The Amazing Race: The Yak Chats with 4th Place Winners, Vanessa and Ralph!

The Yak got the chance to chat with The Amazing Race 4th place winners Vanessa Macias and Ralph Kelley. Keep reading to see what they had to say!


The Yak: Would either one of you race again?

Ralph: Absolutely!
Vanessa: The more time that passes the more I feel I would. I kind of initially said no hands down because I got beat up, but yeah I think from watching the past weeks it becomes more and more easier to think about doing again.

The Yak: Vanessa last night was the interview you had done on KENS (CBS News affiliate) pre-taped a while ago because you had said no to doing any reality and one of the readers here wanted to know if you would consider Big Brother because she felt you would be awesome for that?

Vanessa: No (to the pre-tape) I have never seen Big Brother so I don’t know if I would be good at that or not. I think I would go crazy in a house with no communication or ties to the outside, isn’t that the whole premise?

The Yak: Yes

Vanessa: No I would go crazy!

The Yak: I know you guys had broken up and you said in the last interview at the end of The Amazing Race that you hoped things would move forward as long as there were no rubber chickens in your way, and yet on the KENS interview, you had said it was just a matter of hours after the plane touched down and you had broken up so did the rubber chicken follow you?

Vanessa: The proverbial rubber chicken.
Ralph: Damn rubber chicken!
Vanessa: Those chickens… the rubber chicken of life got in our way. I couldn’t reach up and catch that one.

The Yak: Do you think it may have been different without the stress of the race?

Vanessa: There is no way of knowing if this was the demise or what.
Ralph: The bottom line is we got to experience the incredible and amazing race around the world and we did almost what we wanted to obviously. The goal was to win the million dollars but wanted to be on every leg and we were so close. We had a little hiccup as far as Vanessa’s ankle is concerned, otherwise I think we would have been in the final 3 and we had a great time and neither one of us could have done it without the other one.

The Yak: Vanessa I have to say you were amazing last night with the Japanese game show, that you persevered and you succeeded in accomplishing that, you were awesome.

Vanessa: [laugh] I wish I was 30 minutes more awesome. I appreciate it but I just wish… it was heartbreaking to know that if it wasn’t for that, if I had just stepped it up a little harder, I wouldn’t have let our team down.

The Yak: You could see that you were hurting but you kept going. Nobody can ask more than that of themselves.
What was your favorite challenge?

Ralph: The watermelons…No I am just kidding!
Vanessa: Mine was dressing the elephants. How many times can you say you dressed an elephant and got to sit on him.
Ralph: in India! I enjoyed any challenge. I thought it was cool that Vanessa got to go skydiving in Argentina.
Vanessa: Yeah.

The Yak: Now that wasn’t the first time you have been skydiving because didn’t “Daring Vanessa” get to jump out of a plane?

Vanessa: Everybody wants me to jump out of a damn plane and I am terrified of heights but anybody that has done it realizes you don’t have a frame of reference you are kind of looking at a giant game board, that nothing seems real and in Argentina the fountains are just gorgeous and I think we went a little higher than we were suppose to. It was really neat and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that maybe I hope to do again… ha ha…

The Yak: Did you have any viewing parties in the bar in Boerne?

Ralph: No, none at all. When we first got cast I had the bar but since then I have removed myself from that situation.
Vanessa: The first time I watched it I had the proceeds go to SAU and it was a great way to have a party anyhow and could raise some money for somebody!
(Both shared they were watching with family and friends mostly!)

The Yak: Ralph, how did your daughter like seeing you on tv?

Ralph: She loved it, I would get the report from her every Sunday night and she watched a couple of them with me. Then I would get the report from her on Monday from when she went back to school and all of her friends, it was fun!

The Yak: Mark had said his son was being asked for his autograph and he was in his glory; is your daughter going through that?

Vanessa: How cool!
Ralph: [Laughs] No, my daughter has a really good group of friends and they are all fine and good girls. They thought it was really cool that every Sunday they could go and watch Vanessa and I do the whole dancing monkey entertaining everybody. It didn’t make her anymore popular.
Vanessa: She is popular in her own right. She is beautiful and just a great girl.

The Yak: What country was your favorite to visit?

Ralph: It is a toss up between Tanzania and Japan for me.
Vanessa: It was definitely Tanzania and I wouldn’t mind having the chance to live in Argentina. I think that would be beautiful too.
Ralph: You better get used to eating ham and cheese.
Vanessa: There is stuff other than ham and cheese OMG! I just can’t order it! What he is talking about is that for the first few legs in South America all we had was ham and cheese and every time I tried to order anything else they would just give me ham and cheese and I don’t really eat pork so I have had my fill of ham and cheese for my entire life. I am all ham and cheesed out!

The Yak: What plans do you have now work wise? Are you going to write about your experiences?

Vanessa: I don’t know… if I have 2 seconds to hold my own that is how I would spend it right now. I am working with the San Antonio Talons in the front office as the Director of Corporate and Community Partnership and I am also game day dancing around doing the dancing monkey stuff! I am also volunteering with various charities so my time is at a premium right now so if I have the chance I am going to travel a little bit.

The Yak: On the show you and Rachel did not get along, have you resolved any of that after the show was over?

Vanessa: [Laughs] No chance for that! After shooting we were nice enough to each other…
Ralph: Cordial.
Vanessa: Yeah and outside of that I will not call her up to happy hour!

The Yak: Are you keeping in touch with anybody that you did race with?

Ralph: I stay in touch with the twins, I just got back from seeing Elliot. I keep in touch with Dave and Rachel, Joey and Danny and Art and JJ, those are kind of the teams we bonded with.
Vanessa: I am just not good at keeping in touch with people but you are good at it!

The Yak: Is there anything if you had it to do over again you would do differently?

Ralph: I think Vanessa said it before, she would have pushed to go do the fast forward. We knew there were 2 teams in front of us that could have taken the fast forward so we opted to stay safe as we could and move another leg. Looking back on it I don’t think I would do differently, lots of the last place finishes were due to bad luck.
Vanessa: I think if we would have taken the fast forward, I was gung-ho, I was ready to shave my head and I wouldn’t have sprained my ankle. You can’t repeat and there are lots of different frames of life between there and reasons for the decisions we did make and reasons we didn’t make the decisions we did. In hindsight I would have pushed for the fast forward but that is it. I am grateful I am not growing out a crew cut right now!

The Yak: Now if you were to race again is there something different you would do in prepping yourself to go to the race?

Vanessa: Workout, I would probably cut back on the nutella coffee and workout.
Ralph: There is really nothing you can do to truly prepare except be in the best physical condition you can because you don’t know what they are going to throw at you, you don’t know what challenges. Thank God the Bollywood dancing, watching JJ and Mark try to tackle that, I was glad I didn’t have too! You don’t know what they are going to throw at you so it is a crazy question to answer. Sleep when you can– on the airport floor or eat, shower, not shower for 3 days it is mentally, emotionally and physically taxing and there is really no way to truly prepare for it.
Vanessa: Exactly, but you could be more physically fit especially when you are running around with a physical anomaly like Ralph. He is just a specimen of people and you know there is me (boo hoo) it is a little uneven there when I am wheezing after taking 4 steps and he is carrying all of Japan you know!
[Ralph was chuckling in the background!]

The Yak: Did you do any prep work in languages like phrases before you left?

Ralph: Not really.
Both: We talked about it.
Ralph: But we didn’t really do it in the course of the conversation. How many languages or where do you even start since there is no way to know where you are going.
Vanessa: You would be guessing blindly and waste your time learning things you wouldn’t be using anyhow. You know we both have a strong grasp of Spanish but are not fluent by any stretch of the imagination.

The Yak: Is there anything you would like to share with the readers?

Ralph: It was a wild hair and we went and applied and we got a lot out of it, it was a great experience. Thank you to CBS and anyone watching the show.
Vanessa: It was phenomenal and if anybody has questions, a lot of people stop me at Talon games and if I have 2 seconds to spare I will answer them.

The Yak: Thank you very much for chatting with Yakkity Yaks and congratulations, you did a great job!


Thanks again Vanessa and Ralph!

What do you think about what they had to say? Leave us a comment below, then come on in and join us in the FORUM where we are discussing all of our favorite reality shows!

The Amazing Race: The Yak Chats with 2nd Place Winners Art and JJ!

The Yak got the chance to chat with Art Velez and JJ Carrell, the second place team after 12 legs of The Amazing Race! Congratulations on how far you made it. Keep reading to see what they had to say!


The Yak: Would you run the race again?

JJ: Absolutely! If Bertan and Elise called us right now we would pack our backpacks and go. Right Art?
Art: Yeah but we need to get more leave saved up in our bank!

The Yak: What was your favorite challenge?

