Deadbolt Interview:Running Through India with Christie and Jodi of The Amazing Race
by Reg Seeton
Now full foot-throttle into Season 14, The Amazing Race teams left the cold confines of Siberia to touch down in India, which has always been a giant roadblock for all duos that have ran in CBS' hit reality competition. The latest episode of The Amazing Race saw the teams take to the bustling and bubbling-over streets of India to gather hay for camels and dance for money among the locals in an effort to keep pace in the most populated country on the planet. Although India also gave The Amazing Race teams a reality check in the various poverty stricken areas in certain legs, almost all of the teams didn't crack under the simmering population pressure like others in seasons past.
This week's leg of The Amazing Race began with flight attendants Christie Volkmer and Jodi Wincheski in last place behind the others as they made their way to India. However, having touched the mat in last place the week before, Christie and Jodi were penalized with an extra "speed bump" task that only they had to perform. Having made up major time after Jodi carried baskets of hay for camel herders, and both danced in the streets for money, Christie and Jodi had to find their way through town and locate an elephant and give it a paint makeover to get over the "speed bump."
And when it was all said and done, Christie and Jodi made up even more ground on the teams and were only seconds behind stunt guys Mark and Michael when they hit the mat in front of Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan. Still, the hard battling efforts of Christie and Jodi weren't enough to keep them in The Amazing Race and both flight attendants were eliminated from this season's competition.
Shortly after their elimination, Christie and Jodi gave us a call to fill us in on everything from their time in India and how they came together as a team to why Christie didn't ask for underwear prior to her public jog in Russia and why, despite overcoming a lot of her fears, Jodi won't be going bungee jumping anytime soon.
THE DEADBOLT: So did you guys know you were that close at the end?
CHRISTIE VOLKMER: [laughs] We knew when we stepped on the mat! But it was still very hard to watch.
THE DEADBOLT: How tough was India just as a challenge?
JODI WINCHESKI: India was fantastic.
CHRISTIE: India was wonderful. The taxi drivers, not so wonderful. But the tasks and the people, absolutely phenomenal.
JODI WINCHESKI: India was the one place where Iím like, ĎI just donít want to go to India.í Beforehand I was telling Christie, Iím like, ĎI donít want to go there because everybody always loses it in India. People are crying, itís all crowded and crazy, itís just awful.' And then I go and itís just a great experience.
THE DEADBOLT: So how did that compare to Siberia?
JODI: [laughs] Better!
CHRISTIE: I was so glad to get out of the cold. Every time we opened up a clue, we were like, ĎPlease let it be some place warm.í We were tired of jackets and boots and coats and layers, and we were wanting some place warm, so India was refreshing.
THE DEADBOLT: Christie, did you think about asking for underwear in Russia before jogging off?
CHRISTIE: [laughs] Hey, I got a lot of friend requests the next day on Facebook. And all by men, mostly. But I did ask, actually. When they said "skivvies," at first I thought, ĎOkay, theyíre going to give me a cute outfit that all of the locals wear when they run down the street.í I didnít know what to expect. But then when they said "skivvies," Iím like, ĎAre you kidding? All I have on is a thong.í And they were like, ĎIt says skivvies.í I mean, I just didnít have time to argue so I just took off. Then, literally, youíre too cold to even be embarrassed at that point. Itís kind of liberating. I mean it was kind of fun actually.
THE DEADBOLT: So throughout the race, how did your flight attendant experience help you?
JODI: It did help us quite a bit, actually. We had several places where we made really good flight choices that helped us a lot, especially in Moscow. We were one of three teams to actually make our connection there and the other teams had to spend the night in the airport, and thatís not an airport youíd want to spend the night in. So that was a big deal. And a lot of flights when we got there, there were no seats available out of that airport. We talked to the people who called corporate who asked if they could reclassify some of there business class seats into economy seats so that we could purchase them. If we hadnít have done that we wouldnít have got on the flight and we wouldíve been a day behind, probably.
CHRISTIE: Yeah. A lot of teams said they wouldíve never have thought to even ask that. They just take it for granted thereís none left.
