Phil Keoghan, Jason, Amy
Second is the best, right? After six runner-up finishes on The Amazing Race 23, Jason and Amy won the leg that mattered and the $1 million on Sunday's finale. "We definitely did not want to break the record of most second-place finishes!" Amy tells TVGuide.com. The couple ran a near-perfect final leg and had such a huge lead that "something would've had to have gone horribly wrong" for them to lose. Find out how far ahead they were, why they helped Travis and Nicole so much, and what they'll do with the money.
Congratulations! How does it feel now that everyone knows?
Amy:Oh my goodness! It was such an unbelievable experience [watching the episode]. We had our family, our friends, and some of the cast was there. We had a mini-reunion this weekend. It really was such a special night to share with everyone.
Jason: Having the cast fly in and watching the last episode just completed the whole experience of the Race. We really created great friendships with everyone on the Race. Having them support us meant a lot. I want to say a big "thank you" to them for that.
You ran a flawless final leg and led after the Roadblock. Sometimes they edit it to appear closer than it is, but it seemed like they didn't even bother this time. Did you have a feeling you would win? Were there any hiccups we didn't see?
Amy: After the flour drop, we knew we had a lead, but we didn't know how far behind everybody else was. We figured out we had about an hour lead once we got to the last challenge with the totem poles.
An hour? That's huge.
Amy: Yeah! We only had a couple more left when Tim and Marie got there, and we were leaving when Travis and Nicole arrived. We knew that we had quite a bit of a lead. When we opened that clue and it said, "Go to the finish line," we would have had to have gotten the worst cab in history to lose! Something would've had to have gone horribly wrong. [Laughs]
Jason: When we were on the glacier, we arrived by helicopter and there were helicopters everywhere, so we didn't know if those were carrying the teams or if they were still behind at the flour drop or delayed. We raced like they were right on our tails. When we finally saw another team come up at the totem poles so much later, it was like, "Wow! We got this."
You didn't get a lucky seventh second-place finish.
Amy: We definitely did not want to break the record of most second-place finishes. We were speechless when we won. We're still speechless. It was so surreal.
A lot of fans can't believe how much you, Amy, helped Nicole. Were you just being nice because you couldn't stand seeing her struggle or was there an actual strategy? You kind of explained last night that she would probably fail once you stopped helping her.
Amy: It was a combination of both. We ran the Race with them. We became a little family. We looked up to them as a married couple. On top of that, as the Race was going, we realized that we were becoming stronger as a couple and as a team, and Travis and Nicole were falling apart slowly. The more we helped each other, the more we saw that if we continued helping them, which we wanted to anyway because that's the kind of people we are, it would be good to have them there at the end when we wouldn't help them and we knew we could beat them. And as friends, we felt they deserved to win. If we won, we knew that they would be happy for us, and if they won, we'd be happy for them.
You went above and beyond giving them instructions. Jason, you were freaking out at the angklung Roadblock. Did you ever worry about risking your safety to help them?
Amy: Whenever we were helping them, we never felt we were at risk for elimination. There's no way we're going to jeopardize our placement in the Race to help someone.
Jason: On that note, that's easy to say now, but anything can happen. At the time, you just don't know what will happen. We could get lost, the cab could break down. Ten minutes at that point does make a difference, and that's where you saw a lot of my frustration coming out. Amy is so nice and so loving that she took the extra time with Nicole. [Laughs] It wasn't two seconds, but it wasn't a half-hour either.
Amy: And the moment we saw the ice queens [at the angklung Roadblock], I was like, "Let's go." By the time Ashley got down to where the instruments were, I was not there anymore. We knew we gave Nicole enough help and enough of a lead to beat them.
Would you have expected them to help you? Do you think they would've done the same thing if you were struggling?
Amy: I'm honestly not sure.
Jason: I don't think we would've expected them to do that, but we wouldn't have held it against them if they didn't. At the end of the day, it is a race. I think they probably would've if they saw us really, really struggling on something. I'm pretty sure they would've stepped up.
How about Cab-gate with Tim and Marie? Would you have taken someone else's cabs if their bags were not in them?
Amy: No. We were in the same situation there in Vienna. There were two other taxis there waiting for two other teams. We grabbed our bags and ran a mile to find another taxi. I understand why she did it, and it's legal on the Race. We never wanted to set other teams back just for us to get a lead because that's just the competitors we are. We'd rather get the lead because we earned our lead and not because we sabotage anyone else. But we actually became good friends with Tim and Marie. ... I would call Tim "Jason" because he reminded me so much of him.
Jason: Yeah, we let that go. But picture the frustration after going to a Fast Forward, being told we couldn't bungee-jump because of the wind. Now we're an hour behind the others, we do a great job at the challenge, and then we go out and find our cab was taken. We run a mile, Amy trips and sprains her ankle, we have to run up a palace to get to Phil, and we find the people who caused us this grief on the mat. The frustration came out at that moment. That was a moment for us that didn't happen for us very often, but you couldn't help it.
Marie also made it worse by trying to say the Afghanimals took it.
Amy: [Laughs] She never even had the opportunity to tell us the Afghanimals did it because the moment we got to the palace, we got out and saw their cabs in our old taxi. We knew it was them. Our taxi driver had been with us all day.
What are you going to do with the money?
Amy: We really haven't had the chance to think about it much. But we definitely want to go back to a couple of the countries we visited. We want to go back to Portugal because that was just unbelievable and probably Vienna. I'm a huge Sound of Music fan, so I'm going to drag Jay to that tour. We want to visit the cast and meet their families too. I'm very involved in non-profits, so we will give back to a couple organizations and the rest, we'll keep for our future. If we have a future. [Laughs]
Jason: We will not be going bungee-jumping in Vienna. I'm going to preface that. [Laughs] That time has come and gone!
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