Though CBS usually keeps the cast of popular reality show The Amazing Race quiet until weeks before the season premiere, the network bucked tradition and leaked the names of the season 25 cast as they took off from the starting line in Times Square, New York.
Teams officially began their race around the world for $1 million at 3 a.m. on May 31, and fans were made aware of the starting line location in advance, and were invited to watch the teams start their journey. As a result, the official names of those on the cast list have been revealed, and in a mark of great television, some previously well-known names will feature on the new season.
The biggest name for season 25 is Bethany Hamilton, the famous pro-surfer who lost her arm after being attacked by a shark. Her story spawned a book, and eventually, a movie about her struggle, called Soul Surfer.
Also competing are former competitors from Survivor, another CBS program. Whitney Duncan and Keith Tollefson, who met on Survivor: South Pacific, are an engaged couple who are now competing.
The official cast list for season 25 is:
1. Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks: married surfers from Princeville, Hawaii
2. Kym Perfetto and Alli Forsythe: urban bike racers from Brooklyn, N.Y.
3. Amy Dejong and Maya Warren: food scientists from Madison, Wisc.
4. Lisa and Michelle Thomson: Realtor sisters from Miami, Fla.
5. Michael Ward and Scott Strazzullo: firefighters from Boston, Mass.
6. Brooke Adams and Robbie E. Strauss: dating pro wrestlers from Houston, Texas , and Woodbridge, N.J.
7. Tim Tsao and Te Jay McGrath: College sweethearts from Pasadena, Calif.
8. Isabelle Du and Dennis Hour: model and accountant from Tustin, Calif.
9. Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan: engaged couple from Nashville, Tenn.
10. Misti and Jim Raman: married dentists from Columbia, S.C.
11. Shelley and Nici Porter: mother/daughter from Detroit, Mich.
The season will also feature a new twist in the game, according to Reality Blurred.
The new twist, which was revealed at the starting line, will see teams competing for a new coveted prize if they come in first on the first leg. In the past few seasons, teams would win two express passes, one of which they would need to give to someone else. The Express Pass would allow teams to skip over a difficult task and continue racing.
Now, whichever team finishes first will receive a new immunity pass, which they can use if they arrive in last place on a later elimination leg. If they present the pass to host Phil Keoghan at the check-in mat, they will no longer be eliminated and can stick around for the next leg of the competition.
The Amazing Race will return to CBS this fall, Fridays at 8 p.m.