In his long TV career, Darren McMullen has taken on some tough challenges.
As a frontman on The Voice Australia, he introduced some of the country's most talented performers – then had to sing himself as part of The Masked Singer.
He's stared down billionaire Lord Alan Sugar as a competitor on Celebrity Apprentice Australia. He's also played everything from a loving partner in dramedy House Husband to a ruthless sociopath in the gripping 2023 drama series Heat.
But he says nothing prepared him for the rigours of The Amazing Race.
"This was the hardest thing I've ever done in this industry, for sure," Darren, 41, tells TV WEEK.
"There were definitely moments where I was like, 'Stuff this – I'm out!' I don't know how it would have gone if it wasn't for Tristan."
Tristan Dougan is Darren's 27-year-old nephew and teammate on The Amazing Race: Celebrity Edition. As well as being relatives, the pair have long been great friends, bonded by a mutual love of sport that has seen them flying to NBA and NFL games in the US, tennis in the UK and more.
"Going into The Amazing Race, I said to Tristan, 'If there's ever a moment where we're at breaking point, it's up to the other person to grab whoever is struggling and help.' And we did."
It all made the experience, as hard as it was, well worth the heart-pounding stress of dashing about the globe.
"It really was amazing," Darren says. "Sure, it was bloody tough, but most things that are tough end up being the best experiences you have."