Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' eliminee Te Jay McGrath talks (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/28/2014
The Amazing Race eliminated Tim Tsao and Te Jay McGrath during Friday night's eighth broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 25th season.
The "College Sweethearts" team became the sixth team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's eighth Pit Stop at Fort Manoel in Malta in last place.
Tim and Te Jay got stuck at the "Flag" Detour task for a long time and decided to finally switch to the "Polish" task when it was too late.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Te Jay talked about his team's The Amazing Race experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Finding the clue box before the start of the Detour was confusing for viewers. It looked like teams went to a specific task without receiving the initial set of clues featuring the explanation of both Detour tasks. I realize the task had to be selected blindly, but could you quickly explain that confusion?
Te Jay McGrath: Yeah, okay, so I remember [Kym Perfetto and Alli Forsythe] and the dentists [Misti Raman and Jim Raman] and Tim and myself were pretty close. We were trying to find the Church of Scholastica and this alley. It was just so confusing. It was like a little maze. There were so many alleys in that little city.
So Kym and Alli, I guess, found it and then went straight down to "Flag," which was really close to the clue box. And then when the dentists and I parked, we were running around looking for this dang clue box, and Misti looks over the balcony and actually sees Kym and Ally doing the flag challenge. And she was like, "Oh, it must be down there!"
"And we were like, 'Okay!'" So we run down there, thinking the clue is down there. But when we got there, there's no clue yet. So we just kind of started following what Kym and Alli were doing. And then it wasn't until Tim and I realized, "Hey, where's our Speed Bump? That should've come right where the decision-making point is."
And we didn't tell the dentists because they were jumping off the pole, so we were like, "I think we should go back and try to find the clue box." So we just left. We dropped everything and didn't even grab our shoes. We kept our helmets on and just ran looking for the clue box. And I think the dentists decided to do the same thing after not wanting to do the jumping thing anymore.
Reality TV World: Since there was no description of either Detour task, what made you guys want to choose "Flag" over "Shine?"
Te Jay McGrath: So when we saw Kym and Alli first and skipped the clue box, we got down there and we watched a demonstration and it looked kind of fun. It didn't look that bad. But then when we walked back to the clue box, we saw that it was a blind one, so you still had to choose based on just "Flag" or "Shine."
And we were like, "Well, we might as well just stick to flags because we have all the equipment on already and we know how it works. So, let's just go do that." We didn't even bother thinking about what "Polish" or "Shine" was at the moment.
Reality TV World: So I'm sure you regret not picking "Shine" right off the bat?
Te Jay McGrath: Yeah!
Reality TV World: Is there a team you'd really like to see win the season? Is there a team you believe would be especially deserving of the money at this point?
Te Jay McGrath: We would love definitely to see -- because we were close in the Race with them -- [Amy DeJong and Maya Warren]. Them, because they're students and they're young like us and we still have our whole lives ahead of us.
So the money would be very well worth winning. And if not them, I would say the dentists because they kicked ass all season and they helped us along the Race as well. So, either of those two [teams] I would like to see win.
Reality TV World: What do you think of the surfers [Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks] and their chances? Most of the Racers seem extremely impressed by Bethany and how that team is running the Race so far.
Te Jay McGrath: Yeah, I mean, we're all equals in the Race, you know? So, they're great!
Reality TV World: In your final words, you said you were hoping your mom would see your dynamic on the show and come to accept you for who you really are -- as boyfriends, not just roommates. Could you elaborate on that a little bit? How did your mom feel about your relationship prior to the show and has it changed at all since?
Te Jay McGrath: Yeah. Well before the show, my mom was -- she's a strict Catholic, or is it Christian? See, I can't even tell the difference. She's a Christian Korean woman, so she has her strong views and she would always just [refer] to Tim as -- she would never say the word "boyfriend." She would just say my "friend" or "roommate."
And I told her about going on the show, and I was like, "It's going to be on TV, mom! And we're going on TV as boyfriends." And in the middle of the season, she called me and she said, "I don't care what happens on TV. It's obvious that you two love each other, so you have my support."
And then after the last episode, she said she watched all of them and loved the show and she loves us. I'm sure it's going to take a little time, but I think it's great. It's working out.
Reality TV World: Was showing that side of your relationship, especially to your mom, a major reason why you two decided to go on the show to begin with, or had you just been big fans of the Race or something?
Te Jay McGrath: Actually, that was probably -- (laughs) I didn't even think about that until after we applied. But we applied because we were true fans. The minute [Tim] turned 21, we auditioned for Season 22, I think. We didn't get it.
And then, we auditioned again this past season and we got it. And then when we finally got the word that we were going to be in it, we were like, "Oh, well I guess we should kind of tell my mom, huh?" (Laughs) So, that happened after.
Reality TV World: Being big fans of the show, how did your experience on The Amazing Race end up comparing to or contrasting from your initial expectations going into it?
Te Jay McGrath: I think that's what I meant by my last comment in the episode. It's like, you have this perception of the Race and how it's going to be based on just episodes you watch -- 45 minute episodes you watch growing up. It's like, when you're in it and you're consumed into this world of like 24/7, nonstop racing, mind-wrenching, difficult, challenging stuff, it's like, you're just surprised.
Even if you're like [Lisa Thomson and Michelle Thomson], who got eliminated first [this season], they still went through so much stuff. And we all understand. But we made it through eight legs! And it's just like, "Wow! We did all that stuff." It's pretty amazing. We'll have great stories to tell our friends and family in the future. It will be great.
Click here to read the first half of Te Jay McGrath's exclusive interview with Reality TV World.