At a Crossroads: An Interview with Millie from ĎThe Amazing Race 4íby Phil Kural -- 10/06/2003
Well, I have to admit, it is a little weird to be doing this interview. I know that during the race, Chillie was not one of my favorite teams, however, they were not a team that I hated, just ďgot mad atĒ on several occasions. Anyway, if you read my article on when I went to TARCon, the unofficial Amazing Race finale party, you would recall when I said Millie snubbed me. Actually, it became a pretty big deal, one of which I wasnít even aware. Over on certain message boards, it became its own thread, prompting Millie to contact me. After a little discussion, we decided that both of us had misinterpreted the other because the night was crazy and we caught one another off guard. There are no hard feelings at all and now that Iíve had the chance to have a few conversations with Millie I can honestly say she is a nice person who has taken her criticism like a champ.
I did have a chance to talk with Millie a little about why we had our misunderstanding, what the race was like for her, and how her life has been outside of the race. Read on to see the results.
Phil: First off Millie, I do want to apologize if I was a little overwhelming to you at TARCon and want you to know that to me, youíre an okay girl! It was so crowded and the amount of time that we really had to talk to one another was limited because of how many people were there. Sorry about any misunderstanding and thanks for doing this interview!
Millie: Oh, no! I want to apologize to you too, I didnít mean to offend you and Iím glad that we are friends now. Thank you for setting this up.
Phil: What do you think about all this criticism that you have been receiving? Are you over the fact that you have been labeled as a ďvirginĒ and that many people feel the need to make a comment about the whole mole thing?
Millie: Well, we didnít exactly use the fact that we were virgins to get on the show. Actually, they didnít find that out until after a few interviews. I just figured that since we have been dating for 12 years, that made us interesting enough. After they found out, they said that they wouldnít use that as our label because the show wasnít really about that, but you saw the end result. You just have to take it with a grain of salt.
Phil: Do you find that for every person who has something negative to say, there is also someone who has something positive to say? Iím sure your friends and family have been nothing but positive energy, correct?
Millie: Since the finale party in New York it seems that we are receiving much more positive responses and feedback from people on the internet. The people in our hometown have been nothing but supportive and have been very respectful to us. We love it. As far as family and friends, they couldnít have been more supportive as well.
Phil: Can you honestly say that you enjoyed the race? I know that at certain points during the race it looked like you were so fatigued that you were going to collapse. Would you say that the race was a positive experience on your life, or would you have been better off without it?
Millie: I would definitely say that it was a positive experience in my life. I like to think that the hardest things are the most rewarding. The Amazing Race was one of the hardest things in my life, but I realized it was so rewarding because I learned so much about myself just watching the show over again. Plus, I came out of it with so many great friends.
Phil: How are things with you and Chuck? Iím sure so many people ask you this question, but Iím really curious to find out how you two are doing. I know that you two are working on things and itís nice to see that you are making it work, but do you see marriage in the future?
Millie: We are still dating and have a very unique relationship. What many donít know is that Chuck and I actually dated for four years, went our separate ways for four years, than started dating again four years ago, hoping to move our relationship to the next level. Needless to say, we havenít really done that yet. There are still so many things that both of us want to see and do. I love him dearly and heís my best friend. We are at a crossroad right now with me wanting to move and advance my career, so when I decide what Iím going to do; we will take it from there.
Phil: Iím not sure if you know or not, but Kelly is the queen of my universe (I had to stick that in there). Did you know that she and Jon made so many negative comments about you behind your back? In my interview with them Kelly said that she apologized to you. Had you even known that it was going on?
Millie: Yeah, yeah, I know you love Kelly. Actually, during the race, I had no idea it was going on. I mean, I had a little feeling or intuition that they didnít like us that much. Jon said some things to me every now and then, but not as bad as what was said behind our backs. Chuck doesnít care and my friends tease and play around with me all the time about the whole mole thing, so it didnít bother me either. We have both exchanged apologies with Jon & Kelly and are just letting bygones be bygones.
Phil: Do you feel that the editing process showed you accurately? I know that sometimes people say that the editing chopped them up and made them appear to be someone that they are not. Did that happen to you or were you really as intense as the editors made you out to be?
Millie: The thing is I AM intense! Editing is just a part of TV; you just have to roll with it, and canít really do anything about it now. What people think is that Iím always so sweet, but I am a very competitive person and can be very intense at times. I was there for the money and for the win, not so much for the experience, like other people.
Phil: Was there any other time besides what we were shown on camera when your asthma got the best of you? It must have been hard doing some of those tasks with breathing problems so Iím curious to see if there were more problems with the asthma than we were shown.
Millie: It hit me hard the most in Europe. I had some attacks in India as well, but not so much as I did in Europe because of all the smoke thatís there. I have exercise-induces asthma, so when I run, I feel it a little. Like I was saying about Europe though, sometimes it would keep me up all night. I was actually more worried about something else. Right before the race started, I was diagnosed with anemia. That had more of an effect on me because I was constantly worried about it. I had iron pills, so I was okay for the most part. Once again though, you have to realize the editing made it look like I was freaking out while I was having attacks when I really wasnít. I get them every now and then and Iím used to it so it doesnít upset me.
