Are Race's Castoffs Fighting Mad?
by Rochell D. Thomas
Lake and Michelle, The Amazing Race
Lake and Michelle of CBS' The Amazing Race (Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET) have been called this season's Jonathan and Victoria. Argumentative. Snappy. They pecked at each other almost right up to the moment they were eliminated in Greece. Married for almost 15 years, the Mississippi dental team — he's a dentist, she's his office assistant — swear they're a lot nicer to each other in real life. No, really.
TVGuide.com: Your accents are so charming — except for when you're mad!
Michelle: When else do you get to hear us talking? [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Speaking of that, Lake, you were really mean to Michelle. At one point in Greece you even said something like, "Bitch, just shut up!" How did you explain that to your children — Gage, 12; Landon, 10; and Cannon, almost 4?
Michelle: I talked to my son last night. He didn't like to see us argue like that. But we've explained to them the amount of stress that you're under, the lack of sleep, the lack of food, and that the situation is just different. They're with us every day, so they know how Lake treats me and how our relationship is. They know we're very much in love and we're committed to them and to our family.
Lake: People might be surprised, but I give Michelle flowers every month, just out of the blue. I got her a new ring last year and a new car for Christmas, just for her to use for herself. I try to do things like that for her. I also try to spend time with her and I make a lot of effort to push her a little harder and try to compensate by doing things that most guys wouldn't do. If you saw The Early Show, that's more along the lines of what we're really like — more calm and loving toward each other. I was hyped up during that first episode.
TVGuide.com: Did the patches you wore on your necks have anything to do with it?
Lake: The patches actually have a side effect of dry mouth. I get dizzy really easily and we didn't know if we'd be upside down on something, so we put those patches on so we wouldn't go out on the first few legs. They last about 24 hours.
TVGuide.com: What has been your weekly Amazing Race viewing ritual?
Lake: We had pretty big parties the first few weeks of the show, then it got to where we couldn't watch the show because we were talking and carrying on throughout the whole thing. Last night we only had 20 or 30 people over.
TVGuide.com: Only 20 or 30?! How many did you have the weeks before?
Lake: We had about 150 the first week, because we really didn't say no to anybody. We told people that if they wanted to come to our house, the doors were open. We only invited 30 to 40, but they brought friends, their friends brought friends... and some people we didn't even know! It was a pretty big shindig.
TVGuide.com: Has the show helped your dental practice?
Lake: Not a huge amount. Everybody talks about it, and some people said they came in because they heard about it and saw us on the Race. It hasn't been hundreds. Probably more like 10 to 20.
TVGuide.com: Michelle, was it your idea to do Amazing Race?
Lake: It was completely her idea. I had seen it a few times, and watched Rob and Amber. I didn't like the Family Edition. If it weren't for her, we wouldn't have been on it, for sure.
TVGuide.com: How did you convince Lake to do it?
Michelle: I just said, "I'm applying for Amazing Race and you're my partner." It looked like I could maybe do some of the things those other people were doing and things you don't get to do every day, especially [when I'm] running errands every day and taking the kids to gymnastics or soccer.
TVGuide.com: Hello, like bungee jumping! I was surprised, Michelle, that you didn't freak out and that you had perfect form. Was that how it really was, or did they edit it that way?
Michelle: I didn't freak out and I had perfect form. I'll be honest, I told myself I had to do it, walked out to the platform and jumped, and that was it. I did not do any of that babylike "I don't want to do it" stuff. This is a race, so I sucked it up.
TVGuide.com: You seem surprised that Barry and Fran outlasted you.
Lake: They shouldn't have. They got lucky, I guess. We felt like we were one of the better teams. When you see someone finishing first or second all the time, you may think, "We're better than them, but we're really not." Between us and MoJo, we thought we were one of the three best teams. If we could beat out MoJo in the final three, we'd be happy. Then if we got lucky, like the Frat Boys did every other leg, maybe we could win.
TVGuide.com: You picked out a hierarchy right away?
Michelle: Yep, after the first two or three legs.
Lake: We felt like the Frat Boys and B.J. and Tyler were two of the stronger teams. Sometimes on the Race, teams get lucky. I didn't think Chip and Kim were that good of a team, and they ended up winning [Amazing Race 5]. MoJo came in there and started tightening up. When it got down to six, we felt we really should beat Fran and Barry. We beat Ray and Yolanda every single time, except once in Brazil. We really liked our chances for getting into the third spot.
Michelle: It didn't work out that way. Us going out was a huge surprise.
TVGuide.com: Whom do you put as the winner of the remaining teams?
Michelle: We don't care. Good luck to everybody.link