Meet Mr. Caviar
Kim: You know, I started watching it the first season, but halfway through, because my hairdresser, it was his favorite show in the whole wide world. He’d say, “Kim, have you seen The Amazing Race? They race all around the world.” I said, “No, I’ve never heard of it.” But he would come in so excited every time I saw him every single week. So that’s the main reason why I started watching it. And then, Chip, you started watching it maybe the second season?
Chip: Yeah. We had friends of ours who told us that we needed to get on it before I had even seen it, Celia Becker. She lives on our block—well, she used to live on our block. And I said, “Why should I be on this show?” And she said, “Because the people—you know, the helpful people got along, and you guys are so colorful,” or whatever. So I said, “Well, let me check out this show.” So, in the second season, I started checking it out, fell in love with it, and then we went on the internet, and we got the first season, and Kim and I looked at that. And so we’ve been fans ever since.
So what did you learn from previous seasons watching it that you took with you when you went on the Race? Anything?
Chip: It’s so weird. For me, the one person who inspired me more than anyone—
Kim: (laughs in the background)
Chip: Listen to Kim. The one person who inspired us more than anybody else was Flo, because Kim would from time to time early on say, “Chip, we should go on.” And I’d say, “Kim, we can’t because of this, because of that.” I had so many excuses. But, when we saw Flo, we said with her quitting every single minute, and then they won, we said, “We could win this thing.” And then we finally met her, and she’s the sweetest—oh, and so gorgeous—person. But I had to let her know she inspired me to know that it was possible.
(Laughing) That’s pretty funny. As a fan of the Race, as someone who had seen it before, what surprised you the most about actually participating in it? What was the most different from what you thought it was going to be?
Kim: Well, all I can say for me, miri, is the fact that it was harder than I could ever even imagine.
Kim: With everything, it was so physically and mentally draining that you just—there’s no way to prepare for it.
Chip: Right. And for me, just how sobering it was. You know, for the month or so that we knew we were going to be on, and just saying, “Oh, we’re going to be on The Amazing Race!” And we were just so excited when we would talk amongst each other. But, as soon as Phil said, “Go!” it was like reality set in, and we had to run that 200 yards or so. And I was so out of breath, just how real the thing is. As soon as Phil said, “Go!” there was no more joking and no more goofing around. You had to get down to business.
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. You guys certainly got a big wakeup call on that first leg.
Chip: Oh my God, yeah. Because I was—you know, I’m the old guy, and I was third as we hit that right turn. And then the big old gorilla jumped on my back as I rounded that turn, and I was so tired that we couldn’t—I couldn’t even think straight, because I had run my fastest for about 200 yards. And, even though Kim and I had trained for two months extensively, we never did like a 200-yard wind sprint. We grew up in Los Angeles. We know Santa Monica like the back of our hand. But we were almost the last to get to the airport, because we couldn’t even get the cobwebs out.
(Laughing) And then you had a few other problems later in that first leg with missing the Detour.
Chip: No, I think you’re talking about somebody else. You must be mistaken.
(Laughing) I mean, did that really—I mean, you’re talking about getting a wakeup call, all of a sudden realizing how serious it was. How did you feel after that? Did you feel that you had a chance or that you just needed to really pay more attention or—
Kim: Oh, yeah. We needed to pay attention. And I can remember telling Chip not to give up, because he kept on about, “Oh, we are so dead. We are just gone.” Because, you know, we had to go back. We had no idea, you know, that really we—as a matter of fact, I don’t think that we knew that the Twins had to go back like we did.
Really? Because that’s what I was wondering. Because it seemed like you were right next to each other at the Pit Stop, but then it looked like there was some separation between when you left and then when Phil told them they had to go back. So I was wondering if you knew about them having to do the same thing.
Kim: That’s one thing about this Race, miri: You never know what place you’re in. You hope like heck that you’re not in last, but you really don’t have a real sense of where everybody places. That’s why you’re always so excited to hear Phil give you a number.
(Laughing) Right. So as you were watching that first episode, were you watching with your family and everything? And I’m sure you took a little bit of ribbing about that. What was your family’s reaction when they saw—you know, everyone is all excited to come in first, but then Phil goes, “However.”
