Exclusive: Nick DeCarlo and Vicki Casciola talk 'The Amazing Race'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/07/2010
After deciding to quit the tenth leg's Roadblock and take a six-hour time penalty instead, The Amazing Race racers Nick DeCarlo and Vicki Casciola were going to need a lucky break to finish the seventeenth edition's eleventh leg ahead of any of the competition's three other remaining teams
Unfortunately for them, they didn't get it, and the "Dating Couple" became the eighth team eliminated from the around-the-world competition during Sunday night's broadcast of the seventeenth edition's eleventh episode.
On Monday, Nick, a 26-year-old bartender from Henderson, NV, and Vicki, a 26-year-old hair stylist from Henderson, NV, talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience.
Reality TV World: Nick, based on what was shown last night, it looked like your decision to quit the task and take six-hour penalty in the prior leg was what cost your team any chance to survive the Race's next-to-last leg, so did you feel responsible for your team's elimination? Last night's episode didn't seem to show you addressing the quitting decision.
Nick DeCarlo: Yeah, most definitely. I mean that's my biggest and only regret to be honest with you. It's not just sticking it out and finding that damn boat. If we were to find that boat, I'd guarantee us in the top three. But at the same time, we had that six-hour penalty due to me being a chump, and that was that.
We just tried to stay positive going into that last leg kind of having a good idea that it was going to be our last leg, so staying positive and having the best time possible, and that was really our whole attitude in South Korea -- just this could be our last leg in this Race and let's just have the best time possible -- let's have some fun for once instead of arguing or bickering the normal stuff.
Reality TV World: Vicki, how about you -- do you regret that he kind of forced you into quitting the task?
Vicki Casciola: Are you kidding me?! I wanted to kill him! (laughs)
I definitely regret him doing that. I honestly know that we would have been in the top three if that wasn't the case, especially after seeing the leg and how physical it was, it made me feel mad actually watching last night.
I was getting pissed off. But I mean, obviously he did what he could do, and people don't understand how hard it is, but still that's no excuse. I really am upset that he did that. (laughs)
Reality TV World: Nick, some viewers are confused about why if you weren't interested finishing the Hong Kong leg you were suddenly back doing the South Korea leg the next day. I mean if you wanted to quit before, why would you bother doing the next leg?
Nick DeCarlo: It wasn't so much that we wanted to quit, we were just physically and emotionally drained. I mean, we were on that water until five in the morning, we were doing the sushi for about four hours before that, we were missing ferries left and right before that for the remainder of the day.
It was just one thing after the other and Vicki's asthma was going crazy. It just wasn't or day. Like I said, it wasn't so much that we wanted to quit the Race, we were just exhausted from that leg more so. And that extra sleep from that ridiculous six-hour penalty -- it kind of just rejuvenated us and gave us what we needed to keep going.
Reality TV World: Did you guys have any suspicion that the Hong Kong leg was going to be a non-elimination Pit Stop and did that play any role in your decision to take the six-hour time penalty?
Vicki Casciola: Well I didn't have any, but I never pay any attention about that. Nick said that he thought he had a little bit of a feeling, but I don't know is that why you made that decision?
Nick DeCarlo: Yeah, I did the math. With how many teams were left and how many legs were left, it kind of forcibly had to be a non-elimination leg. They're not going to eliminate somebody who has two episodes with three people in it for the last two episodes. So, that isn't why we took the six-hour penalty, but I guess we had a strong idea that it would be a non-elimination.
Reality TV World: How close did you actually come to making the same South Korea flight as the other teams -- about what time did you actually leave the Pit Stop in Hong Kong?
Nick DeCarlo: I wanna say that we were roughly anywhere from 35 [minutes] to an hour after that plane left...
Vicki Casciola: ... We were more -- I felt like we were probably more. I don't know, we were trying to figure that out last night, but we were definitely far behind. There was no way that we would've made that flight.
Reality TV World: So it was kind of weird then, because it seemed like the episode showed the ticket agent suggesting the flight hadn't left yet or something.
Vicki Casciola: Yeah, that's what I feel -- I don't know, we feel -- that was a little confusing when we were watching that last night and then trying to recap when we were there. I know that we couldn't have made that flight. We would've tried to make it happen and I just think it was completely not able to happen. We were too late. We were too far behind.
Reality TV World: So what was your reaction once you found out you missed the South Korean flight everyone else was one and were going to be getting into the country nine hours behind everyone else -- did you really think you had any chance at that point?
