“The Wonderful Race”: They usually’re off, once more!

OK, would YOU leap off of a 700-foot dam for an opportunity at one million {dollars}? It is terrifying, but it surely’s simply one other day on “The Wonderful Race.” Over the previous 21 years, the CBS actuality present has taken greater than 600 intrepid souls on a race world wide, two-by-two – a worldwide odyssey that assessments the boundaries of their endurance, the bounds of their dignity, and the energy of their relationships.

And as with nearly any sport present, you may’t assist however marvel what you’d do should you had been of their footwear.

It was in that spirit that “Sunday Morning” correspondent Tracy Smith went alongside final Could for the beginning of season 34 of “The Wonderful Race.”

Earlier than the pandemic, the groups flew industrial airways. However for security’s sake they now use a chartered 757. “We might by no means achieved it earlier than; it is a good change-up,” mentioned Phil Keoghan, who’s been the host for all 34 seasons.  “And possibly after 20 years of doing the present, we’ll take it, yeah!”

Smith and Keoghan knew the aircraft was certain for Munich, Germany. However not one of the contestants aboard had a clue. “I simply suppose it is wild that we’re them; they do not know!” mentioned Smith.

“No thought the place they are going,” mentioned Keoghan. “I imply, are you able to consider anyone who will get on a aircraft and actually has no thought the place they are going? Are you able to think about?”

However they may sense that issues had been about to get form of hectic, as soon as they started their superb race in Germany.

Contestants started the thirty fourth “Wonderful Race” in Munich, Germany. 

CBS Information

Govt producer Bertram van Munster has directed nearly each minute of each leg of each race because it started in 2001. Van Munster is particularly near co-executive producer Elise Doganieri; the 2 are married and have traveled the world collectively within the identify of nice TV.

She was the one who thought this entire factor up, impressed by a backpacking journey that she’d taken together with her faculty roommate. “I assumed, ‘If we put individuals who know one another collectively, there’s undoubtedly gonna be drama,'” Doganieri advised Smith.

And what’s occurred since is TV historical past: “The Wonderful Race” has turn out to be a perennial favourite on this community’s schedule, and the winner of 10 Emmys for greatest competitors present – greater than every other.

In 21 years of manufacturing, the race has been to almost 100 nations, logging nicely over one million miles, and counting.

Smith requested, “Did you envision this?”

“No,” Doganieri replied. “The primary season we filmed the present, I used to be working in promoting. I took a depart of absence. I mentioned to Bertram, ‘Ought to I stop my job? We offered the present.’ He mentioned, ‘No, no, no. Do not stop your job. It is tv. You by no means know if it is gonna get renewed or canceled.’ After which the present acquired picked up. And I mentioned, ‘Bert, what do you suppose?’ And he goes, ‘It is best to stop your job.’

“And so, we took a threat.”

However now, 34 seasons in, van Munster says all of it nonetheless makes him as nervous as ever.

Smith requested, “So, final evening, did you sleep?”

“No, no, I slept possibly three hours,” he replied.

“Since you’re pondering what’s coming subsequent?”

“Even in any case these years.”

“It is a lotta particulars!”

“It is a lotta particulars, however I adore it,” van Munster mentioned. “As they are saying, the satan is within the particulars.”

And there are loads of particulars:

For the Munich leg alone, the racers needed to full not one however three duties, all impressed by Oktoberfest:  First, roll a beer keg by way of an impediment course in underneath one minute; second, noticed by way of a log; and three, smash an unlimited block of ice.  As soon as full, they will have the three elements of the clue they should end the leg.

“The Wonderful Race” producers sometimes do a take a look at run the day earlier than, rain or shine, to verify a job is secure and truly do-able. And for this leg of the race solely, they let Smith and her producer (her husband, John D’Amelio) do the honors.

Tracy Smith assessments her barrel-rolling mettle. 

CBS Information

The log sawing went somewhat higher than the beer keg rolling.


CBS Information

And the ice block problem was one thing else. The thought was to patiently chip on the ice till you discovered a tiny gold puzzle piece. However Smith’s producer just isn’t precisely a “affected person” man.  

Reduce to the chase. Trace: Large mallets work greatest. 

CBS Information

After this, the producers took away the large mallet.

They typically make changes earlier than the race begins, however as soon as it begins, there are not any do-overs, ever. “There isn’t any stopping,” mentioned van Munster. “It is all the time go, go, go, go, go. We do not intervene. We do not do second takes. By no means do second takes. Completely none. As a result of it is a sport present.”

Sure, a sport present, however a few of the places are really superb, and also you by no means know when a priceless second goes to occur … or a uncommon second of calm, amid the cacophony of bells ringing in Munich.

The following morning, it was time to do what they got here for. Earlier than the beginning, the digicam crews stretch like distance runners, preparing for the mad sprint to return. After which – lastly – Phil Keoghan says the phrases that each contestant is straining to listen to: “The world is ready for you. Good luck, journey secure … go!

We will not inform you which staff completed first in episode one (yow will discover out later this week), however we are able to inform you that the race began as deliberate, and that it was as wild as ever.

Smith requested Doganieri, “Thirty-four seasons and the present has not been eradicated. Why do you suppose the present survived?”

“Our backdrop of the world is perpetually altering,” she replied. “We’re by no means going to expire of places to movie in. And it is tremendous entertaining. It is humorous. We’re form of laughing at ourselves, but in addition touring the world and attending to see locations you could by no means get to see in your lifetime.”

For the contestants (even the fake ones), it is an opportunity to be taught somewhat bit in regards to the world and themselves in methods they by no means thought doable.

And for the creators of the present, you get the sense it is all nonetheless fairly superb for them, too.

“We thought we might be simply two seasons, possibly one season,” mentioned Doganieri. “By no means in one million years did I feel that we might nonetheless be doing this.”

To observe a preview of the thirty fourth season of “The Wonderful Race,” click on on the video participant beneath:

The Amazing Race Season 34 Preview (MIXED) by
The Amazing Race on

For more information:

Story produced by John D’Amelio. Editor: Steven Tyler. 

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