Chip: Right. They really teased us big time about that. But the main thing—it’s so weird—the main thing that they were pretty much talking about was the fact that we were not shown that much in the first two or three shows. And they were getting upset, because they were like—some people—one of our friends even came by and said, “I timed you guys, and you guys were only on for about three minutes the whole show!” And it was so hard for me and Kim to kind of—we didn’t want to give anything away, like, “Hey, you just wait ’till later. We’ll be on.” We said, “Man, I know. Man, that’s CBS. Well, I don’t know how they cut this thing.”
(Laughing) Yeah. Was it hard? I mean, to me, it seems like it would be so hard not to give away to your family and your friends how you do.
Chip: Well, the one pat answer that we gave everybody was — when they asked us, “Hey, how did you do? Did you win?” And we said, “Hey, let me tell you. Since it’s you, I’ll give you the lowdown. Okay?” I told them, I said, “Kim and I did really well. You’ll be proud of us. But we could have done better.”
Which is honest, you know, because you can always do better. Right?
Chip: We could have won more trips, been in first place more often. And that made everybody leave us alone, and, also, they thought they just knew we would go far but not win. So, oh my God, when we won—I mean, even when we got back to Southern California, everybody was just talking about how they were blown away, because they just knew we were going to, you know, lose at the end or something.
Well, if I ever needed any reminder that you guys didn’t tell family members, I was in Dallas watching the premiere, and I believe it was either Kim’s or your sister was there?
Chip: Oh, right. Right.
And the look on her face when Phil said, “However,” you guys had to go back and do the first bit again was all the reminder I needed that you guys don’t tell any family members.
Chip: Oh, we didn’t tell. Even our sons and daughter, we didn’t tell. They didn’t find out we won until everybody else found out. And they were right there with us in New York. And to see our son and daughter cry—and they’re not criers. That was just unbelievable. My daughter even told us, she said, “Mom and Dad, you know I love you, but Colin and Christie, I know they won. I mean, I don’t think you can beat them.”
Kim: That they got it hands down.
(Laughing) And you were just sitting there going, “Uh-huh, uh-huh.”
Chip: Right. We just said, “Oh.”
Yeah. So, after that scare in that first leg, when did things kind of start to jell or you where you thought it started working for you? Was there a moment where it started doing that?
Chip: Oh yeah. There was one defining moment when everything turned around, and that was when we met Mr. Caviar.
Kim: Well, no. For me, I thought when Chip strategized and sat in that cab with Kami and decided that, hey, nobody was going to leave in that cab without the other team, since we had already formed kind of like an alliance. I said, hey, if he’s going to get in their car and use his brain and strategize like that, I said, hey, it’s going to be hard to beat us. Because, I mean, that was a big thing, because we really could have lost at that point.
Chip: Right. And also, what they didn’t show is all four of us were asleep in the bus at that time. And all four of us were working as, you know, a—we were collaborating together. We don’t know Spanish, so the Racers were supposed to go with something de estacion. And we thought it was “station,” so we thought we were going to go to this actual bus station. We later found out that estacion means “estate.”
So Kim just had this feeling as she woke up, and she said, “Chip, why don’t you check and see if this is the stop?” And I said, “No way, Kim.” She said, “Come on, Chip.” And I said, “Oh God. Okay, Kim.” So I went and checked and found out that it was the actual stop that we were supposed to get off on. Kami and Karli were still asleep. So I came on the bus. I said, “Kim, we should tell them. We shouldn’t have them just go on, you know, going to the wrong stop.”
We got them off the bus. We were both—all four of us were going to look for either two taxis or a van to get in together because we had said, “Okay, you guys, we’ll get in, and we’ll ride together.” But then you see that, as soon as they saw a taxi, they started running for it. So that’s why I said, there’s no way I’m going to be Dennis No. 2, Mr. Nice Guy, and let somebody have a taxi that was his. And you see what happened to him.
Right. Did you know that they were kind of saying you were not playing fair, or did you not know that until you saw the show, and they were talking about that in their interviews? Because of the cab situation, they seemed to imply that you guys were being mean or not playing fair or something, because of that.
