Andre, a police officer, and Damon, a firefighter, were the latest team eliminated from The Amazing Race. We spoke to them about their experience, and here is a transcript of the interview:
FORT: Tell us about the detainment in Morocco. Did you ever find out what, if anything, you did wrong?
Andre: Wrong cab, that's all. We got in the wrong cab.
Damon: The cab driver screwed us. It was all just being in the wrong place. The cab driver took us to a place where it was all locals. I don't know if he just wanted to get an extra fare from us, or what, but it ended up our undoing at the end.
FORT: At the airport in Casablanca, Flo tried to sabotage you. Did you know at the time what was up, and did you say anything to them about it?
Andre: Yes, I was behind her when she was telling the agent not to sell us a ticket. Even though she was speaking in Italian, I could still tell she was scheming to try to prevent us from getting on the same flight, but that was part of the game. I didn't get upset with her, or say anything to her, and Damon didn't say anything to her. It was more after last night's episode, seeing her say we were piggybacking on everyone that upset us.
FORT: That leads me to ask, you were shown several times sticking to other teams. Was this a strategy, and how do you think it worked for you?
Andre: We got to the front of the pack on our own merits, and we didn't follow anyone. And the one instance where we did need some information, we actually bartered and paid for the information.
Damon: It was part of our strategy, but what didn't get aired that's important is that the other team asked for money initially, because they were hurting for cash. The only part that got aired was us offering to pay 30 Euros, but prior to that, they asked for 100 Euros. That was just the way we were portrayed, but it was no big deal. We had a "no holds barred" strategy - we were going to do everything we had to do to win, and that was just one example of it.
FORT: Coming from your professions, you have the advatange of working tired and under pressure. Do you think that was an advantage?
Andre: We always thought we had a better advantage of having been through stressful situations, and working under sleep deprivation and lack of food. So we thought we could get stronger as the other teams got weaker, and that's one of the reasons we saved our Fast Forward. We wanted to use our Fast Forward to not necessarily catch up to the pack, but to separate ourselves from the pack.
FORT: Why did you rule out using the Fast Forward?
Damon: In this last episode where we were eliminated, it was the only time it may have been beneficial for us to use the Fast Forward, but we knew it wasn't going to be an option. We knew that Flo & Zach were going to take it. If they had not gone for the FF, they would have left it open for us to leapfrog in front of them. We knew they had no other choice but to take the FF, so they could ensure their own survival. But we weren't going to use the FF, because we had battled to the front of the pack without it, and we thought we could do it again. It was just unfortunate that we didn't get to use it to stay in the race.
FORT: Did you know you were out of it when you fell asleep on the train? How much time did having to backtrack set you back?
Andre: At that point, Damon and I talked, and we knew the race was over. The only option we had to stay in the race was if it was a non-elimination leg. When we missed our fight in Paris, we knew that was it for us. We were done, the fat lady was singing.
FORT: After being eliminated, you gave Phil back his dollar. What was the story on that?
Andre: That was funny. When Damon opened the clue, and there was one dollar, I was like "you've gotta be kidding me." So, I gave it back to him at the end. That was pretty funny.
FORT: What advice would you give a team doing the Amazing Race?
Damon: Be careful picking your cab drivers, and carry a good luck charm because you're going to need it.
Andre: There were so many things that happened to Damon and I that you would not even begin to understand the struggle that we had from day 1 of this race, but you need a lot of good luck, and just be wary of your car driver.
FORT: What was your favorite location, and why?
Damon: Favorite pitstop for me was Tulum. I'd like to go back there. As far as the actual leg of the race, Portugal was very nice. I enjoyed racing in Portugal - a lot of beautiful sights, a lot of beautiful history, and I'd like to go back there again.
FORT: Are you both back to your old jobs?
Andre: I'm still out fighting crime.
Damon: And I'm still fighting fires, that won't change. We both have great careers, and we love them, this was just a brief excursion away from it.
Thanks to Andre and Damon for taking the time to speak with the FORT this morning, and as always, to CBS and the Amazing Race crew for allowing us this opportunity. The guys were upbeat and funny, and it was a pleasure to speak with them!
If you'd like to comment on this interview, you can e-mail John at firstname.lastname@example.org