EXCLUSIVE: Race to Survive: New Zealand’s Spencer ‘Corry’ Jones and Oliver Dev Reveal Details of Their Shocking Disqualification

Oliver and Corry from Race to Survive: New Zealand standing with their backs up against each other
Photo Credit: Patrik Giardino/USA Network via Getty Images

On the latest episode of Race to Survive: New Zealand, the competition got turned upside down when the River Guides were shockingly disqualified from the competition. The production team broke the news to Spencer “Corry” Jones and Oliver Dev just moments after they crossed the Race 4 finish line. A producer claimed that Corry killed and ate an off-limits bird.

The tricky thing about reality TV is that there’s usually much more to the story than what an editor can squeeze into a 45-minute episode. That’s definitely the case with Corry and Oliver’s disqualification. The duo spoke to Reality Tea about what really happened when they were racing Down Under and how potentially dirty gameplay might have led to their elimination.

DQ’d Down Under

Oliver and Corry on Race to Survive: New Zealand
Photo Credit: Brian Finestone/USA Network

The River Guides have been dreading this moment for a while. Their disqualification was heavily teased in the trailer, so they’ve spent the last few months bracing for backlash. On the show, Corry offered a sincere apology for breaking a rule, but Corry said the uncertainty of how it would play out on the show has been anxiety-inducing.

“This day has kind of been in the back of my mind for a long time. There’s been a lot of work preparing for this day,” Corry explained.

He said there have been a lot of “low lows” trying to process what happened during the competition, but thankfully, he has a ride-or-die in Oliver. Their friendship hasn’t been impacted by this. They’re both extremely appreciative of the experience, even if they didn’t walk away with the $500,000 check.

In retrospect, they said it was easy to forget about the prize money when they were out there. Corry said they were “having fun” doing the races, so the money ended up at the back of their mind — especially when starvation struck. The same couldn’t be said about the rest of their competitors.

Did Oliver and Corry get thrown under the bus on Race to Survive: New Zealand?

Corry and Oliver sitting on a hillside on Race to Survive: New Zealand
Photo Credit: Daniel Allen/USA Network

When the producer announced that Corry and Oliver were disqualified from the competition, they didn’t necessarily seem shocked. That’s because they had already been informed about the rule violation. They knew this was coming, and apparently, so did some of their competitors.

“We had been approached [by a producer] in the third Survival Camp that there’s been this accusation made,” Corry recalled. “I owned it.”

Corry and Oliver proceeded into Race 4, but after the coasteering challenge, they were approached a second time about the rule violation. A producer informed them that a decision had been made, but it wouldn’t be communicated until after Race 4 had been completed. Obviously, that took all of the wind out of their sails.

“For the second half of Race 4, we raced with a dark cloud over us,” Corry recalled. “We knew that we were out, and we kind of slowed down to enjoy the last bit of our time out there on the race.”

The River Guides explained that the rule violation happened earlier in the competition. So, why did it suddenly get brought up in Race 4? That’s a mystery that still isn’t completely solved, but there are a few solid theories.

“I think that amount of money for some people can maybe change them when it’s dangled in front of their face,” Oliver explained.

“They see us constantly winning, you might sacrifice some of your values to get that money,” he continued. “I have a feeling that’s what happened.”

Corry added, “Other teams were aware and were present and involved in this whole thing.”

Ready for redemption

Corry and Oliver looking at a map on Race to Survive: New Zealand
Photo Credit: Brian Finestone/USA Network

Up until their disqualification, the River Guides completely dominated the competition. It would be a safe bet to say that they were poised to take home the whole thing. Getting so close undoubtedly set a fire underneath them, making this situation even more emotionally complex. If given the chance, Oliver and Corry would be ready to redeem themselves in another race.

Oliver said, “There’s still that drive to finish it and do the thing.”

“And now I’m a little bit pissed about it too,” Corry added.

If they were to return for another race, the River Guides said there would definitely be some changes to their strategy. They want to refine their survival kills, and obviously, keep their hands off the local birds. Most importantly, they would treat the other racers with a little more coldhearted competitiveness.

“I don’t think you’ll see the same two people necessarily,” Oliver explained. “I don’t think there would be as much trust with our other competitors that we’re up against.”

Race to Survive: New Zealand continues on the USA Network, Monday nights at 11/10c.