Nick DeCarlo: We went into it hoping for the best just like anybody would, I think, in that situation. And at the same time, we were so far behind getting mad and frustrated and trying to race through this last leg and make mistakes that just made it worse for us, so we just stayed positive, had some fun, and took in South Korea while we were there.
Reality TV World: What's the status of your relationship now?
Vicki Casciola: We are still together and even though people probably think we're not, we actually -- our relationship's good -- we did grow from the Race, but people out there don't understand that you're never 24-7 with somebody.
And we both work all the time and being together for five to seven hours a day at most, not 24 hours. So that was really rough. That's what really caused all the frustration and also not eating and sleeping. But...(she laughs)
Nick DeCarlo: ... And plus Vick and I both have the personality of -- both of us are always right...
Vicki Casciola: Yeah.
Nick DeCarlo: We're probably the most hard-headed people you'd ever meet in your life so when you put us both together in a competition, it's just fireworks.
Vicki Casciola: Yeah. (she laughs)
Reality TV World: Nick, you always seemed to recognize it was wrong and regret it afterwards, but the show showed you repeatedly yelling at Vicki and treating her poorly. Do you think what was shown was an accurate reflection of your behavior during the Race?
Nick DeCarlo: I think there were moments when it was accurate -- 100% percent accurate -- I'd have to argue for sure. We had just as much fun as we didn't have fun, but at the same time, we were those, I guess you could say, "bad-boy, bad-girl image" and that's what they portrayed I guess. But I allowed it. I acted that way, so.
Reality TV World: So do you think you came away from the Race having learned anything about yourself or do you think your behavior was just the result of the pressure you were under?
Nick DeCarlo: Yeah, that's definitely a reason was the pressure. I could lose my temper, but at home though, it's not like that bad by an means.
It had to do with a lot of -- just the pressure -- racing for a million dollars, being in a foreign country, having no idea where you're at, nobody understands you, you don't understand them, hungry, tired, just constantly worrying about who's in front of you and who's behind you, how close they are -- it's very stressful.
Reality TV World: What's it been like to see your behavior on TV the last few months and what type of reaction have you been getting from the public?
Nick DeCarlo: You know, the computer and public is totally different. The computer -- people think I'm the worst guy in the world, blah, blah blah -- we really don't pay attention to it much, we don't read it, we don't really think into it much.
But, in the public, I've had nothing but positive. Everywhere we go we're noticed. It's conversation for sure. But yeah, no the public doesn't really have anything negative to say. I haven't had any negative encounters.
Reality TV World: Vicki, how about you -- do you think what was shown on the show was an accurate reflection of Nick's behavior?
Vicki Casciola: No, I definitely don't think it was an accurate reflection on Nick. He does absolutely have a bad temper, but I also have a bad temper, and it's just how we deal with it -- we deal with it in different ways -- and being that stressed out and that hungry and everything, I think the Race just, I mean, I didn't feel like that was him.
You're very stressed out and not a lot of people realize that. That's why I kind of dealt with it the way I did. I kind of just let it go in one ear and out the other, because if I would've put my sense in -- I have a hard-head myself -- it wouldn't have been -- it probably would've been really great TV.
But it wouldn't have been good. I just feel like it wasn't the real Nick completely. Yes, bits and pieces were, but somebody on a normal basis is not that stressed out everyday. It was very hard mentally.
Reality TV World: Last night's episode really didn't show much of you guys after you ended up on a different plane out of Hong Kong. We basically just saw you arrive in South Korea and then drive to the bridge before you were suddenly shown washing a tank. I'm assuming the tank washing was your Speed Bump task, correct?
Vicki Casciola: Yes, it was.
Reality TV World: About how long did it actually take you to wash the tank? It looked like it probably took quite a bit longer than the 10-minute ice bench task Michael and Kevin had earlier this season.
Vicki Casciola: No, it took us about 10-15 minutes. Those power-washers are unbelievable because when we first got -- when we first got the task and it says oh, you need to wash the tank -- we were like, "Oh, that's fabulous."
Then we got there and it was so easy because the hoses, there's so much pressure, that it just melts right off. So I think us just having fun and just kind of being like carefree was -- it went pretty fast -- it was just simple.
Reality TV World: So did you guys also end up doing the Detour and Roadblock tasks, or did the producers just tell you to not bother and just go straight to the Pit Stop instead?
Vicki Casciola: Well, we only completed some of the tasks just because -- due to yeah, safety -- when we got there it was late, it was so late, obviously we probably couldn't do white-water rafting or whatever just because it was super dangerous. So we did what we could do to be safe and stay safe and that's all that we could do. We did what we could.
