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TAR 22: Idries & Jamil Abdur-Rahman "Twin OB/GYN's"

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Amazing Race's Idries and Jamil: It Was Hard Getting Over Our Fear of Water
by Joyce Eng

Idries and Jamil were thrown into the deep end on Sunday's Amazing Race. The twin brothers and OB/GYNs were forced to confront their fear of water when both Detour options took place underwater in Bora Bora. They struggled and eventually came in last. But before you chastise them for breaking two of Race's cardinal rules (know how to drive stick shift and know how to swim), know that the twins did take swimming lessons before the show. So what happened?

Do you know how far behind you were?
Idries: We didn't know how far behind we were, but we knew we were last. But we didn't know if we were on anybody's heels or just totally out of it.

When was the last time you saw a team?
Idries: I think it was while we were still going for the pearls. After that, we didn't see any other teams. When we did the table Detour underwater, we didn't see any other teams there and we didn't see any evidence of teams at the stilts either.
Jamil: It's hard to say how long [we were at the Detours], but I would guess we were trying to do the pearls for two-and-a-half hours. The chest one was quick. That took, like, 10 minutes. [Laughs]

Do you regret not doing the chest first?
Jamil: Yeah, and that was our original intention. We were thinking we were going to do the chest thing first. It's kind of funny. In Season 18 finale, when they were riding bikes underwater, that's what I was picturing. Then I thought we should do the chest and when we did the chest, it was quick, so I was like, "Oh, my God! We should've done this first."

Jen from that season had a fear of water too. Where did yours come from? Did you never learn how to swim? Did you think you could go through the Race without a water task?
Jamil: Our fear of water is from childhood. The way we learned how to swim was at day camp and they just threw us in the deep end and we had to sink or swim. So ever since then, I was afraid of water and we didn't actually learn to swim until we were teenagers. And we knew we would probably have some water tasks, so we took swimming classes before so we could be somewhat OK in the water. For me, it was more a fear of being in the open water. I don't care about a swimming pool, but the ocean freaks me out. If you watch, when we had to, we were swimming. It was just getting over that emotional fear of that deep mass of ocean that was hard.

So all your swimming lessons were in the pool?
Jamil: Pretty much!
Idries: We live nowhere near a swimmable body of water. Just Lake Michigan, [and] the only people in there are not alive! [Laughs] We didn't have much of a choice!

You considered taking the Detour penalty first. How serious were you about that?
Jamil: I think fear played a role, but I was also trying to strategize. If we think [swimming] is our limitation, maybe it's better to take the penalty instead of [wasting] two hours trying to do it and then take the penalty, which would be eight hours total we'd lose as opposed to six.
Idries: I didn't want to do that because A) a six-hour penalty would kills us and B) I felt like it was something we could do. I knew we wouldn't do it as fast as everybody else, but I knew we wouldn't die out there. [Laughs] So I figured, let's just do it and if it takes us three times as long as anybody else, at least we did it. I don't quit in life.

Were you aware that Max and Katie, and the country singers were behind from their penalty last leg?
Idries: Yeah, that was our thought process going into it. We knew they were like two hours behind, so I figured we could play around for like an hour or so since we had a little bit of a buffer.

You came up with the Express Pass plan last leg. (The first team givesthe second Pass to the second team in that group.) Were you surprised to see John and Jessica wavering?
Jamil: I wasn't surprised. They wanted to do what they thought was fair. The reason we came up with that plan was because if we came in first, we didn't want to be in that position of choosing between teams, so we came up with that agreement so nobody's feelings would get hurt or take it personally. It was a little surprising to see them wavering, but it is a competition, so we understand.

Would you have kept your word?
Idries: Absolutely! I think your word is your bond. I kind of wavered before we started the Race between being totally upright and doing things because it's a game. At the end of the day, I think my main thing was, I knew my wife would be watching, my kids would be watching and our patients would be watching. So, it wouldn't have been worth it to go against my word.

What are you up to now?
Idries: Sitting here at work! Playing on the computer. [Laughs]
Jamil: We're back at work, seeing patients.

