Interview: Jet & Cord talk ‘Amazing Race: All-Stars’

Where have all the Cowboys gone?

Well, on last week's “Amazing Race: All-Stars,” they were U-Turned by Afghanimals Leo & Jamal, forcing them to perform a second Detour in Seville and effectively eliminating Jet & Cord for the third time on the CBS reality favorite.

With their high spirits, stubborn independence and frequently faulty sense of direction, Cowboys Jet & Cord have long been favorites for “Amazing Race” fans and this latest season was no different. As the other teams bonded and bickered, the Cowboys continued to be Lone Rangers and, as usual, that worked out pretty well for them. 

Jet & Cord won the season's first Leg (and promptly handed over their second Express Pass to Jen & Caroline who, miraculously, remain in the Race) and added one first and four second place finishes. That put a big target on them, which is why Leo & Jamal U-Turned them, rather than sticking with their Accidental Alliance's plan to punish Brendon & Rachel. 

At the time, Jet & Cord had harsh words for Leo & Jamal and, in their exit interview, they explain that annoyance. They also discuss their distaste for “Amazing Race” alliances and their own (and my) feelings about Brendon & Rachel.

Click through for the full interview…

HitFix:  I guess my first question is that on last night's episode, when you were U-Turned, you had some unkind words for Leo and Jamal. Was that a heat-of-the-moment thing, or are you still frustrated by it?

Jet McCoy: I might as well answer that question, cuz I was the one who had the most comments. I mean yeah, heat of the moment more than anything. I wasn't really surprised that they U-Turned us. It's just really aggravating when people say they're gonna do one thing and then do something different. That was the part that I was aggravated about. But it's hard to say. You get frustrated that you're U-Turned and you always wanna lash out at somebody else, but it's just frustrating with their whole “alliance” thing and all that. They were gonna do one thing and they did something different. But, in the end, it was probably their best play.

HitFix: But you guys were supposed to be Switzerland, I thought! So you shouldn't have cared whether or not they held to the alliance, right?

Jet: Yeah, that's what we said leaving Switzerland was that, in the spirit of neutrality, we were just kinda staying out of it. But, like I said, it was their best play. I've gotta give them credit for that. But the only thing that was irritating was that everybody was saying they were gonna U-Turn somebody else, so what do you do?

HitFix: So it was the keeping-of-the-word that annoyed you and not the strategy or U-Turns in general?

Jet: Yeah, I wish they would have just said flat-out that, “Hey, if we beat you guys to the U-Turn box, we're U-Turning you, because we don't wanna have to race against you guys.” That would have been like, “OK. Yeah.”

Cord: I think we would have gave 'em way more respect if they would have just said what they were actually gonna do.

HitFix: When you guys look back at the Leg, how much do you blame the U-Turn for sending you home? And how much do you blame the missed exit at the airport and the missed Detour clue or anything like that?

Jet: Cord made the point earlier that if you beat everybody else to the U-Turn box. you can't get U-Turned. So yeah, we can't blame those guys for our loss. Ultimately, had we not gotten U-Turned, as close as we were to the Country Singers, we may have ended up beating them to the mat, but ultimately it was our own mistakes that were our demise, not somebody else's. We're not blaming anybody.

HitFix: This has always been a thing with you guys, because you've always been so good at the individual challenges and then you've struggled on the outside-of-the-challenges stuff. Was there any preparation you did differently this time in the hopes of maybe changing that?

Jet: It's hard to prepare to navigate the streets of Seville, Spain. You don't know where you're going, where you're gonna be. There's really no way to prepare for that.

Cord: I think everybody is asking for directions and I think that makes kinda a big difference, whoever kinda stumbles upon the right person and for us especially if they speak English and direct you in the right way, that's a little bit of a chance there. I definitely can say that's not the first time Jet and I have ever been lost. We did that several times. I don't think we got too awful nervous just from being lost. It was just bad timing to get lost, I guarantee you that.

HitFix: Is it frustrating knowing that that's a kryptonite that you guys, then, can't do anything about? That you can't fix or learn to avoid?

Jet: It's difficult, but I don't know how frustrating it is. Me and Cord really going into this Race, the last two Races we run pretty solid Races and you always tell yourself, “I'm not gonna get lost” or “We're gonna try to be more particular about travel”  and try to get better directions and all that, but when you're there and you're lost and you can't get directions, it really doesn't make any difference.

HitFix: Let's talk a bit about the alliance thing. As you guys have said before, you guys have always been lone rangers out there. And back when you first did the show, it seemed like there were a lot of teams that did it in the same way. What do you guys think of the increased amount of alliance racing in recent seasons?

Jet: Hmmm. I don't know why there's been really an increased amount of alliance racing. It's tough, because any alliance that you make is eventually gonna break down. Somebody's gonna give and say, “Hey, I've got an opportunity to get ahead, so I'm quitting the alliance so I can be first.” And, ultimately, when you get to the last Leg, only one team is gonna win, so your alliance is basically useless at that point. So I don't know why there's been an increase in it, but me and Cord never really got into it in the first place.

