TAR Host Phil Keoghan
Posted 09 March 2009 - 03:41 PM
Posted 15 March 2009 - 05:09 PM
Now who do we have to pay over at Survivor to get Jeff in his!!!
Posted 15 March 2009 - 09:08 PM
Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:14 AM
Loved last night's episode. Talk about taking people out of their comfort zone. The racers got a firsthand taste of the frigid Russian climate we've grown to love on this show. I've never seen so many stunned locals in my life.
People always ask me what goes on while I'm waiting for the teams. Well, we never really know exactly how much time there is in between so we all stay close to the mat, at times for up to 19 hours. Back in season 2, we were in the middle of the Hong Kong harbor with people hurling over the side while waiting for Teams to arrive - that was a little rough - but being out of the cold and sharing time with these talented people was a real buzz.
At the pit-stops, I shoot the welcome to the pit-stop stand up, (explaining that teams have to come to a specific spot) then the opening for the next show. If there is a good spread between the teams then I get longer interviews with teams at the mat...sometimes up to 30 minutes each depending on what they want to share. Talking to the teams is actually the best part of everything I do. I love the energy they bring to the mat and capturing their emotions in the moment. The other thing I try and complete is a Phil's Diary segment.
No matter how much we prepare for teams arriving they still sneak up on us ó like you saw in last week's Diary. Even when we think we know when and how they are going to arrive someone will come flying in out of nowhere.
Still, loads of questions being fired at me...people wonder why teams run out of money. All teams get the same amount of money each leg but some spend more wisely than others, some get taken by taxi drivers, and, of course, sometimes find themselves cut short.
It never ceases to amaze me the number of fans who write in from Canada...and the number one question, "Why can't Canadians be a part of the Race?" Australians, New Zealanders...people from all over the world ask the same thing about their eligibility. There are lots of reasons from passports, logistics, casting resources, legal coverage...it is way more complicated than you might think. The fact is there are simply so many choices for casting here in the States for a great show and of course there are now other versions being made around the world.
As far as an international race down the line...maybe, but again think of the challenges. Many people have suggested four networks get together (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA) and each puts in say three teams and equal money. But who would be in control of the show? What happens if all three Australian teams get eliminated in the first three episodes? Fun to talk about but it didn't work for the international Idol series.
A lot of people stop me and say, "Phil, if I was on the Race I would win that thing. I can't believe some of those people." First off, trust me, this is a lot harder than it looks and secondly, we are not picking people for their extraordinary racing skills...the fittest, fastest etc. We pick people who are extraordinary people who we think are going to be the most interesting at getting from one place to another. This season I really think we ended up with a great mix.
And lastly, one of the best things about the Race is how momentum can shift on a dime for all the teams. Just when you think you're in control, one bad leg puts you at the back of the pack. Jodi and Christie were truly shocked when I told them they weren't eliminated courtesy of this season's first non-elimination leg.
More 'Amazing Race':
Posted 17 March 2009 - 10:12 AM
Posted 23 March 2009 - 07:19 AM
Wow, who knew there could be so many questions about my underwear? Okay, for the record, here's the deal. Boxers...too much dingle dangle, briefs...too tighty whitey looking. Support is a necessity, looking like a overly tanned European tourist in a Speedo is an absolute no no. At the end of the day it's all about personal preference and what works...after spending three days at a nudist resort shooting an episode aptly named, Nude Awakenings, I am way beyond passing judgment about how or where people hang out.
Really good to know so many of you are enjoying the fresh aspects of the show. I agree that this has been one of our best seasons yet. Being able to choose fresh locations and new challenges never seen before really helps but of course this cast is really starting to heat up...and it's only going to get better. Remember that Mat meltdown I told you about? Well, it's coming soon.
What's interesting about doing a show like Race is the reaction people have to the challenges, both the racers and the viewers. Some people wrote to me and said having people run like that in the cold is way too extreme, others felt it wasn't extreme enough. Everything from ó "You could have killed those people" to "Ah, when I was young we used to run backwards ten times as far, on our hands."
