(CNN)After the longest pit halt successful "Amazing Race" history, the amusement is back.
"The Amazing Race" had completed filming 3 episodes of a caller play erstwhile the satellite came to a halt implicit coronavirus concerns successful March 2020.
It took much than a twelvemonth and a fractional for the show's producers and the network, CBS, to marque information protocols and arrangements to decorativeness what they started successful the look of unprecedented circumstances.
But similar the contestants who contention astir the satellite for a accidental to triumph $1 million, "The Amazing Race" producers were up for the challenge.
Below, big Phil Keoghan opens up beneath astir however they did it and what it means to contention astir the satellite aft a world-changing event.
This interrogation has been edited for clarity and condensed.
CNN: After a precise agelong interruption for some fans and the contestants, however overmuch of a alleviation was it to beryllium capable to bring 'The Amazing Race' back?
PHIL KEOGHAN: "It was rather affectional coming back. It was affectional suspending the contention due to the fact that of the disappointment that I could spot successful the eyes of the cast, knowing the sacrifices that they had each made to beryllium there. And truthful to person to archer them, 'Look, I'm truly sorry. We've heard astir this microorganism called Covid-19 and due to the fact that of your information and due to the fact that it's our fig 1 priority, we're going to beryllium suspending the race.' It was heartbreaking. And past I ne'er predicted that it would instrumentality arsenic agelong arsenic it did to restart. No 1 truly knew what was going to happen, of course. It's easy, successful hindsight, to say, 'Well, yeah, of course, we had to halt the race.' At the time, you could recognize that determination were immoderate uncertainty with immoderate formed members wondering, 'Was this, is this perfectly necessary?' So determination were a batch of emotions, and we felt that we were doing the close thing.
So coming backmost and seeing everybody's faces again, it felt similar it was yesterday, but past it besides felt surreal. I, for one, was besides feeling a small anxious due to the fact that [I wanted to] get done this and get everybody done the contention and get everybody home. The thought that we would person to suspend the contention a 2nd clip was surely connected my mind. I felt precise assured that we could bash it successfully, but it was decidedly successful the backmost of my mind, like, 'Oh my God, please, let's get this done right.' It was besides rather heartfelt conscionable proceeding everybody's stories — proceeding astir relatives that had been mislaid and jobs that had been mislaid and however their lives had changed. Nobody's beingness is the aforesaid again. It was mixed emotions, for sure."
Was determination ever a constituent during that extended interruption that you thought the amusement wouldn't beryllium capable to travel backmost period?
"No, I ne'er felt similar we wouldn't beryllium capable to travel back. Having produced 'Tough As Nails,' 1 of the archetypal shows to spell backmost into accumulation aft the pandemic unopen everything down, six months aft the pandemic hit, we went done each of the challenges of bringing a accumulation backmost and putting a instrumentality to enactment argumentation backmost together. We were capable to bash it successfully. So I knew we'd beryllium capable to bash it with 'Race,' but of course, with 'Race,' there's the added situation of not conscionable doing it successful 1 location, it's the modulation from 1 determination to the other. That's wherever the hazard origin is.
A batch of fans person said, during that time, 'Well, wherefore didn't you conscionable bash 'The Amazing Race' successful America? Do it without going overseas.' But, again, it doesn't substance whether you're traveling 500 miles oregon 5,000 miles, it's the proscription of moving from 1 harmless situation to different harmless environment. And, rather frankly, the hazard successful America and a batch of states was higher than the hazard successful a batch of countries astir the world. In putting a caller people together, portion of the information was what countries person a little hazard and wherever tin we instrumentality radical wherever determination is simply a little risk. Those are each cardinal factors. I felt precise assured lasting determination that we were gonna beryllium capable to propulsion it off."
I'm amazed determination were calls to bash it successful America lone since 'The Amazing Race' is truthful overmuch astir the appreciation of different cultures and different places. Because of this pandemic and the quality to determination freely being taken distant truthful suddenly, bash you consciousness a greater appreciation for what this amusement was doing from the start? How did it consciousness benignant of getting backmost into that satellite and knowing, 'We're going to get a accidental to amusement radical things again that they haven't seen successful 2 years?'
"Well, I deliberation your question is precise perceptive due to the fact that I deliberation we've go much alert of what it means to beryllium planetary done this pandemic. Because what we recognize is that we are each surviving connected this stone that's floating done abstraction and thing similar Covid tin impact each corners of the Earth. And we are each breathing the aforesaid air. We're each surviving successful the aforesaid atmosphere. Everything that we bash affects everybody other everyplace connected the planet. And surely Covid did. So I consciousness similar successful a way, our amusement is much applicable present successful 2021/22 than it was adjacent erstwhile we started the race."
I cognize 1 of the post-Covid changes progressive chartering a level for production. But successful presumption of enactment with the locals, were determination protocols that enabled the racers to bash that safely oregon were y'all not allowed to interact with the locals arsenic much?
"Yeah, we inactive were capable to. I deliberation there's nary enigma to the mode that we followed protocol. It's a small spot similar the mode that we interact successful the world. Now, you don't needfully shingle the manus of a alien oregon hug strangers. I mean, that's wherefore it's truthful benignant of jarring to spot the archetypal fewer episodes, due to the fact that it's the Covid-free world, and past you juxtapose that with this different world. I deliberation radical are going to spot that you tin inactive beryllium successful nationalist places and person harmless distancing. But we're besides utilized to present — adjustments that we've each had to make.
We inactive gather, but we cognize that it's safer to stitchery extracurricular than it is to stitchery inside. What you won't spot is you're not gonna spot 'Amazing Race'-ers crowded unneurotic with thousands of radical successful a confined space. We've had that earlier wherever radical person been moving successful the streets of, say, India, and there's been an elephant procession. I retrieve that 1 peculiar concern connected 'Race.' You're not gonna spot that because, again, it is successful an uncontrolled environment. But I deliberation for the astir part, radical volition recognize it's the 'Race' that they've travel to emotion with a fewer adjustments that we've each been making."
Well, since you got to unrecorded that backstage pitchy beingness with the cast, I've been thinking: Do you deliberation immoderate similar contention loyalists are gonna accidental these contestants had it excessively easy? They didn't person to woody with the level tickets and the accent of taxis and that benignant of thing. At the extremity of it all, are these going to beryllium legit winners oregon are fans going to enactment an asterisk connected them?
"Oh, no, nary it'll beryllium legit. But also, you person to realize, um, there's pros and cons to both, right? In a regular race, you've got much entree to spell into places and to interact with radical to get much information. But the playing tract is even. Driving a instrumentality shift, if you don't cognize however to thrust a instrumentality shift, it is inactive challenging for people. We did person immoderate nationalist transportation. We conscionable knew that the drivers were Covid-free. There's inactive hustling for vehicles. You can't get escaped of the accent of learning however to work a representation and getting lost. There's plentifulness of that. So, no, determination won't beryllium immoderate asterisks. It's the contention arsenic we cognize it and we emotion it. You're gonna spot that it's a antithetic world, the satellite that we each know, truthful it's not a surprise. It's conscionable a antithetic world."
"The Amazing Race" premieres Jan. 5 connected CBS.