MARSHALL, LEFT, AND Lance Hudes, formerly of Monticello, stand in front of their Dallas, Texas restaurant, Cafe Nostra, which has become a huge hit since they appeared on CBS The Amazing Race throughout this summer. The show ended its season Tues.
By Dan Hust
DALLAS, TEXAS September 24, 2004 Monticello natives Marshall and Lance Hudes were in familiar territory when they cheered on the winners of CBS The Amazing Race earlier this year.
The remaining three teams vying for the $1 million prize on the two-time Emmy Award-winning reality TV series discovered during Tuesdays final Season 5 episode that their last stop on a month-and-a-half trek around the world would be Dallas, Texas.
And that just happens to be where the brothers Hudes operate their restaurant, Cafe Nostra.
However, Marshall and Lance didnt just schlep the 15 minutes it takes to get from the cafe to Trammell Crow Park they were flown in from a sequestered location outside the country where they had spent time since being eliminated.
According to Marshall, it was a nice place, but teams like Dennis and Erika one of the first to be eliminated were ready to be back home after nearly 20 days far away from the U.S.
We only spent about 10 days in the sequestered location, said Marshall, explaining that the TV crew shot the race in about a month.
So on that early March day in Dallas, Marshall and Lance and the 7 other teams that were eliminated along the way vigorously cheered on married couple Chip and Kim as they ran the final few feet to host Phil Keoghan and their handsome reward.
Colin and Christie came in second and not just a few minutes after Chip and Kim, revealed Marshall. Although CBS edited the final episode to ratchet up the suspense by making it look like the two teams were close together, Marshall said Chip and Kim actually beat Colin and Christie by a whole hour.
Thats not to say, though, that Marshall believes Colin and Christie should have lost.
Colin and Christie were the ultimate team to play this game, he explained.
I feel any of the final three teams could have won this thing, he acknowledged but added that Chip and Kim were one of the least dominant teams of the original 11.
And hes glad Karen and Linda the last team to be eliminated before the final three made their way to Dallas fell short of the goal in the Philippines.
The bowling moms did not deserve to win, he said, referencing their tremendous and ongoing struggles to keep pace with most of the other teams.
Still, they and all the other teams retired to a hotel room in Dallas that March day and enjoyed Cafe Nostra food delivered by the production staff (it was considered too risky, said Marshall, to have the 22 contestants congregate at the restaurant).
Then they all spent the next three months acting like it never happened, said Marshall.
Even once the show was announced in June, the brothers were enjoined from speaking by way of a $10 million lawsuit hanging over each of their heads should they say anything other than what CBS wished them to utter.
Of course, they could talk to their fellow teams about the race, and Marshall said several good friendships have been formed with Chip and Kim, Colin and Christie, Kami and Karli and Dennis and Erika.
In fact, all four of those former teams showed up at Marshalls wedding in June in Florida.
And Marshall called Colin on Wednesday to wish him all the best after Colin proposed to Christie on CBS The Early Show that morning. (Christie accepted.)
Now its back to work as usual, although business has shot up at Cafe Nostra. (Indeed, Lance was too busy to be interviewed Wednesday.)
Its been absolutely amazing, remarked Marshall. The fans have been super, super supportive.
Last night for the finale, we had more people than we did for the premiere.
(The show was a ratings winner this summer, according to industry sources.)
But unlike a few other teams looking to cash in on their 15 minutes of fame, Marshall said he and Lance will likely just continue the enterprise they started not long ago in downtown Dallas.
If the Food Network is interested in giving us a cooking show, wed be happy to do it, Marshall joked.
Turning serious, he remarked, Were thankful for what we did get out of the race.
Part of that is a lasting friendship with Kim and Chip, who wore a Cafe Nostra t-shirt (like the brothers) for most of the race. According to Marshall, after he and other participants urged Chip to drop some of his extra luggage prior to beginning the race, Chip came up a shirt short, and with the promise of donning it for every pit stop the brothers gave him their wearable advertisement. (Chip ruined it while attempting to direct an ox through a muddy, unplowed field in the Philippines.)
And in October, the brand-new millionaires plan to stop by the cafe to visit Marshall and Lance, sharing memories, updates and the cafes now-famous food.
Count on a good tip.
The Democrat sincerely thanks Marshall and Lance Hudes and their parents, Monticello podiatrist Dr. Marc Hudes and his wife Judy, for their dedicated help in publishing the saga of the brothers truly amazing trip around the world.