Mingling with Mirna – Part Two

Mirna during her final leg of the Race.
Mirna during her final leg of the Race.
Previously on "Mingling with Mirna," we were discussing the Yield and why we don't like it. We then quickly discovered, that we had strayed far away from our list of questions. Will we recover or are we hopelessly lost?

Let's see. We're nowhere on our list, but we're having a really good conversation here, so I appreciate your time.

You wanted to ask me -- what else -- oh, you wanted to ask me about being well-coiffed.

Yeah. It just seemed like you just always had the hair done and everything going on there.
Well, I was on TV, for goodness sakes! You know, I didn't want to look like a mess.
Yeah. Well, I was on TV, for goodness sakes! You know, I didn't want to look like a mess. I'd seen some of the other teams. They were all snotty and dirty. You know, it's funny. We met Phil right before the Race started, a couple days before, press day publicity, and when he met us, he said, "Gosh, you girls smell good." He said, "I'm not used to this. Usually people stink when they're on the Race." And I said, "Oh, wow, Charla, we don't have BO. We're not going to stink on this Race." Well, little did I know we're going to have to be handling like animals and manure and blood and these things and it really did stink.

So, you know, I said, I'm not going to be like that on this race. I'm not going to be all gross. And that's the whole thing with Phil. And I knew the editors would turn it into -- like a lot of it is their idea. They were looking to turn it into some big relationship story. I had no idea the extent of it, you know?

So you just brought a lot of stuff with you. Right?

Yeah, I did. I actually did. I wanted to have ample and so I overpacked by a lot. My bag ended up weighing 25 pounds, and Charla's was about 14. My bag was a little bit heavier because it had more clothes.


And also, they gave us a big first aid kit that weighed a couple pounds we were obligated to carry.

Oh, really?

I just carried some of the extra things, like the heavy things, like the flashlights and the batteries and the parkas and things like that. I didn't want to put a lot of weight on Charla. I know she's strong, but, it's hard enough for her to keep up with the running, let alone carry that backpack. And also, you didn't see a lot of times I carried her backpack first. I'm not a big a wimp as I looked on the show, you know? It's just that what people don't realize is that the beef was about -- it was 59-1/2 pounds converted to kilos. My bag weighed 25 pounds. So I'm carrying it, the backpack and the beef -- I thought I could handle it -- the majority of the way on my own and I just -- I was -- I couldn't do it any more. I thought I got a hernia or something.

So, you know, I asked specifically production if there are certain things we can do, like ask strangers to help us, like if we paid them. Not with the challenges; they told us that was absolutely not possible with the challenges. But with the backpacks, they said, we could care less. Pitch them in the garbage if you don't want your backpack.


So that's why we -- I always tried to just like, you know, be a little more clever and make it easier for us physically, and enlist the help of strangers and things like that. So there was actually -- one of the things that you didn't get to see, in Argentina, we always did silly things and interacted with the locals. In Argentina, I convinced the guy at the tourism office, the boss, to let one of the workers have the day off so that he could be our escort for the day. And he's actually the one who led us to the chocolate factory, and came in that big jeep with us to navigate our way. When Colin and Christie were following us that day, it's because we had a guy in the car, a local. And I got that tip, by the way, from -- oh, another thing I did, I watched the previous seasons. I mean, I'd already watched them, but I studied them before we went on the Race, especially Season 3. So maybe that's where I got my antics, from Flo. But no, I watched Season 3, and that's one of the things that the twins did. And I decided it was a good idea, so we used those kinds of strategies to get ahead.

Yeah. I think some people -- I don't know where we got this impression, but I thought you weren't allowed to have locals in the cars with you.

No. Actually, you can. The only thing you can't do is they can't drive for you.

Oh, okay.

You have to do the task yourself. The locals can't drive the car for you, but they can be in the car as long as your camera guys can fit in the car, as long as it doesn't interfere with the camera operation and all. And, you know, a lot of it is subjective. And this season, there were -- I'm not saying we were one of them, but there were certain teams really pushing the limit with the rules.

I think there's those teams every season, though.

Yeah. But other seasons, people got penalties. And this season, I don't believe anybody ever got a penalty for anything. So, you know, I guess in hindsight we would break every rule in the book if we had to do it all over again.

That would be the thing you would do differently?

Exactly. We'd try to get away with as much as possible breaking the rules, if we could.


