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HOME > The Amazing Race > The Amazing Race 22

Exclusive: Jessica Hoel and John Erck talk 'The Amazing Race' (Part 2)


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/15/2013 

Jessica Hoel and John Erck were eliminated from The Amazing Race during Sunday night's fourth broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 22nd season.

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The "Dating Couple" became the third team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's third Pit Stop near Uluwatu Surf Beach in last place upon completion of a super-leg in which they had checked in with The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan halfway through but did not experience a rest period of any kind.

In a The Amazing Race first, Jessica and John were ousted with an Express Pass in their possession.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Tuesday, Jessica and John talked about their The Amazing Race experience. Below is the concluding portion of the couple's interview. Click here to read the first half. 

Reality TV World: Going back to the Detour in which you started with the "Fruity Top" task, could you elaborate on why you opted out of using your Express Pass at that point in the leg?

Jessica Hoel: Yeah, so basically the Detour task, as you saw, was pretty tedious and even more difficult than it probably looks on TV. But we had built the fruit basket and had it checked multiple, multiple times. And they kept saying, "No, no, no, no. It's not right."

And in that case, you're not told what's wrong, so even if you had to change anything, you have no idea what you're supposed to be changing. We actually thought we would have vindication on what wasn't correct. We were watching it on TV and would say, "Oh, there's a piece of fruit missing there!" or something.

But without that information, we keep having to build, build, build. And ours was actually unusable after awhile because after we put so many sticks in it, it was bent over. And we saw [Joey Graceffa and Meghan Camarena], we confirmed they were there for about an hour-and-a-half, and [Chuck McCall and Wynona McCall] and the hockey players [Bates Battaglia and Anthony Battaglia] kind of had just arrived.

And theirs were looking kind of similar to ours, so we had to make the assumption that knowing what they needed to do to finish it -- because Meghan and Joey's was so perfect, and the other teams, theirs weren't looking as great. And so we thought that they would have to re-do theirs as well, and then we also had no idea where the derby girls [Mona Egender and Beth Bandimere] were.

We weren't sure what [David O'Leary and Connor O'Leary] status was, because they had indicated, "We're not doing so hot. We might have to go home." So there were so many things that were unknown at that point, and we thought, "Hey, this is just the Detour. There's going to be a Roadblock. There's going to be another chance for us to use it at the Roadblock. Why don't we make it through this and get to the Roadblock."

I mean, of course with hindsight being 20/20, you watch the whole episode and you say, "Why didn't they use it?!" But in the moment, there's so many assumptions that you have to make in order to move forward, and we just thought that it wasn't the right time. It totally could've worked in our favor that the derby girls or Dave and Connor were behind us, and we could've used the Express Pass and had been kicking ourselves.

The audience could've been like, "Oh, they wasted it because there were people behind them!" But you never really know until you watch it, and if we could all see the future, we would all be millionaires. Because then we'd know exactly what to do.

Reality TV World: So when you guys got to the "Sandy Bottom" Detour task after you decided to switch, why did you decide to go through with that task? Did you think it would be quick and easy? I recall John saying something along those lines, that you wished you had done that first because it looked simple.

Jessica Hoel: Oh yeah! First of all, I had been really, really sick the night before. I had food poisoning and I almost wasn't able to get on the plane. It was a very bad stomach flu or food poisoning type of thing. So I was not feeling well, and I could tell watching the show that. So you kind of just jump into it as soon as you get off the plane, because you still want to race.

But that's kind of why we chose the "Fruity Top" one, because when you read the clue, it said, "Dredging volcanic rocks at the top of the mountain to get to the brickmaker." That sounds really difficult. But once we got there, yeah, it was hard to carry them, but it was so fast. It was like a 10-minute task.

I mean, who would've picked that first?  Of course, again with the hindsight being 20/20 type of thing, we would've been fine if we had done that one first. And when we got there, we didn't see the derby girls and we had no indication that they had been there already. So we were like, "Maybe they haven't even been here," because we didn't see them at any of the tasks or whatever.

So we did it and it only took us like 10 minutes to do. And so we thought, "Given how long we thought it would take the other teams, we thought we were in good standings." But of course, we don't have our map or iPhones or anything. We couldn't really judge how far north or south we were of the actual next Roadblock. So I think that transportation just probably took too much time when it was all said and done.

Reality TV World: So if you think the sand task only took about 10 minutes, how long would you say you spent at the fruit one -- even though you didn't complete it?

Jessica Hoel: Well over an hour. It was a long time. I think the other teams were there, if I had to guess, Chuck and Wynona were there for 20 minutes and the hockey players were there for probably 10 or 15 minutes by the time we left. So that's how we're like, "Oh, they've only been here for a short time. They still have a long time to go."

