‘Amazing Race’ Champs Amy & Maya: ‘(Jim) Didn’t Think We Were Worth Much’


'The Amazing Race' (CBS)

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Maya Warren: I’m sorry, Gordon. My voice is shot. So, I apologize.
Gordon Holmes: Were you excited about some recent event? We’re you screaming in joy too much?
Warren: (Laughs) Yeah, I partied a bit too much and screamed a lot. I don’t sound very sexy.
Holmes: Well, I told CBS I only want to talk to people if they sound sexy.
Warren: (Laughs) Well physically speaking, yes. But vocally, no.
Holmes: OK, I’ll make an exception this time.

Holmes: Amy, let’s start with you. The delivery challenge really took it out of you physically. You thought you were done. When Phil told you to keep racing, was your first though, “Awesome!” or “Oh no.”?
Amy DeJong: First of all, I was shocked. I was standing there and I didn’t know what to say or do. I was wrecked physically. I was dead. But, I was so excited to still be in it. We did not see that final twist coming. Just to know that we were still in it was indescribable. I knew I had to suck it up.

Holmes: I know the final challenge always seems to involve some grand recap of the entire season. Had you two been taking notes and studying?
DeJong: We had notebooks that we took with us through the entire race. We were taking very diligent notes on every single thing that had happened. When we were on the last leg at the airport we made lists of all of the memory challenges that we thought could happen and studied them.
Warren: We actually thought it was going to be like an island or water challenge. In our notebooks we had little countries drawn, bodies of water, we probably went overboard.
DeJong: Capital cities…you name it. We were ready for that last challenge.

Holmes: Maya, you might be the best judge of this. How much time passed from when you arrived at that final challenge to when you left? Because Jim had said something about it feeling like four hours.
Warren: It probably took a little over an hour from the time we got there to when we got in the taxi to go to the finish line. It didn’t seem that long. I was talking to Jim and Adam. We knew at that point that Brooke and Rob were gone. We were just recapping the whole season and reminiscing. And we were encouraging our teammates.

Holmes: Well, now that you’ve got that big check and you can sit back and look at your future, any thoughts of giving up science for stuntwork?
Warren: (Laughs) Why can’t I do both?
Holmes: Follow your dreams, Maya.
Warren: I wanted to do that. I was saying, “I love heights!” And then you see me stuttering up there. I did that jump about five times, but the first time I did it I got whiplash and my neck was throbbing. Those mats don’t take your impact like the boxes do. When you jump on the boxes, they collapse on themselves. But, maybe I do have a future in that. It was pretty cool.

Holmes: What was the time difference from when you arrived at the mat and the dentists and the surfers arrived there?
DeJong: Between us and the dentists it was a little under an hour. And then the surfers it was like an hour and a half.
Warren: It was like an hour and twenty. The dentists were like 40ish. We had a huge lead over them. I would’ve paid to see Jim’s reaction of us getting in the car. I would’ve loved to have seen that. He didn’t think we were worth much on the race.
DeJong: And another thing with the challenge, it took like five minutes for them to get the crane with the clue. So, we knew even if Misti had finished immediately, that they’d still have to wait for it.
Warren: And, their taxi driver wasn’t as good as ours. They got lost on the way to the crate challenge which is how we got there at the same time as them. Adam and Bethany had taxi problems too.

Holmes: Everyone I talked to said Jim was a very intense, very competitive guy. I’d have to imagine he’s got to be thinking, “We would’ve won if the Candy Girls had been eliminated at final four.”
DeJong: Probably! (Laughs)
Warren: It’s like we said to Brooke, we don’t make the rules.  It was about racing with the best, we didn’t need to bring anyone down. So, he might be saying it, he might be invited back for All-Stars. But we won fair and square.
DeJong: And we did it with integrity. We didn’t backstab. We didn’t talk bad about others.

Holmes: I actually wanted to talk about that. The wrestlers really tried to throw you under the bus that one time where you had to go to the five different locations. What was it like to learn about that after the fact?
DeJong: We knew that they had lied to us. It just wasn’t going to do us any good to fight with them. We had to stay focused and it was a new leg. We learned from our mistakes, we couldn’t trust them anymore.
Warren: It was our mistake, but it made for some great television. I’m very gullible. I trust until you give me a reason not to. They gave us a reason.

Holmes: So now that you guys are co-millionaires, what’re the plans for the check?
Warren: For me, I’m going to invest the money, be smart with it. I may not be a stunt person, I may open up an ice cream shop.
DeJong: I’m not sure yet, but I still have years left till my PhD, but it’ll be nice to not have to eat Ramen noodles. I have a lot of time yet where I’m making grad stipend money.
Holmes: Well, with my money I’m going to Maya’s ice cream shop.
Warren: Woop woop! (Laughs) We’re going to have “Amazing Race” inspired flavors.
Holmes: Like Keoghan chip?
Warren: Probably something with Detours, traveling the world…hopefully I’ll have an ice cream that looks like the world with blue and green and a little bit of white. We’ll see!

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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