Best Friends Sefa and Jess Were Moved by Each of the Welcome Ceremonies on ‘The Amazing Race’

Much has been said about the incredible diversity of the cast of The Amazing Race Australia 2021, and for best mates Sefa and Jess, their hope is that their appearance on the reality competition will serve as some long overdue inspiration. 

“There aren’t a lot of people that look like us on a national stage,” Sefa told The Latch following their elimination. “That wasn’t the intent with which we entered the race, but if that helps push that in the right direction, and help other people pursue the career that they want. I think it’s a good thing.”

For Sefa and Jess, who were sadly eliminated from the race after a gruelling leg involving Jess’s biggest fear  — crocodiles — the chance to soak in the rich history of Australia and pay respects to its original land owners was a powerful experience that carried a personal connection. 

“The biggest thing was the “welcome to” ceremonies that we took part in. Every single time, we just really got the feel of the  people’s land in those areas,” said Jess who, like Sefa, hails from a Polyneisan background. “For me, that was a highlight. I was homesick most of the time during the race. So when we had those ceremonies, I just felt like I was back on the island.”  


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The hilarious besties from Western Sydney gained popularity throughout their all-too-short time on the Network Ten show for their quick wit and sarcastic jibes at each other, but if you had high hopes of seeing them grace our screens in the future, the duo is here to burst your bubble.

“I’ve been saying it for ages, this is Jess!,” laughed Sefa. “I’m just the Robin to her Batman, the Steve Rogers to her Wonder Woman and I am happy to be there. So, what are you going to do with it [the newfound recognition] Jess?.”

“What I am going to do with it is…nothing,” Jess said, brushing off her best friend’s praise. 

“People have been asking us to do a radio show and I’m like, ‘no! I don’t want to spend that much time with Sefa,’”she laughed. “I think if opportunity comes our way and it fits, sure we’ll give it a go, but we don’t have anything specific that we want to do.” 

Both Sefa and Jess were born in New Zealand but have lived most of their lives in Australia, where The Amazing Race was forced to be filmed in the face of COVID-19 travel restrictions. 

Reflecting on the country they call home, Sefa had nothing but love for the Land Down Under.

“Australia is a beautiful country with such diverse terrain,” he said. “And there’s a lot to see. We travel overseas, everybody goes to Bali for a nice holiday or to the deserts in the Middle East. But we’ve got that! We’ve got red rocks, we’ve got the rainforest. We’ve got beaches, cliffs, mountains…” 

“Dude, why are you repeating the promo?,” Jess interjects before they both collapse into peals of laughter. 

On a more serious note, the experience of competing in the challenge of the race has given the friends a new outlook on life and valuable lessons to carry with them going forward. 

“I guess like any other person out there, we’re constantly doubting ourselves, or being the worst critic of ourselves, and doubting what we’re capable of,” said Jess. “So for me, I think this really opened my eyes and gave me the courage to just go and do things when I want to do it, or when the opportunity comes and to just not second guess it. And that’s for adventure, work, career, all of that. It gave me the courage to just give it a go.” 

As for who the friends think pose the greatest competition in The Amazing Race as the adventure continues, two teams immediately come to mind. 

Amanda and Ashleigh have been pretty consistent up until this point, and have surprised everyone because I think everybody underestimated how athletic and how competitive they were,” said Sefa. “And then there’s the Sikh’s as well. The Sikhs are very much playing the game, and they help other people around them as long as it helps them in return, and I get it.That’s how you want to play. That’s how you play the game.” 

Watch The Amazing Race Australia on Network Ten and TenPlay.

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