‘The Amazing Race’ Emotional Season 36 Trailer Kicks Things Off in Puerto Vallarta (EXCLUSIVE)

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It’s finally here. Variety joined the producers and contestants — including host Phil Keoghan — on a private charter to Puerto Vallerta to kick off “The Amazing Race” back in October 2022. There, embedded with the producers, we got to see some of the show’s hallmarks up close: The race starting line, on the beach in front of the Westin hotel; challenges involving Lucha Libre wrestlers and rodeo lassos; teammates already screaming at one another; camera operators — the true heroes of this production — keeping tabs on one another; and Keoghan doing his well-rehearsed standups introducing the country the show is visiting.

In an exciting first episode, we even got to see a medical emergency on one of the first tasks! (I hope they’re OK. I think they are.) A lot more of that to come soon. But why did it take so long for this season to air? Read all about it here: Inside ‘The Amazing Race’ High-Wire Act and the Scramble Behind the Scenes Making TV’s Most Ambitious Competition Show.

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But in a nutshell, originally the October 2022 edition was set to run as Season 35 of “The Amazing Race.” But when CBS decided last year to expand both “Race” and “Survivor” into 90-minute episodes, the “Race” producers decided to go back out and shoot an entirely new season under those perameters. (Also, with COVID restrictions relaxed, what then became Season 35 featured a return to more normal game play.)

That still left this edition in the can, until now. Reworked as Season 36, this edition was still shot under more complicated COVID protocols, which means chartered planes and other limitations. But the producers were able to go back and keep in footage that normally would have had to be edited out, in order to make each episode 90 minutes.

This season of “Amazing Race” once again features 13 new teams and no non-elmination legs. According to CBS, “along the route, racers will go paragliding in Colombia, rally car racing in Argentina, and visit two new countries – swimming through waterfalls in the Dominican Republic and visiting music superstar Rihanna’s childhood home in Barbados.”

Locations this time include Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Barbados, Dominican Republic and a finale in Pennsylvania, where the winning team lands the $1 million prize.

Creators Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri, along with Jonathan Littman, Jerry Bruckheimer, Mark Vertullo, Phil Keoghan and Patrick Cariaga all exec produce for Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Earthview Inc. in association with ABC Studios and Amazing Race Productions.

Here;s a first look at Season 36 of “The Amazing Race,” which returns Wednesday, March 13, at 9:30 p.m. on CBS and Paramount+.

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