Exclusive: Rob French and Kelley Carrington-French talk 'The Amazing Race' (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/05/2012
Rob French and Kelley Carrington-French were eliminated from The Amazing Race during Sunday night's sixth broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 21st season.
The "Married Monster Truckers" became the fifth team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's sixth Pit Stop at the Savarona ship -- which was originally purchased for the founder of the Republic of Turkey -- in Istanbul, Turkey in last place mainly due to an unfortunately long metro ride.
In an exclusive interview on Monday, Rob and Kelley talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience -- including how far behind Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge they believed they were once they got to the Pit Stop, why they were so convinced taking the metro all the way to the ferry terminal was the right decision and whether they would've decided to keep the lost $100 just like Natalie Anderson and Nadiya Anderson chose to.
Below is the first half of Rob and Kelley's interview. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: About how far behind Josh and Brent do you think you finally got to the Pit Stop? The show made it look like you were pretty far behind them so was that really the case?
Kelley Carrington-French: No, I think we were fairly close. No, definitely not a long way behind them.
Reality TV World: It seemed like what ultimately cost you two the Race was how you chose to take the subway for the entire distance to the ferry terminal. All the other teams, except the "Chippendales" Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis, took taxis -- but even the "Chippendales" ended up getting off the subway mid-route to take a taxi. So why were you two so convinced that Jaymes and James made a bad move of getting off the subway at the time?
Kelley Carrington-French: The locals that we spoke with and even the locals that were on that metro with us, they insisted that the traffic in the morning in the city is so bad that the taxis would be jammed up and not able to get through.
So they were really adamant that we were making the right choice. So, we don't live there. We don't even live in a city. We live in a really small town of like 1,400 people, so when they're saying the city's backed up and not to use it, we went with their judgement call.
As we've seen on the show, the city wasn't blocked up that day. It was actually moving quite freely, so it was just one of those deals. We made a decision and we had to live with it.
Reality TV World: So was there ever a point you did consider hopping off like Jaymes and James had, or were you pretty set in your ways of wanting to stay on that subway?
Kelley Carrington-French: We never thought of jumping off like Jaymes and James. When that metro actually ended, you had to get off of it and go a couple city blocks and cross a couple of streets and get onto another one. So when we got off of that first one, we did discuss, "Should we just grab a taxi and go the rest of the way or should we continue on the metro?"
And then we chose to continue on the metro. So, we talked about it. That second metro actually stopped like constantly because it was in the actual city itself, and that was the one that was really slow that probably jammed us up.
Reality TV World: About how long would you say the entire subway ride was for you? And about how long into that ride do you think Jaymes and James stepped off to find a taxi?
Kelley Carrington-French: I really don't know.
Rob French: They got off like the second...
Kelley Carrington-French: I think the first... The very first stop at the very first subway was when they hopped off and they were gone for however far it went. I don't really know. It just all kind of seemed to blend together. But definitely, the city was not blocked up. The taxis were definitely the way to go. I mean, it was just one of those days where city traffic was going smoothly.
Reality TV World: Right after that subway incident, you guys fell into last place and it seemed like you could never recover from that. But was there ever a point in the remainder of the leg when you thought you had caught up to another team? Was there a moment when you thought, "We definitely still have a chance to survive this leg?"
Kelley Carrington-French: We had seen Josh and Brent at the bread-delivery place, so we knew they had a Speed Bump along the way. So we had assumed they had already gotten their Speed Bump, so we knew we were in trouble.
They had a Speed Bump and yet they were still at the same place we were. They were a bit ahead of us delivering their bread. They were already done delivering it while we were still trying to find the locations.
So we felt like we were in the hunt depending on what went on from there on out. But there really wasn't a lot of taxi drivers or transportation like that to get from that leg to the next spot. You had to just go on foot and Rob was hurt, so it was a little -- we were like, "Yeah, we've fallen behind, I think."
Reality TV World: Going back to the Detour task in which you guys delivered bread, the other "Scrub it" task definitely seemed easier and faster. Would you agree with that?
Kelley Carrington-French: It did, but the problem was, we didn't have a lot of money and the "Scrub it" one, you had to pay for your own supplies. And we didn't know how much that was going to cost, and then we didn't know if we were going to have to take more taxis or trams or anything.
We really didn't have a lot of money left, so our main reason for picking the bread one was the money issue. We thought, "Well, we'll just do the physical labor and go on," because if you don't have any money for taxis, we can't go anywhere. So we opted to save our money for the taxi rides.
Reality TV World: If you did have all the money you needed and you ended up doing the "Scrub it" task instead, do you think you would've had a chance to survive in the Race another leg?
Kelley Carrington-French: I don't know, because I don't know how long that took. I don't think Rob would've liked it though because he doesn't like a real hard massage, so he probably would've ended up screaming at the guy or something. So, it probably wouldn't have been the best choice for us.
Reality TV World: Do you guys have any idea how long it took you to complete the "Simit" Detour task?
Kelley Carrington-French: Maybe an hour.
Reality TV World: Kelley, you seemed to breeze through that Roadblock task in which you sold refreshments. Did you get through it as fast as the show made it look?
Kelley Carrington-French: Oh absolutely. I did. I'm not really that much of an outgoing person, so I was like, "Oh my God, do I really have to do this?" But I just took on the task and I kind of went further down to the marketplace as to not repeat customers, because they were all kind of mingling in the same area.
They were already halfway or beyond selling their drinks, the last two teams that were there, and I went further down. I found fresh people to buy my drinks and I definitely breezed through it.
Reality TV World: You two obviously approached The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan at the Pit Stop mat expecting to be in last place. Since Josh and Brent just had a non-elimination leg in the previous leg, did you have any hope of a back-to-back non-elimination or did you kind of think your chances were slim of that happening again so soon?
Kelley Carrington-French: No, we thought for sure, "This is the end of the road for us."
Reality TV World: A lot of viewers have been talking about how easy Josh and Brent's Speed Bump task was because all they had to do was eat ice cream -- which looked so horrible. (Laughs)
Kelley Carrington-French: (Laughs)
Reality TV World: So when you watched last night's episode, what were your own thoughts on that? Did it frustrate you a little they weren't given anything a bit more challenging or time consuming?
Kelley Carrington-French: Yeah, it was odd that that's all they had to do. It was a hot day. It was like everybody's dream to eat some ice cream. Yeah, this wasn't really a task -- I'd take it on, literally. So yeah, I was surprised that this was all they had to do, but that's what they chose! That's how it worked out.
Reality TV World: Last night's episode showed Natalie and Nadiya finding James LoMenzo and Mark "Abba" Abbattista's $100 and then stealing it to gain an advantage in the leg. What was your reaction when they did that, and also, how did you react once you saw Trey Wier and Alexis "Lexi" Beerman actually went along with it and kept half the money for themselves?
Kelley Carrington-French: Yeah, we were shocked. I thought that was crazy! I couldn't believe that actually happened. I think the twins, you know, they made it known that they would do whatever it took -- They were hardcore and they were going to play it tough.
But, so you know, I was shocked that they did it. But the fact that they did it, I was like, "Yeah, I would believe that they would do that." But Trey and Lexi, I was totally shocked that they went right along with it and they shared the profit of it. I just couldn't believe it.
Reality TV World: So just to clarify, you were clearly shocked when you found out the two teams had taken that money from James and Abba, but if you were in the twins' shoes, would you have done the same thing or would you have definitely returned the money to the guys?
Kelley Carrington-French: Oh absolutely I would have returned the money to James and Abba! I would've never taken their money. That's crazy.
Above is the first half of Rob and Kelley's interview. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion.