Shana and Jennifer were the two blondes from Los Angeles on The Amazing Race 12, but you wouldn’t know it by watching them compete. The duo was relentless on the Race. You could tell that the friends wanted to win The Amazing Race as much, if not more than the rest of the teams. They had performed well on almost every facet of the the race, but on last night’s episode a couple of wrong turns doomed the duo. Upon reaching Vilnius, Lithuania, the blondes lost their way en route to St. Anne’s Church. They were never able to recover. Shana and Jennifer took the time to speak with us this morning about their time on the race.
Below you will find both the written transcript and mp3 audio of the interview.
Can you guys talk a little bit about how you found yourselves on The Amazing Race? Were you fans of the show beforehand? Did you audition?
Shana: We were definitely both fans of the show, and I was approached to audition for the show so we went through the whole audition process after that. I’ve never looked back.
Once the race began, what was most different from your expectations? What was the biggest surprise you guys encountered on the race?
Jennifer: Honestly, the biggest surprise is how well your body does without food and sleep. That’s my answer.
Shana: That’s definitely true. As much as we had done research and watched all these shows in order to prepare ourselves to go, it doesn’t come across on TV nearly as difficult as what you’re actually experiencing. Thinking we knew what we were getting into when we went, but then day one almost everyone was just dead. Episode one we all said god, if it’s going to be like this the whole time I don’t know if we’re all going to make it. Then, like Jen said, you surprise yourself. You’re not eating, you’re not sleeping, you’re running on stuff, and you’re just constantly on the go and high anxiety, but your body just gets up and does it. I guess it’s the adrenaline or our competitive natures, I don’t know what it is. Your body just amazes you.
On last night’s episode, they kind of glossed over that ridiculously long trip you guys took from Africa to Lithuania. Was that the hardest trip, with the three different flights and the long wait at Burkina Faso airport?
Jennifer: Oh my gosh, in actuality it was like ten hours just waiting to get on the plane.
Shana: We literally sat at the airport for those many hours, and it was like 120 degrees outside or something.
Jennifer: Yeah, and we actually had a small interaction with Hendekea, and after that we were definitely on our own. Nobody was speaking to us after that. So Shana and I just kind of kept to ourselves for another five hours.
Shana: With no food, no water, it’s 120 degrees and you’re sitting there and you know you have all that flying ahead of you, and then all the work you’re going to have to do. It’s a lot. It was definitely a lot to do and handle.
You guys said you were kind of on your own there at the airport. Was that completely because of you guys using the U-Turn?
Jennifer: No, we’ve been completely on our own since the beginning of the race. That was our own decision. We decided we didn’t want to make alliances, but people kind of alienated us as well. In the beginning there were a lot of mini alliances formed, and we didn’t form an alliance with anyone except a small alliance with the sisters at the airport, just because everyone else had an alliance so we shared information with them.
Shana: Yeah, every once in awhile we would have a mini alliance, but it was really small and we wouldn’t use them to get anywhere. We would just get information.
About that U-Turn, do either of you have any new thoughts on the whole situation since watching the show? Do you regret using it?
Jennifer: Honestly, I just felt like it was a little early in the race to use it. We thought Lorena and Jason were behind us, we had no idea where they were, and in that respect I think Shana’s decision was probably a good decision.
Shana: The thing is, on the show it appears that TK and Rachel were right behind us and that we knew that. The reality was we U-Turned Jason and Lorena because we thought they were the only team behind us, and that they were substantially behind us, so if we did this U-Turn they were guaranteed to be the last ones off. They’re a very strong team, a very strong team. So if something should happen, like if our taxi cab got a flat tire or broke down, or anything that would give them that time to catch up, that could have happened. Anything can happen in these games. When we watched the show back, we realized that TK and Rachel were right behind us. We realized that after we U-Turned Jason and Lorena, when we saw them but we didn’t know that they were behind us also. It could have gone any way, and it could easily have been us eliminated if we didn’t use the U-Turn, so I think it proved to be a good decision.
Jennifer: Had we stayed in the race, I don’t know how good the decision would have been, cause we still would have needed the U-Turn at the end possibly. We were getting so good, just Lithuania was very confusing.
Shana: But there’s only two in the whole game, so you don’t know that you’re going to get the opportunity to use it again.
Jennifer: Right, and there’s a speed bump too, right?
Shana: I think so. We don’t know about what happens.
Was there anything involving you two over the course of the season that was edited out that you wish CBS had shown?
Shana: I do. We had a lot of moments where we broke down in Africa, and we were just so deeply affected by the people there. We packed a bunch of jewelry, and we were handing out jewelry to all the kids, and candy and bracelets.
Jennifer: Whatever was in our backpacks, we gave. I had a mango, and that was all I had, and I handed this little boy this mango and his eyes got so big, like he’d not seen one or he just wanted one so badly.
Shana: And we just gave away all our little bracelets and jewelry, and food that was in our backpack. They were just so excited about it, and that was a really special moment. Also, when we taught our kid and did our teaching, that was a moment that Jen and I were so proud of and deeply affected by. We spent time hugging the kid and telling him we loved him and how smart he was, and they didn’t show any of that. I kind of wish they would have shown that. There were a couple of things that happened like that.
Do you guys have any plans for the future that you might like to talk about? Anything coming up in your personal lives?
Jennifer: I’m actually writing a book, not about the race, but about my life story. It entails being abandoned when I was younger by my mother. She was into drugs, and I helped her get out of them and we have a great relationship now, but she was absent from my life for about fifteen years.
Shana: I just launched a website called thehotdishtv.com, because I’m a food person. I do food and travel related stuff, and I went through chef school, so I launched a website. It’s a place that you can go to find out the hottest restaurants and recipes, and what’s hot in fashion, beauty, and travel. And dog adoptions. I work with an animal charity that rescues dogs that are about to be euthanized, and we put the dog out there and try to find him a home. So it’s got dog adoptions, dog horoscopes, people horoscopes, and all sorts of fun things on the website. That’s what I’ve been working on since the race.
-Interview Conducted by Oscar Dahl
(Image Courtesy of CBS)