$1 million - and then the cancer shock

By admin
17 November 2010

THEY broke records by reaching the pit stops first far more often than other competitors and always seemed one step ahead of the pack – but right up to the nailbiting finale Amazing Race fans weren’t sure whether Nick and Starr ­Spangler would take home the $1-million (R7-million) prize.

The good-looking brother and sister duo went head-to-head with estranged couple Ken and Tina Greene in the final leg of the reality TV competition.

It was anyone’s guess who would emerge triumphant – until host Phil Keoghan made the long-awaited announcement, “Nick and Starr, you are the official winners of The Amazing Race.”

After almost a month of criss-crossing the globe, racing against the clock and nine other teams, the competitive New York-based siblings emerged victorious in season 13 of the gruelling contest, aired on SABC3.

Nick (25) and Starr (24) played an aggressive game that didn’t earn them many friends. They were unwilling to share information about clues and flight schedules, ignored teams who were struggling and used their physical strength to outperform others.

In the end it was a strategy that paid off – they reached seven of the 11 pit stops before the other teams, a first in the history of the show.

“When we crossed the finish line Starr told me I was her best friend and she loved me,” Nick says when we call him at his apartment in Manhattan, New York, to discuss their big win. “That’s the moment I cherish most from the competition.”

It has been two years since they won (we’re two years behind the show’s broadcasting schedule) – and Team Spangler would do it all over again if given the chance, Nick says.

But he’d have to wait for Starr to be completely healthy again – she was diagnosed with lymphoma a few months ago and is undergoing treatment.

“She’s a fighter,” Nick says. “The cancer found in the lymph node was removed and it hasn’t spread but when she was diagnosed it was a scary time for our family.”

Read more about their Amazing Race experiences in YOU, 23 December 2010.

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