Author Topic: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating  (Read 26663 times)

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Offline Ashe

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2009, 12:13:08 AM »
Pretty sure the picture that has "Dating" on it will be their intro shot.

Eleven teams race around the world for $1,000,000 on The Amazing Race 14!  Sundays at 8/7 Central on CBS!


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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2009, 01:17:23 AM »
Here's an older picture of him, closer to how he used to look.

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2009, 07:40:12 AM »
Reality shows make local connections
By Peggy Ussery

Published: February 11, 2009

James “JT” Thomas Jr. always wanted to be on TV. Preston McCamy quit his job for the chance of a lifetime.

The former Wiregrass residents can be seen this week on the CBS reality shows “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race.”

“The actual reality show ‘Survivor’ itself was like the ultimate challenge I wanted to do,” Thomas said, adding his love of the outdoors drew him to the show. “ ... To be tossed out in the woods and have to survive, it sounds great to me. I love it.”

Thomas filled out an application his mother printed off the Internet. In June 2008, he did a walk-in casting call with personnel from the show. The Samson native, who now lives in Mobile, also sent in two home videos.

“From that, they chose me to come to a week-long interview process in California,” the 24-year-old Thomas said.

And then he was chosen to be among the 16 people on “Survivor: Tocantins” in Brazil.

“It’s definitely as hard as I thought it would be,” Thomas said. “I knew it would be hard, but I’ve never had to survive on my own in the wilderness.”

Preston McCamy lived in Dothan between the third and 12th grades. He now lives in Columbia, S.C., where he moved to be closer to girlfriend Jennifer Hopka. It was Hopka, 26, who had tried to get on the reality show “Survivor.” She never made it, but producers liked her and asked if she had someone she could team with for “The Amazing Race.”

Hopka, a nursing student by day and bartender by night, turned to McCamy, a 28-year-old software engineer. He agreed to give it a shot. The couple applied three or four times before finally getting on the show.

“I got to travel around the world with my girlfriend,” McCamy said. “ ... It’s something I couldn’t have afforded to do on my own.”

He even quit his job to do it because he couldn’t get enough time off work. McCamy said he has no regrets. The reality show experience, he said, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“You only get those chances so many times,” he said.

But McCamy said the couple, who have had their relationship ups and downs, were nervous about what the show would do to their relationship and if they would be able to work together 24-7 with camera crews around them all the time.

“We were pretty sure it was going to make it or break it,” McCamy said. “It was a little nerve-wracking.”

The details of what happened to both McCamy and Thomas during their reality show experience are not being shared publicly per their agreements with show producers.

Thomas, a fan of “Survivor” before appearing on the show, said he was initially worried about how he would react in front of cameras and constantly reminded himself that he would eventually be seen by millions of television viewers.

“I definitely loved the challenge,” Thomas said. “It is as hard as it looks.”

McCamy said he learned some things about himself — good and bad.

“I feel like I’m a lot more driven that I realized,” McCamy said. “ ... I feel more ignorant. It was humbling. I learned I had to work on my communication skills a lot more.”

James “JT” Thomas Jr.
Reality show: “Survivor: Tocantins”
Premiere: Thursday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. CST on CBS.
Age: 24
Hometown: Samson, Ala.
Current residence: Mobile, Ala.
Occupation: Manages a black angus cattle ranch in Mobile.
Other: Graduated Samson High School in Geneva County; Bachelor’s in business administration with an emphasis on marketing from Troy University.

Preston McCamy
Reality show: “The Amazing Race”
Premiere: Sunday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. CST on CBS.
Age: 28
Hometown: Born in Birmingham; moved to Dothan in the third grade.
Current residence: Columbia, S.C.
Occupation: Software engineer
Other: Graduated high school from Northside Methodist Academy before going to college. Eventually moved back to Birmingham and then relocated to Columbia, S.C.
Partner: McCamy’s teammate is Jennifer Hopka, 26, a nursing student.
"You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality." ~Walt Disney

Offline puddin

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2009, 01:35:40 AM »

Less than 24 Hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :wohoo:

'Amazing Race' Posted on Sun, Feb. 15, 2009

Irmo native Jennifer Hopka, 26, and her boyfriend, Preston McCamy, 28, had two goals when they auditioned for the 14th season of “The Amazing Race”: test the strength of their relationship and (duh!) win $1 million.

Hopka, a Midlands Tech nursing student, met McCamy two years ago at a Columbia bar. McCamy moved from his native Birmingham, Ala., to take a job as a software engineer at in Chapin to be closer to her.

“The Amazing Race” wasn’t Hopka’s first experience with reality television.

She took part in Playboy’s search for its 50th Anniversary Playmate in 2003. The competition was documented in the film “Playboy — The Ultimate Playmate Search.” Hopka posed for a centerfold picture that has never been published.

We talked with the couple about the competition, how they prepared and Playboy.

Why did you decide to audition for “The Amazing Race”?

Hopka: I wanted to try out with Preston because our relationship was at a rocky point to where we needed to figure out if we were going to go for marriage or if we needed to break up and be better off as friends. ... If we couldn’t go around world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — you know, hungry, tired, cold and everything you deal with on the race, then I don’t think we were going to make it together.

McCamy: We thought, if we can’t work together trying to win a million dollars, then how are we going be able to get along when we have kids and everything? For us the main thing was the relationship.

What are some of the strengths you have that helped you in the competition?

McCamy: We felt my strengths were going to be her weaknesses and her strengths were my weaknesses. I do software engineering all day long, and you have to be really analytical when you are thinking about problem solving. That would be my strength. Her strength would be getting us through places. She can talk her way into anything. We could really use that to our benefit.

What did you feel when you found out you were going to be on the show?

Hopka: When I got that phone call saying congratulations, I just cried because all these emotions are running through me. I never thought I would get this chance.

Did you all do anything special to prepare to be on the show?

Hopka: We started out by studying the show a lot, like all the little nooks and crannies of the show. We watched several episodes. And we worked out like crazy.

