Phil had a live chat with fans yesterday (which you can watch here) and here are some of the very interesting highlights:
–The most rewarding thing about the Race? Getting to see people like “Kentucky” (David & Mary? Most likely Bopper & Mark.) who have never had a passport or even rode on a plane getting to experience the world.
–Favorite task from this season: Running with the Bulls.
–Surprised by the final 3 teams this season? Phil is surprised by Caroline & Jennifer making it to the Final 3 riding on the coattails of the other teams. Is that a strategy and is it okay? Do they deserve to be there? Well, maybe, whatever it takes, as long as they did it fairly and didn’t cheat.
As for Brenchel, they deserve to be there on the mere fact that all the other teams were out to get them, yet they still made it. And Dave & Connor, “one of the most competitive teams in Amazing Race history. But Phil wishes Dave stopped talking about how old he was. Enough with that.
–New destinations he hopes for? Would love to go to Nepal. It is logistically challenging though, tough place to get in and out of. “If the show stays on, I’d hope we get there.” Also, Antarctica. The only continent they’ve never been to.
–“Luck is the residue of design.” Talks about losing the Survivor gig to Jeff, but luckily getting the (better) TAR job.
-A 10 year old fan asks: What happens when a team gets lost and no one can find them? Well, that never happens since the crew (cameraman and sound guy) are in constant contact. Must be no further than 50 feet away at all times. Also, there are security teams on the Race course and they follow teams when they go too off the course.
–Favorite team ever? So hard. Phil says he loves the Cowboys. They typify “Middle America” and “I love Middle America.” He loves the way they tip their hats and their accents. He enjoys trading back and forths with them making fun of each other’s accents.
Phil also loves the Globetrotters. Basically, he loves teams who give them great content for the show. There are teams that give them great content, but he wouldn’t necessarily want to have a beer with them.
But in all of TAR history, the Cowboys have gotten the most attention because they represent “Middle America.”
–Favorite season? Definitely season 1. That exciting adventure of going into the unknown. He remembers the end of the first Leg in the first season. What a whirlwind it had been on just that first Leg. Phil also gets excited about the more recent seasons.
–Any must-experience places? Italy. Then New Zealand.
–What do you do in the Pit Stop? Phil must stay on top of everything. Like, for example, Mark & Bopper or Kent & Vyxsin getting lost during the Leg. And even then, he finds himself surprised at some of the stuff he only finds out from watching the show. For example, he wishes he would have known about Dave incessantly talking about how old he is. If he had known during the Race, he would have called him out on it.
–How have things changed since the first season? A lot. They used to do 13 shows in 31 days. Now it’s 12 shows in 21 days. They’ve become more efficient in shooting the show. These days, it’s sometimes 4 or 5 days before they even see a hotel. There isn’t as much time now between legs. Biggest change though has to be cell phone and smartphones. Back in 2001, there were no people tweeting shots of them running through the airport, no live feeds while filming.
For example, not too long ago. TAR is in 100 countries and there are a bunch of different versions. There would be a time when TARUS and TARA teams would be running through the airport at the same time, crossing paths. It would get confusing and even the fans wouldn’t be sure what exactly they were spoiling.
But Phil says he loves that people are tweeting live as long as they don’t give away any results. It’s very cool for people to see flags and clues and teams running around and tweeting about it.
–Any famous landmarks you want to see on the Race? Nepal, Mt. Everest. But also the South Pole and the Tower of Pisa.
–Which Leg had the best food? One time in Venice when he and his cameraman and sound guy had time to just sit and enjoy a meal. Also when he celebrated his birthday in Mongolia in TAR10.
–Do you travel a lot in your spare time outside of the Race? Yes, and he loves it. Probably 250,000-300,000 miles a year in addition to the 100,000 for TAR.
–How do you find locations? They have a great team traveling the world scouting for locations. Also, a lot of national tourism boards contact them, inviting them to come or to come back. They are never short of ideas and where to visit. Also fans suggest many locations.
–What was it like to work with David Copperfield? Phil’s a big fan.