Phil’s shock­ing ad­ven­ture

A well-trav­elled Phil Keoghan has been rocked by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, writes Colin Vick­ery

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

PHIL Keoghan is in a state of shock. The New Zealand­born host of The Amaz­ing Race had just re­turned home to the US from earth­quake-rav­aged Christchurch when news of the Ja­panese earth­quake and tsunami broke.

The tsunami ter­ror was so wide­spread an alert sounded in Santa Mon­ica on the Cal­i­for­nia coast, the other side of the Pa­cific, and Keoghan evac­u­ated with his wife Louise and daugh­ter Elle.

The 43-year-old is still shaken when I talk to him.

‘‘ I woke up to a he­li­copter go­ing over the front of where I live (near the ocean) with a loud­hailer ask­ing ev­ery­body to move back (to higher ground),’’ Keoghan says.

‘‘ I had some­what of a plan in terms of evac­u­at­ing and I got my daugh­ter and my wife and we were out of the house in 15 min­utes.

‘‘ It’s in­ter­est­ing the things you worry about in that mo­ment. When you have a choice be­tween pro­tect­ing each other

‘‘ I’m still try­ing to di­gest the footage I’ve seen from Ja­pan and I don’t know how to de­scribe what I saw,’’ Keoghan says. ‘‘ The de­struc­tion — I can’t com­pre­hend it. It’s of bib­li­cal pro­por­tions.

‘‘ If there is any­thing pos­i­tive to come out of these dis­as­ters, it is the re­solve of the peo­ple — their re­silience and de­ter­mi­na­tion. I’m amazed how, in both places, peo­ple have de­cided, ‘ You can knock over a build­ing but you can’t knock over our spirit’.’’

The cur­rent se­ries of The Amaz­ing Race — the 18th — is ti­tled Un­fin­ished Busi­ness.

In it 11 teams of two, who were in pre­vi­ous se­ries, are given a sec­ond chance to win the $1 mil­lion prize.

Aus­tralia fea­tured in the sec­ond episode with a stop at Manly’s Ocean­world.

Re­turn­ing teams in­clude Zev and Justin from sea­son 15, who were elim­i­nated when they lost their pass­ports.

LaKisha and Jen, from sea­son 14, lost out af­ter a badly timed re­stroom break.

Kent and Vyxsin, from sea­son 12, ran into trou­ble in Tus­cany as they didn’t know how to drive a man­ual car.

‘‘ We said, ‘ OK, you guys have been pitch­ing a lot of ex­cuses. You want an­other chance? We’ll give you an­other chance’,’’ Keoghan says.

‘‘ That means there is a lot of pres­sure on them all.’’

Plan­ning for the 19th se­ries has be­gun but Ja­pan, fac­ing a ra­di­a­tion scare, is off the list and the re­cent up­ris­ings in Tu­nisia and Egypt (fea­tured in se­ries five and six) would seem to rule them out as well.

As re­cent events have shown, the world is a con­stantly chang­ing place. Keoghan is proud The Amaz­ing Race tries to present a bal­anced view of the coun­tries it vis­its.

‘‘ When you see coun­tries on the news, they are of­ten de­picted in a neg­a­tive way be­cause of po­lit­i­cal un­rest, a disas­ter or peo­ple suf­fer­ing,’’ Keoghan says. ‘‘ It’s a very dif­fer­ent rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the world that we are able to show — where peo­ple are lov­ing and there is kind­ness and hu­mour and fun.

‘‘ We show the world off — cel­e­brate the world in a way that is un­usual for net­work prime time tele­vi­sion.’’ The Amaz­ing Race, 7mate, Sun­day, 6.30pm

says host Phil Keoghan.

Try again: Rac­ers get a sec­ond chance in the new se­ries of Amaz­ing Race,

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