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Eyes on the Prize

Lynn Warren (left) and Alex Ari, the hilarious, good-natured gay couple eliminated in India in round seven of The Amazing Race, had to reschedule their interview when they got stuck in traffic. (This snafu made it impossible not to picture them in a pedicab on the highway screaming Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! in Hindi). finally caught up with the cuties to dish on meanies Rob and Amber, edible cow parts, potty breaks, the coming-out inspired by their reality-TV stardom, and more. Hey, guys! My friends and I were so bummed to see you eliminated. Lynn: We were devastated. People keep asking if we were embarrassed to lose to [elderly couple] Meredith and Gretchen, but not at all. They are fierce competitors, not just for their age but anyone. Id love to see them win. Alex: Luck was part of the game, and we had had our fair share of bad luck with cab drivers and things breaking down. Have you buried the hatchet with Rob and Amber? Lynn: I need a hatchet to cut up some cheese and meat for Amber. The poor girls starving! Alex: I just dont feel like I need to befriend them. What am I going to get out of that? Lynn: We would all be sitting at dinner and the other teams bonded so much; Rob and Amber never talked. Alex: You guys are watching from your couch, so when they do something thats malicious or mean, its entertaining. But when youre there and youre racing, its not entertaining. Its real. Ive always wondered: When do you use the potty during those missions? Lynn: Its the last thing on your mind. I would call the pit stops poop stops, because I could never go anywhere elsetoo dirty and gross. Alex, quite awesomely, you ate four pounds of Argentine beef (udders, intestines, blood sausage) while others wimped out. Whats the secret? Alex: The thing about eating challenges is that if youre going on the race, you need to realize theres going to be one. And if youre not strong mentally, youll never get through it. Just keep eating, and even when you puke, dont quit. I actually puked 10 times. Omigod! Lynn: And he had no advantage as far as not having a gag reflex. That didnt help at all. [Laughs] Would you ever eat a cow saliva gland again? Lynn: So funny, we just had that for dinner last night! Alex: No, I would never eat any of that stuff again. It was so gross, and they cut out my funniest line. We got to the mat and Phil goes, Youre team number one! And Im all, Phil, I have intestines in my intestines! Lynn: And I was singing Karen Carpenter songs to Alex the whole time that he ate. Alex: That was when Lynns cheerleading didnt help. Lynn: I was dry heaving watching him do this. But you rarely bickered and never got nasty with each other, while so many other Amazing Race couples typically do. Lynn: Its very reflective of how we live our lives. We know were in it for the long run, and were not big fighters. Sometimes we get pissed off at each other when were trying to figure out what to wear and we dont want to look like twinsies. Thats probably our biggest stress. Theres no sense in arguing. On that race, your only support is each other. And if you lose that, youre basically alone. My own partner and I were able to relate to you in ways we werent able to relate to, say, Chip and Reichen, who won season 4. They were so intense and took themselves so seriously. Lynn: We dont break the mold of the stereotypical gay man, butonly one team was going to win that million dollars, and we wanted to have a good time. Alex hates it when I say this, but it was just a prize to be on that damn show. Seeing the world, waking up every day and realizing youre going to another country was so awesome. Alex: Thats really sweet that you say that, because thats all I wantedfor gay guys to either relate to us or think, Thats the kind of relationship that I want. Lynn: We want young gay guys to know that they can have this. Its very fulfilling and we work well together. Were proud of that. Alex: And our home life is total old-married couple. We stay at home all the time, rent movies, eat, play with our dog. Did you ever feel self-conscious or threatened as a gay couple on foreign soil? Alex: The interesting thing about traveling around the world is that you get to see how other cultures deal with gay people. For instance, we were in South Africa, where gays can get married now. My dads from Egypt. They dont even have the word gay in Egyptian, but men are allowed to be very affectionatehold each others hand, kiss each other. They walk that fine line of Are they gay or are they being affectionate? We actually are pitching a reality documentary about that, where we go into other countries and investigate what gay life is like for a gay person in their culture through their eyes. How did you meet? Lynn: At a nightclub in Bakersfield, California [Alex shudders.] Lynn: Two weeks later, we were basically living together, and here we are, happily married, four years later. Congratulations! Alex, you hadnt yet come out to your father when you began The Amazing Race. Has that situation changed? Alex: My dad, again, is from a different culture, and grew up with a different set of morals. I knew it wouldnt be easy on him, and my family and I protected him from that information. Its not like he didnt have suspicionshe would visit Lynn and I and see that we had one bed. If he knew, we never talked about it. I think a lot of families do that. But by being on the show, I knew Id have to tell him. He actually went to Egypt for the whole duration of the show, so I had to tell him over the phone. Not everyone has an ideal coming-out storyhe was very upset. We plan on working through it. Its getting better each day. I knew it would happen someday, and the race was the catalyst. Its a huge relief. What was so shocking was the outpouring of support from other family members. People weve never talked to have called and sent cards, saying they were so excited to meet my boyfriend and what a great relationship we have. Lynns grandmother didnt know either. Lynn: She says that Alex is so cute, that he looks like Ponch from CHiPS. Alex: Even some of our uncles, who had been homophobic, all of a sudden changed when they saw us on TV as a couple. Because they got it. Lynn: And that is what we were about. Love is love, you know?
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