But what happened probably is we drove in the other direction, because you don't know how far apart the other Detour is. I mean, looking back, we probably just spent too much time in the taxi.

Reality TV World: On your way to the fruit Detour task, you guys apparently walked into someone's backyard and thought that was the location of the task. (Laughs) Could you tell me a little bit about what happened there? How long did you spend there and what made you eventually realize you were in the wrong place?

Jessica Hoel: Yeah, (laughs) if you think about it, all you have is an address and you don't have a map. You just trust your taxi driver with your life basically. And he brought us there and he was confident, and it had the right number on it. It was the right street I guess, but when he brought us there, he was like, "This is it!"

And we walk up to the house. It had a red and yellow pole at the top of it. And so we said, "Oh this must be it because it's Race colors!" And then the fact that the guy let us in so willingly and kind of went along -- like he actually had little stations set up all over his house. There were these offerings.

And there were offerings all over so it's like, if it's the right address and there's a guy letting you into his house and he's putting a sarong on you and there's little offerings all over, then you don't question it because you don't know anything different. So the audience sees the other people at the other place, but if you're brought to this house, it's kind of like you don't think anything of it until we went through the whole process.

We even got the offering blessed by a lady next door and we realized that they didn't have clue for us. So that was kind of hilarious. He was such a sweet guy, I mean, who would ever just let somebody into their house like that and just be so open? And he was so happy to have us there. I felt like he gave us the sarongs and he was just a good guy.

Reality TV World: Jessica, after seeing the surfboard John had to pick amongst the pack, how do you think you would've done at the task? Do you think you would've picked up on the photo of the Tahitian priest right away or no?

Jessica Hoel: I don't know. We could've done it side by side to see, but it looked like the other teams were struggling too. I know [Pamela Chien and Winnie Sung] got it right away, but for the most part, I think everybody was struggling. And that would've been really hard. I remember the Tahitian priest, but we did so much.

Looking back since the first leg, it's like, "What are you really looking for?" [Caroline Cutbirth], I know, was looking at different words and kind of interpreting the clue different than some other people. So I might've been the girl to pick up on the words instead of the picture. So I think it was a tough challenge for sure. I can't say that I would've done any better.

Reality TV World: You guys made an alliance with Dave and Connor, Chuck and Wynona, Idries Abdur-Rahman and Jamil Abdur-Rahman, and Pam and Winnie at the beginning of the season. How long did you see yourselves staying true to that? Did you see it lasting?

Jessica Hoel: So, first of all, yeah. That alliance, we kind of walked into it. We never had decided that we were going to be a part of any alliance. But I know that it looked like kind of we weren't going to stay true to the alliance, but the alliance was only supposed to last as long as the Express Pass was given away.

It wasn't like it was going to be a long-term alliance throughout the whole Race -- kind of just for that Express Pass portion of it. And of course, hands down 100% percent we were going to stay true to our word and give it to Dave and Connor. I can promise you we would've given it to Dave and Connor, and they knew that.

We were close with Dave and Connor. We were good friends with Dave and Connor. I know that it might've been portrayed differently, but that was really important to us -- staying true to our word and giving them that. So it's unfortunate if people interpreted that differently, but we definitely stayed true to our word. And then after we gave it away, the alliance wasn't going to exist anymore. 

Reality TV World: What's the status of your relationship now? Are you guys still dating?

Jessica Hoel: Yeah, we're still dating. We're still having a lot of fun. We're living in Huntington Beach and yeah, it hasn't changed. It's been really fun watching and watching it unfold. I think it was actually different, I mean, in the Race we're so happy about keeping our word.

Definitely you watch it and the parts they choose to show are maybe different than how we pictured the whole story in our head, but yeah, we're still together. It was definitely really fun and a great experience.

Reality TV World: Do you guys see an engagement happening in your near future?

John Erck: I don't know, maybe! (Laughs)

Reality TV World: How were you cast on The Amazing Race? How did you end up on the show?

Jessica Hoel: Our friend was really pushing up to go on the Race and we actually had a really close friend who really, really, really wanted to do it herself. But she thought she wasn't ready to get on. So she helped us put our video together and we had a really last-minute finish. It was kind of funny.

The video, I think, was due at 6AM and we submitted it at 3AM. So it was a really last-minute thing. I think we maybe just filled the "Dating Couple" roll they were looking for and our video, I guess, showed our personality or something. I'm not really sure why we got picked, but we were really fortunate that we were picked for the Race.

Above is the concluding portion of the Jessica and John's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half. 



(Photo credit CBS)


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