A Troy University student has run “The Amazing Race.”
“The Amazing Race” is a reality television game show in which teams of two people race around the world, competing against other teams.
Cole LaBrant, a freshman business management major from Troy, participated in the 28th season of the show along with his mother, Sheri, a stay-at-home parent and the mother of six children.
Cole was the youngest player on the show and was also regarded as the “little brother of the show.”
According to Cole, he received an email in July inviting him to audition on “The Amazing Race.” After that, he put together a video with some members of his family.
“We wanted to travel the world and do crazy stuff,” Cole said.
The show then chose his mother to join him in Los Angeles, where they auditioned for a week. There were approximately 40 teams that did in person interviews, according to the LaBrants.
According to Cole, he did not make any special preparations for the show, but his mother seemed more excited.
“I binge-watched as many episodes of the show as I could,” Sheri said. “I looked up what to pack and got into physical shape.”
The LaBrants said that they created relationships with members on the other teams, which continue now that filming is over.
“Everyone was so nice,” Sheri said. “There were no bad feelings between any of us on the show. We even have a chat room that we all still talk in.”
According to Cole, it was tough for him to leave when the show began.
“It was kind of chaotic, like you can see in the first episode,” Cole said. “Toward the end I was ready to come home but you don’t really have time to think about it.”
“It’s like a blur,” Sheri said. “It was so much fun, but sometimes you wish you could just have a minute to talk to the family.”
The show also tests the relationship that the teammates share between themselves. According to Cole, his relationship with his mother did not change at all during or after the show.
“We knew that we were one of the weaker teams going in, so when we chose which parts of the leg to run, we chose the ones that would be the most fun instead of what would be easier,” Cole said.
Sheri said she feared caves and tight spaces, while Cole feared heights and the Islamic State group. According to Cole, the Paris attacks happened just before they left, and a Mali hotel was attacked while they were traveling.
“We were American-looking people running around with cameras,” Sheri said.
Cole said a reality show like “The Amazing Race” brings about a lot of changes in a person through various experiences.
“I respect other people’s cultures,” Cole said. “The producer told us to make sure that we were nice to the poor people. Those are the people who will help you.”
“It helped me realize that people are genuinely good,” Sheri said. “They are excited to help you. You can ask one person for help and have 20 others offer to help.”
According to the LaBrants, it took 21 days to film the show. They went to LA, stayed there for a week before the show started and had some shots and conditioning done for the show.
“You’re basically already crazy before you even start the show,” Cole said jokingly. “I got sick from the shots and lost 10 pounds before the show started.”
According to Cole, the show puts the contenders in difficult situations.
“The lack of food and sleep was the hardest part for me,” Cole said.
“I have played soccer my entire life, so I was pretty much in shape. Waiting in the airport for hours with no money for food starts to get to you.”
According to the LaBrants, they would get water if it was a really strenuous activity. They received a certain amount of money for each leg of the race for taxis, food and anything else that they needed, so they had to save money.
“Taxis were not planned, many places were really sketchy but we made it back,” Sheri said.
Despite the difficult situations that they were put in, there were some parts on the show that they loved. Cole said he loved the people he met.
“Seeing the world was great,” Cole said.