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HOME > The Amazing Race > The Amazing Race: All-Stars

INTERVIEW: Kevin and Drew talk about their 'All-Stars' experience


By Christopher Rocchio, 02/26/2007 

It's been more than six years since Kevin O'Connor and Drew Feinberg placed fourth in the first season of CBS' The Amazing Race.  But the "lifelong friends" still returned to compete in The Amazing Race: All-Stars.  Unfortunately for them, they were the second team eliminated in The Amazing Race's eleventh installment. 

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On Tuesday, Kevin, a 40-year-old forensic accountant from Bayonne, NJ, and Drew, a 41-year-old Senior Court Officer from Staten Island, NY, talked to Reality TV World about their physical health, car troubles and which fellow all-star they thought was "a little overbearing.

Reality TV World:  Drew, feel free to decline to answer if you think it's too personal, but how are you feeling?

Drew:  I'm feeling pretty well thanks.  Overall, I'm okay.  I wasn't a few months ago, but overall, I'm okay.

Reality TV World:  During the race, was it a serious health issue you were facing?  Was it a simple cold?  What was it?

Drew:  I went into the race, unfortunately, with a pre-existing injury.  And then I injured my shoulder the first night when I fell getting out of the cab.  There was a very high curb or retaining wall when I got out, and I fell and landed directly on my shoulder.  It did feel like I separated my shoulder, and luckily I didn't.  Then I had the experience with the altitude sickness... that is horrible.  I never knew that could be so bad.  I was vomiting all night and I needed oxygen all night.  It feels like your head is in a vise or someone is squeezing it.  The headache is unbearable, and you could probably tell by the way I looked.  I wasn't feeling too well.

Reality TV World:  How about you Kevin?  Did you have any health problems?

Kevin:  I'm healthy as an ox... and I'm about the [same] weight of one as well.  I was fine thankfully.  If we were both in bad shape, we probably wouldn't of even made it out of Miami.

Reality TV World:  When I talked to John Vito Pietanze and Jill Aquilino last week, John Vito talked about how he did a bunch of strength training when he was preparing for Season 3 and now did a bunch of endurance training to prepare for All-Stars.  Given you guys were part of the first season cast that didn't even really know what it was getting into at the time, did you do anything different the second time around?  Did you do any physical training before the All-Stars?

Kevin:  Not doing [any preparation] worked for us the first time, so we figured, you know, let's just go with what works.

Reality TV World:  What was your mental approach and strategy for All-Stars?

Kevin:  We did everything the same exact way... there's no way to prepare for this.  You can't say, "Oh, I'm going to do this or I'm going to do that and that's going to make me a better racer."  Would it have been nice if we were both in better shape... in terms of cardio, or even a little stronger muscular?  Yeah, it doesn't hurt obviously.  But you know what?  At the end of the day, you see the beauty queens (Dustin Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier) seem to be doing just fine, David and Mary (Conley) are doing just fine.  I mean come on, it's not like they're these huge, physical powers.  They're doing great because they're smart, they're quick, they're lucky... there's a whole bunch of stuff that goes into it.

Reality TV World:  How did you guys end up being part of the All-Stars?  Had you already expressed interest in returning or did the producers just call you out of the blue?

Kevin:  They called us.  We had hoped right from the very...
Drew:  [Interrupts Kevin] Ahhh... we knew we would be on All-Stars.
Kevin:  We had hoped that they would call us.  We were pretty confident that they'd give us a call.

Reality TV World:  What was it that motivated you to join All-Stars? 

Kevin:  The million dollars.  The chance to travel around the world again.  It's pretty good motivation. 

Reality TV World:  It's been six years since you guys were on -- did you have any previous relationships with the teams you competed against on All-Stars?