Art: I think JJ’s was Bollywood and mine the Hawaiian sled [deep laughter]

The Yak: How many attempts did it take you to get down on the sled?

JJ: We were trying to figure that out it was between 40-50.

The Yak: That was a little sled, the girls definitely had an advantage for their smaller center of gravity. What was that about a 1 x 6?

Art: Yes and a big guy like me didn’t fit to well between two toothpicks. It was about 8 inches wide by 10 feet long.
JJ: But when we saw Dave and Rachel we were like wow we are still in it. The Hawaiian warrior lady that was down by me turns to me and says Hawaiian women warriors always really dominate in this. I was like you’ve got to be kidding me and then the second time there she goes and slides right down. She said the sleds are made for women and if you go online and watch the Hawaiian sledders, all the men just eat it constantly. But Art did good he finished it when he could have just quit.

The Yak: You get kudos for your persistence.


The Yak: What was your favorite city or country to visit?

Art: I think it was Japan and Bavaria but Japan was pretty awesome. The water, the people, were just really beautiful.
JJ: I think Bavaria, it was Christmas time and it was snowing and Germany is so beautifully pristine and clean and orderly. But of all the places that we went and there were some spectacular places but the greatest place was Hawaii, it was absolutely breathtakingly spectacular. I thought that was interesting that we travel almost 40,000 miles and end up back in the United States and I consider it the most beautiful place I have ever seen.

The Yak: You must have really jammed getting up and down the building in Japan?

Art: When we got to the building… when I was doing the Japanese game show I ended up hurting my foot. I jammed it and had like turf toe so it hurt really bad. When we get up to the building I was already walking with a noticeable limp so it took us a while to find the clue there because we went up to the top and thought we were going to have to look out into the city but eventually we found it on the computer monitors. But we got there pretty quick.

The Yak: The towers was one challenge that the men seemed to have an advantage over the women?

JJ: I am not real good with heights so it was horrific for me but Art did it with his 4 star training in war patrol and so he loved it and was joking thinking it was a good time and I thought I was going to die at any moment.
Art: When we got up to the top of the building the wind started blowing pretty good so you were getting whipped around pretty good up there.
JJ: The Amazing Race it’s such an understatement to say it’s amazing. They challenged us from things we felt comfortable with to things that were so out of our wheel house, so out of our comfort zone but it was always exciting and felt like an incredible competition. Art and I always felt this and I hope you can portray… it is just the Amazing Race production itself, the people, is a first class run organization. We never felt like a piece of meat or the dancing monkey. We always felt like we were really important to them and our well-being and our needs were taken care of, there is nothing I can say that could really articulate what a great organization they are and the behind the scenes and everything they do is just first class. Wouldn’t you agree Art?
Art: Absolutely!
JJ: It was an incredible experience and we would have loved to have won. We are very competitive and it still stings us to this day but to be able to run the whole race and experience from the application process all the way to seeing Phil tell us the world is waiting… and to run onto the red carpet with him at the end it is pretty special. I know there have been 20 seasons and 200+ teams and I know 190 something of them would have killed to be in the spot Art and I were. I think as time goes on we will appreciate it more deeply and have fonder memories than we have now just because of the sting of being so close.

The Yak: Now post show have you resolved your differences with Rachel and Dave?

JJ: I have had a couple emails with Rachel just concerning the get together but it is just too far gone. Don’t you think Art?
Art: Yeah it was a strategy we had come up with a long time ago and it was something it was decided between that we going to do, so when someone doesn’t follow through on what they say they will do it is just upsetting because we had a certain plan in place but it worked out and it is what it is.
JJ: I don’t foresee any get together soon. Do you agree Art?
Art: Yeah.

The Yak: They had a little different take on that.

JJ: There is a lot of back story on that that you can’t show on tv. We supposedly had an agreement between me, Art and Dave during a kumbaya moment. This was a strategy that Dave concocted that we agreed several legs prior and it was kind of a security agreement between Vanessa/Ralph, Dave/Rachel and Art/I because we knew that we would get u-turned if one of the teams were ahead of us because Dave/Rachel and Art/I were doing so well and we knew that Big Brother hated Vanessa. So we kind of knew they were going to u-turn so it was kind of security to help if any of us 3 got way back in the pack somehow and that right at 5:30 in the morning before we left Dave and I had a “is it still on, yeah it’s still on, so okay I’ll do it man you got my word” …there are no hard feelings I just don’t… it is what it is, right Art? I think they deserved to win. They overcame a colossal mistake and still won the race, they deserve all the credit and the right to claim winner of The Amazing Race.
Art: Absolutely! Rachel was a rock star. She killed a lot of those challenges like when I watched her do the game show thing she was jumping and still running and keeping her balance. I was like you got to be kidding me because there is no way I was going to jump and stay on my feet. I was jumping falling and rolling and so was everyone else. She had athleticism and the stuff she was doing, I was impressed! She is a special gal that one!
JJ: Yeah pound for pound she was the toughest competitor on that 20th season.

The Yak: On the 11th leg the first place prize was a trip for 2 to New Zealand and both of you had expressed in your pre-show interviews that was a place you would like to visit. How bummed were you about that?

Art: As soon as we saw that Sunday night I was like oh man you have got to be kidding me!
JJ: Yeah so we didn’t know, we didn’t talk to Dave and them afterward. It was a quick turn around for the next flight so when we saw that on tv Sunday I turned to Art and I was like your kidding me! That was the only place I really, really desired to go and haven’t been. We were close man, that was ours too it seemed to be, we took the wrong challenge a couple of times there right Art?
Art: Undoubtedly.
JJ: Ultimately we just wanted to be in the final 3 because that was the only one that matters. Our strategy worked the whole time except the second leg in India where we came in fourth. We really believed we should be in the top 3 every leg and we believe we could win every leg but being in the top 3 put us in a position to win it and garsh dang if we weren’t in a position to win it for about an hour but it just didn’t happen. I guess that is the beauty and the difficulty of life sometimes, life is exuberant and awesome and sometimes it is rough and that builds character in your life.

The Yak: Has being on The Amazing Race made it more difficult to do your job?

Art: No for the most part the things that we do are in the hour of darkness, when we are out doing the work we do, it is not out in the public and as border patrol we are in places people wouldn’t go anyway. If anything it has made things a little more lively with our crew and not more difficult except when we go to meetings and people want to take pictures.


The Yak: Bopper had shared with us that he was not going to hold you guys to sharing the money from your first place leg. What is your take on that?

JJ: That is his money, that was our agreement, right Art? That’s what we decided. The back story is that I was on that 18 hour bus ride to Buenos Aires and I was talking to Bopper about his daughter. The next night Art and I talked about it and everything he has gone thru and if we get fortunate enough to win a money leg why don’t we split it with Bopper. Art said that was an awesome idea, let’s do it, so we had made that decision prior to the leg and when we finally got first in Italy it was in the morning and we had no idea where Bopper and Mark were. This was something we decided no strings attached. You can say many things about Art and I but our word is solid and that money is Bopper’s to take her on vacation or get her out of there for a while, but whatever he does, it is his money.

The Yak: That is very generous of you. Is there anything you would like to share with the readers?

Art: It is the fact that people enjoy the race, it is everything that you see and so much more that goes on in it and people need to realize it is tv and when you have strong people on competing that is the way it is it is… a competition for a million dollars. It is a way to change your life and to not know the things that go on with the sleep deprivation and the travel and the no food and no water, it wears on a person’s body, wears on a person’s soul, it wears on their mind, so the things that happen there is pretty much because people are at the end of the rope and it is fun and that is what makes it The Amazing Race.
JJ: The only thing I have to say is The Amazing Race crew, cameramen, sound guys and all the people behind the scenes are a first-class operation.


A big shout out and thanks to Art and JJ for taking the time to chat with us and congrats on the 2nd place win!

What do you think? Leave us a comment below, then come on in to the FORUM to discuss The Amazing Race and all of your favorite Reality Shows!

Thank you for chatting with Yakkity Yaks!

The Amazing Race: The Yak Chats with Winners Rachel and Dave Brown!

The Yak got the chance to chat it up with The Amazing Race 20 winner, Dave and Rachel Brown! Keep reading to see what they had to say!


The Yak: Congratulations on the Browns’ for winning and busting all kinds of TAR records! They are the first team to have won 8 different legs in a single season. They also are the first to have made it to the finish line mat TWICE in one finale and win!

Dave: Good and bad.
Rachel: laughs

The Yak: Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad!

Dave: Exactly.

The Yak: Would you do it again?

Rachel: Absolutely! It was so unbelievable to see all the sights.
Dave: In a heartbeat.

The Yak: Now aside from the million dollars one of the goals in your pre-show interview was to reconnect, did you succeed?

