For The Amazing Race 11, producers “had to throw [the teams] curveball after curveball, because they all thought they knew what we were doing again,” executive producer Betram Van Munster tells USA TODAY. The show debuts Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET.
During “the 45,000-mile, 28-day race, which ended Dec. 19,” the 11 teams traveled from “from extreme cold to extreme heat,” he said. The paper notes that those locations include “a desert in northern Chile to ‘borderline South Pole’ in Antarctica.”
Despite producers’ all-star “reservations,” Van Munster says the season resulted in “a lot of friction right off the bat. … I’m confident we laid something on the table that will be very unexpected, and story-wise, there were plenty of fireworks.”
USA TODAY reveals all 11 teams, some of whom we already knew had been cast. Van Munster says they were chosen “in terms of where their life went,” and “[t]hey’re not necessarily the winners, but character-wise, they’re all-stars in our book.” (That explains why two sets of past winners are angry about not being chosen.)
The teams even include one team that never ran the race together: The Amazing Race 9‘s Eric Sanchez (half of Eric and Jeremy) and Danielle Turner (half of Danielle and Dani), who are now dating one another. Jeremy must be crushed.
Other teams include Amazing Race 1‘s Kevin O’Connor and Drew Feinberg, and Joe Baldassare and Bill Bartek; The Amazing Race 2‘s Oswald Mendez and Danny Jimenez; The Amazing Race 3‘s John Pietanza and Jill Aquilino, and Teri and Ian Pollack; Amazing Race 5‘s Charla Faddoul and Mirna Hindoyan; Amazing Race 7 winners Uchenna and Joyce, the only winners to be on the all-star season, and losers Rob and Amber Mariano; and Amazing Race 10‘s David and Mary Conley, and Dustin Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier.