Interview: Brandon & Adam talk 'The Amazing Race'
Beard enthusiasts share some ribald tales from the road
Last week, best friends and beard enthusiasts Brandon Squyres and Adam Switzer became the second straight team to go from first to eliminated in this unpredictable "Amazing Race" season.
One Leg, they were building a commanding lead in Norway and coasting to victory in a hall of cheering Vikings and the next Leg, Brandon & Adam were struggling with a Double U-Turn in Poland, trying to get locals to give them change for pretending to be a statue.
It was an abrupt reversal of fortune for Brandon & Adam, but they kept smiling and cracking jokes til the end, meaning that just like their first-to-worst predecessors Ephraim & Chester, these two will be missed.
In this week's interview, Brandon & Adam have amusing confusion about this website's name, discuss the circumstances of their "Amazing Race" demise and relate a couple very funny moments we didn't get to see on TV.
Click through for the full conversation.
HitFix: Good morning!
Brandon Squyres: Hey. It it HitFlix or HickFlix?
HitFix: It's HitFix. H-I-T-F-I-X.
Brandon: Awww man. No offense, but I was hoping it was "HickFlix," some guy from the boonies who wanted to interview us.
HitFix: That would be an entirely different interview with an entirely different set of questions.
Brandon: "Did you guys actually learn to Okie noodle from the Okies?"
Adam Switzer: "How many times you been washing yourself in a barrel?"
HitFix: This is going to be such a letdown. Sorry. So "The Amazing Race" is always unpredictable, but the last three teams eliminated have all gone from Top 3 to gone in one Leg. Does this season seem particularly unpredictable for some reason?
Adam: I don't know if it's unpredictable, but one thing that's surprised me is that almost everyone on there speaks multiple language. I don't know if that's happened before. The Ice Queens surprised me by speaking fluent Portuguese.
Brandon: I don't know it's any more unpredictable than any other time. It's just that a lot of the travel is just luck, if you happen to get the right travel agent that looks up the right date or you happen to get a taxi guy that speaks English.
Adam: Or knows where he's going.
Brandon: It just happened that the first teams kinda had some bad luck.
HitFix: The first three teams this season were all eliminated after bad travel experiences. Does it at least feel like you guys were sent home on something more Race-based, something more in your control? Or would you have rather gone out on a travel thing?
Brandon: I'm glad we got to do stuff. There were unforeseen things, partially travel, partially things like that, but I would much rather at least run through a whole Leg and get eliminated than show up at the airport and get eliminated.
Adam: Yeah, I don't think I could have hacked what happened to the football players, just showing up and, through no fault of their own, they're burned and there's nothing they could do about it.
Brandon: Like I said, there's just bad timing of showing up at statue-things and stuff like that. It sucks, but at least we got to run around and make fools of ourselves instead of just sitting on a plane and being bummed out.
HitFix: I know you go into the Race knowing about all those random things, those travel things and whatnot, but do you still get surprised when you're out there how random things are and how unexpected things like that can be?
Brandon: I was really surprised by all the travel stuff. There were little things, things you wouldn't even think about, like where people put their baggage on a plane. You may have the front seat, but your bags had to go to the back because everybody else put their bags up front because you didn't get on the plane soon enough. Stuff like that, it's little things that I would never, ever think about.
Adam: I'd seen the show a lot and when you're watching from the couch, you don't necessarily think, "Teams are now making their way," well teams are awake for sometimes 24 hours or 30 hours and you're on planes, but on the episode, it's just a little blip, it's just a little red line, but in reality you can't sleep because you're on the Race and you're on a plane and there's no commercial break for you.
HitFix: I was struck during Sunday's episode by how exhausted a lot of you looked. Tim almost looked like a zombie the whole Leg. Was this a particularly tiring bit of travel that led up to this Leg?
Brandon: I think it was the travel before that, from Portugal to Norway. By the end of Norway, you'd been up for 36 hours or more and then you had to go on a boat and some people don't like the motion sickness of the boat or they aren't used to traveling like that. It was pretty exhausting at that point.
