By Reality TV World staff, 03/23/2010
The Amazing Race's sixteenth edition seemed to get off to a great start for newly dating former Big Brother stars Jeff Schroeder and Jordan Lloyd when they finished first in the competition's first leg.
However things quickly went downhill for the couple from there and they began a string of disappointing finishes that culminated in three legs in which they finished last (but survived due to a non-elimination leg), next-to-last (and only due to the last place team's inability to complete a U-Turn task) and last again (and were finally eliminated).
On Monday, Jeff and Jordan talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience -- including where their relationship stands now, how they ended up on The Amazing Race, what one event they believe caused their downfall, where they hit their breaking point and had "mutual hate" for each other, and how they believe they could have gotten back into the Race.
Reality TV World: Let's start with the obvious question and get it out of the way -- what's the status of your relationship right now?
Jordan Lloyd: We're still together and it's really good. (laughs) Everything is going really good.
Jeff Schroeder: Was good!
Jordan Lloyd: Shut up! (laughs)
Reality TV World: Are you guys planning to continue the long-distance thing or is one of you moving?
Jordan Lloyd: For right now, we're doing the long-distance thing. I'm back at the salon working and Jeff's back at his job. I've got to take some summer school classes, I got to get school out of the way! That's really it right now, then we'll decide maybe later.
Jeff Schroeder: Yeah, probably we'll do the summer, the long-distance thing, because she's going to be going to school in Charlotte and it makes no sense for one of us to move now.
So we'll do the summer thing back and fourth like we've been doing, we've been doing all right with that. We'll do that and let her finish school and then when she's done with school she'll definitely have more options into where we want to move and things like that.
Reality TV World: How did you guys end up getting on the Race? I thought I heard that you guys had been campaigning -- how'd it come about and how quickly?
Jordan Lloyd: About two days.
Jeff Schroeder: Yeah, [but] we didn't campaign.
Jordan Lloyd: After the finale of Big Brother, the producers approached us and just asked us if we would be interested in being on the Race. And Jeff, he didn't hesitate at all because he likes to travel. So he said he would do it and I wanted to do it because I'd never been to another country before and I just thought it would be like a great experience.
Reality TV World: I know you guys were still obviously trying your best, but after being so far back for so long, it almost kind of seemed like you were kind of waiting for someone to finally put you out of your misery the last couple of legs. Was that kind of the case? You kind of seemed resigned to your fate a little.
Jordan Lloyd: I think the whole Germany -- Germany really messed us up for the last two legs. The cab driver took us, I would say it was about 30-40 minutes out of the way, And then the whole -- I got really discouraged [during] the whole war thing in France because I knew with had an extra [Speed Bump] task to do, and luckily somebody got U-Turn'd or it would have been us out.
And then the last leg was just, we just were so turned around, so lost. It was just -- I mean it kind of got comical towards the end. It was like, "Make the best of this." We knew we were in last, we were so far behind that we just wanted to go out and, you know, not be bitter about things
Reality TV World: Jeff, there seemed to be a couple of moments near the end there where you were getting frustrated with Jordan's effort. Looking back, do you think she actually wasn't giving her best effort, or was she just kind of a convenient target for your frustration about what was going on [with your Race position]?
Jeff Schroeder: It was a combination of both. She definitely was not trying her best, she can say that right now and sit here and say that she wasn't. She was kind of just being difficult, I was being difficult. I think part of our problem is I am overaggressive and too competitive and she's not enough.
So I tell everyone I think I need to take it down a couple of dials and she needs to turn it up little. We need to meet somewhere in the middle there. But France with the World War I thing was definitely our bottom, we got to each other. We definitely blew up, that was our breaking point.
And you know, for blowing up and recovering that easily, like that quickly and getting things in order -- we talked that evening and we just said "You know, things can't be like this, I'm sorry," she apologized.
We were really, really far behind at that point because we were even behind everybody else. And we were like, "Listen we've got to try our best, we can still do this." We were both in great spirits starting off that last show in the beginning of it, but it seemed like if we went north the clue was south, and if we went west the clue was east.
It was like we couldn't get anything right. We were in good spirits about everything and it just wasn't our day, and it's hard when there's not a place where you can catch up like a train station or an airport or things like that. And it was just time for us to go.
You know, other teams, they played a great race and deserved to be there and it was our time to go! We had a great time and no regrets, obviously.
