November 17, 2010 07:30 AM by Allyson Wells
On the most recent episode of The Amazing Race, father and daughter Gary and Mallory Ervin were eliminated.Â They used a road map to get around Oman rather than ask a local for directions, which placed them hours behind the other teams.Â However, they did not give up and almost caught up to doctors Nat and Kat.Â The popular racers revealed how close the race really was, who they are now rooting for, and their overall experience on The Amazing Race.
Question: Whose idea was it to try out for The Amazing Race?
Mallory: My dad’s been watching it for 10 years on our couch in Kentucky. When it came along and I did Miss America, we thought we had a good shot. He’s a big fan for sure!
Question:Â What preparation did you do beforehand?
Gary: Physically, we prepared and got in shape. Mal was just coming out of the pageant stuff and was in pretty good shape. Mentally, we studied our geography and technically, we wanted the right gear to deal with the different climates.
Question:Â How did you adapt to all the different countries, climates, and time differences?
Gary: At this point, when we were eliminated, we were getting used to the lack of sleep or the sleeping on planes. A few of the teams, including us, were getting a little bit sick by that time because of the climate changes. We were adapting pretty good to it.
Mallory: You never stay in one place long enough to get used to the time zone or the climate anyway. We were in Oman on this last leg and I don’t even know where that is!
Question:Â We saw you working with Michael and Kevin a bit, as you were both parent/child teams. Were there other teams you worked with as well?
Gary: Yes, in Russia, we worked with Jill and Thomas. The rule we made, and we told people this, was that we may choose not to help you but we won’t lie to you.
Mallory: We worked with Nat and Kat some, Nick and Vicki some. We pretty much worked with everyone.
Question:Â Who should we root for now that you’re gone? Any teams you formed friendships with and/or are rooting for now?
Mallory: Thank you so much.Â That makes it all worth it.Â Gosh, every team left is good and we loved Michael and Kevin, but I guess you can’t root for them.Â We loved them all.
Question:Â It seemed like it was a very close race between you two and Nat and Kat for that final spot, was it really that tight?
Mallory: It was really as close as it looked.Â We had one of the longest legs, close to 16 hours we think, then we’re minutes apart in those final moments.Â It was great to be full on racing until the last second though…we were glad it was so close.
Question:Â Whose idea was it to be on the show and what made you want to do The Amazing Race?
Mallory: My dad has been sitting on our couch in the living room watching The Amazing Race for almost 10 years now, but never dreamed he would be on he show.Â When the idea began bouncing around I knew I had to give this shot everything so that we could do this.Â I’m one of 4 siblings and it’s rare that my dad and I get time with just us two, so that prompted us to want to do it.Â
Question:Â What was your strategy going into the Race? Do you think other teams underestimated you?
Mallory: We wanted to enjoy every second, to not forget that we we’re getting to run The Amazing Race! We also wanted to really try and be a positive example throughout.Â That was really important to us as well, probably more than the money really.Â Other teams underestimated us for sure, but like we said in our first interview, “Don’t let the blonde and grey hair fool you!”Â I think they thought that my dad or I would give up at any moment even through the first few legs.Â It worked to our advantage until they finally realized that we were competition.Â After we placed 2nd three times in a row we were a threat, I think.
Question:Â What was your favorite experience and/or challenge on The Amazing Race?
Gary: I liked the sledding in the Arctic Circle and the Gorodki game in St. Petersburg Russia.
Mallory: My favorite moment was standing on the mat during leg 2 in Ghana.Â We thought we were in last and may be eliminated.Â When Phil told us that we were still in the race was my favorite moment, we couldn’t let ourselves go out that early.Â My favorite place was Sweden.Â We were burning up hot in Ghana so to dive into those snow challenges was perfect.Â I really love dog sledding now!
Question:Â What from the show are you most proud of? Any regrets?
Gary: Mal’s endurance.Â Her ability to stay so tough.Â I always knew she was tough, but the race is extremely hard and she made me proud toughing it out.Â We wish we’d never picked up that map in Oman, but we wouldn’t change anything really.
Mallory: I was so proud of my dad’s heart, I always am.Â He ran that race like he was 20 years old and he was the only reason we got as far as we did.Â He is the best dad, and now partner I could ever ask for and I really don’t have a single regret.Â I still can’t believe I got to do this with my dad.Â
Question:Â Anything you were surprised to see watching the show back?
Mallory: Well, we never really remember everything that went on, so we’re always surprised.Â Also, we didn’t see the other teams race a lot of the time.Â We were surprised to see Nick and Vicki fighting so much because they were always nice to each other from what we saw.Â I’m always surprised at the things we say too.
Question:Â How was being in The Amazing Race different from what you would expect watching it on TV?
Gary: I think it’s much harder.Â The parts you don’t see as much, the long drives and navigating, the airports, the lack of food and sleep, this is what makes the race so tough.Â And, it’s a lot better being on the race than watching it on your couch.Â I never thought I would be one of the ones running it.
Mallory: It’s so much better! I think what my dad said it so true.Â Those long drives, like the one in Oman where we got lost and I said it was 9 hours, it really was 9 hours.Â It really takes a toll on your mind and makes it tough.Â I think we’re a lot closer than we may appear on tv too.Â We really enjoyed the time together. It’s probably one of the best things I’ll ever do, and to get to do it with my dad was one of the best things I could have ever asked for.Â We’re so thankful for it.
Question: Was there anything you watched back on the episodes that surprised you?
Gary: Chad and Stephanie oversleeping last night and going to first place. That surprised us.
Mallory: They didn’t tell us on the race.
Question: What did you learn about yourself from being on the show and watching the episodes?
Mallory: I watched that show and everyone always told me I looked like my dad but I watch it now and I’m like, “Oh my gosh! We look like twins!”
Question: You both ran a really nice race. You must be happy with the way that you were shown on television.
Mallory: Thank you, we appreciate that. We really were. It’s so corny but it’s so true. We wanted to be shown in a positive light and be an example to people who watch us. We’re beyond thankful.
What did you think of Gary and Mallory’s comments?Â They were personally one of my favorite teams and I was bummed to see them go.Â While they did get frustrated by things that would happen on the race, they never took it out on one another like a lot of the other remaining teams and really pushed one another in a positive manner.Â I thought it was interesting that they were surprised by how some of the other teams, like Nick and Vicki, fight with one another.Â It was obvious that this pair was really enjoying their experience.Â They will definitely be missed!
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Photo Credit: CBS