Sucks Interview-- Hayden/Aaron
« on: Feb 26th, 2005, 10:57pm »
Another Amazing Race had ended, the victors celebrated, and preparation for a new season began. Mostly everyone moved on, but dating actors Hayden and Aaron left their hearts in China.
I had the opportunity to interview this duo who had for a long time been the frontrunners to win the whole Race. I first asked them about their expectations going into this whole experience.
“Obviously we are very competitive and determined,” says Hayden.
Aaron added, “We had a goal to win. We hoped to see our relationship grow as well.”
Hayden and Aaron had only known each other for ten months before the Race and were looking forward to seeing the world together.
When asked about their biggest competition in the Race, several names popped up.
“Gosh,” Hayden pondered, “After the first leg Kris and Jon definitely.”
Aaron made it known that he was wary of Jonathan and Victoria as Jonathan knew the Race inside and out and Aaron was not sure what that team was capable of. Both he and Hayden agree that the sister team of Lena and Kristy gave them a challenge also.
The actors proved their determination to be true by leading the pack in first place on the first leg of the Race. I asked the pair what that leg was like for them.
“I was so exhausted at that point,” Hayden recalls, “When we got to the mat, I looked like I hadn’t slept in two years.”
Indeed they hadn’t slept well. In fact, Aaron explained to me that when they finally reached the glacier rest point, they hadn’t slept in 31 hours. He also says that it was always a goal of his and Hayden’s to be first on each leg partially because of the vacation given to the first place team each leg.
The second leg of the Race involved a detour where the team could choose to roller ski down a course or complete a variety of tasks including throwing axes and shooting a bow and arrow. They opted to roller ski and I asked them if they have second thoughts now.
“I don’t know. Actually, maybe. Yes,” Hayden debates.
Neither Hayden nor Aaron had roller bladed prior to this. Aaron thinks he would have done well in the accuracy challenge since he was an All American in volleyball.
A big part of the Race obviously is flying from destination to destination. Hayden and Aaron told me about their experience on the flights.
“I am a fearful flyer,” Hayden admits, “But I knew I had to face it because you can’t hide in a little corner. We’re actors and we have to fly for our line of work.”
However, an Ethiopian charter flight did cause Hayden to have her reservations. She describes the plane as being old and tiny and looked like it was going to fall apart.
Aaron on the other hand had a very interesting moment on a different flight.
“A woman in the row in front of us went into labor on the plane,” he says, “I didn’t realize what was happening until her water broke on my foot. That was the scariest moment on a plane for me.”
He further goes on that one of their security crew had to deliver the baby as he had some medical training and no doctors were on board.
Another team in the Race, Jonathan and Victoria have caused a lot of controversy. So of course, I had to ask for Hayden and Aaron’s take on the situation.
“They are great people,” gushes Hayden, “I feel for him. Jonathan is such a good guy. He treated us at his spa. We hang out.”
Hayden goes on to say that television editing did not show the positive interaction between the couple. Aaron states that Jonathan was not always nice during the Race but he is owning up to it now.
Does anyone remember the challenge that eliminated Kristy and Lena which involved finding a clue in one of many bales of hay? I asked Aaron how he was able to find his clue so fast.
“Well, we beat Jon and Kris there by five seconds, literally,” Aaron says, “Jon found his clue in two bales. It took me fifteen.”
Hayden tells where Lena and Kristy went wrong.
“The producers later explained that they missed four clues. These clues were only four inches by twelve. You really had to look for them.”
Many aspects of the Race are frustrating. I asked Hayden and Aaron what bothered them the most.
“I didn’t mind bunching up at airports and stuff. I was very confident. I knew we could beat any team in a footrace,” Aaron explains, “When everything is out of your control - that’s what I don’t like.”
Of course, Aaron is referring to cab drivers and the pesky locals who give the wrong information.
The actors were strong allies with Freddy and Kendra, the dating models and eventual winners of the Race. I wondered how their alliance came about. They explained that their alliance was originally with Lena and Kristy until the three pairs got together in Norway. Hayden remarks that she and Aaron were generally friendly with everybody.
