The Amazing Race consists of teams of 2 people who have an existing relationship with each other (parent/child, family members, friends, co-workers, married couples, dating/ex-dating etc) who search for clues that will lead them to destinations around the world.
Each leg of the race consists of finding the clues, traveling to the next clue by negotiating taxis, public transport or self-drive. There are also specific tasks that the team members must complete to proceed to the next destination.
At the end of each leg one team will be eliminated. There are exceptions when it is a non-elimination round, but the team that checks in last in a non-elim leg will be penalized.
The team that crosses the finish line first, after racing several tens of thousand miles and more than a dozen legs, receive a prize of US$1 million.
For more detailed glossary and other goodies, check out the TARspeak page.
TAR - stands for The Amazing Race, much easier to type than the whole string.
Detour - is a choice between 2 tasks that both team members have to perform together. There are pros and cons associated with each task and the teams have to decide which task to do. They may change their minds midway through a task but will need to start the other task from the beginning, and they will have lost the time they spent on the first task. There is usually one Detour per leg.
Roadblock - is a task that only one team member may perform. Teams have to decide who takes the task before the actual task begins, the other team member may encourage their team-mate, but may not participate in the task at all. There is usually one Roadblock per race, and individual team members may not perform more than 6 Roadblocks during the race.
Fast Forward (FF) - when a team finds a fast forward, they may choose to take it and skip all remaining tasks in that leg. A team may only use a fast forward once during the race, and only one team may enjoy that FF, so if 2 teams both go for the FF at the same leg, only the first team to arrive will get the benefit. There are only a few FF in the race.
Yield - a team may be Yielded if another team in front of them decides to use it. Yields are placed at certain points along the route, a team can Yield another team by placing a photo of the Yielded team on a marked board, as well as their own photo, so the other team know who their tormemtors are. Yielded teams must cannot proceed with the race until a pre-determined amount of time, as indicated by turning over a small hourglass, has elapsed.
Route-markers - are red and yellow flags placed along the route so the racers know that they have found the correct destination. For example this is placed in front of a building that contains the clue.
Clues - are placed in TAR yellow envelopes in green clueboxes. One member of a team must read the clue out loud and in full within the vicinity of the cluebox before proceeding.
Bunching - an undesirable side-effect of racing, where teams in front have to wait for certain events, for example opening times of museums or flight departure times, and their lead is diminished, or totally eliminated, as other teams arrive.
Pitstop - at the end of each leg, teams are given a chance to rest, eat, sleep and mingle with the other racers. A Pitstop may be 12 or 36 hours. Racers also take the opportunity to plan their strategy for the next leg, purchase travel guides, or generally relax.
Non-elim - are legs in the race that have been pre-determined as non-elimination. This means the last time to check-in still remain in the race, however they have to turn in all their money and will not be given money at the start of the next leg.
Money - racers are not allowed to bring their own money or credit cards. At the beginning of each leg they are given a certain amount of cash, which they need to use for transport, food, guidebooks, entrance fees etc. Money not used up in one leg can be accumulated.
Tickets - teams use the cash they were given to pay for tickets and taxis. The only exception are plane tickets, which they buy using the production crew credit card. Teams must purchase coach class tickets, they cannot buy business or first class. However if the airline is willing to sell higher class tickets for coach prices, they are allowed. Both team members must travel on the same flight in the same class. Team members may only buy one set of ticket for each flight.
Sequesterville - where eliminated teams are imprisoned, erm given a free vacation in an exotic location but not allowed to interact with the outside world, until the end of the race when they are all flown to the finish line to greet the winners.
Joyce & Sheila - Working Moms
Sheila is a child psychologist from Chicago, Illinois. She is married to Ira and they have one daughter. She is widely published and traveled and has a book entitled "My Daughter is Gay, Kinky and Has Run Off to Join a Witch Cult, But It's Not My Fault" that was on the New York Times Non-fiction Best Seller list for 37 weeks.
Joyce and Sheila's children go to the same high school, they entered the race at the urging of their daughters. They believe their combined travel and worldly experience will enable them to overcome their obvious disadvantage of not being the youngest or most physical team.
Lorne & Cordy - Actors
Lorne has been singer since very young, he was in his church choir and once considered auditioning for the Vienna's Boy's Choir. He got through to the Hollywood round of American Idol last season and has won various national karaoke singing competitions.
Cordy is an aspiring actress that has appeared in several daytime dramas and commercials. She is fiercely determined to become famous and to have more serious dramatic parts.
