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!

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