'The Amazing Race' : Amanda & Kris Talk About U-Turn

Photo: MRobert Voets/CBS

College student Amanda Blackledge, 23, and her boyfriend, Kris Klicka, 25, a recent graduate trying to find a job in communications or media, were the fourth team eliminated from The Amazing Race 14. Strong competitors, they were delayed after a missed connection in Moscow and then brought down when slapped with a U-turn by Luke and Margie. The couple of more than three years talk about facing the U-Turn, why they were surprised it was who it was, and why they’re not get engaged (yet). — Carrie Bell

Is the U-turn the only reason we’re talking today?Kris: Yes and it’s a real bummer. We went out not because of our actions or because of us, but because of a stupid U-turn. Amanda: Which was totally out of our control. Other than that, we were a pretty good team.

When and how did you find out it was Margie and Luke? Amanda: We found out from another team when we were sequestered. We were really shocked and thought they were a little deceitful. What they didn’t show was that we all went to lunch in Romania the day before this, and we were split into two tables. After lunch, Margie approached Kris and I and said, “Just to let you know that we were talking about the U-turn at our table and every team, including Luke and I, said we would not use it unless absolutely necessary except Jen and Kisha. They said, ‘You’d be stupid not to use it.'” So when we saw the U-turn we naturally assumed it was them. Kris: It turns out they never even said that.

Do you understand why they did it?Kris: We felt like we definitely took a low blow. I understand it is a game, but they were already leaps and bounds ahead. It wasn’t a necessity for them to use it. They were not neck and neck with another team and needing to get them off their back. Amanda: That’s why we took it personal. We can’t be bitter about it because it’s a legal part of the game. But a smart racer wouldn’t use it unless they absolutely had to because there could be another one ahead and no someone could turn around and u-turn them.

You were neck and neck with Mike and Mark. Don’t you think they would have used?Amanda: Mike and Mark or Mel and Mike could have u-turned us. Almost every team that struggled with this leg, which was almost everyone, said that they couldn’t imagine u-turning someone because the tasks were so hard. I don’t know if they would have u-turned us. Kris: After the race was over, they came up to us and told us how bad they felt for us. They were real sympathetic to us about the U-turn. I don’t think they would have.

Can you find some solace in the fact that were afraid of how well you were running the Race and that’s why you were u-turned?Kris: After it was all said and done, our outlook changed. It wasn’t because of our actions and it wasn’t because didn’t like us. They picked us because everyone knew we were a threat.

Compared to other dating or married couples on the show, you seemed to work very well together and kept fighting to a minimum. Did the Race tested your relationship?Kris: We are the kind of couple that is together a lot so we weren’t worried about getting sick of each other. That’s what I think happens to a lot of the dating couples. They can’t handle being with their significant other 24/7 without losing their mind. Amanda: It definitely tested us and we passed with flying colors. There were little moments. We bickered but never had a big blowup.

Your relationship survived The Amazing Race and you said you’d like to spend your lives together. Have you gone the next step yet and gotten engaged? Amanda: We are still pretty young and there’s no need to rush … We are really traditional so I want to wait until I am out of school — I have a little less than a year left — and until we are more stable. Kris hasn’t found a job since he graduated since the economy is so crappy right now. He doesn’t have money to buy a ring yet. Kris: It’s really important to be stable when you get married so you can buy a house and all those things. We don’t want to be poor and living in the roach motel apartment. Amanda: I bet if we had won we would be engaged by now because it’s really a money issue. Kris: Yeah those other teams should feel bad for taking our ring money. MRobert Voets/CBS

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