The race is over

Gay pals John and Scott reminisce about their too-short stay on The Amazing Race 9 after getting eliminated on the first episode

BY Dennis Hensley

March 03 2006 1:00 AM ET

LGBT fans of
The Amazing Race got good news and bad news for
the show’s new season, which premiered February
28. The good news is that after the overpopulated,
uninvolving “Family Edition,” the Emmy-winning
reality show is back to its pulse-pounding, tried-and-true
two-person team formula. The bad news is that this
season’s gay racers, longtime friends John Lowe
and Scott Bragington-Smith, were the first team to go.
Advocate.com caught up with the amiable pair, who are both
single and live in Massachusetts, two days after their
elimination episode aired.

Advocate.com: How did you come to be on The Amazing Race?John: We did an open call at Provincetown during Fourth
of July weekend. After that, they asked us to do the
tape and callbacks and everything.

The show was auditioning people in P-town over Fourth of
July weekend? Sounds like maybe they were shopping
for some fun-loving gays.
John: Right. [Laughs] I always wanted to
be that person, to kind of challenge myself to do all
the scary things, so we went for it.

If The Amazing Race were going to stage a Detour
challenge in P-town, what would it be?
John: You’d have to climb up road ladders
attached to the Provincetown monument. Or you’d
have to dress up in drag and get a couple dollar tips.

What was the highlight of the experience?John: The helicopter. [In one challenge, teams rode in
choppers over São Paulo, Brazil.] We told each
other before that we would do anything that we
wouldn’t normally do in our own lives. The second we
saw the word helicopter, we were both like,
‘We’re doing that, we’re doing
that.” Scott: I’d say the same. And
John being able to get over his fear of flying and do
it was so great.

Before the race, how long had it been since you’d
flown, John?
John: Eight years. I haven’t gone to
people’s weddings before, and I’d drive
to Florida every winter. I’m still afraid of flying,
but I think now I’ll do it, whereas before I
wouldn’t.

What’s your biggest regret about the race? John: We should have gotten out of the cab
earlier and gotten into a different cab. If we had
gotten in another cab and the guy had known where that
location was, we would have gotten there a lot faster.
Scott: I think the real thing that affected us was not being
able to speak the language.

What was your biggest fight on the race?John: Scott wanted to stay in the cab and I wanted to
get out. The other thing we disagreed on is that I
wanted to talk to anyone who would walk by the window
of the cab and ask them if they knew how to get there.
Scott didn’t want to ask everyone that walked by.

At one particularly stressful moment, you imitated
Barbara Eden as Jeannie. Is that a longtime
in-joke with you two?
Scott: Oh, yeah. John: The first time we did
it, we were lying on the beach and I wished that a
bodybuilder would come to the beach. About five minutes
later, this unbelievable, steroid-y bodybuilder came
walking over the dunes, and he could have sat
anywhere, and he sat next to us.

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