Q&A With Dave
(Before the complaints come in, we weren't asking Dave questions meant for Steve - we had one questionnaire for both of them.)
What attracted you to the show?
They promised us free doughnuts at every pit stop. Liars.
What were your goals for the race?
We wanted to avoid finishing last, looking stupid, and doing something that would get the internet boards hating us. I guess one for three isn’t too bad.
How did you prepare for it?
OK, I guess I’ll take the serious answer on this one. Steve dropped a bunch of weight, I quit smoking, and we did a lot of laps around the building where we both work. In hindsight, we probably should have actually walked or even run those laps, but the limo seemed like a good idea at the time. (Sorry…I couldn’t help the bad joke…)
Did you watch previous seasons of the show and did you learn anything from watching previous racers?
I sure did – I’ve been a fan since episode #1 of season #1.
If yes, what did you bring to the race that you learned from previous races?
I knew that we would probably be bunched up every leg at some point. I also knew that it didn’t make any difference where you finished a given leg, so long as it wasn’t last. We knew that reading and paying attention to the clues was pretty important too – we didn’t want to get halfway into a task and realize we were doing it wrong and had to start over.
Did you have any favorite teams, locations, tasks or moments from previous seasons?
I personally liked Kevin and Drew from season one. I also thought Michael and Kathy from AR3 were pretty cool – until I actually met them and realized how certifiable that dude is! (Just kidding Mike – you’re not TOO loopy.) I loved the South Africa episode, and Shola/Doyin’s reaction to Nelson Mandela’s cell.
That’s one of the things that makes AR so great. Not only do we, the viewers, get treated to some beautiful scenery, but we also get a bit of a history and cultural lesson about the places visited. And those racing get an even bigger lesson, if they’re receptive to it.
Did you have a strategy going in? If so, what was it and how did it evolve as the race went on?
We really had no set strategy, but more of a general feeling about how we wanted to run the race. We didn’t want to be the ‘ugly Americans’, we wanted to enjoy what we were seeing and doing, and we didn’t want to bicker at each other throughout the race. I think we did pretty well with all of them. I know that littering with those tear-off strips has been an issue for some on TWOP, I’m here to tell you that we kept all of ours, and did not litter. In fact, Steve even picked up 3 or 4 of them that other racers had discarded in Venice.
What was your reaction to your competition when you first saw them?
I’ll go through them team-by team for you:
Amanda/Chris: They looked young, athletic, and fun. They were all of those.
Dave/Jeff: I’m finally setting the record straight here – the “Goats” nickname was coined by Steve and I. It refers to their chins. They looked like they were going to be a tough team.
Debra/Steve: We initially thought these two would probably be a lot of fun. Steve has a sneaky sense of humor, and what more needs to be said about Deb except “Ooh-la-la”?
Jon/Al: I don’t know about Steve, but I totally mis-read these two. I initially thought that they looked extremely serious, and had a win-at-all-costs attitude. They’re actually a riot, and Jon even tagged my partner in the face with a cream pie in Gmunden.
Kelly/Jon: I missed on these two as well. They initially struck me as a bit stand-offish. They weren’t. Both are pretty nice, and Kelly can really be funny when she tries.
Millie/Chuck: We thought they would be similar to Amanda and Chris. They were.
Monica/Sheree: Again, I’m giving us credit where due – the nickname “Team Supremes” was ours. We thought they looked like a lot of fun. After the race we found out they thought we looked gay. We dislike them immensely now. (Just kidding – Monica and Sheree are really classy ladies.)
Reichen/Chip: These guys looked way too athletic for Steve and I.
Russell/Cindy: Our nickname for them was “The Socialite and The Pool-boy”. They just didn’t seem to belong together.
Steve/Obviously, the class of the race. Just as obviously, we were wrong.
Steve/Josh: This is the team that Steve and I were closest to, and we sensed that from the word go. They are both great guys.
Tian/Jaree: We called them “Team Cirrus”, as in the cloud type. From far away they look rather pretty, but when you get up close you realize they’re mostly just air.
