Reality Fan Forum - The Amazing Race Spoilers - Big Brother Live Feed Updates - Survivor Spoilers - Reality TV Spoilers - Big Brother Spoilers

The Amazing Race => The Racers => Topic started by: georgiapeach on January 26, 2009, 08:42:13 AM

Title: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on January 26, 2009, 08:42:13 AM
Mel White (68); Mike White (38)
Hometown: Lynchburg, Va / Santa Monica, Calif..
Occupation: Mel (Writer, Clergyman); Mike (Writer, Producer, Actor);
Relationship: Father/Son

Mike and Mel had a pretty typical family life until Mike was 11 years old, which is when Mel told the family that he was gay. Mel and Mike’s mother remained married until Mike and his sister, Erinn, went to college. Mel is now married to his life partner of 27 years, Gary Nixon.

Mike works as a writer, director and actor in Los Angeles. His writing credits include the feature films "Nacho Libre" and "School of Rock," in which he also starred opposite Jack Black and Sarah Silverman, as well as the television series "Pasadena." Mike and Mel are eager to spend some quality time racing around the globe. Mike describes himself as entertaining, thoughtful and “ridiculously pale.” These two might not be the most physical team on the Race, but they’ll surely compensate with their wit and communication skills.

Mel, a gay-rights activist, has worked as a writer, professor, filmmaker and a pastor and is eager to have a once in a lifetime experience with his youngest child. He’s confident that his people skills will give him an advantage over some of the other Racers. He describes himself as energetic, caring and passionate and enjoys scuba diving and racquetball. When asked who he would model his style of game play after, he pointed to Season 7 winners Uchenna and Joyce, while Mike will model his game play after the "never say die" attitude of Charla and Mirna.

Mike and Mel are well-traveled, opinionated and huge fans of the Race.

Watch CBS Videos Online
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Coutzy on January 26, 2009, 09:24:08 AM
The celebrity team of the race, Mike and Mel are a LGBT goldmine for the producers. Unfortunately, the train has already left the station for these two, and I can’t see them making it very far, finishing where I think Nicolas and Donald should have ended up.

Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Jobby on January 26, 2009, 09:25:09 AM
When asked who he would model his style of game play after, he pointed to Season 7 winners Uchenna and Joyce, while Mike will model his game play after the "never say die" attitude of Charla and Mirna.

Every reason to love them. :hearts: (which i normally loathe all-male teams)

BUT, i'm guessing they will be one of the first three teams eliminated. Very big feeling about that.
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on January 26, 2009, 10:37:19 AM
Meet the new teams on 'The Amazing Race'
AP Entertainment Writer

At 68, Mel White is the season's oldest contestant. The gay-rights activist and former speechwriter for Pat Robertson and Billy Graham is teamed up with his 38-year-old son Mike White, the actor-screenwriter who penned such films as "School of Rock" and "Nacho Libre." Despite the frantic pace of the race, Mike insists he didn't bicker much with his dad.

"Compared to some of the other teams, I think we got along like a Hallmark card," he said.
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on January 26, 2009, 10:47:43 AM
Soulfource founder Rev. Dr. Mel White and son Mike White compete in "The Amazing Race" 14
by Brian Juergens
Mel and Mike White

This really IS amazing: gay writer and activist Rev. Dr. Mel White and his son, screenwriter/actor/producer Mike White (who is himself bisexual), are competing together on the next season of The Amazing Race, set to premiere in a few weeks.

Rev. Dr. White was once a ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell before coming out as gay and parting ways with the homophobic evangelical church. (His story is told in the documentary Friends of God and in his book Stranger at the Gate.) He is currently married to his husband, Soulforce co-head Gary Nixon.


White's son, Mike, is known for appearing in movies like the brilliantly unsettling Chuck & Buck (which he also wrote), School of Rock (which he also wrote), and The Good Girl (which he wrote). He also wrote and directed Year of the Dog (starring Molly Shannon) and was one of the forces behind the shortly-lived fan fave series Freaks & Geeks (in which he also briefly appeared).

To have two gay men who are also relatives and who actively work to promote visibility and understanding on the show is really awesome. Let's hope they last!

Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on January 26, 2009, 10:59:49 AM
Oh I LOVe their video! they make me laugh, they are going to be FUN! :hearts:
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on January 26, 2009, 11:40:33 AM
I'm pretty sure this is my favorite team!
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: retard boi on January 26, 2009, 12:27:24 PM
they are so cool  :hearts:
I wish they will do well
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: TARAsia Fan on January 26, 2009, 12:36:10 PM
Mike will give us a lot of one liners while he's in the race. His writing experience practically guarantees this.
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Kiwi Jay on January 26, 2009, 12:42:32 PM
Yep. I love them but I plause them as an early boot. Like all the father and sons!
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on January 26, 2009, 01:09:11 PM
Lynchburg man to appear on ‘The Amazing Race’
By Casey Gillis

Published: January 26, 2009

When “The Amazing Race” premieres next month, Lynchburg will have something to root for.

Hill City resident Mel White, co-founder of the Christian gay-rights organization Soulfource, is running the race with his actor/director/screenwriter son, Mike.

“It was the most glorious, fun time of my life,” said Mel White, who is, at 68 years old, this season’s oldest contestant.

White said he’d never seen the show until recently, but had always heard about it from Mike, an avid fan.

The CBS reality series, now in its 14th season, follows teams of two — usually family members, friends and couples — as they race around the world, competing in various challenges along the way.

During each leg of the race, contestants must participate in two key challenges: a detour, in which they must choose between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons, and a road block, a task that only one team member has to complete.

The last team to check into a predetermined “pit stop” each week is eliminated, and the final team standing wins $1 million.

Other contestants this season include the show’s first deaf contestant, running the race with his mother; a Hawaii-bred stuntman and his jockey brother; and a couple from Martinsville.

White said the trip was an amazing bonding experience for him and Mike, whose writing credits include “The Good Girl,” “Nacho Libre,” “Orange County” and “School of Rock,” in which he also costarred with Jack Black.

“We started out close,” White said. “(But) he is so busy in Hollywood, and I’m so busy with my activism, we maybe see each other six or seven times a year.

“He said, ‘You’ve been wanting quality time, Dad. Well, you’ve gotten what you asked for.’”

Look for Mel and Mike’s reality debut at 8 p.m. Feb. 15.

Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Dånooky on January 26, 2009, 01:54:08 PM
One of the nice teams, though they do seem like a revised version of S3 Dennis & Andrew. And please tell me someone else noticed the relation between this team and S8's Black family...Should be eliminated in the middle episodes
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Kiwi Jay on January 26, 2009, 01:55:48 PM
haha. I watched their video. Really nice!

Mel: I have to play the senile card
I am soooo old can you help me
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on January 26, 2009, 06:23:55 PM
Wow they have the most media coverage .......

Mike White is on 'The Amazing Race'! Look how jazzed he is
Jan 26, 2009, 05:54 PM | by Annie Barrett

Categories: Television

 It's not like I need any extra convincing to watch The Amazing Race, a.k.a. Why The Rest of the World Hates America, Plus: Gross Food! every season. But the casting of writer-director Mike White (pictured, right, totally jazzed) and his gay rights activist dad has me more pumped than ever. Mike, who wrote School of Rock and Nacho Libre and directed 2007's Year of the Dog, assures us that unlike some of the other teams, he and pops "got along like a Hallmark card." Boy better be talkin' 'bout Shoebox!

This Mike White announcement got me thinking. (I know, shocking. Brace yourselves.) If The Amazing Race had a cast of all Hollywood insider-y types, would Larry David not be THE BEST contestant in history? I spent the better part of our Monday meeting daydreaming about how many repetitions of the word "pret-ty..." Larry could get out before a stoic, thick-necked Trans-Siberian Railroad conductor would hurl him down the hatch and into the tundra. I guess real person Larry David wouldn't be as obnoxious as character Larry David, but still. (He could be partnered with Susie Essman!)
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Hooky on January 26, 2009, 06:41:48 PM
I'm SOOOOOO happy the cast is released!  It took a while but it's wonderful now! :yess:

My prediction for this team: 8th Place finish. They will last a little longer than expected, then will be eliminated.
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on January 26, 2009, 07:20:23 PM
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Dånooky on January 26, 2009, 07:42:59 PM
they use mac! <3
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: north09 on January 26, 2009, 08:47:29 PM
 :funny: haha I love Mel & Mike! But agreed, they will go early.
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: patlini on January 26, 2009, 08:50:13 PM
they were on perez hilton today
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Coutzy on January 27, 2009, 02:30:42 AM
haha. I watched their video. Really nice!

Mel: I have to play the senile card
I am soooo old can you help me

Where did we see that before? Perhaps a certain Ikea during a counting detour?
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Ashe on February 03, 2009, 09:49:48 PM
BUT, i'm guessing they will be one of the first three teams eliminated. Very big feeling about that.
Same.  I think Mel's age will hinder him and Mike enough to make them fall behind on at least the second or third leg.  Maybe fourth, if they get lucky enough to get that far.
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: TARdevotee on February 04, 2009, 06:12:01 PM
Sorry if that has already been mentioned, but this team got a Cheers in the Cheers and Jeers section of the newest issue of TV Guide!

"Cheers to Mike White for entering The Amazing Race as a dark horse. The hilarious screenwriter and actor best known for the Jack Black vehicles 'School of Rock' and 'Nacho Libre,' will compete on the new season of CBS' reality show (debuting February 15) with his father, Mel, a clergyman and a gay-rights activist. And even if the Whites don't win, the trip's sure to yield fodder for Mike's next comedy."

Can't wait to see this in action! Unfortunately, this was the only mention in TV Guide. I was hoping for a nice, long article or something being that the show is premiering. Instead, we get the new Survivors asking Jeff Probst a bunch of questions. Anyway, go Mel and Mike!
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on February 04, 2009, 06:49:32 PM
thanks TARdevotee ..fresh off the press

Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Hooky on February 05, 2009, 06:19:59 PM
And please tell me someone else noticed the relation between this team and S8's Black family...

Which is what? ???
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Ashe on February 05, 2009, 08:24:06 PM
And please tell me someone else noticed the relation between this team and S8's Black family...

Which is what? ???
My guess?  The Blacks were black and had the last name Black.  Similarly, Mel & Mike (especially Mike) are white and have the last name White.
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Hooky on February 06, 2009, 06:36:21 PM
I'm such an idiot! :groan: :funny:
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on February 08, 2009, 03:16:56 AM
Delicious White Whine
Mike did 'School of Rock.' Mel worked for Pat Robertson. Now they're an amazing 'Race' team.

Joshua Alston
From the magazine issue dated Feb 16, 2009

The hardest part about watching a reality competition show is learning all the contestants' faces. But for the 14th season of "The Amazing Race," which starts Feb. 15, savvy viewers will have a leg up. One of the competitors is Mike White, the actor-screenwriter best known for "School of Rock." His partner is his father, Mel, the gay-rights activist who, before coming out, was an evangelical minister who ghostwrote books for Billy Graham and Pat Robertson. (Mike is bisexual.) They spoke to NEWSWEEK's Joshua Alston.

Alston: Did any of your rivals recognize you?
Mike White: A couple did, but it didn't necessarily endear me to anyone.

That's what I figured—there would be people thinking, what's he doing here? Shouldn't he be writing a movie or something?
Mike: Yeah, it does slightly put a target on your back because there are moments where people are like "You don't need the money—go home!" But the coolest part about being on the race is that when you see the show, you think everyone is this or that "type," but they are all real people with different dimensions, and I think they realized that about me and my dad just as much as I did about them.

Whose idea was it to do the show?
Mel White:Definitely Michael's.

Mike: I had been a fan for a while, and it just seems like the funnest thing you can do. It was last year during the writers' strike when I decided to apply. I first applied with another screenwriter, and we were going to be the neurotic screenwriters who never left their houses. But then he turned out to be so neurotic he couldn't handle it.
Did you guys fight a lot?
Mel: My son said from the beginning, "Dad, don't go aggro on me," knowing that I can get excited about things. But I think we succeeded; we had fun. I don't think there was much fighting between us.

Mike: The situations were stressful, and there are bound to be moments when one of us wants to go left and the other wants to go right, and we'll have our little issues. But when you look around at some of the other teams, we weren't at each other's throats nearly as much. There's drama, but not really between us.

Mel: You know, I'm 68 going on 90. So we would be running through an airport and I'd be the last one. But Michael was always patient, and would tell me to just limp along.

Mike, if you had to do the race with another celebrity, who would it be?
Mike: Reese Witherspoon. She's a friend of mine, and she was on Leno talking about how she wanted to go on the show because she found out that I was going on. Reese is an incredibly competitive, type-A, get-it-done kind of person. We would have kicked ass.

What about you and Jack Black?
Mike: Jack is pretty athletic, but there are some things he wouldn't want to do. He's, like, a closet neurotic. Although we did bungee-jump in New Zealand together, so some of the things he'd be up for. I think the biggest problem with Jack would be waking him up. We'd have to be up every day at 6, and I don't think he could do that.

Mike, you're a vegan. I'm sure that presented some challenges.
Mike: Yeah, it was pretty brutal because during the race usually the only place you can eat is on planes, and so you don't get a wide selection. After a while on the race my body was eating itself.

