On Tuesday night, Shannon and Jude reached the Pit Stop without their backpacks, a delay which saw them checking in as the last team. Thankfully it wasn’t an elimination leg, but it did mean that the mums received the first Sabotage of the season.
With Shannon unable to speak for the entire next leg of the race, the pair had an uphill battle to fight. Luck also appeared to be on their sides when Jordan and Violeta forgot their backpacks, while Malaan and Tina faced a time penalty at the Pit Stop.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go their way, and the mums reached the Pit Stop just moments after Malaan and Tina served their 10-minute penalty.
Shannon and Jude have been friends for 20 years, and decided to apply for The Amazing Race “for a lark” as Jude put it.
“It was more fun to put a video together,” she said of their audition tape. “We thought we’d fill out the form and couldn’t imagine we’d ever get selected.”
Shannon agreed, adding, “Jude was the instigator and I just kept going along with it because I did think, as if they’re going to choose us! We’re ordinary, slightly overweight, unfit mums. Why would they ever choose us?”
For anyone watching, it was pretty clear that the hilarious duo was a phenomenal addition to the cast this year. Despite thinking they were out of their depth, they powered on, hoping for an eating challenge or a puzzle instead of the more physical tasks the teams were doing.
When the pair opened their Sabotage on Wednesday night, it was almost an instant decision that Shannon would be the one to not speak for the entirety of the next leg of the race.
“It was that funny because we knew there was no decision to be made,” Shannon told 10 play.
“To be fair,” Jude jumped in, “I offered. I offered!”
While the Sabotage initially seemed like a funny obstacle, as the leg went on it became clearer just how difficult it was going to be.
“Ultimately I think it’s what got us out,” Jude said. “The whole game of The Amazing Race is being able to communicate and we couldn’t.”
Shannon wasn’t able to speak at all, meaning Jude had to interpret hand signals and frustrated glances until the pair reached the next Pit Stop. But they never once broke the rule.
“When we were at the airport and we both went to the ladies toilet waiting for our flight, I was going ‘Shan are you still in here?’ She didn’t answer so I’m going, ‘Just tap on the wall or clap’ and you hear this [clap clap]. We could have cheated then but we didn’t because we’re RULE FOLLOWERS,” Jude said, laughing.
Going into the race, the mum’s had a strategy to capitalise on their warm, nurturing personalities in the hopes that other teams would see them as allies and not want to dish out any Sabotages throughout the race.
“Right at the beginning we spoke about, no one would ever want to Sabotage us if we’re super nice and non-threatening. We’ll never get a Sabotage,” Jude said, adding, “That clearly did not work.”
Despite the difficulties the duo faced in the race, they never lost their tempers with each other.
“How we are on camera is exactly how we are in real life,” Shannon said, adding that her kids have been blown away by the things the pair conquered during their time in the race.
“I remember with my own parents, you just see your parents as your parents and my kids saw last night’s episode — riding a motorbike and out on the IRB — and they were like, ‘Mum! What are you doing?’
“The other thing is our friendship. I think our kids are really proud of the friendship,” Shannon said.
Jude agreed, adding, “We never fought in the race. If anything, our problem was that we laughed at each other too much.”
The Amazing Race Australia continues 7.30 Sunday-Tuesday on 10 and 10 play