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Amazing Race's Laura and Tyler: We Had No Idea We Were in First Place

What are they gonna do with the money?

Joyce Eng

Ignorance was bliss for Laura and Tyler on The Amazing Race finale. While we all saw Hayley and Blair redo the Reunion Tower Roadblock, they, and Jenny and Jelani, had no idea that Hayley messed it up the first time. "We really thought we were in second and that Hayley and Blair were so long gone that they probably won the $1 million," Tyler tells TVGuide.com. "I think we would've been a lot more frantic and stressed on the last task if we knew we were in first." Then again, the final memory selfie challenge was made for the self-proclaimed Team Selfie. Find out why they were able to rock it, what they're gonna do with the $1 million and more.

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Congratulations! How close was it at the end? They tried to make it seem like Jenny and Jelani were right behind you, but you left before they finished the selfies.
We actually had no idea we were in first place. [Laughs] We thought we were in second or third while we were trying to unlock the shed. Tyler even sat down and said, "Well, at least we're not in first." We had no idea that Blair and Hayley redid the Roadblock and were so far behind us. So when we were leaving and saw [Blair and Hayley], our whole concept of time completely changed because we realized we were in first, so we we weren't even thinking about Jenny and Jelani at that point.
Tyler: We saw [Hayley and Blair] leave the tower as we got there, and Laura was getting harnessed up and going to the top of the building. I remember sitting there with Jelani, being like, "Man, we are fighting for second." When we got to the monster trucks, we just assumed that they were done with the challenge and were gone.
Laura: They probably had a 45-minute lead on us when we got to the tower.

Imagine if you didn't see them coming at the monster trucks.
Right? Going to the Pit Stop and not knowing we were in first? [Laughs] That would've been insane. ... We really thought we were in second and that they were so long gone that they probably won the $1 million. I don't know if you heard, but when Laura said, "That's Blair and Hayley," I was like, "You definitely saw a ghost." We had zero expectation that we were in first. I think we would've been a lot more frantic and stressed on the last task if we knew we were in first.
Laura: I remember hitting Tyler, like, "Hurry up!" He was like, "No, that's not them. They're already done." I was like, "No, I swear, that's them!" I will never forget Hayley's face because she looked so defeated.

You guys and Jenny and Jelani really didn't want them to win, did you?
Yeah, Jelani and I were notoriously talking about that while Laura and Jenny were up on the tower. We were like, "C'mon! It'd be OK losing to you guys." Losing to them would've been harder because it felt like there were a lot of times throughout the race where they weren't enjoying it every step. We really wanted to see someone who appreciated being on come away with the victory.
Laura: We also became very close with Jenny and Jelani from the start. I think it was the first flight to Tokyo, we just bonded with them. We said, "It has to be us in the final two."

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You destroyed the selfie challenge after you unlocked the shed. How long did you struggle with the lock first of all? Were you just eventually doing trial and error with the numbers?
[Laughs] That selfie challenge was made for Team Selfie! If you told us we were there for two hours struggling with the lock, I would believe you. ... It was probably 20 to 30 minutes. It was funny watching it because Jenny and Jelani were like, "Oh, Amsterdam! Tokyo!" That was so difficult for us. That hardest part was that Tyler and I studied. We drew maps, we quizzed each other. I thought we had this down, but those were cities that we weren't actually at; they were cities we just passed through. It's not like we had a Pit Stop there. We didn't even have challenges there.
Tyler: Yeah, and like Laura said, I remember sitting down and turning to the camera and saying, "At least we're not in first. This would be a lot more stressful if we were in first place." And we were!

Were you stoked when you saw the last challenge was selfies?
It was like grace from God!
Tyler: [Laughs] It was cool finally just to see the pictures. We were taking pictures every day, but we would hand over the phone, so all of the sudden, we got to see all the pictures and relive the trip. I think we did have a little bit of an advantage because we did take so many pictures. Jenny and Jelani said it was tough for them because a lot of their pictures were them wearing the same thing in one airport or the next, and it was hard to tell which was which. We had pictures where we stopped and took a picture with the guy building the hut and the guy from our dance in Tokyo. We had some identifiers that helped make it easier. We took time to take pictures during the race, which other people chose not to do, which is probably the smarter way to race!
Laura: It was also nice to take a second to really look at these amazing memories that we made, that's just something that money can't buy.

Did you have an informal alliance with Jenny and Jelani, or did you decide to work together at the tower because you thought you were in second and third?
I feel like the four of us had worked together on different Detours and driving. It was only natural. Plus, going down, Jenny and I were a little scared, but being together, it was like girl power time. I actually saw the flags first. And since we thought we were way behind Blair and Hayley, we were working together so we could catch up. It was interesting that when we got down that they went the opposite direction than us. ... She actually didn't even see the flags. I kept saying the flags were by the railroad tracks. She thought they were in a different location. There was a brick building and that's where she thought the flags were, so that's why they made the left [turn]. She actually just the wrong direction thinking it was the right way.

You guys had some hilarious moments, like when you lost the fanny pack and just waited it out.
That was actually the second time that happened for Team SoCal! The first time we lost it, we were on our way to Tokyo. ... That fanny pack moment was a very pivotal time for us. I don't know what else we could've done if we didn't wait. We couldn't check in with Phil if we didn't have our passports.
Tyler: Yeah, when Bergen and Kurt showed up, it was awesome that they were there, but they said they had a blue car. We knew they were pretty much screwed, we hadn't been given much money for that day, so we knew we'd spend much of it driving. But then we started thinking, "What if it's in their car? It's sitting somewhere in Germany." But we also asked about rules and the rule is you can't touch another team's property, so we were confident it would come. We know we didn't drop it. We left it in the vehicle, so it would eventually come to us. We just said a few prayers and hung tight and hoped for the best!

What are Magdalena and Hayes up to?
[Laughs] They only come out when we're in bougie places link Monaco!

But now you have $1 million.
Right! We should go back. I wanna go on that yacht. I was very jealous that I had to run around in horrible shoes in a long dress with hair and makeup on while Tyler was hanging out at a yacht. That is not fair!
Tyler: I thought it was great! [Laughs]

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What are you gonna do with the money?
I want to spoil my family. I want to take my family on an amazing trip somewhere. It's hard to even say. I'm a saver, so I don't see myself doing something too crazy. I'm gonna want to invest. ... I'm also working on a blog called Hollywood and Hipster with my best friend. She moved up to San Francisco a few weeks ago, so it's our way of staying connected with each other.
Tyler: In the startup life that I'm currently living, it'll be nice to have a little for myself and to keep working on some of the projects I have going on and invest in those companies. My startup is called Two Truths. I'm definitely gonna go back on a big trip. Maybe a victory lap around the world next year. I'm also about to drive cross country. It's gonna be three weeks of epic adventures. I bought a drone. That was my first purchase. We're gonna film this incredibly journey.

The top three were all blind date couples and you guys won, so what do you think of the twist?
I thought it was really cool. It was a whole other element to the race. It made it interesting and fresh. I'm definitely surprised at how it turned out. I didn't see that coming.
Laura: I think it was an amazing social experiment. Take these people that are somewhat similar, throw them in the race together where they don't meet each other until right at the start. It's either a recipe for amazing reality TV disaster or some fantastic friendships to come out of it.

They really wanted a romance to happen.
Yeah. I mean, the first day of questions was over the top. It was like, "What did we sign up for? I thought we signed up for The Amazing Race." I felt like I was on The Bachelor. We went on so many date nights. Laura and I were crushing date night!
Laura: On one of the date nights, these people were so cute. They came up to us, like, "Oh! Are you the Bachelor?" [Laughs] We're like, "Uh, nope!"

You should've just played along. Hayes the Bachelor.
Laura: Right? But why can't I be the Bachelorette? [Laughs] Why does it have to be The Bachelor? That's what I wanna know!

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)

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