Exclusive: Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale talk 'The Amazing Race' (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/08/2012
Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale were eliminated from The Amazing Race during Sunday night's broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 21st season.
The "Dating On and Off Couple" became the second team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's second Pit Stop at the Pasar Pabean Market in Surabaya, Indonesia in last place. The pair got lost for an extensive period of time looking for the Wijaya Motor shop while running the Race's second leg, and during the show's initial leg, unintentionally gave up a first-place finish when they shared vital information with competitors Abbie Ginsberg and Ryan Danz.
In an exclusive interview, Amy and Daniel talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience and early ouster -- including whether they definitely knew they were in last place upon arriving at the Pit Stop in Surabaya, why they got lost and attributed their unfortunate turn of events to fate, what they would've changed about their strategy going forward if they had been afforded the chance to continue racing, and why Amy said she didn't have much control over how fast she could run heading into the Race's first Pit Stop.
Reality TV World: When you guys arrived at the Pit Stop, did you have a pretty good idea you were in last place or were you still thinking there was a chance finish in eighth or ninth place or something?
Daniel Gale: We weren't 100% percent sure that we were last place. You just never know. It's The Amazing Race. Anything can happen, but I think what was in our minds was that we were most hopeful that, if we were in last place, it was a non-elimination round.
Reality TV World: I was just going to ask about that. Amy, you burst into tears right after Phil Keoghan said the words, "You have been eliminated from the Race." So it sounds like then it's safe to say you were hoping for that non-elimination leg? You were hopeful you'd hear those words instead?
Amy Purdy: Yes, we were waiting for that all the way until the next day. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: How far behind Gary Wojnar and Will Chiola do you think you finally got to the Pit Stop?
Amy Purdy: We don't really know to tell you the truth how much time elapsed. Although at one point, we went back to the start -- where the balloons were -- and we saw them there still. So we were hopeful -- we still knew we were in the game at that point.
But we had called information -- not information, but some really nice lady got on the phone and called somebody who was able to look up on the computer the locations. But she gave us a list of locations with the same name, and we went on a goose chase (laughs) looking for the right one. So, I'm not quite sure how much time actually elapsed before we got to the right place.
Reality TV World: Okay so it sounds like you weren't sure how long you got lost for, right?
Amy Purdy: We really don't know, you kind of lose track. We know that -- I mean, we got out of the challenge, the balloon challenge, second. It took a long time for all the teams to finish up there. So we were out, going to all different Wijaya Motor locations that entire time. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Do you kind of place the blame of getting lost on the long list the local girl gave you then rather than say your taxi driver?
Amy Purdy: Well, to tell you the truth, we really placed the blame on the way the stars aligned for us that day, because everybody contributed and helped out as much as possible.
Daniel Gale: They were giving us legitimate Wijaya locations. They just weren't the right ones.
Amy Purdy: Right.
Daniel Gale: So there's so many places in that town that use the word Wijaya in front of it, and some were actually called Wijaya Motor. And also, you know, the taxi driver -- there's not computers readily available. There's not smartphones.
There's just not that type of thing, and if you saw Amy ask a lady to call information, and she was unable to -- she actually couldn't even -- she said that [information] in Indonesia... doesn't even exist. So, you know, it's just one of those things. It really was the stars for us.
Reality TV World: You two chose to take on the "Ice by the Pound" Detour task instead of the fish one. Do you think you ended up making the right choice there? After watching last night's episode and seeing Natalie and Nadiya's success with the fish task, do you think you would've been better off doing that one instead?
Amy Purdy: Well you know, I have a horrible shellfish allergy. (Laughs) So...
Reality TV World: So that pretty much sums it up right there! (Laughs)
Amy Purdy: Exactly.
Reality TV World: Do you have any idea how long it took you to complete that "Ice by the Pound" Detour task?
Amy Purdy: We breezed through it! We were in and out of there within minutes. So, you know, of course that made it even more frustrating. Because once we got to the right location, we got to the Pit Stop in record time.
Reality TV World: It also seemed like you guys flew through the animal balloon-making Roadblock task. Was that accurate, and Amy, how did it compare to eating frog tubes in the prior leg of the Race?
Amy Purdy: I know! I don't know which one was easier. (Laughs) But I can say that I was proud of myself for how quickly I just kind of jumped in and got the job completed. I had never made animal balloons before and it was a little jaunting the first couple minutes, because there was a guy who was doing a demonstration that we were allowed to watch.
