The Amazing Race "Married Dentists" team of Misti Raman and Jim Raman finished the CBS reality competition's 25th season in second place, losing the $1 million to Amy DeJong and Maya Warren, during Friday night's finale episode. 
 
After eight countries, 20 cities and more than 26,000 miles, "Food Scientists" Amy and Maya won the show when they crossed the twelfth and final leg's finish line at Point Vicente Lighthouse in Los Angeles, CA, in first place. This marks the third time in The Amazing Race history an all-female team has won the Race.

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"Married Surfers" Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks claimed third place, and "Dating Pro Wrestlers" Brooke Adams and Robbie E. Strauss were eliminated halfway through the final leg and therefore landed in fourth place.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Misti and Jim talked about their The Amazing Race experience. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion and for more interviews with the season's Final 4 teams.

Reality TV World: You guys were good sports about it, but it must've hurt to finish in second after having so many first-place finishes this season. How far behind Amy and Maya did you arrive at the finish line, and is coming in second almost worst than third or fourth because you were so close?

Jim Raman: (Laughs) As far as the time-spread, it wasn't as close as what it looked. It's hard to really have a concept of time when you're under that kind of stress, but I would say it was, you know, 30 minutes or so. And probably the same gap between us and Adam and Bethany, probably about 30 minutes or so. So it wasn't as close as it looked on TV.

No, I mean, I'd definitely rather come in second than third or fourth, but it is what it is. We got outperformed on Leg 12 and that's just all there is to it.

Reality TV World:  You seemed to get lost on your way to City Hall. Jim, you were shown saying it was "a colossal error," but it didn't seem to affect you much. Could you elaborate on what happened there?

Jim Raman: Yeah, I would say that's pretty accurate, it didn't affect us much. We had gotten five minutes out of the way and then had to turn back. So it probably cost us 10 minutes. But at the time, I knew there was a mid-leg elimination looming, so I knew that it could have the potential to be colossal.

But fortunately for us, Brooke and Robbie got bad directions and they were the ones eliminated. But, you know, if they had gotten good directions and were on the right track, we could've arrived at the same time as we did and been eliminated. So, it had the potential to be colossal, but fortunately, it didn't pan out to be a factor.

Reality TV World:  Were you surprised you managed to stay off people's target radar considering you had "The Save" advantage in your pockets for a while and also won so many legs? Viewers were shocked other teams didn't try to go after you much sooner. What are your thoughts on that and was the social aspect to your race strategy?

Misti Raman: My perception of all of that is that Jim and I were -- even though it didn't really play out on TV -- friends with all the teams. I mean, there was a lot of arguing and bickering early on when there were more teams present. There were teams that didn't like each other, some of them on-camera, some of them [off]. Jim and I never did that. We truly did like all the other teams.

I mean, we liked some of the teams more than the others, but we even liked [Kym Perfetto] and [Alli Forsythe] even though the episode in Africa aired when they were very negative against us personally. I think that component of it helped -- being friendly, being genuinely friendly, with all the other teams.
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And another thing is, several of the other teams asked us, "If you end up not having to use 'The Save,' would you consider giving it to us if we were the team up for elimination in Leg 9?"

And so if you're possibly that team in Leg 9 that's up for elimination, they didn't want to U-Turn us. And the other thing is, I don't think they wanted to U-Turn a team that still would not go home and U-Turn a team that was as strong as us but then would be on our radar, you know?

Jim Raman: Yeah, if [Shelley Porter] and [Nici Porter] in Leg 5, obviously they would be our target for anything that lied ahead -- and any of the other teams for that matter. So, I think that's a big factor. But the reason we weren't U-Turned was because we had "The Save..." and Leg 9 was the second double U-Turn.

It was the last leg "The Save" was valid, so U-Turning us would've been a complete [waste] at that point, because it would've made for a non-elimination -- which, I don't know how the producers planned on handling it.

But in my eyes, it would've converted Leg 10 into an elimination leg. So you know what? I think if we hadn't had "The Save," we definitely would've been the target of the Double U-Turn in Leg 9 and probably in Leg 5 also.

Reality TV World:  Did you feel the Final 4 twist was ultimately unfair? Could you see the show doing that again in the future? You couldn't help but feel bad for Brooke and Robbie because they earned an actual spot in the Final 3 and couldn't even race the entire last leg.

Jim Raman: I hate it for Brooke and Robbie because, not only did they earn a spot in the Final 3, but they won Leg 11. They won Leg 11, they got no prize for winning, and then as a bonus, they didn't even get to cross the finish line.

But ultimately, when it comes to whether it's fair, I mean, fair is whatever the producers decide, you know? They just lay out the course and they do what they think is best for TV and for dramatic effect. I don't really feel like having the mid-leg elimination added anything to the show.

You know, obviously eliminated Maya and Amy in the eleventh leg ultimately upset us, and I think we were statistically probably the favorites to win. But I don't think eliminating Robbie and Brooke midway really did anything to add to the show, and I would've liked to see them complete it.

I think they deserved that and that's what I think sucks. But ultimately, that's above my paygrade, so that's the producers prerogative and it is what it is. So, I don't think it's unfair, but I would've liked to see Robbie and Brooke get to finish.

Reality TV World:  Do you feel the addition of a Final 4 team made Amy and Maya's win any less significant or legitimate since they were the team given a free pass to the final leg?

Jim Raman: I don't. I mean, I feel like your job on The Amazing Race is just not to get eliminated for 11 legs and then to win Leg 12. That's what they did! So they are the victors regardless.

It's the way the producers wanted it to be -- not that they wanted Amy and Maya to win, but it's a twist that they laid out and it is what it is. So, I think more power to them. I think it's as legitimate as any of the 24 seasons before it.

Reality TV World:  Did you ever view Amy and Maya as that much of a threat? The impression viewers got was that they were the underdogs and no one really considered them tough competition to beat. So looking back, do you think that was a little bit of a mistake on your part?

Misti Raman: If I was to run the Race all over again, my perception would still be that they were not the team to beat. We never -- until we got to Africa -- we had never even raced with Amy and Maya because they were definitely at the back half of the pack. So, they were never on our radar ever. And I don't think that would change if we raced the Race again. I don't think it was underestimating them.

I just think they, you know, for whatever reason, there's some luck that comes with the Race. We even had some luck on Leg 10 whenever we jumped into the rice paddy and immediately found the clue. I mean, sometimes it's not about your skillset, it is just about things unfolding in a lucky fashion for you, and I think that happened there at the end for Amy and Maya.

Jim Raman: Yeah, and they got a challenge at the end there that matched their skillset well, and Amy just knocked it out of the park and did well.

When we were in LA interviewing, I said to the producers, "I've watched enough of the Race to know that any team is one bad decision away from an elimination, one bad cab ride away from elimination. But if we run the Race 100 times, we're going to win it 50 and the other teams are going to split the other 50."

I [still] feel the same way. I mean, Amy and Maya, they won. If we ran the Race 100 times, you know, they might win it a handful of times but they're not going to be a dominant team. I just don't feel like we did the wrong thing as far as underestimating them, because that didn't play any part in things.

I don't feel like they're a strong team, but what they did, is they avoided elimination all the way to the end and they made it to the twelfth leg, where ultimately and historically, it comes down to more of an intelligent task. And, you know, that plays to their strengths.

They're obviously, if you're going to Race them in terms of intelligence and physical ability, their intelligence is much higher than their physical ability. So, they had the best strategy possible: Don't get eliminated in the first 11 legs. That's what they needed to do and that's what they did.

Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Misti and Jim's exclusive interview and for more interviews with the season's Final 4 teams.