Chip: I don’t know about not fair or mean or whatever. But, oh, I knew they were upset, because, you know, at that point in the game, the Twins were not buying any stock in the Chip and Kim company, I’ll tell you that. And we just said, hey, it was something that was necessary, because we had a deal that we all were going to look for two taxis or a van to ride together. But when they took off for it, I said, I’m not going to take the taxi from them, but I’m not letting the taxi take off without me having one, too.
Right. You’re just making sure you’re starting off on the same footage.
Yeah. I thought it was a smart move, because it’s not like you were hindering them. You were just making sure you started off at the same time.
Chip: That was the agreement.
Kim: And, of course, remember, we knew we were last. We had no idea that Donny and Alison had driven off to no-man’s-land on the bus.
Chip: We still don’t know what they did. They were like hours ahead of us. Probably they must have gotten off at the wrong bus stop, because Kim just had this intuition to check this out.
The way it was shown, I think everyone assumed that it was because they didn’t get on an express bus that it ended up taking so long.
Chip: Right. Yeah. I heard.
So I don’t know if there was something else to it or not.
Kim: No. We stopped about six or seven times, but ours was the express. They might have stopped double that. But I still think that they were like an hour and a half ahead of us to begin with.
Wow. Did you know—I mean, when you saw them, did you know Alison from Big Brother?
Chip: Oh, yes. It was so funny when we first learned, because we are big—I will say that Kim and I are reality TV fanatics, historians. We know all reality TV. You know, that’s what we were doing at the time, is reality TV watching. And, when we saw her, it’s so funny, because CBS had told us, they said, “Hey, if you know anybody from the show or if you see anybody, you have to tell us, because we might have to ask you guys not to be on the show.” But we saw Alison, and we knew it was her, so we said to ourselves, we’re not going to say anything, because we never met her in person or anything. But we know who she is. So if they even asked us, do we know who she is, we’re going to just, you know, play dumb.
And it was so funny. CBS never asked us did we know Alison. But, when we actually first got to the airport, to LAX, Dennis and Erika and a few people were talking about Allie, and Kim and I were playing dumb like we didn’t know her. And then, after we got to know them for about a couple of hours, pretty soon, we said, “Okay, we have to admit it. We know who she is and the way she was portrayed on that show. She was such a you-know-what.” But she seems like she’s so much—she was so much nicer than she seemed on Big Brother, I’ll tell you.
Really? Were you surprised to see someone from another reality show in the cast?
Chip: Yeah. But the one great thing about her being on our show was when we had to go meet the network executives, they put—they asked us to leave the room to go in this van. We didn’t even get to meet the network executives. And then they put—I think it was the Twins and Marshall and Lance and I forgot who else, but they put Alison on the van with us to go back, too. And so then when they put Alison on there, then I told Kim, “Okay. This is the bus that they know they want us, and it’s the good bus instead of the bad bus.”
I see. So you were confident you were going to make it into the cast at that point?
Chip: So that was who was on the bus. But we knew she was getting on.
At one point, Kim, you were shown saying that you felt you needed to step up and participate a little more in the Race. Do you feel that that happened?
Kim: Well, yes. See, from the beginning, Chip and I had gone in and our strategy always was that I was going to be the brains, and he was going to do all of the physical tasks. We knew that, with all of the physical tasks, you would completely be exerting yourself as well as your brain. Because, see, Chip couldn’t even think after he did most of those tasks, and I would be trying to tell him what was going on with the teams, because it was my job to try to figure out the strengths and weaknesses, see who was our biggest competitor. And we knew right from the beginning it was going to be Colin and Christie. I mean, with everybody else, we were all on an even playing field. Colin and Christie, we were going to have to do something or they were going to have to do something to screw this up. We always knew that.
Right. Because it seems like—and, when I spoke to Christie, she mentioned that really the Roadblocks and Detours are such a small part from the perspective of a Racer of what the Race is about, because so much of the rest of your time is really about getting from place to place, and that you can contribute more than your share and still not do any of the Roadblocks and Detours. Do you feel that that’s kind of accurate?
Kim: That is extremely accurate, because, remember, you’re on the road 16 to 18 hours a day. So somebody has to do some navigating. So that’s very, very key.
