Interviews

MoJo Rising

Monica and Joseph show us a slightly different side to them than we saw on the Race. One that involves a lot of laughter and answers the eternal question, who needs mind games when you've got your mojo going?

miri: Were you guys fans of the show before you decided to apply? I mean, had you been watching it?

Joseph: Yes. We were big fans of the show.

Monica: His mom had always watched it and his sisters watched since Season 1. And we started probably watching, I guess, in the middle of-about halfway through all the seasons, like Season 4, I think. We started really, really watching, and we're just like, wow, this is so amazing. You know, it's this fantasy. You feel like it would be the coolest show to go on.

Tribefan: That's for sure. Had you applied before? Was this the first time you applied, when you got on?

Monica: Yes. It was our first time.

Tribefan: Oh, well, you were lucky first time out.

Monica: Yeah.

Tribefan: What did you do in your video? Were you just talking or doing anything special in your video?

Monica: We kind of were just really energetic. And we had this little cheer that we did for MoJo, just kind of being goofy and being stupid and making fun of each other. And Joseph walked over, and it was so funny-he walked over and he-

Joseph: Farted on her.
He farts on me. I look at him, and I've got the bitchiest look on my face. And I think they could just tell from right there that I can be a bitch and he can be funny and we can get over it real quickly.
Monica: He farts on me. I look at him, and I've got the bitchiest look on my face. And I think they could just tell from right there that I can be a bitch and he can be funny and we can get over it real quickly.

Joseph: Well, too, I was like, "Well, Monica, so"-I was interviewing her, and I was like, "What do you hate about me?" And she really let loose and it kind of pissed me off. So I was like, all right, you do me now. Me. She did me, and I told her everything I hated about her.

Tribefan: That's an interesting approach. And apparently it worked. I know Joni did say that she saw you at the finals, and you're not allowed to talk to each other, but she said she knew that you guys would be picked because you had the look.

Joseph: She really said that?

Tribefan: Yeah. She said she knew for sure you guys would be picked.

Monica: Oh, we knew that they were going to be picked because we knew they were crazy just from watching them from afar.

Joseph: Well, sometimes we'd go do interviews after them with the producers, and hell, we could hear them in there screaming and shit. And we were like, what in the hell is going on? So we're like, oh, my God, do we need to scream and shit like they do?

Tribefan: Well, the screaming obviously was in real life and not just on the show.

Joseph: That's right. And the peeing of the pants.

miri: Oh, no.

Tribefan: Now, did you come up with the MoJo nickname? Was that something you already had called yourself?

Joseph: Well, a lot of her friends call her Mo and some of mine call me Joe. And then I think one of our friends actually gave us that nickname.

Monica: Nobody ever really nicknamed us, like, hey, MoJo. But we would always go to different places, and when we're on trips, if we'd see a bar called MoJo-and not surprisingly, there's a lot of businesses, you know, like MoJo Lounge or whatever. So we'd just get a t-shirt from there. And then when figured, why not take it on the Race? It's kind of a way for people to remember us and not have to say Monica and Joseph every time.

Joseph: Yeah. Or they'll make up their own little nickname for us.

Tribefan: That's true. Beat them to the punch.

Monica: Yeah. Exactly.

Tribefan: Once you found out you were going to get on the Race, what did you do to prepare?

Joseph: Well, Monica has always worked out, and I really didn't do much of anything. I went on a hunting trip in New Mexico, an elk hunting trip, the week before. So I had probably walked, oh, maybe 50 miles that week, you know, hunting for elk. That really got me in shape the week-two weeks before we left?

Monica: Yeah.

Joseph: So, I mean, I was in shape from doing that. And Monica's a workout freak, so-

Tribefan: I remember that from your pre-Race video.

Monica: We also-you don't know what to bring, so we just watched-I think we watched every freaking episode of Amazing Race ever. And so we just watched them over and over, and just really paid attention to the size of peoples' backpacks and the clothing that they're wearing and what they're packing. But you can't really see what they're packing. I really did try to bring layers. I didn't want to bring a heavy coat that I couldn't take apart, so I would just bring a fleece and a rain jacket. I could put them all together if I really needed to.

miri: And yet they weren't really weighing down your backpack.

Monica: Exactly.

Tribefan: Was there anything you brought that you wish you'd just left behind?

Joseph: I think I would have just maybe packed one pair of pants and not shorts or anything - use that for everything. But our packs really-they never slowed us down.

Monica: We were smart, though. We spent a lot of money on our packs because we-I mean, if you think about it, you are carrying those around for 30 days. So what is $400 when you're carrying it around and it's going to help you win a million, possibly, or whatever.

Tribefan: Oh, yeah. If it fits you properly and everything.

Monica: Yeah. And we bought these ultra-light ones. So before you put anything in them, they weighed, what, a pound?

Joseph: Yeah. They were really light.

Monica: Or two pounds. Where some of the other ones will weigh eight pounds before you even put anything in them because they're just-you know, have the structure. We had these ultra-light ones. Anyways, my backpack only weighed 18 pounds. That was the most it ever weighed. And if you look at the Double Ds, their backpacks weighed 43 pounds or something apiece.

Tribefan: Oh, my gosh.

Joseph: Yeah. They were giving their stuff away halfway through the Race.

miri: Yeah. We always feel on the first couple legs of the Race, you kind of get an idea for who's going to go the longest by who starts out with the smallest backpacks.

Tribefan: I sort of feel that you get tired enough without dragging all that extra weight around. My goodness.

Monica: I know. It was so-I mean, it really made a huge difference. It really did.

Tribefan: How long before you actually left for the Race did you find out that you'd been picked?

Monica: Oh, my gosh.

Joseph: Four weeks.

Monica: Yeah.

Tribefan: That's a fair amount of time.

Monica: I don't know even that, Joseph.

Joseph: We were in Vegas, and-

Monica: October 12th.

