Better Racing Through Chemistry

Rebecca and Adam at TARcon6.
Rebecca and Adam at TARcon6.
miri: Weíd heard that you had applied for another season with someone else. What seasons had you applied for?

Rebecca: Season 5. A fellow trainer of mine at the gym approached me about applying for it. And Iíd just broken up with Adam, and I knew it was his favorite show. So I thought, what better way to annoy your ex than to get on his favorite show? I really wasnít a huge fan. I mean, I watched one season, and that was the one with Flo and Zach. But I really wasnít invested like Adam was. So I was like, ďOh, yes, Iíll apply. Sure.Ē So we made a videotape. We made it like three cuts. And then we didnít make it further than that. And that was it. And that was fine. I was like, whatever. Well, then they call me for Season 6. They were like, ďLook, we remembered you. We really liked you. We were wondering if you would like to apply again, but maybe with somebody you have more chemistry with.Ē So I was like, oh, well, I canít think of anybody I have more chemistry with than Adamónot necessarily positive chemistry. So anyway, I asked Adam, ďDo you want to apply? I have a feeling weíll totally get on the show if we do it together because weíre just soóthe two of us are such a dichotomy.Ē So we applied, and four months later we got it.

Tribefan: Wow. So they do keep people in mind when theyíve applied once.

Rebecca: Yeah, itís interesting. Like my season, a lotóI think only myself and maybe Lori and Bolo sent in a tape. And all the people, like Maria and Meredith, the girls who couldnít drive a stick shift, they were alternates for Season 5. And a couple other people were up for Survivor. They were actually finalists for Survivor. So they really just kind ofóeverybody gets switched over and used again.

Tribefan: Thereís just one pool of contestants.

Rebecca: Recycled.

Tribefan: Yes.

miri: You know, I think sometimes, too, that happens if the time between seasons isnít quite what they had planned on. They probably have to rely on that a bit more, maybe.

Rebecca: Yes. Because the casting of the Race is very much based on like a puzzle, and all the pieces have to fit together. They may really, really love a couple, but it might not work with the others.

Tribefan: Unless theyíre missing something. ďWe already have too many of these, soóĒ

Rebecca: Right. I know in the final room, it was theóletís see. Uchenna on this seasonóthey were in the finals at CBS when we went to network. They were in the room with us. So I guess thatís another example.

miri: Oh, okay.

Tribefan: Thatís interesting. You wonder if itís because maybe they were too much like Chip and Kim, and people might think that, that maybe they wouldnít go that route.

Rebecca: Sure. Yeah.

miri: So given how dynamic your relationship is with Adam, were you a little worried about going onto the Race with him?

Rebecca: I wasnít worried until I got to Iceland. Iím sorry, I take that back. In Chicago, when we were filming the opening credits, I donít know if you remember in the first episode weíre on boats in Chicago. Well, Adam got seasick and was throwing up on the boat. Because prior to that I knew it was going to be a challenge, because Adam has never left his home town. Heís very, very sheltered and extremely routine-oriented. And heís also kind of scared of everything. So I thought, okay, this is going to be really hard. Not to mention my own fears and shortcomings, and Iíd have to worry about me and him. But I thought, you know what? Itíll be fine. Weíll just take each task and take each step as it happens, and itíll be fine. But, in Chicago, when he got sick on the boat, I was like, oh, what am I in? What am I getting myself in for?

Tribefan: Iíve been on the Seadog on Lake Michigan. Itís not that bad.

Rebecca: Not bad at all. I couldnít believe he started throwing up. And then, you know, each boat had three teams in it, so the two other teams in the boat with us were probably like, oh, thisíll be the first team out.

Tribefan: Iím sure that was part of his strategy.

Rebecca: I was like, oh, weíll just make it seem like weíre weak. Thatís the key.

Tribefan: They wonít target you that way. Oh my gosh.

miri: Do you think your relationship was portrayed fairly on the show, or was itóbecause we saw you have some good times, and we saw you guys have a lot of fights, too. It seemed like we got to see a little bit of both.
How the relationship was portrayed on TV is exactly how it is. We have great fun, adorably sweet moments when weíre loving each other, and then there are moments when we want to kill each other.
Rebecca: Yeah. How the relationship was portrayed on TV is exactly how it is. We have great fun, adorably sweet moments when weíre loving each other, and then there are moments when we want to kill each other. So the relationship is so tumultuous, and itís soóI dare to use the word toxic, but it kind of is. And I think watching it on TV really helped me to see that.

miri: Really? Not just going through it, but then when you actually saw it, it just really helped bring home to you that maybe you guys wereó

Rebecca: Absolutely. Absolutely, yeah. On the Race, I was like, this is never going to work. This isnít something thatótraits that Adam has, a lot of them are amazing. Heís passionate, and heís a wonderful person. And I donít think that came across on TV. What did come across is definitely a huge of part of him, too, and thatís not really what I want for me in my future.

miri: Right. The impression I got, just from watching itóand I know that we only are seeing part of the pictureóis that it seemed like you guys were great people by yourselves, but something about you seemed to bring out the worst in each other at times.

Rebecca: Yeah. Itís like weíre all kind of like chemicals, and some people blend with each other and some donít. And itís sort of intangible. You donít know what exactly makes it work with somebody and doesnít make it work with somebody else. But the way Adam and I are, it just does not bring out the best in us.

miri: Right. So he was the one who was the bigger fan of the show. But you had seen previous seasons?

Rebecca: Iíd seen one, yes. I think it was Season 3, with Flo and Zach.

Tribefan: That would be Season 3, yeah.

miri: Right. You got one of the good ones there.

