What attracted you to the show?
Amanda: Chris got me interested in show. He has watched it since the first episode of season one and then I started watching it since season two. The show is so quick and intense and crazy, how can you not like it? Then in season three we applied for season four and it worked out, they liked our cooky asses so we went with it.
Chris: I've watched this show from Day 1. Unlike other shows, there's ALWAYS stuff going on. Nobody's sitting around a fire getting eaten by insects while trying to figure out whether to eat corn meal or leaves. And there are no ridiculous delays to build up suspense...except when Phil does his thing. And that is most always cool. I dunno, it's just the best reality show on TV, in my opinion...and I can't imagine it not being on anymore if that's what ends up happening after this season.
It was obvious you'd watched previous seasons of the show, did you learn anything from watching previous racers?
Amanda: As much as you can watch the show and try to prepare and think that you know how it all works, being on the show is a different story. Once we left LAX, we did not sleep or eat much at all for the first leg (three days) until we stayed for our 12-hour rest in Cortina. Being deprived of sleep and eats made for some lack of concentration, making it very hard to focus on tasks.
Chris: I learned not to put diesel in my car and then pooze out and check into a hotel when that shit doesn't work. Right Michael? Looking like a host from the Barbary Coast? I'd give Ian props for that McGyver shit he did...but that dude and his wife hate me. Kinda ironic huh? I'd have to go with a lot of what Amanda said. There's no way to prepare for the extreme conditions of the race. All you can do is pick up little things like the gas thing, making sure your pack isn't monstrous and/or too heavy, bring some kind of flashlight device, have several alarm clocks in case some bastard decides to shut one off, and never say "I've been/lived/stayed/gone through/owned/or have relatives that live in such and such city." You will almost always look like a jackass when you can't find your way around said city.
If yes, what did you bring to the race that you learned from previous races?
Amanda: I brought toilet paper because I knew the race goes to places around the world where TP is not used. Man, I used that shit. People keep riding that comment's ass, and I just want them to know that if they ever race, that shit is a good idea. Take my word. And if we would have made it to those countries that don't offer Charmin, I'd be getting $1 a sheet from the other racers. Because if you don't wipe and you are sitting in a hot bus for like 30 hours and you got that going on in your pants, that is not a cool thing to deal with.
Chris: I brought way too much crap. Of course since I got the axe so damn early, I never got to use any of it. With the amount of time I was on the race, I would say it was all useless. But if we would have managed to go a lot further, hell who knows if some of it would have made the difference in our success or not. I'm selling it all on Ebay right now, in a box, for $3.
How did you prepare (both mentally and physically) for the race?
Amanda: Um..I meditated for the mental part. And for the physical part I did walk 16 miles a day in the hospital I worked as a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Technician. I was gonna lift weights, but that did not happen. I was gonna run, but living in Sioux Falls it was too cold for my ass to be moving outside.
Chris: I tried to wake up every day and yell at Amanda at least 6 times before dinner. Yeah, y'all would like to think that, wouldn't you? Man, I didn't do as much preparing as I would have liked. I ran a little, lifted weights, tried to hit Barnes and Noble as much as we could, and just kept visualizing us taking each step to the finish line. So my advice would be to do none of this crap as you can see that it didn't do shit. Instead sit in your house and play pattern recognition games.
The "come on, Flo" comment certainly amused many race fans. Did you guys decide ahead of time to use "Flo" as some sort of code word to use when you felt the other's behavior was getting out of hand? Or was just spontaneous?
Amanda: Actually, I think Flo rocks. It was kick ass meeting her at the premiere and by the way, she is hot if you did not already know that. There was some times on Season 3 that they edited it to show her whining and not wanting to keep racing and all that good stuff, I am sure that you all know because you all watched. Well, my brother and Chris' mom told me that they would kick my ass if I acted like Flo. And Chris and I had discussed that I needed to be strong and not come off acting or looking like how she did in certain moments. I guess, at that moment on the mountain, he thought that I was acting like Flo and so he said what he did. It is funny now, but I thought he was a jerk at the time. You know, you saw!