But he would do it so fast, you couldn't tell how he did it. And so, my first thought was, "Oh gosh, we may be here for awhile." But then I kind of slowed my thinking down and just counted the amount of twists he was doing and the different directions he was going in, and I came up with a system. Once I came up with that system, I was able to kind of bust them out pretty quickly.
Reality TV World: There were obviously two errors you two made in your Race. The first was how you told Abbie and Ryan where the woman with the abacus was during the first leg and then they finished the leg first instead of you guys thanks to your help. The second was the amount of time you got lost when trying to find the motor shop. Looking back, which moment would you say was worse even though getting lost clearly caused your elimination?
Daniel Gale: I don't know if we would call either of them an error. I think we're proud of our decision to tell them where the thing was in a way, because it just shows what kind of people we are and that we're giving. We run an organization that gives back.
We're highly competitive and when that happened, it kind of gave us a knock in the head, and we set out in the next leg to be more conscious and race really, really hard -- which we did. And just because the stars didn't align for us on the second leg, you know, it wasn't necessarily an error. But certainly, that's the most heartbreaking piece of the story, because it took us out of the Race.
Amy Purdy: Yeah.
Reality TV World: Could you talk a little more about why exactly you helped two other teams find the woman with the abacus in the first leg? Besides the fact it obviously showed the type of people you are and you felt you did the right thing -- like you just mentioned -- did you think you were that much ahead of them and they wouldn't be able to catch up to you at the Pit Stop?
Amy Purdy: Well actually, for one thing, because we're snowboard racers, we're extremely competitive kind of in short spurts. When you're going on days and hours, there's moments when your guard is going to be down. It definitely happened to catch us at a time when our guard was down.
But to tell you the truth, yeah, we knew that we were -- well first of all, we didn't know we were in first place. But we knew that our next stop was the Pit Stop. We basically gave them a general direction, thinking they still had to run through a market and find the correct location. And we did think that we were further ahead of them at that point that we would make it to the Pit Stop first.
But we also didn't realize until probably two seconds after that moment happened just how far the Pit Stop was. So, we had to run, I mean gosh, a mile-and-a-half or two miles, just as a sprint. Because I've got prosthetic legs, I made a choice -- a conscious choice -- not to bring my running legs on the Race, because running legs, you can only run in them.
You can't walk up and down stairs, you can't run on gravel, you can't run on the ice. They would've been a lot more to carry in our packs. So, I chose to have legs that were all-around athletic legs, that I could also run in.
But they -- I'm only good for about a fourth-a-mile before my actually feet, my prosthetic feet, start to lose spring and energy. So once we realized we had another mile-and-a-half, two miles, to run, we realized, "We're probably not going to make it to the Pit Stop first now."
Reality TV World: Oh wow, so just to clarify, it sounds like you think you made the right decision in helping the team who beat you in the first leg, but at the same time, you kind of clicked into competitive mode afterwards. So do you regret that initial decision to help Abbie and Ryan or do you stand by it?
Amy Purdy: To tell you the truth, no, we don't regret it. Because honestly, the next day, that decision forced us to make some changes and to go in even more competitive that next day. So, you know, it takes just learning from these little quirks that happen to make you stronger and it certainly did.
Reality TV World: If you guys had lasted in the Race, down the road, do you think you would've helped teams again if they needed you or would you have tried to avoid doing that?
Daniel Gale: It would've been something we would've tried to avoid and it would've been something where we were more prepared for it. If someone asks you, you don't say, "No, I don't know where it is" if you do. For us, we'd probably say something like, "You know, this is a race and a game. And I'm sorry, we can't help you guys right now, but we're racing too." It's something that we don't regret.
Amy Purdy: You honestly don't know how you're going to react until you're in that situation, and I've been saying... Just how I feel is, you have strategy going in. When you watch the show, you have ideas of what you're going to do that's going to help you win.
And when you're actually in the moment and you're flying by the seat of your pants, it's true your strategy kind of goes out the window and your true instincts kick in. And that really was our natural instinct in that moment. And now that we're aware of that with ourselves, certainly, we'd be a lot more prepared if that situation came up again.
Above is the first half of Amy and Daniel's interview. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion.