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St. Thomas Featured on 'The Amazing Race' Friday

The season premiere of the Emmy-winning reality television show, “The Amazing Race,” will air at 8 p.m. Friday on CBS with St. Thomas the star, the Tourism Department said Wednesday in a press release.

"The impact of a CBS series like ‘The Amazing Race’ filming in the Virgin Islands is far reaching, engaging millions of viewers in our unique culture," Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty said. "The Tourism Department thanks all those who assisted the production while in the territory and we look forward to more opportunities like this one to showcase the diverse experiences found across the entire U.S. Virgin Islands."

The season premiere positions St. Thomas and the territory as an easily accessible tropical escape full of adventure and culture, the press release indicates. The show is estimated to reach nearly eight million potential travelers as it airs during primetime on CBS, generating an estimated total media value of more than $12 million.

The Tourism Department’s Film Office worked closely with the show’s production team from World Race Productions on-location for 17 days during May to June. The race was shot "live" over 24 hours. This included providing assistance in location permits, logistics, coordination with government agencies and overall guidance in addition to working with story researchers to profile Virgin Islands experiences.

World Race Productions’ team spent more than $400,000 on the island, employed 90 local crew members and profiled Virgin Islands culture in the episode

Local residents featured in the show include SeaFlight seaplane and chief pilot Cleo Hodge, Rick Holmberg as Blackbeard and the ship’s crew on SS Blackbeard’s Revenge, Lorna Freeman greeting race finishers at the Fort Christian check-in point, and St. Croix’s Guardian of Culture Mocko Jumbies.

Additional participants included Carnival mas players dancing to 2014 Road March "Manner’s" by Spectrum Band and St. Thomas troupes Caribbean Ritual Dancers, Hugga Bunch, Infernos, and Pardy Hardy. Taxi drivers, vendors as well as airline and airport personnel were also included in the show.

It also showcases the Charlotte Amalie Waterfront, Carval Rock, Lovango Cay, Hans Lollik, Magens Bay, and Fort Christian.

"The Amazing Race" is a multi-Emmy Award-winning reality series. It follows the journey of 11 two-person teams competing against each other around the world for approximately 25 days. Each team is tasked with various mental and physical challenges at every destination. The teams only learn of their next destination when the tasks are completed. Teams that fall behind are gradually eliminated as the competition continues. The first team to arrive at the final destination wins $1 million.

A preview of the upcoming season with a few glimpses of the Virgin Islands is available at http://www.cbs.com/shows/amazing_race/video/WZyZG34OxMGBUKVWtaDjYB_YNN_oqs_X/amazing-race-preview/

The Tourism Department will share online clips of the episode following the premiere on Twitter @USVITOURISM and www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI.

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