Chris: Flo does pretty much friggin rock. She was at the premiere party when said line was uttered by me. I had completely forgotten that I said it. When it flew outta my mouth I about crapped myself. I could then be found hiding under my damn chair. Nah. Flo was a VERY good sport about it. She acted all tough and stood up and gave me the "Flo eyes." Ya know, that look of death that Zach is used to? But then I went up there to apologize and she was very nice about it. She even offered me a bite of her burrito. No. She didn't. I just made that up. But on the hill, in Cortina, when Amanda kept stopping and getting whiny, I just wanted her to think back on the things we talked about before the race and that's just what came out of my mouth. And yes, my mom did tell Amanda she would kick her ass if she acted like that on TV. Good ol' mom.
Were you worried about how your personalities would come across on TV?
Amanda: Shit, I wasn't worried. Ya sign up to do that shit and you do it. The tape does not lie, the people do (huh, think there are racers I got ill feelings for?). Anyhow, I am very pleased on what they chose to edit into the first two episodes. I swear a lot and they showed that in the first show with me dropping all the "F" bombs. Then in the second show after flying down the Olympic ski hill and reading a clue, I pause for whatever reason to do some sort of high pitched-squealing, chicken dance. I do crazy shit like that all the time and I love them for showing it.
Chris: Ham up to the chicken dance, for sure. Man, I've replayed that thing like 40 times. I think she is pretty damn cute in that shot. "We're going to Venice...you must not fly....bawka bawka bawka..." It's just classic Manda Jones. If you get a chance, rewind that mug. It's right after we come off the ski jump hill and read the clue. As far as being worried about my portrayal...man, I'm a jerk and at least I acknowledge it. I know I got problems. Some people are all assy and they wonder why people think of them that way. I know why. I'm not proud of it. I'm just cognizant of it. I do have other facets of my personality; unfortunately the editing crew didn't care to focus on that. Oh well.
Do you think the show managed to capture your personalities?
Amanda: Hell yeah. Well...I am a silly, little, potty-mouthed fool. Did you sense that? Chris may be a jerk, but I think they did a real good job making him look extra jerky. He is funny as shit in our daily life, and sensitive, and a JERK. But all of those things of course at different moments and they all balance each other out. Shit, I'd be out the door if I constantly got that guy you saw on TV.
Chris: Thanks babe. Yeah, I had other stuff to display, but that wasn't the angle/drama they were going for. I do know there were some voiceovers that didn't necessarily match up with the scene they came from...but whatever, that's how they create their story. I accept it as such. I know who I am, Amanda knows who I am, my friends and family know who I am and really that's all that matters. Besides I don't think I came off all that horribly. Miss Alli, what do you think?
Did you enjoy watching yourself on the race? Where you nervous before the premiere?
Amanda: It was very entertaining watching me say "fuck" on TV, and if I would have known that they were gonna show my little "fuck" rampage I would have had everybody at the premiere drink each time I said "fuck". I was nervous before the show started cuz we met a lot of cool racers from previous seasons at our little get together. I have watched their seasons (except for season one, Brennan) and I had lots of ideas about who they were and they did not know what to expect from me. I love getting to know people, but this was kinda stressful at first. It turned out to be a blast. Those kids at CBS that do the casting for these reality shows ROCK! The racers are as cool in person as they look on TV.
Chris: I didn't necessarily like watching me. I'm pretty critical of myself so I didn't need the extra angle on my life to look at. I did enjoy watching the people we were with and the places we had gone. It was like a photo album that brought back so many fun memories (since we cannot have cameras). So I did enjoy watching that. I too enjoyed watching Amanda. And hell yes I was nervous before the premiere. Especially with so many former racers in the house for it. I knew the thing on the hill would come out bad, but I was just hoping they'd keep the kiss and make up on the ski lift. Which they kind of did. There was more. But I was afraid of looking like a huge ass in front of all the alums. They were very nice about it all and said I only looked like a little bit of an ass.
