The Amazing Race Australia brought some captivating and shocking moments this season, but no one was as compelling as Sid Pierucci, who teamed up with his partner Ash in a race around the world. I had the pleasure of speaking with him, and learned that not everything is always as it seems.
This December, all month long, I will be interviewing multiple Australian Reality TV participants, to celebrate Australian Reality TV and the competitors fighting for the title and ultimate grand prize on offer.
Sid & Ash competed on The Amazing Race this year as the ‘Dating Influencers’, and together, they implemented a ruthless strategy right from the get go. Early on in the race the pair subtly sabotaged other teams by misleading them, but with sabotage came enemies as they often butted heads with fellow racers, Jasmin & Jerome. The two did however manage to pick up a first place win in Leg 6, but it all came crashing down as they fell into last place in the following leg. A second chance saw them close to reaching the final five, but a speeding penalty ultimately cost them the game and $250,000. Sid chatted with me about the exit and how his strategy revolved around big gambles.
Hi Sid, how are you doing after your time on The Amazing Race and watching your elimination unfold on screen?
I’m doing great mate. Thanks for asking! The elimination was tough to watch again but it all happened around two months ago so both Ash and I have had a lot of time to process our mistakes and the unfolding of the elimination. We tried our best!
Let’s start from the beginning, what made you apply for the show and subsequently include Ash as a partner (perhaps the other way around)?
To be completely frank we just took a punt. I came across an article from KIIS FM on Facebook which outlined The Amazing Race applications to be closing soon. I clicked on the link and realised that we had only 24 hours to apply. Ash was always my first and only choice. There is no one else I would have rather race around the world with.
Flash forward from casting to that first day on Seoul, South Korea. What preparation did you and Ash undertake for the show in between these two dates? Binge-watch previous seasons? Run around the city perhaps?
Not much chance to be honest. We’re both quite dedicated to a fit lifestyle so in terms of workout and changing our routine, we just kept on doing what were always do. F45 Bondi early mornings and lifting weights at Beach Fit in the afternoon. In regards to understanding the mechanics of the race a little better, we did binge-watch on a couple of the American seasons.
We often see the token ‘villains’ in every Reality show. Did you expect to come under this archetype going into the show considering you and Ash had a very ruthless strategy and gameplay throughout the race?
We understood from the get that the casting process was all about emerging minorities. The producers hinted toward the ‘Bondi Wankers’ from the start and that’s something we consciously leaned into.
That first leg in Seoul really cemented that you and Ash came to play, and play hard, like sending Jasmin & Jerome the wrong way early in the leg. This would then come back often throughout the show, with the two U-Turning you and Ash and not agreeing to work with you in Africa. Do you think they were right to mistrust you just from that one moment at the beginning, or could each leg have been an opportunity to refresh and restart?
As much as it is a race people at home need to understand that The Amazing Race is a ‘REALITY’ TV show. I consciously misled Jasmin and Jerome to make good TV, nothing more nothing less.
You formed an alliance with eventual champions Tim & Rod which seemed to help both teams progress through some legs. What was it like working with them and why were they your allies as opposed to the rest of the competition?
Ash and I went through a process of understanding which teams were the strongest and which teams could crumble under pressure. We knew that Tim and Rod were a strong team after the first two legs… and in addition to that they’re actually unbelievably self-aware and kind humans. It just made sense to join forces.
Let’s talk about Leg 5, which saw you and Ash actually receive help from a local and call a taxi to take you to your next destination. But Hayley & Mikayla then seem to steal the exact one that was sent to you. In a way, can you kind of respect the move from a game standpoint? Because, let’s face it, you and Ash would have done the same, haha.
Of course. Ash and I would have done the exact same! Props to Hayley and Mikayla for playing the game.
Fellow racers Chris & Adrienne were actually eliminated via injury in that same leg. He’s obviously okay now and was alright at the time, but how did you and the other teams take the news that Chris had suffered an injury from being thrown off his camel?
Chris and Adrienne were one of our favourite teams in the race. We were quite upset about the news and Ash and I actually dedicated our win in Leg 6 to them (which wasn’t shown on TV).
You and Ash would then go on to win that leg (Leg 6). That’s an incredible feat considering Tom & Tyler would just consistently take out the top position. What was that victory like and how did it fuel you and Ash for the rest of the competition?
We were halfway through the comp and that win could not have come at a better time. Despite the sprint and progression throughout the whole day we still managed to make quite a few mistakes which left us even more hopeful for the legs to come. We knew that despite the win there was still lots of room for improvement.
Unfortunately, you weren’t able to achieve the same result next time and actually saw a last place finish in Leg 7. But to your favour, it was a non-elimination leg. Once you heard the news from Beau, how did you and Ash react, knowing you’d be facing some adversity in starting last and combatting a Speed Bump at the next leg?
Leg 7 was a downer for us to say the least – but there’s lots we learnt from it. In all honestly the 28 hour trip and sleep deprivation took a toll on us and the inability from my end to deal with the set-back of first to last in this circumstance was the catalyst that led us to elimination in the next leg.
Now we can’t ignore the little 15 second decision to speed in Leg 8 past Femi & Nick. Considering what we know, and hindsight is 20/20, it wasn’t really worth taking those extra few seconds ahead for what would be an hour penalty later on. Did you and Ash think you’d incur this penalty or was it something that came as a shock when you arrived at the Pit Stop?
There is a lot that wasn’t shown on TV. We were in an all or nothing mindset and took a gamble at the time which didn’t pay off.
Once you do arrive to the Pit Stop and are told to step aside and watch as the other teams come in, what was it like seeing team after team just pile through and slowly watch your place in the game fade away?
We couldn’t believe it. But in a way we tried to remain calm and positive about the possible outcome. Props to Viv and Joey for digging deep until the very end. It was well deserved for them to remain in the race.
You and Ash really did have an incredible journey and were compelling television to The Amazing Race Australia, how do you look back on that time racing around Asia and Africa and then to watch it back on screen?
It was the most incredible journey! The race of a lifetime. Hopefully we’ll get to do it again one day… Together… as villains or maybe heroes this time!
What can we expect to see from you in the future? Any plans in the works?
Lots planned but nothing we can specifically talk about just yet.– SID PIERUCCI, THE AMAZING RACE AUSTRALIA CONTESTANT
Thank you to Sid for taking the time to speak with me and I wish you luck on your next endeavours!
You can watch all of Sid’s time on The Amazing Race and the full season entirely on 10 All Access or 10play.
There’s more to come on Reality Review, so stay tuned!
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