This Sunday a new Amazing Race million-dollar winner will be crowned -- and the Beekman boys, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, are telling all to ET about their thoughts going into the finale, how they helped to change the mind of one of their teammates, and details about their upcoming wedding.
ETonline: Congrats on making it to the finale in third place – did it give you an extra confidence boost to be in the top three going into the final?
Brent: It's always comforting to know that there's someone behind you as a buffer between you and the elimination, but we went into the Race knowing that most of the time Racers defeat themselves rather than other teams beating them, so we have always been more focused on the decisions we were making than what other teams are doing ahead of or behind us.
ETonline: How did it feel to be running in the back of the pack for so long, yet continuing to make it week after week?
Josh: If people re-watch the very first episode, they'll see that we were the very first team to hit the ground after jumping over the bridge. We like to joke that was the only time the whole game we were in the lead. We stayed in the middle of the pack most of the season until the missed connection en route to Moscow (which put us and Abbie and Ryan nearly a full day behind the other teams). Honestly, we preferred being in the back of the pack. It gave us an entirely different perspective on the game. The new strategy then became just not getting eliminated. It's an entirely different race back there!
ETonline: Which other team do you think was the biggest threat? Which other team was your favorite?
Josh: This is a race for a million dollars, and everyone on the course WANTED it. Everyone was a threat, and, honestly, we think any of the teams that started the race had a shot at winning it.
ETonline: Which challenge did you find the most difficult?
Brent: We knew going into the Race that we would be one of the older teams and likely unable to compete head to head physically with some of the younger teams, so obviously we would always prefer more cerebral tasks. To land in Moscow 12 hours behind, miss out on the chance to do the library task, and then facing the synchronized swimming was probably our most demoralizing moment. However, we are glad that it happened the way it did. At some point in the future we are much more likely to find ourselves in a foreign library than in a swimming pool with a Russian national team, and those experiences are why we went on the Race.
ETonline: Which country did you enjoy visiting the most?
Josh: We enjoyed them all. Dhaka, Bangladesh made the most impact on us because of the chaos, crowding and heat. But for people who had so little for themselves, they gave us the most encouragement to continue on a very difficult leg for us. At the end of an exhausting day, a wave of cheering children practically carried us to Phil, and we're forever grateful.
ETonline: Rob of the Monster Truckers team, told me that you changed his mind about gay people and that improved his relationship with his wife. Can you speak about that a little bit?
Brent: Our show, the Fabulous Beekman Boys, was the first reality show to be centered around a same sex couple in a long-term relationship. We've learned from doing that show that the biggest cause of homophobia is that many people have never been around or had the opportunity to witness a same sex couple in a long term committed relationship and that serves as a breeding ground for fear, hate, and misunderstanding. We've heard from many fans that watching the Beekman Boys with their families have completely changed their views on homosexuality in general and specifically on the topic of gay marriage. That's the power of TV. Rob and Kelly are very nice people and very accomplished in their profession. We never had a doubt that they would see us any other way than in a similar, devoted relationship like any of the other couples. I think their comments after their time on the show speak volumes about the type of people they are.
ETonline: Did you ever fear for your safety when traveling to countries where being gay is not accepted, or even legal, in some cases?
Josh: We never feared for our safety thanks to the preparation and precautions taken by the incredible Amazing Race production team. But we did make a conscious effort to limit displays of affection out of respect for the cultures with which we were interacting. Following the customs of a country you are visiting is common courtesy.
ETonline: What did you learn about each other on the Race? Did it improve your relationship?
Brent: We've been together for 14 years, so we've been through almost any emotional situation you can imagine. The most challenging part of the Race for me was walking the edge of controlling Josh's anxiety level while at the same time pushing him to go a little beyond his comfort zone. Having spent 4 weeks perfecting that skill set will no doubt have future benefits.
ETonline: Congrats on the wedding you are planning -- can you share any details with us?
Brent: We are planning a wedding on the farm for May/June of next year. All the Racers will be invited.
The season of finale of The Amazing Race airs this Sunday on CBS at 8/7c.