Mingling with Mirna – Part One

Mirna kindly agreed to give the TARflies a large chunk of her time…despite the fact the person conducting the interview admitted to being in the other camp during the race. While this may seem like a long interview, it's only part one. Come back for part two where we tackle such difficult topics as hair-dos and Phil hugs. (And, perhaps, a few things of more substance.)

How did you hear about The Amazing Race? You were a big fan of the show before you got on, right?

Yeah. Actually, I've been watching it since the first season. I love to travel. I've been traveling the world since I was two years old. That's my number- one hobby. If I can take time off of work or my school, that's what I do, I travel and I like to go to new places every time. Because, you know, it's an eye-opening experience to get to meet people from other cultures and to see other things. So, I heard about the race just like everybody else. I saw the advertisements for it and I had to watch it. And, when I watched it, I said, 'Oh my god, here's a reality show that was made for me.' It's the number-one thing I like to do, and I'm also very competitive.

So, I just watched it, and it was exciting every week. At the time, I was living at home. I had just finished law school and was trying to get financially my feet on the ground to buy a house and had moved back home for a little while. I forced my parents to watch it. They thought I was crazy—why was I sitting at home watching this? So, I just really enjoyed it and thought, gosh, I want to do this. So when I saw at the end of the season, when I saw them telling you to go to the website to try out, that's the first thing I did. I went on the website, printed out the application, and just looked around for a teammate. I couldn't find anybody who was interested. A lot of people hadn't even heard of it, and they just weren't interested in it at the time.

So, what happened was, this year… I asked Charla. First of all, she was also watching the show. I asked her, but she wasn't interested. She had just gotten married. She really didn't think that they would choose her, to be honest with you. And I didn't want to push her, because, I just…I didn't know. I didn't know if it would be a good thing for her to do or not. I asked a girlfriend of mine, my best friend from law school. I thought we'd be the next two female attorneys like Rob and Brennan. I thought that would be a good thing. She had no interest whatsoever. And I had just finished traveling around Europe for a month and a half with her. We had a blast, but her idea of traveling is living it up at the Ritz-Carlton, and my idea is getting the best bargain wherever you go. So she was like, “No man, I can't do that kind of stuff,”” you know? And so I just decided not to do it. I wasn't going to do it with someone who wasn't going to give it their 100%, you know?

There's no point in that.
Yeah. I really wanted to win. I wasn't doing it for the fun of it or to try and make it in Hollywood or something like that; I wanted to win the Race.
Yeah. I really wanted to win. I wasn't doing it for the fun of it or to try and make it in Hollywood or something like that; I wanted to win the Race.

And this year, Charla calls me one night. She said—she left me a voice message. I got home that day, and it was like, "Mirna, you're not going to believe this. I have this crazy idea. I want you to do the Race with me. I think we should do it." Right away, I hung up the phone. I went over. We actually went out late to eat and we planned the video—we planned what we would do. I had my application ready. I was like, "All you have to do is prepare your application now. And we just have to finalize it, and we'll have to make a video." The whole next day, I couldn't concentrate at work. I came up with the idea for the video. I knew it could only be three minutes, because they're not going to waste more time than that. So I just came up with three different funny scenes [and] took my camcorder to her house that night. We taped it until—I don’t know—two o'clock in the morning, finished up our applications, and sent it all in the next morning, just like everybody else.

We didn't have—what happened is she saw—she belongs to [The] Little Persons of America organization, and they always write to each other about new events, current events, [and] updates about what's going on. And somebody had posted—I guess somebody from production, maybe, or I don't know who, posted something saying, you know, "The final deadline for the applications for The Amazing Race are coming up if anybody's interested." Well, she kind of took that as that they would actually even consider a little person. And that gave her, I think, a lot of confidence. And that's all she needed, and all I needed was a partner. And we did it. But it wasn't easy because we had to go through telephone interviews individually, then together. We had to go to an interview in New York. We went through the whole L.A. thing.

And, by the way, I don't know how much I can tell you, because some of the questions—you know, people ask me, “Why aren't you getting into more detail?”” Obviously, you understand, we're under contract with CBS.