What were the worst and best moments of the race (minus elimination)?
Amanda: From start to finish, it was awesome. Being at Dodger Stadium rocked. The thirteen hour flight to Milan was new and exciting. Milan and Cortina and Venice were "off the hook". The new friends are priceless. Hmmm...Mastercard commercial? Worst moment, um, we were with Weezer and Geezer and the rest of the group when they found Pallazo da Mosto and Josh screamed for us to wait and we were like a dog on the wrong trail. We kept going and we ran around for three dumb hours that day looking for that shit and tiring ourselves out and draining all our energy and dooming ourselves with some serious mental negativity. Sucked. Also, Josh invited us to cut in line at the Masquerade ball and I had issues with that so we did not (I do not like cutters). Big regrets, baby. I wish I would have been a little more nasty at times cuz I would have kept on racing my ass out of Venice and on to _______.
Chris: The best time I had was on the bus from Milan to Cortina. It was a long bus ride and we had no idea where we were going. So we all stayed awake (or tried to) because we didn't know when we'd be pulling up to the destination. Well, eventually sleep deprivation set in and hysteria ensued. Of course, I could've said the first place finish was the best moment. But if it wasn't for the bonding on this bus trip, the three way tie may have never happened. The worst moment was sitting outside that Masquerade Ball and seeing team after team fly out and yell to their partner "we have to run to the pit stop!!" That sucked. And being almost last, my brain was working overtime on all the negative possibilities. Wasn't fun.
What was the best thing you packed for the show? The worst?
Amanda: Can I beat this into the ground? I was pleased to have brought toilet paper. I did not need it for personal potty reasons, I blew my nose with it. But I may have needed it if we would have raced longer (I know, but I can't tell you). I think the worst thing I packed was sun screen among other heavy dumb toiletries that I didn't use. I have to admit I am a crappy packer, I always bring way too much.
Chris: Winter gear. Y'all can bite me about the hat...that thing was WARM! And when I'm standing on a mountain in Italy freezing my ass off, my backpack could have been empty as long as I had my coat, my gloves, and my hat. Functionality people!!! The worst thing I packed was a sleeping bag. It was a real compact bag with a good low temp rating. But it still took more room than I wanted to give it and it added weight. I suppose it might have come in handy a few times, but I wasn't around long enough to find out.
How much did fatigue and jet lag play in the race?
Amanda: Dude, while waiting outside of the Masquerade ball, I hallucinated. I saw a gold necklace on the ground that was not there. I tried to have my friends see it, but there was nothing to see. Our senses were totally deprived. While I hallucinated Chris slept standing up with his head against a wall. This of course played into the race. We also lost our positive edge and let pessimism sink in.
Chris: For real. The top of my head was planted firmly against the wall (in that alley) to keep me upright as I slept (not very soundly). I was working with about 5 hours of sleep on the race at that point. It's really hard to sleep even when you have time to do so (pit stops) because you end up flying out of bed going, "shit...we have to get to the airport!!" And the sleep times are so random. I had a little bit of jet lag in Milan as I kept asking Chuck if he felt the floor moving in the McDonald's like I did. I was wiped out. But get me to that Venice pit stop, let me sleep for a solid hour, and I can go 20 more legs. Ham up.
What were the pit stops like? Was there really enough time to eat/sleep/mingle as is shown?
Amanda: Well, we only got to hang out at one pitstop. We tried to sleep for about 5 hours, but our minds were still racing and we could not shut them up. But we did mingle with Josh and Geez and Millie and Chuck and it was good times. Josh, Millie, and I drank lots of coffee and we were amped. . It may sound childish, but it was too fun. We tried some crazy ass beer that at the first sip it tasted kinda like oranges and then seconds later it tasted like somebody backed up and took a shit in your mouth. And I am not joking.
