The 31st and most recent season of The Amazing Race recently concluded. TAR is not normally a show I watch, but this was an All-Stars season where the twist was that there would be Big Brother and Survivor pairs racing alongside some quality Amazing Racers. I’m in. The Survivor teams weren’t constructed of people I cared too much about from that show, but there was another team that piqued my interest early on and kept me coming back after all of the Survivor pairs were eliminated: Life Partners Colin and Christie.
They first raced all the way back in Season 5, where they dominated the entire season, only to lose in the finale and come in second. Since that season they have been known as one of the best teams to never win, but also one of the angriest and most dysfunctional:
A very en vogue prediction at the time was that the couple would break up soon after the show aired. In recent interviews both Colin and Christie confirm that they had some rocky patches in the years following, but what helped them save their relationship was never watching The Amazing Race ever again.
Fifteen years is a long time, enough for even the most extreme to make drastic changes. In the same interviews, the couple have confirmed that they have done a ton of work on their relationship through working on their minds. They even decided that in order to finally get over what had happened in TAR5 they would get the DVDs and re-watch the season with their kids. They said that while some of the scenes still hurt to watch, they now considered themselves different people. When they finished, they were energized to want to race again. They sent a text to their casting director, thinking they’d maybe get a call for an All Stars season in five years or so; the response they received asked if they could be ready to go in a month.
They said that even with as much mental and spiritual work as they’d done, they were worried that when the Race would present certain triggers, like it always does, that they would fall back on their old ways and destroy everything they’d built. But they also thought that it could be a tremendous opportunity to show the power of Zen. They texted back, “We’re in.”
The transformation was indeed more than just talk, because anyone who watched this season would no longer see them as Team Anger, but rather Team Love:
And sure, it’s easy to be happy and calm when you’re arriving in first place in a leg, but the finale included a moment early on where Christie was the last one to complete a solo challenge, which meant the team had a lot of ground to make up. When the pair reunited, this was Colin’s reaction:
They sat there on the helicopter, just feeling the energy of each other and the moment, before moving on from it. This proved effective, as they caught up and passed a team ahead of them, avoiding elimination and sneaking into the Final 3.
They then ran a great final leg, going back and forth with the other strongest team left, Tyler and Korey. At the final obstacle before the finish line (and $1 million) both teams were stuck trying to assemble a drum kit while hundreds of musicians played music loudly all around them. Neither team could quite figure out what they were doing wrong, and the stressors around them were making Colin very frustrated. Christie said in her exit interview that she knew she didn’t have the eye to figure out exactly what the problem was with the instrument, so her job in this moment needed to be settling Colin down.
Both teams had been at this obstacle for an hour, and within a few minutes of Christie getting Colin to just take a mental step back, he was able to see the one very tiny detail they’d missed. It was corrected, and they were off to win the game.
On the podium, the way they each credited the other person as the reason they won was so incredibly heart-filling. Get you someone who looks at you the way these two look at each other.
All in all, it was a really amazing reality television arc.
One additional detail they gave in their exit interviews is that they are donating a chunk of the money to research for using MDMA to help vets with PTSD. In that interview they mentioned that you don’t have to necessarily be a veteran to have PTSD though, and that their foray into using it for medicinal purposes is part of what helped them make some major breakthroughs. Master your mind, master your world.