Joseph: October 12th.

Monica: To October 22nd.

Joseph: And somebody asks Monica to do the show.

Monica: And we left November 4th. So we got back from L.A. on the 22nd. We found out two days later that we were on the show. And we were in Denver, leaving on the starting line November 4th. So, what, that's only like ten days.

Tribefan: Wow. I'm not sure I could turn it around that quick.

miri: Especially since a lot of that time you spend in kind of a little-is that when you're in like a mini-sequester before the Race starts?

Monica: Yeah. You have this whole time before you go up on the starting line. But it's just kind of orientation, like this is a clue. This is-I mean, you know it all, but they just really want you to understand the game 110%.

miri: Right. And you have to practice reading the clues out loud in front of the cameras and stuff like that?

Monica: Exactly. Yeah. And do a little staged leg. It's just in one big banquet hallway room. I mean, it's like, okay, now make your way and eat this whole loaf of bread or do ten pushups.

Tribefan: Oh, really?

Monica: Just something stupid like that, just to make you get the whole gist of it.

miri: And are you doing this separately or with the other teams? Does each team do it-

Joseph: Separately.

miri: Yeah. That just seems to me like it must be one of the weirdest times. It's actually before the Race starts and during the interview process and everything, where you can see all the other teams but you're not allowed to talk to them. And when we were talking with Joni, she was talking about how they were going a little bit stir-crazy during that whole time they were stuck in their hotel room out in L.A. during the interview process.

Joseph: Yeah. It was miserable.

miri: I mean, how did y'all deal with it? Did you just come up with games to play, or what did you do?

Joseph: We kind of entertained each other. You had to just watch a lot of TV, I guess. I don't know.

Monica: What did we do? We would order takeout because in L.A., they have all those businesses that will go and get food for you. And that was kind of cool because we don't have that here. And we would maybe order down a bottle of wine from the hotel or something. I mean, but really nothing. Really, it was extremely boring and awkward because you would go downstairs and you'd have these three breakfast, lunch, and dinner designated times, and you would see all these people that are obviously your competition. And so it's really competitive and awkward. And it's just weird. You don't know anyone's name. You can't really look at each other. They tell you not to make eye contact. They tell you not to wear your state logo on a shirt because they-it's all strategy. You don't want people knowing where you're from. And I'm like, well, now that I look back, that really didn't matter. If they would have known we were from Arkansas, so what?

Tribefan: I guess maybe they don't want people thinking, oh, well, we're from the same state. Maybe they won't pick me. I don't know. But as Joni was saying, too, that had never occurred to me, that they didn't want them to hear each other's accents or anything.

Monica: I know. It's so weird.

Tribefan: That had never crossed my mind. I thought they just didn't want them talking so they would share information, but-

Monica: They don't want you meeting, period, before "go."

miri: So obviously, the mind games are already starting a little bit, though. You're trying to figure out who your competition is going to be, and starting to maybe size them up a little bit?

Joseph: You're trying to size them up. But to me, there's no mind games on the Race. What the hell is that going to do?

Tribefan: True.
Nothing. Maybe Survivor, but to me, on the Amazing Race, that doesn't have anything to do with the way Monica and I performed, whether BJ and Tyler made up some rumor that she liked Eric.
Joseph: Nothing. Maybe Survivor, but to me, on the Amazing Race, that doesn't have anything to do with the way Monica and I performed, whether BJ and Tyler made up some rumor that she liked Eric.

(Laughter.)

Joseph: I mean, come on, guys.

Tribefan: It seemed kind of fruitless.

Joseph: Yeah. And then people tried to make us out to be the bad boys after-you know, saying we didn't give money because we knew they were talking all that shit about us. But whatever.

Tribefan: Yeah. But how did you feel about your edit overall? Because I think I read an interview along the way where either Fran or Barry or someone said that they thought you had an odd edit - that we really weren't seeing you as you really are.

Monica: I know. I thought the same thing. I think everybody else was truly represented. Their personality came across. Mine and Joseph's did not, at all, I didn't think. I mean, it's just like they didn't show us at all until the feud happened with the Hippies, and then they showed us constantly. And a lot of it was just that whole feud. And since the Hippies won, we knew they won the whole time. Right?

Tribefan: Right.

Monica: So we knew why they were getting edited so fondly and awesome. You know, they looked awesome. Everybody loved the Hippies. Well, that's because they won. I mean, they don't want America to vote for a team or root for a team that doesn't win, or root for a team that everybody hates. Or they don't want a team to win that everybody hates.

Tribefan: Sometimes they've not been able to avoid that, but-

Monica: Yeah. That's true. But our edit-I thought there were certain points in the Race, I was like, wow, that was us right there. Okay. For example, on the Yield mat, when we got Yielded and we were kind of having a little spat and I was about to cry and Joseph was like, "Stop crying," and I'm like, "Well, I would stop crying if you would just stop talking to me." And we kind of make fun of each other, and he's talking about how, "I'm a brat," and he's mocking me. I mean, stuff like that, even though it's kind of bad, it's funny to us. And that was really just how we are with each other. And I didn't see that a whole lot throughout the Race.

miri: Because that's showing your sense of humor, and they just didn't really have a lot of that come through.
Joseph and Monica: have clue and happy to travel.
Joseph and Monica: have clue and happy to travel.
Joseph: Eric and Jeremy were telling-they were telling me this. They were saying, "Yeah, I was telling my friends how funny you were," and they're like, "What the hell, man? They're not showing how funny you are on the Race." And I'm like, "Yeah, because it was the funny people. The Hippies were funny." So they have to have a character. You see what I'm saying?

miri: Right.

Joseph: I'm a funny guy and am always joking around.

Monica: Yeah. Never saw that on the Race.

Joseph: Never saw that on the Race.

Tribefan: Yeah. I would agree because I think that would be my one real criticism of your team as it was portrayed - there didn't seem to be any humor there.

