Crossing the Finish Line

Brought to you by Caltex; pictures courtesy of AXN Asia
8 Feb 2011

Michelle and Claire

It has been a whirlwind of adventure for the Singapore team in the recently concluded The Amazing Race Asia Season 4. The youngest team to have joined The Amazing Race Asia to date, runners up Michelle and Claire have broken stereotypes and proved that size is not everything when it comes to performance. We tracked the girls down, as they journey into the post-Race chapter of their lives, to find out what they have learned from racing around the world and what is in store for them next.

If you could do the last leg of The Amazing Race Asia Season 4 again, what would you have done differently so that you could have made it first to the pit stop?
Claire: I guess we would have been a lot quicker in securing the flight back to Singapore. We did end up wasting a lot of time at the counter.
Michelle: Yeah, the crab challenge started at 10am and we only got there at around 11:20am, so we were more than an hour behind everyone else. If we had gotten onto an earlier flight, we might have won.
Claire: Then again, these things also have to do with luck.

How did being Singaporean help you finish second in the Race?
Claire: HmmÖbeing íkiasuí for one.
Michelle: Yup! Being a Ďkiasuí Singaporean, we got discounts on many things. That added up and helped us heaps.† Despite our age, Claire and I were pretty good at handling our leg money and keeping our spending in check.
Claire: That paid off well for us in the end, not having to stress over money to take taxis.
Michelle: We did plan beforehand that if we were ever desperately broke during the Race, we would beg, but we never had to that. I was very proud of us for being able to stick to our plan.

What were some misconceptions about The Amazing Race Asia that you had going in, which were debunked after you went through it?
Michelle: None! It was tough Ė as expected. We fought Ė as expected, and it was mentally stressful Ė as expected!
Claire: Being an avid fan of The Amazing Race Asia for the last 10 years or so, I have watched every season, I know almost every rule and exactly what to expect so nothing really took me by surprise.

What would your advice be to aspiring The Amazing Race Asia participants, for things such as planning, factors to consider, and even how to choose partners?
Claire: For those who want to join The Amazing Race Asia, choosing the right partner is very important.† You definitely need to choose someone you have chemistry with, either as friends or as family.†
Michelle: People often have the misconception that if two strong individuals join together, they will definitely have what it takes to win. But actually, teamwork plays a much more important part in the Race than pure physical or mental strength.

So whatís next for you after The Amazing Race Asia Season 4? Any new projects in the pipeline?
Michelle:† Iím moving to the Philippines to continue my acting career there.† It is a very risky decision, but Iím young and itís now or never. I always believe that itís not whether you can or cannot do it, itís whether you want or donít want to do it.
Claire: I guess life goes back to normal for me and I go back to the thing I love most Ė my music!

Is there anything you want to share with your The Amazing Race Asia fans, that you didnít have a chance to share during the Race?
Michelle:† Yes, about all the other teams. Though it might seem like we hated some of them, that was just competitive Race talk. We love them all equally and are very close to every one of them.† We would also like to thank all the fans that have been supporting us throughout the season, it means a lot to the both of us.

How has The Amazing Race Asia opened up new opportunities for you? Has participating in the show been aligned with your aspirations? How is life different post-Race?
Claire:† The Amazing Race Asia has shown me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Life after the Race is slightly different, as with every experience in life. Especially after an experience as massive as The Amazing Race Asia, you never look at things quite the same way again.
Michelle: The experience of The Amazing Race Asia has reinforced my belief in the guiding mantra in my life Ė ďbelieve in what I do, try my darndest and never give up.Ē

If there is an All-Star The Amazing Race Asia in the future, would you race around the world again?
Claire:† Hands down!
Michelle: Set the time and place, Claire and I are THERE!
Claire: Maybe this time for the