Finally, the interview you've all been waiting all season for. For better or worse, no one inspired commentary like Reichen and Chip, the married couple who went on to win the million. Here's what they had to say:
Reichen, when Chip accidentally ran over your foot, did it cause any injury?
Reichen: No, my foot sunk down in the sand, and I got pissed off - I just needed someone to yell at, I was so stressed out and dehydrated from that last task, I just ended up snapping at Chip.
Chip: You have to remember, we had just arrived in Australia from Korea, and the weather had really changed. We were in the middle of summer, and we did not have enough water. We were on the beach...
Reichen: We were really dehydrated. We had to stop, and we got water from some medic place on the way.
Speaking of Korea, how did you guys manage to keep that octopus down?
Chip: A lot of cold water.
Reichen: Cold water, and a lot of very strong mental concentration.
Chip: And with the adrenalyn, once it gets down there, just go on to the next task.
What are you going to do with your money?
Reichen: I don't think we've really spent it yet in our heads. Chip and I know how much money this is, it's a big sum, and we want to really sit down and strategize and figure out how to make this amount of money grow. We're going to be doing some really smart investing. I know we're both interested in flipping homes. We want to invest in flipping a house and reselling it, I'm sure we're going to be doing that a couple of times.
The race ended in February...how hard was it to keep your mouths shut about your winning this long?
Chip: The race ended on Valentine's day, so it was 6 months later. It was very hard, because I have a lot of neices and nephews who ask a lot of questions. I think it added to the stress of going through the whole summer, we got a lot of exposure this Spring. Neither Reichen nor I took advantage of some of the opportunities that we could have taken, we wanted to see what would happen with this whole media exposure afterwards, and put our lives on hold a little bit. it was tough.
There are a lot of rumors floating around, so let's put them to rest. Are you still together?
Reichen: Since Chip and I have been on the show, we've been under a great deal of stress, and one of the big stresses has been keeping this whole thing a secret. It was so hard, and I think that we have so much relief now that everyone knows the outcome. Keeping it secret that you just won a million dollars is very difficult, and just not being able to communicate and talk about it with others has been really tough. But because of that and some other unresolved issues, yeah, Chip and I have had some relationship problems since we got back from the race. Chip and I have agreed to work on those problems. But I can't really give you a black and white answer on whether Chip and I have broken up, because it's not like that. It's a relationship, and we're working on things. But right now, Chip and I love each other very much, and it's always been about making sure that the other person is happy. And when the other person isn't happy, it's either time to bail out or try to fix the problem, and that's what we're trying to do right now, we're trying to work it out. And that's the most honest answer I can give you.
Chip, what happened with the dune buggy in Australia, and how long did it take to get a replacement vehicle?
Chip: This is a good example of how they can make it look like something else. Within a day and a half, I had some problems with vehicles, so they said "oh, we'll make Chip look like an inept driver!" In the beginning, I was NOT running over tires and stuff, they came to me later and told me they'd put that in there. I was actually kicking ass, I just rounded that corner and the guy was saying "you took that too fast", and I just broke an axle. I was really bummed, because I was actually catching up to David and Jeff, and obviously when that happened, we just fell behind. But if you notice after that, they didn't really show me doing anything except finishing.
When you received the penalty, what happened there? Whose idea was it to drive, and was it just an oversight of the clue card?
Chip: No, actually Reichen had just finished the treacherous shark tank thing, and it was just a very emotional experience, and I should have just taken complete control. I read the clue out loud, and I read "on foot", but we were stressed out, and Reichen suggested we drive, and I just wasn't thinking. But even though we received the penalty, we actually went back and re-did it the right way while we were waiting for the other teams. So, it was a penalty, but we actually did run back to the aquarium, and run back to the pit stop again.
What was your favorite destination?
Chip: For me it was Cortina, the very first leg, it was just so beautiful up there. And Malaysia.
Reichen: For me, it was Cortina, and also I really loved Malaysia and Cairns, which were really the same look and climate, and the people in both of those places were so friendly.
Besides the octopus, which roadblock or detour was the most difficult?
Chip: Physically, just doing the cheese was tough. Walking in clogs, carrying 500 pounds of cheese. I don't know why we did that one, I think we both just envisioned the manure to be this outrageously disgusting thing, so we picked the cheese one, and that was exhausting. It hurt the feet.
I feel for you there, I've worn those wooden shoes many times myself.
Chip: They didn't fit, either.
What team did you get along with the best?
Reichen: In the beginning of the race, we really got along with Jeff and David, and then the Supremes, Monica and Sheree. And when they got eliminated, everything turned around. Our alliance with David and Jeff was gone because of the fiacre incident. And on that 26 hour train ride, I don't think the viewing audience realized this, but we really bonded with Kelly and Jon, and started up a really awesome friendship. Ever since that train ride, we were having so much fun with each other. My only problem with the editing was that they didn't show how much fun we all had together. They wanted to show more of a rivalry between the two of us, with the gay jokes and everything, but really the gay jokes were flying so often and so funny, we had such a fun time. We were always telling Jon he was gay, and he was always jokingly picking on us for being gay. We had so much fun with it, such an amazing time. But Kelly and Jon were the best. But at the end of the race, we had to ignore them, because we couldn't let that friendship get in the way, we had to compete.