But no, I mean, obviously we wanted to -- we knew we had to be clever and do certain things, you know, to get ahead. And, you know, we took a lot of -- we took the brunt of a lot of criticism for that. But, you know, I guess that brings us to the next question about the stature issue. And I definitely don't feel like I was using Charla's stature to my benefit. She doesn't need me to do that. She's pretty good at that on her own. I guess the world and the Race, they're not made for someone of Charla's size. And if she wants to be successful in the Race at all, she really needs to do whatever she can to stay ahead. And that means being a little bit more clever and playing it a little bit harder.

The thing with -- you know, at the cemetery, I have a friend who's been at the cemetery. It took her two hours -- she's taller than I am. It took her two hours to find that grave site. I knew that, and I knew that there was no way that we would stay in front of the pack if Charla and I are going to walk around on our own in the cemetery. So I would have done that whether she was there or not. That had nothing to do with her. But of course, seeing that she's short, I thought the guy would be -- would want to help even more.

He'd be more likely to stop what he was doing or his job duties or whatever and help out.

Exactly. Yeah. Exactly. I mean, and it was very difficult for her. It's not that it wasn't difficult for her. It's not like she's a very fast runner and she didn't need -- or, you know, why would you have done that.

I think the thing that maybe bothered some people was what they saw as a contradiction of Charla saying, I can do anything, and then using the stature to maybe get an advantage.

Here's the thing that you have to understand. First of all, the interviews, the first interview, that comes from the first interview, the one that we taped in 7 degree weather in Baltimore before we left for the Race. We didn't have a clue, and I didn't know what was going on. At that interview, it was very difficult for me. I actually considered backing out of the Race altogether because that was one of the most difficult experiences of Charla's life, to go through that interview. And I didn't know if we should do this. I wasn't going to compromise myself or her for a TV show, you know? There were questions that were being asked and answers that were being expected that were just -- we just weren't going to do it. I mean, we are who we are and we weren't going to compromise that for the show. And I didn't -- you know, when you get on a reality TV show, it's a big deal. You're very excited. You don't think you have a say in anything because they can easily replace you. But I finally put that foot down at that interview and I said, you know what? This is just enough. She's not going to answer these questions any more. I'm sorry. Because they were kind of viewing things in a different way. You know?

They were trying to get the answer they wanted?

Well, what they told -- the way they tried to explain it was, people in Kansas -- and, you know, these are not my words -- people in Kansas haven't seen someone like Charla. She needs to explain how difficult her life is, that people laugh at her. I was like, hold on a second. Nobody laughs at her. She's one of the strongest women I know. And she's very charming. Why would people -- they laugh with her.


But those kinds of things…. It's like we don't have a say in a lot of things when it comes to interviews. You hear us talk about some people because we're asked about them. Like one of your questions is, why did you have such negative things to say immediately? Because every interviewer in the country who interviewed me, the first question they wanted to know because it was so hot and fresh in the moment was, tell us about Colin. Tell us what we didn't see.


You know, it was my first interview. Those were my first interviews. And I tried to find ways around it, but they kept coming back to it. Until finally I realized, wait a second. I don't have to do this interview with you. And you're not going to stretch me into areas that I'm not even allowed to speak with you about.
She's found ways to make the world accommodate to her because she can't accommodate to the world. She can't change her height.
So it's just a kind of -- a matter of we're not used to the television industry. We have no experience with it. It's a matter of just kind of getting our bearings and learning how to deal with these kinds of interviews and situations. And that -- you know, you kept hearing that over and over. And that made Charla very upset. Yes, she can handle anything. That's because she finds ways in life to do it. I mean, she's not a successful person for no reason. Her life hasn't been easy. She's found ways to make the world accommodate to her because she can't accommodate to the world. She can't change her height.


So, you know, that upset her to constantly see that, and then see that against, you know, me saying to the gentleman, can you help us with the backpacks? Well, yeah. We need help with the backpacks. That's no secret. They're pretty damn heavy. You know, we're carrying 40 pounds of luggage between the two of us plus 60 pounds of meat. We're not exactly used to all that. So we could use some help. But that doesn't mean we're any worse Racers. If anything, I think it just says that we find ways to deal with adversity and we use it to our advantage and we get ahead in life. Everybody has something that -- you know, some area where they're lacking. And if you can find ways to overcome that, then all the more power to you. I mean, that's how I see it.