What do you think about this new rule where they’re having to split the Roadblocks?
Kim: Oh, I think it’s awesome. I’m glad we didn’t have to do it.
Chip: But we knew that when Kim and I get tired physically, we shut down mentally. So we knew going in that we were going to whip me like a mule, just tear me up, because I only was to serve two purposes on the Race, and that is to do the physical tasks and also to manage relationships, because I’m a people person. So that’s all I had to concentrate on, was keeping the people around me content and stress-free. Because Kim and I, we never did plan on being, you know, team number one, to finish first, because that will stress you out. All we wanted to make sure is that we had two or three teams content to just be hanging with us so that we didn’t have to stress out.
And Kim, all the while, she had a sharp mind, because we didn’t physically challenge her that much. So she was able to look at the chinks in all of the other teams’ armor. And like she said, we just found out that near the end there, we didn’t have any competition, really, other than Colin and Christie.
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense, because I think—I mean—as a couch racer watching at home, especially towards the end of the Race, people are always going, “Wow, they’re so stupid.” But I think people are just so darned tired, I’m amazed they can figure out right from left by the end of the Race. So, I mean, that strategy makes a lot of sense to me.
So your money situation in the Tanzania-Dubai leg, it ended up showing one of the few disagreements between you guys. Did running out of money force you to modify your spending habits or did you manage to come through okay after that?
Chip: I don’t think we modified out spending habits. You live by the sword, you die by it. And my thing is, I really and truly feel that you can either operate under the belief that if you give, it will be given back unto you, or either if you give, it’s like dare to be abundant.
Chip: So I feel that I’ll give out abundance, and it will come back to me somehow. Or, if I feel for scarcity, every time I give away, it will be taken away. So I still was tipping great the whole Race. I gave the last taxi driver over $200. I gave him all my money.
Yeah. What about this poor taxi driver in Dubai that you ended up kind of shorting a little bit? Any plans to maybe see that he gets the rest of his money?
Chip: Actually, with him, I thought I did get his card or whatever. I never could find it. But it was really—I know I said $10 in The Amazing Race. I heard myself say it. But it was really only—I mean, I think it was $2, actually, that we were short. And I know, still it was short. Short is short. I feel bad about it. But he forgave me and everything, and we even hugged more than that. We hugged two or three times. And he was glad to do it. He actually told me, “Hurry up. Hurry up. Get out of here. You’re racing.”
Really? Oh, that’s great. Do you think you all got less money on your Race than in other seasons, or did it seem like money was made more of an issue because of the non-elimination legs where money was stripped and everything? Do you think they made more of a point of showing money because of that?
Kim: Maybe so. But I’ll tell you, we did not have enough money. Chip and I never were able to buy food. We could only eat on the airplanes or at the Pit Stops every three days. So, yeah, we just had enough money to get the different transportation modes.
There’s been reports a lot of teams were begging for money other than when they came in the last in the non-eliminations. Did you guys ever have to do that to try and make ends meet?
Kim: Never once.
Okay. Let’s move on from the money thing and talk about another big issue, the Yield. Your use of the Yield really seemed to put Colin and Christie off their game. Do you think that was a deciding factor in your win, or would you have won without that, do you think?
Chip: Well, I really think that it was one of the major reasons that we won. Because what it did, Kim behind the scenes, being able to strategize, she said that we need to somehow fragment Colin and Christie’s focus, because they are too strong, too formidable, on top of their game, the fastest, the most savvy, and, therefore, the best we’ve ever seen. So the Yield was the perfect thing to do that.
Of course, it would have been great if the Yield would have actually gotten them out of the Race that leg. But, if it didn’t work, we knew that the second-best thing it would do was fragment their focus so they wouldn’t be concentrating on winning the game for them. They’d be concentrating on retribution and revenge on us, and then that would make them not think about things. With Colin, oh, he forgot about so many things after we Yielded them.
Now, all that is, that’s all my head speaking—well, Kim’s head speaking and mine also. But my heart, I always have to say that I love Colin and Christie, and I think we would have been just like super-duper great friends if I wouldn’t have Yielded them. But it was just something that had to be done, because our main objective was to win the Race. And I don’t think I’ll be getting an invitation to their wedding or anything. But we still love them, and, hopefully, one of these days, we’ll be able to be friends again.
