Everything to know about ‘The Amazing Race 33’

The world waited and “The Amazing Race” is back. After shutting down production in February 2020 due to COVID-19, Season 33 of “The Amazing Race” went back to the starting line and is now back on your TV screens. Here’s everything to know about this delayed installment.

It started off the new year right.
“The Amazing Race 33” premiered on Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 8/7c with a two-hour episode. It moved to its regular timeslot the following week on Jan. 12 at 9/8c. “The Amazing Race” last aired in December 2020, so the gap in between seasons is a little over a year, which isn’t that long in these COVID times (comparatively, there were 16 months in between the end of Season 31 in June 2019 and the Season 32 premiere in October 2020).

Production first began in February 2020.
Season 33 had just started filming when production was halted on Feb. 28, 2020, because of the pandemic. The show had completed three episodes with stops in England, where they had to find “The Queen” and “Boris Johnson” having a nosh, and Scotland. The first post-resumption episode aired Jan. 19.

It resumed filming more than 18 months later with a COVID-safe plan.
CBS, producers and host Phil Keoghan were always hopeful that production would restart eventually, but of course a globe-trotting series like “The Amazing Race” is harder to produce in a pandemic than most shows that film in a studio. Following vaccine rollouts and gradual reopenings, Keoghan told Gold Derby in June 2021 that producers had come up with a plan to safely film around the world. “CBS wants us back on the schedule. They want us to come up with a plan,” he said. “I think we have a plan that will work in this world that we live in. But the expectation from the network is that we get Season 33 finished and then we roll into more seasons again.”

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In September, Thom Sherman, the network’s senior EVP of programming, announced at the Television Critics Association summer press tour that “The Amazing Race” will be on the network’s 2021-22 schedule. The following week, filming resumed with the whole production using a charter plane to travel from location to location. Filming reportedly wrapped in October.

“I told you that we would be back and we are back because we have been able to travel around the world safely. Our No. 1 priority is to make sure that all our racers can travel around the world safely and we can get them back home safe to their families, and we have done that,” Keoghan said in a video on Twitter following the premiere date announcement. “So excited! Brand new locations, awesome new challenges, and of course as I say every single time, the world is waiting for you. Are you ready for this?”

Where is Season 33 going to?
As aforementioned, there were pre-COVID stops in England and Scotland. The restart, for Leg 4, kicked off in Switzerland, followed by legs in France, Greece and Portugal. The finish line was in Los Angeles.

Who is in the cast? 
The cast features 11 new teams — click here to meet them — and includes “Love Island” couple Caro Viehweg and Ray Gantt, who broke up during the shutdown. Other teams include internet personalities Kim and Penn Holderness of the Holderness Family, and Taylor and Isaiah Green-Jones of the viral 2019 wedding flash mob. For the resumption, seven teams returned, but two teams were not able to come back. The show adapted to those teams’ absences without adding more non-elimination legs.

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