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 what they plan to spend their million-dollar winnings on, how they explained making the major mistake of accidentally skipping a Roadblock task at the end of the final leg, and what each member of the couple highly appreciates about their teammate and partner despite how their arguing might appear to viewers.
Below is the first half of our exclusive interview with Rachel and Dave. Check back with Reality TV World tomorrow for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Congratulations on your big win you two!
Reality TV World: So my first question is what do you plan on doing with the money?
Dave Brown: Things that are honestly quite boring and sensible. We need to pay off our mortgage to have that financial security and stability of not paying it monthly.
Reality TV World: Okay and getting into the Race, how far ahead of Art and J.J. do you think you arrived at the Pit Stop when you won The Amazing Race? And then how far behind Art and J.J. do you think Rachel and Brendon finally arrived?
Rachel Brown: It's hard to say. I would say maybe Art and J.J. were about 20 minutes behind us.
Dave Brown: I'd say within 45 minutes both teams arrived behind us.
Reality TV World: During the final leg of the Race, you guys apparently didn't follow the marked path and then ended up doing the paddleboard task to the finish instead of going to the Hawaiian-games Roadblock task you were supposed to complete. Could you talk about that a little bit? How do you think you missed that part of the clue and how long did it take you to backtrack and get to the Roadblock task from the Pit Stop after you met Phil Keoghan and he gave you the bad news?
Rachel Brown: I would say that took us about an hour out of the way, and the reason that we missed the correct route marker is because we passed the route marker for the finish before we got to the other one. So we had to pass the one for the final part in order to get to the one with the sledding. So we recognized it and saw it, but we weren't supposed to.
Dave Brown: And again, the clue with the route information -- it didn't necessarily specify a Roadblock in my recollection. It really was, "Go to this location to receive your next clue." So again, we stumbled across a red and yellow flag and our cab driver was somewhat oblivious to where this location was, so we just assumed, "We're here now and this is it."
So we followed the marked path and we were astonished when we noticed the teams lined up and it was so surreal. And then we got on the mat and Phil had mentioned that, "Yes you are the first team to arrive, however, you did not successfully complete a Roadblock."
Reality TV World: So when he told you two that, what exactly was going through your minds? And when you ended up leaving that Pit Stop, you didn't really seem to be defeated at all and you maintained pretty positive attitudes. So were you confident you were still in first place at that point and that's why you didn't freak out?
Rachel Brown: Absolutely not. (Laughs) We thought Phil was just kidding when he said that.
Rachel Brown: Well, I did. I thought he was kidding, so I was just laughing like, "Oh, good joke, Phil." And he didn't laugh back, so then we realized that, "Oh, wow. We really actually did miss something." And we sat down for a second and Dave thought, "Oh well maybe we didn't complete the ice-shaving thing correctly."
He thought maybe we'd have to go all the way back there and of course, we took the helicopter ride to get to that location. So we were really nervous that we would not be able to complete the Race at all, let alone come in first.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you saw Art and J.J. still attempting to complete the sledding Roadblock task when you guys finally arrived there? Did it pump your adrenaline more to win now that you realized you were no longer in first place, or did it deflate the wind in your sails a bit?
Dave Brown: No, we were definitely -- it was reassuring to see another team, because we knew at this point, we were at least competing for either first or that there was another team in the Race.
At any point throughout the course of the Race itself, seeing another team, it's somewhat reassuring because you know that you're competing against another team versus being on your own and not necessarily knowing where you stand with the current teams remaining.
So it was definitely reassuring to see Art and J.J. and know that Art was having such difficulty with the challenge, that according to a local, was much easier for women.
Reality TV World: Yeah, I was just going to ask you a little bit about that. Rachel, you didn't seem to struggle with the sledding task at all, so I didn't know whether Art was just really bad at it or you thought women in general or just lighter people in general had an advantage. So it sounds like you think it was easier for women, right?
Rachel Brown: Well, I think it had to do with the course. So, you really had to balance yourself on that, and if you got off balance at all, you flipped right over. So, yeah, (laughs) it was a good core workout.
Reality TV World: After you guys landed in Hiroshima during the eleventh leg of the Race, you guys were the only team to miss that train, and Dave, you kept saying how stalling one minute could make a big difference and possibly affect the whole outcome of the Race. Could you talk about what happened there? What was the stall, was it just because you couldn't figure out where to buy the tickets? And how much later did the next train leave?
Rachel Brown: We had to buy tickets, so that was the stall. So, since we were the last to buy tickets, we ran up to the platform and the train had already left. It was just pulling away, so that was pretty heart-wrenching.
Dave Brown: Yeah, it was basically again just a matter of seconds, and missing the train transpired into minutes of missing the ferry, and then missing the ferry cost us an entire evening of having to stay at a hospital versus competing with the teams not knowing what was in store.
Rachel Brown: So for seven hours, Dave was sitting there thinking, "Wow, we're out of this Race. The teams are going to be done."
Reality TV World: So since you guys had to wait until the following morning to take the next available ferry, you said it gave you guys time talk out your problems and that you had clear heads going into the rest of the Race. How important do you think that discussion was to you guys ultimately winning The Amazing Race? Did it change your team dynamic drastically, and if you don't mind talking about it, what are some of the things you worked out?
Rachel Brown: Well I think the best thing about Dave and I's relationship is that we can have arguments, but then we squash it right away. We don't let things linger and we don't let it affect us in the long run.
Dave Brown: In some respects, and also from what you've seen on the show with regard to some of our bickering and arguing, much of that, we are actually saying to one another and it's a challenge. But we appreciate the challenge. We both do.
I think that's part of the reason that we're so successful in the Race. We do challenge each other. We push one another and Rachel has no qualms telling me when I'm wrong and I have no qualms with telling her when she's wrong or I feel I'm right.
A lot of people misperceive that as being demeaning or bickering and what have you, which it could be, but you know at times, that's what we appreciate about one another. We're not averse to challenging one another.
Reality TV World: You guys did win eight of The Amazing Race's legs and broke the show's record of most wins during a season. But would you say it's harder to compete as a couple during the Race rather than a team of friends or family, or do you think you actually had an advantage working together as a married couple? How do you think racing as married partners either helped or hurt you?
Rachel Brown: I think it would be so much easier to run with a friend. (Laughs)
Dave Brown: I definitely feel the same way. With a friend, you don't necessarily have the emotional investment that you do in a marital partnership or what have you and being with your spouse, there can be times that marital bickering can be very difficult and trying and not lend itself to solid team work. But I think Rachel and I fought through it...