Exclusive: Dan Pious and Jordan Pious talk 'The Amazing Race' win
By Reality TV World staff, 05/10/2010
Although they finished a distant third in The Amazing Race's penultimate sixteenth-season leg, Dan Pious and his brother Jordan Pious never stopped giving the competition their all, and that attitude paid off in the final leg.
Dan, a 24-year-old financial advisor from Barrington, RI, and Jordan, a 22-year-old strategic consultant who currently resides in Atlanta, GA, won The Amazing Race's sixteenth season during last night's finale broadcast of the CBS reality competition.
Dan and Jordan defeated Jet McCoy and his brother Cord McCoy -- who finished second and were better known as "the cowboys" -- and "dating models" Caite Upton and Brent Horne to claim the competition's million dollar prize.
On Monday, Dan and Jordan talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience -- including why they were confident their third-place gap wouldn't be a hindrance in the final leg, what they thought their key winning move was, how they feel about Caite's feud with previously eliminated racers Carol Rosenfeld and Brandy Snow, and which racer they allege really "hates gays."
Check back with Reality TV World on Tuesday and Wednesday for our interviews with Jet and Cord as well as Caite and Brent.
Reality TV World: You guys arrived at the Shanghai Pit Stop more than three hours behind Brent and Caite and almost three hours behind Jet and Cord.
Jordan Pious: That's right.
Reality TV World: So leaving there, did you think you still had much of a chance of winning at that point or did you figure the other teams were probably already boarding a pre-dawn flight?
Dan Pious: When we left it was about 6AM so almost all airports don't open until then at all. But one major consistency throughout the Race was that the flights really bunched everyone together, even if you finished in first place.
When we finished in first place in Singapore, we left a couple of hours, because of the Fast Forward, ahead of someone but our flight wasn't for six hours at that until everyone had left the Pit Stop and got on the flight.
Jordan Pious: It's part of the Race.
Dan Pious: It was interesting I felt like this season -- and Jordan can probably speak to this a little more -- but this season kept people bunched up flight-wise most of the time.
Reality TV World: Except for Europe... (laughs)
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Jordan Pious: Right, except for Europe.
Dan Pious: Right, exactly. It's funny you should mention that, that was the one time -- the one flight from South America to Europe -- that was the one time you had to make a flight decision. Aside from that, everyone was actually on the same exact flights.
Jordan Pious: And then those legs in Europe, which you may have been alluding to as well.
Reality TV World: Yeah, I was talking about [those European legs] where [dating former Big Brother houseguests Jeff Schroeder and Jordan Lloyd] were never had a chance to get [bunched back up] basically.
Jordan Pious: Oh yeah, and those legs in Europe, ["Detectives" Michael Naylor and Louis Stravato] came in first each time because where you started off had a big effect on where you finished. Really when you eliminate those big transportation -- those big flights or big [train rides] or whatever -- you do tend to have [prior] placement have more of an effect on [the next leg].
Reality TV World: The Race seemed pretty close at the end. Do you guys have any idea about how far ahead of Jet and Cord you got to the finish line?
Dan Pious: We were ahead of them by about 25 minutes. Maybe just a little bit more, but about 25 minutes.
Reality TV World: So not that close at all then.
Dan Pious: No, it really wasn't.
Reality TV World: I know you guys had figured it was probably going to be a memory challenge at the end of the Race, but were you surprised how simple it ended up being?
Jordan Pious: Yeah, it's interesting because I think we had that question before. I watched The Amazing Race for 15 seasons and I knew that I was going to be taking really, really good notes because if we're in the final leg there's going to be a memory challenge more than likely.
And I think that it was definitely much easier than any memory challenge that I had seen before, but when you take a look at the leg and how taxing it was -- with climbing Coit Tower and then with the virtual world challenge and then lugging around that trunk 20 blocks in downtown San Francisco -- I mean it was definitely a long leg and so it kind of made sense to us that it was a pretty quick final piece before you could get to the finish line.
Reality TV World: Given you never fell out of first place after that, how big of a role do you think the fact that you guys were able to move up to first class and be the first ones off the plane [in San Francisco] played in your win?
Jordan Pious: There was a flight attendant that really took a liking to my brother and he milked it for all it was worth, and that's what you've got to do in the final leg of The Amazing Race. I mean at the end of the day, that fifteen minute lead that we had getting off the plane, we never lost that.
