“Big Brother” stars Nicole Franzel and Victor Arroyo are currently competing on this season of “The Amazing Race,” where the whole cast is reality TV stars from “Big Brother,” “Survivor,” and “The Amazing Race.”
Along with racing around the world, the couple has started a podcast called Coco Caliente (Coco for Nicole’s nickname Coconuts and Caliente for Victor’s heritage).
Nicole appeared on season 16 and 18 of CBS’s “Big Brother.” She won season 18, where she made history as the first female to win against a male in the finale. Victor was on season 18 and made history as the only houseguest to come back into the house 2 times in one season. He also won America’s Favorite Houseguest that season. The couple got engaged on an episode of season 20.
We talked to them about their time in the house, “The Amazing Race,” and Coco Caliente.
Celebmix: What made you want to compete on “The Amazing Race (TAR)?”
Victor: It was some we had talked about in our relationship. Because once you’re on a CBS show you don’t really apply. They’ll reach out to you. The opportunity kind of presented itself while we were on vacation last year and they called and said would you guys be interested in doing “The Amazing Race.”
Nicole: And we were like ‘heck yeah.’ *laughs*
Victor: So it kind of snowballed from there. It was something we were always kind of talking about. ‘How cool would it be if we were on that show together opposed to against each other?’
Nicole: Like on ‘Big Brother.”
Victor: So we got that opportunity.
CM: How was that experience different from “Big Brother?”
Nicole: “TAR” was way more physical, and I was not ready for that, to be honest. I felt like even running was such a big disadvantage for me cause I have short legs and Victor is super fast. He had to stay with me because we were partners, so even if he could make it somewhere first, we both had to make it there, so we couldn’t split up. Like in the “Big Brother” house I could send an ally to go do something they’re good at. I could do the social game while Victor could do the physical. In this, it’s like you have to do everything together. It’s a lot more physical and a lot less social.
CM: Do you think having experienced contestants from “TAR” made you want to work harder to win each leg?
Nicole: I definitely think so. Knowing that there were former ‘Race” people on, we just knew they would be super difficult to race against. They know what they’re doing. I played “Big Brother” twice and it was definitely easier for me the second time. This is some of their third times racing. It motivated us to want to do well, but we also felt connections with Britney (Haynes, BB 12 and 14) and Janelle (Pierzina, BB 6,7, and 14) right away because they were on “Big Brother” too. If we had a chance to help them, we definitely did. We were helpful the whole time. If someone asked us a question, we always told them the real answer.
CM: Would you ever go back on “Big Brother” if they asked you?
Nicole: Yeah, I definitely would. *laughs.*
Victor: I don’t know if I would. I think Nicole would have a better chance at winning again than I would.
Nicole: I don’t think that’s true. I would love to be able to play together on the same side.
Victor: Yeah. If we were able to go back together, that would be awesome, if they di like a couples series.
Nicole: Just to have the comp beast on my side, it would be really fun.
CM: What made you guys want to start a podcast and what is your goal with “Coco Caliente?”
Victor: The podcast kind of came out of the blue really. Nicole’s agent came to her with an idea to start one and it was something that she was going to do on her own, but Nicole thought it would be better if we did it together. She’d be more confident, be able to talk more. I’m more tech savvy to do edits and stuff. We put our own spin on it.
Nicole: We wanted it to be different. Something that was not gossipy or reality TV, but more relatable. You get some insight.
Victor: Different topics, professionals. And even if we do talk to reality TV people, it wouldn’t be about gossip. It would be about something going on in their lives or something they’re interested in- just different point of views and experiences. That’s what we are bringing to the table with this and our listeners are loving it. They’re really the ones that motivate us because they leave us such great reviews and feedback. It’s a good feeling.
Nicole: It’s definitely scary putting yourself out there. Just talking about kind of random things, but they’re really relatable and we thought it would be boring but our listeners love it.
CM: What special guest would you like to have on the podcast that you have not had on yet and why?
Nicole: We’ll never have this person on, but…..
Victor: It’s actually a couple. We listen to “Armchair Expert” by Dax Shepard and he’s married to Kristen Bell. We adore them so much and feel like we relate to them a lot. We would love to have them on the show, but that seems like a stretch.
Nicole: Maybe one day. you never know.
CM: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans/supporters?
Victor: We really just want to say thank you. We would never be able to do anything if it wasn’t for their support.
Nicole: They’re just such a great group of people. They’re so positive and supportive. We are nothing with out them.
Victor: They hopped on quick with the podcast. They follow and like all of our stuff.
Nicole: They genuinely like it because the stories and stuff they share and the questions they have it’s like fun.
Victor: We want to let them know that we really appreciate them and we are nothing without them.
Listen to their latest episode here:
Catch them on “The Amazing Race,” Wednesdays on CBS at 9/8c.
We wish them the best of luck with the race, their wedding plans, and the podcast.
Are you watching them on “The Amazing Race?” What’s your favorite podcast episode? Let us know on Twitter at @CelebMix.