Dave, having been active on message boards before the race, how did it feel to have the tables turned on you?
I owe a lot of people from Survivor, Amazing Race, and a few other reality shows BIG apologies. Personally I’m thick-skinned enough that the insults and negative “feedback” don’t bother me too much. What I find most troubling is the mistaken impressions that viewers get due to editing. I’ve seen a lot of comments about my fellow racers that are based on faulty premises due to what was shown vs. what remained un-shown. Remember, the producers are trying to tell a story. Editing helps.
How did you feel about comments made about your team on websites - especially in regards to the "slashing tires" comment?
It wasn’t MY comment. I was back at our car looking for a tire iron to break their windows. Really, the negative comments really don’t bother me much. The folks making them don’t know me, don’t know Steve, and have no idea what lead up to the “check your tires” (note: no tire slashing was mentioned) statement. Suffice it to say that Steve and I weren’t the first or only team to talk to T/J & C/R about their choice of parking spots, and we certainly didn’t approach them with the intent to cause an argument. We tried to be polite, but the scene degenerated rapidly.
How serious were you when you warned Tian and Jaree about their tires?
Yea Steve, how serious were you? Honestly though, how serious could he have been? We had no means available to slash/harm anyone’s tires. About the best we could manage was to rotate their tires. We had made up a lot of ground in the Le Mans to Marseilles drive. We left Le Mans last, and got to Marseilles in (what we thought was) third (but was actually fifth). We had no idea how many cars would be allowed into the docks at a given time, and had no evidence that either of those teams had been there when they claimed. Furthermore, we were told by the dock security to park where we did – neither of the teams in question was willing to provide any evidence that they had been told to park where they were. Finally, our attempts at reason were met with hostility from Tian. I’ll let Steve take it from there…
No other season of TAR has aired so many disagreements about places in line and cutting. What was your impression of those incidents?
Hey, if that’s the most ‘drama’ you have, that’s what you air. Since the original “line cut” was ours (although I maintain to this day that getting another team to buy tickets is not cutting), I wasn’t surprised that Monica/Sheree were pretty steamed – I probably would have been were I in their position. What I was surprised at were the reactions by two teams that were never affected by that incident.
In your interview with Fans of Reality TV, you mentioned that you when you were asking Steve and Josh to purchase tickets for you, you had planned on that move not only helping you out, but also "screwing over" Reichen and Chip. Had you already picked them as a team to beat?
We did an interview with FORT? Dang, I like that site. I think that “screwing over” is a bit strong. If we (or just me) used it before, it wasn’t meant to sound as strong as it does. Yes, we thought that Chip and Reichen were going to be a strong team. Heck, just look at them! Our ticket-buying ploy was originally designed to target them, although not just because we thought they were a team to beat. We noticed them trying to cut ahead of the line at the SwissAir counter (similar to what they had tried to do at Lufthansa), and we figured that we might try a little sneakiness of our own. Once they (C/R) told us that they were going to get tickets and we weren’t, we put the plan in motion. Unfortunately it ended up costing Monica and Sheree.
Do you think that move helped set a tone that continued through your time on the race? (i.e. - disagreements about places in line and so forth)
It shouldn’t have, but it probably did. Again, I maintain that having a team purchase tickets for you is not cutting in line – it’s just a strategic move. It had been done before on previous Amazing Races, and didn’t seem to overly bother people then. For some reason, this time it was viewed as a personal affront by at least one team that was never affected by it. And that team then used the incident to justify their own actions later. Those actions then led to disagreements, which lead to other actions, and so on…
How much did the knee injury figure into you choosing to take the fast forward in Venice?
In my mind it was THE determining factor.
How fun was that fast forward?
Quite fun, and rather funny as well. Of course, since the street performers only spoke Italian and Steve and I spoke only English, they could have been calling us “beer swilling jackanapes”, and we would have yucked it up anyhow.
You weren't really shown as having any alliances (beyond that first airplane ticket purchase). Were you close to any teams during the race?
