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HOME > The Amazing Race > The Amazing Race 21

Exclusive: Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis discuss 'The Amazing Race' (Part 1)


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/12/2012 

"Chippendales Dancers and Best Friends" Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis finished The Amazing Race's 21st season in second place during Sunday night's two-hour finale broadcast of the CBS reality competition.

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"Goat Farmers and Life Partners" Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge were crowned the champions when they were the first team to cross the finish line in New York, NY, ultimately claiming the $1 million grand prize.

"Dating Couple" Trey Wier and Alexis "Lexi" Beerman finished in third. "Twin Sisters" Natalie Anderson and Nadiya Anderson finished the Race in fourth place, as they had been eliminated just shy of making it to the Final 3. They had arrived at the eleventh leg's Pit Stop in Loire Valley, France, in last place.
 
In an exclusive interview on Monday, Jaymes and James talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience.

Below is the first half of Jaymes and James' interview. Also, to read the first half of Natalie and Nadiya's interview, click here. Begin reading Josh and Brent's interview here. To start on Trey and Lexi's interview with Reality TV World, click here. For the concluding portions of all of these interviews, check back with us later this week. 

Reality TV World: Getting into the final Pit Stop, how far behind Josh and Brent do you think you arrived when you claimed second place, and then how far behind you guys do you think Trey and Lexi finished the Race?

Jaymes Vaughan: It was just minutes separating every team. It really was. It was one of those good old-fashioned races till the end.

James Davis: It was literally a matter of mere minutes. It was really kind of like an epic finish and an epic race. It was. The final challenge is really close. Everyone was struggling with it, and it just ultimately came down to a matter of minutes to get to that final Pit Stop. So yeah, it was really, really close.

Reality TV World: How confident were you leaving the final flag task that you were either going to win or come in second place since you knew Josh and Brent had left before you? Did you really think you could catch up to and eventually pass them?

Jaymes Vaughan: We definitely left that flag challenge confident. I mean, we knew that we were at a disadvantage because Josh and Brent were ahead of us and they're also from New York City. They've been living there for a long time. They know their way around.

They think, "Gotham Hall," and Josh and Brent were like, "Oh yeah, we headed down there for the social." And James and I were like, "Is this from Batman? What the heck! Like, we don't know what it is."

James Davis: We ended up asking the police on the street there for directions, because no one knew where this Gotham Hall was. And we had some taxi trouble after leaving the flag challenge that kind set us even further back.

Jaymes Vaughan: So it was a day of bad taxis. We had bad taxis all day unfortunately. We had amazing taxis throughout the whole Race and then finally that last leg, we just couldn't seem to get a taxi that wanted to stay with us that long. (Laughs) They'd leave us.

But yeah, when we left, it's one of those things where you don't see anyone. You don't know. It's anybody's race at that point. There's traffic in New York. They could've taken a shortcut. They could've not. You really just don't know. And we don't know our way around New York. We don't know if we're going the right way or the wrong way.

And then we get there, and you can't see into the building, and we're thinking, "We still might actually have a shot at this." You don't know. If [The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan] tells you, "Hey, you didn't win," you still got a shot at winning. And hey, we still tried to win it, but when we came up to the curtain, we went, "Ohh, Dagonit."

Reality TV World: How long did it take you to complete the final flag Roadblock task, James? At one point, the show flashed to how two-and-a-half hours had elapsed.

James Davis: It took me close to three hours to complete the flag challenge. It was a really, really tough challenge. I mean, we took excellent notes when we got to each Pit Stop. We could tell you what kind of hat Phil was wearing...

Jaymes Vaughan: Even the fingernail polish on the greeter. We knew everything!

James Davis: Everything about the greeters. When you get to that mat and you get to the final Pit Stop, you kind of tune out.

Jaymes Vaughan: We thought they were being nice, like, "These are some really nice people greeting us here! Hello to you too!"

James Davis: That didn't just get by us. That got by all the teams. None of the teams picked up on it. So everybody was really struggling with that last challenge.

Jaymes Vaughan: We knew "please" and "thank you" in every language. If they had asked us to do that, we would've sailed right through it. But unfortunately, we didn't think to learn -- why would you learn "goodbye?!" I mean, "Come again, we'll see you soon." You never say "goodbye" in the South. That's not anything we ever do. "Come back now, you here?" I mean, I'm just saying.

