By Julie Keller
It's all in the family for The Amazing Race.
CBS has revealed the lineup of contestants for The Amazing Race: Family Edition, the latest incarnation of the two-time Emmy winning reality competition. This year, 10 four-member clans will trek around the world in a battle for $1 million. In the past, friends, lovers, spouses and/or coworkers have paired up, for better or worse, on two-person teams.
As they race around the globe, the four-person family teams will be pitted against each other in a series of mental and physical challenges, presumably testing the bonds of sibling-hood, parent-hood, couple-hood, in-law-hood step-family-hood.
"Anytime you put a family of four together, you get interesting dynamics. It's a pretty humorous and explosive mix," executive producer Bertram van Munster tells USA Today.
Also new this year is the addition of younger competitors. This change meant some adjustments to the grueling Amazing Race schedule. First, there are fewer non-elimination episodes, and the teams only traveled about 30,000 miles total, less than half the 72,000 miles logged by contestants in season six. Less crowded competition sites were also chosen in deference to the kids.
Still, producers see the addition of children as a possible plus for the teams.
"Kids have major advantages just by size," says van Munster. "They can climb through something with more agility, and they're very fast in a crowd."
Plus, they're also, well, childish, so amusing playground antics are likely to ensue. Nine-year-old Carissa Gaghan from Glastonbury, Connecticut, threw down the gauntlet to on Tuesday's The Early Show, which introduced the competitors. "Either you'll be a zero or you'll be a hero," she told her fellow racers.
The family gimmick hopes to build on the show's record ratings last season. Fueled by the antics of Survivor couple Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich, the seventh installment of The Amazing Race averaged 12.5 million viewers a week. The show could also win its third straight Emmy in the Reality Competition category at next month's awards.
Here's a rundown of the teams:
- Godlewski sisters from Des Plaines, Illinois: Michelle (42), Sharon (39), Christine (37) and Tricia (26)
- Weaver family from Ormond Beach, Florida: widow Linda (46) and her three children, Rebecca (19), Rachel (16) and Rolly (14)
- Gaghan family from Glastonbury, Connecticut: Bill (40), Tammy (42), Billy (12) and Carissa (9)
- Black famaily from Woodbridge, Virginia: Reggie (42), Kim (40), Kenneth (11) and Austin (8)
- Linz siblings from Cincinnati: Nick (24), Alex (22), Megan (21) and Tommy (19)
- Rogers family of Shreveport, Louisiana: Denny (46), Renee (42), Brittney (22) and Brock (19)
- Schroeder family from New Orleans: Mark (40), stepmom Char (39) and daughters Stassi (16) and Hunter (14)
- Bransen Family from Park Ridge, Illinois: dad Walter (51) and daughters Elizabeth (25), Lauren (22) and Lindsay (20)
- Aiello family from Mansfield, Massachusetts: dad Tony (57) and sons-in-law Kevin (31), Matt ( 31) and David (26)
- Paolo family of Carmel, New York: Tony (52), Marion (52), DJ (24) and Brian (16)
Hosted again by Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race: Family Edition kicks off with a two-hour premiere Sept. 27 at 9 p.m.