Cord: They're only gonna pay one team the million dollars and, to me, it's pretty scary that you would start leaning on a leg that's gonna get jerked out from underneath you. I feel like if we turned around and did “The Amazing Race” all over again, we'd definitely put our hats down and run our Race and just do the best that we can, because when you start worrying about what everybody else is doing, well, we've got enough stuff to worry about in life already.

Jet: Our philosophy was always that we were capable of beating any team out there, so if that were the case, why would we form an alliance to help somebody else keep up with us? 

HitFix: Was there any sort of additional temptation in that area this season, given that there were a couple teams that you knew and had raced with before and had that three-timer connection with?

Jet: No, we went into this Race with the same attitude that we had the other two, that we were just gonna run our own Race.

HitFix: Speaking of different strategic facets in the Race, you guys had that extra Express Pass and you gave it quickly to Jen & Caroline, saying that you figured you'd helped a weaker team. How surprised are you that those two are still around?

Cord: It's an All-Stars Race, so I don't know if I'd throw around the “weaker teams.” They've been around the world once before, too. I think it was just the situation. Jet and I talked about that Express Pass and we wanted to get rid of it as quick as we could. And in that instance, they were behind. We waited until Jet got done with the Roadblock and as we were leaving, we gave it to them and they burned it right there. Whatever team we gave it to, that was definitely the way we wanted it used.

HitFix: Did you talk at all about the other possible use for the Express Pass? Trading it for an advantage of some sort? Or did you mostly view this thing as a drawback you had to get rid of?

Jet: For us, we talked about that the night before, a hundred scenarios and a hundred different ways that we could give it away and how it would affect us if we gave it to any one of all of the other teams and really, ultimately, we decided that the absolute best way that we could use it would be to give it to a team and have them use it at the same time. Cord was the one that came up with that idea and I told him flat-out, I was like, “There's no way that's gonna happen. There's no way we're all gonna be at the same Roadblock and us be leaving and another team need it right then.” He was like, “Alright, well we'll do something else.” And then the next day, that was exactly the situation that arose. And it's interesting that it was the Country Singers, because if it would have been any other team in that exact same situation, we would have gave it to them. In our minds, we didn't care who it was. It was just the fact that we could give it away and they would use it at the same time.

HitFix: There's been all the drama in the past couple episodes involving Brendon & Rachel and, like you said in this Leg, you wanted to be Switzerland. You didn't get in on the Accidental Alliance or anything like that. So from the outside, how perplexing was the amount anger directed at Brendon & Rachel? Or did you guys understand, but you didn't participate?

Jet: Like were we confused that everybody was aggravated at Brendon & Rachel?

HitFix: It just seems like people have been *really* aggravated by Brendon & Rachel. Were you perplexed by *how* annoyed the other teams got by those two? 

Jet: How annoyed do *you* get with Brendon & Rachel?

HitFix: The answer is “a lot sometimes,” but that being said…

Jet: Well, that's what I say! The reason I say that is there's lots of people that watch the show and I hear them say the same thing. You know — “They're so annoying! They're so annoying!” And there's lots of teams that let themselves be annoyed by Brendon & Rachel and got into all of that, “We can't stand Brendon & Rachel, we want them gone blah blah blah.” And me and Cord weren't gonna make our decisions based on what somebody else was doing. We didn't care one way or another. It's back to the same thing we always say: We were just running our own Race. What they did and what Brendon & Rachel did didn't matter to us.

HitFix: As you say, you've always had the same motto about just running your own Race. Are the Jet & Cord that we saw this season, do you guys seem different to yourselves from the team that run in Season 16 and Season 18? Have you guys changed? Or are you just the same too guys?

Cord: I've got older, but yeah.

Jet: I think we're the same two guys. I think you can watch all three of our Races and the different scenarios that we faced and the different things that we come across on the Race, I think we handled them all the same way in all three Races. We had a gameplan and what we thought was best and we stuck with it. I don't think we were different.

HitFix: When you were heading off to the Pit Stop and doing your last interviews, you sounded very final about your experiences on “The Amazing Race.” But are you guys ready to go around the world a fourth time if the opportunity came up?

Cord: Yeah, for sure. I thought when we went to the mat the very first time, that that was our last time to go around the world and it was so surprising to go the second time and I about fell off my horse when they called us back to go again. Yeah, I think any time a person has an opportunity to see the world or especially to race around the world… Man, it'd be tough to not jump at the opportunity at a million bucks.

Jet: I agree. It'd be hard to say “No” to a chance at a million dollars.

This season”s “Amazing Race: All-Stars” exit interviews:
Flight Time & Big Easy
John & Jessica
Margie & Luke
Joey & Meghan
Mark & Mallory
Natalie & Nadiya