When 11 teams set off on a million-dollar race around the world, a former Turlock resident will be standing on the starting line.
Allison “Ally” Mello, 23, a Pitman High School graduate, is a contestant on this year's running of CBS's award-winning program “The Amazing Race.”
“I went from living in the small community of Turlock … to pursuing my childhood dreams in Southern California. I worked hard, stayed focused and I'm very proud of the choices I made,” Mello wrote in her contestant bio.
Mello, a 2012 California State University Long Beach graduate, is now a member of the Ice Crew for the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings. She does in-game promotions, works with community charities, and cleans the ice during TV timeouts.
Mello will partner with Ashley Covert, 25, also a member of the LA Kings Ice Crew. The two met at CSULB, at a party.
Mello describes herself as vivacious, creative and driven. She enjoys playing beach volleyball, running with her dogs, and exploring new places, she says.
“Learning about other cultures has always been a fascination of mine,” Mello wrote.
Mello and Covert will be challenged by ten other teams of two in the Amazing Race's 23rd season. Competitors range from former NFL teammates to oilfield workers, married ER doctors, baseball wives, and theater performers, CBS says.
Contestants will travel through four continents and nine countries, CBS says, paragliding in Chile, diving into icy Norway waters, and riding in a Formula One car in Abu Dhabi. It remains unclear if the race will visit Mello's ideal destination: Paris.
“I have always dreamed of standing beside the Eiffel Tower!” Mello wrote. “I have an Eiffel Tower necklace that I love to wear, and I have several Paris themed pieces in my home. Would be a dream come true!”
Of course, there's no guarantee that Mello will visit Chile, Norway, or Abu Dhabi, either. The last-place team is sent home each week, and only three teams will reach the finale.
“Going out too early, making a dumb mistake, that's honestly my biggest fear,” Mello said in a CBS interview.
The new season of The Amazing Race will premier at 8 p.m. Sept. 29 on CBS.