NEWS: Local couple to compete on "The Amazing Race"
For Amy Diaz and Jason Case, it was love at first adventure.
Just a few weeks after they met, Diaz and Case found themselves sneaking out the back door of a Paris restaurant to scale the Eiffel Tower. For a pair of New Englanders, it was quite a thrill.
Case, 33, grew up in Attleboro, Mass. He now works for the family snow plowing company. Diaz, 29, is a Classical High School grad and former Miss Rhode Island. She spent a year travelling the world to promote her platform and compete in the Miss USA pageant in 2008. She now works as a social media manager.
Wearing a crown and sash are like express passes to explore the globe, so Diaz had been to many exotic places and spaces. But for Jason, stepping outside of sleepy New England wasn’t something he often did.
“I had been to Rhode Island twice,” he said in a telephone interview last week.
When Diaz and Case met a year and a half ago, he had just gotten out of a five year relationship.
“I was jealous,” he said of Diaz’s travels. Plus, “I was head over heels for her.”
So they threw all caution to the wind and planned an impromptu trip to France. For them, it was the perfect way to kick-start their love for adventure, and for each other.
It was while they were racing to the top of the tower one spring evening that Diaz recorded their first audition tape for the CBS reality series “The Amazing Race.” The night they got back to the States was the night before the deadline for audition submissions. Diaz was surfing the internet when she saw the casting call. Without hesitation she uploaded the video and hit “send.” But because it was so close to the deadline, the new couple didn’t get their hopes up.
That was in April.
The months clicked by. Spring came and went. Summer scorched and the leaves fell from the trees. It began to snow.
And then Diaz got a phone call.
It was a producer from “The Amazing Race,” calling to ask if Diaz and Case were still together. They were.
The producer told Diaz that their Eiffel Tower video caught their eye, and they wanted another tape, this time with more information about the pair. So Diaz and Case whipped something together and sent it out to the producers.
Diaz and Case anxiously awaited a reply, but when they finally got it, it was bad news.
“We didn’t make the casting call,” said Case.
“We were pretty upset,” said Diaz.
So the couple took matters into their own hands. They made another video and sent it off to the producers. This one was a plea: “You guys need to send us out there!”
Their moxie worked, and the producers called again, this time asking them to attend the final casting call in Los Angeles. Three weeks before filming was slated to start, Diaz and Case were vindicated – they had been cast.
With adrenaline pumping through their veins, they started to prep. They conditioned themselves physically and mentally for the challenges “The Amazing Race” would throw at them.
And then on February 8, they got ready to board a plane to head out to LA. There was just one problem: it was the Blizzard of 2013, and there was two feet of snow on the ground.
But let’s not forget that Case is a snowplow driver by profession. Doing what any good adventurers would, Case and Diaz hopped into a truck outfitted with a plow and drove to Philadelphia to catch their flight. The normally five-hour drive from Providence took 11 hours, but it was just the first leg of their lengthy adventure around the globe.
Although they can’t reveal precise details about their “Amazing Race” experience, Diaz and Case did reveal how nervous they were.
“When you initially submit for something like this you never think you’re going to be a part of the show,” said Case.
So once the reality sunk in, they began to wonder: what’s going to happen to our relationship?
“Amy and I have a great relationship, we’re in love… is this race going to break us apart?” questioned Case.
For Diaz, “The Amazing Race” was a “crash course” in her relationship with Case.
“I’m not getting any younger,” said Diaz. “I know that I love him and for me he’s the one.”
But she wondered if he had commitment issues. She said “The Amazing Race” was like fast-forwarding their relationship, and it gave her a sense of what they would be like in the face of future problems.
In addition to the stress of dealing with each other, they also had to prepare for the stress of the challenges. Would they be up for everything? Would they embarrass themselves? Would they be eliminated first?
Although Diaz and Case thought they were ready, they weren’t.
“You can never prepare too much for the ‘Amazing Race,’” Case said. “There’s nothing you can do.”
Diaz said it’s going to be "a very interesting first episode."
Diaz and Case are looking forward to watching the September 29 premiere with family and friends. Since returning from filming in June, they haven’t been able to tell anyone about what happened during the race.
For Diaz, who shares everything with her mother, it’ll be a huge relief to share the experience with those closest to her. As for Case, he expects ribbing from his brothers.
Although Case said their friends view them as “an amazing couple,” he knows the veil will soon be lifted.
“We’re just like every other relationship in the world. We bicker. We argue,” he said.
And yes, sometimes they were “at each other’s throats.”
“We do go to South America and the Latin spice in me comes out,” said Diaz with a laugh.
“I would change that ‘spice’ word to ‘fire,’” Case interjected, at which point Diaz confessed her nickname is “The Latin Firecracker.”
Although we’ll have to watch to find out how the Snow Man and the Latin Firecracker did on “ The Amazing Race,” there is one spoiler they let slip: “Yes, we’re still together,” said Diaz.
Aside: This is my 3,000th post