Oh, yes. Definitely. And so—

I'll let you know if there's something that I can't answer. Right. So anyway, we went through that. And even then, you know, nobody really wanted to give us a chance. And I was so surprised. I thought we were a really interesting team. And, you know, there were a couple people at the end of that process—there was a long process in L.A., too. And they finally just said, “You guys have got to do the show. You guys are made for it.”” And we did it. That's it.

Yeah. Because I think when that information came out about that e-mail being posted to that little people listserv that a lot of people thought maybe you guys were recruited.

Yeah. And that really upset me, because of all the teams—I didn't really know a lot of the teams, obviously. You would think you wouldn't know anyone. And it was in the rules that you're not supposed to know anybody. Well, four other teams already had known each other from the pageant circuit, which was a huge surprise to me. I discovered that on the second pit stop at the second episode, I think, when everybody was talking about how they were recruited or how they got on the show through their agents. And I was like, gosh. We've already overcome so much, you know, just to even get on this show, and here so many people had an easy ride. And it kind of upset me to hear people saying that, because it wasn't really that easy for us. A lot of people doubted, you know, Charla's capabilities. And it just—it was a tough ride. We really we had to make it happen ourselves.

Yeah. I think, you know, there's been a lot of people [who] don't like—a lot of the fans, I know, don't like the idea of recruited teams. So I think you fit right in there with some peoples' reactions to it.

Yeah. I mean, that's the whole premise of reality shows. It's supposed to showcase real life.


When you're sitting at home watching in your living room, you want to fantasize like, oh, that could be me. You don't want to think, oh, if I was a model, that could be me. You know?


Kind of defeats the purpose. But it made for an interesting cast of characters, though, having, you know, the whole gamut.

Okay. So to a question that's actually on the list: If you couldn't have gone with Charla, who would have been your second choice and why? But it sounds like you already—

Yeah. I kind of answered that.


It's funny, though, that you mention that, because, you know, everybody is speculating about All-Stars. And I've actually joked—Brennan and I, Brennan from Season 1 and I have joked that if they do an all stars, we'll have to come back together as a team if Charla and Rob are not interested, because, you know, I'm all about the girl power thing. That's what I was about in the beginning. But I'd really like to win and it would be helpful to have a big, strong guy there. So I don't know. We'll see.

Yeah. I mean, do you think the Race, it really does, in a way, kind of discriminate against—?

It doesn't discriminate. But just like the real world, I mean, the real world is not really a place—it's not made for people who are of Charla's stature. It's very difficult for her, you know, in everyday life. And the Race is definitely not made for small people. There's a lot of really grueling, physical, demanding challenges. And, as much as I thought that it wasn't going to be about that, [that] if you used your brain power, you could make it—which I think we proved in a lot of different circumstances—but, in actuality, I mean, it's really a lot about physical strength. And, unfortunately, women don't have the same upper body strength as men. So it's definitely easier for men.

And, you know, at the same time, you did see—I was really happy to see the Moms finish so high this season.


That was good.

I was happy for them, too.

Yeah. I really do—I keep hoping that maybe an all-girl team will win some year, but—

Well, hopefully. You'll have to just keep watching, and I hope it will happen.

Yeah. And speaking of being physically fit and upper body strength and everything, did you do anything to prepare for the Race, either physically or mentally?

Oh, yeah. Actually, we did a lot. I did a lot. Charla did a lot, too, but I think I did a lot. And I wanted her to work out with me, but she—we're both very busy. I'm an attorney. I'm used to working ten-hour days. Charla manages, you know, her family-owned business, franchise of stores, so she's got her hands full. So we only had like three or four weeks before—from the time that we got the final say we were going to be on the show ’till the Race actually started. And in that period of time, I was already working, you know, overtime, at least ten, twelve hours a day to wrap up. I had about 40 cases I had to wrap up. I couldn't just, you know, leave my clients' cases hanging to go out on this—you know, on a trip around the world.


