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Interview with Brennan Swain of The Amazing Race

by Brian [img align=right]http://www.realityshack.com/uploads/savt415894135c9a8.jpg[/img]

Hey Brennan, thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us.

As the original Amazing Race winners, you essentially joined the hall of fame reserved for those people like Richard Hatch. What did you think you were getting yourselves into when you applied?

[b]We really didn’t know what it was gonna be like. All we knew is we were traveling around the world. I honestly thought it was gonna be a little more extreme (kind or eco-challengeish). We literally learned the rules and format 2 days before leaving.[/b]

How did you prepare for the race? And how much did it help you?

[b]We didn’t have much to prepare. We hit the gym a little harder than normal. I actually ran on the treadmill in my hiking boots. We studied some maps and I learned a few words in French. But, that was about it.[/b]

How has life been like after seeing yourselves on the Amazing Race, and receiving that million dollar cheque? Are you still recognized on the streets?

[b]Life has been great. The first year was a whirlwind. We got a chance to travel a lot and meet a lot of great people. I’m recognized now and then still. [/b]

Which team’s elimination (if any) shocked you the most?

[b]Dave and Margaretta’s elimination. They were very travel savvy. Dave had been a fighter pilot who had flown all over the world, so we expected them to make it further than leg 4.[/b]

Was there any time during the race where you considered quitting?

[b]I never considered quitting, but there were certainly times where I thought “I just want to go home.” Particulary in India on leg 7 when I thought we were going to be eliminated.[/b]

Coming to the pit stops, were there any times during the race in which you just knew you had been eliminated and expected Phil to tell you that you had been eliminated from the race?

[b]As I said above, we thought we were eliminated in leg 7. We had been lost for about 45 minutes in Delhi and then had to made a 4 hour drive to Agra. In other legs, if you were lost for 45 minutes near the end of a leg it meant elimination. We couldn’t believe it when we were actually 3rd out of 6.[/b]

How often would you guys get lost and what would you do about it?

[b]We didn’t get lost that often, but when we did we immediately started asking the locals. Asking directions is key in the Race.[/b]

We saw several alliances form during the show. Do you think alliances are important in a game like T.A.R.?

[b]Alliances are hard to keep, but for the short term they can help. 4 or 6 heads can be better than 2. It gives you peace of mind to help another team, and to get help from them. It’s very difficult to keep them at the airports though because you have to book so many seats.[/b]

As fans of the show, we aren’t shown much of what happens during the 12-hour rest periods. Other than obviously resting, what do you do?

[b]Strategize, eat, talk to other teams and do interviews.[/b]

How has your relationships with the contestants developed since the show? Are you still in contact with very many contestants?

[b]Besides the obvious, Rob, I’m still very close to Kevin. He and I talk every couple days. He’ll definitely be a lifelong friend. I also talk to Emily every few weeks. Beyond the two of them I’m still in touch loosely with almost everyone from the show. We try to get together for premieres and finales of new seasons. I saw Kevin, Drew, Lenny, Pat, Brenda and Team Guido at the AR5 finale. I’ve also become friends with people from other seasons. Alex from AR2 and I went on a surfing trip to Panama earlier this year.[/b]

What did your friends and family think of you and Rob after seeing you on the race, do you think you were well portrayed?

[b]Our friends and family loved watching! It was exciting for me to see them get so amped about the show. I think we were portrayed fairly accurately. I’m glad that we were shown as guys that had fun and played with integrity. [/b]

Did you get much time to relax on the race, and take in and enjoy the scenery? If so, what were your favourite places, people, and activities along the race?

[b]We didn’t get much time to relax. There were a couple of pit stops that were longer than 12 hours, so we were able to get some sleep and chat with other teams. There was an extended stop in India where we stayed at a palace. We had so much fun hanging out with the other teams there. [/b]

Were there any points on the race that just overwhelmed you, and any moments that you just felt like the two of you were not going to win?

[b]There was one night in India at the rat temple where I was very down. That was definitely the lowest point of the Race. We were tired, hungry, had just had a 12 hour train ride and were being hassled by the locals while we waited for the temple to open. It got a little tense.[/b]

Now, I know you mentioned you were going to the Amazing Race finale last Monday, so I assume you’ve been keeping up with the contestants.

[b]I’ve definitely kept up with this seasons contestants.[/b]

Did you have any favourites to win the race? Are you very impressed by this seasons cast?

[b]My favorites to win were Chip and Kim, so I was happy they took home the win. I had a chance to watch a couple of episodes with them, they’re the best! This season’s cast in general was very impressive.[/b]

Were you particularly surprised by the results, and even personalities that you discovered at the reunion show?

[b]I was surprised to see Chip and Kim win. Colin and Christie dominated so much that I thought they’d win. But, I wasn’t surprised by people’s personalities. Everyone is always gracious and fun to meet.[/b]

How did the recent season compare to your own?

[b]I thought this season was very similar to ours. I thought this season had the most interesting route since ours. Of course, nothing will ever top season 1![/b]

If given the chance, would you do it again? And if so what (if anything) would you do differently?

[b]I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Bring on Amazing Race: All Stars. About the only thing I’d do differently is take the time to enjoy some of the locations a bit more.[/b]

Thank you Brennan for talking with us!

If you have any comments about this interview, or are an Amazing Race contestant youself, you can contact me at brian@realityshack.com.


Freelance writer, webmaster of realityshack.com, chief editor at applemagazine.com, contribtor to TechLife News and maketecheasier.com, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.