Talk about defying expectations. After spending much of this super-sized leg of The Amazing Race (Tuesdays, 9pm/ET) in the back of the pack, Energizer bunnies Meredith and Gretchen beat boyfriends Lynn and Alex to the finish mat in Jodhpur, India. While the gregarious gay couple is disappointed with their fifth-place finish, they're not letting it get them down. If anything, they're even funnier in person than they were on the race. Here, they tell TVGuide.com how they met, their future television ambitions and the celeb they'd most like to meet (the answer may surprise you...).
TVGuide.com: I think everyone was surprised to see Gretchen and Meredith finish ahead of you. How far behind were you?
Lynn Warren: We were surprised! We thought for sure that we'd make the final four. It was just bad luck. The cab driver didn't know where he was going. Coming to the finish mat, we were probably five to eight minutes behind them. By the time we were on our way to the correct place, we knew we were out. We were already chain-smoking the whole way there.
TVG: You both are smokers? Wow, that never got caught on camera.
Lynn: Seriously, by the end of the race, we were smoking all the time. We were just really good about hiding it. I have all these little young fans! [Laughs]
TVG: In hindsight, do you regret not going for the Fast Forward?
Lynn: Yes! Watching the episode, we thought, "Oh, my god, we could totally have gone for it!" We left the clock tower not even a minute after Joyce and Uchenna. They actually took our cab. We thought about going for it, but they had that two- or three-minute lead, so it was too high a risk.
Alex Ali: If we had thought about it, we would have realized that they got lost a lot. So we should have gone for it, but in the moment, it's hard to think that thoroughly.
TVG: Would you have shaved your heads?
Lynn: I would have done it in a second, considering how hot I was during the entire race. I thought Joyce looked beautiful [with her head shaved], though.
Alex: Joyce and Uchenna were great on the race. They were just as much as our friends as Gretchen and Meredith.
Lynn: You do become so close to people. It doesn't come across on screen how close you get to the other teams.
TVG: Does that include Rob and Amber?
Lynn: No, I still don't like Rob and "Amberexia" — that's my nickname for her. You know, we were all playing a game and they were playing it differently than we did, and we didn't like the way they played it. It's not like we singled them out to not be nice to them. We didn't even know who they were until a few days into the race, and then we didn't have any disdain for them until we saw how they were playing. We didn't even think about the option of telling people not to give out any more information or paying them off. Although, it's actually a good idea, and we started doing it after we found out they were doing it.
Alex: I actually feel really bad for any Amazing Racers after this season, because they have tainted the game so much. The next people will be pushing each other down stairs! And the other thing about Rob and Amber is that the [nastiness] went both ways, and we didn't know that until we watched the show. They said nasty things about us and we did it to them. But my favorite Rob quote is when he said that we were his biggest competition.
Lynn: I'm sure his favorite quote is when we said that he has a really nice ass. He does! At first we thought he was the other gay guy on the show.
Alex: The first time we saw him he was wearing white pants. And it just went from there.
Lynn: It's so frustrating that he's good looking. You wish he were ugly.
Alex: But his personality is ugly.
Lynn: There it is! He's ugly inside. [Laughs]
TVG: How much did it suck not to win a prize when you came in first on the third leg?
Lynn: Well, tell America that if they feel bad for us, feel free to send us something. [Laughs] I'm not going to lie — we were a little upset. The whole race is a prize, of course, but we would have liked to have won something. But it gave us the confidence of knowing we could finish first.
TVG: Way back in the beginning, you said you wanted to go on the race to prove something as a gay couple. Were you aware that TAR has a long history of strong gay teams?
Alex: Yes, I was aware of that. But when I said that, it was the second leg and we didn't want to be the next team off. We wanted to keep it going. And I feel like we fought for that position.
Lynn: We wanted to go on the show and represent a strong couple and that being gay is a part of us, but there's so much more to us, too. We came across as really gay, I know. We were surprised at how gay we are! And the thing is, we were just being ourselves. During the race, Meredith said something to the effect that he had never been around gay men and had a misconception of them. And since meeting us, he had changed his whole perception. It was very, very sweet.
TVG: How about that comment you made in Africa about Uchenna and Joyce being "born" to do the balancing task?
Lynn: It didn't seem that bad at the time. Because they're from Africa! And they really love Africa! I got so much flak for that. [There was] also that Tupac comment I made in that seedy neighborhood in South Africa. The reason I was scared is because it was a dangerous area.
Alex: At that detour, we also said, "Let's go milk goats with the white people." The minute we got to the pit stop, we sat down with Uchenna and Joyce and said, "Oh, my god, we said the funniest thing," and they laughed. We were good friends with them.
Lynn: We never had to call any teams to apologize. The only person who had to call was Ray. Ray called everybody!
TVG: So how did you two meet?
Alex: Oh, it's so bad.
Lynn: It's terrible. We met at a gay bar.
Alex: Lynn tried to hunt me down.
Lynn: That's not true! You couldn't get in the bar. You weren't old enough.
Alex: I had a fake ID, and I met Lynn at a bar.
Lynn: That sounds so trashy. We might as well say that we met at a strip joint.
Alex: But we've been together almost five years now.
Lynn: Which is like 30 in gay years.
Alex: It's a long time. Especially when you're 23! You've taken the best years of my life.
Lynn: Oh, he loves that line.
Alex: The best thing is that I have a really big family and he has a big family, too, and they send us cards saying that they watch the show and support us.
Lynn: And you can see how normal our relationship is. It's just a regular relationship, we just happen to be two men.
Alex: Yeah, like how I'm the man...
Lynn: That is so not true!
TVG: What's next for you both?
Lynn: I want to go on another reality show — anything but The Surreal Life, because I think Rob and Amber are doing that next. But I would do like Big Brother or Survivor. I can help decorate the tribe's campsite.
Alex: I work in TV development, so I want to develop a show. My dad's from a different culture, so the gay thing was a huge thing between my father and me. It still continues to be, and we're working through it. But I thought it was really interesting to see how the gay life was completely different in every country we traveled to. So we wanted to pitch a documentary show to the gay networks about gay life in other cultures. It would be an exposé like Outing India or Outing Africa.
Lynn: Starring us! And we also want to do correspondent work; we want to do the red carpet. We want to do anything that has to do with TV, because we loved it. We had such a great experience.
TVG: In other words, you want to go to the next level.
Lynn: I want to take it to the next level. I want to hang out with Paris Hilton!
Alex: I love you, Paris!
Lynn: You're hot!