Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' runner-up team Sheri LaBrant and Cole LaBrant talk (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/18/2016
The Amazing Race's "Mother and Son" team Sheri LaBrant and Cole LaBrant finished the final leg of Season 28 in second place during Friday night's finale on CBS.
Sheri and Cole lost the $1 million to winners Dana Borriello and Matt Steffanina, however, they defeated third-place finishers Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl, who had been known as the ones to beat.
Sheri and Cole overcame the odds by making it as far as they did in the race around the world -- including two last-place finishes, a clear physical disadvantage and Cole's fear of heights.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Sheri and Cole talked about their The Amazing Race experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Cole, you are deathly afraid of heights but still managed to do things like cliff jumping and scaling the rock in the final leg on the Race. How did you manage to complete those tasks? How did you get over your fear in those moments?
Cole LaBrant: The cliff-jumping one, I knew that we had a lead, really from that point on, on two teams. And I think it was down to the Final 5 teams. It was kind of one of those things that you just got to do it, and I love water, so luckily it was kind of a win and lose on that one. I was jumping into water -- I wasn't just jumping out of an airplane into the air.
So, it was scary, but I needed to do it. And then on the finale, well in every leg, I just cleared my brain as far as freaking out about whether there could be a potential height challenge in that leg. I just went with the flow of it. But going into the finale, I knew there would be height challenges because it's the finale and there always is.
So, I kind of prepared myself on the flight over there knowing there would be something, most likely, that would be a Detour we both had to do. And so I was sort of expecting it and was just ready for it. You got to do what you got to do!
Reality TV World: Sheri, you accomplished so much this season from outracing a camel on a bicycle to jumping off a skyscraper. Did you ever anticipate before going on the Race you'd be able to do all of that? Did you surprise yourself?
Sheri LaBrant: I think what surprised me is that I cried so much! (Laughs) I really went into it thinking, like, "Okay, I'm going to do all of this cool, crazy stuff." And then I saw all of our competition, and I was like, "Oh wow, they look really, really tough and crazy smart."
So then I kind of doubted myself that way, but I didn't think, like, when racing the camels, that we couldn't beat the camels. And then jumping off the building was definitely the scariest thing I've probably ever done in my whole life.
And so, I mean, I'm not surprised that I did it; I'm surprised that I cried so much. (Laughs) I guess total fear just gripped me. But it was kind of like Cole said, "You have to do it." I mean, what else am I going to do? I'm not going to stand up there forever. You got to do it!
Reality TV World: What would you say was the highlight of the whole The Amazing Race experience for the both of you?
Cole LaBrant: Hmm, one highlight of the entire thing?! Oh, I would say probably the most memorable moment, probably for us both, was the China leg whenever we just had fun with it. We were in the Top 4 before the finale, so it was really the best of the best.
We're obviously the team expected to get out, but we ended up surviving the leg and although we were behind, we stayed confident. We chose the fun Detour as usual, and when we rounded the corner and saw that we got third place going into the finale, I think that was probably the most memorable single moment on the Race for me.
Reality TV World: Would you guys be interested in competing in an all-stars edition? And if so, how might you better prepare for that next time? Is there something you learned from the experience that you wouldn't repeat or maybe something you'd absolutely do?
Cole LaBrant: We would absolutely do an all-stars season. We already talked about it. I think for both of us, we'd pack less. I would carry the heavier bag and I don't know if there's really any other stuff we would do. My mom is more of the strategic one. I just kind of do the bulk work, so she might look into it more. But other than that, pack less! Prepare for starvation and sleep deprivation. (Laughs)
Sheri LaBrant: (Laughs) Yeah, I would probably, like he said, pack less. We've already talked about how if they ask us back, we'd definitely do it. We would pack so much less, like everything would be in his backpack. And then mine would probably be a little kid backpack with just medicine or something, you know?! (Laughs)
And then I would run! I would probably run with a backpack on. It's just amazing how much running you do, and so, they don't really show that in the Race. I feel like maybe if I was a little bit faster, we could have probably placed higher in the legs.
But, you know, when you're running a couple of miles with a backpack -- or he's having to carry my backpack -- I'm racing against men who are in their 20s and 30s, you know? It'll be tough to beat them, but if I could maybe cut off some time, I think that would really help.
Reality TV World: Did you feel you had allies this season? It seemed most of the teams were friends with one another, but did you feel there was a particular team you helped or who helped you?
Cole LaBrant: Mmm, not really. I mean, I know some of the other teams kind of aligned early on, but for the most part, we were just friends with everyone. I feel like they were pretty friendly with us.
And if I had to choose one specific team, I'd probably say [Scott Fowler and Blair Fowler] just because they're very similar to us as far as we're "Mother and Son" and they are "Father and Daughter." So, I know they were in it just for fun and good reasons. So I think we were both equally willing to help each other anywhere through it. But all in all, they weren't like big allies.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on The Amazing Race? Did you actually apply or, Cole, did producers reach out to you? And then how did Sheri come into the picture?
Cole LaBrant: They reached out to my brother and I, back in last July, and told us they were doing a special social media season. And they asked if we'd be interested in auditioning as a brother combo. So, we did that, but then they realized they didn't want to send a 19 and 17-year-old around the world on their behalf.
So then I auditioned with my older brother, my dad and my mom. And they just liked them mother/son dynamic and went with that! And then we had to go through the in-person auditions and all that kind of stuff, where they have a lot of teams, but yeah, I guess they liked us enough to put us on!
Sheri LaBrant: I sensed that they must've picked up on how I would cry a lot and they were like, "This will make great TV!"