Reality TV World: I was going to mention that -- you guys actually seemed to even run into a little bit of bad luck as far of the course itself went. You went two legs without having a spot where the teams could bunch and had to wait for a plane or a train or some location that was closed until morning that would allow the teams to bunch back together.
Jeff Schroeder: Exactly.
Jordan Lloyd: That's what we were hoping for. I kept telling Jeff, "Maybe we're going to have to meet at a bus or go to a plane." Like every time we opened a clue I was hoping it would say "Make your way to a bus station," or "Make your way to the airport," because I knew that would even us back out. But then whenever I didn't see that I knew there was no way unless somebody had a flat tire...
Jeff Schroeder: Well obviously, there was a way -- it was just that we couldn't make any mistakes. And we knew that, because we had to make up time as it was. I definitely anticipated other teams making mistakes and us getting a chance to catch up, but when we just made mistake after mistake after mistake and you're already that far behind, you know, things look dire.
I never want to quit or give up, but sometimes you have to face reality and when we were out there in the vineyard with flashlights, it kind of felt like we had, even though it wasn't.
Like I said, we accepted it, we were in good spirits about it and I'm glad we went out the way we did. We went out classy with our heads up and if you're going to go out, that's the way you got to go out, you know what I mean?
Reality TV World: Yeah, with the exception of a couple of moments in the last few legs, you guys really seemed to do a good job of staying loose and just shrugging things off with self-deprecating remarks like, "We shouldn't reproduce" when you made mistakes. Was that a deliberate strategy on your part or was that just your natural personalities?
Jeff Schroeder: Well that's easy for both of us to answer -- go ahead.
Jordan Lloyd: Our natural personalities, yeah.
Jeff Schroeder: It's just us. You know we get along, we crack jokes. That's definitely how I live. But things are stressful, like in life or like in anything, there's stressful moments. And The Amazing Race is a pressure cooker. For mother and daughter, brothers, sisters, father and daughter -- you know what I mean, everyone is going to get into it at one point.
You have two people with two opposing points of views, obviously you're going to get into it a little bit. In France, the World War I [simulation] was our definite bottom of the Race. We both were tired of each other, me as well as her. We had mutual feelings of hate toward each other. (laughs)
But like I said, we got over it real quickly and learned that we were both wrong, we both made mistakes, and we just had to get together as a team and we did that. And things just didn't go our way [after that].
Reality TV World: Yeah, Brent and Caite -- Caite far more than Brent, actually -- seem to be one of those teams that kind of took the opposite approach and really seemed focused on trying to prove how smart they were every time they made a mistake. What are your thoughts on that approach? Do you think you would have been able to last as long with a similar take on things?
Jeff Schroeder: No way.
Jordan Lloyd: No.
Jeff Schroeder: Because Jordan really gets down on herself. I don't think she was ever taught -- you know, she was never into sports or anything like that, and I think being competitive is not really in her. She's more of a relaxed person and that's totally cool, that's awesome.
That's probably the reason why I like her, because she's laid back and she just worries about her own thing and does her own thing, and that's why I get along with her so well. Because I'm the total opposite of that.
And I think if I would have tried to ruffle Jordan's feathers -- I tried to encourage her and I think it came off more of being a tough guy or like bossing her, and it didn't work. Everyone saw it in France, we wanted to kill each other and I think I was getting too pushy, and I realized that, so that wasn't the way to motivate her. You have to really be patient with Jordan and talk to her, and that's the way to get her going.
Our minds were together on that leg, but our minds were definitely somewhere else. We were together but not on the universe's page, we were going the wrong way. (laughs)
Reality TV World: How surprised were you that you managed to survive those two legs with the non-elimination Pit Stop and then falling into a situation where another team got U-Turn'd and just couldn't do it?
Jeff Schroeder: We were just super lucky.
Jordan Lloyd: Yeah.
Jeff Schroeder: We kind of knew there was a non-elimination coming up...
Jordan Lloyd: ...but we didn't know when.
Jeff Schroeder: Right.
Jordan Lloyd: I was just hoping when we were in Germany it was going to be a non-elimination and thank god it was. And then thank god for the U-Turn for the next one.
Jeff Schroeder: Yeah. Like we said, we got screwed up in Germany and we were at the back of the pack. And like I said, for three [legs] there was nothing for us to even out the teams, we just fell so far behind with everything.
