‘The Amazing Race’ Season 33: Kim and Penn Reveal They Won Because of ‘Marriage Counseling’ and ‘Notes’

Production on CBS‘s The Amazing Race struggled immensely to restart after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic put a pause on the thirty-third season. But, somehow, producers found a safe way to race around the world. And as a result, contestants Kim and Penn figured out how to thrive during The Amazing Race Season 33.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from the finale of The Amazing Race Season 33.]

'The Amazing Race' Season 33 winners, Kim and Penn Holderness, pose for promotional pcitures. Kim wears a light blue tank top. Penn wears a light blue shirt.
Kim and Penn Holderness | Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Kim and Penn won ‘The Amazing Race’ Season 33

The two-hour finale of The Amazing Race Season 33 premiered on March 2, and Kim and Penn Holderness were one of the four teams still left in the race. The other three teams included Ryan Ferguson and Dusty Harris, Arun and Natalia Kumar, and Raquel Moore and Cayla Platt.

During the episode’s first hour in Portugal, teams had to row boats, replicate a painting from a sardine can, and count 106 columns. At the end of the leg, Raquel and Cayla came out on top, and Arun and Natalia finished in last, eliminating them from the race.

Then, the final three traveled to Los Angeles. They had to unlock clue boxes, smash pinatas, become Foley artists, and solve a puzzle that included images from the race. At the final challenge, it was a close race between Kim and Penn and Raquel and Cayla. But Kim and Penn solved their puzzle first and crossed the finish line to win The Amazing Race Season 33.

The couple reveals their secrets to success

Following the finale of The Amazing Race Season 33, Kim and Penn spoke with Us Weekly about how they pulled off the win.

“We won because she took notes,” Penn shared. “We got there by working together, but in the end, I mean, she was crazy about [taking notes]. Every night we went to bed, we didn’t have much else to do, so we studied what we did the day before.”

Kim would draw images they would see in every leg throughout the race. After she and Penn crossed the finish line, Kim explained to Phil Keoghan that she had a feeling that they would have to remember specific images for a challenge during the finale. And she was right.

The couple also revealed that they went through marriage counseling before filming. Penn said, “We considered that part of our preparation was, like, learning how to talk to each other. And I think, hopefully, when this is all over, people can look at us and say, ‘Oh, they didn’t bicker, they didn’t fight. They love each other, and they have each other’s backs.'”

Kim added, “I think communication was our superpower, 100 percent.”

Kim and Penn discuss being the oldest couple to ever win ‘The Amazing Race’

During an interview with E! News, Kim and Penn revealed how they became the oldest couple to win The Amazing Race.

“Everyone was so young and so fit and so strong,” Penn recalled. “And we considered ourselves to be young, fit, and strong until we met these other people. And so we looked it up, and we’re like, ‘Oh yeah! Old people don’t really win this race very often because it can be a real limiting factor when it comes to the physical toils of getting around in a backpack.’ There’s a lot more walking and climbing and running than this show has time to show the viewer.”

He added, “And it was one of the reasons we trained pretty hard physically for the race to get through that and then hope that some of the wisdom that comes with age would actually be an advantage.”

The Amazing Race Season 33 is available to stream on Paramount+.

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