Adam: And a lot of people had picked up a bug, too, and they were hacking and coughing. That was a lot of that that was going around.
HitFix: Talk a bit about the U-Turn and how it felt in the moment to see your pictures up there and maybe how you feel now about the role that played in your elimination.
Brandon: When they had the clue and it said "U-Turn Ahead" and we didn't realize it was gonna be a Double U-Turn. For some reason, a lot of the teams didn't like the way the Afghanimals were playing and had talked about how they were going to U-Turn them and we didn't really want to be a part of that. If it came to that, we would do it, but we weren't going to pre-plan who we were gonna U-Turn. We knew that things happened and whatever and we still had pretty good spirits when we were getting out of the dancing, because we did that pretty fast, but we had to run by them as they're getting on the statues. And they're like, "Oh. We U-Turned you guys. Sorry." And we're like, "What? No one U-Turned them?" And then we realized, "Oh. There's a Double U-Turn." So it was a little of a disappointment to find that out.
Adam: It was a kinda a sour taste, because by not joining an alliance with those other people -- Cuz we think alliances are piss-weak -- we could have still been in the game, but we didn't want to burn someone that we didn't have anything against. And then to go and get U-Turned by those guys? We didn't hold it against them, because it was the smartest move on their part and we would have done it to them or any other team, but it was still kinda hard to swallow. You're like, "Man, I didn't U-Turn those guys cuz I thought they were cool" and because of them, we ended up out of the Race.
HitFix: We're sitting at home on our couches and the Pose Detour, it looks like you're just standing there and everyone's on TV talking about how hard it is. You can't get that from home, so tell me a bit about why that side of the Detour was so hard.
Adam: First off, you've been running and you've been getting no sleep on planes, you're doing this and you're already fatigued and you get up on that and you're holding yourself in a really awkward position with a weight at the end of your arm with that spear, so it's real hard to just stand up and stand there. And you're nervous and it's hot and you're sweating and you're in that stupid onesy with the fake plastic beard, not your real beard that you're used to...
Brandon: And the tridents aren't light either.
Adam: They weren't super-light. But then watching it at home, you've gotta realize too that the first time we went to do that, we were there for maybe 20 minutes and had a 10th of the money that we needed and both teams collectively spent less than 20 minutes there to get their 75 zloty. So it's tough, but we were there for a long time on both and we were there longer the second time.
Brandon: When we showed up the first time, the Baseball Wives were there and they had just worked that crowd for their money, so it was the same crowd that was there and they didn't want to give us money. We had kids throwing little exploding popper things at us and giving us a penny. After 20 minutes, we had like seven zloty, so we sat and did the math and were like, "We're gonna be here forever and this thing is really heavy, holding it up like that for 20 minutes. I don't know if I can do it for another hour-and-a-half," which is what, if you work it out, what you'd have to do. But you never know, the right people might come in and give you stuff, but it was not easy.
Adam: And we were much better dancers. I don't know if you saw us on television, but boy we can cut a run. So we did that real fast. We smashed that one. Once we found it, we killed it.
HitFix: OK, go ahead. We didn't get to see much of that dancing, so tell me a bit about why you were so good at that task.
Adam: I think both Brandon and I, we're pretty fleet of feet. We can do the Electric Slide, if you will. And we looked good in those vintage clothes, even if I was wearing a dress, I think we looked good. We had a good instructor and, yeah, we just paid attention to the moves, busted them out and got out of there after a couple of tries.
Brandon: Originally, that was what we wanted to do anyway, was the dancing, because it's something that's in your control, whereas the reason we didn't want to do the statue in the first place is you have to rely on people to hopefully give you money. The only reason we actually did that one is because people kept telling us that the Old Town Hall was right next to the statue and we kept going there and it wasn't and we were like, "Well, this is right here. Let's try it." We asked about 15 people who told us that the Old Town Hall was this building next to it, that wasn't the building where we needed to be for the dancing.
