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Team Blue talks about making it to the Relative Race finals!
May 2nd, 2018 under BYU TV. [ Comments: none ]


On Sunday’s season finale of Relative Race on BYU TV, everyone was shocked when Team Blue and Team Red finished in a tie, a first for the show. That meant that the three remaining teams, including Team Black, would advance to the finals.

Last week, I spoke with Michael Anderson and his son, Dylan, and they told me about their wild adventure. He told me that he came back with a newfound confidence and that convinced him to run for a seat in the North Carolina State Representative race for District 83. If you live in that district, make sure to vote for him on Tuesday, May 8th. He also told me they came back with all 24 blue t-shirts that they gave them to wear for the 10-day competition.

SOW: What was it like when you heard that you and Team Red both finished 1 hour and 8 minutes over the time limit? Meaning that you both tied for second place and would move on to the finals?
MA:
I mean it was an incredible shock. It was great. Believe me, once we knew Team Black won that day we were like, oh boy, somebody is going home? But it worked out well I think for everybody.

SOW: Did you think you were going to make it to day 10?
MA:
Well listen, after the fifth day I looked at Dylan and I was like there’s no way we’re going to make it to the last day. It was not easy whatsoever. After that day we picked up steam, and things started falling our way. I will tell you the day that really helped us tremendously was the eighth day and there was like a home court advantage. I didn’t even use a map.

SOW: Talking about maps, what is like driving with Dylan now that you are back to normal?
MA:
We’re back to normal now and we know mostly where we’re going to be. We can use GPS, we know where we want to go and we’re not timed. What a lot of people didn’t understand was something that was equally as hard as using a map was going the speed limit constantly. You are constantly looking down and making sure you’re not doing anything wrong. You’re going places you’re not familiar with. You’ve got a time limit. You’re going against the other teams. You don’t know what challenge you’re getting ready to walk up to. You don’t know what relative you’d walk up to. It was just really stressful every single day.

SOW: What about the most stressful day of the race, what was that final day in DC like?
MA:
All right, well I’m going to be just blunt with you here. We showed up the morning of the final day. We’re on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. We’re in jeans and blue shirts, and everybody else shows up in these tight jogging pants and nice tennis shoes. Then we find out what we’re supposed to do. I look at Dylan and I said, we ain’t got a shot in the world. We are not the most nimble and athletic people on the planet. And when we found out what it was, I’m like, oh Lord, have mercy. Don’t kill yourself, don’t have a heart attack. And I’m telling you the truth is there is a paramedic. They were eyeing me the whole time. Look, I’m OK. We enjoyed the final day.

SOW: What did you think of the challenges that they gave you throughout the whole competition?
MA:
I tell you what the minds behind this whole show, how they come up with these challenges in the whole 10th day. I don’t know how they do it. I would love to come up with my own challenges and make them do it. They, they are very creative. They are very supportive of you. They encourage you the whole time. I mean they are by your side and they want to make great TV show. We’ve got that and we did everything we could to make it as good as positive as we could.

SOW: What did you think of the people who worked on the show?
MA:
They work so hard and they care. They truly cared about us. They truly wanted the best for us. Sure, they laughed at us when I got a cramp. I have not only found family, but I’ve made new friends. I plan to come out to Utah, the first chance I get. I’m on it. I’m going to come over to the network and say hello to people. I will make it a point to go to the production company and say hello. And I’m dead serious. I am definitely doing that this year. We just more people need to know about this show period.

SOW: So you appreciate all that Relative Race has done for you?
MA:
Life is so short and we have so many things that we need to be appreciative more and worry less about Selfie and Snapchat. Worry more about your family and your neighbor. This show I cannot say enough. I mean I should work for their marketing. I love this show that, so I would be an outstanding marketer for this show. I say that these people at the network and I just can’t say enough about the work that they do. They work their tail off every single day and they don’t get the credit they deserve.

While season 3 of Relative Race is over, season 4 is going to air in the fall. Be prepared for Michael Anderson to tell everyone to watch it. And whoever he does not tell, I am going to tell them to watch the best competition show on television. Every week, you end the episode feeling good. You see people who start out with no families, end the season with a mother, father, siblings and more cousins than you can count on your hand. How many other shows give people the families they never knew they had and have always wanted? We need more shows that are positive like this one. Plus, you see parts of America, you never knew about. What more can you ask for from a TV show?

