‘Amazing Race’s’ Keith & Whitney – Shelley & Nici ‘Were Being Kind of Nasty’

'The Amazing Race' (CBS)

Note: XFINITY is the perfect pit stop for “Amazing Race” fans. Every Monday after an elimination leg, we’ll have an interview with the team that was sent packing and the full episode. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for immediate updates.

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In “Survivor: South Pacific,” John Cochran felt like he was being bullied by the Savaii tribe. When given the chance he jumped ship and eventually sent Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan packing.

But, don’t feel bad for the duo, they found something much better than a million dollars…they found love.

Quick Note: I hate myself for writing that last line.

Anywho, fast forward a few years later to “The Amazing Race” where Shelley and Nici thought they were being bullied by “Team Nashville.” When given the chance, the mother/daughter team used their U-Turn and you know the rest.

I spoke to Keith and Whitney in the days following their elimination and asked about their run-in with Shelley and Nici, their unique style of communication, and when we’ll see them on “Big Brother”…

Gordon Holmes: I chatted with you two individually on a beach in Samoa before you two fell in love.
Whitney Duncan: Yes you did!
Holmes: So, it’s always kind of cool to have that picture of you two. These two are on this beach in the middle of nowhere and they can’t talk. But they’re going to fall for each other.
Duncan: Aww… That’s awesome.
Tollefson: You were there before it all happened.
Holmes: Not that I had anything to do with it.

Holmes: You delayed your wedding to run this crazy race. Has there been a wedding since then?
Duncan: Yes, we got married when we got back from filming in July. So, we’ve been married three months now.
Tollefson: Marital bliss.
Duncan: We just got a puppy too!
Holmes: What kind?
Duncan: We rescued him…he’s like a shar-pei…kind of a…
Tollefson: He’s a mutt.
Duncan: Yeah, he’s a mutt. But he’s a cute mutt.

Holmes: What exactly happened with Shelley and Nici after that challenge?
Tollefson: Everyone was trying to find the tannery where he had to bring our hides. Everyone is bringing their bikes back. The entire group came to the mat at the same time. When Nici got there, she basically ran right to her mother. I ran right to the guy that had the next clue. As soon as I get there, I’m about to hand her the receipt and she starts screaming and yelling at me. “We were here first!” And she grabs my shoulder and tries to pull me off the mat. And basically, I overreacted. I should have held my composure better. When she started pulling me off the mat, I yelled at her,“You’re not allowed to touch me. Don’t touch me.” And then she did it again. She was screaming in my face.
Duncan: She was screaming that his partner wasn’t there. I was carrying the bags. Basically, the guy wasn’t ready to hand over the clues yet. I wasn’t standing next to Keith. I’ll be honest; I wasn’t. I got there within a couple of seconds. I was standing behind them, they wouldn’t let me through. But the funny thing about the whole dang thing is there was no lead. Everyone was there. We literally got our clue within one second of each other.
Tollefson: We didn’t get an advantage by doing that. We made an enemy and whoever got to the U-Turn first was going to get the other team. Which is exactly what happened.  I would’ve thought; let’s U-Turn the dentists, they have a save and we have to get that out of play.
Holmes: Leave it to the “Survivor” guy to try to flush the idol.
Duncan: (Laughs) Exactly, right?

Holmes: If you’d beaten Shelley and Nici to the U-Turn, would you have U-Turned them?
Duncan: Emotionally I wanted to U-Turn Shelley and Nici. This is an ongoing thing. It isn’t the first time we’d dealt with them. Earlier that day they’d tried to get someone to not let us into the customs line. Shelley was going around saying, “Don’t let them through!” But, they were being kind of nasty. Strategically though, I think it was smarter to U-Turn Misti and Jim. And it wouldn’t have put them out of the game. It’d upset Jim and he’s so intense and scary, but it was very easy to say, “We’re not trying to make an enemy out of you, it was just to get the save out of the game.”
Holmes: As far as your reality TV nemeses go; where do Shelley and Nici rank vs. Cochran?
Duncan: The Cochran thing…it was so long ago. I have nothing against him. I think he made a dumber move than they did. It was a much bigger move in the game. I wouldn’t even call it a move. I don’t know, what do you think Keith?

Holmes: Did we lose Keith?
Duncan: Keith are you still there?
Holmes: I think we’ve lost Keith.
Tollefson: Wait, I’m back.
Holmes: We were talking about you when you were gone.
Tollefson: (Laughs)
Duncan: I knew something was wrong, I thought, “He’s letting me talk for way too long.” (Laughs)
Holmes: Well, that kind of leads into one of the things I wanted to ask you about. We didn’t get a great feel for your personalities on “Survivor.” But on “The Amazing Race” you were digging into each other and going at it. What was your family’s reaction to getting to see more of that side of your relationship?
Tollefson: They know us. It’s not us fighting. It’s just how we react to each other. We’re both extremely competitive. So, instead of being nice to each other, we’re just saying “What do you want to do? Tell me now, it has to be ‘yes’ or ‘no’.” It’s not as nice as Bethany and Adam where they’re like, “What do you want to do baby?”
Duncan: “I don’t know, honey! What do you want to do?”
Tollefson: (Laughs) It’s not a bad thing, we’re just a little more intense. I have a lot of respect for Whitney’s opinion, and I need it when I ask for it. I can’t be wishy-washy.
Duncan: He analyzes a lot more than I do. I’ll just make a decision.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with Kym and Alli.
Duncan: Competitors.
Tollefson: They’re staying away from the pack. They’re being smart.
Holmes: Adam and Bethany?
Duncan: Sweet. Gnarly…in a good way.
Tollefson: They’re really nice. Nothing bothers them.
Duncan: In real life we would hang with Adam and Bethany.
Holmes: Tim and Te Jay?
Duncan: They’re funny. They’re so funny.
Tollefson: Unique.
Holmes: Shelley and Nici?
Tollefson: Miserable.
Holmes: Brooke and Robbie?
Duncan: Hilarious.
Tollefson: Entertaining.
Holmes: Misti and Jim?
Duncan: Intense for Jim, sweet for Misti.
Tollefson: Jim controlled the situation…arrogant.
Duncan: He is kind of arrogant.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Amy and Maya.
Duncan: They’re really nice girls. Down to Earth.
Tollefson: They’re the girls next door.

Holmes: So, when are we going to see you two on “Big Brother”?
Duncan: (Laughs) Never.
Tollefson: I don’t understand the game well enough. It seems complicated. And I’ve had enough problems with two reality shows already.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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