I've been offline for way too long but look what inspired me to post!
Profile of Terence and Sarah in a SC-area paper. Looks like Terence's mom lives there...?
I agree with the journalist in being nervous that their intensity seems like it could be an issue, but they are sooo cute. They milked cows? And hitchhiked?!? Love them.
Couple with local ties to be on 'Amazing Race'
By DANIEL BROWNSTEINdbrownstein@islandpacket.com
Published Monday, September 22, 2008
Terence Gerchberg can't tell his mother where he's been or what he did.
Instead, Susan Citron, who retired to Hilton Head Island 15 years ago, will find out the answers to those questions along with the rest of the world by watching national television.
Terence Gerchberg, 35, and his 32-year-old girlfriend Sarah Leshner, both of New York City, are one of 11 teams competing for $1 million on the 13th season of CBS' "The Amazing Race," which begins anew next Sunday.
The reality show mixes brains with physical challenges as the teams -- which each have unique personal stories -- travel the world completing tasks and following clues that will get them to their next destination. A team is eliminated on each episode.
The show filmed in April and May, but contestants are strictly forbidden from telling anyone how they've done. The contestants traveled 30,000 miles across five continents in 23 days, making the show's first stops at a floating city, Cambodia and Kazakhstan.
"For me, at least, it's the biggest secret I've kept, but it's also the easiest," said Gerchberg in a phone interview along with Leshner last week. "You don't want to spoil it for anybody."
The couple are billed as "Opposites Attract" because Leshner is a workaholic financial analyst on Wall Street, while Gerchberg sells real estate to make ends meet while pursuing his real passion for running marathons and coaching other runners.
Because both are in top physical shape, some fans already have picked them as favorites, but the couple's intensity and competitiveness could just as easily backfire and end in a mid-challenge meltdown.
The show often tests the foundations of relationships, evident in the spats and reconciliations that are nearly as captivating as the race itself.
There's also another factor that could come into play. Both Gerchberg and Leshner have significant dietary restrictions. Gerchberg is a vegetarian and Leshner keeps kosher.
"We just said, 'We're competitive people,' " recalled Leshner. "'We're in this to win and we're going to face each challenge as it comes along.'"
They're up against comic book geeks, pink-clad blonde Southern belles from Columbia (one of whom is a University of South Carolina journalism student), frat boys, aging hippies, a mother and son, and an ex-NFL player and his estranged CEO wife, to name a few.
It was Gerchberg's idea to audition for the show.
He had show business aspirations when he lived in southern California with his mother. He played a skateboarder who said "awesome" in a KFC commercial that was probably only shown a handful of times after being upstaged by MC Hammer's version of the ad. He was also an extra on early 1990s television shows, including "Saved by the Bell."
The couple shot a tape showing their major differences and mailed it off with, true to form, quite a difference in expectations.
"We never, ever thought we would get chosen," Leshner said.
"No, I thought we would be chosen," Gerchberg corrected her.
"That's true, you're the eternal optimist," quipped Leshner. "We don't live in LA. We don't have an agent. We were totally ourselves. At the end of the process, we said, 'You'd either love us or hate us ... .' "
They flew to California for a week of more in-depth interviews, but still screamed on a New York street corner when they got the phone call that they were selected.
For the next six weeks, Gerchberg and Leshner studied past episodes for ideas about what they might encounter. They trained by running and rowing with backpacks on, studying maps, learning to milk a cow, rock climbing, hitchhiking and asking random strangers for help (something they'll definitely have to do on the show).
"It became our full-time job," Leshner said. "We wanted to prepare in ways no other team would even think of."
Gerchberg and Leshner had been dating for about six months when the show filmed. They viewed it as a make-or-break test of their relationship, one that could have easily ended with a parting of ways.
"We functioned well, we functioned not well," Gerchberg said. "It was like the ocean. We were up and down. You never know what's going to happen."
But, the couple says they're still together.
"It's a really great, real show," Gerchberg said. "At no point did we feel anything other than it being a real race around the world. It was an incredible experience and I'm really glad I got to share it with an amazing woman."
During the race, Citron, Gerchberg's mom, got phone calls once a week from the production company containing virtually no information.
"They would call once a week and say he's fine," she said. "They wouldn't tell you where he was or what he was doing. I'm going to be sitting here in shock when the show airs. I'm going to be floored."