Why The Amazing Race Won't Mention COVID In Season 32

the amazing race season 32 premiere cbs phil keoghan
(Image credit: CBS)

Spoilers ahead for the Season 32 premiere of The Amazing Race on CBS.

The Amazing Race is finally back on CBS following an extra-long hiatus, and Season 32 hit the ground running by sending the contestants to Trinidad. After everything from rolling oil drums to racing goats to playing a steel drum song that will undoubtedly leave "Banana Boat Song (Day-O)" stuck in the heads of viewers everywhere, the first duo was eliminated. Notably absent from the premiere was any reference to the COVID-19 pandemic aside from a message from longtime host Phil Keoghan at the very beginning. Now, Keoghan has shared why Season 32 won't reference the pandemic.

Season 32 of The Amazing Race was actually filmed back in 2018 and originally scheduled to air in the spring of 2020 before being delayed to the fall, so the pandemic protocols that impacted the production of many other shows didn't factor into the season. Hyping the "escapism" of the show to TV Guide, Phil Keoghan explained why the show didn't edit the content in light of the pandemic to make it feel more current than 2018:

Our shows are very evergreen, so we don't timestamp stuff in the show. There wasn't anything that needed to be adjusted. The hard part has just been waiting. I really felt for the cast. This is something they did quite some time ago, and they're really itching for the world to see it. So that is always tough to ask people to wait, and then our fans who have been incredibly patient. Thankfully, they now get to see the show that they've missed.

The Amazing Race team didn't adjust or change anything about the season to address the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Phil Keoghan, so Season 32 shouldn't feel any different from the 31 seasons before in the way the show works. The long gap between the end of filming in 2018 and the premiere in October 2020 couldn't have been fun for the competitors, though!

Phil Keoghan elaborated, saying that Season 32 is "about giving people a chance to just travel the world and not be worried about all the things that everybody is so worried about today." When even reality competition shows like The Bachelorette are looking very different due to the pandemic, a season of The Amazing Race with all the competitors tackling challenges as usual could be just what TV viewers need right now.

Season 32 also features some formidable athletes among the competing duos, including a pair of pro volleyball players, two former Olympic hurdlers, and two former NFL stars. Somewhat surprisingly, the Olympians and football stars were two of the bottom three teams in the premiere, coming in ahead of the best friend pair who finished eleventh and ended their Amazing Race journeys early. Football skills clearly don't translate to playing the steel drums!

There are ten pairs of competitors still in the running to win The Amazing Race Season 32, so be sure to tune in to CBS on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET for new episodes. Fans unfortunately can't count on the next season being ready to debut in midseason.

The Amazing Race was filming Season 33 when it became one of the many shows that had to shut down production earlier this year. Phil Keoghan revealed that the intention is to pick up where they left off on the next season, but only time will tell what the future holds for this very physical show that travels contestants all over the world.

For some additional viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).