Reality TV World: So just to clarify, how much studying had you two done before that final leg or throughout the Race in general, because had you really anticipated there being a final memory challenge since there wasn't one last season of The Amazing Race?

Jaymes Vaughan: You didn't see that on the TV show, but actually, when we were in the taxi, we were drilling each other on the flags, the countries, the order, the shapes of the countries -- we had studied everything. We could've showed you a map where everything was.

We could've drawn the actual shapes of the countries for you. We could've drawn the flags for you. We could've done any of that stuff! We were really certain it was going to be a memory challenge, and we were ready for it.

James Davis: We felt very confident. Especially when you get the clue, we were like, "Oh it's at The United Nations. It's gotta be something associated with the countries -- flags, identifying flags..."

Jaymes Vaughan: People's outfits. We knew the greeters' wigs. We knew everything.

James Davis: Yeah, we knew the length of the guys' fingernails.

Jaymes Vaughan: We literally had a notebook that was [full], and we had been studying the whole time. You could've thrown anything else at us and we would've got it. But "hello" and "goodbye," nope.

Reality TV World: So you guys finished either first or second in the last six legs of the Race, which is pretty impressive. Knowing how well you two had done, did it frustrate or surprise you that the winning team had never won a prior leg of the Race? Some viewers are arguing that Josh and Brent really didn't deserve to win because they just kept getting lucky, so what are your thoughts on all that?  

Jaymes Vaughan: If somebody won, they won. And you can't dispute that -- fair and square, they won.

James Davis: To be honest, luck is part of The Amazing Race. Luck is...

Jaymes Vaughan: Look at a team like [Daniel Gale and Amy Purdy] that were out. They could've easily won this thing. Bad luck got them out of the Race.

James Davis: Yes, I mean, there's so many variables with traveling, with planes being delayed, taxi cabs getting lost -- all those variables. Luck is a huge part of the Race. It's tough. It's tough to deal with if you get bad luck, but that's just part of the Race.

Jaymes Vaughan: For me, you know what? I'm glad Josh wanted to shut some people up and I'm glad that he planted a big old kiss on Brent at the Pit Stop too. Because I'm like, "You know what America? It's 2013. Get with it."

Reality TV World: When Josh and Brent found out you guys were in a Final 3 alliance with Trey and Lexi and Natalie and Nadiya, they called it "demoralizing" and seemed pretty aggravated. It seemed pretty clear throughout the Race that Josh and Brent weren't seen as a threat. So could you explain why you didn't want to align with them instead of two strong teams?

Jaymes Vaughan: It never was a situation of, "We don't want to align with Josh and Brent." We didn't know Josh and Brent! Unfortunately, the way the Race goes, you can go leg upon leg upon leg without ever getting to talk with other teams.

James Davis: Literally, days could go by and you will not see another team. It's a strange feeling.

Jaymes Vaughan: First time that we talked to Josh and Brent was when we were doing a challenge in Indonesia and Brent kept telling Josh to shut up. And I was having a great time talking to Josh. James was telling me to shut up. Brent's telling Josh to shut up. We were just over there "hehe-ing" -- laughing about [drag queens]. I was like, "I think I like this guy!" And then we never saw them again until Spain, wasn't it?

James Davis: Yeah, it was Spain.

Jaymes Vaughan: No, it wasn't even Spain. We didn't even see them until France.

James Davis: It wasn't like we were excluding anybody from our so-called alliance. It was just that we didn't see them.

Jaymes Vaughan: If we had gotten to know them, we would've invited them to have an alliance of four. And as you saw, when we were in the food cart in the train and we were all talking and they came in, they had kind of separated themselves from everybody. And then, they came in to talk to us.

But what you didn't see, is then we talked for a couple of hours and then it was like one big happy family. I think that last leg of the Race, it kind of showed that -- or the last two legs -- that we were just one big happy group. It was never a thing where Josh and Brent were excluded. We just didn't get to know them, and then the minute we did, we were like, "We love you guys! Come hang out with us too!"

Below is the first half of Jaymes and James' interview. Also, to read the first half of Natalie and Nadiya's interview, click here. Begin reading Josh and Brent's interview here. To start on Trey and Lexi's interview with Reality TV World, click here. For the concluding portions of all of these interviews, check back with us later this week. 

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