He's Packing It!
Were you and Christie fans of the Race? Or had you seen the show before you had applied or found out about it?
Actually, we don't really watch much TV. And so we did not know about the show. But as soon as we were—like someone had told us about it and said that we should send in a tape for it, so we did. Like we did a bunch of research on the show, and we were like, oh my God, that's like the coolest thing ever, you know? And so then we made a tape and sent in our application.
So how did you find out about it, though? I mean, was it a friend that suggested—
Yes. Some friends of us had told us about the Race.
Ok. I think there was a little bit of wondering if maybe—there's been news of some recruited teams.
Oh, like—what do you mean by recruited teams?
Well, it seems that some teams get in through either via agents or via some contacts or via—
Like we didn't have any contacts or agents or anything like that. We just made a tape and filled out the application and all that stuff.
Ok. And I don't know, maybe this is a rule that had changed this year or something. We had thought that Racers couldn't know each other before being on the Race, but—
That is what we thought, too. And when we were there, they kept saying—like when we were there for like the screening process, when they had narrowed it down to like the final 30 teams or something like that and we were all in L.A., they kept saying, "And if you see anyone here that you know or have ever seen before, tell us." All of a sudden, Christie sees Nicole there, and she's like, "Um, I have not only seen her before, but I've competed with her." And they’re, like, "Ok, well, we'll figure it out." And so we figured that only one of us would get cast. And all of a sudden we get there—like the final teams that were actually going to do it—we all show up to L.A., and there they are. So we're like, holy shit. So I guess they just changed it. I don't know.
Yeah. It seems like they've been changing a few of the rules. It seems like there's some teams who . . . originally, people had to know each other for three years. And it seems like—I think the rules are kind of changing a little bit each season, perhaps.
I don't know. Or maybe they just thought they had such a good cast, they made an exception, you know?
I think maybe they thought they would get a bunch of juicy catfights out of the two of them, you know?
Former pageant contestants—competing against each other. Right?
So, I know—we talked a little briefly in Dallas about how you prepared for the Race, and how you went back and, you know, did all that studying. What was the most important thing you learned from the studying you did of previous seasons?
Be as prepared as you can possibly be, while at the same time being as light weight as you can possibly be. The whole equilibrium between the two, you know? You want to have everything you could possibly ever need. I brought a set of little tiny binoculars, you know? I brought like a highlighter. I brought like, you know, a clothesline. I brought—we brought every little thing we could imagine. But at the same time, we didn't bring as much as possible. So we still had really small backpacks. You know what I mean?
I brought like a ten-pound bag full of Power Bars and Goo and stuff like that, since we knew we wouldn't be able to spend much money on food. And so we saved our money and spent it on travel guides.
Yeah. Yeah, I think a lot of—it seems like a lot of Racers say the one thing they would do again is pack even lighter. But it sounds like you went pretty light to begin with.
Yeah. I don't think there was one thing in our packs that we didn't use, and I don't think there was one thing that we needed that we didn't bring. I mean, I think our packing was absolutely perfect.
So, since you had watched the previous seasons, you knew that the Yield was something new.
What did you think when you first heard about that rule?
Well, immediately when they told us about it in the orientation—they didn't tell us on the race course. I don't know if they made it seem that way. But, you know, we were in L.A. for a few days before we ever started the Race.
And so they told us about this new thing in orientation. And, immediately, Christie and I, we knew we were going to be a pretty strong team. So immediately, we were like, oh, great. Now we're going to have like a target on our backs the whole time, you know? And that just made us like really just want to be as nice as we could to everyone, help everyone out as much as we could, just hoping that—not hoping that they would help us, but hoping that they just wouldn't screw us in the end, you know?
And so we just—all we did was help teams out the whole time. They cut about 95 percent of it out, but every leg I probably bought two or three other teams tickets on flights or, you know, I paid for a taxi ride for the Moms once. I mean, you know, it was like pretty much all we did was help people out along the way. But I guess it didn't really get us anywhere because we still ended up getting Yielded, but you can't really blame them, because it was the best move they could have made.
Yeah. I mean, obviously, you guys were upset at the time, which I think anyone would be at the time, you know?
I don't know. They kind of beefed that up a little bit for you. But we really, you know, we were just like—we were more concerned about being in last place than we were upset that Chip and Kim Yielded us, you know what I mean?
