'Amazing Race': NKOTB's Jonathan Knight Among Cast, New 'Date Night' Reward Added

The 11 teams will consist of six couples and five duos who are being set up on blind dates.
Monty Brinton/CBS

CBS on Tuesday announced the 11 teams that will compete on the next season of The Amazing Race.

As previously revealed, the 26th season of the reality competition will feature 11 new teams of "dating duos," but with a twist: Six teams are already in a relationship, while the other five will meet for the first time at the starting line on what is being called "the most extreme blind date ever."

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The couples traveling around the world include New Kids on the Block member Jonathan Knight and his partner Harley Rodriguez and Olympic medalists Aly Dudek and Steven Langton. Dudek won bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in short track speed skating and Langton won two bronze medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in bobsledding.

Among the competitors being set up on blind dates are a Navy physician and a registered nurse and two lawyers.

"Usually we have people who know each other really well. In this particular case we have five blind dates and six regular dates," said Bertram van Munster, co-creator and executive producer of Race. "Going on a blind date to a restaurant is one thing, but going on a blind date around the world is like rolling the dice in a big way."

As part of the new twist, the teams will have the opportunity to win a new "date night" reward, wherein one couple will take part in a romantic activity such as a night at a hot springs resort in Nagano, Japan, or star-gazing at the Bavarian Public Observatory in Munich, Germany.

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This season finds the teams traveling to five continents and eight countries for a total of more than 35,000 miles.

The Amazing Race's 90-minute premiere airs at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25, following the premiere of Survivor. It moves to its regular time slot at 8 p.m. Fridays two days later. Phil Keoghan returns as host.

The 11 teams are (see more photos here):

Preexisting Dating Couples

Name: Aly Dudek
Age: 24
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wis.
Relationship Status: Dating
Occupation: Olympic Athlete
*won bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in short track speed skating

Name: Steven Langton
Age: 31
Hometown: Boston
Relationship Status: Dating
Occupation: Olympic Athlete
*won 2 bronze medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in bobsledding

Length of relationship: 7 months

•••

Name: Harley Rodriguez
Age: 41
Hometown: New York
Relationship Status: Dating
Occupation: Group Fitness Trainer

Name: Jonathan Knight
Age: 46
Hometown: New York
Relationship Status: Dating
Occupation: Entertainer (New Kids on the Block member)

Length of relationship: 7 years

•••

Name: Jeff Magee
Age: 57
Hometown: McCall, Idaho
Relationship Status: Dating
Occupation: Airline Pilot

Name: Lyda Grawn
Age: 49
Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Relationship Status: Dating
Occupation: Flight Attendant

Length of relationship: Known 20 years, dating 4 years

•••

Name: C.J. Harris
Age: 26
Hometown: Tuskegee, Ala.
Relationship Status: Dating
Occupation: IT Technician

Name: Lebya Simpson
Age: 25
Hometown: Tuskegee, Ala.
Relationship Status: Dating
Occupation: Medical Support Assistant

Length of Relationship: Known for 15 years, dating for 10

•••

Name: Matt Cucolo
Age: 30
Hometown: Scarsdale, N.Y.
Relationship Status: Dating
Occupation: Hairstylist

Name: Ashley Gordon
Age: 28
Hometown: Scarsdale, N.Y.
Connection to your teammate: Dating
Occupation: Hairstylist

Length of Relationship: Known 10 years, dating 3 years

•••

Name: Rochelle Nevedal
Age: 29
Hometown: Kalkaska, Mich.
Relationship Status: Dating
Occupation: Contract Engineer

Name: Michael Dombrowski
Age: 26
Hometown: Traverse City, Mich.
Relationship Status: Dating
Occupation:Truck Stop Manager/ Pro Wrestling Promoter

Length of Relationship: 2 years

•••

The Blind Date Couples:

Name: Hayley Keel
Age: 28
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Fla.
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: Registered Nurse

Name: Blair Townsend
Age: 31
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: Navy Physician

•••

Name: Jackie Ibarra
Age: 27
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: Professional Dancer

Name: Jeffrey Weldon
Age: 26
Hometown: Tampa, Fla.
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: Account Executive/Sales

•••

Name: Laura Pierson
Age: 29
Hometown: Los Angeles
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: Talent Booker

Name: Tyler Adams
Age: 26
Hometown: Santa Monica, Calif.
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: Mobile App Developer

•••

Name: Jenny Wu
Age: 32
Hometown: Los Angeles
Relationship Status: Single­­
Occupation: Blogger and Lawyer

Name: Jelani Roy
Age: 32
Hometown: New York, NY
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: Lawyer

•••

Name: Bergen Olsen
Age: 23
Hometown: Sunnyvale, Calif.
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: Human Resources Project Manager

Name: Kurt Jordan Belcher
Age: 24
Hometown: Butler, Ky.
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: Pageant Consultant

 

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