Exclusive: Abbie Ginsberg and Ryan Danz talk about 'The Amazing Race' (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/27/2012
Abbie Ginsberg and Ryan Danz were eliminated from The Amazing Race during Sunday night's broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 21st season.
The "Dating Divorcees" team became the seventh team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's ninth Pit Stop at the House of Rembrandt's mistress in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in last place because they had been U-Turned and therefore forced to complete both sides of the Detour task.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Abbie and Ryan talked about their The Amazing Race experience.
Below is the concluding portion of Abbie and Ryan's interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Last night's episode showed you guys arriving in Frankfurt and a woman telling you that you had never checked-in and therefore you'd miss the earliest available flight for you guys into Amsterdam. Could you clarify what happened there and how much time did you lose because of that problem? -- Just an hour, was it?
Abbie Ginsberg: Well to start off, people thought we were crazy for connecting back to Frankfurt, and we booked two flights just to be safe. So we definitely learned our lesson and we thought that we were putting our best foot forward that way.
But what happened was once we got in, we ran to the gate to make that first connecting flight, and for some reason, we didn't show up in their system as checked-in. And so they decided to close the doors early on the flight -- we're talking like half-an-hour earlier on the flight -- because we weren't shown in the system even though we had our tickets with us.
So as we ran to the counter, the plane was there in visible sight. It was still connected to the walkway, and they just closed the doors on us. We begged and begged and begged, and there was nothing that could be done.
So then, we went down to the next connecting flight, which left an hour. And we're like, "Okay, well good thing we got a second flight! We'll get there, no big deal." And that flight... was when there was engine trouble. So they had to de-board that entire flight, move us onto another flight -- so it was just a sequence of unlucky crappy flight stuff.
Reality TV World: You guys were truly a team who experienced a lot of bad luck towards the end of your race with the delayed flight into Frankfurt where you missed the layover and then everything that happened during last night's show that you've been talking about. Would you attribute your elimination solely to that constant stream of bad luck?
Ryan Danz: Yeah, I mean, I don't see how any -- if you looked at our times on the Race course, when we actually started racing each of those legs, we were, I think, faster than all the other teams on each of those legs. We did the synchronized swim in Russia in an hour-and-a-half. I think the fastest another team did it was in three hours.
We did the dancing task on the third try. All the other teams were there for at least six or seven or more tries. But it wasn't a race-course race. We were dominating. I think there were only like three tasks out of 18 or so where a team arrived after us and left before us.
And in each of those three instances -- and I'm talking about the balloons in [the first leg in Surabaya, Indonesia] and the maps in Russia and the time zone [Roadblock task] and then the scale in Dhaka -- we not only finished ahead of those teams that passed us, but we made up time on the second part of that Roadblock or Detour.
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Abbie Ginsberg: You can look and say that the start of our demise was in Istanbul, Turkey -- yeah, Istanbul airport. And it was just flight after flight after flight. Like Ryan said, if you take away the fact that we were 8-10 hours behind in Moscow, we actually ran the leg very quickly.
Ryan Danz: Yeah. And so, yes, to answer your question. The only reason we are out of the Race is not because of the Double U-Turn. It's because of all the bad flight problems, including the bad flight that you don't even see that we had before we even got out of Turkey the first time.
Abbie Ginsberg: But had we caught that first flight from Frankfurt into Amsterdam and then got U-Turned, there's a great likelihood that we would've had enough time to even succeed through both of those Detours and overcome the U-Turn to finish ahead of the Beekmans [Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge]. It was an hour, so it really does boil down to that.
Reality TV World: Do you think the outcome of your Race would've been any different if maybe you guys tried to be a little more friendly with the other teams or tried to form some other alliances?
Ryan Danz: Well, we had the alliance with the "Chippendales" [Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis] from even LAX. We got very close with them and it wasn't even an alliance. It really was a friendship. We were sort of sharing family stories and we knew about [one of their] dad's situation and some other stuff with Jaymes and James. And we shared stuff.
So that one was just a backstab, but since that, we did everything "by the book" in terms of building relationships with them. And we still got hit in the back only because we were a casualty of our own success. You know, people say, "Well what if you didn't win that first leg? Then you wouldn't have been the target."
And I say, "Even if we came in second, we could have a second-place finish in every leg of the Race and it's not going to change anything." We knew right away in the first few legs of the Race that we were the strongest team, and that was the reason why we went home. It's not like they wouldn't have U-Turned us if we told better jokes.
Abbie Ginsberg: And at one point, it turns into Survivor and all you're doing is trying to strategize and build alliances. There's a lot of time when you're running on your own, so you build these friendships and alliances that you can. But to us, we did that. We did just that, and people aren't going to like everybody in every team on the Race.
If you're talking about like the twins [Natalie and Nadiya Anderson] and Texans [Trey Wier and Alexis "Lexi" Beerman], the twins just didn't like us from the beginning because we were a threat and vice versa. We were both competitive and you're not always going to like the person that's right up against you for the million-dollar prize.
Ryan Danz: And granted, I think our personalities -- we obviously know how to connect with people. Our relationship with the Beekmans I think speaks volumes about us. So maybe it's not necessarily just us. And yes, I know we're competitive. I know we're confident, and that can be misconstrued...
Abbie Ginsberg: As cocky...
Ryan Danz: ... But obviously guys like the Beekmans -- there's no better people in the world and [they're] some of the best people I've ever met, and they take in a real [friendliness] towards us. So I think that also speaks about us.
Abbie Ginsberg: I mean, that's a good point. You know, we do get an edit of cocky and arrogant, and that's fine. We'll take it. I think there's a fine line between competitive and cocky, and for a lot of people who don't know us, they immediately put us into that category. But Ryan's right.