Rebecca: Adam watches it with all his friends and his family. Itís a ritual, every night it comes on. And Iíd just started dating him, and I got sucked into it. And I was like, wow, this is really good. I remember even saying out loud, I think, ďAdam, weíd be amazing on this.Ē And he was like, ďYeah, right.Ē

miri: So was it hard to talk him into doing it, given his fears and his need for routine?

Rebecca: Oh God, no. He was gung-ho about it from the get-go. Yeah. No, he was real excited about it. And it was an interesting four months. You know, there were a lot of highs, and then we wouldnít hear from them for a few weeks, and then weíd get a call, and it was like another high, and then another bout of time when we wouldnít hear anything. So it was a lot of up and down, and it was a very tense period. Because the further you get in the casting process, the higher the stakes are. And itís like, God, like if we were told, ďThanks for investing all this time and energy but itís just not going to work out,Ē that call was something I dreaded every day.

miri: Right. Especially since youíd been through that before.

Rebecca: Yeah. It was a little different this time, though. The first time, the guy that I auditioned with I really didnít care for in the same way as Adam. Not nearly. I actually was kind of dreading being with him. I was hoping I didnít get it. I remember going to the in-person interviewóit was like the third or fourth callbackóand I was driving there with him, and I go, God, I really donít think I want to do this with this person. I really donít like him.

Tribefan: At least you recognized that.

miri: So it was for the best that you didnít get picked for that season.

Rebecca: I think subconsciously I kind of sabotaged it, yeah. They asked meóbecause they wanted to create tensionóďWould you care if Glen would meet another girl?Ē Iím like, ďNo, I wouldnít care at all.Ē


Rebecca: They asked me the same question with Adam, and I was like, ďI would be killing somebody.Ē

Tribefan: Ah hah. They probably could see the lack of chemistry. If they said that they wanted you to have a partner who had more chemistry with you, they could see that, because, as you said, you probably did sabotage it a little.

Rebecca: Yeah. I knew in my heart of hearts that we were going to get picked. I knew it.

Tribefan: And you did.

Rebecca: Yeah. We did.

Tribefan: Did Adam have the hair horns before the Race, or was this something he devised for the Race?

Rebecca: No. Heís had them foróabout two years ago, I put them in. I donít know what I was thinking, but we were just playing around in my room one day. And I put them on. Didnít know theyíd stick and be portrayed on national television.

Tribefan: Itís become his trademark.

Rebecca: You know, I know. Well, theyíre gone now.

Tribefan: Thatís true. Well, it made you guys stand out, you know?

Rebecca: Yeah, yeah, sure.


Rebecca: I get it in airports: ďOh, Rebecca, youíre the one with the guy with the horns.Ē

Tribefan: Yeah. Thatís the problem. Youíll forever be associated with the guy with the horns. Yeah, thatís you.

miri: Going into the Race, what did you guys think were the biggest strengths and weaknesses of your team?

Rebecca: Well, Adam has severe, severe eating issues in terms of he wonít try anything new. He doesnít like anything. He eats like egg whites and chicken breasts. Thatís all he eats. We knew if there was any food challenge, he was out. It was done. Game over. So we were really lucky that most ofówell, one of the two foods of the Roadblock, the pizza, was difficult, because he doesnít eat tomatoes. So that was kind of a problem. I knew my strength would be food. And he also is afraid of heights. So anything high up would have been out. Remember when he screamed, ďMommy!Ē going down the zip line?

Tribefan: So this played into how you separated Roadblocks, then, how you decided who did Roadblocks. Right?

Rebecca: Oh, we each knew our strengths and weaknesses. And then whenever it was manual labor, we knew he could do it, or we thought he could do it.

Tribefan: You didnít count on salt in the eyes, did you?

Rebecca: Clearly, I over-estimated his strengths.

Tribefan: Well, youíre pretty strong yourself, but I guess you expected maybe a little moreó

Rebecca: Yeah. I was hoping he could rally a little bit more and make it happen, but whatever. Iím happy with our third finish. I would have been much happier with a first finish.

miri: But third place is pretty damn good. I mean, you got to run the whole Race.

Tribefan: Because, yeah, thatís the thing. You get to do everything, at least, in the top three.

Rebecca: Yeah. Considering when we started off in Chicago, I just didnít want to be the first team eliminated. That was my whole thing. And then after that, I was like, okay. Well, now my goal is to maybe make it top six. And then after that, it was, oh my God, letís see if we can make final four.

Tribefan: And then you shoot for the top. Was there anything special you did to prepare for the Race?

Rebecca: I worked out a lot harder. I watched what I ate. Adam and I did this thing called the stairs in Santa Monica. Itís kind of a famous place where people would train, a grueling stretch of stairs at like a 90 degree angle. And we would go there, and we would train there once a week just to keep our endurance up. We went rock climbing.

Tribefan: Thatís good. How much time was there between finding out that you were going to get on and actually leaving for the Race?

Rebecca: We were told on June 16th that we got it, and we left August 1st. So it wasnít a lot of time.

Tribefan: Yeah. Because I always wondered if you even get enough time to prepare properly.
Itís hard to prepare for the Race. You donít know what theyíre going to throw at you.
Rebecca: Yeah. Itís hard to prepare for the Race. You donít know what theyíre going to throw at you. All you can do is get yourself in the best physical shape possible. We attempted to learn how to read maps, and I went online. I was looking up different words in different languages, basic words, and I was writing them all down. But then they confiscate everything in the hotel.

Tribefan: So you have to have a really good memory.

