Hip, Hip(pie), Hooray!

After walking back from a late night dinner, BJ & Tyler gave us a call. Walking? In LA? Nobody walks in LA!

miri: Whose idea was it to go on the Race?

Tyler: It was BJ.
BJ & Tyler on The Early Show - waiting for their big toy check.
BJ & Tyler on The Early Show - waiting for their big toy check.
BJ: I watched the season 5 finale - I hadn't watched the show before then because I was busy with school. I was hooked beginning with that episode and I was just like, that would be a really fun thing to do some day. Then Tyler and I went to an open call in Bakersfield because I thought that would be the most fun way to apply and a good way to stand out. So - he was up in San Francisco at the time, and I was in Los Angeles, and we both drove and kind of met in the middle at Bakersfield.

miri: Yeah, because I was surprised - I saw some pictures on one of your web sites, where you were camping out to do the audition. Since Tyler's a filmmaker, I would have thought that you would've done the videos, but....

Tyler: Yeah - basically, BJ and I hadn't seen each other in a while, and, for me, I hadn't heard of the race and I thought "this will be a really good excuse to hang out with my friend BJ." So I went down, and we applied for the race. And after we applied for it - I never had a TV growing up, and I never really watched much TV, but I started watching old episodes and I just got hooked. It was like this action Indiana Jones adventure but with real people and real things all over the world. And I just got so excited, and I started dreaming about being on the show and fantasizing about it and getting nervous - what if I actually did get on? And then, all of a sudden, there we were in Denver, starting this race around the world.

miri: Right. So - I think you won a lot of people over with your Bowling Moms shirts. Were they one of your favorite teams?

BJ: Well, that was one of the things that they - when we were - you know, Tyler hadn't really seen the show until after we started getting through the application process and getting called back and everything for final interviews. But then, when we were sequestered with interviews with all the other thirty final teams, we were screened Season 5 of the race and got to watch just a whole bunch of episodes in a row. And, when the Bowling Moms had their shirts on, I said, "Now, hey - if we get on the show, I want to have Bowling Mom shirts, also" - partly as an homage to Linda and Karen, and partly just for fun.

Tyler: And it's funny because Linda and Karen, in the finale, screening on the West Coast, wore BJ and Tyler shirts.

miri: Yeah, I was wondering if you'd seen that.

Tyler: Oh - you saw that - good!

miri: Yeah. Let's see here - I think you said in interviews that you'd never been called hippies before the show. Is that true?

Tyler: I'm in Santa Cruz and I've definitely been called a hippie. It's funny because I'm kind of this quasi-hippie where, if I'm around real hippies, they don't see me as a hippie at all. But if I'm around people who are definitely not hippies, they think I'm surely a hippie. So it's kind of this fun medium were it's like that I can tread on both waters. And also be rejected from both waters, as well.

miri: It wasn't like a hook you guys were playing up to get on the show? Or was it?
No, I don't think we'd ever referred to ourselves as hippies until the race began and people started saying, "Oh, there's that hippie team in front of us."
BJ: No, I don't think we'd ever referred to ourselves as hippies until the race began and people started saying, "Oh, there's that hippie team in front of us." And people would say, "Hey, hippies - what are you guys doing?" And so then we embraced it and just said, "Yeah - we've got our hippie-power working for us. Oh - look at these Bugs we have to drive around in, it's like getting back to our hippie roots." And just to a ridiculous extent, embracing our hippie persona. So that - before we went on the race, we didn't say, "Oh, let's go for the hippie angle and pretend that we're hippies." It was just that we both had long hair at the time and we were just in this wild young phase of our lives. And - man, it was a turning place in our world.

miri: You were a somewhat polarizing team in some of the forums where people thought that it was all was an act. How did you feel when you read stuff like that? Or did you read it?