Why would we then have these friendships with people that are so different than us? I mean, the Beekmans couldn't be more different yet we've developed such a great friendship with them that we'll continue, you know?
Reality TV World: How long would you say it took you to complete the "Back in Time" painting Detour task, and then how much time would you say it took you to finish that second "Organ to Grind" task?
Abbie Ginsberg: I think I would say about an hour for the Renaissance painting, maybe a little bit more -- maybe an hour-and-a-half. And then, yeah, let's see -- maybe 45 minutes for the organ one.
Ryan Danz: Yeah, the thing with that Rembrandt [task], is we didn't have a real plan in place with the Beekmans to leave together. I think if Abbie and I had completed that first, I know we would've run ahead because of the U-Turn. But we actually were approved at the same time.
Abbie Ginsberg: Yeah, exactly.
Ryan Danz: So that was really an interesting moment, you know, where we would've moved forward. They were more or less -- I don't want to say resigned -- but they were okay with us moving on. And I think that they intentionally sort of delayed leaving the U-Turn mat while they were discussing [things] in the hope that we got it done quick enough that we caught back up to them.
I think they wanted us to make the decision via our actions whether or not they were going to move on, as opposed to them having to make that decision themselves, because they were so conflicted by it.
Reality TV World: Natalie and Nadiya found James LoMenzo and "Abba" Mark Abbattista's $100 cash earlier this season and stole it. And they ended up splitting that money with Trey and Lexi, forcing James and Abba to try to make the money back by begging locals nearby. What was your reaction to that whole situation?
Ryan Danz: And they shared it with the "Chippendales" too.
Abbie Ginsberg: We were quite surprised. Watching it on TV for the first time, we didn't know it had happened. And I remember that day back in the Dhaka airport, we had some time to kill, and we couldn't figure out where James and Abba were. We were like, "Oh, they're probably at a library or doing research or scheming," because they were so secretive.
Turns out they were actually trying to earn money, and that's where they were! But Ryan and I talked about that situation, because it's very controversial and a lot of people are saying, "Well, it's no different than what you did to [Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale]." And it is very different.
At the end of the day, I think both of us would've been really scared sh-tless that once we get to the mat, we're penalized or even kicked off for stealing.
Abbie Ginsberg: It is wrong. I think that had we been in that situation, we wouldn't have done it. And there might be people who disagree and say, "Well you guys are cutthroat. You burned Amy and Daniel." It's a different ballgame when it comes down to somebody's belongings.
Ryan Danz: And I shared with Abbie while we were kind of talking about it, "What would we have done if we had found the money?" And I think the way that we approached the Race together -- and you're not going to believe me when I say this, but it's true -- the most important thing to me was not winning the two million dollars or the most legs or any of that.
It was actually making this experience a respectful one for both Abbie and I. I think one thing I am most proud of -- or the thing I am most proud of -- is how I treated her on the Race. I never embarrassed her. I never belittled her. I never made her the scapegoat.
I was supportive and respectful, and I did that because I wanted her to know that regardless of how she did or we did, that was more important to me -- that she felt that support from me and that I loved her deeply. But also, she's got 800 students at her dance studio that watch us...
Abbie Ginsberg: And calculate every move... (Laughs)
Ryan Danz: ... And my business associates and my employees watched it. And I think that in that moment, it becomes more than the Race when you find money, especially because they deduced right away whose it belonged to. And knowing it's going to be watched back by all these people near and dear and then people who don't know us, I wouldn't have taken that reputational risk to keep the money.
And you know, from a strategy standpoint, I do believe the Race is a different beast. I do believe it's a closed course. I do believe that the regular rules of society don't really apply. But I wouldn't have even -- we're pretty cutthroat as a team, but I don't think we would've even done that.
Abbie Ginsberg: No. And the money at that point, you have enough money to do what you need to do. It's not like it's going to benefit you that greatly.
Ryan Danz: And I will say this, I think the twinnies are calculating, and I think they were aware of the risks on many levels and they decided to do it. And I think conversely, Texas is blown away and they're getting blown out the water publicly for being a part of that scheme. And I don't think they ever once sort of figured out that, "Here they are presenting us as a young, cute Christian couple."
Abbie Ginsberg: Kind of like the little sister that just goes along with it.
Ryan Danz: And the repercussions are really, because of the Internet -- they're going to be for a lifetime potentially that they're going to have to battle this wound. And I'm glad we're not a part of that.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on The Amazing Race? And also, would you ever consider doing an all-stars edition if given the opportunity since you believe your time was cut short?
Abbie Ginsberg: Well first of all, to answer the all-stars question, hell yeah! (Laughs) A twice in a lifetime-opportunity, I had a blast. I mean, it was insane. Well, I can say I had a blast now. (Laughs) It was really stressful!
We submitted a tape the old-fashioned way and went through the process of that. We got a callback and first got told, "No." And then, I think another pair fell through and they called us back and wanted us. So we were very, very, very fortunate to have -- to be a part of these 11 teams out of tens of thousands of applications.
Ryan Danz: Yeah, and for me, I know where Abbie's coming from. She would go back tomorrow. It was that special of an opportunity. Unfortunately for me, there's so much stuff that's happened.
It is a TV show and there's a lot of stuff that takes to get this thing to be what it is on TV, and a part of that is unfortunately there's some downside to it, and I may have burned some bridges or I may have sort of -- I don't imagine there will be a call coming in in the next day or so asking me to come back. But if I ever did, you know, I want to discuss it with Abbie.
Abbie Ginsberg: Well I'm in! So I guess I should look out for another partner! (Laughs)
Above is the concluding portion of Abbie and Ryan's interview. Click here to read the first half.