Hello friends and fans --- one final time!
Thank you all for the lovely email condolences that you sent after our "elimination" in the last leg. We really appreciated hearing from all of you throughout the race, and were so touched that you were sad to see us go. We were really quite bummed too. If you missed Part 1 of the finale that Tracey posted earlier, you can read that here.
I wanted to provide you with some post race sequesterville stories, and our view from the finish line. But first I realize we need to explain the bizarre and unprecedented circumstances surrounding our elimination in a non-elimination round!
As you know, we arrived at China Beach in 4th place in the 11th leg of the race (the first hour of last night's 2-hour finale). That is where we heard those dreaded words from the Philiminator, that we had come in last and would be shuttled off to Sequesterville.
We were so sad, and had even held out hope that this was going to be a non-elimination round...right up to the moment we stepped on the mat at the beach.
After our sad farewells that Tracey has already filled you in on, we were whisked away to the airport where we hopped a plane destined for California, and one of the final secret sequesterville locales. We learned from the production staff that deals with the eliminated teams that we had our choice of 2 locations -- as all teams had been making their way back to the U.S. for the finish line finale.
Our choices were either at the location where John Vito/Jill and Derek/Drew were, or where Heather/Eve and Aaron/Arianne were set up. Our production contact let us make the decision. I did not have my Emily Post book of etiquette on me, and wondered what the appropriate amount of time to pretend to contemplate the answer to this question was. In truth I wanted to laugh out loud and ask if they were joking. But instead, Tracey and I pretended to discuss it, and quietly said, "We'll go with JVJ and the twins.”
The flight was SO long, and sad. How did this happen? We were racing so well. It was strange (and lonely) to be on a flight all by ourselves again. We would have given anything to have been on a flight with one of our brothers alliance teams at this point. I really missed my in depth conversations with Gerard on financial stuff (he still can’t believe that I bought stock once JUST because the company headquarters was in my favorite Carribean city). He’d always say, “Jenn, you must think with your head, not with your heart. And stop listening to all those Olivia Newton John songs…she’s just not helping you!” And Tracey and Ken used to have a grand time reenacting Saturday Night Live skits for any passengers willing to listen (buh, bye now….).
When we arrived at the airport, we were tired, but thrilled to find that the twins and John Vito and Jill were there to greet us! They all looked so great, but had sort of odd look on their faces. After all the greetings, hugs and kisses were out of the way, Bob (another production staffer who had arranged for the four of them to meet us at the airport), asked if we could sit down with him for a moment, as he had something to explain to us.
It was then that we learned how it’s possible to be eliminated in a non-elimination round. As it turns out, Phil, the producer, and the production teams all got their wires crossed in our last leg, and Phil thought all along that it was an elimination round. It wasn’t until Jerry (Bruckheimer) yelled, “Where’s my fourth team?” that everyone realized what a big mistake had been made. By the time everything was worked out, Tracey and I were en route to the U.S., and they realized there would not be enough time to get us back to compete in the final leg. So they went ahead and refilmed Flo and Zach coming in 3rd place and labeled them as the last place team to arrive in the non elimination round. In fact, the wires were so crossed that you may have noticed the 4th convertible (ours!) was still outside at the airport in Hawaii!
Certainly we were disappointed, and felt horrible. Of course, we are not the types to blame our cameraman, throw a temper tantrum, or curse Zach for our misfortune, but rather be sad at the bad luck and accept the apologies of CBS. Jerry and Phil had gotten together to discuss what could be done. And they decided the best thing to do was to offer us a chance to participate again in The Amazing Race 4! The filming is to start in just 6 weeks! Bob said we could think about it and let Phil know our decision at the finish line.
“You guys should definitely do this again!” Jill squealed with delight for us saying she was ready to do it again in a heartbeat.
“Let’s go out and celebrate.” Derek suggested.
And we all decided that was a fantastic idea despite our lack of sleep! Derek and Drew had given us some great tips on how to freshen up in airline bathrooms without actually having to touch much of the germ infested amenities, so we were in pretty good shape.
We found a great Thai food restaurant and all got a lot of laughs filling John Vito and Jill in on the events of the leg they missed. Then we finally got our chance to tease Drew and Derek about trying to find their water coconuts with umbrellas in hand. It was good to see Drew laugh again…he seemed almost back to normal.
