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The Amazing Race’s Derek Says He ‘Didn’t Realize How Much Crap’ Wife Shelisa Gives Him (Exclusive)

The Amazing Race Derek and Shelisa Open Up
Yuri Hasegawa/CBS

The Amazing Race season 36 contestants and married couple Derek and Shelisa Williams got a kick out of watching their dynamic on television.

“She’s really blunt and I didn’t realize how much crap she gives me behind the back,” Derek, 57, exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, April 18, one day after he and Shelisa, 55, were eliminated from the CBS series.

“I guess I didn’t realize that the things I’m thinking in my head, I actually say aloud,” Shelisa added. “But I think it’s funny. It’s the truth. It’s not like I’m lying.”

With over 30 years of marriage under their belts, Derek and Shelisa often said exactly how they felt about each other’s performances on The Amazing Race. During the Wednesday, April 17, episode, Shelisa teased her husband about his throwing skills, suggesting they switch detours after his tosses at a moving target “weren’t even close.” She also congratulated Derek for not giving up on a puzzle — before seeing it herself and deeming it too simple to take so long to complete.

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“I know nothing but to be honest, and sometimes, my honesty is maybe a little too brutal, but I just feel it’s needed,” Shelisa told Us. “Like, ‘OK, you know what? This isn’t working. We need to move on.’”

Although Derek also got some playful jabs in during his time on the show, he said that his wife is “more of a teaser” than he is.

“This girl loves to laugh at me,” he said. “Maybe I’m just easier to laugh at.” Shelisa noted that she wouldn’t tease Derek if she didn’t think he could take it.

“Derek’s very confident, so sometimes I like to tease him a little to bring him down a notch,” she quipped.

Despite poking fun at each other throughout the competition, Derek and Shelisa enjoyed the extra quality time that the show afforded them.

“[We had] a lot of time together. So, it gave us a chance to kind of just revisit what may have been a gap, because being married for almost 35 years, you kind of take things for granted,” Shelisa said. “Here it’s like, ‘Alright, we’re stuck together. You wanna play some cards?’ It actually gave us a well-needed downtime to kind of regroup and get to appreciate [each other].”

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The Amazing Race Derek and Shelisa Open Up
Kit Karzen/CBS

Derek, meanwhile, felt a renewed sense of admiration for his wife during the competition.

“Going through it, I was like, ‘I really love this girl.’ That was really, really cool,” he said.

Ahead of their elimination on Wednesday, Derek and Shelisa were far enough behind the pack that they didn’t make it to the final detour, which gave contestants a choice between identifying cuts of meat and finding a fingerprint at a fake crime scene. Given that Derek and Shelisa are both retired police officers, they’re sad to have missed out on a challenge so aligned with their skill sets.

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“When we saw that it was the fingerprint [thing], we were like, ‘Man, that’s finally something that was done in our past.’ We would’ve smoked it,” Derek said.

“When we saw the choice, I was like, ‘Oh, we would’ve done so well at fingerprinting,’” Shelisa added.

Although they didn’t win, Derek said that he’s “proud” of his and Shelisa’s performance on the show.

“We didn’t embarrass ourselves,” he said. “People may have laughed at us, but we didn’t embarrass ourselves.”

The Amazing Race airs on CBS Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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