Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cheerleaders from Boca Raton in Shape for Amazing Race 

Posted by James at 2:30 PM ET

By Tom Jicha
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Dolphins CheerleadersJaime Edmondson worked at getting people fired up for six years as a Dolphin cheerleader. The experience came in handy when she had to talk a cheerleader colleague into helping her pursue a dream, which could pay off big for both of them.

Edmonson, 29, and Cara Rosenthal, 26, were chosen as one of the 11 teams to participate in the next edition of The Amazing Race, which premieres Feb. 15. "I've been a fan of the show and I always wanted to do it," Edmondson, who grew up in Fort Lauderdale Is your Fort Lauderdale restaurant clean? - Click Here., said.

She needed a partner and targeted Rosenthal (who is traveling in Europe and was unavailable for comment). "She is the most competitive person I know," Edmondson said. "I sent her a text message, 'Do you want to be on The Amazing Race with me? I think we can win.'"

This was not an idle boast. Edmondson put a lot of thought into the effort. "I didn't want to do this with a family member or significant other. Those teams always get involved in their own issues instead of concentrating on the competition."

Edmondson must be convincing. Rosenthal came on board even though it meant putting off life plans of her own. "Cara deferred law school on blind faith," Edmondson said. "I don't think I could have looked her in the face if we hadn't been chosen."

There were long periods of doubt. They made the mandatory tape at the home of Rosenthal's parents in Boca Raton, where both women now live. "Her parents were laughing at us," Edmondson said.

Weeks went by with no word. Then Rosenthal called. "You're going to get a phone call," she said. She had just gotten news that a talent scout liked their tape and was going to push them.

Weeks went by again. "I guess we didn't get picked," Edmondson thought. Then they were invited to final auditions in Los Angeles. More weeks of high anxiety followed.

Finally the call came Edmondson said seemed surreal. "We just want to let you know you're one of the teams."

They began to train without knowing what they were preparing for. "You can only do so much in South Florida," Edmondson said. "I figured we would be fine for the warm places but you can't prepare for cold here."

Little did they know one of the stops was going to be in Siberia.

No matter how much prepping they did, Edmondson said, there was no way to anticipate the physical, mental, social and emotional ordeals they would face. "It was the hardest thing I have ever done."

You'll have to watch to see whether it also was the most rewarding.

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