The Amazing Race – Australia: Shalom, Israel!

By Yanir Dekel

The Australian version of the hit TV reality competition show “The Amazing Race” has brought the top five couples from its first season to Israel. The series, like in America, features eleven teams of two who are in a pre-existing personal relationship, and follows the various challenges that they undertake as they race around the world to win $250,000. The show is currently airing and is produced by Active TV Australia, hosted by Grant Bowler (‘True Blood,’ ‘Ugly Betty’).

In the episode that first aired on Monday, the couples where headed to the 9th leg of the race, “Israel.” Upon landing at Ben Gurion airport, they rushed to “Azriely Towers,” three buildings in the center of Tel Aviv that became the symbol of the city over the last decade. The couples also traveled to Masada and Jerusalem.

This leg’s Detour was a choice between Pilgrim’s Trail and Holy Grail. In Pilgrim’s Trail, teams traveled to the Old City of Jerusalem where they picked up an 80 kg (180 lb) wooden cross and then carried it along the Via Dolorosa, the path Jesus is said to have taken through the ancient city to his crucifixion. Teams would have to find each of the Stations of the Cross before delivering the cross at the end of the Via Dolorosa. In Holy Grail, teams traveled to the Western Wall and joined an active archaeological dig site. Teams would have to unearth a clay pot and then deliver it to a man in the City of David.

The episode was shot in November 2010, and was aired on July 18 in Australia, with a whopping 1,124,000 viewers.

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