SAN DIEGO — After 21 years and 33 trips around the globe, the Emmy Award-winning and recently nominated THE AMAZING RACE celebrates 400 episodes. In this Zevely Zone, I met a team with a local connection that is hoping to score a touchdown and win a million dollars.
Twelve new teams are taking the journey of a lifetime when host Phil Keoghan kicks off the race in Munich, Germany.
For the first time in THE AMAZING RACE history, the starting line was outside the U.S.A. That is where the teams began their epic race around the world. "My name is Quinton. I am Mattie and we are best friends and former cheerleaders," said Quinton and Mattie as we interviewed them at our CBS 8 studio. Mattie is from Vista. Quinton is from Pasadena. Both were cheerleaders for the LA Rams.
We gave Mattie and Quinton a sneak peek of their trips to Jordan, France, Iceland with some clips sent to us by the show's producers. "Italy, ha, ha, ha," said Quinton with a look in his eye that Mattie returned with a guarded smile. "I would really love you guys to tune into Austria. It's beautiful and there is going to be a lot of drama. A lot of good TV," said Mattie and Quinton.
As professional dancers, Mattie and Quinton, are always synchronized except when they accidentally step on each other's toes. In one of the challenges, contestants chiseled a clue out a block of ice. "I blacked out during that one I am not going to lie. He blacks out a lot during competition. We got there and I was like there's people let's go," said the dynamic duo.
The show also visits the ancient city of Petra, in Jordan, where teams will ride a train and experience a scene reminiscent of the 1963 Oscar-winning film "Lawrence of Arabia," perform a Jordanian folk dance and learn the Arabic alphabet. Also, for the first time in THE AMAZING RACE history, there will be no non-elimination legs.
The cheerleaders followed this game plan. "We are going to laugh our way through this. We are going to have a good time. Yes, the money is great but it's really about the experience and trying to soak it all in," said Mattie and Quinton.
Following their time on the show, the best friends added this, "You know when you do good, everything is great, but when you are stressed it's hard to take it all in, we'll just leave it at that."
America's favorite cheerleaders say the race is 'Amazing' because you never see the highs and lows coming. "If you don't cry on The Amazing Race, did you really run the race? Did you do it right?" said Mattie and Quinton. They could not tell us if they won a million dollars, but they did tell us this. "I have gray hairs from it," said Quinton. Mattie then added, "I don't know what he's talking about I had a blast and a half."
Win or lose, these best friends will always have something to cheer about. "Quinton and Mattie sitting in a cabbie, it's a pretty big deal, we're going to win a meal so get up out of our face," the two chanted as they gave us a cheer.
With one team being eliminated at the end of every leg, it will be one of the most grueling races in the show's history and teams will be in for a surprise when host Phil Keoghan teases a game-changing element in the first leg of the race. Other locations that teams will travel to include Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Iceland and Nashville, where the first team to cross the final finish line will be crowned the winner of THE AMAZING RACE and the $1 million prize.
Quinton was one of the first two male cheerleaders in the NFL. He and Mattie hope to compete in other reality shows. You can watch THE AMAZING RACE premiere tonight on CBS 8 at 10 pm.
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