I can definitely see it that way, too. Okay? And I think people were seeing it as too black and white. They were seeing her say, "I can do everything anyone else can." But they weren't thinking that perhaps that sentence continues with, "that's because I know ways…"

Right. Because if the show was five hours long -- because we actually did say that in an interview. But if the show was five hours long, then we could see all those little tidbits. But they don't have time. In fact, people were complaining that Charla and I were getting too much air time in the beginning anyway, so already they had -- you know, there's just no time for all of that. And if they were able to do that, it would clear up a lot of things. But there other people on the Race to show too.

Right. Especially at the beginning, when there's so many teams going on. Yeah. Okay. I just can't imagine how frustrating that was, then, for you guys to…

It really was because we wished we could have explained it. That's our whole point. That's the whole -- that was our whole strategy. When they said, what's your strategy, we said, our strategy is we love to interact with people. We're very outgoing. We come from a very multicultural background. And it's going to be no problem. We're never going to have a problem not understanding someone. We will use sign language, hand language, foot language, whatever, you name it. And we are very good at interacting with people. And we can get what we want because we're pretty nice. You know, people are hospitable and we're appreciative. So it's not going to be a problem for us.

Because they kept asking, are you going to have problems on this Race? How are you going to do this? How are you going to do that? I said, we'll find ways. That's what we're good at.


But that was our whole strategy, and we couldn't understand why people had such negative -- you know, the doctor thing, maybe that was a bit over the top. But hey, you know, people were free to come up with the same idea themselves. It doesn't mean -- you know, anybody could have said it, really.

Yeah. I think personally I would have had the same reaction to anyone saying it.

Right. I was a little bit surprised myself, but it got us on the plane. And we could have lost -- we would have been in last place that day and we would have been eliminated. So, you know, it's hard. When you're going on the Race, to say, well, there's some things I won't do, or I won't compromise this, you try to stick to that as best you can. But there's no point in coming on the Race, you know, if you are not going to try to win.

Oh, yeah.

Unless you want to be there just for one day, you know.

Maybe you just want a long vacation or you have a restaurant to promote. Oh, no, wait a minute.


Okay. I have to ask this question just because I think even though you kind of answered it a little bit, but on a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate the Phil hugs as part of the Race?

I don't even think -- they're like 5. I mean, Phil hugs are not even a part of the Race.

I know.

I mean, I guess the editors found a way to make them. One of the questions I got, you know, on this Race obviously gets put into a mold. You have -- and it's so mean to say; it's stereotypical, but it's true -- you have the fat, funny guys -- well, people thought, at least. You have the adorable moms. You have the elderly sweet couple. You have the father/daughter -- that's cute. Oh, you have the cute twins. Everybody fits into -- or whatever. I guess they were supposed to be the ditzy twins. You have the loving family relationship, husband and wife. You have the villains. You have a whole bunch of people. You know? And everybody fits into some mold.

And I guess they didn't have anybody to fit in the flirtatious mode. And they saw me. The figured, oh, you're always primped. You must be a high maintenance, flirty kind of girl, which is really as far as you can get from my personality because I'm pretty modest when it comes to those areas of dealing with relationships. And they said to me, "who do you think you'll flirt with?" I said, "who will I flirt with? There's nobody to flirt with. The only single guys are those two pizza guys. I don't have any interest in them." And they were like, oh, no. I said, Phil is the best-looking one out of the bunch, you know?


So I think they realized they've got something there. It was gold for them. And, you know, I even knew it was funny. I was laughing about it. I was laughing at myself about it. Because I'm a fan of Phil's. I think he's handsome. But, you know, that's about it. The second episode, when I hugged Phil, you saw me rolling my eyes at how -- like, you know, because production is right behind me and they're like, ooh, this is great, you know? And I'm rolling my eyes. And meanwhile, they're like -- you know, I'm not even realizing rolling my eyes is only making the situation worse. It looks like I'm in ecstasy or something.

You just need like the one foot to go up in the back.

Exactly. Exactly. So it was a funny story. I laughed at it. My parents thought it was cute. Everybody thought it was cute. You know, there's no Phil obsession. I think he's a nice guy. He's too old for me, anyway, happily married. I knew that before the show started. But, you know, Phil needs to get -- Phil needs some props, too. I mean, he's a good host, you know?

