'Amazing Race' winners talk hair gel and college loans!
Just because no one was surprised by the outcome of last night’s Amazing Race finale doesn’t mean it’s any less impressive that couple Meghan Ricky and Cheyne Whitney reached the finish line first. After a night of drinking and a way-too-early Early Show appearance, the winning duo checked in to shed light on their victory, Meghan’s voice, and Cheyne’s hair.
EW: Where did you watch the finale last night?
Meghan: Most of the cast came out to New York so we all met up and got to watch it in a private screening room at a hotel. That was pretty fun to be with the cast again.
Cheyne: And then we stayed out drinking and went to bed about 5 hours ago [6 a.m.]
Meghan: No, we went to bed at 3:30 am and got up for the Early Show 3 hours later.
EW: How was it seeing everyone from the show? Tense?
Cheyne: Not at all. We’re lucky enough that we’re still really close with a lot of the cast. We had gone to visit Sam and Dan and Brian and Ericka. We’ve seen Zev and Justin, Ron and Marcy. We’ve hung out a lot with everybody. Our cast is really close. Everyone’s really friendly and genuinely enjoys each other’s company.
EW: Were drinks on you last night?
Meghan: Everyone wanted them to be but we said, “Let’s wait until we get our check.”
EW: And did you?
Cheyne: We got a giant check this morning. Do you know a bank around here that cashes that?
EW: Do you get to keep those huge Ed McMahon checks?
Cheyne: Hopefully. We’ll do something funny with it.
Meghan: I don’t know. It’s pretty big.
EW: We all knew you were going to win because you lead throughout the race. Going into that last leg in Las Vegas, did you feel like the race was yours to lose?
Cheyne: Not at all. Every single leg was a new leg. Seventy-five percent of the time you were on equal playing ground. I don’t really know how, but we were able to jump out ahead.
Meghan: This was the first time we felt like we were racing for a million dollars. Every other leg we just said, “Let’s just not get eliminated” and we were lucky enough to come in toward the top. This time, there was no “not being eliminated.” We had to be first.
EW: How shocked were you that the Globetrotters didn’t make it to the finale?
Meghan: We absolutely thought they were going to be in it. We hadn’t seen any other team at that previous challenge other than Sam and Dan, so we had a feeling they were in it. And then at the airport, we were like, “So when are the Globetrotters showing up?” We saw Brian and Ericka and just freaked out. It just goes to show that they’re a good team even though they were hanging in the back.
EW: It seems like once you did the Fast Forward in Dubai, your team gained so much momentum that it was impossible to catch you. Did you feel like that was a turning point in your race?
Cheyne: It was definitely a turning point. Right when I opened the clue, I declared, “I am doing this.”
Meghan: It didn’t really show on the show but I said, “Cheyne, let’s not take it.” And we had actually decided not to take it. And then when all the teams stopped at this gas station to get directions, I asked a guy outside where the track was and he said he’d take us. Then we got so lost in the desert in Dubai and we had no idea where we were. We got stranded and it was terrifying. We basically chased a car down and I got on my hands and knees begging for directions. And then we had to sit through this 30-minute Power Point presentation about the rules of the track. There was a lot more to that leg than was shown.
EW: Other than a few jabs here and there, you managed not to spend the race screaming at each other. How did you stay so cool?
Meghan: We had been big fans of the show for a long time…
Cheyne: And big fans of each other.
Meghan: We didn’t want to be that team, that couple who bickers. That’s not who we are. We just said we’ll take it one leg at a time.
EW: When you watched the show back, did you ever get offended about what other teams said about you? Meghan, remember when Flight Time went on about your annoying voice?
Cheyne: Meghan and I have played competitive sports our whole lives. When you’re on the playing field, you talk trash. We know the cameras tried to pull things out of us to talk about the other teams. We all make fun of each other.
Meghan: It’s a race. You can’t take it to heart. I call Big Easy “Franz” now.
EW: Is he still traumatized by that phone challenge in Prague?
Meghan: Yes, but he’s working through it.
EW: How was it watching your most challenging moments, like Meghan’s hay bale detour?
Meghan: Yeah, I had really mixed emotions watching that challenge. It was horrible but at the same time I’m glad I did it. But yeah, it was very difficult being out there for 3 ½ hours.
EW: Cheyne, let’s take a moment to address your hair. How did you keep it so spiky all season?
Cheyne: I used this spray wax which was great until it got taken away at customs.
Meghan: I bet you can imagine how much Cheyne freaked out when they said they were taking it. His solution was to spray the entire bottle in his hair. He said the stuff stays in your hair forever and he thought it would stay the rest of the race. And it did! No matter how many times he washed his hair there was still wax in there.
EW: Cheyne, you should be lining up the endorsement deal!
Cheyne: I know! I gotta talk to Paul Mitchell about that one.
EW: So I’m sure you’ve been asked already, but how are you going to spend the money?
Cheyne: It’s really good that we haven’t gotten the money yet because we’ve spent so much of it in our heads. After we pay off our college debts it’s not that much money. Most of it will probably go towards a house and we’ll invest it. If our families need help we will help them but we’re not going to go giving our money away.
EW: Investing? Debts? How about a present to reward yourselves?
Cheyne: Well, maybe a new watch.
Meghan: (Laughs) A watch? How about a new car?
EW: Now that you’ve done Amazing Race, are you interested in doing any other reality show?
Cheyne: Yeah, definitely. We’d love to do Survivor or The Apprentice. I think Meghan would be really good at The Apprentice. And I think it would be cool if Meghan and I did Survivor on opposite tribes.
EW: Plan on parlaying your fame into anything else?
Cheyne: Well, do you know someone who’s got a cool idea for us? We’ve been talking to a couple of agencies about doing our own show if it works with our CBS contract. You haven’t seen the last of us.
Phil Keoghan hosts the globe-trotting adventure series.