Jessica Graf and Cody Nickson Talk Winning 'Amazing Race' and Moving to Dallas (Exclusive)
By Tina Smithers Peckham
Season 30 of The Amazing Race ended on a high note for Big Brother teammates Jessica Graf and Cody Nickson -- they earned the top spot and a cool $1 million!
ET caught up with the couple following their big win to chat about their experiences on reality TV and what's next for the newly engaged pair. While Nickson jokingly admitted he preferred being on Big Brother over The Amazing Race, Graf enjoyed participating in both television shows.
"One [show] you’re locked in a house and the other one you get to travel the world," she shared. "It’s absolutely polar opposite in the best way. It was nice to experience both."
Graf added that their Amazing Race experience was tougher than anticipated.
"At first going in, [we thought we would win]," she said. "Then once we met the teams and started competing, we were like, 'Oh, sh*t, this is going to be harder than we thought.'"
Continued Nickson, "We didn’t think it was going to be as competitive as it was until we saw the other teams, and then it was not just a given at that point."
The pair, who met during Season 19 of Big Brother, got engaged on Feb. 13 and plan to use their winnings to move to Dallas and buy a house.
"Obviously the government is going to take half of that, and then with the scraps, I guess, we’re going to buy a house," Nickson told ET. "It’s one of those deals, ya know? Let’s get our future set with a house. Not have to pay a mortgage. And then figure out how we can set our kids' future up from there."
Nickson also jokingly added that Graf was "wedding planning before the engagement," and Graf couldn't deny it.
"That’s true," she said with a laugh. "He’s seen me looking at wedding dresses for a couple of months now, and we’ve only been engaged for eight days."
As for the proposal, Nickson said he "really wanted to surprise her," but found it difficult due to being together so much.
"I’ve been kissing her ring finger for a long time, so she knew I was going to propose," he said. "We’ve always known that we were going to be together forever, so of course she’s always been wedding shopping."
The happy couple, who began filming The Amazing Race just a week after Big Brother ended, added that they are "thinking less than 200 people" for the wedding, which they hope to have in Los Angeles in the fall.
"We want it as small as possible but it never turns out that way," Nickson said, while Graf added, "There’s a lot more people who will be attending the wedding that live in Los Angeles, so I feel like it makes sense."
When ask about planning for a family, they said they want to start "as soon as possible."
"We’re going to conceive a child on the wedding night," joked Graf.
The couple also divulged parts about their routine at home when the cameras aren't around.
"He always takes me on date nights which is nice, but we both love to cook, so we cook dinner, and we’ll watch some TV," Graf said. "whether it’s catching up on Vanderpump Rules or one of our favorite TV shows, and then we usually shower, lay in bed and watch Archer. It’s just nice, very relaxing. Even though we spend all of our time together, I still love every second."
As for even more reality TV? "I've always told him that if something presented itself that didn't ever put our relationship in jeopardy, then we'd be open to it," Graf said. "That's what is important to us. Our relationship comes before any TV opportunities."