Were you surprised at how strongly they reacted to it?
Chip: Oh no, not at all, because Christie—I knew that she was really hurt. And I love her so much, and I can understand. It was like she would think that we would never do anything like that to her because of the relationship that we had. So she felt betrayed. So that’s why you’ll never get Kim nor I saying anything bad about Colin and Christie, because the only reason she’s so mad at us is because of the strong relationship we had.
Right. The way they were showing it, it seemed like all of the teams were prepared to Yield Colin and Christie at that point. Was there any thought to let someone else be the bad guy, or were you worried one of the other teams might not Yield them, might not Yield Colin and Christie?
Chip: Oh no. There was no thought whatsoever about us Yielding anybody else. We wanted Colin and Christie. And, as a matter of fact, Brandon and Nikkie, the way it was portrayed on television is it made it seem like they were going to Yield Colin and Christie. We weren’t sure they were going to do that, because they were talking about Yielding the Bowling Moms. So Kim told me, she said, “Chip, no matter what you do, you make certain that you get there, and you’ve got to Yield Colin and Christie.” And so I had to get there. So that’s why I almost knocked Linda down in order to get there, because of Brandon and Nikki. We didn’t know what they were going to do. And the Bowling Moms, Linda may not have been fast enough to get there, but they would have definitely Yielded Colin and Christie, though.
So to you, it was worth being the bad guy in the situation just to make sure that it was Colin and Christie who got Yielded?
Chip: It was part of the plan that it would fragment their thinking.
Right. Did you know at that point—I think in interviews since the Race, Linda and Karen have said that they had lost their Yield marker and they couldn’t have Yielded had they wanted to. Were you guys aware of that?
Chip: Yeah. We heard them say it, but we didn’t trust them, because Linda, she was so cute and so mischievous that she said a lot of goofy things. And we thought that was part of her strategy to tell us, “Hey, we don’t have the Yield.” And then you’re walking up going, “Hey, Linda doesn’t have a Yield,” and then, you know, she might Yield you.
Chip: So we didn’t trust that at all. We didn’t even trust when Colin and Christie told us they used the Fast Forward.
Chip: Yeah. It’s not that we think people are liars. That’s not the point. It’s just that that would be great gamesmanship, if you told someone you used the Fast Forward or you lost the Yield and, you know, just got them off their game, and you bamboozled them. That would be great gamesmanship.
Right. There’s got to be a lot of that kind of mind game going on among you guys, where you’re just never really sure if what they’re saying is true or not.
Kim: Right, because a lot of people didn’t see a lot of tension between the teams. I mean, and it happened really, really early on. So you just really had to play your game.
Right. And is that hard to do? Because I think that’s one of the things that a lot of people get nervous about a team they like, is when they see them worried about all the other teams. Is it hard to really keep focused on your game and not worry so much about what the other teams are doing or how close they might be? Because you have to strike the balance. You have to know what they’re doing, in a sense, to know how much of a threat they are. But, at the same time, you need to mainly worry about yourselves.
Kim: No. That’s the reason why the best and only strategy is always try to be with the pack. And Chip and I went in knowing we just didn’t want to ever be by ourselves. You know, we could be second to last. But as long as we’re with two or three other people, it was cool.
Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. You guys had, I think, if I’m remembering correctly, the biggest backpacks of any team of your season of the Race, or at least it seemed that way. What the heck were you guys all carrying around in there?
Chip: Well, we carried our kids with us.
Kim: I had hair curlers. I had curling irons. But Chip and I, I’ll tell you, on the second leg, we discarded three-quarters of our bags.
Kim: Oh, yeah. And then, still, towards the last leg, we even discarded more. My bag was about—what?—almost 30 pounds and Chip’s was about 35 pounds.
Kim: We just had no clue, because it said to dress for extreme weather, very hot and very cold. So we just didn’t know.
Chip: And I had to have my hair care products, you know.
(Laughing) Yeah, you’ve got to take care of that. You’re going to be on TV, right? Yeah. I think one of the things, in talking with a lot of Racers, one of the things that they say they would do differently is to pack a whole lot lighter, because you just—it seems like they provide a lot of the necessities that you might need.
