Murtz On The Scene: Exclusive Interview With The Amazing Race‘s Corinne Kaplan & Eliza Orlins

 

**Listen to the audio podcast of this interview at the end of this article.**

Wednesday’s episode of The Amazing Race saw the elimination of Corinne Kaplan and Eliza Orlins.

The <I>Survivor</I> alums referred to themselves as the villains of the season and were eliminated after Eliza struggled with the motorbike portion of the roadblock task in Ho Chi Minh City.  Their frustrations boiled over on the elimination  mat when Corinne and Eliza expressed frustration (and plenty of eye rolls) and being forced to share their final moments on the show with the Rachel and Elissa Reilly who narrowly finished in front of them to stay on the Race.

I recently caught up with Corinne and Eliza to find out what happened.

Murtz Jaffer: Murtz Jaffer here talking to my favorite team from this season of The Amazing Race. Although I have a lot of favorite teams this season (considering I know, almost all of them). Let’s join Corinne and Eliza, they are on the line. Eliza, I’m going to start with you. When you and Corinne both played Survivor, did you ever think that you would be teamed up on The Amazing Race?

Eliza Orlins: Well, certainly not, when I played Survivor. I mean, Corinne hadn’t even played Survivor yet, when I had completed my Survivor career… so I never imagined that we would be teamed up. I know many years ago they were thinking about doing a Survivor season of The Amazing Race, and at that time, I thought my partner would have been Ami Cusack which would have been fun. She’s still mad at me for having gone on with Corinne! I never imagined it at all, and we feel really grateful and lucky that we got this opportunity.

MJ: Corinne, what was it like teaming with Eliza and what was your team dynamic like?

Corinne Kaplan: So I had no idea, at first, why they put us together only because naturally when you watch Amazing Race, it’s definitely like siblings or married couples or at least people who had played together and had an alliance on their original season. So I was starting to just kind of figure out, like you know because we’ve been on a couple CBS shows there’s always a hook to it. And we were like, what is it?  Is it that we’re both Jewish?  We’re both brunettes?  We’re single?  Like we couldn’t- and then all of a sudden, it dawned on us like, ‘oh, we’re both villains!’ So we sort of decided how best to work together as being people who hadn’t previously played together.  We’d only hung out in social settings.  It’s not like we previously traveled the world on vacations together. And so going into it I was really scared, I thought, ‘oh everyone else knows each other so well and this is going to be tough,’ but because we’re both, I think highly intelligent and very pragmatic people, as soon as we got into the training for it (in the weeks prior to leaving) it was immediately apparent that we were going to work super well together, like that wasn’t going to be the issue.

MJ: Eliza, was there ever a fear? I mean if I have a friend that I haven’t done something this stressful with… is there ever a fear, that when we come out of it, is our relationship going to stay the same? Are we still going to be friends after something like this?

EO: Yeah, definitely, you know, you certainly worry about that teamwork you kind ofrely on the other person and on Amazing Race, often times, it does come down to one person failing a task and the other person, suffering the consequences of that as well. So that’s definitely a concern, but Corinne and I had talked about it in advance, and we have a deep mutual respect for one another, and we also knew that there was never going to be a point in time, where either one of us wasn’t giving it our 100 percent. We both cared so much about it, we both wanted to do well so badly, so there was never a time when one of us should have been like, ‘Eliza, hurry up! Corrine, hurry up!’ like we both were running as fast as we were, performing at the best we could do. So, when we had that understanding, we kind of knew that we would never going to attack one another or fight with one another or be destructive towards another.  So I think that we went into it kind of knowing that, and so I was optimistic that our friendship would survive.

MJ: Corinne, you guys seemed to feud with the Afghanimals, what rubbed you the wrong way about them and how is the relationship now?

