Alabama team eliminated from ‘Amazing Race’, but not for the reason you might think

Abby Garrett and Will Freeman were hoping to cross the finish line on “The Amazing Race” Season 34, but fate had other plans for the Alabama couple.

Mountain Brook High School seniors Garrett and Freeman were eliminated from Wednesday’s episode of the CBS reality series after Freeman tested positive for COVID-19.

The two were in the middle of a race in Jordan when they were eliminated from the competition, having gone through five previous installments. Garrett and Freeman traveled to Germany, Austria and Italy before being kicked out – picking up clues, taking unknown routes, solving detours, overcoming roadblocks and more.

Were they disappointed when COVID stopped them in their tracks? Absolutely. Garrett, 24, a data scientist, and Freeman, 25, an accountant, are self-proclaimed “Superfans” of “The Amazing Race” who plan their competition strategies for years. They were also in the running for the $1 million prize.

Still, the pair exited this week’s episode with grace and good spirits, thanking the TV series – and host Phil Keoghan – for giving them the opportunity to compete.

“I was pretty devastated,” Freeman said in an interview published Thursday by Parade magazine. “I feel like I blew our chances.

“You didn’t screw it up!” Garrett joined in. “It’s hard to be the one who tested positive.” I wanted to try to keep him in a good mood. But the night we knew he had tested positive, there were ugly sobs.’

Episodes of “The Amazing Race” are pre-recorded. Garrett and Freeman said frequent COVID tests for contestants were on the agenda during filming to protect the cast and crew. When Freeman tested positive in Jordan after a race in Italy, their journey at the show came to an abrupt end.

The couple said they were quarantined in a hotel while the race continued without them.

“It was tough because all I could do was reassess my legs and think about what we could do,” Freeman said in an exit interview for the Gold Derby. “It was really forward thinking like the teams are racing today.” We should be there, or we could be there.”

The wonderful race of Arabia

Abby Garrett and Will Freeman traveled to Jordan for an episode of “The Amazing Race.” In this part of the competition, the team from Alabama had to ride a train, experience a scene reminiscent of the 1963 Oscar-winning film “Lawrence of Arabia”, search the Wadi Rum desert and visit the ancient city of Petra. (CBS photo)

Garrett and Freeman were in the middle of the pack throughout the competition, never winning a single leg but never in danger of elimination. They were among 12 teams competing in the 34 season and the only team from Alabama.

“Our whole mindset during the race was ‘slow and steady wins the race,'” Garrett told Parade. “We felt like we were kind of a slow burner that peaked at just the right time. And I think it’s hard that we never saw the top. You never really know in the middle of a pack of teams.”

Although the pair were never among the most watched teams on the Emmy Award-winning reality competition show, they hoped to make a bigger impression in their upcoming adventures. Leaving with little fanfare was disappointing, Garrett said.

“You want to go swing,” Garrett told Gold Derby. “You ran as fast as you could. You competed as hard as you could. You gave it your all. I think that’s what’s so hard — there was none of it. It’s just a positive test, boom, that’s it. There’s not even a leg to accept, ‘Yeah, we’re back in the pack.’ You see people crying in the back of the cabin and you have this beautiful moment. We just have a test and that’s it.”

As contestants on “The Amazing Race,” Garrett and Freeman followed in the footsteps of other Alabama teams that made it big on the show.

Chuck and Wynonna McCall of Daphne, for example, competed in Season 22, which aired in the spring of 2013. Affectionately known as “Team Mullet,” the married couple became a fan favorite and finished in sixth place.

RELATED: 27 Alabama Reality TV Stars and Why We Loved Them

Former Huntsville Havoc hockey player Anthony Battaglia teamed up with his brother Bates Battaglia in the same season as the McCalls to win the $1 million prize. (“It’s a lot harder than it looks,” Anthony said.)

Also, Lyn Turk and Karlyn Harris, long-time friends from Birmingham and Helena, teamed up as ‘The Bamas’ at the ‘Amazing Race’ in 2006 and came third.

Abby Garrett and Will Freeman on "Amazing race"

Abby Garrett and Will Freeman of Birmingham, Alabama are one of 12 teams on season 34 of “The Amazing Race.” (Sonja Flemming/CBS)

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