I'll admit, I didn't expect Dan and Jordan to be winners of The Amazing Race
. You've seen me talk about it throughout the past season: they've had a slow start, and I've always written them off. But looking back, their head was in the game, and it did pay off: after a lucky break in Singapore, and a smart (if not controversial) move in Shanghai, they defied the odds and won the million dollars.
And that means we had a lot to talk about. It may have taken a while, but it was worth it. The brothers and I discussed why they almost joined season 15 instead, why they decided to stay away from conflict, and of course, that move in Shanghai.
First off, congratulations on winning the race! Honestly, did any of you expect it to happen?
Jordan: Daniel and I were confident going into the race that we had just as good a chance of winning this thing as any of the other ten teams competing. When the Pious brothers are on the same team, we are unbeatable
Dan: You always have to stay focused on the current leg or else you'll make a mistake.
Jordan: Moreover, our relationship was a huge
asset in the race. Two brothers, who have grown up together and loved and supported each other for 23 years, can use their close relationship to their advantage. We know each other better than anyone else--our strengths, weaknesses, the buttons to push, and the buttons to stay away from. We knew going into this that newly dating couples who were just learning these qualities about their teammate would probably have a harder time keeping their focus on the challenging and demanding race.
Dan: Once we got into the final three, it really started to set in that we had as good a chance as any to win it all!Jordan, how long did it take you to convince Dan to join the race? I was quite surprised to read that he doesn't like traveling, yet he joined to fulfill your dreams.
Jordan: I tried to get Daniel to apply for me for season 15. The camera was in hand and we were ready to tape our audition video, and he looked at me and said, "Bro, this isn't my thing. I don't want to get your hopes up on this." I had to change my strategy a bit at that point in convincing him to do so this with me.That must've been a hard sell.
Jordan: I knew I was asking a lot of him, to really step outside of his comfort zone and do something slowly to help me
in achieving a dream of mine. I wrote him a long email, pouring my heart out, and explaining how much this experience would mean to me. "You are my big brother, my best friend, and if you could really help me in achieving my biggest dream, wouldn't you?" He called me up and asked me if this really was my biggest dream. When I told him how badly I want this, he agreed to do it, to give it 100% and that during the race he would make my biggest dream his biggest dream as well.
Dan: I'm thrilled I had this opportunity, and I'm thankful to Jordan for convincing me to do it in the first place!Before winning the race, you had a very slow start--and I'll be honest, that's why I pretty much wrote off your chances until you finished first in Singapore. What do you think you could've done better?
Dan: Learning how to drive a stick-shift might have helped! But as far as our slow start, we never really cared.
Jordan: Daniel and I had a very specific strategy from day one, and we followed through with that game plan until the very end. When all is said and done, we won The Amazing Race
, fair and square, so it is difficult for me to think of things that we "could have done better". The point of the race is to win, and we did that, so I feel good about our game play.
Dan: For us, it was all about not
finishing last, getting into the final three, and then getting first in the final leg. People tend to forget the cowboys came in last in the Seychelles, but got a fortunate non-elimination. We never came in last, and that was key for us.
Jordan: Our strategy did include first place finishes in every leg. If that was the case, we would have displayed the same intensity we had in the final leg, in every other leg, but that may have ended up putting a target on our backs and the U-turns could have killed us as they did for two teams and lead to their consequent eliminations.
I understand that you planned to stay out of the way of the other teams during most of the race. But were there times when you felt like getting involved with some of the squabbles between the other teams?
Dan: I never wanted to get involves with the disagreements between other teams. It's better to just keep your head down and only get involved when it's absolutely necessary.
Jordan: Of course there were times when I wanted to say something to try and "help" a situation out, but whenever you "help" one team, you hurt another. So our plan from the start was to stay as far away from inter-team drama as possible.Some of our readers thought you moving to first class during the flight to San Francisco was cheating. Did you once think that move could affect your run negatively? What went through your heads when you pondered the move?
Jordan: I have watched The Amazing Race
for 15 seasons. Additionally, prior to the start of the race, all the teams had a mandatory lecture regarding the race rules. In this session, they explained, very clearly, that "teams are required to purchase economy class airfare when they fly. Teams may ask the airlines before or during the flight to upgrade their tickets to first or business class as long as they only pay economy fare." These rules are also on Wikipedia, and I had reviewed them before we left for the race.
Dan: The readers who thought the first class move was cheating just don't understand the rules, or really how The Amazing Race
is run. I'm shocked that people have been upset about that move, but I have a feeling it's a lot of cowboy fans that were just disappointed their team didn't win.
Jordan: This strategy has in fact been utilized a few times in past races--I believe it even happened in season 1, for example, when two
teams utilized a free upgrade in the final leg to gain ground on the other team. When Daniel capitalized on the relationship he created with the flight attendant, I knew it was fair game, and I was ecstatic!
Dan: When I got us moved up to first class, I knew it was a huge move. Getting off a plane 15 minutes before the other teams in the final leg was a huge boost for us, although we beat the cowboys by 25-plus minutes, so it was out smooth final leg that got us the win as well.
Jordan: This was a huge
move for us in the final leg
of a game with a million bucks
at the end!Which part of the race would you want to do again?
Jordan: The Seychelles. Saturday night at the Reeperbahm in Hamburg, Germany. Racing off the start line. The complete leg in Singapore, especially the zip line that we didn't get to do. I honestly would do it again in a heartbeat.
Dan: I would love to go back to the Seychelles. I call it screen saver paradise, and it's the place I think I'm most likely to visit again--hopefully soon.
Finally, I'm sure everybody will ask about your plans with the grand prize, so I'll change things a bit: what's the second thing you'll do with the million dollars?
Jordan: My brother and I have a fairly simple but specific plan for the money: pay our taxes, then save and invest the rest.
Dan: Well, I just found out today that I need to get a crown for one of my teeth, so I think about $1,700 of my winnings is going straight into my mouth!(Image courtesy of CBS)