Not only do Brian and Mika Kleinschmidt make dreams come true on 100 Day Dream Home, but they also made their own dream come true! Their fairytale romance started back in their childhood when Brian could barely get up the courage to ask Mika to the homecoming dance. (She turned him down.) But before they reconnected to become the dreamy HGTV couple we know them as today, Brian was married to his first wife, Ericka Dunlap.
Although many of us are more familiar with Brian from 100 Day Dream Home, this isn’t the first time he’s been on our screens. Brian grew up doing community theater and still performs when he can, so he did whatever he could to break into the industry.
Brian and his first wife, Ericka, were actually on the 15th season of The Amazing Race in 2009. We know the two didn’t last, but Ericka is an icon in her own right.
Brian Kleinschmidt and his first wife, Ericka, broke ‘The Amazing Race’ records.
While Brian and Mika are now a perfect couple on 100 Day Dream Home, Brian and his first wife, Ericka, were a record-breaking couple. The two were the first interracial married couple to appear on the U.S. version of The Amazing Race.
Brian and Ericka’s official cast bio says, “They have a singular game plan in mind — to win over the hearts and minds of The Amazing Race audience by proving that true love is color blind.” They also were the youngest married couple on the show at the time at only 27 years old, and they were also the first coed couple to finish the race without winning a leg.
Ericka Dunlap, Brian’s first wife, was well-known before she met Brian.
Ericka was a star in her own right before becoming Brian’s first wife. Ericka studied at the University of Central Florida, and while there, she was the first African-American to be crowned Miss Florida. She then went on to win Miss America in 2004.
Because being Miss America gave her a platform to speak out on many issues, Ericka has advocated for and educated others on the topics of “Self-Care, Etiquette, Diversity & Inclusion, and Cultural Competency,” according to her website.
She’s now the CEO of Crown Communications Group, which is a consulting firm based in Orlando, while staying active in numerous civic organizations as a “Coach, Mentor, and a Role Model.”
Although things didn’t work out for Brian and his first wife, he seems to be very happy with Mika on ‘100 Day Dream Home.’
Brian and Ericka divorced not too long after being on The Amazing Race, but he claimed that their stint on the show had nothing to do with why their marriage didn’t work out. Brian shared with the Herald Tribune, “[Ericka] had some personal stuff going on and she wanted to take a break from everything. Things work out the way they’re supposed to.”
Clearly that's true! Although Mika turned Brian down for their high school homecoming, the two reconnected 10 years later shortly after Brian’s divorce from his first wife. According to their home design and construction firm, Dirt 2 Design, “This time she said YES! A romance and business were born.”