Exclusive: Kelly Crabb and Christy Cook talk about 'The Amazing Race'
By John Bracchitta, 11/10/2008
"Divorcees" Kelly Crabb and Christy Cook made their share of mistakes in the early legs of The Amazing Race 13, but had developed a knack for finding their way out trouble every single time.
However, luck ran out for the girls after another costly misinterpretation of instructions during the seventh leg of the race through Dehli, India proved to be deciding blow in sending Kelly and Christie home as the sixth team to be eliminated from the competition during last night's broadcast on CBS.
On Monday, Kelly and Christie spoke to Reality TV World about what really happened during "the sports bra incident," why they feel they made so many costly mistakes interpreting directions during the race, and how they have continued to have a connection since appearing on the show.
Reality TV World: First thing's first, can you explain what happened between you two, [Nick and Starr Spangler], and the sports bra?
Christie: Yes we can explain. So I was leaving a sports bra in the sun, which was on a window across the hall from my hotel room at the Pit Stop in [Fortaleza, Brazil].It was safe from the wind, so I don't think it could have gotten blown off especially because it was weighted down with the water.
So I went and checked on it in the hall and Starr was out there right next to my sports bra, or where it was previously, and the sports bra had leapt off the ledge and had fallen six stories below. And so I accused her of stealing my sports bra, and I was positive that she did it because everyone sees she and Nick are pretty conniving and sneaky, which obviously helped them well in the race. But I was positive about it.
Since then she has claimed that she indeed did not push my sports bra off the ledge, so I can believe her. But during the race I was 100% positive that she did.
Reality TV World: Did things ever get cleared up between both teams?
Christie: Post-race we have pretty much cleared things up. I mean we're all mature people and out of the context of the competition we can get along.
Reality TV World: What did you think when you learned that they had asked [Aja Benton] and [Ty White] to U-Turn you?
Kelly: I was so pissed off by that because [that is] a very not smart thing to do. That's a stupid thing to ask someone because why would another team use their U-Turn [just because] you're requesting. Who would ask someone to do that!? It's silly. Not to mention it puts them in jeopardy, it puts a target on their backs, because they're the ones who U-Turned us, for next time! It was very bitchy I thought
Reality TV World: So what is your overall opinion of Nick and Starr?
Christie: I think that overall Nick and Starr are very nice people. I think that they're different from Kelly and I.
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Obviously they made a point to say on last night's episode that their strategy is telling lies, and Kelly and I really prided ourselves on never telling a lie, not once during the race. We didn't feel that would benefit our game in any way, shape or form. We were tough competitors without having to stoop to that level.
I do think that they are nice people, and we do get along with them great now. I just think we're different.
Kelly: This is what I think of Nick and Starr. They are (pauses) good people, they come from a good family. They are very competitive and they're pretty mature for their age. But don't put me racing with them again, it might get nasty. (laughs)
Reality TV World: In hindsight, do you wish that you had accepted Andrew Lappitt and Dan Honig's partnership offer during the Detour task on last night's episode?
Christie: You know I thought a lot about that last night and no, I wouldn't have done anything differently. First of all, the only reason that [Tina Greene] helped them by showing the small [tags] was because she thought that we were stronger competitors. So she wanted us gone, and she wanted Andrew and Dan still in there in the race.
Had we teamed up with "Dandrew," Tina wouldn't have helped out both of us or one of us. She wanted us gone. And we were both in last place, so I don't think they would have benefited us in any way. It would have come down to a [taxi] ride to Humayun's Tomb in the event that we both got the numbers working together. I don't think it would have helped us in any event
Reality TV World: So you don't think that Tina would have given the same clue?
Christie: Not if we were working as a team she would not have. She wanted us gone because we're competitive, and Dan and Andrew aren't as competitive so she thought "Oh have them around, they're easy to beat."
Reality TV World: All of [the incorrect] envelopes in last night's dye color Detour were clearly marked "TRY AGAIN" on the outside. What led you guys to misunderstand the Detour so badly? About how long did you actually end up spending there?
Kelly: The clue to find the marked envelope (pauses) I don't even remember what it read, but in my head I was thinking -- in my frenzy and not being able to see or breathe from all of the paint-- that I needed to pull an envelope, bring it back to Christie and open it up as a team. That wasn't the case, I needed to go get on a ladder, sift through however many marked envelopes to find the right one, and then just open it there by myself and then bring it back and go.
So it probably took about 25 minutes. It was just another oversight of not reading the clue correctly and being in an extreme hurry, and also being overwhelmed by all that frickin' paint!
Reality TV World: Kind of going off on that, it seemed like there were quite a few times during the race where you lost valuable time by misreading the directions. Why do you think you struggled with that more than the rest of the teams?
Christie: I'll give a little bit of insight to that. Kelly and I are such go-getters and we attack everything with ferocity and sometimes details are compromised in that, and that's something that we both still have to work on because we look at what it takes to get to the end result. We don't necessarily really contemplate every small step that helps us to get there. We just do what we can to achieve our goal in the end and we attack it full force.