Adam: I think that was our fatal mistake, was trying the thing that depended on luck to begin with. We should have never ever stopped trying and wasted those 20 minutes and we should have continued to do things that were under our control, because when we were in those situations, we smashed stuff, we ruled it.
HitFix: Adam, you living status out in the woods was mentioned several times in vague ways. Could you give me some sort of insight into just how isolated you actually are most of the time?
Adam: Well, for an example, I drove 45 minutes out a dirt road so I could get cell reception enough to talk to you. I live 13 miles down a dirt road. During the winter, I can see as little as like four cars in a month, or I can be slowed in for a month or two. It's real isolated, but that's what I like. There's beautiful wildlife, beautiful scenery and I kinda get free-reign to do what I want. If I choose to get up and drink a cup of coffee buck naked, I could do that.
Brandon: I could do it, too.
Adam: Brandon could do it, too. But he might get arrested. And he doesn't drink coffee.
HitFix: Did this experience and being out on the Race, did it make you miss the traveling that you'd done before? Or did it mostly make you miss the farm?
Adam: A little bit it made me worry about my wife, who does drive and was at our farm holding it down by herself. I was a little worried about her. It wasn't the kind of travel that I do normally. There was a little taste of travel, which was good. I was kinda bummed to go back to Iquique, because I hate that town, but when I travel myself, I'll spend a week in some small fishing village, whereas on the Race, you blur through. I barely even remember what Portugal looks like.
Brandon: Traveling is always fun and getting to hang out with Adam was great, but you don't get to enjoy the areas where you're at very much. It's more fun just to see like, "OK. What kind of crazy thing are they gonna let me jump off or do next?" It almost gets to the point where, because you're traveling so fast, you're more just exciting about what you're going to do than where it is, because you're not getting to sit and enjoy where you're at as much. You're just like, "Let's do something crazy!"
Adam: I was pretty hyped on Norway, because we did get to spend quite a bit more time and I don't know how much they showed there, but that boat ride was epic and long.
Brandon: Norway by far, there was a lot of boats where we got to sit and just look at stuff and that was awesome.
Adam: Yeah, you could let the stress of the Race go, knowing that no one else was going to jump off the boat and swim faster than you or anything. You could just chill and be like, "Oh. Look at that. That's epic. I'm pretty sure I see a Viking."
HitFix: Well following on that, as a last question, give me a favorite moment from the Race that maybe we didn't get to see on TV, something you enjoyed most.
Adam: I don't know about "Most enjoyed," but one really funny thing that didn't make the final cut is that there's a scene after I shoot the ballista and Brandon helps me get my helm and my chain-mail shirt off and first he gets my beard caught in the helm and tore a bunch of that out -- the beard, not the helm -- and then got the chain-mail off and I'm trying to pull off my tunic, so I'm kinda bent over, legs spread with my tunic over my head, and Brandon decided he would take that golden opportunity and take the chain-mail and smash me in the testicles with it.
Brandon: [Laughing.] I don't know why. Well, we kinda do that to each other a lot, but I just saw him bent over and I was holding chain-mail and I was just like, "When am I gonna get the chance to hit Adam in the balls with chain-mail?"
Adam: That was pretty awesome.
Brandon: There was some stuff also in Norway when we were driving back to the original town that we just had a lot of fun, because we knew we were in first and there was not really a super-rush to get back to town.
Adam: And I like that when we ran into the longhouse and I'm pretty sure that they thought we were extras, they thought we were Viking extras. We jumped in and everyone just kinda looked at us like, "Oh, hey." And then they're like, "Oh crap! Those are Racers." And the band starts up and we run over and jump on the map. But I'm pretty sure they were like, "Why aren't you guys in period clothing?"
Brandon: And I liked the Viking guys. They didn't care if the camera was on them. When we were done, you'd be in the other room and there's no cameras on them and they're just dancing and singing.
Adam: They were partying.