Relationship 1, 'Amazing Race' 0
So now "The Amazing Race" is down to three teams. Sunday, the standard bickering-couple-testing-their-relationship, Nate and Jen got the boot even though they probably were the strongest team overall that was left.
I'd be a complete liar if I denied feeling schadenfreude in a big way. But talking to the two of them on the phone, both of them were very gracious and caring. Here's what they had to say about the Race, their relationship and each other.
MSN: Nate and Jen, I don't know what to say, you guys. You seemed like you were going to get into the finals and it just didn't happen for you.
Nate: No, unfortunately it didn't. We definitely thought when we were in the final four there was no way we're not making the final three. So it was a pretty big shock to us, and it was very disappointing.
MSN: What do you think was your downfall ultimately?
Nate: Jen and I didn't show the proper teamwork a lot of the time and we didn't communicate well with each other. I think in the end it may have costed us.
MSN: Jen, what's your take?
Jen: My take is everything Nate just mentioned but also the fact of the matter is we arrive at the train station at 7:30 when there was a train taking off right at 7:36. We could have gotten on that train but we didn't. We freaked out. We panicked and we weren't thinking clearly. And also, we ended up taking the subway and that was a bad direction to go. It was a maze down there. We got really lost. We trusted one of the locals because we said, "How can we get there quickest, a taxi or subway?" And she told us the subway would be much quicker because it's really trafficky.
MSN: Going back to your decision to be on the Race in the first place, as I remember you wanted to test your relationship. What's the verdict?
Nate: Well, we definitely tested our relationship in a lot of areas. After the Race was done, Jen and I had no idea what we were going to do. But now, we're happy to say we are together. We're doing better than we've ever done, and the Race was the biggest part of the experience that we ever could have had. We learned a lot about ourselves and we matured a lot and we're very thankful for the experience.
MSN: What was the biggest lesson about yourselves that the Race taught you?
Nate: For me, honestly, it'd have to be patience. I was very impatient and I didn't communicate well when I was all stressed out. To be in a relationship, especially with a woman like Jennifer, who's a tester, who likes to test a lot, you have to be patient and step back and let her do her own thing sometimes.
Jen: For me, I would definitely say acting on impulse. I need to think about what I say before I talk, look at the situation, analyze it, try to see a positive outcome before I even open my mouth.
MSN: I guess I should say congratulations that you're still together. Do you know when you might be taking the next step in your relationship?
Nate: Right now, I think we're still watching the episodes opened some wounds a little bit. We're still moving forward and we're still working on each other. I really can't answer that right now. We're just doing good right now and we're going to leave it at that.
MSN: How hard is it to watch some of these episodes and relive them?
Jen: It's really hard for me because the way the edits are coming out I'm looking like this mouthy, bitchy firecracker in this relationship
Nate: Which she is.
Jen: I am. But there was a lot of provoking. For me, it was a real eye-opener. It's been hard. There's been a lot of negativity I've had to deal with, with people not talking about the nice things about me. But I'm not too worried about that, because if people know me, they know I have the biggest heart in the world.
MSN: What do you think "The Amazing Race" showed about you that doesn't meet the real you?
Nate: Sometimes "The Amazing Race" made me look like a bumbling idiot sometimes, which I'm definitely not. We're very intelligent people. But when you're stressed out, you don't make good decisions. People forget you're in foreign countries, and you don't speak the language, and you're hungry and tired and you don't even know what's going on. And then when you're supposed to make decisions, a lot of times you're not going to make the right one. So that's one thing. It makes people look stupid, even though it's in the most intense situation anyone could be in.
MSN: What about you, Jen?
Jen: Overall, I think they portrayed me as competitive, fierce, loud person, which is very accurate because I am very competitive and loud. But the only thing that disappointed me is I'm funny and very nice. I'm very loving, and I wish they would have portrayed more of the nicer sides of me. And also too, I love Nate. I'm not always that mean to him, and they only ever showed me being mean and aggressive and fighting against him, and that wasn't the case all the time at all.
MSN: They did give you that one moment at the end when you jumped on Nate. That seemed like a sweet farewell to you.
Jen: That's how we are.
Nate: We saw that and we were very pleased. We didn't really know what to expect, because you never really do anyways. But having that kind of farewell when we got to come together and hug it out, I was very pleased with it.
MSN: What have your friends and family said watching this with you?
Jen: They are so happy. It's just smiles from ear to ear on all of our friends and family. They're living it up. They're loving it. They're just telling so many people, being like, "Oh my son or my daughter or my friend is..." It's a great experience not just for Nate and I but for our friends and family too. It's just been such a good bonding experience that I feel like I've gotten so much closer to Nate's family through this whole thing too. And vice versa with Nate and my family. It's just been great overall. We feel so lucky.