Chip: Well, see, Colin, he was the master man. That guy, he had like one or two pair of pants and the zip-off kind of pants and then two or three shirts. And he knew how to pack. But we would ask people. We went to about three different stores and asked them. But then we sounded so stupid to these people at these stores because: “Where are you going?” “Well, we don’t really know.” “Well, how long are you going to be gone?” “Well, about five weeks.” “Oh, well, you’ve got to—” so then they told us a lot. “What kind of weather are you going to be in?” “Oh, it could be extreme hot or extreme cold.” It was as if we didn’t know what the hell to do, and nobody could tell us, because we couldn’t tell them exactly what we were doing.
Chip: And neither Kim nor I are outdoors people. I hate fishing. I hate camping. I mean, I only like to camp like at the Ritz-Carlton and stuff like that.
So how did you end up wearing one of the Café Nostra shirts if you over-packed?
Chip: Oh, well, that is because, when we threw away so much stuff, I threw away too much stuff. It got to a point we were so heavy, I couldn’t even lift the bag, so I just started throwing away everything. And I just said, forget about it. And then I think I only had two shirts. And, when Marshall gave me a shirt, then I had three. So I felt pretty good. You can’t get along with two. You need three shirts for the wash rotation.
Okay. Yeah. I mean, you only have 12 hours during most of those Pit Stops, and, in that time, you have to do all your interviews, get all your food, because you’re not going to get any food during the Race, and try and get your laundry done. Do you guys have hardly any time to sleep during those Pit Stops?
Kim: No. You are so sleep-deprived that it’s unreal. Luckily, because I am a Mom, and I’m a lot older, you know, Chip and I didn’t need as much sleep as the younger people. And I will tell you, that was one of our biggest advantages over them.
And I’m sure you’re used to sleeping through noise and all sorts of things, being a parent, too.
Chip: Yeah. The great thing about me is, on airplanes, I mean, before the plane would even start up, I’d be asleep. When we had those 15-hour flights, I’d sleep about 14 hours.
Oh, that’s good.
Kim: Yeah, he was lucky. I couldn’t sleep at all, ever, on the plane.
Kim: I’m one of those types I can’t sleep on a plane. It’s too uncomfortable.
Yeah. I don’t sleep well on planes, either. I think Colin and Christie said they had Ambien prescribed for them so they could sleep on the plane.
Was there any point where just due to lack of sleep, you thought you couldn’t go on?
Chip: No. I don’t think—I mean, the sleep thing, I wish I could have gotten more. But I think once we woke up from even a two-hour sleep or a one-hour sleep, we were fine with that.
Because your adrenaline is going so much, too, I’m sure.
Okay. Let’s see. At TARcon, I think a lot of people were very concerned when they saw you guys doing that luge. Was that as scary? The couple crashes you had, were those painful?
Kim: Oh, it was painful for me, because you saw that I was underneath this big 250-pound man. So I couldn’t breathe.
Kim: It tore up my arm. My jacket got ripped up to shreds, because you’re on that hard ice. So it is dangerous. And I just heard that somebody had just broke their leg a month ago on the luge.
Kim: But I’ll tell you, really, I didn’t have time to think about how difficult and how dangerous these tasks were. I look back now and think that I was the biggest fool in the world, especially being that, you know, I’ve never done anything physical like that before in my whole entire life.
And speaking of the scary things, Chip, you seemed really nervous during that bridge climb. Are heights a problem for you, or is it just in that situation that it was really scary?
Chip: Well, here’s the deal on that beam. First of all, climbing up that ladder, that helicopter ladder, that took every bit of strength I had in my whole body. They didn’t show it, but on that last rung, I had to use my head to lodge it between the beam and the ladder in order to pull up. I couldn’t even use my arms any more.
Oh, my gosh.