And I had to—so I had to deal with that. And then, after that, every night, I would go straight to the gym. And, you know, I've run track my entire life. I mean, I've been running all my life. I've been in track and field all throughout school. So I would—mainly, what I would do at the gym is I would run, and I would lift weights. So I really knew that we had to work on, you know, upper body strength. We're not big people.
Then—it's funny—I actually rented out language tapes. And, in the car—because I didn't have any—I was never at home. In the car, I would listen to the language tapes.
Then—it's funny—I actually rented out language tapes. And, in the car—because I didn't have any—I was never at home. In the car, I would listen to the language tapes. I got out—well, I minored in French in college. I was one class shy of a major in it. So I just had to brush up a little bit on the French. I tried to learn a little bit of German. I tried to brush up a little on Arabic (I knew a little bit already), Italian, and I just didn't have time for Russian. I was depending on Charla for Spanish, because she studied it in school. And, I mean, I regret I didn't spend a minute trying to learn any Spanish. But I would do that.

The other thing I did is I actually went out and got my eyes examined, because they were getting kind of bad. I mean, at night, I'm like . . . I'm blind. When I'm driving, it's hard for me to see signs in the distance. That's why in the car you would usually see me with my glasses, if we could find them, because I wasn't used to having them. My eyesight's not—I mean, it's perfect for day. But, at night, for driving, I really needed the help of—especially, in a foreign country, when you're not—you can't even understand the signs. It doesn't help.

Last minute, I learned how to stick shift, you know, drive a stick shift car. And nobody was willing to let me borrow their car so it was really hard.

Yeah. No one wants their clutch ruined.

Exactly. And you can't rent a stick shift car, I learned. They don't do that, for that reason. And so that was—and we had our coldest winter ever in Baltimore. It was like the ground was covered in sleet every day, and here I am trying to learn how to drive a stick shift. Because Charla, she can drive, but she needs her pedal extenders. And they weigh at least ten pounds. And she couldn't carry them on her back, so that would be ten more pounds for me. And I just—I was like, forget it. I'll just learn how to drive a stick shift.

So we did quite a bit. We did. We also even took—I got out just some, you know, maps to study up on geography and things like that. I did as much as I possibly could in the little time we had.

It sounds like you were definitely practicing for the sleep deprivation, then.

Yeah. I didn't sleep much. I mean, sleep deprivation was really no problem for me. I never had any lack of energy on the Race, as you could see. But the not-eating part was hard. And, you know, the Race is very strenuous. I mean, it looks strenuous, but it really is. I mean, it takes a lot out of you.

One thing that most people don't know is: Two days before I went on the Race, everybody thought—it was from working out so much—that I was overdoing it. I actually—I couldn't get out of bed one day. My whole right side of my body was just like locked in place, and I couldn't straighten it. So somebody had to drive me to work, because I still had to wrap up like a number of cases, you know? And I went to the doctor a few hours later, and he thought I had walking pneumonia. It was really bad. We were having the coldest winter we'd had in some time, and, like a week before that, they came out to tape our opening segment for the Race. So they had us out in 7-degree weather the whole day that day in, like, very light clothes, and it was really bad. I didn't want anybody to know about that, because we had to get a clean bill of health from our doctor, you know, a week before.


And so that was a recurring thing for me. I thought I—he gave me a lot of, you know, medication to get over it. It was awhile before we started the Race, because there's a lot of preparation beforehand they do. I thought I was okay, but, within three days into the Race, I had a really bad throat infection. So I was on Cipro. So, for me, not eating was really hard, taking those heavy duty antibiotics.

Well, just to me, it seems like it would be, because your adrenaline is running so much. You're probably burning calories much faster than you would normally, anyway.

Right. Yeah. And Charla actually lost ten pounds by the end of the Race, because the only meals we ever spent money—well, we didn't. We never spent money on meals. The only meals we ever ate [were] airplane food. And she was like, “I would rather sleep than eat.” Because, you know, you have be awake for that food, you know?


And I was like, I'll eat, and then I'll sleep later. So she actually lost ten pounds.

Oh, my goodness. Neither one of you look like you have ten pounds to lose.


