Interviews

It's a Wonderful Race

We finish up our lengthy Colin and Christie interview with a discussion of caviar, Zorbs and that darn Ox.

So you had mentioned just a little while ago the caviar eating. How long did that take? How long were you there?

For me?

Yeah. That just looked so awful.

Honestly, I can't remember. My guess would be I was probably there for like four hours. I was probably there for an hour and a half before Nicole and Brandon showed up. And we were both probably there for another hour before Chip and Kim and the Brothers and Mirna and Charla showed up. And then, of course, we were probably there for another—and Chip was there for about 30 minutes. He was there for about 30 minutes, which is still really, really fast, considering how long it was taking all of us.

Yeah.

Yeah. Because he went out and went to the restroom, came back, all that stuff. But—and then, of course, I left—I think the Brothers and Mirna and Charla were probably there a total of two and a half hours.

Wow.

Yeah. Everyone—it probably took, well, obviously, it took Nicole and Brandon the longest, because they stopped. Then that took me about four hours, I would say. Mirna and Charla and the Brothers, two and a half hours to three hours—maybe the Brothers two and a half hours, Mirna and Charla three hours. (Colin talking in the background) Yeah. They were there, like they came in—they were there for at least an hour and a half while I was still there, and then they still didn't show up for at least an hour and a half after us. And the Brothers showed up before them.

Wow. On the mat, when y'all got to the mat in that leg, you both looked . . . I mean, you just looked like you were barely holding things in.

I was so, you know—

And Colin just looked so upset.

He was mad at production. I mean, obviously you don't see that on TV, but—and that's actually what the editor was talking about. A lot of the huffing and puffing that you see him walking around, where the audience members assume is that he's mad at me, because I'm not eating caviar. In reality, he's mad at—and that's the thing that you sign up for Amazing Race. You've got to be prepared to do challenges like that, you know?

Right.

But he's all huffy. And production is in the entire room. I mean, they're all sitting around watching us. And you can just see bewilderment on their face, because I think they had no idea this was going to be so hard for us. But he is angry, and he's like yelling at production, you know? The producers are sitting there. He's like, “This isn't Fear Factor. This isn't about food. This is supposed to be . . . challenging. ” Ok, it's a delicacy up here, but it's not ‘stuff yourself—’ it was like the amount, the sheer amount, and just the content, you know? And so I think he just was pissed after that.

You must have just been really off for a few days after eating that much caviar.
I felt better than I should, and the reason is because I threw it all up.
Actually, I wasn't. I felt better than I should, and the reason is because I threw it all up.

Yeah.

Everyone did. I think the only person or two people who actually kept it down were Chip and Nicole, actually. When she first started, when she was eating, she threw up a lot. But then when they quit and then she came back, I think she ate the rest of that caviar and didn't throw it up.

Oh, wow.

Whereas I started—because when we first got there, we weren't allowed to throw up. We're sitting there. Nicole and I were there for like two hours trying to eat this caviar. And that's when the rules were just, “you're not supposed to throw up.” So we're just sitting there. Again, like producers are watching us, going, “Oh my God, they're not eating. They're literally just sitting there staring at it and not eating.”

Yeah.

So Nicole kind of says, “I'm full, and it's not that I can't eat it. It's just that my stomach won't hold this much food. Even if it was a big steak, I couldn't eat this.” And I think the producers finally got it, so then they come in and tell us—no one showed up. It's still Nicole and I. And finally they come in and they go, about two hours later, they're like, “Ok. As long as you get it down, you can throw it back up.” So, at that point we're trying to get to some point where we can throw up. And by the time Lance and Marshall, Mirna and Charla, and Chip and Kim get there, they know they can throw up. So we literally—well, Chip ate it without throwing up at all. But Mirna [Note: Charla did this challenge, not Mirna] and Lance are literally taking a bite, throwing up, taking a bite, throwing up, taking a bite, throwing up, taking a bite, throwing up, which I believe is one reason they got through it so quickly, because they didn't sit two hours until they were told they could throw it up. Yeah.