Snyder & Flutie - School Principals
Snyder served in the Vietnam war, rising to the rank of Lieutenant in the Signals Corps of the US Army. He believes in a strong work ethic and obedience throughout a child's education. He has implemented numerous disciplinary measures at his school, which enjoys the lowest truancy rates in the state.
Flutie believes in allowing a child to self-educate, he is the principal of one of the first Montessori public schools in the district. In his spare time, Flutie runs a pig farm.
Xander & Anya - Married Store Owners
Xander used to be a construction foreman, however an accident at work caused him to lose one eye. He is determined that his injury will not be a handicap in life and has won numerous carpentary and woodworking competitions around the country.
Anya worked as an accountant in a Big Four firm before she met Xander. She is the driving force behind their stores and has ambitions to expand their business to a national level.
April & Andrew - Dated Same Guy
April is a waitress studying to be a kindergarten teacher. She has 5 younger siblings, loves children and also works part-time as an entertainer at children's parties.
Andrew graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA with a specialization in Documentary Film-making. He is proud to share his Cincinnati heritage with such luminaries as Doris Day, Jerry Springer and Steven Spielberg.
Darla & Angel - Divorced Parents
Darla is a personal shopper at a prominent department store. She is also an avid cook and often makes richly decorated cakes for parties and functions.
Angel is a partner at a law firm, after a short career in the police force. His serious appearance hides a relentless practical joker and he is a sought after motivational speaker on the self-help circuit.
Buffy & Riley - Olympians
Buffy, currently living in New York City, won a bronze medal in the individual uneven bars and was a member of the silver medal winning team in the team gymnastics event. She is training for the next Olympics in Beijing and hope to win more medals for herself and her country.
Riley, from Waterloo, Iowa, was a member of the world record breaking, gold medal, men's 4x100 medley swimming relay team, an even that had the whole country watching at the edge of their seats. The team members received a roaring reception upon their return to the US. He is going strong in his new career as a sports commentator.
Ben & Glory - Twins
Ben is a second year resident at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, returning to his home city after serving his internship in Washington DC. Apart from volunteering at the EA Poe House, he also coaches little league baseball in his spare time.
Glory is a secretary at the Maryland Transit Administration. She is married to Joel, a doctor, and has a young son. She was a cheerleader and voted most likely to have a large family at high school.
Rupert & Randy - Estranged Father & Son
Rupert is a historian, currently based in New Haven, Connecticut where he teaches at Yale University. He loves research and reading, he has also directed several historical dramas in off-off-off-off Broadway productions.
Randy, who lives in New York City, has inherited his father's genes for the arts, he is a Professional Impersonator and is a frequent participant in conferences and functions, where he dresses up as celebrities. His speciality include Billy Idol and Sherlock Holmes.
Willow & Tara - More than Friends
Willow was educated at MIT, where she received her Master of Science degree. She worked for several prominent dotcom companies in Silicon Valley before deciding to go freelance and work on projects she enjoy. She is also the writer of one of the most read blogs on the internet.
Tara started off as a staff writer at children's magazines before a chance encounter propelled her into the world of animation. She is currently working on several projects and aims to direct and produce her own animated short eventually.
Faith & Robin - Long-time Engaged
Faith is an aerobics instructor and personal trainer. She trains hard everyday and has taken part in both the Boston and New York Marathons.
Robin is a manager at a fast food restaurant. He is also a fitness fanatic and has also taken part at the Boston Marathon.
Adam & Oz - Roadies
Adam is from Glen Falls, New York and attended Michigan State University on a football scholarship until he was forced to retire due to injury. He briefly switched interest to basketball before finding the music bug. He played in many college bands as a drummer, he still plays the drum but nowadays he is a rigger and engineer, good at combining seemingly unconnected machine parts into a workable model.
Oz hails from Roswell, New Mexico, home of aliens and UFOs. He has been writing music since he was a teenager, has been a guitar technician since high school and collects rare lyrics sheets. He once played a young Woody Allen in one of Woody's standup shows.
Shot of Phil Keogan shouting "GO!" and teams of contestants racing across a carpark to retrieve their backpacks.
Shot of teams huddled at computer terminals.
A blonde in her mid-twenties shouting at a brown-haired man with an eye-patch, "You have to decide which airline first, they're in different buildings!"
Shot of a middle-aged man trying to break open a crab claw, then throwing it violently against a nearby wall in frustration.
Shot of an athletic young man jumping from a boat, slipping and falling into the river.
Inaugural Episode of The Amazing Kitten Race, coming soon to a computer near you...