John Gbenda-Charles and Murray Roeske are a team of Best Mates on The Amazing Race: Australia v New Zealand.

They won 3 of the first 5 legs, and only their forgetting to pay their tuk tuk driver in Cambodia, and Carla & Hereni's Express Pass usage on leg 4, kept them from winning all five of those legs. However, they did tend to make a number of mistakes, most of them due to their lack of genre savviness. Though they were able to power through those mistakes thanks to a little luck in the first five legs, those mistakes piled up and cost them dearly in Kostroma, Russia.


These fun-loving athletes are no strangers to winning; how will they play this competition?

John (35) and Murray (35) – or Raspberry and Coke, as they call themselves – met in their final year of boarding school, while John was on a soccer scholarship and Murray on a rugby scholarship.

The retired professional footballers shared a stint in Hong Kong together, but have spent most of their careers living and working in separate cities around the world. They're relishing this opportunity to focus on their friendship and hopefully nab a victory in the process. "We believe we've got enough skills, fitness and ability to win this, so we have to focus on that. This is our team and our journey," says John.

Murray currently works in the civil infrastructure rebuild of Christchurch – or as John puts it, "he's doing God's work in this world". John manages professional athletes – or as Murray puts it, "he's the black Jerry Maguire".

By their own admission they're different characters, and they don't compete with each other. "We don't like the same kind of girls, we don't dress the same – our differences are our strength," John says.

John, who is Murray's best-mate, was born in West Africa and moved to Wellington with his mum and sister when he was nine. Murray, who is John's, 'second-best-mate', grew up on a farm in Nelson until he was 15.

The two have made a living from being fierce competitors on the sporting field, although it remains to be seen just how seriously the fun-loving larrikins will engage in competition on the Race.

Game face aside, Murray says, "I‟m sure we'll make some friends, I've been making friends since 1978."

The Amazing Race: Australia v New Zealand

Race History

John & Murray's Race History
Episode Leg Destination(s) Detour Choice
Placement Notes
1 1 Australia → New Zealand No Detour Murray 1 of 10
2 2 New Zealand → Cambodia Shrimp / Shoot Used Express Pass 2 of 9ϵ [1]
3 3 Cambodia → Thailand Climb Up / Drill Down Murray 1 of 8
4 4 Thailand → Namibia Pipe / Poo John 2 of 7
5 5 Namibia → Russia Cossack / Coat Rack Murray 1 of 6
6 6 Russia Boil / Build John 6 of 6 [2]
Average 2.17
     The team finished in first place
     The team finished in last place and was eliminated from the race
     The team finished in last place in a non-elimination leg
     The team that won The Amazing Race
     The team that crossed the Finish Line second
     The team that crossed the Finish Line third
The team used the Fast Forward pass
ϵ The team used the Express Pass somewhere during the leg
The team used the U-Turn
Recipient of the U-Turn
The team used the Salvage Pass


1: John & Murray were subject to several placement changes on the 2nd leg:

  • They overslept and missed their departure time by 1 hour, departing in 5th place instead of 1st.
  • They used their Express Pass to bypass the Roadblock in Leg 2. Neither had opted to perform the Roadblock, so this is not counted in their total.
  • They initially arrived 1st, but could not be checked in as they didn't pay their tuk-tuk driver. By the time they paid it and returned to the mat, Emily & Jono arrived, dropping them to 2nd place.

2: Daniel & Ryan chose not to use their Salvage Pass to save John & Murray, who came in last, eliminating them.


Franchise Records

  • Highest average placement for a team that finished 6th, at 2.17.
  • Most legs won by a team of racers from New Zealand, with 3.

Australia Records

  • Highest racing average of a team who competed on the Seven Network incarnation of The Amazing Race Australia, at 2.17.

External links



The Amazing Race: Australia v New Zealand Teams
AUS3 AshleighJarrod.jpg
 Aston & Christie
Feisty Friends
AUS3 AstonChristie.jpg
 Carla & Hereni
Fitness Mums
AUS3 CarlaHereni.jpg
 Cat & Jesse
Foster Parents
AUS3 CatJesse.jpg
 Daniel & Ryan
Intensive Care Nurses
AUS3 DanielRyan.jpg
 Elizabeth & Todd
AUS3 ElizabethTodd.jpg
 Emily & Jono
AUS3 EmilyJono.jpg
 Inga & Tiharna
Pageant Models
AUS3 IngaTiharna.jpg
 John & Murray
Best Mates
AUS3 JohnMurray.jpg
 Sally & Tyson
Dating Bodybuilders
AUS3 SallyTyson.jpg
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