So, okay. This is why I hate having printed questions because it's so much more fun just to talk.

Yeah. I'll try to keep it shorter. I know I tend to talk a lot.

Oh, no, no. No, that's fine. That's fine. Like I said, it's a lot more fun. I like phone interviews better than the e-mail ones because it's just more—

It doesn't limit you as much.

Yeah. So, let's see. Those are kind of pat questions. We can skip those for right now. But do you think that the—you know, once you saw yourself on TV, do you think the show managed to capture your personality—or at least a portion of it—or how do you think you came across? How did you come across to yourself? Were you surprised or were you like, well, that's me!
You're nobody. All of a sudden, everybody wants to talk about you. It's interesting to see what people have to say.
It's really interesting. I think the Race for us—Charla and I see the Race in two different segments. And, when I watched the Race the first day, I had a huge party at my house. We were sitting and watching the Race, and, oh my God, I thought it was so funny. And people . . . you know, I know; I've read all of the things that are on the websites, of course. How could you not? You know, you go from oblivion. You're nobody. All of a sudden, everybody wants to talk about you. It's interesting to see what people have to say. So I have a good idea. The funny thing is, I didn't see it the same way that everybody else did. But you have to understand, I lived through it.


So the things you didn't see or didn't live through, I did. You know, you see a very little bit, and you make judgments based upon that. I saw it all, you know. You saw five minutes of me in three days' time. You know, every episode is about three—covers three days. So that's not a whole lot. And of course, it's the most animated, the most dramatic, because they're trying to make, you know, entertainment, a TV show.

So for me, watching it that night, we just loved it. I didn't even think twice about, you know, do I look like I'm lazy? I'm making Charla carry this meat. Because, in reality, I actually carried the meat the entire half a mile. It's because we were so—like you said, our adrenaline was running. We were kind of clueless in the beginning. We're trying to get our bearings on how this Race works. Because watching it on TV and doing it are two totally different things. And our biggest mistake was not reading the clue over and over to see where we were delivering this meat to. But, you know, obviously, to the editors, it's great to show a little person who's started out, you know, from the opening line hardly able to keep up with anybody, all of a sudden, you know, taking on this meat. And you could see right away what she's made of, which is great. But for me, it's like I knew it was like, you know, that Charla carried the meat for just a couple minutes. So, when we're watching it at home and Charla's brother was over—Charla actually was watching it with her family, with a different group of people at her house. And then I watched at my house. We got together for a lot of the episodes, but this one we were—we had two separate parties going. So her brothers were—a couple of—well, her brothers were at my house for that first party. We have a big family. And they just thought it was hilarious. I was like rolling on the ground laughing, I thought it was so funny. And then I said, you know, I'm curious to see what they have to say on these message boards. And the reaction on the message boards was so different than the reaction of everybody at my house and me watching it, you know?


So, obviously, you know, maybe you don't see yourself the way others see you. Obviously a lot of it is you don't see everything that there is going on. But I was really happy with the way the show turned out. Like I said, it's three legs, three segments. The first few episodes, you saw who Charla and I pretty much are. We're pretty serious. We're very competitive, but we have such a goofy side about us. I mean, in the application, I think our number-one thing that got us chosen is what we wrote on the application, and that was—we said—we were just really blunt—we said, "We'll make you laugh. We'll make you cry. We'll make you pee in your pants. You'll just have a great time with us. And you're going to get the highest ratings you've ever gotten."

Because we, you know, we're pretty honest people. We wore our hearts on our sleeves. You see our emotions. We're silly. We laugh at ourselves more than anybody else does. And that's what we think people are attracted to. So I just thought it was hilarious. I thought it worked out really well—goofy, kind of silly. You know, stop and ask a prostitute, who would think to do that? You know, just some of the silly things we did, it's just the way we are. We like to take time to do those kinds of things in life and enjoy the moment.

