Amazing Race PreviewBy Robert Schork Posted: Jun 30, 2004
WEEKLY: Tell us a little bit about the new RACE.
VAN MUNSTER: We've amped things up. The challenges are more organic than ever before. We're not swinging arbitrarily from ropes any more. The contestants have to perform a lot of challenges that are completely inherent to the country and the continent they're operating in, which is cool. I think we've outdone ourselves. It's been a fantastic, creative trip we were on, and the cast has been really good.
WEEKLY: Tell us about the cast.
BVM: It's very diverse. And the outcome is spectacular. There's a lot of humor, and there's a lot of unexpected twists among the contestants. Every time they think that they know where they're going, they always [get lost].
WEEKLY: In addition to the new "YIELD" element, what other changes have you made to the game?
BVM: We have only two Fast Forwards, which makes the Fast Forward much more dramatic. Then also we have changed the non-elimination legs, where people come to the finish line and we say, "Well, you are not going to be eliminated, but we will take all your money from you right now!" Then you get to see how they can make it to the next location without any cash. And just the fact that we're traveling in excess of 70,000 miles really did a number on them, too. It's killer to shoot 13 network shows in 29 days, and then travel 73,000 miles in addition to that. It's insane.
WEEKLY: You're leaving in a few days to begin production on the sixth RACE (scheduled to air this fall). Have you caught up on your sleep since the last one?
BVM: No. I died 30 years ago, but I still keep going (laughs). I want our contestants to have the same feeling. I want to subject them all to this non-stop madness, rushing through all of these crazy places, with no sleep and constant stress, so by the time they come home, they're sitting in their living room asking themselves, "What the f--- happened?"