McCamy: We worked out like fiends. We also tried to find different ways to get in touch with different airlines, and we tried to learn different phrases in different languages.

Hopka: We had all these little notes, but when you get to L.A., they take it all from you. ... You think you are all prepared, but you can’t have any of that.

Was it what you expected it to be?

McCamy: It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be, to be honest. It was really tough.

Hopka: What you don’t see is that it’s a lot of luck. It’s not what kind of relationship you have with your partner or how quick you are; it’s all on luck. And you don’t think of that when you are watching the show. When you are doing it, it’s a lot tougher than you could ever possibly imagine.

Jennifer, do you think Playboy will want to publish your pictures after your appearance on the show?

Hopka: I hope so. I’m waiting on that phone call. That’s one of those things that I didn’t think about until later. I hope that happens, because it was one of the best experiences of my life.

— Natasha Derrick

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2009, 06:19:43 PM »
Exclusive: Jennifer Hopka and Preston McCamy talk 'The Amazing Race'

By John Bracchitta, 02/17/2009

"Dating Couple" Jennifer Hopka and Preston McCamy don't mean to brag, but they did not expect to be leaving The Amazing Race 14 this early.

However, after some travel delays, an odd challenge involving cheese wheels and a hill, and getting lost on the way to the competition's initial Pit Stop, the 26-year-old student and 28-year-old software engineer from Columbia, SC became the first couple to be eliminated from The Amazing Race 14.

On Tuesday, Jennifer and Preston talked to Reality TV World about what racing problems they encountered that weren't shown on television, how they managed to blow a thirty-minute lead after arriving near the leg's Pit Stop, and why they ended up on the wrong end of the closest initial Pit Stop finish in the history of The Amazing Race.

Reality TV World: Let’s start right at the end -- Jennifer, it looked like Preston was carrying you on his back for that final sprint to the Pit Stop, did something happen to you?

Jennifer: (Sarcastically) I broke my leg.

Reality TV World: Oh, you broke it...

Jennifer: (Laughs) No, what it really boiled down to was [it was footrace that went] Preston first, [Jodi Wincheski], me -- well the picture that they show has Jodi first -- but Preston was always in the lead and right after they took that picture, that's when Preston put me on his back. But it was almost a line run, it was Preston, Jodi, and me and [Christie Volkmer] were neck and neck.

I was running as fast as I could, but as fast as Christie and I could run it wasn't fast enough so Preston put me on his back to give me that extra push and at the very end -- he only did it for like a couple of steps -- and after that last step he threw me off his back to give me a jump and I just couldn't jump quick enough on the [finish mat] because Preston and Jodie were already on the mat and Christie and me literally [stepped on the mat] foot and foot.

Reality TV World: Oh, so it was really that close at the end?

Jennifer: They said it was the closest in race history for the last two teams. For tenth and eleventh place it had never been that close. It literally was a half-a-second, if that, that we stepped on the mat together, me and Christy. And both teammates have to be on the mat, and [Preston and Jodie] were already there.

We weren't far behind them, it literally was like bam-bam they were on the mat and then bam-bam we were on the mat. We were neck and neck and it was the closest footrace I think I've ever seen in my life.
Reality TV World: Okay, and then after that when you were on the mat and found out you were eliminated, [Jennifer,] you told [The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan] that you felt like you had let Preston down. What was that a reference to?

Jennifer: The whole time he was supporting me and I never thought that I could lug 50 to 100 pounds of cheese, I never thought that I [could do any of that], because, you know, we didn't eat or sleep for those three days. That was actually three days of racing that they showed.

I just didn't think I had it in me, and he was supporting me so much, like "You can do this baby, I know it!" I was so proud of myself because I never once stopped and said I can't do this, or I give up. And as we're in the race, I was pushing myself to the limit, but he was behind me 100% [and saying] "You can do this baby, run faster. good job baby, I'm so proud of you."

And in the end it's like, I stepped on the mat last so I felt like I let him down because he was so supportive of me and then it's like "Wah-wah," we're last, you know?.

Reality TV World: Yeah, and actually I was gonna say, Preston you jumped in right after [she said that] to say that she hadn't disappointed you at all...

Jennifer: (Interrupting) Yeah, he's competitive. He was already on the mat. He's very competitive and I knew that his pride was hurting because he never, well... We never expected to be the first [team] out, but I think none of the other teams expected us to be the first out. None of our family and friends expected us [to be the first out], like, nobody would've guessed that. So I just felt like I let him down and I hurt him and I felt like it was my fault.

I don't know if it's because I was having a little loser's regret at the time, but I really, honestly felt like he had pushed me so hard and it was my fault because I stepped on the mat last.

Reality TV World: You two seemed to admit to being a couple that isn't afraid to get into an argument or express your feelings to each other. Do you think having that trait helped you or hurt you as a team on The Amazing Race?

Preston: Well it's always a detriment any time you and your partner on the race are gonna argue. The teams that get along the best always do the best. But you know, we're both very blunt and outspoken people and passionate people, and...

Jennifer: (Interrupting) Our fighting didn't hurt us on the race at all, like because we fought is why we missed our train or because we fought we missed our taxi.

Our arguing never cost us on the race at all at any point. There were two things that mainly, ultimately cost us in the race. One [was] at the beginning at the church, if that would've been a Pit Stop that would've cost us. But other than that, our fighting never got in the way of the race. We were just tired, hungry, irritated...

Preston: The only time we were actually bickering was when we were on the train and somewhere where [we had downtime] and we were tired and hungry and grumpy. On the train when they're showing us bickering, we were last and...

Jennifer: We felt like we were last because we had a taxi error pretty much. We knew that we were probably gonna be last and we didn't know if it was a Pit Stop or not and you have no idea. And then all of the sudden we're just going at it.

Preston: Once we signed that book and knew that we were still in the race, we were lovey-dovey.

Reality TV World: So you feel the show was representative of [your behavior] and didn't show you arguing more or less than what it actually was?

