Andre, 32, and Damon, 33, met a decade ago while attending the University of Maryland. When Damon transferred to another university, the two lost touch for several years. Ironically, they were reunited in Los Angeles when they both stopped for the same traffic light.
Both Andre and Damon have jobs that put them in challenging situations. Andre is a police officer and Damon is a firefighter. They're used to dealing with all kinds of people, making quick decisions and working fast. Damon says that he and Andre decided to apply for THE AMAZING RACE for two reasons. First, "The opportunity to compete in a forum that is challenging physically and mentally." And second, "The cash…cha-ching!!!"
Damon says that his greatest asset on the trip is his brain. "The most important item I am carrying is not in my backpack. It is underneath my hat. I am pretty smart and resourceful," he says. Andre feels his strength is his ability to read the other teams and understand the game.
Together, this pair of friends have traveled extensively. While stationed in the military, Damon served in the Marine Corps and Andre was in the United States Air Force. Both are self-confident, physically fit and work incredibly well under pressure. Plus, whenever necessary, Damon can be a manipulative schemer, while Andre is a playful joker. Together, the two are a formidable Team who plan to give their fellow racers a run for the money.
Andre is married and lives in Los Angeles (he is originally from Baltimore, Maryland). Damon, who also lives in Los Angeles, is married with two children.
QUESTIONS and ANSWERS:
How would you describe your previous travel experience?
Andre: My previous travel experience basically limits to what I did while in the military. I have done some stateside (domestic) traveling.
Damon: I have traveled to several places while in the military, i.e. Alaska, Honduras, Vancouver B.C., Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Belgium. However, my leisurely travel has been limited to Nigeria and the Republic of Benin. I have also traveled within the U.S.
What is the most stressful aspect of traveling?
Andre: Packing and traveling with luggage.
Damon: The most stressful aspect of traveling is landing at the airport. I read that most accidents have to do with aircraft landing.
What is the most important item in your backpack, and why?
Andre: Passport and ID, because without it I am in trouble.
Damon: The most important item I am carrying is not in my backpack. It is underneath my hat: my brain. I am pretty smart resourceful.
Why did you want to be on THE AMAZING RACE?
Andre: To do something totally out of my element.
Damon: I was looking for a challenge, one that was physically and mentally tough. THE AMAZING RACE looked like a race that requires both of those items and more. Oh, and don't forget that $1 million would buy a lot of golf balls!
Have you and your partner traveled together before? If so, what was it like?
Andre: We traveled to New York together. It was fun.
Damon: We traveled to New York from Maryland while in college. It was a three-hour ride. I don't really consider this trip to be travel.
What do you fear most about competing in THE AMAZING RACE?
Andre: Not winning.
Damon: The fear of failing is the scariest thing about this whole experience. I fully expect to win; anything less would be hard to deal with.
What strengths and weaknesses do you bring to the Team?
Andre: Good decision-making skills (strength); too calculating (weakness).
Damon: I bring self-confidence. And I'm at my best under pressure. I work in a pressure-filled environment. For me, this is a natural condition; not to many people can say this. My job deals with life or death for myself and fellow firemen or the safety of citizens.
What strengths and weaknesses does your teammate bring to the Team?
Andre: He can be a little more direct than me (strength).
Damon: Andre is very self-confident as well; however, he is also analytical and calculating. These characteristics create a balance to my spontaneous and risk-taking traits.
What will you miss the most from home (besides your bed)?
Andre: My wife, whom I've missed since the day I left.
Damon: The item I miss the most is my cell phone. However, I miss my kids, Aisha and Wesley, tremendously.
What languages do you speak?
What destination are you hoping to visit?
Andre: Somewhere in South America. Damon: Egypt. There is so much history in that country. I would love to see the pyramids.
What country do you feel best prepared for?
Damon: The good ol' USA.