Rebecca: I was trying so hard to say, ďHow much? How far?Ē and stuff like that in different languages. But I retained nothing.

miri: What for you is the biggest difference or the biggest surprise from actually being on the Race as compared to watching it? Was there really one thing that you were like, ďWow, I didnít think it was going to be like this at all?Ē

Rebecca: Probably the exhaustion. Itís almost indescribable how truly, truly mentally and physically exhausted you are the entire Race. I mean, you are running on 100% pure adrenaline. Even when you get to sleep, itís not restful, because youíre constantly stressing about the next thing, and thereís never any peace. So it was 31 days of just constant exhaustion. I think that was the one thing that Ióand also a lot of down time. A lot of waiting. A lot of waiting in airports. A lot of driving. The interesting thing they donít really show on the Race is time lapse. In Iceland, we did about 15 hours of driving. From the gas station where I did the whole diesel nightmare, the Pit Stop was a five-hour drive. And you donít know. You canít really gauge. And the time with the locks, I was there for six hours.

miri: Okay, wait a minute. So you guys had the diesel problem, and the one season you had seen before was Season 3?

Tribefan: [Laughs] Thatís what I was just thinking.

Rebecca: Because they donít show this on the TV, but Adam remembered that incident happening after I filled up the tank with the wrong gas. So he was like, ďWe canít drive. It will break down, because thatís what happened in Season 3.Ē So thatís when we had to siphon it out. Yes. I would haveóI guess I did see Season 3, but I donít remember that. I would have just driven away, like, ďOh, weíll be fine.Ē Then we would have been out of the Race. So Adamís knowledge of that saved us.

miri: Well, I will say I watched the premiere with Michael and Kathy. They were the team who got knocked out because of the diesel thing.

Rebecca: Really?

miri: Yeah. And they were like, ďOh, someone else doing the same thing!Ē


miri: It was kind of a little relief.

Rebecca: Thatís hilarious. Bertram, whoís the creator of the show, came up to me at the Pit Stop and he was like, ďLetís try to do new things. Weíve already done that. Letís try to do new things.Ē


miri: And how is it when you know a moment like that is coming upóI mean, youíre watching with your family and friends, and obviously they donít know itís coming up, and you know youíre going to be doing something thatís maybe not showing you in the best light possible? Is it hard not to give that away, or do you just like to sit back and watch their reactions as they see it?

Rebecca: No. I was very tight-lipped about everything. I only watched like three or four episodes with my family, because theyíre in Virginia. I was very tight-lipped. I didnít want to tell anybody. I didnít want to reveal anything. I wanted everything to come as a complete surprise. And my parents lived for Tuesday nights. Theyíd get together with my brother and his wife, and it was just such a fun time for them. Because they would call me during commercials: ďOh my God, youíre screaming at Adam.Ē You know, whatever I was doing, whatever debacle I was in. I didnít give anything away. It was easy for me to keep it tight.

Tribefan: Well, if you donít see them all the time, that probably helped.

Rebecca: Yeah. But we got a lot more air time than we would have gotten if we hadnít had the diesel incident, so I was actually happy for that.

Tribefan: Thatís right. That was on the first episode, when there are so many teams.

Rebecca: Yeah. The more mistakes you make, the more air time. I learned that.


Tribefan: So there was another strategy.

miri: Well, and especially since I think you guys are such a dramatic team. With all your ups and downs, both in the Race and emotionally, I think that you got a lot of the air time, too.

Rebecca: Yeah. They really spent a lot of time cultivating our relationship. It was really interesting that they didnít spend more time with Freddy and Kendra, knowing that they were going to win. Because usually they like to do that. Thatís why a lot of stuff I read that I read on the internet, people were banking on Adam and I winning.

Tribefan: Yeah, I had heard. That was kind of a fake spoiler I had heard, that you guys did win. So we were surprised when you didnít.

Rebecca: Yeah, it would have been nice.

Tribefan: Speaking of your family, was there anything that happened on the Race that they didnít show that you really wish your family and friends could have seen?

Rebecca: No. I was actually really happy with my edit. I mean, I was shocked at Haydenís edit, to be honest with you, looking back on it. She is such a funny girl and she was like comic relief on the Race. And they just made her look like such a raging bitch.

Tribefan: She did not come across very well.

Rebecca: She came across very whiny and annoying. And, yeah, I was pleasantly surprised that they gave me a lot of funny lines. Yeah. The one thing I would have to say that I wish they had explored was that we had an alliance with Jonathan and Victoria when it came to the Yield. It was just called our VooDoo Yield alliance. We would not Yield them if they did not Yield us, unless they were the last team and we had no choice. So thatís why we Yielded Freddy and Kendra. And a lot of people didnít understand why we did that.

miri: Especially since I think earlier in one of the episodes, they showed him yelling at you guys for following them. Did the alliance come out after that?

Rebecca: Yeah. Victoria approached me in Budapest at the Pit Stop, and she was like, ďYou know, a lot of the people have lost their Yields.Ē Because at each stop, you turn in all your plane tickets that you donít use and clues. And so, accidentally, a couple of teams turned in their Yields, and they didnít mean to, and they donít get them back. So a lot of the teams, we had an advantage over them. Like Hayden and Aaron didnít have a Yield. I believe Lori and Bolo didnít have a Yield. There were a lot of people that didnít have them. So Jonathan and Victoria knew this, and so did we, so we made an alliance with them that we wanted to Yieldówe really wanted to Yield Aaron and Hayden. That was our first. But they were ahead of us at the donkeys, so we couldnít Yield them.

miri: Why them? Did you feel they were your strongest competitors?

Rebecca: Absolutely. They were the strongest team, and we wanted them out.

Tribefan: But youíre right. They really didnít show that at all. So it was kind of confusing that you would Yield Freddy and Kendra when Jonathan and Victoria would have been an easy mark, and they were last.

Rebecca: Yeah. It didnít make any sense. And I was reading on all the sites, people are like, ďWhat is going on with that?Ē They thought it was horrible that we Yielded Freddy and Kendra and not Jonathan and Victoria.