Jennifer: It's TV, they're gonna clip and cut what they want to. I mean it's great for TV, we fought like that in normal life but it never gets in the way of anything. Like we fight, but 10 seconds later we're fine. Us fighting never interfered with the race at all.

Pretty much the main fight we had was in the beginning. Preston was speeding in that Mercedes, and we fought because he was just going too fast. That was a simple little fight...

Preston: (Interrupting) We were in a race! (Laughs)

Jennifer: We fought on the train because we were just tired and we hadn't eaten or slept in three days and at one point we were just like ugh. It was pretty much "Get out of my face, you need to shut up" and  "You need to watch your mouth."

Preston: And part of it was we don't live together, and we've never been around each other 24/7 for an extended period of time.

Jennifer: And you can't just say "Hey, go to your house. Get in your car and leave," you're stuck together. You can't just say "Get out of my face."

Reality TV World: What led to you guys missing that first train in Milan?

Preston: [When we landed in Milan], we came off the plane and we were in first place. We got the first taxi and we were good to go.

Jennifer: We were first place for a long time.

Preston: Our taxi driver didn't speak any English, and we were telling him "Look, you need to take this specific exit, please don't go this way." We were like "No autostrado, no autostrado," whatever.

Anyway foreshadowing -- we should've known it was going to be a bad day -- but our taxi driver and one other team's were the only ones who didn't have a speedpass going through the tolls, and when we came out of there he missed the exit and he takes us into rush hour and we're stuck in traffic for maybe 45 minutes or an hour. Then we go to the wrong customs portion before we get to the train station and that takes another hour or hour-and-a-half. By the time we finally get to the train station we just missed the second train by like 20 minutes.
Reality TV World: About how far away was the train station from the airport?

Preston: Maybe an hour at the most?

Jennifer: About an hour [to an] hour-and-a-half. Of course we had to stop, so when all the other cars had speedpasses and they're just speeding on through, we lost our first place because our car had to stop and pay the toll. Then as soon as you pay the toll, that was the exit we were supposed to get off on, and all the other cars are getting off and we're like "We need to go this way, follow those cars." The [taxi driver] looks at us and is like "No," and he's like pointing up and we look up and there's this big sign [saying] that we're not supposed to take that way.

Preston: Right.

Jennifer: So we got stuck in customs for that two hours ultimately because... the  language barrier is pretty much what cost us that leg. We didn't speak his language and we're telling him to go this way and we're speaking to them in a foreign language and he kinda took his initiative and went the way he wanted to and it got us lost the first day. So thank God that [church] was just a stop and not a Pit Stop.

Reality TV World: About how far behind everyone else did you end up arriving at the church?

Preston: Ugh.

Jennifer: I have no idea.

Preston: Man, we were at least a good hour...

Jennifer: At least 30 minutes to an hour.
Reality TV World: Given the time of day it was, did either of you suspect the church would be an overnight stop and might give you a chance to makeup some time the next day?

Preston: No, we thought we were done.

Jennifer: I thought it was an elimination (Unintelligible) I thought we were gonna get to the church and they were going to say -- because it was night time -- but I really thought we were gonna get to the place where we needed to go in the plaza and they were gonna say "Run to your next stop, you will be eliminated," and that'd mean right then and there it's over.

It was a big sigh of relief when we were like "Oh my God, this is when we leave in the morning, we're just signing in. We're last, but we're good to go.

Preston: Right.

Reality TV World: During that camp out in Switzerland it seemed like [Steve Cole] was coming down awfully hard on [his wife Linda Cole] for being slow. Did you see any of that conversation, and if so was it as harsh as it seemed on TV?

Jennifer: Yeah, we were there the whole entire time. None of us could sleep because it was very cold and we were actually sleeping in the Swiss Alps and it was snowing. We had one little blanket between Preston and I and we just couldn't sleep, so Preston made a camp fire that we were all sitting around and that's where they had that conversation. We were kinda right beside them as they were having that [talk] because everybody else was around.

He was just kinda saying [you were slow] and "You weren't fast enough," and I mean I think he was a little hard on her. She did try and she gave it everything she had.

Reality TV World: Could you talk a little about that confusing cheese challenge?  Based on what we saw players like Steve, Linda, and Mel doing, it looked like you didn't actually have to carry the cheese down the hill and you could just kind of roll it -- can you explain exactly what the rules were?

Both Jennifer and Preston: The rules were you could not roll it or pull it.

Preston: Yeah, you couldn't roll it intentionally. So what happened was when people fell and broke [their carrier] and [the cheese] rolled down, well that's not really intentional so they just go down and get the cheese and take to the [goal].

Reality TV World: So if it fell all the way down they could take it from the bottom over to the place to drop it off? They didn't have to go back and get another one?

Jennifer: Well they did, it wasn't said that there was going to be a penalty, and the rules said you couldn't push, roll it or do anything that obviously gives you an advantage. So when it was accidentally going off of people's carriers and they realized "Hey, this is a good idea," that's how a lot of people got ahead.

And they didn't show me carrying cheese but I did. I actually slid down the hill like the rest of 'em.
Reality TV World: On the show it did seem like a few people were kind of doing a controlled rolling [of the cheese] at some point, were they [actually] not doing that or did people just start to ignore the rule after a while?

Preston: We made it in the second group. The ones in the first group, we didn't really see. We got there right as people like [Mel White] or [Mike White] were finishing up.

Jennifer: All of the cheese carriers in our group were broke, so we decided the best way for almost all of us to get down way we get down was  we could put [the cheese] on a sleigh-type thing. So when Preston and I put our two cheeses on the rest of our carrier that didn't break, it ended up breaking a few steps down the hill, so we didn't have any cheeses carrier left. We had two little boards left. So I decided that I was just gonna put it between my legs and go.

[The episode] showed Mel doing that, [Amanda Blackledge] and I did that, Linda did it. I know a bunch of us put i between our legs and kinda just slid it down the hill because the hill was really wet, it had just rained, and we were sliding in animal poo. There were goats, sheep and cow poop everywhere, so it was a little bit easier to slide in.

