Interview: Joey & Meghan talk 'The Amazing Race'
Team YouTube discusses being disliked by the competition
By Daniel Fienberg
YouTube stars Joey Graceffa and Meghan Camarena seemed to be having a lot of fun on "The Amazing Race," so it's a little bit sad to hear the newly eliminated duo discussing their disappointment that the other teams seemed to dislike them on the Race.
It wasn't all of the other teams, of course. Joey & Meghan made an early alliance with John & Jessica and Roller Derby Moms Mona & Beth, targeting Hockey Brothers Bates & Anthony, the team they felt [correctly, so far] was the biggest threat. That, of course, left them feeling targeted by Bates & Anthony, but also by the other teams aligned with the friendly pro athletes.
"It really just seemed like people on the Race didn't like us, genuinely, just really didn't want us there and it made us kinda feel a little crappy," Meghan says now. 'It kinda reminded me of high school when I used to get picked on, so I was just like, "What is this feeling? I am grown up. This shouldn't be happening.'"
Team YouTube discusses that Race dynamic, as well as their other highlights and lowlights in this week's "Amazing Race" exit interview.
HitFix: Sunday's episode at least made it seem like you guys had a chance to catch Mona & Beth after the U-Turn. Did it feel that way at the time?
Joey Graceffa: No.
Meghan Camarena: Well, honestly, that's not completely true. We had no idea. You never know til it's over. That's what we had learned in Switzerland. They could have gotten lost.
Joey: That's true. I don't know. I was just a little down. I was already crying pushing the barrels up the hill. I was just like, "Oh, it's over!" They ran past us after they finished their U-Turn and they were like, "Good job guys!" and I was just, "Oh, we're done! We still have like four more barrels to go."
HitFix: When you guys remember how hard it was to get those barrels up that hill, what was your reaction watching last night's episode and seeing how Bates and Anthony did it?
Joey: It just proved to us that they are beasts and they should have been the ones U-Turned, if they could freakin' carry a whole barrel up on their shoulders.
Meghan: Yeah, that's crazy! I just don't understand how we got U-Turned and they didn't. Well, obviously they were there first, but, you know...
HitFix: You guys made your alliance early on and it was partially because you recognized Bates and Anthony as threats, right?
Meghan: Yeah! And also John and Jessica, they were a really strong team and they had the Express Pass and the Derby Moms were definitely a strong team as well, so we figured, "Let's all work together, look out for each other and get to the top together and get the Hockey Players out of this race, because they're professional athletes. No one stands a chance." You know? That's how we felt.
HitFix: Were you guys maybe disappointed that there weren't more tasks concentrating on maybe the things you guys do well, rather than maybe carrying barrels up a hill?
Meghan: Well, up until that point, all the tasks were actually pretty fun.
Joey: Yeah, I think we were able to do all the Detours pretty fast.
Meghan: Even the cheese one. That was kinda a blast!
HitFix: When you think on that alliance you guys had, how did you feel like it helped you and how did you feel like maybe it hurt you to some degree?
Joey: I guess we can start with how it hurt us. We possibly made the alliance a little too early, which really scared the other teams and made them have something against us for the entire Race, even when our alliance was not as strong as it was in the beginning...
Meghan: People still hated us.
Joey: Yeah. It definitely helped us, because the Race is actually really long and more emotionally straining than physically, just because...
Meghan: When you have everyone hating you and talking crap about you, you can feel that and it's awkward when you walk next to people. It was nice having the Derby Moms as our alliance, because we knew that they actually did care about us and were looking out for us like we were looking out for them. But in the beginning, when we made the alliance with John and Jessica, no one knew they were going to get out. With the Express Pass! That was something that none of us saw coming. And they were one of the strongest teams. They kept getting in the Top Three and they still had the Express Pass, so we felt like when we made that alliance, it was a smart move. No one saw that coming.
HitFix: What was your reaction watching the episode in which John and Jessica went out with that Express Press?
Meghan: That was sad.
Joey: It was really sad.
Meghan: When I found out they were out, I ended up crying, because I was so sad. We had fun with them so much and they were like good friends and it really felt like we had an awesome alliance family and then to see them gone so quickly, I just didn't believe it.
Joey: And then the next day, all the teams turned against us.
HitFix: How bad did things really get with the other teams out there?
Meghan: It was just like how you saw it on TV, nothing short of that. They just didn't like us.
Joey: It was more like they'd be silent to us and we could tell that they didn't like us, but actually seeing it on TV and seeing all the things that they said about us...
Meghan: That's true. That was a little worse. We were nice to everyone. We can't help it. It's not in our nature to be mean or cold-hearted to people, so even knowing that the teams really didn't like us, we were still really nice to everyone.
HitFix: It's just hard to tell on TV, because obviously you aren't going head-to-head, so it's hard to see any outright hostility, but was this the kind of thing that actually hampered the enjoyment you guys were getting out there?
Joey: Yeah, definitely.
Joey: It was really hard just knowing all the teams were against us. It was kinda depressing, but we still had the Roller Derby Moms, which was...