Reality shows tend to boil people down to their most unflattering moments. Does that concern you at all?
Mike: As someone who has created TV and knows the pitfalls of participating, I felt like the important thing was having the experience. We didn't really think about the consequences of participating, or whether or not it would be flattering.

Mel: If our appearance on the show is boiled down to us being gay, I'm hoping that this myth that gay people can't parent will be burned up in some way. I think it's really sad that so many people are still worried about gay people adopting or having kids. So if we have to be a model of something, I hope we can model that gay parents can be great parents.

Were both or either of you involved in the No on Proposition 8 campaign?
Mel: Oh, yes, my partner and I got married on June 18, the day after it became legal, and when Proposition 8 came around it was heartbreaking, and we had to fight it from here in Lynchburg, Va. We didn't donate money, but we were part of the crowd-gathering that was used to show the state this was a bad mistake.

Mike, how did your experience growing up with your dad shape your faith?
Mike: I definitely got a lot out of the ministry growing up, and we had a lot of theological discussions around the dinner table and stuff, and all that stuff certainly had a huge impact on the way I see things, and in a positive way. I don't really consider myself a Christian. It's complicated, like everything, but I think what my dad is doing as far as reaching out to the conservative Christian community for inclusion is a really courageous thing.

Mel: It's ironic because given the state of what it means to be a Christian these days, I'm not a Christian either. I'm a mediocre follower of a first-century Jewish teacher. And being a Christian brings up all those stereotypes that are so destructive to the gay spirit. So when Michael says he's not a Christian, I completely understand and feel the same way. I hope that one day we can reclaim that word, but as it stands now, it's embarrassing to be a Christian.

Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on February 08, 2009, 03:20:02 AM
Yay! Finally, confirmation of what we knew re Reese's comment,  puddin called it!! :jam:

Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on February 08, 2009, 01:26:19 PM
Mike & Mel get another blurb, this one from Entertainment Weekly

Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on February 10, 2009, 11:41:44 PM
The 'Amazing Race' is on for local residents
Three area residents compete in the CBS reality show airing Sunday.
By Sharla Bardin

On your mark, get set, go globe-trotting.

That's exactly what three area residents got the chance to do when they competed in CBS' "The Amazing Race" to win $1 million.

Martinsville couple Steve and Linda Cole and Lynchburg resident Mel White and his son, Mike, are contestants in the new season of the reality TV hit that premieres Sunday.

They were among 11 teams competing in the race, which included stops in nine countries in 22 days.

Production has wrapped on the season, but White and the Coles can't reveal much about the race now because of waivers they signed to avoid spoilers.

Still, they did open up about their love of travel and how "The Amazing Race" was the trek of a lifetime.


White, 68, is a gay activist, clergy member and founder of Soulforce, a gay-rights group. He raced with his son, Mike White, 38, a filmmaker and actor whose work includes writing and starring in the 2003 comedy "The School of Rock." Mike White lives in California.

Mel White had watched the show occasionally, but it was his son who applied to compete.

Mel White, who jokes that he felt like "Father Time" during the race, said he was grateful to share the experience with his son.

"Mike said to me, 'Dad, we want to win. We want to compete and do the best we can.' "

But there was a catch.

His son told him if they weren't enjoying the race, they should stop.

"That was his rule from the beginning, and it was a perfect rule," Mel White said.

The father and son have traveled together before, including on family trips to Hawaii and China.

"Travel, to me, it's like learning a language. It opens up another world," Mel White said. "Going across the world has changed me for the better."


The Coles and Mel White also believe viewers will be fascinated by the racers.

Teams included brothers who are stunt men, flight attendants, Harvard lawyers, former NFL cheerleaders and the show's first-ever deaf contestant and his mother.

"They're all fantastic," Mel White said. "I think the audiences will just love these teams."

They also promise a lot of excitement.

"I think this season is the most dramatic," he said. "The things we did no human on Earth would be asked to do them, and we did them. And they were fun."

More here:
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on February 11, 2009, 11:05:53 AM
TELEVISION ‘Race' features amazing father-son duo
by Ross Forman

A diehard fan of the award-winning reality TV show The Amazing Race, Mike White tried out last year with a fellow filmmaker—and they were accepted for the 13th season.

But then the other filmmaker got scared and withdrew from the show, leaving White without a partner for the trip around the world.

At a party, White invited a representative of the show to attend—and choose who she would like to accompany him on The Amazing Race.

She choose White's dad: 68-year-old Mel White, an openly gay clergymember, author and film director.

And so, when The Amazing Race kicks off Sunday, Feb. 15, on CBS-TV, Team White will feature the show's first gay father/son duo.

“I'm still having trouble believing that I'm on The Amazing Race. It never would have crossed my mind that,” said the elder White, who admits he was not a devout fan of the show. “Being with your son for a trip around the world, you can't ask for more than that. This can't really be compared to anything else.

“I hope this shows a fun side of me, that this person of faith also is a person of fun.”

Mel was a behind-the-scenes member of the Evangelical Protestant movement through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, writing speeches and ghostwriting books for televangelists such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Billy Graham. After years of writing for the Christian right, he came out as gay in 1994.

Mel and his partner of 27 years, Gary Nixon, were married last June in California.

So, will Mel gain fans he previously lost?

“Hmm, that's a great question. Heck, I might gain enemies,” he said, laughing.

Mike is a writer, director and actor for movies and TV, and the winner of the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award for Chuck & Buck. He is single.

“They put you through so many things to get you ready [ for The Race ] ,” Mel said. “I worked out with a trainer for a couple months before The Race, and I was feeling pretty good. I was ready to race; I just didn't know how fast the others would be.

“I think my background helped. Michael decided that we weren't going to be agro [ on the show ] , meaning, aggravated. We wanted to win and we wanted to compete, but we also wanted to have fun.

“So we really enjoyed each other's company throughout the race.”

The elder White endured personal struggles on the show, knowing it might entail keeping secrets and misleading people.

“Luckily we never had to mislead anybody, but we did have to keep secrets,” he said. “At first I was a little leery about that, but once you know the rules and know that everyone is playing by the same rules, then it's fine.”

White admitted few of the other participants recognized the duo before the journey began. But Mike was spotted and asked for autographs along the way.

“As Michael said to me, ‘No matter what you've done in life, you'll only be remembered for being on The Amazing Race,' Mel said, laughing.

The new season of Race also features another gay and a lesbian participant ( on separate teams ) , so the LGBT community is represented on three teams.

“I just love to see us breaking all of the caricatures and breaking expectations; I just love to see gay people having a good time and proving to the world that we're not freaks,” Mel said.
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Mrs Shrek on February 11, 2009, 03:39:25 PM
The new season of Race also features another gay and a lesbian participant ( on separate teams ) , so the LGBT community is represented on three teams.

Is the reporter getting confused about other seasons, or who are the 2 others they are referring to?
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Ashe on February 11, 2009, 04:04:11 PM
The new season of Race also features another gay and a lesbian participant ( on separate teams ) , so the LGBT community is represented on three teams.

Is the reporter getting confused about other seasons, or who are the 2 others they are referring to?
Maybe one of the sisters is a lesbian, if one of Cara & Jaime isn't.
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on February 11, 2009, 04:58:40 PM
The new season of Race also features another gay and a lesbian participant ( on separate teams ) , so the LGBT community is represented on three teams.

I believe Luke is gay as well.

Is the reporter getting confused about other seasons, or who are the 2 others they are referring to?
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Mrs Shrek on February 11, 2009, 05:18:46 PM
The new season of Race also features another gay and a lesbian participant ( on separate teams ) , so the LGBT community is represented on three teams.

Is the reporter getting confused about other seasons, or who are the 2 others they are referring to?

I believe Luke is gay as well.

I didn't know that. Thanks for the info. Any ideas which one of the ladies they are referring to?
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on February 12, 2009, 11:20:11 PM
Mike White On Doing 'The Amazing Race': 'I Felt Like Jason Bourne And His Old Gay Dad'
Posted by Kyle Buchanan at 6:20 AM on February 13, 2009

So where did the idea to do the show come from?

I'm a not-so-closeted reality TV fan, a traitor to my own. I think I've watched probably every Survivor and Amazing Race—I'm a weird reality fanatic, I guess. During the strike I was watching my usual shows because I couldn't work, and at some point I was like, "What the crap! I should just go on The Amazing Race." I actually just made a video, I didn't try to pull any strings, I just made a video with somebody besides my dad and sent it in.


I was gonna go with this screenwriter that I met on Freaks & Geeks, this guy Jon Kasdan. Our little sorta reducible idea was "neurotic screenwriters who never leave the house." And it turned out that he really was too neurotic to leave the house. We got to the semifinals of the prior season, Season 13, and he had sort of a meltdown at the Hilton at LAX and was like, "I can't do this!"

So how did your dad get involved?

We had gotten pretty far along and you know, it's a relationship show and they want to show the most interesting relationships, so they encouraged me to go with someone in my family [father Mel White, the founder of the gay rights group Soulforce].

You know, it's an interesting trajectory: so many reality stars want to make it in Hollywood, and you're sort of doing the reverse. Were you concerned about becoming known for reality instead of writing, directing, acting?

[laughs] Honestly, I just can't give a flip about that. For me, the show's about to start airing, and it really is less about that than being able to go do it. Like, the idea of just travelling and partying and having this crazy experience was reason to do it, and let the chips fall where they may. I think I started off by thinking, "How can I be in the race but not of the race?" but after about ten minutes, I was just like, "I've gotta be of the race to do this right."

So how was the idea of doing it different than actually doing it?

It was actually way more fun doing it. You're in a circus! You're running through airports with a camera crew and there's like, dwarves and giant Amazonian women's basketball players and everyone's in matching outfits and it's so fun. You know, when you're in LA, you're always like, "Maybe there's something more fun going on somewhere else," but for that period of time where you're on the race, there's definitely nowhere else you'd rather be than there.

So when you're on that starting line with Phil, and the race is about to begin, what should we know was going through your head?

The whole time, I was just like, I wanna get to LAX! [The race starts in Los Angeles.] I didn't think we had many advantages past the point of getting to the airport. I didn't want to be in the back of the train—I was like, "All the times I've dropped friends off at LAX needs to come into play now!" But you'll see, it doesn't exactly end up the way that I expected.

Have you seen the first episode yet?

I haven't seen any of them. I've seen the promos.

How do you think you'll be portrayed? Like, what elements of your story do you think are the ones they're highlighting?

Honestly, I did read a review of the first episode, and the reviewer said I'm perpetually grinning. [laughs] If that's all they have me as, the "laughing fool," then that's fine with me. That's how I was on the race. For the first 24 hours, I literally could not stop smiling. I felt like Jason Bourne and his old gay dad, driving this Mercedes to the airport trying to outrun these musclebound mofos. It was literally the time of my life.

Did any of the other contestants recognise you?

A couple, not many. I mean, I'm the king of "you look vaguely familiar." I think some people scratched their heads. It didn't necessarily endear me to anyone, like they were trying to suck up to me because I'm from Hollywood or whatever.

Had you done anything to prepare for it beforehand? Like, a lot of map reading?

We did have enough time for my dad to go insane with the idea of matching outfits. His long-dormant dream of walking around in matching outfits finally came to the fore! They encourage you to wear a colour scheme just to identify the teams, and ours was royal blue. So my dad was like, "Oh, we've got to get matching outfits!" and I was like, "Dad, we don't have to wear, like, the exact same clothes. Wearing things with a similar colour is enough." And he got so frustrated! And so he went into my closet and saw the stuff that I had pulled out for the race, and went out and bought the exact same clothes! And so I was like, "I guess I'm gonna be that guy, wearing the same thing as his gay dad on national TV."

What was the industry reaction when it was announced that you were on the show?

I think there's two separate people. Half of the people are like, "That is the coolest thing you could ever do," and they're jealous, and half of the people are like, "Why the hell would you ever want to do that?" Especially some of the more Hollywood A-lister types, they're like, "Did you have to fly economy?" [laughs]

You say in the CBS bio that you wanted to pattern yourself after former contestants Charla and Mirna. Mike, I don't know if you know this, but Mirna is crazy!

Well, yeah! But what I like about them is that they had no discernible advantages at all, no physical advantage, no intellectual advantage, and yet they just had the will to succeed. I wanted to channel them. A little crazy doesn't hurt in the circumstances they throw you into.

Have you met them?

No, I want to!

I'm sure you will now that you're all on the reality alumni circuit.

I'll go do a college speaking tour with them. [laughs]
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on February 13, 2009, 01:32:12 AM
Grace Under Pressure
Worlds away from writing speeches for Jerry Falwell, out Soulforce founder and reformed evangelical Mel White joins forces with screenwriter son Mike (School of Rock) for The Amazing Race.
By Dan Avery
Mel White has never been one to run from a challenge. A former speechwriter for evangelicals like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, White came out of the closet in the early '80s and wrote a best-selling autobiography, Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America. Countering the homophobic rhetoric of his former employers, he also founded the gay social-justice organization Soulforce, which sponsors Equality Rides to Christian campuses to spark peaceful dialogue. He then became an ordained minister in the gay-affirming Metropolitan Community Church. In 2002, White and partner Gary Nixon even leased a home across the street from Falwell’s Lynchburg, Va. church just to keep the legendary holy roller in check.