Tyler: A lot of our friends feel that sometimes we're even down-toned on the show. People who know us were like, "Wow, you really played it down on the show. You weren't acting up for the camera at all." [We'd say,] "Yeah, it's crazy, because so many people on-line think we're just freaking out, mugging for the camera in everything we do." And anyone who's really spent more than a few moments with us knows that it's just really the way we approach life.

BJ: What I said to Tyler was that there were these people on-line who get angry that we're running around like forest nymphs through the countries, just acting like it's all this amazing fantasy wonderland. And I said, "Well, if people are going to tell you, 'Oh, it's annoying of you to act happy and to be dancing through life,' that doesn't mean that you should stop doing it." It maybe means that those people need to have some fun themselves - not get angry at other people having fun.

miri: Right - it's kind of hard to react to: "Stop having so much fun."

BJ: Right! "I don't like seeing you have fun. You should be at each other's throats more."

miri: That kind of goes a little bit into something I was going to ask a little later, but I'm going to bring it up now. On the show, it seemed like the animosity between you guys and MoJo came up all of a sudden. Was it something that was building over time or was it just really about the whole yield and the money thing?

BJ: No, I think it's something that came up all of a sudden on the show because it just came up all of a sudden in real life. When we were at the pit stop at the Jabreen Castle in Oman, we were getting along fine with them, and Fran and Barry had kind of come up to us. You know, we didn't say anything to other teams expecting them to help us out because it is a race and we had our stuff taken away from us. But then, forward to us leaving, we were all kind of waiting around the castle. Fran and Barry were like, "We're going to leave some money for you." [We said,] "Thank you, guys." And then that leg started off, and we saw them go over there, and then we saw MoJo go over to our car and open the door. And we're like, "Oh, that's nice of them. They're leaving us money." And then when we started the leg, we saw that there was money from Fran and Barry and money from Ray and Yolanda, and the Frat Boys had left this joking note, "Oh we owe you $100, but we'll pay it to you after the race." And MoJo hadn't left anything, but they had pretended to. And we just found that to be a little off and thought there wasn't any reason to do that because it wasn't tricking us into thinking they'd left us money, other than for that hour before we left that leg.

miri: Right.

BJ: And I was like - well, if they're going to do that just to spite us for something, like, "Oh, you guys don't have any money; well, we'll walk up to your car and pretend to leave money and not." Then, we're going to yield you if we get the chance. And it turns out the reason they did that is because Eric had already told them at one point that we wanted to yield them, which wasn't necessarily true. So then, in that same leg, when we were in Perth - or, at the beginning of the next leg, when Eric and Jeremy canceled our cabs, and then we were in a cab and Joseph came up and said, "Hey - get out of our cab, wait for your own" - all the while knowing that we weren't going to have our own cab coming. We were just like, "Man, that's it - if we hit the yield before them, we're gonna yield them." And it became pretty dramatic when we got there just feet ahead of them. And there was a moment of, "Are we really gonna do this?" But at that point, we were thinking it was gonna be between us and them for first place. Because Eric and Jeremy weren't there yet, Ray and Yolanda weren't there yet - for all we knew, they could be lost in Australia somewhere. So it was like - well, if we want to get first place in this leg, which is always what we were trying to do, our best strategy is to yield MoJo. Plus, we promised we were gonna do it, anyway.

Tyler: We didn't want to go back on our word.

BJ: Yeah.

Tyler: But also, we were kind of having fun. We knew that it was going to be something that was gonna be short-lived and that would be over at the end of the race definitely. And it was just like - wow - this is kind of a fun, awkward tension. Wow - we kind of enjoyed it. It was something else to laugh at. And while we were having that three-way sprint to the mat, when we were driving up and we turned back, and MoJo gave us the middle finger and we were just kinda like, "Oh, man, it's so intense!" I mean, this guy who gets in these real fights back home, breathing down our necks. Wow - what an experience!

