Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' engaged couple Matt Cucolo and Ashley Gordon talk (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/08/2015
The Amazing Race eliminated engaged couple Matt Cucolo and Ashley Gordon during the 26th season's ninth episode on CBS.
Matt, 30, and Ashley, 28, are both hairstylists from Scarsdale, NY, who had been dating for three years prior to Matt popping the question on the Race. They were ousted from the show after arriving at the tenth leg's Pit Stop in last place. Prior to their ouster, they had survived a non-elimination leg.
In a recent exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Matt and Ashley talked about their The Amazing Race experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: How far behind Laura Pierson and Tyler Adams do you think you guys finally arrived at the Pit Stop in your last leg?
Ashley Gordon: Only about, I would say, anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes behind them.
Reality TV World: So you were pretty close to them.
Ashley Gordon: Yeah, Matt got through that Roadblock so quick and we really did make up a lot of time. What really set us back was completely out of our hands. It was our cab driver.
Matt Cucolo: Right. But we came to the right [Detour] challenge, and Tyler and Laura told us that we were at "Papas" and we were actually at "Mamas." So, I don't know what would've happened, but I do know that that Detour was a lot quicker -- "Mamas."
They were doing the potatoes. And so, what we had to do was get the ingredients so some lady could make a drink. So, I mean, for all I know, it could've been a foot race to the mat, you know?
Reality TV World: When you left the Race, which team were you rooting for to win? Or on the flip side, was there a particular team you were hoping wouldn't win the million?
Matt Cucolo: We wanted to see Laura and Tyler win. We were good friends with them and we worked with them and we got close to them.
Ashley Gordon: Yeah, they were good friends of ours.
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Reality TV World: Are you going to invite any of the Racers to your wedding? Would any of them also be a part of your bridal party?
Ashley Gordon: I don't think the bridal party.
Matt Cucolo: They will be at the wedding though.
Reality TV World: I think the most interesting pairing this season is Hayley Keel and Blair Townsend. In Friday night's episode, Blair said something like, "90% of our day is fun and 10% is hell." What are your thoughts about them watching the season unfold, and do you think in a strange way they're actually good for each other?
Ashley Gordon: As far as love goes, they're definitely not good for each other. They just have way too different personalities to even find any sort of [thing in] common for love.
Matt Cucolo: I don't know. I don't see them being anything but friends.
Ashley Gordon: Yeah, I mean, you would think that given what's on paper that they're both -- you know, Hayley's a nurse and he's a doctor -- you would think that they would work but then you meet them both and you're like, "Wow, those two couldn't be more of polar opposites." But I give him so much credit for being so patient with her, because he's a saint. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: After racing against teams who were on blind dates and watching the season back, do you think the pre-existing couples had an advantage or the other way around? And either way, did that surprise you?
Matt Cucolo: I mean, I think that they had an advantage in a sense that they're trying to just [race] and say, "Hey listen, there's no love here. Let's win a million dollars," and it's all business. So, that could give them an advantage for sure.
Reality TV World: Do you feel the dynamic changed between you two on the Race once you got engaged? Ashley, for example, maybe you were so happy about it that you got less frustrated with him at times or found it easier to stay cool?
Ashley Gordon: No, actually the funny part is that I really did argue with him a lot more than what everybody may think. And they make him look like the freakishly-crazy one and me so super calm, but they're giving me a lot of credit, I must say. (Laughs)
But no, I don't think that our dynamic changed, and later on in the Race, I knew where to open my mouth and try to fight for what I felt was the right thing to do and where not to.
I know that when we were in Amsterdam, just the panic that was so apparent on the Race, I knew that me saying anything to him or yelling at him or doing anything but encouraging him would do the opposite of help. So it's all about understanding your partner and knowing what to say and when to say it. But I knew that he was going to get [the clogs task] eventually. It was just, like, a matter of when.
Reality TV World: Usually people complain about getting a negative edit on a reality show, but Ashley, it sounds like you thought they portrayed you in a more positive light? (Laughs)
Ashley Gordon: Little bit. Little bit. (Laughs) I'm very happy with that I guess. But you know what it is? They really did portray our relationship basically how it is, like, it's who we are. We argue and then we make up and we love each other. We don't hold grudges, we don't fight really that much. We're just two very easy-going people and we love each other.
Reality TV World: What's one thing you learned about each other on the Race that you didn't know before? Anything? Because obviously this is a very high-stress situation, much different probably from your everyday lives together.
Ashley Gordon: Yeah, I don't think I really learned anything about Matt that I didn't already know before the Race, but I did kind of, I guess, adapt to what it's like changing. I changed in the fact I trust Matt doing stuff without my input, like, he doesn't need me.
He's gotten through legs without me, you know what I'm saying? It comes down to doing things, like, I had to trust him with doing Roadblocks and stuff. Even if I knew what to do, I had to just sit there.
Matt Cucolo: Ashley likes to take control. She normally likes to take control.
Ashley Gordon: Right.
Matt Cucolo: So what she's saying is that when she can't be a part of it, she's okay because she can trust me. I think that's what she's trying to say, is that she always likes to do things.
If we have a new door on our apartment and I go to put it together, she'll want to do it because she likes to take control. She's that type of person, and on the Race, that was pulled away from her during Roadblocks when I had to do something and she had to sit back and watch.
Ashley Gordon: That's exactly what I'm trying to say. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: How were you cast on The Amazing Race? And if you did apply, was it your first time?
Ashley Gordon: Yes.
Matt Cucolo: First time, yeah. She actually applied without telling me.
Reality TV World: Ahh, of course, Ashley's in control. (Laughs)
Ashley Gordon: I sent an email to the casting director.
Matt Cucolo: And then that's when I found out.
To read the first half of Matt and Ashley's exclusive interview with Reality TV World, click here.