Posts Tagged ‘whitney duncan’

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

October 29, 2014

'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.

[xfinity-record-button id=”4975744712465744112″ program_type=”series”]

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

‘Survivor’ Castaway Interview: Whitney Duncan and Dawn Meehan

December 1, 2011

I’ve always kind of wished “Survivor” would take a page from “Big Brother” and show bonus footage on Showtime.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season and I think Brandon, Cochran, and Coach are worthy of our attention, but I’d have loved to have seen more from TV’s most adorable bully Whitney Duncan and crybaby-turned-challenge-warrior Dawn Meehan.

I spoke with Whitney and Dawn the morning after they were eliminated from Redemption Island to find out about the moves they were making that we didn’t see, why Cochran turning on Savaii was different than Savaii turning on Elyse, and an unfortunate Power Rankings controversy…

Gordon Holmes: Dawn, you went from crying to Ozzy on Day One, to kicking some rear in the strength challenge, to acting like you’re someone who was born to spend her time in the Samoan wilderness. What changed?
Dawn Meehan:
I almost felt like a pet who switched homes. I had a new habitat. The experience in the game is so different from my life. I know it is for everyone, but really for me. It took me a little bit of time for me to get my bearings. But also, since Whitney is with me, a big thing for me was I’m close to Whitney. I went to her before I went to Ozzy and after and said to her, “I want to play this, I know how I want to play this game and that’s not happening.” I think from that point on I was able to clear my head. I got my confidence back.
Holmes: Did it bother you that Whitney was such a horrible bully?
Whitney Duncan: (Laughs) Oh yeah, you know me!
Meehan: I though the exchange they showed with Whitney and the earrings was a good representation of what camp life was like. There’s a lot more human kindness in the game than people realize.
Holmes: OK Whitney, I don’t want you bullying me. I’m sensitive.
Duncan: OK, I’ll try not to, Gordon.
Holmes: As I said to Keith and Jim, I didn’t see much actual bullying during the show, and I know how much “Survivor” editors love to show bad behavior.
Duncan: The word “bully,” who did that come from? It came from Coach. Cochran never actually said those words, so I’m not going to be hard on him. But, he did let that term be thrown around. But it’s disappointing because I really liked Cochran. I hung out with Cochran on the beach. I was never rude to Cochran ever and I actually trusted the guy. So I felt very betrayed. And even though it is a game, feelings do get hurt. The only thing negative I ever said about Cochran is he definitely tossed and turned a lot in the bungalow. I’m not going to lie. I was caught in the middle of him and Keith and they’d rip the covers off of each other every ten minutes.

Holmes: Now, it seems like a lot of the Savaiians took Cochran’s flip personally. How is that different from when you guys blindsided Elyse?
The difference is; Elyse wasn’t really involved in any strategic conversations. I tried so hard to talk to Elyse about the game. I liked Elyse. I didn’t want Elyse to go. But, at the same time that’s very scary when a returning player has somebody like that in their back pocket. She’s not talking about the game to any of us, so who is she talking to? She’s talking to Ozzy. I guess you can call it a blindside, but we didn’t technically vote for Elyse, we just let it happen.
Holmes and Meehan: (Laughs)
Meehan: Yeah, let’s talk about that Whitney!
Duncan: (Laughs) Yeah, I definitely had some smoothing over to do with Dawn afterwards. But I never said Elyse was in my final five. I never led Elyse to believe she was in my final five. So, therefore I didn’t really betray Elyse.

Holmes: Now Dawn, I know you’re a Mormon. And Whitney, I know you love Jesus and Elvis…
(Laughs) I wouldn’t make those two equal. But yes, I do love them.
Holmes: Upolu made a very big show of their religious beliefs. Was that off-putting at all? Did that seem genuine?
Meehan: I didn’t see it as necessary in the game.
Meehan: I think that the “Jack & Jill” challenge, that was just the pinnacle of having a really difficult time with tolerating it. We saw it at every challenge, a lot of…you know…who’s on the Lord’s side?
Duncan: Yeah, I’m sorry, but I do not think the Lord favors any one team on “Survivor.” I know the Lord has better things to do. And obviously I’m a Christian, that doesn’t mean I’m perfect in any way, but I definitely prayed when I was out there. Sure, you have a lot of time to yourself. But I didn’t make a big spectacle out of it. And I think that’s a lot of what that was, a spectacle. I feel like Coach used that to help manipulate people.
Meehan: I think Coach has a good read on people and that worked, so he used it. I think what surprised me more is that really, outside of Sophie, does anyone see it? It seems so transparent to me.
Duncan: Yeah, I agree. When they’re praying about a hidden immunity idol that’s actually in their pocket? It looks bad for Christianity. That’s not something to be prayed about.

