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HOME > The Amazing Race > The Amazing Race 20

Exclusive: Rachel Brown and Dave Brown talk 'Amazing Race' (Pt. 2)


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/08/2012 

Rachel Brown and Dave Brown were crowned the champions of The Amazing Race's twentieth season during Sunday night's two-hour finale broadcast of the CBS reality competition.

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The "Married Couple" beat out "Border Patrol Agents and Friends" Art Velez and J.J. Carrell -- who came in second place overall -- and third-place finishers, "Engaged Couple" and former Big Brother houseguests Brendon Villegas and Rachel Reilly. "Dating Divorcees" Vanessa Macias and Ralph Kelley finished in fourth place mid-episode, and therefore, were ineligible to compete in the final twelfth leg of the Race with the Final 3.

Rachel and Dave not only managed to win The Amazing Race, but they also broke the show's record of having the most wins in a particular season. On Monday, the pair talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience -- including who they believed got "too emotionally invested" in the Race and then lost focus as a result, which task they had the greatest time together attempting to complete and why they thought Nary Ebeid and Jamie Graetz's "kindergarten teacher" cover-up story made absolutely no sense.

Below is the concluding portion of our exclusive interview with Rachel and Dave. Click here to read the first half. 

Reality TV World: During the eleventh leg, you guys chose to do the "Photo Cut-Out" Detour task, while everyone else chose to do the sushi one. You guys seemed to breeze through that Detour task, so is that accurate? How long do you think it took you, and after watching last night's episode, do you think you would've struggled with the sushi task?

Rachel Brown: Yeah, we're so glad that we did the sumo wrestling. It probably took us about, I'd say, 15 minutes -- at first.

Dave Brown: Fifteen minutes? The entire task?

Rachel Brown: Well once we got there. We had to haul this thing with the big sumo wrestlers all over the city on foot. So I'm sure the people in Japan thought that we were insane.

Dave Brown: I would definitely say it took close to an hour, but it truly was -- that was probably the greatest task that we had experienced together, because we had the opportunity to kind of break away from the Race and speak to the locals.

Surprisingly enough, when we first elected it, I was under the impression that -- I know that Rachel's hyper social and I'm very social as well -- but that she would be the one actively pursuing people and bringing them in.

Strangely enough, that was actually me bringing the people in and Rachel was the photog. So it worked; It was awesome. You could detach yourself from the Race a bit and you were kind of integrated into the locals.

Reality TV World: Earlier in the season you made a pact with Art and J.J. to U-Turn Rachel and Brendon if you got to the Double U-Turn board before the two guys, however, you ended up deciding not to U-Turn anybody. Could you talk a little bit more about what went into your decision there, was there anyone you were considering U-Turning for any reason?

Dave Brown: No it was again, just completely -- it was a logical decision versus an emotional decision. And for whatever reason, J.J. especially, became very emotionally invested in every other team, and they lost focus. I think in some respects, that benefited Rachel and I.

I think at one point, we still had an alliance with Art and J.J., but I could see their over-confidence and arrogance bleeding into their team cohesiveness and leading into their demise. And that was the opportunity when Rachel and I became more cohesive as a team, and I think that's kind of what distinguished Rachel and I and made us more successful towards the later phases of the Race.

Rachel Brown: It was weird. We thought the explanation of, "Oh well the teachers were so far behind that it didn't make sense to use it" would be enough. We didn't realize that J.J. would be so mad at us.

Reality TV World: Yes, they did seem extremely mad at you guys to the point where they felt like you guys had betrayed them. So did you two and Art and J.J. ever solve your issues or talk things out after that U-Turn moment or did they continue to have hard feelings towards you after that?

Dave Brown: Actually the first opportunity, and I attempted to speak to J.J. a few times -- and Art too -- but if you noticed in last night's episode, I think that's the first time when I extended my hand for a handshake and it was the first time they actually reciprocated any conversation.

And so, Art was pretty amicable and we spoke at the Bollywood challenge, but again, you would assume that -- especially if you are these federal agents and law enforcement agents or border patrol -- that they would appreciate logic over emotion. But for some reason, that emotional investment, it just skewed their perception.

Reality TV World: Art and J.J. said Rachel and Brendon didn't deserve to be in the Race because they were just followers and had no real racing skills. What did you think about that team being in the finale? Did you think they deserved to be there and what were your thoughts on the team as a whole? Because they were involved in a lot of drama throughout the season.

Rachel Brown: (Laughs) Yes they were. They were actually great people. We got to talk to them a lot at the airports, and when we saw the show, we didn't realize that Rachel had cried so much and been so emotional.

