Exclusive: Brooke Camhi talks 'The Amazing Race': I was never going to quit but the season was difficult to watch
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/08/2017
The Amazing Race crowned Brooke Camhi and Scott Flanary the winners of Season 29 during the finale broadcast on CBS.
Brooke, a 36-year-old criminal attorney from New York, NY, and Scott, a 34-year-old recruiting manager from West Hollywood, CA, arrived at the final Pit Stop in Chicago, IL, in first place, therefore winning the $1 million grand prize.
"You started this race as strangers, and now, after nine countries, 17 cities and more than 36,000 miles racing around the world together, I am pleased to tell you that you have won $1 million and you are the official winners of The Amazing Race!" host Phil Keoghan told the pair as they hugged each other at the finish line.
Tara Carr, a 38-year-old U.S. Army officer from Alexandria, VA, and Joey Covino, a 46-year-old police sergeant from Saugus, MA, completed The Amazing Race in second place. London Kaye, a 27-year-old artist from Brooklyn, NY, and Logan Bauer, a 27-year-old surgical consultant from Columbus, GA, made it to the finish line in third place.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World via email following the show's finale, Brooke opened up about her The Amazing Race experience and victory. Below is the concluding portion of what she had to say.
Reality TV World: You had a turning point in the Race when you finished a previous leg in second place. What clicked for you two during that leg and what about your dynamic changed that ended up working in your favor all the way to the end?
Brooke Camhi: In the second Vietnam leg, I tried to stay positive. Yes I was grunting on those bicycles, but I think they put it in the episode that I say "I can't -- YES I CAN" as I'm riding. There was a ton of riding that day and I kept repeating "just keep moving" over and over.
I think that that helped Scott know that I wasn't ever thinking of quitting no matter what I said or how hot or hard it got. When we finally got to Phil on the mat he commented on the positivity that day and I realized that little changes like saying "I can" could make all the difference in the world.
Reality TV World: You were criticized by other teams earlier this season for U-Turning Liz Espey and Michael Rado after they helped you out in a Roadblock. Do you 100 percent stand by your aggressive tactics? And watching the season back, were you surprised to learn how upset some Racers got over decisions you had made to get ahead?
Brooke Camhi: We had an alliance with LoLo [London and Logan] to U-Turn Liz and Mike that leg. I don't like that we did it but we did it. I wish that we hadn't, but I was a part of that decision and I won't make any excuses for it. It was gameplay and within the rules. I will say that had I known how far back they were, I would have pushed not to do it.
Reality TV World: I understand you'd want to U-Turn a team whom you could knock out, but why not U-Turn a stronger team like Matt Ladley and Redmond Ramos or Tara and Joey at the time? Did alliances come into play here?
Brooke Camhi: If you look at the T-Turn board in Greece, Tara and Joey and Matt and Redmond are literally on the mat 30 seconds behind us. U-turning a team that was at the front with us wouldn't have made sense.
The only other options were LoLo (who we were actively working with), Team Fun [Becca Droz and Floyd Pierce], and Liz and Mike. Again, it sucked and if I could change a few things in the race this is one of them.
Reality TV World: I can imagine watching most of this season on TV was tough for you two considering the constant bickering, and at one point, you had a blow-up argument and cursed at each other. What was it like to re-live it all over again? And looking back, do you have any regrets about how you personally behaved in a situation or treated your teammate?
Brooke Camhi: Of course it was difficult to watch. You never want to see yourself acting badly towards anyone. Most of the race I was hard on myself, but that leg we went at each other and it made me grimace.
Thankfully, my friends and family know who I am, and know that that is not how I act in my real life outside the Race. Fortunately, Scott and I had a unique ability to talk it all out when the leg was over and put it behind us in pursuit of our common goal. And now we are very close friends and will be for a long time.
Reality TV World: How do you think the stranger twist made this The Amazing Race season different from ones past? Do you think it was more difficult racing with a stranger or easier? How do you think it changed strategy and gameplay?
Brooke Camhi: I had applied for the Race four times -- once with my brother, twice with girlfriends, and once by myself. I think working with a stranger was harder in the sense that you didn't know who or what you were getting in a partner, but easier in the sense that you didn't have to worry about ruining a relationship because there was no pre-existing relationship to ruin.
Thankfully Scott and I had very similar playing strategies and a very common goal. If you look at all the partners, it's actually strange because for the most part we agree that everyone got the partner they were supposed to get.
Reality TV World: What do you plan to do with your share of the $1 million?
Brooke Camhi: I sent my brother and sister-in-law on their honeymoon, bought my parents their 40th anniversary present (a cruise to Italy and Croatia), and put a down payment on an apartment. (Once I get the check, I will be replenishing my bank account) :)
Reality TV World: What's the status of your relationship with Scott now? Are you planning any future trips together?
Brooke Camhi: I don't think a day has gone by when we haven't talked or texted. Fortunately since the Race filmed last year, I do have some vacation days saved up this year, so I am using them to take a short trip with Scott to London, Amsterdam, and Belgium. We have a bond that only those people who have been onThe Amazing Race can fully understand and I am grateful for it.