It was like, yeah, you backstabbed us, and that was pretty shitty. And he promised us time and time again that he would never do that if we would help him, and we helped him, and then he still did it. And we were even going to use our Yield at one point on the Twins just to keep him in the Race, because he and the Twins were on like a later flight. And we were going to waste our Yield on someone that was 30 minutes behind us just to help him, you know. And then all of a sudden he yields us, which is pretty funny.
Was that the most surprising thing to you, not that the Yield was used against you, but who was the one who actually did the Yielding?
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, we were—you know, even though we helped the Moms a couple times, we never really worked with the Moms. So if they would have Yielded us, it would have been like, oh, well, good move, whatever. I mean, what are we supposed to expect, you know what I mean? But then they could have still showed us being mad, because they would have showed like the really concerned look on our faces because we were just so behind, you know?
Right. Well . . . and I think it would be inhuman not to be upset when that happens right then and there, in the intensity of the moment, you know?
It would just—anyway, I think it would take a lot to just go, “Oh, ok.”
Yeah. Well, I don't know. We got a flat tire on the way to the maze in Dallas. We were sitting on the side of the freeway waiting for the other car to come and pretty much like, well, you know, this is probably going to be it. Because we were already 20 minutes behind Chip and Kim.
And now we're sitting on the side of the freeway for another 20 minutes. And we just ran the maze as fast as we could and, you know, we—I think the reason they cut the whole thing out was because we weren't freaking out. We weren't that mad. We were like, you know, we'll run the Race as fast as we can, but there's only so much you can control, and this is one of the things you can't control.
So, oh well.
Yeah. I still can't figure out, then, why it seemed like Brandon and Nicole got to the maze so much further behind you guys. Do you have any idea what happened on that or—
I have no clue.
Yeah. Ok. Just had to ask, you know?
No. I mean, I've been asked that before. I know when we had our driver waiting for us, we saw them like ask some driver, and he was saying that he wouldn't speed for them or something. So then they were like—they left him and they went to look for another taxi driver. So I don't know if that ended up taking a long time. But you've got to realize, the maze was about, you know, a 25-minute drive from the airport. And our guy was driving like 95 miles an hour. So even though he had a flat and we were sitting there for another 20 minutes, we probably ended up losing ten minutes on Brandon & Nicole because they were driving the speed limit.
And so, if they wasted a bunch of time, or if their taxi driver took some “shortcut,” as taxi drivers love to do, you know, I mean, that could have meant, you know, another 15 minutes, which would have put them to the maze behind us, you know?
Because they got to the maze just right after we did.
Yeah. I remember while I was watching the finale and I knew that you'd hired the special guy, which I thought was a brilliant move, and all this stuff, and I kept thinking, what if you don't have enough money to pay him when you get to the finish line and you're in first place?
Yeah. Well, I just—you know, they give us, I had like $350 with me. So I figured if I paid the guy $350—which is what I did as soon as we got to the finish line, I said, "Ok, thanks a lot, man." He was like, "All right, thanks." Because I said, "How much do I owe you?" And he goes, "Well, just whatever you want to pay me." Like we'd become pretty close at that point, and he knew we were in this big race, and he was like, "Hey, whatever you think it's worth. Whatever you think you ought to pay me." I was like, "Look, this is all my money. I've got like $340-something dollars. Is that going to work?" And he was like, "Absolutely. That's great, man. I appreciate it." You know? And that was it.
Ok. I was just having visions of you coming in first, and then them saying, no it doesn't count, because you couldn’t afford to pay for the car or something.
Yeah. Well, I mean, Chip couldn’t pay his taxi driver in Dubai and they didn't do anything about that. You know what I mean?
Yeah. Yeah, I know. It was just one of those things where you're—
I know. That would have been really horrible if that had happened.