I think this is the most Phil hugs season, between you and Chip.

Exactly. Chip did it too. You couldn't really fault me. You have to understand, we're like racing around the world. We don't get any contact with our families. It's very hard. You're totally isolated. When you go to the pit stops, sometimes you can't even have interaction with other teams. And at the end of the day, there's one person and he's happy to see you and everybody else is wishing you were eliminated. You know what? Of course you're going to hug him.

Well, you just know you're going to be teased about that probably for a long time.

Yeah. And if Charla could have reached, she would have hugged him, too. He's a nice guy. He's definitely a nice guy.

So do you keep in touch with any of the Racers?

Yeah, we do. For us, it's a little bit harder because we live in Baltimore. It's kind of secluded. We're not part of that whole Hollywood world. We're so detached from it. A lot of the teams live in California or Texas this season. It's a little bit easier when you -- you know, when you're only a couple hours away from someone.

Oh, yeah.
It's nice that we have got to meet these people. We shared an experience of a lifetime with them. But they're not necessarily people that we would have chosen to be with, and they're not all going to be your best friends.
But we do keep in touch with Chip and Kim. And we do keep in touch with the Moms. I e-mail back and forth with those two teams a lot. And that's pretty much it in terms of the really close bonds. I always really liked Brandon. I thought he was a really nice guy. He's incredibly busy with his modeling career. It's been successful for him. We're all very busy and it's kind of like -- you know, settle into a normal life. All of us really -- especially Charla and I because we were kind of -- we were eliminated earlier so they really kind of milked it for publicity purposes in terms of putting us on all these shows and things like that to promote the rest of the season. And we really neglected our life. So we don't really -- I have friends that I've had for ten years that I still owe an e-mail or a phone call to. So that's kind of more of a priority for me. It's nice that we have got to meet these people. We shared an experience of a lifetime with them. But they're not necessarily people that we would have chosen to be with, and they're not all going to be your best friends. Because people love to ask me that question. They think we're all one big, happy family. We're always on the phone together. It's not like that. Some of the teams, the teams that were in Sequesterville, we only got to meet them for like a week. The first two, Alison and Dennis and Erika, we hardly said a word to them on the Race. So we were in Sequesterville for just under a week, and we didn't spend every waking moment with them, you know? We went shopping and did our own thing, too.

You got kind of eliminated at an odd position in the sense that you weren't in Sequesterville very long with the other ones.

We were the last team -- yeah. We were the last team to go into Sequesterville, so we never really got to know the Twins very well. We didn't have very many conversations with them. There's no time, you know? We were on our own. Having some time -- some days I didn't get to pee for 12 hours at a time, let alone make friends. But every once in a while at the pit stops, you were teamed up with other teams, just because of lack of hotel space or for whatever reason. So you got to know those teams. Like once we shared a room with Nikki and Brandon. It was a 36-hour pit stop, so we got to know them pretty well. Things like that. And, I mean, it was just chance who you got to know better than others. But, you know, the people who were genuinely very nice are, you know, Chip and Kim and the Moms. Those are the nicest teams. And I hope we'll be friends for a long time.

I have become friends with a number of the Racers, though, from previous seasons, and they are just so wonderful. Some of the teams are just -- I mean, I'm the kind of person, if I have an experience like this, I want to share it with people for the lifetime. I want to make friends. I feel really close to my friends. I don't know if you can tell. I can't help it. I can't make people more social than they are. I can't force them to like me or be my friend. But I've met a lot of -- I've made a lot of friends in previous Racers. And we will -- I'm sure we'll all get together to do Vegas parties for the premieres and finales, and I look forward to that.

And we have a Racer message board that a lot of us stay in touch. We stay in touch together on a daily basis on that. So I have made a lot of friends out of the Race. But, you know, it's just not going to be with everybody.

Oh, of course not. I've always said if two people get along all the time, someone's lying. So if you've got 22 people --

Right. And everybody is different. They have different interests. I don't necessarily have a lot in common with certain people or --

Oh, yeah.

It's an open invitation, I like to be friends with everybody. You know, it's up to them, too.

Right. It's a two-way street.


Yeah. So I guess your life since the show has just been trying to get back to your life.