But then, of course, things get really heated up. And then you see us in ultra-competitive mode because now we feel like we're being tested by other teams. And then you see a different side of us that's maybe a little bit harsh because you weren't expecting it, especially not from like two little people, you know. And I think maybe I let it get a little bit too personal sometimes, but there were a lot of offensive things that were said. And, somehow, all the seasons when I watched the Race, that's not what I signed up for, you know? I signed up for this feel-good reality show that was,you know, has normal people who were competitive, but treated each other with respect for the most part.

And then here we are, and I just wasn't feeling that. And I wasn't happy about it. And I wasn't just going to back down when people called us some of the names that they did, you know? So, unfortunately, you saw a little bit more of—you saw an aggressive side. And there's no problem with that. It is a competition for a million dollars, but you saw a little bit of anger and resentment. And I wish—personally, I wish I hadn't let it bother me as much as it did. It bothered both of us. Unfortunately, I'm more vocal than Charla is, so . . .

Well, but see, and here's the thing. I'm going to be honest with you. I was in the Colin Camp. Okay? Sorry.

That's okay. That's fine. Everybody has to have somebody to root for.

But see, the thing is, I think I realize, and I think most of the people who watch the show realize—except for, you know, some people, and there's always going to be some people—that what we see on TV, it's just a part of you. It's not all of everything that goes on. And it's just—

It's not even you. It's really a competition. It's not who you are in your everyday life.

Right. It's you under extreme stress, sleep deprivation, no food, all this kind of stuff. And it really ends up being a very kind of tilted caricature, I think, of some of your personality traits.

In some ways. But I do have to say, you know, unlike what Colin has been saying about the editing, yeah, the editing—sure, there's a lot that goes on. This is a grey area that could lead us into trouble so I won't get into too much. But the editing, you know, I'll be the first to admit, there's things on there that you wouldn't—I sound like a very blunt kind of person. Maybe I am at times, but I don't do it to be negative. I speak my mind.


But, the thing is, I noticed it on me, and Charla didn't even notice it. So I'm thinking, if I noticed that with me, and Charla didn't even notice it, how many times did it happen with other Racers that I didn't even notice it? And, of course, all of you watching are not going to notice at all. What I'm talking about is there's times when things are dubbed and there's times when things are taken and changed around a little bit. Or you get a couple of different interviews, and they take bits and pieces of what you said and mesh them together.


And like . . . I'll give you an example. At one point, you heard me saying, at the beginning of the fourth episode, "I'm an attorney, and I'm used to dealing with miserable people," or something to that effect. Those were from two different interviews taken and meshed together. And I'm sure there were things like that. But, for the most part, a person's nature or the way they are. I think that's pretty accurate.

You know, people said it wasn't fair for Colin. You know, maybe things were skewed in the editing. But you know what? In all honesty, for Colin, I think the editing was done in his favor, because there was so much profanity that he used. And don't get me wrong. I mean, we have people at my work who cuss like sailors and I do, too, myself, sometimes. I'm not like, you know, the kind of person who can't handle that.
I'm not saying he's a terrible person in real life. I don't know the guy in real life. But, on the Race, he did have some really odd, you know, vendetta against us.
But, from him in particular, he used more profanity than I've ever heard anyone in my life use in one sentence. And things like that, they can't show that on television, you know? That's just not possible to show on a public, you know, station. And so I think he's really lucky with the edit that he got. And, I mean, I'm not saying he's a terrible person in real life. I don't know the guy in real life. But, on the Race, he did have some really odd, you know, vendetta against us. I mean, the first time we came into contact with him in the bus station, he said to the Brothers, "I planned from day one to get these two Russian bitches." And, I don't know, that to me is a personal attack. That doesn't have anything to do with the Race. You know what I'm saying?

Yeah. That's just—yeah. That doesn't sound right.

So, if I start hearing people say those kinds of things, and the things he was saying about Charla, I'm sorry, but I just—I can't believe I said I'm sorry—but I can't. I should have. It's TV. I know it's going to be aired. But you're not thinking about it being TV at the moment, you know?

