Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race's Tanner Kloven and Josh Ahern talk (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/23/2015
The Amazing Race's "Best Friends and Texans" Tanner Kloven and Josh Ahern were eliminated during Friday night's broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 27th season.
Tanner and Josh became the sixth team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's ninth Pit Stop on the grounds of Moonlight Garden in Agra, India near the Taj Mahal in last place.
Tanner and Josh got slowed down drastically by a time-consuming Speed Bump as well as a U-Turn that unfortunately forced them to complete both sides of the Detour task.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Tanner and Josh talked about their experience on the show. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: How long after Denise Williams and James Corley did you two finally arrive at the Pit Stop? Any idea on the time gap between you and them?
Josh Ahern: I'm assuming probably about 30 minutes or so. I mean, the show edited it to make it look like it was super, super close, (laughs) but after we had to do that double Roadblock, go to the first Detour, then go to the second Detour, and then our tuk-tuk driver got lost a couple of times, there was no way (laughs) that we were anywhere near close to them.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like you were certain stepping on the Pit Stop mat that you were in last place.
Josh Ahern: Oh yeah! I mean, there was no doubt.
Reality TV World: It's clear getting U-Turned did you guys in, but that Speed Bump seemed to definitely be a contributing factor. How long did it take you, Josh, to complete after Tanner? And considering Speed Bumps typically take 15 minutes, did you feel you were dealt an unfair hand?
Josh Ahern: Yeah, it probably took us about the same amount of time. I mean, probably what, 45 minutes? I wouldn't say an hour, so 45 minutes is probably what it took both us probably. And yeah, I can't lie. I was really shocked.
We thought going into the Speed Bump we might have to eat an ice cream cone or do some pushups or something that was just out-of-the-way annoying or would slow us down. So, we felt it was a double Roadblock. We definitely felt like the odds were stacked against us.
Reality TV World: Just to clarify, did it take you 45 minutes combined to complete the Roadblock or separately, so 90 minutes total?
Josh Ahern: That was one at a time.
Reality TV World: Oh wow.
Josh Ahern: Yeah.
Reality TV World: We saw your immediate reaction when you discovered Kelsey Gerckens and Joey Buttitta, who were previously your allies, had U-Turned you. What was going through your minds when that happened? How did you feel once you had some time to digest it?
Tanner Kloven: I think we were shocked and the main reason is because we knew that our only chance after that double Roadblock was if someone else was U-Turned. And so seeing that, it was kind of like that last straw. It was like, "There's no coming back from that."
So I think all of our excitement and drive kind of went out the window at that point, and that's when we just got back in the tuk-tuk and went off back to the "Cans." Our heads were dropped and there was nothing we could do at that point. We just wanted to walk around; We weren't really in a rush from that point on. We knew nobody else was behind us because we did actually see them at the Detour.
Reality TV World: Do you ultimately think that was a good or bad decision for Kelsey and Joey to make in terms of their own Race. They were in second place when they U-Turned you guys and it made Tiffany Chantell and Krista Debono mad, who are still in it.
Tanner Kloven: I think it was a very smart move honestly. As mad as it made me, I can't hate them for it. I truly can't because they know that through the rest of the Race, they had two competitors who really, truly competed with them.
And not to downplay anybody else -- because anybody else could win and could've won at any time -- but for us to have won two legs and for us to have our physical ability, and at any point to be able to push past them, I think they knew we were a huge threat to them. And so, to get rid of us, I think that was key for them. I honestly think it was a good play and I can't blame them.
Reality TV World: Did it surprise you that Justin Scheman and Diana Bishop made it to the U-Turn board first and chose not to U-Turn anyone? I know they were in first place, but...
Josh Ahern: Honestly, yeah. I was surprised because, you know, we were obviously even surprised on the first U-Turn when they didn't U-Turn us. They got to the board maybe a couple minutes before us, but we did kind of have a gentlemen's agreement, you know, that we both wouldn't U-Turn each other.
But look how valuable an agreement goes. Joey even had told Tanner, "No, we're not planning on U-Turning you." And then five minutes later, he's on-camera saying, "Hey, I know that I said I wouldn't, but I definitely would." (Laughs)
So I think whenever someone like Justin knows the game so well, and he knows this is definitely the time to use it, I'm surprised that they didn't. It worked out for them, but I'm surprised though.
Reality TV World: Do you think that's indicative of them being really nice people or just a strategic move for their own benefit, that they figured it was smart to not make enemies?
Josh Ahern: I think it was so late in the game to where I don't think they were as concerned about being nice. Justin's a great guy, but he also doesn't care that much about what people think, as you can see on the show. He's there to win just like we all were.
So, I really think that they just felt so comfortable where they were and maybe had a good idea about [how far] Joey and Kelsey were behind them, but still, if me and Tanner would've been in that position, I think we would've definitely tried to U-Turn someone that we saw as a threat -- whether they were right behind us or in the back -- to make sure that they weren't there in the finale.
Reality TV World: In terms of why Justin and Diana are thriving in this Race, do you really think it all just comes down to them being extremely knowledgeable about the show? Super Fans have raced before and not done as well, and Justin and Diana don't necessarily seem any more physically capable or intelligent than the other teams. Luck also plays a role in the Race.
Tanner Kloven: I think luck is a huge part, and I think luck was definitely on their side. I mean, if you go back to the first leg in Rio, honestly, they should've been out of the Race there. We should've never heard their name over the TMZ girls because they got a taxi driver to take them, like, 20 minutes through traffic and down a hill for free just because, I don't know, they begged them and they got the right taxi driver.
I mean, if it weren't for that, then they would be out. So, it is a lot of luck. And I think our bad luck turned in Poland, and that's when it took us over an hour to get our taxi and ours ran out. But I do think knowing the show was a huge benefit to them. And it showed throughout the whole Race, but you can't just, you know, give it to them just because they're Super Fans. They execute everything perfectly.
They're very good even though you see some of their bickering. They're very good together, and Justin is a heck of a competitor. And, you know, we always put everything on Justin, but Diana is right there beside him and she's just as powerful. So, I mean, you've got to give them credit. But I wouldn't attribute it to just because they're Super Fans, no.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Tanner and Josh's exclusive The Amazing Race interview.