At the end of the day we are simply trying to push people outside their comfort zone, to challenge them. This is something I believe is an essential part of life. I really believe there are way too many people who forget to really live. Why? Because you can...because life is too short to be a spectator...because sometimes it's okay to do something just for the fun of it and you don't have to analyze everything to the point of exhaustion. Pushing someone outside their comfort zone is relative. What's extreme for one person may be quite tame for another...that's okay. And it's one of the reasons we don't pick people who would simply waltz through every challenge. As far as safety goes, as I've said before, everything we do is tested and retested, and at the end of the day the most dangerous thing we have people do is get in a taxi cab. Race is about getting people to take mental leaps not having people risk life and limb.
Look at the mental leap the teams took arriving in India. The reaction of Luke and Jamie is quite typical. It is very difficult for some people to suddenly be exposed to the realities of a world that many people simply try to ignore. Naturally there is a feeling of helplessness. One of the great things about the Race is that we are able to show real Americans the world in a way that is seldom seen on primetime television. Usually when you see the world there is a war, a natural disaster, political disruption. On Race we have been able to show the kindness of strangers, provide an insight into a different culture and capture moments of everyday life while driving down an Indian street.
I think Mel is great. I hope that when I'm 68 I have the same sense of humor and passion for life. The connection he has with Mike is very cool to watch. Mike definitely got his comedic timing from his dad.
Maybe some of you might want to be one of the next Amazing Racers ... well I'm six days away from heading out across America on a bike, and part of my tour includes casting for the new season of Race. Please check out the route and if you have time sign up to ride a few miles with me. See you soon!
Posted 30 March 2009 - 04:45 AM
Posted 30 March 2009 - 07:12 AM
Crazy episode tonight. I know we say it all the time, but taxis can make or break you on this game. More spoilerific info from Phil after the jump...
I thought Mel and Mike were going to be able to salvage it and escape elimination. Sad to see those guys go. Definitely a great team. I love when we get teams who really walk away from our show with a great bonding experience. I think Mel and Mike are one of those teams. They really looked like they enjoyed every second of the show and their time together.
Great bonding between a father and a son. I can relate to that as I'm currently on the road with my dad on my "Ride Across America." Dad is pulling the Airstream, while I'm busting out 100 miles a day on the bike. Great start to the Ride on Saturday. Couple of hiccups along the way but so happy just to be underway. Was on the bike for 11 hours yesterday. Grueling first day, with a 9,000-foot vertical climb. Tons of Amazing Race fans showing their support along the way. Receiving warm greetings from people on the street in each town and all their well wishes are pushing me through the leg cramps.
Loved the "call of the wild" element to tonight's episode. Teams didn't know what to expect when that elephant was hovering two feet above them. I could use an elephant massage right about now.
How about Margie fainting from heat exhaustion at the mat? She was so overheated. Scary moment for us all ó especially Luke. With Margie down, no one could communicate with him, which made it so much worse for Luke.
Hope you guys are loving this season. I have to get some sleep. Riding to Vegas tomorrow. See ya....
Posted 13 April 2009 - 11:25 AM
One of the things the Race does is give you a good idea of who would be useful on a desert island. And while Victor may be at the top of his game as a lawyer, he clearly isn't blessed with some very practical skills. I'm always amazed at how many very capable people have no idea how to do practical things.
For two guys who seem to know how to do just about everything, Mark and Michael really fell apart in this episode. Just when it looked like they were going to break out and start leading the pack, they were hit with a four-hour penalty because they continued to break the rules. Who knows where those guys would be in this game if they played within the regulations. Two penalties last week and two penalties this week? That's insane. I believe they are the most penalized team in the history of the Race.
We all joked about Mark and Michael having done everything. No matter what anybody working on the production said they had done, those two guys had done it or knew how to do it. There is no doubt they have a lot of life experience, but after a while it got quite hysterical.
On another point, one of the golden rules of traveling on the Race (or traveling, period) is that you never lose sight of the essentials -- namely, your passport and a way to buy yourself out of trouble. No matter where I go in the world, I never lose contact with or sight of either. After seeing what happened to Toni and Dallas in season 13, you would have thought we would never see a repeat of their costly mistake.
I don't think we really touched on it in the show, but that boat ride after they finished assembling the propeller was about 45 minutes long -- and that's in a boat. Jump in a taxi and add traffic, and that turns into a two-hour cab ride. It's almost impossible to overcome that type of play.
