Just in time for the season premiere of the twelfth season of The Amazing Race, we were lucky enough to catch up with two of the most unusual Racers ever: Kynt and Vyxsin, whom the show describes as “dating Goths.” How will this fashion-minded couple fare on the Amazing Race? They wouldn’t spill any secrets, but their excitement is contagious. Be sure to catch the season premiere on CBS this Sunday, November 4 at 8:00 ET/PT.
I have to tell you that I’m thrilled to be talking to you today.
K: Awww. You picked us, eh?
K: Well, you picked the best. You’ve got to start on top, you know that, dear.
How would you describe your personal style?
K: Hmm, our personal style?
V: We’re sort of like walking cartoon characters.
K: Yes, it’s very Goth-inspired. We’re both fans of Japanese animation, anime, so that’s a heavy influence on our look. A lot of glitter and glamour. We just have fun with it.
The website describes you as “Goth”, but it’s the hot pink hair that’s throwing me.
K: Goth is what you make of it, though. Some people take the aesthetic very literally. They wear all black, lace, pointy boots. Whereas, we like a lot of hot colors like fuchsia pink or electric blue integrated into it. That’s our favorite thing about the look, is the fluidity, the fluidity within it. Your aesthetic can be very traditional. Some people look very futuristic, almost like Sci-Fi characters. We wear the goggles sometimes; again, the anime references.
V: The Gothic aesthetic has evolved quite a bit since The Cure. (laughs) It’s come a long ways. It’s funny, different Goth nights you go to, sometimes it looks like a rainbow of people. There’s all kinds of stuff going on. Like Kynt said, there’s a lot of flexibility within the aesthetic.
K: It really provides a great creative outlet for us. That’s what we like about it so much. I vary my look considerably. Sometimes I wear the traditional all black, and sometimes I want to rock out with hot pink pants. We love platform shoes, we like big chunky boots, some days lace, some days metal. (laughs) We’re packing some of those for the Race, that’s for sure!
Well, that’s what I was going to ask next. A lot of what you just described would be a hindrance in, say, a foot race.
K: Oh, absolutely! We’re working very hard, though, going into this race, to find that line between function and fashion. We want to look good, obviously. For us, every day is a fashion show. We want to look great, but on the other hand we want to dress appropriately where we can climb a mountain, swim across a canal if we have to. We’ve been working very hard to create a look that works. I’ve been calling it “Athletigoth.”
K: We really are creating a new look just for this adventure.
In a preview you said that you two epitomize the concept of the Amazing Race. How so?
K: We’re both adventurous spirits. We definitely love travel. We’re road trip junkies. All the time, I’ll find out about some music fest or a Sci-Fi convention in another state, and I’ll call Vyxsin up and I’ll be like, “Hey. We’ve got to jump in the car. This is going on tomorrow, so let’s go.” So we’re both used to traveling on the fly. Also, we both just have a genuinely fun spirit about us. Win, lose or draw, I guarantee you this – we will have fun on the Amazing Race. We love experiencing different cultures. We love to try new types of food, new types of fashion.
V: The music we listen too – we listen to a lot of international music. Actually, the Goth scene has a pretty strong international presence, especially in Europe. But there’s a wonderful Goth scene in Mexico City, for example. It’s a lot more internationally present than I think a lot of people realize. We’ve always enjoyed other cultures. I think we both appreciate about the show as well that it’s unlike a lot of reality programming. Even though it’s often humorous, and emotions run high, there’s also something really classy and –
V: Elegant and sort of eye-opening about it. I think that we really enjoy that aspect of it. Also, unlike a lot of reality shows where you’re on your own, this is something that you do with a partner, with a teammate. That’s one of my favorite things about it. Kynt was the one who suggested that we apply, and I was thinking, “Wow, to get to race around the world and have such a crazy life-altering experience, and to have it with my very favorite person on Earth!” I couldn’t think of anything better than that.
K: We’ve always taken on challenges in life with a team mentality. Vyxsin and I are always on the same page. We’ve been a team long before this Amazing Race. All those qualities about us are why I feel like our team more than any other, it epitomizes the spirit of the show. We’re very social. We love meeting new people.
V: Even people who aren’t anything like us.
