'The Amazing Race' team Taylor and Isaiah reveal the tragic reason they didn't return for Season 33 restart
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/20/2022
The Amazing Race teammates Taylor Green-Jones and Isaiah Green-Jones have revealed the tragic reason they were unable to resume competing on the show's 33rd season once production restarted after a coronavirus shutdown.
The Amazing Race executive producers decided to postpone filming Season 33 and send all of the teams home after three legs to keep everyone safe as COVID-19 was beginning to spread in February 2020.
Production halted in Scotland and restarted 19 months later in Switzerland, but Taylor and Isaiah were one of four teams who didn't make it back.
On why the "YouTube sensations" and married men couldn't continue racing for the #1 million grand prize, Taylor took to his Instagram account on Wednesday and wrote, "Now that the episode has aired, I'm able to share why we didn't return to the race after the 19 month hiatus."
Taylor and Isaiah apparently traveled to Switzerland for the Race restart and had every intention to finish out the season, but then a family tragedy called the men back home to Portland again.
"My big brother/protector Montrell "Kirk" passed away from COVID [two] days after we arrived for the restart of the race," Taylor revealed.
"As you can imagine, this was devastating for our family, friends & loved ones. Without question we left the show to be back home and support our family."
Taylor thanked CBS and The Amazing Race for working with them on this matter and for "making it a priority" to get them home safety to their loved ones.
"Thanks to all the other teams this season for your encouraging words. And last but not least, thanks to all of you who were rooting for us this season, we could feel the love," Taylor wrote.
"Hopefully we can return to the Race in the future and claim victory. - Taylor & Isaiah Green-Jones #blueteam."
Taylor elaborated on his The Amazing Race exit and how he's coping with his brother's death during a Thursday appearance on CBS' affiliate in Portland, OR called KOIN AM Extra.
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"The show was suspended due to COVID, and 19 months later, we actually did return. But amongst the first two days that we were there, the producers came and told me that my mom was on the phone, and it turns out my brother had passed from COVID," Taylor explained.
"So nonetheless, we dropped everything and flew out on a red eye back home to support my family."
Taylor assured fans that he and Isaiah are "doing okay now," and taking things "day by day." He said they're continuously "supporting one another" as well as Taylor's mother and family.
"So we're getting through this time. A lot of people are dealing with the exact same things. You know, COVID is very real, so we are just taking extra precautions," Taylor shared.
When the team was asked if they'd be interested in returning for a future season, Isaiah confirmed, "We hope."
"Sometimes they do bring teams back on different seasons," Isaiah noted, "so we hope that we can get a shot at the million and kind of get that full experience. But we're very grateful for the experience that we did have so far."
"Yeah, hopefully," Taylor said. "Bring us back! Bring us back!"
But Taylor and Isaiah said they really enjoyed the first three legs, the pre-pandemic part of The Amazing Raceseason.
"It was everything that we expected and not what we expected," Taylor said with a laugh.
"Just to be able to work together and do something like that on TV has been an experience. And I'm glad we were able to have it together. So I'm just excited we got to be in those types of situations together to kind of see how we handle the stress."
And Isaiah added that he really enjoyed the Scottish dance and wearing those kilts.
"Those kilts were fire, and we had a really great time dancing and singing," Isaiah pointed out.
During last week's The Amazing Race episode, host Phil Keoghan gathered the nine remaining teams together after Leg 3 in Scotland to announce, "The Amazing Race has traveled over a million miles around the world and visited almost 100 countries. And from Day 1, our No. 1 priority has been to make sure that all of you are safe."
"Right now, the world is dealing with the coronavirus, and in order to keep you safe, we believe the best choice for all of us is to suspend the Race."
Phil added, "In an ideal world, the planets will align and we will pick this Race back up again and hopefully have all of you starting the Race again. We understand the sacrifices all of you have made, and we know to have you all come back and start back on this race again would be challenging."
Phil told the teams they could return home, regroup, and come back "better and faster" than they were in the beginning.
"You guys are one of a kind, and we want to see you go home safe to your families," Phil announced. "Thank you very much!"
And a whopping 19 months later, The Amazing Race picked back up in St. Gallen, Switzerland with only five teams ready to compete.
The teams who returned were "Best Friends" Ryan Ferguson and Dusty Harris, "Flight Attendants" Raquel Moore and Cayla Platt, "Twins and Radio Hosts" Marianela "Lulu" Gonzalez and Marissa "Lala" Gonzalez, "Internet Personalities" Kim Holderness and Penn Holderness, and "Married Educators" Akbar Cook Sr. and Sheridan Cook.
In addition to Taylor and Isaiah, the other teams who were unable to resume the Race were "Childhood Friends" Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone, "Married Couple" Connie Greiner and Sam Greiner, and "Dating Couple" Caro Viehweg and Ray Gantt.
Anthony apparently accepted a new job that prevented him from taking more time off for the show.
"Not everybody had the ability to come back and race for that $1 million prize. So, a few familiar faces [are] taking their place!" Phil declared during the latest episode that aired on Wednesday night.
Suddenly, two previously-eliminated Season 33 teams came running out and cheering: "Singing Police Officers" Michael and Moe as well as "Father and Daughter" Arun Kumar and Natalia Kumar.
None of the returnees seemed upset that producers had welcomed back two teams they had already beaten and eliminated given the times.
During an interview with Us Weekly earlier this month, Phil said the teams who were able to restart The Raceafter a lengthy hiatus were "in high spirits" with "a tremendous amount of anticipation... and comradery."
Phil noted that the cast had been "excited" but also "super emotional" to be back.
"What people have been through, it hasn't been easy for people. Everybody has faced hardships, job losses, and [deaths] of people who are close to them," Phil shared.
Teams flew in a private chartered plane, ran a limited race route through a handful of Mediterranean countries with "remote areas or small cities" where coronavirus infection rates were low, and were constantly tested for the virus on the road.
The teams also avoided public transportation and reportedly engaged with only vaccinated locals.