Starting this week, though, White will be running -- traversing nine countries across 40,000 miles on the new season of CBS’ The Amazing Race. Joining him on this grand adventure is his award-winning screenwriter son Mike (Chuck & Buck, School of Rock), who is openly bisexual.

“Mike’s a massive fan of the show,” says White, 68. “He auditioned on his own and was accepted, but the person he signed up with bailed at the last minute. I was the backup plan.”

Among the far-flung countries the show’s contestants visit in its 14th season are India, China, Russia, Switzerland and, for the first time, Romania.

“I’ve traveled a lot more than most people, but there’s nothing that can really prepare you for this show,” White explained. “You’re racing the clock -- the whole thing is such a rush.”

Deciphering clues and overcoming challenges designed to test their endurance, intelligence, and cunning, the team that crosses the finish line first walks away with a cool million dollars.

Just before the show’s February 15 premiere, we spoke with the veteran activist to find out what it was like running the race of a lifetime and why gays still need to stand their ground against the Christian right. Were you familiar with The Amazing Race before you entered?
Mel White: Not so much -- Sunday isn’t a good TV night for a clergyman. Mike showed me a lot of old episodes, though, and I really got into it.

Did the producers know who you were when you signed on?
I don’t think so, or at least it never came up during our conversations. I don’t think they did any research into my activism. They wanted me as Mike’s dad, which was fine with me -- I was delighted to be billed as “the gay father.” It gave me a chance to talk about not just being gay, but being a gay parent, without the perceived stigma of being an activist. Of course, I wore my Soulforce hat everywhere, hoping it’d spark some interest.

Did either you or Mike get recognized during filming?
I don’t see myself as a celebrity, but people recognize Mike all over. Back home, he has paparazzi shooting and asking him questions. When we were going through India, this woman leaned over to us on a bus and said to him, “I like your movie.” I’m a dad, so of course I got a puff of pride. I mean, I don’t see him as an actor or screenwriter, I just see him as my kid. When I see him on the screen, I don’t see the character, I see Mike. Which was really uncomfortable when I saw Chuck & Buck. [Laughs] I was so taken aback.

How did your husband feel about your leaving for almost a month to traipse around the world?
Gary’s been in the limelight with me for a while, so he was just as happy to relax at home. And happy for me to spend time with Mike. I’m on the road a lot, so I don't know that he even missed me! [Laughs] People ask us how we made it 27 years? And he says, “'Cause Mel’s gone a lot!”

The season was filmed last fall. Did you feel like you were missing out on the election?
That was the hardest part -- being away from the election and all the reporting that went along with it. We’d see headlines as we raced by, but we had no laptops, no iPods. Being without the Internet and a Blackberry for 35 days is wonderful, once the shock wears off. But I love CNN. I let if flow over me like water. And I like to watch FOX to get angry and get my juices flowing. They took the phones and TVs out of our rooms! At first I thought they were too rigid, but I realized the focus really has to be on the show for the duration.

Sometimes traveling together can ruin an otherwise healthy relationship. Were you worried about that happening with you and Mike?
Well, Mike set down the rules for me pretty early on. One: We’re doing it for fun and if we’re not having fun, lets not do it. And two: We’re trying to win, but we’re not gonna get aggro about it. Sometimes he’d have to remind me not to be so aggro, like when the cab driver drove us around in circles. But we ended up having such fun, which was my main goal. The producers asked, “Will this lovefest never end?”

Was Mike well-behaved on family trips as a child?
He didn’t like to travel too much because it took him away from what he liked to do, which was make movies. He was always so preoccupied with it; we got him a camera when he was 8.

What quality do you think made you a good candidate for the show?
I really like people -- sometimes to my detriment -- which helps when you don’t have a common language. And I’m good at winning people’s favor, which is something we learn as activists. Being focused is a gift. There’s a moment where there was real risk, and the whole race was at stake. I sat down and did my meditation. Also, a lot of the other competitors had never been out of the country, or even out of their state. Even things like Customs threw them. Mike and I both have been traveling around the world our whole lives. Rushing through airports is second nature.

Any handicaps or bad habits?
I’m terrible with directions. I can’t walk out of a hotel room without going the wrong way. Can’t find my way out of a wet paper bag. Thank God, Mike is so good with that. We’d hop in a Mercedes and go off wherever. But Mike’s a vegan, which made it almost impossible to find places he could get food. So he didn’t eat for much of the race. Me, I was ready for any challenge -- eat whatever food, jump off whatever cliff.

Did you guys train for the show ahead of time?
We exercised. Both Mike and I do yoga, and I do meditation. We’re spiritually fit. And I naturally have a lot of energy: I was two or three times older than some of the other contestants, but I love to move fast -- I loved the energy drain.

How were your fellow competitors -- any Bible-thumpers or homophobes?
If so, they didn’t push it in our faces. We were definitely in competition, but we got along with the other racers. I even counseled some of them. From what I could tell, our sexuality was a non-issue.

The show sends you guys to some pretty remote areas. Were you worried about getting bashed or ending up somewhere with a terrible human rights record?
We were running so fast the issue didn’t really come up. I guess maybe I should’ve thought about some of the countries we visited, but I had to take what they threw at me. You can’t be an activist in a race like this; there’s just no time. But everywhere we went the people were fantastic. If a nation had a nasty policy, we didn’t feel it from the people. And the show has incredible security. If we were ever in real danger they would’ve gotten us out of there. You couldn’t see them but you knew they were there.

But at the same time, you’re very much on your own.
Short of your life being at risk, the producers wouldn’t get involved. And they were right there, ten feet away from you. You know, The Amazing Race has some 2,000 people working to put the season together. When I saw how much preparation went into it, and how seamless it was, I was in awe.

If only we'd had that kind of team working against Prop 8.
Boy, ain’t that the truth. I haven’t had a secretary in 15 years -- Soulforce has no money and no staff. I was on a White Party cruise recently with 37 gay men. I thought, “How many of these guys give to HRC or any other group?” If the gay community could organize like [The Amazing Race], we’d change the world. But no, we don’t think it’s worth it.

You’re obviously an expert on the fundamentalist movement. With the Obama election, and holy rollers like Falwell leaving the stage, are the evangelicals less of a threat now?
I wouldn’t say that. The megachurch pastors like Rick Warren are just as bad as Falwell was. They’re worse, in fact, because they’re so… slick. They couch their message carefully, and say they want gays to come to their church. With Falwell and those guys, you knew where you stood. I think today fundamentalism is like a rattlesnake that’s lost its rattle: There’s no warning.

Did Obama betray the gays by choosing Warren for the inauguration, or was the issue blown out of proportion?
When they put Warren on, we assaulted Obama with letters. He represents homophobia in its worst form. When we heard Bishop Robinson was chosen, we started shifting our approach. I have to live with Rick Warren and allow him to be as free and expressive as I am. But I can protest like hell. I won’t hold a grudge, but Ill remind him when he goes astray.

What’s scarier -- running through a third world country with no money or going on an Equality Ride to Liberty University?
To be surrounded by fundamentalists is much scarier than being surrounded by pygmy warriors or whomever. The fundamentalists are so blind, so dogmatic. I have to have police guards at universities. I had 40 Baptist clergy marching into a classroom demanding they must be heard. They just lose their cool completely.

The Amazing Race 14 premieres on February 15 at 8 p.m. on CBS. For more details, visit
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on February 14, 2009, 10:49:04 AM


From the Los Angeles Times
Mike White's dream is reality on 'The Amazing Race'
The writer and actor got hooked on the show during the writers strike. Being paired with his dad made it even better.
By Chris Lee > > >

February 14, 2009

CBS' Emmy-winning reality show, "The Amazing Race," has seen its share of eclectic contestants come and go over the series' 13 seasons: beauty pageant winners and bickering married couples, jock siblings and even little people. But this winter's installment marks the first time that "Race" has included a "Hollywood star" in its contestant ranks -- even if that famous face hardly counts as a household name. ¶ Enter Mike White, the actor-screenwriter-producer-director who's best known for writing hit comedies, including "Nacho Libre" and "School of Rock" (in which he also plays a supporting role). White, a former producing partner of Jack Black, calls himself a "scholar" of CBS' multiple-Emmy-winning reality show and a self-professed "weird reality fanatic" who began his quest to become an "Amazing Race" contestant during the Hollywood writers strike in late 2007. ¶ "I couldn't write. I'd been watching for so long, I was just like, 'I want to go on the show!' " White recalled. "I made a tape with a friend and sent it in. It wasn't like I tried to pull rank. We just sent in an audition and they called."

In fact, White, a Pasadena native who earned his stripes as a writer for Judd Apatow's late, great 1999-2000 television series, "Freaks and Geeks," places his burning ambition to be on "The Amazing Race" right up there with his abiding goals in life. "It's definitely on the bucket list," White said over a plate of roasted vegetables at the Brentwood Country Mart earlier this week. "Do 'The Amazing Race,' do a few movies, die happy."

But that doesn't quite explain how the whippet-thin Hollywood hotshot -- whose boyish physical presence and unblinking demeanor can't help but bring to mind the slightly demented naif-stalker he portrayed in 2000's oddball dramedy "Chuck & Buck" -- wound up on the physically arduous, globe-spanning obstacle course/time trial, which kicks off its 14th season at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Before White could take his place at the starting line, he had to persuade producers to cast him despite his professional pedigree; unlike so much programming on VH1, "The Amazing Race" had largely resisted anything resembling "celebreality" stunt casting until White came along (one exception being the casting of "Survivor" alumni Rob and Amber in Season 7). Then, White's original partner, filmmaker Jon Kasdan (who wrote 2007's "In the Land of Women"), dropped out during semifinal callbacks. And in a turn of events that surprised White as much as anyone, the show's casting director helped choose Kasdan's replacement: White's father, Mel White, a 69-year-old documentary filmmaker, author and leader in the gay evangelical Christian movement -- one of the oldest contestants to appear on the show. "I thought I'd collapse," Mel said of his expectations at the outset. "I thought when Michael said go, I'd fall down dead."

As well, Mike White had to overcome his own professional misgivings. "You feel a little weird as a writer of scripted television for many years to say you're a fan of reality TV. You feel like a traitor. But I am a total fan. There are life lessons that can be derived from reality television. It was a . . . blast."

It's hard not to harbor certain suspicions about Mike White's motivations -- namely, that his appearance on "Race" is some kind of Andy Kaufman-esque gag -- especially if you are at all familiar with White's view-askew comedy. Plumbing the aesthetic of discomfort for laughs as well as pathos, White's well-meaning but often dim-witted characters tend to find their bliss only after coming through the fire of ritual humiliation (see: Jack Black as a doofus music teacher in "School of Rock" or Molly Shannon as a misguided animal rights zealot in White's directorial debut, "Year of the Dog").

But to hear him tell it with wide-eyed sincerity, White didn't do the show for greater fame. He wanted to go on in large part to shake himself from complacency. "No matter what your job is, to be kicked out of that bubble is a healthy thing. You're asked to do things you'd never do. And the whole time it's slightly embarrassing, slightly humiliating. You get over yourself."

When Kasdan suffered what White jokingly refers to as a "nervous breakdown" during a battery of psychological tests administered by show producers, White had already won the admiration of Lynne Spillman, casting director for "The Amazing Race." She gauged him as someone who "was doing it purely for the love of the show and not for any kudos or fame."

After the two became chummy, White invited Spillman to a party at his house, where she met the openly bisexual filmmaker's friends and family members with an eye toward casting a replacement. Which is when she met Mel White, a prize-winning documentary producer and bestselling writer who ghost-wrote the autobiographies of such religious firebrands as Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. After undergoing three decades of "anti-gay" therapy in conjunction with the church, however, White came out of the closet in 1994 with his autobiography, "Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America."

"He was fascinating: opinionated, complex, sarcastic," Spillman said. "I didn't realize he was Mike's father at first. I tried to be cool, but I was so excited. Mike said, 'You gotta be kidding! He's the only person I'm not funny around.' "

Added Mike White: "To be perfectly honest, I'm competitive. I wanted to win. As much as my dad is spry for someone who's almost 70, he is still 20 years older than the next-oldest person on the show."

Nonetheless, both were persuaded that the experience would be positive and provide for plenty of father-son bonding that occasional lunches and cross-country visits can't approximate. Still, boundaries had to be established upfront. "Right at the beginning, he told me, 'Dad, don't go aggro on me.' I had to look it up. What's 'aggro'?" recalled Mel White from his home in Virginia. "I thought it was agriculture. But it's aggro-vated. He knows I'm a gay Christian activist. I'm aggravated half the time!"

Asked if he learned anything surprising about his son while traveling together under the battlefield conditions of reality television, Mel White grew suddenly emotional. "I couldn't pay for what 'The Amazing Race' did for me, to have this time with my son," he said.

Shooting wrapped in late November, after the racers hit five continents, 15 countries and traveled 30,000 miles. But so far, neither White has seen any footage from the show outside of a quietly hilarious CBS promo :// ;feature=player_embedded"> ;feature=player_embedded clip in which father and son are introduced simply as "writers" and shown pecking away at side-by-side laptops, doing tandem yoga and tooling around on Segway PTs. Mike White admits he stage-managed the commercial to temper people's expectations. But it seems like he also couldn't resist imposing some small measure of his comedic worldview on the show.

