Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' eliminees Burnie Burns and Ashley Jenkins talk (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/11/2016
The Amazing Race eliminated Burnie Burns and Ashley Jenkins, determining Season 28's Final 3 teams during Friday night's broadcast of the CBS reality competition.
Burnie and Ashley, who recently became engaged although they were dubbed a "Dating Couple" on the show, were the eighth team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's eleventh Pit Stop at Shenzhen Library Terrace in Shenzhen, China, in last place.
Burnie and Ashley were a tough team to beat all season long, as they finished in second place numerous times. The couple therefore became a target in China because no one wanted to go up against them in the final leg.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Tuesday, Burnie and Ashley talked about their The Amazing Race experience. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: The show made it look like you were running around looking for The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan while Sheri LaBrant and Cole LaBrant were doing the same. How long after them did you finally arrive at the Pit Stop? What was the time gap between you and them?
Burnie Burns: We think it was about five minutes. At least one of the co-creators of the show, she would have the best perspective, and she said it was about five minutes. But we looked for the Pit Stop much longer than Sheri and Cole did, from what we understand.
Ashley Jenkins: Yeah, from what we understand, we were looking for it for 30-40 minutes, and their taxi pulled up to it, they got out and heard the music.
Burnie Burns: Right. Because the Pit Stop was not at the painting. It was probably about two blocks away from there. I think it was meant to be. It was a really well-designed leg, because it was a whole day of asking for directions, you know?
We had to ask for directions to the park and we had to ask for directions to the painting, and then the Pit Stop was designed where you had to hunt for that thing. But I do think the moment we got eliminated was when we got out of the cab.
That was the last decision that we made, and we couldn't recover from that. Potentially, you know, you go through, "What ifs?" Potentially, that cab could've done what Sheri and Cole's cab did, which was like, just drop us off right at the library.
Ashley Jenkins: Yeah. But we were stuck in traffic and we were so worried. The driver told us that it was only a couple of blocks away, and he pointed us in the direction, and we took off.
Burnie Burns: Yeah, we were not in a "hey, let's sit still," kind of mindset.
Reality TV World: Burnie, you said on your way up the stairs to the Pit Stop there was a chance you were in first place. So I'm guessing you didn't mean that and you were just trying to be optimistic or something?
Burnie Burns: That was 100% a joke.
Reality TV World: Oh okay. (Laughs)
Burnie Burns: We were looking for the Pit Stop for so long. There's actually a behind-the-scenes video on the YouTube channel where they talk to us right after we got off the mat.
We looked for the Pit Stop for so long, I was worried Phil was going to come find us, when you have that moment of not even making it to the mat and Phil has to come find you to tell you that you're eliminated. Because we could not find this thing! It was 40 minutes of running around in the rain just trying to find the location.
Ashley Jenkins: And we asked dozens and dozens of people all within that Civic Center area, and no one could tell us where the library was.
Burnie Burns: Yeah, that was 100% a joke of me saying that we were in first.
Ashley Jenkins: We knew that was SO long gone. (Laughs)
Burnie Burns: Oh yeah!
Reality TV World: I've heard most of the teams were good friends with each other this season. So if that applies to you guys as well, watching Friday night's episode back, was it a little disheartening to see how excited Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl, as well as Dana Borriello and Matt Steffanina, were when they saw Sheri and Cole approaching the Pit Stop mat in third place ahead of you two?
Ashley Jenkins: We have to take it as a little bit of a compliment that they were so happy they didn't have to race against us because they were threatened by us.
Burnie Burns: Yeah, you want teams in the finals that you think you can beat. And listen, I mean, it's really weird for us, but I am happy for Sheri and Cole.
Ashley Jenkins: We're all happy for Sheri and Cole.
Burnie Burns: That's probably one of my favorite moments in the Race, which is so weird because it's also such a low point for me personally in the Race. But yeah, there's no hard feelings, especially from a competition standpoint.
I'm the type of competitor where it's like, when you're on the field, it's a competition, but then when you step off, you can immediately shake hands with everybody. As we say in video games, you say, "Good game. Good game, everybody."
Reality TV World: I was going to ask you, Burnie, if you were frustrated how Tyler had lied to you a couple of times. But it sounds like you understand he and Korey just needed to do that to get ahead?
Burnie Burns: Yeah. The only thing I would say that I probably don't like about that is the fact I used the word "lying," because that has such a negative connotation to it. I mean, that's like misdirection, you know, that's going to take place during the Race.
And actually, you know, the fact that you can see through it makes it better. You realize the game is on; The game is afoot. So, yeah, that kind of stuff didn't bother me that much. I like to play it back and fire back, like when I said, "Are you guys still looking for your clue?" That was at the airport.
