Exclusive: Steve Smith and Allie Smith talk about 'The Amazing Race'
By Reality TV World staff, 04/08/2010
After finishing The Amazing Race's seventh leg in first place and its four prior legs in second or third place, the father/daughter team of Steve Smith and Allie Smith seemed to be unlikely to be the team eliminated in the Race's eighth leg.
However that exactly what ended up happening, as a series of taxi driver problems resulted in the 57-year-old Cleveland Indians baseball coach and 23-year-old marketer from Encinitas, CA becoming the sixth team eliminated from The Amazing Race's sixteenth season after arriving last at the eighth Pit Stop.
On Tuesday, Steve and Allie talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience -- including exactly what happened with their taxi problems, why they seemed to initially switch Detour tasks without reason, if they feel losing their backpacks in the prior leg played and role in their sudden exit, and whether all the other teams really did want "Dating Couple" Carol Rosenfeld and Brandy Snow out of the Race.
Reality TV World: Heading into Sunday night's episode, you guys looked like one of the strongest teams out there and seemed to have a real good shot at making the finale. I'm sure you guys had been trying to not get too confident, but given you guys had finished in the Top 3 all of the last five legs, how had you guys been looking at it?
Allie Smith: During the Race we kind of underestimated, and you see the place you get but I think we were just still -- I don't know, we never got cocky about it at all. We were just each leg doing our best, and up until that point we were doing really well.
Reality TV World: So did you kind of consider it a surprise that you went out when you did?
Allie Smith: Yeah, I think anyone is surprised. But definitely, going from highest of highs to lowest of lows that quick shows how luck-based it is and it was an exact switch in the order, first to last, from the leg before. So yeah, I would say we were definitely shocked and just sad we couldn't continue in the fun journey.
Reality TV World: It was a little hard to follow, but seemed like there were a few different things in this last leg that helped do you in. What happened, was it all basically all caused by your taxi driver not knowing where the incense Detour task was?
Steve Smith: That definitely started it. We were asking questions throughout the whole show to local people and all that, and it helped us the whole way and it got us as far as we could. The trust of people, they were great, and we trusted this guy and it didn't work out.
He really didn't know where he was going. It still didn't hurt us because we were with Dan and Jordan at the temple together when we got the cab. The only thing I wish is that they had stole our cab, because they would have been the ones that got lost and we would have ended up finding it.
We felt it was a bad cab day and that's what kind of hurt us the most. We wish we'd ended up getting out because of our own sake -- us doing something -- instead of a cab driver. It was disappointing.
We weren't cocky, being in baseball, being a coach my whole life, I know you can be on an eight-game winning streak and all of the sudden you turn around and you haven't won a game for a week.
I've always done it day-to-day, game-to-game. And same thing on the show, you never can think you're invincible so we never felt cocky or "we're going to win this." We knew it was going to be tough each leg.
Reality TV World: So just to clarify, what was happening when your driver claimed you could just run the rest of the way to the temple? I know it turned out he was apparently thinking of the wrong place anyways, but how long were you actually running around out there, it looked like a lot more than 4-5 minutes.
Allie Smith: No, yeah, that is what was funny. It was the wrong place, and the one that was the wrong place was a lot further than 4-5 minutes. It was just lots of miscommunication, but still lat that point we really weren't that much trouble, it was after that. We kept looking for the temple and just could not find it.
Steve Smith: Yeah, there was a traffic jam and we felt like we could run with anyone and we saw Louie and Mike were ahead of us, and Dan and Jordan, so when we got out Dan and Jordan followed. But we told our cab driver follow us and we'll meet you up there, and he did, so we have to give him credit for that. We were still okay at that point, we had just saw Mike and Louie so they weren't that far ahead even though they went in a cab. We knew we were still okay then.
Reality TV World: There was another point right after that where you asked your driver if he finally knew where he was going and he seemed to say no and then you asked him to clarify what he said and he suddenly said "no problem" -- were you aware of that at the time?
Steve Smith: Yeah, yeah. Like I said, I was used to this because throughout the show, asking people, you can kind of get the feel for what they know and how they know it, and if they don't do they ask someone else.
What happened was we just finally said "Okay, do you know how to get to this other place?" and he said "Yes. And we said "Let's just do it, let's get out of here and go find the other place with the flags balancing."
He took us there and once he was parked over there waiting for us, all of the sudden he just took off. I mean he just took off on us. And so after the flag we got another cab driver who was, I don't know, pretty slow and everything. So it just was a bad cab day, believe me.
Reality TV World: It looked like you guys had actually originally wanted to do the flagpole Detour task but had changed your mind once you found out Louis and Michael were going to be doing the incense task. Was that actually the case, and if so, what made you change your mind?