Joseph: Right. And there was a lot. They just didn't show it.

miri: And that must have been frustrating for you, I mean, because this is kind of your travelogue of this grand experience that you had. And you come across as not really having that much fun.

Tribefan: Although we will admit when you would open the clues, it looked like you were having a great time when you'd find out where you were going.

Monica: Yeah. I think that that was a big thing. I just knew that that was going to come across about me. And it really-if you pay attention and you really watch the show, it does. I mean, I even had one of the producers tell me , we've never seen anybody so excited about where they're going next and just all these new places. Because that's just the type of person I am. I get really excited about everything. And they did sometimes-they would play me saying-I'd say, "Woohoo!" like that sometimes, and they would have me saying it way more than I ever said it.

Tribefan: We'll drop in a "Woohoo!" here.

(Laughter.)

Tribefan: Were there specific moments that happened to you, fun things or funny things that you wish they had shown but we just never got to see?

Joseph: There was a paint huffer dude that was high in Australia that chased after Monica.

Monica: He did. And I was so scared. And everybody was laughing at me because I was so scared that he was going to poke me with a knife or a needle or something.

Tribefan: Oh, no.

Monica: I don't know. You don't know what these crazy paint huffers are going to do to you.

Joseph: Eric and Jeremy and I were laughing our asses off.

Monica: He was chasing me around the car. And I was so scared, and I was like, "Guys, just get him away from me!" But they never showed it. And I guess in Castellamare in Sicily, our cab driver was so badass. He was the most fun person, and he just thought he was going to be a superstar. He already looked like Rico Suave.

Joseph: Yeah. He was a pretty-boy Italian. He was hilarious.

Monica: And when he saw the cameras, he thought we were just superstars. And he was like, "Oh, my God, I'm going to be famous American! I'm going to be on American TV!" And we just had a blast with him the whole time. We were laughing with him, running around Castellamare. And we made up almost three hours on that leg. We just kicked ass on that leg. So that whole thing, I thought they were going to show a lot more of him and us laughing and having a good time. But they really didn't.

Tribefan: We often wonder-when we watch the show early in the episodes, if someone is not getting a lot of air time, we think, well, they're probably going to be around for a while. Because early on, you guys really weren't in it very much.

MoJo: Right.

Tribefan: They didn't show too much. But usually that just means because you were there for a while so they had something to work with. But then we do miss out on some development of your characters and stuff.

Joseph: Right.

Monica: I know. It's like all of a sudden, here we are.

Tribefan: Yeah. Really, suddenly, because I was reading through our posts just trying to get a sense of what people would want to know, and there was-somebody was like, oh, they're finally starting to show some personality. And it's not you. I mean, we understand that it's the editing. But sometimes it's just odd, and we don't get a good picture, really, of who you are.

Monica: And there's a lot of things that I would say that are me. It's funny because I would say stuff like, "I'm filthy," and then I would be, "But I love it," and stuff like that. And then they show me as this finicky little person that can't carry a fish. And that's not me at all.

Joseph: That so got edited wrong. I mean, she still has scars on her arms from that damn fish. I mean, it made her bleed.

Tribefan: Oh, my gosh. How come you were carrying it that way?

Monica: Yeah. I shouldn't have carried it that way. But those scales-did you even think that they would hurt, Joseph, when you picked it up?

Joseph: No.
So by the time I got down there, I looked down and my arms were bleeding, and they were twice the size that they normally were. So it kind of crept up on me.
Monica: They were really tiny. You didn't even see them. So by the time I got down there, I looked down and my arms were bleeding, and they were twice the size that they normally were. So it kind of crept up on me. You know what I mean? I didn't know it was going to be that bad.

miri: Yeah. Because you started out-I mean, you were having fun with them.

Joseph: And then Jagino didn't raise his hand when I was yelling his name, that son of a bitch.

(Laughter.)

Monica: And then you said you were going to stab all the locals in the head, and that was really nice of you.

Tribefan: Yeah. We liked that.

Monica: It's funny, too, because we look back and we wonder so much. We're like, why did he not raise his hands for us? I think it's like they see me crying and they're like, hey, Jagino, maybe you should hide out for a little bit and let Monica freak out.

Joseph: I swear to God, we walked by him and talked to him, too, and he didn't say anything.

miri: Everyone was thinking it was because there might have been some pronunciation issues.

Monica: Oh, I know.

Joseph: Hell, no. That guy knows-we're Americans, and he knows exactly who we are.

Monica: How do you say that, J-a-g-i-n-o, in Italian?

miri: I have no idea. I would have been butchering it nonstop.

Joseph: Yeah. We were butchering it. But rewind the tape and look at other contestants.

Monica: We were all saying it wrong.

Joseph: He raised his hand. I mean, it's like-

Tribefan: Everybody says it wrong.

Monica: Oh, I know. My whole Palermo thing, but I say PALl-er-mo.

miri: The editors had more than a little bit of fun at your expense with that one.

Monica: But everybody else pronounced it wrong, too, besides Fran and Barry, who have traveled the world.

Tribefan: Yeah. That's true.

Joseph: Oh, Barry gave me a history lesson when Monica was doing the statue.

Tribefan: What was he telling you?

Joseph: Oh, "Joseph, do you know that they used to have wars here? And they'd have plays here, and this is what this is like." Yeah, Barry. Yeah. Thanks. Appreciate that, buddy.

Tribefan: Were you there?

(Laughter.)

Joseph: I love Barry to death, though. They're good people. We're still friends with them.

Tribefan: Oh, that's great. Did you get along pretty much with everybody on the Race?

Joseph: We really did, except for Yolanda.

Tribefan: Really?

Joseph: Ray may have-he seemed like he would try to break away from her and talk to us at times. When we were in Australia at the lake, he came and he hung out in the pool with BJ and Tyler and me and Monica and Eric and Jeremy.