BJ: Yeah, and we wanted to have the full experience of being on The Amazing Race. Getting a Fast Forward, getting not-eliminated, and getting to yield someone. And when we got there, there was a moment of, "Well, you know, we really don't have to yield anyone," but it's a part of The Amazing Race, so we might as well do it.

miri: Speaking of that three-way sprint to the mat...

BJ: Oh, boy.

miri: Why go over the rocks?
You just have this tunnel vision, where as soon as you get to a pit stop, you see the mat and you just go directly towards it.
BJ: Well, what I was just explaining to a friend of mine is that - when we rounded that corner, because the dock was around the corner of this building, all you see is the mat if you're on the race. You just have this tunnel vision, where as soon as you get to a pit stop, you see the mat and you just go directly towards it. And we were running full-tilt down this pretty steep hill from the stairs. Like, Eric and Jeremy just leaped off these stairs, and we were tumbling down behind them. And it looked like the straightest path to the mat was down right to the dock, but then there was actually a bridge - you know, a little drawbridge or a plank or whatever - a few feet over that was kind out of your way, but it was the best way to get on to that dock. But, racing against the Frat Boys, I was like - "well, if they go" - as we were running down there, Eric and Jeremy also went for that path first because they saw that the rocks weren't gonna to be easy to get across. But I saw them turn and thought, "They think they can't do it, but I can." And so, as I was going across these rocks, which are in the water and slippery, and I had no shoes on, it allowed MoJo to run down the bridge faster and get to the mat first. But it was all part of our plan overall to come in first place.

miri: Yeah, yeah.

Tyler: It was all part of our master plan. It was actually in the script.

miri: Yeah, uh-huh, right.

BJ: Don't say that. That's not true. We've been through that scene several times. We knew that, by coming in last that leg, MoJo would underestimate us in the next leg, leading to their downfall.

miri: Yeah, uh-huh, okay.

BJ: And if you believe that, I'll tell you another.

miri: I think one of the questions that came up most when I asked people for suggestions for what I should ask you guys is - okay, you guys got mugged twice and yet you still kept coming up with new hats every leg. How did you manage that?

BJ: Tyler?

Tyler: My parents have a restaurant and along the way, I'd get sunglasses and coats that would be in the ‘lost and found'. So we'd just ask the hotel for the ‘lost and found' because it was sunny outside in Australia and we needed a hat. And so ‘lost and found' goes, "Yeah, sure - come on back!" Or the manager would be like, "Come on back. We've got tons of stuff here. You guys can take whatever you want." It was like these shopping sprees. You know, they were so excited to help us out. When we get to the Australian airport, we were like, "can you take us to the ‘lost and found'?" I don't know if you saw the CBS insider clips on the web site, showing basically a shopping spree in the airport ‘lost and found'. There was so much stuff. We basically got to choose whatever we wanted. It's all going to be going to charity eventually. We ended up with the hats, jackets; BJ got an awesome pair of boots, which he wore across the finish line eventually.

BJ: They weren't quite the right size, and they wound up cutting up my feet a little bit, but they were better than flip-flops for being in Denver. Yeah, we started off with us going for useful items, like I needed shoes and we needed some warmer clothes, but then we also at the same time would go, "Oh - can we take the safari hat?" And people would go, "Yeah, sure, might as well." We also wound up getting one of those neck pillows for airplanes. And we wound up with more luxury items after we were not-eliminated than we had brought with us in the first place.

miri: Yeah, I think a lot of people were wondering - I think it was the top hat that mainly got people wondering.

BJ: Yeah, that was - in Darwin, when we got to the crocodile park at night, it didn't open until 8:00 in the morning. So we and Monica and Joseph and Eric and Jeremy all went to this hotel and shared a hotel room because we were partly trying to save money and weren't really feuding as much as the show would make it seem. And that night we stopped at the lost and found at the hotel and wanted to see whether they had maybe some better shoes since I was wearing these uncomfortable boots at the time or, you know, anything that we could wear that would help us out. And they had this top hat. And I was like, "Oh, this will be a good guard from the sun." It was good enough for Abe Lincoln, it's good enough for me.

miri: And did you ever get your frog hat back?

