In a move that some longtime The Amazing Race fans are viewing as a "jumping the shark"-type event worse than The Amazing Race 7's stunt casting of Survivor: All Stars winner Amber Brkich and fiance Rob Mariano, The Amazing Race 8 will be an "all family" edition featuring four-person teams comprised exclusively of family members 12 years of age or older.
According to CBS, examples of eligible "family edition" teams include traditional families (mom, dad and two kids), blended families (newly married with step siblings), four sisters, four brothers, multi-generational (grandparents and grandchildren) and engaged couples with in-laws-to-be.
"Everyone can relate to family travel... the camaraderie, the emotion and even the conflict," said The Amazing Race executive producer Bertram van Munster. "We’re looking for families who want to turn this familiar concept into an adventure that will take them to some amazing places while discovering a lot about their family dynamic and human spirit."
Each team must feature at least one team member who is at least 21 years old. Any teams containing minors must also feature at least one of the minor's parents or legal guardians. All members of each team must be American citizens, reside within the United States, and be in good physical and mental health.
Families interested in applying can download an application from CBS.com. Each individual teammate must complete an application, but the applications must be submitted together, with only one application package accepted per team. All applications must also include a VHS tape featuring all family members and must be received by Friday, March 11, 2005 at 5PM PT.
Semi-finalist interviews will be conducted in nine regional cities during April 2005, with The Amazing Race 8's finalist interviews occurring in Los Angeles during late May or early June 2005. Filming of the race will begin in late June (at time period selected to ensure any children are out of school for summer vacation) and is expected to last between 30-40 days.
The Amazing Race 8's "family edition" is currently scheduled to be a one-time occurrence. The Amazing Race 9 will return to the series’ regular format in which teams must have a unique and a prior relationship with their teammate, but need not be related.