The Kentucky team, which started out as Mark and his best friend William "Bopper" Minton -- who became ill just before the Race began and therefore was forced to withdraw from the competition -- became the second team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's second Pit Stop at the promenade on Shamian Island in Guangzhou, China in last place.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Mark and Mallory recently talked about their short-lived The Amazing Race experience. Below is the concluding portion of their interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: How long did the "Featherball" Detour task take you guys? Because you did get there still ahead of two teams. And also, did you ever consider switching to the other "China Cup" task?
Mark Jackson: If we would've switched, we would've had to go find a taxi, we would've had to get there, and like I said, there were two teams behind us and I knew they couldn't have been too far behind us.
Mallory Ervin: Yeah, you never know how far something is. I think that's just -- I listened to [Mark]. I wanted to switch, maybe, or consider it. And Mark just didn't want to, so at that point, I think we were just kind of give and take -- agree to disagree and try to make it through. So I see his point and I see my point on it.
And also, we had I'd say probably the worst team -- I'm not going to sit here and blame it on them -- but [the locals] really wouldn't go outside the bounds and save the featherball like they did with the other teams. If you watch it back, you know, and we can of wanted to switch teams.
I go, "Do you think we should switch teams?" And Mark's more of a -- he's like my dad in a way, like, "No, we're just going to finish this out here." It's more of a grounded way, whereas I'm a spazz sometimes, but sometimes that works. So I wanted to switch teams and maybe we -- as soon as we got with the other team, when we switched at the end, we got it immediately on the first time. First time, Mark?
Mark Jackson: It was the second time or it was the first, pretty close. It took us 10 minutes and we had already been there probably 30 or 40 minutes.
Reality TV World: Mark, what did Bopper have to say once you got home? Did he understand, was he disappointed?
Mark Jackson: Well, he understood, but you could tell he was very -- I mean, I could tell. I talked to his wife and when he walked through the door when he got back, they just started bawling. I know that's how he would be, and I know that he wanted me to go but he wanted to be with me more than he wanted me to go.
It just ripped him apart and it killed me too. But he took it pretty good and I don't think he'll ever feel right about it if we don't do it again some time. I don't know how -- he's just devastated and I can't blame him.
Reality TV World: Mark had mentioned during the first two episodes you two needed to learn each other's strengths and weaknesses. Did you have a chance to figure that out about one another at all or did you simply need more time? Did you figure out at least how you complemented each other?
Mark Jackson: We didn't have enough time. We just learned a little bit about each other -- family's lives and all that stuff -- but we just didn't have enough time to just really get to sit down with each other and just say, "Listen, what do you do? What do I do? I'm good at this. I'm good at that. I know how to do this. I'm pretty good at that." But we just didn't have no time to really sit down and talk about everything.
Mallory Ervin: But I also think, like, you can't plan for anything really on the Race. You can automatically go in there without the disadvantages that we had and be much better off, but I gave up everything to go and race with Mark, because I knew -- I thought that he was a good guy.
I've met him only a few times and there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to help him, and I felt that I knew the kind of person he was. That's why I wanted him to be able to race. And even though I wasn't in as good of shape and I could've done worse and I wasn't prepared, I feel like I knew Mark enough to make that decision, and I don't regret it.
Mark Jackson: And it was a perfect decision. Like I said, we just ran into a few little bumbles, and I mean, we know each other probably more now than we did before we started the Race.
Mark Jackson: And that's -- it was a rough time to just jump out there and go when you don't really know each other real, real well.
Reality TV World: Mallory, could you talk about how your participation in the Race with Mark even came about? Was it a very last-minute phone call or did the show have you as a standby Racer for awhile in case something happened?
Mallory Ervin: No, it was totally last minute. I mean, they sent Mark and Bopper out there to race, so it was only a few days before they were about to start the Race. And they made the decision while they were in LA, like they showed on the first episode, [Bopper] couldn't race. I guess he was getting worse as those few days went on.
So they called me, they said, "How far are you from the New York airport? And do you have your backpack?" And literally, I was on a plane within five hours and packed as good as I could, and I was in Nashville so I had to take my mom's backpack because mine was in Kentucky. And I got on the plane, I came there, and it was maybe a day or a day-and-a-half and I was on the starting line.
So it was really sad. I thought I was on Survivor or The Biggest Loser for the longest time. I was asking everyone, "Are you my partner!?" I was so confused about everything, because I didn't see Mark and Bopper when I first got there. I eventually did, but it's just such a different experience. It was crazy. It was a whirlwind to say the least.
Reality TV World: Mallory, you made a couple emotional statements about how you really wanted to help Mark and Bopper and you were racing for Bopper and what not. And some viewers interpreted that as you were running the Race with Mark but solely as Bopper's replacement, meaning that if you two were to win, you were going to give your prize money to Bopper. Would you mind talking about that a little bit? Was that not the case?
Mallory Ervin: Sure, no that's not the case at all. I was going to give part of my winnings to Bopper just because, without him, I wouldn't have had the opportunity. I was running the Race with Mark. I wouldn't have turned around to get the backpack if I wasn't. I would've said, "No," running it for myself. There were a lot of things that I gave in on that, if I were running it as just Bopper's replacement, no.
I was running it for everyone -- for Mark, for Bopper, for my dad, for every fan that we've had or not had. I was running it because I love the Race. I mean, I was definitely on his team, not just as Bopper's replacement.
And I hope Mark didn't see me like that. That's how I felt sometimes, that he just kept being so upset about Bopper not being there instead of thanking me and, "Let's just go on and push through this and see what we can do." I just, no, I was racing with Mark.
Reality TV World: What did you guys think of Cord McCoy and Jet McCoy's decision to give their extra Express Pass to Jennifer Wayne and Caroline Cutbirth? Do you think that was wise or that the girls pretty much manipulated them? Meghan Caramena was shown saying she thought it was kind of a slap in the face to women everywhere that "The Country Singers" weren't really doing things on their own.
Mark Jackson: Well, that's just part of the Race! They was good enough to get it so they got it and that was it. Everybody would've liked to have it and they just got it, I mean.
Mallory Ervin: Yeah, we were surprised because we honestly thought that whoever got it would give it to us because they saw what a disadvantage we were at, like as the Race started to go on with the communication and stuff, so I was kind of disappointed in a way. But now watching it back, I see.
Mark Jackson: They would've gave it to us, I think, but we left that [toy car task] in first place. And if they hadn't given it to them, they would still be out there doing that right now.
Above is the concluding portion of Mark and Mallory's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half.