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Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' eliminees Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan talk (Part 1)


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/27/2014 

The Amazing Race eliminated Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan during Friday night's fifth broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 25th season. 

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The "Engaged Couple" and former Survivor castaways from Boston, MA, became the fourth team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's fifth Pit Stop at Al Matjar Carpet Shop in Marrakech, Morocco, in last place.

Keith and Whitney had trouble competing one side of the Detour task only to learn they'd eventually have to finish both tasks because Shelley Porter and Nici Porter had U-Turned them.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Keith and Whitney talked about their The Amazing Race experience. Below is the first half. 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?

Whitney Duncan: We're not really sure. Keith, do you know?

Keith Tollefson: How far behind Amy and Maya? Honestly, I think we were probably a little over an hour.

Reality TV World: After you got eliminated, tell me how you guys were feeling about Shelley Porter and Nici Porter. It seemed like you regretted fighting with them because they ended up U-Turning you. I guess, was that a sincere regret or were you just lamenting the fact that one fight had basically cost you the Race?

Whitney Duncan: No, it was actually a sincere regret for us. We should've been the bigger team and said, "Yes, you know what Shelley? If you want the one-second lead you're going to get from getting this clue right now, go ahead."

We should've been much better about that, but you know, emotions run high, we were really stressed out. That was not really our first run-in with them that day.

They had already been super aggressive that morning in trying to block us from getting in the customs line, actually, when we got to Morocco. So this was frustration built up with this team for a while. So, yeah, it all came to a head and we should've just let them go.

Keith Tollefson: It is a situation that I regretted. I overreacted. I shouldn't have -- I let my emotions get the better of me. And ultimately, that's what can cost you the Race, especially when that leg, having a U-Turn, that was not a good leg to lose my temper. She was calling me and I just couldn't hold it back anymore. I got frustrated and I started yelling at her. It was just the dumbest thing on my part.

Reality TV World: After watching the episode back on TV last night, do you still stand by the fact Shelley or Nici pushed you for no reason? Do you remember the situation differently than it looked on TV or no?

Keith Tollefson: Well, we all got there almost at the exact same time. So every team was there. Shelley and Nici were kind of celebrating and talking to each other and being really happy, and I went right to the mat to get the next clue.

They weren't ready for me, so Whitney went and grabbed our bags and everyone could merge there at the same time, so she couldn't get next to me. It wasn't physically possible. Well, Nici just started screaming at me and trying to pull me off the mat, saying that my partner wasn't there.

And at that point, I started kind of just yelling, like, "You're not allowed to touch me! That's one of the rules on the Race; You can't physically harm or touch another team." So I got really upset and then she started doing it again. And so, I just let my emotions get the better of me.

Whitney Duncan: Yeah, well, I wasn't technically -- when he got to the mat, I wasn't there. I was running up there. It took me two seconds to get there and the guy wasn't ready to hand us our clue anyway. I don't think they expected everyone to get back at that moment, so they weren't ready for us.

They gave me time to get to the mat and then they blocked me from actually getting up there, because at that point, they were in an altercation. And I was like, "I'm right here! I'm right behind you." But yeah, see, the problem is, Nici did get to the mat first, but she went past the mat and started celebrating.

And in the time they did that, Keith got to the mat and was standing there waiting for the clue. So, you know, the whole thing was dumb. We should've just let them go in front because there was no lead. But at that point, they were already so frustrating throughout the day. I think it just -- or like Keith said, emotions just got the best of both of us.

Reality TV World: Whitney, you said if you had originally picked the tea Detour task, you guys would likely still be in the Race and you might've even won that leg. How long did that tea task take you and how long did the "Twirl Time" take you -- the first and second times you attempted it?

Whitney Duncan: Yes, the tea time took us maybe 10 minutes, because Keith was the pourer and I held it with my arms, and our attention to detail was really good -- well, his is really good. Mine's not so great. But we blew through that challenge.

And the head-twirling challenge, I just needed to move my head and my neck at the same time and it was just terrible. It probably took us over an hour the first time we did the tassel thing and then the tea challenge took us about 10 minutes.

But getting to the tea challenge was what took so long. That was the hard part of that challenge, was actually finding it. And then, once we got back to the twirling thing, it maybe took 15 to 20 minutes.

Reality TV World: So it sounds like you got lost on your way to the "Tea Time" Detour task?

Whitney Duncan: Oh no, we actually didn't get lost once on the Race, which is unheard of, I think. No, it just took a while to get there. It was through all these crazy streets and getting directions. We got there without getting lost. It just took a while. It was a pretty good way away from the head-twirling challenge.

Reality TV World: Whitney, you mentioned twice you wanted to quit the twirling Detour task. The second time, you actually followed through with that. But the first time, Keith shot down the idea and asked you to stick with it. If you actually quit right away, do you think that would've altered how that leg turned out for you two or do you think it wouldn't have made much of a difference?

Whitney Duncan: I think we still would've been U-Turned, for sure, but it could've had a different outcome. I mean, who knows! But I think, at that time, he really believed that I was going to be able to do it. I should've been more outspoken and said, "No, we're switching now. I can't do this." And I didn't do that. So, that's my fault.

Reality TV World: The show made it look like Shelley and Nici were deciding whether to U-Turn yourselves or Misti Raman and Jim Raman, who still had that "Save" advantage in their pockets. Based upon what you knew of the other teams, would you say Shelley and Nici's decision was definitely just personal? Do you think there's a chance they also viewed you guys as their biggest threat?

Whitney Duncan: They weren't the kind to play strategically. They went based off of emotion. I knew when that happened, judging how they had been the whole race, they would take out the revenge on us.

I knew it! I said, "If they get to the mat first, we're U-Turned." So, I just think -- they might've said they were thinking Jim and Misti because they knew that was the smart move, but I don't think they had any doubt. They saw us and were like, "Done."

Keith Tollefson: If the situation was reversed and we had gotten to the U-Turn mat, I absolutely would not have U-Turned them. There was no strategy. I wanted to U-Turn Misti and Jim. I explained that to all the other teams, "Everyone, we need to get 'The Save' out of play otherwise they'll get a free pass every week."

Well, everyone kind of agreed but nobody apparently believed me enough to make that move. Nobody wanted to, what they thought, would be making an enemy. And so, you could see when Misti and Jim got to the mat, they were almost laughing, like, "Our names are not here?! We don't have to do both challenges?! Wow." But we U-Turned no one.

Whitney Duncan: So they got a free pass! (Laughs)

Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Keith and Whitney's exclusive interview.



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