And speaking of being aware of how things are going to end up on TV. Everyone is thinking, “Oh, great. Hours of footage of us throwing up.”
I mean, Lance throws up on the camera, the camera guy. The camera guy thinks it's like the best shot ever. He's all excited.
I was just like—That's what I was thinking. This is not the Amazing Race fan base. They are not going to want to see the big vomit fest, you know? I mean, it's just all over the—I mean, Lance throws up on the camera, the camera guy. The camera guy thinks it's like the best shot ever. He's all excited. It was just all over the place. It was ridiculous. And I'm thinking, “There's no way.” Of course, Bertram, the producer, he's really excited about it. So I thought it was really funny that, by the time it was aired, none of us throw up. None of it was shown.

Yeah. Which, thank goodness, is all I have to say.

Yeah. I think that the editor was saying that it was something to do with the whole Janet Jackson and the—they were just getting more restrictive with what they could show—and that basically CBS did not approve of showing all of us throwing up. So that's why it was cut out. So yeah, no, I'm thinking, “This is not very pretty at all.” And I was white as a ghost, and poor Colin, I mean, he's miserable watching me go through this. And he's like mad and yelling at production, but then, at the same time, trying to console me, you know? And again, if I were on the other end, that is something I would have known. I would have known either he's being angry at production, which is why I'm sure, you know, saying, "It's okay, run them over," because I should have known that. You know what I mean? That's my fault. I looked at that as my fault, because, at the caviar incident, I was totally aware my anger towards production would have been shown as being—you know, the audience doesn't know production is sitting right there.

Right.

They don't—they forget cameras are even there.

Right.

The anger that they're showing is to your partner. And, you know, obviously that's a lot to work with. Again, that makes him a great reality show contestant, because he's not going to see that. So they can work with that. They're like, “Yeah, good.”

So I know you knew Nicole before the Race. Did you know Erika? Because she was in a totally different pageant world, different area.

I didn't know Erika, but Erika knew me.

Oh, ok.

She had worked for the Miss Universe organization. And I don't know if she worked for—obviously, I don't think she worked for them when I was in Teen USA, because I would have known her, but she knew of me. Actually, it was funny. That's how they ended up getting cast, because, you know, now—we're good friends now. But she said at the time how—this is part of how Nicole and I were getting cast was I'm supposedly known as the super—really go in and intimidate the girls, you know? There was a rumor that I broke Miss New Jersey's wrist at Miss Teen USA. So anything could happen, like rumors that start with reality show contestants, right?

And then you have Nicole, who was from Miss Teen USA. She didn't win. She got first runner-up, though. And supposedly, you watch her mouth, it's a cuss word. Ok? Nicole is first runner-up, that this is a big controversy. And then you have Erika, who probably she's like, “Yeah, I was in there talking shit on you and Nicole. I knew that's how I was going to get cast.” And here's Nicole and Christie, you know, supposed to be these two aggressive pageant girls. They compete against each other. So we're going to get drama from that. Then we've got Erika over here, who knows both of them who talks shit on both of them. And then we're going to have some drama there.

And so it's funny, because Lynn [Spillman], who's the head of casting for Survivor, Amazing Race, all that, she—after the show was over, she didn't want to know. She knew that Chip and Kim had won, but she didn't know what had happened. She didn't want to be told anything like that. She didn't want to know the details. She didn't want to know who had been eliminated when. But, before the show starts, she calls Dennis, and so it's supposedly something about some business—him doing some business outside of reality TV. And he says, “Oh, wow, that's something, I think Colin and I could probably do that.” She's like, “Colin? Colin who,” you know? And he's like, “Colin Guinn.” She's like, “What, you’re friends? Oh my gosh, don't tell me this. I gotta go.” And we were like, “Why does she care we're friends.” And then we realized—after she found out, of course, Dennis and Erika were eliminated on the first episode, she wasn't worried.

But I think that Dennis and Erika . . . at the end, we asked production, “Well, who did you guys guess were going to be the winners?” And, of course, they don't know. They're all, “Well, of course, you have never had any way of knowing. There's luck and all that.” But they had guessed Colin and I, Dennis and Erika, and Jim and Marsha. So I think how they ended up portraying—how the story line ended up going with Colin as the bad guy, Chip as the good guy—I think, originally, they were going to have Colin as the bad guy, Dennis as the good guy.