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Team Blue’s Michael Anderson reveals how Relative Race changed his life
April 29th, 2018 under BYU TV. [ Comments: none ]


Tonight at 9p EDT on BYU TV, it is sadly time for the 2-hour season finale of Relative Race. We have watched the 4 teams travel the country, get stuck in traffic, take part in hard challenges, all to meet family members they never knew they had before this show. They will meet one more relative tonight before the remaining teams meet up for one last competition to win $50,000.

In the first episode, one team will get lost and drive in the opposite direction. While another team has a problem finishing the challenge. When all is said and done, it is time for the three teams to find out who will make it to the finals. The reveal will be shocking because something happened that has never happened before in the series. I cannot say more than that because it is, like, they said, something that has never happened before. Once that is revealed, it is then time for the teams to compete in their biggest challenge of the season. One that is worth a whole lot of green. Too bad Team Green will not be there to cheer them on because they were eliminated last week

All three teams had quite a journey. None more than Team Blue. Michael Anderson and his son Dylan met family they never knew they had. Michael found out he was adopted a year before his mother died and for the last 30 years, all he has wanted to know who is his family. Over the last eight episodes of Relative Race, he finally met his dad, his mom, his sister, and his cousins, and he even found out he is related to a King. His ancestor is not royalty, but he is the King of Rock’n’Roll, Elvis Presley. He cannot stop telling everyone who is long lost cousin. How many other shows can tell you all of that?

Earlier this week, I spoke to Michael and Dylan and they told me about one of the best journeys of their lives together.

SOW – What were Michael’s expectations from the show?
MA
– I didn’t have any expectations of having relationships with anybody. All I wanted was answers. That was it. Everything else has been just the icing on the top. I had no history of anything. Mother, father, either side of the family name. I had nothing. And now I’ve got heritage all the way back to the 1640’s. It blows my mind to find out that we are related to Elvis Presley. I mean, come on.

SOW: He might not have not any expectations for the show, because the producers contacted him. How did they find the Andersons?
MA
– I didn’t initially try out for the show. They found me. I have a very large following on social media when it comes to my photography business. A year ago, October, I put a post out on my photography page, “My name’s Michael Andrew Anderson. I was born July 28, 1972. I’m looking for my biological parents.” Well, it went viral and was seen by over 200,000 people. One of the people was a producer from the TV show, he contacted me, and that’s what got the ball rolling. We did end up having to submit a video like everybody else, but the initial contacts they found me.

SOW: Had he heard about the show before he got a phone call from the producers?
MA
– When they first contacted me, I never even heard that show. So I Googled it before I contacted them back to make sure it wasn’t some kind of scam. Then I watched a couple of episodes and I was like, this is a really great show. So I contacted them and then I told them my story and I told another producer and then another producer and another producer. They just loved my story because I didn’t have one. I had no one. Most of the people have either one side or the other side. I had literally nothing to go on.

SOW – Relative Race changed things up for the third season, so he was not always prepared for what was happening. Things like meeting his first relative on the show.
MA
– When I met my father, I was a game mode. I thought we were going to do some challenges or something. And when we were walking up to the bed and breakfast, I thought they were the owners. Know that reaction when he tells me he’s my dad? I mean I just lost it.

SOW – Michael explains why he has no idea what to expect.
MA –
They [the producers] don’t give you any direction. There’s no script, there’s no cue cards hanging off the side of the camera. I mean, there’s nothing like that. It’s real. I mean it.

SOW – Since the show ended, he has kept in touch with the family that he met. So much so, he told me he is going to see one of them soon.
MA
– Dylan and I are going up to Brighton City, North Carolina and we’re going to shoot our newly found niece’s senior high school pictures. The cousin of ours, that was the bounty hunter/bondsmen/fudge shop owner, his daughter, and she wanted us to come up. I told her I will do it on two conditions. I said, “We’ll come up there if we can have dinner and we go to fudge shop.”

