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The Amazing Race’s Vinny Says Amber Fights Were ‘Out of Context’

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CBS

Engaged couple Amber Craven and Vinny Cagungun seemed to fight a lot on season 36 of The Amazing Race, but they say the show didn’t give the full picture.

“I learned what a frankenbite is pretty much, where they just cut you up with a bunch of different edits and take it really, really out of context,” Vinny exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, May 16, one day after he and Amber placed fourth on the CBS reality series. “A lot of the conflict that we got to see, for me, was very, very surprising, because the narrative that we had as we went through the race was very, very different.”

Despite feeling like the edit didn’t paint an accurate portrait of his disagreements with Amber, Vinny admitted that he “learned a ton” from watching himself on television.

“I don’t really listen that well. There were so many times on the race — and I pride myself for trying my best to listen to her because it’s so important to do that — but there were so many times where she would tell me something, whether it was with tone or without tone, I couldn’t hear it,” he said. “And it was because I was so dialed-in tunnel vision and that race mind really took over.”

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Amber, who cried over her fights with Vinny during several episodes, also found it illuminating to watch the show back.

The Amazing Race’s Vinny Says His and Amber’s Fights Were Taken ‘Really Out of Context’
CBS

“I definitely learned a lot about myself,” she said. “The way that I can talk to him in a certain way can be a little antagonistic. And I never knew that I was talking in that way, I guess, when we started dating. He’d be like, ‘Why are you talking to me with that tone or that connotation?’ … So, (I’m) just working on how I communicate and the tone of my voice.”

The couple have heard outside opinions about their relationship since their season premiered in March, but the noise has only strengthened their bond.

“Had we not felt super strong about our relationship, the online bullying and the harassment and all of that could totally break a relationship. And we’re just so thankful that this is my rock and there’s no shaking this foundation,” Vinny said.

The Amazing Race’s Vinny Says His and Amber’s Fights Were Taken ‘Really Out of Context’

Amber Craven and Vinny Cagungun.
Yuri Hasegawa/CBS

“I think seeing the race live has made us grow exponentially,” Amber added. “Social media can be ugly, so (it’s all about) just being each other’s rock and just knowing who we are as a couple and just getting through it. And I really think we can get through anything in life.”

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Although Amber joked that “the haters actually fueled” her, she also shared what she wishes people knew about Vinny.

“He has a really big heart and people that know him understand how he can be perceived or his delivery and all that, but they know he means well,” she said. “He is the one that actually told me to help (Amazing Race competitor) Angie (Butler) at the roadblock, but they don’t show that. He’s like, ‘You can’t leave Angie.’ And so, people call him a narcissist and I’m just like, I don’t think a narcissist would do that. They don’t have that type of empathy. And I’ve seen how he is with strangers on the street, coworkers, his patients, and I wish that people could see that side of him.”

Vinny added that he wanted to be authentic on the show to “normalize” the struggles that couples go through.

The Amazing Race’s Vinny Says His and Amber’s Fights Were Taken ‘Really Out of Context’
CBS

“I think that is the most beautiful part about this journey and about us as a team is that we just want to show who we are,” he said. “Let the world know that it ain’t perfect all the time. It does get messy.”

Vinny proposed to Amber during the season finale right after host Phil Keoghan told them they’d been eliminated. (Ricky Rotandi and Cesar Aldrete won the $1 million grand prize later in the episode.) Throughout the competition, Vinny hid his grandmother’s diamond ring that had been “passed down from generation to generation” in his and Amber’s shared backpack.

“Throughout the entire race I told myself, I don’t know when I’m going to do it, but I do know that I am going to do it,” Vinny said. “Because I have my own commitment issues that I’ve always been navigating, have gone through many failed relationships and learned a lot about myself to where I was like, ‘I have to create structure around this and if I don’t, I’ll bail out just like I’ve done before.’”

The twosome are getting married in Cabo in November and the entire season 36 cast will be in attendance.

“It’s going to be such a celebration of love,” Vinny said. “We’re really, really excited.”

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