‘Amazing Race’ Host Phil Keoghan Previews the Season 34 Cast | #entertainment | #news


Back at the end of 2021, The Amazing Race was able to accomplish the impossible. After taking a nineteen-month hiatus, they were able to make a show centered on international travel actually finish out in the middle of the pandemic. And that success gave the Emmy-winning series the confidence to do it all again only several months after they finish.

“We weren’t really sure how that restart was going to go,” host Phil Keoghan tells Parade. “We had waited long enough to make sure that we could fulfill  our number one promise, which is to keep everybody safe. And then we did. And that gave us the confidence to go out another time and do what we just did.”

Indeed, when Amazing Race fans get to check out season 34–premiering September 21 at 10:00–it won’t look that much different than what just aired earlier this year. COVID protocols put in place still exist, most prominently the branded charter plane that will fly teams together to their next destination. Though Keoghan did indicate that he believes the show will get back to teams traveling on separate flights at some point. But the show will still conduct a strict testing regime for cast, crew, and locals that the racers come into contact with, something worked to perfection over the course of season 33.

The pandemic run of season 33 invoked many comparisons to “old school” Amazing Race, specifically the greater reliance on self driving and no twists that have served to change up the formula in recent seasons. That will also carry over into season 34, including the absence of one of the show’s biggest elements in recent iterations: The U-Turn.

“I don’t know if it’s been that big of an element contentwise over the years,” Keoghan says. “I mean, a lot of U-Turns have have just been passed over. There’s a lot that don’t get used for one reason or another. That was just not part of the focus of coming back this time. We had other things to focus on.”

As Keoghan alludes to, season 34 will certainly not be without a couple of tweaks here and there. Like its predecessor, The Amazing Race 34 will largely stick with a European route. The season will start in Munich (the first time the show has a starting line outside of the United States) before traveling to Austria, France, Italy, and Spain. But excitedly, the show will hop continents to film in a brand-new country for the American version: Jordan.

“It came at the right time in the season,” Keoghan says of their time in the Middle Eastern country. “I haven’t been there since the late ’90s. But it instantly reminded me why it is such a spectacular place to go. It really is one of those once in a lifetime places. We had some mind blowing challenges. And to get to Petra and to share that with people who have never been there before, it’s awesome.”

Additionally, for the first time in the show’s history, the season will consist of no non-elimination legs (though the jury’s still out as to whether every episode will end in an elimination). And a twelfth team was added to the cast for the first time since back in season 15 to make the competition that much more intense and high-stakes.

“Non-elimination legs have always divided our fans,” Keoghan says. “Some people have liked them over the years and people other people don’t. I personally like the all-or-nothing approach. I like that there’s no second chance for for you at the pitstop. It just ups the stakes. It definitely added another layer of tension, especially with twelve competitive teams.”

Below, Keoghan gives his thoughts on this season’s teams, including who stands the best chance to take home the million-dollar prize at the end of it all. The Amazing Race 34 premieres on Wednesday, September 21 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Related: Everything We Know About The Amazing Race Season 34




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