Eliminated Amazing Race team defends the sign twist

Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca weren’t thrilled about The Amazing Race‘s stupid sign twist, which makes sense because they were eliminated at least in part because of it. But the episode’s other eliminated team, Ron Zeitz and Bill Smith, actually praised the twist in a post-elimination interview.

As a fan of the show, Bill said it was “cool” and “exciting” to encounter this new twist. Here’s what he said in an interview with TV Guide:

“…what’s cool about The Amazing Race is that they’re always adding new twists, and I think that’s what makes it so exciting and why we’ve loved it all these years. When you’re a longtime fan, you’re always looking for that clue box. When they gave us that emblem, that was what the clue box was, and that’s what was so cool about this season. Nothing was what you expect it to be. To tag onto that with the sign — never in my wildest dreams would I have thought to look at a sign in a frame. It was a shock to us when we realized we missed it, but as racers, we never thought to look for it. We truly had to say to ourselves afterward — and I’m sure viewers did — ‘You now have to look at the entire surroundings because anything can be a clue.’ That was probably the biggest the moment. It wasn’t just a clue or a clue box that could give you directions. It could be anything, including what we just thought was part of the desk. We didn’t even notice it.”

Ron said that the sign “was really easy to overlook,” and Bill said they were distracted by their interaction with the kids: “We were having a great time giving it to them and seeing their excitement. We should always be thinking game, but we weren’t thinking game at that second because we knew what the task was. So we missed the clue, but I’ll be honest, at that moment, I wasn’t thinking about searching around the room for clues.”

Meanwhile, the couple said that, like Ethan and Jenna, their poor performance was mostly a result of bad cab drivers–and an episode where the challenges didn’t offer a chance to shuffle the pack. Bill said, “With spelunking being a task that has to be done in the order of arrival, there’s not a lot of opportunity to make up time. We just had a hard time recovering.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.