BuddyTV interviews Nick and Starr, the winners of The Amazing Race 13.
Nick and Starr were the best team on The Amazing Race 13 and, thankfully, the best team won. The brother/sister duo won seven of the eleven legs this past season, including the only one that ultimately mattered. They emerged victorious on last night’s Amazing Race finale, crossing the finish line minutes before Ken and Tina, just outside of beautiful Portland, Oregon. We got the chance to speak with Nick and Starr earlier today about their time on the race, what the deal with Dallas is, and what the siblings have planned for the future.
Below you will find the written transcript, along with the full mp3 audio of the interview.
I’m here with Nick and Starr, the winners of The Amazing Race 13. Nick, Starr, congratulations.
Okay, so how are you two feeling today—been kind of a whirlwind?
S: Yeah, the last twenty-four hours have been pretty insane. Our parents flew into New York for the finale. All of the teams were here. It was incredible, and you know, we were gripping our seats, just like everyone else, watching that finale. It was awesome.
So it’s been months since the season ended, and you can’t really tell anyone that you won until it airs. What’s that been like?
Nick: It’s been fun and it’s been difficult. It’s been nice for the start I had to have this little secret to share, but it’s been difficult to keep it. We actually threw out a lot of red herrings to our parents and our family. I had my dad and my little sister convinced that Starr and I got eliminated early enough to go to the elimination station, so they definitely thought that we were out in the first half of the season. My mom is a little different story because she likes to go on the spoiler threads and find out. There was actually a video spoiling Starr and I to be in the final three. She knew before the show even started airing that we made it that far, so she was a little harder to deceive. But we did really good. We never broke down and told anyone anything.
N: Because we wanted it to be a surprise. Even I had my girlfriend convinced that Starr and I never even came in first place.
We’ll go into that. You guys ended up winning seven of the eleven legs. At what point in the race did you guys realize that you might be the best team out there?
S: I think it was, I would say it was right before the final leg. We were in Russia, you know, and Russia One was such an awful leg for us. Russia Two, we were just on the ball. We came into that pitstop about four hours before any other team. And I think it was at that point that we just kind of sat back and said, “We’re about to go into the final leg, and we’ve won six of these legs, and that’s pretty incredible.” And I think that we were just very proud of ourselves for how we had raced.
N: I don’t know. I never really thought of us as the “Best Team.” Because, you know, people expect this season, you know, a lot of very strong teams were taken out by a tiny mistake. Terence and Sarah got very unlucky with the type of fast-forward we were going into. So Starr and I, I think there was just some kind of—I wouldn’t call it cosmic—but there was some kind of … everything just happened to come together for us, and we ended up winning, you know? So it was a very even playing field the entire season, and things just happened to go in our favor.
You know, I’ve got three siblings that I’m really close to, and watching the other teams and the personal relationships, you can see how the brother-sister dynamic really helped you guys. How important do you think that was for your success over the race?
S: I think the fact that we were brother and sister gave us the edge the entire race. Just like Tony and Dallas had the edge of being family members. You know each other better than anybody else. Nick and I know how to press each other’s buttons. Nick can tell when I’m getting stressed out, and he knows how to calm me down, as people can see throughout the race. We just were a great balance for each other. And when Nick’s too laid back, I can push him forward. And when I’m stressed out, he can push me back a little bit. Nick and I never fought once on the race, because we knew, you know, we were there for the common goal of getting to that pit-stop first, and we weren’t going to let anything get in our way.
N: It’s also, you know, while you’re on the race you really see each other reach some very personal lows. There were, specifically at the pit-stops, there was one pit-stop where I got really, really sick, and Starr was kind of nursing me. And there was another pit-stop where she got sick with altitude sickness, and I was looking at Starr at one of the pit-stops, going, “God. You are not doing so hot right now.” And I thought to myself, “I don’t know if I can do this with somebody other than somebody I’m related to, because I wouldn’t want to see somebody in that state.” And it was, you know, so I could laugh and be comfortable. So, you know, it was nice that we had that relationship.
What do you think the most difficult leg for you guys was? Was it that first Russia leg?
N: Oh, without a doubt, man.