See, but I don't see a need for people to play nice. I don't see a need for people to go out of their way and be rude and mean like what, you know, you said Colin just said. People should not be that way. But it is a competition. So I don't think—

Right. Of course. There's nothing wrong with that. I never held it against, for instance, Nikki and Brandon that they ditched us. When they ditched us that day, I mean, I feel like, you know, we're not exactly the strongest team here. And for us to lose time stopping to help you—because you don't see all of it, but we did form a pretty tight-knit alliance at that pit stop. And it was pretty much understood that you guys do the navigating. We're not that good at that. I'm actually a pretty good map reader, but it's hard for me to hardly be able to see the signs at night, drive, and read the map. It's nearly impossible unless I want to crash. So I said, you know, “We'll follow you, and then we'll help you get the tickets because we're good at that.”” And when they ditched us, you know, whatever. It's game play. You can't hold grudges against that kind of thing. I mean, you just get over it. But personal things like calling people—like calling someone a bitch because they didn't want to tell you whether they had an alliance with someone, I mean, three teams had an alliance from day one. I didn't ask people to divulge their information, and I didn't expect them, you know, to get information out of me. So it's just how everybody wanted to play the game. And there's so much behind those teams that you really don't know about that it's hard for you to—it's hard for me to even explain it. Because, unfortunately, I can't tell you every detail that happened that led to those—that type of, you know, interaction that we had with that one particular team.

Right. And I'm the kind of person that I don't think anyone is blameless in any situation. There's probably a little bit on both sides. And I know that I don't know the whole story. And I know, as a viewer, that we don't know the whole story. But that's why I'm sure a lot of the stuff on the message boards, like you said, it seemed so harsh and hard to relate to. But that's because all we have to go by is what we see on the screen.

Exactly. But, you know, you have to see it from the editor's standpoint. We actually—Chip is good friends with the editor. Because a lot of the teams live out in California. And we're good friends with Chip as well. And Chip put us in touch with the editor. He told us the editor—the editor, he really likes us. He's a really nice guy. He really likes me and Charla. Charla and I got along really well with all of the crew in production and do stay in touch with all of them.
I went through this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and now I get to live through it with my family and my friends, people that I really care for that I can share the experience with. And, to me, that's awesome.
And, you know, he called us up, and we talked with him. And he told us, he said—it was around the second or third episode. He said, "How do you feel about it? Do you like what you see?" I said, "I love it. It's great." I know people are going to say things but I can't help that. I love it. You know, for me, I love it, because I went through this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and now I get to live through it with my family and my friends, people that I really care for that I can share the experience with. And, to me, that's awesome.


So I think it's great. He said, "Good. I'm so happy that you like it, because there's people [who] have been calling me and complaining nonstop." And so I said, “Well, those people who are complaining, that's just the way they are in life. They're going to complain about everything. If they didn't like it, they shouldn't have done it.””


And I have the same feeling. There's things I did that, you know, weren't the best thing to say or to do at the time. But I know it, and I'll live with it, and I'm not going to complain to the editors about it. They're not the ones who told me to say those things.

There's no point to me in after-the-fact pointing fingers.


You know, it happened. And that's why—like I told you that, you know, during the show that I was actually—I was rooting for Colin and Christie. But there have been some things that they've said in interviews afterwards that really make me mad, and that's where they're saying things about some of the editing process that I find to be very—

Exactly. And that's uncalled for. I mean, you signed up for it. What did you think? Did you think that they're obligated to make you a hero?


That's just not going to happen. This is reality TV, you know?

And especially since the editors usually are not allowed to talk to the press, and they can't defend themselves. So I find that kind of—you know, I don't like that. And so it's got to be hard sometimes, I think, for anybody who—

Oh, it is. Because we want to speak out, and we're not allowed to. While the show is airing, we're not allowed to speak to anybody about it. And that's kind of—that's a tough thing, to be silent.

Yeah. Especially, I'm sure, when you read the stuff on the message boards and the forums.
It's hard for me to imagine somebody having hate for somebody you don't even know, you know, based on a TV show. That, I think it gets to extreme levels at that point.
Oh, yes. Because there's so much taken out of context on those message boards. It's really silly. But yeah, I'm guilty of it. I'm a big reality-show fan. I would hang out at the water cooler at work and talk about, oh, my gosh, did you see this and did you see that? But I don't think I ever had really deep hate for anyone. It's hard for me to imagine somebody having hate for somebody you don't even know, you know, based on a TV show. That, I think it gets to extreme levels at that point.

