After traveling to five continents, 10 countries and more than 59,000 thousand miles, the co-winner of The Amazing Race on CBS TV wants to live off-grid.
The winners of the one million dollar grand prize, on the two-hour season finale of THE AMAZING RACE 9, were BJ Averell and Tyler Macniven. “I’m thinking about buying a boat and living on it, trying that out,” Tyler said of how he might spend his half of the cash.
Twice it looked like that cash was going to slip through the hippies’ fingers when they finished race segments in last place, only to learn from host Phil Keoghan they were non-elimination legs.
“Phil said, ‘BJ and Tyler, you’re the last team to arrive,’ and then we slipped him a $20 and he said, ‘However, I’m happy to tell you this is a non-elimination round,’ ” said BJ.
Whether it was bribery, luck or the hand of God (or CBS producers) at work, the unflappable hippies’ narrow escapes kept the duo and their mantra of “TTOW!” in the race.
As with anything, it takes several tries to get the actual meaning of TTOW out of the hippies. The truth (we think) is that it’s an anglicized spelling of a Mandarin phrase meaning “good times.”
“We got these TTOW shirts in China when we were travelling in Guilin,” said Tyler. “In some Asian countries, they just like English characters.”
Like most reality TV winners, the hippies plan to capitalize on their 15 minutes of fame.
They have been offered their own travel show — called The BJ And Tyler Show or The Tyler And BJ Show, depending on which one you ask — and BJ is spending this weekend judging a gourmet insect cook-off at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum.
They also say they’ve been in talks for a live-action movie based on Disney’s Duck Tales, but as with a lot of what comes out of their mouths, it’s hard to tell if they’re being serious.
Ditto with their explanation of those photos on the Net showing BJ and Tyler partying with The Amazing Race’s Eric and Jeremy, including a shot of Jeremy with his jeans pulled below his butt cheeks and Tyler’s face buried in his crotch.
“Those were body doubles,” BJ said. “People think that all people with beards and long hair look alike.”
“Those were actually wax sculptures of us from Ripley’s Believe It Or Not,” Tyler corrected.
Again, the truth eventually emerges: “Eric and Jeremy had us down to Florida to watch an episode with them, and the week before that we watched the Germany episode with them down in Mississippi,” BJ said. “So, yeah, we’ve managed to keep in touch with some teams after the race.”
That includes fourth-place finishers Monica Cayce and Joseph Meadows, AKA MoJo, who spent a good chunk of the race badmouthing their hippie rivals.
There’s no lingering bad blood there, promises BJ. In fact, MoJo attended the hippies’ finale party Wednesday night. “The thing about them is they’re very competitive people, and on the race they took everything very seriously,” he said.
BJ and Tyler, on the other hand, took everything in stride. There were no off-camera hissy-fits, no tears, and definitely no fistfights.
Said Tyler: “The only time we hit each other was when our palms were slappin’ high-fives.”