The Amazing Race Australia in Australia? Eureka EP on unique season

• Part 1 of Mediaweek’s Amazing Race Feature. Tomorrow 10’s Cathy Scott 

The Amazing Race Australia will kick-off its second season when it premieres on Monday, 1 February at 7.30 pm on 10 and 10 Play.

This season has a special twist to it with it taking place entirely down under due to Covid restrictions.

Mediaweek spoke with Eureka Productions head of entertainment Sophia Mogford about bringing together the most difficult The Amazing Race Australia to date.

See More:
• How 10 made the most of its own backyard on the Amazing Race Australia

Racing during Covid

Mogford said that while this race presented more challenges than a normal season, it presented a special opportunity to film in our own backyard.

“The extra layer of joy that we dealt with was doing it during Covid which meant that right up until the second week on the road we were still reacting to border closures.

“It was an interesting experience and was like nothing else we had done before. Everyone knew that Australia was amazing and could deliver every possible landscape and adventure under the sun but in this case, it did it in spades.

Amazing Race Australia host Beau Ryan

And while the production team was thrown a lot of curveballs Mogford admits that they also got lucky with being able to film more episodes than they expected.

“A couple of late border changes like Tasmania meant we could go to more places and were able to film a lot of episodes.”

Making the most of a different season

The teams at Eureka and 10 both wanted to make the most of the rare opportunity that they got to do a different type of race.

The team also wanted to take this opportunity to embrace Australian culture and to showcase the country.

“Over the last few years people have gone overseas for their adventures, and it enabled us to shine a spotlight on Australia and look for places and people that were so exotic and unusual.”

“When you travel internationally you tend to parachute in and only see the culture in that area, where in Australia we had to look, but we didn’t have to look far to find the most amazing experiences and people.”

“We were able to have more fun with Australia and we were able to lean into things like travelling by tinnie which is a touchstone for Australian culture which I think people will find really fun.

When asked if the gameplay of the race would be affected Mogford said that the change gave them the opportunity to delve deeper into that element of the show.

“We were able to explore this vast country and put a few more twists and turns into gameplay than we would be able to do if we were overseas. The added gameplay affects the alliances and decision making between the teams in a way we haven’t seen before and is exciting to watch.”

Lessons from season one

Season one of The Amazing Race Australia had a short turnaround time between announcing the show and airing its first episode and Mogford said that while there was more pre-production time that did not make it any easier.

“It was much harder to make than season one, but on the other hand, it was more fulfilling than any other episode we made last year. This was due to being so nimble and having to deal with amazing Aussies that helped us find the route that we needed to take.”

Biggest surprise making The Amazing Race

This season takes contestants all over Australia including urban areas, far north Queensland, Tasmania, and the remote outback, and Mogford says that this shows the diversity of Australia.

“I have lived here for 17 years and I would say most of the production staff who were born and bred Australians were as surprised as I was at the people and places that we found.

“In South Australia, we went from sea lions to gospel music in one fell swoop, it is so diverse.

“In inner-city Adelaide, there was gospel choir singing in Swahili and you think we would have done that in Africa but it was the middle of Adelaide.”

Takeaways from Amazing Race Australia

When asked what she thinks viewers should take from the show Mogford said inspiration.

“The patience it takes to reach those out of reach places or talk to people you meet at a local shop or seek out local music or adrenaline is worth it. It might take a long time to scratch below the surface in Australia, but it pays off.”

Top Photo: Network 10’s Cathie Scott and Eureka’s Sophia Mogford

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