Reality TV World: About how long would you say that cheese challenge took you from beginning to end?

Jennifer: I have no idea because my adrenaline was just going so much.

Preston: It might've been 45 minutes maybe?

Jennifer: No, it was longer than that. It was at least, I would say, an hour.

Preston: I don't know.

Jennifer: Plus we didn't really check out watches.

Reality TV World: Christie and Jodi were the last team to arrive [at the cheese challenge]. Do you know about how long after you had arrived that they got there and how much of a jump you had on them?
Jennifer: We had about 30-45 minutes.

Preston: Yeah, on the cheese hill?

Reality TV World: Yeah.

Preston: Well on the cheese hill we had about a 20 minute lead, and then after we got done...

Jennifer: (Interrupting) They got there as we were running off...

Preston: No, no, no, no. They were doing the cheese hill while we were doing the cheese hill.

Jennifer: See I didn't see them. I saw them running up.

Preston: They had to go back and get one more cheese after we got finished with ours. So we had a good 30 minute lead in the taxi on the way to the Pit Stop.

Reality TV World: Oh, okay. So what happened there? Did they have a quick cab? Did you have a slow one? Did you just get lost somewhere?

Preston: We still got there 35 minutes ahead of them, we just didn't have any money. None of the teams that took our flight, none of us had enough money to pay for our [taxis] at the end.

Jennifer: The important thing is Preston and I didn't spend any money during the way. The money that we spent was on transportation. We didn't eat, we spent zero dollars. So we didn't have enough money, and for our taxi we were 75 Francs short, so we get there and I'm begging the driver, who either spoke French or German I'm not sure, I'm begging him to let us go. And the other teams had already begged for money, so as we're begging for money everybody's like "No, we've already been hit up," so nobody was giving any money.

So we were begging and I finally went back to the taxi driver and he's yelling at me in this language "I need to be paid!" so I just decide, "Okay we're just gonna run." So we run to go to the Pit Stop, well we ran the wrong way, [we did] what they showed [linda and Steve do on TV], everybody I think went that way because there were speakers going up the mountains that sounded like the yodelers, so it kinda seemed like you had to go up the mountain so that's what we all were doing.

Well we realized that it was the wrong way and we needed to go the opposite way that we were running. Preston and I got back into the little circle in town that we were running through initially and it was "Oh my God I can't believe we just went the wrong way, we're such idiots. Blah, blah blah."

Well, Jodie and Christie had just gotten out of their taxi cab and they heard that, and they're like "Hey." They started running and realized that we were running the wrong way, so then they turned around to go the other way, and then by that time it was just neck-and-neck. It was a footrace, literally a second apart, if that.

Reality TV World: When you guys were eliminated, Jennifer said that she thought The Amazing Race had "made" your relationship.  What’s the status of your relationship now?

Preston: Better than ever. (Laughs)

Jennifer: We're taking donations [to be] on the next The Amazing Race. (Laughs)

We're together. I think it's better than it ever was. It showed us a lot that we didn't know about each other, especially spending 24/7 together.

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2009, 06:20:28 PM »
Thanks to Rob & Trevor, rffradio .......

Download my interview with Preston & Jennifer, its at the end of the show! Here is the direct link:

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2009, 09:18:14 PM »
Preston: Better than ever. (Laughs)

Jennifer: We're taking donations [to be] on the next The Amazing Race. (Laughs)

What a sweet couple, at least they won't come somewhere near an atrocious bickering team.

And what a way to get eliminated! I don't think the producers had to cut down on cost so much this leg that they aren't even giving teams any money for this race? :groan:
"The Amazing Race shows the best and worst out of you. But if only negative things are shown, then it's probably you. - Jobby"

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2009, 09:33:14 PM »
I would for sure vote them back onto the Amazing Race along with Anita & Arthur as well as all the first eliminated teams from all seasons!

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2009, 11:46:25 PM »
I would for sure vote them back onto the Amazing Race along with Anita & Arthur as well as all the first eliminated teams from all seasons!
All but Ari & Staella, right?  Staella was okay, but I'd prefer never to see Ari again.

And if all first-outs did come back, I'm sure Reggie and Kim would back without the dead weights known as Kenneth and Austin.

As for these two, I'd take them back ONLY if they didn't win.

Eleven teams race around the world for $1,000,000 on The Amazing Race 14!  Sundays at 8/7 Central on CBS!

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2009, 12:33:45 AM »
The Amazing Race 14′: Exit interview with Preston & Jennifer

What part of the trip did you enjoy the most from a travel perspective?
Preston & Jennifer: When we were taking the train from Locarno to Interlaken. Going around the lake and up into the mountains. It was 2.5 hours or longer train ride. It was amazing — the most scenic part of the trip.

After the runaway cheese incident, Christi & Jodi were in last place. What happened for them to get ahead of you?
Preston & Jennifer: We had a good 30-minute lead. Went to the Pit Stop but we didn’t have enough money to pay for the taxi. We were 75 francs short. Then we spent 45 minutes begging for money. Finally, we decided to run.  When we realized we were going the wrong way, we had to turn around. Jodi & Christi saw that we were going the wrong way and went the other way. The time we took begging cost us the race in the end.

Is this something that you’ll be able to laugh about in years to come, or do you think it’ll be a sore spot between the two of you?
Jennifer: We’re already laughing about it. I was upset the first few days, but we’re all winners. I can say that I had that experience.

Preston: I’m super-competitive and it still bothers me. I think about it a lot. I want an opportunity to redeem myself.

Jennifer: I think it’s embarrassing more than anything. Everybody was shocked we were the first to go.

Do either of you view your relationship differently?
Jennifer: We don’t live together now and didn’t before the race. We got to spend three weeks together 24/7 and learned a lot about each other in that time. Our relationship is stronger than it’s ever been.