But sometimes I wonder—I mean, you say you hate someone. That's easy to say on the message board. But do you really hate them? I don't know if it's always as strong as the emotions—

Some of the comments are pretty strong. They're pretty strong.

Yeah. It is true. It is true. But I do think message boards kind of promote hyperbole.


Quite often, both good and bad, you know. So—

Right. Yeah. If it wasn't interesting, if people didn't make their messages interesting, people wouldn't be looking at those message boards.


But yeah. I mean, I'm not saying that—you know, we definitely don't think we're perfect people, by any means. I think we played the game the best that we could. We didn't want to hurt anybody. You never heard anything negative about any of the other teams. I mean, not even the Brothers. To be honest with you, I didn't even know they didn't like me. I feel like an idiot now. Here I am. You didn't get to see me in Russia as far as eating the caviar, and I take Marshall, and we're doing like a Russian jig dance for our, you know, family members. And he just called me a bitch, and I had no idea.

So, I mean, I don't know. I'm the kind of person, I get over things pretty fast. I don't even care. I mean, it's not a big deal, you know? Whatever. That's not a big deal. There's a few things that insult me, and some things are calling—I'm defensive, yeah. I'm going to be defensive of my cousin, you know? And if you call her names or if you insult my heritage, yeah, I'm going to be upset. But, other than that, whatever. You can call me a bitch. You know, I'm sure I'll get worse than that. You know, life is long. Things happen.

Yeah. Just chill a little. Right?


Yeah. So that's kind of—so the things that Marshall and Lance said, you were a little surprised about. Was there any other stuff that you were really like, wow, when you saw the show that—

I think Marshall and Lance honestly felt like we were stealing the show from them. They were supposed to be the funny guys. Everybody knows that. They were cast to be the funny guys. And it's really odd to me, but a lot of the teams on this show thought they were pretty funny. Charla and I never found any humor in the way they talked because it was just a little bit too blunt. You know what I mean?


It just wasn't really—it was never positive. It was always negative. I guess it was like negative comedy. And everybody else thought it was really funny, but we never really thought it was. I thought, actually, that you all, like the audience watching it, would think it was a little bit funny. But apparently nobody did.


I don't think they like it when they saw us doing some of the crazy things that we did because, first of all, nobody even thought it was possible for us to even be, you know, remotely successful on the Race when they saw us. And then here we are. You know, we were doing consistently pretty well, finishing in second place like three different times. And that really took people by surprise. And then when we'd get to the pit stop, they would say, "Well, what did you do?" I'd say, "Well, it was really fun. I did a tango dance." And they would say, "Why did you do a tango dance? We didn't have time to hardly make it here."

So I don't know. I think that—I don't know. Maybe they've got a bit of resentment. But oh well, we were there to have fun, you know?

And sometimes it doesn't matter. You have two people who are nice, but they just don't get along. You know, that just happens, and that's life, too.

Right. Right.

You know, they can perfectly good—

But see, usually you won't even care about that because this is not Survivor. This isn't a show about personalities. This isn't a show about alliances. But, this season, with the Yield, it did become a show about alliances. It really did. At least we thought, because we'd never seen the Yield in use before. Everybody thought it made a difference who you allied with or whose good side or bad side you got on.

So you were a fan of the show. So when you saw that Yield, you knew it was different and—

Oh, yeah. Definitely. We all did. I mean, we all knew it was different. I mean, not everybody voiced their concerns about it. Certain teams did. They were shocked, and, all of a sudden, they were like, oh, we'd better play good. So, you know, for some teams, it really made a difference. And there was a team at the end that said, if we'd known that this really wasn't that big of a deal, we would have played even more cutthroat. And I'm thinking, gosh, this is the most cutthroat season ever. What would you have done, you know?

