Amazing Race won’t switch to HD; 13 new teams visited Kazakhstan, where locals feared another Borat

CBS has announced the 11 teams who will compete as part of the 13th Amazing Race, which debuts Sept. 28.

In a story about the new season, executive producer Betram van Munster told the AP that despite Survivor‘s switch to high definition, his show won’t switch to high definition anytime soon. “I don’t think it’s a priority. We’re just happy to continue making the show as it is.”

He also said that, for the first time, the show visited Kazakhstan, perhaps best known to American audiences as the fictional home of Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Borat. “We shot most of that episode in the capital. People were a little afraid we were going to pull a ‘Borat’ on them. I told them we weren’t doing ‘Borat,’ but what happened there is very, very funny. It’s not easy to shoot in places like that because they practically have no television industry,” van Munster said.

As to the new teams, seven of the 11 teams are male-female, and there are just two male-only teams this season, neither of which seems like the sort of team of 20- or 30-something guys who’ve dominated the race in the past. That said, the teams sound very familiar: a “bickering” couple, blonde “southern belles”, fraternity brothers, and a separated married couple. There’s old couple is comprised of two beekeeping super-hippies, and if you think I’m kidding, just look at their photo.

Eclectic mix of contestants for ‘Amazing Race’ [AP]