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“We Thought We Could Just Breeze Through and Crack Jokes” – RealityNewsOnline’s Exclusive Interview with The Amazing Race 16's Jeff & Jordan
by Teeuwynn Woodruff -- 03/25/2010
Jeff & Jordan (right) have been on two reality shows -- Big Brother and The Amazing Race. Jordan even won Big Brother. The pair didn’t fare so well this time, but how do the two shows compare? Are they still a couple? What do they think it takes to do well on the race? And does Jordan know who Joan of Arc is? Look inside for the answers to these and other questions!
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RealityNewsOnline: Hi, Jeff & Jordan! Thanks for talking to RealityNewsOnline today!
Jeff: Hey, how are you?
RNO: Good. What made you decide to apply for The Amazing Race?
Jordan: Right after we got off of Big Brother some of the producers approached us about doing The Amazing Race. We had to fill out an application and do the whole process, just like everyone else.
I wanted to do it because I knew I would never go to another country, probably, ever. Then Jeff loves to travel, so we thought it would be a great experience – something fun to do together.
Jeff: It was an easy decision to make.
RNO: You were struggling to stay in the race the last few legs. Why do you think that was?
Jordan: I think Germany messed us up. Then that led to the other legs to be, like, bad, I guess. We were so far behind, and even in the other two legs, we couldn’t get our directions right. We kept messing up with that. It just kind of went downhill after Germany.
Jeff: Yeah, we went the wrong way… After that cab ride in Germany it just seemed like every decision we made was the wrong one. So, it just went downhill from there. We were lucky to still be in it after Germany. We were saved by the non-elimination leg. Then Michael & Louie saved us [with the U-Turn] in the next leg – otherwise, we would have been out.
We were lucky just to be around, but are time was up. We left when we should – when we had to. And we got an extra two weeks out of it, so we’re happy, you know?
RNO: How much time did you lose when the directions you got for Taittinger La Marquetterie sent you back to Reims to Taittinger’s headquarters instead?
Jeff: Thirty or forty minutes each way. So, about an hour and a half total.
RNO: Then, when you got to the actual location, Brent & Caite were still there. You decided to do the tower of champagne Detour option. How long were you working on building the tower of champagne glasses?
Jeff: Well, what we did was we ran out to the field and saw Brent & Caite. We saw how big the field was and I said, “This must have took them forever if they’re still here.” So I thought we should go try the other Detour – since they were still out there.
That was kind of our downfall – well, my downfall in the race. I always went up the unbeaten path. We chose the opposite of what other teams were doing, instead of sticking around the competition. Looking back, I think it wasn’t good to do. You should stick around your competition. I always just did the opposite, and I think that’s why I thought, “Let’s just go do the champagne thing.”
Not long after we started the champagne thing, Brent & Caite were out of there. So, we took our time with the champagne, tried to figure it out and finish with our heads high. It broke and then instead of getting down and frustrated, we just finished up the challenge. We knew it was over at that point. We wanted to finish strong, with our heads high, and go out with the little bit of dignity that we had left.
RNO: How long did it take to build that tower? It looked like it would take a long time to complete.
Jeff: Well, it takes a while. First you have to take all the glasses out of the boxes.
Jordan: Maybe an hour and a half?
Jeff: I don’t know.
Jordan: We were doing it for a long time. I think we got up to 12 – because you had to get to 15 levels high. I think we got to 12 and we couldn’t figure out how to stack it up even higher.
Jeff: We got the engineering of it wrong. Your first instinct is to make a square, but the engineering of the exact amount of glasses was that it had to be like a triangle. That was the trick to that one and we just couldn’t figure that out. Then the glasses ended up breaking because we were stacking them in weird places.
We didn’t have the engineering right – which isn’t our strong point either. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go.
RNO: You’ve been on two reality shows now. You’ve had a chance to see yourselves on both. How do you think you came off looking this time compared to how you were portrayed in Big Brother?
Jordan: I thought we looked like what we did on Big Brother.
Jeff: I think we looked good. I think this last leg definitely helped us out. If we would have went out last week, when we were really at our bottom and mad at each other, it wouldn’t have looked good for us. But the way that we came back in such a short amount of time, and realized we were both wrong in our own ways and worked well as a team…
We didn’t necessarily work well, but we worked as a team. We finished strong and we finished on a high note, with our heads high. It says a lot for someone to go through in such a short amount of time because we were really [fighting like] cats and dogs during that first leg in France. So, to bounce back and finish strong and smooth everything out says a lot for ourselves and our relationship.
RNO: Jordan, do you know who Joan of Arc is?
Jordan: Yeah, I know who she is now.