"They always have people doing this sporty stuff like volleyball," he said. "What would be the laziest thing we could do for our promo? Let's just ride on Segways in our neighborhood! I was thinking, 'Let's just do the goofiest stuff possible.' "
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on February 15, 2009, 03:12:34 PM
I just found Mel's website!
Title: Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on March 01, 2009, 12:08:25 AM
Good Luck Mike & Mel and Happy RACE DAY!  :jam:  :wohoo:

Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on March 25, 2009, 11:40:45 AM
Mel and Mike White made our Must List, how about yours?
Mar 25, 2009, 11:27 AM | by Jean Bentley

Categories: middle-aged butt-kicking, Must List, Travel

 What's that you say? You don't watch The Amazing Race, aka the best reality show ever (sorry, Biggest Loser)? Well, you should. And there are two very worthy reasons why: Mel and Mike White. The father-son team, comprised of Christian author/gay activist dad Mel and screenwriter Mike, land firmly at the top of my Must List this week. I was afraid the elder White's days on the show would be numbered after he pulled pulled his groin in the very first episode, but the duo has managed to consistently beat their opponents while maintaining an upbeat attitude, polite demeanor, and constant stream of self-aware commentary. If you ever wanted an example of how to portray yourself on reality TV and not look like an asshole, use the Whites as your template.

Of course, I hope I haven't jinxed them by mentioning them here. Help reverse my curse by checking out all our Amazing Race coverage (Josh Wolk's recaps, Phil Keoghan's blogs) and then sharing your Musts for this week. List up to three items from current TV/movies/music/books/games/online. Don't forget your e-mail address, in case we decide to use your submission in the magazine. Deadline is Thursday, March 26 at noon ET.
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on March 25, 2009, 11:44:48 AM
These guys need more love! Mel & Mike are a breath of fresh air, I'm totally enjoying watching them on the race. They make me laugh and make me want more, very entertaining! Great job with the casting CBS!!   :jumpy: :jumpy: :jumpy:
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on March 25, 2009, 11:50:55 AM
Definitely, puddin!!

From Mel's sliding down Cheese Hill on his bum, to his beautiful prayer at the paragliding, to Mike's "I want my freaking medal", to Mel's kick-ass rocking of the Indian bucket brigade roadblock, these guys join my list of all time favorites!!

Absolutely love them! :hearts:
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Ashe on March 25, 2009, 01:37:01 PM
I will say this.  After the dullness that was Dennis & Andrew and the awfulness that was Steve & Josh, it's great to finally have a father/son team in which both members are very interesting and very likable.

That said, Mel's sad sack attitude and pity parties whenever he thinks he's messed up need to go.  Especially when it happens too early on a leg to really be sure.
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Snooky on March 25, 2009, 05:00:10 PM
I just loved wathcing them go sooo slow, and then use the basket to come in second!
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: apskip on March 25, 2009, 07:01:39 PM
Mel/Michael started second, so it is no surprise that they finished second. It was not a difficult ROADBLOCK taking a huge amount of time. That takes nothing away from Mel's performance, which I would rate as good doing this ROADBLOCK. The "Oh, he was fabulous because he beat all the others doing the ROADBLOCK" philosophy should not apply because the real measure of performance was how mmany minutes did it take any contestant to do this ROADBLOCK and CBS was careful to make sure we had no data on that question.
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on March 30, 2009, 03:51:20 PM
Oh, I am going to miss these guys!! A breath of fresh air is gone...

Exit Interview from Oscar Dahl:

Exclusive Interview: Mel and Mike, from 'The Amazing Race 14'
Monday, March 30, 2009
Mike White is one of the rare reality show contestants who achieved a modicum of fame outside of the world of reality TV.  Mike is a successful screenwriter/actor in Hollywood, having written films like Orange County and School of Rock.  He's appeared on-screen in TV and film as well, acting on Pushing Daisies and Freaks and Geeks (where he was also a writer), plus many others.  It was a surprise, then, when the cast was announced for The Amazing Race 14 and there Mike was, paired with his father.  We had the supreme honor of speaking with Mel and Mike this morning about their time on the race, and what the future holds for the father/son duo.

Hey, this is Oscar Dahl from BuddyTV and I'm here with Mel and MIke White from The Amazing Race 14.  Mel, Mike how are you two doing?

Mike: Well.

I'm interested as to how you two ended up on the race.  Mike, did you have anything to do with that, Hollywood connections and whatnot, or did you just apply like everyone else?

Mel:  I just applied.  I made a little video with a friend of mine and they called and brought us down there and we made it to the semifinals of season 13 and then my partner kind of freaked out and decided he didn't want to do it and so then the idea came up to do it with somebody in my family and my dad, and that seemed like fun and it worked out for this last season.

Mike: I'm glad he chickened out.

How open to the idea were you when Mike brought it to you, Mel?

Mel: I think I was open to the idea from the beginning, it just seemed like an amazing opportunity.  I got a little more scared after I got to catching up and watching past seasons and realizing how physical it could be and that these kids were going to be...I would be twice as old and three times as old as some of them.  I never once thought "I'm not doing it," though.

How bad was the physical toll that the race took.  They made it seem like you struggled a little bit, especially towards the end.  Was it that bad, and was it as bad as you expected it to be?

Mel:  I think it was much more challenging than I thought it would be. I thought it would be more puzzles and, you know, riddles to solve but the physical stuff, Michael and I traded back and forth and he was really protective and took some hard ones until the camels, and then I struggled over that one. 

Mike:  We really wanted to have a good time and have fun and compete as hard as we could, but you get so hungry and tired after like two weeks on the road.  It's hard to enjoy all of the aspects of it once you start getting really depleted, so that part of it was hard.

Mel:  Mike is a vegan, and there was hardly any food that he could eat along the way and he didn't compromise, so there were times where he hadn't eaten for two days, anything solid.

Jeez.  What was most different about the overall experience than what you two were expecting going into the race?

Mike: You know, the truth is that we thought it was going to be a blast and it turned out to be that and more.  It was actually more fun and it kind of just held up to what all your expectations and hopes would be, and that's rare in life.  The challenging parts, the deprivation of sleep and food, was something that I wasn't expecting to be so impactful, didn't realize that I was actually going to hurt my energy level at times when I needed it.

Did that depletion of food and whatnot hurt you only physically, or did it take a mental toll?  Did that have anything to do with, say, your decision last night to go away from the other teams.

Mike:  Well, yeah, actually that's a good question, because when we saw the teams out there, it's like, we liked the people on our race.  We liked everybody, but as the it got closer the teams whittled down, there was just less of a camaraderie, obviously, amongst the contestants and people were at their most irritating, and so we saw the people running around and they'd all kind of lied to us on the plane, saying they were going to go one place and then they all went to a different place and in that moment you're just kind of like "You know what, let's just take a chance and go our own way and be free of the herd."  And even though in the end it bit us in the ass, in the moment it felt like the right decision. 

Mel: We were supported, though, in the Bangkok airport. When we were flying to Phuket, we asked everyone where this gorilla was and almost invariably they said it was at The Beach.  We were told by all the citizens that were traveling that that's where it was. 

Was there anything edited out over the course of the season which you wish CBS had thrown in there?

Mike: I mean, I thought we had some better one-liners than the ones they chose.  I don't know - to me, I feel like I was happy with what they showed,  There was stuff that I remember being exciting.  When we had to make a connection from one Moscow airport to the other to fly to New Delhi, Tammy and Victor and my dad and I took took the Moscow subway and that was probably the most stressful experience on the entire race and it never was aired. 

Mel:  They couldn't film in the Moscow subway system, they didn't have the permit.

Mike: If we had missed one of the connections, and it was super complicated, we would have totally missed the flight.  So, there was little stuff like that and there's hopes that the other teams will be shown in the way that you remembered them to be.  Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't.

That was actually my next question.  Were there any teams that were portrayed completely differently from what you actually remember the reality of their personalities being?

Mike:  Well, sometimes you think certain teams are being portrayed that are more negative than you remember them and sometimes its the opposite.  I feel like Tammy and Victor were a lot of fun on the race and even when they were competing hard they were enjoying it and so I felt like, sometimes I feel like they're being misrepresented as just sneaky and competitive.  You're not seeing the kind of fun that they also had.  Mike and Mark, too, they're showing them to be cocky but also incompetent in certain moments, but obviously they were good racers too.  But then Margie and Luke, I also feel like they were more sneaky than they are actually being shown to be.  Margie and Luke are awesome, but they were just there to win and there were times when we thought we were in an alliance with them and working together, but watching the show now I realize that wasn't the case. 

Mel: I was afraid that Steve and Linda had been brought on for comic relief and to be made fun of, but actually they turned out to be good, smart folks.

Do you two have any big plans for the future, any movie or TV stuff coming up for you, Mike?

Mike: You know, I'm writing a bunch of stuff and I have a movie that I'm finishing now that I wrote...that I didn't write, that I produced and acted in.  The guy who wrote and directed Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre, it's a movie called Gentleman Broncos.  That's been taking a lot of my time, it should be a pretty funny movie.

Mel:  Michael threw a reunion for all the teams last weekend and we all came to LA.  It was the most exciting time, seeing all these people without all the stress.

All right.  Mel, Mike, I appreciate you taking the time and we wish you luck in the future.

Mel:  Thank you very much.

Mike: Thanks.

Thanks, guys. 

Go here for the full mp3 audio of the interview.>>
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: TexasLady on March 30, 2009, 04:04:50 PM
I will really miss them and their good humor.  :(
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Snooky on March 30, 2009, 05:20:50 PM
This season will not be the same!  This race will be a very solemn occasion!
We will miss them very dearly!
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on March 30, 2009, 07:47:13 PM
I will miss them too. They definitely brought something to the race and were very entertaining and easy to love. But still .. I feel like I hardly know them at all! I hope more exit interviews will reveal more.

It's interesting about their views on the other racers and how they are being portrayed on tv, what we don't see, the real scoop. It's what I've been saying all along ............ the editors can portray teams any way they choose which to me isn't fair but oh well .. whats the use of complaining? It ain't going to change but I ask that those that do view keep an open mind that what you see and hear might not be what it seems at all. Don't judge the contestants by their editing  :tup:
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: TARAsia Fan on March 30, 2009, 07:55:39 PM
Very true. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. :lol:

Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on March 30, 2009, 08:52:00 PM
Your crazy Ken  :lol:

Exclusive: Mel and Mike White talk about their time on 'The Amazing Race'

By John Bracchitta, 03/30/2009

In a season of The Amazing Race where bad cab drivers seem to be the reason behind almost every elimination so far, at least Mike and Mel White's story gets some points for originality.

After recovering from an initial mistake that led Mike, a 28-year-old writer, producer and actor from Santa Monica, CA, and his father Mel, a 68-year-old writer/clergyman from Lynchberg, VA, way off course because of bad directions, the father and son team were ultimately finished off in Thailand by their cabbie's learning of the locations of each of the Race leg's remaining clues, and then mistakenly traveling to them out of order during Sunday night's broadcast of The Amazing Race on CBS.

On Monday, Mike and Mel spoke to Reality TV World about how their unique cab situation unfolded, why they were the only team to misread their clue and not travel directly to the Phuket Zoo, and what Luke Adams told Mike on the plane ride to Thailand that still has him confused to this day.

Reality TV World:  You guys had two things that seemed to cost you time in that leg last night.  The first was having a hard time finding a cab when you first got to Phuket and the second was having a hard time finding someone that knew the monkey statue was at the zoo.  Which one do you think was more responsible for your elimination?  Which one did you lose more time on?

Mike: Well it was definitely the moment where, well, I mean we were behind and it took us a while to get that cab, but we actually caught up with all the teams at the Tang beach. Our cab driver at that moment said he knew where the gorilla was, like he was on the phone or something and he was like "I know where it is!"

And we saw the teams and we saw them going this other way, but they seemed confused and they were so frantic and psychotic that it was like... I don't know. In a moment's decision we were like "Well this guy lives here, he probably knows what he's talking about" and it just seemed getting out and running around with those crazy people didn't seem like it was going to be that [productive] (Laughs.)

Mel: We also talked to people in the Bangkok airport to find out where this was. Everyone we talked to said it was at the Tang beach, so that reinforced our bad information.

Reality TV World:  Just going back to the airport, what led to you both having so much trouble finding a cab in Phuket? Were they just not around?

Mike: Well we were always the last to get a cab because everyone would race off the plane and my dad had an injury, but usually we were able to make up time. And actually we did make up the time, but this time there were literally just five cabs out in front of this airport.

It was a smaller airport and everyone just got their cab. And one of the rules is that you can't take any other kind of car service than a cab, so there were all these people who were willing to drive us, and there were all these limo drivers and whatever but we had to wait for a cab. So we lost time there for sure.

And then when we got the cab driver he was just kind of completely out of it.

Reality TV World:  You kind of addressed this a minute ago, but on the show last night there was a point when you were at the beach area when someone said the statue was at the zoo, but for whatever reason you didn't listen to him. Was that because of all the people who were telling you otherwise?