Monica: And the funny thing is, if I can break in-sorry. I'm just interrupting for a second.

Joseph: I weel keel you.

Monica: When we were hanging out with them in Australia, that was right after we beat them to the finish line-I mean, beat them to the mat. And that's how it was between us. We were kind of perturbed by them or whatever, but we would still hang out with them.

Joseph: Yeah.

Monica: It wasn't as bad as it was on TV.

Joseph: Yeah, for sure. We hung with them right after that was over with.

Monica: Yeah. Okay. Go ahead.

Joseph: But, I mean, that's all I was going to say, is Yolanda would come around and Ray would just kind of be quiet. I think that was part of her strategy.

Tribefan: Yeah. Kind of putting her game face on nonstop.

Joseph: Yeah. It's like, chill the hell out and have some fun, Yolanda.

miri: Well, that kind of goes to-the race is a combination of competition and experience. And I think some people focus so much on the competition that they really lose a lot on the experience side.

Monica: Oh, you're exactly right.

Joseph: Yolanda, when it was all over with, she kind of was wondering why people weren't being nice to her. It's like, come on. You didn't make an attempt to get to know anybody on the Race.

Monica: So now when we're all hanging out, we don't know you. We know everybody else. We don't know you.

miri: Has that changed a little bit since the race, or have y'all not had a chance to chat much with them?

Monica: We still don't talk, no.

Joseph: Well, I don't care to be friends with Ray and Yolanda. Actually, Ray's a nice guy. I shouldn't say that. But Yolanda, man, she just sucks.

Monica: Joseph.

Joseph: I don't care.

(Laughter.)

miri: Okay. Honesty. That's good.

Tribefan: Yeah. We like that. Do you want to take on some the-

Monica: Except for she's going to get on TARflies and see. Yolanda-Joseph says, Yolanda sucks.

Joseph: You think I give a shit? Look what she said about us on national television.

Tribefan: And what did she say about you? I'm forgetting.

Joseph: She said something-I mean, she talked shit about us the whole time, I think.

Monica: Oh, she said, "There's not much up there," talking about how we're not smart.

Joseph: Like we're stupid.

Monica: And then she said-they claim to be nice people but they're really not, like with the whole money thing. And you know what? That's just not true. I mean, that's just-we totally knew that they were saying they wanted to Yield us way before then. Right when we got to the Jabreen Castle in Oman, we were told that they were telling all the other teams they wanted to Yield us. So that very next morning we're like, we're not leaving you money, then. You're talking bad about us, you're in the middle of the desert with no gas, and you think that we're going to leave you money? No. Like, no.

Joseph: I think it's funny that Yolanda was saying stuff about us, and she didn't even know us. And then we were saying something. I was like, well, we don't even know them, so maybe we shouldn't say anything about them.

Monica: Yeah.

Joseph: But then she is saying this shit about us the whole race.

Monica: Well, that's good, because we didn't talk bad about people and she did.

Tribefan: It's just funny. I was looking at some of the videos on CBS.com, and on your pre-Race video, you were saying how you wouldn't take anything personally, that it really is-it's a game and you have to let it go. It's a game.

Joseph: Yeah.

Tribefan: But then you did seem to take things personally, I mean, especially with the whole Yield thing and all that, was it just different in the heat of the Race than you thought it would be?

Joseph: Sure, it was, because right after that happened, like Monica said a while ago, we hung out with them in the pool all night. We hung out with the guys and had a good time.

Tribefan: Right.
I mean, we talked to them right after that and we were friends with them and we were fine with it. But we're not going to leave them money.
Monica: You know what? I think that we didn't take it personally. I think it's the fact that you give some, you get some, or it's karma. So if you're going to talk bad about us, then we're not going to directly turn around and be your helper. But we're not going to hold it against you. I mean, we talked to them right after that and we were friends with them and we were fine with it. But we're not going to leave them money. You know what I mean?

miri: Well, and that's like a lot of people took, Joseph, your comment on the mat of, you Yielded us and yet we came in-we beat you. It's almost just being mean to them. But I almost took it as total shock that it came out that way.

Joseph: Yeah.

miri: Was it a combination of both?

Monica: Yeah.

Joseph: You're being mean to me. Are you kidding? They had a personal vendetta against us. They obviously Yielded us. Why would you Yield the team that's waiting in line right behind you? You would want to Yield the person you think is going to arrive last to guarantee your victory.

Tribefan: Well, that's what I would think.

Joseph: Okay. That's just not very smart playing the game.

Tribefan: Why do you think it was a vendetta against you? Because you said they were saying these things before you even didn't leave them money.

Joseph: I think that they admitted it on the Early Show. They said that they were-I think BJ said. He said I was just jealous because they're a really good looking couple and Monica is so good looking.

(Laughter.)

Joseph: He said it. I mean-

Tribefan: It's a reason, as good as any.

Monica: I don't know why they would care about that. And they may have just been kidding. But I really do think that they did not want to get beat by us. Like we were the last couple they wanted to get beat by. I don't know why. It's just kind of like, okay, this young, all-American couple is not going to beat us. We went to Harvard, and blah blah blah. I think they were kind of-

Joseph: I think that's why Yolanda hated us, too. She couldn't figure out why we kept on beating them.

Monica: That's true.

Tribefan: You guys came in second several times. Was it really frustrating to just miss coming in first?

Joseph: Oh, my God, yes. Oh, man, it's so tough. And that's just the way the Race works. It's hard like that. And we needed some good luck sometimes, and sometimes it just wouldn't happen for us. Like the damn Fast Forward. Eric and Jeremy-hell, we were there for ten minutes busting plates.

Tribefan: I know. They had the best luck.

Joseph: We even heard production, when we got there say, okay, MoJo's here. They're going to get the Fast Forward. We were like, yeah! But we just picked the wrong side of the table.

Monica: When they came in and started doing it, I'm like, why do you need the Fast Forward?