Chip: So I had found out while I was down in the boat that if I fall off the beam, I would be able to climb back up the ladder and do it again. So you wouldn’t be disqualified or anything. You just have to climb up again. I knew I had no strength in my arms. And also, CBS, for like the next-week teaser and stuff for the show before that, CBS said, “Can Chip conquer his fear of heights?” I’m telling you right now, miri, people don’t even believe me, but I do not have a fear of heights per se. I don’t feel as comfortable walking on top of the Empire State Building on a tightrope as I do on a sidewalk, mind you. But I don’t have a fear. The fear was that I would—I didn’t care if it took me half an hour to walk across there. I didn’t want to fall, because I knew my arms couldn’t lift me back up again.
Right. And I bet, too, your legs are probably a little bit like jelly from climbing up there. So that made the possibility of falling off seem a little greater in your mind as well.
Chip: Right. As a matter of fact, when the person told me that I didn’t have to climb back down the ladder and all I had to do was jump off, I almost screamed for joy for that. I was just so happy not to have to use my arms any more.
But the weirdest thing happened. This little girl came up to me when we had an autograph signing session in Edmonton, Canada, about two weeks ago. And this little girl came up with her mother, and the radio DJs were there who were coordinating this affair, they came. And they said, “Chip, we have something special that this girl wants to tell you.” And she came up, and she said that was 13 years old and that she had slept her whole life with the light on in her room, because she was scared of the dark. But, since I conquered my fear of heights, since she saw that, it enabled her to overcome her fear of the dark.
Chip: And so I felt like, oh my God, if this girl only knew I wasn’t even scared of heights. You know, I didn’t say anything at the time there. But you just have no idea how this show affects people. And people come up to us on a daily basis talking to us and crying about how they want a marriage that’s as fulfilling as ours is, and people are just the nicest that they could possibly be. This is just a great time for Kim and I.
Were you really surprised at the overwhelming warmth that you got in the response from people?
Chip: Oh, 100%. I mean, could you imagine? We just go on our favorite game show to go after, you know, a million dollars and the journey, which was the most important to us. We win, and then—so we do everything we wanted to do, have fun, and then we get daily accolades bestowed upon us for doing what we—it’s just like—we say God is really good. We’re just really blessed right now.
You’re just having your cake and eating it, too, right now, huh?
Chip: But, hey, coming from those last two years, miri—I don’t know if you know about that. But the last two years were the worst two years of our life.
We’ve heard a little bit about that. You had some business problems, and it sounded kind of nasty.
Chip: Yeah. Well, actually, to make a long story short, we had my business and Kim’s—you know, we had a business together. It was struggling. So we got together with a partner whom we had met at a card party whose business was struggling. And we pooled two weak businesses together to make a strong business. That’s what we thought. Right?
Chip: So we struggled for 14 months, starving to death, didn’t make one dime, us and this other couple. And due to my contacts and Kim’s expertise in placing people in the information technology companies, we formed this company, and we turned it into a million-dollar company after the 14 months of struggling. And, as soon as the money started being made, this couple, we find out they had duped us from the beginning. They stole the business from us as soon as the money started being made. So we were—we had nothing. Our house was in foreclosure for 4 months. We lost both our cars and, you know, almost the shirts off our backs. And so that’s why, in essence, we got on The Amazing Race, because I prayed and prayed and prayed, and, for some reason, we got to follow the desires of our heart. And that’s all Kim and I had, was reality TV.
And, at that point, you had nothing to lose.
Chip: That’s right. That’s what we say. Like Billy Preston says, nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’, you know? So we just—
Kim: We have nothing else.
Chip: So, yeah, that’s what we did. We just went and applied for The Amazing Race, and the rest is history. But then it kind of shows you, though. It’s always like darkest before the dawn. But you’ve got to keep the faith. And as long as Kim and I had each other, man, we knew we weren’t total failures. But this is sure great now compared to the last two years.
Yeah. You guys, I mean, you had such a positive relationship on the screen and what we saw. And it’s really wonderful to see that because so much of the time we’re shown couples bickering and couples arguing. Did you guys have any fights on the Race that weren’t shown? You guys just really seem to — it seemed like the few little disagreements we saw were handled very matter-of-factly.
Chip: Right. That’s how it is for us. We might disagree with something, but, as long as Kim knows that I want the highest for her and she wants the highest for me, we didn’t argue. Even when the DVD comes out and the outtakes, Kim and I didn’t argue. Because that negative energy takes away your positive energy.