Dave: Yes Rachel and I were definitely able to improve our communications even though it was edited or shown as such we kept supporting each other through the race and just spending quality time and time in general with each other. It was such a rarity in the previous 24 months I had been gone nearly 18 and Rachel travels frequently for work as well. Being able to spend time with each other was just nice.

The Yak: Now out of all the trips you won for all your first place legs we want to know which will you take first?

Dave: We are both excited about New Zealand.
Rachel: Yeah, it will be so incredible.

The Yak: Rachel how many times did it take you to go down with the sled?

Rachel: It only took two. The first time I slid down on my back and it hurt so bad that it made me so determined not to wipe out again so the second time I made it.

The Yak: You rocked it!

Dave: She completed it in 2, she killed it. I think between the sled and Bollywood dancing, which obviously her past as a dancer, she has been dancing since she was 3 years old! While shaking JJ’s hand I made a comment to him… I don’t know how long you have been here with Art but I guarantee we will complete this task within 3 shots and they couldn’t believe it!

The Yak: You looked beautiful doing it too!

Rachel: I don’t know about that but the guy told me when I said it hurts so bad when I wiped out (on the sled) was just put oil on your back that will help when you fall so I oiled and lubed myself up! [Laughs]

The Yak: Which was your favorite challenge?

Dave: My favorite was in Japan, the Sumo with the photographs. It took me out of the race and something I really enjoyed. I was able to mingle with the locals and get a feel of not just the culture but the people themselves having the opportunity to meet and work the social aspects of it. There were no other challenges that were as social or speaking to the locals as that one.
Rachel: Argentina skydiving hands down it was such a cool experience.
( Dave has yet to skydive so Rachel was happy to be the first to accomplish that and this spring the couple will be going to skydive together!)

The Yak: What was your favorite place to have visited over the coarse of the race?

Rachel: Hands down Tanzania was so beautiful! The animals and the people… no doubt about it the most amazing experience.
Dave: Tanzania was so surreal, serene, tranquil and majestic. The country is absolutely gorgeous. Rachel absolutely loved the “bamboons”!
Rachel: [Laughs ] shush! The kids there were so cute on the side of the road they waved to us and everyone was just do friendly there.

The Yak: Dave, how hard was it for you to sit in the back seat of the helicopter?

Dave: [Laughs] I would much rather be at the controls then be a passenger but it was pretty enjoyable. They had me up on headset so I could speak to the pilot, it was about a 45 minute flight to the North shore. I would much rather be in the cockpit rather than the cabin.

The Yak: How long did it take you to get across to the island since you had to do it twice?

Rachel: [Laughs] The paddle boating, Dave was fast so it motivated me and I would say 10-15 minutes each way.

The Yak: Now how happy were you to see the gators there to drive back to the dock?

Rachel: Oh so happy!
Dave: We see Art and JJ there and realize that we are still possibly vying for first place and then when we are in the gators driving back I see fresh tracks and again we hadn’t seen brendon and Rachel so we didn’t know if they already drove out to the final so we kind of began to second guess ourselves whether we would be coming in first.

The Yak: JJ didn’t tell you! Naughty boy!

Dave: Exactly!

The Yak: What is next for you guys besides taking your trips?

Rachel: We go back to work tomorrow. We are excited to get back to normal life.
Dave: The monotony of normal life sounds pretty good right now and having a Sunday evening where we are not completely enthralled with the race and everything it has entailed over the last few months will be kind of nice.

The Yak: Have either of you been keeping in contact with the other teams?

Dave: I have more so than Rach. I am in touch with Bopper, Elliot, Ralph and Joey especially.

The Yak: I think Bopper and Mark have kept in touch with most everybody, they are the Mr. Congenialities of TAR 20!

Dave: On the race itself I actually pulled Bopper aside and told him you know America is going to love you all, he couldn’t believe it, is just the way he is, it is his personality.
Rachel: They are America’s Sweethearts!

The Yak: Any other reality shows in your future?

Rachel: No.

The Yak: Perhaps Dave you would want to do Survivor?

Dave: I wouldn’t mind.

The Yak: Did you work it out with Art and JJ after the show?

Rachel: Oh yeah after the show wrapped we all got together had a great night and put our differences aside.
Dave: Again from our standpoint we never had any animosity towards Art and JJ and we couldn’t believe the response to our decision. They were emotionally invested at the time and I think that actually benefited Rachel and I as a team so I appreciated that.

The Yak: Anything else you would like to share with the readers?

Dave: We appreciate the support and Rachel and I really to love each other and no pun intended but it was really amazing!
Rachel: We always wanted to be on The Amazing Race and we just applied!

The Yak: Thank you so much and congratulations on an amazing win Rachel and Dave!


Well, what do you think? Are you happy Rachel and Dave won the Race? Leave a comment below!

The Amazing Race: The Yak Chats with Mark Jackson and William “Bopper” Minton

The Yak chatted with the most recent eliminated team from The Amazing Race 20 (much to the disappointment of MANY fans), Mark Jackson and William “Bopper” Minton. Keep reading to see what they had to say!


The Yak: Thank you for taking time today to speak with me. I am with Yakkity Yaks.

Mark and Bopper: Hello!
Bopper: No problem one thing I love to do is Yakkity Yak!

The Yak: At Yakkity Yaks we talk back and you are both welcome to come on the site and chat with us!
[Laughter and thanks for the invitation.]
The Yak: First up I wanted to share some things that folks wanted you all to know! The two of you have been a great example not only for your own children but for the children across America. You have been the embodiment of family you have shown how two friends can be from start to finish and support each other and that you have made this season well worth watching. People were very sorry to see you all go.

Mark: We was too!
Bopper: We was too but I can’t explain to you how it has touched us to know how proud our county and the state of Kentucky and the world is of us. We had no idea we were just two poor country boys that had a chance to win a million dollars and we had to go in there and do our best for our families and represent our county in the best way we could.

The Yak: You should be very proud I am sure they were over the moon with how you behaved unlike those snippy girls!

Mark: You know if that is the way they wanted to behave that is their life but we are too respectful to try to hurt somebody’s feelings on national television, to try to down somebody. The way we look at is that everybody in the world are all the same, some are more fortunate than others and we should never look down on nobody.
Bopper: That is one of the main morals I teach my child to love, you treat others the way you want to be treated and I definitely wouldn’t want to go on national tv and have the world see me do something that would embarrass my family, my county or my child and I kept all those things in mind while running the race. What I kept in mind mostly was that I have a sick child at home that I am dedicated to and changing her quality of life and getting her relocated to a better and healthier environment was my priority. Priority one was my child and I am sorry Mark but Mark was my second priority!
[Both laughed!]
Mark: Hey listen, if it weren’t then something was wrong with you; that was my main goal too brother.

The Yak: I will also let you know that each team that I have spoken to since the start of the race had one thing in common, that the two of you are who they would want to keep most in contact with.

Mark: We touched everybody. We went around the world and saw all the people, the other teams kept on walking but me and Bopper, we’re not like that we stopped and we gave them blankets, the food we had or if it was money even with other teams behind us and thought they would start to do the same. We made them feel like somebody… they may have been homeless but we made them feel like a million dollars by stopping and when we left they had a blanket over them and a smile. But the answer to your question was that every team we were in the race with has kept in touch with us
Bopper: We are life long friends with all of them.

The Yak: Would the two of you do The Amazing Race again?

Bopper: In one half second sweetheart if they called me right now I would gladly do it.

The Yak: How excited were the kids to see you on tv?

Bopper: My child was ecstatic, my kid’s always been proud of me but when she would look at that tv she would look over at her daddy and had a glimmer in her eye that money can’t buy. She was so proud of her father!
Mark: That is the same way my kids are! (Telling about his youngest child‘s experience at school) “Daddy, I had to sign some autographs” ( Mark responded with) so long as you know Daddy loves you more.

The Yak: Did Art and JJ actually make good on sharing their first place leg win money with you?

Mark: That was not with me that was for Bopper with his daughter.
[Mark shared that until the show completes on air that prize money will not be issued.]
Bopper: I have spoke with them on the phone and I told them I am not going to hold you guys to that because it was a moment that you made a decision. I will not look down on you guys, you won that money and you are more than welcome to keep it but they said no, when we give our word we keep it and as soon as we get our money that child will have a third sent to her. It touches me deeply that they respected me enough to see the love I have for my child to do that for her. I don’t care what (others) think in my book they are alright.

The Yak: Several people wanted to know if there was a way they could donate to help your daughter?

Bopper shared that several news channels had put out that he needed the money for his daughter’s medical bills and that is not the case. She does have good medical insurance coverage. He wanted to be sure that the record was set straight; he was seeking the money to relocate the family to another home to improve her environment.

The Yak: What was your favorite challenge?

