‘The Amazing Race’: New Season Changes The Show Forever

Nick Davis

The long-awaited Season 33 of The Amazing Race is finally upon us. The show came to a grinding halt for the same reason it’s sibling show Survivor had to cease production. Now, after a year-long break due to COVID, Season 41 of Survivor is also coming to a close. The Amazing Race will be back on everyone’s screens just a few weeks after Survivor wraps up.

This new season of the show will mark a new era for the race. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed travel dramatically. Every country now has a different set of restrictions regarding entry guidelines. Some simply require a negative COVID test within 48 hours of arrival. Some require a negative test and proof of complete COVID vaccination. Others require a 7-10 day quarantine after being admitted through customs. For a game like The Amazing Race, which relies on rapidly moving between borders, this dramatically changes how the show must be approached. Specifically, with this season we’re seeing the longest race of all time. Not with distance, per se, but with film time.

A Year-Long Race

While Survivor simply delayed the filming of their new seasons until they could safely work around COVID guidelines, The Amazing Race was actively running a race when the lockdowns hit. They took the longest pit stop of all time after the third leg of the race, according to CBS. Filming resumed in the Fall of this year after over a year and a half of the season being on pause.

The long-time host of the show, Phil Keoghan, took to Twitter to announce the show’s return back in November

Phil Keoghan kicks off the 33rd edition of the CBS Original series THE AMAZING RACE on the two-hour season premiere, Wednesday, Jan. 5 (8:00- 10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Pictured: Phil Keoghan Photo: Michele Crowe/CBS ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Amazing Race Is Back

It will be very interesting to see how the show handles the massive break between the last leg before COVID and the next leg a year and a half later. The first few episodes of the race could serve as an interesting kind of time capsule. Showing the days leading up to full lockdown through the perspective of Americans visiting multiple countries. Not to mention seeing the racers before and after 2020. Undoubtedly having been changed and with new perspectives on the race they’re running. Probably at least a couple of them with newfound unkempt beards too.

Imagine being the team that waits an entire year to resume the race of a lifetime, only to be eliminated on the first leg after the long pause. That certainly will be a heartbreaking thing to witness.

The Amazing Race Season 33 premieres its first episode on January 5, 2022.

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