TK and Rachel, the laid back quasi-hippies, surprised everyone last night when they came out on top and won one million dollars on The Amazing Race.  Some have called the dating couple boring, but that’s only because they didn’t fight and yell like every other couple on the race.  Their incredible calm and positive attitude kept them in contention throughout the season and, in the end, their quick thinking (and Rachel’s performance on the final Road Block) catapulted them into first place and one million dollars.  We got the chance to speak with TK and Rachel this morning to discuss their time on The Amazing Race.

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 TK and Rachel, the winners of The Amazing Race 12. TK, Rachel, how are you guys doing?

TK: Hello.

You guys must be feeling pretty good right now, huh?

TK: Yeah, it’s a weird…it still doesn’t feel real, I can’t explain it. I feel like I’m pretending to be on a team that won The Amazing Race.

What’s it like watching yourself win a million dollars on TV?

Rachel: It is really surreal. Once it hit it was like yes, this is happening, there it is, we’re all done. But we’ve known that we won for a really long time and we’ve had to hold it in for so long that I think it still just feels weird that people know.

How hard is it, or was it, keeping that a secret for so many months?

Rachel: It was pretty hard. It kind of messes with your mind, because you have all these emotions and experiences that you have from the race, and you can’t share it with anybody that’s close to you except for each other, which is nice. But that was kind of weird. We wanted to keep it quiet because we wanted our friends and family to have the full experience last night like they did.

Let’s talk about how you guys got in the race. Were both of you big fans, who decided to sign up, and were you hesitant at all to take your relationship on to national television?

Rachel: I was the one who suggested it. We saw a commercial and I watched a bunch of the seasons, and TK hadn’t as much, but he was for it after I explained to him briefly what he was getting himself into by going to the audition. It went really well and he was fully on board, then we started watching shows.

That was it?

TK: Yeah. She explained what it was to me and I had already known and everything, but it just seemed perfect. It seemed like the perfect thing for the two of us to do.

Was there a point on the race where you guys thought hey, we might win this thing?

Rachel: Yeah, definitely. We had confidence in ourselves the whole time. There were definitely some moments where we realized ooh, we could be out, but then we just really did believe in ourselves and I could see it happening. So we just hung on to that pretty good the whole time.

TK: I think all the teams on the race probably got that gut feeling throughout the race that they were going to pull it off, you know what I mean? For us, or for me at least, when we were driving that taxi toward the finish line it was just crazy. To have the whole thing coming to an end at that moment, I’m going, are we actually going to win this right now? Is this happening? It was cool.

One of the big staples of The Amazing Race are the couples that fight brutally. We saw some of that with Nate and Jen this year. They’re at least able to squeeze out some conflict between couples, but with you guys there was seemingly nothing. Was that the way it really was, and were you surprised that you guys never really got into it at all?

Rachel: That really was how it was. Even to other people it didn’t look like we were arguing or we were fighting. Yeah, there were times when we had conflict, but we didn’t ever scream or do anything mean to each other at all. It was natural for us.

Was there anything throughout the season that was edited out that you wish CBS would have shown of you two?

Rachel: One cool thing that got edited out that we were kind of bummed about…in India we spent the whole night in an ATM machine with Nick and Don and Jen and Nate. That was kind of cool.

TK: Burkina Faso, we spent a night there between pit stops. There was a whole community of local Africans that got together…

Rachel: Dancing and live entertainment. They didn’t show a lot of the down time in Burkina Faso, and those were some good times.

I’m really interested in the final road block, which seemed really, really difficult. Rachel, you obviously did a great job on that. How long did it actually take you to finish that?

Rachel: I was told it took me about an hour.

What were your favorite couple of places on the race?

TK: Croatia was absolutely beautiful, it was unreal. The ferry from Croatia to Italy didn’t leave until the evening, so we spent the entire day with Nate and Jen just swimming around in the Adriatic. It was just an unbelievable day. It was really cool.

Well, I have to ask this: what are you guys going to do with the money? Or have you decided yet?

Rachel: We have some pretty good ideas. Nothing crazy really, nothing too interesting. Basically I’ve got a couple credit cards I’d love to pay off, and take that off my back. And then maybe just fix up my house a little bit, but mostly just save for the future. TK wants to get a couple things for himself and I probably will to, just reward ourselves. That’s about it.

TK: Yeah, yeah. Basically putting it away for the future, but we each have a couple bills to pay off, which will be nice.

Just in general, do you guys have anything going on in the upcoming weeks or months that you’d like to talk about?

TK: No, this has all been an incredible rollercoaster. I think we’re planning on trying to travel a bunch in ’08. Beyond that, just thanks to everybody who supported us. We just tried to be ourselves and do it all the best we could.

TK and Rachel, we appreciate you guys taking the time, and we wish you luck in the future.

TK: Thank you very much Oscar.

-Interview Conducted by Oscar Dahl
(Image Courtesy of CBS)

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV