Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' blind-date couple Bergen Olson and Kurt Jordan Belcher talk (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/08/2015
The Amazing Race eliminated blind-dating couple Bergen Olson and Kurt Jordan Belcher during the 26th season's fifth episode on CBS.
Bergen, a 23-year-old human resources project manager from Sunnyvale, CA, and Kurt, a 24-year-old pageant consultant from Butler, KY, were ousted from the race around the world after they finished the fifth leg in last place. They were the first blind-dating couple to be eliminated from this season.
Bergen and Kurt's downfall was the fact neither of them knew how to drive a stick shift in a leg where they were required to drive themselves to every destination.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Bergen and Kurt talked about their The Amazing Race experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Considering the problems you two had throughout the Race and how this last leg turned out for you, were either of you actually a little bit relieved to get eliminated? Was there a part of you that was happy you wouldn't have to continue racing with one another?
Bergen Olson: No, I wanted to keep going. I wanted to win that million so bad, and I just really enjoyed racing. I wanted to get to the next leg and find out where our next destination was and just keep going. Yes, we may not have worked out, and yes, it may have not been as fun as I hoped, you know, but I still wanted to continue and make it as far as we could.
And that's why I was so disappointed, but I definitely wasn't relieved. There was no part in me that was like, "Ugh, just eliminate me now," or, "I don't even want to go on with this." I would've done anything! I would've shaved my head! And my hair means so much to me. (Laughs) I would've shaved my head in the Race.
Kurt Jordan Belcher: There is no part of me that felt relieved. I just kind of knew it was coming, like the realism set in and it was like, "Okay, stick-shift day. We both knew this was coming. Neither of us know how to drive that, so we knew this was going to happen at some point."
And unfortunately, it did. So when [host Phil Keoghan] walked in there, I was not that surprised. I mean, had it worked out for us on the Race, that would've been awesome. But unfortunately, it just didn't work out for us that way.
Reality TV World: You guys were the first blind-dating couple, I believe, to get eliminated from this season.
Bergen Olson: Don't remind me! (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Did it surprise you to see how well the blind-dating couples were actually doing in the Race? Even if they don't get along most of the time -- like Hayley Keel and Blair Townsend, for example -- they seem to be pretty successful thus far.
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Bergen Olson: We were talking about this, and you know how if you go on a date you want to make a good first impression? I think all of the blind-date teams were wanting to make that good first impression on our partner. We wanted to prove to them, like, "We're going to be a good partner. We're going to do well in this Race."
So everyone is on their best behavior, and you know, there's not a lot of bickering and not a lot of fighting in the first couple episodes or legs because we wanted to make that good first impression.
And the pre-existing couples tended to fall in the back of the pack, but now, you're starting to see that flip, where the blind daters are starting to unfold and bicker and fight and not trust each other -- whereas the pre-existing couples are like, "Oh, we've been in this situation before. No pressure. Stay calm."
You saw [Aly Dudek] be like, "Are you sure you can drive a stick backwards?!" And [Steven Langton] was like, "Yeah, I got this!" They're so cool under pressure. So, you're seeing the flip now, and I think that's a true testament of existing relationships and blind dating.
Reality TV World: Do you think any of the blind daters have a shot at a genuine relationship in the real world? Do you think any of them have romantic potential?
Kurt Jordan Belcher: Well, yeah, I think if anything, there's maybe a couple that seem to kind of like each other. They may live in different states, so I don't know how that would work out, but they definitely got along good.
Bergen Olson: I mean, yes and no. It's such an extreme thing to race with someone on a blind date on The Amazing Race with cameras and all that stuff. And so, it just puts them in such an awkward position.
But, I mean, I can see where they may have a fling after the show, but I can't foresee anyone being like, "Okay, let's actually become boyfriend/girlfriend and start a relationship." I don't know. It's a tough situation to put yourself in.
Reality TV World: What are you guys planning to do about the trip to Mexico you won? Have you talked about that?
Bergen Olson: We haven't really talked about it, but we did talk about it a little bit after our elimination. We were like, "Well, we did win that trip, but I'm sure it's just a trip for two." So, not really sure how that's going to work.
Maybe we'll just go and re-live the experience together and enjoy a vacation, or maybe one of us will give the trip to the other or vice versa. I don't know, we haven't talked about it yet. I think that was kind of the last thing on our minds at that point.
Kurt Jordan Belcher: We have to talk about that.
Bergen Olson: Maybe we can give it to [Matt Cucolo and Ashley Gordon] for their engagement.
Kurt Jordan Belcher: Yeah.
Reality TV World: They are making out like bandits! (Laughs)
Bergen Olson: Exactly.
Kurt Jordan Belcher: Right?!
Reality TV World: Have either of you found love since the show filmed or are at least on that path?
Kurt Jordan Belcher: Yeah, I'm married! No, I'm just kidding. I have not. I mean, there's definitely been guys that have messaged me and there's definitely some people that have come out of the woodwork -- just because I was on TV they want to talk to me now, but I'm smarter than that. But, no, I'll just continue to wait for that person, and when he comes along, I'll know who he is.
Bergen Olson: Yes, ditto. Same thing. People definitely came out of the woodwork, like, people you haven't talked to in years or people from high school that are now trying to talk to you and now they want to be best friends.
It's hard to find that balance of who's truly being genuine and who's just talking to you now because you were on TV or whatever. So, I have gone on a few dates but nothing has really come about for me yet. I'm sure something will happen, but I want him to come to me rather than me going out and looking for it.
Reality TV World: Which team was your biggest competition while racing?
Bergen Olson: I would say the biggest competition we had, honestly, was probably the Olympians [Aly and Steve] just because they were so calm. They're calm and they don't get frazzled under pressure. After the first two legs, they kind of just finished in the middle to the top of the pack every time.
They weren't winning but they weren't finishing at the bottom. They were high-placing and just so calm and so happy. Also, everyone loves them. So, I think that was the team I felt had the best chance of winning.
Kurt Jordan Belcher: I'm going to agree with that!
Reality TV World: What was the biggest challenge for both of you on the show?
Kurt Jordan Belcher: My biggest challenge was that I have a fear of heights. So when we ziplined, I was nervous about that. But once I did it, I loved it.
Bergen Olson: Honestly, coming into it, I knew that the stick-shift driving, I mean, that was weighing so much on my mind. I was like, "Gosh, I just pray that someone who's going to be partners with me is going to know how to drive and I'll be fine." I'm a good navigator, so I could've navigated from the backseat while he drove. So that was probably my biggest fear coming into it, and yep, it sure did [come true].
Click here to read the first half of Bergen and Kurt's exclusive The Amazing Race interview with Reality TV World.