I mean we were in first throughout the final leg and you know, we sat in first class for the last 30 minutes because that flight attendant let us move up to first class. We were the very first people off the plane and we really never looked back.
Reality TV World: So I just want to be clear, even though the rules don't let you buy first class seats, there aren't any restrictions about what you do once your on the plane, right?
Jordan Pious: No, in fact you can have first class tickets if you pay the economy price, or the coach price.
Dan Pious: Right, you can't pay to get an upgrade but if the airline's willing to give you an upgrade -- and that never happened -- but what you're saying and what we did is 100% right. If you're anywhere on the plane, you can move anywhere else on the plane if the flight attendants will let you.
Reality TV World: Given that move seemed so crucial, do you think we might see more of that [from other racers] in the Race going forward?
Jordan Pious: Yeah, to be honest I think teams in the past seasons have looked for those opportunities, and it's hard to capitalize on those opportunities. But my brother did a phenomenal job with capitalizing on a good relationship that he had with that flight attendant and realizing that there were some seats in first class that were open for us to move up to.
So I'm sure other teams have tried to make moves like that but I will say it's hard to get a lead like that and we were fortunate enough to have my brother have that type of relationship with the flight attendant.
Reality TV World: Jordan, after you found out you were going to San Francisco you made a comment about the city "is a very gay friendly place." Was there any particular reason you mentioned that -- had you had some problems in "unfriendly" places earlier in the Race?
Jordan Pious: No, you know what I think it was, I think we were in China and there was such a language barrier and the locals there really weren't helping us really in any way in that leg. And so when we opened up the clue and we saw San Francisco, I was like, "Great, not only is it on U.S. territory but it's also a gay-friendly place so if we see people on the side of the street then they're maybe going to be more prone to help us."
You know listen, there are certain teams here who have, you know, different opinions on homosexuality and what not and I think they've been voiced throughout the season and all that. And I think it was just a very comforting thing to see that we were going to a city that I knew was very accepting of that and that it wouldn't be a hindrance to our final leg.
Reality TV World: What happened during the backpack incident at the airport? I mean Dan, you seemed to admit it was kind of a "dirty" move afterward but and it didn't seem like the kind of move that was going to make any difference in the Race unless you guys really thought there might only be two sets of seats on that flight so...
Dan Pious: Could you repeat the question? You said something about I said it was a dirty move afterwards, I just want to understand you.
Reality TV World: Well that's what I said. What I said was you seemed to admit afterwards that it was kind of a dirty move or considered it kind of a dirty move. I thought that [was a direct quote from last night's episode], no?
Dan Pious: When was that on? I must have missed that part.
Reality TV World: Okay, you're saying you didn't feel it was a dirty move, I guess?
Dan Pious: No listen, I'll answer your question first.
Reality TV World: Okay.
Dan Pious: It made obviously no difference whatsoever, so that's the important thing When it's all said and done, if Jet and Cord were sitting right next to us -- Jet would probably be sitting away from Jordan -- but I think it would be made very clear that it had obviously zero impact.
Funny enough, the three teams sat in three rows consecutively in the very back of the plane [and] all middle seats. And Brent and Caite, who actually were first in line, actually for some reason had the third row all the way closest to the back.
And just so you know, we were forced to take that plane from Shanghai. There was actually another plane from Shanghai that all of us could have gotten on but we were required to take a certain flight, and the actual seats on that flight had absolutely no impact. What did have an impact was moving up to first class, which would have happened regardless of where we sat in the plane.
Jordan Pious: Right, and I just want to add that I wasn't intending that move to be malicious or nasty in any way. And I actually put my bag down and sat next to Caite and talked to her and was hanging out with her. And you know, next thing you know, the ticket counter opened up...
Dan Pious: Yeah...
Jordan Pious: And I stood up and then I think it was just kind of we all knew we were getting on the same flight, we all knew we were getting on the same area of the plane and that seats didn't really have an impact, and so I didn't see it as a big deal and I certainly...
Dan Pious: And I think it's important to note, you can go and look at us cutting as being a dirty move but I think you can probably say the same for Cord coming in and trying to distract me and just talking aimlessly when I was trying to direct Jordan on the virtual reality thing or whatever.