I love the Detour in this episode. Margie was amazing. And as she said, being a nurse really helped her in finding the right piece for the perfect smile. I actually felt quite sick when I was on location. I definitely would have gone with the karaoke. I don't know how a dentist goes digging around in people's mouths. This was definitely Margie's leg. Obviously Luke was right there with her, but she was driving the team this week. From the propellers to the dentures, she had her A game on. By the way, all of us on the show thought the dentures were going to take quite a while to complete, but Margie flew through that challenge. She was reaching into the locals' mouths without hesitation. I would say she probably finished that in about 5 minutes. They were on a mission this week.
I was really impressed with the way she bounced back after her collapse on the mat last week. A lot of you commented last week that it seemed like we dragged out that scene. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The safety of everyone is our No. 1 priority. If you really think otherwise, then you clearly don't know the outstanding safety record we've had for the past 14 seasons. Enough said.
One of the more odd occurrences from tonightís episode was the flooding of the streets. It was a little disconcerting, to be honest, for all of us in production. When we first started seeing the rising water, we started to panic a little, but then we were informed by some of the locals that this was a daily occurrence. The river rose above the banks and spilled over into the city. Pretty freaky. Favorite scene from tonight's episode was the party taxis ... so fun. Classic Race moment -- taking the racers completely out of their element and throwing them into an "out of this world" scenario. Without a doubt, Tammy and Victor welcomed the karaoke with open arms. All of the teams seemed to have fun. I don't think Mark and Michael knew that their backup singers were transvestites. They made it all the way through the ride without knowing, and then I think one of the locals told them ... reminds me of that scene in The Crying Game.
I've been teeing it up for weeks now, and we're finally here: Next week is the most memorable mat meltdown of all time. Margie and Luke vs. Kisha and Jen. These two teams battle throughout the entire leg and end up with mere seconds separating them at the check in. I've never seen two teams go at it like this before and have it carry all the way to the mat.
Thank you to all of those who understand just how much energy this ride is taking out of me right now. I am very focused on raising money and awareness for MS. And riding 100 miles a day in rain, sleet or snow is definitely taking a toll. Makes me wish I could multiply myself like Michael Keaton did in Multiplicty. I'm 1,500 miles into my ride, doing open casting calls along the way, and the response has been overwhelming. We'll keep you updated on future casting calls on www.philridesacrossamerica.com.
A huge thank you to Margie and Luke, who turned up in the pouring rain in Denver to support the start of one of my MS rides. Having you there meant a lot.
Posted 13 April 2009 - 01:27 PM
Posted 13 April 2009 - 03:39 PM
Posted 20 April 2009 - 03:00 PM
Sorry this took so long.. they just put it up now
And then there were four. We now have a really strong group of Teams set to battle each other for the $1 million prize. I love when we get to the point in the show when Racers start to realize they actually might have a shot to win this thing. It comes down to who can put it all together for the final stretch, who has the stamina to keep racing full speed ahead after almost a month on the road, who can remain focused with the pressure of $1 million staring them in the eye, and who can put aside any personal feelings about their competitors and simply run the Race of their lives. Easier said than done.
Quick thoughts on the four remaining Teams:
Victor/Tammy: Smart, analytical, and competitive, but do they have the street smarts to pull it off?
Luke/Margie and LaKisha/Jen: I'll put these two together following last night's meltdown. Both are strong competitors and the partners communicate really well, but will the teams' feud with each other get in the way? Also, Margie and Luke have played out of their heads the past two weeks -- can they maintain that level of play?
Cara /Jaime: Strong team, but can they get through the rest of the Race without coming to blows with the locals? Case in point, Jaime yelling at the man during last night's dancing challenge because he couldn't understand English. Yelling at someone who doesn't understand your language when you're in their country -- are you serious?
After all these weeks of telling you about the "Most Memorable Mat Meltdown" of all time, we finally got to see it last night. What an episode. The throwdown between Luke and Margie and LaKisha and Jen was so intense. All of us in production knew that both teams were really going head-to-head throughout the entire leg, but no one could have predicted it would come down to a foot race to the mat and one of the most emotionally charged Pit Stops I have ever been a part of. It was downright uncomfortable.
