East Bay couple Jeremy Cline and Sandy Draghi have just undertaken arguably the ultimate relationship building challenge.
After dating for just six months, the Alamo pair decided to apply, and was selected to compete on the Emmy award-winning CBS reality TV show fan favorite, “The Amazing Race,” now celebrating its 10th year.
In Season 19, premiering Sunday at 8 p.m., Cline and Draghi will be poised on the starting line along with 10 other teams, competing in challenges that will take them around the globe.
The last team standing will win a $1 million prize.
The couple said they are still together after their experience on the show, and said they are thrilled to be a part of the iconic series, and to represent the Bay Area, where they both have lived all their lives.
Draghi, 33, was born and raised in Livermore, and recently moved from Dublin to Alamo. She is a nurse practitioner at Blackhawk Plastic Surgery in Danville.
Cline, 35, is a third generation East Bay native. He was born in Concord and raised in Castro Valley. He has lived in Danville and Alamo for the past seven years.
They met through mutual friends five years ago and have been dating for the last year.
Draghi calls herself a “huge fan” of the show and has watched every season since it began.
It has been a dream of hers to compete on the show, she said.
Cline caught her enthusiasm, watching the past two seasons along with her.
The competitive nature of the show, as well as the opportunity to travel the world, appealed to him, Cline said.
As fans of the show, they shared that their favorite past teams are Nat and Kat, a pair of doctors who won Season 17; as well as their rivals that season, and fifth-place finishers, Chad and Stephanie. They particularly enjoyed the bickering dynamic that Chad and Stephanie had, they said.
Last December they decided to submit an audition tape and were selected to travel to Los Angeles for a week-long interview process.
Draghi said they were sequestered the entire week, and Cline said the interview process was “very intense.”
Once they learned they were selected, the pair said they “bought backpacks” and started training, focusing on their physical condition by running, hiking and swimming.
Favorite local training spots included the Lafayette Reservoir and the Pleasanton Ridge.
While they felt their physical conditioning was an advantage, neither was well-traveled before the race began.
To prepare, they worked on their navigation skills, studying geography and the logistics of arranging travel.
Perhaps a small hint of things to come, Draghi said they “should have studied how to read maps better.”
Cline and Draghi face a field of competitors, among them familiar faces from reality TV — Survivor veterans Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca — as well as a pair of flight attendants, twin sisters, a father and son, a retired NFL player and his wife, two Las Vegas showgirls and professional Olympic snowboarders.
With their limited travel experience — and never together — Cline said they were “definitely on the bottom of the totem pole starting out.”
To mitigate this weakness, Cline said they decided to intentionally leverage their shared ability to build good relationships with others from their professional backgrounds, and devised a strategy of “building rapport” with the other teams they were competing with from the outset.
This would enable them, Cline said, to “ask for help if they got into a tight spot.”
Cline and Draghi said their status as a relatively new couple was also a factor in the race they had to work through.
“Every day was a learning experience,” said Cline.
Both are competitive, and are used to leading, he said.
They said they had to learn how to work together, and “learn when to follow,” recognizing when the other had a better approach to their circumstances.
The couple is now back home and eagerly anticipating watching the show with friends and family at a viewing party this Sunday.
Everyone has been “ecstatic and very supportive," and their Facebook page has been buzzing in advance of Sunday's premiere.
With their newfound celebrity status, Cline and Draghi said they are eager to “do their part” in the community they love and use it to support local charitable efforts whenever possible, particularly those that benefit children.
Cline said the show is “one of the most exciting things he has ever done,” and they are looking forward to sharing their journey with the community starting Sunday night.
Fun facts: Cline says the celebrity Draghi is most like is Jennifer Aniston, and Draghi says Cline reminds her of George Clooney.
Responding to a reader submitted question asking whether they are most likely to be found at or , the couple responded that although “they love both,” they have a soft spot for Pete’s.