I spoke with Dennis & Andrew today about their Amazing Race experience. Here's the transcript of that chat. Thanks, D&A! You were awesome, and I know that you'll be missed by our crew.
FORT: First of all, some members of our site are very depressed about your elimination, and Andrew, they're going to miss your smile.
Andrew: Oh, thank you.
FORT: What happened at the airport in Cancun?
Andrew: It really came down to luck. We seemed to be there at the same time almost all of the other teams were there, we saw almost all of them. It really came down to who was at what counter at what time, the tickets sold out so quickly at all the flights. We happened to be right behind Teri & Ian, who were right behind Andre & Damon. A&D got flights out at 10-something, T&I at 12-something, and for us, there were no flights left until 8pm.
FORT: So you were 8 hours behind the next-to-last team?
Dennis: We started 8 hours behind, but then it got worse. We arrived in Mexico City so late, there were no flights out of MC until the next day, so at one point, we were almost 24 hours behind. We made up a lot of that time at the FF. We made up about 20 hours, but that just wasn't enough.
FORT: In the limo, did you know you were out of it, or did you think you still had a shot?
Andrew: We knew that we were not going to be in first or second place, and we knew we were in a lot of trouble. But at the same time, we were holding out hope that maybe one other team got held up in Paris, or Germany, or wherever they flew through. So we thought 'maybe there's a chance, there's always a chance.' That's what I've learned in cheerleading - you give it all you've got until the end, you never know what's going to happen.
Dennis: That last day was a lot of fun for us. We were so frustrated trying to get out of Mexico, but once we got to Cambridge and got the FF, and they stuck us in a limo...We were on such a high at that time, it was so fun.
FORT: Dennis, how was driving the tank?
Dennis: I loved it. I love to drive different equipment, and fortunately, I had driven a very scaled down loader-type piece of equipment that drove similar to that tank, just much smaller. That was a place where my experience kicked in. Age and experience helped me very much there.
FORT: Did you know about the "alliance against the Twins", and what did you think of it?
Andrew: I think the alliance against the Twins is pretty sad, because the Twins are actually really nice, and I don't know what everyone's problem is with them. I think it's the fact that they're attractive, and they're physically fit, so all the teams that keep dogging them are jealous. We never felt that. We felt they were great guys, and hey, you go boys!
Dennis: There were a couple of teams that mentioned 'you know, two alpha males have won it in the past, we don't want that to happen again.' But the best team is the best team, whoever it may be.
FORT: What effect did competing in the race have on your father/son relationship?
Andrew: I think we really grew in the course of the race. I think we were a typical father and son - you know, he gives the orders and I take them. And then by the end of the race, he really realized that I'm grown up now, I can take care of myself. I feel that in the last leg of the race, that I did really step up. He let me take charge for a little while. I think we see each other differently now, and it's a lot better. We see each other as friends, and not so much father and son.
FORT: Prior to the show, a big deal was made about your lifestyle differences. Was that accurate?
Dennis: I think we've always been a close family. There's no doubt that it grew during the race, because he and I have never been able to spend this much time alone together before. We had always done family things, but there were a bunch of us - he's got his other brother and sisters. There were always 5 of us, instead of just the two of us. Our personal relationship grew, but we always had been a close family. We still do have an issue that we're working on, but we can have issues and still love each other. That's where we were, and that's where we still are, but it has changed a little bit, because I'm not really a father dictating any more, I'm more of a friend giving him advice. I can't tell him what to do any more.
Andrew: I think the media really hyped that up, and even the other teams expected that there was going to be a lot of controversy between us. Because I'm gay, because he's Christian, there's a lot of conflict between the two...different communities, I guess you'd say. I think hopefully we showed what family values really are - loving each other, and standing by each other, no matter what the circumstances. Whether your son is gay, straight, black, white, Jewish, or Christian, you're family, and you stick it out. THAT'S family values.
FORT: Andrew, how hard was it to convince your dad to participate?
Andrew: It was kind of funny, because I had seen and loved the show, and I told him 'we'd be so good at this' and kind of joked around about it. Then I printed the application and took it to him, and threw it in his face, laughing about it. Then he filled his out, so I did too, and we sent it in for kicks. We weren't expecting anything. We did it as a joke, just to say we did it, so we were shocked when someone called. Completely shocked.
Dennis: It wasn't a matter of convincing me to travel. First off, I guess I didn't dream big enough. I thought 'what are the chances we'd be picked on a show like that?' Second, if we WERE picked on the show, am I ready for the exposure it might give us, because of our different...outlooks on things, there are going to be some people who are not going to like me. And there are going to be some people who are not going to like Andrew. But the important thing is that we like each other. So if that came across, then maybe we can get through. And if we can get along, then once you get along, you can work through those issues.
FORT: Do you have to buy tickets for your camera crew, and did that cause any problems in flight availability for you?
Andrew: It didn't effect our flight availability, because every flight only had one seat left. So it didn't play a role in our race, getting out of Cancun. You do purchase 4 tickets at a time, though.
Dennis: Without the crew, there's no TV show. But sure, it did play a role, because the other planes filled up. If there hadn't been camera crews with them, there would have been room for us. But that's the race, they're part of the team - they're just an invisible part of the team.
FORT: We read that you had show-watching parties, and Rodger Bingham attended your most recent one. Did you know him before the race?
Dennis: We didn't, but a friend of the family knows him, so they invited him. We just thought it would be really cool to have all the Kentucky reality guys together. Not a whole lot happens exciting like this in Kentucky, and he's really a big local celebrity, so it was a thrill for us to meet him.
Andrew: Yeah, it's fun to have all the Kentucky Reality Boys together.
Once again, thanks to CBS, the Amazing Race production crew, and Dennis and Andrew for the interview. We'll miss the smile, and here's hoping there are a few more Kentucky Reality Boys to add to the list soon.