Safe to say, Luke is not afraid of confrontation. I was surprised at the intensity level at which he ran this leg. Never backing down, never letting LaKisha or Jen get in his way. Last week I thought Margie was the driving force behind their Team, but this week Luke stepped up and took the lead. On the flip side, I always knew that Jen had that tenacity in her; you don't play Division I collegiate sports and not know how to compete. Thatís part of her DNA.
It was one of the longest times we've ever spent on a mat after the teams arrived. We were there for easily half an hour discussing who was to blame for the pushing and shoving at the cluebox, who behaved poorly, etc., etc. No matter how many times LaKisha said that she wasn't making fun of Luke when she laughed, Margie never bought it. I donít think LaKisha was making fun of Luke. I think she just has a nervous laugh and that's what she does in those situations.
By that point in the day, Margie was so fed up with the way the two Teams fought throughout the entire leg that anything was going to set her off...and it did. I have to say, though, even with all the yelling and arguing at the mat, one of the most comical parts of the entire scene was watching Victor and Tammy, who had no idea what was about to erupt when they landed at the Pit Stop.
And alas, Mark and Michael's past missteps finally caught up with them. They fought a valiant fight, but I think the hole was simply too deep to climb out of from last week. They were a solid Team and I honestly think they could have made a run at the $1 million had they been able to avoid such costly penalties. Good competitive spirit with those two guys.
Did you see that we just got the official pickup for Season 15? Great news. We're holding casting calls in several cities that I'm riding through on my Ride Across America. We're in Chicago on April 24, Pittsburgh on May 1, and New York City on May 8. Come out and apply...maybe I'll blog about you next season.
Posted 27 April 2009 - 05:19 PM
Phil Keoghan blogs 'The Amazing Race': episode 10
Never knew the "virtual pit stops" stirred up so many emotions for people. Last night, I was in Ft. Wayne, Ind. having dinner and this woman approached me and started berating me for not eliminating a team during last night's episode.
There's no better look on team members' faces than when they arrive at the mat and I get to say: "You're the first Team to arrive... (cue the celebration) but you're not done racing this leg and here is your next clue." Cue: "Are you kidding me?! We're exhausted. This sucks." Teams were definitely not too eager to keep racing after that leg. It was pretty brutal for all four teams.
I just want to say for the record that I think Kisha is a great big sister. I believe she really showed some of her true colors during last night's episode. Her sister Jennifer could not have had a tougher, more frustrating leg. We were all pretty concerned that Jennifer wouldn't even complete the detour. She was absolutely paralyzed by the water. I was really impressed with the way Kisha held it together for her sister and didn't resort to yelling...or as Mel and Mike would say, going all "agro" on her. And for the record, not like I really need to say it, but how fast is Michael Phelps?
I know a thing or two about having to overcome being paralyzed in the water. I'm sure some of you have heard me talk about it before, but I had a near-death experience when I was 19 years old, while diving in an underwater ship wreck. I became separated from my team, couldn't find my way out, and was quickly running out of oxygen. Talk about panic. I was eventually rescued, but it was definitely touch and go there for a while and by far the most fear I've ever experienced. I suspect Jen was feeling a little bit of that last night during the detour.
I was actually a little surprised that the teams were not better swimmers. With the exception of Margie and Luke, who flew through the detour, the teams weren't as good in the pool as I thought they would have been. The high-dive detour was nearly impossible. Very difficult to sync up with another person like that springing off a diving board.
Margie-Luke vs. Kisha-Jen continues to fester. They aren't putting aside their differences, which could definitely come into play as they head into the final two legs. As we've seen in all the seasons, it's essential to try and ignore personal feelings when you get to this point in the race. If you don't, you'll definitely lose focus and make mistakes.
Still, out here on my Ride Across America...and just want to acknowledge all the Amazing Race fans who have come out to support us. We've had such amazing support in every town along this trip. Thousands and thousands of fans showing up asking to be eliminated. Wonder why no one ever seems to want to be the first team to arrive -- they only ask to be eliminated.
We were in Chicago over the weekend and had over 600 potential racers auditioning for the chance to race around the globe next season. Great to see that.
With two all female teams heading into the final two legs, do you think we could finally - after 14 seasons - have an all girl team win the Race?
Guess we'll have to wait and see. Blog you next week. Back to pedaling.
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