Catching Up With Jordan and Daniel Pious
By Joseph Hassan
For Jordan Pious, a 23-year-old management consultant based in Atlanta, one of the hardest parts of his 40,000-mile trek around the world on CBS's The Amazing Race was getting out of the gate; he had to convince his older brother, Daniel, to run the race with him. After pleading his case in a heartfelt e-mail, Jordan, a self-described travel fiend (who is gay) and Daniel, who would prefer to stay put (and is straight) applied to participate in the 16th installment of the reality television adventure. Picking up on their charisma, the network selected The Rhode Island'born brothers to set off with 10 other teams on a race around the world.
In order to cross the finish line and claim the bragging rights (and $1 million cash prize) attached to winning the race, Jordan and Dan were prepared for the dramatic physical and mental toll that the journey would take. Homophobia, however, was a hurdle that came as a surprise. In the most detail they've provided to date, Jordan and Dan discuss allegations that a member of another band of brothers (the 'cowboys,' who were also fan favorites) made antigay remarks; a storyline that never made prime time.
Out: Let's go ahead and delve into the race. It was just about a year ago that your applications were sent in. Jordan -- let's start with you. This was your pet project. How did this become your dream?
Jordan Pious: Well, I'd been watching the show since I was 13, so the very first season way back in 2001. And ever since I was watching it I was always like, God, I want to be on this show. I love to travel and the opportunity to race around the world and the chance to win a million dollars. Every season that I watched it I wanted more and more to be on it. So, finally, when I was of age to apply, I was like let's go for it. I always think that there's nothing too big -- no dream too far-reaching. It was just a matter of convincing my brother. I knew that he would be my ticket to making this dream come true.
So, Daniel. What were your thoughts when Jordan first brought the idea to you?
Daniel Pious:My first feeling was 'no.'
Jordan: And your second, third, fourth, and fifth.
Why was that?
Daniel: [Laughs.] I don't really like traveling. Prior to the race, I had only really gone on one out of the country vacation and that was a Caribbean cruise. Aside from that, I had never even gone to Canada. It's not that I didn't have the opportunity' it just wasn't for me and obviously the race has so much traveling involved with it. It's a race around the world. At that time, at least, that wasn't really down my alley. When it comes to the race, it's really not like traveling. Don't get me wrong -- it's incredible to see a real quick snapshot of some of the things that we were able to see, but when you go and travel on a regular basis you go and you fly -- and then you get to your destination and you relax' and sight-see and all that. On the race, you don't really get that as much so we were kind of getting all the bad aspects of traveling and not the good aspects.
It's the antithesis of a Caribbean vacation. What we see in 60 minutes takes hours or days to actually tape.
Daniel: The part I loved the most -- it was actually the very first episode --when we had to fly from L.A. to Miami to Chile, which is six hours and nine-and-a-half down to Chile and all they do is: 'The teams then flew from L.A. to Santiago, Chile...' and you just see this little plane on this little map' not even three seconds of the show. And I was like, 'No, no, no, no, no. It took way longer than that." [Laughs.]
What was it then that convinced you to come on board, Dan?
Daniel: Jordan sent me a very long e-mail saying that this was his number 1 dream and that it was a great opportunity, but that it would mean everything to him if we went and did the race. I love my little brother and I support him always. And I called him up after reading the e-mail because I think sometimes Jordan can make things a little bigger than they are --
Jordan: I'm dramatic. [Laughs.]
Daniel: [Laughs.] Exactly. I said, 'Jordan, is this really your number one dream in life?' He said, 'Yes.' And I said, 'Seriously. This is all you want to do in life? This is your biggest thing and all you want to do is go on The Amazing Race' --
Jordan: It's not all I want to do. It's not like I'm dead -- like life is over. But it was my number 1 dream.
Daniel: And he's like, 'Yes, Daniel. This is my number 1 dream. I really want to do it.' And so I was like, "OK. Fine. I'll do the race." You know, as a big brother if you have an opportunity to make your little brother's dream come true then I'm going to do my best to make that happen.
Jordan: I'll also add to that. I tried to get him to apply for Season 15. We had camera in hand and we were going to do it. I knew how much of a stretch this was to get my brother to do it and I knew that it was going to take some masterful writing on my part to really explain to him how much this means to me.
When did you actually find out that you were doing the race and, Dan, was that a shock to you?
Daniel: You know, this is going to sound really weird, but once I told Jordan that I would do the race, I just kind of assumed that we would get on. Almost like I knew that we were going to get on. I don't know why.
Jordan: And my reaction was the polar opposite. First of all, we found out on Yom Kippur. Or I did. So I had no food in me and I was very hungry from fasting for the day. But it didn't matter because I probably would have been light-headed regardless. It started to sink in and I was like 'God, how lucky and fortunate are we to have this opportunity.' It just wasn't real to me in the beginning.
So, you've prepared, you're on the race. Did you each have a favorite leg?
Jordan: For me, my favorite leg was the Seychelles because it was my favorite location. To me that's what the race is all about. It's why I always wanted to go on the race -- to be able to go to places around this world that I had never even heard of. I mean, I didn't even know how to say the Seychelles. When I opened the clue I called it the 'say-chillies.' And, here we are -- off the coast of Africa in the most tropical paradise beautiful location I've ever been to in my life.