BJ: We got our backpacks and all the things that had been taken from us by Phil back at the end of the race, after we had crossed the finish line. It was kind of a shock to see some of the clothes, such as the shirt that I'd worn when I was digging in Oman still coated in sand from the desert because it hadn't been washed since they took it from me. It had just been shoved into my backpack.

miri: Oh, just stewing in its own juices there?

BJ: Yeah.

miri: Yes. Very nice. Speaking of - was that digging in Oman - was that your lowest point on the race? Or was getting mugged the lowest point?

BJ: No, getting mugged, I think, was a relief because of the fact that we were going to be in the race another day. But digging when you're still not sure whether it's going to be an elimination or not...I mean, we were pretty sure at that point because we had gone through Greece was what - six/seven - eight/nine/ten? [Counting out legs to himself.]
Yeah, I think one of our other lowest points was in Greece, just having to drive for hours and hours out of our way, thinking we were definitely the last team and not sure if it was a non-elimination.
Tyler: Yeah, I think one of our other lowest points was in Greece, just having to drive for hours and hours out of our way, thinking we were definitely the last team and not sure if it was a non-elimination. We were pretty sure in Oman that we were gonna be okay if were the last team. But Greece was the biggest threat and the biggest scare to us. But we're just like - "you know what? We're still in the race, and as long as you're still in the race, you might as well keep plowing forward. You really can't give up." And that leg was such a prime example of that. Because we didn't give up, we finished the leg, and we stayed in it.

miri: Yeah, I think a lot of people, once they found out that you were two hours out of your way, they thought you were done in.

BJ: Oh, yeah. We were some of those people.

miri: Was it really hard in situations like that? I mean, we've seen teams implode and we've seen teams really fight with each other. Your friendship seemed to stay pretty strong. Was it difficult at those times not to start bitching at each other?

BJ: There's a great insider clip of what our minds are going through during those hours of driving back, realizing we'd made a big mistake.

Tyler: I was in the back, and usually the person in the back is the navigator. BJ was driving. And I was feeling tremendously guilty, so I went through this feeling of tremendous guilt and apologizing, and then I went through this wave of extreme optimism, saying, "We're still in the race! We're having a great time! We're gonna enjoy every second!" And then another apology and then this state of like innocent depression, back to this wild optimism. I was just trying each emotion to find one that would work for me. And BJ's just like, "What have you done?"

BJ: Yeah, any time, in the race, when you drive for an hour in the wrong direction, it's hard to believe that any team could make more of a mistake than that. And it gives you a long time to think about what just happened because you have this whole hour that you have to drive back to where you're going. And basically we'd resigned ourselves to the fact that we were last, and it kind of makes the whole race take on a new light. But when we were doing the Detour, with the Herculean effort, we realized that the other one, with the letters, might be easier, but we wanted the one with the most fun, the most memorable for us. And it was great to be with these guys in togas, basically learning how to throw a javelin and throw a shot - or, throw a discus - and then wrestling this Greek wrestler out of the ring in the mud and the rain. It was definitely one of the most memorable things we had.

miri: And maybe just thinking that you are in last, so what the hell?

Tyler: Exactly! For sure - it was like a release. Well, we know we're last. Let's have the best time possible and pray for non-elimination. It was just that simple. There was no, "are we going to be last or not?" Because we were certain we were last. But lucky for us, Lake and Michelle made the ultimate sacrifice. They drove to the complete opposite end of the entire country. They were on the east coast of Greece and we were on...we were on the west coast.

BJ: Is it? I don't think that's right.

Tyler: It's pretty right.

miri: I'm not good with geography, so I'm going to have to take your word on it.

