October 19, 2010 09:30 AM by Allyson Wells
On the last episode of The Amazing Race, singing buddies Jonathan and Connor went from first to worst and were eliminated.Â The team made headlines for not being able to identify Ghana on a map, despite being Princeton graduates and despite being in Ghana.Â To continue on The Amazing Race, Jonathan and Connor sacrificed their college graduation.Â They ran into difficulty in Sweden during a sled challenge and were unable to get back in the race.Â However, as Phil informed them they were in last place, this pair was one of the most positive teams toÂ exit the race.Â Keep reading to find out what went wrong on the last leg of the race, their feelings on missing college graduation and being on The Amazing Race.
Question: When did everything fall apart?
Connor: Everything started to go wrong when the first group found the other plane tickets that got them to Sweden first. Then things got even worse with the sledding. Those two factors are what caused us to finish last.
Question: Why didn’t you look for earlier flights to Sweden?
Connor: We did. I think there was a small language barrier. The staff a couple of us spoke with told us that there were no flights that we could make. I think what they meant was that they wouldn’t advise passengers to go for the earlier flight because it was so tight between changeovers. We got unlucky in that none of the people we spoke to suggested this flight. … We were really discouraged when we learned four teams got on the earlier one because we slowly saw our lead dissolve away.
Question: Jonathan, you had so many problems sledding. Had you ever rode a sled before?
Jonathan: Iâ€™ve ridden a sled before, but never anything so fast! It was a comedy of errors. Everyone said the track was the fastest it had been in months. Other teams using it first made the track faster. It just didnâ€™t work out for me. The helmet kept us safe, but I landed on my neck one time and almost broke my ankle! It was so intense. One time, I was just one second too slow!
Question: You did well up until the Detour. Why did you choose Sleds?
Jonathan: We thought we were decently physical and we’d go for the quick-and-dirty challenge. … You hear “sledding,” you think it’s a sled, but this was an extreme course on a contraption with serious banks. You could still fall a bunch and make it, so we were very close to making it.
Connor: What made it tough was that Jonathan, compared to the other contestants, was so inconsistent. He would miss it by 15 seconds and then by a minute. Then it’d be by 1 second and then 2 minutes. Every time, we thought we should try again because we got so close, so it was difficult for us to give up. If Jonathan had started crying like Stephanie, we would’ve switched right away.Â Because he did so well and then did poorly, we decided to stick with it and that’s what cost us time. It was that Jonathan did relatively well that it screwed us over in the end.
Question: Did Connor ever get frustrated with you?
Jonathan: He never got mad at me! After five trials, I just couldnâ€™t do it! We were so positive. We were in an amazing place. We couldnâ€™t complain. It was a once in a lifetime experience.
Connor: Jonathan and I didnâ€™t fight once! We were always on great terms and communicating. I wasnâ€™t frustrated at all in the race. During the final challenge, I was proud of him for continuing to try. He kept on doing that. He fought his hardest. I was really proud of him and proud of our performance.
Question: You rocked last week’s leg. How does it feel to be the only team to have seen the giant decoder board on the side of the school?
Jonathan: That was pretty cool, especially after our mishap with not remembering where Ghana was on the map and seeing that everyone else circled children. I hand it to the other teams because it’s difficult on the race. You can’t see the big picture, step back and look at a wall with the decoder on it. You’re always looking for the minutia and overthink clues.
Connor: We were extremely focused on what we’re doing, whether it be the challenges or getting to the clue box. As a result, we miss the big picture sometimes and the incredible sights. I remember in Stonehenge, we ran up to the clue box and ran back to the car. I don’t even remember seeing Stonehenge! We don’t have the chance to experience things the way people think. But that takes nothing away from how awesome our experience was.
Question: You skipped your college graduation to be on the show! Do you regret not going now that youâ€™re eliminated?
Jonathan: Not at all! Itâ€™s sad to not see your friends, but being on the Race was a celebration of our friendship. It was so amazing.
Question: Now that school is over, will you keep singing together?
Jonathan: We have our own separate jobs in separate countries, but weâ€™ll definitely sing together if we can!
Connor: Weâ€™ll be singing together forever.
Question: That was one of the happiest eliminations I’ve seen with you singing. You obviously knew you were last, right? How far behind were you?
Connor: Oh yeah! It was relatively close. When you keep things in perspective, I think it’s difficult to be super-crushed. We get to see amazing places and are competing for $1 million. We both feel pretty lucky to have had the experience.
Jonathan: When we switched from Sleds, we thought we were last. Once we got to Beds, we were so excited to see two teams. We thought, “If we really book it, we could get there.” When we saw them leave, we thought we were last, but there was a slim chance that maybe they took the wrong turn driving to the Pit Stop.
Question: What are you up to now?
Connor: I’m actually leaving in two days for South Korea. I’m going to work with South Korean PBS. I’m going to be writing and acting in children’s educational videos, so I’ll be teaching children English and I’ll also be writing educational materials for them.
Jonathan: I’m performing in the Broadway musical Spider-Man that opens in a little while.
I’m sorry to see the pair off of the show, as theyÂ were one of the few teams thatÂ wasn’t constantly bickering and letting the pressure of the show get to them.Â However, they both have great things awaiting them and made the most of their time on The Amazing Race.
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Photo Courtesy of CBS