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!

Woah Woah Woah! Phil Eats Yak Meat? Say it ain’t so!

The Amazing Race’s host, Phil Keoghan has a new web series called “Phil’s Diaries”, depicting behind the scenes footage of The Amazing Race. The videos are actually very interesting. Phil, who absolutely loves to travel, is able to share all of his travel wisdom with us, as well as show us behind the scenes tidbits we would have never known.

As you know, last week in China, our Yak himself starred in one of the challenges the racers had to face, allowing the racer to ride on his back down a waterfall to receive their next clue. We saw pictures of the racers on their back, even a picture of Phil with the Yak. Well, turns out riding Yaks is not all they do over yonder in China, they also grill them! Seen below is Phil’s video diary of the trip, where he tries grilled Yak meat for the first time. We will give Phil credit here for saying that he doesn’t feel all that comfortable eating the animal he just tried to get a good shot (picture) with, but to Barry the sound guy, we say SLOW YOUR ROLL!

We are just glad that our Yak got out in time. Leave the Yak a comment below to show your appreciation for the dangerous mission he was sent on, just for the entertainment of us!