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‘Amazing Race’ Producer on ‘Blodie’ Farewell Scene (Exclusive)

An eliminated contestant reappears, the social media stars finally drive in a foreign country, and is the term ”Phil-liminated“ made up? Co-creator Elise Doganieri makes sense of the latest episode

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you have not yet watched Friday’s episode of “The Amazing Race” in Dubai.)

“The Amazing Race” Season 28 features stars from across social media including Tyler Oakley, “Magic Viner” Zach King and Vine teen heartthrob Cole LaBrant globe-trotting around the world for the CBS reality competition.

And as the season speeds along at a rapid pace, co-creator and co-executive producer Elise Doganieri answers TheWrap’s questions about the most recent episode.

TheWrap: Blair was eliminated last week, but we saw her in scene in this episode saying goodbye to potential showmance person of interest Brodie. How long after the “Phil-limination” in Georgia did that brief “Blodie” goodbye take place? (Also, do you and your team use the term “Phil-limination” in your parlance, or is that a creature of the fan community?)

Elise Doganieri:
The brief Blodie goodbye happened minutes after Tyler and Korey and Scott and Blair left after that dramatic finish. And yes, I don’t believe we’ve ever shown a non-flashback scene with an eliminated contestant but we thought viewers would be interested in seeing their goodbye. Honestly, we were interested in seeing their goodbye! As for “Phil-liminated,” it’s not a term our team uses regularly but we love that the fans came up with it!

This “Human on Bike vs. Camel Race” challenge had it all, players were anchored to the ground in exhaustion. How long have you had this in your back pocket and was it the creative linchpin of the Dubai stop?
This idea was all Bertram [van Munster, co-creator and executive producer]. During his scouting of Dubai, he discovered that cycling is a growing sport and activity there. There’s even a bike shop in the middle of the desert. Of course, camel racing is a centuries-old tradition so it was the perfect challenge: new vs. old, man vs. beast. We all knew this would an unforgettable “Race” moment. Who else can say they raced against camels in Dubai?

This week, you showed a flashback to the fall 2009 season where Mika and Canaan had an epic meltdown at this same waterpark in Dubai. The on-screen contestants this season referenced the past season in the show in a delicious moment for longtime fans. What is the value of playing this angle?
We love showing flashbacks to earlier seasons when it makes sense. It’s a nice shoutout for longtime viewers and even better when the racers (like Korey and Matt) are superfans themselves and remember these moments. And, in the case of Mika and the waterslide, some “Race” moments are too epic and memorable to ignore.

We hadn’t seen our social media stars drive a car until now. The first time Cole and Sheri have to navigate, it ends up being determinative for them. As a producer, what are you seeking by only selectively putting them in the driver’s seat on occasion?
“The Amazing race” is designed to test an incredibly wide range of skills over the course of 12 legs. Driving and navigating through foreign countries is one of those we like to incorporate where we can because it always proves difficult and frustrating for teams. After this leg in Dubai, most of the teams seemed much happier taking their chances with taxi drivers than having to drive themselves.

“The Amazing Race” airs on Fridays at 8/7c on CBS.

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