Tribefan: The fact that they didnít show that made a big difference, because we were all scratching our heads.

miri: Is that really difficult, reading the sites? I mean, obviously, we only know part of the story, but thatís all we have to base our opinions on. Is it hard not to go, ďBut wait a minute! You guys donít know!Ē

Rebecca: At first it was, especially when people were writing things about which they didnít have the whole story. And I wanted to go on there and defend myself. And then I got to the point where, you know what? Itís fine. Once itís over, people will stop talking about it. And itís kind of interesting. I liked reading the bad stuff. Hayden was banned from reading them, because it was really making her depressed. But I was like, itís fine. People can say what they want and have opinions, and itís all good. I had no problem with it.

Tribefan: Well, you seem to have a good attitude about it. I know there have been Racers in the past that really didnít react very well to the criticism they received on the boards.

Rebecca: Right. Yeah, I can see how it would get to you. Adam never read one. He didnít ever go on and read it. And itís probably best that he didnít, because they really ripped on him at times.

Tribefan: Yeah. In the end, because I know I have friends who really liked you but werenít fond of Adam. So I think you came across much better in the team than he did.

miri: You know, after some of the interviews you both did right afterwards, like the TV Guide interview and stuff, a lot of people gave both you guys a lot of props for just saying, ďWell, thatís what we are.Ē

Rebecca: Right.

miri: People donít like it when you say, ďOh, we were edited,Ē you know? So you just kind ofó

Tribefan: Absolutely. A lot of redemption can come in your post-Race interviews.
That is one thing I will say about Adam in his defense. I mean, as many issues and problems that he has, he is 100% secure with himself. And heís like, ďThis is me.Ē He doesnít apologize for it.
Rebecca: That is one thing I will say about Adam in his defense. I mean, as many issues and problems that he has, he is 100% secure with himself. And heís like, ďThis is me.Ē He doesnít apologize for it. And I find that to be really admirable because a lot of people just canít hang with their shortcomings.

Tribefan: That is true. Itís good when you can say, ďHey, thatís who I am. I accept who I am,Ē as opposed to trying to blame it on someone else for the way you were portrayed. So yeah, it really did go a long way towards people thinking differently of Adam when all was said and done.

Rebecca: Heís probably the most real, not-fake person Iíve ever met. Like if he doesnít like you, he wonít pretend that he does. He wonít even look at you. And not many people are like that. Theyíll put on a smile and sort of be amicable. And Adam cannot be fake. He cannot. He is missing the DNA that lets him be fake.

miri: So were you kind of like the ambassador to other teams if there was a team that he didnít like or get along with?

Rebecca: Itís so frustrating. I mean, I remember this one incident. We were in Shanghai, and it was hours of operation. We were all lined up outside of this towerónot tower. We were like getting the gongs.

miri: Oh, yeah. Right.

Rebecca: Weíre all out there. Itís like 3:00 in the morning, and weíre just all wired. And so me and Hayden and Freddy and Aaron and Kris and Jon, weíre like just being retarded and laughing and just dancing around the premises. And really early, these Chinese people would come and do yoga. And we were like joking with them and just being really loud. And Adam was just this curmudgeon. He was laying there. He just didnít want to talk to anybody. He was like, ďEverybody is making too much noise.Ē Weíre all like, ďWhat is the problem? Weíre in China. Weíre having fun.Ē And it was like this big rift between Adam and everybody else. It was horrible. And I was like, ďWhy canít you just be nice? Be nice! Letís have some fun!Ē So, he was such a downer a lot of the time.

miri: And I remember at one point when you all wereóI canít remember what city this was inóI just remember yíall walking across a bridge or something and you saying something about how you were feeling alone and how you couldnít hang out with some people as freely as you wanted to because of his attitude. Was that kind of what was going on?

Rebecca: Well, what happened was we got to the cyber-cafť, and it was hours of operation, so they put us up in a hotel, so we had a lot of time to kill, and we were all going to go to dinner. Well, Adam was like, ďI donít want to go. I donít want to go.Ē And I was like, ďAdam, I want to hang out with Kris and Jon and Aaron and Hayden and Freddy and Kendra and be social.Ē And they were really fun to be with, really cool people. And I was like, ďCan we just go and be with them, please?Ē And it wasnít that he wanted to be romantic with meóhow it seemed on TV. Itís just he didnít want to be with them. And it made me sad, because I was having more fun with them than I was with him. And it got likeó

miri: It just kind of put you in an awkward position, it seems like.

Rebecca: Well, I was really torn, because I felt I was likable and fun to be with. And Adam was the antithesis of that. And I just wanted to hang out with them and bond and meet new people and make friends, and Adam was not interested in doing that.

Tribefan: Do you think that pulled you down as a team, because you were just so different in that regard?

Rebecca: Yeah. I think, certainly, our differences played a factor in a lot ofóI mean, we were just pulling up the rear the whole time. And, really, I donít know how we made it to third place. We certainly should not have by all accounts. But, yeah, a lot of it had to do with our inability to communicate and get along. So much energy put into fighting.

miri: Would you say that good communicationóI mean, if youíre looking for a partner for the Raceówould that be one of the most important tools you could think of that a Race team should have?
I would say the most important element would be respect. You have to respect your partner. And I think a lot of times, I looked at Adam and I felt like he was pathetic, and I didnít respect him.
Rebecca: I would say the most important element would be respect. You have to respect your partner. And I think a lot of times, I looked at Adam and I felt like he was pathetic, and I didnít respect him. And so thatís why I didnít respect what he thought or where he thought we should go or what he thought we should do. I felt very much in charge, and thatís a problem. Thatís a deal-breaker, it really is, in a relationship and in the Race.

Tribefan: That kind of came out when he wanted to give a shot at working the airline counter. And you were just like, ďYou stay there, and Iíll do it.Ē

Rebecca: Yeah. I was like, ďNo, I donít trust you enough. I have to do it, because I donít know how your abilities are, because I donít respect you.Ē And itís horrible to say that, but itís just completely honest.

miri: Do you think, by the end, that you had a little more respect for him?

