After 25 days, over 30,000 miles, and 10 countries on 5 continents, Season 22 of The Amazing Race wrapped up last night with a blowout finish that left the hockey-playing brothers, Anthony (@fazo11) and Jonathan “Bates” Battaglia (@BatesBattaglia), as the winners of the one million dollar grand prize. The team not only finished with the cash prize, but picked up some nice first-place rewards along the way, including a trip to London, a trip to Phuket, a trip to Bora Bora, and $7,500 each. The Yak wrangled these two as best as anyone could to discuss their winnings, the race and a potential love interest in the Country singers, Caroline and Jen.
The Yak: That was quite a finish last night! Congratulations on winning The Amazing Race! It must be an incredible feeling.
Anthony: Thank you very much. It’s absolutely incredible. The whole ride and everything. It was pretty cool to hang out with the fans and taking photos. Bates is pretty used to it being an NHL player and having people want photos with him, but it’s pretty new for me. It’s cool to have people be my fans.
The Yak: How do you think this has changed your future?
Anthony: We have a new show coming up. It’s called…
Bates: “Hashtag: Hockey Brothers Do America”
Anthony: We’re pitching it. Just the two of us. Doing America. [Anthony and Bates laugh]
The Yak: People would probably watch that. So, everyone wants to know, what do you have planned for the money?
Bates: I was planning on getting Anthony new teeth, but he’s already going to get them himself, so now I really don’t know what to do.
Anthony: Bates has pretty much been taking care of me for a while now, and he’s taken me on a lot of trips, so I think I’m going to take him on a trip. Now that I have a little bit of pocket change.
The Yak: Bates, which is tougher: The Amazing Race or playing professional hockey? Also, do you think the intensity of the race is equal to the Stanley Cup Finals?
Bates: The Amazing Race is a lot tougher than you think. You watch it on T.V. and you think, “Oh, I can do that,” but it’s a lot tougher than you think. Don’t get me wrong, we made it look easy. [Bates makes a superhero noise “Baa-Baa-Baaaaa!” and Bates and Anthony laugh] Seriously, though, it was tough.
The Yak: I know that you filmed the race back in November 2012, but if the NHL Lockout hadn’t happened [October 2012-January 2013], would you have still been able to race?
Bates: Actually, going into it, I thought I was going to do the race and retire. That was it, so I did the race, and either way I knew I was going to retire.
The Yak: It seems like the decision worked out well for you.
Bates: Well, it wasn’t a bad situation. [laughs]
The Yak: So, you lost your bag somewhere along the race. Do you think that was actually an advantage since you didn’t have the extra weight to carry around, or would you have rather had your personal belongings?
Bates: Well, it was tough enough carrying my brother the whole time.
Anthony: Oh yeah? [laughs]
Bates: Actually, it makes you realize that you pack too much. You don’t even need that stuff. Honestly, if I had to do it again, I’d pack at least half of the stuff.
Anthony: Minus the brother, I guess.
Bates: And minus a brother, too.
The Yak: How close did you get with the country singers? Is there anything serious there or is there anything long-term for the future?
Anthony: Who are you talking about?
Bates: The country singers?
Anthony: Who is that? I don’t even know.
Bates: Kenny Chesney?
The Yak: I get the hint.
Bates: No, we’re really good friends. It’s funny. We actually got to be pretty good friends with the country singers [Caroline and Jen] and with the newlyweds [Max and Katie].
Anthony: Shockingly. I know not a lot of people liked them, but we really got to be good friends with them.
The Yak: So, obviously, you’ve kept in touch since the race has ended?
Bates: Absolutely, yeah. We’ve definitely kept in touch with them. The Roller Girls [Mona and Beth], we’re really good friends with them. You see each other every day, so you end up being really good friends with them.
The Yak: What was the biggest surprise that you weren’t expecting when going into the race?
Anthony: It was definitely harder than it looks.
Bates: We thought going into it, we were thinking we could crush all the competition and it’s going to be super easy. Whoever they put in front of us, we’re going to crush them. Then, we get there and it’s so much tougher than it looks. We obviously had trouble. We almost came in last a couple of times, but we persevered, and we came out on top. It was much tougher than it looks on T.V.
The Yak: Did you do anything special to prepare for the race when you found out you had been picked?
Anthony: I drank a lot of beer.
Bates: You did?
Anthony: Yeah, I did.
Bates: Oh, you drank a lot of beer. I thought I drank a lot of beer.
Anthony: We both drank a lot of beer.
Bates: And look what happened. We’re super quick!
Anthony: Super quick!
Bates: We’re light on our tippy-toes!
Anthony: [laughs] Tippy-toes.
The Yak: What was your favorite spot to visit?
Bates: We thought Africa was pretty sweet. I never thought I would be in Africa, and then we saw all these elephants.
Anthony: Plus, we can say we skied with crocodiles.
Bates: Yeah, with crocodiles.
Anthony: Who else can say they water skied with crocodiles? I know I can. Not too many people can say that.
Bates: I think it’s unbelievable.
The Yak: Aside from your upcoming reality show, what’s next for the two of you?
[Anthony and Bates laugh]
Bates: I wish that was a real thing, but… [Anthony laughs] I don’t know.
Anthony: We’re just living life. Hanging out. Being super…
Anthony: Super idiots!
Bates: Super idiots.
Anthony: We’re super idiots, but sweet guys.
The Yak: You’re super idiot, sweet guys who are a million dollars richer now. Congrats again to the both of you. Thanks for chatting with us!
Anthony: Any time!