Interview: Joey & Meghan talk ‘Amazing Race: All-Stars’

So far, this “Amazing Race: All-Stars” season has frustrated me a bit. I didn”t love the huge gap between the first and second flights in the premiere, nor that we had an entire episode determined by wandering around looking for wedding dresses. I also didn”t love that this past week”s episode saw six teams get an insurmountable three-hour advantage based only on taxi-based luck, leaving the remaining three teams with a no-margin-for-error window to avoid elimination.

Not surprisingly, as frustrated as I”ve been, Joey Graceffa & Meghan Camarena  are even more disappointed. Team YouTube spent finished in next-to-last in the first Leg and, with very little room for advancement, started the next two Legs in last. Unable to get on that first flight out of China, there were left running against John & Jessica and Brendon & Rachel.

Last Sunday”s Leg came down to a simple mistake: At a Roadblock, Joey & Meghan forgot to tell their cab driver to wait. The other teams remembered. That left the competition free to rush along, while Joey & Meghan fell behind waiting for a replacement.

Unlike their first season, which saw them both get emotional as they dodged elimination, Phil Keoghan sent a largely unmoved Joey & Megan home without tears.

Joey & Meghan may not have been outwardly disappointed when they were eliminated, but they definitely sound disappointed about the way the season went down in their exit interview. In our conversation, they talk about their annoyance at the structure of this season so far and what they”d hoped for from an “All-Stars” season.

Click through for the full Q&A…

HitFix: I guess first of all what has been the reaction to you guys this morning? What sort of comments have you been hearing on the Internet and whatnot?

Joey: Well, first when we got eliminated there was a lot of “Noooo!”

Meghan: Getting a lot of sad Tweets.

HitFix: Last night, of course, you guys left the waterfall and Joey we saw you mention the Switzerland experience in the interview. How quickly did that experience come to your mind when you were actually out there?

Joey: Like immediately, we were like “Oh sweet. Another one of these situations.”

Meghan: It was a different attitude.

Joey: Yeah. And instead of going uphill we were going downhill. And it was a lot warmer.

Meghan: Yeah. And I wasn't crying so I mean… Yeah.

HitFix: Do you have any clue of sort of how much time actually was passing out there as all this was happening? It's really always hard to tell on the television and I know it's hard for you guys to tell when you're out there as well.

Meghan: We were on the river the same time Brendan and Rachel were struggling, but we don't really know how far behind we were from them.

Joey: Maybe like 40 minutes-to-an-hour.

Meghan: Yeah.

HitFix: It struck me that unlike the Switzerland experience as you guys talked about, you guys were very upbeat this time as you waited for the cab and as you walked, even though you presumably knew that this could be trouble. How hard was it to sort of keep upbeat and positive in that moment?

Joey: Well, honestly this time around on the Race it was a lot different. Like it really felt like everything was kind of against us and we didn't actually have a chance to catch up to the other teams. So we just had to deal with it and expected it really fast the fact like there was nothing we could do, so why worry about something you can't control? Just like enjoy the time you have in this country and make the best of it.

Meghan: Yeah. It seemed like with that huge of a lead between the other teams and like the three teams that were like Brandon & Rachel and John & Jessica, it seemed like they wanted one of us to get out and there was nothing we could do about it. And we had gotten a bad taxi so we already had come to terms. We're like, “Hopefully there's a Non-Elim, but if there isn't this is a second chance to have an adventure.” And like Joey said we wanted to just have fun.

HitFix: Well okay Joey, you said everything was sort of working against you this time. What else were you feeling was sort of working against you?

Joey: Well, we thought it was a little ridiculous that six teams got a three-hour lead from us. Normally it's the other way around like three teams will get a six-hour lead. What”s the fun in watching a show where you know who the Bottom 3 are? That's not very exciting, in my opinion.

Meghan: No. It had never been like that. After all these years of watching the Race like why would you do that so early on? It makes no sense and then we got it right away. We're like, “Okay they want one of us to go home.” So it was just kind of sort of weird to be honest.

HitFix: I thought it was sort of weird as well that it was that big of gap, but it seemed as if the three teams that were sort of last at the airport that you guys at least sort of bonded over this misery. What was that sort of like knowing that you guys were going to be that far behind?

Joey: I don't know, we were all really frustrated. We were all like complaining to each other of how unfair it was. So all of us just were from L.A. and we all just like bonded and just like talked and we were just like, “This is stupid. Like let's just have fun and let's not be like super-cutthroat competitive to each other because there's like no point.” I don't know.

Meghan: Yeah. It was weird because in the first Leg when we went to China and just like look for wedding dress drop and then did flips for a little bit?That was so weird like that's the first Leg? And then the second leg we were in China again so we were kind of just really thrown off by “All-Stars.” I think we were expecting it to be a lot harder than it was, physically, but it was this… I don't know man, it was weird.

HitFix: What you guys are saying I definitely agree with. Had you guys prepared differently for this time? Were you prepared for what Meghan just said for it being harder physically or whatever?

Joey: Yeah. We had been training. I was like seeing a trainer five days a week; Meghan was too. And physically we were all ready and just like expecting to have like the craziest happiest time of our lives. And I don't know, we were a little thrown off that it was a lot easier than we expected.

