'Amazing Race' returns with pre-COVID footage and fans don't know how to handle it

·2 min read

The Amazing Race returned to the airwaves Wednesday, with a new season that was partially filmed before the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent shutdown in early 2020. And viewers on social media were feeling a little bit emotional about it.

The premiere, which is the first new episode from the series since Season 32 wrapped in December 2020, opened up with host Phil Keoghan explaining the context of the latest season.

“Tonight's episode was filmed before the outbreak of COVID-19, which prompted us to suspend shooting at the end of the third leg,” Keoghan said. “I am excited to tell you that after a long break, we did finish shooting this season. And once again, the world is waiting for you.”

While the episode was filled with the usual things like crowded public landmarks and contestants traveling in very confined spaces — without a mask in sight of course — the reactions poured in on Twitter, saying that the experience of watching life from over two years ago play out on TV was “so trippy.”

Overall, though, fans are glad that the show is back, and watching the two-hour season premiere definitely had some people living in an amazing place for a while. But before anyone could get too comfortable, the episode gave us a quick reminder at the end of the reality that will soon set in for everyone involved.

“Right now, the world is dealing with the coronavirus,” Keoghan is shown saying to the cast. “In order to keep you safe, the best choice is to suspend the race.”

The Amazing Race airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

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