The Amazing Race > The Racers

TAR18: Amanda Blackledge & Kris Klicka (engaged)

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 Keoghan explains the show's picks below.

Amanda and Kris Season 14, 8th place
Last we saw them: They fell victim to Margie and Luke's blind U-Turn, which stung even more because Amanda claims Margie told them she and Luke wouldn't U-Turn anyone.
Why they deserve a second chance: The couple, now engaged, gets to face off with their nemeses again. "Kris admitted that he's extremely competitive," Keoghan says. "Young couples are interesting to watch because they're usually not that worldly. It's like watching kids trying to be grown-ups. You're going to see that right out of the gate." Speaking of right out of the gate, Keoghan promises twists on game elements to keep everyone on their toes the first of which comes at the Pit Start. "They're back for a second time and we don't want them to ever feel like they know what's going to happen."

All-in-all, it's pretty hard to blame this loss on the U-Turn.  The U-Turn was a result of poor racing and so was their loss.

Two teams from the second flight finished the leg in 2nd and 3rd place, without making any spectacular moves, just doing everything pretty much right.

In my opinion, the biggest factor in their loss was not finding out what "To Sail to Stop" was all about.

I'm a big fan still, and wish them all the best in their relationship.  (And I love that Kris was rocking an SD Padres cap in the post-leg interviews.)

The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business - Exclusive Interview with Amanda Blackledge and Kris Klicka

by Gina Scarpa

This week on The Amazing Race, the dreaded U-Turn reared its ugly head and prevailed over Amanda and Kris... for the second time in two seasons! The first time around, in season 14, they had Margie and Luke to blame but this time, they did it to themselves. After coming in last during the first challenge, Phil delivered the bad news that they were automatically U-Turned, ultimately forcing them out of the game. Today, we caught up with the engaged couple to talk about their experiences running the race a second time.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What was your reaction when you found out that you would be returning, basically as all stars, to The Amazing Race?
A. Amanda: We were stoked! We were excited that we got a second chance. We knew there was an all-star season before and we were crossing our fingers that there would be another one.

A. Kris: We were just excited that were asked to come back.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Since we first saw you in season 14, you've gotten engaged. How did The Amazing Race play a part in your evolution as a couple?
A. Kris: It definitely made us stronger. We went through situations that most couples don't get to go through with each other. We learned to really work together as a pair.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: When you found out, at the starting line, that a U-Turn would be given to the last team to finish the challenge, were you worried that it would be you?
A. Amanda: We were definitely worried! Nobody wants to hear that there's that kind of twist thrown in. It was definitely stressful because we didn't want to be U-Turned a second time.

A. Kris: We were like, "Oh god, we cannot come in last right now!"


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: You started off the first leg in Australia very strong. Did things start to go wrong for you with the "To sail to stop" clue?
A. Amanda: Yeah, definitely! When we first got the clue, we looked on many different people's iPhones and smart phones that were walking around. It wasn't coming up when you Googled it. We were thinking, "If it's not a proper noun and it's not coming up on Google, it has to be a riddle." That's what threw us off. No locals knew what it meant. We found out later that when you Google it, you have to go a couple of pages down before it would show up. It wasn't so easy.

A. Kris: We were driving around in our taxi for a long time aimlessly.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: How close were you to Ron and Christina at the pit stop?
A. Kris: We heard that we were about 3-5 minutes behind. We were right on their tails... literally.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Speaking of tails, what was it like to run around in those kangaroo costumes? I think that may be the weirdest challenge I've ever seen on the show!
A. Amanda: It was pretty interesting!
A. Kris: More embarrassing than weird.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: How did the two of you deal with a second U-Turn in 2 seasons eliminating you from the race?
A. Amanda: Well, I guess we were just meant to have unfinished business. What are the odds that we get U-Turned twice?
A. Kris: This time around, the more difficult part was that we did it to ourselves. We can't change anything but we'd do it again in a heartbeat.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Given the group of returning teams this season, how confident are you that the two of you would've made it to the finish line if it had not been for that U-Turn?
A. Kris: This game... there's so many twists and turns. You never know if you're going to come out and win it. We're competitive. I feel like we would've had a good shot at it.
A. Amanda: I definitely agree, especially seeing how hard of a time Mel was having physically. A huge portion of the race is physical. Seeing other teams struggling as well... Ron and Christina too... it makes you feel like we would've kept going.
A. Kris: Physically, we could've taken anybody.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What's next for the two of you?
A. Amanda: Next, it's time to plan for a wedding! We put that on the back burner. We got the call for the race just a couple of weeks after we were engaged. Initially, we tried to plan both until we realized that it was going to drive us crazy. I think we're going to shoot for 2012.

'The Amazing Race's' Kris and Amanda: 'We'd do it a third time'

By Andrea Reiher

"The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business" saw its first elimination Sunday night (Feb. 27) when Kris and Amanda could not overcome the U-Turn putting them near the back of the pack and then getting a little lost on the Roadblock.

Are you glad you did "Amazing Race" again, even though you were out early?

Kris: "Absolutely. We'd do it again in a heartbeat. It's like winning the lottery. What are the odds of us being on it once, let alone twice. Experience of a lifetime."

Amanda: "We'd do it a third time even if we knew we'd be the first team out again."

Even though you out early, was it just as fun as you remembered it?

