Newlyweds Tim And Rod Win 'The Amazing Race Australia'
Tim Sattler and Rod Jones have taken out the top prize of 'The Amazing Race Australia', finishing the final leg of the race in first place.
Narrowly beating the other final teams, Jasmin and Jerome and Viv and Joey, Tim and Rod searched for NT News headlines, jumped out of a plane, trained a dog, tamed a horse and kayaked as fast as they could.
It was one of the closest legs of the entire race, each team having moments where they were out in front before all three final couples were brought together in reality TV's great equaliser: a puzzle.
Attempting to stack a series of wooden blocks into an intricate 3D puzzle, Tim and Rod finally managed to click things together, ripped open their final clue and were told to find host Beau Ryan at the final pit stop.
"Words can't describe that feeling," Tim told 10 daily following their win, "like this is actually happening. We dreamt about it for ages, to be in that moment when you're running to that final put stop. If I talk about it long enough I might burst into tears. It was the best moment."
The pair arrived at the pit stop as they had the other eleven before it, hand-in-hand with a little jump.
"We said no matter how hard a leg gets, whether we know 100 percent that we're last or we 100 percent know we're first, let's hold hands and finish that leg together," Rod said.
Calling it a "testament" to their relationship, the pair decided before the show had even begun exactly how they'd finish each leg of the race.
"We did a few dress rehearsals at home holding hands in the backyard, doing a few jumps onto a towel," Tim added. "We decided we had to do it every single leg, to show that we're two best mates in love. It's as simple as that."
Well, as simple as coordinating a jump twelve times can be. "Some of them have been a bit more in-sync than the others," Tim said, laughing.
Taking out the top prize is enough to be proud of, but for the newlyweds -- who tied the knot in March after being together for two years -- 'The Amazing Race' was also a huge test of their relationship. One they passed with flying colours.
Never bickering, the pair supported each other throughout the various legs, crossing continents holding hands.
"We thought we already knew each other pretty well," Rod said, "but to be thrown into this situation where it's so high-pressure and intense. It was make or break, and for us, it was make."
"For us to get out of this and not have had one fight, and be just as much in love -- if not more -- than we were when we rocked up in Seoul," Tim added, "that in itself is iconic."
Doing the race with him, hand-in-hand right to the end shows me if we can do this and come out of it even stronger, we can do anything.
"I know it sounds corny," Tim added, laughing, "but bring it on. All the roadblocks and detours people want to throw at us, we're going to keep slaying right to the end."
Before heading into the race Tim and Rod told 10 daily they were hopeful to represent LGBTQ+ Australians in a positive way. Throughout the experience, the pair said they have been inundated with supportive messages from people across the country.
"This was the most amazing thing we've ever done," Tim said, "and to be able to give people the courage and inspire people to have the strength to show their true colours, you can't put a price tag on that."
The race is an emotional rollercoaster, with teams spread out across cities it's often difficult to know exactly where you're placed, especially if you hit traffic or arrive at a challenge and there are no other teams.
In Mongolia, for example, Rod and Tim's taxi driver not only decided to stop to get gas but also attempted to take them to a hospital rather than to the dancing challenge because they kept telling him it was "an emergency" that they get to their destination.
Another low point for the boys came in the form of the first compulsory U-Turn vote where the other teams unanimously voted for Tim and Rod. Unbeknownst to them, they were the only pair outside of an alliance.
"You run your own race," Rod explained, "We didn't even know when they formed the alliance so we got a bit in our heads about why they chose us, we just had to keep telling ourselves that they must have thought we were a physical threat and they wanted us out."
"It was the worst thing ever," Tim added, saying that he took the vote to heart pretty badly, thinking the other teams hated them.
"We just said let's go, let's show them what we're made of. And we did that," Rod said. "Then we were like... why didn't we race this good from the beginning!" he said as the pair burst out laughing.
While they faced a series of difficult challenges and puzzles throughout the race, their biggest challenge would come after it had concluded: having to keep their win a secret from everybody.
"I've been losing my mind!" Tim said, "Behind closed doors we can talk about it together, but when we're out... people are tricky. They try to get it out of you, we have to nudge each other like, 'shut up!'"
The pair have taken to extreme measures in order to maintain the secret. "I've gone sober to weddings," Rod said, "and I never turn down free booze!"
Looking back on the whole experience, Tim and Rod beamed at the idea of doing something like the race again.
"We just want to do crazy stuff like this until the end of time," Tim said, "to be able to do it together it's just monumental."
Despite travelling the world together for the race, the pair have plans to head on a few more trips -- and even have a plan to re-visit the countries that made up the race.
"Maybe one day we want to go back and see the school equipment we built, go to the desert with the camels and maybe put a little cross there for Chris," Tim said.
"We want to go back everywhere we visited, go back to that stage and slay that dance routine again."