The debate about Brent and Caite’s use of the phrase “the lesbians” to refer to a fellow Amazing Race team now has some insight from Carol Rosenfeld and Brandy Snow, who don’t call Brent Horne and Caite Upton homophobic, but do think that the couple’s sexual orientation played a role in Caite’s contempt for them. This is notable especially because last season, the show manufactured conflict between a gay team and a straight team.
In an interview with TV Guide, Carol said, “I don’t want to go to the point where I say she’s homophobic because that’s a pretty severe indictment of somebody. I don’t know. People will have to be the judge of that, but you watch it and you don’t know this is going on, and you like to think that in this day and age, people of a much younger generation would be a little more open-minded. It is what it is. She was clearly obsessed with beating and eliminating us. I think she very clearly had a problem with us as lesbians, not with us as individuals because she never individually indicts one of us as having done anything specifically wrong to them.”
Brandy reiterated that point in an interview with Reality TV World, saying, “Carol is actually hesitant to use the word homophobic, as am I because I don’t think she’s specifically homophobic. I think she has a problem with lesbians. I think that they call into question — you know look, she was raised in a pageant world, she competed in pageants.”
Brandy said that “Caite posted something on her Facebook last night about how she doesn’t hate gays and lesbians, she actually loves them and supports them, but well then it’s like if you had a specific issue with either one of us, or either one of us had said something that offended you — specifically — [then] call us out and use our [actual] names, don’t lump us together and label us.”
During the race, Carol and Brandy weren’t aware that they were in conflict with Brent and Caite. Carol said they were literally “blindsided” by the U-Turn because they weren’t aware of Caite’s contempt. “I think watching the last several weeks, when it started with ‘the lesbians’ and ‘the mean lesbians’ and ‘the lesbians’ and ‘the mean lesbians,’ I think we were both kind of blindsided because to have this painted as some kind of feud with Brent and Caite, we were completely unaware of any kind of feud,” Carol said.
Brandy agrees, saying, “I had, like I said, zero idea that she hated us so much! I had bonding moments with her, great conversations with her — I mean I know things about her based on conversations. P.S. She doesn’t know that much about me, based on those same conversations, because she was very self-focused.”
Carol thinks Caite’s reaction came from jealousy: “Brandy was stealing her thunder. There’s another very beautiful woman on the show, she’s been a successful model in Europe, and I think Caite was a little probably surprised and intimidated by that.”
We did see quite a bit of Carol and Brandy making fun of Brent and Caite’s intelligence (something I’m no stranger to), but asked by TV Guide about the one on-camera joke we saw, Carol defends it as not even being about Caite’s stupidity, but about her time in pageants: “The whole joke is, ‘Is she racing with her sash and tiara?’ That’s not even mean! I don’t think it is at all a personal attack or a value statement about it. We made the same joke about the cowboys: ‘It’s amazing the cowboys raced in their magic hats.’ I think it would’ve been hysterical had she shown up in a sash and tiara. That would be props to her. … She liked to use the word ‘haters’ about people who latched on to the YouTube sensation. You kind of wonder if ‘hater’ maybe applies back the way she spoke about us. And having gone through that, you think maybe she would’ve been more sensitive to that.”
That’s not quite accurate because, of course, Carol and Brandy “latched on to the YouTube sensation,” especially in this past episode, although of course that was filmed post-elimination, when they were the most upset.
As to the team that is somewhat responsible for the U-Turn and thus their elimination, Mike and Louie, Brandy told TV Guide, “they get props for being smart,” but also said their comments left her “heartbroken because we were friends with them. Talk about feeling blindsided. This was on the tail of having a very private and personal conversation with Michael about his wife, his daughter, his anger-management issues, so that shocked us. Maybe I was just naive in not realizing the level of gamesmanship.”