Reality Dish Exclusive Interview- Amanda Blackledge and Kris Klicka of The Amazing Race 14


On the 4th leg of The Amazing Race 14, Amanda and Kris ran in to one big problem that led to their elimination. I had a chance to talk to them on Wednesday about this problem, that brutal lumber stacking challenge, and a funny story that involves Erika Shay of season 5…a casting director…and The Real World.

Amanda Blackledge: Hey Billy, how’s it goin?

Kris Klicka: What’s goin on Billy?

Billy Debney: It’s going good, how are you guys doing?

KK: Pretty good…ya know.

BD: That’s good. First off, were you guy’s fans of The Amazing Race before you went on the show?

AB: We definitely were ya.

KK: Of course!

BD: So like every season or just casual?

KK: Pretty much casual for us. But once we got farther along in the casting, and realizing we were actually gonna be part of it, we went back and watched a bunch of the seasons that we never saw. Made sure we went back and watched every episode, turning us into super fans! (laughs)

BD: Yea kinda prep yourself for the show…study it up.

KK: Exactly. Which got us even more into it ya know.

BD: Awesome! What’s the story behind you getting cast for the show?

AB:You know what we were actually the only team this year that was recruited….so that was pretty cool. We were downtown in San Diego at a club, and Erika Shay who was actually on season 5, approached Kris when he was going to the bathroom. And you know it was kinda loud in there and he had a couple of drinks. He didn’t really hear what she had asked. But she had said she was a casting director for CBS and that he had to perfect look for The Amazing Race, would you be interested. And he thought she had said The Real World…so he just said oh no whatever. And then I walked up and was like who’s this what are you talking about. And she was like Oh is this your girlfriend, that’s perfect you need a partner. Then she said to me, “your boyfriend just told me he wouldn’t wanna be on The Amazing Race.” Then Kris was like, “oh that’s what you said???”

KK: I guess I just walked away from her, I really thought she said The Real World. You know I had a couple drinks in me and the music was real loud. SO I just gave her the cold shoulder. But then Amanda saw me talking to some girl so she came up and we figured things out.

BD: So good thing you went up there Amanda or this may not have happened.

AB:Haha exactly.

BD: Now going into Sunday’s episode, it looked really hard watching it….but how hard was that lumber stacking challenge actually?

AB:Oh it was rough.

KK: Yea it was definitely not fun. We got there around noon and it took us almost three hours to build that thing. And then when we almost got to the top is when it first crumbled. That’s why we were just like…oh my god!

AB: Yea we only had like 10 pieces left when it fell. So it was hard to watch it fall.

KK: That’s when we thought we should maybe move over to the next challenge. We thought there was no way. It took us so long to get this far! But we saw the U-turn so we did.

AB: Plus we saw Mike and Mel turn around to go up and do the other when. So I was like if we are going to switch we have to do it now. We cant risk trying to build this a third time and have it fall. If we switched then we could work with Mike and Mel and that’s exactly what we did. I mean either way we would have been U-turned, but who knows, maybe we would have been even further behind if we didn’t switch.

BD: Now when exactly did you find out it was Margie and Luke who used the U-turn on you? Was it right after you were eliminated or was it when you watched the episode for the first time?

AB: It was after we were eliminated, about a week and a half later. When we were in sequester another team had told us. But yea we were shocked.

BD: Yea you were surprised it was Luke and Margie?

AB: Oh yea for sure. I mean the day before we were U-turned, Margie actually approached us in Romania and said that Jenn and Kisha wanted to use the U-turn on us. Where everyone else was saying they wouldn’t use it. So she kinda was giving us a warning and was even like hey who ever gets there first we can use it on them. So I don’t know if that was just a tactic cause they were fast, but yea we definitely didn’t expect it.

KK: It kinda felt like a low blow.

BD: What about the reason they gave? Which was so they could maybe save Jamie and Cara and give them more time on the lumber challenge.

KK: Man that was the one thing we saw where we were like, “AW are you kidding me?? For that?? They’re gonna U-turn us to get them through? See that’s not how we were playing the game. So it was just a bummer.

BD: Do you think you would have used the U-turn?

AB: I think we would have if we needed it, if it was the last one and we were in the back. I mean if we hadn’t been U-turned and we were as close as Mark and Mike were to us, I mean if I were them maybe I would have used it. Its not like we hate the U-turn, we understand its part of the game. Its just frustrating the way it happened. Especially since they didn’t really need to use it. They were already in the front.

