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Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' "Cousins" team member Jamal Zadran talks (Part 2)


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/13/2013 

The Amazing Race "Cousins" team of Leo Temory and Jamal Zadran finished in fourth place during the first part of Sunday night's two-hour finale, missing out on the opportunity to compete in the final leg as one of the 23rd season's Final 3 teams. 
 
"Dating Couple" Jason Case and Amy Diaz crossed the finish line in Juneau, Alaska, in first place and were crowned champions, winning the $1 million grand prize. "Exes" Timothy Sweeney and Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi finished in second place. "Married ER Doctors" Nicole Jasper and Travis Jasper claimed third place.


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In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Jamal discussed the pair's The Amazing Race adventure. (Leo was unfortunately unable to participate in the call due to work requirements). 

Below is the concluding portion of Jamal's interview. Click here to read the first half.

Reality TV World: When I talked to Allison "Ally" Mello and Ashley Covert earlier this season, they mentioned they thought some of the teams were phony -- they'd be different people in front of the camera and off-camera. And when I spoke to Marie, she thought Nicole and Travis, as well as Jason and Amy, fell into that category of trying to maintain a good image. Do you agree with that or have anything to add?

Jamal Zadran: Oh yeah, I mean, the interviews that Travis and Nicole would say, like, "Oh we need to set an example for our kids," and this and that.

But when it came down to racing, I mean, it was just very hard to see as competitors the way they would act with each other, the way they would scream at each other. Throughout the whole thing, Leo and I were like, "Man, he's pretty abusive" with his words and the way he would treat her.

And then with Amy and Jason, I don't think they really had a personality. Everything sort of seemed fake and they sort of seemed like, you know, the smiles were fake, you could tell someone was just faking it. And the fact that those two teams coincidentally got along pretty well just shows their level of fakeness. A lot of the other teams realized that and sort of distanced themselves.

One of my biggest regrets, and I think for Leo as well, is why didn't we get along -- or get to know -- Tim and Marie better earlier in the Race? Because who knows what that would've done for our dynamics through the rest of the Race, because they were really cool people. We respected their game and the way they raced and we admire them. We saw them as sort of being like us.

When it comes down to racing, don't ask us for help, because we're not probably going to help you unless you're friends with us and unless you want us to lie to you. So I mean, when teams would ask us, "Which flight did you get?" I was like, "Well what do you want me to tell you? So you want to be on the same flight as us?" There are certain parts of me that just are forced to lie.

Reality TV World: When you and Leo learned of the non-elimination leg in which you survived, you did brag a little bit that you were guaranteed to finish in first place in the next leg. So do you think maybe your overconfidence kind of jinxed you guys? And were you a little embarrassed that's not how things ended up playing out?

Jamal Zadran: I don't think overconfidence jinxed us. Leo and I aren't that superstitious, so Leo and I, we always think to [finish] first. Anything less than that will still be somewhat decent. So the fact that we let -- we always had higher standards, you know? Come first, or if you don't come first, at least be Top 3.

Placing that first-place target for us is the most crucial way to get to the Final 3. It was just a way of telling ourselves that we're not going to settle for fourth again because we know we'd be eliminated. So for us, it was wishing for first and hoping for the best, and if anything falls short, hopefully it will fall short to second or third.

Reality TV World: Leo did that robot task which seemed to be your demise, and you originally had the utmost confidence in him to be able to build things quickly and efficiently. Do you have any idea what went wrong in that task for Leo and do you think you still would've finished in last place if you didn't have to complete the extra Speed Bump task?

Jamal Zadran: I mean, the Speed Bump threw us back maybe about a good 12 to 15 minutes, so of course if the Speed Bump wasn't there, it probably would've given Leo that extra 10 minutes of work when Nicole finished in front of us. That would've made a difference. Of course minutes and seconds are counted and they could separate the third-place team and the fourth-place team.

