'The Amazing Race' Racer Sheri Cook: Our editing was accurate, Akbar and I were at each other's throats a lot!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/09/2022
The Amazing Race Racer Sheridan "Sheri" Cook has revealed she believes her edit with husband Akbar Cook Sr. was accurate and a "wonderful" representation of their relationship on the Race.
The "Married Educators" and former college athletes were eliminated from The Amazing Race's 33rd season during last week's episode when they arrived at the sixth Pit Stop in Corsica in last place out of the remaining six teams because Akbar had struggled through a Roadblock task.
During their run, Akbar faced backlash for being hard on his wife, as he was often shown pushing her to perform better and move faster, and when Sheri seemed to have enough of her husband's nagging, she'd yell "shut up."
After watching back their episodes filled with constant bickering and tension between the couple, Sheri actually admitted to Gold Derby during a recent joint interview, "You know what? I was fine with the editing."
Sheri probably shocked The Amazing Race fans when she said with a laugh, "I thought they did a wonderful job! I really do."
"We were honestly at each other's throats a whole lot," Sheri explained. "Akbar sort of came off as the villain because he was actually shown saying more things than I was. But we were at each other's throats, back and forth."
Sheri pointed out how some situations on The Amazing Race were simply "stressful."
"It's enjoyable and stressful at the same time. When you're under stress like that and you're trying to do things really quickly, sometimes things happen," Sheri said.
"We weren't sugarcoating anything. How it came out sometimes wasn't pretty, but it came out."
Sheri, however, confirmed that "there was no love lost" in her marriage.
"We're still in love, we're still married. Everything was good," Sheri insisted.
"I went into it knowing I wasn't gonna read any comments or anything like that," she added, "whether good or bad. I don't want to read the comments because I don't want anything to taint the experience."
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Sheri called The Amazing Race "an experience of a lifetime" and said she "wouldn't trade it for anything" and she loved being a part of the show.
"I actually told Akbar to stop reading comments as well. He would sit there and read comments and sometimes go back and forth with people. I'm like, 'Why are you doing that? It's not even worth it," Sheri revealed.
Akbar backed Sheri's comments and her stance on their arguing during a separate joint interview with Parade.
"We argue and we bicker. We're yin and yang," Akbar noted. "We both knew when the other person had enough. So that's when she pulls out the 'shut up.' She said it so much we should put that on a shirt right now!"
Akbar had told the cameras while running the Race that snapping at his wife during Roadblock and Detour tasks was a way of trying to "bring the athlete" out of her and motivate her.
And Sheri apparently had no problem with that, other than his harsh "tone" at times.
"The thing that I kept saying to him was his tone, the way he was saying things," Sheri shared with Parade.
"It wasn't that I was against him saying things and motivating me. But it was a tone that he was using. We're running miles and miles; I'm already tired, and I'm trying to speak at the same time."
She added, "I don't need the condescending tone and 'you can do this, and you can do that.'"
Sheri, however, clearly didn't want to sell herself short and she wanted to put her best effort into the Race.
"I welcomed his push," she said. "But it was just the way that he was saying things."
Sheri admitted it was sometimes difficult in the moment to hear demands or orders rather than more supportive and encouraging remarks.
"I think he could have been a little bit more, 'Come on, Sher, you can do it.' He says that's not him. But he needed to work on it," Sheri acknowledged.
"So I think half of the time I said, 'Shut up,' and we were bickering back and forth, it was because of the way that he was saying things, not the thing he was saying it."
Sheri reasoned how some poking gets her "pumped up" and motivated -- "but just not in that way" Akbar was often shown.
Regardless of how they were perceived by home viewers, Akbar said he and Sheri weren't going to hide their real feelings on the Race or put on a show for cameras. He said they had no desire to be "this fake couple" on TV.
"That's not what we are. We've been together 23 years," Akbar said, adding how he's an "ultimate competitor" who certainly wasn't trying to send the wrong message.
"No one can look into my messages and say I was trying to beat up on my wife."
Akbar told Parade how he doesn't mind coming across like the "villain" as long as his wife -- whom he wanted the world to see at her absolute strongest -- looks like the "superhero."
"She is a teacher of second graders; I want you to think about this. The teacher of second-graders in a pandemic; they've been together since kindergarten. They look at her as a superhero. They're looking for any way to quit," Akbar explained.
"I don't want them to watch us on there, and we're out first leg because we were jogging. So it was like, if she didn't see what was at stake, I want her to know."
Akbar, however, apologized for the way his words "came out" sometimes and said his tone when speaking to Sheri certainly "could have been better."
The five remaining teams on The Amazing Race's 33rd season are "Internet Personalities" Penn and Kim Holderness, "Best Friends" Ryan Ferguson and Dusty Harris, "Flight Attendants" Raquel Moore and Cayla Platt, "Father and Daughter" Arun Kumar and Natalia Kumar, and "Twins and Radio Hosts" Marianela "Lulu" Gonzalez and Marissa "Lala" Gonzalez.