K: People who aren’t Gothic in the least. We really appreciate diversity. We appreciate “different.” We celebrate those things. So we’re definitely looking forward to this Race.
The previews are hinting this race is going to be emotional for some of the teams. How about you guys?
We foresee it definitely being emotional. Although we’re Goth, we’re not cold. We’re not disconnected people. I can foresee emotional moments ahead of us. We’re both very affected by things we see. We have no idea where we’re going to go, but we know it’s going to be very different from anything that we’ve encountered before.
Kynt, I wanted to ask you about something I saw on your Myspace. In the category of “dislikes”, you listed “stick shift cars.” I was just wondering if this is a hint of anything to come in the Race? As you must know, stick shift cars have been a downfall of many teams in the past.
K: No, what I have on my page has nothing to do with the show whatsoever. (laughs) What you’re referring to is my list of things I dislike in life. I dislike pineapple on my pizza. I do hate cars with stick shift, but Vyxsin has been –
V: (laughing) Yeah, Kynt and I have the same – just purely through random fate, we both have the same car. We both have this little 2-door car, except his is an automatic and mine is a stick.
K: And I hate her car.
V: He hates my car, so that’s a reference to that. We’ve had many a road trip where he’s cursed its existence, and it’s kind of a lemon anyway. It breaks down a lot. That’s what that’s referring to, having to jumpstart that thing in the middle of Arkansas in the dead of night.
K: I hate cars with stick shift. I think that they’re extinct dinosaurs. It’s time to get rid of those things. They’re bad. Let’s pray that there are automatics ahead.
Previews are already hinting that the time it takes to put on your makeup in the morning is a hindrance to you. Is there anything you can tell us about that?
K: As we embark on this Amazing Race, I don’t foresee that being difficult for us. We do it day in, day out. We’re so used to it, we’re relatively fast. I do not see that holding us back. Also, we are most effective when we are all made up. I intend to keep up my appearance the entire time we’re on the Amazing Race because that’s when I’m the most effective.
V: And honestly, heading into the experience, as much as Kynt and I love the idea of being completely glamorous 24 hours a day, it’s a race. It’s the real deal. We’ve seen this show for years, and it’s very demanding. You’re out in weather, you’re running for days, there’s a lot going on. One thing we certainly wouldn’t intend would be that primping and making up would keep us from racing. It’s a race first.
K: Right, we realize going in that we’re not going to look perfect at every moment, but that’s okay.
V: We’re going to try our best, though, for sure.
K: All you can do is try your best, because like she said it’s a race first and foremost. If it comes to re-doing my eyeliner or doing a Roadblock, I’m definitely doing the Roadblock.
Did you have a team that you bonded with?
Uh, no, the race hasn't happened yet. (laughing) We have to pretend that the race hasn’t happened yet.
Okay, I understand what you’re saying. Let’s say, so if other teams were going to have a nickname for you guys, what would it be?
I'm sure they're going to come up with all kinds of colorful nicknames for us.
They're not going to call you the Athletigoths, are they? I like that.
K: Maybe after they see how we play the game they will! But early on, we foresee them probably cracking a lot of jokes—they're definitely going to underestimate us, thinking "these guys are more concerned with their eyeliner than winning a challenge." And that's going to work to our advantage. They're not going to realize how lethal we really are, until we're miles, if not days, ahead of them. So it's definitely going to be an advantage—I'm looking forward to it.
Is there anything, looking at past seasons, that you were inspired to brush up on, like map-reading?
K: Hey Vyxsin, tell her a little bit about how we got ready.
V: Yeah, to get ready, because obviously Kynt and I, aren't exactly the most sporty people on the planet. From past seasons we know that the race is very physically demanding. We wanted to get on there and do our very best job. One of the funniest things that happened to us before we left was we spent a few weeks visiting my parents. And my dad is an ex-army guy, and an ROTC instructor, so we did this sort of fun pre-Race boot camp with him. We did all kinds of stuff, like we went rock-climbing, and canoeing, kayaking, and I took Kent camping for the first time, which was probably extremely traumatic for him. He kind of looked the whole time like a cat that got left out in the rain or something, just sort of dripping and unhappy, that sort of plaintive expression.
