Phil Keoghan’s Amazing Race blog is a real-time, behind-the-scenes look at the race

Official reality TV show blogs are usually these are worth avoiding; more often than not, they’re self-serving, boring, or both. Thus, I never visited Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan’s blog at CBS.com. It’s new this season, although the site has had Phil-centric features before, such as a video diary and uncut “mat chat” video.

But Phil’s blog is sometimes even more fascinating than the episode itself. At the very least, it adds to our enjoyment of the race—and to the wonder of how this incredible production comes together. In large part, that’s because it appears Phil actually wrote his blog entries while on the race; he’s not reflecting on the show now, but commenting on it in real time. (In his episode 9 comments, he mentions talking into a Dictaphone, so that explains how he managed to keep detailed records.)

More significantly, he adds to our understanding of the production and the demands placed on both him and everyone else. He’s unquestionably the hardest working host in the business: At the end of episode nine, he notes, “I have two shows from season 8 to do voiceover for. We’ll set up a makeshift voiceover booth in a hotel room.” During his episode five commentary, Phil notes that he coincidentally ended up on the same flight as BJ and Tyler, and Eric and Jeremy. Later, he and his producer were, he writes, “rushing to get to the Pit Stop before BJ & Tyler get there. They had about an hour and a half lead on us, they got through the Detour very quickly.” Phil beat them to the pit stop, where he said that he’d have to “do a quick hair wash in the parking lot.”

Washing your hair in the parking lot: Ryan Seacrest, I dare you to do that before the cameras start rolling.

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