Amy & Daniel on Their Shocking 'Race' Elimination
By LISA HIRSCH
October 08, 2012
In an Amazing Race shocker, power couple Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale from Summit County, Colorado, were eliminated in only the second leg of the race. Despite Amy's double-amputee status, the pair had quickly set themselves apart as a team to beat in the first episode, but were ultimately taken down by a commonly named auto shop and a string of hapless cab drivers. ETonline talks with the pair to get their take on their elimination and to find out if this "on-again, off-again couple" is together or apart.
ETOnline: I expected you to go to the end, were you as shocked as we viewers were when you were eliminated?
Daniel: I think we were, and you could tell from our reaction when we made it to the mat. We had our fingers and toes crossed that we were going to be in a non-elimination round, and we were doing so well, we were really ahead of the pack quite a bit, and we were definitely heartbroken.
ETOnline: About the taxi driver and getting lost, how long were you lost for?
Amy: We don't really know, but it was for a long time, I mean that entire time. 'Cause we got out of the balloons second, and it took hours for some people to finish the balloons, and we were still running around, trying to find the correct location. [Plus], there were multiple locations that had the same name so, yeah, we went around for quite some time.
ETOnline: I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been.
Amy: Yeah, it was. At first we were just like so amped up and we kept thinking each location we were going to was going to be the one, and when we would get out, there's multiple Wijaya Motors, that whole area, almost every business has the name Wijaya in it. So if the cab driver doesn't know the exact location, he's just gonna take you to all the locations that he knows, and ... so at first we were so amped up and we kept thinking, 'Okay we found it.' And then it would be not the right place and at one point we were kind of just like, 'Oh my gosh! This is serious. This place exists and we have no idea which direction to go in.'
Daniel: And at some point, you just have to realize that the resources there are really, really limited, they don't even have radios in the taxi cab to call a dispatch, they don't have smart phones. You could see from the show we got out and tried to ask somebody call information for us and she said, 'We don't have [it]! You're in Indonesia, there's no information.' So you have to try and have some faith in the taxi cab [drivers], that they do know where they're going, you know, that they can learn where to take you, and the stars just weren't aligned for us that day.
Amy: Yeah, and we switched cabs quite a few times thinking each cab driver would know where it's at, and the problem, like I said, is there's multiple businesses named the same thing so every cab driver would take us to a Wijaya Motors that just happened to be the wrong Wijaya Motors.
ETOnline: How frustrating was it for you that in The Amazing Race, you could be the most physically fit, but luck is such a huge part of the game? How did you guys feel about that?
Amy: Going into the race, we were huge fans, so we've watched all the episodes, and I mean obviously we went on the show knowing that we can win the race ... so we went in thinking it's like 85 percent skill, with a little bit of luck thrown in there, and we walked out realizing that luck plays a lot bigger of a role than skill necessarily. Because, I mean you just don't know what's going to happen, [and] the getting from point A to point B is totally not a controlled environment at all.
Daniel: I think that what makes The Amazing Race so special is ... because it's not a controlled environment, ... people are on the edge of their seat because of that. It legitimately gives people emotions when you're watching it, and I think ... that's what makes the race so special.
Amy: Right, yeah it's not easy to just size up a team and say, 'Oh, they're athletic, so they're going to win the race,' when you know, you have to get on planes and trains and you trust [that luck will be on your side]. It is a huge equalizer and it is what makes the race really ... exciting. You have no idea who's going to make it.
ETOnline: At home we can't really see how close the finishes are. Were you guys really close behind the previous team, or were there hours separating you when you got to the mat?
Daniel: I think we were very close. I think within minutes but we're not sure.
Amy: Yeah, we're not sure the exact [timing]. Those guys, they're great, we love the teachers, they were in the balloon challenge for quite some time. We had gone back to the start, and still saw them there. So at one point we thought, 'Okay, we know we're not last here,' and we kind of got in another cab, and tried to figure some more stuff out, but then it went on long enough that we realized, okay, that this is going on way too long.
ETOnline: What country were you hoping to visit that you didn't get a chance to?
Daniel: There are so many.
Amy: I know, we would've loved to go to Japan, but gosh that would've been another massive language barrier. I was hoping to actually go to countries I'd already been [to since] you kind of get an idea of how things run, so you would think you'd have an advantage if you go to countries you've been to before. But, it was so cool for our first stop to go to Shanghai. I just don't know if I'll ever go to Shanghai again -- it was just incredible.
Daniel: I know, I couldn't help but to stop and take a look at the skyline, I think that was even in the show, which was that first episode as soon as we walked over onto the Bund. I was like, 'Oh my lord, I've never seen anything like that.' It was incredible.
Amy: Yeah, even though you're in the places so quickly, we really tried to take in where we were at.
ETOnline: On the show they described you as an on-again off-again couple. What is the current status of your relationship?
Daniel: We are very much on, and we are a happy couple, and we're excited for the future in our continuing adventures together. We run a non-profit called Adaptive Action Sports together that gets people with disabilities into action sports -- youth, veterans and young adults -- and we're very much on, and we're living happily in Frisco, Colorado. Amy's training for the Paralympics to make the U.S. National Team to go to Paralympics for adaptive snowboarding in 2014 in Sochi, Russia. That's our next adventure, and we're a happy couple in Frisco.
ETOnline: Great! Which team do you think is gonna win?
Daniel: We just appreciated the opportunity to run against all of the teams, and we got to know them and make some great friends, and some were very competitive that was great to give us more fire and some are fantastic people. They're all just wonderful teams and we're rooting for everyone.
Amy: Yeah we're rooting for everyone, you just realize it's anybody's game. Whoever's strategies or just personal talents get them through. So I think that there's a handful of teams that we would love to see win.
The Amazing Race airs Sunday nights at 8/7 c on CBS.