No more swimming in oceans?
Jamil: [Laughs] I'm planning on being out there and conquering that fear. I'm seeing if you can go out to some tropical environment and learn ocean-swimming.
Idries: You heard it here first. In a couple of years, we'll be back! [Laughs]


Exclusive: Idries Abdur-Rahman and Jamil Abdur-Rahman talk 'The Amazing Race' (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/25/2013

The "Twin Doctors" became the second team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's second Pit Stop at Motu Tapu, the most photographed island in the South Pacific, in last place. They had struggled with a Detour task in the deep ocean, fell behind from there and just couldn't seem to ever catch up.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Idries and Jamil talked about their short-lived The Amazing Race experience and what exactly went wrong prior to their ouster. Below is the first half of the twins' interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Tuesday for the concluding portion.

Reality TV World: How far behind Pamela Chien and Winnie Sung do you think you guys finally arrived at the Pit Stop?
Idries Abdur-Rahman: It's hard to say, but I would guess probably no more than like 30-45 minutes. It's just a guess.

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 to finish in eighth or ninth place or something?
Jamil Abdur-Rahman: I knew pretty much that there was no way we were anything else but last. So I pretty much knew going into it.

Idries Abdur-Rahman: Yeah, I knew because when Jamil was doing the challenge with the stilts, and I don't want to discourage him, but I kind of started counting the stilts at the end -- you know, where people had left them -- and I knew based on that, that either they got really creative and left some extra stilts or we were behind. But I didn't say anything, because I didn't see the point.

Reality TV World: Did you two have hope it would be a non-elimination leg or did you just kind of feel discouraged at the end of the leg, like your time in the Race was just kind of up?
Idries Abdur-Rahman: Of course you always hope, as every Racer does coming in last, that it's a non-elimination leg. But from just watching previous seasons, I've rarely found them happen that early on. So I was pretty doubtful it would be a non-elimination leg. But you always have that little glimmer like, "Come on [host Phil Keoghan], say it's a non-elimination leg." Like, cut! Take two!

Reality TV World: How long did it end up taking you guys to complete the "Pick a Pearl" task?
Jamil Abdur-Rahman: (Laughs) It took us about two hours I would say and basically what happened was, as they showed last night, we had dropped a few of the oysters to begin with.

And we basically [wiped] all the oysters clean and we only found on pearl, so we realized there's one at the bottom of the ocean. (Laughs) We could not get down there to get it, so I would say we were there for about two hours before we realized that we had to go do the second task of the Detour.

Reality TV World: Jamil, so it sounds like it was the task itself that proved to be very difficult rather than a struggle to swim efficiently on your part, right? Is that accurate to say?
Jamil Abdur-Rahman: To an extent. I mean, I sensed that my fear of the water was still the main issue, because even though I can swim, I'm afraid of deep, open water. And so for a long time, I didn't even want to get in. And when I finally did get in, I'll be honest, I was scared.

So I think that when you get scared, you get tunnel vision. And so, we didn't -- I didn't at least -- neither one of us I don't feel attacked the task properly instead of taking each line. We first started by taking individual oysters, and that's just because we weren't thinking. We were nervous.

And that's what resulted in us dropping one of the oysters. So I feel like indirectly, it was that fear of the water that cost us in the end because we weren't thinking too clearly. But it wasn't an inability to swim. Because I was telling people, if you watched, we both swam. I just didn't want to get in that water at all.

Reality TV World: Idries, you obviously shared that fear, correct? Because the show showed you refusing a couple times to try the Pearl task when Jamil was insisting he wouldn't be able to accomplish it.
Idries Abdur-Rahman: No, I mean, I definitely do share that fear of water. But I kind of hopped in there and told him, "Let's get in. The water's not too bad." But I mean, yeah, I'm not a huge fan of water myself. Like he said, I can swim. I'm not going to die out there, but I'm just not a huge fan of open bodies of endless water. It's just not my thing.

Reality TV World: Why did you guys decide to do that task to begin with instead of the "Take a Trunk" one?
Idries Abdur-Rahman: It's kind of funny. When we were at the priest, initially we said we were going to do the "Pick a Pearl," but then when we were on the boat, we were kind of talking about it with one another and what I kind of pictured in my mind was from Season 19, the last leg when they were in Florida and they were kind of riding around on those bicycles underwater and had those respirators on.

