The Amazing Race, Jennifer & Preston
Jennifer Hopka and Preston McCamy became the first casualty of The Amazing Race 14 when they missed moving on to Leg 2 by mere seconds, getting edged by flight attendants Christie and Jodi. That wasn't the only thing that stung though — Preston also injured his hand during the hilarious (for viewers, at least) cheese-lugging task. Hopka and Preston chatted with TVGuide.com about poor choices, sound footwear and whether or not they're still a couple.
TVGuide.com: What happened at the end? They always try to make the last two teams look closer than they are, but you guys were in an actual footrace.
Preston: We weren't actually that close [at first]. When we came off the hill and got into our taxi to go to the Pit Stop, we were 30 minutes ahead of the blondes [Christie and Jodi]. But we just didn't have [enough] money to pay for the taxi. We were 75 francs short.
TVGuide.com: Where did you get the money then?
Preston: Uh, we didn't. [Laughs]
Jennifer: We started begging in the town, [but] nobody was giving us money. We decided the only thing to do was just run for the finish line. When you break the rules, you get a penalty. Right then and there, Preston and I were thinking we'll just take the penalty and risk it. We started running and went the same way Steve and Linda first ran — the wrong way to the river. The clue said "let it lure you," so we were thinking a fishing lure by the river.
TVGuide.com: So the clue didn't mention you have to listen for yodelers?
Jennifer: It said, "let the voice of the yodelers lure you," but there are speakers coming from the mountaintop, so we think that's where [the yodeling] was coming from. As soon as we turned around, the girls had gotten out of their taxi and started running toward us. They met up with us, and we said, "This is the wrong way!" Like idiots! We should've just kept it to ourselves, [but] we were tired. So they start running the opposite way. So from there it was a footrace because it was Preston, Jodi, and then Christie and I stepped on the mat at the same time pretty much.
TVGuide.com: Why did Preston carry you?
Jennifer: That was at the very end. There was a bridge right before you hit the mat. Over the bridge, Preston realized I was still behind, so he was like, "Well, I'm running the fastest out of everybody, so I'm gonna put her on my back." We had the lead, but when he stopped to throw me off, it didn't push me far enough to jump on the mat before Christie.
TVGuide.com: How heartbreaking was that to have it be so close?
Jennifer: It was really heartbreaking and frustrating, but it was more embarrassing to know that we were the first team eliminated from Amazing Race.
TVGuide.com: How hard was the cheese task? It was funny to watch, but I can't even imagine doing it.
Jennifer: It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. It wasn't a hill; it was a cliff. It was so steep. It rained all night and all day, so it was wet. It's a herding hill, so there were all kinds of animals, so every inch of that ground was covered with poop. That's why we kept falling. It was wet grass and poop everywhere. The only smart person who wore boots was Steve. All of us were in tennis shoes, and that and poop don't go well together.
TVGuide.com: What were the rules? Could you just have rolled the cheese to the bottom, or did you have to try to carry it?
Preston: You were supposed to use the carrier. You couldn't push it and you couldn't intentionally roll it down the hill. But if your [carrier] busted and your cheese rolled down the hill by accident, it was okay — but nobody knew that and nobody wanted to risk a penalty.
Jennifer: You also had to stay within 20 feet of your partner, so when his cheese accidentally rolled down the hill, I had to be right behind him.
TVGuide.com: What were those carriers made out of? They broke so easily.
Preston: Really cheap wood with the little nails that you get when you put in the back of an entertainment center and staples. It was horrible. The worst part was when it broke apart, all the staples and nails just ripped my hand to shreds. I was sitting there just bleeding all over the place.
TVGuide.com: So it was mud, poop, blood and cheese...
Jennifer: Some of the teams after us were like, "Oh my god! Somebody's dying." We were actually ahead [after the first trip down with the cheese], but it was the second trip that got us when his hand got cut. It was funny because there was blood everywhere and everyone was freaking out.
TVGuide.com: You said at the end that this will strengthen your relationship. Are you guys still together?
Jennifer: We are. We've been together for two years.