Rebecca: Yeah. I think Adam is capable of a lot more than he thinks he is. And like the skydiving thing, I really wanted to do that. I knew it was going to be skydiving. But I knew that he needed to do that, just to kind of end with a bang, to go out with a bang. So I think that gave him a lot of confidence. Because he really is a lot different than he was when I first met him nearly three years ago.

Tribefan: So it was a good growing experience for him, it sounds like.

Rebecca: Sure. Yeah. He grew a lot. He had a long way to go.

miri: And it sounds like you learned something about yourself, too.

Rebecca: Yeah. I definitely donít think that we know how strong we are until weíre challenged, until weíre forced to face certain things. And I think that can be true in many aspects of life. And certainly on the Race, I was like, wow, Iím capable of a lot more than I thought I was.

Tribefan: Was there a challenge on the Race that you didnít think you could do but that you then did and were really proud of yourself for having done?

Rebecca: I would have to say theóI never thought I couldnít do it, but I certainly was scared shitlessóthe window washing. It was terrifying. It really was terrifying. It was so high up, and the wind was blowing me across that building, and I couldnít work the clutch, and I was falling up there. And it just felt like at any minuteóI just kept imagining the little rope breaking. I donít know why I let my mind go there. But it was excruciating. And I just forgedólike I have no choice. I have to do this.

Tribefan: How long did it take you to do that?

Rebecca: It took me about half an hour.

Tribefan: Wow. Thatís a very long time when youíre afraid.

Rebecca: Yes. Everything went numb.

miri: And youíre so skinny and tiny, it could have just blown you away with that wind blowing.

Rebecca: That was an ongoing joke with the bungeeing, because I got catapulted about 25 more feet than everybody else.

Tribefan: Propelled into space.

Rebecca: They had weights on me, and I still like blew everybody out of the sky.

miri: Was that scary?

Rebecca: Yeah, that was pretty scary. It wasnít scary at all. I was actually relieved, because we got there, and, of course, it was hours of operation once again. And it was like 3:00 A.M. we got there and the bungee thing didnít open until 6:00. But we didnít know it was bungee, because they hadnít set anything up. It was just a parking lot. So weíre looking around. Weíre looking around, and I see a big box that says ďbungee,Ē and I was like, oh no. Because I knew Adam could not do it. He absolutely could not do it. That would be likeóthatís his biggest fear. So I was like, ďAdam, itís bungee, honey.Ē And he was like, ďWhat? What? What?Ē Heís like, ďIím going home. Iím going home. I canít do this. Iím going home.Ē He starts freaking out. He wouldnít talk to anybody. He was all but crying like in the corner. So, when I found out it was a Roadblock, I was so relieved that my relief took over my fear.

Tribefan: Oh, thatís good. Because you knew with a Detour, it wasnít going to happen.

Rebecca: I think,had it been a Detour, he would not have done it. He really wouldnít have done it. And that would have been really sad to me.

Tribefan: So thank God, you just did it, and it was okay.

miri: Well, and then was it he and Bolo who were teasing you while you wereó

Rebecca: Yeah, in the recap episode. ďRebecca, if you donít make it, can we eat your Power Bars?Ē

[everybody laughs]

Tribefan: What was your absolute favorite task on the Race? What was the best thing of all?

Rebecca: Hmm. The best task? Letís see. I would have to say I really enjoyed the soapbox. I was so surprised. I loved that. I really did. It was very, very cool. It only looked like it was a second, but it was a lot longer than it seemed.

miri: Oh, really?

Rebecca: Yeah, it was fun. I liked that.

miri: Well, that looked like fun, too, because it wasnít scary. It wasnít anything stressful. It was just fun.

Rebecca: It was fun, yeah. We really need more fun things on the Race. Everythingís like scary or disgusting oró

Tribefan: Yeah. Itís Fear Factor on location.

miri: Speaking of the Fear Factor thing, what do you think of these eat-way-too-much challenges?

Rebecca: That seems to be their thing on the Race. Itís not so much what youíre eating, itís how much youíre eating. In the soup, for example, I was so focused eating the soup that I didnít even realize what I was doing. I was just like in the zone. And I was soómyself and everybody elseówas so sick from that. At one point, Adam was like, ďIím calling a doctor.Ē I mean, it was very similar to having food poisoning. Yeah, it was not pretty. I mean, I was really, really, really sick for about six hours after I got to the Pit Stop, and all the other teams were, too. And it canít be good for you.

Tribefan: We agree. None of us seem to like it, either, and weíre not doing it.

Rebecca: I just feel like itísóand at the time, I was 97 pounds. I was really, really tiny. And, I mean, looking at people like Gus and Aaron who were getting sick from it, and theyíre like twice my size. So yeah, gorging yourself till you puke.

Tribefan: We understand that if itís just some kind of native food and, you know, like the octopus in Season 4, that was something that they went to restaurants to eat. It was a delicacy. But, yeah, when they start getting into the volume, I think thatís where we all have a real problem.

miri: Yeah. And that really started in Season 5.

Rebecca: Yeah. The camera guys were telling us on Season 5 that it was just a big pukefest when they were eating the eggs, and they didnít really show that. And the same thing with the caviar. They were just getting sick left and right. And they didnít want to show that, because they kind of wanted toóbut they sure showed it on my season.

Tribefan: Yes, they did. And they pointed it out. ďHey, heís throwing up.Ē
That was fun walking into it and seeing Victoria and Aaron throwing up. I was like, ďOh, party!Ē
Rebecca: Yeah. That was fun. That was fun walking into it and seeing Victoria and Aaron throwing up. I was like, ďOh, party!Ē I donít even know what Iím going to have to do. I mean, that was awful walking into that room. I was like, oh no.

miri: Just the smell alone, I would not have been able to eat anything.

