Jump to content

Big Brother Canada Daily Coverage

TAR Host Phil Keoghan

  • Please log in to reply
73 replies to this topic

#1 Phil-o-mania



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 19 posts

Posted 07 October 2005 - 07:20 PM

The Watcher

A Chicago Tribune Web Log
by Maureen Ryan

'Race' Fans Get Their Phil
An interview with Phil Keoghan of "The Amazing Race"

Phil Keoghan at a meet-and-greet book and DVD signing
with his fans for his new tome, 'No Opportunity Wasted.'

Last Friday, Phil Keoghan, host of "The Amazing Race," did a book and DVD signing at the Borders Book Store on State Street [Chicago]. Here's a transcript of the interview I did with Keoghan after his marathon meet-and-greet with 'TAR' fans:

The Watcher: Does it ever surprise you how much fans are invested in the show?

Keoghan: It always surprises me, because to imagine that I would be in a Borders in Chicago with 150 people . . . . I would never have imagined in the beginning that I'd be in a bookstore selling the first season of "The Amazing Race" with "Amazing Race 8" on the way, and talking to people about the history of the 'Race' and their passion for the 'Race.' It's sort of, like, 'How'd that happen?'

TW: What did you think when you heard they were going to do a family edition? Were you into the idea?

Keoghan: I wasn't nervous, because I knew or felt that after seven seasons it would be good to do something a little different, just to mix it up a little bit. We've made some adjustments along the way, like the [changes to] the roadblock rule, the [addition of the] yield. It just seemed appropriate after seven seasons to change it up. And the reality is that the biggest fans of the show are families, so why not let them run the 'Race'?

TW: It doesn't seem as though families with younger kids are doing any worse on the race, in fact, sometimes they seem to do better.

Keoghan: It's so cool to see them run this 'Race.' I think people have a genuine concern with these kids [running the 'Race'], but if anything, it's the adults having to deal with crushed egos is the problem. That's the issue.

TW: Does it feel like it's different from other 'Races'?

Keoghan: It's the 'Race' that we have all come to love. The format is the same, the difference is, it's four people, so we've had to make some adjustments, and there are kids.

TW: Do you think that makes it better?

Keoghan: I don't think that makes it better, I think that makes it different. And I think it's an opportunity for us to speak to that core audience who love our show, the family, and maybe to bring on some new people, who are attracted by the idea of [a] family [edition]. I don't think we're going to put off people who love the 'Race.' They're still getting their 'Race.' It's just that I think maybe we've broadened the appeal. I think it was a smart move, especially right now, there's a lot of talk of family [in the culture].

TW: Is it a chance to show off North America, too?

Keoghan: Part of that was just to throw off the teams, because the teams are just expecting that they're going to be on a plane going overseas. That was another thing we put in there. We're always trying to change it.

TW: But the teams travel less mileage overall, right?

Keoghan: I think in terms of the miles of the 'Race,' it might be less than the average is. But it's not about how far they travel, it's about what they do. Some people thought that it was just [travel within] America, it's not just America. It's an international show still. It's the 'Race.' You have to have that. We've just mixed it up a bit.

TW: Were you surprised they put the first season of "The Amazing Race" out on DVD -- it's been four years since it premiered.

Keoghan: No. I think it was inevitable. We were at the tipping point with the show [in terms of popularity], but there were still so many people that hadn't seen [the first seasons]. It's such a long time ago, and when we came out, the ratings were nothing like what they are now. I don't know if there's another show that has grown like our show. It doesn't happen.

TW: There were quite a few nerve-wracking moments for fans in the early days, when fans thought it might not come back.

Keoghan: I can't speak for anyone at CBS or anybody else in production, but from my point of view, I was like, 'We need an award, or we need [something to help the show].' Because at the end of the day, there's a certain math that has to take place. You've got to have a certain number of people who watch the show to keep the show going. The show got good ratings, but they were by no means great ratings, and now we are getting great ratings.

And a lot of that is attributable to who's attached to the project, [Jerry] Bruckheimer's attached to the project, and a lot of that is attributable to these [Emmy] awards.

And then to me, the tipping point was Season 5. That was the season with Charla and Mirna, Chip and Kim. Over that summer, suddenly we became water cooler talk. Instead of people coming up to me and saying, "Aren't you that guy from 'The Great Race'?" people would come up to me and say, "You're from 'The Amazing Race!'"

