September 23rd, 2011
03:06 PM ET
Going without food or showers isn't a problem for Jenna Morasca and Ethan Zohn, and neither is tackling competitive challenges in a strange place.
After all, each has won a season of "Survivor," which we've seen push individual contestants to extremes.
That reality resume means the two were well-prepared for "The Amazing Race," on which they compete as a couple. Morasca and Zohn have been dating for nearly a decade, having met at the finale of Morasca’s 2003 "Survivor" win.
“We’ve been through pretty much everything together,” Zohn, who has recently battled cancer, said by phone on Thursday. “There’s really nothing that we haven’t gone through and worked through. … We’re extremely comfortable with each other. And we are competitive and we know if we get in an argument that we will work through it and there will be smiles on the other side.”
The 19th season of "The Amazing Race" debuts Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Eleven teams will race nearly 40,000 miles through 20 cities in four continents. Zohn and Morasca are obvious favorites to win, given their relative youth (he’s 37 and she’s 30), fitness (they trained at Warrior Fitness for the show) and reality show background. But they intended to keep that last fact from the other teams.
“We went into the game not wanting to tell anyone that we were on 'Survivor' and you’ll see how that works out,” Morasca told CNN by phone. (There were, of course, a lot of “You have to watch the show” mentions, seeing as the filming wrapped in July. The only thing we could glean from the interview was that Team "Survivor" was not eliminated early.)
Morasca said her partner was concerned going into the race that he might have to apologize a lot for his girlfriend’s actions. In past seasons, some teams have been really nice to others despite the fact that it's a race for $1 million.
But you’re really only racing yourselves, Zohn said, trying to limit mistakes, read clues correctly and perform the task as fast as possible. In that sense, you can be nice to other teams because it won’t hugely impact your result, he said.
“I’m always [thinking about] karma,” he said. “If you’re nice to a team one time, they’re going to help you another time.”
“And I think karma has a very forgetful memory,” Morasca said. On the other hand, she continued,“You don’t want everybody to hate you.”
They did end up bonding with another team so much that she'd invite them to their wedding.....“should there be one, right, Ethan?”
There was a long pause before Zohn said, “You seem to be breaking up.”
When reminded that one contestant did propose (successfully) during the race in season 17 and asked if he ever got on one knee during the race, Zohn said he did trip over something. “And handed me a diamond, you’ll have to watch and see,” Morasca joked.
They both promised a compelling season, saying the other cast members were “incredible.” The contestants include two professional snowboarders, a former NFL player and his wife, and a father/son combo where the boy was the youngest person to sail the world alone (He’s like a GPS unit, Zohn said).
Morasca’s dad told her that the last thing he wanted to see was the two fighting on national TV.
“And Ethan was so worried that we were going to yell at each other,” she said. “We’re a normal couple and we get in arguments like normal couples. But surprisingly, I felt like, well, we’re still together.”
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