Like a nasty cold sore, "Big Brother's" Rachel Reilly and Brendon Villegas just keeping coming back.
The oft-reviled reality romancers are competing again on the small screen as teammates on "The Amazing Race's" 20th season, CBS announced today.
Rachel, last season's "Big" winner, first met — and hooked up with — fiancée Brendon as houseguests on the claustrophobic series' 12th installment. Their "Big Brother" showmance continued last summer alongside fellow vets Jordan Lloyd and Jeff Schroeder, who also competed on "The Amazing Race" (they were the sixth team eliminated on season 15).
Do Brenchel stand a chance against the other 10 "Race" teams, or are they battling a bunch of clowns?
Make that a couple of clowns — two self-proclaimed "ambassadors of laughter" are among the globe-trotters whose stops will include Paraguay, Azerbaijan and Tanzania. In all the racers will visit five continents, 22 cities and nearly 40,000 miles.
Emmy-winning executive producer Bertram van Munster told us the route "is so off the wall and so crazy that it almost killed us. It's really very original — the whole ensemble, the cast and the route and the challenges are really unique, it's probably one of the best (seasons) we've ever done — and very competitive."
Because they all have the drive to win, van Munster revealed we won't see season 20's sharing clues and answers that all but destroyed the competitive spirit in recent seasons. "These guys are not doing it (sharing information) this season," he assured us. "They get the drift. Sometimes it happens, but at the end of the day they have to all screw each other, if they want the million bucks."
Here are the 11 teams competing for that million-dollar prize:
Brendon Villegas, 31; Westwood, Calif.; Ph.D. student; Rachel Reilly, 27; Westwood, Calif.; event hostess (engaged) Dave Gregg, 44; New Port Richey, Fla.; "Ambassador of; Laughter"; Cherie Gregg, 44; New Port Richey, Fla.; "Ambassador of Laughter" (married clowns) Art Velez, 43; Temecula, Calif.; border patrol agent; J.J. Carrell, 42; Carlsbad, Calif.; border patrol agent (friends) Nary Ebeid, 32; Los Angeles; federal agent; Jamie Graetz, 33; Los Angeles; federal agent (friends) Vanessa Macias, 31; San Antonio; freelance writer; Ralph Kelley, 36; San Antonio; bar owner (dating divorcees) Misa Tanaka, 27; San Diego; car buyer; Maiya Tanaka, 25; San Diego; professional golfer (sisters) Dave Brown Jr., 33; Madison, Wis.; U.S. Army Officer; Rachel Brown, 30; Madison, Wis.; project manager (married) William "Bopper" Minton, 41; Manchester, KY.; motorcycle mechanic; Mark Jackson, 45; Manchester, Ky.; former state inspector (best friends) Joey "Fitness" Lasalla, 29; Whitestone, N.Y.; trainer/supplement; company owner; Danny Horal, 27; Holbrook, N.Y.; nightclub promoter (friends) Elliot Weber, 28; Scottsdale, Ariz.; musician; Andrew Weber, 28; Menlo Park, Calif.; professional soccer player (twins) Kerri Paul, 30; Gulfport, Miss.; program coordinator; Stacy Bowers, 30; Gulfport, Miss.; self-employed/"basketball" wife (cousins)
"The Amazing Race's" 20th season premieres Sunday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. on CBS. What do you think of this season's cast — and the controversial return of Rachel and Brendon?