Bopper: My favorite challenge was facing my fear of being trapped under water. One of my phobias was being trapped in a tight spot and I am real proud of myself for doing it.
Mark: Shaving our heads to try and stay in the race after doing the speed bump.

The Yak: Out of the two speed bumps you completed which was more difficult yodeling or painting the tiger?

Bopper: I think the painting because I can yod-a-le-hee-hoo any time I want too!
Mark: Painting the belly was hard and standing in the sand, it was hot.
Bopper: The sand was burning your feet! The first thing I noticed was that they were standing in little holes, you had to dig a little hole with your feet to get down to the cool sand.
Asks Mark if yodeling was his favorite…..says he thought he (Bopper) looked pretty good in the outfit on tv
Mark: You would be wrong!!

The Yak: You both cut a mighty fine yodeling figure.

Mark: We both enjoyed every minute of the race and we enjoyed everybody that was around us, that is why we didn’t get into any of that junk… if they wanted to argue then me and Bopper would walk away. My mom says if it doesn’t have anything to do with you don’t get in it and so we stayed away from it.
Both Mark and Bopper expressed thanks to all members of production and CBS for the wonderful opportunity to be on the race. They were grateful for the chance to better their lives by winning TAR but they are happy to know that despite losing their families are very proud of them.

The Yak: Which city or country was your favorite to visit?

Bopper: Africa! The very best place I have ever been to in my life is Africa.
Mark: The same thing with me it was just amazing! Africa was unbelievable!

The Yak: How close were you on the last leg? I know you had large amount of time to make up but on tv it looked close?

Mark: I don’t know, I know we got eliminated but I think it was about 30-40 minutes.
Bopper: We were 3 hours behind to start but we made a pretty good comeback but it just wasn’t enough.

The Yak: When we saw that the fast forward was shaving your heads we knew neither one of those women would do that.

Bopper: I said you can shave my hair off since I am doing this for my child. I said they could take one of my legs. I know this may sound crazy to a lot of people but if giving a leg would change the health of my child I would give both of my legs in a heartbeat.

The Yak: That’s not crazy that’s the love of a father.

Mark: It’s crazy but it is the love of a father. Who’s gonna ride bicycles with her she is just 7 years old she has a long life to live. God is good, things will change in your life as long as you believe good is going to happen to you. I got fired as soon as I got back from the race for some unorthodox reason and I just can not see… money cannot buy you happiness. You need to walk her down the aisle and ride bicycles with her. Giving that up is not worth the million dollars.
Bopper: You are getting off the point. I said I would give my leg to change my daughter’s health, that is the love of a father.
Mark: Nobody in this world could doubt the love we have for our kids. We gave everything we had to show our love for our kids and change the lives of our kids, to let them know their daddies’ love them more than anything in this world.

The Yak: Thank you Mark and Bopper for chatting with Yakkity Yaks!


Well, what do you think? Were you disappointed to see them go as much as the rest of us? Who are you rooting on to win now? Leave us a comment below!

***Also, to all you Yaksters, be sure to get in your questions for the four remaining teams as I will be speaking with them all after the last leg! What questions would you like to ask? The Yak will try and get all your most burning questions answered! Leave us your questions below, or, come join us in the FORUM where you can discuss the Race and leave your question!

The Amazing Race: Yak’s Chat with Jamie and Nary

The Yak had the chance to sit down with the latest eliminated team from The Amazing Race 20, Jamie Graetz and Nary Ebeid! Read on to see what they had to say about their experience!


The Yak: Ok let’s just start with… Would you race again if given the opportunity?

Nary: Absolutely! Being in the race is a chance of a lifetime and to be able to have that second chance there is no doubt we would do it again.

The Yak: About how long did it take you to complete the speed bump?

Jamie: It took us around 20 minutes maybe. It really wasn’t hard. They showed you how we had to look at an overall painting, that was how we needed to organize all the other paintings to display them to be sold. The biggest challenge was that some of the things had to be hung really high so we had a table and on top of that we had a chair, Nary was standing on top of that. I think we did it as fast as it could’ve been done and we were hustling and thought we were still in the race for sure.

The Yak: Now since you have seen the other episodes do you think that your speed bump was tougher than the one Mark and Bopper had to complete?


Nary: I would not have minded yodeling, it would have been interesting to yodel and put on funny outfits. I didn’t see how long it took them to complete theirs but I am assuming it was about the same or if it was a tad quicker.

The Yak: I (Susan) thought you may have had a chance with the double u-turn since Vanessa and Ralph seemed to get lost a lot.

Jamie: Yeah I know, especially when we saw Ralph and Vanessa at the speed bump. It was so close that if they get lost or you know Vanessa doesn’t run anywhere or carry her backpack, so we figured we could way out run them. We by no means thought things were over. It was a good feeling but it was bittersweet because we were so close but unfortunately we had to do the speed bump first.

The Yak: Which was your favorite city of those you visited?

Nary: I think I speak for both of us, Tanzania to get to on the African safari is the chance of a lifetime and Italy as well was unbelievably beautiful. I would have loved to have seen more of Italy. Tanzania by far takes the cake.

Jamie: For sure!

The Yak: What was your favorite challenge over all the legs you raced?

Jamie: Watching Nary do the bottles was hilarious and a lot of fun. For me it was repelling. It was super fun! I was mad at myself for not getting it on the first try but those were my favorites.

Nary: The bottle thing was really interesting to be able to balance it on your head and get down on the ground, it was a lot of fun too. The skydiving I had always wanted to skydive and to get to do it in Argentina as high as we jumped was an unbelievable experience. I was like I can’t believe I just jumped out of a plane, it was amazing!

The Yak: Some of our forum members are teachers and they wanted to know why you chose to tell the others you were teachers?

Jamie and Nary both shared that they have teachers, principles and college professors in their families.

Jamie: We originally chose the teacher profession because they are very likeable, very smart and everyone knows what a teacher does so not much explanation would be needed. They are very middle of the road people smart and friendly as opposed to law enforcement where some people love them, but some people hate them and think they are mean or aggressive and it comes with all these stereotypes that we thought the teacher profession wouldn’t.

The Yak: Both of you in your pre-show interview had expressed concern about kidnapping, did you have any trouble with the border crossings?

Jamie: We work to investigate people that are very bad and if they knew what we did in certain countries, kidnapping is a very realistic threat. It is worse case scenario for me and for Nary the same. It is not realistic in the (location) where we work.

The Yak: Will being on TV have a negative impact on you being able to do your job?

Nary: Our undercover careers may be possibly gone but the part of our job done on a daily basis is not affected in any way.

The Yak: Are you reality TV junkies?

Jaime and Nary: [laughter] Yes!

The Yak: Any chance you will be applying for Survivor or Big Brother?

Nary: TAR has been our favorite and something we have always watched together and we were like we could do this. Survivor not so much. I am not a big fan of being cold and fishing and you know trying to find my food and I don’t like seafood. [both laughing] I like to watch them but don’t know I would want to be a part of them. TAR is one of a kind and that is why we chose that one.

The Yak: Any tips for future applicants or racers?

Jamie: The biggest thing would be to have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. Appreciate the race for what it is and what it can add to your life as opposed to drama but I know drama sells! Have fun and take it all in and don’t take yourself too seriously.

The Yak: Now I spoke with Joey and Danny a couple of weeks ago and they found the bickering between Rachel and Vanessa entertaining like airport entertainment. What is your take on that?

Nary: I wouldn’t necessarily call it entertaining… it is more childish and unnecessary. One doesn’t like the other so they are going to bicker, it was unnecessary. Rachel took her too seriously, Vanessa kept picking on her for the way she dresses, how she looks… to me it was unnecessary but to guys they would find it funny.

Jamie: If you want to do that on your own time or in a hotel room or wherever but I was kind of embarrassed because we were in this airport and we have a crowd and everyone was watching as Americans we were making complete fools of ourselves… and “your fat,” “your nose is big,” I think we should represent ourselves a little better than that and that is my take on it.

The Yak: Both of you ladies displayed great dignity in all the clips shown so congratulations for that!

Both: Thank you.

The Yak: Are there any teams you stay in touch with more than the others?

Nary: Mark and Bopper were our favorite from the get go, we just clicked with them. I am sure when we see them again it will be like old times. Rachel and Brendon live here in Los Angeles so we try to keep in touch with them and make time to see them but with our professions all of us are busy. We talk to the Mississippi girls and Misa and Maiya now and then along with Joey and Danny as well.

The Yak: Is there anything you wanted to share with the readers?

Jamie: We really appreciated the support, it means a lot to us; overall people have been great and I hope we made them proud. We feel like we represented ourselves well and our families and friends and our fans, we really appreciate the support. It was a great journey and it was great to have them by our side while we watched it.

The Yak: Thank you for chatting with Yakkity Yaks!


