The closest thing The Amazing Race 15 has left that resembles a rivalry was between the gay brothers and the Harlem Globetrotters, who were eliminated last night. Most of that conflict, however, was manufactured in the editing, as Nathaniel “Big Easy” Lofton and Herbert “Flight Time” Lang’s post-eviction interviews reveal.
I know this season would be even more boring without that, but it’s disappointing that the producers decided to vilify one team and create a conflict with another when they were, in fact, all entirely cool with each other.
Big Easy said that Dan’s decision to not give him the answer at the Roadblock was understandable. He wasn’t upset “because there was nothing to get upset over. It was part of their strategy — it was actually a smart strategy for them. It was the way they ran the race. We decided to run the race our way, and they decided to run it their way. That was part of their way. We don’t have an issue. We never had any problems with Sam and Dan at all. They were cool. We had a good time with them,” he told Reality TV World.
Flight Time even blames the editing: “I would say it’s a lot of editing. I didn’t even realize until watching that these teams had so much fear for us. Just watching the show, I didn’t know until after Dubai when you hear the teams comment that they see Big Easy struggling with the briefcase and the teams actually wanted us out of the race.” He added, “It wasn’t a rivalry to us. It was always fun. But they got tangled up in it and there would be confrontations, but after that it was over. The only rivalry was with ourselves.”
As to the show’s previous attempt to create conflict between the teams, at the pit stop, Flight Time told TV Guide, “We blame ourselves. … Unfortunately for us, there was not enough space to run around them on that little bridge. I slipped one time, got up and I caught [Dan] again and our feet got tangled up. I don’t think there were any elbows or anything. We got tangled up and didn’t have room to maneuver. … We also thought we were running for first place. If we realized we were running for second or third, we probably would’ve walked up there.”
That’s true of other teams, too. When they encountered Mika and Canaan after being eliminated, after mildly taunting Mika them atop the water slide, Big Easy told Reality TV World, “it was all hugs and we talked and we had a good time. We’re good people and everybody knows it on the race. If somebody’s mad at us, it’s because of the heat of the moment in the race.”
As to the Globetrotters’ decision to quit, they said they were at the museum for “seven or eight hours” including the four-hour penalty, and Flight Time says they have “no regret.” He said that “if we had taken the penalty maybe an hour before — I think we would have had a chance to catch them at the end.”
By the way, Flight Time didn’t do the task because teams have to split Roadblocks evenly, and Flight Time planned to do the traditional final leg memory challenge, so Big Easy basically had to do it. Big Easy said he actually wrote down Franz, but convinced himself it’d already been rejected. “I actually wrote the word ‘Franz’ down on the paper, but I didn’t transfer it to the sheet that I had to transfer it to to get the people to look at it, to okay it. Maybe I thought I did, maybe I thought I didn’t — I got confused with it. I didn’t know that was actually the word, but then I thought I already went up with it.”