Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' team Burnie Burns and Ashley Jenkins talk (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/13/2016
The Amazing Race eliminated "Dating Couple" Burnie Burns and Ashley Jenkins, determining Season 28's Final 3 teams during the penultimate broadcast of the CBS reality competition.
Burnie and Ashley became the eighth team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's eleventh Pit Stop at Shenzhen Library Terrace in Shenzhen, China, in last place.
Burnie and Ashley were a tough team to beat all season long, as they finished in second place numerous times. The couple therefore became a target in China because no one wanted to go up against them in the final leg.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Tuesday, Burnie and Ashley talked about their The Amazing Race experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Do you think it's a tougher blow to get eliminated before the final leg than it would be to race in the final leg and lose the million? What do you imagine is worse?
Burnie Burns: Man, that's a great question! That's a great question. We don't know because we only did our way.
Ashley Jenkins: We'd be more than happy to try the other way!
Burnie Burns: (Laughs) Yeah, we'd be happy to do a do-over! I can say that Ashley and I -- I'm pretty sure it was in Armenia -- we were like, "Okay, if we get eliminated tomorrow, I would still be really happy with this experience." And then when we got to China, we realized, "We've gone the whole way. We will be at every step of the way until the finish line."
So we thought we were very grateful to be able to travel to every country [this season], so that was the good part to us. So, I mean, obviously we want to be racing for the million dollars though. That's definitely preferable to being eliminated.
Ashley Jenkins: Yeah, we're gamers. We don't like losing at any level.
Burnie Burns: Yeah.
Reality TV World: How long do you think it took you to complete the art gallery Detour task?
Burnie Burns: The hardest part about it was -- and it shouldn't have been the hardest part of it -- we kind of nailed the hanging of the paintings pretty well, even though our art gallery, well, I was watching it back and there's a point when we go into [Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl]'s art gallery.
Ashley Jenkins: They had a huge art gallery!
Burnie Burns: Our art gallery was so small that we were in, we couldn't flip over paintings in it. We had to take paintings outside, flip them over and bring them back in. There was no way anyone else needed to do this.
Ashley Jenkins: (Laughs)
Burnie Burns: There's a behind-the-scenes video on The Amazing Race YouTube channel called "walking in circles." It took us forever to get the paintings and find the art gallery. We asked probably three people for directions and nobody could read the address. They all just, like, pointed in the general direction. That was probably the single most frustrating part of that.
Ashley Jenkins: I think we spent at least 15 or 20 minutes carrying around a whole bunch of heavy paintings and everyone pointing us in a different direction. It was extraordinarily frustrating.
Burnie Burns: Yeah, if I look at this leg like a game level, the way it was designed, it was designed so well. Because it was basically a whole day of trying to find things and get directions while in a place where the language barrier was probably the hardest.
In the amusement park, we had to run around and find things, and the only people we could ask were tourists in the amusement park, and then we had to find the art gallery, and then we had a Pit Stop that was in a two-block radius and we had to find that. So it was really well-designed.
Ashley Jenkins: After this leg, I started learning Mandarin.
Burnie Burns: (Laughs)
Reality TV World: I don't blame you. (Laughs)
Ashley Jenkins: I can ask, "Where is the library?" in Mandarin any day!
Burnie Burns: She also bought that unicycle.
Ashley Jenkins: I did. You have to take the moments you fell down as an opportunity to save yourself, and so, I'm going to conquer a unicycle and I'm going to conquer Mandarin.
Burnie Burns: There you go!
Ashley Jenkins: And then, I will be that much stronger.
Reality TV World: You two made the biggest move this season by U-Turning Tyler and Korey to ensure Brodie Smith and Kurt Gibson would be the only team completing both sides of the Detour so they'd go home. Korey felt bad about U-Turning the guys at first and Tyler had to talk him out of it. Did you experience any guilt after that? Did Brodie and Kurt ever say anything to you?
Ashley Jenkins: We traveled a lot in the early part of the Race with Brodie and Kurt, and we really like those guys. We think the world of them. They are both incredible competitors and they're both such nice guys as well. We also lost three footraces to the mat to those two players.
Burnie Burns: We lost in Mexico City, we lost in Chamonix, and we lost in Dubai. Three straight footraces we lost to those guys.
Ashley Jenkins: So we knew that if we were to have any sort of chance at taking the million dollars, they would make it that much harder for us. That was one consideration, but we also, when we got to that U-Turn board, all you can do is play with the pieces you're provided. And we had a couple of options there. Because [Brodie and Kurt] were already U-Turned, we could either leave it and let them U-Turn someone else...
Burnie Burns: Probably [Sheri LaBrant and Cole LaBrant].
Ashley Jenkins: And stay in the Race, or we could have U-Turned someone else on their behalf -- and that probably would have been Sheri and Cole -- or we could make sure that they went out. From a strategic standpoint, only one of those made any sense.
Burnie Burns: Yeah. I mean, you get to that board and the scenario is that you can't change what you are presented with. We just looked at what was there and we had to make the best choice for our team at that point in time. We were the strategy team. I think that was our strength. And, you know, we never asked the fast team not to run.
I think I would've felt more guilty if we had gotten all of these second places, we get to the U-Turn board and are like, "Nope, we're just going to move on! We're not going to use the U-Turn." I would ask as a viewer, like, "Does this team want to win?! Why are they doing this?"
You know what I mean? It's like, that was our opportunity as a team that's racing people who are probably 15 years younger than me and professional athletes. You've got to take the opportunities you can to win. And in terms of Brodie and Kurt, they haven't complained about it one time.
I mean, I think there's been a lot of people complaining on their behalf, but they understand it. They are professional athletes and professional competitors. Yeah, we've seen them since the Race and it's always been -- everything has been fine.
Reality TV World: What's the status of your relationship now? How are things going?
Burnie Burns: Well, we broke up right after the Race.
Ashley Jenkins: (Laughs)
Reality TV World: (Laughs) I was hoping there was an announcement or something!
Burnie Burns: Yeah, we're engaged now! We got engaged about a month after we got back from the Race.
Ashley Jenkins: Burnie didn't tell me this, but apparently when we were in Bali, he spent some of our leg money to buy a ring.
Burnie Burns: I did. I bought a little string ring, but then when we got back to the U.S., it didn't feel like that was appropriate. So, I replaced it with a real ring. And yeah, we got engaged shortly after that.
Reality TV World: Well congratulations! And lastly, at the time you guys left the Race, which team were you rooting for to win?
Burnie Burns: On the mat, I don't think we were rooting for anybody in particular, but they asked, "Who do you think is going to win it?" And we said, "Tyler and Korey." Just looking at averages and the strength of the teams...
Ashley Jenkins: They've been so dominant the last half of the Race.
Burnie Burns: But anybody can win it! That's what we were thinking, you know? [Dana Borriello and Matt Steffanina] won the first leg, they didn't use any of the power pieces. And Sheri and Cole...
Ashley Jenkins: You said, "They refuse to die."
Burnie Burns: Yes! (Laughs) They refuse to die.
Ashley Jenkins: They never give up. There were so many tasks that we gave up on and they stuck through.
Burnie Burns: Oh yeah. They just, man, did [great]. So we're not rooting for anyone in particular. We really liked all the teams, but I think Tyler and Korey -- I'll say what I said on the mat when we were eliminated -- I think they're the strongest team and going into the finals, they are going to carry that through.