It all starts in Miami where The Amazing Race kicks off its third season with new teams of travelers. There help introduce the starting lineups is "Race" host Phil Keoghan, who is also reporting for The Early Show.
"It's the moment of truth for the 12 teams behind me," says Keoghan. "They're about to ship off on The Amazing Race - 30 frantic days around the world for a $1 million prize. They have no idea where they're going, how they're going to get there and no idea how this may change their relationships forever."
Once again, The Amazing Race has a "boatload" of interesting characters with even more interesting relationships. The teams are:
- Dennis and Andrew - a Southern Baptist with an openly gay son.
- Derek and Drew or is it Drew and Derek? – They are identical twins and male models.
- Teri and Ian have been married for 21 years. He's a former cop with the gruff demeanor of Gene Hackman in the French Connection.
- Ken and Gerard are mismatched brothers. One's a Rush-Limbaugh-Republican, the other's loudly Liberal.
- Squabbling siblings Tramel and Talicia couldn't even make it through the pre-race interview, much less a transcontinental plane ride.
"A lot of our strategy is in our preparation," says Tramel.
"No, no, no, no, no, no…a lot of our strategy is in MY preparation. I went the extra mile, he's lazybones and slept to the last minute," adds Talicia.
- Policeman Andre and Firefighter Damon are best friends from southern California.
- Gina and Sylvia are proud soccer moms from South Carolina.
- Heather and Eve are recent graduates of Harvard Law School. They'll do what it takes to forge an advantage.
"Hopefully, the public perception of us will be two very competent, strong; spontaneous, fun women, but we could come off as bitchy, rude and loud," they say.
- Michael and Kathy will put their long-distance love affair to the test.
- Flo and Zach are college pals, with a hint of sexual tension.
- Aaron and Arianne are the race's "Will And Grace."
"We have a tendency to get very theatrical. P-s-y-c-h-e-d, psyched is what we want to be!" Aaron and Arianne cheer for the camera adding, "People might find it obnoxious, other teams might be 100 percent completely annoyed, but I'm not here to make them happy."
- Dating couple Jill and John Vito will be racing with special purpose. Her brother, who was also John Vito's best friend, died in the World Trade Center attack.
"I feel we're a team of three, and everyone else is a team of two. I know we wouldn't have made it this far without him, and I really feel he's going to help us along the way," says Vito.
"It promises to be very interesting, every step of the way and these 24 people take that very first step tonight," says Keoghan. "They'll be off on an unforgettable race around the planet, filled with exotic locations, exciting challenges, and sometimes sticky situations. We hope you'll come along for the ride."
The Amazing Race gets into gear at 9 p.m.E/T on CBS. Meet the eliminated teams each Thursday on The Early Show, and watch for Keoghan's occasional reports from the road. Next week, he'll be scuba diving at one of the longest underwater caves in the world.