Jessica Graf and Cody Nickson’s relationship has now survived not one, but two reality shows.
“I think we were pushed to our stress point in Big Brother, so what more could you throw at us at that point?” Cody asks. “So even if everyone's against us in Amazing Race, big deal.”
The pair, who met on season 19 of Big Brother, started filming season 30 of The Amazing Race about a week after the BB19 finale -- and they tell ET it only strengthened their bond as a couple.
“It pretty much validated everything we knew about each other,” Cody says of the experience. “It was just valuable time that we got together.”
Jessica calls their time on The Amazing Race their “redemption.”
“We were kind of [robbed of] our chance to really compete in Big Brother,” she says. “It was really just 15, 16 people against two.”
“The good thing about Amazing Race, is, we felt like it was always on our shoulders,” Cody adds. “Good or bad, you know, failure, whatever, it's all on your shoulders … they cannot strip your ability to compete and then vote you off, like on Big Brother.”
Jess and Cody’s time on The Amazing Race kicks off on Wednesday night on CBS, and it’ll be a different experience for the couple -- for the first time, they’ll be able to watch the show! Jessica confesses she hasn’t let Cody watch their season of Big Brother yet.
“It gives me anxiety!” she admits. “It's just, like, immediately my body tenses up.”
“There's this odd thing about seeing yourself on TV, almost a fascination,” Cody adds. “It doesn't feel like I'm watching TV. It just feels like I'm back in the house and I didn't like being in there … I'm hoping it doesn't change the show for me. I'm a huge fan of Big Brother … I'm hoping I can still enjoy it as a fan.”
For now, the couple is enjoying their time away from reality TV cameras. When asked what life is like back in the real world, Cody lit up with a big smile and shared, “[It’s] so much better.” They admit they haven’t spent more than a few hours apart since reuniting at the Big Brother finale -- and, yes, an engagement is likely on the way.
“Of course I [want to be engaged soon],” Jessica says. “That's not a question. He knows that.”
“The more it's talked about, the more I just want to keep pushing it out,” Cody jumps in. “If there is an engagement, I want it to be a complete blindside and I can't do that when everyone keeps talking about it.”
The pair is currently splitting time between Cody’s place outside of Dallas, Texas, and Jessica’s apartment in Los Angeles, but plan to settle down in the Lone Star State someday.
“Long term, we definitely want to start a family out in Texas,” Jessica spills, adding that Cody wants to have 10 kids -- and she’ll “give him three, maybe four.” The former Marine already shares a 5-year-old daughter, Paisley, with his ex.
“She's amazing,” Jessica says of Paisley. “I love her to pieces. She's, like, the cutest, most perfect little human.”
“She loves Jess,” Cody adds. “It’s all good.”
But don’t expect a “Jody” reality show -- Cody says he hopes The Amazing Race is his last foray into reality TV. So, sorry, Big Brother fans, the couple has no interest in doing an “All-Stars” edition of the show.
“I wouldn’t,” Cody says, bluntly. “In Big Brother, you're locked inside of hell,” Jessica jokes. “I mean, I could never be away from him for three months. I can't be away from him for a day.”
Still, their BB experience wasn’t all bad. They walked away with each other, and two life-long friends, Elena Davies and Mark Jansen. Outside of “Marlena,” Jess and Cody don’t speak with any of their former houseguests, who gunned for the pair from week one.
“One of my biggest pet peeves is, you know, ‘It was just a game,’” Jessica says. “It's three months that we are trapped and those emotions are very real … if someone treats me negatively for three months outside of Big Brother, I'm not going to continue a relationship for them, and it's the same. That's our style.”
Tune into The Amazing Race season 30 premiere on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS to watch Jess and Cody travel the world -- or at least make it to Iceland. For more on the couple and the show, check out the links and video below.
'Big Brother’ Host Julie Chen Reacts to Cody Voting for Josh and Winning ‘America’s Favorite’ (Exclusive)
Julie Chen Weighs in on ‘Big Brother’ 19’s Jess and Cody’s Romance and Possible All-Stars Return! (Exclusive)
Meet 'The Amazing Race' Season 30 Teams!