Firefighters Matt and Daniel say they still make a great team, despite ‘Amazing Race’ loss
As hard as it is to be the first team kicked off “The Amazing Race,” Matthew Davis and Daniel Moss say there isn’t much they could’ve done differently.
The friends and firefighters from Gaffney, South Carolina, were eliminated on the Season 22 premiere of the “Race” after they struggled to keep their canoe afloat on their way to the Pit Stop in Bora Bora.
Even though the team built the special canoe called a Va’a quickly and set off first, their boat flipped more than once.
“Once we flipped, we got water in our canoe . . . we were trying to scoop it out with our shoes and our hats and a little can. It was while we were scooping water out when (the other teams) passed us,” Matt tells CTV.ca over the phone.
“We started catching back up to them again and then we flipped another time and that was just the end of it. We never caught back up but we still finished very close behind.”
The team commented at the time that the firefighters back home at the fire hall would never let them live this down.
“The guys at the fire house were going to give us a hard time no matter what but we were worried that people would think we let them down but everyone was super supportive,” says Daniel.
Prior to the canoe ride, Daniel struggled with a Roadblock that required him to search for a clue buried underneath several rows of sandcastles in the scorching sun. While it seemed easy enough, Daniel says it proved to be very challenging because every sandcastle that was knocked down had to be rebuilt, making it difficult to see which ones had already been searched.
“Every sandcastle starts to look alike so there was really no way to go, ‘Ok, this one hasn’t been broken or this one has been broken’ and then there were teams who were breaking sandcastles who weren’t digging deep enough so . . . those ones still could’ve had a clue under them.”
After more than five hours at the challenge, Matt and Daniel made an agreement with the two remaining teams – newlyweds Max and Katie and country singers Caroline and Jennifer – to take a four-hour penalty for quitting the challenge and battle it out by boat to the Pit Stop.
“Daniel was just telling me, ‘I’m never going to find it’ so we had a zero per cent chance at winning so we thought maybe if we (go straight) to the canoe challenge we’ve got a one in three chance,” says Matt. “I think if we had to do it over again, we would probably do it again.”
They say there was nothing they could’ve done differently except maybe switch up the Roadblock and have Daniel do the previous challenge of jumping out of the helicopter and Matt build the sandcastles instead.
“Matt kind of had a plan and I didn’t really have a plan – I was just breaking and praying . . . other than that everything we did we did it 100 per cent,” says Daniel.
Even so, the guys say it’s difficult to be the first team to go.
“Since we applied for the show we’ve been working hard and trying to train and trying to get ready and everybody goes into the show with the mindset of, ‘Hey, I’m going to win the million dollars’ . . . so to be the first one out you think all that work went down the drain for nothing.”
But even though the firefighters were the last to arrive, they still said being on the “Race” was an experience like none other.
“We had a great time. We had an awesome experience, even though we only got to see one country. We would never have got to see Bora Bora ever in our lives so that was a plus for us,” says Daniel.
Matt and Daniel, who have been friends since childhood, say it was also nice to have yet another memorable experience together.
“We started hanging out when we were five years old . . . we got our jobs together, we went to college together, we went through firefighter training together. We’ve been on double dates together. We’ve done everything. For us, it was just another day really,” says Daniel.
“We’re used to being a team and we thought that would play to our advantage (but) we still walk away as a team.”
The next episode of “The Amazing Race” airs Sunday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. ET on CTV. Full episodes are also available online at CTV.ca.
About Sheri Block
Sheri 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!