The Amazing Race is going back to the start.
To celebrate the 10-time Emmy-winning show's 25th season (premieres Friday, 8/7c, CBS), Race returned to New York City, where Season 1 began and ended, for the kickoff — and the start line in Times Square was open to the public for the first time ever.
Meet The Amazing Race 25 teams
"I've always been an advocate of not keeping where we go a secret," host Phil Keoghan told TVGuide.com before production began. "What we do — keep that a secret — but as far as locations, when we're talking about where we're going, the better it is for the show. I think the viewer is more excited knowing where we're going, and they can't wait to see what happens in that place than they would be if they didn't know. It's kind of a great teaser. If we're going to Spain, you start thinking of all the things we could do in Spain. So I'm very excited to see our fans in Times Square. It's the perfect place to do it."
That's where I found myself at 3 a.m. Saturday, May 31, waiting for Phil to tell me that the world is waiting for me — or you know, the 11 teams. I've watched ...
To connect or not to connect? Instead of risking a 30-minute connection with Brendon and Rachel to Sri Lanka on The Amazing Race All-Stars, Margie and Luke opted to wait for standby tickets. Unfortunately, they couldn't get them, putting them 10 hours behind everyone and inevitably eliminating them. "We had a long time to process that we were going to be eliminated," Margie tells TVGuide.com. "We accepted it, but we were sad." Find out why the mother-son three-time racers chose to play it safe with the tickets, what Luke learned from his bartending meltdown last week and why he can't seem to handle liquid challenges.
The Amazing Race
Will the third time be the charm for the cowboys?
Fan favorites Jet and Cord will be one of three teams racing for the third time on The Amazing Race All-Stars, CBS announced Monday. The other three-timers are Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time and Big Easy, and mother and son Margie and Luke, the show's first and thus far only deaf Racer.
Photos: Meet The Amazing Race All-Stars cast
Other returning teams include ...
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Our top moments of the week:
11. Worst Reminder: When Tamra and Vicki head South of the Border to Cabo San Lucas on The Real Housewives of Orange County, Tamra decides to "do as the Cabo-nians do" and do a body shot at the poolside bar. She urges her friend to do the same, but Vicki is far too mortified and reminds Tamra that she's the mother of four. Well, we guess someone has to teach them eventually, right?
10. Skating on Thin Ice Award: There's a time and a place to speak your mind, Bethenny, and your first practice session ...
The Amazing Race, Margie and Luke
Even though the needle-in-a-haystack tea-identifying Roadblock on The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business brought him to tears and took him four hours to complete, Luke Adams says it was not as hard as the final memory task in the Season 14 finale. "The surfboards were much harder," he tells TVGuide.com. "It was just much harder because [my mom Margie and I] were so close to winning!" This time around, he was thisclose to throwing in the towel.
It's time to hit the road again on The Amazing Race — with plenty of familiar faces. The CBS reality hit returns Sunday with 11 veteran teams who had never won before to settle, as the season's subtitle says, some Unfinished Business.
"These are teams that have been so incredibly popular that it was an opportunity to bring back some favorite teams that have favorite stories," host Phil Keoghan tells TVGuide.com. "They're teams that have really been walking around with the 'woulda, coulda, shoulda' ever since they got kicked off. It's like, enough moaning; come back and give it another shot and no more excuses."
Check out photos from The Amazing Race
But casting Unfinished Business — the show's second all-star outing after Season 11 — was as hard as designing the Race itself. For one, Season 13 wound up not being represented at all, even though fan favorites Toni and Dallas, who lost their passports, seemed like shoo-ins. "It really comes down to whether you think that story of theirs is really stronger than that of anyone we've got," Keoghan says. "There are a lot of other teams, but I feel pretty confident that the teams we've got have the best stories and the best motivation for coming back."
So why are these 11 also-rans the cream of the crop? Keoghan explains the show's picks below.