Well, now it is, yeah. The last couple weeks I have been trying really hard to just, you know, get back to work. I don't want my clients to think I'm moving to Hollywood. They're very excited to see me on TV, and they're so excited to tell all their friends that their lawyer's on TV. But they're happy to have me back, too.

Right after we were eliminated, it was a complete whirlwind. It took me by surprise. For about a month and a half, Charla and I, we would get a phone call from CBS: The such-and-such show wants you, and you really need to do it. Okay. We'd pack our bags. We'd go. A lot of it was in California, which is a huge hike for us. Some of it was in New York. And it was really neat -- getting to live the Hollywood life is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I wish everybody could experience it. It's amazing. And I feel very privileged and lucky to have had the chance. I mean, we had limos picking us up, first class seats, you know. People were wonderful and it's amazing how many people recognized us. I had no idea. Especially in the airports. It was like all over the place. I guess Charla's kind of hard to miss, you know? But people -- you know, that's the one huge difference that I would really like for people to understand, especially people on the message boards. We as Racers have a skewed view of the Race because we lived through it. We know what actually happened.

For the people on message boards, you guys kind of have a skewed view, too, because you kind of live in this community where you're interacting with various people who have very strong opinions, and you hear that articulated all the time.
It's hard for us to understand why people don't understand everything. That's because you only see certain aspects of it. For the people on message boards, you guys kind of have a skewed view, too, because you kind of live in this community where you're interacting with various people who have very strong opinions, and you hear that articulated all the time. When we stepped out in the real world, it was -- the support that we got from the fans was incredible. I mean, I never expected it. I was shocked. And it's probably more than we deserved. But it was incredible. It made it worthwhile. Because there were times when I thought to myself, was it worth doing this show? We didn't win in the end. And here we are being ridiculed by people. And it was just overwhelming. I mean, people would come up to us. People would say to Charla, you know, you're an inspiration. I know it sounds cheesy, but they would actually say this. People would cry, even, sometimes. They would just say -- I love those kinds of things -- I would never even imagine trying out because I don't know if I could handle it. And when I saw you, it gives me kind of the hope that I can do things, too. A lot of young girls would say to me, wow. I'm so surprised you're able to stand up to a pretty strong guy like the way you did. And for whatever reason, I don't know, even if it like did something for one person, that's great, you know. Because I had my role models on TV when I was young, and I think they did something for my life. And I'm not saying we're role models, but even if it provided entertainment for the summer and made them laugh, well, then, that's great. We did more than we set out to, you know?

But anyway, so we were doing a lot of traveling. And it was a lot of fun. And we got invited. You asked about MadTV.


Well, we're under contract with CBS, so we're not able to contact anybody ourselves for interviews or -- especially when the Race was still going on.


We have a CBS manager of media relations. Everything must go through her. And they're really tight about that type of thing. So MadTV contacted -- as with all the other shows -- MadTV contacted her immediately and they just said, we'd really like Charla and Mirna to be on the season opener of our show. And it was a pretty big deal. We were really -- you know, it was great. We were very happy to hear that. She asked us if we would do it. And she said she would send us the script. We looked at the script. We didn't really have a whole lot of say. We would have written it a little differently. Because I know like -- for instance, you're a huge fan of the show. There's a lot of inside jokes for fans of the show that they would have really loved. But you have to understand, not everybody that watches MadTV watches the Race.

Oh, yeah. Right.

They're not going to understand all those things, like "disGUSting" and all that stuff that I think would have been funny to add in. But there were a couple of things we had problems with. And again, we're not in this to be in Hollywood. We're human beings. We have to carry on in our lives, and we don't want to anything that's demeaning. So Charla had a couple issues and I had -- I just didn't like all the profanity. But the writers were just so eager to make it happen, work with us, that they actually rewrote some of their script, which a lot of people were surprised that they did that. And they said, you know, is it acceptable? And we said, yeah, it's acceptable. We'll do it. Sure. And so we went out and we did it. It was a lot of fun. I'm glad we did it. But, you know, it was our first acting thing. We're not actors. We're not great at it. But the actors were great. They were really funny. And we enjoyed it.

So it's not a sign of you want to come to Hollywood; it's a sign of, well, Hollywood came to you for a minute so why not enjoy it?

