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This might be Bates and Anthony Battaglia’s biggest score yet.
The hockey-playing brothers,who hail from Raleigh, N.C., were named the winners of The Amazing Race at the end of Sunday’s two-hour season 22 finale.The finish wasn’t even close as Bates, 36, and Anthony, 33, dominated the final leg to easily take home the $1 million prize in a season that took them to 10 countries on five continents and more than 30,000 miles traveled.
PHOTOS: ‘The Amazing Race’ Season 22 Teams
In a lively interview Monday — where only about half their answers were serious — the two jokesters talked to The Hollywood Reporter about what the plan to do with the money and what’s next for the duo.
The Hollywood Reporter: You clearly were the frontrunners in the final leg, but did it seem that way to you as you were in the middle of it?
Anthony: It always felt like [the other teams] were right on our heels. We were so scared [another team] was going to catch up. It didn’t feel like we were ahead of everybody.
Bates: Early on, as soon as we started, I thought, “Man, we have a good chance at winning this thing.” Then it was a lot tougher than it looked. About halfway through, we were like, this is pretty tough.
THR: How did the experience compare to anything you’ve done in the hockey rink? [Bates previously played for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs, while Anthony currently plays for the Huntsville Havoc.]
Anthony: We got to use a lot of our muscles.
Bates: A lot more than muscles — also our good looks.
THR: How does the win rank among your sports accomplishments? [With the Hurricanes, Bates made it to the Stanley Cup final.]
Bates:It’s a lot tougher than it looks. I played in the finals, but that something where you know what you’re up against. But in the race, you have no idea what’s coming up.
Anthony: For me, this was like my Stanley Cup.
THR: How do you plan to spent the $1 million??
Bates: I’m going to try to buy Anthony some new teeth.
Anthony: But man, I’m so cute in those teeth. No complaints so far.
Bates: He’s saving a lot on dental floss.
Anthony: I’m just using rope.
THR: Did the teeth give you any issues while you were on the race?
Anthony: Those teeth made it all the way around the world. I got new ones, a new flipper, and I look even more amazing than usual.
Bates: After we won, we became very modest.
STORY: ‘Amazing Race’ Host Phil Keoghan Spills Secrets on Season 22 Finale
THR: You had a close alliance with [fourth-place finishers] Caroline Cutbirth and Jennifer Kuhle. Are you still in touch with them?
Anthony: We’re still friends with Caroline and Jen — they’re our “race girlfriends.” We’re still friends, but we had to move on. They just wouldn’t give it up, you know? We needed a little more than a kiss on the cheek.
THR: What was the hardest thing about being on the race??
Anthony: The unpredictability of the show. You don’t know what’s coming up next. As hockey players, you know what’s coming up — there are set practices, meals and everything. But [on the race], you never knew what was coming up next.?
THR: Was there any memorable or funny moment in the final leg that viewers didn’t get to see?
Bates: The two of us, no joke, were the funniest people on the show.
Anthony: That’s ever been on the show. We should have our own show: hashtag “hockeybrothersdoamerica.com.”
THR: This has been a pretty entertaining interview. Have you seriously thought about pitching the idea for another show?
Anthony [joking]: It’s out there. I think [Amazing Race executive producer] Jerry Bruckheimer is going to pick it up: hashtag “moneymaker.”
Read on to see what the rest of the final four teams had to say about their time on The Amazing Race.
Newlyweds Max and Katie Bichler, second place
THR: Second place isn’t too shabby, but it’s obviously not where you hoped to finish. How were you feeling once you’d learned that you’d were the runners-up??
Max: Salty [laughs]. No, it was an incredible experience. We’re truly blessed to have been able to do it. We were able to make it around the world, and it was an amazing experience, but the taste in our mouths at the end of [watching] the episode last night, it was still salty, because you hope you win. Couples have a reputation for coming in second place, and we were really hoping to break that.
THR: Did you know for sure you were in second before even getting to the mat?
Max: Yeah, we knew.
THR: Max, you had some trouble with the briefcase challenge in the final leg. Is that what ultimately tripped you up?
Max: There was no tripping; it was all chance and luck — that was it. Everything else we did the rest of the day, we did relatively well and relatively fast. Nothing else mattered the rest of the day because being behind [at the point] where we were behind, that was it. It was 100 percent that briefcase thing.
THR: You sort of emerged as frontrunners midway during the race. Were you aware of that while competing?
Max: No, it didn’t feel like that until we got to Europe. We went in thinking we were a good team and we’d be strong and were expecting to do very well, but it was really humbling to do so poorly in the beginning of the race. We didn’t feel like frontrunners once the race started. But once we got to Europe, we started to turn it around.
THR: What do you think happen to make everything click?
Katie: I think in the beginning, we were kind of just racing out of control and running around like chickens with our heads cut off. What happened was we slowed down and figured out how to race. We realized that when we stopped to ask for directions, it was OK to wait five or 10 minutes for correct directions instead of screaming for them out the window.
THR: Katie, you have a doctorate but made it a point not to share that with the other teams in the hopes they’d underestimate you. Did that work?
Katie: I think without even telling them anything, because we were doing so poorly in the beginning, we were horrible, they did underestimate us. In the end, it helped. No one wanted to U-turn us. There was no need to. Once we figured out how to do the race, we did it well.
