'The Amazing Race' producer dishes about the new season's cast
By Reality TV World staff, 09/23/2008
If you're looking for insight on the show's thirteenth-season cast, The Amazing Race co-creator and executive producer Bertram van Munster is probably a good place to start.
"We have a fun cast [and] we had a great time with them. They performed splendidly, they were exhausted, they were furious with each other, they loved each other, they were ready to give up, van Munster told Reality TV World in an exclusive interview last week. "You name it, all of the emotions you can possible imagine on [a show] like this."
The Amazing Race's thirteenth season will premiere Sunday, September 28 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS with eleven teams racing 30,000 miles around the world in an attempt to claim the competition's $1,000,000 grand prize.
The following are van Munster's comments about each of the eleven teams competing on the thirteenth season.
"Friends" Marisa Axelrod and Brooke Jackson
Marisa is a 22 year-old University of South Carolina broadcast journalism student from Spartanburg, SC. Brooke is a 24 year-old graphic designer from Columbia, SC.
van Munster: "They've been friends for four years and they are very cute and funny. Brook is a salesperson and a camp counselor and she has kind of a take charge attitude. The two of them are very determined."
"Separated Couple" Ken and Tina Greene
Ken is a 51 year-old home-builder and ex-NFL player from Tampa, FL. Tina is the 48 year-old president of BioPharmMed from San Diego, CA.
van Munster: "He's a [former] NFL star and she owns a business. They have to really mask it to get along together. They're both Type-A [personalities]. [Tina's] more Type-A than he is, I think, but she's pretty domineering, I would say, and he's really a really terrific guy. But they're in love with each other and they'd love to reconnect and would love to fix their marriage."
"Divorcees" Kelly Crabb and Christy Cook
Kelly is a 26 year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Houston, TX. Christy is a 26 year-old business developer from Austin, TX.
van Munster: "I love them. I mean these two are very, very feisty. Both were married to controlling husbands and they want to start on their own and they were left with a large financial debt and really worked hard and both have successful careers now. But they are feisty -- two feisty girls. They are terrific. Kelly is a pharmaceutical representative and Christy is in business development and both are very successful."
"Newly Dating Couple" Terence Gerchberg and Sarah Leshner
Terence is a 35-year-old running coach and Sarah is a 31-year-old investment analyst. Both reside in New York City.
van Munster: "[Sarah] is really smart. she works on Wall Street. Well, today maybe the people on Wall Street don't look so smart -- maybe they look more greedy than smart. But she is a terrific woman and has been dating Terrence for about a year and they have major issues about compatibility. I think Terrence kind of moved in with [Sarah] and lives with her, or something like that, and it looks like she is the main breadwinner. But they have compatibility issues as a result of that."
"Fraternity Brothers" Andrew Lappitt and Dan Honig
Andrew is a 22-year-old student from Tucson, AZ. Dan is a 23-year-old hotel manager trainee from Wilmington, DE.
van Munster: "Andrew and Dan are just fantastic. They're really fantastic. I mean, first of all, they are huge fans of [The Amazing Race] and they are good talkers. They can talk their way in and out of anything. People think that they are these two bumbling guys, but they have tremendous wit and tremendous charm. They are just two smart guys and do very, very well."
"Long Distance Dating Couple" Aja Benton and Ty White
Aja is a 25-year-old aspiring actress from Los Angeles, CA. Ty is a 25-year-old banker from West Bloomfield, MI.
van Munster: "They're terrific people. They are really terrific. Very competitive. They are really in love, these two. They really love each other. They are crazy about each other and they have a very harmonious relationship. She's a makeup artist and he's a banker. They're a good couple, very strong."
"Best Friends" Mark Yturralde and Bill Hahler
Mark is a 41-year-old Comic-Con treasurer and Bill is a 42-year-old student aid administrator. Both reside in San Diego, CA.
van Munster: "Fantastic. These are the biggest gamers we've ever had on the show. They met in a science-fiction club 23 years ago and quickly became best friends, bonding over their love of Comic-Con -- the largest comic book convention in the world -- and games of all genres. [Their press materials say] 'whether it's video or board games, puzzles or even The Race, the manipulative masterminds will always be mentally ahead of the competition,' and that's pretty much who they are. Very smart guys. Very, very high IQ for both of these guys."
"Mother and Son" Toni and Dallas Imbimbo
Toni is a 51-year-old accounting consultant and Dallas is a 22-year-old student. Both reside in Woodside, CA.
van Munster: "Dallas is the 'hot guy' and he's constantly flirting and sarcastic. [Toni] has a great personality. They are a very dynamic team and very entertaining. They are really, really a very, very strong team in the game. He considers himself the life of the party and the mother is a terrific woman."
"Brother and Sister" Nick and Starr Spangler
Nick is a 22-year-old actor from New York City. Starr is a 21-year-old former NFL cheerleader from Fort Worth, TX.
van Munster: "[The] Spanglers... they are competitive. There is a little bit of a romance thing going on down the road there from Starr going somewhere and looking at another guy, it's gonna be pretty good. They are a bunch of overachievers. Nick is a Broadway actor in New York City and Starr is a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys. So they are living their lifelong dreams and their last dream is that they want to go on a race around the world. Love them or hate them, they will be entertaining to watch."
"Married Beekeepers" Anita and Arthur Jones
Anita is a 63-year-old retired paralegal and Arthur is a 61-year-old in playground maintenance. Both reside in Eugene, OR.
van Munster: "They are more out of the 60's than anyone I have seen in a long time. They are the 60's. They are really wonderful, wonderful people. It's all about hugging [with them.] All they do is stop everywhere and hug people and [tell folks] 'peace.' For people who are not from their generation... [they're like] 'Where are these people coming from?' They maintain their own land. They chop wood and love the bees and the bee hives. They just look amazing [with their] snow white hair. They are very young at heart and have a very fun-loving nature but they're wonderful people. They're terrific people and I got a lot of free honey from them."
"Dating Couple" Anthony Marotta and Stephanie Kacandes
Anthony is a 32-year-old mortgage broker and Stephanie is a 32-year-old financial saleswoman. Both reside in Los Angeles, CA.
van Munster: "Anthony is a 100% headstrong Italian male with a know-it-all, strict Greek Orthodox female. It's a potential recipe for disaster. They are back together again after a year-long breakup. They called it 'therapy,' who knows what they were doing in the meantime. But she wants a ring and if he doesn't want to get that ring than he's outta there. So, as a result, there is a lot of bickering and it looks like it could be a doomed relationship. But it's their way of communicating, I guess."