I think each season has gotten a little nastier, it seems like.

Well, as people become experts of the show and they learn more, you know, that tends to happen.

Yeah. So were you opposed to the Yield or to using it, or you just didn't feel—
I was like, hey, Bob, how do you feel about these young'uns?
I didn't—I just thought it was a silly idea. And nobody was using it. I was trying to rally people from the first episode to start using it. I didn't want to use it, but I thought maybe I could brainwash them into using it, you know? I was like, hey, Bob, how do you feel about these young'uns? You know, obviously people kind of… We didn't fit in with the clique. We weren't part of the beauty pageant circuit. We didn't know people from—we didn't have, you know, preset alliances before the show started like some of the people admitted they had. And we only—I related better to the more elderly people on the show, because that's what I do for a living. I practice elder law. So I was friends with Bob in the beginning. I was friends with Bob and Joyce, and I was friends with the Moms—not to say they're elderly, of course. But, you know, we were friends with them. And I was like, hey, you guys, what do you know? And I was trying to share information with them and help them. We had travel information that we gave them and other things. And like, you know, we should really use the Yield. How do you feel about it? They were like, I think we should. But nobody had the courage to do it, you know?

So I really think it would have been more interesting if the Yield was used every once in a while. But people were so afraid that if the Yield was used, then there's revenge, and all the other teams will see you as, you know, see it as betrayal, and everybody will gang up against you. So that's the main reason they were afraid to.

Right. Well, and did you know—when you like got to a Yield sign, did you know what teams were behind you?

Let me clear something up with that because you've heard so many different stories. There was a Yield on every leg of the Race, and every time it was very obvious to spot it, and we all saw it. I don't know. Some teams claimed that they didn't see it—probably the same teams that didn't see the route markers. But it was always there, and it was very obvious. And, for the most part, 95 percent of the time, you knew which teams were ahead of you or behind you. It was very rare that you didn't know where you placed in the Race.

You at least had somewhat of an idea?

Yeah. Exactly. At the crucial point, you always knew pretty much where you placed. Or you didn't know the exact placing, but you knew you weren't last or you knew you weren't first or, you know, any other—

Right. I think it's so weird. I mean, they made such a big deal about the Yield, and still at the end of the season we don't really have any idea what the heck the Yield is, it seems like.

Yeah. I mean, we really—when Charla and I were eliminated, we didn't know what—we had no idea what happened in the Race after we left. We had no idea whatsoever. We were not allowed to know in Sequesterville. And so we didn't know if anybody used the Yield or not. Well, that day, after it ended, we didn't have a whole lot of time. We had a little celebration at the end when Chip and Kim won. And they told us—when we had greeted them and we hugged them and all that, Chip told me that he [had] used the Yield on Colin. And I was like, thank God, somebody finally woke up and used the Yield. You know?

That's the last thing I said to the people when we did what we did at the end, when I took the earlier flight to try to get us there a little bit earlier so that Charla wouldn't have to face the running part of it, I felt that—I knew it was a big risk, but I knew it could potentially mean—we were in last place with the Moms, and depending on the challenge, it might be the end of the road for us. So the last thing I said to the Twins and Nikki and Brandon—I always had a good relationship with Nikki and Brandon. And I just think Brandon's a really good guy. You know, in real life, I'm sure he's a very nice, very good person. So I said to them, “You guys, somebody's got to wake up. You guys are—you're probably not going to want to hear this, but,”” I said, “you guys just follow Colin like, you know, blind people. What are you doing? This is a race. You're not here to make him win. You're not supposed to follow him to the finish line.”” I said, “Somebody finally wake up and do something and get yourselves to the front of the pack.”” And that's the last thing I said to them. That's the last time I saw them on the Race. And Chip did it, so good for him, you know? It worked. I mean, the Yield actually—I think it did serve its purpose, you know? I don't know. I would do away with it for next time, though.

Yeah. I don't like it because it's not Survivor.

Yeah. Exactly. It makes that element where you're supposed to care what other people think of you, and it takes away from the Race, you know, to some degree.

To be continued...