Amazing Race Contestants Pair with Complete Strangers in Season 29 — Watch the First 2 Minutes of the First Episode!
Season 29 of The Amazing Race premieres Thursday, March 30 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS
The Amazing Race is headed into uncharted territory — and PEOPLE has an exclusive sneak peek at the first two minutes of the CBS reality competition’s new season.
“Today, in an Amazing Race first, 22 complete strangers are meeting each other for the first time — at the starting line,” host Phil Keoghan says in the clip from the season 29 premiere, which will air March 30.
Addressing the new contestants, Keoghan, 49, primes the strangers for their new adventure.
“Welcome to Grand Hope park in downtown Los Angeles, the start of an amazing race unlike any race we’ve ever had before. This is all about first impressions, so take a really good look at the people standing around you … because you are about to pair up with a complete stranger for a nine-country, 17-city, 36,000 mile race around the world.”
Some contestants welcome the change in concept. (The series traditionally casts pairs of contestants with pre-existing relationships, though the show has experimented with random pairings in the past.)
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“It doesn’t even matter who you pair me up with,” says Shamir Arzeno, a 28-year-old banker from Bronx, New York. “I’m gonna throw them on my shoulder and make sure that we win.”
But others seem to be worried about which contestant they’ll end up traveling with around the world.
“I really don’t want to be partners with the Asian Barbie,” Jessie Lynn Shields, a 28-year-old K-9 police officer from Howland, Ohio, says of fellow contestant Jenn Lee. “She’s only here because she thinks she looks good.”
And while that might be true, the “Asian Barbie” has a game plan.
“I’ll definitely use my looks to my advantage to win the race and the $1 million,” says Lee, a 25-year-old model from Southern California.
Before the end of the clip, Keoghan sends the contestants — who have yet to be paired up — off on their first challenge of the season.
Season 29 of The Amazing Race premieres Thursday, March 30 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.