Are you going to miss Jamie and Nary on the Race? Who are you rooting for to win now? Leave us a comment below, then come on in and join us in the FORUM where we talk about all thing TAR and all other Reality favorites!

The Amazing Race: Post Interview with Joey and Danny!

The Yak had the chance to chat with Joey La Salla and Danny Horal after they were eliminated on the sixth leg of The Amazing Race.  I would like to apologize for the delay in posting that was the result of my computer crashing!

But I digress… Read on to see what they had to say!


The Yak: Hello! Thank you for your time today! Would you like to do The Amazing Race again?

Joey: Right off the bat 100%. We would not have done the fast forward, if given the chance we would be sure to stay with the pack.

The Yak: I could understand taking the chance. If you succeeded you would have gone straight to the finish!

Joey: …and we would have gotten cars too and that would have been great! We had progressed from 10th place to 8th place etc. and we wanted that 1st place finish which is why we took the risk, but it didn’t work out in our favor.

The Yak: Maybe we will see you in an All-star version of TAR?

Joey: We are crossing our fingers for that one!

The Yak: What about other reality shows, would you do Survivor or Big Brother? I could see you both on Big Brother.

Danny: We didn’t do the show to be on TV. First off we did it for the experience; I have never been out of the United States before so this was a whole new experience to see other countries and how people live that I have never seen before. The other thing is we were stereotyped as Jersey Shore kids, so for a couple of jersey shore kids to get to do this and do other things besides drinking and partying, was cool to show the world as well. Me and Joey had a great idea for a show we would like to host if there is a production company out there that would love to have us open up kids eyes… to have an opportunity to show them that there is more then just partying in typical Miami, New York and Vegas… to branch out if they had the chance to go to Germany or Paraguay. So it would be cool to have a show like that.

Joey: I would definitely do a Big Brother or Survivor. Both of us played sports growing up and I like that competitive drive and the chance to win something, especially if it is money. We would do a traveling show around the world… definitely would do it! And if Rachel can win Big Brother I think I can pull it off!

[All laugh]

The Yak: I think both of you would be very competitive on Big Brother, not to mention good eye candy!

Joey: It can’t hurt to be eye candy for the ladies!

[All laugh]

The Yak: What was your favorite challenge?

Danny: I am sure Joey will say jumping out of the plane and that is actually what I wanted to do but I got stuck driving the manual stick shift which I didn’t know how to do. If I had the chance to jump out of a plane, if we read the clue right, that would have been my favorite!

Joey: For sure the skydiving, I always said for the last ten years that I wanted to skydive and I had just never taken the initiative to just do it; for the task I had to do it and it was one of the craziest things I have ever done.
(He also pointed out that completing some of the other tasks took a long time and that the viewers didn’t realize how long. He shared that getting to do those tasks with his best friend was a very fun experience!)

The Yak: Which city did you like best?

Danny: I liked Bavaria.

Joey: Italy, we are used to staying in the United States and it was great to get to go to the different countries [named TAR 20 countries visited]. I hope to get to go back to those and more!

The Yak: A Yak twitter follower wants to know what you thought of Miss Vanessa.

Danny: Vanessa was good eye candy too but then we became good friends with Ralph, and he is a big guy, so I didn’t want to get beat up by him (laughs). I actually enjoyed Vanessa because she had a lot of fights with Rachel and that was good fun to watch while in the airport waiting for the plane!

Joey: Yeah even some of the other male teams thought Vanessa was good eye candy before we became pretty good friends with Ralph so we had to push that to the side. It was definitely fun to see how she and Rachel from Big Brother just constantly bickered and argued and it seemed like they had it out for each other. While we were racing it didn’t seem too much, but sitting at the viewing parties and actually watching it on TV it was real fun to just see them going for each others throat, especially Vanessa towards Rachel.

The Yak: Knowing that, post race, Ralph and Vanessa are no longer together does that change things?

Joey: I have a girlfriend.

Danny: I talk to Ralph as much as possible and he is still a big guy!

Joey: The rule is you don’t date your friends girl right Danny?

Danny: Yeah.

The Yak: Are you guys going to be able to attend Reality Rally?

Danny: We are debating it. We are trying to do the fundraising but we have just been really busy doing a couple of other things… but we may be going to that.

*Yakkity Yaks extends an invitation to Joey and Danny as well as other reality stars to join the forum to post information about their fundraisers and to blog about their experiences.

The Yak: Which teams are you staying in contact with most now, besides Ralph?

Danny: (laughs) Elliot was just calling me!

Joey: We talk to Elliot a lot, Andrew is playing soccer; Ralph of course and Bopper… so we stay in touch with all of them.

The Yak: (Susan) I am a born and raised New Yorker so I have to ask Yankees or Mets; Giants or Jets?

Both: Die-hard Yankee fans!

Joey: Like both (Giants and Jets) equally, will root for New York in play-offs.

The Yak: What is your biggest regret aside from the fast forward?

Danny: Only the fast forward. We ran a good race, we didn’t argue. If it hadn’t been for the fast forward we would have had a chance at the million dollars.

Joey: if you set aside the fast forward we really have none. We were lucky to get out of the first leg the way that we did [Misa and Maiya didn’t see Phil] it was a blessing we just had to work hard and stick together, teamwork, and like I said we were making our way up to first place and then that stupid fast forward. Like I said as well if we ever get to go back no fast forwards, If I see a fast forward I am just ripping it up.

The Yak: Did either one of you have doubts about the helicopter?

Joey: I did that. I grew up around the water and did life-guarding, used to surf, so I was pretty confident with anything in the water. I like swimming pools, anything around the beach I would do it. I could see how other teams could get nervous strapped in with the water rushing in. You have to stay calm… I honestly didn’t think about it. I was just mad we lost the fast forward and wanted to get it done with so we could try to catch the other teams. It’s not even a big deal to me. I felt the other teams made a big deal about it, it happened, you did it, and move onto the next thing.

The Yak: At the pit-stop were you really far behind the others, because it is hard to tell on TV. It looked like you guys had a decent chance of making it to the finish and not being eliminated?

Joey: We were not sure how close or far behind Ralph and Vanessa we were. We didn’t even know it was them we were behind, we didn’t see anybody at the roadblock or the detour. We were definitely behind teams and it looked close on TV but it could have been 20 minutes or an hour, we really don’t know.

The Yak: It looked like a footrace because of editing.

Joey: I was watching with my parents last night and they said you almost got it. I told them it definitely looked good on TV. It was exciting but I had no idea how far behind we were. It could have been 3 hours.

Danny: …or 20 minutes we really don’t know.

The Yak: Do you have any tips for future TAR applicants?

Joey: If you ever want any laughs you can look at pictures on my twitter @JOEYFITNESS or Danny’s @DannyHsolution. We are always cracking jokes and posting pictures. For those looking to go on The Amazing Race I would definitely recommend learning how to drive a stick and pick the right partner. Danny and I we were the perfect match for partners for the show, some of the other couples that went with a wife or girlfriend will have second thoughts. Maybe doing it with a best guy friend or girl best friends so you don’t have the dynamics of a relationship, since that can cause problems.

Danny: Any fans of us PLEASE write to CBS and tell them to bring us on an all-star TAR season because we definitely want to do it and we will win the million dollars!

The guys also ask me if I like their hats that they had worn in Bravia. They shared that many people have asked them about the monster and panda hats. I had to confess that I didn’t think they were strange or odd since I had bought my 20 year old son a monkey hat! [All laughed]

Thanks for chatting with The Yak!


Were you fans of Joey and Danny? Will you miss them on The Race? Who are you rooting for now that they are gone? Leave us a comment below, then come join us in the FORUM and join in the conversation! We also all meet up during the East Coast Showing to discuss what’s going on! Come on in!

The Yak Chats with The Amazing Race ‘Team Pink’ (Kerri and Stacy)

Yesterday, The Yak had the chance to sit down with the latest eliminated team from The Amazing Race, Kerri Paul and Stacy Bowers! Read below to see what they had to say!


The Yak: Hello Kerri and Stacy. Thank you for sharing time with me today! First questions, would you do TAR again?

Kerri: Hell yeah!
Stacy: Yes, I hope there is an all-stars 2 so we can be on it!

The Yak: What was your favorite challenge?

Stacy: Our favorite one had to be the empañadas…
Kerri: We went there after everyone else and dominated it so that was part of it.
Stacy: Duh cooking! We’re both girls, we’re fly! It taught me how to make something so when I came home I could make for my husband!

The Yak: Stacy you had said in your bio that you wanted to taste real Spanish food so was that enough of a taste of it for you?

Stacy: [laughs] I’m not sure. I would’ve tasted one of those that I made and I definitely would have enjoyed it… but I did get to try one and I know it is not Spanish. I got the opportunity to try the Argentine steak so I at least I have that one under my belt. I am like a food connoisseur with the exception of… what you didn’t see was me barfing, totally losing it during the salami challenge.

