Whether you loved them or loved to hate them, Katie and Rachel were eliminated from The Amazing Race
this week and left us deprived of our favorite Volleyball Mean Girls. We had a chance to catch up with them and find out what they struggled with (to be fair, that last leg went pretty clean for them), how they're representing New Jersey, and you'll never guess their favorite team.
What was your strategy going into the Race?
Rachel: Our strategy was to play the game as we do in Volleyball.. don't worry about what the other teams are doing, just focus on what we think and what works for us.
Katie: Our strategy was to run our own race, to always try and stay in the top half, and to never give up. We spoke about using our strengths (i.e. our athleticism, stamina, strength, and quickness) and to choosing detours according to those strengths. We simply tried to prepare the best we could: we studied countries, tried to develop upper body strength, practiced driving and directions, and set up "make believe" obstacles (to tell you the truth - the make believe obstacles were mostly for our own entertainment). In the end I think all of our preparation paid off. What most people don't realize is that no matter how much you strategize or prepare the race always throws curveballs at you that could change your game completely.
Whose idea was it to be on the show and what made you want to do The Amazing Race?
Rachel: We have been fans of the show for years, and always talk about how we should do it- but never got around to making a video.. but then Katie's sister Bridget saw an open call in Yonkers and told us about it so we went
Katie: We both talked about going on the show for years, literally! Both of our parents are huge fans, so we got hooked because of them. My oldest sister is a complete nut and really believed that we could make it on (even when we had doubts) so she found an open call for us to go to in Yonkers, NY and talked us into going. The day of the open call I skipped class (I was in grad school) and Rachel drove up to North Jersey, hopped in the car with me and we headed over the bridge to New York.
Did you have any favorite teams or teams you formed a friendship with while on the Race? Anyone you're rooting for?
Rachel: While on the race we got along best with Connor and Jonathan. They are HILARIOUS! We aren't rooting for anyone in particular now, just excited to watch and see what we missed on the rest of the race.
Katie: I really loved Connor and Jonathan. They are probably going to think I have a creepy obsession with them because I tell everyone how awesome and funny they are! At elimination station Rachel and I really bonded with Ron and Tony and the girls - they were a lot of fun! Everyone is great though, as you can see on the show!
What was your favorite experience or challenge on The Amazing Race?
Rachel: My favorite experience on the race was coming in 2nd on Ghana right on the tail of Brook and Claire- it felt amazing doing that well with a super clean leg and no mistakes. My favorite challenge was the coconut boats at Eastnor, we figured it out quickly and then took our time crossing the lake so we were able to take in the moment and really enjoy the scenery.
Katie: My favorite experience was simply traveling to so many different countries and experiencing different cultures. It was amazing to see the different areas of our world, which are all so unique and wonderful.
What do you think was your biggest stumbling block?
Rachel: Obviously our biggest stumble was not getting on the first flight to Sweden, and then choosing Sleds (which we thought we would be able to handle) but we kept crashing and then Katie's sled went flying off the mountain so we had to switch. If we had chose beds we might've still been in the race... putting up the tent was similar to putting up a beach volleyball net, and then we have a really good attention to detail so we probably should've done that detour right away.
Katie: Rachel and my biggest mistake was not getting on the first flight from Ghana to Sweden. Other than that we were running a great race.
Were you surprised by any of the comments or anything you saw watching the show back?
Rachel: I wasn't surprised by any of our comments (because we know what we said) but we were surprised with nick and vicki not knowing what fast forward taken meant, and then seeing teams share information, we wished they shared with us haha.
Katie: I wasn't really surprised by anything I saw. I know that some parts of the race get very stressful and people may say or do things they wouldn't normally do. When it comes down to it, everyone just wanted to do the best they could and I don't think anything negative was meant to be hurtful. Everyone deals with anxiety differently!
Was it your plan to come up with nicknames for all the teams or did that just happen?
Rachel: No the viewers don't realize that we never get to meet the other teams prior to the race, so we literally don't know anyones names so we had to come up with something to identify them... and some of team colors aren't clear so we just call it like we see them- team Glee (the nerds) wasn't malicious we just knew they went to princeton... and then tink and pan was only because stephanie was pretty with a pixie hair cut. We at one point called Kevin and Michael "the Asians" but I have seen fans call us racists for that- and really we are just saying asians just like people are calling us the blondes... we love Kevin and Michael and they are in fact, Asian!
Katie: Well when the race is starting the cast does not speak to each other so you have NO idea what anyone's name is. Rachel and I would strategize in the room and we made up little nicknames to identify the teams. For instance we called Connor and Jonathan "Team Glee" because we heard them singing one day! They are such great singers and we thought that would be a cute little nickname for them. We called Stephanie Tinkerbelle because she has the adorable pixie haircut, and Chad just became Pan by default! We had a few other ones: Kevin and Michael were the "Asian Sensation", which I think they enjoyed; and Brook and Clair were "team LA" because they just seemed very California to us, but then again what do two Jersey girls know about the west coast!
Do you think you were portrayed accurately on the show?
Rachel: I think we were portrayed pretty accurately...although they didn't show us as much as the other teams, and they never showed us being friendly or nice (yes we were nice and friendly at some points), so we definitly came off as bitches to the viewers. But no one forced us to say anything, we totally said all those things with free will in the heat of the moment haha. We are just from Jersey and that is our competitive nature.
Katie: I think everyone was portrayed pretty accurately. I mean they showed us being wise asses for the most part but we also had a lot of fun too and were goofy at points, which you don't really get to see. I guess we were just portrayed as these tough, competitive athletes. That is fine with me! You see us making a lot of little comments, which some people may consider "mean"; but in New Jersey we are always around ball buster - so we are kind of used to joking around like that and busting each others chops!
(image courtesy of CBS)