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Lunchbox Geeks Out Talking to Phil Keoghan From ‘The Amazing Race’

Phil Keoghan called into The Bobby Bones Show to talk about the new season of Tough As Nails, what it’s like hosting The Amazing Race and more!  

The two-hour premiere of the fifth season of Tough As Nails will air this Sunday, July 1. Keoghan, the host and executive producer, says the show has hit its stride this season. It’s about hardcore super physical work. He got the idea for the show from watching and hearing from the working people in his home country, New Zealand. Keoghan is the descendent of carpenters and mechanics, so he’s been around blue-collar workers his whole life. His grandfather was his best friend growing up and he learned a lot of skills from him. His grandfather was the smartest person at his middle school, and he was given the chance to go to High School, but during that time, he was not given the chance to go. It really irked Keoghan that people looked down on his grandfather just because he didn’t have a diploma. He was intelligent and knew how to do a lot of life skills and trade work extremely well. He was always thinking about how to change the practical world for the better. His story inspired Keoghan to create a show about the everyday people who keep the country running. It took him a long time to sell the show though. He pitched it for 10 years and found it was hard to sell because no one gets to go home on the show.  

Once it finally got picked up, he saw how it resonated because it spoke to people who don’t aspire to be celebrities or tap into the fascination of celebrities. The show is about your family and the people you know in the real world. He quoted Ernest Rutherford, “We haven’t the money, so we’ve got to think.” People who have money will reach into their wallet and pay someone to fix it. People who don’t have money are forced to think and find a practical solution.  

Keoghan calls himself a jack of all trades and an expert of nothing. He’s fascinated with practical work and people’s everyday skills. He’s learned a lot watching the best of the best work in their specific field for a day and then trying it for himself. He thoroughly enjoys watching how people make the world work. He feels we need to get back to a time when we didn’t just throw things away, but repurposed and utilized them again. Tough As Nails showcases normal everyday people who build roads, run into burning buildings, the elite and the best of the best in their chosen trades. He wants people to appreciate these people when they drive someone doing a job and think, “this is how they make their living and if they didn’t, we wouldn’t have this...”  

When Keoghan calls into the show, he’s nine hours ahead of us in Europe shooting the new season of The Amazing Race, which he’s been a host of since its premiere in 2001. Lunchbox is a huge fan of the show and of Keoghan, so he geeked out when asking him questions. His dream is to be on the show one day and win! But he knows he couldn’t compete with his wife because they’d fight too much. He asked Keoghan about the judging process, and he admitted the judges are tough on the contestants and the most important thing is to be consistent on the judging and put it in certain measures that are judge-able so it’s fair because at the end of the day the people have a lot at stake. He really stressed how fairness is so critical on the show. When they film The Amazing Race, they shoot 12 shows in 21 days. There is a lot of travel involved and he feels like he’s married to his phone because he’s constantly getting updates on where all the teams are.  

The two-hour premiere of Tough as Nails airs Sunday, July 1st on CBS. You can watch a new episode every Friday and Sunday.