The Yak: that was a lot of salami.

Stacy: After eating a bit and running back and forth I completely lost my stomach… on the sidewalk… in front of about a million people.

The Yak: Well hopefully they will forget that!

Kerri and Stacy: [laugh]

The Yak: Which was your favorite city to visit?

Stacy: Even though we lost there my favorite city was in Germany where we did get to see the castles. How many times in your life do you get to go to a real fairy tale castle, a real live one! I really enjoyed it and wish we had the opportunity to look around.
Kerri: I agree. I wish we had the opportunity to look around more.
Stacy: In the heat of the moment looking back at the show, OMG that was so beautiful and amazing, but in the heat of the moment I don’t think I noticed what the outside even looked like… now it is like yeah that’s the one I went to!
Kerri: You are just focusing on traffic and getting through the race okay. [Shares her favorite] I think Paraguay was mine. I feel that whenever we were done and could actually take in the city, in the square where we were and the weather was really nice, it was cool but wasn’t freezing. I just thought it was beautiful and was a nice place.

The Yak: Stacy how excited were your children to see you overcome the challenges on the race?

Stacy: My children are like the greatest ever; they were so excited leg after leg. They look at my husband like he is this awesome superhero because he is a professional basketball player and sometimes we are watching his games and he does something spectacular and we are like how did he do that? It was so fulfilling to have them look at me in that respect! They saw me not just as their mommy but as one of their heroes! I am really honored that I got this experience but that my children had the opportunity to watch me overcome so many obstacles and persevere.

The Yak: What did they think of the skydiving challenge?

Stacy: They were watching and freaking out! They were like mommy your not going to do it, then like OMG and you said my name on TV! [laughing] My son was heartbroken last night. He was crying and crying [when we were eliminated] I told Kerri last night that the only way I got him to stop was like Cam, but now you are famous! Everyone has seen you on TV and know you, so he was like “Oh but you still were last! Waaahh!”

The Yak: For the basketball camp you and your husband are planning, is there a website people can go to?

[Stacy shared that the website is still under construction but the camp will be locally in Gulfport, Mississippi in July as a day camp]

The Yak: Kerri, how has being on the race helped in your work, you do some exciting things in Gulfport?

Kerri: Well now it is hard because everywhere I go people see and recognize me and they say you are on The Amazing Race! My coworkers come to me every Monday and stand in my doorway with their arms folded and they are like “tell me about this or that.” I mean it has really affected me in a positive way, Sometimes people see me in one light and it is good to have them see another side of you. I think it was a really good experience for me and for my coworkers because they get to laugh. It is kind of a stress reliever. They are really proud of me since I helped put our city on the map, since I work for the city, so it has been a really positive experience.

The Yak: Did the two of you achieve your goal of reconnecting over The Race?

Kerri: We did and we are still connecting, we still party and get together to watch The Race. We are real family people and Stacy decided to stay home this basketball season so she is still here.
Stacy: The kids and I are still here and our family is really enjoying it. This is the first time my kids really got to experience Mardi Gras, my daughter is getting real comfortable. I am like oh my gosh how are we ever going to leave again because now they just want to stay here! I am planning to go visit my husband (soon) to make sure he is still alive. [laughs]

The Yak: Are there any other reality shows in the works for you two?

Kerri: We would love to do the race again. If anyone is interested just give us a call because we are always up for more challenges!
Stacy: Everybody is asking me “are you going to bring Kerri and stop in on the Basketball Wives?” I am like I don’t know if Kerri and I can go bring some southern flare to those ladies.
Kerri: Yeah because we are both athletes’ wives, my husband played minor league baseball for a while. He is a scout from Italy baseball so we know that life. We definitely have the athletes wives thing down.
Stacy: In The Race people got the opportunity to see us for who we really are and we are really sincere gals. We’re fun and very approachable. We are looking forward to whatever the future holds for us. We are very easy going people and I hope you can see us in the future. Bring Team Pink to a whole other level!
[Kerri and Stacy shared that both husbands are waiting to see what vacation plans the ladies will spring on them! Stacy shared that her children are always ready for a traveling adventure!
They also shared a touch of irony… both of their husbands were in Venice, Italy while the ladies were tasting salami in Turin, Italy. The time distance was only about 1.5 hours away… close yet so far!]


Thanks to Kerri and Stacy for chatting with us! What do you think? Will you miss them on The Race? Who are you rooting for to win? Leave us a comment below!

The Yak Chats with ‘Race’ Twins Andrew & Elliot Weber

This past week, twins Elliot and Andrew Weber were eliminated on the third leg of The Amazing Race. A team that many might have thought would make it further, Andrew and Elliot might have fallen victim to harp strings. On Monday, the Yak was fortunate to be able to chat with Elliot and Andrew regarding their experiences on the Amazing Race, disappointment in being eliminated early on and just what both of these brothers are up to these days. Read on and find out!

The Yak: Thank you for taking the time to speak with Yakkity Yaks. I know that a lot of people were sorry to see you leave the race.

Elliot: You have no idea just knowing you were eliminated that early, knowing what you are capable of ….it was just our fate and it is hard to accept that but well it is what it is and life goes on.

The Yak: Would you do another Amazing Race if invited back?

Elliot: Oh yeah, oh yeah I would. Now that you understand the many factors of the race and how it is played out I think we would do a lot better at strategies and would now know what to expect and to plan for that.

The Yak: (Elliot and Andrew live in different states; we had a connection glitch so I was afforded the opportunity to obtain the information from Elliot about his band (ENOVA) and soon to be released record.)

Elliot: My project ENOVA will be having an album coming out very soon here in the spring. We are going over some of the fine details with our producer on the tracks we have but I can see it being out in the next month or so. We will have our new album out and will be touring on it as well. Right now you can go the Facebook and get all our updates now. Our site is being built and in about a month we will have an You can also purchase all our songs on iTunes and one of our songs, “Counterpart,” was actually on the premiere episode of The Amazing Race.

The Yak: One of our site members wanted to know how was it for you to lose out on the harp challenge?

Elliot: Doing guitar pulling it thru the hole and wrapping it around the head of the guitar it is similar but at the same time the harp is so much more oriented and our fingers like we have pretty big hands and you really can’t get in there it is frustrating. It was harder then I thought it would be.

(Andrew was now reconnected to speak with Elliot and I)

The Yak: I have asked your brother but would you do another Amazing Race if invited back?

Andrew: Yes, I would in a heartbeat. I enjoyed the experience. I think now knowing what we know and sort of getting a taste of the game I think it would be awesome to go back and actually do better because I know we could do better and get a chance to prove to ourselves that we could do better.

The Yak: Andrew who do you play soccer for and is there a website fans can go to for information?

Andrew: I (now) play for the Seattle Sounders in Major League Soccer. You can go to or and click on the Sounders website.

The Yak: Which was your favorite challenge to do?

Elliot: Skydiving!! I feel bad that my brother Andrew didn’t get to skydive (laughs) but that was by far the most amazing experience I ever got to see – seeing the countryside and how beautiful it was. I am sure my brother might have a different opinion on that, but it was just real cool to do the skydive.

Andrew: Yeah, I was a little jealous that Elliot got to do it and I couldn’t. We didn’t really get to do too many tasks since we didn’t really make it that far, but out of making the empanadas and counting the cows (Elliot laughing). I thought the cows was a cool experience. Everyone was yelling at Dave but making the empanadas was cool. Those two were my favorites since they were the two I got to do.

Elliot: You didn’t like doing the harp man…laughing

Andrew: (laughs)

[They agree they hate the harp now!]

The Yak: How was it to get to watch the other complete tasks when separated? Andrew, how was it to see Elliot do the skydiving?

Andrew: To watch Elliot do it was amazing. If you haven’t seen the bonus footage yet I parked in the wrong spot so I was looking up looking at him and I guessed I had to go find him. I ended up going thru the trees and all that. You could probably flip the roles and ask Elliot how he felt standing there in the middle of the desert waiting for his lost brother to yell at him and find him. (Elliot laughing) To watch me at the end watching Elliot do the bottle thing, I felt for him, because I knew he was trying. So sometimes it is hard watching because you are excited, but at the same time you are thinking to yourself “I am sure this is so easy,” like “come on this is so easy,” but it probably is not. You’re not the one there doing it.

Elliot: It was hard to see when I was standing there from skydiving. It was frustrating to know my brother might be lost. I don’t know where he is and I can’t go out to find him. The footage is actually funny. I can’t believe that he ran thru this 10 foot bushes of thorns to find me – which is awesome. Watching him do the cows, I have a feeling that if our bus had never broke down on the way to go do that challenge that we may have ended up on that first flight to Paraguay. My brother did really well at getting the cows done. It took 4-3 tries, and I could see how frustrating it was to be a number off and that would affect whether you got the clue or not. In the long run, my brother finished and he even helped out and partnered up with Joey & Danny. They did the math and it was cool to see him finally get it done. It was frustrating, though, at the same time because you want to see your partner doing well.

