Lucky 13? Participants in The Amazing Race‘s new season have been named, CBS announced Tuesday. This year’s Race, premiering Sept. 28, features 11 teams, including a pair of 60-something hippie-dippy organic farmers, the CFO of San Diego’s Comic-Con Festival and his aid administrator BFF, a brother and sister from a family of morticians and several couples with rocky chemistry looking to the competition to help their relationships. –Nicholas White
Meet this year’s Racers:
Team 1: Terence (35, running coach) and Sarah (31, Wall Street exec) Hometown: New York, N.Y. Relationship: Dating for one year, considering marriage Who are they?: Free-spirited Terence and Sarah, a Wharton grad who works 12-hour days in an all-male financial firm, call themselves Team Purple for solidarity in their purple shoelaces worn on their wrists. The Race will test their relationship. “It’s a good way for us to show our friends and family who we are and why our relationship works so well,” Sarah says. “We’re so different, and there are a lot of skeptics in our lives and relationship. Let’s see how we do with anxiety, fatigue and hunger.” Team 2: Marisa (22, broadcast journalism student) and Brooke (24, graphic designer) Hometown: Columbia, S.C. Relationship: BFF Who are they?: Self-described “Southern belles,” they like to travel, relish adventure … and could double for Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. “We’re probably going to shock a lot of ,” Marisa says. “Everyone is going to perceive us as these dumb blondes. That’s fine. We can use that to our advantage!” Their biggest fear: The Race’s physical challenges. “It’s definitely going to test our fear, like bungie jumping,” she says.
Team 3: Andrew (22, student) and Dan (23, student) Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz. Relationship: College fraternity friends from Arizona State University Who are they?: Tenacious competitors and geography experts, the brainy duo (Dan is intensely talkative, Andrew is subdued) are quick to assert that they are underestimated and not vulnerable to the charms of beautiful women, despite their young age. “Duh,” says Dan of the Southern Belles team. “We know you’re going to do that. They probably assume we’re trying to hit on them because they have a high opinion of themselves.” Their goal: to win money to go to Vegas for “decadent and wasteful spending,” Dan jokes.
Team 4: Aja (25, makeup artist) and Ty (25, banker) Hometowns: Los Angeles, Calif., and Southfield, Mich. Relationship: Long-distance couple, dating for nine months Who are they?: Living in separate cities, the couple has spent 2 weeks at most together since they started dating. Contacted by the show’s producers who saw them on Facebook, the couple is treating the Race as a challenge to their cohesiveness. “We already care about each other, but this is an opportunity to spend a lot of time together and see what each other is made of,” Ty says.
Team 5: Mark (41, CFO of Comic-Con) and Bill (42, Aid Administrator) Hometown: San Diego, Calif. Relationship: Friends of more than 23 years Who are they?: These intense gaming aficionados, who first met at a sci-fi club and work together, are diehard Race fans. Mark is a veteran of extreme adventures (climbing volcanoes, skydiving, scuba diving), while Bill is the strategy expert. “The Amazing Race is this ultimate game,” says Bill. “I can’t think of a game that has been a bigger game board. We want to play.” Mark explains.
Team 6: Toni (51, accounting consultant) and Dallas (22, student) Hometown: Woodside, Calif. Relationship: Mother and son Who are they?: Toni, a longtime Race fan, talked her son into doing the show. Dallas, an aspiring entrepreneur, started a mobile DJ business in 7th grade. “Ever since he was younger, his sense of direction has been phenomenal,” Toni says, adding that her greatest accomplishment is raising him. “I’m looking forward to trusting his visions. I’m working at it.”
Team 7: Nick (22, actor) and Starr (21, NFL cheerleader) (Photo left) Hometowns: New York, N.Y., and Fort Worth, Texas Relationship: Brother and sister Who are they?: Starr says she and her brother have been pining to do the Race for years. “When Nick was 18, and I was 17, we went online to see what the ages were, because we thought we would be a great team,” she says. Besides sharing a sense of adventure, the brother-sister duo also share a dark sense of humor, coming from a family of morticians. “We know each other better than anyone else,” Starr says, adding that they’re not above deception. “I think we’re going to be very underhanded.”
Team 8: Anita (63, retired paralegal) and Arthur (60, playground maintenance) (Photo right) Hometown: Eugene, Colo. Relationship: Married for 13 years Who are they?: These tie-dye-wearing seniors run an organic blueberry farm, making honey and keeping bees. Their motto: “Don’t worry, be hippie,” Anita says, laughing. Anita suspects the younger teams will underestimate them because of their age, but their biggest asset–and challenge–is their communication. Says Anita: “It’s fun to show how happy can be. It’s fun to share that–the joy and fun that we have together.”
Team 9: Kelly (26, pharmaceutical representative) and Christy (26, business development) Hometown: Houston and Austin, Texas Relationship: Best friends and sorority sisters Who are they?: Both successful saleswomen and recent divorc es, Kelly and Christy talk openly about unfulfilled marriages and shouldering financial burdens (paying their way through college, buying their own homes). “We were really wanting a break from our lives,” says Kelly. This intense duo is gunning to be the Race‘s first all-female pair to win. Adds Christy: “We’ve got the best dynamic there is. I look at the guy/girl teams, and I feel bad for them.”
Team 10: Ken (51, homebuilder/ex-NFL player) and Tina (48, BioPharmMed president) Hometown: Tampa, Fla., and San Diego, Calif. Relationship: Married but separated for five months Who are they?: Living on separate coasts, the volatile couple sees the Race as a reason to stay together. “The only thing that holds us back is our relationship,” Tina says. “We’re still working on that.” Ken explains, “I think we’ve made a lot of strides coming in to the race. This is a make-or-break situation.”
Team 11: Anthony (32, mortgage broker) and Stephanie (32, financial saleswoman) Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif. Relationship: Dating after a year-long break-up Who are they?: Anthony and Stephanie, both Race fans, met four years ago at a dive bar. Since then, their relationship has weathered many rough patches. In fact, Race producers recruited the pair after seeing them fight in public at a Dave Matthews concert. “We know this is going to bring us together or tear us apart,” Anthony says.
Tell us: Are you psyched for the upcoming season of The Amazing Race?Monty Brinton/CBS