Tribefan: I know. I donít know how you got yourself into a zone, because, yeah, the smell would have ended me right there.

Rebecca: Yeah. The funny part is, the next day, during the Pit Stop, they took us back to that restaurant for lunch.


Tribefan: Like you really wanted to revisit those people.

Rebecca: I know. Another thing about the soup is that thatís notólike they said itís a Hungarian delicacy. Itís not. They were in the back like making it as spicy as they could, adding stuff to it. I mean, they were really trying to make it painful for us.

Tribefan: See, thatís what I really donít like, because youíre right, itís not even endemic to the culture. Youíre making it up just to make you all sick.

Rebecca: Certainly.

miri: Personally, for me, I think itís very Ugly American. I think itís the picture people have of Americans, that we eat until weíre sick.

Rebecca: Sure.

miri: And that, you know, weíre a big fat nation. And, as a big fat person, I can say that. You know, that is true. People do have that perception of us. And thatís justó

Rebecca: Yeah. And itís also disrespectful to cultures that donít have any food.

miri: Exactly.

Rebecca: I know for a fact that, when they were doing the eggs eating, they were in a very poor country. And, you know, people donít have anything, and hereís the big Americans in here stuffing their faces. I mean, thatís disgusting.

Tribefan: It is disgusting. Itís disrespectful. Yeah, we can do without the eating.

miri: On to maybe more pleasant topics.

Tribefan: Okay. Weíll move off from the vomit now.

miri: You guys, it seems like the Racers who did go to Sequesterville ended up being fairly close. Do you feel like youíve made some close friendships with people on the Race?

Rebecca: Oh, absolutely. I mean, Hayden is like one of my best friends. I see that girl every day.

Tribefan: Oh, thatís so cool.

Rebecca: Yeah, sheís my girl. Weíre very, very tight. And Iím invited to Freddy and Kendraís wedding next month. And I see Jon and Victoria quite a bit. Jon, Victoria, myself, and Aaron are all going to Hugh Hefnerís birthday party on Saturday at the Playboy Mansion.

miri: Ah, thatís fun, I guess.

Tribefan: Itís probably more fun for the guys.

Rebecca: Exactly. But, yeah, we all hang out. We go on hikes, we go out for dinner, and we spend a lot of time together.

Tribefan: Oh, thatís great. I know that youíve become friends with Brennan as well, and Iím sure youíve met other Racers from other seasons.

Rebecca: Yeah.

Tribefan: But is the L.A. group pretty tight?

Rebecca: We are. I just wentóearlier this morning, I had breakfast with some Survivor people. So itís like a little reality world culture out here, like a little subculture, all the Survivor people and Race people and different shows. They all kind of hang out.

miri: Like a little support group for people whoíve survived reality TV.

Rebecca: I guess thatís kind of what it is.

Tribefan: Thatís fun. What else have you been up to since the Race?

Rebecca: Since the Race? Letís see. Iíve been doing a lot of traveling. I just got back from Florida the other night, and, tomorrow, Iím going to New York. Iím kind of all over the place. I was up for this Discovery Channel show, and I donít know if thatís going to happen just because CBS is giving me a hard time with my contract. So I donít knowó

Tribefan: Is that only for like a year or something afterwards?

Rebecca: Yeah, they own me. And itís kind of a bummer, because it looks like thatís the only problem with me booking that.

Tribefan: Oh, thatís too bad.

miri: Are you allowed to talk about what that show would be about?

Rebecca: An extreme sports travel show. So basically like Joe Schmoe writes in and says, ďHi, Iím an accountant in Sherman Oaks, and my dream is to rock climb with so-and-so,Ē whoís like the most famous rock climber in the world. And I would show up at the door with this famous person that he wants to rock climb with, and Iíd be like, ďPack your bags, weíre going to leave.Ē And then weíd fly out, and weíd go through a training session and do all this stuff. But itís extreme sports, like helicopter skiing and all kinds of stuff.

Tribefan: Thereís a big, big audience for that. That would be a great show, I think.

Rebecca: Yeah. I think so, too. One of the producers was a big fan of the Race, and he was like, ďYeah, we really want you, because youíre like a strong girl.Ē I was like, yeah, that would be good.

Tribefan: If you actually can work it out with CBS.

miri: Well, good luck on that.

Rebecca: Steve is dealing with it. I really am kind of like just an innocent bystander. Other than that, Iím just kind of jobless, looking for something to do. You know, Iím going to be 30 in June. Itís like a big life-changing age, or at least a turning point.

Tribefan: Itís a milestone.

Rebecca: Yeah. I really would like to do something, I donít know, worthy, something interesting. So Iím keeping my eyes open for something.

Tribefan: Thatís good, because now is the time of life when you can do those things, you know, find what it is youíre looking for.

Rebecca: Yeah. Certainly.

Tribefan: Do you have any advice for people who aspire to be on the Race?
And thatís the essential, key thing, just to be able to articulate yourself and be interesting and be a compelling persona and make people want to watch you.
Rebecca: I would sayówell, everyone says this, but be yourself. But thatís huge. I mean, they reallyóI remember when we were making the tape, Adam was like, ďWe should be on spinning bikes and be really creative.Ē And I was like, ďNo, we shouldnít. We should sit on my bed, set up my video camera, and film ourselves.Ē And thatís exactly what we did. We just kept it super-simple, because essentially they want to know that you are an interesting person when it just comes to you and the camera. And thatís the essential, key thing, just to be able to articulate yourself and be interesting and be a compelling persona and make people want to watch you. And certainly another huge thing is your chemistry with your partner. What they really are interested in is having relationships that are kind of unresolved, like fathers and daughters who donít have the best of relationships and theyíre trying to work it out, or boyfriend/girlfriend, or a marriage thatís on the rocks. You know, they like relationships that have banter, that have interesting components.

miri: And, obviously, you need to feel comfortable enough with each other to have that banter and back and forth.

