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The “married monster truckers” are in the Race no more.
After arriving in Istanbul, Turkey, the duo made a crucial mistake when they chose to take the subway instead of a taxi to get their first clue there. Even though the Chippendales team of Jaymes and James initially took the metro, they hopped off at one point, prompting Rob to call them “followers” who had made a “big mistake” by jumping off the train.
The sixth leg called for the teams to choose between a getting a Turkish bath or delivering a tray of simits, or Turkish bagels, to three destinations — balanced on their heads. They also were asked to dress up in a traditional Turkish outfit and sell/serve 40 glasses of sherbet, which host Phil Keoghan called “the world’s first soft drink,” to customers in an indoor market.
But the monster truckers couldn’t overtake the other six teams and came in last, resulting in their elimination.
On Monday, Rob and Kelley — who also is a professional rodeo rider — talked to The Hollywood Reporter about what went wrong, whom they are rooting for, how the show was an eye-opening experience and why they made the unusual decision to go with rolling suitcases.
The Hollywood Reporter: So where did it all go wrong?
Kelley Carrington-French: When it came to the task, it all worked out just fine. But when it came to our transportation, getting from point A to point B, it didn’t work out.
THR: Do you wish you’d jumped off the subway with the Chippendales?
Rob French: I don’t think so. They weren’t that far in front of us anyway. They were actually at the last roadblock right next to us.
Kelley: The first metro we took was a good idea. But we had to get off that one and go through the street and catch another one that made all these little inner-city stops. We probably should have never taken that one; we probably should have taken a taxi.
THR: Before you reached the mat [where Keoghan was waiting], did you know you were going to be last?
Kelley: Yeah, we had pretty much figured it out. When we left the last task, we knew we were in last place. The only way it would have worked out [for us] is if something had stopped [Brent and Josh] from getting there — them getting lost or in an accident.
THR: Most Amazing Race competitors carry oversized backpacks, but you both chose rolling suitcases. Did that slow you down?
Kelley: The rollers worked out well for us. Why carry everything around if you don’t have to? You have a lot of stuff in there, and places you don’t need to carry it, like the airport. A few times we picked it up [because of mud or other issues], but it didn’t slow us down at all.
THR: You appeared to be the most ruthless team out there and had no interest in forming alliances.
Kelley: We do everything together. We rely on each other to get tasks done and things accomplished; we don’t rely on outside people to help us. In reality, [other competitors] are not your friends. Why rely on somebody else? We’re happy making decisions and going our own way.
Rob: The biggest thing for us, we were totally excited to even be chosen to be on Amazing Race. We made the decision as a couple to go do it. We did nothing on the Race that we are ashamed of. That is who we are. What you see is what you get.
THR: Rob, during the episode, you said that you use “cockiness and aggression to overcome obstacles.” Can you explain that?
Rob: In life in general, people are always down on anybody. The first episode, right out of Phil’s mouth, he said I was sweating and could I even do the race, and he actually gave me more drive to go harder and do the tasks even faster and try to make it to the end of the race. I’m cocky about things, and that builds confidence about yourself. I don’t have to get any kind of praise from anybody else, and it comes out in me being cocky about things. The only way I can explain it is, I don’t care what other people say to me because I have enough self-confidence and drive in myself to do whatever it is I want to do.
THR: Rob, some viewers have been critical of the way you spoke to Kelley. But on the mat, you showed a sensitive side when talking about your relationship. Is that how you are as a couple?
Kelley: Absolutely. We’re definitely a very close couple. We do everything in life together. We love holding hands. We love hanging out together. We support each other in whatever we do in life.
Rob: And if we make a decision and maybe it doesn’t turn out to be the exact way we wanted it to be, I can tell you that we both support each other and don’t point fingers. If we win or lose it’s the same. We support each other 100 percent.
THR: What was the hardest part about being on the show?
Kelley: Getting eliminated.
THR: And the best?
Rob: It opened up my eyes to things I was closed-minded about, like gay couples. It opened my eyes with Josh and Brent that two people can love each other. It doesn’t make a difference what race, creed, gender. Those two guys absolutely showed the same affection with each other as me and Kelley. It opened my eyes to a whole new world out there. In a way that I might have [previously] judged somebody, I would never put myself in that position again.
THR: Who are you rooting for?
Kelley: The Beekman Boys [Josh and Brent], absolutely. They have been underdogs just like we were underdogs. We love [the rockers] James and Abba too.
Rob: If either of those win, it would just tickle us to death.
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