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Interview With Hayden Kristianson from The Amazing Race 6

by Carrie

Hayden and Aaron almost made it to the end of the race; but some creative editing made it look like they gave up at the last minute. Find out what really happened at that infamous roadblock and much more!

Hi Hayden! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today, and congrats on your engagement! Have you set a wedding date yet? Will any of the other teams be invited?

We had originally set the date for Dec 17 ’05. Aaron, however, is going to culinary school starting in July ’05 and will finish in October ’06. Planning our wedding and taking time off for the honeymoon won’t work out because his school is 5 days a week, 5-7 hours a day. So we’ve pushed the date back to the winter of ’06. My brother is also a Marine and he’s in the wedding party so we’ll have to wait until he’s back from deployment. We’ll invite some of the Racers for sure.

Hayden, do you have any regrets over giving up? Do you still blame yourself for the elimination? I’d say it was bad luck with the cab drivers more than anything!

That’s the big misconception about that roadblock, I didn’t give up! We made a strategic move, we were told we had to get to the gondolas by 7:00 p.m. because they would be closing down. We could either stay the night and start again in the morning when the gondolas started back up, or take a 4 hour penalty for not completing the road block. Why would we ever start the task again in the morning and be nearly a full day behind the top two teams?

At 6:59 pm I looked at Aaron and said “I’m done, we’ll take the penalty” because I had been there for 4 hours. In our wildest of dreams we never thought at 7:00 on the dot, Rebecca would get her lock open. She had been there for nearly 5 hours. We knew we could beat them to the pitstop in a foot race. But at 7:00 she got her lock open, right when our time was up. I rushed back and tried for a few more minutes and I couldn’t get my lock open. I never quit at anything though, I’m way too competitive and it really bothers me that the show made it look like that. But the cab driver getting us lost for nearly two hours before we even got there didn’t help our confidence at all!

How do you feel about the way you were portrayed on the show? Was it an accurate depiction of the way you two really are together?

The things you saw absolutely happened. I am a fiery, strong-willed, outgoing person. I say how I’m feeling and I’m never one to hold my feelings in. Aaron is laid-back, mellow, and much quieter. That’s why we work so well together, we balance each other out. You know how they say opposites attract! But what was truly frustrating while watching this was the way things were spliced together. There are 36-50 hours per leg and some episodes Aaron and I may have only gotten 5 minutes of air-time total. There was so much positive stuff left out. We got along great 80% of the time, and the other 20% of bickering is unfortunately all they showed. But drama makes better ratings, not us laughing and goofing around and getting along great! Our family and friends know who we really are and how we really are together, and that’s all that matters to us.

What was the toughest leg of the race for you (other than your final leg) and why?

Corsica for sure! Nothing seemed to go right that leg and Aaron was so consistent throughout the whole race. I on the other hand was all over the place. I think my hormones were really raging at that particular time and I was at my lowest point of the race. Exhaustion had really set in and I was very homesick for my family and dog. I call my parents every day and am very attached to my little shar-pei so I was really missing them. You’re not allowed to speak to them the entire time so I was having a very difficult time with that, especially during that leg of the race.

What advice would you give to others who want to be on the show? How could they prepare for the race?

Make sure you have a strong relationship with who you’re racing with because it can cause some people’s relationship’s to disintegrate! But it can also make you a lot stronger which is thankfully what happened for Aaron and I. I would say get in great shape, study maps (something I REALLY should’ve done!) and study climates to know what to pack.

If there was ever an All-Star edition of The Amazing Race, would you consider trying it again?

Possibly, depending where we were in our careers. We really believe in moving forward and never looking back. If we were at the same place in our lives that we are now, then definitely!

Obviously the editing is such that we can only see small snippets of what actually happens while you’re out there traveling the world. What were some things that happened that didn’t make it on air, but you wish had been shown?

Aaron’s and my positive interactions and goofing around. Before Lena and Kristy were eliminated we had an alliance with them. On the bus ride from Norway to Stockholm we were singing stupid songs like “baby got back” and crying almost because we were laughing so hard.

Then before Ikea opened in Sweden we walked to McDonald’s for breakfast and were singing some more and 80’s dancing. We were having a blast.

There was also the time when we were on our way to Ethiopia where Aaron, Kendra and I were messing with Freddy while he was sleeping by sticking things up his nose and poking him with things. I started to brush his hair so he looked like he had a curly afro. Kendra and I practically fell off our chairs laughing. But they made me look so one-dimensional the whole time like I’m always pissed off and whiny! Which I will agree I can act that way for sure, and I definitely did on the race but I had fun too! I think Ethiopia was one of the only episodes where my true personality was shown at all.

The Amazing Race 8 is apparently going to be a “family” edition. How much more difficult do you think the race would be with a team of four, rather than two? What do you foresee to be major obstacles for a team of four?

I really have no idea how they’re going to make this work. It’s hard enough with two people! It’s going to be very hard to get a cab.

Was it difficult for you to recover and settle back into your daily routine after doing the race?

For Aaron it was a breeze, he’s so resilient. For me though, I had a hard time adjusting. I kept dreaming that we needed to go get a clue and I’d wake up a lot in the night to see what time it was because I thought we had to get to the mat to leave. I also felt some guilt because I felt the way it all ended was my fault and that Aaron really deserved to run every leg of the Race. I was grateful to be home, but it felt strange to not have cameras chasing after us and it was so quiet compared to what we had been doing for 30 days. But I got over all of that after a couple of weeks!

Thanks Hayden, and best of luck to you and Aaron in the future!

If you’d like to keep up with what Hayden is doing, please check out her fabulous website at http://www.haydenkristianson.com.

Comments are welcome! You can contact me at carrie@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.