Rebecca: Absolutely.

Tribefan: Was there anything that you didnít bring with you on the Race that you really could have used and youíd recommend someone take with them?

Rebecca: Yes. A sleeping bag. That would be first and foremost. Oh my God, how many times we slept outside, and I had nothing, and it was awful. Thanks to Hayden and Aaron, they had an extra little silk kind of sleeping bag thing that Adam and I would squeeze ourselves into. And also, a bag of detergent. I would bring that.

miri: Yeah, that sounds like good advice. Yeah. Weíve heard tales of the smell emanating from Racers towards the end of the Race, so sure.

Rebecca: Like Adam got real sick in Sri Lanka and threw up all over himself, and then put his clothes in a Ziploc bag and carried it around with him. I was like, oh, no, no, no, no.

miri: Does that just constantly feeling dirty, does it just wear down on you? Does it affect your mental outlook at all?

Rebecca: Yeah, but it gets to a point where youíre just likeódepending on how long the leg is, because you can always shower at Pit Stops if you donít shower before that. So thatís a few days of running around. And itís harder in the Third World countries where itís hot. Yeah. I mean, at some points, I was so dirty and covered in, you know, fish juice when we were fish stackingóI think that was Dakaróand youíre just disgusting. I mean, you kind of revel in it. Like, okay. Iím gross. Itís fine.

Tribefan: I guess once youíre gross, what difference does it make?

Rebecca: Yeah. Itís kind of liberating not to care or be concerned about your appearance.

miri: What do you think of thisóhave you been watching the current season?

Rebecca: Yes, I have.

miri: What do you think about this taking away the whole backpacks and everything on the non-elim?

Rebecca: I love it. I love it. I think that they have to constantly innovate on the show to keep it interesting, because you donít want the same old stale thing happening. Yeah. Iím glad I wasnít on that season, though. I was just like, no, I need my lip-gloss. Yeah. But itís definitely interesting. It will be very telling on them as Racers to see how theyíll do without their comfort products.

miri: Right. Well, personally I think Meredith and Gretchen did fantastic. It was amazing to see them come back from that.

Rebecca: Yeah. They are doing great. Theyíre holding their own.

miri: How did it feel to be on the Race with this very controversial personality of Jonathan? I mean, he was getting so much press and not very positive press.

Rebecca: It really didnít bother me, because everywhere I went was, ďOh my gosh, heís bad.Ē I mean, that was like the first question out of everybodyís mouth. And it more annoyed me, because he would call me on a daily basis and want to talk for like an hour about how everybody hates him and heís getting like 5,000 e-mails a day. Iím like, ďJonathan, in a few weeks, no one is going to give a shit. No one is going care. So, you know what? Either run with it and enjoy it while you have it, or just go hide under a rock and come out when youíre eliminated.Ē

Tribefan: When the coast is clear.

Rebecca: Exactly. And it didnít bother me at all. I was like, you know, thatís justóof course, itís going to get all this attention, and everybody is going to be focused on him, because he was so unbelievably cruel.

Tribefan: Did you see that or was it something that we really got the narrowed-down version for TV? Was he as disruptive for everyone?

Rebecca: Oh my God. He was so annoying. Adam and I did not like him from the moment we saw him in the hotel during finals. He was loud, and he was unruly, and he was obnoxious. And, in the finals at CBS, we were all like in the boardroom, and we had to sit there for like hours on end just staring at each other, like the final pick. He just wouldnít sit still, and he was annoying, and we were, God, the guy is an idiot. We just did not like him. And what you saw on the Race was very much who he was, and, as you could see, he was possessed by the Devil on the Race. But Jonathan is a great person. He has a humongous heart, and I think watching himself has really taught him a lesson. And he is a very compassionate, fun person to be with. And I often hang out with him and talk to him, and there are no traces of that at all in his daily personality.

miri: So you think he just needs to stay clear of the Race?

Rebecca: Heís very competitive, this huge Race fan and Survivor fan. Heís been trying to get on both those shows forever. And I think his stakes were just really, really high.

miri: Yeah. Over-invested, maybe.

Rebecca: Yeah, yeah. I will say this: He was probably the smartest player on the Race. He was a very, very good player. Aaron was the strongest, and Jonathan was the smartest.

Tribefan: If heís too competitive, sometimes that can be a very bad thing.
Yeah. And, in the Race, attention to detail, that will kill you. If you do not pay attention to detail, that will be the reason you are out of the Race.
Rebecca: Yeah. And, in the Race, attention to detail, that will kill you. If you do not pay attention to detail, that will be the reason you are out of the Race. Thatís why Lori and Bolo were out. They didnít read the detail. Jon and Victoria. You know, it comes down to the details.

miri: Right.

Tribefan: You can only go so fast.

Rebecca: Yeah. Exactly.

miri: How long were you at those keys at the end?

Rebecca: Six hours.

miri: Six hours. Oh my God.

Rebecca: I was there for six hours.

Tribefan: Did you ever consider giving up?

Rebecca: Never. Never once. I would have gone all night.

miri: And you just barely got the key in time. Right? I mean, the lock in time.

