The Amazing Race 2017 contestants have been announced, and this time, instead of established teams, everyone competing is a stranger! All of the contestants will meet each other for the first time when host Phil Keoghan introduces them at the starting line, and then a quick competition will help determine who gets teamed up.
As Hollywood Life reported, the 29th season of The Amazing Race will buck the tradition of having couples with an established relationship – parents and children, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives – compete together as teams. Instead, the competing teams will be total strangers who met each other that very moment.
— Sam Harris (@SamHarris221) March 17, 2017
The first competition will be a solo competition to determine the order in which contestants get to pick their teammates. They’ll have nothing to go on other than first impressions.
Host Keoghan says it’s a twist fans have been asking for.
“For years, The Amazing Race fans have suggested we line up complete strangers and match them up at the starting line to see what would happen. These newbie racers begin with no pre-existing relationships or emotional baggage, and the excitement of traveling around the world to complete dozens of gut-busting, mind-blowing challenges quickly ignites tension.”
From there, the newly-created teams will travel 9 countries, 17 cities, and 36,000 miles, and challenges will include skydiving in Norway, bungee jumping into an ancient Greek canal, and – in a nod to The Amazing Race‘s tradition of making the contestants help out locally when they visit impoverished places – deliver desks and school supplies to schoolchildren in Tanzania.
So who are the 22 contestants? This season’s lineup includes the traditional Amazing Race staple of young, toned bodies, in the form of a models and a college students, among others.
Three of the contestants, according to the Denver Post, are from Colorado. One of them is Boulder rock climbing instructor Becca Droz.
— The Amazing Race (@AmazingRaceCBS) March 17, 2017
In an email to the Post, Droz said that she’d always wanted to compete with a family member, but instead was up for the challenge of competing with a stranger.
“I was definitely surprised to hear of the twist, but I was actually in some ways relieved because my ultimate dream was to be on the show with my big brother David. But after spending a couple trips with him I learned that my best self doesn’t come out with family, so I was excited to travel the world with a new friend.”
Another contestant is Youngstown, Ohio’s Jessica Shields, 27, who works as a K-9 cop when she’s not competing on The Amazing Race. She tells WKBN that working in the male-dominated police force has made her fearless.
“I consider myself more like the bada** type that’s not afraid of anything. I’ll do the dirty work.”
Here are the names, ages, hometowns, and jobs of all of The Amazing Race season 29 contestants, courtesy of Parade.
- Shamir Arzeno, 28, Bronx, New York, banker.
- Logan Bauer, 27, Navarre, Florida, medical sales representative.
- Olive Beauregard, 24, Providence, Rhode Island, firefighter.
- Brooke Cahmi, 26, Lynbrook, New York, attorney.
- Tara Carr, 38, Alexandria, Virginia, U.S. Army officer.
- Joey Covino, 46, Boston, Massachusetts, police officer.
- Becca Droz, 26, Boulder, Colorado, rock climbing instructor.
- Liz Espey, 24, Maryville, Missouri, auctioneer.
- Scott Flanary, 34, Charlotte, North Carolina, university recruiting manager.
- Sara Fowler, 27, Baltimore, Maryland, real estate agent.
- London Kaye, 27, New York, New York, street artist.
- Matt Ladley, 25, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, professional snowboarder.
- Jennifer Lee, 25, Palos Verdes, California, model.
- Kevin Ng, 31, San Diego, California, occupational therapist.
- Francesca Piccoli, 33, Banning, California, U.S. Army.
- Floyd Pierce, 21, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, college student.
- Redmond Ramos, 28, Fremont, California, motivational speaker.
- Michael Rado, 37, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, butcher.
- Jessica Shields, 28, Youngstown, Ohio, police officer.
- Ashton Theiss, 25, Ft. Worth, Texas, real estate agent.
- Seth Tyler, 37, Seattle, Washington, police officer.
- Vanck Zhu, 28, St. Paul, Minnesota, investment researcher.
Are you excited about the crop of Amazing Race 2017 contestants?
[Featured Image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]