Colin Guinn and Christie Woods talk 'The Amazing Race', reveal major differences between their two seasons
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/10/2019
Colin Guinn and Christie Woods were crowned the winners of The Amazing Race's 31st season after they made it to the finish line ahead of runner-ups Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl during the two-hour finale broadcast on CBS.
Colin, 38, and Christie, 40 -- who previously competed on Season 5 of The Amazing Race and raced this time as life partners from Austin, TX -- were declared the winners of The Amazing Race and won the $1 million grand prize after crossing the finish line in Detroit, Michigan, before the other two teams in the final twelfth leg.
"Ten countries, 18 cities, and more than 25,000 miles, Colin and Christie, I am pleased to tell you that you are the official winners of The Amazing Race and you have won the $1 million prize. Congratulations!" host Phil Keoghan told the lovebirds.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World after the finale aired, Colin and Christie talked about their The Amazing Race experience and victory. Below is the concluding portion of what they had to say.
Reality TV World: Since you guys raced all the way back in Season 5, which aired in 2004, and you came back for this season, how would you say The Amazing Race has changed throughout the years? What felt different to you about the show, its format or anything else?
Colin Guinn: You know, that's a great question because it's the same title of the show and it's the same overall premise, but it's completely different. I think even down to Season 30, they made a significant difference for every season before that.
I remember when we got asked to come back on the Race, they were like, "By the way, watch Season 30. You don't need to watch any other seasons, but watch Season 30."
So we watched it and we were like, "Oh man, what did we just sign up for?!" So it was different in several ways. Our first season around, it was really about traveling and endurance and, you know, the ability to push it out or hold your endurance for a long time.
These legs were two or three days long, and we traveled over 75,000 miles. We weren't making an efficient route around the earth; we were going from the top of the northern hemisphere to the bottom of the southern hemisphere to the top of the northern hemisphere.
And so it was a grueling travel experience, and it was a rare occasion to be at a Roadblock or Detour and even see another team! So the teams were so spread out between flights and different buses and trains.
And so this time around, essentially starting every leg lined up at an airport with them kind of giving you a countdown from 10, and saying, "On your mark, get set, go," the legs were so compressed and the teams were all so competitive.
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I think in Dubai, the difference between first place and last place was like 12 minutes. And so, from an endurance and grueling aspect, in terms of the entire month, this one wasn't as bad because our rest stops were a lot longer than they were on our first season, where almost every rest stop in our first season was exactly 12 hours.
And these rest stops were sometimes a day or two days long. You had a lot more time to recuperate between legs, but then being in the Race and on the leg was just unbelievably stressful and so heightened -- the energy -- because everyone is just shoulder to shoulder.
You're just neck and neck with the other teams, which made for, you know, a highly-stressful actual short-leg experience.
Reality TV World: Since there was such a big gap of time between your two races, tell me how you were cast on this season. How did it come about, and when you were asked to compete, was it an easy decision for both you to make?
Christie Woods: Well, it's interesting. We had not actually watched Amazing Race since our season aired 15 years ago. We watched it live. It was a bit traumatic, you know, I knew Colin was the villain as we were filming. I told him that, and he just couldn't see it.
(Laughs) And as we were watching the infamous "ox is broken" scene unfold and unpacking it and this taxi driver in Africa, it was very difficult to watch back. And so we just sort of closed that chapter in our lives.
And that was that -- and we don't watch a lot of TV, or reality television for that matter. But we were looking for top-rated family shows we could watch with our boys -- our 12 and our seven year old -- about a year ago and Amazing Race popped up!
So we were like, "They have not seen our season," and we hadn't watched it since it aired, so we thought, "You know what? This is a good time to do that." And surprisingly, things that were really hard to watch before were just laughable.
They were funny to us! We could really feel the shift and we could see the shift, and we were remembering that what you see on television, even on Season 31, it's a one-dimensional version of the story. There is so much more going on.
So we were remembering everything that was going on, and for the most part, in Season 5, it was an amazing experience! It was a blast! I mean, we had one of the best experiences of our lives.
And so, just getting all the feels of that once again and being in that vortex... we're in spring break or snowboarding on a mountain, I look at Colin and I'm like, "We should do that again." And he was like, "Okay, yeah, let's do it!"
They wanted us to do the original All-Stars, but we were pregnant, so we couldn't do that. Thank goodness! Because that gave us the opportunity to do this one!
So we sent a text to one of the casting directors and let them know. We thought this would be a couple of years down the road, if they ever had another All-Stars, but we said, "FYI, just know we are in. Just know that."
And three weeks later they emailed us and they were already casting for this All-Stars. They said if we wanted to go, they were leaving in June, and we said yes. So that's how all of that came about!
Reality TV World: So how did you prepare for this season of The Amazing Race? I've talked to teams who took dancing lessons or stick-shift driving lessons and more.
Colin Guinn: I mean, it was like a matter of weeks for them to say, "Hey, if you're serious, we're leaving June 1." And I think that was at the end of April or the beginning of May. And so, in our normal daily life, we try to do lots of fun things and we stay in shape.
Christie does a bunch of yoga and hiking, and I'm paddleboarding and surfing. So we stay in shape naturally, but I think it was a lot of research for that month, you know, watching old seasons, watching more recent seasons, taking a lot of notes, and choosing exactly what we wanted to put in our bags.
And then we had to take those bags and get them down to the weight we wanted them to be. We were also hiking hills every day, up and down steep hills, just to kind of get that initial shock of any kind of hip bruising or shoulder bruising that comes along with carrying a backpack day in and day out.
So I would say that's kind of the bulk of what we did during those two weeks.
Reality TV World: Do you have any big plans for your $1 million prize money?
Christie Woods: Nothing specific. We'll do the same thing that we do with the rest of our income. We spend some, save some. And there is an organization that's near and dear to our hearts.
Colin Guinn: Yeah, there's an organization that we've supported in the past and will do so more heavily this year because we get this bonus income.
It's the MAPS organization, which is maps.org and they are pretty much eradicating treatment-resistant PTSD, so kind of acute cases of PTSD, without the use of ongoing pharmaceuticals. They're doing it through psychedelics... That's a major problem we have in the world today, people trying to deal with past trauma.
To read the first half of Colin and Christie's exclusive The Amazing Race interview with Reality TV World, click here. To find out why Colin and Christie are still engaged but never got married, click here.