The difference with people recognizing me on the street was night and day. . . . We've actually got to the point now where it's appointment viewing.

TW: And once people start watching the show, they're hooked.

Keoghan: That's what I say to people. Just watch it once. If I had a dollar for every person who's said to me, "I don't watch reality television, but I watch 'The Amazing Race,'" I would be a gazillionaire. I would venture to say I cannot remember the last day where someone didn't say that to me.

Phil Keoghan at a recent book signing event.

TW: I asked Phil what have been the most memorable moments for him from the past seven seasons of "The Amazing Race":

Keoghan gave this list of his top memorable moments:
  • Charla and Mirna carrying meat in Season 5:
    "I'm sorry, it just doesn't get much better than that."

  • Emily and Nancy trying to find a clue in an Indian marketplace in Season 1:
    "It was just such an amazing example of culture shock, which to me, the audience connects with, because they understand, 'If I were there, I would be so out of my element.'"

  • The head shaving with Uchenna and Joyce in Season 7:
    "It's extremely touching. Part of what makes that so powerful is that when Brandon and Nicole were faced with the same fast-forward, they decided not to do it, and they didn't win 'The Amazing Race.' I asked Brandon and Nicole, 'What would you do for a million dollars?' Keoghan explained.

    Phil continued, "Brandon and Nicole looked at me, and I said, 'Would you shave off your hair for a million dollars?' They realized what I was asking them, and I said, 'Well, clearly you wouldn't, because you don't know if you just gave up a million dollars.'" Speaking about Uchenna and Joyce, Phil said, "I don't think we've ever had more popular winners. Same with Chip and Kim."

  • The challenge in New Zealand, when racers rolled down a hill in a giant ball called a Zorb:
    "That's a friend of mine, that's my friend's farm. I drove about 500 miles to find that location; they'd never taken the Zorb off-site before, so I tested it with my friend, down this hill. I just remember screaming, 'We've got to get that in the show!'"

  • In Season 5, when the Bowling Moms were doing the rock-climbing challenge, Phil wished that Christie had done that challenge instead of Colin:
    "That's when I wished there had been the rule about [teammates having to do an even number of] roadblocks. Colin was doing most of the roadblocks, and I would have loved to have seen Christie go head to head with Karen [of the Bowling Moms]."

  • John of the team John Vito and Jill eating the cheese in Season 3:
    "It was just funny."

  • Uchenna and Joyce at the orphanage in South Africa.

  • In Season 6, Gus and Hera at the Goure Island in Africa, where slaves were shipped to the New World:
    "To me it's one of the greatest moments, where the show really slowed down and was breathing. The whole show slowed down. It was extraordinary."
TW: Do you still keep in touch with ex-racers?

Keoghan: Yeah, I'm meeting up with one tomorrow. I get e-mails from them all the time.

TW: The online community is another huge source of 'Amazing Race' fandom.

Keoghan: They're an essential part of the support for the show. They've stuck with the show from the beginning. They know the show inside and out. They have just been there and stayed there. They're certainly very opinionated about what they like and don't like, but I really believe that they have had a major impact on keeping the show alive.

TW: Would the producers ever license the concept to producers in other countries? Are there other versions in other countries?

Keoghan: There are other countries that are apparently planning to make their own versions. I don't know the details of that, I'm not involved in that. To make an international version, when I go overseas, I get bombarded with people saying, 'How come Canadians can't be in it? How come Australians can't be in it?' [The show is quite popular in both countries, Phil says]. This is CBS' show, though, so the show is made for America; it just so happens that it sells overseas.

TW: Finally, a burning question prompted by years of watching the show: Does the show pre-book seats for contestants on various flights?

Keoghan: We do, as production [staff]; we have to cover [flights for] ourselves for production. But with teams, unless we actually tell them, 'You have three choices: You must choose between this flight and this flight,' where we've said, 'There are three flights, the first one leaves at [such and so time, etc.],' then we've pre-booked the flights. Otherwise, we're not holding any seats for them.

TW: So, flights may be full, and that's that.

Keoghan: Well, that happens all the time. They have to get seats based on availability.

