After being saved from elimination in the previous leg of “The Amazing Race,” New Kids on the Block’s Jonathan Knight and his partner of seven years, Harley Rodriguez, were the last team to arrive at the final pit stop after falling behind and failing to get earlier plane tickets to Bangkok, Thailand.
Between being the last team to depart from Phuket, and having to complete a speed bump in the middle of the race, it seemed as if the odds were against Jonathan and Harley from the beginning, making them the third team to be eliminated from Season 26 of “The Amazing Race.”
How did they stay so positive through it all? How far behind were they? And most importantly, did Jonathan like “The Amazing Race” more than touring with the New Kids on the Block? See what the New Kid had to say below.
CTV.ca: Jonathan you mentioned on the show that you were a big fan of “The Amazing Race.” How was it finally getting to do it with Harley?
Jonathan: I started watching the show a long time ago; I’m a huge fan of it ever since the first time I watched it. So for the last four seasons I kept calling the casting agent asking them if I could be on the show and my schedule never matched up with the taping schedule until this year, so this year we got to do it!
CTV.ca: You guys were definitely one of my favourite couples in the race, mostly because both of you were so patient with each other throughout it. Did you and Harley ever have a blow up moment?
Jonathan: In our seven - year relationship I think we’ve only had one really bad fight and it was on our fifth date. He knows me well and I know him well. He knows if I’m getting a little pissed off; he knows when to back off.
CTV.ca: “The Amazing Race” is very different from touring around the world with the New Kids on the Block. Which one do you prefer, touring or running “The Amazing Race?”
Jonathan: Oh goodness, they are two totally different things! I don’t know. I think that if I was on “The Amazing Race” for as long as I go on tour than I would have to choose touring.
We’re on these really nice buses, we have a cook that comes with us and a road manager that books our flights so you know that you’re going to get on a plane and that you won’t get left behind while everyone else goes zooming ahead… so I’d have to pick touring.
By the way, we are going to be in Toronto very soon, May 1st we start a new tour with TLC and Nelly.
CTV.ca: I know you have personal ties with Toronto as well how do you like it?
Jonathan: Yea! All my family is from there. Me, my brother, my parents, my sisters and all my cousins and aunts… everyone is from there. I love Toronto.
CTV.ca: So you guys were off to a pretty late start, do you think that contributed to the elimination?
Jonathan: Yea, they didn’t show it on TV but we missed a second flight and that’s what screwed us pretty fast. If we didn’t miss that flight we would have landed two hours earlier we were only about an hour and a half behind initially.
We just got so frustrated and the more you get frustrated the more your mind shuts down and stops working.
CTV.ca: It seemed to me that you guys weren’t just running the race but that you also enjoyed the travelling experience.
Jonathan: Yes! I love travelling. I get bored sitting in the same place for too long.
Harley always tells this story that last winter I was sitting at home and it was cold and I wanted to get out of there. So I said to Harley that I was just going to go for a car ride for the weekend. I was just planning to go to Maine or Vermont or something, so I got in my car and I ended up coming back like a month later.
I ended up going down to Atlanta, Florida, North Carolina and all around just travelling.
And then also like a week before the race started I flew to California for the [NKOTB] Walk of Fame stuff and I ended up driving home from California. I went to see Mount Rushmore and a bunch of cool things on the way home. So I was telling my friend yesterday that I want more unemployed friends because I want to take off now and go somewhere warm and everybody always has to work.
CTV.ca: Was there anything that you could have done differently to avoid elimination?
Jonathan: Getting to the transfer gate, that’s what, screwed us over. I had never experienced a transfer gate in my travels, but I will never miss a plane because of that again.
CTV.ca: How has “The Amazing Race” affected your relationship with Harley?
Jonathan: It’s good and it was good to start. If people have problems with their relationship going into the race then it’s just going to make the problem compound along the way, but yea we were fine and it just proved to me once again what a great guy he is and that we’re able to work under pressure and still be good.
CTV.ca: What is next for you and Harley?
Jonathan: We are living in New York right now and we are thinking about getting out of New York and we just don’t know where to go but we’re talking about maybe kids and who knows right now we’re just taking it one day at a time.
CTV.ca: …and for NKOTB?
Jonathan: Touring. We are touring from May 1st to July 2nd.
CTV.ca: Overall how would you describe your experience on “The Amazing Race?”
Jonathan: It was probably one of the best experiences of my life. I was just so proud going through the auditioning process. There was a week before we left that I was just wide awake and freaking out thinking ‘What am I doing?’ So it was something that was definitely outside of my comfort zone and the fact that I did it makes me feel proud of myself. It was a phenomenal experience and something that will stick with me through the rest of my life.