THE DEADBOLT: Do you guys feel that you really came together as a team in the last couple of episodes?
CHRISTIE: Yeah. I was really proud of how well we worked together. A lot of the teams - not a lot, but some of them - waste the time arguing and not listening to each other and we realized that was just a detriment based on previous episodes. Arguing is not going to get you anywhere and youíre certainly going to lose time. So I was pretty proud of how well we worked together.
THE DEADBOLT: What team was your closest ally?
JODI: Throughout the race I would say Victor and Tammy. We worked a couple of legs with them. We definitely had great respect for Jennifer and Kisha, as well as Mel and Mike, but we worked a couple of legs with Victor and Tammy.
CHRISTIE: A lot of the time, early on when we were in the back, you donít see people. So youíre kind of on your own - we were a little isolated at times. It wasnít intentional, it was just the logistics of it. And starting in last place you donít see people a lot.
THE DEADBOLT: How did the "Blind U-turn" have an effect on the competition?
JODI: Well, it definitely changed the tone of the game. Everybody was getting along really well and everybody was friendly - nobody would say anything negative. So we certainly knew that if somebody used that it was going to change things.
CHRISTIE: But it was so funny because itís a blind U-turn. At the end of the race, everyone was like, ĎIt wasnít me! It wasnít me! It wasnít me!í So the person that doesnít say 'it wasnít me,' it narrows it down and you figure out who it is pretty fast.
THE DEADBOLT: So how did the entire experience change both of you?
CHRISTIE: It was a phenomenal experience for me. For one, it made you realize how much we rely on the United States to have everything we have and be in all of these countries with so much poverty and detriment. It was wonderful to come back home to my family and realize that I can do anything that I set my mind to, pretty much.
JODI: Yeah, I agree. Itís very much a sense of empowerment of knowing that you can do anything you set your mind to. And even if you have great fears, you can overcome them and you can get it done. Itís so incredibly difficult to not talk to your loved ones for a month; no contact whatsoever. Thatís something hard to prepare for emotionally. You know thatís the way it is but itís a whole other story when you canít talk to them, you canít e-mail them, and you donít know how theyíre doing. It makes it difficult.
THE DEADBOLT: So how did your daughter view the race?
JODI: She cried. It was the last episode. She cried, I cried, everyone at my house cried. So itís been difficult because Iím not usually extremely emotional and she doesnít see me cry. It was hard for her to watch that. I think that sheís very proud that I did the show and I think sheís very proud of how we ran the race. Itís great to share that with her and to talk about her, to know that she got to be a part of it even though she was at home.
THE DEADBOLT: What do you think the secret is to getting ahead of the competition?
JODI: You have to have a little bit of luck. You have to have a little skill but you have to have a little bit of luck.
CHRISTIE: I really think you need to stay focused. You donít need to worry about the other teams. I mean you need to be aware of where they are and where your competition is but donít get all caught up in where the other teams are. Just focus on yourself and the task at hand and just get it done as quick as possible.
JODI: And you need to take every opportunity to learn, study, and to be ready for the next race. You donít want to be just sleeping on your train ride, you need to be talking to people and getting to know them. But the biggest thing, obviously, is working together as a team and remembering as a team. You need to look out for whatís most important - getting your team ahead, not being right or wrong, or fighting or arguing. You need to get along.
THE DEADBOLT: So are you going to go bungee jumping again?
JODI: [laughs] No! That is the one thing I did not want to do. I went into it saying, ĎIíll do anything with it, I just donít want to bungee jump.í And of course this is the very first thing I have to do. So knowing that I got by that first, I pretty much figured I could do anything else. But no, Iím not a huge fan of bungee jumping. I was like, 'Shut your eyes, hold your breath, and wait until itís over.'
CHRISTIE: Everyone that went in front of her was screaming on the way down. And then Iím watching Jodi and Iím thinking of everything that could flat-out go wrong - the rope wrapping around her ankle. I mean, Iím just imagining all of these horrible things and she jumps, and there is silence, and Iím like, ĎSheís holding her breath! Sheís going to pass out!íhttp://www.thedeadbolt.com/news/105585/ar14christiejodi_interview.php