’The Fabulous Beekman Boys’ Win the Amazing Race
A gay couple from New York won the 21st season of CBS’s critically acclaimed reality show "The Amazing Race," which pits teams of two against each other in a race around the world, the New York Times reports.
The season finale aired on Sunday and viewers watched Josh Kilmer-Purcell and his faince Brent Ridge cross the finish line and snatch up the $1 million prize. Kilmer-Purcell told the Times that he would be leaving his job as a creative director at JWT New York advertising agency and plans on joining Ridge in Sharon Springs, N.Y., where the men own a own a farm.
Teams on the reality show raced against each other across three continents, nine countries and traveled more than 25,000 miles, CBS News notes. The contestants had to work together and complete challenges during each leg of the race and the last team to check in would be eliminated until only four teams remained. But Kilmer-Purcell, 43, and Ridge, nicknamed the Beekman Boys, were crowned the winners of the "Amazing Race" despite not winning a single challenge all season and struggling several times throughout the race.
When the couple won, Kilmer-Purcell told Ridge, 38, "winning this race will bring us together for the next 50 years."
Before appearing on the reality show, Kilmer-Purcell lived in the couple’s apartment in Manhattan while working at JWT New York and would visit Ridge, who once worked at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, on the weekends. The couple also has a business on the farm where they sell a number of products, including soap, linens, stationery and cookbooks.
Kilmer-Purcell told the Times that he has been thinking about leaving his job for a while since their business "has been growing" but added that winning "The Amazing Race" actually delayed his decision to leave his nine to five job because he was not allowed to announce he won while the show was airing.
The couple, who have been together for 15 years, is also the center of another reality show called "The Fabulous Beekman Boys," which focuses on the men’s life on the farm. It aired for two seasons on the Planet Green cable channel, which has since been nixed but couple hopes that winning could lead to a third season of their other reality show.
Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge aren’t the first gay couple to win "The Amazing Race." In 2003, Chip Arndt and Reichen Lehmkuhl beat out other teams and were crowned the winners of the show’s fourth season. Kilmer-Purcell told the Times Lehmkuhl has "been reaching out to me all day."
When the news broke that the couple won, there were both positive and negative reactions; Entertainment Weekly wrote that the "wrong team" won but the couple says appearing on the show has been a hood experience and has helped their branding efforts.
"We might not have had the muscle or youth on our side, but we were intuitive and strategic," Kilmer-Purcell said.
"The Amazing Race" first aired in 2001 and has been hailed as one of the best reality shows as it won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program for the first seven years after the award was created in 2003. The show beat out other programs like "Survivor", "Dancing with the Stars," and "American Idol."