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Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race's Timothy Sweeney and Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi talk (Part 1)


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/10/2013 

The Amazing Race "Exes" team of Timothy Sweeney and Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi finished in second place during Sunday night's broadcast of the CBS reality competition's two-hour finale.

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"Dating Couple" Jason Case and Amy Diaz team was the first team to cross the 23rd season of The Amazing Race's finish line in Juneau, Alaska, claiming the $1 million grand prize. "Married ER Doctors" Nicole Jasper and Travis Jasper claimed third place, and "Cousins" Leo Temory and Jamal Zadran were the fourth-place team.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Tim and Marie talked about their The Amazing Race experience and finishing as the runner-up team.

Below is the first half of Tim and Marie's interview. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion and for more interviews with the Final 4 teams.

Reality TV World: How far behind Jason and Amy do you think you guys finally arrived at the finish line? It seemed fairly close, but when I talked to Jason and Amy, they said they thought it was about an hour-and-a-half?

Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi: It wasn't an hour-and-a-half. It was probably about like 30 minutes. We were about 30 minutes behind them from the second we got out of those two planes, and it pretty much stayed that way for the remainder of that leg.

When we saw them finish the Detour, we were about halfway done with ours and we knew that they were taking off for the finish line. So we knew we were going to be at least 20 to 30 minutes behind them.

Reality TV World: So you had a pretty good idea you were finishing in second place then right? You didn't think there was a chance Jason and Amy could get lost or anything like that?

Timothy Sweeney: Yeah.

Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi: We were in second place the second we got out of the place and there was nothing we could do about that!

Timothy Sweeney: I mean, obviously you're optimistic still, but I mean, the reality was that it basically ended up being a linear-type leg where there wasn't much of an opportunity to catch up. We kind of knew that, and once we realized how grueling the final challenge was and how long it was actually taking us to get those totem poles up, we knew there was no way we could come back being behind them 30 minutes.

Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi: Our only chance would've been had there been a second Roadblock, which in the beginning, if you noticed, that's why all the girls did the first Roadblock. We were assuming, "Maybe they'll throw another one in there at the end," and that's why once we saw the two girls decided to do it, I decided to do it in case at the end there was another one.

[Therefore], I wouldn't be against Jay in a Roadblock, so I saved Tim for that. But about halfway through the leg, we kind of realized that there is nothing else and it was just going to kind of be a walk to the finish line.

Reality TV World: How long did it actually take you to finish that totem poles task and did you feel like you were prepared it? Jason and Amy said they weren't but they still found a way to get through it.

Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi: It scared us at first I think because we couldn't use our notes.

Timothy Sweeney: We actually remembered, except for I believe it was... the Polish currency. But other than that, we had them all. We knew where they needed to go, but it was still about assembling the totem poles, you know?

Just because you had the order, it didn't mean that you knew how the totem poles were cut, how the colors were going to match up. So it was less about being prepared and more about actually being able to put the things up. It was a really physical challenge.

Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi: When we realized, "Oh my God, we need to know the currencies," that freaked us out a little bit. And when we started, we could see that [Jason and Amy] were about halfway done. What we also realized is that each one of the totem poles had different colors in it depending on what currency it was.

Even if you had no idea what the currency was, you could kind of line up the colors and the patterns anyway and it would result in having the correct currencies. So after about 10 to 15 minutes of running around and trying to figure out the letters, we had basically just went with the pattern and did it that way.

So that was the strategy that we used and, like I said, they were about halfway done when we started and we were about halfway done when they finished. So it was a pretty even amount of time that it took the both of us [to complete].

Reality TV World: When I talked to Nicole "Nicky" Getz and Kim DeJesus last week, they mentioned to me that, Tim, you had a pretty solid relationship with Allison "Ally" Mello while racing or you two at least had something really flirty going on there. Could you tell me a little bit about that, your relationship with Ally?

Timothy Sweeney: Yeah sure, it was true. (Laughs)

Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi: (Laughs)

Timothy Sweeney: I kind of played it down while the Race was going down because I didn't want it to become a distraction. Obviously I was still focused on the million dollars and winning the Race and how to put our team ahead. Although if you do notice in Abu Dhabi, I gave them a hint and I later heard about it from Marie...

Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi: (Laughs)

Timothy Sweeney: For giving them a hint. But it's true. We had a little romance.

Reality TV World: Did you have any intention to keep the romance going after the Race or was it just a showmance type of thing?

Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi: It's still going a little bit! They're still in touch for right now.