That kind of surprises me, because it didn't look like it was all in good fun.
Chip: We loved Jon, I think the comparison is like brothers and sisters. Brothers and sisters say things to each other that others wouldn't say, and some people can see that as being insensitive. But we were flirting with each other the whole time, all four of us. We were having a ball with it, because in a sense, we knew how to push each other's buttons, and we could all laugh at it.
Reichen: Even last night, at the TARcon party, we decided that I would go arm in arm with Kelly, and Chip would go arm in arm with Jon, and it threw Jon into a tizzy. But we were alwys having that kind of fun with each other.
Reichen, you look like you're in pretty good shape, yet Chip did most of the roadblocks. Why was that?
Chip: I don't know if I did most of them, but I did a few more at the end, because there were a few swimming ones, and I'm a better swimmer.
Reichen: And Chip's a better driver, so he did the driving ones, too. So there were two out of turn at the end.
We understand there's a story behind both of your tattoos. Would you care to tell it?
Reichen: We got our tattoos on the same day last summer, 2002, over fourth of July, in Venice. They're not exactly alike, but they're both tribal designs, and they're just designs that we love. In the middle of Chip's tattoo is the Chinese symbol for kindness. And my tattoo is a tribal eagle, and it kind of speaks to me because I'm a pilot. But I love Chip's tattoo, I love it. Oh, and speaking of stories, Hans and Fritz are kitty cats.
Okay, let's talk stories, then. You guys did not adopt an orangutan, did you?
Chip: We might, still. We can't do anything until the race is done, but I do have the literature to do so. You can't take it out of the wild, of course, you're just basically supporting it, because orangutans are almost extinct.
Reichen: Yeah, we talked to Michael Jackson about orangutan ownership, and he was all for it.
Reichen, we've heard that you've got another TV appearance coming up, and congratulations.
Reichen: Thank you so much, I'm going to be on Frasier on the 23rd of September. I'm in the opening scene of the season premiere, and I only have one line, but it's really exciting. I wouldn't trade it for the world, just to have that one line. And I had an amazing time that week, being able to rehearse with the cast. I worked mainly with Niles, Daphne, and Frasier, and it was such a surreal experience, because the cast was just coming off hiatus, so they were a little slow in memorizing their lines, so we got to rehearse that much more. Half the cast had never seen TAR before, and the other half was saying "oh my god, I love the Amazing Race, and we're such huge fans of yours!" I was like "you guys can't be huge fans of us, you're on Frasier! We're supposed to be huge fans of you."
Is acting something you'd like to get into regularly?
Reichen: Yes. Since this whole race and everything happened, I've just been smitten with production and the entertainment side of things. I have an acting coach now, and I'm signing with an agent next week. I'm trying to get on a soap opera, that's my goal right now.
Whose idea was it to apply for the Race?
Reichen: We didn't apply. Chip and I were in Colorado Springs for the Air Force football game against Notre Dame. We had flown out there just for that game, because we're both pretty big fans of college ball. I had bought us hats and myself an AFA jersey. Chip had left to Connecticut for business, and I went back to LA. My best friend called, and wanted to take me out for a drink and to get some food, but I didn't want to go. He finally talked me into it, and it was just the right place at the right time. Two minutes after I walked into the restaurant, I'm in my AFA jersey and cap, and this guy walks up to me and says "you're exactly what I'm looking for. I'm a casting agent for The Amazing Race, and would you PLEASE come in to CBS and interview for it?" I said yeah, and he said "do you have a father, brother, friend that can do it with you?" I told him I had a husband, and he said "oh my god, this is great!" I called Chip, he flew back into town, and we went in the next day to start interviewing, and before I knew it, we were getting our vaccinations for a race around the world.
Speaking of the term "husband", I wondered if you were aware that the show's been heavily censored in Asia to remove any scenes of affection between you both, and what your thoughts on that are?
Reichen: Yes, we've been told that they cut out the opening scene, when Chip pecks me on the cheek.
Chip: Too bad for them. They've got a long way to go.
Reichen: It's unfortunate, and God bless the USA, and thank God we live here, where this is a country where we accept everybody, and it's all about working as a team and one country.
Did you run into any problems when you were racing through those countries?
Reichen: We were through those countries like a flash of lightning. I don't think they had any time to see that we were gay. We kept our pink capes hidden in our backpacks.
Chip: You have a better delivery on that, when I say it no one laughs.
What advice would you give teams for the next Amazing Race?
Reichen: Power bars!
Chip: Yeah, bring lots of food, and a sense of humor, and pack light. You don't need half the stuff you end up bringing.
Chip, did you give any thought to doing the rock roadblock naked, a la Jon?
Chip: We had a bathing suit with us, and Jon didn't, but we didn't mind.
I probably could have talked to these two all day, and I'm sure you'd have read every word, but I was cut off by the kind folks at CBS, who had to shuttle C&R off to the next interview. Thanks to both of you for taking so much time to talk to us, and good luck with the million dollars!