Twin ob-gyns, a pair of roller derby moms, a taxidermist, a cigar salesman and a country singer whose great-great-grand-something is Daniel Boone? That particular odd grouping could only hail from a reality TV show -- in this case, the 22nd season of "The Amazing Race," which kicks off this Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS. This season will see racers sky-diving over Bora Bora, hunting scorpions in the bush of Botswana, mountain climbing in the Swiss Alps and "shemozzle racing" in New Zealand The Shemozzle, we're told, is a cross-country obstacle course involving shepherds and dogs racing over, under and around various obstacles and swallowing gross things. Here's hoping it equals the appeal of previous seasons' cheese rolling and watermelon lobbing.
Other twists to this year's race: Say sayonara to last season's "double your money" prize, which promised to double the prize money if whoever won the sprint to the first mat won the entire race. (They didn't, by the way.) Instead, say bonjour to a different twist. The winner of the first leg of the race will get two Express Passes, one to keep and a second to give another team at some point before the fourth leg of the race.
Check out a slide show and bios on all 11 "Amazing Race" teams at www.mercurynews.com/tv. A recap of the first episode will go live Sunday evening as soon as the show has aired. While you're there, you can catch recaps of "Survivor,"