Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' runner-up team Sheri LaBrant and Cole LaBrant talk (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/17/2016
The Amazing Race's "Mother and Son" team Sheri LaBrant and Cole LaBrant finished the final leg of Season 28 in second place during Friday night's finale on CBS.
Sheri and Cole lost the $1 million to winners Dana Borriello and Matt Steffanina, however, they defeated third-place finishers Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl, who had been known as the ones to beat.
Sheri and Cole overcame the odds by making it as far as they did in the race around the world, including two last-place finishes, a clear physical disadvantage and Cole's fear of heights.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Sheri and Cole talked about their The Amazing Race experience. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: I hear that you arrived at the finish line about 30 minutes behind Dana and Matt. Is that accurate?
Cole LaBrant: Yeah, I think, pretty much around there.
Sheri LaBrant: I would say maybe some [time] close to there, but I was thinking it was a little closer. The reason why I'm going to say less is because when we drove to do the barrels, we actually drove past the finish line, and I saw people clapping.
So, I think what happened is, we saw Dana and Matt running through and the people were clapping, because then Tyler and Korey said they actually saw them on the mat. We didn't see them on the mat, but I saw everyone clapping, and I can guarantee you it didn't take Cole 30 minutes to do that puzzle.
Reality TV World: Yeah, I was going to ask if you had an idea how long, Cole, it took you to do the final Roadblock. You seemed prepared that hashtags would be involved, so I'm wondering if you finished the puzzle in one try or not.
Cole LaBrant: Yeah, I mean, I was prepared. I didn't get it absolutely on the first try. I had all of the hashtags of the countries correct and stuff, but I just didn't know how to spell some things correctly. (Laughs) So I'd have everything in place, and then from there, find out the misspelled words and fix them. So I got it right on the first try except for the spellings.
Sheri LaBrant: And he did do it very quickly.
Reality TV World: It seemed like no one really viewed Dana and Matt as a big threat all season long, mainly because of their bickering and the fact two male-male teams kept finishing the legs in first place. So were you surprised Dana and Matt ended up winning the Race?
Cole LaBrant: I mean, I wasn't surprised. They won the first leg and they're huge fans of the show. And really throughout the entire show, they weren't close to elimination. I know towards the last few legs they may have been more towards the bottom, but there were only five or six teams, so that's still not bad.
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They were a strong team, really, all the way through. And yeah, they were a team who bickered a little bit, but all in all, they were a really strong team. And I knew it could've been anyone's game. I didn't expect anyone would win, and after Matt got the jump off [the skyscraper] on the first try, there was really nowhere left in the leg to catch up. So, they really had won the Race after the very first challenge.
Reality TV World: You two were viewed as the underdogs this season, mainly because you luckily survived two non-elimination legs. Were you worried about teams not taking you seriously or, if you were to win, not finding you deserving? If so, did that affect your confidence at all?
Sheri LaBrant: First, let me correct that. (Laughs) We didn't get two non-elimination legs. We got one "keep on racing."
Reality TV World: Okay, okay, I'll give you that. (Laughs)
Sheri LaBrant: I just want to put that out there.
Cole LaBrant: It's pretty much the same thing though, mom.
Sheri LaBrant: But it's not the same thing! It's not the same thing.
Cole LaBrant: It is. We finished last twice and should've been eliminated twice.
Sheri LaBrant: Yeah, well, we got lucky twice, but it was a "keep on racing" and a non-elimination.
Cole LaBrant: (Laughs)
Sheri LaBrant: But I'm actually perfectly fine that everyone thought we were the underdogs and underestimated us, because I think us staying under-the-radar kind of kept us in the game.
Reality TV World: On that note, since you were mostly in the back of the pack throughout the Race, did it sort of light a fire inside of you and add a lot of pressure, or was it a more disheartening situation in which you approached each leg thinking, "We'll just have fun and do our best, and hopefully we can make it to the next leg."
Sheri LaBrant: I think that was probably our strategy (laughs) through the whole thing. It was just to do our best and really have fun doing it and make it to the next leg. There were a few times that we knew that we were last, and so, in Chamonix, I told Cole, "I think scaling the side of the mountain is going to be faster," because I wasn't ready for us to be out.
So I said, "I think it will be faster," and then, on top of that, since we are last, if we are going to go out, let's go out doing something really fun, which is scaling the side of a mountain and not necessarily building a tent.
And we kind of did the same thing with racing the camels, you know? We knew we were last in Dubai, well, we just thought racing camels would be so much more fun than pulling a camel through a dessert.
Cole LaBrant: There was really no point throughout the entire race where we, or at least I, thought that we could win until the finale. Even in the finale, I still knew it was anybody's leg and anything could happen, but I mean, because of our leg history, it was pretty much like second to last, second to last, second to last, last, then a continuation, second to last, second to last, non-elimination.
So, like my mom said, really, our strategy was stay it in and make it to the next leg. Obviously we tried to win. It's not like we wanted to get second to last, but it was also just all in all, we were a physically weaker team. We just had fun, tried to stay positive and confident, and then other than that, anything else was just going to happen as it happened. So, we just gave it our all and got second!
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Sheri and Cole's exclusive The Amazing Race interview. To begin reading our interview with Dana and Matt, click here.