The Amazing Race: 2nd Place Memories with Brook and Claire
by Reg Seeton
After competing on The Amazing Race 17 as season long frontrunners with eventual winners Nat and Kat, Brook Roberts and Claire Champlin finished their Amazing Race journey in second place when the two home shopping hosts hit the mat in Los Angeles during this week's finale.
Although Brook and Claire were strong competitors on The Amazing Race 17, Claire endured a close call early in the race when she was hit with a watermelon during a challenge in England that could have been fatal. After shaking off her near miss, Claire hopped to her feet and never looked back with Brook as the two almost became the first female team to win The Amazing Race.
Following their second place finish on The Amazing Race, TheDeadbolt went one-on-two with Brook and Claire to learn more about their Amazing Race experience, the now famous watermelon incident, what happened in the finale, and what it was like to meet Bob Eubanks on The Amazing Race.
THE DEADBOLT: So, I take it that you won’t be selling Sancho Panza dolls on your show?
BROOK ROBERTS: [laughs] No, we won’t. We had no idea who that was.
THE DEADBOLT: Claire, how does it feel to be such a popular viral video with the watermelon?
CLAIRE CHAMPLIN: Oh, you know, it’s great. I always dreamed when I was a little girl to be whacked in the face with a watermelon and have over ten million views. [laughs] It’s fine. I just take it with a grain of salt and laugh about it myself and just thank the lord I didn’t get more injured than I was.
THE DEADBOLT: What exactly happened afterward?
CLAIRE: Afterward, I think I was just knocked out. I really didn’t know what happened. Brook came up to me and started pulling watermelon off of my face. Then of course the medical team ran in and looked at me and checked me out. Then they ran out and the camera crews came back in. But we didn’t know if we were allowed to keep going or what really was going on.
So Brook just looked at me and said, “I think we have to finish.” She was clueless, too. She didn’t know what we were supposed to do. We saw the other teams coming up, and I knew that I didn’t want to get out on the first round, so I just got up and hauled butt to the pitstop.
THE DEADBOLT: Brook, what was going through your mind when that happened?
BROOK: I just think we were all in shock. It’s literally like if you’ve been in a car accident and you look over at your friend and she literally hit her face with the steering wheel. That’s basically what happened to her. You’re just in shock. You don’t even know what to say or what to do.
One thing that you don’t see in the quick clip is that they run over to Claire, they’re checking her out, we’re sitting in the grass for awhile, and we’re talking to one another about what we’re going to do next. That’s when Claire goes, “Well, what are we going to do? Can we finish?” We didn’t even know if they’d let us finish and no one is really telling us what to do.
So I’m like, “Well, I think we have to finish.” And that’s when Claire was like, “What?” There was just a lot of confusion in that moment and I don’t think anyone on the show ever experienced anything that crazy. I mean, that literally could’ve killed her. That had never happened on the race before, so it was a big shock for everyone.
THE DEADBOLT: I’m glad it all turned out for the better.
BROOK: I know, right?
THE DEADBOLT: So, in the finale, how cool was it to meet Bob Eubanks?
BROOK: I mean, he’s a classic icon in hosting. It was just awesome.
THE DEADBOLT: When you guys stopped at the hotel, was that the difference in the end?
BROOK: No. The difference for us was when we went off the pier. We had a safety issue and they had to redo ours, so we were behind. After the float, we did everything so quickly. We went right to the hotel, had the clues, and it took us like five minutes. We jumped in the car, ran to the show, did all of that stuff and then ran again. We were only fifteen minutes behind them. So it really was a very close race in all reality because Jill and Thomas were like two hours behind us.
So it was a lot closer than what it seemed and it wasn’t that at all. We had the best cab driver and we did everything as quickly as we physically could. I think that’s the most frustrating thing. We couldn’t have done it any quicker. There’s nothing we could’ve done. It’s out of our hands and then it’s a game of luck. Lady luck just wasn’t on our side.
THE DEADBOLT: Claire, looking back, are you glad the challenges pushed you out of your comfort zone?
CLAIRE: Most definitely. You know, that’s what everybody was asking, "Were you frustrated when Brook was trying to push you so hard?" Or, "How did it feel being stuck on the rope out there?" That’s when I learned the most about myself. What The Amazing Race taught me is that I’m capable of so much more than I ever knew. I’m just glad that Brook did push me as far as she did because she saw what I was more capable of than I did myself, and I’m thankful for that.
THE DEADBOLT: Brook, you were so composed throughout the race and then you screamed like a schoolgirl during the bungee challenge. What’s up with that?
BROOK: Because it was scary! I’m sure you heard it throughout the race. I’m always like “Ahhh!” That’s how I felt when the whole thing was swinging back and forth. I’m playful and I like to have fun and it wasn’t like I’m going to die. It was just like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe we did that. Oh my God, that was crazy!” It was fun. It was absolutely petrifying.
THE DEADBOLT: Was there anything that you wished was aired that we didn’t see during the season?
BROOK: I think you saw it all. I actually feel that we were portrayed very honestly. I mean, that is who we are: fun loving, enjoy life, positive, energetic girls. I think the editing was very fair and you really saw the true Brook and Claire.http://www.thedeadbolt.com/news/109483/brook_claire_amazing_race_17_interview.php