TW: By the way, at one point we were chatting about the possibility of an all-star version of "The Amazing Race," but from what Phil said, it didn't seem like it would happen all that soon. As I recall (I didn't get this part recorded), Phil said it was something the fans were talking about more than 'Amazing Race' producers and CBS executives were. Still, it sounded like it could happen one day.

Finally, "TAR: Family Edition's" Godlewski Sisters showed up at Borders but were under strict rules not to talk to the press, so they just waved, smiled and quickly backed away from me.

#2 Dade


    Chat Host

  • LFU
  • 12,820 posts

Posted 27 February 2006 - 04:18 PM


Amazing Race All-Stars Edition, Phil Keoghan Doesn’t Think It Would Be Successful

In a recent conference call with the media about Amazing Race 9, Phil Keoghan spent much of his time essentially apologizing for the Amazing Race Family Edition. Phil stated that “anything new and different is most susceptible to criticism.” Phil repeatedly made comments to the effect of “the race is most successful where it has less faces, more places, where it is teams of two racing around the world.” Phil also acknowledged that “the places are as much a star of the show as the people themselves.”

Even though international locales are a major appeal of the race, Phil did not think U.S. viewers would be receptive to racers from different countries. Phil pointed out that the show is funded by a U.S. network for a U.S. audience. Drawing a parallel to sporting events, Phil pointed out “most people like to watch themselves than people from other countries.”

Phil’s comments should bring a sigh of relief to any Amazing Race fans that were worried about the possibility of an Amazing Race Family Edition 2. Phil is right on track with the importance that international locations play in the appeal of the Amazing Race. The casting on the Amazing Race Family Edition wasn’t actually that bad, but having four people traveling together just created too much confusion and didn’t allow for the close interaction and dynamics that just two people can create. The real killer of the Amazing Race Family Edition though was that destinations like a large office chair, a trailer home park and a BP gas station just weren’t that amazing.

Even though many Amazing Race fans might be reassured that the show is going back to what originally made the show popular, Phil did have an opinion that might be disappointing to other Amazing Race fans. When asked about the possibility of an Amazing Race All-Stars edition, Phil stated “I don’t know, and I don’t know how successful that type of format is. From my understanding, the All-Stars version of Survivor was not as successful as new fresh faces coming in so I don’t know if it’s necessarily a ratings winner. I think that you change the dynamic when you bring back people because people are different once they’ve been shot and then they’ve been produced into a television show and it’s gone out into the world. They have a chance to reflect on the way that they’re depicted and the way that people react to them. I do think they come back differently. I don’t think that they are the same people any more. One of the things that works on the race is that we’re trying to pick people who are so called ordinary people in an extraordinary situation and that’s part of what keeps the show fresh. And when you already know how someone is and how they’re going to play their game, I don’t know if that’s necessarily as fascinating as watching some of the new fresh teams that we have in season 9 which are unlike any other teams we’ve ever seen and who are without doubt in my mind are guaranteed to entertain an audience. I don’t know if there’s any advantage to doing that. That doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. It’s just that the track record doesn’t seem to show that there’s a real benefit to doing it.”

While Phil does make some good points, he is incorrect about the success of the Survivor All-Stars edition. Survivor All-Stars was actually one of the most popular Survivor series ever. Even going up against some of the final episodes of Friends, Survivor All-Stars drew strong ratings. The premiere and the finale of Survivor All-Stars are two of the highest rated Survivor shows from the last several seasons. While an All-Stars edition is not something that should be overdone on a reality series, it can provide a nice change of pace if it is only done every ten or so seasons.

Reality TV Magazine recently caught up with Jonathan Baker from Amazing Race 6 and asked him his opinion on the idea of an Amazing Race All-Stars edition. Jonathan told Reality TV Magazine, “I believe The Amazing Race All Stars will happen just not anytime soon. Since Amazing Race Family Edition did not perform the way CBS expected, I think they will let the show run for the next year and then around Amazing Race 14 pull back in the most interesting people that have been on the show from seasons 1- 13.”

Jonathan also provided us with his picks for an Amazing Race All-Stars. Naturally, Jonathan included himself and his racing partner and wife Victoria on the list. His list intentionally did not include any previous winners. Here are Johathan Baker’s picks: Jonathan and Victoria, Colin and Christy, Kevin and Drew, Blake and Paige, Will and Tera, Jon and Kelly, Jon and Al, Tian and Jaree. Charla and Mirna, Kris and Jon, Brian and Greg, and a TAR 9 Team.