I told Jamil, "If we're walking on the bottom of the ocean floor, we clearly have to have some kind of respirator." So we, at that point, kind of changed our minds and said, "We want to go ahead and do the Trunk." But the thing is, they were in the same place. If remember reading the clue, it said "the bay" -- I don't remember what bay it was.

So then there was really no way to discern where the trunks were and where the pearls were. So when we got there, we could clearly see the lines of pearls, and I remember Jamil looked over the boat and said, "Oh, there's a trunk!"

But then when we started moving, we were like, "No, that's not a trunk. That's just a swimmer." So we were like, "Well we don't know where these trunks are." I asked the guy, like, "Take us to the trunks" -- or I said, "Take us to the bay." And he said, "We're here." And I was like, "Well I don't see any trunks. So let's just hit the pearls."

Reality TV World: So how long did it take you to actually complete the "Take a Trunk" task? You guys said on the show you got through it fairly quickly.
Jamil Abdur-Rahman: Oh yeah, that's what killed. I think maybe 10 minutes -- maybe 10 minutes to do the trunks. It was easy. That just burned even more.

Reality TV World: Oh wow, so if you had opted to do the "Take a Trunk" task in the first place, how do you think it would've changed the course of events for you guys? Do you have any idea what place you might've been able to finish in considering how you ran the rest of that leg?
Idries Abdur-Rahman: I think if we had done the trunk task, I think we would've probably come in second or third, because if we would've finished it in 10 minutes like we did, we would've been ahead of everybody that did the pearls.

And so, you know, there was only one other team initially that did the trunks, so we would've kind of been neck and neck with them. So it would've come down to a whole stilt race, but we definitely would've been one of the top teams.

Reality TV World: That must be a crushing feeling.
Jamil Abdur-Rahman: It is, just a little bit. (Laughs)

Reality TV World: So Jamil, how long did it take you to complete the stilts Roadblock task? And was it as difficult as it appeared to be?
Jamil Abdur-Rahman: I think it took me about half an hour. And it was -- I thought it was really difficult. I think it was a little bit tougher for me just because we had been swimming for three hours.

And so, I was already exhausted and my feet actually were soft because I had been in the water so long. And so, my feet got cut up, and it was really tough. I was physically and emotionally just drained, but it was tough. But I don't think I was doing it for more than half an hour.

Above is the first half of our exclusive interview with Jamil and Idries. Check back with Reality TV World on Tuesday for the concluding portion.


Leaving The Amazing Race 22 with Twin Doctors Idries and Jamil
by Reg Seeton

This week on The Amazing Race 22, twin OB/GYN doctors Idries and Jamil Abdur-Rahman were the second team eliminated from competition in Bora Bora.

Although the doctor brothers from Chicago survived the first leg of The Amazing Race in the Season 22 premiere, Idries and Jami found themselves in tougher than expected in ther second leg this week. When the twins were forced to dive for oysters, the deep waters of Bora Bora proved to be a little too much for the OB/GYN physicians from the Windy City.

After a late switch of tasks, however, Idries and Jamil eventually completed the detour but hit the mat in last place to become the second team eliminated from the new season of The Amazing Race.

The following day, The Deadbolt caught up with Idries and Jamil Abdur-Rahman to get their post-race thoughts, how they overcome the tropical waters of Bora Bora, and what the doctors thought when their Amazing Race cover was blown.

THE DEADBOLT: Although you were eliminated, how cool was it to run The Amazing Race in Bora Bora?
IDRIES ABDUR-RAHMAN: Oh god, just to be on The Amazing Race was an unbelievable experience. Then to do it in such a phenominal place was even better. It was cool. It was great.

THE DEADBOLT: How long did the second underwater challenge take as compared to the first?
IDRIES: The second one took us about ten minutes. The first one was anywhere from two to three hours. I’m ballparking that one, but the second one was much faster.

THE DEADBOLT: Jamil, what exactly was it with the water that you couldn’t do?
JAMIL ABDUR-RAHMAN: I don’t know if it was anything that I couldn’t do necessarily. I’m not real comfortable in the water. In the swimming pool, I’m fine with things like that. But the open, deep water, I’m not real comfortable.

