Chad and Stephanie
Chad Waltrip, 26, and Stephanie Smith, 23, say they're living the "amazing life" after The Amazing Race. After getting engaged on the race, the two got married this weekend and are expecting their first child. "Things are going great," Stephanie tells TVGuide.com. "We're so excited. We didn't win, but we're still happy with how we did and life is definitely moving on!" Find out their other plans, why they decided to take an ill-timed ice cream break at the airport and more.
TVGuide.com: Why did you decide to get ice cream instead of angling for better plane tickets? Did you really want a Blizzard?
Chad: [Laughs] I just saw how stressed everyone was and I didn't think there was going to be a shot at [earlier flights]. Everybody was on the same plane at that point and we were going to a real remote location. Hey, let's go get some Dairy Queen! But ultimately that was one of the things that cost us in the end. ... I would say I [regret it] now.
Amazing Race's Gary and Mallory: We shouldn't have trusted our map
TVGuide.com: Were you mad when you found out there were earlier flights?
Chad: I got an earful! [Laughs]
Stephanie: Yeah, he got an earful from me because I wanted to stay and Chad was hungry. I just trusted Chad. We were just glad to know that we were still in it [against Brook and Claire, and Nat and Kat]. When you're at the airport, it's so stressful. You only see five minutes of it on TV, but we were [trying to get better tickets] for three hours and it was frustrating — not just for us, but for the people who were trying to get us flights. You have to weigh your options: Do you want to be stressed and potentially ruin your game mentally? Or do you want to relax and prepare for the next leg?
TVGuide.com: Once you got to Bangladesh, you got lost getting to basically everywhere. What happened at the end? One second it was bright and sunny and the next, it was pitch dark, and both teams were still searching for the Pit Stop.
Chad: We ran around the city. I thought we could get there quicker running with all the traffic there. The locals were so excited and wanted to help, but they didn't understand what we were saying half the time. That, especially in Bangladesh, was key. If you could find someone who could speak English, you were golden, but we couldn't. ... I honestly thought that [Brook and Claire] would've taken a rickshaw or taxi.
Stephanie: Yeah, it really did come down to bad directions because we fought a hard race. Chad and I did everything so fast that we caught up to Nat and Kat even though we got U-Turned, which was unbelievable! My gosh, we showed up probably three minutes behind Brook and Claire [at the Pit Stop]. It's a game of luck and we knew that going into it and coming out of it. We're proud of the race we ran.
TVGuide.com: Do you regret running instead of taking a rickshaw or cab?
Stephanie: I think the Blizzard ice cream was what ultimately did us in. [Laughs]
Chad: It tasted great going down though!
TVGuide.com: You seemed surprised that you were U-Turned.
Stephanie: We weren't. We were frustrated that we were lost from the very beginning and that Nat and Kat caught up that fast. We knew we were a strong team... We did [expect to be U-Turned] if anyone got ahead of us. We knew we were a threat and in the name of the game, if you want to stay in, you have to eliminate the best. I felt like we were one of the better teams.
Amazing Race's Michael and Kevin: Getting two penalties was a "shock to us"
TVGuide.com: Chad, why did you decide to taunt Nat and her medical degree?
Chad: Well, we caught her, so I was like, "OK, this is it! I've got to throw all my chips in, so let me try to get in her head as best as I can." She's a very intelligent person — both of them are — I mean, they're doctors! She was really struggling and really frustrated that she had been there the longest and two teams who were U-Turned caught up. I tried to slow her up even more. You saw that she said "good luck" afterward. I said "good luck" too. I know how it is. It was nothing personal, but I was going to try to slow her up so Stephanie could gain some ground.
TVGuide.com: You got engaged on the race. Congratulations! What did you have to say to fans who think you argued too much?
Stephanie: Thanks! We actually got married this weekend.
Chad: It's funny. Stephanie and I are very strong-willed individuals. At the end of the day, we never go to bed angry. I learned a lot about myself. I know that there are some things I need to change — and people are right. But I love her with all my heart. She is my soul mate and we're going to continue to work on it. No relationship's perfect.
TVGuide.com: Why did you decide to propose in Oman?
Chad: I really didn't want to do it on the mat. That was my one goal. Ultimately, I said I'll figure it out when I get there because, obviously, you have no clue where we're going. Stephanie has always loved the Middle East and had talked about going to Egypt. I figured that was the closest and we weren't really racing yet, so I had the downtime. The sun was coming up, we were on the water — we both love the water — in the mountains, and I just couldn't ask for a better spot.
Amazing Race's Katie and Rachel: We had no opportunity to catch up
TVGuide.com: And you won the leg and a trip to Belize. Is that going to be your honeymoon destination?
Stephanie: You know, I think we're going to do our honeymoon in Disney World. [Laughs] I'm obsessed with Disney and I want to do Mickey's Merry Christmas. I think we're going to do Belize next year. I just found out that I'm three months pregnant! So I'm like, "Screw this! I want to go zip-lining! I want to sip cocktails in Belize!" So I think we're going to go for our one-year anniversary.
TVGuide.com: Congratulations! Post-race life sounds awesome.
Chad: Thanks! We haven't stopped one bit. We just had a wedding. We're fixing up the house. I'm finishing up my master's. Life is good.