Name: Brendon Villegas
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Previous Seasons: Season 20
Current occupation: PhD student in biomedical physics at UCLA
Describe what you do: Currently, I am examining post-mortem brain tissue from Alzheimer's disease patients in an effort to correlate the pathology we saw using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging while the patient was still living with the disease. The field itself is tough, since so many individuals have or will have family members that will experience some form of dementia. In my lab at UCLA, we strive to find a biomarker that might be an early indicator at the onset of Alzheimer's disease, in which case we might be able to stop the disease before it heavily progresses.
Biggest mistake you made in your previous season: Not reading a clue properly and heading to the wrong location in the final leg.
Most memorable moment from your first Race: Taking a beautiful detour through the Ngorogoro crater in Tanzania and happening upon a pair of twin baby elephants. One of the baby elephants trumpeted as they walked around our safari jeep. It was one of those moments that we will remember for as long as we are alive.
Favorite place you visited on your first season: Tanzania, Africa.
Why do you want to run the Race again? To win the $1 million so I can buy my beautiful wife a house and also we can… wait for it… have a baby!!! We live in Los Angeles, so this is pretty much what it costs!
How have you changed since the last time you competed? I am married to Rachel and I would like to think that our relationship has grown considerably and we won’t be (knock on wood) arguing nearly as much during the Race!
What are you passionate about? My family and my future children with Rachel. After racing around the world, you quickly realize how much money and possessions can never replace the people you have in your life. I am passionate about my science and trying to do something that will have a positive impact on the world.
People would be surprised to learn: I was a competitive spelling bee kid when I was younger, and I absolutely hated it! I would sit at my house and read thousands and thousands of words and learn their root meanings. I enjoyed learning the words, but hated the competition itself. It is so nerve-racking for a child!
Biggest challenge you and your teammate will face on The Race together: Making sure we are passing the reigns to one another when the time is appropriate and not fighting each other over small things.
Pet peeve about your teammate: Not listening to me. Just kidding! Rachel is an amazing racer and I am lucky to have her as my best friend and partner. Sometimes Rachel and I will both be too anxious in a task and rush, rather than making sure we are doing it correctly. So it is more of a team pet peeve!
What country and place would you most like to visit and why? Africa is somewhere we will always want to go back and visit. What do you hope to accomplish by running The Race (other than winning one million bucks)? Get to make some more memories with my beautiful wife and have a baby after winning the million dollars!
Any strategic changes you will make heading into this Race: We are going to make sure we read our clues carefully and make detour decisions more carefully.
Name: Rachel Reilly
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Previous Seasons: Season 20
Current occupation: Actress, reality TV personality, journalist and owner of Adventures4pets.com
Describe what you do: I compete in reality shows including The Amazing Race and Big Brother, as well as filming other reality lifestyle shows. Most people don't make a habit of doing competitive reality shows, but I keep getting asked back--obviously because I am so entertaining! I train for the shows mentally and physically for hours a day!!! I am going for the title of competitive reality TV tri-athlete, which means I will obviously have to compete on another CBS reality show.
Biggest mistake you made in your previous season: That would be trying to take a cab ride to Hawaii Pacific University. I really just wanted to spend more time in Hawaii, and knew if we won I wouldn't get asked back for another season… so it was a win win!
Most memorable moment from your first Race: The African Safari with my hubby. The romance and splendor of the birth in the African savannah; seeing the little baby twin elephants; witnessing baboons carrying their new born children; and romantic dinners at the end of every leg. Also, trying beers in every country we visited!
Favorite place you visited on your first season: Every place was amazing; it’s hard to pick just one! That’s like asking if I would rather play Big Brother or The Amazing Race again!
Why do you want to run the Race again? My motivation to run the Race again stemmed from my deep need to compete on reality TV. I think that America, and the world, needed to watch another season of #Brenchel going at it! I have to give the fans what they ask for and they really wanted us back. Oh, and Brendon promised me if we win I can have a Brenchel baby!!!!!
How have you changed since the last time you competed? I think I am the same, just more awesome and experienced!! We also got married, so that probably made a difference.
What are you passionate about? Other than being passionate about the hubs... I am passionate about sharing my life with America. Brendon and I fell in love while you were watching, we had our first kiss while you waited to see if we would get voted out of the house, we won money to start a family while you cheered us on, we traveled around the world on an adventure of a life time while you laughed at my tears, we got married and you shed tears with your besties. I love the entertainment industry; from competing on reality TV shows to filming my day to day life and making good TV.
People would be surprised to learn: I am an artist and headband designer! You can buy my designs online. I also paint glass! Biggest challenge you and your teammate will face on The Race together: Brendon and I just love each other too much and we always think the other one is right so it’s hard to make a decision.
Pet peeve about your teammate: My lil' bookie has no flaws; he's perfect in every way!
What country and place would you most like to visit and why? I would like to scuba dive with sharks in the Pacific. You haven't lived until you've swam with sharks!
What do you hope to accomplish by running The Race (other than winning one million bucks)? I would like to have a Race baby, that way when we win the Race and have a baby we can tell them a really cool story about how they came into our lil' #brenchel family!
Any strategic changes you will make heading into this Race: I won't make any changes, since I am so competitive and have never been eliminated. Brendon and I want to have the record of the team never being eliminated… and winning The Amazing Race 24!!!
Watch their cast video!