Before the start of The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business, host Phil Keoghan told us the returning Globetrotters team [Herb "Flight Time" Lang and Nate "Big Easy" Lofton] were "the most inspirational" of the bunch.
Last night's eliminated contestants would beg to differ.
"They are not good examples of what a Globetrotter is," they said, chastising the basketball stars for not only "ganging up" on them last night but for sabotaging and bullying other contestants.
Read on for the real story behind the chocolate gnome switcheroo—and other accusations of cheating and favoritism this season...
Q&A With Kent and Vyxsin
So did you grab Flight Time's mold last night during the chocolate gnome challenge?
Vyxsin: No, I didn't—I thought it was really clear that I didn't. He took mine out of the fridge. He went in there and pulled out three different people's molds, which is a big deal because they need to set. [When] he took mine and started running around with it, I was like, "Please put that back." He wouldn't do it—honestly, he was messing with my stuff. I don't understand why it wasn't clear in the editing.
Kent: [Actually] it's very, very clear on the footage that she did not tamper with his work. If she had, we would have had an even larger penalty. [The Globetrotters] kind of ganged up on her. Moments like that show you a lot about people's true colors, and the Globetrotters are kick-you-when-you're-down people. Fundamentally they're bullies. Fundamentally they're cowards. This is the second race in a row that they've all advanced by bullying around a woman. When if comes to Flight Time and Big Easy, they are not good examples of what a Globetrotter is, because I have nothing but respect for the Globetrotters organization.
To see the way [Flight Time and Big Easy] behave when they don't get their own way is so ugly and so non-heroic. It's pathetic—they hide behind those jerseys and run around like they're these all-American heroes, but when push comes to shove they have no qualms about bullying a girl around. To me that's the antithesis of a hero. You never bully a girl. And they've done in it two races in row [the first infamously being Mika at the waterslide in season 15], so I think it's a pretty common behavior.
A lot of fans were surprised about your own behavior—toward each other. What's it like watching your bickering on TV?
K: This Amazing Race was amazing therapy. You're seeing the moments of triumph, moments you overcame obstacles—it's really inspiring. But you also see the moments you weren't perfect, and I think that's good. None of us are perfect. I own up to it and as long as I can learn from it than it's a positive experience. And this race certainly was.
Are you two dating or just friends?
V: We've been dating for a while. We're not into making out in front of everybody and stuff, but we are a couple...People don't believe it—they'll be like, "Oh, Kent's gay" Or, "You guys are brother and sister." I kind of enjoy the mystique of it.
K: People always ask if I'm gay. As you can see I'm not someone who holds a lot back. I like to be flamboyant. I like to wear makeup and to be fabulous. If I were gay I'd be leaping out of the closet as fast as possible.
V: The Series Kent and I have always had [such] a tight bond with the queer community, we may as well be gay. That's something we embrace and love.
K: We had a very strong alliance going with [gay competitors] Mike White and Mel. At the very starting line, I whispered to Mike, "Whoever finds it first tells the other guy. Deal?" and he said, "Deal."
Answer sharing has generated a lot of controversy this season; you OK with it?
K: The sharing of information is not against the race rules. Technically it's A-OK. But I do have to question people just blatantly sharing the answer to roadblocks this late in the game.
V: Tactically speaking, were I not us, I would be helping us like crazy—I would have loved to be in the final three with us. Because we've been struggling—we've been just bumbling around and having a hard time and making silly mistakes; we're the team I would have loved to have faced in the final three. I thought it was strange to share information with teams that are so good.
Strategy-wise they are hurting themselves, right?
K: Exactly. The race can turn on you at any minute. As Vyxsin mentioned we had a lot of personal struggles, [but] fundamentally we are a very tenacious team...we made it through 10 out of 11 legs. We didn't win but I can walk away from this race feeling proud of that.
But many critics suggest you should've been ousted much earlier if your penalty for missing the mandatory flight to China had been two hours instead of 30 minutes.
K: There's been a lot of talk about the penalty...Is this game Unfinished Business or Unfinished Whining? Let me read for you a quote directly from The Amazing Race rulebook: "Should a team take a form of transportation that is not the clue-required form of transportation and does not result in a time advantage, the penalty is 30 minutes." This has been a race standard. Obviously it was a little bit more dramatic because it involved a flight [instead of the not infrequently cited penalty for taking a cab instead of walking], but then again, a flight by definition in The Amazing Race rulebook is transportation. So the 30-minute penalty is completely consistent with the rules of the race and the penalty that been levied before in similar circumstances.
Even though Kent and Vyxsin won't be racing, they don't want anyone to miss next Sunday's thrilling conclusion. "The finale episode is going to be really unpredictable," Kent told us. "There's going to be some crazy twists and turns nobody sees coming."
Are you going to miss Kent and Vyxsin's Pink Power? Do you agree with their opinion of the Globetrotters? Bounce on down to the comments and have your say.