Of course. Yeah. Certainly. It's not like, if we wanted to, we couldn't contact Hollywood. We've had -- we were just really lucky. A lot of the press people, the media people for CBS, said they've never worked so hard for The Amazing Race before. Because we were getting a lot of interview demands and requests, and there were a lot of shows. By the way, you'll see us on The Price Is Right.

Oh, really?

Don't even ask how that happened. We were in the audience of The Price Is Right. I think it's airing November 1st. We just walked up there one day. We stumbled across The Price Is Right, and the producers knew us and they were like, wow, we're big fans. Come on in. We sat in the audience.

That's funny.

Yeah. So, you know, we don't have -- that's about it. We actually turned down a couple things recently because it's a lot of fun to be on TV and fly all the way out to California to be on TV for a couple minutes, but we kind of have real lives and we have a lot of people depending on us.

Right. Yeah.

If we were students or whatever, we would say, oh, it's not a big deal. I'll just miss a couple classes or a few days or my school. But we have obligations, you know?

Right. Yeah.

Charla's married, and it's kind of a strain on her marriage to be heading off to another state every couple days.

Oh, yeah. And as a business owner.

Exactly. Yeah, obviously, with that. But that was fun. They came to us and, you know, everybody was so gracious and very nice. And why not? You know, for CBS, it was to their advantage because it really promoted their show quite a bit. We had people would come up to us in airports and say, "I saw you on Jimmy Kimmel. I saw you on Regis. I don't watch the Race, but it looks really interesting, so I tuned in the next episode and that guy Colin is a maniac." People love to say things like that when they come up to me. I'm like, you know what? It's over. It's the Race. You know, it's not a big deal. We were in competition mode. I even defend him at times. But we enjoyed it. It was a whirlwind experience and we'll always remember it. We were very lucky to have had the chance.

So is it an experience you'd recommend to anyone?

It's hard. It's not for everybody, not at all, because I know a lot of people that are, you know, a little more insecure. I've even heard about previous Racers in this past year that have had breakdowns because of the things on the message boards.

Brandon said he cried after the first episode when he went to read the boards.



If your message boards can make a grown man cry.

Yeah. I don't know if he was using hyperbole or not, but he was upset, you know.
Somebody was like questioning something I did or said, and it was so like -- they don't even know what the hell they're talking about. I mean, how can I get upset about something like that?
There were a couple times when I was really upset, too. I didn't ever cry, but I was really upset a couple times. And I don't know what it was, but something just picked me up that day because then I read the next thing that was so ridiculous and so like fabricated. Somebody was like questioning something I did or said, and it was so like -- they don't even know what the hell they're talking about. I mean, how can I get upset about something like that?

So I don't know. I'm not the strongest person in the world. On the Race, it showed me kind of being kind of tough and assertive and I don't take BS from anyone. Even Bert was interviewed, and he said, Mirna's just the type of person that doesn't take BS from anyone. That's great and all, but I'm a pretty sensitive person. And, you know, I guess it upset me a couple times. And I actually told the previous season Racers, I said, "I don't know if I should go to this TARCon party." I definitely want to. I mean, I'm a huge fan. I want to go meet -- I'm a fan of the other season Racers. I want to meet them. I want to meet the fans, too. And I said, I don't know if I should go because a few of them hate me and some of them are advocating physical violence.

The thing is -- and this is what I've found. Now, obviously, I'm talking about it from my perspective so I don't really know, you know, from your perspective how it would be. I think the people who don't like you just aren't going to talk to you.

I guess so. I mean, I certainly hope so.

And people aren't going to actually come up to you -- unless maybe they're really drunk, which is always a possibility at TARCon -- they're not going to come up to you and say, "You suck." I mean, they're just --

Everybody was really nice to me. I didn't get to meet everybody. Some people didn't come up to me. You're right. But so many people did that I didn't even have a chance to go up to the people that I'm a fan of, you know?


But everybody was very pleasant, very nice. And there were a lot of people who came up to me -- and I don't know, maybe they were too afraid to speak up -- but they told me that they don't post but they read a lot of the posts, and they said, we're really supportive of you and we think you're great. And I was like, you post? And they were like, no. And I'd say, why don't you post? I could use some help.
I just personally think, in my everyday life, hate is a strong word. I don't even have hate, for instance for Colin, and I know the guy.
But, you know, it's all in good fun. It's okay. I mean, it's not a big deal. I just personally think, in my everyday life, hate is a strong word. I don't even have hate, for instance for Colin, and I know the guy. I've gotten to know the guy pretty well, you know? How can you have hate for a total stranger? Those are the kind of things that bother me a little bit. Other things, yeah. You can criticize what I did, if you think it's a stupid tactical move. I have total respect for you if you want to explain why you think that's the case or whatever. But, you know, some things are just mean, picking on people for how they look or -- you know what I'm saying? Those kinds of things are excessive. But I'm not going to -- you know, I'm not going to be the one to tell people what to do. This is America. It's the land of free speech.

