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Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' winners Amy DeJong and Maya Warren talk Season 25 (Part 2)


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/29/2014 

The Amazing Race crowned Amy DeJong and Maya Warren the winners of the CBS reality competition's 25th season during the finale episode. 

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After eight countries, 20 cities and more than 26,000 miles, the "Food Scientists" -- also nicknamed "The Candy Girls" -- 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 the Race in second place, "Married Surfers" Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks claimed third, 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, Amy and Maya talked about their The Amazing Race experience and victory. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.

Reality TV World: In terms of how physically demanding the Race is, did you ever feel like it was too much for you? For example, Amy, I wanted to ask you about what ended up happening there when you had to deliver coconut products to multiple locations. You almost looked like you were going to pass out, so do you think it'd be helpful to maybe train harder for the Race ahead of time?

Amy DeJong: I think it would've been helpful if we trained less. (Laughs)

Maya Warren: Not for me. It would've been helpful if Amy trained less.

Amy DeJong: So, we knew as a female team that men are usually in the winning team because there's a lot of strength challenges. So we trained really hard. I mean, we were working out twice a day for about six months. I knew Maya was a marathon runner, so the last thing I wanted to do was be that teammate who's kind of lagging behind of the rest.

But I think I ended up running a bit too much, so I actually went into the Race with some stress fractures in my pelvis that I didn't find out about until post race. So I was actually in pretty severe pain the entire race. But we were able to work through it. We really worked hard. So we actually were in very good shape for the Race.

So by that point, I was just in so much pain and I had just biked into the side of a van. I was just -- my body was in a lot of pain. So I think I just overdid it on the strength training.

Reality TV World: Okay, so it sounds like, Amy, you really struggled with that coconuts task because of issues you already came into the Race with and not dehydration or some other factors?

Amy DeJong: It was definitely more -- I mean, I was dehydrated. I was very dehydrated. It was very hot that day. But I still did it, you know? Never once did I doubt that I could do it. I think it was just you're tired.

I mean, you look at us at the beginning of the Race and then towards the end of the Race, and I lost a lot of weight on the Race just from, like, the traveling and your eating schedule and all of this different stuff. Your body is just drained. So, it was a tough challenge.

Reality TV World: Going back to a previous leg, were you surprised Brooke and Robbie had lied to you about which monument the clue was located at? They obviously played dumb when you confronted them about it, so looking back, do you applaud their competitiveness or kind of think it was a low blow?

Amy DeJong: I think it was not a very smart move for them. I mean, what could've ended up happening is the cyclists could've ended up beating us, and the cyclists, they were at that point a much stronger team and they didn't even win any legs.

The strategy with that was, "Let's get out one of the two teams that we can get out that have been winning a bunch of legs." And so, I think it was kind of a bad game move for Brooke and Rob just because the cyclists were, at that point, always ahead of the pack.

Maya Warren: One thing about it is when you see Brooke and Rob running away from the Double U-Turn, Brooke stopped and was like, "Oh, shouldn't we have U-Turned the cyclists?!" And they were like, "Oh, they've gotta be so far behind." They didn't watch enough of the Race and study the Race as well as we did to understand the implications of the Race. They wanted the cyclists out. They really did.

The whole thing about them lying to us was a result of they did not feel like we disclosed all information. But again, that goes back to them not watching enough of the Race and understanding how the Race works.

When you see something that's red and yellow that does not look like it really belongs, it's probably a race clue. And they didn't get that [earlier]... when there was a guy walking around [with it] and I was like, "Ahh, Brooke and Robbie, what are you doing?!"

But, you know, I personally do applaud them for the way that they raced because they got as far as we did -- except for the last half of the last leg. So, I do personally applaud them for how they ran the Race.

They just ran differently than we did, and we ran it as Amy and Maya and stayed true to ourselves. And they went in as Brooke and Rob. Whether they went in "Brooke and Rob as wrestlers" or whether it was just gameplay -- however they did it, I just applaud everyone for making it on the Race as well as getting as far as they did.

Reality TV World: What are you going to do with your prize money?

Maya Warren: With the money, I'm going to invest it. I want to have my own television show [filming] me around the world as well as open up a few ice cream shops here and there. I'm just going to invest it for now, continue to live off a stipend, and I've been fine so far. But I think I'll be okay. I just want to be smart with the money.

Amy DeJong: As far as the money goes, I'm really not sure yet. I'm obviously still a student. Maya is almost done with her PhD. I still have at least three years left working on it, so I'm probably going to save most of it until I'm done with school.

I don't want to get ahead of myself. I'll maybe use some money to help out my family, go on a trip maybe with someone. But for the most part, I'm going to save it until I'm done with school.

Reality TV World: What are your thoughts on next season's "dating couples" format? It seems to be a huge departure from seasons past. Do you think the couples who have been dating before the show will have a big advantage over those just meeting for the first time?

Maya Warren: I mean, I'm just happy that we made it when we did because we're not a dating couple. (Laughs) I think there's going to be a ton of drama, and there are pluses and minuses to all of it. For the couples not knowing each other, that can be a plus because your emotional attachment isn't there, and so your frustrations and stuff may not be that strong.

However, you don't know what the other person is really capable of versus the dating couples that are already together. They kind of know each other's strengths and weaknesses already. So, it's going to be a really interesting race -- very interesting twist. I'm not sure if I'm in love with it, but we don't make the rules of the Race. We just run it. So I'm excited to see what it's going to end up being like personally.

Amy DeJong: As far as next season goes, the producers of The Amazing Race are very hardworking, awesome people. And you know what? They see something in this, so I trust what they're going to do. I'm looking forward to it.

I think it's going to be very different watching the Race after having run it, so it's an interesting twist. Like Maya said, I'm glad we made it on Season 25, not on 26. We wouldn't have been eligible for 26. Yeah, it'll be interesting.

Maya Warren: I hope they have on a nerdy science team because they need more of the -- you know, less kind of like physical looking teams and more of, like, the intellectual teams. Because those are the teams that I think are actually most successful at winning the Race personally.

Click here to read the first half of Amy and Maya's exclusive interview with Reality TV World.




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