Allie Smith: Well at that point our taxi driver said I don't know where either one is, so we really didn't care which Detour we did, we just wanted to get to whichever one he knew we were going to. But later he did know where the flagpole one was, so it was all just a very bizarre situation.
So it was more following Mike and Louie because our taxi driver didn't know either way. We were like, "Okay, we'll just go stay with the pack and hopefully they get lost and we'll get lost and if they go to the right place we'll go to the right place."
Steve Smith: He had a cell phone so he was calling [for information]. He actually said "I got it, I got it now." [But] he never did, he didn't have it, but he said it, and like Allie said, we trusted him and it was the wrong guy to trust.
Reality TV World: How much time do you think you guys lost with all that craziness going on?
Steve Smith: You know we still don't know. We don't know because even though we got back to the temple, we were surprised that Dan and Jordan were still there. Allie and I, we took all the candles up the stairs fast -- I mean we made up a little time there, got it all lit up and knew we were oh, about 20 minutes behind. And it was just the start of the Race so we felt like that was okay, we were still all right.
And then we go down and now the other cab driver, he's gone, someone said "Yeah, he said he had to take a lunch break." So it took us another about 15 minutes to find another cab, and that cab driver drove a mile and did a U-turn, and I just said, "Are you kidding me?"
So now this is our third cab driver. And this guy, he was funny, he was pretty funny. It was an old guy and I was trying to tell him it was a race, and again, we weren't going to yell at anybody, that's his job and all that. But we did say, "It's a race, can you go a little faster?" And he said, "Well, I'm 75 years old, I'm old."
It was like okay, we didn't say to run there. We just said to step on the pedal a little. So at that point we just went, "Oh my gosh, it's just one of those days!" But we still knew there was a couple of more things to do and we were surprised how fast [it went]. All of the sudden it was the coconuts and bang, it was over.
It was one of the quickest ones and the wrong one to make a mistake like that.
Reality TV World: Do you have any idea about how far behind Dan and Jordan you ended up arriving at the Pit Stop?
Allie Smith: See, I really don't know. I was asking Dan this yesterday, he guessed 15 minutes. I thought it was a little longer than that. But timing on the Race, you're never looking at your watch, you never really know, and we never really found out.
Steve Smith: Well if it was only 15 minutes, then...
Allie Smith: That's what he thought, I think it's a little longer.
Steve Smith: Yeah, well, the coconuts. Okay, you talk about breaks and getting lucky, Allie must have thrown 120 of those coconuts. I mean we heard Dan and Jordan, they found the right coconut right away...
Allie Smith: No, no, they messed up and took time.
Steve Smith: Yeah. Well, we sat there. Pour Allie, I was telling her if she's a pitcher I'd have taken her out of the game. She threw too many coconuts. (laughs)
Reality TV World: She exceeded her pitch count.
Steve Smith: Yeah, just give us a break. That comes down to luck right there, she could have grabbed the first coconut and got it and who knows how close it would have been. Skill-wise, the whole show we were good, we did everything that we did and the luck part, flip a coin. It could go any way for any team.
Reality TV World: What happened when you guys lost your backpacks -- had there been something on the clue that gave you reason to think you'd be going back there after delivering the bananas or did you just lose track of them because you were focused on carrying the bananas?
Allie Smith: It was just an honest mistake. When we were in the helicopter we didn't have our backpacks they were, I don't know, in the back of the helicopter or whatever. And then I think we just had it in our heads they still had our backpacks or something and once we got the clue and got to the tortoises really quickly it didn't even cross our minds.
When we were doing the mile and half walk, it just literally did not cross our minds. And then when we finally saw Dan and Jordan with their backpacks we were like, "Oh, we did get them back!"
It was just an honest you're trying to go as fast as you can in the Race mistake.
Steve Smith: If that would have cost us, I'd have felt real bad. But actually, it almost helped us because those bananas weighed about 30 pounds and without having the backpack for Allie, she was doing everything she can to hold on to those bananas for a mile and a half without the backpack. And having to put it on your shoulders, it might have hindered her anyways.
So we're looking at it as almost a good thing and we knew we had enough clothes, we had the passport, we had the money -- we had everything we needed. We were just right there, the boat had just started [when we noticed], so we could have easily went back and probably finished in second or third place.
But at the time we were going for it, we were going for first place and we had everything so it didn't hurt us. And when we saw we were going to Malaysia on the next leg we knew it was hot and we had everything so actually it was kind of a bonus because we didn't have to carry backpacks around so we were okay.
Reality TV World: So you don't think not having the backpacks played any role in coming in last in the next leg, it sounds like.
Allie Smith: They had nothing...
Steve Smith: No, it had nothing to do with it.
Reality TV World: It wasn't a situation where you couldn't afford to buy a map that might have been helpful or anything like that because you'd had to spent some of your money replacing something that had been in the backpacks?
Allie Smith: No.
