version of the program, unrelated to Shanghai Media Group's China Rush.

Australia then followed suit with The Amazing Race Australia. On July 19, 2010, Seven Network purchased the format rights to produce the Australian series.[44] The show was produced by activeTV in association with ABC Studios and was distributed by Disney Media Distribution Asia Pacific.[45] The host for the first 3 seasons was New Zealand-born actor Grant Bowler.[46] Two series were produced in 2011 and 2012 and after a brief hiatus in 2013, another season was produced in-house and without activeTV in 2014. This season also included teams from both Australia and New Zealand. Following a 5 years hiatus, the show was revived by Network 10 in 2019. This new season was produced by Eureka Productions and hosted by former rugby league footballer Beau Ryan. The first season of 10's iteration - and the fourth season overall - premiered on October 28, 2019.[47]

On March 26, 2011, it was announced that TV5 had acquired the rights to produce a Philippine version of The Amazing Race. The first season of The Amazing Race Philippines aired on October 29, 2012, and ended on December 15, 2012.[48] Derek Ramsay hosted the show. The show aired a second season in 2014.

Vietnam bought the format as The Amazing Race Vietnam – Cuộc đua kỳ thú. It was announced on March 1, 2012, by BHD Corp. and VTV3. Dustin Nguyen served as the director, executive producer and host of the first season of the show. The fourth season is currently being broadcast with Phan Anh as the new host. The second, third, and fifth seasons were broadcast with Huy Khánh as the host, with Phan Anh filling in during the fourth season. After a three-year hiatus, the show was revived with Song Luân as host.

EuropeEdit

During 2005, AXN Central Europe announced a version of the show to be called The Amazing Race Central Europe. Applications were closed with the submission of 2,500 applicants, with filming expected to have occurred in 2006 and broadcast from September 2006.[49] The show was cast but was never filmed.

By October 2011, a Norwegian version of the show titled The Amazing Race Norge was announced by TV 2. Applications were open from October 11, 2011, to October 31, 2011. Filming took place in January 2012.[50] ex-football player Freddy dos Santos is the host of The Amazing Race Norge.[51] The first season premiered on April 11, 2012. The second and latest season ended on May 29, 2013.

On March 23, 2012, a French version of the show was announced. It was produced by Shine France for D8 with filming having occurred between June and July 2012. It premiered on October 22 of the same year.[52][53]

Sometime in 2012, a Ukrainian version of the show was announced, called Velyki Perehony.[54] It premiered on April 13, 2013, at 20:00.[55]

AmericaEdit

In late 2006, a South-American independent production company announced that it would produce a Brazilian version in 2007, to be called The Amazing Race: A Corrida Milionária, and to be aired in a purchased time slot in the Brazilian network RedeTV!. Applications were open from January until July, and filming occurred during August and September. The first and only season premiered on October 13, 2007, and concluded on January 5, 2008.[56]

On October 15, 2008, a Latin American version of the show was announced by Discovery Channel Latin America in association with Disney and Harris Whitbeck presented the show. The first season was filmed in early 2009 and broadcast late in that year across Latin America and the Caribbean and the second season aired in late 2010. In January 2011 it was announced that Space acquired the rights to produce the third season of the show.[57] The fourth season also aired in Space in September 2012, but solely composed of Brazilian teams with Paulo Zulu as the host, replacing Whitbeck.[58] In the fifth season, María Victoria "Toya" Montoya, a former contestant from the third season, replaced Whitbeck as regular host of the series.[59]

On November 30, 2012, it was revealed that CTV would produce a Canadian version of The Amazing Race. An announcement made by Phil Keoghan aired on this channel during the December 2, 2012, episode of the U.S. version of the show. The show premiered on July 15, 2013 with Olympic gold medalist Jon Montgomery as host and has since aired seven seasons.

International versionsEdit

As of November 23, 2020, there have been 80 winning teams in over 14 franchises of The Amazing Race. The most recent winners are newlyweds Tim and Rod Sattler-Jones who won The Amazing Race Australia 4.

