Author Topic: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son  (Read 31483 times)

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #50 on: March 30, 2009, 07:55:39 PM »
Very true. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. :lol:

« Last Edit: March 30, 2009, 08:17:00 PM by TARAsia Fan »
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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #51 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.

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #52 on: March 30, 2009, 09:21:35 PM »
Your crazy Ken  :lol:
Crazy about you, darling.  :hrt: :hrt:
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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #53 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
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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #54 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.”

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #55 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!

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #56 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.

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Offline marigold

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #57 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!”

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #58 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.

Offline slayton

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #59 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.”

Offline slayton

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #60 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

Offline apskip

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #61 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.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 01:37:28 PM by apskip »

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #62 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.

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #63 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.

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #64 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.
Just here to visit.

Offline slayton

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #65 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.”

Offline TARdevotee

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #66 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!

Offline Neobie

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #67 on: June 19, 2009, 05:50:59 AM »
I vote yes!
« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 05:54:23 AM by Neobie »
Found out that Neobie in Chinese means "f*king awesome"! No, really. Look it up!

Offline puddin

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #68 on: June 19, 2009, 10:07:23 AM »
Neobie......... you rock!  :lol: :lol: :lol:

Offline DeafRacer

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #69 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!!

Offline puddin

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #70 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:

Offline Dånooky

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #71 on: October 12, 2009, 10:08:04 PM »
I'm watching School of Rock and Mike is there :lol:
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Offline slayton

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Online georgiapeach

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #73 on: April 08, 2010, 07:25:10 PM »
And you might just spot some of your favorite racers with cameos. :hearts:
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