Exclusive: Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge discuss their 'The Amazing Race' victory (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/12/2012
Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge were crowned the champions of The Amazing Race's 21st season during Sunday night's two-hour finale broadcast of the CBS reality competition.
The "Goat Farmers and Life Partners" team was the first team to cross the 21st season of The Amazing Race's finish line in New York, NY, claiming the $1 million grand prize. "Chippendales Dancers and Best Friends" Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis finished second, while "Dating Couple" Trey Wier and Alexis "Lexi" Beerman finished the Race in third place.
"Twin Sisters" Natalie Anderson and Nadiya Anderson finished the Race in fourth place, as they had been eliminated just shy of making it to the Final 3. They had arrived at the eleventh leg's Pit Stop in Loire Valley, France, in last place.
In an exclusive interview on Monday, Josh and Brent talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race victory and overall experience. Below is the concluding portion of Josh and Brent's interview.
Click here to read the first half. Also, to read the first half of Natalie and Nadiya's interview, click here. To start on Trey and Lexi's interview with Reality TV World, click here.
Reality TV World: You guys raced side by side with Abbie Ginsberg and Ryan Danz for a couple legs of the Race when both of you were far behind the other teams. Could you talk about your reasoning for racing with them? Did it come down to the fact you thought they were threatening and therefore wanted to "keep your enemies close" type of thing or were you truly just trying to help your friends out?
Josh Kilmer-Purcell: No, it was very strategic. We knew we were so far behind. We knew that, most likely, one of us was going to be out of the Race. It was a fourteen and a half hour lag time. We liked each other. We're both very strategic. So the strategy was, the only way -- one of us was going to be out and the only way the other would survive in the Race was to eat into that lag time as much as possible.
Four [sets of] eyes working together on a challenge would help us blow through those Roadblocks and Detours much quicker than two. So it was self-serving on both our parts.
Reality TV World: You guys were finally able to move ahead of Abbie and Ryan earlier this season because of the Double U-Turn they got stuck with. But had that not have happened, what was your plan? If you were going to race alongside them the whole way, did you just hope to beat them in a foot race to the Pit Stop?
Brent Ridge: You know, at that point, even though we hadn't really discussed it amongst ourselves, that was pretty much the assumption. Like in the first leg in Moscow, when we had the synchronized swimming, they waited for us at the pool for about 15 minutes before we were told the pool was closing. And so, they heard that we had gotten a four-hour penalty.
So at that point, we knew that even if we had arrived at the Pit Stop mat at the same time, we were still going to have a four-hour penalty. So that was kind of a moot point in that leg of the Race.
And then when we got to Amsterdam, we honestly thought that -- because we didn't know about the -- that was really a strategy that the twins had created with the U-Turn. We honestly thought that someone would U-Turn Abbie and Ryan and then they would U-Turn us. That's how we thought it was going to go down.
Reality TV World: When Abbie and Ryan got U-Turned, Josh, you seemed to struggle with the idea of leaving them behind and moving on in the Race. How close did you actually come to quitting and how strongly did you want to quit? It seemed like Brent had to talk you into staying and competing.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell: I never wanted to quit, I just wanted to make sure that I was making a decision I could live with down the road. I just wanted to make sure that I'd be proud of whatever race we ran. So we just took a moment to make sure we were making the right decision and then realized we were and continued on to the Pit Stop and then doubled down the next day.
Reality TV World: So looking back you obviously made the right decision, right?! (Laughs)
Josh Kilmer-Purcell: (Laughs) Yeah!
Reality TV World: Brent, at that particular moment when Josh was concerned about what you two should do, were you surprised or frustrated at all? What was going through your mind?
Brent Ridge: Yeah, I think that for us, from the very minute we lined up on the starting line, we knew that everyone out there was the same as us. We were all in it to win it. We were all dreamers... I think Josh and I, because we had so many ups and downs over the past few years in our lives, we're very sensitive to having a dream and then losing it.
And so, any time -- and this was every leg of the Race, not just that particular leg of the Race. We always felt bad for a team that was eliminated, because we knew that that was the end of the dream for them. And that's really hard for us to see. So I think at that point, we knew we had to go on. And for me, it was just about being Josh's cheerleader, which is what a partner has to do sometimes.
Reality TV World: How much of a role did your ability to speak French, Josh, play into your victory, and also, how about having the home court advantage in New York? During what specific instances did your familiarity with the city really kick in and help you?
Josh Kilmer-Purcell: Well, the French actually did help quite a bit. You saw one scene, but there was also that final navigation to the Pit Stop in France. We were helped by getting directions in French. That clearly helped us a lot.
And you know, we were asked a lot about the hometown advantage, and I think the other teams were maybe worried about our hometown advantage, but throughout the history of the Race, the two times it happened -- the hometown advantage -- it wasn't always an advantage. Brent and I have never traveled directly from JFK to Coney Island before. (Laughs) Not many New Yorkers do that.
Brent Ridge: And in fact, the cab driver that we got at JFK could not get us to Coney Island. We drove around and around and around. He could not get us there. We actually had to get into another cab to get us to Coney Island.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell: I mean, yeah, there was probably an advantage on the pizza task because we knew where the streets were, but I think that was about it.
Reality TV World: You guys survived a non-elimination leg this season and ended up winning the Race despite never having a first-place finish. It seemed like you guys managed to survive a few times because of other teams' bad luck or misfortune. So what are your thoughts on that and would you attribute your victory more to luck or skill?
Josh Kilmer-Purcell: All of the teams lined up on that starting line and they all brought something different. Some people brought age, some people brought youth, some people brought wisdom, some people brought strength. No one was walking around on that starting line handing out extra portions of luck. So we all began with an equal playing field of luck, and luck is definitely an element of the game.
But if people think we won purely because of luck, then they would have to admit that luck makes winners in life. And if you believe that, then why would you start any challenge at all?
Reality TV World: Did you have any issues with Rob French and Kelley Carrington-French during the Race? Because based on Rob's comment at the end of last night's broadcast, it sounded like maybe he wasn't supportive of you guys earlier in the Race but you had managed to change his mind.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell: No issues at all. We love Rob and Kelley, and I spoke with him afterwards -- because he had mentioned that in one of his exit interviews -- and I said how nice it was for him to make that comment.
And he said, "It was actually going to the starting line when he had his arm around Kelley and then he saw me put my arm around Brent," that was something he realized he had never seen before in his life -- that gay people are the same exact couples as they were.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on The Amazing Race and was it your first time applying for the show?
Josh Kilmer-Purcell: We were actually doing a cookbook signing in LA and we met a woman whose friend watched our show and also was involved with The Amazing Race. And the first words out of Brent's mouth were, "Why aren't we on?!" Because we've been longtime fans. And so shortly after that, we got a call and then we formally applied and went through the application process.
Above is the concluding portion of Josh and Brent's interview. Click here to read the first half. Also, to read the first half of Natalie and Nadiya's interview, click here. To start on Trey and Lexi's interview with Reality TV World, click here.