I may not have always been fond of Joe and Heidi from this season of The Amazing Race–from the first week I joined the “they’re too confident” side of the fence–but later weeks made me realize that what they don’t have in popularity, they make up with their intensity in running the race. After all, they were in second place at one point. But they were eliminated in France after being U-turned by detectives Louie and Michael–they figured they needed the humble pie, and it seems they did.

I got to talk to Joe and Heidi early today, and I think we covered everything–the U-turn, the Morse code task, and the knee. Oh, and gastronomic delights in Germany, too.

First off, Joe, how’s your knee doing?

Much better. I had arthroscopic knee surgery after we returned from the race. Still recovering from the surgery.

How did you two meet?

We met at a wine tasting event in LA, making eye contact across a smoky cigar lounge. That was over 13 years ago.

Before the French leg, you were poised to become one of the race’s frontrunners. What did you do that you think the other teams didn’t?

We have a very strong history together, so we know each other very well. We communicate well, and above all, trust and respect one another.

Joe, some viewers think you’re very driven, but some also think you’re too confident. It also seems that you’ve rubbed the other teams the wrong way. What’s your reaction to this?

I’m a sports guy–I’m a very confident and driven individual which may intimidate other people. People who know me, get me, and understands my intensity and good intentions.

Tell me about your partnership of sorts with Steve and Allie. What struck me in your last two legs was your belief that good people should stick with good people, never mind the competitive nature of the race.

Good people attract good people. We’re not saying there weren’t other good people in the cast, but Steve and Allie shared similar backgrounds with us and we ended up working well with them. Joe and Steve shared a sports background and Heidi and Allie had the Pepperdine connection. We believed four heads were better than two racing around the world. There was always an underlying understanding, that at any given time, either team could break free when it really counted.

Looking back, do you think you deserve being U-turned in France?

“Deserve”–absolutely not! A U-turn is used on strong teams or to prevent a team from elimination. Based on their placement, obviously, they viewed us as their biggest threat, even with Joe’s bad knee.

What was going through your heads when you both decided not to finish the Morse code task? I thought it was out of character, especially for you, Joe.

You have to realize we were there for many hours, listening to the same Morse code reel, over and over again. It played very fast, and with all the war effects going on and the change of elements–pouring rain, night time, drop in temperature–we came to the realization that regardless of how many more times we listened to the message, we weren’t able to decipher it.

Have you since talked to Louie and Michael about the U-turn?

We spoke briefly.

What was the most memorable experience you’ve had on the race?

The entire race was a memorable experience. If we had to select a race highlight, though, it would have to be the entire Hamburg leg–so fun! Although our flight was originally scheduled to arrive first, we actually arrived on the last flight, but we quickly made up for lost time: a bungee jump, sauerkraut, beer, Beatles, and placing in the top three after doing two detours. The entire city was decorated for the Christmas holiday, so beautiful and magical at night.

What have you been up to after the race?

Joe recently resigned from Microsoft and is pursuing other exciting business opportunities. We’re both happily exploring new ways to make our own millions!

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Henrik Batallones

Staff Writer, BuddyTV