Covid is an obstacle “Amazing Game” No plan, but now the game is starting again

In March 2020, when the world came to a halt due to coronavirus concerns, “The Amazing Race” has completed the shooting of three episodes of the new season.

The producer of the show and the network CBS spent a year and a half formulating security agreements and arrangements to complete the work they started in the face of unprecedented circumstances.

But just like the contestants who competed around the world to win $1 million in prizes, the producers of “The Amazing Race” are also ready to take on the challenge.

Below, host Phil Keoghan describes how they did it and what it means to travel around the world after events that changed the world.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

CNN: For fans and contestants, after a long break, how much relief is it to be able to bring back “The Amazing Race”?

PHIL KEOGHAN: “It was very emotional when I came back. Because I can see the disappointment in the eyes of the actors and know the sacrifices they made in order to be there, it is very emotional to suspend the game. So I have to say,’Listen , I’m really sorry. We’ve heard of this virus called Covid-19. For your safety, because this is our number one priority, we will suspend the game. It’s heartbreaking. Then I never expected It will take so long to restart. Of course, no one really knows what will happen. With hindsight, it’s easy to say,’Well, yes, of course, we have to stop the game. At the time, you can understand that some actors were a little bit confused, “This is, is this absolutely necessary? “So there are a lot of emotions, and we feel that we are doing the right thing.

So coming back to see everyone’s face again, it feels like yesterday, but it feels surreal.On the one hand, I also feel a little anxious because [I wanted to] Overcome this problem, let everyone pass the game, let everyone go home. The idea that we have to suspend the game a second time is definitely in my mind. I am very confident that we can do this successfully, but it is definitely in my mind, like, “Oh my God, please, let’s do this well.” Hear everyone’s story– It is also very sincere to hear about the lost relatives, the lost jobs and how their lives have changed. No one’s life is the same again. Of course, this is a complex emotion. ”

During that long break, did you think that the show could not return?

“No, I never felt that we could not return. We produced “Stone as a Rock”, which was one of the first programs to resume production after the pandemic closed everything down. Six months after the pandemic hit, we experienced the resumption of production and All the challenges of restoring the work policy. We were able to do this successfully. So I know we can do it through “Race”, but of course, playing with “Race” is an additional challenge, not only in one location , But also transition from one location to another. This is where the risk factor lies.

Many fans said, during that time,’Well, why didn’t you do’The Amazing Race’ in the United States? You can do it without going abroad. But again, whether you are driving 500 miles or 5,000 miles, this is transportation from one safe environment to another. And, frankly, the risk in the United States and many states is higher than the risk in many countries in the world. When formulating the new curriculum, part of the consideration is which countries are at lower risk, and where we can take people to places where risk is lower. These are all key factors. I stand there and feel very confident that we will be able to succeed. ”

I am surprised that only in the United States are people calling for this, because “The Amazing Race” is very much about the appreciation of other cultures and other places. Because of this pandemic, the ability to act freely was suddenly deprived. Do you have a greater appreciation for the performance of this show from the beginning? Go back to that world and know, “How do we feel when we have the opportunity to show people something they haven’t seen in two years?”

“Well, I think your question is very insightful because I think we have a better understanding of what it means to be global through this pandemic. Because we realize that we all live on this rock floating in space, and Similar things Covid can affect every corner of the planet. We all breathe the same air. We all live in the same atmosphere. Everything we do affects everyone anywhere on the planet. Covid does it. So. I think to some extent, our show is now more relevant in 2021/22 than when we started the game.”

I know that one of the changes after Covid involves chartering flights for production. But in terms of interaction with locals, is there an agreement that allows racers to do this safely, or do you not allow so much interaction with locals?

“Yes, we still can. I don’t think the way we follow the agreement is mysterious. It’s a bit like the way we interact in the world. Now, you don’t have to shake hands with strangers or hug strangers. I mean, This is why I saw the first few episodes so harsh, because this is a world without Covid, and then you juxtapose it with another world. I think people will see that you can still be in public places and keep a safe distance. But We are also used to it now-we all have to make adjustments.

We still gather, but we know that gathering outside is safer than gathering inside. What you won’t see is that you won’t see “Amazing Race”-packed with thousands of people in a narrow space. We have had this situation before, when people ran on the streets of India and there were elephant parades. I remember a special case about “Race”. You will not see this because it is again in an uncontrolled environment. But I think that in most cases, people will realize that through some of the adjustments we have been making, they will fall in love with’Race’. “

Well, since you have to live a private jet life with actors, I have been thinking: Do you think people like race loyalists would say these contestants are too easy? They don’t have to deal with things like air tickets and the pressure of taxis. In the end, will these be legitimate winners or will fans star them?

“Oh, no, no, it will be legal. However, you must also realize that, well, both have advantages and disadvantages, right? In a regular game, you have more opportunities to enter different places and Interact with people to get more information. But the playing field is fair. Driving the gear lever, if you don’t know how to drive the gear lever, it’s still challenging for people. We do have some public transportation. We just know The driver is not infected with the new crown virus. There are still cars being snapped up. You can’t get rid of the pressure of learning how to read maps and getting lost. There are many. So, no, there won’t be any asterisks. It’s “the race we know, and we love it.” You will see that this is a different world, a world we all know, so this is not surprising. This is just a different world. “

“The Amazing Race” premiered on CBS on January 5.

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