So how did you come up with that idea? I mean, was that something that you had planned on all along, or just that idea that you had at that last airport to call ahead and try and get—
I just figured, you know, we're going to America and a lot of people have like Town Cars. And I called about maybe ten or twelve different driving companies in Dallas, and called back certain ones, because I told them I wanted the driver that was actually going to be driving us, for them to have him come into the office or have him give me his cell phone number so I could call him. So I called a couple of the drivers on their cell phones, and like their company had called them and said—gave them basically the whole scoop, you know? So I called them to kind of screen the driver, ask them how long they had lived in Dallas, how well they knew the area, how fast he'd be willing to drive for me, make sure that he was willing to break the speed limit and drive on the shoulders and do anything that it took to win, you know? And this guy we talked to was like, “Look, I've lived here for—I've been a driver in Dallas for eight years. I know every single road. I'll speed for you. I'll pass cars. I'll weave in and out of traffic.” And I was like, “Perfect. You're our man.”
Wow. I mean, you sound like you just really spent a lot of time trying to get that all tracked down.
Yeah. That was probably like a three-hour ordeal, getting the right driver. But, you know, we just—because the thing is, we had to wait at the hotel across the street. We weren't allowed to wait in the airport. Otherwise, we would have known about the delayed flight. But, in Canada, there was a no-loitering policy in the airport, so once you purchase tickets, if you're just standing around, they make you leave the airport.
Oh, ok. I think a lot of people were wondering about that. And they were also wondering why did you box up your stuff and check it instead of just tossing it? I didn't know if there was some security concerns with that as well.
Well, a couple things regarding that. First of all, what they don't show in Canada is that one of the first things we had to do is we signed up for a bus going into Banff, and then we had to go to each of these three stores in Banff. And you've got to like sign out at each of these stores. Well, what it was basically is collecting—these stores were basically donating clothes, I guess, you know, like at one store we got like Columbia Titanium jackets and pants, like waterproof jackets and pants. At another store we got like all the undergarments, like socks, gloves, fleeces, hats, all our stuff. At another store we got like Columbia Titanium hiking boots, like, all, really nice shit. You know? And like probably a $1000 outfit—or probably $2000 outfits per person. Like those jackets are like 450 bucks, you know?
So we were like, well, man, this is really cool stuff. And I called—or I asked one of like the crew or whatever, I said, “Well, can you call around and ask? Because I don't want to carry this stuff around if I'm going to have to get to the finish line and they’re going to say, ‘Ok. Give us all that stuff you collected now.’ You know what I mean? But if they’re going to let us keep it, I'll carry it around,” because it was really nice stuff, you know? There was only one leg of the race left. We're only going to Dallas. I might as well keep the stuff and have it for when I go snowboarding, you know?
And anyway, so they said we were going to be able to keep it. Hey, Christie, can you come down? (doorbell) They said we were going to be able to keep it. And so instead of carrying it around with us, we decided to pack it in boxes, and then we were going to check them at the airport and then just leave them in Dallas, like of course not wait for it to come in, and then we could just call the airport later and say, “Oh, we flew in to Dallas and we left our bags there and we didn't see them. Are they there?” And then if they were there, great; if they weren't, whatever. You know what I mean?
And the second thing about that is that we—that is not what caused us not to get that flight. When we first went up to the counter at American to try to get on that flight, she goes, "Are your bags checked through on our flight?" And I was like, "Well, no, they're checked on United right now." And she was like, "Oh, well, we can't let you fly then, because you have to have your bags checked through us." And this is what you see on camera, right?
Then I said, “Well, listen, we were on standby for this flight and we checked about this when we were in Calgary and they said that, you know, if we could get on this flight standby, they could just transfer our bags over.” And so she checked with the manager and said, like, "Ok, we can do that. But the standby list is so long that there's no way you're going to be able to get on." So we said, "Ok, well, what about if we got like four people"—because of course we've got a camera guy and a sound guy—"what if we get four people to give up their spots just for Christie and I and our sound guys?" And they go, "Ok, well, if four people give up their spots, then I'm going to let the first four people on standby to get on."
(Discussion in background.)
All right. Sorry about that.
That's ok. Do you need to go?
No, no, no. We just—the Dial-a-Waiter guy came and—ok. So then she was like—I go, "Well, the only reason these people would give up their seats is because they're letting us take their seats on the flight and not because they're missing the flight. And so why would you just give them to the next four people? Because, if you do that, then they're not going to give up a seat. So, either way, these four people on the standby list, they're not getting on the plane, you know?"