K: This kitty wasn't happy.
V: (Laughs) By the end of it I think he was starting to appreciate it. It was kind of neat for us, because we spend a ridiculously huge amount of time together—if we're not at work, chances are we're together. And in all the years that we've been close, we've never gone bike riding together, we've never gone jogging in the park together. That was something that was really cool about getting ready for the race, was to kind of enjoy each other's company and challenge each other in totally different ways.
K: Figurative speaking, her dad kicked my ass. He took us running on obstacle courses, and we were swinging on ropes. He really did give it to us. As she mentioned, Vyxsin took me camping for the first time, which was quite traumatic—as you may have guessed, I'm not much of an outdoorsman. It was very difficult putting on mascara in the pup tent.
K: But we wanted to make sure that we had the machine oiled up and ready when the day of the race started. I didn't want to get stuck out in some jungle, where we might have to camp overnight, and have that be my first camping experience. We wanted to work through those things before the race. It was such a long road to get there, it was something we've always wanted, we didn't want to embark on this race and be a joke.
Is there anyone from previous seasons that you liked, or modeled yourselves after?
V: One of my favorite teams was Lynn and Alex. I really liked them, because though they didn't win, they were so supportive of each other the entire time. They had a great sense of humor, and you really felt like they were managing to enjoy the experience instead of blitzing through it in a high state of emotion and not taking a moment to appreciate where they were. And it really felt like, at the end when they left, it had done nothing but strengthen their relationship. Some times you see teams say at the end, “I never want to see you again” or “I’m pretty unhappy with you right now.” For them, it really felt like that even though they didn’t make it, they appreciated each other. I loved their interaction the whole time. They were so entertaining. Honestly, the fact that they are people who know what it’s like to be treated slightly differently, and maybe had a rough go of it in their younger years, I think Kynt and I both have experienced quite a bit of alienation and people not understanding us, and that’s something I identified with. Oh, and they were so funny.
Yes, that’s what sticks out in my mind about them, too, is how funny they were.
V: Yeah, they were great, they were really great.
So can I ask, why do you spell your names without vowels?
K: (laughing) It’s a Goth thaaang. Come on! But, yeah. Our day-to-day look is distinctive, and we like our names to be reflective of that.
V: Within Goth subculture, it’s very normal to have a nickname that everybody accepts and appreciates and calls you. It’s not strange to go into Goth night anywhere and say, “My name is Vyxsin.” People aren’t like, “Oh really now, come on.” No one does that, it’s like, “Of course you are. Who else would you be?” It’s fun to craft your own identity, and also naming something has significance; when you create your own name it’s empowering. You’re choosing your identity. It’s fun.
Do you think you’ll get the chance to connect with other Goth communities?
K: We’re hoping to, if we go through nations in Europe in particular. The Goth scene in those countries is just huge. We’re hoping to run into some kindred spirits.
Is there anything you want people to know about you?
V: A closing thought for me is that Kynt and I are so appreciative to have had this experience. Obviously, a lot of people apply for these things and the odds of getting on the show are pretty slim, so just the fact that we were chosen and that they took a chance on a type of team that has really never been seen before on reality TV – I mean, pretty much, the only time we’ve seen Goth people is on daytime talk shows where they do those makeover episodes where they take a bunch of Goth people and make them over to not be Goth anymore. Which isn’t exactly inspiring when you are Goth yourself. The fact that the show chose to include us in this season – we’re just really excited that they made that decision.
K: We both genuinely love the Amazing Race. The creator, the Dutchman, Bertram Van Munster – his vision is so pure and so inspiring. On one hand, it’s reality TV where you have contestants with their personal challenges and conflicts. On the other hand, each episode is almost like National Geographic. You get to see a completely different nation, its scenery and landscape, its people, culture. We really respect him for showing a lot of these places to middle America right in their own living rooms. Places a lot of people would never have a chance to see. The whole world is the set of the Amazing Race. That’s the beautiful thing about it.
Thanks so much to Kynt and Vyxsin for talking with us as they embark on their wild adventure! Be sure to tune into CBS for the premiere of the Amazing Race at 8:00 ET/PT on Sunday, November 4.