Hello RFFers! Its been forever since I posted, but Ive kept up with you and all the wonderful work you've been doing.
Finally, I have something to add, as I was fortunate enough to make it to this season's TARCon. Thought you might enjoy a few stories. There were 4.5 teams in NYC for the festivities (Dave, Idries & Jamil, Mona & Beth and Max & Katie.) Sadly, there were no former Racers at TARCon, but a few Al (of The Clowns) and Terence (of Sarah & Terence) stopped by Sunday Brunch to say hello and share some stories. It was great meeting and seeing them all.
As usual, it was a blast and so great to see so many friends, both old and new, which really is the whole point of the weekend. But I also know that those who aren't lucky enough to be there in person usually want to hear Racer stories, so heres a few that I can remember.
Dave was there without Connor who was off on a bike race somewhere. Dave and his wife were amazingly sweet and was referred to by several Racers as a "Real Class Act" and I have to say that I totally agree with that assessment. He was more than happy to pose for all photos, but seemed genuinely surprised that anyone would want a picture with him. His leg is feeling fine now, although it did require surgery. He deflected all compliments, saying that all their success was Conner's doing. Very, very nice man.
Idries & Jamil (I hope I spelled those right!) were there with their wives and children. They had a good sense of humor about themselves and their lack of swimming ability. They made no excuses, they admitted they should have prepared better for swimming knowing that it was their weakness. They were very nice, but I think they felt a bit uncomfortable being in the bar and left fairly early.
Pam & Winnie were exactly as they appeared on the show. Very funny, self deprecating and sarcastic (which is a humor I love)They talked about wanting to use the U-Turn on Bates & Anthony, but when they mentioned that idea to Caroline & Jennifer, Caroline began crying and asked them not to. They said they no longer remember why it was important for them to have "permission" from C&J and admit that they would have done it differently now. But they had no regrets about actually using the U-Turn. They talked about starting the Race with a "Bucket List", they wanted to get lost at least once to enhance the Asian stereotype (check), they wanted to use the U-Turn (check) they wanted an episode title (check), they wanted an eyebrow pop from Phil (check) and ofcourse they wanted to win. so they accomplished most of the things on their list. Oh, and Winnie has the most amazing skin I have ever seen.
Mona & Beth were there with their husbands and they were all very cool. Monas parents and sister were also there, and her mom, especially, was a nervous wreck. We really weren't sure she was going to make it until Sunday night without passing out. They talked about how Bertram would yell at them during tasks to "Hurry Up" and remind them that this was a "bloody competition". They said it intimidated them at first, but that when they were canoeing in Botswana and he was yelling at them through a megaphone from shore, it was just so bizarre that they found it funny and didn't really bother them after that. At the Titanic detour, they said that the sign with the courses was on one side of the tent where they first arrived and they just didn't see it. The rest of the task was on the other side of the tent, so they had no reason to go back to the original side. They assumed they would serve the first 2 courses and then the "diners" would tell them the other courses. They admit they overthought it and made it infinitely more difficult than it should have been.
Sorry to disappoint the Max & Katie haters, but they were really cool. Max was really funny and they both had a great attitude about the way they were perceived, They were alternates for 3 years, and they talked about how difficult it was to get so close and then not get on. So, this time, they sort of sold themselves as villains hoping it would give them the "hook" they needed to get cast. But then, they said, they sucked so bad at the beginning, that they forgot to "play the part" they intended to, They admitted that had they done better in the beginning, they probably would have been much more arrogant, but it was too hard to be cocky from the back of the pack. They talked about getting death threats from fans of Joey and Megan after the U-Turn, and that they found most of the comments about them online pretty funny, Max would even re-tweet some of the worse ones. Max said that things said about him didn't bother him, but personal attacks on Katie did. Katie said that a lot of the comments she made about Max (idiot and such) didn't mean anything, its partly how they make fun of each other and partly was at producers urging. While doing one Detour (making the fruit offering) production came up to them and complained that they weren't arguing with each other enough. Ofcourse they knew they weren't really going to meet the President, but said that there was a huge list of extra instructions in that clue about "showing the right respect for the office and leaving their personal politics aside". They laughed that they figured that part was written specifically for Max, and went along with it as if they thought they were really going to meet President Obama The Roadblock at the TIdal Basin was the most frustrating, because apparently the "Secret Service" agents were not making a full lap around the park. They would just walk a little ways and then turn around again, so there wasn't a good way of going about it and talking to each one. It was totally random. Max said that the Hockey Brothers talked to about 4 agents, and got the right one. It took Max another 40 minutes to find his guy, and by then they knew it was over. By the time they got to the final task ,Bates & Anthony were already gone. That last task took them about 30 minutes, but they knew they were coming in second at that point. Katie is a real fan of the show, has been watching since Season 1. She was able to reference lots of things that happened in prior seasons. (For instance, when she met Terance -of Season 13's Sarah & Terance- she remembered immediately that they were eliminated after going for a FF involving eating meat and that they were both vegetarians). This girl knows her Race history! She was more quiet that snobby. Once she felt comfortable around you, she was actually quite talkative and very charming, She knew she came across as "cold" & "plastic", and although she didn't admit it, I got the feeling that it hurt her feelings a bit. She said that when they won the cars, they had to retake that shot about 10 times because of lighting issues, and by the last take, she really had to go to the bathroom and just couldn't show enthusiasm anymore. Ofcourse, that was the shot they used. I really liked these 2 much more than I had anticipated.
Lets see....Random things I picked up. Pitstops are still sequestered from each other. Sometimes they can see each other, but aren't allowed to speak, which they said was kind of weird. The first pitstop was at a nice hotel, but after that, they went 5 nights without a shower or bed. Money was really tight throughout and most of them felt uncomfortable "begging" but a few people along the way figured out what they were doing and gave them some cash or bought them food. Max actually gained weight on the Race, because normally he eats very healthy, but while Racing he ate whatever he could get his hands on. Most pitstops were about 18 hours, the longest was 36 hours in Viet Nam. Switzerland was the favorite location of the teams that made it that far.