Next, Hayden commented on the “Hot Rocket Bungee” challenge where she was thrust high up into the air like a rocket.
“I am very terrified of heights, but I knew I had to do this one. I wanted to do it,” she continues, “It ripped you off the ground. It was an adrenaline rush.”
My questioning leads to China and a challenge that stopped Hayden and Aaron in their tracks.
“Our cab driver got us lost for 30 minutes,” Aaron states with disgust, “We were right on Adam and Rebecca’s tails after the car painting. He took us all the way back to Xi’ An. He drove 40 miles an hour. Busses were passing us.”
Hayden adds, “Our confidence was gone. We had not eaten since 8:00 the night before and we had been awake since 3:00 in the morning.”
Hayden says that she was probably opening locks for about four hours and her fingers were bleeding. Something you may not know however is that Hayden broke two keys, not one. The producers also told her that she had had the right lock eight times but did not turn the key the proper way. The most heartbreaking fact may be the fact that Rebecca opened her lock at exactly 7:00 which is the latest the teams were allowed to finish the challenge. Hayden and Aaron had planned to get out of there first to take the penalty and beat Adam and Rebecca to the Pit Stop.
Though they were eliminated in this leg, Hayden and Aaron were the last team to arrive in a non-elimination leg earlier in the Race.
“We were really happy,” Aaron admits, “We knew we were a much better team than that.”
The very next leg, Hayden and Aaron proved that they were by finishing first, one of four times that they did.
“I think that says we were a strong, competitive team. Kris and Jon finished in first four times too,” notes Aaron, :You definitely saw the cream of that Race.”
Hayden, however, realistically states that it doesn’t matter how many times you finish first or second. The only one that really matters is the last one.
Going back to China again, Hayden says that despite the disappointment of being eliminated, she would visit there again.
“Absolutely,” she says, “It’s where we got engaged. I’d love to visit Hong Kong and Peking.”
Aaron agrees, but makes it clear that he will never go back to Xi’ An.
I asked Hayden and Aaron who they would have loved to compete against in the final three had they gotten there. They both immediately agree that Kris and Jon deserved to be there.
“Personally, I’d love to have seen Avi and Joe,” Aaron chuckles, “Avi is so fickin’ hilarious. Also, Lena and Kristy were a very strong team.”
As for favorite pit stops, they name Budapest and Ethiopia.
Hayden says that her favorite challenges were the ice climbing and the track running, as Hayden ran track in school.
As for Aaron, “Washing windows. I love that death defying stuff.”
Anyone who wondered about the wedding, look no further.
“We were really getting into it right when we got back,” Hayden says.
She says that Aaron wants to go to school and that her brother is a marine in Iraq so they would like for Aaron to finish school and Hayden’s brother to be home before the wedding. It is tentatively set for December of 2006 or the spring.
Hayden and Aaron have no set upcoming projects although they have done some auditioning.
I asked them about their willingness to participate in an Amazing Race All Stars hypothetically.
“It would depend on our careers at the time, Hayden considers, “If we were doing nothing concrete though, absolutely.”
They also gave their advice for the racers on the new season of The Amazing Race.
“Think through the roadblocks and communicate,” Hayden advises.
Aaron counters, “Have fun. It’s the chance of a lifetime.”
Finally, we come to something I do with every team I interview. I asked Hayden and Aaron to give me a short description of each other team in the Race. This is what they had to say:
Avi and Joe - Team Bamboozled
Meredith and Maria - Team Automatic Transmission
Lena and Kristy - Team Hotties
Don and Mary Jean - Team Social Security
Jonathan and Victoria - Team Hyper-hypos
Gus and Hera - Team Slick Moves
Lori and Bolo - Team Potty Mouths
Adam and Rebecca - Team Tag Along
Kris and Jon - Team Lovebirds
Freddy and Kendra - Team Lucky As Hell