SOW – Since the show ended, Michael Anderson decided to run for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives as a Representative for District 23 (Elections are on May 8th). Something he took away from the show convinced him to do it.
MA
– I’ve always loved politics and I’ve been highly involved in my community for years. A lot of the behind the scenes is what I do and I’ve gotten to know most, if not all, of the local politicians here. We’ve had some redistricting in our state and it just so happens that the new district, that I fall in, there is a representative that I don’t particularly think he represents us properly. So I am trying to do something positive for the community. What the show did for me is helped me have that confidence I never had before. I mean even with my photography and building my business, I’ve always had doubts, I’ve always doubted myself ever since I was a kid. But now, I mean, it’s just like a light switch went off and I got all this confidence in the world now.

SOW – What has being a part of Relative Race meant to him?
MA
– Anything I can do in the future for the show, for the network, I’m at their disposal. These people are, we need more people like this all around the country and all around this world. It’s been such a blessing because I’m hoping that our journey, how chaotic, wrong direction and how horrible we were at the challenges; I hope that our journey can help others. And that’s the main thing I want to do for them. That is one of the reasons why I wanted to run for office is to try to help them. Adoption and foster parenting touches so many people’s lives. We have laws in this country, my state especially, that need to be changed. It shows like this one and people like this that can help make changes that are positive for people like me. We just want answers, most of us. I mean it’s just been such a wonderful journey and we now have not only family, but we have new friends from the show. From our producers to the other contestants. It will always be one of the absolute best moment in my life, period.

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Which Relative Race team will find out they’re related to Elvis Presley?
March 18th, 2018 under BYU TV. [ Comments: none ]


Last week on Relative Race, sisters Jamie Grace and Morgan Harper Nichols found themselves driving through a hurricane. Tonight at 9p on BYU TV, Troy and Nicole Hitt will find themselves in the middle of wildfires on their route to the new family member. Good thing they learned how to fight fires last week. Will they use that skill this week?

The episode starts off with the four teams getting in their cars to meet their newest family members and it is much smoother driving for all except Team Red driving through the wildfires. When they get to their destination, they pose with the city sign. But for one team, it is too much. They develop a cramp in their leg and that slows them down.

After they send their photos into home base, they are told what their challenge for their day is. They have to finish a puzzle of the face of a family member they are about to meet. Once the picture is complete, they are given a clue to where that person will be. Now they are off to be with their newest family member somewhere in the town.

Once they meet their family member, now it is time to get to know then. One team will find out they are related to Elvis Presley, think you know which team it is? Could it be musical Team Green, who already know they have white people in their family? What about Team Blue, the father and son, who came in to the race only knowing themselves as their family? What about Team Black’s Rebecca Hoyt, her father kept her family secret, is this why? And then there is Troy Hitt, who was adopted, is this a great family find?

At the end of the day, while it is a cool thing to tell people, it is even cooler for these teams to meet some more new family. Oh and not one, but two teams finish under their allotted times, a Relative Race first!

If you are not familiar with Relative Race, it is a mix of Amazing Race (in America) and Who Do You Think You Are. After 10 days, each team comes out of the game with 10 new family members they never knew they had. That is worth more than all the money in the world. Even though, there is a cash prize for the one winner.

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Relative Race is the competition show with the most heart!
March 4th, 2018 under BYU TV. [ Comments: none ]


Are you a fan of both Amazing Race and Who Do You Think You Are? Well imagine if they were combined into one show. Tonight at 9p EST on BYU TV, that is exactly what the third season of Relative Race is all about.

Four teams travel the United States to meet family members they never knew they had. Each team, two couples, one father and son, and two sisters, is given a flip phone, a paper map and told to go on their way. Why are they taking it back to 1999? Each team has to turn in their smart phones before they begin their challenge. No technology for them.

The race starts off in DC tonight and immediately two of the competitors on different teams find out they related. Once they hug it out, it is not time to battle it out. The four teams are taken to airport and off they go to different cities to meet their new relatives. Some of the teams never knew any of their families because they are adopted. One team member lost her mom when she was a baby and then her dad killed his new wife when she was a few years old. She never knew her mom’s family and she wants to know if they ever wanted to meet her. That is just one of the stories that will tug at your heart, but there are many more.

