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Race Runners Up Jenny and Jelani Bonded Over Their Blind Date Experience: Giving it their all until the end
Posted on May 19, 2015 09:30am

After traveling the world together as blind daters on The Amazing Race Season 26, Jenny and Jelani came in second. Then we asked them questions fans submitted on Facebook. Here's what they said, in their own words:

1. Cindy S: What is your relationship like now with your teammate?


Jenny:
We have remained great friends and even though he lives in NY and I live in LA, we make an effort to stay in touch through texts, emails, calls, fax (just kidding), and to see each other whenever we're in the same city. In fact, we hung out in NYC a week after the race ended. We just can't get enough of each other! The Race brought us together and has bonded us for life.

Jelani: Really good. We're still close friends and talk often. We see each other and go out, whenever we are both in NY or LA.
 


2. Laura G: What was the most memorable place or adventure? Did any of you conquer any fears while on the race?

Jenny: Namibia was the most memorable place for me as I'd never been to Africa before and it's always been on my bucket list. It's one of those far away places that you always dream of visiting but seem like a logistical impossibility because of the distance and cost so I was super excited to go! It was stunning and looked like a painting come to life! On the race, I was really proud to conquer my fear of the unknown and to just let that fear go and go for it! I've never been one of those super adventurous people but on the race I wanted to experience everything and to let courage instead of fear lead the way.

Jelani: Most memorable place was definitely Namibia. Meeting the Bushmen and building a hut and then feeding African Wild Dogs. Both legs were awesome and driving through the game reserve was so sick! 


3. Jocelyn H: I'd like to ask why they think that 3 "first date" couples ended up going to the final leg vs. the dating couples? What was it about the dynamic of being strangers vs. being a couple previously that helped them get through to the end?

Jenny: I think each of the blind daters were just really strong racers which made for three strong teams. I don't necessarily think the "being strangers" factor helped or hurt us in reaching the finish line.

Jelani: I mean to a small degree it's random but mostly I just think there were 6 really strong individuals on those teams. It's a small sample size so not sure the results would be duplicated if you did another even split of pre existing and blind date couples.

4. 
Rachael W: Did any of the three of you winning teams take classes to learn to do things to prepare, i.e., repelling, skating, language lessons?

Jenny: I took a two-hour stick shift class that really came in handy in Monaco. I also trained with a personal trainer twice a week for six weeks and amped up my cardio by running the Santa Monica stairs a few times a week. I also watched past seasons of The Race and took notes on what worked for teams and what didn’t.

Jelani: I took standard transmission driving lessons but apparently not quite enough as my driving was an adventure. Fortunately, I have had several offers for lessons since my return, so I should be fine now.

5. Jan P: I liked the dating/blind date angle. Do you think being blind dates gave you an advantage?

Jenny: I think in the beginning, it did help a little bit as we wanted to put our best face forward and we were definitely much more polite to each other. However, as we got more comfortable and as the pressure of racing intensified, I don't think the blind date element really mattered. Jelani and I worked well because we were friends, because we engaged in a month long conversation with each other, and because we both loved to race! If we were frustrated, we expressed that to each other and never held anything in. He knew exactly what I was thinking and vice versa and that really helped in building trust and a sense of closeness.

Jelani: I don't think it was necessarily and advantage I do think to a degree putting your best foot forward with someone you just met played a part in it, so you really want to perform and represent yourself well in any first impression.

6. Arcon S: Jelani and Jenny, Why did you take so long to accommodate your selfies?

Jenny: We didn't take a lot of selfies during the race as most of them were taken in airports and in the back of cabs. So it was a bit difficult to do the selfie challenge as some of the photos all looked the same!

Jelani: Gotta step up my selfie game. We definetly didn't take as many selfies as Tyler and Laura and ours were all in non descript areas like airports and backs of cabs so differentiating them was tough. Then once we had to reorder them it was very difficult.

7. Travis B: Jenny & Jelani, would you go through this whole experience again if asked for an all stars season? #AmazingRace?

Jenny: In an Amazing Race second!

Jelani: Definetly!! Would do it again and again. Except next time bring home the win. It may be cliche but it really is an AMAZING experience.


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