Meghan: I was seeing a trainer five times a week and Joey and I had been doing, we did like a scavenger hunt-type-thing together with a compass and I was driving around without using my GPS so that I could get better at navigating. We were doing all sorts of things like puzzles and stuff together. I felt like we were just prepared as we could have been. It was just luck. You can't prepare yourself for luck. And normally I have pretty good luck, but like I said this time it was different. It was weird.

HitFix: Well, you guys had also been sort of right on the edge of elimination in both of the first two Legs as well. How had you felt about your performance to this point and was it just what you guys have been talking about, that it was sort of weird challenges and maybe not what you'd been expecting?

Joey: It was kind of a thing where based off of that very first challenge when we started getting on our flight, finding those people in the marching band, it was basically where you were going to stay for the rest of the Race. Because the challenges weren't hard enough that people were going to get stuck behind in. So no one was making mistakes and basically where you started was where you were going to end and it carried on with the Legs. And finally in the third Leg when it got to like “Oh, if you're the first six teams to the airport you make it on the first flight, which has a three-hour lead,” so obviously the first six teams to leave – besides Brendon & Rachel, I don't know how that happened —  were going to be on that first flight. So it was very predictable and just like frustrating.

Meghan: Yeah.

HitFix: I know that in your first season you guys hadn't always had such a good relationship with all the other teams. When you saw who was racing with you and how many teams there were from Season 22 this season, what was your reaction?

Joey: We were actually excited. None of the teams that we didn't like were back so it was different. All the teams didn't care and were just like running. They weren't so socially like…

Meghan: It was so different from our season because with our season it felt like high school. Everyone was so immature and ridiculous in terms of… we made an alliance with John & Jessica and the moms and all the other teams got so hurt and offended that they treated us like crap, the whole rest of the trip, wanting us to get out versus, you know, some professional hockey players. And we kind of expected something similar. We're like “Wow, this is how ‘The Amazing Race” is.” But this time around no one cared. It was just our particular season that was full of a bunch of crazies. But everyone was so nice. No one was cutthroat. Everyone was just cool.

HitFix: Who was it particularly fun for you guys to get to race with this time around?

Meghan: John and Jessica for sure. They're our really good friends. It was like we picked up right where we had left off back in Bali and we were racing with them again. It was just so much fun. We love those guys.

HitFix: And last week there was the very good moment where all of the teams waited at the mat to see Mark & Mallory and to sort of see them off. What was that moment like from your side of the mat and sort of being there for that team in that moment?

Meghan: That was really sad.

Joey: Yeah, it definitely was. I actually, when we were running to the mat, I didn't realize that they were still behind us so I thought that we were being eliminated. So there was definitely like “Oh phew.”

Meghan: Yeah. But seeing them go we were both, I don't think it showed us on camera, but we were both crying. It was so freaking sad.

HitFix: And was that the only time that you guys cried this time or were there other times we didn't see?

Meghan: No.

Joey: We cried at the beginning when Bopper was unable to continue on. That was really sad.

HitFix: There was a lot of crying in your first season and this time it seemed like there was less.

Meghan: Whoa, whoa guy. There wasn't a lot of crying, okay? I cried in Switzerland.

Joey: There was no crying this time around for ourselves, it was mostly just other people. Like when we got eliminated for some reason it didn't really affect me and I was just like, “Oh, okay. Bye.” I don't know, I was already checked out. I was like, I don't know.

Meghan: Seriously, when we got eliminated I was so mad and then I look at Joey and he was just already,yeah, it was already over for him so I was like, “Well if he doesn't care then I don't care.

HitFix: Well, tell me a bit more sort of about that as a reaction and sort of how that makes you feel about this short “Amazing Race” time that you guys didn't get as emotional when you were eliminated and sent home.

Joey: I don't know, I just felt like I was frustrated throughout the race. I just feel like we didn't really have an opportunity, so I just learned to accepted it and get over it real fast. So I wasn't very emotional. I was just like, “Oh, I can't really control it so…”

Meghan: Yeah. When things are out of your control it's a little bit easier to accept because it's not like, “Oh I could have done this better. I should've done that better.” It was really just like, “Wow this is how it is this time. They don't want certain people to get ahead and that's just how it's going to be.” It was easier to just kind of enjoy ourselves and be like, “Alright. We're doing our best, but that really doesn't matter.”

HitFix: And we saw a lot of sort of adventures of teams going down the river with their rafts and all that. But because of where you guys were we didn't see much. Did anything exciting, dangerous, amusing happen to you guys as you were rafting?

Joey: No. We really enjoyed our time going down the river. It was a nice. It was cool it started raining and it just felt like we on like a little adventure. Like it was long, by the way. It seemed like we went down the river fast, the river, the whole trip was probably an hour-and-a-half.

Meghan: Yeah, it was really long. I cut my finger when I was making the bamboo raft. They didn't tell us it was like super-sharp and I like almost sliced my finger off. It cut super deep down to the bone and that was really painful. And then my finger got stuck in between two bamboo sticks when we had to wrap it. It was the same one that got cut. It was bad news. But other then that it was really cool. Like Joey, it was so crazy how people were falling off their raft. When we were doing it that didn't happen. I don't know if we were on a different river or what.

This season”s “Amazing Race: All-Stars” exit interviews:
Mark & Mallory
Natalie & Nadiya