THR: How did being on The Amazing Race rank as a honeymoon?
Max: It was the most public honeymoon there’s ever been. We pretty much invited everybody in the country to race around the world with us and come into our bedroom. And I think we covered more miles than most people do in a shorter time. It was truly a gift to be able to do it and race around the world like we did. We’re really grateful to the people of Amazing Race and CBS for putting us in a position to take the race around the world.
THR: Have you taken a proper honeymoon yet??
Max: No, we haven’t done so but we plan on it. We won a trip to [the Dominican Republic] on the last episode, and we loved Bora Bora, so we’re also considering going back there. We’re definitely going to take a honeymoon; we’ll probably go back for our one-year anniversary.
Continued on next page …
Roller-derby moms Mona Egender and Beth Bandimere, third place
THR: How are you feeling about your third-place finish?
Mona: We were proud of ourselves for doing the whole race. It’s a pretty big accomplishment to make it on the show and from start to finish to do the entire race. We can’t ask for anything else. The experience was priceless.
Beth: We put our best faces on and finished strong, with a good attitude and good integrity.
THR: You were the only members of your alliance to make it to final four. Do you think that may have hurt you?
Mona: It was lonely, knowing it was us against them. I don’t think it hurt us. At that point, it’s anyone’s race. No one is really helping anyone out.
THR: You struggled in Ireland with the Titanic-inspired five-course meal. How frustrating was that?
Mona: The challenge was difficult. The Titanic dock was so huge, and the trays were really heavy once they were loaded with plates of food. If I had actually seen the menu, it would have been a lot simpler. I made it 100 times more difficult than it had to be.
THR: Was there anything you can point to in the final leg that may have cost you the win?
Beth: I know we confused the cab driver when I said, “White House.” It took extra time to go back and find the right place.
THR: Do you have any regrets about anything that happened??
Beth: We told each other to do it, but when you’re racing you have tunnel vision, you’re so tired — but I wish we’d slowed down a little bit and paid better attention to the surroundings. That’s pretty much what did us in — the lack of attention to detail at times.
THR: What was the hardest thing about the competition?
Mona: We were going for 30 days with no sleep and little food and uncomfortable situations and high stress. The mental aspect was a little harder than we anticipated. If they gave us a physical challenge, we pretty much bust right through. But if it called for brain power, we had little hiccups every now and then.
THR: What have your kids told you about watching you compete on the show?
Beth: Last night, my 16-year-old sent a text to me, “I’m so proud,” and to hear that from a teenager — I think our kids are seeing us in a different light. We’re more than just moms. They see us playing roller derby but to watch us go through what we did — we ran with integrity, we didn’t trash-talk — we knew our kids would be watching us and wanted to set an example.
Continued on next page …
Country singers Caroline Cutbirth and Jennifer Kuhle, fourth place
THR: What was your reaction to coming in fourth?
Jennifer: We were so proud of ourselves. At first we wanted to win, but when we look back at every single country we visited, we had fun the whole time, and we were good to each other the whole time. We were supportive of each other. We’re proud of ourselves.
THR: Caroline, you got emotional several times during the race. How hard was it?
Caroline: I am a really emotional person anyway. I just have to cry and I feel so much better, “OK, I can continue on with life now.” It pushes you as hard as you can be pushed. It’s a stressful situation, and I was doing things I never dreamed of doing in a million years and that were not totally natural.
Jennifer: Every moment was physically and emotionally tiring. We definitely got tested out there.
THR: Jen, you struggled with the bog snorkeling in Ireland.
Jennifer: It was really, really awful. I’m not gonna lie. I’m not a swimmer to begin with, and I hate the cold and being buried. It was all my biggest fears in one.
Caroline: It was Jen’s perfect challenge.
Jennifer: The worst thing was I couldn’t breathe and the wetsuit was too small. I had to change suits, and my hands and feet were numb. I cramped up when I was swimming. Changing into the new wetsuit took 30 minutes. My body was in shock, and that wasn’t even the hard part. It was really cold and I just got claustrophobic — not to mention sucking in mud.
THR: Did you think you had a chance at coming in third during your final leg, thereby saving yourself from elimination?
Caroline: We were at the bog and took an hour there. We knew we were behind but still thought we had a chance. Once we got lost and went to the wrong wring place, then we thought, “OK, there has to be a miracle at this point.” Now, watching it, we could have totally been neck and neck with Beth and Mona after we saw how long it took them at the Titanic challenge.
Jennifer: We did the graffiti challenge so fast. How did we ever do that? We’re not artists. Like Caroline was saying, you never know. We raced as hard as we could until we got to the end.
Caroline: It was a hard [episode] for Jen and I to watch. It was a tough leg for us. Everything went wrong. We got lost. But that’s how it goes. That’s life.
THR: Bates and Anthony said you’re still friends. Have you seen them recently?
Jennifer: We went to watch Anthony play in a hockey game in Huntsville, and the owner came over to us and said we should come every time because that was the best game he’d ever had.
THR: After you were eliminated, you said you would turn your experiences into songs. Have you written any yet?
Caroline: Yeah, it’s called “Hockey Player Heartbreak.” They broke our hearts in a million pieces.
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