Good guy. Yeah.

And so when Lynn found out that Colin and Dennis were like such great friends, she's thinking, “Oh my gosh, and I cast them for that, and suddenly they're friends, and it didn't work out,” and she's all freaking out. And, of course, she said, “Oh good, they’re eliminated. Ok. Never mind.”

Yeah. They totally punked us out, because, when I went to the Café Nostra and Dennis and Erika were there, I thought all those teams were safe. I thought all of you guys were safe in the first episode, because I thought, oh, you've got to be in New York if you're going to be eliminated.

Well, I mean, that's the thing, is that we have become really, really good friends, Dennis and Erika, the Brothers, and Colin and I. And they were like, “It's our only episode to be on, and we could be just watching ourselves. We didn't want to show our faces.” And they're like, “No, this is our only opportunity—we'd much rather be with you guys and support than be at home watching our only episode and it's over.” So, yeah, we figured that people would think that. And I'm sure that they contemplated not coming. But then they were, “No, we'd rather be with you guys and have fun.” And this is kind of like, we know the experience. We've all been through it, and we support each other rather than be by ourselves.

Yeah. So are you really jealous that you didn't get to do the Zorbing?

Of course! I am.

That looks like so much fun.

That was one I really, really—I hated that, because, when we opened up the Roadblock, it said, "Who's ready for a wild ride?"

Yeah.

And I was thinking some kind of like bull ride down the mountain or something. I'm like not interested. You know, we just did the whitewater rafting or whatever, and I was like, “No, not again.” And then I see—we go up to this thing and they're showing us this huge plastic ball. I think, no! Why couldn't they make that a Roadblock . . . or a Detour?! So, the next morning, for that next episode of the race, they had a Zorb ball up there that's just part of the show. But, at first, I thought, oh yeah! We get to get in it and go down the hill; that's how we're starting the Race. I finally get to do it! But—

Well, you just have to go back.
I mean, the Palawan Islands off the coast of the Phillippines was definitely our favorite place, but New Zealand was our second favorite place.
Yeah, I know. We do. That was one of our—I mean, the Palawan Islands off the coast of the Phillippines was definitely our favorite place, but New Zealand was our second favorite place. I mean, New Zealand's our favorite in terms of challenges. But, in general, that's a place that you'd want to be. Definitely our favorite place. We will go back.

Was there any place that when you first saw the clue, that you were kind of shocked you guys were going to, or is it just taking them as they come?

No. We were sort of, we would guess, like during the 12-hour rest periods and stuff, we would talk to the Brothers, talk to different people that we were working with. And the thing is that really everyone is such great friends during the hours—during the rest periods—it was remarkable how well everyone got along, actually. I think because the competition wasn't there, you know? Generally, it was such different—the Twins were a good example of that. Like during the rest periods, we got along so well with the Twins, unbelievable, and we even shared a room with them at one point. And it was so weird, because when the Race would start—and they really are not as—they sound on TV that they'd just be like not really having a—kind of like the dumb blonde kind. I think on the Race, they sort of were like that, but in real life they're really not, because you would see a different side of them during the rest periods.

Yeah. I think they just got too pumped up.

They would just get so—and that’s the thing, too. And that kind of happened to us on the first two legs. We were like, we're too anxious. There’s too much going on that our brain is just moving 90 miles an hour. We're not actually thinking straight.

Yeah.

Slow down and, you know, if we just make the Race—again, we sort of came from like the—because, when we first started the Race, our goal was just to not be eliminated. Basically, not be the last team to come in. As long as we're not the last team, we won't get eliminated. We're good to go. So we come in seventh in the first leg, and, the next leg, we come in sixth. And we kind of—in that rest period, we kind of say, “Ok, that's not really good,” because now we're thinking, we need to set our goal higher, because if we don't make our goal, we're eliminated. So we need to start competing for getting first place. And competing for first place, you know the drill: you get second or third, you know? And we're like, “Ok, well, how are we going to do that?” And we started realizing that a lot of teams make mistakes. Like we would make so many—on the first leg, the mistake of getting on the American Airlines, even though we checked with the girl, and she supposedly told us no, we'd get in first with American Airlines. Just checking that flight, that was one mistake that we were never going to get first place after that, you know?

