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“You Don’t Have to Quit Living as You Get Older” - An Interview with The Amazing Race 9’s Fran and Barryby Jenn Brasler -- 04/28/2006
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RealityNewsOnline: Hi, Fran and Barry! I’m glad you two made it as far as you did in the race. It’s nice to see such a loving couple supporting each other so well. When you first arrived for the race and saw the other teams, were you worried that you were in over your heads?
Fran: Yes, I took a look at all the young teams and they were mostly in their 20s, and I thought, “Uh, oh, what’s going on?”
Barry: I did not feel that I was in over my head. I watched almost every episode of the show and knew that there would be younger teams and thought and hoped that we would be up to the competition.
RNO: What was the hardest part of the race for you physically? What about mentally or emotionally?
Barry: I think that what makes the race more difficult than what you can imagine is the emotional roller coaster that you go on. Every day I was on the show; it was mentally draining to be so emotionally engaged. As for the physical part, the most physical thing was working on the sand in the heat of Oman.
Fran: Definitely the hardest part was the bungee jump. It was something that I absolutely didn’t want to do and we decided that if there was jumping involved that Barry was going to do it, and we didn’t read the clue in its entirety and I jumped to say I would do it. I also didn’t realize how stressful the race is. We were stressed 24/7 and I was also sick to my stomach when I got off the first plane, but then my adrenaline took over and we were ready to go.
RNO: Fran, we know that you’ve done a lot of courageous things in the past. What was it about bungee jumping that made you so nervous?
Fran: We’ve jumped out of airplanes and I was a lot younger and I didn’t have the fears that I have today. Barry couldn’t wait to go bungee jumping and yet I was the one who had to do it. Just the thought of a rope tied to my leg scared me. I was probably the most petrified I have ever been in my entire life.
RNO: Do you think BJ and Tyler were serious when they threatened to yield people who didn’t give them money?
Fran & Barry: We really didn’t know if they were serious about yielding people but certainly they would have a right to yield whoever they want. They are in it to win the race and whatever they have to do, they will. Hopefully they use it a little smarter than the first Yield that was done.
RNO: Did you connect with any of the other teams?
Fran & Barry: We connected immediately with BJ & Tyler; they were very fun, interesting guys and we enjoyed talking to them. Fran sewed up BJ’s pants twice when he split them on the first few legs of the race. We were very friendly and also enjoyed team Mojo, who were a fun young couple. We were supportive of each other. Our two closest teams were the hippies and Mojo.
RNO: Did you pack anything interesting or unusual? Would you pack differently if you were to do the race again?
Fran & Barry: We actually packed very well, very lightly because we have backpacked a LOT in the past years. Our problem was that our backpacks weighed a lot. We would possibly take a day pack next time so that we could always use it as a carry-on.
RNO: How much of the race do you think is based on luck, and how much on skill?
Fran & Barry: We really think that in analyzing the race that there is one-third mental, one-third physical, and one-third luck. Depending on how those factors integrate in any particular leg helps determine your outcome. We believe that these three components all play into the race, sometimes some more than others. As you can see from the show, you can be up there in the top and come right down to the bottom in an instant or vice versa. It’s not over until the fat lady sings.
RNO: If you could have done anything differently, what would it be?
Fran: I believe our problems in the first two legs were that we were too impatient. We should have taken some time and thought through the clues and things in general before rushing out to do the task. We would have tried to be much more patient.
RNO: What advice would you give to people hoping to do the race?
Barry: Make sure that you create a video that is unique and different so that it will appeal to casting. Also think about who you might be competing against. Try to answer the application as truthfully but humorously as possible so maybe you can get an in-person interview. Try not to be too nervous during your interview.
RNO: Is there anything else you want to say to your fans?
Fran: Age is just a number and we are as strong as ever being in our 60s. You don’t have to quit living as you get older. And I’d also like to say to all those breast cancer survivors that life does not end with cancer, it continues on and there’s no reason to stop or ever give up.
Barry: We are not necessarily unique as a couple. People in our age group should be able to go out there and do what they want to do and live life to the fullest. Most of our generation can remember the quote, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” And that is exactly what we try to do every day.
RNO: Thanks for the interview! I’m impressed at how far you were able to go. You’re both definitely inspirations.
Jenn Brasler is an Assistant Editor of Reality News Online and an aspiring writer from Falls Church, VA. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fellow editor Mike believes that Yolanda actually called Barry & Fran “Frankenberry” this week, but so far RNO has no proof. We’ll keep you updated as events unfold.
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