Amanda: "It was really fun. We got to go to Australia, for one, which we've never been. I got to swim with sharks and scuba dive, which I would never have voluntarily done. [laughs] It was all really fun. We didn't get to go nearly as long as last time, so that was a huge bummer. The automatic U-turn was pretty stressful, it added a lot of pressure on us.

Kris: "Yeah, we knew we had to fight the whole time."

Speaking of the automatic U-turn, how did you feel about that? We thought it was a little unfair throwing that in right off the bat and not letting the teams choose whether or not to U-turn.

Kris: "It was a bummer, especially since coming into it, you know, we got U-turned the last time aorund. To start out with that was just, 'Oh my gosh!' That was what was detrimental to our success the first time around, so to have that again ... it sucked. [laughs]

When you got to the Detour, were you surprised nobody else chose the painting? That looked so much faster than the mosaic. Was it as much faster as it looked?

Amanda: "It was kinda funny because the painting was definitely faster than the mosaic. We weren't timing it or anything, but it was 100% for sure faster than the mosaic, which is ironic since everyone chose the other one. When we first read the clue we weren't trying to think of which one was faster. Our goal was to see which one the other teams were doing because if we had to do both, we wanted to do the one the teams were doing so we could see where we were at and if we had trouble we could look around and see what other teams were doing."

Once you got eliminated, which teams were you hoping to see crossing the finish line?

Kris: "Gary and Mallory we got really close with and Mel and Mike we talked to a lot as well. We were just rooting them on and hoping they would do well."

Amazing Race's Amanda and Kris: We Don't Blame the U-Turn for Our Elimination
by Joyce Eng

After going out of Season 14 of The Amazing Race thanks to a U-Turn (by Margie and Luke), Amanda Blackledge and Kris Klicka, 27, met the same fate on Unfinished Business, becoming the first team to get eliminated after incurring an automatic U-Turn and falling behind on the second half of a double leg in Australia. "I wouldn't say it's harder to swallow because it's our own fault," Amanda, 25, tells "It's not like it's easier blaming other people. Yeah, Margie and Luke U-Turned us last time, but I don't think it's anyone's fault when you're eliminated last time or this time." Find out how far behind the couple was, why it took them so long to get to Town Hall, and if they'd run the Race again.

Amazing Race: Phil Keoghan explains why these 11 teams have Unfinished Business

How far behind Ron and Christina were you?
Amanda: We heard from a couple teams after the fact that it was about five minutes.

Where do you think you went wrong? Was it trying to get back to Sydney or were you screwed from the automatic U-Turn?
Kris: It was kind of one giant ball of craziness. We came in second place [in the first half of the leg] and go the "To Sail to Stop" clue. We tried to find it on the Internet and it didn't pop up, so we got lost for a while.
Amanda: I definitely think if we caught that first flight, we wouldn't have been eliminated because we were only five minutes behind Ron and Christina. I think not catching that first flight hurt us along with not getting the Express Pass.

What happened when you tried to get back to Sydney?
Amanda: Our first instinct was to ask people and to look it up online, which we did. But we were looking it up on people's iPhones, and when you Googled it, after a few pages it wasn't coming up, so we thought, if you couldn't look it up, then it's not a proper noun, so it's a riddle. But as it turns out, it was actually on the sixth page or something when you Googled it on a phone. You had to keep scrolling.
Kris: All the teams took awhile to get there. Everyone struggled with it. It was just a matter of getting to that second Google page first on a computer. "Oh my God, it's an anchor by Town Hall!" We weren't at an actual computer; we were talking to people with iPhones.

How much time did you lose doing that?
Amanda: It took us about three hours to get there probably. We went to a variety of places. One person told us they thought it was the opera house because a lot of people in Sydney refer to it as the sails because the opera house is in the shape of sails. We went all over Sydney. ... We were definitely bummed finding out we were on the second flight. We knew that since there wasn't a Detour yet that it was coming up.
Kris: But [the second Detour] only took a few minutes. Our thought process was we saw all the other teams doing the mosaic so we figured we'll do that one because we can look at what they're doing and then go to the other task.

So you don't blame the U-Turn for your elimination?
Amanda: No, I mean, yeah, we had to do that extra task, but we wouldn't have been eliminated if we didn't have to do that.
Kris: It was our own fault for screwing up on the Qantas challenge. It was our own actions that caused us to be eliminated.

Did you run into any navigation trouble when you were in the kangaroo suits?
Kris: No. It was pretty easy. This was a tiny, tiny town, so they knew what was going on and you asked and they were like, "Oh yeah, they went this way. This is where we told them to go."
Amanda: We knew we were last. When we got to the locker room to change into our kangaroo suits, there were no more costumes left. But we definitely still had hope because the clue said you had to have all the pieces of your costume when you checked in. As we were running, we knew how easy it was for things to fall off. We were hoping that maybe a team lost a piece of their costume. We didn't know that Margie did lose a piece of her costume until we watched it last night. Too bad somebody handed it to her!

Would you come back for a third Race?
Kris: If the opportunity presented itself, we would for sure. This is one of those things we could never, ever pass up. No more U-Turns!

Congratulations on your engagement. Do you have any wedding plans?
Kris: Thank you!
Amanda: We got the call for the Race a couple weeks after Kris proposed, so we put that on hold because it was a little stressful with both. With the Race and everything, we decided 2012 is much better. What's the rush anyway? That's what we're shooting for.


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