The Amazing Race 29 completed filming this past weekend in Chicago, and for the first time in the show’s history, includes 11 teams of complete strangers. Those teams of two were formed by schoolyard pick, with the order of selection determined by TAR29’s first challenge, which took place in downtown Los Angeles.
As reality blurred first reported back in February, the show cast individuals to be paired with strangers—but not in romantic, blind-date configurations like on season 26. Only five of the 11 teams that seasons were strangers, so all pairs of strangers represents a first in the show’s history.
The 11 teams are mostly mixed-sex teams, and were formed in Grand Hope Park in downtown LA (watch the contestants clapping and cheering for a close-up). They had to first find a flag at the F&M Gallery, a store that sells luggage that’s about 1.7 miles away from the park (watch).
The first back to the park had first pick, and so on down the line, until 11 people had chosen partners.
TAR29’s timeline, locations, and other spoilers
Information about the schoolyard pick and first challenge comes from the dedicated folks at Reality Fan Forum. Their detailed research and tracking has resulted in a summary post listing the teams, destinations, challenges, and dates that includes elimination and challenge spoilers.
Teams traveled from Los Angeles to Panama, and then on to countries including Brazil, Tanzania, Norway, Italy, Greece, and Vietnam.
As usual, they followed the teams and posted real-time sightings and information—though their info is sometimes delayed for their own self-defined “security,” which is an amusing distinction considering so much of their information comes from real-time reports on social media and from people spotting the teams in real life.