In Australia, you guys made a decision to go get some money instead of booking a flight right away. People were wondering if there was a rule that once you turned in your car and made your reservations, you couldn't get back into the car. Is that right?

BJ: Yes, that is correct. I was thinking about that because my parents were watching the show and thinking for a while that could really hurt us because we left the airport before getting reservations and when we came back, we couldn't get on this flight. But I think we wouldn't have been able to get on the flight anyway just because it sold out from Eric & Jeremy, Monica & Joseph and Ray & Yolanda. But, the main issue was when we got to the airport, we knew that there would be no people there at 2 in the morning - we could see that. And we knew we could go into downtown Darwin where there would be people in the bars and clubs and they would be out and inebriated and more willing to help us. But when we left our car outside and took the keys with us and immediately were chastised by some of the production people. They said you have to leave the keys on the seat of the car and you have to park in the marked parking area before you go in... You know how at the airport there are always police officers outside making sure in America you don't leave your car there more than a minute and constantly telling you to keep driving or else you are going to get a ticket. Well there, in Australia, I asked the guy, "is it okay if I park my car here in this red zone while we go get a ticket?" And he was like, "oh yeah, that's fine." So we checked with the traffic guy and he said it would be fine, but the Race people were like no, you can't do that. Once you turn in your car, it's turned in and you can't get it back because they have people to take the cars as soon as you leave them. So, I said, "Well, we should make use of this car while we have it." So we got back in and drove into Darwin. And the next flight, we knew wasn't going to leave for a while and wasn't going to get into Thailand until night time, so we'd probably have an "hours of operation" leeway anyway.

miri: Yeah, because it came across that your judgment might not have been good at that point - that you didn't book the flights right away. But it didn't seem like they'd let you park the cars at the airport and then get back in them.

BJ: After a while on the Race, we began to realize that, depending on what time we got into a country, we might not have to hurry at the beginning of the race because we'd get somewhere that wasn't going to open until the morning so that we could be bungee jumping in the afternoon and not in the middle of the night - at 3 in the morning or something. Sometimes, it's taking a gamble because you never know, on the Race whether something's going to be open right when you get there or if you have to take a number and the first team with the number is going to go...

Tyler: Like the capsule hotel

BJ: Like the capsule hotel, yeah. But sometimes, you know, we're getting into the country at 11 o'clock at night - at least on our season. I know on past seasons, they've sometimes done things late at night, but it seemed on our season a lot that things just weren't happening at 11 o'clock at night - we'd always have to wait until 7 or 8 in the morning.

miri: Every time I see the Race and see people complaining about the bunching, I understand where they are coming from, but if they'd ever seen a season before, they should know that there's always going to be bunching. Was it hard not to let that get you frustrated? That you work hard to get ahead and then all of a sudden *boop!* everyone's even again?

Tyler: Yeah, it's frustrating, but at the same time, you know that when you're behind it's going to help you out. So it's too bad it's there, but there are other times you are so thankful that it's there.
So, we got to experience the good side and the bad side of the bunching. When you’re on the tail end of it you, you appreciate it because you get extra sleep and you wind up in the same place with everyone else.
BJ: We did get to experience both sides of it. In Sicily, we got there an hour and half before everyone else by getting on this early flight and breezed through the leg. We finished around noon and Lake & Michelle and Ray & Yolanda were putting the statue together when it was night time. But then, in Greece, Eric & Jeremy had done the Fast Forward and checked in before noon and we didn't check in until 8 o'clock that night. So, we got to experience the good side and the bad side of the bunching. When you're on the tail end of it you, you appreciate it because you get extra sleep and you wind up in the same place with everyone else.

miri: So, speaking of Fast Forwards - how big was that bowl of crickets?