Right.

Same thing with not checking enough finding out Evita Peron's grave. And we realized that we made mistakes. We were like, other teams are doing that. If we can just make sure we never—or try to the best of our ability to not make those kind of mistakes and just race normal. We don't have to go all crazy, just kind of race normal, smart. We'll probably always end up at the front of the pack, because we'll just count on these other teams to make mistakes. And that's how they get behind, because we realized that's how we got behind. It wasn't that we weren't fast Racers. We were just making some little stupid mistakes from not, you know, feeling like we couldn't spend enough time finding out that piece of information or whatever.

Right.

And, suddenly, when we made our goal first place, I mean, it was just—it was amazing. Just the mindset of changing your goal like that, we're suddenly first place, second place, you know? And we're like, “Wow.” We couldn't even believe it was happening. And, really, we had no idea a lot of times where we were at. We just had focused on least amount of mistakes. Least amount of mistakes.

Right.

And hoping that other teams would make—not that we were racing faster, just that we were being slow enough that you can be smart about the decisions that you make and assume that other teams will be going so fast that they'll pass over, you know, this tiny little element and make just one small mistake. And one small mistake is the difference between—can be the difference between first and last place.

Right. It seems to me it's always got to be a balance between speed and attention to detail.

Yeah.

It's kind of a teeter-totter, balancing that out.

Yes. And even, you know, I would say attention to detail is—because the only time that speed was really necessary and could really help you is doing the challenges.

Right.
The challenges, even though those are a huge part of the show that you're watching, are actually a very small part of the actual leg of the Race.
The challenges, even though those are a huge part of the show that you're watching, are actually a very small part of the actual leg of the Race.

Right.

Yeah. So all of the other stuff that doesn't require speed and does require making sure that you are not making those tiny little mistakes, and assuming that other teams are.

So I've taken up so much of your time, but I can't finish without at least mentioning the ox.

Okay.

He was a wonderful guest star on the show. You guys made him famous. But I think I remember lucinator, who has been posting a little bit on TWoP, who's been in contact with Colin, said y'all didn't have someone there to show you how to deal with the ox, or you didn't realize that one of you could lead it?

Yeah. No. Well, we didn't realize. What happened was we get there, we came to the ox. And this whole time—and it still could be that way; we really don't even know—this whole time, we have assumed we misread the clue. I remember thinking, it's so weird, because, especially after the second episode—and this is the end of the Race—that was the one thing you could count on us never doing, is making that kind of mistake. You know what I mean? Missing a clue when you're reading about your challenge and all that kind of stuff.
And, anyway, when it's done, the whole Race is over—that leg of the Race—Bertram comes up to me and he's like, "Christie, why didn't you help him? Do you realize how hard that is?"
But, this whole time, we had assumed that, because, of course, after the ox situation, and we were there—any time we got behind, we would time exactly how far behind we were from the last person who left that challenge. And we were in there like 48 minutes. And Bertram, the executive producer, he's off to the side watching, and you've got the different random production crew watching. And, anyway, when it's done, the whole Race is over—that leg of the Race—Bertram comes up to me and he's like, "Christie, why didn't you help him? Do you realize how hard that is?" Because the thing is, the ox—and I think Colin, you know, told lucinator—you can only hold the—if you're working it by yourself, you can only hold the rein on the left side of the ox, and he's only trained to make left turns. Ok? You don't realize that; you learn it the hard way.

But, anyway, the little man won't let—yeah. He didn't let him hold the rein on the right-hand side. He kept—anytime he would do that, he was like, "No, no, no, no. On the left-hand side." But Bertram is like, "Do you realize how hard that is for one person?" He goes, "Dragging around for 48 minutes, do you realize what kind of cardiovascular—" he said, "I'm surprised he didn't have a heart attack." And I'm thinking—and I said, "Wait. What do you mean, why didn't I help him? I didn't know I could help him." He goes, "Yeah, you could have led the ox." And I was like, "What? How come no one told me?" And he goes, "Well, I just thought you were afraid of the ox." And like I was refusing to pull the ox because they thought I was afraid of being in front of the ox. And I'm like, "No, I wasn't afraid of the ox. I didn't know I could do it." And so, at that point, Colin and I were like, “My God, I can't believe we misread the clue,” you know?

