HaMerotz LaMillion (Hebrew: המירוץ למיליון, lit. The Race to the Million) is an Israeli reality game show based on the American series, The Amazing Race.
On 8 April 2008, Israeli TV network Reshet announced plans to produce a local version of the show. It premiered on 5 February 2009, on Channel 2. The show is produced by Reshet and activeTV (producer of The Amazing Race Asia and the first two seasons of The Amazing Race Australia) in association with Disney-ABC and ESPN Television. It was originally hosted by Raz Meirman in the first season.
In April 2009, during the airing of the show, Reshet had begun preparations for a second season. They considered producing a celebrity edition of the show that would have raised the price of producing the show. Reshet had consulted with CBS and agreed it would film two more seasons at the same time to save expenses, a celebrity and non-celebrity editions. On 20 December however, Reshet announced that due to the overall high costs the show would not continue despite two seasons being in the planning stages. However, on 20 September 2010, Reshet reconsidered, and announced a new season. On 11 February 2011, Ron Shahar was announced as the new host of the race, replacing Raz Meirman.
The grand prize for the winning team is ₪1,000,000.
HaMerotz LaMillion is a reality television competition between teams of two, in a race across the world. The race is divided into a number of legs wherein teams travel and complete various tasks to obtain clues to help them progress to a Pit Stop, where teams are given a chance to rest and recover before starting the next leg. The last team to arrive is normally eliminated from the race (except in non-elimination legs, where the last team to arrive may be penalized in the following leg). The final leg of each race is run by the last three remaining teams, and the first to arrive at the final destination wins ₪1,000,000.
Each of the teams are composed of two individuals who have some type of relationship to each other.
Route Markers are yellow and red flags that mark the places where teams must go. Most Route Markers are attached to the boxes that contain clue envelopes, but some may mark the place where the teams must go in order to complete tasks, or may be used to line a course that the teams must follow.
Most clues are directly adopted from the original American version:Route Info (סימן דרך - Siman Derech): A general clue that may include a task to be completed by the team before they can receive their next clue.
Detour (צומת - Tzomet): A choice of two tasks. Teams are free to choose either task or swap tasks if they find one option too difficult.
Roadblock (מחסום - Machsom): A task only one team member can complete. Teams must choose which member will complete the task based on a brief clue about the task before fully revealing the details of the task.
Fast Forward (קיצור דרך - Qitzur Derech): A task that only one team may complete, allowing that team to skip all remaining tasks and head directly for the next Pit Stop. Teams may only claim one Fast Forward during the entire race.
Double Battle (דו–קרב - Du-Qrav): Introduced in season 2; It is a task where two teams must compete against each other. In the Double Battle, the first team to arrive must wait for another team to perform a task. The team that wins the Double Battle will receive the next clue while the losing team would have to wait for the next team to redo the task. The cycle repeats until the last remaining team would have to wait out a penalty.
In addition to performing tasks teams may encounter the following that could potentially slow them down:עצור - Atzor (Yield): It is where a team is forced to wait a pre-determined amount of time before continuing the race.
סיבוב פרסה - Sibuv Persa (U-Turn): It is where a team is forced to return and complete the other option of the Detour they did not choose.
In season 1, the Yield and U-Turn rules were similar to the original rules in the American version; The Yield and U-Turn only appeared sporadically and a single team can utilise their power to Yield/U-Turn another team at the Yield/U-Turn board only once in the entire race.
In season 2, a new rule regarding the Yield and U-turn was introduced. The Yield and U-Turn now appeared more often (almost every leg) and instead of a single team using their power to affect another team, all teams are now required to vote for the team they wish to Yield or U-turn (Depending on the leg). Sometime during the leg, teams will encounter a board with their pictures. Here, they could choose from photographs of the teams and place the one they want to Yield/U-Turn below their pictures faced backwards. Sometime later in the leg, they will encounter another board where they would have to pull down their pictures on the board to reveal if they have been Yielded or U-Turned. The team/s with the most votes will receive the penalty. Teams that pull down their picture and get a red will get the penalty and the pictures of the teams that Yielded/U-Turned them. Those that get a green are free to continue the race.
In season 3, the "Double U-Turn" was introduced. In addition to the rules above, the team that gets U-Turned is free to U-Turn another team of their choosing.מסלול משותף - Maslul Meshutaf (Intersection): Introduced in season 3, two teams will have to team up and complete further tasks together until they are informed that they are no longer intersected. Teams are free to choose which team they want to partner with.
At the beginning of each leg, teams receive an allowance of cash to cover expenses during the race (except for the purchase of airline tickets, which are paid-for by credit cards provided by the race).
Teams then have to follow clues and Route Markers that will lead them to the various destinations and tasks they will face. Modes of travel between these destinations include commercial and chartered airplanes, boats, trains, taxis, buses, and rented vehicles provided by the show, or the teams may simply travel by foot. Each leg ends with a twelve-hour Pit Stop where teams are able to rest and where teams that arrive last are progressively eliminated from the race until only three teams remain..
Differing from most of the other franchises of the series, the season finale is filmed as the program is being broadcast.The Salvage Pass was awarded to the winners of the first leg of season 3. This allowed that team to either save the last team to arrive on that leg from elimination or gain a lead in the next leg.
Each race has a number of pre-determined non-elimination legs, in which the last team to arrive at the Pit Stop is not eliminated and is allowed to continue on the race. There is no single elimination penalty in this version of the show:Season 1
In the first leg, the team was forced to relinquish all of their money and belongings (except for passports and the clothes on their back) for the remainder of the race. In addition, they were not allotted money for the next leg and were not allowed to collect money until the next leg started for them.
In the seventh leg, the team was "Marked for Elimination"; if the team did not place first in the next leg, they would receive a 30-minute penalty.
In the fourth and eleventh legs, the team had to perform a Speed Bump (פס האטה - Pas Heatah) in the next leg of the race, a task only they must complete.
In the sixth and ninth legs, the team was "Marked for Elimination"; if the team did not place first in the next leg, they would receive a 1-hour (leg 6) or 30-minute (leg 9) penalty.
In the fifth leg, the team was required to wear their winter clothing for the duration of the next leg in the heat of Brazil.
In the seventh leg, team came would have to wait an extra 30 minutes before departing on the next leg of the race.
Season 4 only contained a single non-elimination leg, and no penalty was given to the affected team.
Most of the rules and penalties are adopted directly from the American edition, but in some cases this version has been seen to have a unique set of additional rules.
On 20 December 2009, Reshet originally announced it had cancelled the show and that a second season would not be made. However, in September 2010, Reshet reconsidered, and announced a new season.
As of the fourth season, HaMerotz LaMillion has visited 30 countries and 6 continents.
- ^Note a : Including Hong Kong and Macau (1).