Exclusive: Scott Flanary talks 'The Amazing Race': I wasn't going to let emotion override my gameplay
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/09/2017
Scott Flanary and Brooke Camhi were crowned the winners of The Amazing Race's 29th season during the finale broadcast on CBS.
Scott, a 34-year-old recruiting manager from West Hollywood, CA, and Brooke, a 36-year-old criminal attorney from New York, NY, arrived at the final Pit Stop in Chicago, IL, in first place, therefore winning the $1 million grand prize.
"You started this race as strangers, and now, after nine countries, 17 cities and more than 36,000 miles racing around the world together, I am pleased to tell you that you have won $1 million and you are the official winners of The Amazing Race!" host Phil Keoghan told the pair as they hugged each other at the finish line.
Tara Carr, a 38-year-old U.S. Army officer from Alexandria, VA, and Joey Covino, a 46-year-old police sergeant from Saugus, MA, completed The Amazing Race in second place. London Kaye, a 27-year-old artist from Brooklyn, NY, and Logan Bauer, a 27-year-old surgical consultant from Columbus, GA, made it to the finish line in third place.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World via email following the show's finale, Scott dished about his The Amazing Race experience and victory. Below is the concluding portion of what he had to say.
Reality TV World: You had a turning point in the Race when you finished a previous leg in second place. What clicked for you two during that leg and what about your dynamic changed that ended up working in your favor all the way to the end?
Scott Flanary: This is after the mannequin challenge fight, where afterward we had a heart-to-heart discussion about needing to hone in on the goal at hand: getting to the Final Three. Once we (figuratively) got out of each other's way we were able to rely on each other's strengths.
Hanoi was a leg day, and I was able to put my thunder thighs to use: racing the shrimp bike through the Roadblock and rowing the boat against that nasty current.
Reality TV World: You were criticized by other teams earlier this season for U-Turning Liz Espey and Michael Rado after they helped Brooke out in a Roadblock. Do you 100 percent stand by your aggressive tactics? And watching the season back, were you surprised to learn how upset some Racers got over decisions you had made to get ahead?
Scott Flanary: I came into this game wanting to play strategically. You can see this in my pre-show interviews: regardless of my partner I was going to try and break the mold of how the game is played. I stand by my/our decision, but it was painful because Mike and I bonded during the Race and Liz and I got along famously.
En route to the U-Turn Board I had to remind myself of the strategic game I was playing and to not let emotion override that gameplay. It doesn't surprise me that Tara and Joey were upset because Liz and Michael were their best friends in the Race and they didn't agree with giving them yet another task in a leg that already included a Speed Bump.
Reality TV World: I understand you'd want to U-Turn a team whom you could knock out, but why not U-Turn a stronger team like Matt Ladley and Redmond Ramos or Tara and Joey at the time? Did alliances come into play here?
Scott Flanary: At that U-Turn we wanted to target The Boys -- but they were right there. Plan B was Mom and Dad -- but they were right there. Liz and Michael were actually Plan C. At that point of the game we were ready to risk any of those relationships, but only the one that would give us the greater chance of staying in the competition.
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With two of those teams at the U-Turn board with us, the chance of the U-Turn accomplishing what we wanted was slim. Remember: the Race is about staying in the competition and winning the final leg. I was trying to keep our team in the Race while not ruffling feathers of teams left in the Race.
Reality TV World: I can imagine watching most of this season on TV was tough for you two considering the constant bickering, and at one point, you had a blow-up argument and cursed at each other. What was it like to re-live it all over again? And looking back, do you have any regrets about how you personally behaved in a situation or treated your teammate?
Scott Flanary: It's tough because, like any relationship, sometimes things come to a head and you need to let out emotion. It was rough to watch, but I remember our headspace at that moment and understand why we reacted the way we did. I was genuinely myself throughout the Race: tears and all.
Reality TV World: How do you think the stranger twist made this The Amazing Race season different from ones past? Do you think it was more difficult racing with a stranger or easier? How do you think it changed strategy and gameplay?
Scott Flanary: Because no one arrived to the Start Line with a support system, I think we all were ready to play the game. I came into the Race wanting to play strategically: building alliances, influencing U-Turn decisions, using the rules of the game to our advantage, etc.
Because everyone wanted to play this season, I think people were more receptive to the social/strategic gameplay than in past seasons. I enjoyed racing with a stranger! It was an added thrill of the game.
Reality TV World: What do you plan to do with your share of the $1 million?
Scott Flanary: I'm going to buy my parents a vacation as a way of thanking them for always supporting me in the pursuit of my goals. I'm also going to give a little to charity, pay off my student loans, and invest.
Reality TV World: What's the status of your relationship with Brooke now? Are you planning any future trips together?
Scott Flanary: We're friends. In fact, we are going on a mini-vacation in July to Europe to explore London, Amsterdam, and parts of Belgium.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on The Amazing Race? Was this your first time applying for the show?
Scott Flanary: I was a direct applicant as soon as they announced it was a potential single-racer season. While I had applied to Survivor and Big Brother before, this was my first time applying to The Amazing Race. I'm a super fan of all three but never had a partner who was willing to compete on the show. Once I knew I could go at it alone, I knew it was my year to go for it.
To read the first half of Scott's interview, click here. And to begin reading Reality TV World's exclusive interview with Brooke, click here.