And, of course, she doesn't get that logic and she was like, "Sorry. This is the way it works, dahdahdahdahdah." They were just super-rude in America versus . . . anywhere internationally, they're super-polite and willing to work with you, you know?
Anyway, so Christie goes and talks to this entire baseball team, and this entire baseball team is going to get off the plane to let us get on. And they're like, "Well, let us first call and make sure that with this next flight that we're going to catch, see if we can make it to our game on time," and all this kind of stuff, right? So they make all these phone calls and they're like, "Ok,” you know? “We'll do it for you." And that's like 30-something people. You know? And that would have allowed Christie and I and Brandon and Nicole to both get on the flight.
And so the guy goes up to the counter and that same lady, she goes, "Well, if you voluntarily choose to not take this flight, then we're not going to let you get on another flight for free. You’ll have to pay $100 per person to like change your tickets." She was just being, you know . . . a person at American Airlines, you know, ticket counter.
She was toeing the corporate line.
So, you know, it was like, ok. Well, looks like we're not getting on this flight, you know? So that was how that worked out.
Well, that's just amazing. Like you said, all the work you're trying to do to get—I know we only get to see a brief bit of what happens on every leg of the Race.
It's just amazing to me what all happens we don't get to hear about, you know?
Oh, yeah. I mean, you got so much time. I mean, you know, if you got a four-hour layover, you're spending four hours doing anything you can possibly be doing to help yourself on that leg. You know what I mean?
Begging for money, whatever.
Is it hard to—when you do have some down time—to get any rest, just because you're so geared up to trying to do everything you can for the next leg or the next bit of the race?
Not when have you Ambien.
Otherwise, you know, it would probably have been impossible. My mind just goes and goes and goes. I would never have been able to sleep.
Yeah. I always thought that would be like the worst thing, just because like you, I like to try and plan things out, you know?
Yeah. The Ambien was probably the most valuable thing we had on the Race, because if we had like a 12-hour flight, you take an Ambien and boom, you're asleep for seven or eight hours, you wake up, you're refreshed, there you go, ready to race, you know? It was—we got prescribed Ambien before we left, so—you know, as long as it's prescribed, you're allowed to take it with you and into any countries or whatever.
Right. So we kind of jumped ahead to the end of the Race there. Maybe a few things about earlier on.
Let's see. Some people sent in some questions, too, so I'm trying to get to some of those. In the Argentina bus station, when you guys ended up finding out about that different bus and you bought the tickets for the other teams, was that just the teams that you were aligned with, you had agreements with to try and help out, or what?
Well, the way we bought those teams' tickets and the reason we bought those teams their tickets was this. The Brothers, because we were aligned with them—we were aligned with the Brothers and Dennis and Erika right off the bat, from the first leg of the Race. Unfortunately, Dennis and Erika had a really bad stroke of luck and were not able to make it past the first leg, you know. It was actually due to their [inaudible] crew, which nearly got fired for it. But that's a whole 'nother story.
Anyway, so Dennis and Erika, being completely unlucky, didn't make it. So we were still very close with the Brothers. And the reason we let Brandon and Nicole get tickets was because Christie was so worried about like (talks with Christie in the background) because they were second in line in the beginning?
Christie: The reason we gave them—when we got—we were the first ones to the train station—or we were the first ones to the bus station. We left to go make a phone call to try to locate—
Colin: To call a travel agent. Yeah.
Christie: And because we—
Colin: Can you hear this?
Colin: Oh, wait.
Christie: So we leave to go do that—to try to book airfare. And in the meanwhile, Mirna and Charla arrived second, and then Brandon and Nicole arrived third. So they're lined up and, you know, the original bus line, it has backpacks sort of holding the line—
Colin: Yeah. Brandon and Nicole were second.
Christie: Mirna and Charla were first, Brandon and Nicole second. And then when we get back from making phone calls, we're third. Well, you know, after we did more research, found out that there was an earlier bus ride or that there was a different bus ride, we go into the other line. Well, Lance overhears the information because he's with you when you're researching that information.
Colin: I wasn't researching the information. It was because the guy that worked at the bus station saw how rude Mirna was. He snuck up to me, and he said under his breath, "Hey, by the way, that bus station, you can buy tickets for this ticket, or there's also another bus that's a little bit faster."
