Exclusive Interview: John Vito and Jill, First Team Eliminated on The Amazing Race All-Stars
February 20, 2007
John Vito Pietanza and Jill Aquilino became the first casualties of CBS's The Amazing Race: All Stars during the show's premiere on Sunday. America was reintroduced to 11 of the most recognizable and infamous teams from The Amazing Race's first ten seasons in what will surely be one the show's best seasons yet. John and Jill, who first competed in the third season of the show while dating, have since separated and competed on All-Stars as just friends. They were kind enough to spend a few minutes talking to us at BuddyTV about their time on the show.
When were you two first contacted about Amazing Race: All Stars?
John Vito: I think it was towards the end of the summer.
Jill: Yeah it was right around sometime in the beginning of August that they gave us a call.
What were your first thoughts when you were offered a spot on Amazing Race: All Stars?
John Vito: I think it was a little different this time for me, just because Iím at a different point in my career, so just to take the time off of work was my only concern. But itís a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to run The Amazing Race and to be offered this opportunity twice, I really couldnít turn it down. So, as long as I was okay to leave work for that time, I was definitely on board. And I was looking forward to doing it with Jill, of course.
Jill: Same here, same here.
What were your general impressions, any teams that stood out during your time on the show?
Jill: I honestly think that all the teams were great teams and they all have different aspects that make them great and great for being in the All Stars and we learned that you canít underestimate anyone. Like, our season I think a lot of people underestimated Terry and Ian and they did fantastic our season. We know you canít underestimate anyone and they all have really great qualities that make them stand out. So, we were concerned about all the teams but our main concern was really on how much luck we would have on this race and you know, whether we would end up beating each other and in this case we happened to have some bad luck, which happens.
Was there any difference, changes in production from Season 3 to All Stars?
John Vito: Well I think that since we were only there for one leg itís a little difficult for us to gauge that, but the first leg was just much more difficult than Race 3 and more stressful. I mean itís been four years since we were on it, so maybe I just donít remember the intensity of Race 3 but I just think that the drive that leads the girls to the pit stop or to the detour, it was one of the most brutal experiences Iíve ever gone through. You know, it was 13,000 feet above sea level so there was altitude sickness, the road was very bumpy and, you know, because theyíre trying to squeeze all the teams into the first episode, you really donít get a feel for it watching it on television, but it was much more difficult than the previous race.
Jill: It was also different in that as soon as we started, we were already getting recognized, everyone was getting recognized. So that was totally different because the first time we did it, no oneís recognizable. So it was a totally different experience all the way around.
When you guys were finishing up that last detour, did you think there was a possibility that you werenít last?
Jill: Yeah of course, I mean we knew that there was a very strong possibility we were in last but we were trying to remain positive because weíve all seen the episodes, itís very likely that somebody else is in a worse predicament than you so we kept our confidence because we didnít know for sure and it unfortunately didnít work in our favor but if youíre stressed the whole time knowing that you never know.
John Vito: Yeah, we were very lost and we thought that we were going to lose by a pretty wide margin and I think we only wound up coming in about 20 minutes behind Kevin and Drew, and so apparently they encountered some problems on the way also, so you always have to keep going and hope for the best.
What do each of you have in store for the future?
John Vito: Iím just back to work and you know, Iím going to enjoy the rest of the season and watch what I missed on television.
Jill: Yeah, me too. Weíve heard all about it but itís totally different when you actually get to see how it gets edited and unfolds on TV so weíre looking forward to that.
John Vito: My favorite part of being on The Amazing Race 3 was all the great places we got to visit. I think itís going to be a little difficult watching it, knowing that we had the opportunity to run the race again and, you know, we kind of squandered our opportunity by being first eliminated but itís just the way the game works. I think weíre just fortunate that the past ten seasons thereís been a team that was eliminated first, that didnít really get to experience the entire race. So at least we still have our memories from race 3 where we made it pretty far. So it kind of softens the blow of going out first on All Stars.
How difficult is it not telling anyone who won?
Jill: I think it was more difficult not telling anyone we got eliminated. I think everyone was expecting us to do really well and I know standing on that mat when we got eliminated, the hardest thing for me was I felt like I had let down and disappointed everyone I knew, including Jon Vito, my family, my friends, work, everybody. It was a tough pill to swallow, but it just wasnít our time. buddytv