Exclusive: Shelley Porter talks 'The Amazing Race' (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/04/2014
The Amazing Race eliminated Shelley Porter and her daughter Nici Porter during Friday night's sixth broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 25th season.
The "Mother and Daughter" team became the fifth team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's sixth Pit Stop at Casbah D'If, a fortress like structure, in Marrakech, Morocco in last place.
Shelley and Nici had trouble navigating themselves in the last leg and were known for arguing during most of their race.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Tuesday, Shelley talked about her The Amazing Race experience. Nici was unavailable. Below is the first half of Shelley's interview. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: How far behind Amy DeJong and Maya Warren do you think you finally arrived at the Pit Stop? What do you think the gap was there between you?
Shelley Porter: Two hours. Two hours at least.
Reality TV World: Were you hoping for or kind of banking on a non-elimination leg when you met Phil Keoghan on the Pit Stop mat? Were you surprised to hear you had been eliminated from the Race?
Shelley Porter: No, we knew because we had just had a non-elimination leg. So we knew that if there was going to be one, it was either the next leg or the leg after that. It made sense. We weren't surprised at all [because] we are [huge fans].
Reality TV World: In your final words, you said you wished you two had kept your "competitive edge sharpened" on the last leg. Did you really feel like you lost it, like maybe you gave up a little or something? What did you mean by that?
Shelley Porter: That was, you know, we seemed to have -- even though we were fighting in the beginning, it was the fighting seemed to be fueling us. Because even at our worst moment of the "mat meltdown," as it's now referred to, we still beat the Top 2 teams for that leg. So, we said that because we wandered around the desert because neither of us wanted to fight with the other one.
No one was exerting the dominant control needed to say, "Okay, this isn't working. We need to do something different." And neither one of us took charge and made a decision to do something different. So, instead, we wandered through the desert like Moses.
Reality TV World: Speaking of the "mat meltdown," how do you feel you were portrayed on this season of the Race? Did you feel the editing accurately depicted your relationship out there or do you feel it focused mainly on the bad points and therefore made your bickering appear worse than it really was?
Shelley Porter: They actually edited us pretty good. There was definitely a lot more bickering than America got to see. Thank God. But I think it more so made people think BECAUSE we were bickering, that it made us seem, like, dysfunctional. That's just the way our family unfortunately communicates.
Some people would say, "Well, that's not good communication."
"Okay, well maybe not in your house -- that's not how you get things done, but that's what works in ours."
So, it's perception based on each individual's reality, unfortunately. So, for us, it's normal. That's why we kept saying, "Do not worry about us. Yes, we're bickering right now," but if you saw on the next leg, we were in each other's arms and we're hugging. We were hugging that morning before we left to go to the airport. It doesn't last. In a matter of minutes -- she called it "putting it on pause."
We can go from [yelling] to -- that's just us! It's fine. It's just our love bickering, I don't know. And unfortunately, because I was concerned with America's perception of the bickering, we stopped bickering altogether. And that's why we got eliminated in Morocco.
If we had been bickering, that would've gone totally different because one of us would've finally said, "Okay, fine! Do it your way!" We would've gone through the town like she wanted to. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Yeah, I was going to ask you if you thought you could've done anything to improve your race in hindsight, like how you might've been able to stop those arguments. But it sounds like you believe those arguments actually propel you forward.
Shelley Porter: Yeah. Yeah, that is what we believe. If we get asked to be on the All-Stars, you can expect bickering all through the Race. We're just going to let y'all have it. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: So clearly you weren't embarrassed watching yourselves back on TV at all. Instead, you stand by the behavior.
Shelley Porter: It is what it is! For what it's worth, you're either going to love us for it or hate us for it. But again, your perception is your reality. I can't apologize for what's worked for her and I since she started talking at three, so 22 years. (Laughs) Strong personalities. That's what happens when you have two cooks in the kitchen. It's going to happen.
Reality TV World: You girls seemed to get lost a few times in the last leg. What happened there? Why the navigation issue?
Shelley Porter: I honestly -- we had a piece of paper with directions. Well, the first time we got lost, we missed a turn, and that threw everything off. It was like, once you make a mistake and you know it's hurting you, you have to mentally [say], like, "Okay, get over that and do better the next time."
And then something else happened and little things just kept throwing us off our game to the point where, when we got the last piece of paper that said, "Do this..." and it wasn't making any sense, everybody, when we stopped, kept saying the opposite of what the paper was saying too. It was like, "Ahh!"
It turned out, if we came out of the last [task] of milking the goats, we turned right. If we had turned left, the paper would have made sense and all would have been right in our world. But because we had seen some other teams going in that direction, we just assumed, "Okay, yeah. Everything is over there."
And it wasn't! And they had an advantage because they all went right together. There were three teams together, so they're lost in the desert with each other. We were lost in the desert by ourselves, which is a scary feeling on its own when you know you're last and you're lost.
You're like, "Oh my God, we haven't seen anybody since we did this last task." Because every time we got to a clue box, we knew we were last, we're last. That's all you keep hearing and it just makes the day worse. It's just something tiny turns into something major.
Reality TV World: When you got lost going to the pottery stand, I think it was you, Shelley, who mentioned you had wasted three hours driving around. I'm assuming that was just an exaggeration?
Shelley Porter: I wish!
Reality TV World: Oh, so that was accurate?! (Laughs)
Shelley Porter: Altogether -- because we were watching the clock when we were driving around -- that one was the WORST to locate. Thank you for reminding me. The pottery was the worst. There were three hours wasted trying to find the pottery stand and that's because, like I said, we missed a turn and went 40 minutes out one way.
So we had to come back into town, try to get rerouted again, and finally get there. So that took three hours and then it was another hour trying to get to the zipline place. So, altogether, four hours wasted in the desert.
Please check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Shelley's exclusive interview.