Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' third-place team Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl talk about their experience
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/17/2016
The Amazing Race's "Best Friends" team Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl finished the final leg of Season 28 in third place during Friday night's finale on CBS.
Tyler and Korey, who are stars on YouTube, lost the $1 million to winners Dana Borriello and Matt Steffanina. The guys also couldn't beat the team who finished in second place -- "Mother and Son" team Sheri LaBrant and Cole LaBrant.
Tyler and Korey's loss was considered a little bit of a shock since they had won so many legs this season and were clear frontrunners.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Tyler and Korey talked about their time on The Amazing Race. Below is what they had to say.
Reality TV World: How long after Sheri and Cole do you think you finally arrived at the finish line and is it safe to say you definitely knew you were in third place racing to the mat?
Korey Kuhl: Tyler might be able to tell you the timing more exact, but I think we were, like, 10-15 minutes behind Sheri and Cole. But when we pulled into the winery, the van had to drive past the lake, and we literally drove past the finish line and saw Matt and Dana standing on it.
So, yeah, we knew we were in third. But we pretty much knew we were in third from the building jump that morning, so it was no real surprise.
Reality TV World: Did it drive you crazy that Sheri and Cole finished before you considering you two won so many legs and they were the underdogs surviving non-elimination legs this season?
Tyler Oakley: Absolutely not. We went into the entire race knowing that people are cast for a reason, and just because one leg might not showcase their strengths or talents, it doesn't mean that they are not capable of winning the entire thing. So, you know, if somebody comes in tenth place one leg, I don't count them out for a second.
And so, when we were going into the finale, we knew it was anybody's race to win. And just because you had some success in a couple of legs prior, it doesn't make you the sure win of the entire season.
So, when it came to Sheri and Cole, you know, killing it in the finale, that was no surprise to me. I knew how strong and competitive they were. And watching them grow the entire season, they were just getting better and better the entire time.
Korey Kuhl: Tyler and I said all along we would love to race against two teams in the final that we loved and respected, and certainly we wanted to win, but we honestly -- I said, "If I can go into the Final 3 and we know we'd be happy with each of the other two teams winning if it didn't work out for us," well that was completely the case with both Matt and Dana and Sheri and Cole.
Reality TV World: It seemed like no one really viewed Dana and Matt as a big threat all season long. Why was that? Was it just because of their bickering? Like Tyler, you even teamed up with Dana to complete a Roadblock in one of the recent episodes.
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Korey Kuhl: We definitely knew that the dancers were a threat from the beginning. I mean, I think a lot of teams had eyes on them right from the first moment all the teams got to see each other. And then they truly dominated the first leg in Mexico, and they were the first ones, pretty much, to everything and done with everything.
We were hot on their tails and that's why we kind of teamed up with them on Day 1. We thought, "They are a strong team, we're a strong team. Let's see how far we can take this together, and let's have one team that we can trust completely."
Tyler Oakley: Plus, we really did genuinely love them. We would laugh with them during our downtime, we would spend so much time with them in airports and on trains. And you know, Korey teamed up with Matt at the flag challenge in Geneva. I teamed up with Dana during the China challenge.
And I'm surprised it kind of came across like it was to get [Burnie Burns] out because it was actually to make sure that Dana and I advanced forward. It had nothing to do with any of the other teams. It was more so that her and I could make sure we were advancing. Yeah. It was based on not trying to eliminate anyone but rather further both of us.
Reality TV World: What do you think was your demise in the final leg? Was it the Roadblock task when Tyler had to jump off the skyscraper that did you in or would you attribute your third-place finish to something else?
Korey Kuhl: I mean, we had a bad day that day just with both of our cabs. The first cab dropped us off at the wrong spot. I mean, the building jump certainly didn't help. Tyler was above and beyond the shortest guy cast this season. Every guy was 6'1" or taller, and it's not like those were adjusted for height.
So, it was very easy for Matt -- who is 6'1" -- to reach out and grab that whereas Tyler and Sheri are both half his size. So Matt had that advantage.
Tyler Oakley: I'll be the first to say I was not as good of a jumper as Matt, but yeah, our day was not the best! And you can't have an off day, especially in the finale. I would say that, sure, we had some slip-ups, but when it came to picking who did that jump, it's not like it said, "Who's got the tallest vertical leap?!"
Korey Kuhl: (Laughs)
Tyler Oakley: Whenever it's a Roadblock, it's kind of a guessing game as to what it's actually going to be. And so, while a lot of strategists might have been like, "Oh, it's a no-brainer to pick Korey," you never know what it's actually going to be. And in the finale, you always know that they're going to maybe have a memory challenge.
I felt so much more comfortable with Korey doing the memory challenge, especially because that's something he's always loved in past seasons. So, I felt like, "Okay, maybe this is my chance to do this so that Korey can do the memory challenge later in the episode."
It also didn't help that it was a pretty linear leg. And once those positions were kind of in place after that first challenge. Nobody passed another team. There was no switching up of placements.
But with all that said, Matt and Dana deserved their win that day. They ran an incredible leg the same way Sheri and Cole killed it. They deserved to be in second place. Yeah, I don't want to make excuses for anything, but we just had a sh-tty day.
Reality TV World: Would you be interested in competing in an all-stars edition, and if so, how might you better prepare for next time? Is there something you learned from your experience on the show that would help or hurt you in a future race?
Korey Kuhl: I mean, I think we would both be there in a heartbeat, and if they called -- I think if you ask anybody who's ever done the Race if they would do it again, they would say that they would.
And as far as preparing for it, I think a lot of our success honestly came from being able to fly by the seat of our pants, so to speak. Some of the other teams would over-analyze every clue and they would research the heck out of every city once we found out that we were going there.
But it's like, Tyler and I said all along, you've got to be able to be flexible. You've got to be able to adjust a little bit, and I think, honestly, that was one of our biggest strengths. So, I mean, I would want to do a lot the exact same way we did it the first time.
Tyler Oakley: Yeah, when I think of "would've, could've, should've" of how you run the Race, it's impossible to think like that. I wouldn't change a single thing that we did the entire time. I would still have Korey do the dancing, I would still have me do the jumping, because it got us to where we were. And you know, we had so much fun that I literally have zero regrets about the entire experience.
Reality TV World: You are clearly best friends and we learned earlier in the season why you never dated, but I guess I just have to ask, is there a chance you guys could ever develop something more than a friendship? Maybe down the road? (Laughs)
Tyler Oakley: No.
Korey Kuhl: Oh God.
Tyler Oakley: I think we would both say 100% no. That was the first question [The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan] asked us when we first met him in our interview. He kind of interrupted the whole process and was like, "Wait a second. So you guys have never dated?!" And we were like, "No." (Laughs). I mean, we get that question a lot, but I think for both of us, it's a resounding "no."
Reality TV World: I see. You guys just get along so well obviously.
Tyler Oakley: Brandon is still out there for Tyler!
To read more interviews with the Final 3 teams, check Reality TV World's The Amazing Race Season 28 page.