Colin: That's when he came over. And Lance—yeah, and Lance was standing right next to me. So he knew it, so we both walk over together. So, of course, Lance and Marshall are going to buy tickets. Right? Because they're right behind us.
Christie: Yeah. So Lance . . . So, obviously, we're first in line. Lance and Marshall are second. Well, we decide it’s only fair, obviously you—
Colin: Because originally we were like—some people were like, “Let's keep the original order.” So we were like, “Ok, whatever y’all want to do.” We knew we were first, so we didn't really care. So we were like, “Ok,” and Christie goes, "Brandon and Nicole, y’all come on up here because y’all were second in line." And we were basically going to keep the original order, except for we were going to cut out Mirna and Charla because of how rude they were.
Christie: We weren't ever going to be able to keep the original group, because—
Colin: Actually, when we realized we weren't going to be able to keep the order, it's because Lance and Marshall said, “Original order, my ass. I overheard this information. I walked over here. If we're standing in line at British Airways in an airport and someone has realized that you can buy tickets for British Airways on Air France and walks over to the Air France counter, we're not going to keep the same order.” You know?
Colin: And so then we were like, well, I guess we won't keep the same order. But by that time we had basically already kind of let Brandon and Nicole up there and Chip and Kim, and, basically, the Brothers were going to buy tickets for Chip and Kim, because the brothers were kind of helping out Chip and Kim. And so I was just going to buy one set of tickets, and then I was going to let Brandon and Nicole buy their tickets next—or I guess the Brothers would have bought their tickets and Chip and Kim's next, and then Brandon and Nicole would have bought theirs.
The problem is, Mirna, in her ever-so-prevalent persistence, was basically standing right next to me with her arm through the window shoving $200 in this guy's face, saying, "Sell me tickets, sell me tickets," because it was basically four tickets cost 200 bucks. They were 50 bucks apiece. And she's just waving it in this guy's face. "Sell me tickets. Sell me tickets." But the guy's helping me first, and he was like, "Don't worry. I'm going to help you first." Well, I know that if I only buy four tickets for me and my crew, then he's going to sell her tickets next because she's just waving money in his face.
He's not going to ignore her, you know? And so I go, "Ok, well, how many seats are available?" He's like, "Sixteen seats are available." I'm thinking, ok, there's four teams right there. I can just go ahead and buy all 16, get them for Nicole and Brandon and then Chip and Kim and the Brothers, and then, that way, I wouldn't have to worry about Mirna being on our bus. So I said, "Oh well, give me 16 tickets," you know?
So you guys just right from the start kind of oil and water or whatever with Mirna and Charla, just didn't click from the start or—
Oh, no, no. The first couple legs, we never really had any problems with them. We never really talked to them much. We actually tried to work with them—we actually tried to work with them going into Patagonia, the third episode. When we were on the mountain, we were like, “Hey, let’s—you know, we'll go look over here. Y’all go look over there.” Because this is essentially the way we would test out teams to see if they were trustworthy or not. We would say, "Hey, you guys want to work here?" They said, "Oh, yeah, yeah, let’s help each other out." And we go, “Ok, cool.” So we would basically do something where we would know whether or not they were giving us correct information, like something we already knew the answer to, you know? Like basically, what happened was this: We were riding the gondola up the mountain in Patagonia, and we saw the flag. We saw that you had to take an additional chair lift to get up to the flag. It was clear as day up there, and I knew that they saw it, too. You know what I mean?
And so I said, "Hey, let's work together. You know, you guys look out the front of the gondola on the way up and we'll look out this side. You all look out that side." And I told them to look out the side that the flag was on. And I know they could see it. You know? And I was like, "So let us know if y’all see it. We'll let you know if we see it." So when we got off, kind of like, “We haven't found it yet. We're going to look over here.” So I had to go to the bathroom really bad, so I went to the bathroom, came back out, and all of a sudden they're standing in line for this chair lift. Right? And I know that they're in the line for the chair lift because the flag is right up at the top of the chair lift, you know?
And I go, "Oh, have you guys seen the flag?" And they're like, "No, no, we haven't seen it. We're just—you know, we're just going to hop on this—you know, we're just going to go up here," you know, like they were just blind, stupid, like going to take a chair lift for no apparent reason. Right?