Preston: Being together 24/7, tired and hungry, it puts a strain on your relationship. I learned a lot about Jennifer that I didn’t know before — what buttons not to push. And she learned what buttons not to push with me. It has definitely brought us closer. Where we are right now is light years ahead of where we were. I’m not sure we even liked each other at that time.

Jennifer: You always point fingers, but the stress was high when we lost. But then we got over it. We were already best friends before we got in the show. When I saw the passion in his eyes to push me to do my best, it made me fall in love with him all over again. I know he can be that rock for me the rest of my life.

Which team or teams do you think has what it takes to go all the way?
Preston and Jennifer: All the teams are really good. They all have a good balance of smarts and athleticism. When we got to sit down and talk to them we saw that all of them has that strength to win. A lot of the race boils down to luck. We were the only team that had every taxi driver that didn’t speak English. The language barrier was a downside for us. Even in L.A. our taxi driver pulled over to ask someone how to get to LAX.

What country would you like to visit next?
Jennifer: Fiji!
"You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality." ~Walt Disney

Offline puddin

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2009, 12:42:45 AM »
Amazing Race's Jennifer and Preston on "Embarrassing" Elimination

Jennifer Hopka and Preston McCamy became the first casualty of The Amazing Race 14 when they missed moving on to Leg 2 by mere seconds, getting edged by flight attendants Christie and Jodi. That wasn't the only thing that stung though — Preston also injured his hand during the hilarious (for viewers, at least) cheese-lugging task. Hopka and Preston chatted with about poor choices, sound footwear and whether or not they're still a couple. What happened at the end? They always try to make the last two teams look closer than they are, but you guys were in an actual footrace.
Preston: We weren't actually that close [at first]. When we came off the hill and got into our taxi to go to the Pit Stop, we were 30 minutes ahead of the blondes [Christie and Jodi]. But we just didn't have [enough] money to pay for the taxi. We were 75 francs short. Where did you get the money then?
Preston: Uh, we didn't. [Laughs]
Jennifer: We started begging in the town, [but] nobody was giving us money. We decided the only thing to do was just run for the finish line. When you break the rules, you get a penalty. Right then and there, Preston and I were thinking we'll just take the penalty and risk it. We started running and went the same way Steve and Linda first ran — the wrong way to the river. The clue said "let it lure you," so we were thinking a fishing lure by the river. So the clue didn't mention you have to listen for yodelers?
Jennifer: It said, "let the voice of the yodelers lure you," but there are speakers coming from the mountaintop, so we think that's where [the yodeling] was coming from. As soon as we turned around, the girls had gotten out of their taxi and started running toward us. They met up with us, and we said, "This is the wrong way!" Like idiots! We should've just kept it to ourselves, [but] we were tired. So they start running the opposite way. So from there it was a footrace because it was Preston, Jodi, and then Christie and I stepped on the mat at the same time pretty much. Why did Preston carry you?
Jennifer: That was at the very end. There was a bridge right before you hit the mat. Over the bridge, Preston realized I was still behind, so he was like, "Well, I'm running the fastest out of everybody, so I'm gonna put her on my back." We had the lead, but when he stopped to throw me off, it didn't push me far enough to jump on the mat before Christie. How heartbreaking was that to have it be so close?
Jennifer: It was really heartbreaking and frustrating, but it was more embarrassing to know that we were the first team eliminated from Amazing Race. How hard was the cheese task? It was funny to watch, but I can't even imagine doing it.
Jennifer: It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. It wasn't a hill; it was a cliff. It was so steep. It rained all night and all day, so it was wet. It's a herding hill, so there were all kinds of animals, so every inch of that ground was covered with poop. That's why we kept falling. It was wet grass and poop everywhere. The only smart person who wore boots was Steve. All of us were in tennis shoes, and that and poop don't go well together. What were the rules? Could you just have rolled the cheese to the bottom, or did you have to try to carry it?
Preston: You were supposed to use the carrier. You couldn't push it and you couldn't intentionally roll it down the hill. But if your [carrier] busted and your cheese rolled down the hill by accident, it was okay — but nobody knew that and nobody wanted to risk a penalty.
Jennifer: You also had to stay within 20 feet of your partner, so when his cheese accidentally rolled down the hill, I had to be right behind him. What were those carriers made out of? They broke so easily.
Preston: Really cheap wood with the little nails that you get when you put in the back of an entertainment center and staples. It was horrible. The worst part was when it broke apart, all the staples and nails just ripped my hand to shreds. I was sitting there just bleeding all over the place. So it was mud, poop, blood and cheese...
Jennifer: Some of the teams after us were like, "Oh my god! Somebody's dying." We were actually ahead [after the first trip down with the cheese], but it was the second trip that got us when his hand got cut. It was funny because there was blood everywhere and everyone was freaking out. You said at the end that this will strengthen your relationship. Are you guys still together?
Jennifer: We are. We've been together for two years.

Offline Coutzy

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #36 on: February 18, 2009, 12:49:55 AM »
Preston: Better than ever. (Laughs)

Jennifer: We're taking donations [to be] on the next The Amazing Race. (Laughs)

What a sweet couple, at least they won't come somewhere near an atrocious bickering team.

And what a way to get eliminated! I don't think the producers had to cut down on cost so much this leg that they aren't even giving teams any money for this race? :groan:

Part of the race has always been getting extra money from people. As far as I know, the first few legs in every season are about getting as much money as possible and then spending a bit extra later once you have a stash up. (Rob and Brennan's commentary on Season 1 explains it pretty well.)

But yeah, teams are rarely given enough money to cover a leg on its own.

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #37 on: February 18, 2009, 11:27:30 AM »
The Amazing Race

Amazing Race Couple Call Elimination ‘Painful’
February 17, 2009
After some terrible luck with taxis, a missed train and one incredibly slick hill, Jennifer Hopka, 26, and Preston McCamy, 28, a feisty couple from Columbia, S.C., became the unfortunate first team eliminated from The Amazing Race 14. Despite bickering on the show, the nursing student and software engineer are happy to report their relationship survived reality TV and they are even discussing marriage. – Carrie Bell

What made you want to run the Race?
Preston: Who wouldn’t want to go across the world on someone else’s dime for a chance at $1 million dollars? It is a no brainer.

It must have hurt to become the last team to arrive by a handful of seconds.
Preston: I was really upset. I am super competitive and I hate to lose anything. And to watch the other team take our spot right in front of our face was painful.

Jennifer: We were surprised to be the first team eliminated. Our friends and family were so surprised. They expected us to last a lot longer.

You don’t really fit the typical profile of first team eliminated. What went wrong?
Jennifer: The Race is mostly based on luck and you don’t realize that until you are on it. You are not in control of every situation. The language barrier was our number one downfall. Most of us spoke Spanish, but that didn’t help in Switzerland. In three days of racing, we never had a taxi driver who spoke English. The only word we understood was no. You can’t tell them not to take this turn or you can’t say five miles down the road take a U-turn. There was a lot of taxi drama.

Preston: We also ran out of money. We didn’t have any to pay the taxi guy in the end. It was super frustrating. Everyone who took our flight didn’t have enough money at the end but the people who took the other flight had enough left to go in on a pizza. We were begging for 75 francs at the end just to stay in the race.

Jennifer: We were so hungry. Our plan going in was to try and not spend any extra money. I was going to flirt or beg for food. We got one piece of bread between the two of us for three days and then were expected to run and do challenges. Not sleeping or eating for days takes a toll on you.

It seemed that you were fighting from day one but Preston also said that’s your thing. Do you think that energy could have been sustained throughout the Race?
Jennifer: It looked worse than it was. We really only fought in the beginning on the train platform after we missed the train and we were tired and hungry. We would have fought occasionally if we had stayed because it puts stress on your relationship and you can’t say, “Leave me alone and let me cool off,” but we were a lot more positive than that most of the time.

Preston: The only times we bickered were when we would sit down and stop running. When it came to a challenge, we were on point and we were encouraging and doing what we needed to do.

As far as first legs go, this one was a doozey. What was the toughest part? The most fun?
Jennifer: The hardest thing was by far the cheese challenge. That hill was basically a cliff it was so steep. It had just rained so the grass was wet and it was a herding hill so there was poop everywhere. We were sliding in poop all the way down. And I only weigh 120 pounds so I was basically carrying my body weight in cheese and could barely stand up.

Preston: And the carriers were made terribly. They were as big as Mike and Mark. When we did the press pictures, I got down on my knees and realized they were about as tall as me on my knees.

To add insult to injury, the locals were laughing at you.
Preston: I wanted to take them out so bad.

Preston: It wasn’t all miserable. Getting to do stuff that I’d never done before was hands down the best part. We rode in a helicopter and I’d never done that before. I’d never flown international or ridden in a train through Switzerland.

Jennifer: Preston doesn’t get out much. You just made it sound like you don’t get to do anything at home. I can’t pick one best moment because it was all a priceless experience. I would never be able to afford to go to Europe. And we’ve got 20 new friends. We are an extended family now.

Who would win based on your first impressions?
Jennifer: Before even going on the Race, I know that couples bicker and siblings or parent/child teams usually do better and get along better. I pinpointed the sibling teams and Margie and Luke.

Preston: Since we couldn’t talk to anybody at first, I went by who looked the most intelligent and the most athletic. I thought Victor and Tammy looked like a good team. I thought Chris was my main physical competition. Mike and Mark might do decent and Kiesha and Jen. Those were my top four.

You said that the race would either make or break you as a couple. It has now been several months. What’s the verdict?
Jennifer: When we left, we got three weeks in Thailand and we had never been together twentyfour-seven for that long before. We don’t live together. We didn’t have to fight for a million dollars. The stress of the Race was gone so we could communicate and talk. We learned a lot about each other and will continue to learn what to say and what buttons not to push. That three weeks made us grow stronger and put our relationship in perspective so our relationship is stronger now than it has ever been.

Preston: Absolutely. Thailand started off rocky. We were both disappointed about losing and it took me a minute to get over it, but after the first day that time was very good for us.

Any marriage plans?
Jennifer: We’ve been talking about it, but we have time. There’s a lot I want to do like move back to L.A. before we settle down and talk about kids.

Offline puddin

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2009, 02:52:12 PM »
February 18
A Cheesy End for One 'Amazing Race' Team
It's once again "Amazing Race" time, and on Sunday's episode, 11 teams kicked off their competition around the world. They flew from SoCal to Switzerland, where they had a Roadblock that involved completing the second-highest bungee jump in the world (why are you cheating us of THE highest jump, show?) and moving 200 pounds of cheese wheels down a wet, steep, crap-covered mountain.

First among the teams to arrive was Luke, the show's first deaf contestant, and his mom Margie. Forgive me for saying so, but while I'm excited for them, I fear that I'm going to get really tired of the notion that "This shows that a deaf person can do anything a hearing person can do." Yeah, yeah. Now move on. I was, though, still touched by Phil learning enough sign language to say that they were team number one.

Other teams that might bear watching: gay father and son writers Mel and Mike, Harvard Law grad brother and sister Victor and Tammy, stuntman brothers Mark and Michael. I figure the rural couple Steven and Linda are not very long for this world, since Linda seems unable to run very fast, but hey, the race is not always to the swift. Steven endeared himself to me by coming up with a speedy way to take 150 pounds of cheese down at a time -- by using the flimsy device they'd been given as a sled rather than as a backpack.

In the end, of course, one team has to come up short. It was a footrace to the mat, and Preston and Jennifer came up a little behind Christie and Jodi.

Here's what Preston and Jennifer had to say about their Race experience:

MSN: Guys, sorry you were booted off the first leg of "The Amazing Race" this time around.

Preston: It was very frustrating, very frustrating.

