Exclusive: Vanessa Macias, Ralph Kelley talk 'Amazing Race' (Pt 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/10/2012
Vanessa Macias and Ralph Kelley were eliminated at the end of The Amazing Race's eleventh leg, making it just shy of the Final 3, during Sunday night's two-hour finale broadcast of the CBS reality competition's twentieth season.
Vanessa, who struggled with an ankle injury, and Ralph were ineligible to compete in the final twelfth leg of the Race following their ouster mid-episode, and therefore, lost their chance to compete for the million-dollar grand prize.
On Monday, Vanessa and Ralph talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience -- including whether they'd ever consider racing in an all-stars edition although they've broken up, what was the real reason Vanessa didn't like Rachel and Brendon that the show neglected to broadcast, why Vanessa argued she's not a "mean girl," and what type of task they were extremely prepared for that didn't end up happening.
Below is the concluding portion of our exclusive interview with Vanessa and Ralph. Click here to read the first half. To read Rachel B. and Dave's entire interview, click here. To begin reading Art and J.J.'s interview, click here. To check out Rachel R. and Brendon's whole interview and read what they had to say about the two teams' arguments, click here.
Reality TV World: You guys were shown bickering a lot throughout the Race, but you always seemed to squash your issues quickly and just get through the legs. When I talked to Rachel and Dave today, they both admitted it probably would've been more efficient to race with a partner who's a friend, so do you agree with them? Do you think it's harder to compete as a couple during the Race rather or did you think you actually had an advantage working together as a dating couple?
Ralph Kelley: (Laughs) It's definitely more emotional to race with a significant other just because, if you're with a friend, you can basically tell them off and get back to what you're doing and things aren't necessarily taken to heart, whereas if you're with your significant other, you know what buttons to push and sometimes that can create a little bit more tension or make the situation a little bit more heated -- because that person's not listening to you or they say something that's kind of hurtful.
Vanessa Macias: Yeah, I can't agree with that. I think that being -- obviously Ralph is a competitor and as a partner, is a natural choice physically, but I think we're the type of personality where we don't really hold onto much long. If we got into a fight, we easily drop things. We pretty easily drop things and move on, like in Bavaria, the next day, we're fine.
Reality TV World: Speaking of friends, it sounds like you guys are getting along pretty well despite the fact you broke up. Would you say you're friends now? Are you guys on good terms?
Reality TV World: That's good! You guys seemed to have the biggest issue with Rachel and Brendon throughout the season. Vanessa, especially you. So could you talk a little bit about what problems you had with them, and although you guys seemed to both apologize and bury the hatchet during one of the legs, was that actually sincere or were you just kind of being polite?
Vanessa Macias: You know, I should have never made that comment about her physical features. That was just below the belt and mean. The reasons we don't get along, and of course it didn't air, but it was because they attacked my personal and political views pretty graphically.
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So that's kind of something I hold really close to me and is really important to me, so I didn't like them from the word "go." Burying the hatchet? Sure. If I see them, I'll smile at them, but I'm not going to sit down and have tea and crumpets.
Reality TV World: Art and J.J. said Rachel and Brendon didn't deserve to be in the Race at all because they were just followers and had no real racing skills. What did you think about that team being in the finale? Did you think they deserved to be there, and if not at first, did you change your mind towards the end?
Ralph Kelley: Honestly, it's not my call and like, that's one of those things where anyone that was on the show could've made it there. Obviously skill does come into play, but there's so much luck and there's so many outside factors that come into play while you're racing.
If you miss a cab or the cab driver takes a wrong turn or a rickshaw -- like in India, our rickshaw was going the wrong way and I just had a bad feeling about it and we turned them around. It's just luck.
Reality TV World: When I talked to a few of the other teams this season, I asked them about the drama that played out between yourselves and Rachel and Brendon, and most of them sided with Rachel and Brendon -- claiming Rachel was a very nice girl, while Vanessa, they actually kind of thought the opposite of you. So what's your reaction to that Vanessa? Would you say people wrongly judged you or maybe they just misunderstood you? Why do you think they got the impression you were kind of a "mean girl?"
Vanessa Macias: Yeah, and that's so funny because in every other aspect of my life, I'm very "girl power" and I'm always helping out girls who want to work in any of the industries in which I work. I'm always very, very helpful and I put people in front of the right people and I'm just not a catty mean girl by any stretch of the imagination.
I think what it comes down to is, I didn't like them. (Laughs) I didn't like them and I didn't say anything that nobody else said about them. I just said it while the cameras were rolling and I said it publicly.
Maybe my choice of words weren't the most flattering for either one of us, but I'm not mean per say. I'm not mean -- especially if someone attacks me personally, I'm not mean. But if somebody gets in the face of somebody that's close to me and I really care about, then you know, the claws are going to come out. I get real "momma lion" like that.
Reality TV World: The best you guys ever did throughout the Race was finishing in third place. Why do you think that was? Was it simply because Art and J.J. and Rachel and Dave were really strong competitive teams, or looking back, do you think you could've done anything different to better your racing ability or team dynamic?
Ralph Kelley: There were strong teams and they made good decisions as far as which tasks to tackle and the Fast Forward and all of that came into play. I don't know. I don't think that it was necessarily us and not being good competitors. I just think that they were strong. They were two really strong teams. They had good heads and physically, they were able to pull it out.
Reality TV World: In past The Amazing Race seasons, most teams normally prepared for a task in the finale that would test their knowledge and memory of the prior legs. How much studying had you two done prior to your elimination and throughout the Race in general, and were you surprised you didn't end up getting a task like that?
Vanessa Macias: We were preparing very, very thoroughly. Our notes -- because I'm kind of a nerd -- and by "kind of," I mean I'm "really a nerd." Our notes were just so, so detailed.
We had everything down from the name of the person that was greeting us to what they were wearing and what color their belt was -- every little detail that was in every Roadblock, every clue -- we noted every single little thing. So we were fully anticipating something that would jog memory or just have something to do with the previous legs.
Reality TV World: Art and J.J. suspected that Nary Ebeid and Jamie Graetz weren't actually kindergarten teachers and they proved to be right in the end. What were your thoughts on that when you found out their real professions and do you think it made any sense for them to pull off that cover story or did it not make a difference? Would you have been more intimidated by them if had known the truth or no?
Ralph Kelley: Absolutely not. (Laughs) It didn't matter to us. It was just one of those things that they did it for whatever reason and it really wouldn't have made any difference to us.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on The Amazing Race? Was it your first time applying for the show and would you ever consider doing an all-stars edition if you were given the opportunity?
Vanessa Macias: It was something that I considered doing for 10 years and I was talking to Ralph about it. We were very impulsively decided to go to Dallas and audition. We went, they told us to talk for one minute in front of the camera, we did, they called us back, and we ended up making it. As far as all-stars, I don't know if we could compete together.
Reality TV World: It sounds like it would be! (Laughs) You guys should consider that.
Ralph Kelley: If they brought us back together, you would have a whole new show, let me tell you that.
Reality TV World: (Laughs) It would be "The Vanessa and Ralph Show." If you two had won The Amazing Race, what do you think you would've spent the money on?
Vanessa Macias: I think another house. I would've bought a house here in San Antonio.
Ralph Kelley: I would have put my daughter through college and probably have done a little traveling. There's two places that we went to during the Race that I would love to go back to.
Above is the concluding portion of our exclusive interview with Vanessa and Ralph. Click here to read the first half. To read Rachel B. and Dave's entire interview, click here. To begin reading Art and J.J.'s interview, click here. To check out Rachel R. and Brendon's whole interview and read what they had to say about the two teams' arguments, click here. About The Author:Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.