Chip: We didn’t have time for negativity.
Right. And there’s a difference between arguing and disagreeing.
Okay. So someone submitted a question as a joke, that maybe you guys should provide marriage counseling for some of the couples who are arguing on some of these reality shows. A little side business for you.
Chip: Actually, that is what we’re doing now, miri, is not exactly marriage counseling per se. But Kim and I are going to do motivational and inspirational speaking for corporations and nonprofit organizations and churches also. You know, three entirely different ways we’re going to handle those, of course. But we are going to be touching on such topics as, you know, winning without necessarily having the strongest team. You know, performing successfully under stressful situations. Having a happy, healthy marital relationship.
We’re going to be talking on such subjects, because Kim and I are faced with people on a daily basis who say, “Hey, but that’s just you guys. You guys are just blessed with a happy, healthy marriage.” But that is 100% not the case. You have to work at having a happy marriage, but then it becomes second nature, just like you have to work on free throws, just like you have to work on typing. You just work on it at first, and then once you get that base and you have your priorities set, then the happy marriage is what comes with that.
I mean, if you guys can go through what you went through before going on the Race and stayed together through that and still, you know, have this wonderful relationship, it says a lot for the base you built up the years before that.
Because, I mean, a lot of couples, it’s when things do turn down that the relationship starts to fall apart.
Chip: Yeah. See, that’s the thing. That’s one of the key things. When we went through that—and I’ll tell you, miri, the most hurtful thing was not losing the money during that partnership, it was just the betrayal of a guy and a lady who were like our brother and sister. When that happened, the first thing that I did is I said, okay, I’ve got to make sure my queen is happy. So I have to do everything in my power to make sure Kim keeps the smile in her life. So I’ll go out of my comfort zone, do without comfort, do whatever to make sure Kim’s happy, while she’s doing the same thing. So we keep building each other up and edifying each other. So then that takes our mind off of ourselves. You know what I mean?
Chip: So that worked out, and it just—we never take any experience as going to make us stronger or have a strong relationship. But even The Amazing Race did, because, when we looked at it, when we looked at The Amazing Race, we saw, man, we overcame all this, and we didn’t have stresses. Wow, I didn’t know all these other people were arguing like this. So it just made us stronger.
Which made you appreciate the relationship even more?
Chip: But it was due to work, though. It’s not like it was natural.
Oh yeah. I think any good relationship takes work, whether it’s a personal relationship, a business relationship. Any time you’re relating with other human beings, it takes work.
So, anyway, are there any moments that you really wish had made it to screen, any favorite moments on the Race that you kind of wish you could share with the world that weren’t shared?
So it was just about what that experience meant for you, essentially?
Chip: Right. And also, it was—of course, they wouldn’t ever publicize this on the show because it would date it. But it was Valentine’s Day when we won, too.
Chip: When we came in first in Africa.
Oh, okay. So a lot of things were going on there, emotional things going on there, huh?
I really enjoyed watching you guys on that leg so much, because we were seeing everyone else bickering and everyone else being stressed out with the bus drivers there and everything and you guys taking the time to sit down and, you know, share some food with the people there and everything. It was just really wonderful to see.
Chip: Oh yeah. We loved it.
Well, listen, I’ve taken up so much of your time. I really appreciate you taking the time to do the interview. Is there anything that we didn’t cover that you’d like to talk about or to share with people about your experience on the Race or your experiences after?
Chip: Well, yeah. We would just like to say that what we’re involved in, as we told you earlier, is the motivational and inspirational speaking. But also, we mentioned—and you kind of know a little bit about it, miri—Velocity Records, with Scott Grimes. This guy is going to be coming out on February 22nd. His album is coming out. And he’s the most phenomenal singer I’ve ever heard in my life. And you can go to www.velocity.la and check out little snippets of his stuff. But that’s what we’re really involved in now, is just some motivational speaking and making certain that this Scott Grimes thing is going to be successful.
Okay. Well, I wish you the best of luck with everything. It was really great watching you guys win the Race. It was nice to have the good guys win a season of the Race.
Chip: We’re glad to be considered good guys. That’s great.
Keep up with Chip and Kim via their website.