You know, at the end of the day it's a Race for a million dollars and when you're that close you're playing to win the game. I think some people will say "play with dignity" and other people say "win at all costs" and some people sit on the fence.
But we made moves and they made moves and at the end of the day, our moves impacted them zero percent and their moves, well it got to us a little more than that, but still made no difference. I mean that's fair enough, right?
Reality TV World: Dan, I think you're misunderstanding. I was just quoting what I thought you had said on the episode last night. I wasn't calling it a dirty move myself.
Dan Pious: No, no, no. You know what it is, we've been getting the question a lot, so I keep kind of blending it together, you know what I mean? And it's an important point and I think it's an interesting aspect.
Reality TV World: No, I understand that, but we only have I think about five more minutes so I have some other things I'd like to get to if we could.
Dan Pious: Sure.
Reality TV World: When you two were at Lucasfilm, you had that other kind of little incident where it looked like Jet and Cord had a chance to catch up and maybe even pass you guys but Jet seemed kind of passive and waited for Jordan to be done before moving forward in the virtual room. Were you surprised they weren't more aggressive?
Jordan Pious: [Unintelligible] touch us
Dan Pious: Yeah, I mean I think Jet wants to stay as far away from Jordan as possible, but really what I thought was interesting about that particular aspect was that Jet had seen Jordan spinning so we could read the clue on the computer screen and yet when it was their time to read the clue they sat there for what looked like several minutes totally confused on how to read the clue and Jet didn't spin or anything.
I was surprised because, who knows, maybe they could have really made up some time there. I was surprised to see them not start spinning to read the clue so that Cord could see it on the screen slower.
Jordan Pious: Yeah, they must have realized that I wasn't spinning for no reason.
Reality TV World: That's a couple of different times now in this interview that you guys have mentioned Jet apparently having some problem with Jordan. We really didn't see much of that on the show, can you elaborate on that a little bit?
CBS publicist: Let's talk about their strategic play on the show.
Dan Pious: Jet hates gays, yeah.
Jordan Pious: I mean, but he made comments about Carol and Brandy on the show.
Dan Pious: Yeah, Jet called Jordan a "fag" Saturday night for absolutely no reason and Jordan just said hello to him, so there was something on the Race and I guess, in all fairness, there's some stuff that isn't shown and I think it's an important thing to get out.
Because I don't think there's any doubt that certain things happened and it all plays a part in everyone's reaction. I don't remember exactly what was said on this past episode, but when Jordan was walking away from the counter I believe Jet said something to Jordan.
I'm totally drawing a blank now, but he said something. I'll have to watch the episode again, because I've only seen it once because I'm in New York.
So listen, I think there's some animosity but it really goes one-way. But we'll focus on the positive.
Reality TV World: Okay, well I guess let's focus on [the animosity] we definitely did see on TV, which was Caite's dislike of Carol and Brandy. Jordan, when you guys were on the bus with them, you seemed to think that dislike was possibly just because they were gay.
Jordan Pious: No, yeah, I'm definitely glad you're giving me the opportunity to clarify this. I did not hear what Caite said and you can see I said, "Do you mean you U-Turned them because they are lesbians?" It was a question, because I didn't hear what Caite said.
I will tell you because Caite -- I mean I was just rooming with her in New York. She definitely is not homophobic. I mean she loves me, and if she was homophobic then she wouldn't like me and she wouldn't spend time with me and she wouldn't be a friend of mine, but she is.
I think it was just a matter of not hearing what she said and you know what, it was a personal issue between Carol and Brandy and Caite and it kind of bubbled up and came to the surface at the finale at the finish line. And it was I guess kind of their time to get it out there, and it is what it is.
Reality TV World: I thought we had a couple of more minutes but I've been told we're out of time, so can you tell me how you were cast on the Race? I know Jordan was obviously the one that had been pushing for it, but how did it come about?
Jordan Pious: I sent in an audition video with my brother -- I tried to get him to do a video with me for [Season] 15 but I had to do about another six months of convincing.
Dan Pious: (laughs)
Jordan Pious: I finally got him to do an audition video with me and we applied just like anybody else.
Dan Pious: And I'm glad I did!
Jordan Pious: Yes. It was just a great experience. Yeah, we applied just like anybody else, got a call, went to the semifinals and then the finals and the rest is history, I guess.