S: Yeah, that was definitely—I mean, the whole day was awful. Nobody knows this, but I ran the race with a torn MCL. I couldn’t work out for five months before we went on the race because of my knee. And if I had gotten surgery before the race, I wouldn’t have been able to run when I was on the race. So obviously I waited. But the cab that we were in—first of all, the leg was about six hours of cab rides. If you add up the time that we were doing tasks and challenges, it was probably no more than an hour and a half. I mean, it was pretty ridiculous. I’m shocked that we didn’t drive ourselves everywhere. But this one cab that we were in was so small that one of the doors wouldn’t open, the windows wouldn’t go down, the trunk was broken. So we had our backpacks on our laps, stuffed into this cab, our knees were up to our chests.
N: The driver was chain-smoking out of his window.
S: I mean, it was awful. We had a map to where we had to go, and our driver could not even follow the map. It was in Russian. He couldn’t even read the map. Yet at one point I had to tell him, “No, we need to turn around. I saw the place. We missed it.” So that was the most frustrating thing. Just the cab rides during that leg were ridiculous.
Over the course of the season, was there anything edited out by CBS of special moments for the two of you?
N: In the final leg, there was this moment getting off the plane in Portland. We were standing right at the door of the plane before they opened it with Ken and Tina right in front of us. We took a moment, we were very antsy, we were excited to go into the last leg, and both of our teams took a moment and said, “You know what, guys, it’s been a lot of fun. We’ve both run really great races. Let’s do it, let’s be competitive, and we’ll see you at the finish line.” And it was a very nice—we both kind of respected each other, and we were happy to see each other succeed, so it was very cool to do that before we went nuts and raced through Portland.
S: This is actually crazy. I completely forgot about this, and they edited it out. I got a speeding ticket in New Zealand.
N: Oh yeah, we got a 30-minute penalty on the New Zealand leg. We had to sit with the sheep while Phil interviewed us.
S: We were headed out of a town—or maybe we were headed into a town. But regardless, the speed limit dropped about forty miles and I was going too fast. So we get pulled over, I get a ticket. We continue on our way to do the Kiwi and the Blokart challenge. Once we get to the mat, I think we came in fifth. And Phil said, “You are the fifth team to arrive. However, because of your ticket you have a 30-minute penalty.” So it was one of the lowest points, I think, for Nick and I. Because that day had been very challenging. We had gotten lost a lot driving. We had to switch from the Kiwis to the Blokarts. I had run over my arm with the Blokarts. I mean, it was just kind of a disastrous day. And at this point we were just sitting in the field of sheep, hoping no other teams would come in. Luckily, they edited it out because no know, you know—Dan and Andrew were far enough behind us that no one passed us, and we were just able to check in and then go from there. That’s something they edited out. I forgot about that.
Okay, Starr, so we had Dallas on last week. How are things going for you two? Are you dating?
S: No, we’re not dating! No, I’m kidding, we are. We’ve been dating since the race, for six months now, and it’s awesome. We grew up in the same area and we actually went to rival high schools, so it’s kind of ironic. We know all the same people, we’ve been to the same places, so it’s neat to share that. And it’s crazy that it took traveling the world for us to meet. I’m living in New York now, he’s living in California, so it’s long distance, but we see each other every couple weeks. He was actually—he just left right now to fly back to California because he has finals. He’s graduating this week. But he was here for the finale in New York. So it’s been great, it’s very special what we have. He’s a great person, and I’m just very lucky to have won a million dollars and a man!
So both of you, do you guys have any plans for what you’re going to do with the money? And what do you have in store for the future in general?
N: Most likely, we’re both at that age where it would be nice not to be paying somebody else rent every month. So I think we’re both looking into housing options, and possibly putting down payments on our own places, and stuff like that. You know, we want to make a responsible choice with the money. We don’t want to just spend it away.
S: I do think that there’s a part of it that I will take to travel. Dallas and I would love to go to Africa. We’d love to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. So there are definitely some things that I will do with the money, but for the most part it will be investing and making more money to provide for our futures.
-Interview Conducted by Oscar Dahl
(Image Courtesy of CBS)