CK: So, as far as the Afghanimals go (we’ve said this before), we were massive fans. I had never seen one minute of Amazing Race prior to getting cast.  Right when I got cast, I obviously watched everything I could get my hands on, and so I had seen their season, and something that struck me about them was how much fun they were having. They seem like the kind of team you wanted to root for.  They were having a good time, they were good at it, they didn’t fight with each other. I had this perception of them that was 100 percent inaccurate, and so when we got out there, I was like a little fan.  I was like, “Oh my god, it’s so great to meet you guys!”  I’m not exaggerating, they were like stone-faced, “hmm what’s your name?” like they could not have been less receptive. When we boarded the flight to Tokyo, we ended up getting seated right behind Jamal and I figured, I mean it’s a f—–12 hour flight, he’s going to turn around and try and make conversation and get to know us.  I was trying to like get up in the aisle and like talk to them like I did with Becca and Floyd. I wanted to get to know the other teams. This kid wanted nothing to do with me, and as the time went on, they became… it’s one thing if you and another team are in last place and you want to misdirect them.  I know that this is a great example of class vs. no-class. Art and JJ were in last place, when we were in Tokyo, I didn’t know any better and I figured there was multiple legs and neither of us could find the stupid shop. So, I asked them if they wanted to work with us and they politely declined, they were like we’re both in last right now, it’s not a good time, and I was like “I get it”. Now the Afghanimals would have been like “Sure!” They are so many legs ahead of us, you know, they’re seeing us at points in the race where it would make no difference if they helped us, and we weren’t even asking for help.  They’re outwardly offering this direction. Like to me, that’s unnecessary and how else would I possibly feel about you? Like obviously I don’t like that, so once that started happening and I picked up on it, and you can see in- when we get to the Medicine shop in Laos, is it Laos?

EO: Vietnam.

CK: Okay, Vietnam. They immediately start like a skit basically, trying to divert our attention and give us the wrong directions. Everything they did, I disliked them less and less. I keep saying this, look, if you’re going to be a dick, then have something behind it… be hilariously funny, be- I don’t know like ten levels of good looking. You guys are none of those things, you’re just dicks. So as far as how I feel about them today, I think as little of them today as I did then. I mean, I don’t wish any ill will on them, I know a lot of other racers enjoy them, but they can live.  But do I need to be in the same place with them again? Absolutely not.

MJ: Eliza, is there a difference or a similarity in the way that you guys came on as characters because obviously you and Corinne embraced the villain role, do you think that Leo and Jamal were just doing this sort of, you know, for the cameras you know, like sort of doing these skits to sort of get under your skin, is it the same thing that you guys were doing in the villain role?

EO: I think a little bit, I think that you know, they were mad at us running in front of their tuk tuk, but it seems that’s the exact kind of thing that they would have done to another team to make sure that team didn’t pass them, and maybe they would have been less like serious and competitive about it, because I was screaming at Corinne, “don’t let them pass us!” they would have been like, “oh ha ha ha look at us! we’re the Afghanimals taking up the whole road!” So for them, it seemed very performative. And you didn’t even see a lot of it, a lot of it didn’t make air because I think that it comes off as really contrived.  They’re all waiting at front of SnowTown for SnowTown to open.  In this last leg, the Afghanimals pull up, and they’re the second last team to get there, and they have their cab like, they’re hanging out the windows, they’re honking and they’re like yelling, and they’re just doing this whole big thing and like, there’s just no reason for it.  It’s just simply for attention, and so we found them pretty obnoxious on the race. Unlike Corinne, I’m fine with them now, like, I text with them, it’s fine.

MJ: Eliza, another one for you, can you take me back to Ho Chi Minh City, was the roadblock the biggest impediment to your success on this past leg?

EO: Well, certainly that was the most visible thing that we’ve failed at, but they did not show just how awful our cab driver was on the way there. They showed a bit our frustration with it, but our cab driver stopped no fewer than six or seven times, got out with absolutely no sense of urgency, showed someone the address, walked back slowly…. We were losing our minds in that cab, and we thought that we were going to get there in last place already, which we didn’t.  Apparently, other people had difficulty even getting a cab, but if we had gotten there immediately and I had more time to do the roadblock, I mean I did eventually, succeed. So I think that I’m definitely placing the majority of the blame on myself, but also we had a terrible cab driver.

MJ: Corinne, it’s obviously always difficult to leave the show earlier than you wanted to, why did the Reilly sisters rubbed you the wrong way so much at the mat?

