Ronald and Christina were the biggest story on The Amazing Race 12. The father/daughter combo started out the race on rocky ground, with Ronald constantly bickering with his daughter. It got uncomfortable for viewers at times, but Ronald was open about the fact that he needed to change, that he needed to show more respect for his daughter. And, you know what? He did change and, once that happened, Ronald and Christina became a force to be reckoned with on The Amazing Race. They ended up in second place, but looked poised to be million dollar winners throughout the final leg. We got the chance to speak with Ron and Chris yesterday and they were especially cordial.
Below you will find both the written transcript and full mp3 audio of the interview.
Hey, this is Oscar Dahl from BuddyTV, and I’m here with Ronald and Christina from The Amazing Race. Ron, Christina, how are you guys doing?
Christina: Doing well. What’s up BuddyTV?
So how did this whole Amazing Race thing happen? Who was the fan, or were you both fans of the show? Were either of you hesitant to sign up?
Ronald: I was the initial fan. I was traveling jobs and I saw this wonderful Amazing Race episode, but in the initial series it was jumping all over the map of what day of the week it was. I got caught in it, and then I got Christina hooked on it on season 5.
Christina: Around season 5 my dad introduced the race to me, and we’ve been die hard fans ever since season 5 when Chip and Kim won. We would call each other after every episode asking which detour we would do and how we could do the road block better. We’ve definitely been loyal fans.
Ronald: And then she wanted to go on the race three years ago, but it’s something I felt was just a pipe dream.
Christina: Believe it or not, about four years ago in our family den downstairs I wrote “Amazing Race 2007.” I knew that was the year I was going to graduate from my Masters program, and my dad would never entertain me until after I would finish my Masters program. He said he would submit an application with me if I had just finished up that grad program, and sure enough in 2007 we submitted a tape and an application and the rest is history. We feel very fortunate.
In those first few episodes your relationship got off to kind of a rocky start. Was that hard to watch at all, and do you contribute that to your expectations of the race being different than it actually was?
Ronald: It was hard for me to watch, because I had issues with trying to make sure that I did not want to become the first father-daughter team to be eliminated that quickly. We were almost dead last actually, going to the bike hunt.
Christina: In Amsterdam.
Ronald: It was just one of those things where I think fatigue, frustration of being dead last, and not getting enough sleep for two consecutive nights, because it was difficult for me not to have a real good night’s sleep. The first night, Hendekea and Azaria were very kind to let us share their room, but my daughter said, “Don’t wear out your welcome and snore.” So I just had to sleep that night without snoring.
Christina: You’re right, our relationship did get off to a rocky start. My dad and I, we had not spent time together, we hadn’t worked together as a team before and we were working out the kinks in our relationship. Specifically that leg in Amsterdam where we came in ninth, that was a really telling race for us, that leg. We actually learned a lot. Looking back we’re very grateful for that leg, because after we checked into the mat, had our nice therapy session with Phil, we talked and we really broke some ground. We decided that night that we really just needed to improve and we wanted this so badly for each other. We’re almost grateful for that difficult time, because it allowed us to get through to the top.
Ronald: Yeah, it was a transformation that we could not just wait for. It’s gotta be instantaneous, and I did the best I could.
You say that it’s instantaneous, and one of the things that CBS does obviously is edit the show and sometimes they create the story. With you guys I felt that they made it gradual, you guys getting closer and closer, culminating in the last couple episodes where you guys did great. Is that the way it really went down, or was it more instantaneous as you say now?
Ronald: It’s not instantaneous. I made modifications, but I was a work in progress Oscar. Teaching a dog new tricks was not easy for me. I improved on each leg, but I did have snippets of comments because of fatigue. For a guy like me who needs my sleep. . .
Christina: Yeah, it’s interesting. You mentioned editing and whatnot, but for every outburst that was highlighted you can relate it to severe sleep deprivation. When we were in India for the poster pasting challenge and we were arguing, that night we had arrived in Mumbai at like midnight and we waited until 6am for the newspaper stall to open. My dad and I, we were out, and you’re on the streets of India trying to get some rest. I think some other teams found some shelter and then we found it afterwards, but too late. We didn’t get much sleep then, so it’s definitely related.
Going to the last leg, again with an editing question, how far behind did you finish that final road block behind Rachel?
Ronald: Oh, I think only about five to eight minutes. It was pretty fast, and we thought that we had a chance to catch up. The problem there was that we had a terrible time with our taxi.
Christina: Yeah, one thing you didn’t see Oscar, unfortunately, was our cab ride from Goose Lake Park to Captain Cook’s eye view of the sleeping lady, I believe our taxi driver brought us 40 minutes away out of the way. Oh, that hurt.
Ronald: Yeah, we were pissed off. Christina had wanted to use this other taxi driver from the first beginning, and we got his number and said, “Well, can we make a phone call?” And he just was adamant and said that he could find it, so he called the dispatcher and finally got it, but we wasted 40 minutes to get to that park.
Christina: C’est la vie, c’est la vie.
Is there anything coming up in your future outside the race that you’d like to talk about?
Christina: Yeah, actually I’m so glad you asked. Right now we’re actually auctioning off our Who’s Your Daddy and Tiger Father/Tiger Daughter shirts. You can find the eBay auction homepage link on the CBS homepage as well as the Amazing Race homepage. It’s all at ebay.com/ronchris-tar, and all of the earnings from the t-shirt auctions go to an orphanage in Burkina Faso.
Alright, great. Ron, Chris, I appreciate you guys stopping by.
Ronald: Thank you very much.
-Interview Conducted by Oscar Dahl
(Image Courtesy of CBS)