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'The Amazing Race' set to span four continents with all-star season

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On Jan. 27, TV By the Numbers revealed that the new season of “The Amazing Race” premieres on Feb. 23 with a returning cast of all-star teams. In the first 2014 season, eleven teams will sprint through four continents and nine countries (spanning more than 35,000 miles) to try to win the $1 million prize. A new twist for season 24 is that one of the eleven teams won’t even make it to the starting line, meaning a total of 20 all-stars (10 teams) will vie for the cash.

Highlights of the new season of “The Amazing Race” include a mission high above the city of Guangzhou in China, rappelling down the roaring rapids of the Kionsom Waterfall in Malaysia, fighting with gladiators in Rome, and fueling up vehicles in Sri Lanka. Emmy Award-winning host, Phil Keoghan returns to oversee the teams’ trials and tribulations.

Below are the returning all-star teams for the 24th season of “The Amazing Race” in 2014.

1. Rachel Rielly (30) and Brendon Villegas (33)
Rachel is a TV personality and Brendon is a PhD student at UCLA. Both live in Los Angeles. According to “People” magazine, both are excited about their second trip around the world. During their first stint, Rachel and Brendon were referred to as Team “Brenchel.” The married couple finished in third place after bickering constantly throughout season 20.

2. Leo Temory (27) and Jamal Zadran (26)
When they competed last season, the cousins from California finished in 4th place. The “Afghanimals” are hoping to move up in rank this time around, maybe even winning it all.

3. Natalie Anderson (27) and Nadiya Anderson (27)
The twin sisters, known as the “Twinnies,” displayed an exuberant amount of energy when they competed during season 21, but they finished in fourth place. Nadiya is a Crossfit instructor and Natalie is a student. Both live in Edgewater, NJ.

4. Cord McCoy (33) and Jet McCoy (34)
These down home brothers from Oklahoma survived a non-elimination, competed in a speed bump and placed first in a leg following a last place finish. Simply known to fans as “The Cowboys,” they placed 2nd and 6th during their first two tries on "The Amazing Race." Is their third time a charm?

5. Nate “Big Easy” Lofton (32) and Herbert “Flight Time” Lang (37)
The Globetrotters are back for a third helping of “The Amazing Race.” The professional basketball players finished 4th in season 15 and 2nd in season 18. They’re strong players who are also likeable (like the Cowboys), so they should fare very well.

6. Maggie O’Donnell (56) and Luke Adams (28)
This mother and son team has already run two races around the world. In season 14, they finished in 2nd place, but only in 8th place during season 18. Because Luke was born deaf, this team communicates through sign language. They hope to show viewers that anything is possible.

7. Joseph “Joey” Graceffa (22) and Meghan Caramena (26)
These best friends and YouTube hosts from Los Angeles finished in 5th place during season 22 after struggling in a U-Turn and failing to stay ahead of their alliance. They’re young, energetic and ready to play “The Amazing Race” for a second time.

8. William “Bopper” Minton (43) and Mark Jackson (47)
These best friends competed during season 20 and finished in 5th place. They’re ready to set their sights on the $1 million prize, especially now that they’re unemployed.

9. Jennifer Wayne (31) and Caroline Cutbirth (31)
The country charmers and band mates finished in 4th place during season 22. In 2014, they’ll leave their band, Stealing Angels, behind in order to compete on another season of “The Amazing Race.”

10. David O’Leary (59) and Connor O’Leary (22)
This father and son team touched fans with their dual cancer survival stories. In season 22, they were unable to finish the race when David ruptured his Achilles tendon and tore his calf muscle. They’re back to finish and they mean business this time around.

11. John Erck (28) and Jessica Holt (27)
These engaged lovebirds formed the only team with an Express Pass in their possession to be eliminated. After their foolhardy mistake, John and Jess ready for redemption after finishing in 9th place during season 22.

“The Amazing Race” premieres at 8 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 23 on CBS. Last season dating duo Jason Case and Amy Diaz won and claimed the $1 million prize. The show has won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program on nine separate occasions.

To see the new cast, be sure to check out the video above.

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