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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Amazing Race Contestant Maria Ho Defends Motives

Oct. 14 2009, Published 7:34 a.m. ET

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The fifteenth season of The Amazing Race once again boasts some far-flung locales, and like every other reality show there is plenty of far-flung drama.  Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle are professional poker players who garnered some ill will after the first episode when they “bluffed” about their real professions. Cheerful 26-year-old Maria spoke with about her exciting experience on the show and told us why she and her partner chose to lie about their professions.

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“We did not want to go into it having people be intimidated by us or see us as a threat to them at all,” explained Maria.  “The more harmless we seem the better off it was for us, they would be more willing to help us.”

As best friends for years, Maria and Tiffany depended on each other during the race.  “At the end of the day that’s all you had, that person, and it was your entire support system,” Maria said.   “Ultimately it wasn’t conducive to wining this competition if we were fighting so we made sure to be nice to each other.”

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One hurdle she struggled with was being cut off from the world while globe-trotting: “You don’t get any outside contact. That was hard in this day and age when you’re so reliant on cell phones and email, but it was kind of nice break but I definitely missed all my friends and family.”

Maria and Tiffany were spared elimination on the episode Sunday thanks to another team’s lost passport.

“I’m not the most physical person.  I’m pretty much a girly girl at heart and we knew we had to rough it and knew there was a physical part so I was a little weary of the fact that I was competing against the Harlem Globe Trotters,” she admitted. “I mentally psyched myself up to do things but I was fearful. “

Cheer the duo as they continue to battle the challenges on The Amazing Race airing Sundays at 8 pm on CBS.



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