Mike: At first there was speculation that the gorilla was at the zoo just when we saw the picture, it was like "Oh, this  is the zoo," but for some reason it was one of those "It's so obvious it can't be that" kind of situations.

Like my dad said, when we ran around at the airport they all said it's at the Tang beach and it's not at the zoo. And so then when they were saying it was at the zoo you feel like you're showing a picture and they're like "Oh, it must be at the zoo." It's not like they said "Oh yeah, I know that's at the zoo" until that one guy they showed who was like "No, that's definitely at the zoo." Then we just kinda said "Okay, we gotta go to the zoo."

Reality TV World:  How long did it take before you found that guy?

Mike: Not as long as it showed on the [episode]. It made it seem like they were halfway through that next challenge while we were still going "I don't know, what do we do?" That was just a weird editing thing I think.

I mean we were lost. But we lost more time with the cab driver way after that because after we completed that stuff with the tiger and the elephant, [the cabbie] kept driving us to the places that were on [The Amazing Race], but like not in order of when we were supposed to go. He would take us to the boats and then he would take us to the finish line because he was calling his dispatch and finding out where other cabs were going. So he would take us to places that we were ultimately supposed to go to but not in the order we were supposed to go there, so it was just confusing.

We kept showing up at different parts along the race and we were like "We need to go here eventually but we don't need to go here now!" (Laughs).

Mel: We pulled up to the rickshaw finish line and there was one rickshaw there for [Mark and Michael Munoz] and we almost took it and started down the race track and Michael said "This is the end of it, not the beginning!"

Reality TV World:  Oh okay. So that's what you think ended up costing you more than anything?

Mel: Oh yeah definitely.

Mike: The fact that we were just a couple of minutes behind [Jennifer and LaKisha Hoffman], like, if he had just not gotten lost once along the race on the route I think we could've snuck in there, but it wasn't meant to be.

Reality TV World:  And actually with the "100 barrels" Detour, how long did that take you? Did you gain ground on Jen and Kisha?

Mel: Well yeah. To see that they finished not that far in front of us was kind of hopeful but it didn't work. We gained ground, we worked fast on that boat.

Reality TV World:  About how far behind Jen and Kisha did you arrive at the Pit Stop?

Mike: They said like five minutes. I mean Mark and Mike obviously got there ahead of everyone else because they and that long penalty and they still survived it.

But besides that penalty I think all of the teams ended up very close in the same amount of time because usually they whisk all of the teams away for when you arrive at the mat because they don't want you to see who's arrived and where you are in the placement order. But we got there so close to everyone else that all the teams were there. So we knew we were last, but we must've gotten in there close.

Mel: It hadn't been since [Margie Adams] fainted because...

Mike: She was in the ambulance. The ambulance was still there.

Reality TV World:  Kind of going off of Margie and [ her son Luke], you both seemed to be one of the first teams to notice that they were a force to be reckoned with and would not really be hindered by Luke being deaf. Do you think some of the other teams had initially written them off an not seen them as one of the bigger threats in the game?

Mike: Well they won the first leg, so it was clear that they were competitive. I don't think we realized how willing they were to do anything to win until a few legs into the race.

Mel: Yeah, the deaf boy said to Mike "That gorilla is signing with his two hands."

Mike: Yeah, that's something that never showed up on the race, which I wish had. I mean he told me while were flying to Phuket that the gorilla was actually signing something, and that the placement of his hands could show the location... like the location was in sign language of what the gorilla was doing with his hands.

I don't know why he told me this because it was totally not true! I ended up staying up the entire night on the train trying to get it out of him and going around to different people on the plane and people who knew sign language. It was the weirdest thing. And then at the end of it when we lost I was like "Why did he do that? That's so weird..."

Reality TV World:  Who did you consider to be the biggest threat in the game while you were there?
Mel: Luck plays such an important part, and by the time we met everybody they all had gifts and skills and energy, so I didn't feel like anybody had an advantage. Did you Mike?

Mike: Um, well I felt like Luke and Margie were a strong team, and [Tammy and Victor Jih] were. The teams that continued to place in the front were obviously Tammy and Victor and Margie and Luke, and I felt that on any given day we could've beat -- and we won and came in second a couple of times. I felt like we were strong competitors and could beat any of the teams on any given day.

But at the same time those were the teams who just kept going on. And they were also a source of information. It seemed like Tammy and Victor and Margie and Luke were always people who had more information than other teams, and a lot of times that information was wrong (Laughs)

A lot of times the information was [like with] the gorilla. you realize maybe I shouldn't have [listened].

It's funny watching the show now because we thought at the time that Margie and Luke were working with us. Only in retrospect do we realize they were kind of working against us.

Reality TV World:  It seemed like, even during last night's leg when things were looking down for you guys, that you both were having fun out there and trying to not get too stressed. Was that a strategy of both of yours going [into the Race]?

Mel: Well Michael told me right from the start "Don't get aggro dad." (Laughs) And I think that his reminding me along the way that this is only for the fun of it really helped, and so we were convinced that's why we're there. I didn't see it as a strategy. I just thought it was a goal. If it was a strategy it lost.

Reality TV World:  Mike you took a little jab at [Jaime Edmondson], calling her a "mean girl." Could you talk a little about where you got that impression of her from?

Mike: (Laughs) Other than having my eyes and ears open?

She was just a stress case from the first minute, and it was stressful just to be around her. It just felt like we were all sort of irritating extras and she was the star of the show and we were kind of getting in the way of her fulfilling her destiny of winning [The Amazing Race]. (Laughs)

But that said, watching the show as an audience member I definitely enjoy that she's on the race because it makes it [fun]. I mean, if everyone has a casual, laid back attitude it's kind of a snore. You need [someone] who has that fire in the belly like Jaime does, and kind of her funny world view. It makes it entertaining.

Reality TV World:  Mike you had said you felt like "a traitor" for going on a reality TV show because of your background as a scripted television writer. Could you explain why you felt that and where that tension comes from?

Mike: Well I mean, in a way a lot of our hours of television now are reality television now and it just creates less opportunities for writers because so many jobs are being lost to reality shows. In a weird way you feel like it's weird to be a part of the thing that's like cannibalizing the opportunities for your own kind.

That said, I am a huge fan of reality television, and I think that The Amazing Race is a great show.

Reality TV World:  You are one of the more well-known contestants to appear on The Amazing Race in recent memory, did the other contestants recognize you at all or did you keep talk about your Hollywood background to a minimum?

Mel: Oh people talked to him, in fact it did us good. One person wanted to take a picture with him, and so after I took the picture I said "Now, can I use your iPhone?"

Mike: And the truth is that in Siberia and places like that it really wasn't  a factor. I mean, at the very beginning when we were leaving LAX there were people that would recognize me, but in general it didn't really factor in.

Reality TV World:  Mike you had said you were a fan of the show, but could you talk about how you ended up on The Amazing Race? Who applied originally and why? Just kind of how it all materialized.

Mike: A friend of mine just made an audition tape, just like everyone else. [Me and another partner] went to the semifinals for Season 13 and he kinda basically freaked out and was like "I can't do it," he got too nervous about going. So the idea of doing it with my dad came up and it worked out.

Reality TV World:  Could you both talk about that Roadblock challenge last week where Mel you had to feed the camels? Was there any reason to initially believe that the challenge was not going to be as physical as it turned out to be?

Mel: Well I didn't read the clue well enough at the beginning...

Mike: Well the truth is all they said was "Who want's to spend time with a maharajah's camels," and so we thought that maybe he was gonna ride a camel or lead a camel somewhere. it wasn't clear that it was gonna be a lot of schlepping of heavy stuff. It just looked like he was gonna work with animals, and at the time anything that had didn't seem like it had a lot of running or gymnastics or whatever, it felt like 'well, let's get him to do that."

It was an honest mistake, it definitely was not clear what we were gonna do... And you have to choose who's gonna do it before you know exactly what it is, and then once you've chosen you can't go back and can't change your mind.

Mel: And [in the challenge just picked the first camel group that I came to, which was the farthest away from the hay and the water. So it was really a stupid choice because I hadn't read it carefully. I [also] started taking the hay from Victor's pile and [someone] had to stop me and say "That's not your pile it's Vic's!"

Reality TV World:  And Mel to follow up on that, were those baskets located out of view so it was tough for some people to see them?

Mel: Right next to the hay! I mean, like 10-15 steps. You couldn't miss them it was just a whole pile of baskets and once you read the clue carefully that said "use the natural, historic ways to carry it" and there's only pitchforks and baskets, you think "God that was so stupid of me."

Reality TV World:  How much time do you think you saved using the baskets as opposed to the tins.

Mel: Well, it put me from last to the head of the troupe there, so thank goodness. Victor was gone already, but the others were there and gonna be ahead of me when I found it and I was able to get ahead of the rest of them.

Reality TV World:  There was also that paragliding challenge during the second leg where the bad weather threatened to knock out the challenge entirely and force you, Mel, to walk down the hill with your [groin] injury. It obviously didn't come to this point, but were you going to eventually try to make the walk down or were you gonna be up there and wait however long it took for the weather to clear up?

Mel: There was no question that I would have had to walk down after a while. We'd already given up, I thought I'd wrecked it for Mike and that we lost. So when the wind changed I had never really given careful consideration to the walking down.
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: TARAsia Fan on March 30, 2009, 09:21:35 PM
Your crazy Ken  :lol:
Crazy about you, darling.  :hrt: :hrt:
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on March 31, 2009, 02:19:24 PM
Amazing Race's Mel and Mike: Led Astray by Cabbie, Locals and Sinister Deaf Kid
Mar 30, 2009 07:02 PM ET by Joyce Eng

Life's a beach? Not for Mel and Mike White. The father-son duo — Mel's a famed clergyman and author; Mike's written and acted in School of Rock and Freaks and Geeks — were led way off-course on Sunday's Amazing Race in search of a gorilla statue at the beach, when it was in fact at the zoo. That wasn't the only factor that led to their ouster. Find out what and who else played a part, why they think Margie really passed out at the Pit Stop and if we could be seeing Reese Witherspoon on the Race one day. Was the cabbie sure the gorilla was at the beach?
Mel: We asked everyone at the Bangkok airport who lived in Phuket and they all said Patong Beach. The cab driver was convinced it was there. The other teams were asking where it was, but that's like following a herd, so we were thinking maybe we'd get lucky and do it our way.
Mike: I don't know what the local folklore is, but there were gorillas everywhere. For some reason, these people were convinced that gorilla was there, but it wasn't the right one. ... People would look at us and just sort of guess the zoo, like that was the obvious answer. We thought the zoo when we first saw the picture, but it was one of those things were it was so obvious somehow that it couldn't be right, so that's why we were like, "No, no, not the zoo! Where is it?" I was thinking I would've Googled it at the airport. Did any of you do that?
Mike: Luke said he'd done research and his hands were doing a sign language that indicated where the location was. So the whole night, I was like, "Luke, tell me!" And he was like, "I don't know, I'll have to decide later." He was basically playing a mind game with me. They didn't know. I went around the airplane all night going, "Do you know sign language? What does this say?" He just sent me on a fool's errand. My biggest regret was trusting Luke. Well, you said he's the sinister deaf kid.
Mike: I guess I didn't realize the sinister deaf kid was going to be sinister with me too. I was no exception to the rule.
Mel: We spent a lot of time with him, sitting there, writing notes back and forth. Mike really thought Luke liked him and Luke turned on him. You've had some great comebacks. Did you think another one was in the cards here or did you figure you were last?
Mike: We thought we were last and we were five to 10 minutes behind Kisha and Jen. We also thought maybe Mike and Mark would be last [Laughs]. When it gets down to a couple teams, if you have an off day, it's definitely not good.
Mel: I was delighted when they said [Mark and Mike] got a 30-minute penalty for hiding those pumps. I thought real justice had been done. Did you think 30 minutes was enough of a penalty?
Mike: It was definitely mean-spirited. I don't know how much it impacted the other teams. If we had done the rickshaw, maybe we would've been even more offended.
Mel: We were gonna do it and the driver was calling ahead to find out where it was and took us to the end of the rickshaw. So again we'd been taken astray by this guy. That must've taken up time then. But you guys were always so calm. How did you stay that way? Even in the herb shop, you were laughing and joking.
Mike: Well, it's not gonna make us faster just to scream. We tried to motivate people by making them laugh and maybe they'll take pity on you.
Mel: After seeing the episode and seeing how people treated the shop owners, I was really glad we didn't do that. They were smiling and laughing when we left. Well, you called Jaime mean.
Mike: I said she was kind of mean.
Mel: "Kind of mean"? She was mean straight-out! What are you talking about?
Mike: I think she has a capacity to be rude, which has been evident on the episodes. As an audience member, I think it's fun to have someone who's just so determined to win that she keeps us entertained.
Mel: Plus, she made some wonderful comments, like, "I hate these foreign languages! What are they talking about?!" [Laughs] She expected everyone to know English, I guess. Were you close to them at all?
Mike: We were friendly with everyone. Toward the end, people got more stressed. ... Some people got really into wanting to be ahead of everybody at every stage, so it was aggravating.
Mel: Yeah, Luke was exasperating. He was unhappy most of the time. He was constantly yelling at his mother — yelling in his deaf way. It was amazing how he picked on her.
Mike: He was worse than Jaime, I think. He would see you in your cab getting ahead and suddenly he'd be snapping his fingers at the driver's mirror to go faster. It's one thing when you're in last place, but when you're ahead, it's like, you're not enjoying any of this. ... I think he put a lot of pressure on himself. Our theory about why Margie passed out is that he wouldn't let them buy food or water along the way. He wanted to hoard the money, which is smart, from a strategic point of view. But at some point, her body caved. Mike, I know you said your ideal teammate would be your friend Reese Witherspoon. Should there be a Celebrity Amazing Race?
Mike: I think it would definitely be entertaining for people to watch, but I don't know how many celebrities would put up with how they treat you on the Race. [Laughs] You're not treated like a star, let's just say. Even for me, who's never even been a star, I felt like I was being treated like an extra with a criminal record.
Mel: I loved the line Michael gave at the beginning: "I don't fly coach." But then he learned that coach is pretty good, huh, Mike?
Mike: I didn't say I don't fly coach. I said I feel misunderstood when I fly coach. [Laughs] You know who wins, but who are you cheering for?
Mike: When we got off, we were cheering for Kisha and Jen because they were cool and we liked them. Also, Tammy and Victor. We really bonded with them toward the end of our run. We liked that even though they were competitive, they seemed to have fun along the way and we could relate to the way they played
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on March 31, 2009, 02:55:27 PM
The Amazing Race