Reality TV World: So which Detour task did you do -- the "Full Throttle" (ice skating) or "Full Bottle" (ginseng bottles).
Vicki Casciola: What was that?
Reality TV World: The ice skating thing, was that something you were able to do?
Vicki Casciola: We were only allowed to do what safety was basically allowing us to do, and it being so late and things being open, we couldn't -- we couldn't really complete every single one, but we just did what we could do.
Reality TV World: What happened on your way to the bridge -- Vicki, it looked like you picked up an admirer along the way?
Vicki Casciola: Oh my gosh, he was so awesome. (she laughs) He was a great guy. We met him in the airport and yeah, he works for something Korean -- Korean Air or something like that -- but they were awesome. They wanted to drive us three hours out of the way for some odd reason.
I guess he had a little crush, but he decided to buy us food and water and everything. And I don't know if they knew we were in a race or not, but they kind of moved like turtles, but that was fine. They got us there, so nothing to complain about there.
Reality TV World: Whenever the other teams were shown talking about which other teams they were worried about, no one ever seemed to mention you guys. Do you think some of the other teams underestimated you?
Vicki Casciola: Absolutely. You know what? I think that that was our goal. Us getting to the top four was a pretty damn good accomplishment. I don't think anybody thought that was going to happen. From the get-go, we even said that we wanted to stay under the radar -- we didn't want any targets on our back.
We already had like a hard-ass image and obviously we don't fit that image. But, yeah, we just wanted to stay under the radar and that's exactly what we did the whole race. So it kind of panned out exactly how we liked it.
Reality TV World: When I talked to Chad and Stephanie a couple of weeks ago, Chad called you guys "the luckiest team" in The Amazing Race history. Do you agree with that, or do you think it's kind of consistent with the idea that some of the other teams had underestimated you two?
Vicki Casciola: I think definitely that everyone underestimated us just because we didn't get first place or anything like that. We are -- I felt like we were a very strong team -- but we had different ways of showing it I guess. And everybody has their strategies and we had our strategies, so I feel like it worked out for the best.
Reality TV World: Earlier this season you guys were shown being completely unaware how the Fast Forward works and apparently thinking every team could complete it, which seemed to suggest you guys weren't that familiar with The Amazing Race before you competed on it. Was that the case -- how familiar were you with the show?
Vicki Casciola: We weren't too familiar with it. We both don't watch -- yeah, we weren't really familiar with it period, but it was -- we kind of learned as we went. It looked like a fun show to be in and we sent in a video and were very lucky to get picked, and I don't know, we just went from there. We just kind of rolled with the punches.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on the show then?
Vicki Casciola: We sent in a video and we were one of the lucky contestants to get picked, actually so, we were very blessed for that.
Reality TV World: You sent in a video even though you really weren't too familiar with the show?
Vicki Casciola: Yeah, no, yeah. We weren't like extremely familiar with the show. People -- I mean I'm a hairdresser -- so people always say that me and Nick are so athletic and I travel quite a bit, that they were like, "You guys should be on this show!" And blah, blah blah -- people always say that for some reason.
So we were like, "Okay, I guess we'll just try out I guess." So we just sent in a video and yeah, went from there. We were not honestly thinking we were going to get a callback. (she laughs) We did.
Reality TV World: Vicki, during your Elimination Station video you told the other eliminated teams that you were rooting for Nat and Kat to win. Why was that?
Vicki Casciola: You know what, I actually love all the teams and I wouldn't mind seeing any of them, but they were just very genuine people -- they were awesome. Nat -- them being doctors -- and Nat had diabetes and so she was struggling on the show as long as I was with asthma.
So she was kind of more so on my level, and she was just really kind spirited. All in all, I wouldn't mind seeing any of those teams get to first. They're all very strong and they're all awesome people, so...
Nick DeCarlo: ... I'd have to agree. The three that are left are really the teams that Vicki and I bonded with the most throughout the whole thing from day one to the last day we were racing.
Nat and Kat were just awesome people -- we'll be friends with them forever. Jill and Thomas [are] just totally down to earth -- on the same page as Vicki and I -- just super cool people. And Brook and Claire, they're just clowns so...
Vicki Casciola: ... Yeah, they're awesome. They're just great to be around.
Nick DeCarlo: It's really -- we don't really have a favorite in the top three. I feel like the whole top three is our favorite. Either one would be fine for us for sure. They're all great people.