So it was a little bit of a surprise to us that she was like that. So yeah, we got along with them really well, especially after Art and J.J. got so mad at us, because then Rachel and Brendon really wanted to befriend us for not U-Turning them.

Reality TV World: In past The Amazing Race seasons, most teams normally prepared for a task in the finale that would test their knowledge and memory of the prior legs. How much studying had you two done before that final leg or throughout the Race in general, and were you surprised you didn't end up getting a task like that?  

Dave Brown: Yeah, actually Rachel and I were expecting it to such an extent where we would track every stage of the Race. We had everything written down in a small notebook we would carry in the "manny-pack" as we would refer to it, because I would have to wear it. (Laughs)

So yeah, we were completely expecting a memory-based challenge that kind of reflected back on your experiences in the Race, but it didn't happen. But we were definitely prepared for it.

Reality TV World: Art and J.J. suspected that Nary and Jamie weren't actually kindergarten teachers and they proved to be right in the end. What were your thoughts on that when you found out their real professions and do you think it made sense for them to pull off that cover story or do you think had you known what they actually did for a living, it wouldn't have made a difference and you wouldn't have been any more intimidated by them?

Rachel Brown: Yeah, we thought it was strange that they had lied. I mean, if they would have come in first or been one of the top teams, then maybe it would have made more sense because they would've seemed like a bigger threat as federal agents. But since they weren't the head of the pack, it didn't really make any sense at all. (Laughs)

Dave Brown: It would take a pretty impressive profession to intimidate me and Rachel and I are both results, production-oriented people, and they didn't produce. You could have legitimately been a kindergarten teacher and if you're producing results and you're winning legs, then yeah, we're going to perceive you as a threat. But it was never produced.

Reality TV World: Would you two ever consider doing an all-stars edition of the Race if given the opportunity?

Rachel Brown: Oh, that would be awesome! I would love to do that. Some people last night were talking about that -- having all the teams who had won the show -- and yeah, I think that would be the ultimate challenge.

Reality TV World: How were you cast on The Amazing Race and was it your first time applying for the show?

Dave Brown: Yeah, it was our first time applying. I was actually in Iraq at the time and Rachel and I have been avid fans of the show for quite some time, and we met in Sydney Australia of all places for my R & R [leave] from Iraq.

And she brought out two printed applications. We actually bought a bottle of wine and I probably had some vodka and we filled them out and submitted it, and then they contacted us shortly thereafter.

Reality TV World: Obviously you two ended up winning the show, but while you racing, who did you consider to be your biggest competition and why?

Rachel Brown: In the very beginning, we thought that Art and J.J. were definitely our biggest competition. They just seemed really smart, put together, they had some good experience in their background.

Dave Brown: Well, I think actually that Rachel and I had the opportunity throughout the application/interview process in L.A. -- they were part of our initial interviews, Art and J.J. -- and from the start, I knew that they would definitely possibly pose as a threat to Rachel and I, because they didn't seem to be there for any other reason.

They were there to win. They were focused and determined, as Rachel and I were, and they didn't have any ulterior motives. I assumed they weren't drama-oriented, but as we've all seen, that's not necessarily the case. (Laughs)

Reality TV World: You started off very strong in the beginning of the Race during the first couple of legs, but then you kind of hit a bump in the next few legs -- finishing sixth, second and fifth in the third, fourth and fifth legs respectively -- I believe. So did you two make some adjustments after those few legs and maybe that's why you finished almost every leg afterwards in first place, or do you think you just kind of hit a patch of bad luck in the middle there?

Rachel Brown: I think the biggest thing is that we made impulsive decisions, so we didn't even read through the entire clue when it said, "harps or watermelon." We kind of just said, "Okay let's do watermelons!"

And after that, we said, "Alright, we are going to take the extra minute to actually read very-detailed through each one of the clues and make sure that we choose the right option and the right person for the Roadblock."

Reality TV World: For winning eight of the season's legs, you guys clearly won a lot of trips and some cash prizes and stuff. So what are your plans for the near future? When do you plan on taking advantage of all these trips and is there an expiration date or anything like that on any of them?

Rachel Brown: I hope not! We don't know! We don't get anything until this week, so yeah, we're hoping there's not expiration dates on any of them because we both have to build up our vacation for taking so much vacation for being on the show. (Laughs)

Above is the concluding portion of our exclusive interview with Rachel and Dave. Click here to read the first half. 



(Photo credit CBS)


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