The 30th season of “The Amazing Race” debuted this month, with two members of the openly gay pop-influenced string quartet Well-Strung competing on the acclaimed globe-trotting reality competition.
Trevor Wadleigh and Chris Marchant said they jumped at the opportunity to put their instruments aside and see the world from a different perspective. We’re guessing the chance of winning the grand prize of $1 million didn’t hurt either.
“One big motivator for me was getting to do the race with Trevor,” Marchant said. “To put that band on hold for a month and do the race with someone else, I would have been less-inclined to do that. But to do that with my colleague and friend and to put our skills that we’ve been using together for the last five years into practice in another way, I think that was motivating for me.”
“And I’m pretty great, so why wouldn’t you want to race with me?” Wadleigh added.
At this point in their career, the members of Well-Strung are seasoned world travelers and have performed internationally. Marchant said this background might give them an edge on the show.
“That was one of the ways we viewed ourselves as a strong team entering the race because we’ve had so much experience traveling together and working out logistics and having to adapt to a crazy schedule that we can’t really prepare for,” he said.
Wadleigh added that competing on the show is mentally and physically more challenging than it looks, even for the most prepared.
“You can never account for the stress level that will happen in the moment,” he said. “And you can assume that you’ll be full of anxiety. You will be rushed. But you also cannot account for where you will be physically and how much energy you’ve expelled prior to that moment in time.
“When you’re watching it on TV, you don’t know how well-rested or well-fed the contestants are. You just don’t know what physical state they are [in]. It’s very different from your daily life. A lot of athletes compete on the show and a lot of remarkable people of great physical abilities [who] in their home life have a regimented diet and sleep schedule. Everything is refined so they can perform their best. I think those factors you can’t account for. We tried our best to stay healthy but those are some things you can’t see while watching a season.”
We won’t know how the members of Well-Strung will fare until the new season plays out; at presstime, they were still in the game. And while Marchant and Wadleigh couldn’t comment on the outcome of the show, they were more than happy to let us in on Well-Strung’s plans for 2018.
“We’re doing some recording in New York and then we’re off to California and Mexico to try to avoid the winter chill,” Marchant said. “We will be putting out an album by the time summer hits.”
“Then we’re going to continue touring as always and we’ll have a summer residency in Provincetown,” Wadleigh added.
Marchant assured us that Well-Strung will be making some appearances in the area as well.
“We’re doing Bucks County in May and we are in talks to do the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia,” he said.
The new season of “The Amazing Race” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS. For more information, visit http://www.cbs.com/shows/amazing_race/ or http://well-strung.com/.