Amazing Race's Dave and Cherie: We Never Thought It'd Come Down to Math
Cherie and Dave
They got stuck on a broken-down bus, but married clowns Dave and Cherie Gregg were ultimately undone on The Amazing Race by... math. Tasked with calculating the average weight of a head of cattle in a pen using long division, Dave got so stuck that the cattle were eventually cleared out. "Not in a million years [did I think we would be eliminated because of math]! Not in $1 million even!" he tells TVGuide.com. Why couldn't he figure it out? And what happened to their bus? Find out below.
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Did you ever think math would do you in?
Cherie: Never! We're fans of the Race, so we watched a lot of prior seasons and when it came to math, we've seen people using calculators to change gold over. We had a calculator, but we weren't allowed to use it. And we did things before the Race, like Brain Age, which had simple math, which had simple calculations, but not long division.
Dave: And if there were any math tasks, we were gonna have Cherie do them, but the clue said, "Where's the beef?" I thought it was an eating challenge, so I was ready to eat a cow!
Dave, have you always been bad at math or has it just been way too long since you've done long division?
Dave: Both actually. I had trouble in school with math with my dyslexia. ... I used to reverse things. And it's been, like, 20 years since I had done long division, so when I had to do it, I literally inverted the process and was dividing from right to left as opposed to left to right. I just kept doing it over and over again and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. And I didn't know if I was counting the cows wrong.
Cherie: And nowadays, we use calculators, computers and smart phones to divide stuff. Plus, we're one of the oldest teams and it's been a while since we've been in school. The cows were also all over each other, so you couldn't count well.
Was it discouraging seeing them empty the cattle pen?
Dave: Yeah, but I knew I had to persevere. Eventually they cleared the bins and they just gave me different problems with different numbers of cattle. I decided to try dividing left to right and voila! ... I didn't time it, but it took a few hours. I took a break, got some water, stepped back from it and got back to it.
Cherie: I was so happy he wasn't crying or upset. It wasn't getting over a fear. If you're blank, you're blank. He was joking around to relieve the stress. I knew it was bothering him, but he wasn't getting upset on the outside, and if he did, I would've been crying.
Did you figure you were last at that point?
Cherie: Yeah, but we were hoping for a non-elimination. And when we got there, we didn't know if the third bus had passed us. But when they took the cows away, we were were like, they wouldn't have taken the cows away if there were more teams coming.
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Did you hear Andrew and Joey teaming up and conspiring to get you out?
Dave: I didn't. At that point, I was so tunnel-visioned on getting the math right. They were having trouble themselves and people ask, "Why didn't you team up with them?" I felt like it was the blind leading the blind. It wasn't a guess. It had to be an exact number.
Cherie: They looked like the Three Stooges because they all went up and down the stairs with guesses. They got a lot wrong.
Dave: By the time I thought of teaming up with them, they were gone.
What happened with your bus window?
Dave: It was a double decker [bus], and downstairs it had gotten really hot and upstairs was nice and cool there. ... [The attendant] came down and shut down the entire system and restarted it. The cool air came in downstairs and an hour later, when the sun went down, boom! We hear the snap of the window. The only thing I could think of that happened was that it literally gave into the stress of thermodynamics and just exploded from the temperature changes.
Cherie: I thought something hit [it]. ... The window shattered and blew in. Luckily, the twins, who were behind us, moved upstairs to cool off because one of them wasn't feeling good. His brother then went up to check on him, so luckily they weren't sitting there. After that, we couldn't get any sleep because every hour and a half, the bus would stop to tape the window and you would hear [the wind].
Dave: It was an 18-hour bus ride and we were probably on for 22.
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Do you think you would've been safe had that not happened?
Dave: I think so. Quite frankly, I would've had a lot more sleep! People don't realize that you're really running on fumes and adrenaline. There are times when you have to use that adrenaline and when you have to push it away. When you're at a task, you have to push it away.
Why didn't you see the picture of the solar panel on your box at the Detour?
Dave: Adrenaline! We got the last box, so we just grabbed the box ... and ran to the last set-up area, which was the farthest up. We thought there would be instructions in there, but there weren't, so we just started it up.
Cherie: We were the last to arrive at our area, but Dave thought to only fill the pot halfway with water. It only had to whistle; we didn't have make tea for 10! So we were the second out of there even though we were last to arrive. So as a team we work well together. But not divided!
No pun intended. What are you doing now?
Cherie: Still clowning around! We're still the ambassadors of laughter for Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey's Circus. Our next top is [Kentucky] and we're hoping to meet up with Bopper and Mark. We were just in Mobile, Ala., and we were able to meet up with Kerri and Stacy. We're going to schools, libraries and hospitals and bringing free educational programs about a month before the Circus comes to town. And we're just being grateful for our lives and our opportunity to make our dream come true with The Amazing Race.