Tyler: It was like a basketball cut in half, filled with crickets. That's about how big it was. You know, right now, if you came up to me and served me 5 crickets, I'd have trouble eating 1, but at the time, we'd invested so much of our lives, so much energy and power in getting to that point where a bowl of crickets was not going to stop us. And in the Race, it makes look like we did have a difficult time - and we did because we were eating crickets until we were full (and then vomiting) and they tasted bad and cut up our mouths with their legs that were really sharp - at the end, BJ's tongue was bleeding from the legs. And the guts got cold and pussy[full of pus] as they started to get cooler after being deep fried and vomiting up cricket brains wasn't something that we particularly enjoyed doing, but there was no question. And in the episode, it shows us questioning, should we go back to the taxi? And we questioned that just as soon as we sat down. We were like, are we sure we can do this? Should we go back to the taxi? Questioning each other just to make sure we both could do it and then we looked at each other like, we can finish this bowl, of course. And then it's funny because in the episode it shows us doing the questioning kind of half way through the bowl so it looks like we were questioning after we started.

miri: How long did it take?

Tyler: It took us just over an hour to eat the crickets.

miri: On the show, I thought it was funny that they kept showing other Racers talking about how difficult this was going to be for BJ, but then it looked like Tyler had more trouble with the crickets. Do you have any idea why they thought BJ would have more trouble?

Tyler: Maybe they thought crickets would get stuck in BJ's beard?

miri: Tyler, you are a vegetarian, right?

Tyler: Yeah, but on the Race I was willing to eat anything to get fuel, but when I'm home I don't eat meat. It was difficult for me, but it wasn't difficult because I'm a vegetarian. It was just difficult because it was crickets. When you are having a bowl of crickets and you are full - you are stuffed - the last thing you want do is look down and see a bowl of crickets. And you can see their eyes staring up at you - their deep fried eyes. Thinking, "don't eat me.""I have to eat you, I'm in this race!""Come on I'm so pretty. I hop around at night and I make this nice chirping sound." "But you're deep fried - I have to eat you for a million dollars."
"To crickets!" (Actually, BJ is toasting Ray and Yolanda's engagement at The Early Show.)
"To crickets!" (Actually, BJ is toasting Ray and Yolanda's engagement at The Early Show.)
BJ: Ew.

miri: I was really ticked because we'd been promised no more volume eating tasks - I just don't like those.

BJ: We were just glad that Ray & Yolanda got scared away by it. So we knew we had a pretty good cushion of time to eat and not worry about eating as fast as we possibly can.

Tyler: That would have been terrifying if Ray & Yolanda were munching crickets by our side. Well, whoever finishes this bowl last, will be eliminated from the Race. Oh-ho. Glad it didn't come down to that.

miri: You guys missed out on some cool tasks in that leg. Did you find out about them at the pitstop or later?

BJ: The tasks they had to do on that leg seemed soooo... I mean, we got to see the monkeys because we were at the monkey temple before it opened, but according to Eric & Jeremy those monkeys would just keep taking their food after they'd set up there...after they'd set up half their shrine to the monkeys. The monkeys would start taking fruit from it and you'd have to replace it and re-slice it up. And then the gold leaf thing they said just took so long and was very mind-numbing and after they'd finished it, the guy said no, you have to flatten it all down. Whereas when Eric & Jeremy took their Fast Forward in Greece, they missed out on bungee jumping and they missed out on competing in these Olympic Games that they would have done great at. So, I think we were glad to miss out on those tasks - especially seeing Monica & Joseph trying to carry those pots.

miri: That looked so difficult.

Tyler: That would have been extremely stressful. Even I would have cried.

miri: Tyler, you seem like the perpetually upbeat one whereas BJ, you seem more...even-keeled [not the word I was really looking for, but that's what came out of my mouth] or a little more...

Tyler: I'm the naïve optimist and BJ is the intellectual skeptic in our relationship.

BJ: The realist.

miri: Or to Tyler, the pessimist since he's such an optimist.

