Arts & Leisure

Ready to kick off

Posted on October 23, 2012

THE PHILIPPINE version of the Emmy award-winning American reality TV show The Amazing Race is set to kick off its first season next Monday night, with 11 teams vying to be the first to hit finish line and win the P2-million prize.

Hosted by actor Derek Ramsay, The Amazing Race Philippines will air weeknights at 9 p.m., and Saturdays at 9:30 p.m. starting Oct. 29 on Pangilinan-led TV5.

Perci M. Intalan, TV5 head for entertainment and creative services, said airing The Amazing Race Philippines nightly instead of the once-a-week format in the US is one of the biggest adjustments to adapt to the preferences of local audiences.

"Once again, TV5 is out to prove that there is more to Philippine primetime television than soap operas," Mr. Intalan told reporters last Thursday.

"This show promises to provide real-life drama to audiences every night," he added.

To ensure the quality of the production, TV5 has teamed up with ActiveTV to co-produce the show. ActiveTV is the same Australian production company that handled the four seasons of the Asian version of The Amazing Race aired on cable channel AXN Asia since 2006.

"The high-production values of The Amazing Race Philippines is the collaboration of TV5’s passion for excellent Filipino programming and ActiveTV’s expertise," Mr. Intalan said.

Mr. Ramsay said they shot the show around the country between June and July under strict confidentiality rules.

He said he signed a multi-million peso non-disclosure agreement to ensure that he would not tell who the winner of the race is before the season finale in January next year.

"But if there is anything that I can take away from this experience, it is that I now know firsthand what the teams had to do to win the P2 million," Mr. Ramsay told reporters.

"There were also times while filming that I could not help but stop and appreciate just how amazing the Philippines is," he added.

The 11 teams are: football players Armand and Anton del Rosario; TV stars LJ Moreno and CJ Jarabata; housewives from Alabang Pam Spella and Vanessa Ishitani; brothers-in-law Dayal Chowdary, Jr. and Fausto Reyes; gym buddies Marc Dungo and Kat Tan; best friends Jervi Lisaba and Saida Diola; best friends Sheena Vera Cruz and Gee "Speedy" Canlas; father-and-son tandem Ed and Angel Movido; best friends Boom Vergara and Cheng Enrique; bombshells Dani Castaño and Mish Van Ruyven; and dating couple Crystel Castro and Mykey Lacson.

The Amazing Race is a competition which features teams of two people racing around the world to do a variety of tasks and get to the finish line first.

The original version of the show has aired in the US since 2001, and has eared 13 Emmy Awards including every award from 2003 to 2012 for Outstanding Reality Competition Program except in 2010 when the show Top Chef won.

Aside from the Asian version, The Amazing Race has versions in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Israel, Norway, Ukraine, and Vietnam. -- Jeffrey O. Valisno