Despite starting the fourth leg of the race in first place, Connor Diemand-Yauman & Jonathan Schwartz, the “Ivy League Accepella Group” from Princeton, N.J. fell behind and were eliminated from ‘Amazing Race’ 17
Teams started out in Ghana where they were given instructions to travel to Kiruna, Sweden, the first time in the series history it has taken contestants to the Arctic Circle. And although Connor and Jonathan were first to depart, they hit their first hurdle at the airport when four teams found their way onto an earlier flight.
“Anytime you have flights in legs of the race, it automatically makes things unpredictable,” says Jonathan. “As a result, all the teams that left later were fighting not to come in last.”
After arriving in Sweden with the second group, the singers easily completed the first task, a dog-mushing course, and made their way to the detour challenges. With the choice of Sleds or Beds-completing a snowy downhill ride on a crazy ski contraption in less than 1:58 or building a teepee shelter for locals- the guys chose the extreme sport option and made their way up the mountain.
“Conner’s a beast, he nailed it,” says Jonathan of his teammate’s sledding skills.
Unfortunately the same wasn’t the case for himself. Jonathan crashed multiple times, toppled over and flew through the net barriers, which was both cringe-worthy and comical.
“Entertaining for you horrible for me,” says Jonathan. “It was so much worse and so much more painful than it looked on TV.”
But instead of getting impatient with his partner, Connor had nothing but support for Jonathan.
“I wasn’t frustrated, I had more respect that he kept trying and was proud that he kept getting back up despite how much pain he was in,” he said. “I knew he was doing his best.
After five failed attempts, the boys decided the ditch the sleds and switch the ‘Beds’ challenge but it was too late. They fell behind when lagging competitors Jill and Thomas used their Express Pass, propelling them from last place to 5th.
As the last team to check in, Connor and Jonathan were eliminated; the very day they were missing their college graduation back home at Princeton University.
“The timing was actually perfect,” says Connor. “We were graduating from Princeton the same time we were graduating from the Amazing Race.”
While the boys didn’t win the million dollars, they’re most proud of their positivity and strong friendship throughout the competition.
“We didn’t fight once. We were just there supporting each other and having a great time and I thinks that’s really rare and special,” said Connor. There isn’t anyone else I could have done that with.”
With that kind of synergy, the dynamic duo doesn’t rule out traveling together in the future. “If we do, I can guarantee it won’t involve skiing,” says Jonathan.
Did you watch the Amazing Race this week? Tell us how you think Connor and Jonathan did!