BJ: Well, if you're not overly optimistic, you're pessimistic.

miri: Did sometimes dealing with each other's differences...because, I know I'm a pessimist and when I'm around someone who's going, "oh this is great!" when I'm miserable, I just want to hit them in the face.

Tyler: Oh, don't hit me! I'm still your friend.

BJ: Tyler, I'm going to hit you in the face right now if you don't stop talking like that. I know there were times when I was digging in Oman and Tyler was cheering me on, that I was just thinking that this cheering is not helping me right now. But it was the only thing he could do. Because he tried to bring me water at one point and one of the moderators or challenge producers said, "Tyler, you can't walk on to the digging field." So the only thing he could do was encourage me and try to give advice on which piles to dig, but it was such a random placing of holes in these piles of sand that I knew I just had to keep digging and going from pile to pile until I hit the ground.

miri: You guys seem to have to do a lot of random searches on this Race. Did that get frustrating?

BJ: You know, I don't think we realized it at the time. I mean, when we got to Sicily and we'd just gone through searching through holes and breaking bottles and searching through dolls. And there was a choice between carrying a bell and searching through laundry? And we had a pretty good time lead, and I said, "well we've already searched through holes and bottles and dolls, we might as well search some more." But then looking back on the episodes now that we've seen them on TV, we realized that there were just, yeah, a ton of these tasks where we had to search through something to find something.

miri: As a viewer sometimes those get frustrating because you feel that a team that's good isn't necessarily going to get ahead - it's all about luck. It must have been frustrating from your point of view.
Actually, it seemed like the Frat Boys would find everything right away. It was just like - it took them - literally, they never spent, on any of the searching tasks, more than five minutes.
Tyler: Actually, it seemed like the Frat Boys would find everything right away. It was just like - it took them - literally, they never spent, on any of the searching tasks, more than five minutes. It was instantaneous for them.

BJ: In some searching tasks, the team that gets there first has an advantage, such as the dolls, because after you search through each doll, you have to put them back together again.

miri: Oh, you were required to do that?

BJ: Yeah, you were required to do that. So then, teams that got there didn't know which dolls had been looked through and which ones hadn't. But in other tasks, like the digging in Oman, the team that got there the last had an advantage because they'd seen, "Oh, all these piles have been dug through except for those ten. I can just search through those and not worry about the other hundred and five dug-through piles."

miri: That people have already put their blood, sweat, and tears into for you.

BJ: Exactly.

Tyler: There were thorns in the sand that were cutting....

BJ: Oh, yeah, there were a lot of desert weeds and thorns. I wished I had some sort of gardening gloves on because...

Tyler: I wish I had some hydrogen peroxide to pour on your poor hands. Out, out, damn spot!

miri: Was there any moment that you saw on TV that you were surprised to see on TV or that came across a lot differently than how it felt to you when you were racing?

Tyler: I think it was interesting seeing MoJo saying how much they hated us. We know that they were upset with us, but we had no idea that they were constantly saying how much they hated us, and that was really interesting for me. Another thing that we didn't really know was happening was Ray and Yolanda bickering with each other. We had no idea that was happening.

miri: Really?

Tyler: Yeah, for sure, ‘cause they weren't very open about their relationship while we were there, so it was just like fascinating to see that on the actual episode.

miri: You seemed to get along fairly well with them. They gave you money, and I think it was some of the insider footage - did you pay them back the money that they had given you at one non-elimination?

BJ: Yeah.

miri: Did you feel like you had an alliance with them or anything?

Tyler: We didn't feel it was an alliance so much as just a respect. Like - "thank you so much for helping us; we're going to help you. And you're tough racers, and we respect you for that." We knew the feeling was mutual. It was just kind of like, "you're cool people. We have nothing to really hate about each other." It wasn't an alliance, but that's what we were - we were a healthy competition.

miri: Right. And my theory on the MoJo thing is that they were taking things very seriously. And when you take something very seriously, there's nothing that pisses you off more than seeing people having fun and beating you.