Nate: The thing is, they knew Jen and I were crazy before the whole thing started. So watching it on TV wasn't that big a surprise.
MSN: So if you had it to do all over again, would you work on your relationship through "The Amazing Race" or would you just go to therapy or something?
Nate: I definitely would do "The Amazing Race" again in a heartbeat. Jen and I, we're extremists. That's just who we are. We can't hide it. We're loud, we're vocal, we're competitive, we're passionate. "The Amazing Race" is right up our alley and we enjoyed every second of it.
Jen: I think we know now where to and not to step on each other's toes and take the lead. I think we learned that about each other, big time. So we would be a lot more successful.
MSN: Is it fair to say you guys were the quote-unquote villains of this race, and if so, how do you feel about that sort of characterization?
Nate: I like it. We might have been the villains, but every story needs a villain. If Jen and I were the villains, I hope we did a good job. [Jen and Nate laugh]
Jen: That's classic.
Nate: We are who we are.
Jen: We're not really villains in real life. That's why it's hilarious. People are getting a kick out of how they're portraying me and Nate. It's all fun and games.
Nate: We're taking it all in stride. If we were going to worry about it, we'd never move forward.
MSN: I have to say I started rooting against you when you came in second to Hendekea and Azaria, and Jen something like, "They've already been in first and now it's our turn." What were you thinking about when you said that, Jen?
Jen: Well, Nate really wanted to answer that question. (Laughs). First of all, that was completely ill-perceived, I would say. I did not mean for them to step aside, and on the show "The Amazing Race" let us walk on the mat and let us get first place. That's not what I was intending. I'm just so competitive that my emotions lashed out. They had just won, what, the last two or three prior legs consecutively in a row. I was like, "Give us a break!"
Nate: We all think it. Jen says it. (Laughs) If you were in that situation, seeing another team win, you might think, "God, why can't we win?" Jen's going to say it instead of just thinking it.
Jen: We're good friends with them now. It was totally a one-minute thing. I gave Hendekea a big hug afterward.
MSN: How does it feel that you guys were toward the front of the pack constantly, but you never quite made it into first?
Nate: That was one of the most discouraging things for Jen and I because we were so close so many times and we were chasing the lead and first place. The worst thing was, every time we were in the front, a different team was ahead of us. We knew that everyone else had a chance to win besides Jen and I. But we were still in the Race and we were still going forward so we couldn't be that upset. But then we'd ask a team, "What'd you guys win?" or "What happened?" they'd say "A trip to Cancun." Over a matter of minutes they got to go to a cool place. It was a pretty hard thing.
MSN: What if anything would you change about how you did the Race?
Nate: Our communication. I think everyone can see that we needed to communicate better. I'd say not to put so much stress on ourselves, let things come more naturally to us and not force things. A lot of times we'd force situations and we got involved in things we shouldn't have. I think we had to trust each other more too. We would have come out a lot better in our relationship if we had put more faith in each other to come to correct decisions.
MSN: What advice would you give to aspiring Race competitors?
Nate: Don't do it. No, I'm just kidding. Anyone in a relationship, just beware that it's very hard. It's an experience you'll never forget. Jen and I thankfully, we're strong people and we made it through. But it could be a lot for some people and do it in. It really does test your relationship. Jen and I almost lost each other over "The Amazing Race." Some people might never have gotten back together. It really does test your relationship to the max.
MSN: Were there times when you basically said "We're done," to yourself or the other partner?
Nate: There were plenty of times when we thought we were done.
Jen: Never again. Never.
MSN: How did you come back from that?
Jen: When we got back, we took some time away from each other, just a week and just reflected on the experience and calmed down. I don't know if you know this, but during the Race, we have to be within 20 feet of each other the entire time. So there was no cooling off time. There was no alone time to just reflect and regroup and move on. So it was really good for us. We just realized that Nate and I can't live without each other. We have some deep-down bond where we're connected for life.
MSN: Why don't you give me your impressions of the three remaining teams?
Nate: At the beginning of the season, I don't think anybody would have thought Ron and Chris and Nick and Don would be in the final three. TK and Rachel, yeah, but Nick and Don and Ron and Chris are definitely sleepers.
Jen: We were definitely rooting for one of those teams to win.
MSN: Can you give us any hint as to what to expect in the final episode without giving too much away?
Nate: We really can't except to say it's very exciting.
Jen: You're going to be on the edge of your seat.
- posted by Raoulhttp://tv.msn.com/tv/realitytv