After a great night of rest, it was time to make our way to the finish line for the exciting finale. They had a closed circuit television set up so we could watch the final 3 teams competing. We were hopeful when it appeared Flo would give up on the race, and not surprised at all to see that yet again, Zach performed ALL the challenges and carried her through in the 11th leg. But most of our time we actually spent talking to the other teams. It had been so long since we had seen some of them! We had spent so much time with John Vito and Jill and Derek and Drew throughout the race, and now in sequesterville, and we wanted to catch up with some of the other teams as well.
Gina and Sylvia – These ladies had a blast during the race and their only disappointment was having to end it so soon. They joked that there were lots of challenges later in the race that were just made for them. Specifically the roadblock of putting together the bikes – as both are mothers, they would have rocked at this one. Sylvia had spent some time drawing caricatures of all the other teams and got really good at it. In fact, you can see her work at her site at www.IllustrationsInc.com.
Tramel and Talicia – We loved this team and wish we would have had more time to spend with them. Their “sibling banter” was still going strong even at the finish line. They said during sequesterville in Portugal that they spent some time on the water, and now are considering joining the pro jet-skiing circuit!
Dennis and Andrew – Such a lovely family. I really think that Dennis saw just how grown up Andrew has become on this race. I hear they are considering redoing the whole trip with their entire family!! Of course, this time they won’t be forced to do any roadblocks that they don’t want to.
Heather and Eve – We didn’t have too much to say to Heather and Eve. We noticed they were still carrying around their little dictionary, though. Things were pleasant enough, and they admitted that they could have been more prepared for the race.
Michael and Kathy – It was so nice to see Michael and Kathy in such a relaxed state. They were very lovey-dovey, and talked about Kathy’s impending move to the West Coast. I think I heard Michael say something about starting his own “ear plug” business on the Internet (must have gotten that idea from the limited exposure to Flo), but I’m not 100% sure.
Aaron and Arianne – Given how close we became with the twins by the end of the race, I was dreading coming face to face with these two. In fact, literally biting the sides of my cheeks was the only thing that got me through listening to their babble and excuses of why they weren’t in the final 3. Fortunately, Andre and Damon were standing nearby and noticed how uncomfortable we were and rushed over to save us.
Andre and Damon – We enjoyed the time we spent with Andre and Damon during the “bye” week. They both talked about how excited they were to be getting back to their families and jobs. We made sure to exchange email addresses with them so we could keep in touch. Plus Damon and I have decided to start a letter writing campaign to bring back Combat Missions, so we need to keep in touch.
Phil yelled out to all of us that the racers were only 15 minutes away and we should be lined up as the winners would be coming around the corner any moment. The producers had turned off the closed circuit television about half an hour earlier, so they could get a true reaction when we saw which team it was coming in first. I had been holding my breath for what seemed like several minutes when I caught the glimpse of Zach and Flo. My knees almost gave out, but fortunately Tracey was there to hold me up from the utter disappointment we felt. One look at the smile on Zach’s face, though helped tremendously. HE really deserved to win, and we were certainly joyful for him. Of course all the hugs and congratulations followed, and Tracey and I even managed to mutter a gracious word or two to Flo (though she was already too busy trying to locate the editor. Apparently she was hoping to pay him to keep her temper tantrums out of the final cut. Sort of hard to do when that’s the ONLY footage you have to work with…)
As the celebration died down and the group began to disperse, each with our own “next pit stops” (our homes), I spotted a familiar looking man standing some distance across the park. I nudged Tracey and said, “Isn’t that David from our Paris flight?” Tracey’s head jerked in the direction I was pointing and she confirmed it was him. We walked over to where he was standing and David explained to Tracey that he was in Seattle on business, and had noticed the red and yellow route markers. So he tracked down the final pit stop to see how we fared in the race. You’ll never believe this, but apparently he is going on sabbatical next month and was hoping to tour around the world and take an experienced amazing racer along with him - Tracey! An excited Tracey with a gleam in her eye was just about to shout “of course” when she suddenly realized this would mean she could not participate in TAR4!
About the same time, I spotted Phil walking toward us with a dozen roses in each hand for Tracey and me, and a “forgive me” grin on his face that no one would be able to resist.
“Well Jenn, what do you say? Are you girls going to race around the world with me again in The Amazing Race 4?”
“Well Phil, .....I’m just not sure.”
- Will Tracey go off on a world tour with David?
- Will Jenn be able to find another partner in time to participate in TAR4?
- Will Phil EVER stop apologizing to us for eliminating us in the non elimination round?
Find out in February, 2003 when The Amazing Race saga begins again!
To contact the author of this article, please send e-mail to BravoFan@fansofrealitytv.com