[OT] At the Starting Line of The Amazing Race 27

Edited: June 22, 2015, 10:56 AM

Long-time readers of Theme Park Insider probably know about my unhealthy obsession with the reality TV show The Amazing Race. So when CBS announced that the start of the upcoming season, Season 27, would be open to the public in the Los Angeles area (where I live), well, of course I was going to get up early to be there.

The race started from Venice Beach just before 9am this morning. But the taping began about 45 minutes before that, will series host Phil Keoghan.

Phil and Bertram
Phil Keoghan, left, with series co-creator and director Bertram van Munster

If you've never seen a TV show in production before, it's fascinating. If you've seen the show before, you know that speech that Phil gives to the contestants at the starting line? Well, this morning, they filmed it at least three times — and the first time, the contestants weren't even there.

With reflector screens facing Phil and the hundreds of us in the crowd behind him, a Steadicam operator walked around Phil while he gave his opening speech, shooting from the point of view of the contestants, who hadn't yet been brought onto the beach.

After several takes, the crew had the recording of Phil, so it was time to bring on this season's contestants.


My daughter and I, who've been watching the show for years, tried to guess who we'd thought would be the winners. My daughter immediately chose the racers in green, nearest us. Someone yelled out, "Team Green!" and the woman on the team turned toward us, made a rubbing motion with her fingers and thumb and replied, "Green as in money!"

The camera operator then walked back and forth in front of the teams to record their reactions as Phil gave his speech again. At the end, they crouched down as if to start racing, and help that pose. And held it. And held it, while the cameras recorded. Then, they stood up and it was time for another break.

The third filming, with the actual start, followed about five minutes later, as a helicopter hovered over the beach for the aerial shot of the racers running toward waiting taxis, to take them to their first task.

For the first time in Amazing Race history, racers did NOT open clues at the starting line. Instead, Phil told them their first task and their first destination. They would be taking cabs to "Mother's Beach" to participate in a "bike race," with the winner getting an Express Pass and the only seats on the first flight to Rio de Janeiro. Everyone else would be on the second flight, 30 minutes later.

As the teams raced to their cabs, my daughter and I walked back to our car for the drive back to Pasadena. When we got home, we saw posted to Instagram who'd won what turned out to be a water bike race in Marina del Rey.

Team Green

Go Team Green!

If you are interested in following The Amazing Race in real time, visit the folks over at Reality Fan Forum, who do a great job of rounding up live sightings around the world. Yeah, it's spoiler city, but I've never failed to enjoy watching the race on TV after following its progress online.

Replies (8)

June 22, 2015, 12:20 PM

Awesome write up -- my family are big fans of the show, thanks for sharing!

June 22, 2015, 12:29 PM

My wife and I LOVE TAR. It is by far the best and most beautifully shot and produced reality show ever. They have gotten a little sloppy over the past couple of years, but for a show that's shot live with so many cameras, you rarely see any of the operators on the finished product. Phil is easily the best reality host, and the recent integration of live narration at clue boxes shows how good he really is. Can't wait for the new season in the fall.

June 22, 2015, 12:36 PM

"the racers running toward waiting taxis"

A waste of a fine beach.

June 22, 2015, 1:01 PM

You can see me (in the black shirt) on the right side of this video, behind Phil:

June 22, 2015, 5:28 PM

Have you ever considered trying out for the show Robert? You've been all around the world and could have an advantage over the other contestants.

June 22, 2015, 6:34 PM

I have a deal with my daughter to try out together when she turns 21 (the minimum age for racers). Hope the show is still on then!

June 22, 2015, 11:10 PM

Another big Amazing Race fan here! This was mighty neat to see.

June 23, 2015, 9:47 AM

Robert, I am so happy for you. How awesome! My husband and I LOVE The Amazing Race, and I'm so glad it's getting a lot of love from you and TPI readers. I was worried when CBS moved it to Fridays, but it's still going strong. Thanks for the sneak peek. I know who I'm rooting for when your daughter turns 21....go Team Niles!

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