  Currently airing (2)
  An upcoming season (2)
  No longer airing (8)
  Status unknown (1)
Country/Region Local title Network(s) Winner(s) Presenter(s) Prize(s)
    
    
    
    
   Asia
The Amazing Race Asia AXN Asia
  Australia
  New Zealand (3)
The Amazing Race Australia Seven Network (1–3)
TVNZ (TV2) (3)
Network 10 (4-)
The Amazing Race Australia v New Zealand Season 3, 2014:   Daniel Little and Ryan Thomas
  Brazil The Amazing Race: A Corrida Milionária RedeTV!
  • Rony Curvelo
The Amazing Race: Edição Brasil
The Amazing Race: Brazilian Edition
Space
Paulo Zulu US$250,000
  Canada The Amazing Race Canada CTV
Jon Montgomery
  • CA$250,000
  • two Chevrolet Cars
  • trip of two around the world
  • "gas for life" from Petro-Canada (2–3)
The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition
  China The Amazing Race: China Rush
极速前进:冲刺!中国
ICS
Dragon TV (2–3)
  Allan Wu Trip around the World
The Amazing Race
China
(Season 3–4)
极速前进
(Celebrity Edition)
Shenzhen TV
  • Two trophies
  • Two Infiniti Q50 (1–2)
  • Money to donate
  • Pearl Necklace (3)
  France Amazing Race : la plus grande course autour du monde !
Amazing Race: the biggest race around the world!
D8
Alexandre Delpérier 50,000
  Israel המירוץ למיליון
HaMerotz LaMillion
The Race to the Million
Channel 2 (Reshet) (1–5)
Reshet 13 (6–)
1,000,000
המירוץ למיליון: All Stars
HaMerotz LaMillion: All Stars
    
    
    
    
    
    
   
Latin America
The Amazing Race en Discovery Channel
The Amazing Race on Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel Latin America
  • US$250,000
    (1–5)
    US$100,000
    (6)
The Amazing Race Space
TC Televisión (6)
The Amazing Race: Ecuador
  Norway The Amazing Race Norge TV 2
  Philippines The Amazing Race Philippines TV5
  • ₱2,000,000 (1)
  • ₱2,000,000 + 2 Kia Sportage + 2 House and Lot Properties (2)
  Ukraine Великі Перегони
Velyki Perehony
Great Race
1+1 Season 1, 2013: Valeria Nikiforets and Bohdana Primak
  United States The Amazing Race
(Flagship/Original Edition)
CBS
  Phil Keoghan US$1,000,000[k]
The Amazing Race: Family Edition Season 8, 2005: Nick, Alex, Megan and Tommy Linz
The Amazing Race: All-Stars
The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business Season 18, 2011: Kisha and Jen Hoffman
The Amazing Race: Reality Showdown Season 31, 2019: Colin Guinn and Christie Woods
  Vietnam Cuộc đua kỳ thú
The Amazing Race Vietnam
VTV3 (1–2, 4, 6)
VTV6 (3, 5)
VTV9 (5)
Season 1, 2012: Saetti Baggio and Thành Phúc   Dustin Nguyen 300,000,000
Cuộc đua kỳ thú
The Amazing Race Vietnam
(Celebrity Edition)
Huy Khánh (2–3)
Song Luân (6)
Hương Giang (6)
Cuộc đua kỳ thú
The Amazing Race Vietnam
(Celebrities vs. Fans)
Phan Anh
Cuộc đua kỳ thú
The Amazing Race Vietnam
(All-Stars)
Huy Khánh


Other mediaEdit

Video gamesEdit

A video game based on this reality show was developed by Ludia for the Wii. It was released on November 2, 2010, in North America.[61]

The game features many locations previously visited on real races, as well as some new ones like Venezuela. Host Phil Keoghan provided voice-acting throughout the entire game.

Players customize their own characters and can race against other, pre-made characters. These existing teams are showcased in the opening, which closely mirrors the actual show's opening (including the use of the same music). However, when playing the actual game, no-one, not even the player, is referred to by name. Instead, teams are differentiated by color (ex. team yellow).

The rules of the race are fairly similar to the actual race. Teams receive money, fly to a location and complete various tasks (which were represented by a large collection of minigames). The last team to arrive is eliminated, unless they are saved by a non-elimination leg, in which the penalty is the team loses all their money they saved up to that point (unlike the show during seasons 5–9, the teams are still given money at the start of the next leg). However, teams all leave the Pit Stop at the same time.

Some of the clues had changes to their rules: while the Detour and Roadblock retain their rules, there is no limit on individual Roadblocks. Fast Forwards appear in the race, but they are not optional, and the team that completes it fastest gets a two-hour time credit. The Intersection marker was also present, however, the rules was changed where a task that all teams complete, similar to an additional task on the real race. The Yield, U-Turn, Speed Bump, and Express Pass are not featured in this game.

As an added bonus, completing various tasks and doing certain objectives in the game will unlock "video files." These are selected clips from the actual U.S. TV show; usually featuring notable clips selected from the first 15 seasons, such as extremely dramatic moments (examples are Uchenna & Joyce couldn't pay their taxi driver at the final Pit Stop and Chris & Alex making the closest finish in Amazing Race) or funny moments (such as when Fran & Barry kept walking past a clue that was within arm's length). The clips appear exactly as they did on TV, except that all logos are pixelated, even those that went uncensored on TV.

