Since its 2001 premiere, The Amazing Race has captivated fans by taking them around the world alongside teams competing for $1 million. Viewers often focus on the contestants, but a whole unseen crew makes everything happen. To execute the show seamlessly, The Amazing Race has thousands of people working behind the scenes.
‘The Amazing Race’ is filmed very quickly
Although one season of The Amazing Race usually airs in the span of two months, its filming time is much shorter. Host Phil Keoghan once shared that the show takes less than a month to shoot.
“The show happens very quickly, and time is always a challenge for us,” he wrote on Reddit. “Many people don’t realize that we shoot all 12 episodes in just 21 days.”
That means some obstacles can be a nightmare to overcome.
“Every time we get on a plane and we go to an airport, it’s like rolling the dice,” Keoghan told How Stuff Works in 2005. “Is there going to be a mechanical [problem] on the plane? Are there going to be weather delays? We’ve been sitting on planes with the weather closing in, and a team might be on another plane that got out before the weather closed in. Now we’re sitting on the ground and we know the teams are racing ahead of us. It gets really challenging. I’ve literally raced teams to the pit stop. One time, I was literally running up to the mat while they were running from the other direction.”
‘The Amazing Race’ employs 2,000 to 3,000 crew members
According to the New York Post, the show has “up to 3,000 people” behind the scenes to make magic for viewers. Those people include “producers, camera and sound technicians, and local crew members.”
Speaking to How Stuff Works, executive producer/creator Bertram van Munster said that “over 2,000 people” worked on The Amazing Race.
“In order to lay out the race and make it financially, creatively, and logistically work, I go everywhere and lay it out and hand all that knowledge over to the rest of my team,” van Munster explained. “Then I travel with my team again around the world and plan exactly where the camera position is going to go, what we’re going to do, and come up with all the challenges.”
How much money does the show spend?
Traveling around the globe is no easy feat, which means the show spends a lot of money to make everything happen.
For example, when The Amazing Race went to Trinidad and Tobago in November 2018, the show employed “approximately 310 locals and spent $1,915,000 filming on location,” The Guardian reports.
The show also gives contestants money to spend during their travels. However, if they run out of funds in the middle of the competition, contestants can ask other teams for money or beg strangers for cash.
At the end of each season, the show gives the winning team $1 million, while “the second place team wins $25,000, and the third place team gets $10,000. And each team earns money, with the first eliminated pair going home with $1,500,” E! News reports.
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