Okay. So just don't read any of my posts. Okay?

I'm going to have to go back now and read every one of your posts.

No, no. I was not favorable towards you. But, you know, that was what I was seeing on the Race.

Yeah. I'm really surprised. It's so weird because people have such different perspectives of the same thing that they're watching on TV. Some people come up to me and they'll have a whole different -- you know, a whole different perspective. They'll say to me, "wow, you guys were strong and the odds were against you. You worked so hard. I was totally rooting for you." And then other people will say things to me like, "are you happy with how you're portrayed?" I don't really think I was portrayed that badly. I mean, that's crazy to say. I'm not supposed to be a perfect person, you know?

And that question to you was not a positive or negative question. It was really a neutral question.

Right. Well, no. But, I mean, I can kind of tell -- I mean, not necessarily from you, but others, when people have asked me that in the past, especially interviewers. I don't get it a lot from fans. Maybe there's people out there who recognize me and don't want to stop me. I don't know. Most of the fans stop you. They're just excited to see someone from TV.

But from interviewers, I get that question, you know, especially in the beginning when the whole Colin thing was hot. And in the beginning, he was Team Who. Nobody even knew who he was. But like I said, a lot of that has to do with the editing. We were getting a lot of airtime. We were only there for only half the Race, and a lot of the things we did, you have to admit whether you liked us or not, they were pretty entertaining.

Oh, definitely.

Stupid, silly, you know, whatever you want to call it. It's entertaining.


You were going to see six more episodes of Colin. My biggest problem with the editing was that when I left the show, you know, when it was over for us, I was like, gosh, I look really angry but people don't understand why I was so angry. That's not really fair. Charla, it looks like we tried to steal his taxi. The last thing I would want to do is steal his taxi. Are you kidding me? That whole thing was totally like made into -- you know, out of proportion to make it exciting for that episode because there wasn't really a whole lot of excitement that episode other than that.

Oh, I think any little tiny molehill that the editors can find…

Yeah. But, you know, and even we were upset. When we got onto CBS website and it said, Charla and Mirna try to steal the taxi -- they know we weren't trying to steal a taxi. We explained that in so much detail, that Charla and I got to the terminal. That day, that clue was written incorrectly. Everybody had a problem with it. It said the old airport but it said the wrong terminal number. So we wanted to check out the other terminal, but we could only use marked taxis and there was only like six of them or seven of them that day and they were nowhere to be found. How is Charla going to walk two miles to the other terminal? We would totally be eliminated that day.

So we waited for the next taxi. I didn't even see it was Colin's. Charla saw that a taxi came. She was like, "Mirna, Mirna, here's a taxi." Because I'm the one who came up with the idea. She said, "Mirna, here's one." I was like, "Okay, let's go." He wasn't anywhere near it when we took it. But as soon as he came up to me, I was like, okay. I was ready to leave. But at that point, you didn't see all the profanity that was coming out of his mouth. And that really -- I was like, wait a second. You don't have to -- and you can't really see what I'm saying. But if you go back and you look carefully, I'm saying, just be nice. You don't have to be so mean. And it's fine. We made a mistake. We're willing and able to admit it. That's it. But if you want to play like that, then fine. I'm not going to leave the taxi until I find out -- I'm not going to trust somebody who's going off on me like that. I'm going to talk to the driver. It was not a big deal. And things like that can be totally blown out of proportion.

Right. And like you said, you can't blame the editors for blowing it out of proportion because they want to have drama.
But anyway, things like that you just have to pardon. You signed up for it. You're vulnerable to it. What can you do?
Well, yeah. It's exciting, you know? That can also be a matter of interpretation. Maybe taking a taxi is considered stealing a -- I mean, I don't know. If you really want to stretch it. But anyway, things like that you just have to pardon. You signed up for it. You're vulnerable to it. What can you do?