Since it is a competition show, it is not only about meeting their families. They also partake in challenges that help them find their new relatives that are scattered all over the US. Imagine getting off a plane, getting into a car with just a flip phone and paper map to find their way to places we have never heard about. That’s what they do every episode.

Is it worth it? Not only do they get $50,000 if they win the thing. After day 10, they now have 10X the family they had before they started Relative Race, and that is worth more than the money. However, do not tell the producers I said that.

What you can tell the producers is how much I adore this show that caused me to tear up a few times. I enjoyed the competitions, but I really loved the family meetings even more than that. What better way to spend your Sundays than with a show that is the perfect mix of tugging at your heart and also getting it to pump faster. It’s a great way to start off your work week, you know by watching a feel good show before you go to sleep.

Earlier this week, I spoke to one of the teams and they told me what it was like to be part of this one-of-a-kind competition show. Troy and Nicolle Hitt are from Humble, Texas, the parents to 4 kids and 6 animals, and together they own a CrossFit Haste.

How did the couple, who have been married for 13 years, find out about Relative Race? They have a son, who wants to be an actor and a model; and when they were going through the castings for him, Nicole saw this show listed on there. Since Troy is adopted, they thought that this would be the perfect show for them to audition to be on.

They sent in a quick 10-second audition tape of them riding around with their dogs. That quick video was sent it in for season 2, but they did not get picked for that one. Troy explained why he thinks that happened, “We apparently suck at audition tapes.” In that short video, they did not share their story about why they would be good contestants for the show. Obviously, what they did send out left an impression on the producers because they casted them for season 3.

Nicole says that this season the show added some new twists and turns. After watching the first two seasons of the show, they thought they knew what to expect, but “everyday was something new.”

One of those new things for them was not using GPS, so they practiced going around Houston with just a paper map. Only problem is that was almost as hard to find as finding their way around town with old school directions.

There was another change for the couple when they are in the car. Troy told me he is used to driving around everywhere, but for Relative Race he sat in the passenger’s seat. He did that so he could read the maps and navigate their way to the challenges. What happens when they got home? Troy was back to being in the driver’s seat and Nicole prefers it that way.

While this couple is used to working together, raising their 10 children (two and four legged) and running their business, how well did they do on the road? Troy proudly said, “We really do work well together. We butt heads in the beginning, most times, but we really do work well together.” Then he added, “It is refreshing to spend all of that time together with my spouse. It was great to see how well we work together.”

Therefore, do they feel it strengthened their marriage? Without hesitation Nicole said, “I think so.”

For tonight’s premiere, they are traveling to Utah to meet up with the other teams. Have they kept in touch with them? They all keep up on each other with Facebook and Instagram. Troy then elaborated, “That is another cool part about it. You got this new family, but then you got an extended family that understands the journey that you went through. It is cool that you get to share that with them.”

What helped the teams bond is that Troy shared with me that were able to text the other teams from their “dynamic flip phones.” Some of those texts included friendly banter and trying to find out where the other team went.

Even though at the end of the day, aka each episode, they would get updates from each of the teams how their days went. Since they all had this special bond, everyone wanted to know how the other teams made out for the day. Whom they met? What type of news they got? And so on.

They got so close that Nicole let us in on a secret. She says that at one point, the four teams discussed about ending the game as a tie, but then they came up with another plan. She detailed their plan as, “We came up with the idea that winner would buy everyone else dinner.” Did that happen? It did! Sadly though, we won’t see that because happened off camera.

What we will see are the beautiful places they went to that they never heard of before this competition. Places and family that left such an impact on Troy and Nicole that they plan on retracing their path on a road trip and spending time with their new family. One that they are still catching up since the show ended.

That is a true gift that no other competition show can give their contestants. How many of us wish we could get to know family members we do not know about? Now add in, it being part of a competition show that takes you around the country to meet them. It is a thrill ride that makes you cry happy tears. In addition, it has contestants you want to root for because they are all great people who want to expand their lives with more family. Family is a beautiful thing and it is even more beautiful as you get new ones to complete your life. Therefore, tune in to BYU TV every Sunday at 9p EST to watch Relative Race.

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