Tyler: Yeah. That was really.... During the pit stop in Darwin, while we were eating during the 36 hours, someone came up to us and said, "So, everybody! Twenty-five percent chance of a million dollars!" And MoJo kinda laughed and just said, "Heh - I think it's a little bit more than twenty-five for us. The hippies don't have anything." Ohhhhhhhhhh, Mojo! We did a little fairy dance around them, [they] got all mad, thinking, "Oh, man, you've been so optimistic. This is kind of scary and intimidating. I had better show my feelings by being more mad."

miri: But you guys have all worked it out now?

Tyler: Definitely! At the finale in New York, Joseph came up to BJ and said, "Hey, you hippies, you ought to come out to Arkansas and wakeboard with us! We'll take you out! It'll be awesome!" Like, "Oh, sounds like a lot of fun Joseph. Better bring some sunscreen because we get sunburned easily."
At TARcon, PepeNY follows orders from Rachel while Tyler plays along.
At TARcon, PepeNY follows orders from Rachel while Tyler plays along.
miri: So what did you think of the finale party?

BJ: Oh, in New York? It was a lot of fun. We had all the racers there, and Tyler and I each had - like our brothers were there, my parents. So we had friends and family, and it was a lot of fun.

miri: How was it to finally be able to let the cat out of the bag, to let them know, and to see them watch you win?

Tyler: I was surprised how many people that we actually had fooled. Because the closest people to us, our friends and family, were convinced that we had not won. Everybody really thought that we didn't win. Like, "You're serious?" ‘Cause we honestly thought you hadn't won. You were so good at faking it." And it kind of intimidated them because, "Oh, man, if you could trick us into thinking that you didn't win a million dollars, what else can you do?" And I've got a girlfriend, and she's just like - she's the one that I go to sleep next to every night. And it's just - it was so hard, the six months, not being able to tell her this big secret. And that night, this very heavy burden was lifted from our relationship. And it felt so good - it was as if we were reborn, and the floodgates were open, and the information - I could just talk about anything. Really good now - with friends I can mention it. The secret was really starting to take its toll on me.

miri: I think that's why a lot of outsiders don't understand why the racers who don't get along on the race end up bonding afterwards. Because those are the only people you can talk to about this for a long time.

Tyler: Right.

miri: Okay, I've taken up so much of your time. Let's just do a few rapid-fire silly questions to end things up.

Tyler: All right, who's got the floor, BJ? Bing! We'll just bing when we're done with the answers.

miri: Okay, how tall are you?

Tyler: Six foot three for Tyler.

BJ: Five foot ten for BJ. Ray said, on the last episode, that Tyler is six foot eight, and BJ is five foot four. But the real line is that Tyler is six foot three and BJ is five foot ten.

Tyler: Bing!

miri: Okay. Favorite author?

Tyler: Oooooh. Steinbeck for Tyler.

BJ: Alexandre Dumas for BJ.

Tyler: Ooooooh. Now that he feels like The Count of Monte Cristo, he can get revenge on his enemies because he's stumbled upon this room with riches. Bing!

miri: Okay. Dogs or cats?

Tyler: Dogs for Tyler.

BJ: Dogs for me - no, I'll say cats.

Tyler: Crossbreeds between dogs and cats. Bing!

miri: Okay, and one last silly question to end it on. What's your favorite kind of pie?

BJ: Ha-ha!

Tyler: Pizza pie! Pizza pie! We love screaming "pizza pie." Warm, hot apple pie. It can be used for two purposes.

miri: Ooookay.

Tyler: Hey, hey - that's a line from a movie. What's your favorite kind of pie?

miri: My favorite kind of pie? Coconut cream.

Tyler: Ooooh, that is good pie.

miri: Cause it involves coconut. Well, thank you guys so much. I know you guys are swamped, and that's why I do really appreciate your taking the time to do an interview.

BJ & Tyler: Oh, absolutely.