Right.

And maybe we did end up misreading the clue. But, of course, when we were watching the show, we noticed the little man show Nicole and Brandon how to do the ox, because he pulls the ox for a little bit with Brandon behind him, and then he hands the reins over to Nicole. And, when we were watching, we were like, “Wow, no one did that.” And so now we're wondering, and still don't know, if it said in the clue how to do it, or if the little man and their ox had shown them how to do it, and we weren't there at the same time as another team so it wasn't like we could see them.

And so they show on the—you know, I'm just standing around berating him, doing nothing. I mean, I literally, the entire time, I'm barefoot, ok—because the mud has suctioned off my little booties that I have—barefoot walking up and down, back and forth, this entire ox pit, with . . . up to my arms, past my elbows, literally, both hands picking up mud and ox shit, whatever, looking for this clue. And, of course, 48 minutes later is when I find the clue. And they make it sound—I wish it had been that easy. If it had been that easy, we would have found it in five minutes, you know?

But—and the thing is, if you look—I mean, besides Colin, who's obviously being dragged around the pit by the ox, no one is muddier than me. And it's like funny that they make it look like I'm just sort of standing around. But even when it's all over and you see us at the mat and everything, I'm like so muddy, you know? And I know I've heard—I had a couple of people come up to me at the after party and ask us, “Why were you so muddy?” And I was thinking, because I was in the mud. I was just doing everything I thought I could do, because I didn't know that I could lead the ox.

It was real disappointing, because I think if we had known that—because the problem was, since I wasn't leading the ox, Colin couldn't dig the plow deep enough, which is why it only took—where it took the other teams five minutes to find the clue, he was literally plowing in the area that the clue was in, but the plow wasn't going deep enough, so he wasn't picking up the clue. Because, again, he's trying to not only lead the ox, he's trying to plow. And I felt so sorry, because, honestly, I did. I mean, I am going, “Why are you whining?” Because I'm thinking, all these other teams have done it. Right? And some of them did it really fast. And I know that Colin's like ten times more capable. And I'm assuming that all the other people did it by themselves. You know, I have no idea that people have been leading the ox with the other person behind them. And I'm going, he must be being a baby, because everyone else did it and found it in five minutes all by themselves, you know? You're just being dramatic.

So that just escalated the frustration and the yelling and the—

Right. And Colin—yeah. He's getting no sympathy from me. And, of course, he thinks he's supposed to be doing it by himself, too. It's not like, you know what I mean, either one of us know. And he's frustrated at himself, because, again, he's used to being good at something that—you know, that's the way the frustration was at the bricks. It's like, if he doesn't get it on the first try, he's like, “Damn. I suck.” So he's frustrated that he can't do it. He's also probably assuming, just like I have, that everyone else did it, so why am I so stupid I can't figure it out? And, as far as physical strength, which it required a lot of the way he was doing it, he's thinking—he was just like dying here—I can't keep up. And all these teams found it like the first five minutes.

Were you allowed to ask the guy any questions or—

No. You're not allowed to talk to any—I mean, they can come up—I mean, I didn't even realize—I mean, again, I wonder, like with the whole pulling the ox and handing the reins. Because a lot of times, they tell the guys, "You're not supposed to talk to them and you're not supposed to—" they're not supposed to tell you how to get somewhere if they're driving a boat or something like this. And, sometimes certain teams, the guys will talk to them and will show them. It's kind of a mess-up. They're not supposed to do that.

So still, and I guess we'll never know, but I still wonder if the directives were in the clue, and we misread the clue or if you were just supposed to figure it out on your own, and other teams just sort of got a lucky break from the guys. Because the guy really wasn't supposed to show them.

And, you know, production is not supposed to interfere with the Race. If the guy comes and shows, like they're going to come in and go, “No, no, no, no, no.”

Right. Right.

