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James Hibberd

'The Amazing Race' and Phil's Bionic Eyebrows

July 15, 2006 8:47 PM

In a terrifically overcrowded conference room, "The Amazing Race" executive producers Bertram Van Munster and Jonathan Littman along with host Phil Keoghan announced the 12 teams who will be racing in the Emmy-winning series' 10th edition.
"Race," which premieres on Sundays at 8p.m. (ET) in the fall, will feature the usual lineup of married, gay or straight dating and father-daughter pairs, but in this installment one team is made up of best friends Bilal Abdul-Mani and Sa'eed Rudolph, who are best friends, Cleveland Brown fans and Muslims. One critic wanted to know if the pair's beards and traditional dress made it more difficult for them to move through the world's airports.

"They were treated very respectfully," Van Munster said, noting that the pair said they felt they would have been stopped more if they had no beards and dressed in jeans.

A question to Koeghan about his signature expressive eyebrows prompted him to tell a story about the wife of "Six Million Dollar Man" Lee Majors, who came up to the "Race" host to tell him he stole his eyebrows from her husband.

While the teams did not venture through war zones, Van Munster said the show schedules the race with little thought to world events.

"We went to Kuwait," he said. "That's 60 miles from the Iraqi border."

Destinations are laid out without consideration of the teams, but Van Munster said he specifically designs the challenges around the travelers' personalities and weaknesses.

"The challenges have a lot to do with the makeup of the teams," he said.


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