Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl talk 'The Amazing Race': Veteran Racers didn't have a huge advantage (Exclusive)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/05/2019
Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl finished The Amazing Race's 31st season in second place during the two-hour finale broadcast on CBS.
Tyler, 31, and Korey, 33 -- who raced as friends from Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, CA, respectively -- claimed the runner-up spot when they crossed the finish line in Detroit, MI, after racing through ten countries, 18 cities, and across more than 25,000 miles.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World after the finale aired, Tyler and Korey talked about their experience on the show and tough loss. Below is the concluding portion of what they had to say.
Reality TV World: You were the most consistent team all season long and had the most first-place finishes. How did you manage to avoid being U-Turned a couple of times? You guys clearly had a great social component to your race, so that was a strategy or does it just come naturally for you two?
Korey Kuhl: That's a lot of what we've been discussing today, is kind of like, I hate saying that we played a great social game -- because while we did, it wasn't really like a game to us -- but I think we're just social people.
It also helped we were both fans of all of these people who were there. I think it just aided us in being able to create these genuine bonds.
I think, yeah, we played a good social game, but it was also never really a game. It was just who we are, and we were just so gracious to be racing with all these people whom we idolized for most of our lives. (Laughs)
Tyler Oakley: Also, I think we were never really shy about helping people. I think a lot of people at home will yell at us about that, but we cheered for everyone!
When you're at the challenges, I think producers thought it was a little funky of us to always be cheering our friends on when it is a race and yes it's for a million dollars, but that doesn't mean you can't also be nice and supportive.
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!
And I think that was always kind of who we are, and I feel like we were that on Season 28 and we were that on Season 31.
Yeah, the circumstances are stressful, but we're still ourselves and we still want to have fun and make friends and cheer people on when they are doing well. It's, like, we're human.
Reality TV World: Do you think Colin and Christie raced under the radar a little bit although they were a strong team, or did you feel they were always an immediate threat to you guys?
Korey Kuhl: It's funny, I don't think they really raced under the radar at all. All the teams were constantly talking about wanting to U-Turn them.
But it was a tough position for us because they were our best friends. We had an alliance with them from the beginning. We were always going to help them, and they were always going to help us.
So it was kind of tough to hear the other teams talk about how badly they wanted to U-Turn them. And going into the U-Turn vote in Switzerland, we knew their names were coming up. We knew they were for sure going to be one of the teams that got U-Turned.
So they were racing incredibly strong and everybody knew they were threats. I don't know if it was shown throughout the episodes, but yeah, literally since the second episode, everyone was talking about U-Turning them (laughs) and trying to get rid of them.
Reality TV World: Tyler, host Phil Keoghan teased you in the premiere for having big muscles. Did you hit the gym for The Amazing Race or was your bulking up just a coincidence? And how did you guys prepare for the Race this season in general?
Tyler Oakley: You know, I don't think I've ever turned more red than when that happened when he called me out! But I think honestly what happened was, so a few years ago, when we went on the Race the first time, I think Korey and I trained pretty hard going into that, not really knowing what to expect.
And we ran a lot. I feel like I was hitting the gym a little bit more. And that first time on the Race, I feel like it jump-started my own personal fitness goals.
And when I got home from the Race, I just kind of never stopped continuing that journey. And then by the time we got the call for the second time, it was like, "Oh, well thank God I kept going to the gym after we got home from the Race the first time!"
It was never like, "Oh, I'm going back on the Race; I have to prepare." It was more, like, because of the Race the first time, it kind of triggered something in me to keep it going!
Reality TV World: Would you say teams who have raced on The Amazing Race before had a huge advantage, so much so that all Final 3 teams were former Racers? Or would you say the best teams simply made it to the end, that a team like Leo and Jamal, for instance, probably would have done just as well had they been on Survivor or Big Brother first?
Korey Kuhl: It's tough because, yeah, I mean, even when we -- you go through a little holding week before you actually film on Day 1, but you're not allowed to talk to the other teams, although you definitely see the other cast members.
And I just remember when we were first able to talk to everybody in that airport going to Tokyo, they were all a little mad because they thought we had such an advantage. And for [Art Velez and JJ Carrell] to go home first, I kind of looked at all of them and said, "See, I told you!"
Like, the Race is so circumstantial and it's so based on luck, they're are little things that you can do to prepare. Like, I don't know, I had been a fan of the show for so long that we did well the first time we raced because I had watched so many episodes of it.
So I was kind of like, "Any of these other Big Brother or Survivor teams that were approached to be on the show have the opportunity to binge all of the old seasons and kind of pick up the know-how that we had the first time we raced."
I don't know, it's tough because so many of the Race teams made it so far in the end, but yeah, I think it was pretty even-footing. A lot of the stuff we knew our second time coming back were things we knew from being fans of the show -- not from just being a team that had raced before.
Tyler Oakley: I do think if there was one advantage, it's knowing that it's a marathon and I think a lot of The Amazing Race teams have been to or gotten close to their own finales -- multiple times, sometimes.
And so knowing the fatigue that's going to hit at the Final 5 and then the Final 4, it gets exhausting. It is, like, emotionally -- it feels heavy. And so, that could've helped, knowing, "Okay that's coming," and knowing how to power through that.
Maybe that is helpful, but you know, who knows. For the other shows, you have to be in it much longer, so there's a much more psychological component to it sometimes too. So, I think there are advantages to being on each show that help going on other shows.
So yeah, I agree with Korey thought. I think it's pretty even, especially if you watch the show because you pick up on a lot of it.