'The Amazing Race' Season 26's cast of 11 "Dating Couples" announced by CBS
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/20/2015
CBS has revealed the identities of the 11 "dating couples" who will be competing on the 26th season of The Amazing Race, which premieres with a special 90-minute episode on Wednesday, February 25 at 9:30PM ET/PT.
As previously announced during The Amazing Race's Season 25 finale, the new edition will feature a "blind date" twist in which half of the couples have a pre-existing relationship and the other half have never even met each other prior to the Race's first leg.
"Usually we have people who know each other really well. In this particular case, we have five blind dates and six regular dates," The Amazing Race's executive producer Bertram van Munster said in a statement. "Going on a blind date to a restaurant is one thing, but going on a blind date around the world is like rolling the dice in a big way."
In another new twist, the teams will have an opportunity to win a "Date Night" reward, which will allow one couple to get away and enjoy a one-on-one romantic activity -- such as an evening at a hot springs resort in Nagano, Japan, or star-gazing at the Bavarian Public Observatory in Munich, Germany.
Viewers may recognize a few people who will be part of the pre-existing dating couples. New Kids on the Block member Jonathan Knight will race with his partner Harley Rodriguez, while Olympic medalists and athletes Aly Dudek and Steven Langton are also paired up for the race around the world.
As for the couples who will be experiencing an extreme version of a blind date, they include a Navy physician, a registered nurse and two lawyers.
Over the course of the Race, the contestants will travel to places like Tokyo, Bangkok, Namibia, and Monaco while competing in a series of both mental and physical challenges in attempt to cross the finish line in first place and win the show's $1 million grand prize.