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Amazing Race’s $2 million prize: there’s a catch

The cast of The Amazing Race 21 has been officially announced by CBS, though it was revealed online much earlier. It includes the stars of The Fabulous Beekman Boys, White Lion and Megadeth’s James LoMenzo, and Amy Purdy, a pro snowboarder who’s also a double amputee.

CBS also gave details about the race’s new $2 million prize, and there’s a catch, as many suspected: “If the Team that wins the first leg of the season can outrace the other 10 Teams and win the final leg of the Race, they will double their money and win a $2 million grand prize instead of $1 million.”

That was predicated by Reality Fan Forum posters, who discovered that the Express Pass wasn’t awarded until the second leg. The forum’s moderator, GeorgiaPeach, pointed out that winning $2 million is likely–or at the very least, it’s likely that the possibility won’t go away early in the race.

That’s because, as Mug Costanza wrote*, “The last two teams to win Leg 1 (Ernie & Cindy, Rachel & Dave) have won the Race. Furthermore, the last time a team won the first leg and failed to make the Final 3 was Season 16 (Jeff & Jordan), and before that, it was Season 12 (Azarea & Hendekea). The team that wins Leg 1 typically finishes the entire Race, even before the Express Pass came into existence.”

This post was edited to add a direct link to, and identify, the original source of the informed speculation.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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