'Amazing' Couple Could Win Twice
WALT BELCHERTAMPA - He's the laid-back ex-jock. She's the feisty, super-efficient business executive.
Published: December 7, 2008
Published: December 7, 2008
He looks like he wants to take a nap. She looks like she never sleeps.
Tina and Ken Greene are the oil-and-water team on "Amazing Race 13."
Tina, the first-ever "Race" contestant from Tampa, is almost half Ken's size, but she appears to be the boss in the relationship. When they had to wear a silly cow costume and run through the streets of Kazakhstan, guess who brought up the rear end?
"She thought she could see better than me," Ken told host Phil Keoghan when they reached the pit stop.
Inside that hot suit, covered in sweat, he couldn't see anything but the fake udders hanging below.
"She's yelling at me, and I'm yelling at her. It was ugly," he joked.
And it symbolized how the couple have been portrayed on the popular CBS reality show, which wraps up at 8 tonight with the winning team taking home $1 million.
Tina and Ken are among three teams still in the running. And they have provided a dramatic subplot this season because they used the race to try to patch up their strained marriage.
Tonight, we'll find out if they won the race and whether a harrowing, stress-filled 30,000-mile dash through five continents brought them closer together.
So far, the series has been edited to give the appearance they bickered much of their way through places such as Bolivia, Cambodia, India and Brazil, countries where unreliable cab drivers seldom knew how to find anything.
On last week's episode, Tina appeared to be near the breaking point. She wanted the cab driver to stop smoking, complained that her raincoat didn't have a hood and snapped at Ken, "If you can't help me, you might as well go."
But fans of this series know the drama is often the stuff of selective editing.
Before the season started, Tina told the Tribune that she believed the producer who told her, "After spending every second together ... by the end of the race, clearly you will know if you want to be with this man."
When "Race" began taping this past summer, Tina and Ken had been separated for nine months and were living on different coasts because Ken had cheated on her. They had started seeing each other about once a month, working toward reconciliation.
Ken, 52, a former St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers defensive back, is still living in San Diego. Tina, 48, known professionally in Tampa as Tina Hunter Stewart, runs BioPharmMed, a company that recruits high-level employees in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
Neither Ken nor Tina can talk about the outcome. Both were to be in New York today with the other finalists, preparing for the media blitz that will follow tonight's program.
The couple have been seen together in public several times this fall. They were holding hands at a private kickoff viewing party when the first episode aired in September.
If they win, Tina has said that some of the money will go to the Children's Cancer Center in Tampa, which provides support to children with cancer or chronic blood disorders and their families.
The two are the oldest players still in the race. Their rivals are Broadway actor Nick Spangler and his sister Starr, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, and Arizona State University frat brothers Andrew Lappitt and Dan Honig, dubbed the "Superbad" geek team by fans.
Preppy and cute, Nick and Starr seem to have blessed lives. They've won six first-place finishes so far, sailing through most of the challenges with ease. Meanwhile, Andrew and Dan, often clueless and hapless, have bumbled their way to the finale. At one point, they even lost their shoes.
The Greenes came in first place on the second, third and fourth legs of the race but have struggled since then.
"We're not dumb people, but we've done stupid things," Ken told Keoghan.
For information, go to cbs.com; also check out the "Amazing Race" photo gallery at TBO.com. Reporter Walt Belcher can be reached at (813) 259-7654.