The Amazing Race kicked off its 32nd season last week on CBS in its latest long awaited premiere. Episode one saw a first in the show’s history as Cody and Nathan were eliminated during a no-rest stop, something that had never happened in The Amazing Race‘s US version before. Episode two airs tonight, Wednesday, October 21st at 9:00 PM ET/PT, only on CBS.
CBS’ Matt Weiss caught up with Phil Keoghan to recap episode one and get an inside look at what to expect this week.
MW: Phil, season one off and running. How’s it feel to have that first episode out there?
PK: Well, it’s just nice to get going. Fans have been talking to me about when the show is going to be back on and now I don’t have to dodge the question; I can give them a definite answer. I think people are just excited to know that they’ve got something fresh to watch.
There’s not a lot of fresh stuff out there. Especially right now, people have binge watched all the seasons of The Amazing Race and then we’ve got some new viewers come in and watch shows for the very first time. For returning fans to have a new season to look forward to over the next 10–11 episodes, very excited for them.
MW: Lots of great teams to be invested in this season and one in particular I wanted to ask about is Jerry and Frank with their father/son dynamic and we already got a good bit of insight into their relationship…
PK: Like any father son relationship, I know I’ve got this with my dad, it tends to be that you want to live up to your father’s expectations, you always feel like you may be living under the shadow of your dad’s achievements. There’s definitely a lot of that going on there when you’ve got a dad who’s played at the highest level in sport.
Look to get into NBA you’ve got to be the elite of the elite. He’s trying to prove to his dad that he’s his own person but that he’s also worthy of being respected. There’s a lot to be sorted out but I will tell you that this is a time that they’ve really been looking forward to.
They want to spend this time together and hopefully by the end of it all, they’ll come back with a new appreciation of each other. Along the way they’re going to be tested doing things together. I think ultimately what they’re looking to get out of this experience is bonding and having that one on one time that they haven’t had before. They haven’t had this kind of intensity where it’s just them and nobody else.
MW: Going from one team with an elite athlete to a team with two of them. D’Angelo Williams and Gary Barnidge were both in the NFL of course and probably one of the funniest moments for me from episode one was when D’Angelo said Gary can’t carry a tune in a bucket. What else are we going to see from these two and what were your impressions of them so far?
PK: Would you argue with that statement?
MW: No. [laughs]
PK: They’re like, as they said, brothers from a different mother. They give each other a really hard time and that’s because they like each other so much. They’re quite different, they really are like yin and yang in many respects. Not just physically but also just in their demeanor. They both have a different sort of approach to things.
D’Angelo is very amped up when he competes. He’s really in your face and he shows that he really wants to win. Gary is kind of the opposite he’s very laid back, chill but you can tell he’s like a silent killer. I wouldn’t want to run into that guy on a football field. It’s an interesting dynamic.
I will tell you that as things start to heat up, the competition starts to heat up they’re going to butt heads, they definitely butt heads. There’s a deep love underlying love there but there’s sparks between those two. They make life entertaining.
MW: Were there any other teams that really impressed you that you want to highlight from episode 1?
PK: There’s so many. I mean I really love Aparna and Eswar, brother/sister, both very bright people. I have a sister and we have a really good relationship and a lot of respect for each other. I love watching that dynamic of a brother/sister and you can just see the love between them, so I love that.
I also really love the real estate agents. They’re people who have come through the school of hard knocks, a really tough upbringing, but managed to pull themselves together and be very, very successful. I really admire people who have come through tremendous adversity and who managed to make a better life for themselves.
Then of course there’s Will and James. We’re all about diversity and we love to show different types of people, different types of love, different dynamics, different relationships. I love that that they can show us the meaning of what it’s like to truly love somebody and to be really compatible. I can’t imagine one without the other. A great couple.
With Nathan and Cody of course, it was a tough episode for them but you see the spirit and in all of our contestants and you realize it is difficult to go into a race and know that week after week people are going to get illuminated. Just to make it to the starting line you’re a winner.
We put a tremendous amount of time and effort into finding the people that we believe are the most captivating teams of two in the country. You’ll get to know them of course throughout the season more and more. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. There’s some really good team dynamics.
MW: Ties in nicely with my last question here before I let you go. Episode two is coming up tonight, what can viewers expect to see?
PK: They’re going to leave Trinidad and Tobago, they’re flying into South America. They’re going to go to Columbia. Their balance is going to be tested at a circus. This is the great thing about The Amazing Race, you just never know what you’re going to do. They might find themselves precariously balanced very high up in the air at a circus. Let’s just say that.
MW: Alright, well I think that’s a good literal cliffhanger.
PK: Yeah, you don’t want to be scared of heights on the next episode of The Amazing Race.
MW: Alright, good stuff. Phil, it’s always awesome to talk to you looking forward to episode two and the rest of the season moving forward.
PK: Yeah, thank you, take care!
Tune in for new episodes of The Amazing Race, Wednesday nights at 9:00 PM ET/PT, only on CBS and streaming on CBS All Access. Check your local listings for more information.