This article appears in the May 2011 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.
Amazing Race participants Vyxsin Fiala and Kent Kaliber have survived two grueling trips around the world together. They made their first appearance on the show in 2007, got eliminated and then returned for this season’s “Unfinished Business” edition, airing at 8 p.m. Sundays on CBS and wrapping this month. “I think (doing a reality show) is a good litmus test for any relationship,” Fiala says.
Today, within a half-hour of our first meeting, the two are in a spat. Fiala pretends to tease Kaliber’s hair with a comb as they pose for a picture for the KET show Louisville Life. Kaliber thinks she’s messing it up and bluntly says so, which frustrates Fiala, who walks out of the shot. Five minutes later, though, they’re smiling for another picture with their arms around each other like nothing ever happened. “Sometimes we scrap like brother and sister, but we’re such kindred spirits. We know it’s not personal,” Fiala says. They often finish each other’s thoughts or say things at the same time. “We’d love to have our own reality show,” they both say, almost in unison.
Fiala and Kaliber, who don’t like discussing their age, met four years ago in front of Kaleidoscope Hair Salon on Bardstown Road. Kaliber was handing out fliers, promoting a music show. “He told me I should check out the concert and I was like, ‘Maybe later. Right now, I’m checking you out,’” Fiala recalls. The couple decided to try out for Amazing Race a few months into the relationship.
When they got home to Louisville, modeling agencies were calling. Soon, the couple moved to Los Angeles and started landing modeling gigs for the store Hot Topic and Gothic Beauty magazine, to name two. “I haven’t waited tables since moving,” Kaliber says.
And in case you’re wondering, the whole pink-and-black color scheme wasn’t just a gimmick to get on TV. Fiala started playing with hair color in high school, and Kaliber has been wearing eyeliner for years. “We’re kind of like real-life cartoon characters,” he says.