The Yak: Any chance we will get to see either one of you doing big Brother or Survivor, throwing your hats into those rings? (chuckling by brothers and CBS rep!)

Andrew: I guess that is a question you have to ask casting. If Elliot and I can beef up on Survivor, me against him, that be cool. It would be cool to be on something else. Hopefully they like our personalities and I would like to go back and try it again, give it another whirl or even maybe do “Elliot and Andrew’s World” you know something cool!

Elliot: I agree. Survivor or even coming back and doing the Race again all over would allow people see us a little longer and interact at a completely different time in our lives. I think it would be cool too, back to what my brother said, back to our lives and show people what they are like and do our own kind of thing.

Andrew: I think people don’t realize it takes a lot to be on the show. It takes a lot of sacrifice not only from the staff and what they are doing, but stuff you have to do and give up to be part of it is a big piece of it. You give up quite a bit to compete for this so it makes it worth it.

The Yak: Do either of you want to keep in touch with other race teams?

[Andrew and Elliot report that they do keep in touch with several other contestants of TAR 20.]

Elliot: Yes, I definitely made some friendships. You bond with people while you are out there running [the race]. You get to know people and understand their personalities, and the people you stay in touch with are lifetime friends.

The Yak: Anything more you want to share with our readers?

Andrew: Elliot’s band ENOVA. (Check out the info above!)

We’d like to thank Elliot and Andrew for chatting with us and wish them luck with all they do in this life!

The Amazing Race Ambassadors of Laughter: David and Cherie Gregg

Yakkity Yaks had the opportunity to spend sometime yesterday with David and Cherie Gregg, the second team eliminated from The Amazing Race 20. The interview started out with a HONK HONK as a welcome from the Ambassadors of Laughter. I would like to let you all know that they are just as exuberant and full of joy in person as they appeared on TAR!


The Yak: Did you get to celebrate your 20th Wedding Anniversary while racing or was it afterward?

Both: It was afterwards.
David: it was actually February 16th.

The Yak: Wonderful 20 years congratulations, what a milestone.

Cherie: Thank you and we survived the race still married!

The Yak: I never had any doubts about that! You were one of the teams that got along better under stress then any others this season and previous years also.

Both: Thank you!

The Yak: Would you do it again if TAR invited back?

Both: Oh Yes!
David: 110% yes, definitely!
Cherie: Call anyone you know that you think could get us back on, definitely. It was too short for us.

The Yak: What was your favorite task to complete?

David: I would say of the entire thing was building the solar kitchen; it was such a joy to get to work with Cherie on a task together.
Cherie: We do well together we are just not good separated.
David: Divided.
Cherie: Divided… laughs… no pun intended with the division! But we enjoyed working the solar kitchen together. I thought you (David) were going to say skydiving for yourself.
David: Oh no, no, no I liked working with you.
Cherie: I wanted to skydive.

The Yak: What was it like to watch the other on the roadblocks where you were doing things separately?

Both: It was hard.
David: When I was getting ready to skydive going up in the plane my thoughts were on Cherie and how she was going to get to the drop site and find me…
Both: …and drive the stick shift
David: Luckily she did it flawlessly and we were able to pass up 3 other teams at that time. All I had to do was use gravity as my source (laughs).
Cherie: Watching Dave struggle at the cattle was so hard! I was so glad he didn’t get upset and could fall back on his humor to keep going. If he had gotten really upset it would have upset me even more because I felt helpless not being able to help him. We work really well together because we are two halves of one person; we don’t function well divided. Dave does everything… he cooks, cleans, does dishes, grocery shops, driving….
David: Cherie does all the math.
Cherie: The clue was “where’s the beef?”
David: I thought I was going to eat a cow!
Cherie: so who had any idea it was going to have to do with math; if we had thought it would have to do with math I would have taken it. Roadblocks were a twist because if it was like who was better with directions, Dave would have been and I would have gotten to skydive. Most people were tricked and the person that would rather not skydive ended up skydiving. Roadblocks had twists and it was crazy watching people try to deal with them!
David: It was AMAZING!

The Yak: How did it make you feel to see the other on the show completing their task?

Cherie: It was really cool. I was jealous watching him diving and he looked great doing it. I did get to see him come down because I found him really quick, so I got to see the end of it, but seeing him go out the plane was really cool and that will be a great memory.
David: It was very exciting to get to be able to watch each other do the individual parts that we weren’t part of.
Cherie: Watching him struggle with the math again on tv was not fun.

The Yak: What city did you like best?

David: Buenos Aries was absolutely beautiful.
(The Greggs enjoyed the drives thru the countryside as they traveled between locations and expressed it as some of the most beautiful views.)

The Yak: You were on the bus that broke, how did the window break?

David: We’re not sure and would love to know the official answer. I think it had to do with stress; it was a double-decker bus and in the afternoon what happened was the lower section of the window where we were was getting very hot. The attendant came down and noticed it was getting hot and it sounded like they turned off the whole AC system and put it back on and it cooled down relatively quickly for about an hour and a half… but then the window just exploded….with a bang sound. I think it was stress of the temperature change it couldn’t take, luckily it was safety glass.
Cherie: It didn’t blow in right away so the people sitting back there were able to get up and then it blew in. I thought something hit it, I don’t think the science way Dave does.
David: We were driving 60-65 mph down the highway so I don’t think anything could have hit it that hard. We really don’t know.
Cherie: It was right behind our heads and so we didn’t get very much sleep. Then Dave trying to do math on very little sleep did not help… on the highway the wind would catch the tape and rip the plastic open. Then we would stop again and you would hear (insert tape ripping noises) of duct tape all night long of them re-taping it up. Then we would go again, then stop again, so it made a really long bus ride that started out as 18 hours. It ended up more than 20 hours and we weren’t able to sleep very well. It was a nightmare.

The Yak: Was production able to help occupy your time or do something for you to make use of it?

David: Not really, we sat there and waited for repairs to be made and pretty much everyone was anxious for them to get it done as quickly as possible so we could get on the road to continue on the way.
Cherie: We were speculating about the other teams that could be on the third bus… about how much time we were losing
David: But we had no idea quite frankly.

The Yak: Was there any one team you felt a sense of camaraderie with more than the others?

Cherie: In the very beginning, in the first leg, Art and JJ came up to us. They were a little annoyed because they were being called middle aged and they were like us old folk got to stick together but then they were so far ahead of us all the time we never really had any long periods of time with them. Then we were shouting with the twins and the NY boys because we were all on the lower level of the bus. We got along with everybody. We didn’t really have any issues with any teams; again the clown in us is to see everybody for who they are and we only judge people by what they show to us… if they are nice to us we are nice back. We had no problems with anyone.

The Yak: Would you want to keep in touch with the other teams?

Cherie: Yes, it is something that when you go through an experience like this it is a bonding experience.
David: It is a bonding experience!
Cherie: It is like working in the circus with people from all over the world, you now have a rare shared experience.

The Yak: Are you back on the road with the circus?

David: We are back as the Ambassadors of Laughter for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
Cherie: We are traveling about a month ahead of the circus and going to schools, libraries and hospitals bringing free educational programs to the community; to kids that might not get to go to the circus; to hospitals where kids might not be having the best day and letting them forget reality for a while. We are going to be heading up to Kentucky… Pikeville… next we will be leaving Mobile Alabama. We are touring all over, we keep saying we are so lucky to have each other and lucky to have a great job entertaining people and bringing free community programs and lucky to have the opportunity to be on The Amazing Race. We do wish it could have been longer, we wish we could go back again, but we have been very lucky (David was agreeing as Cherie spoke), lucky that Dave survived cancer twice… just lucky people… We know how lucky and valuable life is.

The Yak: Any future plans to do any other reality shows?

Cherie: The dream was always The Amazing Race. Something we could do together and have the adventure of a lifetime and see the world. We have been traveling the country with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus for 12 years now and wanted to get out to see the world. TAR is the best reality show to us! It is not about fighting and politics, it is about yourself and how you are going to handle your challenges.
David: Yeah, overcoming obstacles.
Cherie: How you are going to handle the challenges and other people, foreign countries and things like that… so it was more about working as a team.

The Yak: Dave expressed interest in going to Japan and Cherie to Australia, any plans for either of those trips?

