This is kind of old news, since it was a sighting from the last episode in Rome, but it was interesting, so I'll post it here. I found this at the Television Without Pity forum, so props to them for finding a fairly obscure article. This is a news story from the Caledonia Argus newspaper from Caledonia, MN about a trio of women who were visiting Rome and stumbled across Phil at the pit stop in Rome. After having a chat with Phil, they wandered over to the Spanish Steps and ended up helping Jamal with Roman numeral math for an hour or so. I'll quote the relevant parts below. There is also a picture of them with Phil and the greeter and another picture of Jamal, Big easy and a cameraman on the Spanish Steps. I'd post them but I'm short on time right now.http://hometownargus.com/2014/04/01/rome-around-the-world-trip-overseas-turns-into-one-amazing-adventure-for-caledonia-trio/Amazing coincidence
After getting up later than planned and having trouble finding an operational money exchange, the ladies landed at the Piazza del Popolo, a large outdoor square.
“We just got there, and we were walking through when Julie noticed cameras, several of them,” Buege said.
As the three took bearings on what was around them, Julie advised her sister and daughter that they might want to stick around because it looked like something was going to happen.
Just then Buege noticed a familiar person. “I recognized the host even from the back,” she said.
It was Phil Keoghan, host of the hit reality television game show “The Amazing Race,” which pits teams of two against one another in a race, literally, all over the world.
“I took a second to process what was happening, and I said, ‘Shut up! We’re seeing a taping of The Amazing Race,’” Buege said, to which the host whipped around and said, “Shh! We’re taping a travel video.”
The ladies knew better, being faithful viewers of the show, and enjoyed a 15-minute conversation with Keoghan about everything from family to what happens between filming. The exchange was complete when the three were able to snag a picture with the famous New Zealander.Fifteen minutes of fame
Keoghan excused himself when he received word that a team was headed his way and filming would commence. The trio walked a few blocks in the direction the teams were coming from and landed up at the Spanish Steps, a beautiful staircase that connects the lower Piazza di Spagna with the upper piazza Trinita dei Monti. The steps were built in the 1720s using Roman Baroque Style and are a common gathering place for people from all walks of life.
Upon arrival, the ladies recognized one of the Harlem Globe Trotter contestants, but it was contestant Jamal Zadran who solicited their help. In the show contestants frequently seek help from the residents with varying degrees of success due to language barriers. But these Minnesotans, no matter what the rest of the U.S. says about the northern dialect, spoke English.
The challenge was to acquire the date on the obelisk at the top of the steps, translate that from Roman numerals into digits and add that to the number of steps. The contestant then had to write that number on a postcard and present it to “the happy couple” at the top of the staircase. For every wrong answer presented, the contestant had to run back down the steps before trying again.
Julie, Sadie and Buege set out to assist Zadran by asking people, many of whom did not speak English, how many steps there are and what “D” equals in Roman numerals, among other questions. The intensity of the game impressed Buege, who said, “It kept striking me: It really is a race. These contestants don’t know who is ahead and who is behind.”
Having witnessed three teams enter the Piazza del Popolo, the threesome knew Zadran needed to act swiftly. Well over an hour passed as he and the Caledonians worked to answer the question. Zadran had to run the steps seven times before getting the thumbs-up.
Brimming with enthusiasm Zadran hugged the ladies and ran to pay for his cab before heading out. But just as he was paying the cabbie, the ladies noticed one of the Globe Trotters sprinting away.
“We were like go, go, go,” Julie said. To this day, they don’t know if Zadran and his cousin, Leo Temory, beat the Globe Trotters. They will soon find out when the Rome episode of “The Amazing Race” airs.
Even if you’re not a fan of the show, it might be worth checking out at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 13, on CBS. Here’s why: As Zadran sprinted off to finish the challenge, a cameraman pushed paperwork in front of Buege, Julie and Sadie urging them to sign. When Buege asked, “What am I signing?” the cameraman said, “If you want to be on TV, you’ll sign this.” Lifelong memories
It’s unknown if their role in helping Zadran was significant enough for reality TV, but participating certainly made a lifelong impression on the family.
“It was a slow start to the morning, and we were just glad to get where we were going. Then I’m standing on the Spanish Steps thinking: I’m in Rome, which is one of my dreams, yesterday I saw the pope – I’ve been Catholic my whole life so it was incredible to me – and now I’m standing here having participated in a show that’s been part of my life. I realized how incredibly lucky I was with all the opportunities I was given,” Sadie said.
The family now waits for “The Amazing Race” Rome episode to air on CBS and is discussing having an “Amazing Race” party.