Colin Guinn and Christie Woods talk 'The Amazing Race', that final frustrating task and a "fabricated" storyline (Exclusive)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/03/2019
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 first half of what they had to say.
Reality TV World: Do you have any idea how far ahead of Tyler and Korey you were when you crossed the finish line in Detroit in first place?
Colin Guinn: We didn't know for sure. We knew that we were both at the drumset and then, at any moment, one of us was going to figure out what we were missing. And so we know that when we left and drove away, they were still at their drumset, which meant we at least had a two-minute lead on them.
But we weren't sure. As we drove away, if they figured it out, they might be two or three minutes behind us, and it was a 15-minute drive to the finish line. So we were definitely still in full-blown race mode.
Reality TV World: So when you two were running to the finish line and all the previously-eliminated teams were clapping and cheering for you, did you know in that moment you had won? You just seemed so composed and calm, whereas most winning teams usually scream and cry their way to the finish. So what was going through your minds in that moment?
Christie Woods: I think throughout the entire race, one of the practices we were doing is called quantum visualization, which is when you are literally visualizing the reality you want to create and using all of your five senses in order to do so.
And clearly we wanted to win the reason; that's the reason we were there. And so, any time we had the opportunity, especially during certain legs when we won that leg or had done really well and we were on a high and feeling joy and ecstasy, we would close our eyes and visualize running into the mat with the teams clapping and Phil waiting for us.
And we had imagined that moment so many times, that by the time we came around the corner and were actually living it in real life, it almost felt like a dream. It was something we had lived a million times over and it was very surreal.
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And so I think we were just very alive and very awake in this dream, watching everything and just taking it all in and soaking it all in. That's probably a little bit of what you were picking up.
Reality TV World: How long do you think you spent putting that drumset together? It appeared Colin was about to break down during that task. It must have been so frustrating for you to try to figure out what tiny details you were missing.
Colin Guinn: Yeah, it was probably 20 minutes to get the drumset essentially done and do our first check, and at that point, I think Tyler and Korey got there 15 minutes after us or something like that.
So we were thinking, "Oh, we're good because we're almost done with this thing!" So we had our first check and he was like, "No," and then from the time we got our first check, we must have gotten that thing checked, I don't know, maybe 30 times or something like that!
Because I'm thinking, "Okay, they want the angles of these drum heads to match the angles of the other drum heads perfectly," or, "The front needs to shift by half an inch," you know?!
And so I kept making these minute adjustments to try to make it look exactly like the other drumset, and that went on for at least 40 minutes to an hour. And by that time, Tyler and Korey had gotten their check done, and now, we spent at least 30 minutes in which both of us were just trying to figure out, "What is the missing detail?"
Reality TV World: Were you surprised the final task of The Amazing Race wasn't a memory task of some kind with maps, flags or something? Had you been studying for a challenge of that sort?
Colin Guinn: We were surprised! All the teams were there to win and all the teams had watched pastThe Amazing Race seasons. Everyone knew that was coming, so we were all taking [extensive] notes throughout the Race.
We had our journals and we were memorizing and spending our time at rest stops quizzing each other on every little detail so that we would be ready for that challenge! So yeah, we were really surprised by that.
Reality TV World: Did you guys feel a sense of comradery with the other Race teams throughout the whole season, or did the three Race teams just decide to band together in Leg 11 to eliminate Victor and Nicole so no Big Brother or Survivor teams would be in the finale?
Christie Woods: That was fabricated. I'm not exactly sure why that story took hold. We always wanted the strongest teams. If I had my ideal Top 3 and could hand pick, I'd probably take Tyler and Korey and "Team Fun" [Becca Droz and Floyd Pierce]. And us, of course.
But as far as blocking out another team, whether they're a race team or not -- you know, at this point, we've all raced around the world. We're in Leg 11. As far as I'm concerned, everybody is a race team. And we would've been more than happy to have Nic and Vic in that Top 3 as well.
Colin Guinn: And to be fair, Christie actually worked with Victor and helped him solve the code-breaking challenge in that room, which he talks about on his podcast.
And so, for whatever reason, I guess they just kind of wanted to have the story arch be that the three Amazing Race teams kind of banded together, but we were helping Nic and Vic just as much as anyone else and we were collaborating with them just as much as anyone else.
Reality TV World: Colin, going into the eleventh leg, you said you had traveled to London a few times before. Did you feel that was an advantage at all for you guys?
Colin Guinn: You know, I think just in the sense that you're somewhat comfortable with a place. In our first season of The Amazing Race, we finished in Dallas, and of course we're both from Texas.
So it's like, "Oh, they must have this big advantage!" But you know The Amazing Race; you're doing all of these really obscure things, and so I don't think ultimately it made a difference other than maybe just calm our nerves a little.
It was like, "Well, okay, at least I've been there before." So, you know, but I don't think it helped me row any faster or fly in a helicopter faster or anything like that!
Colin Guinn: Exactly. It just helped to ease our nerves a little bit.
Reality TV World: Speaking of that decoding Roadblock task, Christie, were you a little surprised Korey didn't stick around just two minutes or so longer after he finished to help you solve the puzzle and get you out of there? After all, you had been working together on it.
Christie Woods: Yeah, well certainly I would've loved for him to just give [the answer] to me, but at the same time, when it is that leg determining who gets into the Final 3 -- so it's pretty high stakes -- the fact we were the last two there and that's an advantage they had, I don't blame them.
Colin Guinn: And he did try to help you. He tried to give you some information that would help. But I think he was just in a rush and he was frantic and trying to get out of there too.
Christie Woods: Yeah, so, I understood the gameplay and it was just up to me to pull up my big-girl britches and figure it out on my own!
Reality TV World: Chris Hammons and Bret LaBelle got eliminated because they spent hours looking for gold coins in the water in Croatia, and Chris told me he regretted not asking you two for the two coins you had found before switching Detour tasks. So would you have given up those two coins to Chris and Bret had they asked for them?
Colin Guinn: Well, the only way to give you an accurate answer is if we had actually found two coins. So we had found zero coins and only found the goblet.
Reality TV World: Oh! Chris and Bret thought you had found two coins.
Colin Guinn: And actually, I did not realize that they had found three coins. But when they said, "Look, we haven't found a coin in two hours," I was thinking to myself, "We've been here for 20 or 30 minutes and all I found was a goblet, and if they're saying they haven't found a single coin in two hours -- and we've got to find five of these things and haven't found a single one yet -- we are out of here."
So I don't know! If I thought they had found zero coins and I had found two coins...
Colin Guinn: Yeah! We probably would have given them our two coins. But little did we know they might've had three and then been like, "Boom, we've got it!" So I don't know. It's a hypothetical, but we were definitely always willing to help any time we could. But yeah, we didn't find any coins.