And they just let what happened happen.

Right.

But yeah. No, I couldn't have asked Bertram that kind of thing.

No, no. I knew you couldn't ask him, but I thought maybe just with the fellow who was there.

Yeah. I don't know. But I'm assuming that we couldn't have, just because I know that we're not allowed to ask that kind of thing from—yeah. Colin's thinking they would not have told us. Because if they were—because like even the thing with the guy driving the boat and you have to figure out the flag, right? When we went to the flags—

Right.

—where the two guys in the boat driving us, who obviously know what the Filipino flag looks like, and we asked them plenty of times, you know? But of course, they're not allowed to tell us.

Right. Well, I've taken up so much of your time. I really appreciate it. I would like to ask—because we were talking about something so frustrating that last time—leave it on a more positive note and just ask: What was the moment of the Race that you take away as just being one of the best, or one of the happiest, or that just really struck through to you that way? Was there anything that just really—
In reality, the Race itself—I mean, honestly, it's the best five weeks of my life, and I know for Colin.
Well, that's so hard, because, honestly, we—I mean, we really did. We had such a good time on the Race. But any negative—and I hate that. And that's the only reason why——especially, that's just why, because we have talked about the editing—that I hate going there, because it is. It makes it seem like our whole experience is a negative one. In reality, the Race itself—I mean, honestly, it's the best five weeks of my life, and I know for Colin. And we came home—we weren't even home. We went to our parents' house and literally slept for like a week. And we went to their house, because we knew they'd take care of us. My mom would make breakfast and all this. And we were like, that's where we should go instead of going straight home.

Yeah.

But we recover after a week, and we're like, “We need to go do that again!” Honestly, we had so much fun. It was so much fun. I mean, we were really going through Race withdrawal, you know? And I was—I wouldn't do an All-Stars, just because I don't want to do the reality TV show, but, God, it would be so much fun to have an experience like that again.

You would do it if the cameras weren't there is what you're saying?

Exactly. Exactly. Because, really all of it—(to Colin) what were your favorite moments? Did you have a specific favorite moment, Colin? (Colin speaks in the background.) Yeah, I mean, he's talking about like the challenges in general, you know, when he's got like a really big high, the sledging and off-roading, were the favorite parts.

Yeah.

For me, realizing what a huge thing we had just done, what a huge thing we'd just accomplished, really sort of came at the very end, basically, when we came in second. Not that it was the greatest moment, because, obviously, we fought so hard, and we come in second place. But I know that it was in that moment when you could sort of reflect over everything that you had gone through, and, even though it had been five weeks, it was such a different energy starting from the very first leg of the Race, with all eleven teams. And, suddenly, you grow and learn from the Race. And you become harder, and people had turned on other people. Things change, and it's just like this whole sort of—sometimes, when you reflect over a couple years of your life, the emotions that happen and the happiness and the sadness and the betrayal and the elation and all these kind of feelings, that you feel so intensely for over this five-week period. And you don't really grasp it all when you're in the moment. But when you finally realize it's over, we're standing on that final mat, and it's just, you know, Chip and Kim and us and Brandon and Nicole, and Phil's talking to us, I mean, at first you're like in this cloud. And that was really—I remember that was really a moment where I felt like, this is a very special moment. This is something I'm never going to forget.

That's great. I mean, you made it all the way through. You know?

Yeah.

Like you said, you may not have been first, but you made it all the way to the finish line.

Yeah. That was the hardest part about—the scariest part about after being yielded and coming in last. Because we want to be first. Everyone did. They make us seem disappointed, but everyone wants to be first.

Oh, yeah.

Our goal, really, was to be able to run the entire Race, the whole time. And this big fear that wasn't like—you know, coming in and hoping it's a non-elimination, we weren't even thinking, oh gosh, we're not going to win a million dollars. It's like, “Oh gosh, it's all over. It's over right now. We don't even get to run the next leg.” And it was so sad.

Yeah.

And that's where the happiness, the joy, comes from, you know? It's “Yes! We're still in it! We get to go to wherever the next place is!”

Well, thank you so much for your time, both of you. And congratulations on the engagement.

Thank you so much.