RNO: Jordan, you said you’ve never traveled outside the United States before. What was it like for you to travel like you did on the race?
Jordan: Oh, it was really cool! I don’t like to fly anyway, so when we were going to Chile I actually felt a little bit at ease because you see the other teams on the plane with you – and the plane was huge! I’ve never been on a plane that big. It had, like, three rows. I felt a little bit better because I wasn’t on a small plane. It was neat.
I thought it was a great experience. I got to go to all these countries in a short amount of time, and I know that’s something I probably won’t be able to do for a long time.
RNO: Which is harder – remaining locked in a house with a group of people for a few months on Big Brother or traveling the world together as a team on The Amazing Race?
Jordan: I think Big Brother’s harder, honestly – just because you’re in that one place for, like, a long amount of time. I mean, I was there for 72 days. And you are with all these people with different personalities. There’s tension in the house. There are people fighting. You have to be in that house – it’s not like you can go away.
On The Amazing Race you’re just getting to see all this different stuff and you’re not in one place at one time. I mean, you do have your moments where you’re arguing, but I think it’s just better.
Jeff: They’re equally hard in their own right – it’s not that one is easier than the other. They’re both hard in their own ways.
RNO: Jeff, if you had to pick one show to do again, which would it be?
Jeff: I think I’ve got some stuff left to prove on The Amazing Race, and traveling’s my thing anyway. If I had to pick one over the other… I mean, I don’t know how I would get back on The Amazing Race, it’s not like we’re All-Stars, by any means! But I would definitely like another go at that.
I had two go’s at things in life that people would never get a chance to do anyways, so I think I got enough. I’m happy where I’m at.
RNO: What’s the state of your relationship right now?
Jordan: We’re together.
Jeff: Yeah, we’re still together. Actually, we’re stronger than we’ve ever been. Going through the race and going through our ups and downs, and getting to learn a lot about each other – more than we did before the race – just makes our relationship stronger.
RNO: Great. So, do you see your relationship continuing and even progressing to something more?
Jeff: So far, so good. We have plans. I have some things I have to do in the future. She has some things that we have to work out with school over the summer. But, other than that, we’re looking forward to moving forward.
RNO: What do you think are the most important qualities for a team on The Amazing Race to have to succeed?
Jordan: Ummm… The most important quality is just being able to work well together – and communicating. That’s really the biggest thing.
Jeff: Right. I think staying positive and working well with your partner is really a lot of it. If you can stay positive…. Because it’s never over until it’s over. Staying positive with your partner, not fighting, and paying attention to the clues! That’s one thing we didn’t do.
If you have those three qualities – a strong relationship with your partner, you don’t argue and stay positive, and you pay attention to the clues – you go a long, long way in that race.
RNO: What do you think is the smartest thing you did on the race?
Jordan: The smartest thing?
Jeff: That was the bus ride – even though we screwed it up.
Jordan: Oh, yeah! That’s true. Okay, the smartest thing we did – well, we did screw this one up – but, if we wouldn’t have screwed it up, it would have been the smartest thing.
When we were going to Argentina, the second leg, everybody was saving a spot for each other on the bus. We were in the back of the line, and me and Jeff were like, “There’s got to be something else where we can get there faster than the other people.”
We went off and we found a connecting bus to… Where was it? I don’t remember. “Temuco” or something. Nobody else thought of doing that. Even though we missed the bus, if we found the bus we would have been there before the cowboys.
Jordan: So, me, Brent, Caite, and Jeff, and the cowboys, would have been there at the line that morning when [it opened]. So, that was probably the smartest thing.
Jeff: You know, we took first that last leg, then we made a great move by jumping ahead of everybody, and I think we got a little too lazy and cocky. So, we were like, “Let’s go get some water.”
When you’re at the back of the line you check on everything. But we got a little cocky and lazy early on and we took it right in the mouth for thinking that way.
RNO: What most surprised you about the race?
Jordan: Surprised us?
Jeff: I think it was more stressful than either of us thought it was going to be.
Jordan: It’s a lot harder than it looks.
Jeff: A lot harder. So, it was definitely more stressful than we thought. We just weren’t ready – we were ignorant to it. We thought we could just breeze through and crack jokes. It’s not like that. We got our jokes in, but we definitely didn’t breeze through.
RNO: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experiences on the race?
Jeff: Just that, even though we didn’t win, it was awesome! It was actually better than I expected. It was a great, great experience, and not winning really doesn’t mean that much to me. We had a great time and I thought we put in a great effort, and we obviously got a memory for a lifetime out of it.
RNO: Great! Thank you so much for talking to me today.
Jeff & Jordan: Thank you!