Amazing Race's Ethan and Jenna: We Prefer Survivor
Ethan and Jenna
Former Survivor champs Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca came up very short on The Amazing Race 19, becoming one of the first two teams to get the boot in the show's first double elimination. The axing, ironically, came on a leg that involved charity. "I think if you had to find one good thing that happened is that it was all right that we left giving money to charity," Zohn, who co-founded the nonprofit Grassroot Soccer that promotes HIV/AIDS education, tells TVGuide.com. The rest of the Indonesian leg proved to be a nightmare for the couple, who was hampered by a bad cabbie and the stealth clue at the orphanage after the Detour. Do they think the twist was fair? See what they say:
Amazing Race's Phil Keoghan: We have the most competitive cast yet
You were in eighth place most of the leg, which is enough to get by. Where did it all go wrong? When you left the clue at the Detour? At the orphanage?
Jenna: Funny enough as it is, our cab driver got us very, very, very lost about every time we were in the cab. We wasted at least an hour and a half driving in the cab. We had to have the same driver the whole day, so we were really screwed. ... That was our No. 1 reservation going into the race — going out because of something out of our control, and that's exactly what happened. ... [We couldn't change cabs] because there weren't any in the street. I don't know if it works differently there, like you have to call for them, but it wasn't like New York City. ... And the clue — it was just with a pile of clothes. It was literally one minute away from the cab. It didn't affect [the outcome] at all.
What did you think of the extra clue at the orphanage?
Jenna: It was interesting to have a clue say one thing and the sign say another. On our clue, it said to turn in all the money you raised for the orphanage. I assumed that meant all of our foreign money, so we turned in all of our foreign money, even the money we hadn't raised. We just kept our very few U.S. dollars, which was like $20. We didn't know on the race that they would give you a clue if you did something wrong. [Laughs] But if they're giving away clues when you do stuff wrong, it's hard to figure out if you do something wrong or right.
Ethan: [I think it was for] drama. I guess it was to confuse us. I mean, when eight out of 11 teams get a clue wrong, it's tricky. Usually in any other situation, when you do a challenge correctly, you get a clue.
So you didn't get any extra clue after handing in the rest of your money?
Ethan: No. We basically ran back to the orphanage, gave them the rest and ran all the way back [to the Pit Stop]. ... It was probably a mile and a half.
The extra clue wasn't in Race colors. Do you think that's why so many of you didn't notice it?
Ethan: Yeah, it was just on a white piece of paper in a frame. You run in there, all the orphans are singing and they're cheering for you, and you're in such a rush that you're basing your decision on the clue that you're given, so we turned in all our converted money, got a clue and ran to the mat.
Jenna: Yeah, and just so everyone knows, it wasn't underlined and it wasn't outlined in red. I know that people saw that on TV, but that's not how we saw it.
Fall Preview: Get scoop on all your favorite returning shows
You got to the Pit Stop the first time in ninth place. Did you know where you were at that point?
Ethan: We were actually in eighth. They showed the Vegas showgirls checking in before us, which was not accurate.
Jenna: Yeah, and we didn't really know where we were, but we saw Ernie and Cindy, and the twins running back. Ethan was like, "We must've done something wrong." But we didn't [talk to them] because you're in such a hurry that you don't even have time to breathe, so you just run as fast as you can. And we were making up a huge time deficit because of our cab, so we probably made up 20 minutes of the hour and 30 minutes we were behind because of the cab. ... By running full speed, we were probably a couple minutes behind [Amani and Marcus] in the end.
[Editor's note: Kaylani and Lisa, the Vegas showgirls, were shown arriving in 10th. Laurence and Zac were shown arriving in eighth.]
Do you think the twist was fair?
Jenna: I don't think it's fair to have two different clues. I don't know. I mean, I don't want to sound like sour grapes, so, yeah, it was fair. [Laughs] The fans can decide for themselves.
Ethan: To be given a clue and then a separate clue when you get there is interesting.
You wanted to hide that you were on Survivor because you felt that would make you a big target, but did you really think teams wouldn't recognize you?
Jenna: No, we figured they would recognize us and we figured if they did, we would just downplay it and make it not such a big deal and say it was a long time ago. ... We talked to everybody about it. When we stayed overnight at China Airways, we slept next to the twins and Marcus and Amani, and we pretty much talked the whole night.
Ethan: When no one was allowed to talk to each other and no one knew each other before the race started, obviously, we're thinking people are eyeing you down and everyone's looking each other over. But once the race started and we met everyone, we didn't think we had as big of a target.
Meet the Amazing Race 19 cast
How badly did you want to win the Race after having won Survivor?
Jenna: I think we just wanted to go in and do the best that we could and have a good time after the past few years [with Ethan's cancer battle], try not to yell at each other too badly on camera, which I don't think we did. And that's the best we could do. It's a totally different game and there's a lot of stuff out of your control on the race. I prefer to play reality shows where I have more control over things. [Laughs]
So you prefer Survivor over The Amazing Race?
Ethan: [Laughs] Me too. I mean, I've always said being lost in a foreign country when you're tired and hungry and broke and can't speak the language is my worst fear in life. And that's exactly what the race is. There's just so much out of your control. That's one of the biggest risks of playing a game like this. It's funny that's kind of what ending up getting us out of the race.
Jenna, do you really have Medusa eyes?
Jenna: [Laughs] Yeah, I do. I was wearing my colored contacts too, but yeah, I do have Medusa eyes. I like that. I'm actually going to print that on a T-shirt. Thanks, Ernie!
What are you up to now?
Jenna: We're doing this show called Everyday Health on ABC. The show is going really well. We're getting such great feedback about it. We'll be filming that for the next couple of weeks and that will run until February. We're working on a book, we're working on our own reality show. We signed this cool sponsorship deal that we'll be telling everybody about in the next week or so, which we're super excited about. So things are going really well.