Kevin:  We pretty much knew everybody.  I mean the new teams, we had never met them, but we knew having seen them on TV.  Everybody knew each other, so you didn't have to go through that whole awkward thing that they do on all reality shows with people going, "Hi.  I'm Kevin.  I'm Drew. I'm this or I'm that."  That was all done with.  Everyone said hello to one another and that was it.

Reality TV World:  When did you find out who you'd be racing against?

Drew:  When we got there. 
Kevin:  After three or four days.  We saw some of the other teams in the hotel but we were banned from leaving, so we really couldn't...
Drew:  We were able to guess.
Kevin:  Yeah, we had a good idea.

Reality TV World:  In other all-star editions of reality series like Big Brother and Survivor, pre-game alliances and subsequent out-of-game relationships have played a big part.  Did you plan on trying to create an alliance with any of the teams you know?

Drew:  No.  It's so hard to make an alliance on [The Amazing Race].  The minute you get an opportunity to move ahead further than somebody else, you're going to do it. You're not going to wait for anybody else... I don't care how close your friendship or your alliance is.  If the people you're racing with or you think you have an alliance with... if they're too slow, there goes your alliance.  Gone. [You] don't wait around for anybody.

Reality TV World:  Whose idea was it to keep riding on the flat tire in the first leg?

Drew:  We both agreed that we're not going to try and change it.  You know, we're not going to stop and change it no matter what because we would have been eliminated first.

Reality TV World:  So you guys think you would have finished last if you had stopped to change the tire?

Drew:  Oh we know we would have.

Reality TV World:  How did your car get fixed once you reached the first Pit Stop?  Did the producers give you a replacement car or did you just take a tire from another vehicle?

Kevin:  We took John Vito and Jill's car.  We had to stay there and make an attempt to get ours to work.  The front end was destroyed... destroyed.  And so there was no way.  And then [the producers] gave us a penalty for having to use a different car, and that's when they let us go.

Reality TV World:  Drew, you mentioned you were taking medication.  What was it exactly that you were taking?

Drew:  I was on pain medication.

Reality TV World:  From the fall?

Drew:  Yeah.

Reality TV World:  Given your struggles in the first leg of the race,  did you change your approach at the first Pit Stop?

Drew:  We just kept hoping that bad luck wouldn't keep happening and that I would stay healthy.

Reality TV World:  You did a lot of driving Drew.  Kevin, was it because you didn't know how to drive a manual transmission?

Drew:  Exactly.
Kevin:  Drew did all of the driving.

Reality TV World:  Were you aware that they were going to be vehicles with manual transmissions?

Kevin:  We figured that they would be.  That's fine.  We worked it out beforehand that Drew would always do the driving and the eating, and I'd do everything else.

Reality TV World:  Kevin, once Drew complained of having shoulder and back pain from driving, did you try and do anything like use some of the first Pit Stop time to learn to drive a stick shift?

Kevin:  They wouldn't let us do that.
Drew:  Yeah, they wouldn't let us do that.  You're not allowed to do any of that at the Pit Stop.  It's part of the race technically.
Kevin:  Like when we were trying to get the [damaged] car out of the hacienda [at the Pit Stop], I got behind the wheel a couple times and tried to sort of jerk it out of there.  What happened was, when we got there, it was sort of raining but it was hot and ground was really muddy, so when we parked the car it kind of sank.  Then it was down to like freezing, so the ground froze.  So the rim was literally in the ground.
Drew:  It was like it was in concrete.
Kevin:  It was stuck and we couldn't get it out.  At any rate, yeah, we would have gone down to try [and learn how to drive a manual].  I tried, but I kept stalling the car out.  I knew going into it I should have figured out how to drive a stick... but you know what?  I don't know that would have made that much of a difference.

Reality TV World: About how long did it take you guys to get the car out of the mud when you were attempting that?

Kevin:  It was about 20 minutes, then we just gave up.
Drew:  And then we got the penalty, which they didn't show.  What are you gonna do?

Reality TV World:  What happened with the speed limit problem you had during after exiting the Valley of the Moon?  When you saw other teams speeding past you, why didn't you also speed up?

