Fear of open water sunk Idries and Jamil's chance of staying in ‘The Amazing Race’

Fear of open water sunk Idries and Jamil's chance of staying in ‘The Amazing Race’
by: Sheri Block

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Idries and Jamil Abdur-Rahman say being uncomfortable in open water and not thinking clearly during a diving challenge were the factors that sunk their chances of staying in “The Amazing Race.”

The twin OB/GYN doctors from Chicago, Ill., were eliminated on the most recent episode of the “Race” after struggling with a Detour that involved untying lines of oyster shells off the coast of Bora Bora and shucking them open to find two red pearls.

Even though both brothers can swim and even took lessons to brush up on their skills before joining the show, being in the ocean’s open water definitely made them uneasy.

“I wouldn’t say that I panicked but I realized it was somewhere I didn’t want to be and I think being in that uncomfortable situation and having the fear that’s associated with that . . . I kind of just got freaked out and got tunnel vision and seized up a little bit there,” Jamil tells CTV.ca over the phone.

Jamil asked Idries to consider taking a time penalty so they wouldn’t have to complete the challenge but Idries managed to convince his brother they should keep going.

“On the level of, ‘We have to get this done,’ it was a little bit frustrating because I felt like we could do it . . . but on the other hand I could totally understand his fear,” says Idries.

The team continued to dive, but after searching for a couple of hours, Jamil became exhausted and the rescue team had to intervene.

“I was just pushing myself to the point of exhaustion. They saw I was starting to struggle a little bit so they came in to kind of hold me up and give me a break and just let me catch my breath and rest for a little while,” he says.

The brothers then managed to pull up all of their shells from the water but since they had dropped a few in the process, they weren’t able to find two pearls.

Realizing they wouldn’t be able to retrieve the dropped shells, they switched to the other Detour (diving for a treasure while wearing a helmet that allowed them to breathe underwater) and completed it in a short amount of time.

“I was kind of bummed out because I realized if we had done that to begin with, we would’ve been in pretty good shape,” Jamil says.

Even though they arrived at the mat in last place, the brothers say there isn’t anything they could have done differently and are just glad they could show their kids at home to never give up – even if the kids didn’t quite take it to heart.

“All they said (when they watched the episode on TV) was, ‘Oh my God. I’m so embarrassed. You guys don’t have shirts on,’” recalls Idries with a laugh. “I don’t think they really took it for what it was at that moment . . .  I’d like them in five or 10 years to say, ‘Wow, Dad, that was a good lesson.”

Even though their time on the “Race” was short, Jamil says he is glad he was able to do this with his brother.

“There is not another person in the world that I’m closer to and so to have the opportunity to have that experience with him, (even with) the good and the bad of it was pretty cool.”

Idries concurs.

“I think running with my brother was the best decision and I don’t think I would’ve wanted to do it with anybody else.”

“The Amazing Race” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV. Full episodes are also available online at CTV.ca.


About SheriSheri Block has been covering entertainment for CTV.ca since 2008. In addition to covering Will and Kate’s Royal Wedding in London, Sheri’s highlights have included going on tour with “Canadian Idol,” being a stand-in on “Canada’s Next Top Model” and meeting Colin Farrell at the Toronto International Film Festival.Follow her on Twitter!


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