The countdown to The Amazing Race 29 is over — but who are the 22 contestants taking part?
The 22 cast members will all be paired up with a complete stranger to make 11 teams of two as they race around the world in a bid to win $1million.
This is the 29th season of the hit CBS show, which has been running since 2001, and is the first time that all the contestants will be total strangers.
Previously at least some of the pairings already knew each other somehow. This season they all meet for the first time at the starting line in Los Angeles, before flying to their first destination, Panama City.
Season 29 of The Amazing Race will be hosted once again by veteran New Zealand television host Phil Keoghan.
What time is The Amazing Race on? It will air Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS.
Let’s meet the 22 contestants, in alphabetical order…
1 Shamir Arzeno
Shamir, 28, is a Wall Street banker and competitive bodybuilder from The Bronx, New York. He says: “Once I found out it was singles and it wasn’t a paired thing, I think it’s great.
“Everyone’s meeting their partners for the first time — I think it makes it that much more exciting.”
2 Logan Bauer
Logan, 27, is a medical device sales rep from Columbus, Georgia. He says: “My strengths are I’m fast on my feet. Being in sales you have to be confident and decisive.
“Also I like to work out quite a bit, so I’d like to say I’m very athletic and will keep up with anything they throw at us on the show.”
3 Olive Beauregard
Olive, 24, is a firefighter from Providence, Rhode Island. She says: “I love my job, it’s a huge part of who I am.”
She added: “The most pressure I have to perform on the race is definitely because of work. I want to go back and I want my coworkers to watch it and think I represented the fire department well.”
4 Brooke Camhi
Brooke, 36, is a criminal attorney from New York City. She says: “I have wanted to be on The Amazing Race since the very first episode…for me it’s the experience, the money comes second.”
5 Tara Carr
Carr, 37, is an army officer and mum of four. Originally from Connecticut, she now lives and works in Alexandria, Virginia.
She says: “The one thing that could be a problem with a partner is I’m afraid of heights. Even though I’m an airborne trooper and I’ve jumped out of airplanes, I still get a little weak at the knees.
6 Joey Covino
Joey, 45, is a police sergeant from Saugus, Massachusetts. He’s also big runner with 12 Boston Marathon finishes under his belt.
He says: “I like a challenge, and to do something like this and to do it around the world and to see all the things I’m going to see — it’s just incredible.”
7 Becca Droz
Becca, 26, is a rock climbing instructor and barista from Boulder, Colorado.
She says: “I just love to have fun. I love to be spontaneous, and I love to take advantage of my environment and just live it up.” Due to her climbing, she’s also very strong!
8 Liz Espey
Liz, 24, is an auctioneer from Maryville, Missouri. She says: “What I’m looking forward to is being able to travel and go places I haven’t been and take that back to my small town of 10,000.”
9 Scott Flanary
Scott, 34, is a recruiting manager from West Hollywood, California, and has all sorts of experiences and qualifications under his belt.
He says: “I’ve done a lot of things in my life that have made me I guess pretty adventurous. I’m a certified scuba diver, I became a licensed private pilot before I could even drive…I could also pilot a lifeboat off of a cruise ship if you need me to do that!”
10 Sara Fowler
Sara, 27, is a luxury realtor from St. John, Virgin Islands. She says: “The only way I would be let down in a partner is if they were super negative.” She adds: “I think I bring a lot to the table.”
11 London Kaye
London, 27, is an artist from Brooklyn, New York. She says: “It would be fantastic if I was matched up with the partner of my dreams.
“But my number one priority on this show is definitely going to be to win…and I don’t want any distractions.”
12 Matt Ladley
Matt, 25, is a pro snowboarder from Denver. He says: “Ten years I’ve been travelling to a lot of ski towns around the world, so I’m excited to see the world through a different perspective.”
13 Jennifer Lee
Jennifer, 25, is a model from Los Angeles. She says: “I travel for work. Just being in different places all the time, I’m really good at getting acquainted to places quickly, and it’s definitely going to be helping me on the race.”
14 Kevin Ng
Kevin, 31, is an athletic trainer for pro rugby teams and is from San Diego. He says: “My strengths are that I’m fun, I won’t look at the bad things or anything, so I’m a positive person.
“I’m also pretty athletic, I think. I’m just aerodynamic and water-dynamic to be honest.”
15 Francesca Piccoli
Francesca, 33, is an army drill sergeant from Plano, Texas. She says: “I’m really excited that there hasn’t been a season like this, where everyone doesn’t know who their partner is going to be.
“I’m scared at the same time, because I have no idea what they can and cannot do, and I have no idea how they react under pressure. And that’s frightening.”
16 Floyd Pierce
Floyd, 21, is a college student from Boulder, Colorado, and is a drum major on a college marching band.
He says: “While people might think of me as this happy-go-lucky, nice, optimistic guy, I still know how this race works and I still know what I need to do to win it and I won’t have a problem doing that.
17 Michael Rado
Michael, 37, is a butcher from Pittsburgh. He says: “This is a show I’ve always always wanted to be on, it’s a show I’ve always admired as a reality show…it’s going to be awesome, no matter what.”
18 Redmond Ramos
Redmond, 28, is a motivational speaker and former Navy corpsman and combat medic with the Marines from Murrieta, California. He lost a leg in a blast in Afghanistan.
He says: “I just wanted to show the world that you can succeed through your struggle and…screw excuses.”
19 Jessica Shields
Jessica, 28, is a K-9 police officer from Youngstown, Ohio. Her german shepherd is called Hector the Protector.
Speaking about teaming up with a stranger on The Amazing Race, she says: “I consider myself the bad-ass type that’s not afraid of anything. You be the smart person, I’ll do the dirty work.”
20 Ashton Theiss
Ashton, 25, is a real estate agent from Fort Worth, Texas. She says: “I have a very short fuse with people who can’t make the best of a situation, and I don’t put up with BS very well.” She also admits that her “one and only fear” is snakes.
21 Seth Tyler
Seth, 37, is a police officer from Seattle. He says: “I’ve watched the race for many, many years. I’m a huge fan of the race. And really what appeals to me is being able to prove to myself that I can do it.”
22 Vanck Zhu
Vanck, 28, is a Wall Street equities analyst from New York, and a big street hockey player. He says: “I have two sides to me — I’m either very relaxed, or very competitive.”
The Amazing Race airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS.
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