Exclusive: Floyd Pierce talks 'The Amazing Race': I feel like I let Becca Droz down, but I'll grow from this failure
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/24/2017
Floyd Pierce and Becca Droz were eliminated from The Amazing Race during the second broadcast of last Thursday night's two-episode event on CBS.
Floyd, a 21-year-old college drum major from Boulder, CO, and Becca, a 26-year-old rock climbing instructor from Boulder, CO, were ousted from the around-the-world competition in the tenth leg because Floyd appeared to come down with heat exhaustion and dehydration while attempting to complete a Roadblock task in Vietnam.
Because of Floyd's condition, the team was not able to complete the leg and arrive at the Pit Stop at Hang Mua Peak. Instead, The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan met them at the task Floyd had just finished to deliver the bad news of their ouster.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World via email, Floyd talked about his The Amazing Race experience. Below is what he had to say.
Reality TV World: It was hard watching last night's episode when you kept getting rejected at the shrimp trap Roadblock because you gave it everything you had. What did your condition turn out to be? Did the medic say you suffered heat exhaustion and dehydration?
Floyd Pierce: Yep! I was having a heatstroke, and they basically brought all hands on deck to bring my body temperature down. After drinking water and using cold towels, they had me sit in an air conditioned van for a little while. What was really intense was I became a little delirious, and even slightly hallucinated.
Reality TV World: How hot was it that day? And how long did you spend bicycling that giant load around until you finally completed the Roadblock task?
Floyd Pierce: I don't know exactly how it was, at least 90 degrees for sure. It was also incredibly humid. I estimate that I spent about three-and-a-half hours lugging that bicycle around.
Reality TV World: When your load first got rejected, it was because you thought you could drop the majority of traps off and then go back for the rest. Did you happen to misread the clue's instructions or was the clue not specific in telling you that?
Floyd Pierce: It definitely wasn't the clue's fault. What happened was, when I thought I was in sight of the fisherman's village, my bike fell again and some traps fell off. I figured I might as well go drop off the rest and then come back for those.
It was then that I was told that I had to keep all of them with me, and I noticed a lot more had fallen off than I originally believed. Watching the episode, I was shocked to see that some fell off at the very beginning! Looking back, I should have taken more time to tie the skinnier traps tighter -- I kind of just hung them on.
Reality TV World: It must have been devastating to go out before the Final 4. We heard Becca talk about the situation a lot in last night's episode, but how did you feel about it?
Floyd Pierce: After recovering from my heatstroke, I was pretty depressed. I felt like I let Becca down, and even though we smiled through it, it took about a week for me to mostly get over it. Now, I'm happy that I got to share this moment with the world, as I am choosing to learn and grow from this failure rather than letting it bog me down.
Reality TV World: Do you think in a twisted way it's actually better to get eliminated the way you did considering you put all physical effort possible into it rather than getting sent home because you made a mistake or just finished a leg in last place because you got stuck in traffic or something? I'd think your situation would be a little easier to swallow.
Floyd Pierce: It's definitely better than getting eliminated from a lost passport, haha. In all seriousness, it was nice to go out that way, but I would still prefer that it never happened.
Reality TV World: At one point, Becca was shown saying she wished she had done the shrimp trap Roadblock task instead since you were struggling with it. Considering Matt Ladley flew through it, what exactly did the task require in order to be successful, and -- given Becca's strengths or weaknesses -- do you think she would have excelled at it or no?
Floyd Pierce: The two skills that were most important for that challenge were balance and bicycle skills. I know that Becca is a much better and more frequent bicyclist than I am, and Matt has great balance as a snowboarder and general professional athlete. Matt's a gangster, and while Becca admits it was a hard challenge, I'm sure she would've done a better job.
Reality TV World: The show made it seem like, at first, it was all teams against Vanck Zhu and Ashton Theiss, and then more recently, all teams against Tara Carr and Joey Covino. Can you talk about that? Exactly which teams were in your alliance?
Floyd Pierce: "Team Fun" didn't really have an alliance with anyone. We loved Matt and [Redmond Ramos], mainly because we were at the top with them a lot.
The Tara and Joey situation is very similar to Vanck and Ashton -- there were several times when we saw how smart and strong both of those teams were, yet they kept their strengths and strategy incredibly secret. For instance, we learned Tara could speak multiple languages but she deliberately didn't tell anyone. Things like that scared us, we were all still strangers after all.
Reality TV World: One of the more hilarious storylines this season is Brooke Camhi and Scott Flanary's relationship. What's your take on how they raced together? And given you're all about having fun and being positive and optimistic, how do you think you would've handled Brooke as your partner? (Laughs)
Floyd Pierce: I love Brooke and Scott! Everyone handles stress in different ways, and it just happens their method was more extreme than most people's. I think at the time we viewed them as a mid-level team. They were quite dramatic, but every now and then there would be a challenge they would absolutely crush, so clearly something was working.
Brooke and I would've been just fine as a team. While we handle the Race in different ways, I would not be worried about working with her. I've hung with her outside of the show and love her, so I bet we would've been able to be a special duo.
Reality TV World: Becca selected you after the initial suitcase challenge. If you had finished the challenge in first place and had your pick of anyone just based on first impressions, whom do you think you would've selected and why? (Your answer doesn't necessarily mean it would've been a good partnership or better than what you had with Becca).
Floyd Pierce: The two people I was between was Matt and [London Kaye]. I gravitated towards Matt because he looked young like me, so I figured we could bond over that. London smiled at me as I came back with my suitcase, so I thought she looked like a happy, positive person. However, neither of those two could have formed "Team Fun."
Reality TV World: Why did you initially apply to be on The Amazing Race and was it your first time applying?
Floyd Pierce: Who doesn't want to be on The Amazing Race? I watched the show when I was young, and I eagerly awaited until by 21st birthday to apply. I was super lucky because as soon as I turned 21, I applied for the show and immediately got casted.
Reality TV World: I feel like if I asked Becca whether she'd be up to race with you again, she would yell, "Heck yes!" But the way things ended for you was really rough. Would you react the same way if given another opportunity to compete on The Amazing Race?
Floyd Pierce: Are you kidding? Of course I would do it again!! Getting heatstroke has only inspired me to push myself harder and overcome that. I will not be intimidated by that failure.
Reality TV World: At the time you left the Race, which team were you hoping would win The Amazing Race? And which team did you think was most deserving to win?
Floyd Pierce: Matt and Redmond for both of those! We became great friends with them, and they are great guys who were running an incredible race.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for our exclusive interview with Floyd's The Amazing Race partner Becca Droz.