Monday, November 29, 2004
Amazing Race's Brooklyn Bombers
by Ethan Alter
Someone's always got to be the first eliminated on The Amazing Race (Tuesdays, 10 pm/ET on CBS). Last week, that "honor" fell to Brooklyn boys Avi and Joe. Here, the duo explain their globe-trotting strategy, pick their favorites and take an obligatory swipe at the New York Yankees.
TV Guide Online: As a fellow Brooklynite, I've gotta say, you let our borough down!
Joe: We know, and we've had three months to accept it. But we'd do it again tomorrow, even with the same results. All I'll say is that it's a good thing we grew up hardcore Mets fans. Besides being predetermined to disappointment, thanks to the Yankees, we're now only the second-worst choke job by a New York team this year. (Laughs)
TVGO: Was there an interborough rivalry going on between you and the Queens girls, Maria and Meredith?
Avi: We got along great with them. Remember that scene in the premiere where we pull up next to them in the car? What they didn't show is that Maria gave me the finger. It was cool, because that's how New Yorkers are. It's almost like saying hello. I actually watched the premiere with them and I'm going to see the next episode with them as well. They're both Yankees fans, so we've got the whole borough and baseball rivalry going.
TVGO: Let's talk strategy. Why did you opt for the slower Detour, then take back roads to the pit stop?
Avi: There's a couple of things you don't see on the show. First of all, Joe sprained his wrist before we left on the race.
Since we're both big fans of the show, we knew that anyone who gets injured on the race gets eliminated. So we figured that since we had a big lead, we didn't have to choose a challenge that might hurt his wrist. We also chose the iceberg search because it was located right across the street from the clue box, while the ice climb was 35 miles away. You don't know at the time whether its 35 miles closer to the pit stop or 35 miles further away. As for the back roads thing, according to the map, the roads rejoined the highway at the road the Blue Lagoon was on. Unfortunately, the map really wasn't to scale and it didn't show that the roads went up into the mountains. So at certain points we had to slow down and even stop.
TVGO: Iceland seemed like a difficult country to navigate anyway.
Joe: Yeah, they're not very big on signs in that country.
Avi: Like in Brooklyn, there's only one main road. We've got the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn and they've got the Ring Road in Iceland. But the Ring Road ain't no Belt Parkway.
Joe: Highway 1 would split off into two other 1's. At one point, we actually stopped and asked directions and they looked at us — two guys with matching orange backpacks who obviously don't belong — and they're like, "Tell me, you are on that show? You are racing for a million dollars, right?"TVGO: Is Jonathan as annoying in real life as he is on the show?
Avi: I would say twice as annoying.Joe: If CBS wanted to build the ultimate reality contestant, they should put Jonathan's head on Lori's body. And then you have that sing, "New York Jews in Iceland!" Actually, Jonathan's been very good to us. He was very concerned for us the first time he saw us after our elimination. And he treated my wife and [me] to a lovely day at his spa a few weeks ago. But let me put it this way: Victoria should be up for sainthood, and this is coming from a Jew.
TVGO: Did you bond with any of the teams?
Joe: Aaron and Hayden were very cool to us. We had kind of clicked with them a little bit on the boat, on the way to the starting line. We overheard that Aaron knew Chicago very well. As soon as we got our bags, they actually waited for us to join them! Beyond that, we got along well with everybody. We had a really great cast. I mean Bolo and Lori are great characters. You know, Bolo's a surprising guy — with a neck that thick, he actually can turn that thing left and right. You wouldn't expect that, looking at him. We were a little surprised that a guy with rubber bands in his head came in ahead of us. We like Rebecca and Adam and were rooting for them a bit, being the other Jewish team. But c'mon, we killed ourselves for six weeks shopping at L.L. Bean and this guy shopped at Staples to prepare!
TVGO: Since you're such big fans of the show, did you have to keep pinching yourselves to make sure you weren't dreaming?
Joe: Absolutely. When we were in the tent on that glacier, I was like, "Avi, do you realize that we're holding an Amazing Race clue in our hands?" What an incredible opportunity. You have the chance to go on an amazing adventure, all expenses paid, and you get four times the prize money of The Apprentice without having to kiss Trump's tuchus.
TVGO: If you ran the race over, what would you do differently?
Joe: I would bring a taller partner because now the midget gimmick has failed twice.
Avi: I would take Joe's advice to heart and follow the tuchus.http://tvguide.com/search/editorial/article.asp?keyword=amazing%20race&articleId=97219