Rebecca: Yeah. It was a crazy story, actually. It was about 6:30 and the gondolas were closing at 7:00. And so production stepped in, like ďHey, we only have 30 minutes left. Rebecca, your lock is between this point and that point, and Hayden, yours is between there and there.Ē So they narrowed it down for us, and we still couldnít get it. So, at about quarter of 7:00, they stepped in again, like ďRebecca, your lock is like one of these ten. Hayden, yours is over here.Ē So Aaron and Adam were sitting there panting, weíre like, oh my God. And we still couldnít get it. So it was like 6:58, and theyíre like, ďOkay, you guys, step forward.Ē Haydenís like, ďItís totally clear we canít do it. Itís over. Itís done.Ē And I walked away from the keys, too. And production goes, ďOkay. You have two choices. You can either wait at the bottom and try again in the morning or take the four-hour penalty and then make a run for the Pit Stop. So I had been there for six hours. I hadnít had any food or drink in like 24. I was not about to do either of those options. I was, I donít like those. I want to go to my damn hotel right now and order room service. So I said, ďYou know, Iím going to try one more lock.Ē And I went over, and, in the last second, I opened it.

miri: Wow. Was it just that the keys werenít turning, or justó

Rebecca: They were like 600 years old, and the keys like had to be inserted a certain way, and there was a certain amount of pressure involved, and they were rusty, and it was awful.

miri: And I bet after Hayden breaking off a few, you were afraid to turn too hard, too.

Rebecca: Yeah. Oh, yeah. She broke two keys, had to go back down to the bottom and get them.

miri: Wow. I just think watching that, it was so tense. You know, everyone at TARcon was just on the edge of their seats watching that. I never thought turning a key in a lock could be so interesting to watch.

Rebecca: Yeah. Well, that was the most hellacious point of the Race for me. That and counting the damned stuffed animals in IKEA.


Tribefan: Of course, it was a source of great amusement for us, thatís for sure.

Rebecca: My little comments about going insane andóI was just losing my mind at that point after like the fourth hour.

miri: Yeah. I loved the bit where you just were like picking them up like they were nasty things, ďNumber one. Two. Three.Ē

Rebecca: Yeah. Iím moving my mouth.

miri: Oh, I know. I just thought that was great. How long were you at that one?

Rebecca: Four hours.

miri: Wow. And with all the noise going on around you and everyone else trying to count at the same timeó

Rebecca: Seriously, it was the most tense, hellacious day of my life, because, not only were you trying to like remember the number, but then you had people with pots and pans slapping and just noise and distractions. And my mind was fried.

Tribefan: And thatís where the exhaustion would really play a part, because youíre not mentally sharp.

Rebecca: Oh, yeah. I mean, 95 percent of the exhaustion was mental, because the stuff that we do, the physicality of it, I mean, yeah, certain legs were much more physically demanding than others. But, during it, it was mental. I mean, you donít see us in the travel agent for seven hours trying to find the best flight out of Dakar. You know, weíre freaking out, and all the power kept dying in the travel agency, and you had to wait on the slow computer forever. I mean, that was just miserable.

miri: Oh my gosh. You know, I think Hera described it as 30 days of just total insanity.

Rebecca: Oh, yeah.

miri: And itís just amazing, after hearing some of the stories, that you have brain cells left by the end of it, because it just seems like all your connectors would be fried.

Rebecca: I got home from that trip, and I crashed for like a week. I seriously slept for a week.

miri: Because yíall just went straight from the finish line home. Right?

Rebecca: Yeah. In Chicago that night, we had a wrap party, and then the nextóI think we left the next day, yeah.

miri: So what did you guys think of TARcon?

Rebecca: I thought it was great. I really thought it was neat. It was kind of a kick walking in and having everyone yelling your name. I felt like a Beatle.

miri: Itís like being a rock star for one night. Right?
Itís great to see people who truly love something youíre a part of. And I think thatís the greatest thing about it, is that it does bring people a lot of enjoyment.
Rebecca: Yeah. But it was great. It was cool. Itís great to see people who truly love something youíre a part of. And I think thatís the greatest thing about it, is that it does bring people a lot of enjoyment. And Iím just glad I could have entertained, I suppose.

Tribefan: Oh, you did! Thatís the thing, I think a lot of Racers donít understand the community thatís developed around all of this.

Rebecca: Oh, I know.

Tribefan: People have become good friends with people they never knew before, you know. And the old Racers, the ones who choose to keep coming around, are part of that community. So just so you know, youíre always welcome back, and youíll still be a rock star.

Rebecca: Oh, thank you!

Tribefan: If you need an ego boost, just come into a room full of Amazing Race fans.

Rebecca: But, really, itís such a trip. Like there are fans all over, and itís so nice. And people think theyíre bothering you when they come up to you, but theyíre really not.

Tribefan: So do you get recognized a lot?

Rebecca: Not a whole lot. Recently itís been more, when I travel outside of L.A. Because here is where every other person is on TV.

Tribefan: Thatís true.

Rebecca: But a funny thing happened, actually, right before I went to Florida, about a week and a half ago. I was getting my nails done, and I was the only person in the salon. And this woman walks in. And did you ever see Private Parts with Howard Stern?

miri: I saw part of it.

Rebecca: Well, her name is Mary McCormack. Sheís an actress on The West Wing.

miri: Oh, yeah.

Rebecca: So she walked in. And I was thinking, oh, I just heard her on Howard Stern like a few days prior, and I really liked the interview. So I was like, oh, Iím going to say something to her and just tell her I really liked her interview or whatever. So Iím trying to think of a way to say it without sounding like a dorky fan. So I open my mouth to tell, and she looks at me and goes, ďOh, I so wanted you to win.Ē I was like, here I am about to like praise her, and sheís a big Race fan.

miri: Thatís fun.

Rebecca: So, yeah, we exchanged numbers, and Iím actually going to watch the Race at her house next week.

Tribefan: Oh, thatíll be fun.

miri: Cool.

Rebecca: Yeah. Itís just trippy. Like you never know when people will recognize you or what theyíre thinking.

miri: Yeah. Well, listen, thank you so much for your time and we really appreciate it.

Rebecca: My pleasure.