Tribefan: Honestly. Yeah. They really didn't. And I don't know if it was all editing or if they really were just that lucky. They always seemed to find everything fast. No matter what the task was, they did it fast. And they were all luck-based.

Joseph: Yeah. They did have quite a bit of luck.

Monica: Oh, so much luck.

(Laughter.)

Tribefan: No matter what you're searching for, they found it.

Monica: Well, it was interesting to me because I think all the way up to Palermo and then to-yeah, all the way up to Germany and Palermo, it was like BJ and Tyler and Eric and Jeremy had gotten ahead in Russia, and they just stayed ahead because there were no equalizers for the longest time. We were getting so frustrated because I remember Bertram came up to us after Palermo and after Germany. He goes, "You guys have the fastest time out of any team." He was like, "You kicked ass." He really couldn't believe how-I mean, "From the Pit Start to the Pit Stop, you did it phenomenally fast." But there was no possible way we could have gotten ahead. So it's just weird. When you're really in the game, you understand it a lot more.

Tribefan: Right. But there have been seasons where all we did was complain because it seemed like nobody could ever hold a lead because they'd be bunched up every time you turned around. And then this season didn't seem to be that way at all.

Joseph: Yeah. This season, there was no-

Monica: Equalizers.

Joseph: -bottlenecks at the beginning of the Race.

Tribefan: Right. And that's why we had the same two teams coming in first time after time.

Monica: I know. And we said that, really. What fans are going to like seeing Eric and Jeremy and BJ and Tyler come in every time?

Tribefan: It made it a lot less interesting.

Joseph: Right. It really did.

Tribefan: You really do want to see teams getting mixed up. And you don't want to, oh, God, who is going to be this week? Is it Eric and Jeremy or the other ones? You know, that's just boring.

Monica: I know.

Tribefan: Plus we just miss the Fast Forward being on every leg, too, because that was always a chance to mix things up. But no more.

Monica: I know. There used to be a Fast Forward on every leg.

Tribefan: I know. We liked that because then you could use it strategically. Now you have to grab it.

Monica: Exactly.

Tribefan: There's no thought process to it, really.

Monica: Really. I know.

Tribefan: So we don't like that.

Monica: Me, either.

(Laughter.)

Tribefan: So of all the tasks you had to do, what were your favorites?

Monica: Okay. What was yours, Joe?

Joseph: Oh, the rappel was really cool in São Paolo. I hate heights, and it was actually kind of relieving to just get up there and do it.

Tribefan: Yeah, after the climb.

Joseph: Yeah. At the waterfall rappel, and the climb up, that was awesome.

Tribefan: Oh, yeah. That would be nice.

miri: I have never understood how those ascender things work. They just look so awkward.

Joseph: I can explain it to you.

miri: They look really difficult.

Joseph: It's kind of like a brain fart. You got a stopper on your waist and a stopper on your hand. So you stand up, and what you want to do is pull your waist up as high as it can go. Then you lift your arm and your leg together and stand up again. You pull your waist up as high as it can go.

Monica: You have something around your foot, too, so when you stand, you go higher.

miri: I mean, I understand it logically. But it just-I don't know. It's one of those things that I would still be stuck at the bottom of that.

Joseph: It's a brain fart, for sure.

Tribefan: Well, Fran, I know she struggled with it a lot.

Monica: I know.

Tribefan: And then you look at her and go, that's what I would be doing, dangling there helplessly, not being able to figure it out. I would have done the other one.

Monica: Oh, the ethanol?

Tribefan: Yeah.

Monica: I know. We didn't even think about that. But I think that was way faster.

Joseph: I wish we'd have done that.

miri: Really?

Joseph: Oh, yeah.
We discovered after a while that some stuff, even if it's physical, if it requires safety harnesses and a safety briefing, it takes way longer.
Monica: We discovered after a while that some stuff, even if it's physical, if it requires safety harnesses and a safety briefing, it takes way longer.

miri: Ah, I see. Yeah, because I know like, for example, the task, the dry and the wet one in Australia where you guys ended up doing the dry one with the didgeridoo, when Phil was describing it; I think we were all saying, do the wet! That's going to be faster! And then it wasn't.

Monica: Yeah. It wasn't.

Tribefan: Because people did it really fast. I mean, was it really that quick to learn to do that?

Monica: It's not really learning to do it. It's just getting there and getting all your safety harness on. Then they give you a safety briefing. And then you were like a mile in waist-high water. So it's not really like you can just swim it real quick. It's a lot more complicated. So everybody thought we just got lucky. But we knew it was going to take longer.

miri: And how long did it take to-was it a long time to try and find the guy who was playing the didgeridoo, or was it fairly easy to try and find?

Joseph: That was fairly easy. You could hear them. There was only probably eight of them out there.

Monica: But the actual Lost City, it was hard to find. But we found it pretty easily because we had this awesome map. So it was six miles on a dirt road in the Outback.

Joseph: God, that victory was so sweet, that leg.

Tribefan: I'm sure it was.

Joseph: I loved it. I don't think I've loved anything more than that my whole life.

(Laughter.)

Tribefan: It made for an exciting finish that day.

Monica: It did. I was even up in my chair, on my feet, like, "Go! Go! Go!" And I knew what happened. I don't know what I was doing.

Tribefan: We've never quite had a race to the mat like that one. Not like that one.

Monica: You guys would know. Has anybody ever beat somebody who Yielded them?

Tribefan: I don't think so.

miri: I don't think so, either.

Joseph: Wait, wait. MoJo did.

Tribefan: Other than you? No.

Monica: Sweet. We have one claim to fame. Right?

Tribefan: That's right.

[note: as several people have since pointed out, Tribefan and miri were overlooking Freddy and Kendra. During TAR6, they were yielded by Rebecca and Adam but still managed to beat them to the mat.]

Joseph: Yeah. There you go.

Tribefan: Yeah. You take what you can get. Right?

