Summer 2010: Of Note

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VICTORY LAP: Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan greets brothers Jordan, left, and Dan Pious at the Candlestick Park finish.

Monty Brinton/CBS

‘Amazing’ Finish

Goizueta grad Jordan Pious and his brother show that nice guys sometimes finish first

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By Mallory Goldberg 10C

The Goizueta Business School class didn’t suspect a thing when their graduate teaching assistant for the course on Ideation, Jordan Pious 09BBA, abruptly ended the semester a few weeks early to travel for business.

It wasn’t until a few months later that his “business” was revealed. Pious had actually spent four weeks running —sometimes literally—around the world on CBS reality show The Amazing Race.

“Keeping anything that I’m excited about a secret is nearly impossible,” Pious says. “But you basically sign your life away . . . you can’t say a thing to anyone.”

Jordan during competition

smashing coconuts: Jordan Pious performs one of the required challenges in Malaysia.

Monty Brinton/CBS

The show’s finale on May 9 revealed another surprise: Pious, with his brother, Daniel, a financial adviser, had won the race—and the $1 million prize. “We couldn’t wait to see the looks on our parents’ faces,” he says. “They still don’t believe it.”

Pious, a strategic consultant for the Atlanta company BrightHouse, has been an avid fan of The Amazing Race since season one, and he dreamed of competing on the show. It features teams of two that travel around the world by a variety of modes, finding clues and performing tasks that typically reflect the culture of each location. Named by his BBA classmates “most likely to be on a reality TV show,” Pious had first auditioned for the previous season with his best friend.

When he didn’t make it, he turned to begging his reluctant older brother, who finally agreed. The brothers, who are from Rhode Island, decided for their audition tape simply to sit down in front of a camera and start talking—no gimmicks.

“I realized that the show is really all about the relationship and the dynamic between the team,” Pious says. “We used that three-minute video to explain our differences and similarities and to show how close we are.”

The approach worked, and the race was on.

“The thing that surprised me the most, running the actual race, is how hard it is,” Pious says. “Not only are you running around to places you’ve never been with people who often don’t speak English and aren’t always willing to help you, but you are doing so exhausted and out of your comfort zone.”

But The Amazing Race also gives contestants a chance to go places they likely would never get to visit otherwise. “The epitome for me was going to the Seychelles islands off the coast of Africa,” Pious says. “I would love to go back there—in a slightly more relaxed way—and enjoy it.”

After winning the race, Pious became a pseudo-celebrity, appearing on talk shows like Live with Regis and Kelly and in magazines.

“I’m overwhelmed by the amount of support when I walk though Emory’s campus,” he says. “To hear that I made Emory proud is one of the best things that came out of this.”

So, will Pious give reality TV a second try?

“I’m not actively looking to be in another reality show,” he says. “If I ever got a call from The Amazing Race to be on again, though, I would drop everything. I would run the race with the clothes on my back right now.”

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