Racing around the world is difficult enough but leave to The Amazing Race to make it more challenging. Season 26 will feature six preexisting couples and attempt to play match maker to 10 strangers who meet for the first time and get paired up at the starting line. This new twist is being dubbed as the ultimate blind date and while it sounds like The Amazing Race is turning into a reality dating show, that’s not the case according to host Phil Keoghan.

“I don’t want you to think this is the Family Edition format change that you saw all those years ago. It’s The Amazing Race as you know it. However, for the first time in Amazing Race history, 10 singles are going to meeting at the starting line for the first time and they will be going on the most extreme blind date ever. … You will still see Detours and Roadblocks and Pit Stops and people traveling. We know the format works well. We just mixed up the theme,” Keoghan explained to TV Guide.

Another thing to look forward to this season is the Date Night reward, which will serve as additional motivation for the couples. “Those are not part of the race. It’s not a task; it’s a prize. It’s something they get to enjoy and will be able to share that with fans online,” the host said. 

For a sneak peek at the premiere, check out these two clips which features the announcement of the dreaded U-turn in the first leg, a muddy obstacle course and a challenging task at a samurai sake training temple.

How do you feel about the blind date twist?

The Amazing Race 26 kicks off with a special 90-minute episode on Wednesday at 9:30/8:30c before moving to its regular timeslot on Friday at 8/7c on CBS. 

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Dean Bextor

Staff Writer, BuddyTV