Monica: Exactly.

Tribefan: And that had to be very sweet, after all of the drama leading up to the Yield.

Monica: It was.

miri: And then when you were doing that other task, you didn't have any other teams in your sight. So you really had no idea at that point?

Monica: No, we didn't, till we got out of that. And we saw Ray and Yolanda pass us, so we knew they were going to be first if the other thing took longer. And then when we saw Eric and Jeremy and BJ and Tyler stopped in the middle of the road asking for directions, we-

Joseph: Shit our pants.

Monica: Yeah. We were so excited.

(Laughter.)

Monica: That's what I was trying to think of, "Shit our pants."

Tribefan: A technical term. That works.

Monica: Exactly.

Tribefan: So how annoying were those monkeys when you were setting up that monkey feast?

Joseph: Oh, man, they were so annoying because, first, you couldn't do anything about them to stop them. And eventually, a Thai man had to get under my table and shoot them with a slingshot, I think, to keep them away.

Tribefan: It's like, we're never going to finish this.

Joseph: Right.

Monica: This is like the never-ending story.

Tribefan: Honestly. Well, monkeys always make for good TV, but I'm sure they were just annoying as hell.

Monica: Yeah, they were.

miri: Especially since you guys really weren't in a good mood at that point after what had happened with the bus at that one station. What really happened there?

Monica: Well, we got out of the airport and there was this really long line. And this cab came up to us and said, "I'll take you." And so we get in the cab with him. And Joseph thought it was really shady. I remember he said that on the thing. He goes, "This is so shady." Well, the guy, he was nice and everything, but he just didn't seem like he knew any English whatsoever. So we show him the clue, and he's like, "Yeah, yeah, I take you to Mo Chit." And so he takes us there and it's completely deserted. And there's all these people sleeping in the bus station. And we're like, oh, well, they must be waiting till the morning bus. We go over to the thing where he says that you get the tickets, and there was a sign there that said, opens at 5:20 a.m. And there's all these signs everywhere, opens at 5:20. Well, that's a whole different terminal than where they were. And I don't know where they were, but all the other teams got taken to the right terminal.
There were two levels. They got taken to the top level. We got taken to the bottom level. And we did check with a few people to make sure that this was the right place, and they said yeah.
Joseph: There were two levels. They got taken to the top level. We got taken to the bottom level. And we did check with a few people to make sure that this was the right place, and they said yeah. We asked a couple of people at the ticket counter if this is the right place. They said yeah. I mean, we triple-checked it. We just didn't talk to anybody who knew what the hell they were talking about.

miri: How frustrating.

Joseph: And what it is, I think that there are different businesses there. The top level has different buses, and they're not going to refer you to the top people. You know what I'm saying? They're like, no, take this bus. This is-

miri: They're competing.

Joseph: Right. So that's where we got screwed.

miri: Oh, wow. Because it did not come across that way at all.

Joseph: No. It came across like we were just, oh, okay. That's it. See ya.

Tribefan: Yeah. We believe you. Okay.

miri: We don't care about that million dollars any more.

Joseph: Yeah. Screw that. We just want to go get a cheap hotel and take a cold shower.

(Laughter.)

Tribefan: Had you done any international travel at all before you went on the Race?

Joseph: I had been to over in Europe before for a couple weeks. And I'd also been on some hunting trips in British Columbia. And Monica and I had been to Barbados together.

Monica: And I've been to Mexico a lot. That's it.

Tribefan: Were there any places in particular you were hoping you'd get to go?

Joseph: Australia.

Monica: Greece.

Tribefan: You got both.

Joseph: We got to go to both.

Monica: We got really lucky.

Joseph: I was really wanting to go to Africa, though, so bad.

Tribefan: Oh, that's right. You didn't get to-that's okay, though. That's okay. But you got to go to Greece. You'd never been to Greece before.

Joseph: That's right.

Tribefan: Very cool. Let me see. What in hindsight would you have done differently than you did on the Race?
Monica and Joseph enjoy TARcon. <span class="small">Photo courtesy of Giuseppe</span>
Monica and Joseph enjoy TARcon. Photo courtesy of Giuseppe
Monica: Goodness. I think if you have to do an overall thing for the whole Race and not down to one thing, I would not panic so much. I would be just laid back-not laid back, but I wouldn't take things and make it so complicated that you get frustrated and you get a little confused. Because sometimes the clues, you can over-analyze them. And I don't know how to explain it, really, but the clues are so technical, especially with all the additional information and stuff. And if you mess up, then they'll tell you, you have a penalty. And so after we got one penalty, we were so scared to do anything. And we just kind of panicked a lot more than we should have.

Tribefan: Where did you get a penalty?

Monica: When we got our Yield taken away.

Tribefan: Oh, okay.

Monica: We got our Yield taken away because-

Joseph: It was complete horseshit.

Monica: -because we handed in-at the end of the leg, you have to hand in all your clues in your pocket thing. And we handed in all our clues on the very first leg and our Yield was in there.

Tribefan: Oh, yeah.

Monica: And they took it from us.

Tribefan: Yeah. You're not the first team that's happened to, apparently.

Monica: Really?

Tribefan: Yeah. I think it happened to the Bowling Moms, didn't it?

miri: I believe so, yes.

Tribefan: Yeah. You just hand over all your stuff and later on go, oh, my God.

Joseph: I told the guy that you deal with in production with this type of issue, I said, what's the difference in me leaving it in the airport and going back a half hour later and picking it up?

Monica: I know where it is. When we got back, right there.

Joseph: Yeah. We told them, we go, we know exactly where it is. It's right where I gave it to the lady, and it's right there. I didn't lose it. Just a bunch of bullshit.

Tribefan: And it was like, too bad for you!

Monica: Yeah. So you get real paranoid, if you know what I mean. You just get real paranoid about doing stuff right. And what if you miss this and you have to go back? And I just think that sometimes we would panic a little more than other teams. Is this right? Is this the way it would go? I don't know.

