Boy, it's nice to see the good guys win for a change, isn't it? The stellar fifth season of The Amazing Race wrapped in grand style on Tuesday night with a nail-bitingly tense finale that saw everyone's fave fortysomething married couple, Chip and Kim, cross the finish line ahead of runners-up Colin and Christie, and Brandon and Nicole. Here, the newly-minted millionaires reflect on the race and how they'll spend their loot.
TV Guide Online: Was there a point during that final leg when you knew you had the race sewn up?
Chip: When our cab driver in Dallas pointed out where Trammell Crow Park [the location of the finish line] was. At that moment, Kim let out some tears of joy and that was just so touching for me. 'Cause she's not a crier; when Kim cries, you know it really means something. I'm never going to be stupid enough to make her cry bad tears, but whenever she cries tears of joy, it makes my day. It makes my week!
TVGO: What was your best asset as a team?
Chip: We always worked with a common goal and that was to do the best that we could. We didn't fragment that by bickering or belittling each other. We encouraged and allowed each other to make mistakes as opposed to biting each other's heads off. That's just negative energy and it drains your positive energy! And I do not like and can not tolerate negativity. That's just the way I am.
TVGO: Do you still feel bad about yielding Colin and Christie?
Chip: I felt bad about that, because I really do like him. He's a good guy. But that's the only thing we could do to win this race. It had come to a point where I had to make a choice: "Do I want to have some good buddies that live all the way in Texas or do I want $1 million for my family?" We knew it would unravel everything about him because he would have a vendetta against me and wouldn't be concentrating on his race. My approach was to let him know what a strong, strong player he was — and he is the best that ever played the game — so that as long as he felt that he was in charge, he was fine. But once he got yielded, he did everything in his power to get back at us. Christie was pretty ticked, too. I tried to hug her [at the pit stop] and she pushed me away and said, "You're costing us a million dollars!" And I was like, "Yeah, for me!"
TVGO: What was the hardest challenge on last night's episode?
Kim: It was really hard climbing that mountain. I couldn't breathe because the air was too thin. I had gotten about halfway up and I told Chip I couldn't make it and so he said, "OK, Kim, why don't you ask God to help you right now?" So we prayed for about 10 seconds and then, all of a sudden, I blew my nose and the next thing I knew, I was breathing. I almost ran up the rest of the mountain and I beat him by a whole bunch of yards.
Chip: The wall climb was the hardest by far. On the luge, Kim and I were just laughing out loud both times we fell. We kept calling ourselves the Jamaican bobsled team. It wasn't hard — it was just funny. And just think: If that comedy of errors hadn't happened, we would not have won the race. If we had been at the airport 10 minutes earlier, we wouldn't have gotten that bit of information about the flight being delayed. So it was all in the master plan that we didn't even know about.
TVGO: Do you think you won the race purely by luck?
Chip: My personality is, I wouldn't have to defend it being skill or luck. It really doesn't matter to me. I just knew that we never gave up.
TVGO: Kim, midway through the race you said that you wanted to help out more on the challenges, but it seemed like Chip kept doing all the roadblocks.
Kim: We went into it knowing Chip would have to do the physical part and I would be the one to strategize more and determine the strengths and weakness of the other teams. We did [decide] that if there were roadblocks that involved more of a [mental] aspect, I was going to do them. But anything physical, he was going to do regardless. He really did not know what the other teams were doing; he had no idea how volatile Colin was and I let him know that from the beginning. We knew from the first leg that we would have to use the yield on them by the end. That was always going to be our plan because they were just so, so strong.
TVGO: Chip, you had some, er, creative names for your wife, like Booby Cooper. Where did that come from?
Chip: I have always been a knucklehead as far as that's concerned. I come up with these cute little names. I do that with our daughter, too. It's the weirdest thing in the world — she and Kim can be standing in the kitchen and I can call either one of 'em Booby Cooper and they'll know exactly who I'm talking about by my inflection. We don't understand it ourselves but somehow everybody knows who I'm talking about.
TVGO: Do you keep up with people from the race?
Chip: Yeah, we've been to dinner with the Twins and actually went to the Virgin Islands with them. We have good relationships with everyone. People think that because I yielded Colin, there's negativity. Sure, there was negativity with Christie and Colin, but that's since been healed. I'm going to Dallas to visit Marshall and Lance in October. Brandon and Nicole have come to our church and they've been over at our house for a screening of the show. Linda and Karen have been over to our house a few times and so have Dennis and Erika. I even talk to Donny and Alison on instant messenger — but not at the same time, trust me.
TVGO: How are you planning to spend that $1 million prize?
Chip: We're first going [to donate] some to our church, but after that, we're going to invest it, so we can be financially independent. We've always spent as much as we made, but now we're going to try and be diligent and make the money grow — not so we can have a bunch of stuff, but so we can take care of our family. And of course, we're going to have some fun with it, too!