The truly amazing thing about The Amazing Race is that it’s about to unfurl its 29th edition. That’s a lot of continents covered and animals parts eaten since 2003.
Details about Race 29 were announced recently, and Fort Worth realtor Ashton Theiss is among the 22 well-toned contestants who ran around the world for the CBS cameras. The new season debuts Thursday, March 30.
Theiss may be familiar to Fort Worth residents: she’s a successful realtor for Rogers Healy and Associates. She also appeared in DFW.com’s 2016 Hot Issue, where she professed her love for her alma mater, TCU, plus other local gems like the Trinity Trails, Reata and Press Cafe. Her dream job would be “Anthony Bourdain’s job,” she said, and on The Amazing Race she should get to do her share of globe-trotting and exotic eating.
Unlike in previous seasons, Theiss did not know her partner going into The Race. That’s the big twist for edition 29 -- all 22 contestants were strangers when they arrived at the starting line. Perhaps Theiss will get paired up with the other DFW contestant, Francesca Piccoli, an Army drill sergeant from Plano.
The Amazing Race has intersected with North Texas on more than a few occasions throughout its Emmy-winning history. Just recently, Kurt Gibson and Brodie Smith, competitive Frisbee players, finished fifth on Race 28. And in Season 27, North Texas buds Tanner Kloven and Josh Ahern, aka Team Texas, also advanced deep into the competition, finishing sixth. (Kloven and Ahern are also Hot Issue alums.)
Diehard Amazing Races fans probably remember Blake and Paige Mycoskie, the brother and sister team from Arlington that finished third on Season 2. And who can forget that amazing jaunt through the Cattle Pen maze in the Stockyards on the Season 5 finale?
The only DFW winners on Amazing Race were from Season 13, when Emily “Starr” Spangler from Fort Worth and her brother, Nick took the title. Starr was a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and Nick was an actor who appeared in “Book of Mormon” on Broadway.
Theiss, who was born in Houston, told Fort Worth Magazine recently that she thinks her Texas toughness will be a key factor on the show.
“I grew up on ranches hunting, and at lakes fishing. ... I don’t blink twice over getting my hands dirty,” she said. “On top of that, I like to think that my Fort Worth charm played in my favor.”