Chris: Right on. Pit stops are great. If you want to, you can avoid sleep the entire time and just get hooked up with food for 12 hours straight,. And it was really hard for us to stop the flow of adrenaline after having just come in first, so getting to sleep was difficult. And like I said in the previous question, the sleep isn't all that restful as your subconscious always is telling you you're supposed to be somewhere instead of sleeping. Orange FANTA forever!!
Chris, the Roadblock in Venice (with the masks) looked very difficult. How dark was it in the room and how many rooms did you have to search through?
Chris: Shit, that thing sucked. Being at the back of the line, we wanted to go scope out the Fast Forward and see if The Hotties were dead set on doing it. And if they were, we wanted to wait there until they completed it and then look at the Route Info to see where the Pit Stop was. Being in our alliance, Stave would have helped us out and we would have had a leg up on other teams going into the roadblock. But our camera crew had to re-charge their batteries, so we were unable to explore that option. The rooms were pretty dark. I think my anxiety over being next to last to go in, my state of mind, and my lack of sleep made that task harder than it should have been for me. All of those things caused me to only focus on what was in front of me, instead of looking around the room more. On my third time in, I saw Monica coming down the stairs to the main room to look at more masks...my immediate thought was "There's FRICKIN' STAIRS???" So I hauled ass up those and found like 8 more rooms to look through. It was nuts. Well, with the full array of masks finally, I was able to pick the one that matched my photo exactly. My total time in that thing was not as long as it looked. The first two times in were under a minute a piece (when I thought all I had to choose from were the masks in the main room). The third one was probably 2-3 minutes. It was a very fast roadblock And checking in only a minute after the Supremes meant that if I could have located the stairs just one attempt earlier, we would have beat them. We also had the opportunity to cut in line with Josh...but didn't. Being 4th in line would have made a lot of difference in my state of mind. Yeah I know, what-if what-if...shutup.
Amanda, it was great seeing you enjoy Venice - is it a place you'd like to go back to and explore further?
Amanda: Oh, thank you. Venice definitely has my name on it for future explorations. However, I will go back when the weather is nicer and I have money to eat at the restaurants and time to explore the city.
Chris: We both enjoyed Venice. I just wasn't shown doing it. We enjoyed all the places we went. We walked around Milan much of the night that we were there. Cortina was incredibly beautiful. And Venice was one of the places I wanted to go pre-race. We are going to try and get back to Europe and do a backpacking trip, Just really soak it all in. There's so many great places that we wanted to go to but never got the chance. Hopefully we can talk some other people into going. Maybe someone can offer a prize and film the whole thing.
In your pre-race questionnaire, you were asked to list each other's strengths and weaknesses. Having gone through the race, would you change anything about those answers?
Chris: Me neither.
What is one thing most people don't know about you that you wish they did?
Amanda: I do not know if it is a thing necessarily about me, I would just like to comment that sometimes editing makes people look different than how they acted. Some jerks look nice and some nice people look like jerks. Just like anything in life when you take things for face value you miss out on shit. I do not really like to judge or prejudge, I just like to see from people's intentions and actions, who they are. I think for the most part CBS did me justice on showing some of who I am, but from what I have seen on these first two episodes, you do not really see the people I got to see. I guess though, one thing about myself and some public reaction: I do use foul language like a lot of people out there and some viewers have been offended and have said some negative things and have predetermined who I am. I just want them to think long and hard about a nice, Christian girl with excellent morals and values. If you saw, she did not hold any ill will or judgments towards me, so I do not know why others with a less saintly record need to? Take that for whatever you want. The Amazing Race is still and forever will be my most favorite fucking show and my mom told me a long time ago that not everybody I meet is going to like me.
Chris: Haven't I given you people ENOUGH?
What have you been up to since race?
Amanda: Nothing cool like racing. Just living like everybody else.
Chris: Just waiting for all this damn stuff to go down. And now it has. 14:59....15:00
Talk about the team and the interview.
[Thanks to CBS's PR Department for arranging this interview.]