You know, we were lucky to even be on there the last couple of weeks. It was great just staying there a couple of more weeks and just seeing a couple of more things that we shouldn't have gotten the chance to, maybe. You know, we would have gotten eliminated obviously at that non-elimination and it would have been a real short trip.
But you know, we made it halfway. We got to see a couple of extra things that we probably shouldn't have so we're thankful for that.
Reality TV World: You guys were one of several teams that ended up getting directions to Taittinger's headquarters instead of the chateau and vineyard. Did you guys ever get an explanation about why so many locals seemed so confused -- is the chateau normally not open to the public or something?
Jeff Schroeder: Well it wasn't locals, we went to the tourist information place and they told us that (laughs)
Jordan Lloyd: Yeah, I thought at first this is for sure right because this is a tourist place but I think it was because wasn't it on (unintelligible) Epernay?
Jeff Schroeder: Epernay was the place you had to go.
Jordan Lloyd: It was the office.
Jeff Schroeder: No, Epernay was the place you had to go.
Jordan Lloyd: Oh it was? Okay.
Jeff Schroeder: Yeah. One was the office and one was the chateau. So I guess at first glance if someone looked at it, they would send you to the office, you know? Because why would anyone want to go to the chateau?
I'm thinking [that]. I don't know. I can see the mistake. If things weren't going as bad as they were, I probably would have been a little bit more upset about it but it was kind of like, "Man, this is just a day we're having and just put this on the pile." (laughs)
Reality TV World: About how much time do you think you lost driving all the way back to the office in Reims and then all the way back out to the chateau?
Jordan Lloyd: It was about 30 or 40 minutes.
Jeff Schroeder: Yeah, from those two places it was about 30 or 40 minute drive, so an hour and a half [roundtrip including the stop.]
Reality TV World: So do you think that might have been the difference on what ultimately left you behind Brent and Caite?
Jeff Schroeder: Sure, absolutely. If we hadn't had done that, we would have had some more time. Yeah, definitely. We would have had an hour and a half extra, that would have changed everything.
But you can't go back and point fingers at anything, you know? You could say, yeah, if we had gone [straight] there I think we would have had a way better shot, but who's to say we wouldn't have found the grapes or done something else wrong?
So everything happens for a reason and it's in the stars for everybody I think. And you can't go back and point fingers unlike you'll drive yourself crazy. Because there were airplanes that we got on first that they were delayed and we got there last. Who are you going to blame there?
You could blame all day but ultimately you have to take it upon yourself to say "Hey, I screwed up a couple of times, it's no one else's fault," and accept your defeat.
Reality TV World: How long were you actually out in that vineyard?
Jordan Lloyd: Oh, hours.
Jeff Schroeder: I don't know the exact time but it was daylight when we started and it was pitch black when we were done, so you can fill in the blanks there. (laughs)
Jordan Lloyd: (laughs)
Reality TV World: What made you decide to try the "Tower" glass tower Detour task? Was it as simple as seeing the other team [doing the "Terra" option] in the field?
Jordan Lloyd: We did start off -- because when we read the clue, we were like, "Let's do the grapes." I was like "I don't want to do the glasses."
So we go out there and we see Caite and Brent, and then Jeff's like "No, let's do glasses," so then we kind of debated about that and I was "Okay."
So then we went back in, started doing the glasses and then it wasn't like five minutes later [Caite and Brent] ran by then we knew were just in last place from there.
So after that we just took our time with the glasses and then they broke and then we went back out to the vineyard. So we were there a long time.
Jeff Schroeder: Yeah. I don't know why -- one of my regrets on the Race that I did was I always went down the unbeaten path. If one team was going somewhere, I wanted to go the opposite place. And being on the Race, you had to stay with the pack. you got to be able to see your competition on the Race.
And I don't know why for some reason in my head I always wanted to do the opposite of what the other people were doing. There's no explanation to it, I just figured I could whatever is in my way and that's it.
I figured they had been out there for hours because we were so far behind that it was impossible to get those grapes, so that's why I chose to go back inside and do the glasses.
Reality TV World: I know we need to wrap it up, so last question -- what were your expectations going into the Race, did you feel you had a legit shot at winning or were you really just looking for the experience?
Jordan Lloyd: I think it was more so the experience. For me it was the experience.
Jeff Schroeder: To wrap it up, I was looking to win. (laughs) Both. If you can't win the experience the experience is a great second place.