Culture Monster chats with ‘Amazing Race’s’ Connor and Jonathan about the game and ‘Spiderman’


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Call it a Philimination.

That’s what a capella singers Connor Diemand-Yauman and Jonathan Schwartz suffered Sunday night on ‘Amazing Race’ when the musical duo -- both 22 -- were the last team to reach the show’s pit stop and have host Phil Keoghan eliminate them from the race.

Now that the show is done taping and the two have graduated from Princeton, Schwartz is in rehearsals for the long-awaited, oft-delayed production of ‘Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark,’ being directed by Julie Taymor and scheduled to open on Broadway Nov. 14. His role isn’t one he can discuss at this point, however.


Diemand-Yauman is working in South Korea on projects tied to children’s education and programming. A psych major, he taught in South Korea and South Africa during his years at Princeton.

On Monday, the twosome was able to talk for the first time since the season began four weeks ago. Neither expressed any regrets about their experience, despite the shortness of their stay. The video above includes bonus footage of them from CBS.

‘No complaints. We really enjoyed the opportunity to meet some nice people and see some interesting places,’ said Schwartz.

In all the episodes, the duo tapped into their singing skills honed at Princeton in the school’s 69-year-old male singing ensemble called Nassoons.

After the duo won an earlier race segment -- and $5,000 each -- the two seranaded Keoghan with an ode to his role guiding the show along. ‘We made the lyrics up, but the songs themselves [in this case, the song was sung to ‘Silent Night’] were ones that we clearly knew and we made sure that were in the public domain so that we could legally do them,’ Diemand-Yauman said.

The songs that they sang a capella in the show were worked out as they went along, either between segments of the race or even during cab rides.

‘The taxi drivers [in Ghana] didn’t seem to dislike the singing ... and you wanted a happy driver,’ said Diemand-Yauman.

As for tactical advice on how to do the race, Schwartz said he felt it was ‘important you had someone along you really trusted, and that you wouldn’t have a run-in with. I don’t think we had a cross word with each other. It made it a lot more tolerable than being stressed out, though that might make for fun watching.’

Now they look forward to a future of more performing. Both Schwartz and Diemand-Yauman went to open audtions for ‘Spiderman’ almost two years ago when the show first started casting and Schwartz made it into the musical.

‘We’d really like to work on something together in the future,’ Schwartz said. ‘It could be comedy skits or a music project, but it’s something we’re hoping to pursue.’

‘We’re hoping ‘Amazing Race’ will be just the first time you see us together,’ said Diemand-Yauman.

-- Christopher Smith RECENT AND RELATED:

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