In [The Amazing Race] you really have to be more detailed than that, and that's one thing that we have to work on.
Reality TV World: The show made a point to show both you and Andrew and Dan making comments about each other while alone, what was the relationship between both of the teams?
Kelly: Dan and Andrew, we just saw them as young, kinda dorky frat guys. We didn't think that they were real top competitors, and we didn't think that they were real fast -- or that smart for that matter. We didn't dislike them, there were times where we would hang out at the airport and talk and be friendly to each other.
We said a couple of funny things on [The Amazing Race] with all of them, but they're good guys.
Christie: Dan actually reminds me a whole lot of my younger brother David because they're both really high-strung and they make me laugh, I think they're kind of comical. To me they actually kind of gave me a glimpse of home while I was away from my family because I've got three younger brothers, and one of which -- the younger one -- is in a fraternity. So being around goofy college guys kind of reminded me of my brothers.
Reality TV World: About how far behind Andrew and Dan do you think that you arrived at the Dehli Pit Stop?
Kelly: I'll tell you exactly how far behind. (pauses) About three or four minutes.
Reality TV World: Really? So it was pretty close?
Kelly and Christie: (together) Yep.
Reality TV World: About how much time to you think you lost when you guys incorrectly ran up and down Mount Eden instead of driving up it like the rest of the teams?
Christie: How much time do I think we lost? Probably about 10 minutes. We're pretty quick, it wasn't terrible.
Reality TV World: In the fourth leg, while everyone seemed to suffer through the kiwi challenge and eventually switch, you both not only stuck with it, but you both seemed to really enjoyed it. Did you talk to anyone and find out why everyone else reacted to it so much differently than you did?
Kelly: Well, when we got there to do that everyone lied to us and said "Oh it's so easy. It's a lot of fun." But they were actually all leaving, they were bailing to go do the Blokart [challenge]. Succeeding in that, and being one of only two teams that did without switching, that just shows that Christie and I try to make the best out of everything.
We always have fun. We use our good attitude and try to make the best of a challenge that really did kinda hurt and everyone else bailed on.
Reality TV World: During the third leg of the race you were both in last place but advanced because of a penalty by [Mark Yturralde] and [Bill Hahler]. How much of a surprise was that?
Christie: It was a huge surprise! I mean Kelly and I were miserable [and] depressed on the cab ride back to that [Pit Stop] because we knew we'd had an awful day. I'd gotten thrown off of that [wooden bike] numerous times -- I mean more than they even showed on the episode -- and we were just in a depression saying that we hoped [Ty White] and [Aja Benton] would win because we thought we were going home.
So when [The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan] said "However..." that little glimpse of hope was just awesome.
Reality TV World: About how much time do you guys think you lost when you kept searching for a "container" that was part of the other Detour task in Brazil?
Christie: I don't exactly know, but that was just funny. I feel like you're reiterating a lot of the times where we made mistakes, but going back to Bolivia, [Mark Yturralde] and [Bill Hahler] are both extremely smart and their misreading a clue -- like taking a cab instead of walking -- is an example of how being in such a hurry and really, really wanting to win and be fast, anyone can misread a clue, overlook something important and mess up. There's so much luck involved.
Reality TV World: Christy, going back to those wooden bikes. First off, I guess how many other times did you fall additionally, and how much did it hurt that one time that was shown on the air?
Christie: (Laughs) Oh... [The show] showed two of my crashes which were only half [of them] because I crashed four times pretty badly, and it hurt pretty bad.
The first time I had blood squirting out of a puncture wound in my hand, and the next day I was completely black around my knee-caps and my ankle from the bruising [from] that bike. It was really heavy.
And not to mention -- this is a little bit graphic -- but we were all bruised in the groin area because those bike were just hitting on, and bouncing on those cobblestone roads. It was really painful! I was crying. I sat there and said I wanted my Dad because I needed a hug. But I got back, and I put myself back on that bike.
But I was terrified. That was the one time in the race that I really felt like I could die.
Reality TV World: [Dallas Imbimbo] didn't seem to have a very high opinion of you two. At one point, he said you think you "are God's gift to this green earth." What was your relationship with him and Toni?
Kelly: As a team Dallas and Toni again, you know, weren't our friends. They weren't one of our favorite teams if we had to pick somebody to like. I think Toni is a very strong woman. She's raised Dallas all by herself for his entire life. She's an entrepreneur.
Dallas, he's a college kid. He likes to get out there and have fun. He made that comment that we "think we're God's gift..." Well the way I see that [is], you know Christie and I, we're not unattractive, we're pretty. (Pauses) Who knows what he thought.
I think we were maybe getting under his skin [when we were] trying to have a little fun and crack jokes, but I don't really care what he thinks.
Reality TV World: What was the hardest thing that either of you did while on the race?
Christie: I would just reiterate the whole Bolivian bike deal. By far that was the hardest thing I did on the race.