Amazing Race’s Mike White Doesn’t Regret Underwear Jog in Siberia
March 31, 2009
School of Rock screenwriter Mike White, 38, had long admired The Amazing Race from the safety of his Pasadena, Calif., couch. When he decided to try out for the globe-trotting competition, he convinced his father Mel White, a 68-year-old gay-rights activist and pastor living in Lynchburg, Va., to go along for the ride. Even though they were eliminated just shy of the top five — essentially thanks to one bad decision — the fan favorites don’t regret a single moment of the competition. Not even the pulled groin or the unflattering white leotard. – Carrie Bell

A lot of fans were sad to see you guys go last night.
Mike: We were sad too. Of course we’ve had some more time to get used to the idea that we didn’t make it to the end. I feel like we could have gone farther. We just had a bad taxi driver and a really off day and you can’t afford to have an off day when it gets down to six teams.

Was there ever a moment where you thought the driver was wrong and you should have stayed with the group?
Mike: At that moment when we saw all of [the other teams], the driver was on the phone and said he suddenly felt like he knew where to go. Even though the [other racers] were all going the other direction, they didn’t seem to know where they were going. I would probably do the same thing again because you think, “Maybe we can get ahead if this guy is right and we can get ahead of all the chaos.”
Mel: We had also done a lot of work at the Bangkok airport talking to a lot of people who live in Phuket and they all looked at the gorilla and said it was at Patong Beach so we had this whole community of advice givers who were wrong and we were lead by the misinformation.

Mike, what made you want to be on reality TV?
Mike: I knew it would be a blast and stimulating and a challenge. … And going with my dad was a once in a lifetime opportunity as cliché as that sounds. … I didn’t expect the kind of positive feedback it could bring my dad. He speaks in places where they say the most hateful things about gay people and literally spit at him and now, to have the country see him as the humorous, compassionate and fun guy that he is, helps change the reactions he gets. That is one of the cooler fallout aspects of it. It can help change people’s minds about gay people.

Did you have a favorite place or moment?
Mel: I liked the paragliding and not just because it saved me from death. But I also liked getting to the mat because they always had some sort of cultural outbreak like the ballet troupe. I loved those moments.
Mike: I’ve got to say that I was really into the gymnastics at Nadia Comaneci’s facility. It was so ridiculous — that white leotard! And my favorite moment watching the show was watching Tammy try to do a somersault.

Being a public figure, were you ever worried about making a fool of yourself? You did jog in your underwear.
Mel: He looked good though, didn’t he?
Mike: Thanks, Dad. My philosophy in life is if you take yourself so seriously and try to protect your image, you will miss out on cool opportunities. Then the tail’s wagging the dog. As I sat down to watch it Sunday night, there was a pang of anxiety. Are we going to look like morons when we listen to that driver and go to the wrong place? That was more embarrassing than jogging half-naked in Siberia. But it is not something I will ever regret doing. And lots of good comedy takes place in underwear.

Your good friend Jack Black certainly knows that. Have he and any of your other famous pals been watching or teasing you?
Mike: When I first told him and other people that I was doing it, they were shocked and … I felt like they thought, “What are you doing going on reality TV?” But as the shows have aired and they have started watching to support me, they are becoming fans of the show. … No mater how fun or glamorous your lifestyle is, there is no denying that doing The Amazing Race is such a unique opportunity.

Has any part of the Race become inspiration for a movie script?
Mike: As stereotypical as some of the moments seem — like when there are a bunch of Siberians drinking vodka and singing songs at 8 a.m. — you realize that they try to be very real. There were people drinking at 8 a.m. all over Siberia who had nothing to do with the show. I need to get outside of L.A. and realize that there are so many different cultures and lives, and that part inspires me.

Mel, did you ever get that mai tai or massage you talked about?
Mel: I have not gotten any mai tai offers but I am getting marriage proposals from every rest home in the country. And I have to say, “Sorry. Already taken.”
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Snooky on March 31, 2009, 06:11:41 PM
He was probably the only one who like doing that, besides Victor who didn't get to do it!
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on April 01, 2009, 07:14:19 AM
Reliving The Amazing Race with Mike and Mel White
by Reg Seeton

The funny thing about The Amazing Race is that the competition is so touch and go that even certain recognizable faces and well-known names haven't been able to win CBS' hit reality adventure. Albeit certain faces and names have mainly come from the world of reality TV, this season of The Amazing Race saw screenwriter Mike White, scribe of such films as School of Rock, Orange County and Nacho Libre, jump into The Amazing Race with his dad, Mel.

For Mike and Mel the race was an adventure of a lifetime, as the father and son duo kept pace with the Season 14 teams through Austria, Romania, Russia, India and Thailand. From Mel making the decision to paraglide over the Austrian Alps to Mike running through the streets of Novosibirsk in underwear and work-boots, Mike and Mel were strong competitors, always in contention for top spot until they hit the bustling streets of Phuket, Thailand. At the end of the leg, Mike and Mel fell unlucky in Amazing Race love when they picked the wrong cab and became the latest team to be eliminated from The Amazing Race.

The day after their elimination, we took a call from father and son team, Mike and Mel White, to find out why they didn't stop to get directions, how The Amazing Race was different than how they pictured it, and what it was like to paraglide over the Alps and run the frosty streets of Russia with barely any clothes on your back.

THE DEADBOLT: So why didn't you guys stop the cab and go over to the other teams?

MIKE WHITE: Right at the time we saw them our cab driver was talking to dispatch and going, ‘Oh, I know where it is. I know where the gorilla is.’ Then we looked out the window and we saw all of the teams, and it wasn’t like they knew where they were going. They were just running around the streets looking crazy. So it just felt like at the time that this guy seems to know and these people are obviously lost. But then when he took us up to where he thought the gorilla was and it was obviously wrong. By the time we got back into the center of town, they were all gone and we didn’t know where they went.

MEL WHITE: We asked people in the airport in Bangkok who live in Phuket where this was, and they all said it’s at Patong Beach. So we had that disinformation. Then we had a cab driver who couldn’t turn around, because we couldn’t tell him to, and we made a bad decision.

THE DEADBOLT: So how tough was Thailand compared to India?

MIKE: Actually, it wasn’t. We thought that India was just as [tough]. I mean it was just one of those days where we didn’t know how lost we were. We knew we were behind. It was frustrating dealing with the cab driver because he kept taking us to wrong places along the route. Like he would call his dispatch and find out where the other cabs were going so he would take us to places we were supposed to go, eventually, but not in the order we were supposed to go in them.

So he dropped us off, at one point, at the end of the rickshaw race. So we were like, ‘What are we doing here?’ And it seemed right because there were all of these flags for the show. Then it was like, ‘No, wait! This is the finish line.’ So we had to go somewhere else. It was a confusing day but it wasn’t actually that hard. It was hot, we were sitting in a cab, and they didn’t make us do that much. I mean the filling of the barrels was kind of fun, but it wasn’t that bad.

THE DEADBOLT: How far behind were you guys at the end?

MIKE: We were like five or ten minutes.

MEL: Kisha and Jennifer got lost on the way back. So if we had just a few more minutes somewhere along the line, we would’ve stayed in there. If we had a driver who understood anything, we could’ve been in there.

THE DEADBOLT: How did your strategy change from the beginning of the race.

MIKE: Not much. I think for us we decided that we weren’t going to get too caught up in what all of the other teams were doing, because there was a lot of drama with Tara and Jamie, Luke and Margie, and Tammy and Victor. You see it on the show. Sometimes they would like people and they would be mad about stuff, and it just felt like it took your energy away from what you wanted to focus on. So we just kind of ran our own race, for better or for worse.

THE DEADBOLT: Which team was your closest ally?

MIKE: Probably Kris and Amanda were the team we spent the most time with because we were on all of the flights with them. Once they were eliminated, it was Tammy and Victor. But Margie and Luke, we thought we were working with them for some of it. It turns out we weren’t. Turns out they weren’t working with us.

THE DEADBOLT: So, Mel, what was the view like when you were paragliding?

MEL: Yeah, I’ll never forget that. The Alps down below, so idyllic, with green and cows and pastures and everything. So I was so relieved, first of all, that we were flying. I mean that in itself was a tremendous thrill, and then to be flying in that particular place. I only regret that the guy said, ‘Do you want to go down fast or slow? It’s very turbulent today.’ I said, ‘We’re in a race, let’s do it fast.’ But I wish we could’ve just skimmed over those alpine peaks without anything pushing us down.

THE DEADBOLT: Did you think that you were out of the race at that point?

MEL: Well, I could see them still running down. I thought we were gone, it was over, goodbye. As I was sailing out over there, I could see them running still. So that was just a very exhilarating moment to think we passed that disaster.

THE DEADBOLT: Mike, you didn’t look too happy when you were running in your underwear in Russia. What was that like?

MIKE: It was fine. It felt like one of those obligatory, humiliating moments that only happen on reality television. I was frustrated, too, because I didn’t want to run in those boots. But they wouldn’t let me change my shoes.

MEL: [laughs] Imagine what wearing a thong was like. I thought he looked really good, though, didn’t you?

THE DEADBOLT: Yeah, he looked great. Cold ...

MEL: He looked like an Olympic star with those two guys running behind him in full uniforms.

THE DEADBOLT: What was Siberia like as a challenge?

MIKE: That leg was actually kind of fun, the Novosibirsk. But the one that involved the U-turn, the one with the logs, that was probably the lowest point of the race for our team. It was so cold and so not a fun challenge. Also, just the amount of flying it took to get there. By the time we got there, we were just so out of it. It was tough, a tough leg.

MEL: We picked an airplane that landed at one end of Moscow, another plane that took off from another airport clear across Moscow, and we had to go through these four subway systems. We had an hour or we’d have missed that plane, which we did miss. So just running to those airports, by the time we got to Jaipur, man, we could hardly stand up.

THE DEADBOLT: At any point did you guys feel like you were in a Bing Crosby, Bob Hope road movie?

MEL: [laughs] Every day I did. We were having as much fun as those two, only I can’t sing. Mike is a vegan, remember, and there were whole days where he couldn’t eat anything. We often didn’t have water until we got to the pit stop. That’s why she [Margie] was saying, ‘Can I have some water?’ And Phil was ignoring her, so she fainted to show him.

THE DEADBOLT: So that must’ve been doubly hard on you, Mike, energy-wise?

MIKE: It really wasn’t a factor until toward the end of our run. Like in the last couple of legs or so, I was just dragging a little bit. The good news is that my dad got more energized the deeper into the competition we went. I leaned on him.

THE DEADBOLT: How was the race different than what you pictured before starting off?

MIKE: You know, the truth is, it was even more fun than our expectations. Well, at least mine. I was just shocked by how amazing it is that they are able to accomplish such a complicated organizational feat. I mean I’m sure there was lots of drama behind the scenes that we never knew about, but it’s just such an incredible kind of virtuoso feat of producing.

THE DEADBOLT: So why did you guys choose to go into it in the first place?

MIKE: I just wanted an adventure and some fun. I’d seen the show for years and it just seemed like the funnest thing you could do. So we just went for it.

MEL: I don’t think anyone can understand unless they’ve done it before, what it means to stand on that starting line and have Phil say, ‘You’re beginning a trip around the world.’ So losing that first leg was a nightmare for everybody on the race. For me, I was so afraid that whole day that we would be last. Once you’re not last on the first leg, then it gets easier. But I can tell you, I was really afraid I was going to screw up that first day.

THE DEADBOLT: Now that you’re away from it, how has the race brought you closer together?

MIKE: Now we just have such a well of experiences to revisit. What’s crazy is how much there is to talk about in the two-plus weeks we spent racing. You know, it just feels like we have a lifetime of comical memories to go over. So that’s cool, and I think it’s fun to make new memories and bond over them.

