Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race's Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks talk (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/23/2014
The Amazing Race "Married Surfers" team of Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks finished the CBS reality competition's 25th season in third place during Friday night's finale episode.
"Food Scientists" Amy DeJong and Maya Warren won The Amazing Race's $1 million grand prize 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.
"Married Dentists" Misti Raman and Jim Raman finished in second place, while "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, Bethany and Adam 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: Any idea how much time separated you from finishing in first place, and how far behind Misti and Jim do you think you finally arrived at the finish line?
Adam Dirks: Actually, I was wearing my watch. So we were about 30 minutes behind Amy and Maya and, behind Misti and Jim, about 10-15 minutes. Somewhere around there. So it wasn't too far behind.
Reality TV World: Did you feel the Final 4 twist was kind of unfair? You couldn't help but feel bad for Brooke and Robbie because they earned a spot in the actual Final 3 and couldn't even run half of the final leg.
Bethany Hamilton: I felt bad that they didn't win anything. They finally win a leg and then didn't win anything. And then, they find out there's another team in the Final 4 too. But yeah, that was kind of an odd twist that I hope the Race never does again. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Do you feel the twist made Amy and Maya's win less legitimate or significant in a way since they shouldn't have even technically been in the Final 3?
Bethany Hamilton: I don't think so because it's the Race and it's part of it -- the Race makes the call on the rules and stuff, so, yeah. I guess, I'm so happy for them. I remember when we were halfway through the Race, I was like, "If there's anyone else I'd want to win, I'd want it to be them." And yeah!
Reality TV World: Any specific reason why you thought that?
Bethany Hamilton: Well, they let me have a pair of their shoes, so that was really nice. And yeah, they're just nice girls.
Adam Dirks: I feel like they were a strong team. I know a lot of people saw them as underdogs, but they definitely had the smarts and made wise choices. They deserved their win.
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That last challenge was right in their strong point, and they lucked out on not being eliminated the leg before, because that was not their strong point, you know, doing a hard physical challenge like those coconuts. So, they lucked out that they got to go do that and then it paid off in the end for them big time.
Reality TV World: Did you ever really view Amy and Maya as much of a threat during the Race? Because it definitely didn't come across like that on TV, and looking back, if you underestimated them, do you think that was a little mistake on your part as well as on the other teams?
Bethany Hamilton: Going into the finals, we did not look at them as a threat. I thought, like, I'd rather race against the wrestlers than Amy and Maya any day. But I don't know, they're smart girls. And yeah, they didn't ever win a leg, but they were pretty consistent and yeah.
Reality TV World: You two seemed to get along incredibly well during the Race. I don't remember you bickering even once, which is kind of unprecedented when couples -- whether they're dating, engaged or married -- compete on the show. Did you hit any bumps along the road that just weren't edited into the episodes or did you really race as flawlessly as it appeared?
Adam Dirks: Yeah, when we originally wanted to do the Race, we knew it was going to be stressful and we knew there were going to be intensified situations, so we knew that we didn't want our relationship to get torn apart by things that we would say.
So, we went in with that mentality and, you know, we were just going to love each other and love each other well. And the only bump I can think of is when I lost -- or misplaced -- the clue in the Philippines and we were both kind of frustrated, and we were tired and hot.
So I was like, you know, Bethany got a little silent. (Laughs) But it was minor, you know? We found the clue and we came in second and then we were in the finals. So, yeah, beating the odds against each other helped.
Bethany Hamilton: Yeah. I think our strategy towards each other almost was more like, "If things are stressful, it's because of the Race not necessarily because of each other." Unless we blatantly did something rude to each other, which really isn't in our nature. So, yeah, we're stoked!
Reality TV World: Bethany, it seemed like you had a fear or worry in the back of your mind throughout the Race that you might have to take on a task you'd really struggle with or maybe not even be able to do at all because of your arm. Looking back, did you feel at a major disadvantage during any task in particular? Because I can't recall a time you were presented with seemingly an impossible feat.
Bethany Hamilton: Yeah, I think -- I definitely was nervous when we would go into Roadblocks because you would get the clue and the clue wouldn't really tell you what exactly you're doing. So, you're trying to like -- Adam and I would [discuss] like, "Should I do it or should he do it?"
And yeah, I'd just kind of go for it if we decided I'd go for it. But I never really felt, like, super disadvantaged at any point. Maybe when I tried to bike with Adam and the cake. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Oh yes, that looked tough.
Bethany Hamilton: I was like, "Oh, hunny, this bike is awkward!" I was like, "You're heavy and I can't get it. It's wobbly. This is not good for us." (Laughs)
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Bethany and Adam's exclusive interview and for more interviews with the season's Final 4 teams.