Both: Hopefully!
Cherie: One of the next dreams is to go to all the Disney Parks around the world.
David: …and do a little sightseeing in between.
Cherie: …and sightseeing the countries as well. There is no Disney in Australia but I still want to see it, it is suppose to be really beautiful. We slowly do our dreams in 10 year spurts; it took us 10 years to get into Ringling Brothers Circus.
David: Hopefully we will do the traveling a little sooner this time.
Cherie: Especially with the TAR dream coming true 10 years later, we always tell people don’t give up on your dreams, you need to make them happen; we will get to travel more. Hopefully we will be able to do another Amazing Race!

The Yak: Do you have children?

Cherie: We love children… everybody else’s.
David: Sugar them up and send them home!
Cherie: Entertain, make them happy then send them home. I would worry too much if I had my own children.

The Yak: I am sure that everyone else appreciates all the love you share with their children. whether they are your family or not.

Cherie: It is our honor and privilege to be able to do that. We feel so lucky to be able to make people laugh and forget reality for a while and have fun and do this for a living. We are just very lucky.
David: Very fortunate.

The Yak did ask if David and Cherie had any information on how to locate the programs or how to contact for possible visits from them. Information is available at and Ringling also has a facebook page. David and Cherie report that they are generally in a town about 1 month before the circus arrives.

David and Cherie, thank you for sharing time with Yakkity Yaks; best of luck on all your future endeavors and a very Happy Anniversary!
David and Cherie signed off with a thank you and HONK HONK!!


So what do you think? Disappointed to see the clowns have an early exit from The Race? Let us know below!

The Amazing Race: Misa and Maiya Share Their Experience

Known for their now infamous elimination in the first leg of the Amazing Race, Misa & Maiya Tanaka have a lot to share about their short lived adventure on the Race. The Yak had the privilege of chatting with Misa & Maiya Tanaka this morning and to describe them as full of life is not descriptive enough! Read on to see what they had to say!


The Yak: Well let’s just start with this… If you were offered the opportunity to do it again would you?

Misa & Maiya: Yes in a heartbeat we would. We wouldn’t even need to think twice about it. We obviously need redemption. We made history for being goof-balls not seeing Phil so definitely we need redemption we need to prove ourselves… one of the biggest mistakes in TAR history and Phil kind of let us know that when we got to the mat…
Maiya: He made me cry.
Misa: ..And I was just standing there angry.

The Yak: I cannot imagine how frustrating it is to know you were so close and that they saw you.

Misa: Oh yeah, it was completely frustrating just the fact that they were right there & Maiya and I were running through all the mazes and ran thru another vineyard before finally getting to Phil and then realizing that we were in the right place to begin with was just beyond frustrating.

The Yak: One of our twitter followers, @mralmondbread wanted to know if you would have left your bags instead of picking them up if that would have helped you?

Maiya: I don’t think that it would have helped us much but we definitely considered that, that was our point in not bringing our bags in the first place is that they did kind of weighed us down. That is why we didn’t bring our bags in the first place and so we were in last place we fully intended to leave our bags if it was that close and we had to sprint to the finish line.
Misa: We knew we had some time since we made great strides during the empanada making challenge & knew Danny & Joey were kind of struggling a little bit so we knew we had a few minutes enough to go grab our bags and come back out.

The Yak: Are you guys Big Brother fans?

Misa: I’ve seen Big Brother, saw a couple of episodes, but never saw Brendon and Rachel on so I had no idea who they were.
Maiya: We knew the concept and we definitely think it is one of the coolest shows. But we had no idea, it looked familiar to me and I think I did see her on it but the fact that they were on it was kind of a little surprise.

The Yak: Yes, a good surprise for Big Brother fans! How about Survivor, are either of you Survivor fans?

M&M: Yeah!
Maiya: I love Survivor. I would struggle with having to eat fish or catch my food and eat that for dinner but I definitely think Survivor is a great show.

The Yak: Any chance either of you will be applying for that?

M&M: [laugh]
Maiya: No, we’ll have to wait & see.
Misa: I don’t know how many goofs we could make of doing that… Survivor is a bit crazy. We have already learned it does take a lot and it is physically exhausting being on this race and the reason why we didn’t see Phil is we were so dehydrated and so frantic that we had tunnel vision.
Maiya: You know the one advantage we would have is not looking for Phil on a mat so I mean maybe we would be a little more successful!

The Yak: On your preshow interview you had both expressed interest in going to Japan. Is that an adventure you will take on your own?

Misa: Yes, definitely! I want to travel with Maiya again so going to Japan is something we are going to do hopefully sometime in the near future. We need to make it happen that is one our dreams to go there.
Maiya: Our family is from there. We were born in US, our dad at least, we are the 4th generation here so the fact is that it is kind of like a lost culture for us. Our grandparents can speak Japanese a little bit and our mom can a little bit. We definitely want to learn a little bit more about the culture and where we come from so we really, really wanted to go there.

The Yak: What was your favorite part of the leg you participated in?

Misa: My favorite part had to be skydiving. I’ve always wanted to skydive before… I just needed an extra push where I just had to do it, had to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, but it was such an incredible experience to be able to see the view from up above and fly over Argentina. It was just incredible and you know what, my landing, I’m always going to remember that special moment my feet planted into home base.

The Yak: Any chance you will be dragging your sister up into a plane now?

Maiya: NO!
Misa: No, I don’t think she would do it. I would love for her to do it but she is afraid of heights.
Maiya: I am terrified of heights, there is no way I would have done that! We lucked out… that was the only lucky part we got! At least we did choose right in the fact that I was going to be the navigator and she was going to be the crazy one jumping out of a plane!

The Yak: Out of all the teams, are there any you would want to remain friends with?

M&M: [both agree] Yes we love all the teams!
Maiya: We socialized and talked to pretty much everyone on a regular basis and it’s such an experience that only a select few get to go through so we can all kind of relate to just being in that situation. We were all there at one point and it is just an amazing feeling to get to share with these people and we are really happy that we are friends with everyone.
Misa: Yes we are going to keep in touch with these people forever, they are like our extended family so just to be able to relate to that experience… no one ever knows what you exactly go through unless you are actually on the show, so we definitely formed a fast bond with the contestants and I look forward to getting to see them again. We’re going to keep in touch. We are looking forward to watching them and seeing what they go through now that we can call them up and give them a hard time too!

The Yak: How was it to watch the one another on the segment where you’re driving and then you’re skydiving… how was it to see your sisters’ take while you weren’t there?

Misa: For me watching Maiya getting stuck in the sand was so heartbreaking and I felt so sad for her. You know it’s funny, it’s one thing when you know what has happened based on what Maiya has explained to me but then watching it and what she went through, I could just picture myself and how sad she was and the amount of stress she went through being in that position (getting stuck in that sand) so I actually started tearing up watching her.
Maiya: For me it was easy to watch her jump out of a plane because that has been something she always wanted to do. I was really happy for her and almost elated to see her! I kind of got an adrenaline high getting to see her do something she always wanted to do and her little comment at the end of “Yeah we did it” was really cool! I was liking that part not so much when I was stuck in the sand.

The Yak: Maiya were your rescuers’ just local Argentineans’ that were there or was it someone sent from production to assist you?

Maiya: Once Phil says go you are on your own so it was definitely not anyone from production or the race. Basically I had to flag down people from Argentina and it was a huge team effort. The first guy I saw was a guy on a motorcycle who happened to have some rope but he spoke zero English, but he was able to understand me and my begging. I was like “por favor”… used a little bit of the Spanish I learned in high school and he understood me enough and I kind of knew what he was saying. He helped me flag down another car which ended up being too small to pull me out and snapped the rope in half, then we had to call in another car that happened to have steel wire with him… then eventually we flagged down a truck who was able to have enough horsepower to pull with the rope/steel wire combination to pull me out of the sand. So it was a team Argentina group effort there and I was just really… it was a blessing in disguise basically. Even though it was very unlucky I got stuck, I got to interact with the locals; I got to see the kindness of strangers and everyone was so willing to help me… even though you saw at the end that the guy was pulling my car out we ended up hitting his car with my car a little bit in the corner. It scratched his bumper and everything and kind of dented it in, but he didn’t really mind… and he knew we were in a hurry to get to the next check point I guess.

The Yak: We don’t see all that so we didn’t realize how traumatic an ordeal it was for you.

Yeah it was a pretty lengthy ordeal but I wasn’t about to give up. They didn’t show the part where I was literally on my hands and knees placing rocks and whatever I could under the tire digging it out! I hadn’t had much experience in the desert sand besides the sand traps on the golf course you know. If I had my sand wedge I feel that I would have done a lot better getting out of it but I was out of my element for sure.

The Yak: You had an amazing come back from that! I am just so sorry you two were eliminated!

M&M: Thank you. We made up a lot of ground but it wasn’t meant to be in the end.

The Yak: Thank you so much for spending time with me today and good luck on all your future endeavors!


So what do you think? Unhappy that they were eliminated first? Who are you rooting on to win? Let us know below!