The new season of "The Amazing Race" airs Sunday, and it's a dream come true for fans. For a couple of reasons.
First, TV's best reality-competition show will be in high definition for the first time. And it's about time, given that part of the show's appeal is the scenery.
And, second, because fans already know the contestants.
"The Amazing Race" format is simple. Eleven two-person teams race from one country to another, overcoming obstacles, figuring out clues and dealing with everything from cabbies who get lost to losing their cool with each other.
There's nothing like the pressure of trying to win a million bucks to make people's true natures come out.
The fun for viewers is not just seeing the sights, but rooting for and against various teams.
It usually takes a few episodes to get to know the contestants, and to decide whom you like and whom you don't.
Not this time. At least not if you've watched Seasons 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17.
What all these returning contestants have in common is that they made some mistake that knocked them out of the game. Here's who's back to try again:
Jet and Cord McCoy • Brothers who placed second in Season 16. Absolutely loved the cowboys! Wish they'd won the first time.
Margie and Luke Adams • Mother and deaf son who placed third in Season 14. Loved them! They're tougher than you'd think.
Mel and Mike White • Father and son who placed sixth in Season 14. They're both funny, patient and gay. Mike's a filmmaker.
Zev Glassenberg and Justin Kanew • Friends who placed ninth in Season 15. Zev's autism and Justin's patience made them a popular team.
Herb "Flight Time" Lang and Nate "Big Easy" Lofton • Harlem Globetrotters who placed fourth in Season 14. Liked them but they had a mean streak.
Gary and Mallory Ervin • Father and daughter who placed sixth in Season 17. Dad is nice. Daughter has a tendency to preach the gospel of praise-God-for-our-good luck too much.
Jaime Edmondson and Cara Rosenthal • Friends and former NFL cheerleaders who placed second in Season 14. All I remember is that they weren't real nice.
Kent Kaliber and Vyxsin Fiala • A couple who placed fifth in Season 12. The dating goths had their moments, but were mostly annoying.
Ronald and Christina Hsu • Father and daughter who placed second in Season 12. Liked her, but daddy was consistently awful to his daughter.
Amanda Blackledge and Kris Klicka • Couple who placed eighth in Season 14. They got engaged since they were on the show? They were always fighting. Blech!
LaKisha and Jennifer Hoffman • Sisters who placed third in Season 14. Hated them! They fought with Margie and Luke, then lied about it.
Scott D. Pierce's column appears Mondays and Fridays in The Mix. He can be reached at email@example.com or 801-257-8603. Check out the TV or not TV blog at sltrib.com/blogs/tv. It's a wild, wild, wild world
The new season of "The Amazing Race" begins Sunday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. on KSL Channel 2.