Timothy Sweeney: Yeah, it's still going. We see each other every once in awhile. It's weird because I'm from New York and she's from Los Angeles and the show was going on, so like I said, I didn't want it to distract me from the show either. But we still see each other from time to time. It was good to spend this past weekend altogether. I got to spend some time with her.

Reality TV World: Do you think the show edited Leo and Jamal's Race pretty accurately or do you think they got a fairly good edit considering some of the controversial moves they pulled this season?

Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi: We think that Leo and Jamal are great Racers. We totally have respect for the way that they race. We think they were one of the strongest teams there.

We were shocked and we were upset that they weren't in the Final 3 with us, and I think from the beginning, they kind of got a bad edit as far as looking like they were liars and everything. And we can understand that because we think we kind of got a bad edit from the beginning.

But there was nothing that they did that was truly unacceptable or anything like that. They're good guys and they just had a really strategic way of racing, and you know, they got under people's skin a little bit, but I think that's what they intended to do.

Off the Race, they're great guys and on the Race, they were super competitive, and I don't think it was anything more than that. I don't think there's anything wrong with the way that they raced.

Reality TV World: You just mentioned you guys don't think you got a great edit in the beginning either. I'm sure you know, Marie, some Racers have called you just plain "mean" and one of them even referred to you as "the devil" once. I just want to get your reaction to those comments and do you think people thought you were far worse than you really were or do you think you maybe took things a little too far sometimes?

Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi: I think people just kind of have a little bit of a problem with complete and utter honesty. I mean, I was straight-forward. A lot of things I said or did, I just outright did, and I make no apology for it. I don't filter anything.

A lot of the other teams behaved the same way and said some of the same things and did some of the same things, but it was all behind each other's backs -- smile to people's faces and then screw them when they're not looking.

I didn't go on the Race to have people like me and I wasn't shocked at the edit that I got. I just think a lot of people at home don't really take the edit with a grain of salt. It is a reality TV show and everybody's kind of there because they all fit these different roles.

Did I behave like that 50% of the time? Yes. Was there anything nice that I did that was edited out? Of course, you know. They didn't show us getting along. They didn't show me helping the other teams. They didn't show any of that, and that did happen, but I'm not mad about it. I knew what I signed up for and it's just the way that I raced. I don't know.

Reality TV World: So was it accurate when, Marie, you seemed to make most of the decisions and basically would just compliment Tim if something worked out after he listened to you, (laughs) or did you have a little bit of a different dynamic than what was often shown?

Marie "Reebs" Mazzocchi: There was a little more team work involved than they showed. I think they kind of ran with the whole "bossing Tim around" thing. But that is the nature of our relationship and that's why we get along. I'm a control freak and he gets me and figures out a way to make that work for both of us. Had he not been like that, we probably would have self-destructed in the second leg of the Race.

We just both have that outward personality, and in order for that to work as a team, you know, somebody has to be in control. So he kind of just let me be in control, and when he thought I was wrong, he'd voice his opinion and say, "We're not doing this. We're doing it this way!" And it worked for us, so yeah, I would say that was accurate.

Reality TV World: You two had obviously dated before the show and you mentioned something like you just fought and couldn't get along so you broke up. Would you mind elaborating on your relationship a little bit? If your relationship volatile, I know viewers are surprised you've been able to uphold such a strong friendship because you know how that tends to go after breakups. So do you ever get the urge to get back together or is that just not an option?

Timothy Sweeney: Well, yeah. Our relationship is unique, definitely unique. Marie and I both kind of have the ability to compartmentalize how we're feeling at the moment, and we were able to get over a lot of those things that "Exes" would inevitably be ruined by. And I don't know, I think we just enjoy each other's company more than what's the other option? Sacrifice and just never speak to each other again?

And that's why we have this relationship where we feel like we've known each other for like 20 years and I'm kind of predicting what she's doing and she's going to predict what I do and we can work together. And nothing blocks the way of communication. Even though she's yelling, this is a very competitive girl and we were in a racing environment. It's like being on the field, playing sports.

When a coach says something, they say it directly at you, and when you're talking to each other, you have to be direct and frank, and you have to be honest. That's the best way to communicate, and that's how she is. So she comes off a little abrasive, so what? So what?

That's Marie, but I know what she means by it, so it doesn't offend me and I don't take it personally. And I think the same is true. There are times that I'll yell at her, and you didn't get to see that part of our relationship, which is kind of funny.

Above is the first half of Tim and Marie's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion and for more interviews with the Final 4 teams.



(Photo credit CBS)


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