Drew:  The producers were constantly yelling at us about speeding.  We didn't want to speed and get a penalty.  The speed limit was 40 kilometers. That 50 kilometer sign you saw 20 times was an insert.  They took like one shot of that sign and then kept showing it over and over.  It wasn't 20 signs like they made it seem.  We didn't know it was 50 [kilometers an hour] and I didn't want to go faster than 40.  You heard Kevin even agree with me, telling me not to go over the speed limit, and we figured that when we got to the Pit Stop the other teams would be assessed a penalty and we would not be the eliminated team.

Reality TV World:  So when you got to the Pit Stop, did you ask Phil about any of the other teams speeding?

Drew: We asked production about it and it took about six hours to sort out the whole mess.  But we still got eliminated.  There was no turning back.

Reality TV World: On your way to the Pit Stop, there was a point where some of the teams took a wrong turn.  Why didn't you turn around when you saw the other teams coming back from the wrong direction?

Drew:  I saw that happen [during last night's broadcast], but I don't recall that.
Kevin:  We did turn around, and that's when we bumped into [Charla Baklayan Faddoul and Mirna Hindoyan's vehicle].
Drew:  Oh okay, yeah.

Reality TV World:  Going into All-Stars, who did you think was your biggest competition?

Drew:
  Probably Rob and Amber.

Reality TV World:  Is there a specific reason why?

Kevin:
  They're the winners of the first two legs, so I think that's pretty good reasoning.
Drew:  They're doing great so far.

Reality TV World: Anybody else you considered competition?

Kevin:
  They were all very good teams.
Drew:  Everybody was tough, witty...
Kevin:  ...and crafty.
Drew:  ...very smart people.

Reality TV World:  Is there any particular team you would like to see win?  Why?

Drew:  I'd like to see David and Mary win.  They're a great couple... real friendly, nice people.

Reality TV World: How about you Kevin?

Kevin:  David and Mary, you know we didn't know them as well as we knew some of the other teams.  It was refreshing to meet them.  Mary is this crazy reality TV person, so she was so excited to meet both of us which was really funny and very flattering.  We took really well to them and enjoyed being out there with them.  Of all the teams we'd like to see them go the rest of the way.

Reality TV World: Is there anybody you guys would hate to see win?

Drew:  Ahh, Charla and Mirna.

Reality TV World: Is there a reason why?

Drew:  Mirna's just a little overbearing.
Kevin:  I don't like the way she uses Charla as a crutch for everything.  The fact that Charla is a little person doesn't mean that they should get to walk down the airplane [aisle] first because she needs help.  She's just fine, thank you.  And in some ways, she's much physically stronger than Mirna is (laughing).  That and the whole accent that she has.  Where she speaks English and talks in a foreign accent.
Drew:  It's English but with a foreign accent.

Reality TV World: How was Sequesterville?

Drew:  It was awesome.  It was awesome.  I loved it, Kevin hated it.  It was beautiful.  It was 23 days of great weather, a staff of seven people taking care of us.  It was awesome.

Reality TV World:  Why did you hate it Kevin?

Kevin:  I was just so pissed that we were eliminated at that point... I couldn't enjoy myself.

Reality TV World: Knowing now where you guys finished in All-Stars, would you do it all over again?

Drew:  Yeah.
Kevin:  Yeah, absolutely.

Reality TV World: Would you guys ever race with anybody else besides each other?

Drew:  No.  I don't think I would.
Kevin:  I'd drop him like a hot potato to be honest with you... and take my wife with me.
Drew:  Yeah that's right.  We'd both love to do it with our wives.

Reality TV World: That's a good segue into my final question for you Kevin -- I heard you and your wife are expecting twins?

Kevin:  Triplets.

Reality TV World:  Is there a due date yet?

Kevin:  It's going to be in June.

(Photo credit CBS)


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