When it was clear as day that the flag was at the top of the chair lift. And I go, "Oh, ok, cool," you know? And I was like, all right, well, can't trust them, you know?
And that just meant, ok, well, we're not going to ever believe them when they're telling us something, you know? It doesn't mean that we have a problem with them.
It wasn't until they basically—when she just completely cuts me off in front of that guy who was trying to help us out who I was having the conversation with about what bus to take, and she just completely like acts like I don't even exist.
And just steps in front of me and goes, "Excuse me. I have a question." Like the poor guy is mid-sentence trying to explain something to me, and she just steps in front of me, and goes, "Excuse me, I have a question." And the guy just gets this look on his face like, uh, what do I do? Like, this is kind of weird. And so I asked—I said, “Well, is it ok if I go ahead and finish talking to him first?” I mean, you kind of saw that altercation. And she was like, "I said, ‘Excuse me.’ I have a question." So I was like, “Ok. Well, is it ok if I finish talking to him first?”
And, I mean, my view is like it's 4:00 in the morning. The bus station doesn't even open for two more hours, you know? And anyway, I'm like—I don't want to make the guy feel uncomfortable and then not end up helping me out. Right? So I was like, whatever. I just let her talk to the guy. But once she did that, I was like, this fucking girl is unbelievable, you know? Like this is crazy. So from then on I was like not only are we not going to help them, but I don't like her at all, you know?
So that's when it started, was the fourth leg.
Ok. Yeah. I kind of wondered, because it seemed—I remember, watching that, having kind of pretty much the same reaction to that interaction and wondering if that was the start of it or if it had kind of gotten started a little earlier.
So how difficult is it? I mean, you're kind of forced to be around people you get along with and people you don't get along with in these situations, with their personalities—you know, the relationship thing. Is that kind of hard to do, to not—
No, not at all. It was very easy to get along with everyone. I always get along with people. I mean, of course, by the ending of the show, you would never think that. But I love people, and we got along perfectly with every single person on the Race pretty much except for Mirna. We didn’t—I didn't even mind Charla. I talked with Charla all the time. So that wasn't difficult at all. I mean, that was maybe the most fun part of the Race.
There was a bit of a controversy at one point where you referred to Charla as a midget. Did you know that that word was considered kind of . . . bad—very negative—by little people?
You know, on that, I would say that I guess I knew that, you know, you're supposed to say, you know, little person or something like that. And basically, my whole stance—you know, I'm a big jerk for this. My whole stance on—you know, I try to be politically correct, you know. I would—you would never hear any kind of racist comments ever come out of my mouth, even repeating someone. You know what I mean?
Very, very careful of that kind of thing. No racist comments, no sexist comments, nothing like that. But I feel also that this whole political correctness thing has gone a little bit far. And, I mean, like when I was in like some medical class that I took in college—or maybe it was in high school, I don't know—anyhow, my dad's a doctor. Basically, I learned that like there's different height levels and there's a difference between a dwarf and a midget. You know, basically the medical term for what Charla is—I mean, it's not a derogatory term. I'm not calling her gremlin. I'm not calling her a fucking Oompa-Loompa. I'm just calling her a midget, because that's what she is, you know?
Right. That's what I had always heard, too, that there was—you know, a midget was a person of short stature who was in proportion and a dwarf was one who was not.
And I never knew it was considered a bad word, and I think a lot of people—part of some people’s negative reaction to you was the use of that word.
Yeah, well, that’s fine with them if they want to have a negative reaction to me for that, but you’re absolutely right, I mean, if you look up the like medical term—I mean, that’s a medical term, midget. That’s not a cut down.
(There's a little bit of a distraction as Colin informs me he's putting me on speaker phone so that he can eat his dinner. I apologize for interrupting his dinner and ask if we should do this some other time, but he says we should continue.)
On the second leg in Buenos Aires, when you were given the information about the cemetery where Evita Peron was buried, and they ended up giving you the wrong information, had you asked a couple people that or did that one person seem really like they knew what they were talking about?
No. We asked two different people about it, and they seemed like they knew what they were talking about. But they were both thinking about—whatever, the other guy, President Peron or whatever.
Colin then realizes that his dinner has cooled down too much and needs some help from the microwave. He hands the phone over to Christie and that's where we will start part two…