'The Amazing Race' racer Matt Ladley talks: Redmond and I had an unspoken promise that set us up for success
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/01/2017
The Amazing Race racers Matt Ladley and Redmond Ramos were eliminated from the reality competition during Season 29's penultimate episode on CBS.
Matt, a 25-year-old pro snowboarder from Denver, CO, and Redmond, a 28-year-old former U.S. Navy corpsman from Murrieta, CA, were ousted from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the eleventh leg's Pit Stop on the islands of Sevit Some in Seoul, South Korea in last place due to transportation problems.
"We wanted to show the world that nothing can bring you down. No matter what your struggle is, you can succeed," Matt said, before telling his stranger-partner who had become a friend: "I'm stoked you were my partner. We had a good time."
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World via email, Matt talked about his The Amazing Race experience. Below is what he had to say.
Reality TV World: [I know Redmond said it was 15 minutes], but when you finally arrived at the Pit Stop on the islands of Sevit Some in Seoul, how far behind the third place finishers were you?
Matt Ladley: I don't know if it was even 15 minutes. I think it was only a few but maybe you're right Red.
Reality TV World: How long do you think you rode the subway for in South Korea and how long do you think it took the other teams to arrive to the Gangnam District via taxi? And would you say that was the biggest mistake you guys made during your whole time racing?
Matt Ladley: The subway was a little slower obviously, but we were only a few minutes behind. I don't think it was a big mistake, a little slower, yes, but if we had a taxi driver that took us to the right place afterwards, I think we would have been fine based on the time it took us to do our challenges.
Reality TV World: How much time did your taxi driver unfortunately waste by taking you guys to the wrong gym when you were supposed to be going to Hanyang University Olympic Gym? And how frustrating was that?
Matt Ladley: Very frustrating. And there's not much control with that sort of thing. We did the best we could and by then, we were aware that you need a driver that knows where he is going. What they didn't show is that we asked one driver, he didn't know, so we waited and found the next guy, showed him our clue and asked if he knew where it was, and he said "yes" and repeated it back to us.
We did the best we could and put our trust in him. I guess the drive should have taken about 20-30 minutes from what the other teams later told us. And yeah, like Red said, he took us to the wrong side of the city which was about 30 minutes, then about an hour to get back through traffic to the correct location.
Reality TV World: Once you finally arrived at the correct gym, do you have any idea how far behind the third-place team you were? The show made it look like you arrived just after [London Kaye] and [Logan Bauer] left the Roadblock.
Matt Ladley: No idea, it was empty of Racers and we knew we were far behind.
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Reality TV World: The show made it look like everything was easy for you guys this season. Even when you got U-Turned at one point, you still avoided a last-place finish. So what did you find most challenging or difficult about your Race? Was there a specific task or moment?
Matt Ladley: Haha yeah I wouldn't call The Amazing Race easy. Some of the challenges didn't phase us too much but there were many times they did. The thing is you just have to do it.
Whining and stressing about them is a huge waste of time and counterproductive, so we stuck to our little motto of, "Take a breath, read your clue, tell yourself you can do it." Really that's all you need and good attitude. This race is supposed to be hard, that's the point, but it's possible, so just keep going.
Other than that, the hardest part was getting from point A to point B. Whether it's on our own or via taxi, there can be so many hurdles and curve balls that can cost you a lot of time. Finding our way in different countries is definitely difficult. We got lost a lot!
Reality TV World: At the time you got eliminated from the Race, which team did you think would end up winning The Amazing Race? And which team were you hoping would win?
Matt Ladley: Probably [Joey Covino] and [Tara Carr]. I really like them both. Nothing against the other teams though they all are great.
Reality TV World: You guys clearly made an amazing team, and it's funny to think you paired up as strangers. How do you think your strengths and weaknesses complemented each other during the Race?
Matt Ladley: Thanks! Yeah we had blast together. We never really planned on it, but I think we both had an unspoken promise to ourselves that a bad attitude and any arguing with each other was unacceptable, and to stay positive no matter what and try to enjoy it all too.
I think that set us up for a lot of success. And while we didn't win, I believe that helped get us far. You don't have to be the fastest, strongest, and smartest to win this race, but a good attitude is going to set you up for a lot of success. Well, that paired with a little luck, or at least no bad luck haha.
As for weaknesses, I don't know, were both leaders so that could be seen as difficult, but we did a really good job trusting each other when we felt it was our time to lead and having faith in our partner's decisions. Other than that, we were both a little nervous to dance or sing but luckily avoided those.
Reality TV World: Was this your first time ever applying to compete on The Amazing Race? And is it safe to say you'd race together again in a heartbeat if given the opportunity?
Matt Ladley: Yup first time for both of us. I would love to race again with Red; I didn't like the way we went and really hope there is an All-Stars and that we could get another chance. Bring [Andy Finch] and [Tommy Czeschin] back too 'cause they got robbed! Plus I used to compete with both of them in professional snowboard contests, so it would be an awesome competition in the race!
To read our exclusive interview with Matt's teammate, Redmond Ramos, click here.