Jim and Misti Raman spent three weeks racing across the world in pursuit of $1 million. Tonight, the world will find out if the married Columbia dentists win the grand prize on “The Amazing Race.”
Since returning from the race, the Ramans have been back to their normal routine, seeing patients and raising their children, all while gathering friends and family once a week to watch the show, giving loved ones a peek into the adventure that will conclude on WLTX tonight at 8 p.m. We know they’ve made it to the final leg of the race, which begins in the Philippines and ends in Los Angeles, but fans of the dentists and their bright white smiles will have to tune in to see if they will end the 26,000-mile race with a million-dollar check.
The couple have been dominant in the race, finishing first in five of the 11 legs of the race we’ve seen on the show so far and having the highest average placing among all the teams. And while they “didn’t sign up for ‘The Amazing Race’ to make friends,” they couldn’t help but get along with some of their stiffest competition.
The “Soul Surfers,” Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks, were seen by the dentists as their biggest competition and closest friends on the race, Jim Raman said. They also became friendly with professional wrestlers Brooke Adams and Rob “Robbie E” Strauss. Both teams, as well as scientists Maya Warren and Amy DeJong, made it to the final leg of the race.
Jim and Misti Raman start the last leg in third place of four teams, racing from Fort San Diego in Manila to the finish line in Los Angeles. Most of the Ramans’ friends and family are convinced they will win, Jim Raman said, but neither of the two have given up any information about the final results.
“Everyone’s been trying to figure it out, but nobody knows – our parents don’t know, our kids don’t know – but they’re always guessing,” Jim Raman said. “We’ll say one thing and they’ll say ‘You definitely won,’ and then we’ll say another thing and they’ll say ‘Oh, you came in second.’ ... I thought my facial expressions and emotions might give it away but nobody has any clue.”
With their strong performance in the race so far, the Ramans have become mini-celebrities in Columbia and beyond. Fans of the show approach them at the grocery store and other public places; when the couple was in Las Vegas earlier during the season, they took “at least 50 pictures” with “Amazing Race” fans. The new-found fame has been strange, but fun, Jim Raman said.
“People just walk up to you and start talking to you and address you by your first name like they know you,” he said. “Our 15 minutes (of fame) is about to end Friday night, but it’s been fun.”