Kelly: I'll say definitely the Holi Festival challenge. I got more paint than anyone thrown on them. They got me so bad. And the fact that I had to run through the crowd three times, I was head to toe covered in black-ish paint of every color under the rainbow. It was in my eyes, it was in my nose, I couldn't breathe. I literally could not breathe, and that's why I made the statement "I'm gonna die."
I really didn't think I could do the challenge because I could not breathe. It was so hard. I'd never want to do that again. (laughs)
Reality TV World: We've seen Mark and Bill's brought small backpacks and [Ken Greene] had a whistle to hail down cabs. Did either of you bring anything special with you to help during the race?
Christie: Yes we did actually. We bought these great tin-foil bags that you got a very small glimpse of when we were sleeping in the street in Bolivia. We actually put every piece of clothing that we had on ourselves and wrapped ourselves in these tin-foil bags like little, silver cocoons to keep ourselves warm at night. It was pretty frickin' funny I wish they showed more of it.
Reality TV World: There were many times that both of you mentioned how good your experience on The Amazing Race had been after going through divorces. Could you elaborate on how being on the show benefited each one of you?
Kelly: I came from a controlling marriage and I'm just the kind of person that I have kind of like a free spirit. I like to try new things. I'm really creative, I like to implement a lot of my ideas and do things that are out of the ordinary. My ex-husband wanted us to have a normal, stable, run-of-the-mill marriage, and we just fought so much.
Because of all those things, and the fact that he's so controlling, he would have never let me (To herself) -- Let me? -- take that much time off from work, go on the race because he's so... If I were married I wouldn't have gotten to do it, so I am so happy I did it -- especially with my best friend. It was just so much fun.
Reality TV World: Whose idea was it to apply for the show in the first place?
Christie: Actually, Kelly and I have another best friend [named] Christina in California, and Kelly and I both went through the aftermaths of failed marriages in 2007 -- we had a really crappy year. We were discussing how we could just escape for a while and get away and just kind of have a fresh start, and [Christina] said "Well why don't y'all just do The Amazing Race? You're fans, you love the show, you love to travel, you get along." That's what prompted us to get involved.
Reality TV World: Was this the first time you have applied for [the show] or had you done it before?
Christie: Yeah, when we sent the audition video in that was the first time.
Reality TV World: What teams did you get along with the best?
Kelly: We, on our down time, enjoyed talking to Aja and Ty and [Terence Gerchberg] and [Sarah Leshner] the most.
Christie: I've said a couple times that I think my favorite experience was... my favorite country was New Zealand and my favorite experience was probably our jog up to the summit of Mount Eden, even though we were supposed to use vehicular access. It was just exhilarating to be running up to the top of this mountain at sunrise in the most beautiful place I'd ever seen in my life.
And then I come up the hill and see these warriors chanting... It was just a thrill.
Reality TV World: Is there anything that you wanted to make it onto the show that was edited out?
Kelly: Hmm, there's a bunch of stuff that I can think of, or that I thought of as I was watching the show. Now that I'm trying to think of one thing... What did I... Christy will you help me remember what I wanted to make the show but didn't?
Christie: Oh, a couple of things. When we were in Bolivia, the clue said "Make your way to, and stay relatively close to the statue of Simon Bolivar. (Kelly laughs) Well, there is a Plaza hotel that was "relatively close" to the Simon Bolivar statue, so in true Kelly-and-Christie-girlie-girl-fashion we went [inside] and tried to hang out in the Internet cafe until morning.
What we were told pretty promptly is that we were not "relatively close" and we had to go back out there.
The other thing we wanted [the program] to show was, us sleeping in those tin-foil cocoons. It really was hilarious and we wished there had been more of that.
Christie: I'll say I was surprised to see Tina sell us out and give the clue information to "Dandrew."
Kelly: I think strategically it was a good move because we are stronger competitors than Andrew and Dan, who we would have beaten if [we had remained in the race]. But I wasn't really surprised.
Reality TV World: Was there any particular team you began rooting to win once you got eliminated?
Kelly: I'm going to root for -- even though I know the results, I'm going to pretend I don't -- I'm going to root for the only team that's left that I like: Sarah and Terence.
Go Sarah and Terence! Woo hoo!
Reality TV World: So what are you both up to now? Are you both still in Texas?
Kelly: We are, yes!
Reality TV World: Are you both still at your same jobs? I know one of you worked in pharmaceutical sales.
Kelly: No, I no longer work for that company. I think I'm pretty much done with sales. There's so much I wanna do.
Christie and I started a foundation, it's called The Amazing Grace Foundation. We're interested in helping out third-world countries that have been visited by The Amazing Race as long as the show continues to air.
We are [also] exploring all kinds of other, different things. Christie's written a book [that] she's looking to get published soon. I have a couple of business ideas, and then I may try to get into acting.
People can read about [The Amazing Grace] at kellyandchristie.com. That's our website and its got a clickable link to information about the foundation.