But with Leo and what happened and how he explained it to me was when he was putting the torso on the robot, he was putting the arms -- it got twisted towards the back. He never realized that until the end, because he first originally had it towards the front.

So once he put that in, he started twisting it because those cardboards were pretty thick and they won't just slide in. You had to sort of like smash it and twist it until it gets in perfectly.

So once that happened, he realized that it was already twisted towards the back and at that point, in order to reverse those to the front, you had to take it basically apart. You can't just twist it back because you had to take the arms back out and then you had to take out the legs. Everything was based off that main torso.

Reality TV World: Earlier in the season when Nicole was shown trying to copy Leo's octave instrument, Leo said she was breaking the rules by entering the judges' area. I'm not sure if you know much about this since you weren't the one to do the task, but I guess, could you talk a little bit about that? Do you think that was cheating and breaking the rules?

Jamal Zadran: Oh yeah. I mean, that was clearly cheating. I read the rules and it clearly said that when a team is getting their instrument judged in the judging area, no other teams were allowed to go back there.

And when I saw Leo go and start screaming because he knew he had it right, I saw Nicole get up -- and I had a feeling she was going to do that because desperate times ask for desperate measures -- and I knew she was going to do that.

When she started running back there, I was like, "Leo!" I was screaming, "Destroy your instrument!" What the cameras didn't see was Jason and Travis yelling at me saying, "You're cheating! You're cheating, you're not supposed to help him!" And I was like, "I'm not helping him. I'm helping him so I'm not allowing your wife to cheat." Because that's what cheating was.

So the fact she ran back there like a raptor -- I didn't see what happened inside, but thankfully, I felt like Leo was trying to hide it and stuff. Just the leg before you U-Turned us and now you want our help?! That's pretty desperate. We would never stoop that low to ask somebody that we just U-Turned to now help us -- never.

Reality TV World: How much of a role do you think you guys played in Ally and Ashley getting so close to the end? Some teams thought the girls relied heavily on you guys, but others have said you kind of held the girls back a little bit socially because you weren't one of the most popular teams on the Race. What's your reaction and response to that?

Jamal Zadran: For Ally and Ashley, Leo and I, I mean, the first leg that we met them, we just kicked it off. I mean, we knew we had a lot in common. We're around the same age, we're from LA, and we have some of the same mutual friends and stuff. So for us, it wasn't about us holding them back. We made an agreement, "Let's get them as far as we can and then once we get to the Final 3," gloves are off.

And for some unfortunate circumstances, that ninth leg when we specifically told them, "Do not come with us to do the elephant Detour because it was going to be more physical, much tougher, and go do the bird-singing competition," and they said, "Okay, we're going to go do that." And then when we saw them at the zoo, we were just shocked, like, "What are you guys doing here?! You guys aren't supposed to be here."

And with us, we always helped them, gave them some pointers, gave them some tips, but continued racing. We would never stop and just, you know, try to build something with them. So as we were leaving, we helped them with the stuff and we asked them where their sugarcane was.

And for us, it was disheartening because we thought they might've learned a little bit from us as far as being more aggressive, having a little bit more authority with the taxis, you know, just being creative as far as getting people to listen to you. And then when that happened and they didn't do it, I was just like, "Wow."

Reality TV World: How long do you think it took you guys to complete that human bowling task? And do you think you would've been better off had you done the fish tank one instead?

Jamal Zadran: The human bowling task, it took us five tries. We were probably there for about a good 20 minutes. The reason why Leo and I didn't do the water thing was just because we're not so accustomed to water.

We thought it was going to be more of a swimming -- we thought the challenge was actually going to be a full paragraph that we had to remember in Japanese -- not "welcome to Tokyo" and then "wasabi," whatever the saying was. So when we [saw] that on TV, that that's what it was, it was pretty simple. So that's probably where some other teams gained some ground.

Above is the concluding portion of Jamal's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half. Also, check out our The Amazing Race show page for more interviews with the season's Final 4 teams.



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