MEL: Michael will call me up in the middle of the day and just start laughing because he’s thinking about something only he and I remember. So we have private jokes, too, that are really fun.

THE DEADBOLT: So Mike, one last question: Did Cesar [of the Dog Whisperer] take care of your dogs while you were on the race?

MIKE: [laughs] I wish. My dogs are now perfectly trained thanks to Cesar. But I have a friend who comes and takes care of the dogs when I go out of town.

-- Reg Seeton
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: marigold on April 01, 2009, 02:18:53 PM
An interesting article:

The Amazing Race’s star-studded surprise

The competing duos on The Amazing Race 14 got festive with some famous fans in Los Angeles on March 22. “The contestants teamed up with Amazing Race alums and had a scavenger hunt in Hollywood,” an insider tells In Touch. “What they didn’t know was that the keepers of the clues awaiting them at the end of the mini-race included Sean Hayes, Molly Shannon, Laura Dern and Jack Black!” (Jack starred in School Of Rock with Race contestant Mike White, who also wrote the hit comedy,) After the hunt, father and son Race team Mel and Mike held a viewing party, where Laura Dern posed for pics with Racers, and season 11 All-Stars winner Erik Sanchez “walked around wearing nothing but an apron!” (
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: marigold on April 01, 2009, 02:20:58 PM
An interview with Mel and Mike:

Thailand is the end of the road for The Amazing Race's Mike and Mel

Mike White wrote and co-starred in School of Rock, but now he's probably best known as the guy who couldn't stop smiling as he raced around the world with his father, Mel. Exhausted from an intense leg in India, they never had time to recover before landing in Thailand. "I think we were delirious the whole day," Mike tells In Touch. Unfortunately, a confused cab driver in Thailand turned out to be too much for the father/son team to handle and they became the latest team eliminated from of The Amazing Race. "You live by the cabbie and you die by the cabbie," laughs Mike. "Our taxi driver didn't speak Thai or English," adds Mel. "I don't know what language he was speaking."

What was your first impression of Thailand?
Mike: We were so tired the minute we got off the plane. I think we were just delirious the whole day.
Mel: I love Thailand, but man that was a bad return. Our taxi driver didn't speak Thai or English! And I don't know what language he was speaking.

What went wrong for you on that leg?
Mike: Well, you know, you live by the cabbie and you die by the cabbie. We had some amazing cab drivers, but there is a lot of luck involved in that. In Thailand, we seemed to get a guy who really was kind of baffled by the whole enterprise. But that being said, we did make a mistake when we caught up to all the teams but decided not to follow them.
Mel: In airports, we'd try to learn everything we could from people going to the same destination. Everybody in the Bangkok airport told us that the gorilla we had a picture of was located at Patong Beach. I mean, invariably they all said that. So we had it in our minds that the zoo was too obvious, and that was a mistake. Usually the locals helped us, but this time it seemed that they were all in it to deceive us.

Mel, if I recall, you injured your groin during the first leg. Were you prepared physically for this race?
Mel: I have cholesterol and high blood pressure, so I would rattle from all the pills I was carrying as I ran! But an older body doesn't do what a younger body can. So at the starting line, I pretended I had a younger body and I stretched really hard to keep up with the younger people, and it twanged.

Did the race turn out to be harder than you imagined?
Mel: I don't know. It was pretty hard.
Mike: The truth is that my dad was feeling older early on. But our energy levels switched somewhere along the way. My dad got more and more competitive. The more he did well, the more he was in it to win it, and at the same time I started flagging.

Mike, are you proud of your dad?
Mike: Oh, yeah. I mean now whenever I think of my dad I think of him hustling across India feeding camels and dancing. He was awesome and he not only inspired me but the other contestants once they realized that we were not a team to be dismissed.
Mel: Hey, I'm getting proposals from every rest home in America.

What was your favorite part of the race?
Mel: My favorite leg was India because my dad was such a superstar. And I've never been to India before and it's such a beautiful place and the people were so fun. After being in Siberia for so long, it was like being dropped in the middle of a carnival.
Mike: Almost every pit stop involved a cultural moment or event and I loved all of them. But they went by so fast. I'd say to Phil, can't you have them do it again? Of course he wouldn't. But my favorite moment without question was jumping off that cliff and parachuting in the Bavarian Alps. It was so exhilarating to be hanging up there. I'll never forget that!

What was the most difficult part?
Mike: I'm basically vegan and don't eat any of the food that was around. So as it got to the sixth or seventh leg, I was just running on fumes.
Mel: One day we had cheese sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner and he doesn't eat cheese, so he was really hungry.

Would you do it all over again?
Mike: Heck yeah! We're ready for the invite for the All-Stars or a rematch. We'll be there for sure.

Mike, what did your Hollywood friends have to say about your performance?
Mike: Yes, I think The Amazing Race has a different subset of viewers in LA this season. But people were really supportive. Last night and today I got a lot of e-mails from people that were not taking it as well as we did. They didn't seem to snap back as quickly as I thought they would. We had all the teams fly out last weekend and we actually organized a race around LA. Jack Black, Molly Shannon and Sean Hayes popped up along the race to give out clues and Phil was at the finish line. It was just a cool thing just to prove that the race never ends for anybody. (
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: slayton on April 02, 2009, 04:40:13 PM
The Amazing Race: Thrill ride
By Casey Gillis

I don’t know about you, but Sunday nights just got a little less exciting now that Mel and Mike White are no longer on “The Amazing Race.”

The father/son duo’s journey came to an end during the series’ seventh episode, which aired on Sunday and had them racing through Phuket, Thailand.

The long-running CBS series, now in its 14th season, follows teams of two as they race around the world, competing in various challenges along the way.

Mel, a gay rights activist who lives in Lynchburg, and Mike, an actor/director/screenwriter who lives in California, were one of 11 teams to compete this season, which included stops in Germany, Romania, India and even Transylvania.

It was a cab driver snafu that ultimately sealed their fate, but don’t feel too sorry for the pair. After talking to them on Monday, I think I’m taking their ouster harder than they are.

Mel said he wishes they’d gone farther, but he has no regrets.

“It was just too much fun,” he said in a joint phone interview with his son.

“You know, you think, ‘If I’d done this or that.’ You have little regrets there that you’ve just gotta chase away. I’m not gonna think about that cab driver. There’s just too much fun to balance it out.”

When they arrived at the pit stop in Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, Mike said they were ready for whatever host Phil Keoghan told them.

“We were in a good place psychologically,” he said. “It would be fun to go all the way, but we felt like we really had had the ‘Amazing Race’ experience. I feel like some of the teams, early on, who got eliminated in the first couple days … that would have been sort of crushing because there’s such a build-up to going. To have the race last for two days just would’ve been depressing. But we were there two plus weeks.”

It was an eventful two weeks that saw Mel paragliding 6,000 feet over the Bavarian Alps and racing down a 3-mile Siberian bobsled course at 50 miles per hour, while his son bungee-jumped from a 70-story drop in Switzerland and ran through the streets of Siberia in only his underwear.

Together, they danced in the streets of India, helped a family of Transylvanian gypsies move and hung out with elephants at the Phuket Zoo.

“To describe ‘The Amazing Race’ is to not find adequate adjectives, and I’m very sincere about that,” Mel told me back in February. “It was thrilling every day. It was awe-evoking every day.”

For the most part, they stayed right in the middle of the pack, but do have two second-place finishes and one first to their name.

“We thought we were done so many times,” Mel said Monday. “We knew we were done a couple times. (Then), ‘We’re first? Huh?’”

It was the race’s fifth leg, in India, that proved to be the most stressful, when Mel struggled during a roadblock that required him to do some serious manual labor.

“When we finished in India … we talked to each other after that leg was over,” Mike said. “It was like, ‘You know what, Dad? We have nothing to be ashamed of at this point. Whatever happens, happens. Let’s enjoy it. We can’t lose now. It can only just be gravy.’

“So when we got behind in Phuket, we were determined to have fun, even if we ended up going out.”

And they did, joking and laughing through most of their tasks.

“We were just so lost most of that day that when we were actually anywhere where we knew we were supposed to be, we were in a good mood,” Mike said. “We were kind of reveling in the moment that we were at least on the path.”

That’s what was so endearing about the Whites. They were completely worth rooting for because they never got so wrapped up in the competition that they forgot who they were or how to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

They also never failed to crack me up, whether Mike was describing his father as “part Woody Allen, part Billy Graham and a splash of Judy Garland,” or Mel was saying that he could paraglide over the Bavarian Alps all day, “if I had a sandwich.”

Mel and Mike played the game with class and such wit, and I feel very confident in saying that even if Mel had no ties to Lynchburg, he and Mike would’ve been my favorite team.

Both men say they’d do it all over again in a heartbeat if asked back for an all-star edition.

CBS, the ball is in your court.

The Whites sound off

Mel on the first episode, which had them hauling four 50-pound cheese wheels down a steep slope in Interlaken, Switzerland:
“Michael was so generous and loving to me and pulled me up that hill. The cameras don’t give you any indication of how steep that hill was, and slippery. To start the race on that hill, I thought, ‘What are the next days going to be like?’”

Mike on keeping their composure in the race’s stressful situations:
“Well, it just doesn’t seem like losing your composure is necessarily going to get you done with the task any faster. You know what I mean? Sometimes when we were behind, it was actually more calming. It’s when you’re ahead and you feel like they’re all gaining on you that you’re like, ‘Ugh.’ But when you’re behind, you just sort of feel like you’re gonna give it your best and whatever will happen, happens.”

Mike, on running the race with his dad:
“My dad’s always been my friend, and he’s always been my dad, obviously. But it was just cool to be in the foxhole with him and strategize and kind of share the victories and share the tension of being behind. There was so much comedy, too. Even in the craziest moments, you just look around, and it’s just hilarious. It’s been fun to laugh about some of that stuff, even months later.”

Both on their most memorable moments:
Mike: “I just remember when we were dancing in India, we had already collected all the money that we needed, and my dad was just so into it. I was trying to bring him back. I was like, ‘Dad, we’ve got the money,’ and he was still dancing with the Indians and screaming for money. He was so into it, it was just funny to watch.”

Mel: “It’s gotta be paragliding over the Bavarian Alps. First of all, for the wind to change was so exhilarating. And then to see that beautiful countryside from that far up, that’s a moment you can’t forget.”

Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: slayton on April 02, 2009, 04:49:32 PM
‘The Amazing Race’ 14: goodbye to nice guys Mike and Mel

The nicest, sweetest and most fun-filled team to grace “The Amazing Race” 14 — the father-son team of clergyman Mel White, 68, and “School of Rock” screenwriter Mike White, 38 — were eliminated last night in the seventh lap of the series.

They had problems finding a taxi at the Phuket, Thailand, airport, and then their cabbie took them to the wrong location. They never recovered from the misdirection.

On the morning after the elimination, the two talked about their experiences and how they have remained friends with the rest of the contestants.

Q: You were the sweetest, nicest couple. I was so sorry to see you go. Can you guys adopt me?

Mel: Yes, give us a couple of days to work it out! It’s surprising to see how many people watching would comment: “We are tired of the angry people and really glad for you to have fun.” I think most reality shows think the angry people are the good people, they bring in the audience. But, man, people really liked the fun times we had.

Q: You have such a warm and wonderful relationship. Have you always had a really strong bond?

Mike: It’s all for the cameras!

Mel: From the beginning, Michael was smarter than I was, so from the time he was 8 and 9, he was making movies and I was watching them. We had a lot of conversations over the years that segued into this.

Q: Did you both do a lot of training before the race?

Mike: We both did. We knew it was going to be physically strenuous, but that was fun. The truth was we were late to the party: We only knew we were going a couple of weeks before we left, so we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare but it was fun — I felt like I was “Rocky.” There was a montage of me doing push-ups and running sprints on the treadmills.

Mel: I got a trainer at the Y to work with me every day so that really helped.

Q: Did you have a favorite location?

Mike: I hadn’t been to any of the places except for Switzerland, and I must say India was so cool. It was a memorable leg for us and it was so unreal. I loved Jaipur; I would go back there in a second.

Q: You had transportation problems last night, which put you behind.

Mike: Yeah. I was hoping there would be more sort of self-driving because the legs we got to drive ourselves we did a lot better. There is always an element of luck and we had really good luck with cab drivers, but this time you live by the sword and die by the sword.

Q: Were you close with the rest of the teams?

Mike: You spend a lot of time with the teams.

Mel: We liked them all — are you going to talk about the reunion?.

Mike: We had a big viewing party about two weeks ago where all the teams flew out. I hired a company to do a race for us. It was like five hours where we raced around L.A. Steve and Linda, the couple from West Virginia, won. I teamed with former winners B.J. and Tyler, the hippies that won one of the seasons.

– Susan King, Los Angeles Times staff writer
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: apskip on April 03, 2009, 07:59:16 AM
Very true. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. :lol:

Ken, some of us know what you look like. It would not be possible.
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Snooky on April 05, 2009, 08:50:32 AM
Goofy expectations
A A A 


Even before this season of CBS's "The Amazing Race" got under way, viewers could see that the team of Mel and Mike White would be a little different.

In the show's quietly hilarious promo clip, father and son were introduced simply as "writers" and shown pecking away at side-by-side laptops, doing tandem yoga and tooling around on Segway PTs.

Mike White admits he stage-managed the commercial to temper people's expectations. But it seems like he also couldn't resist imposing some small measure of his comedic worldview on the show.
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Snooky on April 05, 2009, 08:52:25 AM
Fashion disasters, weight gain, drunken debauchery - was the reality TV scene a little more train-wreckish than usual this week, or is it just me?


The Amazing Race

It's a shame to see Mel and Mike White go. The openly gay father-son duo was one of the most endearing teams to ever go on the Race, even if they didn't need the cash (Mel's a famed clergyman and author; Mike wrote and starred in School of Rock). It was all over when they got wrong directions to the Phuket Zoo on this week's Thailand leg. By the time they'd posed with tigers and let elephants squat over their backs, three other teams had sweated past the finish line.
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: TARAsia Fan on April 19, 2009, 04:36:33 PM
Interview with Mel in AfterElton:

Just Because Mel White of "The Amazing Race" is Paranoid Doesn’t Mean People Don’t Want to Kill Him
by Brent Hartinger

April 16, 2009

How do I know Mel White is a busy guy? Five minutes into our interview to talk about his recent participation on the reality show The Amazing Race with his son, actor/screenwriter Mike White, he’s interrupted by Anderson Cooper’s producer who wants to confirm an appearance on CNN later that day. The day before, White had been on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

How do I know Mel White is a nice guy? He couldn’t be more apologetic about CNN’s interruption. And he couldn’t be more gracious and unhurried in our conversation, which touched on everything from  how he wished The Amazing Race’s had been more “gay,” to how their battery of psychological tests found him to be their most a “paranoid” participant ever – but for good reason!

Interestingly, despite being perhaps the country’s most well-known gay Christian activist, White was almost an afterthought on the CBS show, stepping in after his son Mike’s first TAR partner bowed out.

White is still not sure the producers of the show are aware that he is perhaps the country’s most well-known gay Christian activist, writing Stranger at the Gate: To be Gay and Christian in America about White’s close dealings with Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Billy Graham, and co-founding (with his husband Gary Nixon) the activist group Soulforce that sponsors “Equality Rides” to college campuses around the country.

AfterElton: First, I wanted to ask how The Amazing Race is different from an Equality Ride.
Mel White: Well, to tell you the truth, I’ve never been on an Equality Ride.

AE: Oh, you haven’t? I saw photos of you! You were just behind the scenes, huh?
MW: Well, I rode a couple days on each ride, but it’s really the students are who do everything about it. In so many ways they are unlike [The Amazing Race] in the sense that they stop so many places along the way and try to make an impact. On The Amazing Race, we slide through every place at such speeds that the only impact we make is on the race itself.

AE: So it’s about the journey on an Equality Ride, but it really is only about the destination on The Amazing Race?
MW: Yeah. That’s very well said. An Equality Ride, yeah, it’s about the journey, and for [The Amazing Race] it’s about the end results of a million dollars.

AE: Who’s idea was it for you and your son Mike to participate? Did the show come to you guys?
MW: No, Mike tried out with director Jon Kasdan. They were accepted for Season 13 and then, lo and behold, Casden got nervous and had what my son calls an emotional nervous breakdown over going, and so they had to drop out.

Then the casting director said to Mike, “We’d like you for season 14 without Kasdan. Who would you like to go with you?” [Then she met me at a party], and she went to Michael and said, “I want your Dad.” So they had me do the psychological exams and physical exams and all that kind of stuff and somehow I squeaked through.

AE: They do psychological testing? That’s interesting.
MW: Oh, yeah. Like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the MMPI. When I finished taking it, the psychiatrist said to me, “You’re the highest on our paranoia scale ever.” And then she started reading the questions that gave it away.

She said, “Do you have people who just don’t like you?” And I said, “Yes.” “Do you have people who really hate you?” Yes. “Do you have people who would like to see you dead?” Yes. “Do ever feel a threat to your life?” Yes. And so my son is sitting there listening to these questions, laughing hysterically, and finally he turns to her and says, “He’s a gay activist! People really are out to get him!”

AE: That’s hilarious. I’m surprised you were sort of the afterthought, because it seems like an obvious pairing. You guys are both celebrities and the father/son thing.
MW: They didn’t know anything about my history, and I don’t think they still do. They never, for example, said Michael wrote School of Rock, and they never said I wrote Stranger at the Gate, they never said anything specific about me. I don’t think they even Googled me. They just took me as a parent and that they liked the parent/son relationship because we do have fun together. And so I was pleased to play second fiddle to my son in terms of all the wonderful things he’s done.

AE: Was Luke Adams out to the other players?
MW: Yeah, pretty much. Once he found out that Mike and I were being billed as gay, he wanted to be billed as gay, too, and I called the producer and they said, “No, we’re establishing you as what we want you to be established. He’s established as deaf. You’re established as gay, so don’t be interrupting what we’re trying to do here.” So they were very clear about not wanting to muddy the waters by bringing in another issue.

AE: But that’s what’s so great about it. There are plenty of deaf gays who don’t see themselves represented on TV and plenty of older gays who don’t see themselves represented.
MW: Well, fortunately it kind of got out. And also Lakisha’s a lesbian, the black sister. And there are rumors about others, which I will not pass on.

AE: What did your husband Gary have to say about your doing this? You didn’t have contact with him during the race, right?
MW: In fact, for almost 40 days I could have no contact with anyone. Twice CBS called him to tell him that we’re all right, but that’s all. They didn’t tell him where we were or what we were doing, so it was really kind of an isolation thing.

AE: So is what we see on TV a pretty accurate sense of what happened?
MW: It’s fairly accurate, but it’s sped up so fast that you miss the real misery. They show you arriving at the destination. They don’t show you running straight up the hill for a mile to get to the destination. But nothing is staged at all. It is just totally, “You’re on your own, kids.” And they favor no one.

They have 2,000 employees for this one season, so when you go into a country, it’s just amazingly organized. Unbelievably organized. And without a hitch, we went through all of those episodes, you know. It was something. Just exactly what you get.

AE: So the fact that you and your son are both gay [Mike is bisexual] seemed like such a non-issue. It was mentioned, but then it didn’t really come up again. Was it ever an issue on the show that we didn’t see?
MW: Well, frankly, I kept wishing they would bring it up more because I’m an activist and I want people to see, for example, they are constantly saying that gay people are a threat to children and all this stuff, so I wanted to show that gay parents are good parents, too. I wanted to represent gay people and they just didn’t go there.

Source -

There's more of the interview, but it does not mention TAR after that.
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: slayton on May 30, 2009, 08:15:08 PM
An 'amazing' journey
Former Pasadenan Mel White shows the world that gay dads can be great
By Carl Kozlowski 05/14/2009

Mel White well remembers the craziest thing he had ever done: skydive — at age 68 — over the Swiss Alps in an attempt to become a millionaire.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment that’s not only etched in his memory, but one witnessed by up to 12 million television viewers nationwide and perhaps tens of millions more around the world on the CBS reality series “The Amazing Race,” in which 11 pairs of contestants raced against time and faced other challenges all over the planet to win a million dollars.

But jet-setting around the globe was just another in a series of unique life experiences for White, a onetime Pasadena resident and a biographer and speechwriter for such conservative Christian icons as Jerry Falwell and Billy Graham. In 1982, the then-41-year-old father of two came out publicly about his sexuality and embarked on a quest to show that gays had a place in Christian churches.

Signing up for “The Amazing Race” at the request of his 38-year-old screenwriter son Mike (“Chuck & Buck,” “Orange County,” “School of Rock”) brought them together. Traveling the world with his son for five weeks gave him time to mend fences that had been broken by his change in lifestyle nearly three decades ago, while giving his message of gay parents being loving and capable an enormously effective platform.

“It’s the kind of thing you can never duplicate, so you have to enjoy it while you’re in it,” says White, speaking of his TV experience from his home in Lynchburg, Va. “And to do it with my son — imagine the gift it was to us to do a trip around the world for 35 days. When Mike told me once, ‘You really smoked ’em, dad,’ that was one of the proudest moments of my life.”

A gift from God
Such close bonds were rare, especially after Mike, at age 11, discovered Mel’s big secret. Mel married his wife, a long-time Pasadena arts activist, at a time when homosexuality was still regarded as an illness that could be “cured” or overcome, and tried to make the best of it for years.

“Being evangelical, I thought conservative Christians were right and I was sick and sinful,” Mel says. He and his wife were in therapy “until I realized that my sexual orientation was also a gift from God, and to accept it and celebrate it was God’s intention for me.”
The couple remained married until their children were in college. At that point, they divorced and Mel segued into a new life with Gary Nixon, whom he met while attending All Saints Church in Pasadena. After more than 25 years together, the couple married on June 18 — shortly after the California Supreme Court struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage — at All Saints, while visiting from Lynchburg.

Mel and Nixon have since staked their legacy on the formation of Soulforce, a national organization that trains people in the principles of nonviolence, “with a particular focus on eliminating the religion-based oppression of gay people.”

“Mel has been a profoundly influential voice for those seeking to reconcile their spirituality and sexuality in a culture that for too long sent messages that it was not possible to be a faithful Christian and be gay or lesbian at the same time,” says Rev. Susan Russell, a minister at All Saints Church and director of its Claiming the Blessing gay rights outreach. “As a trailblazing ‘out’ Christian, Mel’s leadership helped bring countless LGBT [lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender] people of faith out of the closet and into the community. And his work with Soulforce — focused on peaceful, nonviolent protest as a means of achieving equality — has been an inspiration to those who are working in the civic arena to make liberty and justice for all not just a pledge but a reality.”
A whole new world
As it turned out, Mike was a rabid fan of “The Amazing Race,” and had been accepted to the show with a friend as his traveling teammate. But when his friend backed out at the last minute, Mike reached out to his Dad.
“I never thought I would be representing any population. Yet I did represent senior citizens, parents, gay parents and gay men — all these groups have been writing us and cheering us on,” says Mel. “So it’s been fun breaking impressions of what a gay parent looks like and acts like. It was fun getting responses from around the world to how we responded to each other and worked together. It may have struck some caricatures down, but if not, I sure had some fun trying.”

And what fun it was in locations like Switzerland, Germany, the Alps, Austria, Transylvania, Siberia, India and Thailand. But while he was having a blast with Mike, Mel found that his age caused some problems, one of them a groin injury.

One of the more dramatic moments of the experience, based on the opinions of CBS PR flacks and the number of Web hits received for the footage online, came when Mel had to figure out how to paraglide off the top of a mountain in the Swiss Alps.

“We all either had to paraglide or run the two miles down the mountain, on a rocky shale path. The show advisers kept saying there wasn’t good enough wind to paraglide safely, and I thought I lost the race for both of us right then and there, because there was no way I could run down that distance,” explains Mel. “I was waiting for the wind to change and the show staff asked me if I was praying for help. I said I can’t waste God’s time praying for the wind to change for me, but I can be thankful for the view up here and thank Him if the wind picked up. And just as they were interviewing Michael about how he felt with his Dad losing the race for him, the wind picked up and the guide asked, ‘Do you mind turbulence?’ I said, ‘No! Let’s go!’ and we jumped out over the Alps.”

Having survived the trip and garnered a respectable fifth place out of the show’s 11 teams, Mel White looks back in gratitude for being able to renew his relationship with his son.

“I learned that there was a lot of life left in this old fart, though I didn’t know I had it in me. I learned how much more love and respect I have for my son, who’s wise, clever, smart and fun to be with,” explains Mel. “I learned the world is small and, being so small, I’ve wondered anew why we can’t put violence away and learn to get along. We have too much in common to be divisive. When you travel as fast as we did on the show, it kind of blurs the world’s differences and suddenly Jaipur [India] is a city in Iowa and you see it all as a collage or kaleidoscope where all the colors get along.”
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: TARdevotee on June 19, 2009, 05:14:02 AM
I was watching a bunch of movie trailers and I stumbled upon Zombieland and I'm not 100% certain but I'm pretty sure the man sitting on the toilet being attacked by a zombie at around 1:11 into the trailer is Mike White! Watch the trailer at and check it out. Can't wait to see it!
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Neobie on June 19, 2009, 05:50:59 AM
I vote yes!
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on June 19, 2009, 10:07:23 AM
Neobie......... you rock!  :lol: :lol: :lol:
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: DeafRacer on June 22, 2009, 07:26:11 PM
Hahahah, the picture cracked me up! I'll make sure to show it to Mike when I see him next week!!
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: puddin on June 22, 2009, 07:58:35 PM
Hahahah, the picture cracked me up! I'll make sure to show it to Mike when I see him next week!!
Oh I am jealous Luke! He and Mel are great guys! Wish we had got to know them longer!
So are you going out to make a movie? huh huh ??  ;)  ...... no matter! have a safe trip!  :jumpy:
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: Dånooky on October 12, 2009, 10:08:04 PM
I'm watching School of Rock and Mike is there :lol:
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: slayton on April 08, 2010, 05:03:28 PM
"HBO picks up Mike White-Laura Dern series"
Title: Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
Post by: georgiapeach on April 08, 2010, 07:25:10 PM
And you might just spot some of your favorite racers with cameos. :hearts: