Here's another article about Ashton with a few more details.http://www.star-telegram.com/entertainment/tv/article141047038.htmlFort Worth’s Ashton Theiss starts off ‘The Amazing Race’ solo, but not for long
BY DAVID MARTINDALE
Special to the Star-Telegram
Ashton Theiss says she’s good at keeping secrets.
But who knew so many people would test her resolve?
Theiss, a 25-year-old Fort Worth real estate agent, is a participant this season in “The Amazing Race,” the long-running reality/competition show on CBS.
She was instructed not to reveal any details about her adventures in advance. It was easy to keep a lid on spoilers at first, because no one knew she had secrets to spill.
Then the network unveiled its list of 22 racers and suddenly her cover was blown.
“It has definitely been a whirlwind since it was announced,” Theiss says. “I don’t think I was prepared for all of the attention. I have been asked more times than I can possibly count, ‘What countries did you go to?’ ‘Who were you paired with?’ ‘Did you win?’
“I keep telling everyone, ‘You’re just going to have to tune in and see.’ So far, I’ve been really good about keeping everything under wraps, but I’ve certainly been grilled.”
Theiss will soon be able to breathe a little easier. The first big secret — the identity of her race partner — will be revealed during the season premiere at 9 p.m. Thursday.
For the first time in the show’s 29-season history, the competitors are all strangers leading up to the race, which spans nine countries, 17 cities and 36,000 miles.
Before host Phil Keoghan gives the “Go” command, the racers must compete in a challenge that determines the order for picking a teammate. The new partners then have mere minutes to cover the basics (“What’s your name?” “Where are you from?”) before the journey begins.
The winning duo will split a $1 million prize.
Theiss — a TCU grad (Class of 2014) who lives in west Fort Worth — is a longtime “Amazing Race” fan who loves to travel (although she hasn’t seen as much of the globe as she’d like).
“For me, this was an incredible opportunity to see the world in a unique way,” she says. “I’ve traveled some. I’ve been to South America and the Caribbean quite a bit. But I’ve been to Europe only once for a study-abroad experience in college.
“I wanted to add stamps to my passport and to check more places off my bucket list, which I was able to do. And on top of that, getting the chance to win half a million dollars? For me, it was a no-brainer.”
Theiss grew up in Tomball, about 30 miles northwest of Houston, and moved to Fort Worth in 2010 to study strategic communication and sociology at TCU.
“It was the only university I applied to,” she says. “I was like, ‘If I don’t get in, I don’t know what I’ll do.’ But I did get in with an academic scholarship. I did my four years, walked away with a double degree and then stayed in Fort Worth because I grew to love the city once I got to know it.”
Theiss originally applied to complete on “The Amazing Race” with her friend, unaware that those chosen this season would be asked to go it alone.
“That was definitely a plot twist for us,” she says. “But when they asked if I would be interested in doing this on my own, I said, ‘Absolutely. I don’t care how I have to do this. I just want the opportunity.’
“It was scary but exciting at the same time. I knew there would be certain personality types that I might not mesh well with. But I went in knowing I could play the cards I was dealt with.
“I’m a strong alpha female. I have a big personality. I can make the best of the situation.”
By the way, that friend who applied with Theiss, the one who didn’t get to tag along, didn’t hold a grudge. “She’s been very supportive and super excited about everything. It worked out OK for us.”
Theiss can’t drop even the vaguest of hints about any of the map dots she visited in the show. (In fact, a network publicist listened in during the phone interview, ready to intercede if anything too specific was discussed.) But Theiss can disclose her post-“Amazing Race” travel plans.
“I’ll actually be going to Peru in May for a charity trip,” she says. “I didn’t want to wait any longer than I had to before getting back out there and continuing my world trips. I am so hooked now.”