Amazing Race Preview: New Teams, New Challenges
by Nina Hämmerling Smith
Lorena Segura and Jason Widener, The Amazing Race
Reality TV's most fantastic voyage is back, and as the 12th season of The Amazing Race (Sundays at 8 pm/ET, CBS) kicks off, TVGuide.com got the inside scoop from one of the new teams. Before we see the first detour, roadblock or "Philimination," dating couple Lorena Segura, 27, and Jason Widener, 33, tell us about the new challenges, how the Race affected their relationship and what they didn't pack for the trip.
TVGuide.com: So why did you guys want to be on The Amazing Race?
Jason: Go, Lorena.
Lorena: He said that because I came up with the idea of doing it. I love travel, and I love competition, and I just thought this was a perfect match. And also, Jason and I don't get to see each other that much, even though we live together, because we're always doing stuff. And this was a great opportunity to be together under tense circumstances.
Jason: I wasn't down with that exactly the same way — to be with Lorena all the time. [Laughs] I love my girl, but the main thing with me is that this is my kind of race; I love doing things like this as far as adventure.
TVGuide.com: It seems equally amazing and nerve-racking to me.
Lorena: Oh, my gosh, it's like adrenaline....
Jason: Basically watch the show and multiply it by 10. I watched it and thought, "This is not so bad." But people don't take into account so many factors, like being tired and hungry.
Lorena: It was delirious, but fun delirious.
Jason: What's so beautiful about the Race is that you can't predict anything that's going to happen to you. Everything's a surprise.
Lorena: All the detours and roadblocks... I can't tell you what we did, but it was amazing. We wouldn't be able to do that on your own, the way they set it up to go through those countries and experience them is just pretty darn cool.
TVGuide.com: Was it more physically challenging than you thought it would be?
Lorena: No. It's physically challenging in that you don't sleep and you have to run from place to place. We ran all the time. We felt like we had to run everywhere. But as far as the actual competitions... you're going to be surprised.
Jason: You're carrying the backpacks all the time. You've really got to learn to pace yourself.
TVGuide.com: That backpack has your whole life in it.
Lorena: Everything's in there.
Jason: We tried to shave it down. We were, like, one pair of underwear.
Lorena: We both had two. We bought the ones that last for a long time. You wash them in water and they dry in 10 minutes. [Laughs] I think this may be too much information about our personal items, Jason!
TVGuide.com: Did the Race test your relationship?
Jason: You're definitely going to see Lorena and me very emotional.
Lorena: I was dealing with the pressure of competition and being on a team; the feeling overwhelmed me. I cried a lot.
Jason: Lorena and I are used to doing things separately; we're very competitive, live-on-the-edge people, and all of a sudden we have to work completely as a team in one of the most stressful situations possible.
Lorena: The roadblocks, to me, were the biggest challenge — you don't want to let the other person down. But I look back and I'm like, we were playing a game.
TVGuide.com: So it felt like a game while you were doing it?
Jason: You're just focused on the task at hand. You're not worried about it being a show or whatever. That's why it's so great, because it's real. You're just doing your thing, man — you don't care about anything else.
Lorena: Of course there's editing, but what you see is really what happened.
TVGuide.com: Some people grow closer during the Race, while others... not so much. Which category would you guys fall into?
Lorena: I think we grew a lot closer; we started realizing that trust was a big thing, and I didn't realize how much we didn't trust each other in certain areas. As the Race went by, we started letting go of those issues. I think we came together really well.
Jason: I still don't think Lorena trusts me enough — still! Lorena, you don't have to double-bag the trash can. Trust me!
Lorena: Oh, that was today.
Jason: Always something.
Lorena: But we grew closer in that we got through it together and we're still together, so that's an accomplishment.
TVGuide.com: Race teams often end up with a label, like the Bowling Moms or the Hippies. Did you guys get a nickname?
Lorena: I heard that people were calling Jason "Mountain Man."
Jason: We asked, but we don't actually know. We're dying to see what people said. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: So now that you've done the Race once, would you do it again?
Lorena: I would love to do it again. I'm jealous that I can't do it again. I'm like, "How do I get into All-Stars?" I would definitely do it again. You have to live in the moment; the Race just forces you to do that. That's how you should live every single day — having to live right there and then.
Jason: I would do it again in a heartbeat. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime thing; it's something I'll be thinking of when I'm 75 years old. tvguide