Steve Smith: Well see the maps, we had maps because when you go to the next leg you're responsible. We didn't know we were going to Malaysia so we got on the computer and got all that stuff. So, no, we had probably more information of where we were going than anyone, because we were the first one out [of the Pit Stop on the Seychelles] and we got right on the computer.
Everyone caught up obviously because of the boat and we started all over, but no, it had [nothing to do with it]. It actually helped us because we didn't have anything to lug around
Reality TV World: Steve, you seemed to get a couple of extra pieces of clothing from Louie and Michael, but Allie, we didn't see you get anything from any of the other women racers. Did they give you anything that the episode just didn't show or were they just really focused on the competition and not willing to help you out or what was the situation there?
Allie Smith: It didn't matter because we didn't go anywhere cold, but I met an American girl in the Seychelles airport who gave me some of her clothes. So that was what I was going off of, but it didn't matter because we went somewhere warm and got out.
Steve Smith: But if we'd continued it would have helped. She had -- the girl was great, the girl gave her everything. She had a jacket, she had long pants, she had everything we needed. Even if we were going to a cold place next we were fine.
Yeah, I want to thank Mike really for giving me his underwear, like I was going to wear them. (laughs) I appreciate that.
Allie Smith: (laughs)
Steve Smith: I had my own underwear. Mike did give us a small backpack which helped us to put the extra stuff in, so that was the best thing they gave us. Clothes-wise, I definitely didn't have anything of theirs or anyone else's, and we didn't need it, we didn't want to ask. But it was nice that backpack that Mike gave us, that was a big thing because I would have had to have bought it instead.
So no clothing, it was a backpack, and I sent Louie's underwear back to him so I hope he got them back.
Reality TV World: The last few episodes have featured Louis and Michael being pretty vocal about Carol and Brandy being negative people and wanting them out of the game and they have even gone as far as to claim all the other teams felt the same way. What was your own opinion of the women, did you also want them gone like Louis and Michael have claimed?
Steve Smith: Well we didn't -- you know when he said "everybody" they would probably show a clip of everyone saying it [if they had it]. So no, everyone wasn't say it. Well, I can't speak for everyone else, but Allie and I weren't saying anything about that.
I remember the one time Mike said "everybody" wanted Joe and Heidi out and then Louie said, "Yeah, you mean Steve and Allie?"
Well, then if that was the case they would have had a tape on that and [showed] that. But I definitely probably said I that I was happy it was them and not us because they were thinking about U-Turning Allie and I instead of Joe and Heidi.
So getting back to Carol and Brandy, no. We got along with -- look it, Allie's so nice that everyone got along with Allie. My goodness, everyone used to walk over and talk to her, she kind of calmed a lot of people down and everything.
Allie Smith: It sounds very diplomatic but the fact that we were a male/female team [and] two different generations, we really did connect with the most amount of people. And you know, Carol and Brandy were an intelligent, strong team but I never found them to be mean.
Steve Smith: Yeah.
Reality TV World: So do you think [Louie and Mike] are being honest, or do you think that basically just considered Carol and Brandy a strong team and they just really want them out for that reason?
Steve Smith: Yes, we thought every team was strong. It wasn't like, "Well we've got to get team." I didn't think anyone was stronger than anyone else. If wasn't like, "We've got to get them out because we can't beat them."
I thought we could stay with any of the teams, so for us we felt we didn't have to get somebody out. We just said, "Let's get somebody out, who cares what team it is." Because another group out will keep us in.
And in fact [Cord McCoy] came down to Spring Training. He was in uniform and took a little batting practice with us about three weeks ago. I'm in Chicago now, we had Opening Day yesterday and [Jeff Schroeder] is here, I'm going to go out with him. We just felt that one of the things this show gave us is life-long friends. We get along with all of them.
When we hear Mike and Louie talking, popping off [on the show] and all that, we're kind of shocked. Because you didn't hear that when you were around them, and then behind closed doors they say things like I wish they would have said.
That's the point with all those guys, we still talk to all of them.
Reality TV World: How did you get on the show, how were you cast on it?
Allie Smith: We applied. It was my dad's first year out of baseball and I hadn't seen a father/daughter team in a long time. I'm a big fan of the show and never thought they'd actually call, but [they did]!
Steve Smith: The video, when people say how do you get on the show, I've talked to a lot of people who want to get on, I say go do like we did. I was just as shocked as anyone else that they picked us.
So it's legit as it can. That's what I loved about the whole show. They don't tell you anything. It's great, I mean it's legit. The whole thing, The Amazing Race is as legit as you can. People sometimes think, "Oh, they're setting things up." No, it's the real deal.
And I'll tell you what, [The Amazing Race co-creator and executive producer Bertram van Munster] was great and the people that run the show, it is [great]. And for me to be on the show and be in baseball, it had to be a first-class show like this.