I wasn’t comfortable getting in the water. So when I realized that our challenge was going to require me to get in the water and be in there a long time, I was concerned with whether we’d be able to actually do it.

THE DEADBOLT: Idries, as a teammate, what options did you have at that point?
IDRIES: Well, there weren’t a whole bunch of options. It was either talking him into the water and get him to do it with me or doing it by myself. The third option, which we should have exercised earlier, was doing the other end of the detour.

Aside from that, it was just a matter of trying. I understand his fear of water because I have it. So it was a matter of easing his fears, letting him know it’ll be okay, and then doing it.
Twin doctors Idries (left) and Jamil (right) must balance on traditional Polynesian sparring stilts in The Amazing Race - Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2013

Twin doctors Idries (left) and Jamil (right) must balance on traditional Polynesian sparring stilts in The Amazing Race – Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2013

THE DEADBOLT: Going into the race, how important was it for you guys to quickly form alliances, especially with the second express pass?
JAMIL: I thought it was pretty important right off the bat, especially with the second express pass. I felt that if we weren’t the first team to reach the mat after leg one with the first or second express pass, we’d have an alliance with the team that did have it. So, forming an alliance for that reason was important.

But also I felt that if we were the first team to the mat and we had the first express pass and the second express pass, we didn’t want to be in a position where we had to choose one team over another. That would only leave hard feelings. During a long race, you don’t want to have a bunch of folks who are upset with you.

We thought that by making the proposal and forming that alliance, it took a lot of the pressure off of everybody. No one would look at the decisions with the express pass and ask, “Why did you choose this team versus that team?” They’d all know we made an agreement and we were just abiding by the agreement. So, we felt that it took a lot of the stress out of the process.

THE DEADBOLT: How surprised were you that Pamela and Winnie didn’t believe your delivery men story?
IDRIES: You know, honestly, I wasn’t too surprised. We hadn’t really fleshed it that well amongst each other. We said that we’ll just say we’re delivery men. I didn’t expect them to say, “oh, who do you deliver for?” and keep going with it. We’re pretty bad liars, so I wasn’t too surprised they didn’t believe it.

JAMIL: I kind of thought we might be able to pull it off just because technically we are delivery men, we deliver babies. At least if we say that, we’re not totally lying and maybe we’ll be able to pull it off a little bit more. But Winnie was right at us with, “who do you deliver for? Are you lying?” We were like, “oh, wow!”

THE DEADBOLT: How was the race harder than what you expected going into the season?
JAMIL: The thing I didn’t necessarily anticipate was that there would be sleep deprivation and there would be stress. I felt like we were prepared for that. But the thing that I didn’t anticipate was just how much of a factor that would play.

In the second leg of the race, when we were doing the oysters, that lack of sleep along with fear really gave us tunnel vision. So we approached the task kind of incorrectly. Instead of pulling the entire rope, we’d pull one oyster at a time.

I think that was the one thing I didn’t prepare for was how the fear and lack of sleep gives you tunnel vision and you can’t think as clearly as when you’re at home watching the show on TV.

IDRIES: You don’t think outside the box. The title of the challenge was “Pick a Pearl,” so I was picking a pearl. I didn’t think that I could take the whole line of pearls. It’s just that you get tunnel vision.

I didn't like them from their edit in the first episode and so it didn't really make me feel anything to see them gone. I think their actions were going faster than their senses, and that's probably partially 'cause of their fear of water. However, something tells me that if the race didn't start out in islands like Bora Bora, they would've been sneakier in a way that would make me super hate them because when they were in America going to Bora Bora, I didn't like what they were doing (how conniving they seemed to be).


--- Quote from: realshowfan on February 25, 2013, 10:36:06 PM ---I didn't like them from their edit in the first episode and so it didn't really make me feel anything to see them gone. I think their actions were going faster than their senses, and that's probably partially 'cause of their fear of water. However, something tells me that if the race didn't start out in islands like Bora Bora, they would've been sneakier in a way that would make me super hate them because when they were in America going to Bora Bora, I didn't like what they were doing (how conniving they seemed to be).

--- End quote ---

I agree. I was actually already starting to get sick of them. They seemed to have trouble at just about every task, but I agree that it probably would have turned out a lot differently if they had raced, say, the route of Season 13.


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