Amazing Race's Jody and Shannon: Don't Blame the Cow for Our Exit
Jody Kelly, 71, got a good-ol' kick in the head on The Amazing Race when a cow clubbed her during Sunday's Roadblock. "I was not expecting it at all," she tells TVGuide.com. "I was so close to finishing and before I knew it, milk was everywhere and I had to start over and milk another cow." The setback allowed detectives Louie and Michael to catch up to and pass Jody, a triathlete, and her granddaughter, Shannon, 22, leading to the pair's elimination. But the axed teammates have no hard feelings toward the cow. Find out why.
TVGuide.com: You were so close to finishing the Roadblock. Was it the cow's fault you lost?
Jody: [Laughs] Oh, no! I would never blame the cow! I've milked cows before and it happens. It was just unfortunate since I had to start over, and milking can take a long time depending on how much milk the cow has. It shook me up, but I was fine. I just got another cup and went to another cow. The medical staff ... looked at me later. But I'm not mad at the cow!
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TVGuide.com: Were you surprised to see Louie and Michael catch up to you there?
Jody: Definitely because we had a pretty good feeling we were last, so it was a shock to see them come in. But it was also good because it told us that we were still in it and had a chance to move on.
TVGuide.com: What were you thinking when they passed you?
Shannon: Well, I was standing by the clue box, so I saw Michael find the pantry and get the other ingredients. Once he did that, he was done. I so badly wanted to yell out to Grandma where the pantry was, but I couldn't because it's against the rules.
Jody: We still thought we had a chance. Anything could happen. Louie and Michael got lost once; maybe they'll get lost again. Who knows?
TVGuide.com: Do you know how far behind them you were?
Shannon: Not exactly, but it was close. When Phil told us we were last, we were hoping it would be a non-elimination leg.
Jody: I was thinking maybe it's a good thing we got eliminated and not Louie and Michael because I couldn't imagine the grief they would get at the police station if a 71-year-old grandmother beat them. [Laughs] Of course, I would've loved to stay, but that's how I think of it now.
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TVGuide.com: You were trailing from the start of the leg since you got on the last bus. Did you try to catch an earlier bus like some of the other teams successfully did?
Shannon: Yeah, we asked everyone if there was an earlier bus, but there was nothing. I think it was because we got there so much later that everything was booked. Knowing you're last, you definitely feel like you need to do everything you can to stay in, and at that point, we were stuck. ... The llamas Detour took a while too because everybody already dressed the llamas that were more friendly, so we had to run after the really stubborn ones. At one point, I slipped and fell on the llama poop. [Laughs] Then I saw one of the dressings come off one of the llamas and I was like, "We're doing that one!"
TVGuide.com: No senior citizen has ever won the Race. Don, at 68, came the closest when he finished third on the 12th season. Do you think a senior citizen can or will ever win?
Jody: They ought to have an AARP version of the Race! [Laughs] Yeah, we were hoping to do as well as Don did. I'm the oldest person the show's ever had. The average age on this season was 36. With that, it's certainly not likely that a person my age would win, unless there are a lot more older people on it, and that's not likely to happen. I think we had the most diverse age range in the history of the Race.
Shannon: A lot of the Race is very, very physical. I think there should be more mental challenges, but most of the tasks right now tend to be physical. If there is a fair balance, then I think definitely a senior citizen can win.
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TVGuide.com: Was your game plan to have Shannon do the physical roadblocks and Jody to do the less physical ones?
Shannon: Yeah, Grandma said she'll do the cooking since I'm definitely not a cook. She actually knew what kuchen [a Chilean cake] was when she read the clue. I don't think anyone else knew what it was, so she was like, "Well, I can do this one." We didn't know it was so much running around or getting hit in the head with a cow.
Jody: We thought it would actually be baking a cake, not finding the ingredients for it. You can play "what if?" all day long, but I really feel that if Shannon had taken that roadblock, we might have not been eliminated. You can't tell. We have no regrets.
TVGuide.com: Jody, a lot of fans are in an uproar because you said you favored Shannon out of all your grandchildren.
Jody: Oh, I didn't say she was my favorite. I said I admired her the most and that's because I know her the best. I've got eight other terrific grandchildren. Shannon and I had this opportunity and she jumped for it, and I admired that about her. I admire that she's an honors graduate from college and she's taking the risk of changing career fields and going into the medical field now. I do love all my grandchildren.
TVGuide.com: What are you guys doing now?
Shannon: I'm training for a marathon. Grandma's training for a [half-triathlon].
Jody: I've located a [half-triathlon] that will be in September and if I can possibly get myself trained up for it, I'm going to enter it.