Tribefan: So do you think some of that was just a reaction to not sleeping enough and-

Joseph: Oh, definitely. You're so tired the whole time, it's ridiculous.

Monica: Yeah. And you're just-you've got high anxiety. You just have a lot of anxiety.

miri: Because it seemed like, Monica, you would tend to stress, and you just needed to vent about that and get it out and then you would be okay.

Monica: Exactly. Because you probably want to cry a lot more than I cried. But then you just let it out over stuff that isn't that big a deal. But you know what? To America, it's not that big a deal because you're watching on your television. But to us, it is a big deal.

miri: Oh, yeah.

Monica: Because we don't want to go home.

Tribefan: You don't want to go home, and you're invested. You want to be there.

Monica: Exactly.

Tribefan: And there's a nice prize at the end.

Monica: Yeah. And it wasn't even about the money to me. To be honest with you, I never thought about that money the whole Race. I really didn't. All I thought about was not getting eliminated. I just didn't-I wanted to go to the next place. That's all I cared about.

Tribefan: Yeah. I've heard so many people say that even if you don't win, just to get to the end so you can experience everything.

Joseph: Right.

Monica: Yeah. And I feel a sense of accomplishment. And I feel like we got to see the entire Race besides Tokyo. And that's great because there's a lot of people that didn't get to see a lot of stuff.

miri: Oh, definitely. Definitely. And just getting on the show is an accomplishment.

Tribefan: You absolutely can be proud of what you accomplished. You've done something that we all envy. I'm not sure I'd actually go so far as to apply, but it's a terrific thing. You got on the show. You got as far as you did. And you did very well. So yeah, that is something.

Monica: Thank you.

Joseph: Thank you very much.

Monica: It was fun. I mean, it was so much fun. We want to do it again.

Joseph: We hope we get chosen if there's an All Star season.

miri: Y'all would do it?
Oh, yeah. I'd leave right now. I'd hang up on you guys.
Joseph: Oh, yeah. I'd leave right now. I'd hang up on you guys.

(Laughter.)

Tribefan: We're having this ongoing discussion about All Stars on TARflies. So feel free to weigh in.

Monica: Do you think they'll do it?

Tribefan: I think they could. I think a couple of things. One, the fact that Big Brother is having an All Star this summer. Amazing Race is third in their big three reality shows. I think it makes it more likely. And I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't talking about it. I think it's inevitable, with Big Brother having one.

Joseph: I think so. I think they're going to do it for sure.

Monica: You think they'll have America vote?

Tribefan: You know, I think it would be very curious to see because I would hope that-I know for Big Brother they're doing it where America votes for six of them and the producers pick the others because, truthfully, America would probably mostly go for people in recent seasons because not everyone has watched from the beginning.

Monica: I know. And also, they wouldn't pick all the demographics across the board. They would pick more of the teams that have been the favorite, and it might not represent. There might be two couples and two moms and dads, or whatever.

Tribefan: Oh, absolutely. And I even laugh because when I even make up my list of favorite teams, there's a lot of men.

(Laughter.)

Tribefan: And they're not necessarily eye candy. It's just I like the Guidos and I liked a lot of the male teams.

Monica: Yeah. Exactly.

Tribefan: So it's obvious the producers would have to have a hand in it. But it would be nice if America could vote for some.

Monica: Yeah. You're right.

Tribefan: And I think that will definitely weigh in favor of the more recent teams. So I personally hope-there's a difference of opinion on this-I would like to see an All Star Race.

Monica: Oh, me, too.

Tribefan: Because I always enjoy the Racers from before. I always feel-I'm always connected to them and I'd like to see them again. So I'm hoping for it.

Monica: And they even do like a fresh meat thing, like six new ones and six old ones. That wouldn't really be fair to the old ones, though. We don't want new ones.

Tribefan: No. I don't think they should mix them up. It should be all old ones. Were you following anything on the message boards and stuff when you weren't allowed to post and you had to be lurking around? Were you reading any of the stuff that was on?

Joseph: We didn't read a whole lot. We'd get on there for a short while.

Monica: I would. I would. I would read a lot of the bad stuff just because you're inclined to. It's kind of like watching a car wreck or something.

Tribefan: Yeah. It's human nature.

Monica: Yeah. But I would read Survivor Sucks sometimes because there was really bad stuff.

Tribefan: Those are the mean ones.

Monica: Oh, I know.

Tribefan: Oh, my God.

Monica: One time-I'm not going to tell you what it said, but it was like, Monica, if you're reading this, blah blah blah. And I was like, oh, my God. These people are evil. Like "I hope you die," and all this stuff.

Tribefan: I know. Ken from Season 3 has told us he would read the most horrible things about himself, and it would just hurt him into the core. Was there any big misperception that you'd like to correct now, now that you can talk? Is there anything people thought about you that you just want to tell them that they were wrong?

Monica: Yeah. Because I really thought, over the course of the Race, I really developed a sense of pride and accomplishment. And I hung in there with the boys. I just kind of felt like it was me-because Yolanda was never around-it was me and a bunch of guys. And I really felt like I just hung in there with them and kicked ass a lot of times. And to me, on the Race [on TV], it really felt like I was this prissy little girl who didn't want fish guts or didn't want to do this and cried about everything. And if you really look, I skydived and didn't think twice about it. I bungee jumped and didn't think twice about it. I felt like I overcame a lot of fears. And it really didn't come across that way.

Tribefan: Well, I don't think-I think the only time you might have looked really prissy was the fish thing. But as you were explaining, it really wasn't a prissy thing.

Joseph: Right. It was the whole-

Monica: And people don't know that.

