http://www.digitalspy.ca/ustv/s66/the-amazing-race/news/a380374/amazing-race-winners-rachel--dave-qa-winning-felt-unbelievable.html'Amazing Race' winners Rachel & Dave Q&A: 'Winning felt unbelievable'
After five continents, nine countries, 22 cities and more than 36,000 miles, the 20th season of The Amazing Race came to an end last night with husband and wife duo Rachel and Dave being crowned the winners!
The couple not only took home the $1m grand prize, but broke the record for the most legs won in the Race. Digital Spy spoke with Rachel and Dave to talk about their winning moment, the secret of their success, and their arguments.Congratulations on your win! Can you talk through how it felt in that winning moment when you heard you'd won the million dollars?
Rachel: "Oh, it felt unbelievable. We were so physically and mentally exhausted at that point that that was the sweetest thing we could ever have heard!"What was more important to you - winning the million dollars, or breaking the record for the number of leg wins?
Dave: "In all honesty, from my perspective it was setting the precedent of most leg victories. I've been a huge fan of the show and in my mind it's the most competitive reality program that I've seen to date, and to be the most successful team at this point is truly astonishing. Setting a precedent was absolutely amazing - no pun intended!"
Rachel: "It was definitely the money for me!"Well let me ask you - what are you going to spend the money on? Have you made any decisions yet?
Rachel: "Oh yeah - we're going to pay our mortgage off and maybe do a little investing."Very good! But are you going to have a party to celebrate?
Dave: "We had a bit of a celebratory party last night in New York, so we're running on about an hour and a half of sleep! Bopper and Rachel and I basically closed the bar down last night! I'm sure once we return to Madison we'll have the opportunity to celebrate with friends and family."You did have a few setbacks, and obviously the biggest one was that you had to go back and complete the Roadblock. How did you feel when Phil said that to you?
Rachel: "We were shocked. I thought that he was just kidding. I kind of laughed and said, 'Ha ha, that's funny Phil', and he did not laugh back - at which point I knew we had to have screwed something up. So we thought, 'What the heck could we have missed?' We had no idea so we thought it through and we thought, 'Okay, we must have missed a complete task', so we got back up on our paddle boards and we just went for it."Did you think at that point you'd lost, or did you think there was any chance you could get back into the Race?
Rachel: "Oh no, we thought we were definitely going to come in third. So we were a little dejected, but at the same time we knew we had to finish it."You must have felt pretty good when you got to the sledding and saw Art and JJ!
Rachel: "Oh, I was so exhausted! Paddleboarding back and forth a couple of times, then we had to run to the sledding thing, then we had to walk up the hill... oh my gosh, I was toast! I was done! So when I found out I had to do the Roadblock because Dave did the other one, I was so worried that it would take me a long time, especially after Art told me he'd had 15 tries by the time we got there."Also in the leg in Japan you missed the ferry - you must have thought you were out! How did it feel at that point?
Dave: "That actually was a pretty dejecting feeling as well. Missing the ferry was basically a matter of seconds when we missed the train, and again a matter of minutes where we missed the ferry. And that then translated into an overnight stay at a hostel on the other side on the mainland, versus the island that we needed to be on. So again we didn't necessarily know what the island entailed - whether it was a challenge or whether it was a Pit Stop. So we were under the impression that it could have been catastrophic for Rachel's and my race."Do you think you're just a really lucky team?
Dave: "I think there's a bit of luck involved in winning the Race."
Dave: "But I think overall your skills and abilities and utilizing that luck to the best of your skills and abilities really makes for a successful team and Race."And you were such a successful team - what was the secret to your success, do you think?
Rachel: "I think the biggest thing was that we really thought through the Roadblocks and the Detours. At first we just took impulse decisions because it was so exciting and the adrenaline was pumping through us, but then after the watermelon incident we said, 'Alright, we need to read through everything very carefully - if it takes up an extra minute that's fine, but then we'll choose the right thing'."
Dave: "I mean, I took this very seriously - obviously, I'm very competitive, aggressive and intense at times, but Rachel and I, we would sit down and actually analyze afterwards each and every leg - what we'd done wrong, what we intended to carry on from this point and what we could do to ensure that the next leg is better than the last."You mentioned that you can be quite intense Dave, and you two did have some arguments. Did that make the Race harder?
Dave: "Uh, I mean, in some respects. Rachel's very competitive as well, and she is a challenge - she's feisty! And that challenge obviously doesn't translate well on television or bode well for me, especially the way it's perceived, but Rachel actually appreciates that challenge from me. And another consideration that many people don't realize is at that point we had spent 18 or 24 months apart, and now we're 24/7 together and competing in a variety of challenges and traveling around the world, so it was very difficult for both of us."Rachel, you got very emotional at the end of the Race when you were speaking about your relationship with Dave. How has your relationship changed thanks to the Race?
Rachel: "Yeah, it was very emotional. I never cry - I even cried watching me cry last night! Very emotional. I think even though it showed the little spats we had, I think it was just a phenomenal thing for our relationship. Like Dave said, we were apart so much, so to have an entire month together, especially when we had checked into the mat and we got to spend some quality time together in a hotel, I think that was a [great thing] for our relationship. And the thing about us is that yeah, we can argue, but then we make up right away and we forget about anything that we had."So what was your favorite moment from the Race?
Rachel: "Oh gosh, definitely, hands down, the African safari. The most beautiful, awesome thing I've ever seen in my entire life."
Dave: "Yeah, hands down it would be the same as well - the safari and the crater was absolutely phenomenal. The most surreal, majestic experience of my life."And as well as the $1m, you've got all those prizes from winning all the legs. Which are you most excited about?
Dave: "I would actually say the trip to New Zealand. Not above and beyond the money, but the trip to New Zealand - that definitely I'm looking forward to!"
Rachel: "Absolutely!"So as a successful team, what one piece of advice would you give future contestants going on the show?
Rachel: "I think the big thing is just, like I said, read through things very carefully and take the time to read through things. Make a very conscious decision rather than an impulse decision."
Dave: "As far as success goes, I would say again attention to detail and be detail-oriented. I didn't necessarily see the Race as anything other than a job. Rachel and I would check out and check into the mat like we were punching the time clock, so I didn't necessarily consider the ramifications of how people would perceive it based on an edit or any of those factors. Rachel and I just competed to the best of our abilities, and I think ultimately if you want to ensure success you need to be detail-oriented and just focus on the Race at hand."You mentioned seeing Bopper last night - are you going to keep in touch with any of the Racers?
Rachel: "Oh yeah, definitely."
Dave: "Yeah, I actually do - more so than Rachel. Bopper, Ralph, Elliot and Joey I'm in touch with very, very frequently."
Rachel: "Yeah, the guys didn't have quite as many arguments as the girls! Even though I wasn't involved in the arguments I tried to stay out of everything, so I didn't really become that close with any of the girls."You mentioned that you weren't involved in many arguments, but do you feel like the ones you did have are in the past and you can move on and be friends?
Rachel: "Oh yeah, definitely. After the wrapping of the show we all had a big fun festivity together and we all made up and yeah, we're all friends. We talk to each other, we write each other emails. So yeah, we all made up in the end."And what's next for you? What are your plans for 2012?
Rachel: "Well, back to work as usual!"
Dave: "I'll be returning to work tomorrow as well. We're in NYC now - we should be back in Madison, which is our home town, some time probably about 4pm, and it's back to work tomorrow morning and another possibly ten plus years in the army!"
Rachel: "Work as usual!"At least you still have all of those vacations to look forward to...
Rachel: "Yeah, exactly!"