Jonathan will also be resuming his weekly radio show called “The Reality Minute” on March 1, right after Amazing Race 9 kicks off.

#3 Dade


    Chat Host

  • LFU
  • 12,820 posts

Posted 24 April 2006 - 03:30 PM


Phil Keoghan’s Amazing Race blog is a real-time, behind-the-scenes look at the race

Official reality TV show blogs are usually these are worth avoiding; more often than not, they’re self-serving, boring, or both. Thus, I never visited Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan’s blog at CBS.com. It’s new this season, although the site has had Phil-centric features before, such as a video diary and uncut “mat chat” video.

But Phil’s blog is sometimes even more fascinating than the episode itself. At the very least, it adds to our enjoyment of the race—and to the wonder of how this incredible production comes together. In large part, that’s because it appears Phil actually wrote his blog entries while on the race; he’s not reflecting on the show now, but commenting on it in real time. (In his episode 9 comments, he mentions talking into a Dictaphone, so that explains how he managed to keep detailed records.)

More significantly, he adds to our understanding of the production and the demands placed on both him and everyone else. He’s unquestionably the hardest working host in the business: At the end of episode nine, he notes, “I have two shows from season 8 to do voiceover for. We’ll set up a makeshift voiceover booth in a hotel room.” During his episode five commentary, Phil notes that he coincidentally ended up on the same flight as BJ and Tyler, and Eric and Jeremy. Later, he and his producer were, he writes, “rushing to get to the Pit Stop before BJ & Tyler get there. They had about an hour and a half lead on us, they got through the Detour very quickly.” Phil beat them to the pit stop, where he said that he’d have to “do a quick hair wash in the parking lot.”

Washing your hair in the parking lot: Ryan Seacrest, I dare you to do that before the cameras start rolling.

#4 calicocat



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 11 May 2006 - 12:17 PM

Have any of the ladies out there, like me, noticed that Phil is STACKED? Hubba hubba!

#5 Jem


    Forum Moderator

  • Moderator
  • 12,979 posts

Posted 11 May 2006 - 12:28 PM

huh.gif unsure.gif

#6 Blackcat3



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 1,589 posts

Posted 12 May 2006 - 05:56 AM

Thats funny, just this week, as my friend and I were watching it she said holy crap Phils packin'!! biggrin.gif

#7 Khimaira



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 85 posts

Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:22 AM

Some of the gentlemen around here were the first to notice and admire!

#8 ElleNaturelle



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 5,503 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 08:51 AM

Here's episode one's diary.

From episode 1

I love seeing the behind the scenes stuff! "The Plane, the plane" bit was hilarious!!

ETA: he's even sexier in these videos than he is on the show. omg at him on the plane!!!

#9 MissMeliss



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 107 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 12:38 PM

LOL that plane part was funny! Im really looking forward to these every week!

Phils so yummy!

#10 SugarB



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9,483 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 03:32 PM

Phil talking about all that thrust.....um, never mind. That plane looked pretty cozy on the inside. I wonder if that is first class only?

#11 erinjs



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13,891 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 07:04 PM

So awesome that he learnt sign language.

#12 SugarB



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9,483 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 07:33 PM

I agree Erin. Very cool of him, and I'll bet it meant a lot to Margie and Luke.

#13 erinjs



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13,891 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 07:37 PM

Most definitely. I was even going awwww!!

#14 pinkie



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4,046 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 07:45 PM

Is this where I should post Phil's blog... or start it's own thread??

#15 SugarB



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9,483 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 07:47 PM

I'd say here is as good as anywhere..... but that's JMHO!!

#16 erinjs



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13,891 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 08:00 PM

Yup, here is fine!

#17 King123


    Live Feed Updater

  • LFU
  • 11,026 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 09:02 PM

i liked how he signed..

#18 l1zz1e



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 415 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 09:52 PM

lovin' Phil!

#19 superstaaar



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 468 posts

Posted 16 February 2009 - 07:25 AM

I wonder if there is room for 2 in that bed on the airplane??? smitten.gif

#20 Marty



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 30,354 posts

Posted 16 February 2009 - 07:40 AM

I love you Phil! smoooooooooooch

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users