Tribefan: Right. They don't. It's like this girl going, "Ooh, get the fish off me!"

miri: I think Carissa had a little bit of issue with the crawfish. If you read her column-

Monica: I didn't say, "This is the worst thing ever," there. They put that in there. Because I went down once and it freaked me out because it started flopping everywhere and really going crazy. And it was only a little bitty hole. And so I tried to grab it, and I couldn't grab it. And then we're also out in the middle of the ocean. You don't understand that. I'm treading water. I've got salt all in my eyes. But besides that, it wasn't really that bad. I just had to go back down. And I got it the second time.

Tribefan: Yeah I would have freaked out because I don't like things like that. I am a sissy girl when it comes to that.

Monica: I know. You're like, okay, I'm holding this huge lobster. Nasty.

Tribefan: So when all was said and done, what do you think was the biggest benefit for you personally, both of you, in running the Amazing Race? What did you get out of it?

Joseph: Probably getting to know each other-us getting to know each other more. I mean, we'd already been together for three years, but it's like, damn. You learn so much more going through those stressful situations. It's crazy.

Tribefan: Yeah. It's a little more intense than just dating on Friday and Saturday nights.

Joseph: Yeah. Well, we did a little more than that.

Tribefan: Oh, I would think so.

(Laughter.)

Tribefan: And I thought Eric and Jeremy were not in the room!

Monica: And also, you-I don't know. I mean, we thought we knew each other, obviously. But it's like you see each other in the worst possible situations, and you see that-you know, we held up and actually treated each other in a dignified manner. I mean, you're going to fight a little bit. But I was so impressed with him because he's always had a little bit of a temper. And I didn't know what it was going to be like in these crazy, obscene situations. And I was so proud of him.

Tribefan: So he performed better than you thought he would in those kinds of situations?

Monica: Oh, my God, yeah. He kicked ass a lot of times. And sometimes he would just take the initiative. And like he picked up that 100-pound bell and just ran up those stairs. And he just did a lot of stuff that really impressed me. And then we had fun together. That was one thing. We really did have a blast together.

Tribefan: That's good to hear because, as I said, it didn't always come across that way to us. So it's good to know that you did enjoy.

Joseph: Oh, we had so much-the time of our lives, seriously. It was such a great experience.
But I think also, besides the time we had together, taking away all the friends we'll have for the rest of our lives.
Monica: But I think also, besides the time we had together, taking away all the friends we'll have for the rest of our lives. We'll always be friends with Eric and Jeremy and Fran and Barry-everybody. To be honest, even Lake and Michelle. We still talk to them. And those will be the people that we'll probably invite to our wedding one day, and just go see them in their home towns, and always have this connection through them for the rest of our lives. So it's really neat.

Tribefan: We see that a lot with the former Racers. There's a bond between them. You all experienced something that the rest of us didn't. I mean, we think we know, but we don't really know.

miri: It's such a completely unique situation, even from season to season. You have a bond with the people from your season that people from another season aren't going to fully understand because it's-every situation is so unique.

Monica: Exactly.

Joseph: Right. And you really do feel closer to the people that hung in there more and you get to know better, like Eric and Jeremy, BJ and Tyler. Not so much Ray and Yolanda because I don't think-

Tribefan: As we've discussed, yes.

(Laughter.)

Monica: Dani and Danielle.

Joseph: Yeah. Dani and Danielle. Of course, they weren't in there very long, but we still got to know them.

Tribefan: That's cool.

Monica: Dave and Lori. They're so funny.

Tribefan: Yeah. That's good to know. Did you enjoy the parties in New York?

Joseph: Oh, yes.

Monica: Thank you, guys. That was so much fun.

Joseph: That was awesome.

Tribefan: I know other Racers have always said it's like it's your chance to be a rock star for a night.

Monica: I know. It's kind of surreal. You're like, I'm not famous, but I feel famous.

Joseph: I feel really famous right now. What's wrong with this?

Tribefan: They want my picture! I must be famous!

miri: It's like more pictures taken of you that one night than the rest of your life, practically. Right?

Joseph: I know. For sure.

Monica: It was fun. We had a great time.

Tribefan: So what's up in the near future for you guys? What's going on?

Monica: Well, we have been just kind of organizing our lives after I graduated. And I'm going to move here. It's just 45 minutes down the road, but it's called Fort Smith, and I usually live in Fayetteville. So I'm going to do that, and then start real estate. And Joseph is in development here in Fort Smith. And so we're not really teaming up, but I'm going to sell other people's houses, but I'm really getting into it because of him. You know what I mean?

Tribefan: Oh, yeah. And down the road, who knows what opportunities that opens up for both of you.

Joseph: For sure.

Tribefan: That sounds good. And what's up with that website you started, Smack My Reality? Tell me about it.

Monica: Well, we started this because our friend is a huge-he's just business-savvy. And we had a friend that was really into web design. He's phenomenal at it. The site is so functional, we're really impressed with it. But it's called Smack My Reality, and it's just a forum site about all reality shows. And it has this feature right now about how you go on there, and it's either kind of a love or hate thing. You can smack [kiss] ‘em or smack [slap] ‘em. And we'll have different people there all the time. And then we'll have like a dumbass of the week every week. We had Lee from the Apprentice because he showed up late to his interview with Donald Trump or whatever. And then we have a bunch of commentaries from Racers, and links to their Myspace, and you can e-mail them personally, and just a bunch of stuff like that. And we're going to try to get more reality stars rather than Racers, but since we have connections with Racers, we just have them right now.

Tribefan: It's a starting point. That's good.

Monica: Well, thank you guys for the interview. It was good.

miri: Thank you so much.

Tribefan: We had fun, too. I was glad I talked to you. And I'm glad to hear you had a great time on the Race.

Joseph: Yes, we did. Hopefully we'll see you guys at the premiere party or New York.

Tribefan: That's my plan.

Monica: We're keeping up with the Amazing Race for hopefully the rest of our lives, so I'm sure we'll see you again.

Tribefan: Well, I would hope so. We look forward to it.

Monica: Thank you, guys.