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USA Insider Race to Survive: New Zealand

Creighton & Paulina Took Inspiration from Race to Survive: Alaska for Survival Camp Deals

New Zealand contestants Creighton and Paulina also confirm the "unhinged" group text the teams still have after the show.

By Caitlin Busch
The Last Thing We Do Together: Race to Survive: New Zealand E5 Highlight

While it's technically every team for themselves on Race to Survive, that hasn't stopped Paulina Peña and Creighton Baird from making deals, bartering, and haggling their way through Survival Camp.

How to Watch

Watch new episodes of Race to Survive: New Zealand Mondays at 11/10c on USA Network

"That's the name of the Survival Camp, baby," Creighton told USA Insider, visibly excited during our Zoom interview with him and Paulina to talk about the deals we've seen him strike up so far. "That's what you do out there. No, when we saw the smoke jumper boys [Ethan and Tyrie] pull up that first eel and saw how much meat that was on it, I would have sold my left leg for an opportunity at that much meat out there. So, you know, I feel that Paulina and I got the better end of that trade."

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The eel is a reference to an Episode 4 moment in which Paulina and Creighton offer to do the work of cleaning and cooking anything Ethan and Tyrie caught with their awarded gear. To this day, Paulina said she's thankful for the guys taking them up on the deal.

Why did Creighton and Paulina make deals at Survival Camp?

Paulina and Creighton in Race to Survive: New Zealand Season 2 Episode 1.

The mutually beneficial — if brief — alliances that Paulina and Creighton have struck up didn't come out of nowhere, though. During their prep for the series, they sat down to watch the first season, Race to Survive: Alaska.

"We both watched season one pretty religiously before leaving," Paulina explained And you can see the ally-ships and how much they benefited some of the teams. Like if you look at Bella and Cason [Crane], their navigation was benefited by teaming up with Hunter and his dad [Jeff Leininger]

"And that was something Creighton and I recognized. We were like, 'If work with other teams in a way that benefits us, then absolutely let's do it.' And with the group of people that we were with, everyone was just so athletic, so incredible that you almost wanted to have an ally-ship with everyone there. Because you're like, 'Not only would this like benefit us, but also I just really love you guys and want to be able to work together.'"

The New Zealand teams are still close IRL — and have an "unhinged" group text

That admiration for their fellow competitors didn't stop when the final race clock ended, either — regardless of the outcome. In fact, Paulina revealed that she was gearing up to run a half marathon with Rhandi Orme a few days after our interview. "I was just in Jackson Hole two days ago with Corry [Jones] and Oliver [Dev]. I text Kennedy [Taylor] 24-seven," Paulina said, laughing.

Paulina and Creighton hike in Race to Survive: New Zealand

Creighton confirmed he's also keeping in contact with "everyone," adding that "so many of the contestants are from the Rocky Mountains [area] that it's pretty easy for us to see each other on a weekend." In particular, he named "the hunters" (the name players took up in-season to refer to in-laws Bronsen Iverson and Ryan Stewart), as well as Rhandi, Ashley, and Ethan Greenberg. He also "ran a river" with Corry.

"We have a group chat with every single contestant that is active every day. So we're constantly talking to each other," Paulina said.

RELATED: Coree & Jeff Detail the Head Injury & Challenges That Took Them Out of Race to Survive

"It's a pretty unhinged text thread," Creighton added, laughing. "Like, dude, Nik [Milutinovic] — Nik is an insane person. In all the best ways."

Keep watching new episodes of Race to Survive: New Zealand every Monday on USA Network at 11 p.m. ET/PT

Catch up on Race to Survive: Alaska on Peacock.