KK: If roles were reversed we would not have used it. I mean you can only use it once.

AB: We just thought it was a really stupid reason to use it. Who uses their one U-turn for another team? They wasted their one U-turn. They may need it soon and wont be able to use it.

BD: Now when you got to the pit stop, how far behind Mark and Mike were you?

KK: We actually found out that we were only about 10 minuets behind them.

BD: Oh wow.

AB: Yea if we weren’t U-turned we definitely would have made it. What it doesn’t really show is that in-between the challenges there was like a 10 minuet walk. We ran from the wood piles to the shutters when we switched tasks. There was just a lot of running around, I mean the U-turn mat was another 10 minuets away. So if we weren’t U-turned and we didn’t have to walk all the way back to the wood pile, we would have for sure beat Mark and Mike. It just proves that the only reason we were eliminated was because of the U-turn.

KK: We really thought we were gonna win the whole thing. We didn’t really feel like the other teams could keep up with us in any physical competitions. We just figured the only way we were going to be eliminated was if we caught more bad breaks. And that’s exactly what happened. That was just the most frustrating aspect of the whole thing.

BD: Well then what was your favorite part of the game?

AB: We get asked that question all the time and I swear to god it is so tough to answer. Cause there are so many awesome parts of the race. For Kris the bungee jump was really special. That’s the highest bungee jump, the only way you can go higher is to do it out of a helicopter.

KK: Which Phil has already done.

AB: Of course. (laughs) We loved Switzerland. That train ride was a couple hours and it was gorgeous. And driving on the auto bond.

KK: Yea man driving on the auto bond, gotta be every guys dream. Going as fast as you want?

BD: Yea no kidding! Was there anything that happened that they didn’t show on TV that you kind of wish they did?

AB: Well one thing I was actually shocked they didn’t show in the first leg was that we actually lent Mike and Mel some money. We were the only team.

KK: Well that’s not that big of deal. I wish they had showed more of the cheese hill. We showed up kind of at the back of the pack and we went on to pass a whole bunch of teams. So that would have showed our strengths early on. We didn’t get much air time during the first bit.

AB: No I’m still shocked they didn’t show me giving them money. It actually happened while Kris was doing the bungee. Mel approached me and asked me to lend him some money so I gave it to him. When Kris got back he got mad at me, saying why would you do that. And the whole run down the hill he was going on about it. But when we got to the bottom he just looked at me and said, ok I’m ready to forgive you now. It was cute.

BD: Now kind of on that track, do you think you were portrayed accurately on TV?

AB: Yea we were really happy about how we were portrayed. I mean with all our friends, they always say how we are always together. I guess they kind showed it as all lovey dovey, but that’s how we are, we are a unit.

KK: But man I felt pretty cheesy watching it. But other then that I’m glad it didn’t make us look like idiots.

AB: Id rather it be cheesy.

KK: But yea that’s how we are. We have fun together and don’t really argue that much.

AB: We were happy.

BD: That’s awesome. Now did you learn anything about each other or yourself that you didn’t really know before?

KK: We really learnt how to work together. Before we never were in a situation where we had to work together under stress and have someone step up as leader. And we are actually both leaders. So we had to learn how to balance each other out rather the butting heads. That was the main thing for us, learning to work together and let the other take charge.

BD: Now if I talked to you right after you were eliminated who would you have thought would win the whole thing?

KK: You know we were really rooting for Mike and Mel. WE spent a lot of time with them and they are just so down to earth. They are running to race for the experience and just in it for the adventure. And that’s what we were doing it for. So yea…root me on.

BD: Now last question, what’s next for both of you?

AB: Well Kris graduated from SDSU in June, and since we’ve been back he has had a really tough time finding a job because of this stupid economy!! And he is actually interested in TV and film now. It really opened both of our eyes because we never really wanted to be models or actors. But this whole experience really opened our eyes to it all. Because even in this economy, there will always be entertainment. We loved being on camera, it was really fun for us. So we are now really interested and Kris is really working on that and trying to get his foot in the door. But I’m still in school, so we are just kind of waiting until I’m done.

KK: And then after that we can talk about getting married and that kind of stuff. Just right now we don’t really have the money for that.

AB: I mean we know we are gonna spend the rest of our lives together. Now it’s a matter of time and money. And we are still so young.

KK: So yea no rush, no rush.

BD: Awesome. Well that’s all I got for ya, thanks so much guys.

KK: Thanks a lot man, have a good one.

BD: Yea you too, good luck in the future.

KK: You too man.