CK: So I think that that’s a product of editing. It’s not specific to the Reilly sisters. I mean, of course, it’s just frustrating, you’re devastated like- all these memories- I just kept thinking there’s so many countries I’m not going to see and we were so close and we’re such a good team. I really felt like.. I’ll speak for myself and you can ask Eliza, but it’s not that I dislike the Reillys, I did dislike the Afghanimals. I wished that they- every leg I wanted them out, but I didn’t feel that way about the Reilly sisters.  It just so happens that we were sort of in close competition with them, and something that I think is a very private thing, or should be, is arriving at the mat for your elimination. Like I was livid that I had to stand next to them, and then on top of that, like again, I idolized those things.  There’s a lot of performance in some of the other teams and I think that’s fine, and if that’s how you do reality TV, that’s fine. I like to keep the reality in reality TV and so when I see them say, “we’re just women and we like to see women helping other women…’ bitch, I just heard you say you are in a Big Brother alliance like that’s not even true!  So in my head I’m standing there. I’m fuming because I don’t want to share this moment with you, and please stop patronizing me. So it’s not that I dislike them, and I certainly don’t dislike them now, but in that moment like, they were enemy number one. I was like, “Get off my goddamn mat and shut your mouth, this isn’t even your moment!”

MJ: So like all that stuff, like not following them in social media and stuff that was just in the heat of the moment?

CK: So that wasn’t on the mat, that was in the cab. Fun fact about me is I’ll find something wrong with anyone if I’m supposed to be competing against them. So I did that all the time, which was probably to my downfall.  In my season on Survivor, I would make fun of the other team. I did this especially in Gabon, I would make fun of somebody on the other team, and I would make my team laugh, and then we would hit the merge where someone on my team would tell the person I had been making fun of the whole time that I have been saying those things. I’m the kind of person that when I get angry, I’ll find reasons to not like somebody and so, I just think obviously, ‘I’m unfollowing them on social media’ is a funny thing to say.  It’s not- it’s just, you know, it’s not like I’m going to harm their children, it’s like the lowest common denominator of something that you could say in anger that wouldn’t be super offensive, you know what I mean?

MJ: Exactly, and Eliza, what’s your relationship like with that Elissa and Rachel now?

EO: Oh my god, we’re all very good friends.  We laugh about everything.  They have taken all the rude comments we made about them on the show really well. We apologized- I hung out with Elissa when she was in New York, I was in LA a few weeks ago and I hung out with Rachel, and Rachel and her daughter. Rachel and Brendon, and their daughter Adora, and we’re you know… we text all the time, and we’re all friends. So it’s all water under the bridge.

MJ: Amazing and we’re almost done, Corinne, you and Eliza seemed to embrace the villain role, we touched upon that a little earlier, who do you think will be the villains now that you guys are gone?

CK: Uh. That’s a great question, Murtz. I think that, honestly, I don’t think we’re replaceable, I think the season’s going to miss all the spunk that we brought to it.  I think there will be fighting in between the teams and perhaps, you know, people will rub people the wrong way, going forward, but you’re not going to have, what you had with us, you’re just not.

MJ: And, then, Corinne, one more thing, and this one is specifically for you. Your feuds in reality TV are honestly like quite legendary, so could you rank who you like the most out of the following people? 1. The Afghanimals, 2. The Reilly Sisters, 3. Sugar from Survivor Gabon.

CK: Who do I like the most of those three? Yeah, so I like the Reilly Sisters, the Afghanimals I could care less about, and I hate Sugar.

MJ: Amazing, one, two, three. And Eliza any final words? What else can we expect from this season of The Amazing Race?

EO: Sorry, I didn’t hear that, that we could what?

MJ: No problem. I just said what else can we expect from this season of The Amazing Race now that you guys are gone?

EO: You can expect to be far more bored, now that Corinne and I aren’t there. I think we really stepped up, and embraced our role and had a lot of fun doing it.

MJ: Amazing guys, thank you so much.

The Amazing Race airs Wednesdays at 9 pm EST on CTV.

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