Holmes: Were there any cracks in Upolu that you could have exploited?
Rick and maybe Albert for us. I think Whitney and I just felt like we needed more time. Once we were on the downside of the numbers we were close to working something with Rick, Brandon, and Albert. We really wanted to take out Coach with Albert. Not the tail of the snake, the head of the snake. And it just didn’t work.
Duncan: I think Albert just wanted to injure the snake by taking out Edna. But you had to be so careful about what you said in the game. They would tell on you.
Meehan: It was like tattle-tails in school.
Duncan: It was never good for me and Dawn if word leaked back. But I never felt like Rick was going to flip. He’d given his word to Coach and he was going to stay true to that.
Meehan: I think Jim was close to getting Rick to flip at the merge. We made an agreement; Jim, Rick, and myself for final three. That was very close.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Ozzy.
Duncan: Strong.
Holmes: Coach?
Meehan: I actually don’t have words for Coach.
Duncan: Creepy.
Holmes: Albert?
Meehan: For me, Albert is kindhearted.
Duncan: He’s a nice guy.
Holmes: Sophie?
Meehan: Talented.
Duncan: Sophie’s smart.
Holmes: Brandon?
Meehan: Intense.
Duncan: Loose cannon.
Holmes: Keith?
Meehan: Genuine.
Duncan: Amazing.
Holmes: When I asked him “Whitney” last week he said “Beautiful.”
Duncan and Meehan: Awww…
Holmes: Adorable. OK, let’s finish this with Cochran.
Meehan: He is a complete character. He’s almost like a caricature.
Duncan: Yeah, I’d actually go with that. But I’ll say this…fearful.

Holmes: Whitney, you have your country music fan base and Dawn I know you have a devoted six-kid fan base at home, what have been their reactions to seeing you in the game?
My fans, they know who I am. I’m a nice person, but I have a little fire in me and I get a little spunky some times. I think they got a kick out of seeing my temper come out. They got a good laugh out of it. My family too, they’ve seen that side of me too.
Meehan: It was just awesome to be able to show them. Maybe not day one, but that was real, but to see me overcome.  For me, the overwhelming feeling that I have with the game is it taught me you have to go after the big things in life. The kids have loved watching it. It’s a lot of fun. It’s made them more fearless. I’ve got my eight-year-old going off of the high dive. It’s taught them to go get life.

Holmes: Now, I hate to bring this up, but there was a big controversy this season…and I just want to know if this is true or not… Dawn, is it true you tried to bribe the Power Rankings judges with home baked bread?
Meehan: It’s absolutely true!
Holmes: Dawn, I adore you…but you have to realize that the Power Rankings judges, myself and Andrea Boehlke are incorruptible.
Duncan: There’s no bribing? I’m telling you that bread is good enough to bribe with.
Meehan: I just need your P.O. Box because I sent Andrea her bread for real.
Holmes: Whoa! Hold the phone…you sent Andrea bread?
Meehan: It got there. Sophie took it to her. She was my courier.
Holmes: This is a nightmare.
Meehan: I love reading those Power Rankings, so for me that was so fun.
Duncan: It is fun. I like those.
Holmes: And you have sullied the entire process.
Meehan: And I’m happy to have done so.

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


‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Whitney Duncan

August 22, 2011

Name: Whitney Duncan

Age: 27

Current Residence: Nashville, Tennessee

Occupation: Country Music Singer

Tribe: Savaii

Gordon Holmes: It says on your bio that your inspirations are Jesus and Elvis. Two kings.
Whitney Duncan:
(Laughs) Both ends of the spectrum. They’re definitely my inspirations. Elvis because of my career. He is what made me want to sing. I was three years old and I was obsessed with the man. And on the other hand, Jesus would probably not approve of Elvis’s hip swiveling. But at the same time, he is perfect, so he’s my inspiration.
Holmes: Who’d win in a fight between Jesus and Elvis?
Duncan: I’m going to go with Jesus. You’ve got to go with Jesus for the win on everything. Sorry, Elvis.

Holmes: Tell me about your music background.
I grew up knowing really early on that that’s what I wanted to do, so that’s all I’ve ever done. I went to Nashville when I was fifteen. I got my first record deal at seventeen. I just released my last…my first record last year in April and am currently working on a new one.
Holmes: Hopefully not your last record.
Duncan: Hopefully not my last record!

Holmes: What are your thoughts on being deceptive in the game?
I’m not super deceptive in my normal life. I have the problem of laughing when I lie (Laughs) so we’ll see how that turns out. But I think for a million dollars you can lie and not feel too bad about it. And my fans and my family know me and know I’m a good person, so I don’t think they’ll care.
Holmes: Now, when you said you laugh when you lie…you laughed. Were you lying about laughing when you lie. Cause that would mean you don’t laugh when you lie… Wait…
Duncan: I don’t know. (Laughs) You’ll figure it out.

Holmes: You’re a young lovely. Are you willing to flirt to get farther in the game?
Heck yeah! I have a boyfriend, but let’s be honest, if I come home with a million dollars he’s not going to care if I flirted here or there. It’s completely harmless.

Holmes: What do you think of the cast so far?
I like the guy in the cowboy hat. I call him “Wyatt Earp” in my mind. He reminds me of my dad because of his moustache. I already like him.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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