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The Amazing Race – Some Questions Answered

If you have been watching The Amazing Race Australia you may have been wondering about some of the practical issues about how the race runs.

Last week’s TV Week kindly answered some for fans of the show.

The article said:

Do the contestans have separate amounts of money to spend on flights and food?

The cash that teams receive at the start of each leg is for food, water, accommodation, ground transport and incidentals. The cash isn’t for flights, as teams pay for those on a provided credit card. These airline tickets must be economy class and fully refundable.

Where do the teams sleep?

When it’s not a pit stop, anywhere that’s within their budge – this may be a hotel or it may be on the platform of a train station.

How long does host Grant Bowler stand at the pit stop until the contestants get there?

Sometimes he’s just minutes ahead of the teams, while other times it may be slightly longer.

What does he do while waiting for teams to show up?

He’s travelling between the multiple locations and filming all the voice-overs for the show-there’s now waiting around!

Is it the contestants’ responsibility to start the challenge at the set time or does production wake them up?

It’s up to each team to ensure they’re ready for the start of each leg.

How many hours of filming go into making each episode?

Each leg of the race can take anywhere from 12 hours to three days.

If there’s a footrace to the pit stop, are teams allowed to run to the pit stop and then go back and pay their taxi fare afterwards?

No. The contestants must pay for the taxi first. They must also have their backpacks with them – they can’t leave them at the car to run to the pit stop.


1 FoodieW { 06.16.11 at 4:34 pm }

I still have more questions though:

How long are the ‘mandatory rest period’s’ after pitstop’s? And what standard of accommodation do contestant’s receive?
Is there time for social activities and ‘free tourist time’ during mandatory rest period’s?
Re: The host waiting.. “Slightly longer” than a few minutes of waiting for teams to arrive? What does that mean? We see day turn into night. Does the host have a deckchair or trailer on the side so he can eat/pee/rest? What happens when there are hours between check-in’s?
Have any teams ever ended up completely stranded with no money for food or transport during a leg? If this would happen.. does it mean instant elimination or are you bailed out?
Are contestants allowed to claim frequent flyer miles?
Are contestants allowed to buy anything personal like souvenirs or gifts to take home?
How many medic’s travel with The Amazing Race?
How much does it cost to host a race from go to whoa.. including cost of all flights.. hire cars etc?
Who comes up with the idea’s for destinations, tasks and challenges? How do you get such a job?
Does anyone clean the rubbish after contestants open their envelopes and throw the strip of cardboard to the ground?
Who makes those sealed, yellow envelopes and the pitstop props?
Have locals ever stolen or removed ‘markers’ belonging to the race?
Does the host ever end up travelling on the same plane as contestants?
How many are there in the camera crew?
How long does it take to plan a race.. ie. including consulting with locals who supervise tasks and hand over envelopes?
Have any locals ever got it wrong or been unco-operative in the 11th hour?
Are contestants paid any kind of salary while participating in the race?
Contestants can borrow phone’s or use public phone’s to book flights.. Are there any rules about contestant’s making personal calls?
When contestants are eliminated from the race, do they have to go home immediately or can they ‘chill’ for a little bit at their destination?
Would contestants be allowed to use their own money to stay overseas and have a little holiday after the race.. be it in the country of elimination or elsewhere?
How are contestant’s chosen and what are producers looking for?
Why do the first prize winners of the Aussie version of ‘The Race’ get so much less money than their American counterparts? One quarter actually.

2 Fiona { 06.17.11 at 12:33 am }

I recall a team of two older ladies in a prior US season who overslept and missed their setoff time by an hour or so, obviously none of the other teams offered to wake them.
Also, it seems that it is exactly 12 hours from the arrival on the mat to departure the next day, even if it turns out to be 4am which seems a bit rough.

3 Amy { 06.17.11 at 8:42 am }

There’s a really extensive FAQ on the American version here:

I imagine much is the same?

4 Anon { 06.19.11 at 8:25 am }

No spoilers from me, but has anyone else heard that the winning Racers blabbed the fact they’d won (in breach of their confidentiality agreements) and that this news has spread like wildfire?

5 AnonyMousse { 06.19.11 at 8:47 am }

Thankfully no, I hadn’t heard. And I’ll be spending the next 6 or so weeks hoping that no-one posts it up, now.

Still, with things like that it must be hard to know who leaked it – was it the winners boasting, or did another team rat them out by pretending it came from the winning team (since all teams are at the finishing mat to see who wins)

6 Anon { 06.20.11 at 6:18 pm }

My lips are sealed, AnonyMousse. I don’t really care to be served with court papers from Channel 7 lawyers!

7 AnonyMousse { 06.20.11 at 9:51 pm }

Sorry, that was meant as a rhetorical question to the masses, rather than an info dig at you.