“I Drank So Much!” – Reality News Online’s Exclusive Interview with The Amazing Race 18's Margie & Luke
by Teeuwynn Woodruff
Margie & Luke (right) have a great mother-son dynamic. They were flying through the race until they hit the Tea Roadblock of Doom. How long was Luke at the Roadblock? Did he have to drink every cup of tea? What did they think were the best and worst parts of The Amazing Race? And what brilliant idea did Margie have that could have saved them from elimination? All this and more inside.
Reality News Online: Hello, Margie and Luke. What's been going on with you since the last time you were on the race?
Luke: I have been doing a bit of traveling and now am thinking about going back to grad school. I actually dropped out of grad school two years ago to run The Amazing Race.
Margie: I have a new love in my life, a man I knew growing up - he found me on Facebook and the only reason I was on Facebook was because Luke set up an account after we did Season 14 – so thank you Amazing Race.
RNO: Congratulations, Margie! Going into this race, did you approach it any differently than you did your first race?
Luke: We brought a much smaller backpack with us this time. It was so much easier to running around with it on our backs.
Margie: When we were told we were going to be on Season 18, Luke and I got a personal trainer. We wanted to work on upper body strength and endurance. We knew getting a second chance was not going to be easy.
RNO: Margie, do you ever get accused of being super woman?
Margie: Actually, it is the Bionic Woman. Phil started calling me that on season 18, so every now and then someone will refer to me as that.
RNO: Do you know how far behind Flight Time & Big Easy you got to the Pit Stop?
Luke: I have no idea. Maybe twenty minutes? We weren't too far behind them when we finished the Ganesha Detour.
RNO: Did you have the slightest inkling the tea you drank in China might be important later on?
Luke: No way! Because on our original season, I had to drink tea after a foot massage and it didn't play a part afterward, so I just thought it's like a Chinese ritual. Apparently, I should have paid attention closely!
Margie: We didn't think about it – silly us.
RNO: The Roadblock looked really hard. Luke, what was your strategy to find the right tea?
Luke: It was complete pure luck. Everybody was pretty much just grabbing teas randomly.
RNO: Did you try to use the fruit smells to help you?
Luke: I actually tried smelling. All the teas smelled similar so it wasn't helping very much.
RNO: How long were you searching for the correct tea?
Luke: Four hours.
RNO: Did you have to drink each cup of tea – or just taste it?
Luke: Drink! That's why I was having a hard time with it. I drank so much! Crazy.
RNO: How many cups do you think you drank?
Luke: I have no idea. There were over 1,500 teacups. I drank as fast as I could so maybe 300-400 teacups?
RNO: Yikes! I saw Mallory leave the Chinese tea tasting place with a wheel of the tea. Did you get to keep that?
Luke: No. If we could keep it, I wouldn't want to keep it! We had to give it to the man on stage. Part of the ritual, I guess.
Margie: No, you had to give it back and it smelled so good. I am sure Luke was not disappointed to turn it in.
RNO: When you carried a tray full of cups up to the judge, was that a brilliant idea come too late, or did the crew allow you to bend the rules to speed up the task?
Luke: The credit goes to my mom! That was a brilliant idea. If only we thought about that like a half hour earlier, we would have been able to beat the Globetrotters to the Pit Stop! [It came] a little bit too late.
RNO: Luke, what was your response when you saw the attendants all clapping for you to continue in the task – and what did it feel like when they cheered for you and lifted you up at the end?
Luke: That was really nice of them! So sweet. That's one of my favorite moments on The Amazing Race.
RNO: How did it feel when Luke finally finished the Roadblock?
Luke: I was so thrilled that I was able to finish it. It was the most brutal challenge in my entire life, but I finished it.
Margie: I was so proud of him for completing the task, I never could have done it.
RNO: Margie, we saw the tears in your eyes, but what was it like having to watch Luke struggle – especially after you went through the same thing in Hawaii?
Margie: This felt different from when we were in Hawaii. Luke was drinking tea for 4 hours, and there was a point I wanted him to quit, but he said no. Then when he was not sure he could complete the task I knew he would never forgive himself if he did not finish. He continued to drink until he found it. I think he was in shock when the judge said "Yes," he didn't react for a minute.
RNO: Looking back, what have you learned between your frustrating experience in Hawaii and, now, your experience in India?
Luke: Not giving up!! That's one thing for sure!
RNO: What was it like being driven around in Calcutta traffic?
Luke: It was crazy that our cab driver drove on the train track! That was scary!
Margie: Like Zev said, "CAL CRAZY!" I do not think I have ever been so scared in a car in my life.
RNO: Earlier in the race, Kent & Vyxsin missed a crucial flight and received a 30-minute penalty. Do you think that was fair?
Margie: That was not for us to determine. It is what it is – lucky them.
Luke: I adore Kent & Vyxsin. Actually, that was a rule that we had to take the required flight. They left the Pit Stop 30 minutes ahead of us and we still made it on that flight, so it made no sense that they missed it. I think they should have gotten a stiffer time penalty. I just feel bad for Jaime & Cara for being U-Turned by Kent & Vyxsin – the girls didn't deserve that.
RNO: You've been on the race twice now. What is the best and worst thing about going on the race?
Luke: The best part was seeing the world with my mom. That's something I will remember for the rest of my life. The worst part would be the tea AND the surfboard [Roadblocks]. I'm proud of myself for not giving up, though.
Margie: The best, meeting the other racers, both seasons had such fantastic people and also seeing such cool places with my son. The worst: Not being able to shower every day!
RNO: Is there anything else you want to tell us about your experiences on the race?
Luke: Visit other countries when you can! It's really amazing! I'm actually going back to Australia early next year, so I am really excited that I will be able to explore Australia at a slow pace!
Margie: Being on the race with Luke has given the world a little glimpse of what it is like to be deaf – the obstacles, challenges, frustrations, discrimination, and, mostly, the rewards.
We receive emails and Facebook posts every day talking about what an inspiration Luke has been to people, not only in the deaf community, but to hearing people as well. We have people come up to us or message us saying they learned the manual alphabet so they can finger spell if they ever meet a deaf person, or that they are following their dream to become an interpreter for the deaf, or that they are taking a sign language class so they can communicate with their deaf child. How cool is that!
RNO: That’s very cool! And thank you so much for talking to me today. http://www.realitynewsonline.com/cgi-bin/ae.pl?mode=4&article=article12400.art&page=1