Meghan: Reassuring. I felt like they really hated us and we had no idea why. When I've watched the Race, it seemed like you'd get out the strongest competitor and that's the reason you'd [muffled]. But it really just seemed like people on the Race didn't like us, genuinely, just really didn't want us there and it made us kinda feel a little crappy. It kinda reminded me of high school when I used to get picked on, so I was just like, "What is this feeling? I am grown up. This shouldn't be happening."
HitFix: Have you had the chance or desire to talk to the other teams subsequently to see if you relate better outside of that environment?
Joey: No, not really.
Joey: We're kinda a little hurt about it still.
Meghan: Max tweeted us, "It's just a game," but I don't know. They seemed to get a little personal. There was no reason for us to seek out any friendships from this point.
HitFix: Going back to Sunday's episode, when you guys got to the mat, Phil noted that there were two different times this season when you arrived at the end thinking you were done, Switzerland and Scotland. How do those two times feel different in your mind, looking back at them?
Joey: In Switzerland, for some reason I just didn't believe it. I was like, "There's no way that we're going out." Like, "How did Chuck and Wynona beat us?" Like, "No! This isn't real." So I didn't accept it.
Meghan: And I was already there, because after running three miles in the snow and being completely exhausted and just to see them there? It felt like the ultimate... Like, "I slowed us down. I couldn't run fast enough. And we got beat by Chuck and Wynona after running for so long." I had kinda had my breakdown on the Race. But in Scotland, the roles had switched. I was hoping that maybe something had happened like, "Maybe another team was behind us, maybe another someone got a four-hour penalty. You never know!" And then Phil cut to the chase so quick. "You're in last. You got eliminated. Go home."
HitFix: How hard was it for you guys to watch the Switzerland episode and to see all of the teams just jump in cabs after the cheese-rolling and to watch yourselves go on that three-mile walk?
Joey: Oh my God. I cried more for that episode than the one we got eliminated. It just brought back so many memories of just how hard that was and wishing we were able to find a taxi.
Meghan: There really were none, though. We took the only option that we could and that was that if we could find a taxi along the way then we would take one, but there wasn't any. That was an emotional episode to rewatch. I started crying again just because it was so sad. I gave it everything I had. I felt like my body was going to freaking shut-down.
HitFix: Is that something were you come out stronger on the other side? Or just where you come out exhausted and crushed on the other side?
Joey: We definitely came out stronger. Berlin was our next Leg and we totally kicked butt that time.
HitFix: From what we saw, you guys seemed to get along really well out there, but I'd love some drama. Were there any tough moments between the two of you that maybe we didn't see?
Joey: Yeah, for sure. We definitely fought a little bit.
Meghan: And it was over stupid stuff, though, to be honest. It was stuff like a direction call or a decision being made and we'd kinda fight back and forth like, "No, no, Joey. I think this needs to be done." And he's like, "No, Meghan. I think we need to do this." Or, "We should go this way!" It was silly things like that.
Joey: I think even in Scotland, I think they showed a little bit, just trying to find the castle and I was like, "Meghan, I think we passed it." And she was like, "No. Let's just keep going forward." And luckily, we did what she thought and kept going forward, because the castle was up ahead.
Meghan: We tried not to bicker at each other in those type of situations, because everything is up for chance. You never know?
HitFix: In the balance would you say that you guys did better working together than you expected you would?
Joey: Yeah, definitely. It took a while for us to get in the groove of it, but once we did, we worked really well together.
Meghan: Yeah, there were tasks where we didn't even need to talk to each other and we just worked so quickly and efficiently.
HitFix: I know you guys spend lots of time watching and critiquing and editing yourselves in order to do your YouTube videos. Did that make you extra critical when it came to watching yourselves and the edit you got on the show?
Joey: I was nervous every single episode. Just like, "Oh gosh, what clips are they gonna keep in of me of stupid stuff I said?" But all in all, I think we had a really good edit it really portrayed us like we were on the show.
Meghan: Yeah, when we were on the show, I feel like we didn't change who we were. We definitely were ourselves, just like how you see us on YouTube.
HitFix: Did anything make it in that you felt embarrassed by?
Joey: I don't think so. Just my reactions to stuff and... just the little things. It was like, "Oh gosh."
Meghan: It would have been nice if they'd edited out when I fell a few times, but that's OK. It was good television, right?
HitFix: What would you guys say that this show has done in terms of your online visibility and the avenues it hope it opens up from here?
Joey: It's gotten me recognized a lot at Target...
Meghan: From an older demographic. We usually get recognized by younger kids, but we've been stopped a few more times by moms and stuff like that, which is interesting.
Joey: We went to a YouTube convention last month and it's more kids like 13 to 18 is my demographic, but their parents came with them and wanted to take pictures with me too, so it was parents and kids.
Meghan: That's been the coolest thing, is our fans are telling us that they're watching the show with their parents and it's kinda cool to see that happen. As far as numbers changes, we haven't really seen anything too drastic from the Race, but the YouTube community has really gotten behind us and helped us and promoted us and been really proud of us being on the show, so we've seen a really huge pool from that.
HitFix: And opportunities that might now be presented going forward?
Joey: Both of us are pursuing more scripted, acting stuff.
Meghan: I'm producing a lot more stuff, too, so it's really exciting.