Season 32 concluded on December 16, 2020, so it’s been over a year since the show has aired on CBS. Production for season 33 began in 2020 but was halted due to COVID-19. Filming eventually resumed in 2021. “The Amazing Race” executive producer Elise Doganeri told Variety that they had to think outside the box to resume production of such a global show safely during an ongoing pandemic. They introduced a 757 jet to bring contestants from one location to the next so they didn’t need to navigate crowded airports.
“It actually opened up a whole new world for us of how to do this in a very different way, but still have the same feel and energy,” Doganieri told the outlet. “It created a close race every single time that plane landed in the next city…I think you’re going really like the way the show plays out with this plane.”
Let’s meet “The Amazing Race” season 33 teams.
‘The Amazing Race’ Season 33 Cast
From Martinsville, New Jersey, married couple Akbar Cook Sr. (45) and Sheridan Cook (44) are both educators. They have been married for 17 years.
In a promotional video, Sheridan (Sheri) says that she and Akbar met when they were both division one basketball players in college. They have three children together. As the principal of Newark West Side High School, Akbar started the “Lights On Program,” keeping the school open from 6 pm to 11 pm to decrease crime in the community. “Since we did that, we haven’t lost any more kids to gun violence,” Akbar said.
Anthony Sadler (29) and Spencer Stone (29) from Sacramento, California have been friends since childhood. They are both public speakers. In a promotional video for the show, Anthony and Spencer recounted the time they helped stop a terrorist attack while on a trip together.
In 2015, the friends were on a train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris when a terrorist with ties to ISIS came onboard. According to the BBC, the terrorist attempted to open fire on the train with a Kalashnikov rifle. Spencer ran at the gunman and managed to restrain him with the assistance of two other passengers.
Father-daughter duo Arun Kumar (56) and Natalia Kumar (28) have been watching “The Amazing Race” for twenty years and are self-proclaimed superfans. In a promo video, Natalia revealed that she was getting married in June. The video was filmed in 2020, so Natalia has since gotten married. She postponed the wedding to May 2021, most likely due to COVID-19.
“Sorry to my fiance, gotta go travel the world with my dad,” Natalia jokes in the promo video.
Ray Gantt (25) and Caro Viehweg (23) are a couple, but they didn’t meet at a bar or on a dating app. They found each other when they were both contestants on another CBS reality show — “Love Island.”
Competing on the show provided a good opportunity to be together for Los Angeles-based Caro and New Jersey-based Ray. In a promotional video, Caro revealed that Ray promised he would move to L.A. if they win “The Amazing Race.”
Sam (39) and Connie Greiner (37) are a married couple from Charlotte, North Carolina. The Greiners have three biological children and another that came into their lives unexpectedly.
Sam is a teacher and a high school football coach. “One of his kids, he’s like, ‘I’m gonna bring him home for dinner one night’ and he’s never left ever since,’” Connie explained in a promotional video.
Penn Holderness (47) and Kim Holderness (45) are internet personalities from Raleigh, North Carolina. The married couple used to be news anchors but grew tired of the exhausting schedule and decided to become video creators full-time. Their family YouTube channel has 699,000 subscribers. They also have a family podcast.
In a promo video, Kim revealed that it was their daughter, Lola, who really convinced them to go on “The Amazing Race.”
37-year-old twins Marissa (Lala) and Marianela (Lulu) Gonzalez are both radio personalities for iHeart Radio.
In a promotional video, they described themselves as “very competitive” and stated that their ability to speak Spanish could give them an advantage in the competition.
Armonde “Moe” Badger (42) and Michael Norwood (36) are singing police officers from Buffalo, New York. Yes, you read that right. The friends went viral when videos of them singing in uniform gained attention. Moe and Michael even appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
In a promo video, Armonde revealed that he lost 50 pounds in preparation for the show.
Raquel Moore (31) of Chicago and Cayla Platt (30) of Gulf Breeze, Florida met during flight attendant training.
In a promo video, Raquel and Cayla said they plan to use the fact that other contestants might underestimate them to their advantage.
Dusty Harris (38) and Ryan Ferguson (37) are best friends from Columbia, Missouri. Dusty is a sales manager and Ryan is a pilot trainer. When Ryan was 19-years-old, he was wrongfully convicted for the murder of newspaper sports editor Kent Heitholt and spent ten years in prison.
In 2017, Ryan was awarded $10 million in psychological damages for the ten years he spent behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
Married couple Taylor Green-Jones (38) and Isaiah Green-Jones (31) met on Facebook in 2012. Taylor is a data analyst and Isaiah is a therapist. When they got married in 2019, their choreographed wedding dance went viral.
“The Amazing Race” premieres Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 8 p.m. Eastern time on CBS.