Ashley Jenkins: Even throughout that leg, Burnie was having a great time playing against Tyler and Korey and their cheeky racing.
Burnie Burns: Yeah. I was actually kind of surprised seeing it back, like, it did seem a little bit more like we were at odds. Neither of us remembered since that actual leg took place.
The one thing I can say for sure -- I can't speak for the other teams -- but this was 11 legs in. We were absolutely -- I was absolutely fatigued by this point in time. The way it builds up over time, it's just like, I don't think there's any way to possibly prepare for that.
Ashley Jenkins: There's absolutely no way.
Burnie Burns: I can't wait to see what the teams are going to be like running in the finale. I mean, there's going to be that adrenaline racing for a million dollars, but at the same time, it just weighs on you.
Reality TV World: You just mentioned how you're really happy for Sheri and Cole that they made the Final 3. So it sounds like you think they are deserving although they luckily survived two non-elimination legs? I didn't know if that would be a tough pill for you guys to swallow considering you had so many second-place finishes and they had so many last-place ones. (Laughs)
Burnie Burns: There's actually a weird record with that. We have a weird record, and they have a weird record.
Ashley Jenkins: Apparently, we are the highest ranked team to go through the Race without a single win.
Burnie Burns: Based on finish time -- average finish rank.
Ashley Jenkins: Yeah, and [Sheri and Cole] are the -- I think they have the lowest finish average of any team to make the Final 3. So, they are absolutely a dark horse. They did have the two non-eliminations, and it's always scary when you see a non-elimination go by, because you know there's one fewer ahead just in case you have a bad day. But on this leg, I don't think anyone can argue that they didn't earn it.
Burnie Burns: Right.
Ashley Jenkins: They raced that entire leg on their own two feet with no real help from anybody, and they came out ontop!
Burnie Burns: Non-elimination legs are part of the Race, and they did get two of them -- which gave them three lives in the Race -- but at the same time, we took part in using a U-Turn, and so did Tyler and Korey. [Kurt Gibson and Brodie Smith] had the Express Pass.
Those are all parts of the Race. They are events that take place and, as you get to them first, you can take advantage of them. Dana and Matt are the only people in the finals, really the only people in the Top 5, that never used anything at all to their advantage. They just had a straight race through.
Reality TV World: How much time did you spend at the unicycle Detour task, and do you regret not trying to stick it out for a little longer? Or do you think you made the right choice in switching to the art gallery task?
Burnie Burns: Man, I'll let Ashley answer this, but I don't really regret sticking it out longer. I regret trying it in the first place, because that was my idea. We actually selected the paintings first, and then on the train ride, I realized what the unicycles were -- because, this is going to be a horrible thing to say -- but when we were preparing for the Race, we did lots of things.
I had in my Amazon shopping cart one of those unicycles. I don't know what made me put it in there. It was, like, a $600 unicycle. So, for like two months, I didn't buy it. When I got back from the Race, it was still in my shopping cart. To think about that is just crazy to me.
It's like, I don't know why that made me think we should give it a shot, but I just felt like, "I know what this thing it. It's like a Segway, and we can do this. It's not like a sit-down unicycle." And I just wish that I hadn't convinced Ashley to do that.
Ashley Jenkins: Well, if I thought that was the one event that put us out of the Race, I would regret it more. But as we were discussing the different tasks, we knew that doing the paintings would involve shutting ourselves into an art gallery for a while. And we thought, "We've taken a lot of safe choices."
We did the safe choice in Chamonix. We did the safe, reliable choice, and that Detour almost put us out of the Race. We thought, "We've come all the way to China. This is a bucket-list country for us. We've always wanted to come. We didn't come to lock ourselves in an art gallery. Let's try something fun."
Burnie Burns: Yeah! Give it a shot and do something fun and exciting.
Ashley Jenkins: And we felt like we had the flexibility to do that because we did have the lead over Sheri and Cole.
Burnie Burns: Also, we made a switch in Dubai that worked out well for us, using the same theory. And those Detours were probably 25 kilometers apart. Here, the Detours were a block away from each other. So, it was like, they were in the same art district, so we felt like we could easily try it and then move to the next one. But the wardrobe change, I think, changed that into a risk a little bit.
Ashley Jenkins: It did a little bit.
Burnie Burns: It made the task more of a risk.
Ashley Jenkins: But we did still try it for a little while. We switched and we did complete our other Detour, still, in third place.
Burnie Burns: Yes.
Ashley Jenkins: So, I think while that was a contributing factor, I don't think that single decision is what put us out of this Race.
Burnie Burns: There were a lot of things that led to us being eliminated. I think choosing the unicycle is probably the thing we had the most control over. So, in that sense, yeah, I would think so.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Burnie and Ashley's exclusive The Amazing Race interview.