Ludia also made a version of the game for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.[62]

ParodiesEdit

In 2015, a Canadian animated Amazing Race parody program titled The Ridonculous Race aired on Teletoon and Cartoon Network. The show itself is a spin-off the Total Drama series (which is, in turn, a parody of other reality shows, predominately Survivor). The animated show features 18 teams of two who will compete in a race around the world for C$1,000,000. The show is hosted by Don, who is modelled after The Amazing Race US host, Phil Keoghan. The teams race to "Don Boxes" to receive their next "travel tip", which will instruct the teams to complete challenges and go to other locations. Like Amazing Race, there are a variety of challenge types. There are "either or"; in which the teams are given a choice of two choices (like a Detour), a "botch or watch"; which only one member of the team can complete the task (like a Roadblock), and "all-ins"; in which both members must complete the given task. At the end of each episode, there is a "Chill Zone" which the teams may rest until the next episode. Teams check into the "chill zones" by stepping on the "carpet of completion". The last team to set foot on the carpet may be eliminated from the race. The first team to reach the final "chill zone" will win C$1,000,000.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ To avoid issues related to the connotations of the former flag of South Vietnam, the Markers were changed to solid yellow the first time the Race visited the country and then the colors of the inaugural original season's Route Markers (yellow and white) the last two times that the Race has visited that country; however, recent versions (such as the 29th and 31st American seasons, fifth Asian season, fourth Australian season, fourth Canadian season, fourth Chinese celebrity season and the fifth Israeli season) had since used standard route markers.
  2. ^ The Route Markers used on the Family Edition were yellow, white, and black.
  3. ^ The Route Markers used on The Amazing Race: A Corrida Milionária were yellow and green. This color was also used for the Vietnam leg in the first season of The Amazing Race Australia.
  4. ^ The Route Markers used on The Amazing Race en Discovery Channel were black and blue.
  5. ^ The Route Markers used on The Amazing Race Vietnam were orange and light green.
  6. ^ As seen in the Vietnamese edition' teams were subjected to penalties for missing a clue instead of going back to the location they have missed earlier (which was seen in most versions); in the event teams lost the clue (first seen in the third season), teams may search for the lost clue or take a time penalty; if other teams had found their lost clue, that team may hand over the clue to the team at a cost of a time penalty.
  7. ^ As seen on the second leg of the sixth Vietnamese season, the decision can be reversed and teams can, at any time, switch to a non-participating member only once during the task.
  8. ^ On the final leg of the inaugural Philippine edition, a special restriction was applied on the first Roadblock where the racer who performed a certain number of Roadblocks (12 at the point of the final Leg) was prohibited from performing, although any racer may perform the second Roadblock without restrictions.
  9. ^ Season 20 was an exception since season 14, where three Fast Forwards were offered throughout the Race.
  10. ^ Due to the availability for celebrities in taping schedules, in the case for Chinese celebrity edition, the team's departure time was modified to time intervals (departing in usually five-minutes; some legs had all teams depart simultaneously) instead of the actual time difference between check-ins. This was later adopted in the sixth Vietnamese season
  11. ^ a b Season 21 featured the Double Your Money prize for the winners of the first leg, enabling them to win a possible US$2 million grand prize should they win the race.[60]
  12. ^ Some cases saw teams absent from the Finish Line, and usually informed on the results after the Race ended; U.S. Seasons 13 and 15 had a team absent in the Finish Line; in the latter's case, the team was not informed on the race results due to the team voluntarily leaving the race as a result of a Start Line elimination. Some versions, such as the Latin American version, where all of eliminated teams were absent in the Finish Line.
  13. ^ a b In the Chinese celebrity edition, any remainder of the penalty time was not carried forward to the next leg; in some cases, teams who partially completed tasks was only given a partial time penalty.
  14. ^ While usually no penalties were incurred for the infraction, Latin America and Philippine editions featured a penalty for the infraction which was issued at the Pit Stop.
  15. ^ The fifth episode of Season 21 shows James LoMenzo being allowed to contact his wife during the Pit Stop so she may tell him about the sudden change on his father's health.
  16. ^ As seen in the first four seasons of the original American version and some international versions, ties were allowed if teams arrive at the Pit Stop at the same time; as seen on the sixth Vietnamese season, multiple teams checked-in last and also subjected for non-elimination penalties.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lilley, Jason. "Girly Stuff", TashiTagg, 2004. Retrieved on January 15, 2007.
  2. ^ "Amazing Race Affiliate Eligibility Requirements" (PDF). promonet.cbs.com.
  3. ^ The Amazing Race 5 FAQ Archived January 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
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External linksEdit