Yeah. I think --

But I was saying -- just to finish real quick -- that was my biggest problem with it. Because here I am. It's like, I don't get angry at people that easily. I'm a pretty nice person. I'm pretty social. I'm pretty outgoing. There has to be a reason for it. And when we left the show, I was like, Charla -- I actually said to Charla -- I said, "Charla, was Colin a nice guy and we just didn't know it?" I said it. I said, "Did I totally misread him?" Because it's possible. I don't know. We were stressed out. We were taking antibiotics. And Charla was like, "No, Mirna. I don't think so."

So then when I saw what happened in the next few episodes, I figured it out. And after talking to the editors, I figured it out. They didn't show much of what was happening. They didn't have time for it. You have plenty to see to come, you know?


If they had, then it would have turned into the Colin show. But like you said, there's eleven teams. They're trying to give as equal time as they can to everybody, considering where they finish in the Race.

So that was my biggest problem with it. I was like, gosh, what are people going to think? They're going to think I'm angry for no reason. They don't understand what we were dealing with. And then I hate to say it, but I was kind of satisfied because I was like, okay. I didn't imagine that. That's the kind of treatment we felt from him. Maybe every other team didn't, but we did. So, that's all I have to say about that issue.

Well, if we could end it on a little more positive note than that.

Let me see if there's any questions. Maybe we --

You've given me so much of your time and I really, really appreciate it.

You asked me about Towson, and I was interested. [M. Darcy who writes for has a father who teaches at the University attended by both Mirna and Charla.] At Towson, I had the best experience of my life at Towson. It's just an incredible university. And it doesn't have a big Ivy League name, but I loved it. The professors were incredible. I was there only for three years. I graduated early. I was pretty determined. I graduated summa cum laude from their honors college, and lot of it had to do with the fact that the professors were so good and so motivating that I felt so inspired to want to learn more.

And you asked if there was anything from that experience that prepared me from the Race. I mean, everything, really. In college, I studied social sciences. And it was a pretty heavy duty major. It took a lot of other subject matters within that one body of study. It included like economics, sociology, cultural anthropology, international politics, geography -- of course, all of that came into -- that was very handy for the Race. Because for me, I'm always interested to learn how people think and what makes the world tick in terms of, you know, culturally.

And that's the kind of thing that this Race -- there's a lot of challenges. You see Roadblocks and you see Detours, and they took us all of ten, fifteen minutes to do. But what you don't realize is for three days, most of it is how do you get from one place to the other. You don't know the language. You don't know the people. You're not familiar with the culture. And the biggest struggle is that. So I felt like Charla and I, we've had so much travel experience, it's really helped make us travel savvy. Plus what I learned from school, and I minored in French. You didn't see me speaking French because we weren't in any French-speaking countries. But I spoke French all the time. It helped us a lot. They don't have time to use things that are not really relevant or pertinent, and it really came in handy. A lot of people in South America speak French and they'll have some speaking knowledge of it. So a lot of times that helped us get ahead, and that's what you needed. So it really helped. We weren't the physically strongest team, but we had a lot of other things that helped make up for it. Otherwise, we wouldn't have survived past the first episode, really.

Yeah. I don't think if you're physically strong but aren't smart, you're not going to make it anywhere, either, in the Race.

Exactly. I mean, there were teams -- the first three teams that were eliminated were all very physically strong. Even with Jim's injury, he's still physically very strong. And they just made really stupid tactical decisions. They just weren't on their game. They just weren't like tuned in, focused on the little details that we need to do, like check your tickets over and over again.


And determine -- ask people, what's the fastest route, taxi or the bus system in your country, or things like that. So it makes a difference.

Charla went to Towson, too. We stayed very local. Once our parents brought us here, we never left Baltimore. We never left. It's a nice town.

I had a really, really good relationship with most of my professors. I just -- I was a nerd. I didn't have a social life. I would take seven classes a semester, and I knew all my professors. But it was -- college was a great experience for me. I highly recommend Towson.

You can be a spokesperson for Towson, then.

They already have me like in a huge one-page picture of me in their catalogue from back when I was in school, so why not? Maybe they'll send me money or something. We could use it, you know? We didn't exactly get what we came on the show for. I'm only kidding about that.

Yeah. Listen, thank you so much for your time, Mirna.

You're very welcome. Thank you.