‘Amazing Race’ Host Phil Keoghan Teases Season 34 ‘Changes’

Longtime says that the world is waiting to you. Amazing RaceHosting Phil KeoghanThe Emmy-winning CBS series is back in action with a new season.

The show returns for its 34th installment with a whole new crop of teams – which include former NFL coach Rex Ryan Big Brother 23’s Derek Xiao Claire Rehfuss – ready to race to countries like Jordan, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Iceland and more.

“The world is opening up a lot,” Phil exclusively tells Us WeeklyAbout filming the new season. “I think that’s part of the challenge is that every country you go to, they all have different COVID protocols. Some are very strict while others are very lenient. And so we’re having to sort of abide by rules that have been mandated here in the United States, no matter what, and that does make it challenging because we are an international show and so you have to adjust and pivot a lot.”

Phil Keoghan
Kit Karzen/CBS

This season, they are shaking up the game by not having any U-turns or non-elimination legs. “It’s just really to mix things up and to keep things exciting, you know?” the New Zealand native says. “You always wanna do something a little different and that’s definitely one of those things. And with a show that’s been on as long as we have you, you don’t want to deviate too much away from what works.”

He goes on to explain, “If you look at successful shows that have been on for decades, I think the reason that they have worked over and over again – whether it’s a game show or whether it’s 60 minutes – is because things haven’t changed and people know what they’re getting and the format works. And I think that’s true of Amazing Race. You don’t wanna reinvent something that works. So while we’ve made little changes like that, I think at the end of the day, the reason Amazing Race works is because the original format is really good.”

Cast Amazing Race Host Phil Keoghan Teases Season 34 Cast
Kit Karzen/CBS

As for how the show’s changed over its 21-year run, Phil tells Us, “It was way more difficult to communicate and way more difficult with the technology that was available. Now we embrace the fact that people recognize us around the world because when we are running through an airport, somebody pulls out their phone and goes live on Instagram and suddenly they’re broadcasting what we’re doing to the world on Instagram. And you have to embrace that because you you can’t hide it.”

He adds, “I think our fans in general, you’re always gonna get people who love being spoilers, they love being the ones that give away information. … But I would say about our fans, they’re very respectful of other fans and they don’t do that. True Amazing Race fans don’t throw out spoilers and ruin it for everybody else.”

The Amazing RacePremieres on CBS Wednesday, September 21 at 10 p.m. ET.