Yes. We were actually in a five-team alliance that was formed in Milan. However, our alliance was only to have lasted to the final five, at which time our core alliance with Steve and Josh would have taken over. Unfortunately, we never got to put it to the test…
It seemed like leg after leg, we all thought you guys were in last, but you somehow pulled it out. Did you feel like you were constantly on the edge of elimination?
We were 100% convinced we were last as we arrived in Gmunden. On the train from Vienna, we had searched for any other teams (particularly Cindy & Russell, who had jumped immediately before Steve) and seen no one. Since all the teams had been navigating by train/subway all that leg, we didn’t figure that anyone would screw up on the last train ride of the day. Thank heavens for Gmund, Germany. In the leg ending in St. Remy we knew we were OK for some reason. We didn’t think we were next-to-last, but we were pretty sure we weren’t last. And with all the bad luck we had on the final leg, we again thought we were doomed.
In the first episode, there was a shot of you guys in the airport without your packs - did you check them? It seems most racers don't - did you think it would gain you an advantage?
The only time we checked our packs was on the Paris-Amsterdam flight (more of the bad luck on that leg), when the ticketing agent made us. They wouldn’t allow us to carry the packs on because they were overweight, and they also wouldn’t let our crew carry on their equipment for the same reason. I don’t remember the scene in question, but we did occasionally set our packs down and walk around the airport(s) we were in.
What were the pit stops like? Was there really enough time to eat/sleep/mingle as is shown?
Yes, there is some time to mingle. Twelve hours goes by pretty quickly though, so there isn’t a whole lot of it. The pit stops seemed to me to be very rushed, but then again we were rather tired at most of them.
What's your favorite pit stop memory?
Jon (the Clowns) tagging Steve with a cream pie in Gmunden. We spent about half an hour cleaning up whipped cream from the walls, the seats, the tables, the floor, and even the ceiling! Steve went to clean up and came back with his hair done up with a spike in front ala “There’s Something About Mary”.
What was your favorite race moment that didn't make it to TV?
Floor Cake. On the bus ride from Milan to Cortina, Geezer discovered a snack cake of unknown vintage lying on the floor of the bus. It was still wrapped, but it looked as though it might have been part of a G.I.’s K-Rations in WWII. He opened it and began to eat it! The best part was when Chuck asked him if he’d share, and they BOTH ate the damn thing! We laughed for hours about floor cake.
What was the toughest part of the race for you?
Falling off of the mountain in Cortina was undoubtedly the toughest AND most painful part of the race. The Philimination was a close second, though.
In your pre-race questionnaire, you were asked to list each other's strengths and weaknesses. Having gone through the race, would you change anything about those answers?
Nope – we still have no obvious strengths, and plenty of weaknesses.
What's up with your near-miss high fives? After watching your last leg, are you sad you didn't get to do a near-miss high poo five?
We’ve been doing that for years. We miss (intentionally) on top, and then hit on the bottom. I find it surprising that so many people tried to read something into it – it’s just something we do! It doesn’t ‘mean’ anything, or even have any special significance. Digging in cow dung was NEVER an option. On the ride to the cheese, we even talked about how much cow shit we might have to dig through. All we knew was that it would be a stack of cow dung 15 feet high, with more being added on top. A pile that high would have been probably as wide at the base as it was tall – and we didn’t fancy digging up to 7 feet into the pile to find the clue, with more shit being poured on us from above. Who knew that the clues would be within a single cow flop of the surface?
What have you been up to since race?
Moving airplanes, mostly. I still find time to read most of the message boards though, and Steve and I are keeping a list of people who had better check their tires before they leave tonight because…uh, sorry about that.
Dave, how's the knee?
As of this minute, it’s still attached. I really ought to go to my doctor and have it checked out, because it still gives me problems. However, I’ve always been from the school of thought that says, “don’t ask the question if you can’t handle the answer”. I’m not asking.
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[Thanks to CBS's PR Department for arranging this interview.]