Phil: I know that you work with children. What exactly is it that you do, and did the kids that you teach see you on TV? Has being on TAR affected your job and do you plan on staying there?
Millie: This past summer I worked at an aquarium teaching environmental education to children ages 4 and 5. This is the only aquarium that is staffed to be a regular school so they have classes in the fall and camp in the summer. The kids loved that I was on TV and parents of all the children were very supportive of me. Iím not working there right now, but Iím looking at other possibilities in the same area.
Phil: What is the one thing that you walked away from the race knowing about yourself that you never realized before? Was there something about Chuck that you realized as well? If so, would you say the end result is good or bad?
Millie: The one thing that I realized that was very positive was that I had much more confidence in myself than I had originally thought. One thing sort of bad that I realized was how much of a personality difference Chuck and I have when working together. About Chuck, I realized that he so patient and I love him for that. The end result was definitely good because I learned something about myself and Chuck that I never really thought about.
Phil: Who or what influenced you to try out for the race? Was it a mutual decision for you and Chuck, or was it more one than the other?
Millie: Actually, it was me that wanted to do the race and got everything together to apply for the show. However, the more Chuck got a look at the show and the whole process, the more he wanted to be on the show and involved with everything.
Phil: Have you been approached by anyone to maybe do some promotional or TV work? Would you even be interested in that? I know you told me that you were thinking about journalism in college, is that still an option for you?
Millie: Well, I do have a degree in communications. I actually worked in L.A. for a while and did some things with my degree in that. Also, I have taught in Taiwan because kids are my passion and always have been. Iím not sure about what Iím going to do you as far as a career, but Iím looking to communications right now. A few people have approached me about doing abstinence promotions and I have done some local speaking which was fun. Iím not so sure about TV yet.
Phil: What did you think about Reichen & Chip being a married gay couple? I know that when they first told the group, it looked like you had a little uneasiness in your facial expressions. Was that the case, or did it really not matter to you?
Millie: What you have to realize is that Chuck was very nervous around the cameras and never really got used to them. So when Reichen & Chip revealed that they were married and the cameras were right on Chuck, he looked nervous to begin with. It wasnít a big deal to us. We donít condemn them because they are gay or married. We have gay friends and treat everyone equally. Chuck and I would never sit there and judge them on their sexuality. We wanted to be sensitive and honest at the same time, so with both had a talk with Reichen & Chip a little later and everything is good between us. In our eyes, they are very respectable men.
Phil: Do you feel that people ride you a little too much? When I say that, I mean: does it feel like now that you were on TV and came across as a pretty devout Christian, do you feel like people want to dissect you a little more and point out every little character flaw that you may have? If so, how do you deal with that?
Millie: Sometimes I feel that Christians set themselves up for that. Most of the Christians that are on TV are depicted as a little ďtoo religious.Ē They are out there and come across as obnoxious and naturally, the public want to counter and revolt on them. Some of the criticism that I received was well deserved, but Iíve learned not to take everything to heart.
Phil: What did you think about TARCon? Did you enjoy yourself? Were you amazed to see how many people are devout fans of the race and wanted to see all of you?
Millie: Oh, I had so much fun. It was so cool to meet all the fans and mingle with everyone. Plus, we got to hang out with all the other racers. It was definitely a good time.
Phil: Is it safe to say that a lack of sleep did your team in? If so, would it also be safe to say that resting is the most important aspect of the race and making sure that you have enough energy and rest to complete each leg? I mean, map skills and the language barrier are big things too, but isnít rest the most key?
Millie: I would say teamwork did us in, but a lack of sleep was a very close second. Iím very spatially challenged and not very good at navigating. Before the race even began we went to Atlanta a few times, the largest city nearby, and did a little bit to tighten up on our navigation skills. I think we stayed up too much at the pit stops sometimes trying to prepare for the next leg of the race. It was too much on us, and we were exhausted. Sleep is a necessity to do well in the race.
Phil: What has Chuck been up to these days?
Millie: Chuck is doing quite well. He owns his own valet company that works for corporate events. Heís such an entrepreneur. What he really wants to do is buy houses, fix them, and then sell them. There is a lot of money in that.
Phil: Oh, they do that around Temple all the time. People buy dilapidated houses and wait for Temple to want the land then they sell it for a hefty price. Tell Chuck about that!
Millie: (Laughing) I definitely will, thanks!
Phil: Since they have renewed TAR for another season that means there will probably be another TARCon. Do you think you may make an appearance, and do I get to be the first person to get a hug from you if you go?
Millie: Of course you do, Phil! Iím so clueless sometimes. If anything, Iíll stand by your side the whole night, it will be fun!
Phil: Millie, I have to say, itís been a pleasure. I will admit that you sometimes got the short end of the stick, but I have your back. Iím sure thatís all you needed to know. Anyway, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule (and I know it is) and doing this interview with me. I wish you and Chuck the best of luck and look forward to talking to you again in the future. Thanks again!
Millie: Oh, like I said, no problem! This was fun, and Iím glad we got a chance to talk. Keep in touch and I will talk to you soon!
Phil Kural is a senior at Temple University, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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