Jennifer: We did it on purpose. We were tired and hungry and freezing our butts off in Switzerland in the snow. So we did it on purpose because we knew that we were going to be sequestered on vacation for three weeks somewhere tropic.

MSN: How was the sequestering?

Jennifer: Absolutely amazing.

Preston: It was awesome. We wouldn't have been able to afford it on our own, so it was ridiculous. Three weeks of free vacation in Thailand. You can't really go wrong.

Jennifer: We stayed at an exotic island ... and we were there for approximately only three weeks. So not only was it a free vacation, but we got to do things we'd never get to do on our own. On the Race, you're tired, you're hungry. In our case, we were fighting with each other. It was just stressful. And then you get to go to this exotic, the most beautiful place I know I've ever been. And you get fed and you don't have to fight for your food. I love to go shopping and I got to go shopping. We got massages.

MSN: We didn't get to see that much of you guys. How much fighting did you guys do?

Preston: (Laughs) We just bickered about different things.

Jennifer: We didn't really fight a whole lot. They showed us fighting, but obviously clipping and editing are going to put that on there. We do fight a lot in real life. We fought the first day because Preston was really enthralled with the Mercedes we were driving and he wanted to go faster and faster. When I looked at the speedometer and saw that it was going 100, I was yelling at him from the back seat.

Preston: The thing about it was, it wasn't so much that I was enthralled with the Mercedes. I'm 6'4" and the seat was pushed up and I couldn't find the buttons to get the seat to move back. I didn't want to find it because Mike was the only person we knew knew where LAX was.

Jennifer: We kept up with them because they knew where LAX was. But we were still going 100 mph, which was completely illegal. We didn't want to be breaking any rules, especially the speed limit. And that was pretty much it. ... That was about three days of racing they showed on Sunday night. We were fine. We didn't fight at all in Switzerland. We didn't fight on the cheese hill. He was very supportive, pushing me to my limits. We didn't fight again until we were sequestered, because the stress of us losing and everything else kind of came out.

MSN: You guys got to do some cool stuff. The bungee jump must have been pretty intense.

Preston: The bungee jump was ridiculous. It was crazy. And I'll tell you the thing about it, and I'm kind of disappointed that they didn't show my bungee jump because it made Lakisha laugh like crazy. I was the heaviest one to jump. Everyone's jumping off and having a good time. They know that bungee cord's going to catch them. I get up there and they take that bungee cord and toss it to the side and they bring out this other one. I'm like, "Dude, I know that this one's been tested. I know everyone's jumped on it. I know I'm a little heavier than everyone else."

Jennifer: I don't know if you were nervous or not paying attention, but the one everyone else was jumping on was a thinner bungee. They weigh you before you do it, and of course Preston is this big, heavier guy than everybody. So they brought out this double bungee that was twice the size of everyone else's rope.

Preston: I was like look, I know the other one's tested. ... But it was ridiculous. There was nothing but rocks down at the bottom, so it was nerve-wracking. I've skydived before and I've bungee-jumped before but it was just ridiculous crazy.

Jennifer: I was kind of upset at first. We always said from the very beginning that if it was heights, Preston would do it because I'm so scared of heights. I can't even get up a little bit off the ground. I won't get on roller coasters, I won't do any of that. At times like that, you only have a certain amount of time to complete the task, and I knew I would probably get up there and freak out. It wasn't going to be good for penalty purposes. So he did it and after he did it, everyone said it was such a rush and when you do it, your stomach doesn't drop. I'm never going to have the chance again. I wish I would have done it. But it was so funny to see all those big macho guys up there because Chris and Brad and everybody when they jumped, ... as soon as they got on the ledge to do it, they were like, "Oh, s---," pretty much. I think it was pretty funny to watch everybody's reaction.

MSN: So what about the cheese hill?

Jennifer: Everybody was talking about how Preston said when he was on the hill, "In fact, I don't think I'm ever going to eat cheese again." It was slippery. On TV, it looked like a hill. It wasn't. It was the steepest cliff. When we're all on our hands and knees climbing up, it's because you couldn't step up it hardly.

Preston: It was super-steep, and wet and muddy and muggy. There was goat crap and sheep crap all over the place.

Jennifer: It had rained the day before. And it's this herding area where they have cows, sheep and goats. So what you don't see is not only is the ground soaking wet and steep, they'd just removed the animals. We kept sliding and we fell in poop everywhere. No matter where you stepped, you stepped in a pile of poopy. Which is fine, but you can't stand up straight in it. That's when we got the idea...we got on our butts and we slid with the cheese.

Preston: It was so slick, man, and when you added the extra 50 to 100 pounds to your back... I had on New Balances, so they weren't any kind of hiking shoes.

MSN: When it came down to it, what lost the Race for you?

Jennifer: We ran the wrong way at the end. It shows that Linda and Steve ran the wrong way.

Preston: It sounded like the yodelers were coming from the mountain. But the thing about it was that we didn't have enough money to pay our taxi at the end of the leg. Nobody who took that second flight had enough money to pay transportation. So we begged.

Jennifer: What happened was we ran the wrong way. You could either go right or left before the Pit Stop. It was on this fork. It sounded like the yodelers were coming from the mountaintop, and it said, find the yodelers. Let the yodelers bait you. When we saw bait, we were thinking river. There was this huge river. But what happened was there were speakers on the mountainside. So we ran the wrong way because we thought we were going to have to go up this mountain. But before we went the wrong way, for 45 minutes, we didn't have enough money to pay our taxi cab. We were begging on our hands and knees. He didn't speak any English whatsoever. The only word he understood was "No." He kept telling me, "No, no, no." He was yelling at me in the language he was speaking, which sounded French or German. I'm not really sure. But he was screaming at the top of his lungs. I'm pretty sure he was saying, "Pay me now." So we spent 45 minutes begging for money.

Preston: When we got to the pit stop, we were 75 francs short. The thing of it was, we didn't spend any money the entire Race except on transportation. We didn't spend any on food. We didn't spend any on anything at all. We didn't buy any maps. We just didn't have any money. When we got to the Pit Stop, we were about 30 minutes ahead of the blondes. We had to beg everybody we could find around there just for 75 francs.

