The Amazing Race has returned for a landmark 35th season. And for its newest installment, it's mixing a lot of new with some of the old elements, from the tried and true to old favorites to some recent developments.
The first bit of newness is in the runtime. For the first time, The Amazing Race will air 90-minute episodes for the entire season, paired with the concurrent Survivor 45. Due to this adjustment, the season we'll be seeing is actually not the 35th season that was filmed. The production team was informed by CBS they wanted to air the extended episodes, and created a route and format to help create a series of jam-packed legs with plenty of content to fill the slot.
"This season’s big, 90-minute episodes allow us to show more of each city we travel to, especially the people and the culture, plus we get to know our contestants on a deeper level and their relationships with each other,” said co-creators and executive producers Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri in a statement.
Related: Everything to Know About The Amazing Race 35
The premiere will have the teams immediately facing their first Roadblock, crossing a tightrope across the iconic Biltmore Hotel. But they won't be alone, as famous racers will surprise them as task judges. From there, they'll fly to Asia. And, for the first time post-COVID, The Amazing Race is returning to commercial travel, officially retiring the charter plane that had transported the teams in seasons 33 and 34.
Some more blasts from the past are in store with season 35 as well, with the return of two big Amazing Race twists: The Express Pass and the U-Turn. The Express Pass, last seen in season 29, allows a team to skip a task, Detour, or Roadblock. The U-Turn, last seen in season 32, gives one or two teams the opportunity to force a team behind them to perform both sides of the Detour. Both elements have been the source of some of the biggest conflicts and pieces of strategy in the modern era of the show.
But not everything has been left behind in the COVID era of The Amazing Race. Like the season before it, season 35 will have no non-elimination legs. To accommodate that--and utilize that new 90-minute runtime--a whopping 13 teams will race this season, the largest of any American Amazing Race season in history. Each of the 13 is hoping they'll be one of the lucky ones as they travel to Thailand, India, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, and Slovenia (a brand-new country for the show), before returning stateside to the finish line in Washington.
Check out the gallery below to find out more about the 13 teams competing this season, as well as preseason interviews Parade.com conducted with the cast. The Amazing Race 35 premieres on September 27 at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS.
Related: Everything to Know About Survivor 45
View the 14 images of this gallery on the original article