Jennifer: Everybody else had used them up, because everyone on our flight didn't have enough money. When we were begging people for money, they were like, "Get out of here. We've already been asked." ... As soon as we turned around, we saw the Blondes. They saw we were going the wrong way, and it was a foot race to the end.

MSN: It seemed like you guys kind of gave up at the footrace, though. Is that fair?

Jennifer: No. We ran our butts off. Preston was in front of Jodi. It was Preston, Jodi, me, and then Christie was behind me. I was running as fast as I could. Preston and I didn't eat or sleep for, it was almost two days. We didn't sleep on any flights because we didn't want to miss getting off. We wanted to scheme and to try to get up front. We didn't sleep on the train rides because we didn't want to miss our stop. It was in foreign languages. We're in a different place. He's never traveled like that. So we're just trying to make sure we're on time and at our stop like we're supposed to be. It was freezing cold outside and we had to sleep by the little bit of a campfire, but we had to sleep on hay, and it was freezing cold and we had one blanket. So we didn't sleep that whole entire time. ... Preston put me on his back like you saw on TV. He threw me off his back right before the Pit Stop to give me a push. And me and Christi, she stepped on the mat first. Unfortunately, your teammate has to be on the mat at the same time. I just happened to get on it last. ...I never quit. I never said I can't do this. I just ran. It might have been really slow like a turtle, but I ran my butt off.

MSN: What would you say was the high point and what would you say was the low point, other than obviously being eliminated?

Jennifer: The high point for me was having the experience with Preston, knowing that I was chosen out of 20,000 or 200,000 people. ... Just to have an opportunity to be on "The Amazing Race," because so many people try out for that chance. And also, the enduring family that we have, because all of us, all the Racers, are so close. We say bad things about each other during the Race because it is a competition, but after the race we all have family for life now. It's a big "TAR" extended family. That was a high point. Obviously, the low point was losing. But we got a three-week vacation in Thailand. It was nothing but high points. It took our relationship in the end and made it better. So it was what we wanted. It was nothing but positive.

Preston: For me, everyone would think the high point was the bungee jump because it was cool. But it was a few of the little things. I'd never been on a helicopter before. We got to do that coming on to the starting line. I'd never flown international before. I got to do that for the first time. I'd never been to Europe at all. I got to do that for the first time. We got to ride a train around Switzerland. I'd never got to do that before. Going out, I can't really be that upset that I'd never been able to do and would never have been able to do without the Race. The low point, definitely losing. It took me a while to get over that. I'm super-competitive. It hurt my heart, especially going out first.

MSN: What's next for you guys?

Preston: Right now, I'm back to work. I'm working from the house, doing my software engineering gig.

Jennifer: I lived in L.A. two years ago, and I'm thinking as soon as school's done, of packing my stuff and moving back to L.A. ... Hopefully there will be more in store for me. I'm young. I love to travel. I love doing things like this.

Preston: When it comes to me and Jennifer, we're having a pretty good run right now. Everybody will have to stay tuned for that.

- posted by Raoul!DB9D137CC0F754C9!39073.entry

Offline puddin

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Re: • TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #39 on: February 18, 2009, 11:04:42 PM »
EXCLUSIVE: Bungee Talking with Amazing Race 14 Eliminees Jennifer and Preston
by Reg Seeton
The Amazing Race returned for its 14th season, sending a new group of teams around the world in a high adrenaline international footrace for a million dollars. When the first episode The Amazing Race was over, fans got to see a number of format tweaks that included a slightly remixed theme, split-screen action between challenges and the race, and various time stamps.

The first leg of Season 14 saw the new round of teams head to Switzerland and find their way by train for a quick sleep-over in the town of Interlaken before racing away to one of the most "amazing" road-blocks in Amazing Race history, the 2nd highest bungee jump in the world. In fact, it was the same dam that James Bond bungee'd from in the movie Goldeneye. From there the teams raced into an uphill battle that pitted each duo against one another while attempting to carry 50 pound blocks of Swiss cheese on their backs to stack into 200 pound towers to get their final clue.

more here ...

Offline Hooky

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2009, 06:34:44 PM »
I have to say, TAR 14 was kind of strange without having them make it farther. It was like TAR 12 without Nathan & Jennifer.

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2009, 09:58:38 PM »
They were classic on Elimination Station. Tremendous conflict there.  :yess: :yess:
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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #42 on: July 09, 2009, 01:54:47 PM »
I have to say, TAR 14 was kind of strange without having them make it farther. It was like TAR 12 without Nathan & Jennifer.
It was strange, but refreshing, don't you think?
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Offline DeafRacer

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #43 on: July 09, 2009, 02:37:57 PM »
I was shocked to see Preston and Jen to go when I heard that they were the first casualty. I was like, "Whats the hell!?" when I saw Linda and Steve made it through after they went on the cheese hill! I loved their smart strategy with cheese tho!  Preston and I bonded really well on the first night at the barn - he's a super nice and down to the earth guy. Y'all would have fell in love with Preston if he get to race in few more legs.

Offline apskip

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #44 on: July 10, 2009, 08:09:31 AM »
Luke, I notice you are not saying much about Jennifer, though. Her Elimination Station time speaks for itself.

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Jennifer Hopka & Preston McCamy - Dating
« Reply #45 on: July 10, 2009, 02:29:47 PM »
Jen and I don't get to talk that much. She's a really sweet girl. We texted each other few days ago. Just that I think racing isn't Jen's style I mean y'all see how Jen was like when she doesn't want to carry a cheese piece by herself. She got a HUGE backpack! Maybe Jen probably would have been a better racer if she get to stay in the race longer and picks things up quickly. Who knows...? Preston and I hanged out a lot when we were in NYC for a TARCon weekend, he's a lot of fun to be around - I hope I'll get to see Preston soon!