'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' teams glad to give the race another try
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/17/2007
Phil Keoghan, host of CBS' The Amazing Race, said there was no question the long-running reality competition series needed to have an All-Stars edition.
"It had to happen... the fans wanted to see some of their favorite teams come back," said Keoghan. "We have all the ingredients for an amazing TheAmazing Race. These teams are so dynamic, they're the teams that everyone has been talking about over the last ten seasons.. we've got such an eclectic mix of people."
"To put together all these teams, we had to figure out not only who the winners were, but who the most popular, most loved and most hated were, and we wanted to build teams like that," Elise Dogantieri, who co-created the series with her husband Bertram Van Munster, said in an inteview conducted shortly before The Amazing Race: All-Stars began filming back in November.
"There's really no competition. It's just a formality we have to go through this whole thing," said Rob before the Race began. "It's going to be fun though to mess with people. I've got a whole new bag of tricks for this season. I mean it's the All-Stars. It wouldn't be right if I didn't have something new."
One team that will be keeping a close eye on Rob and Amber are married couple Uchenna and Joyce Agu, who finished first in The Amazing Race 7. Uchenna and Joyce even shaved their heads to win, and it looks like their determined attitude is back for another season.
"They're all gunning for our title," said Joyce. "And we're here to hold onto it."
Life partners Joe Baldassare and Bill Bartek may have something to say about that. Third place finishers from the first season of The Amazing Race, the self-proclaimed "Team Guido" have been pegged as villains for the upcoming All-Stars edition.
"We really are loveable. There's nothing to be afraid of. This is going to hurt us more than it hurts you," said Bartek, who quickly changed his tune. "There's no way I'm going to be nice to some of these people. There's no chance in hell."
Familiar with Team Guido's tactics are lifelong friends Kevin O'Connor and Drew Feinberg, who also competed in The Amazing Race's first season and finished in fourth place. However they seem to be a bit less imposing than their Season One competitors.
"We're 41-year-old babies," said Feinberg. "That's the way we carry on, like little kids."
One of the teams in All-Stars competed against each other the first time they were on the series during The Amazing Race 9. Despite Eric Sanchez finishing second with his partner and Danielle Turner coming in seventh with hers, the duo formed a bond that developed into romance and they've been dating for the past year. Turner said she thinks fans like their storyline, which is why they were chosen for All-Stars.
"No one really believes that we hooked up on the show and that we actually had a relationship afterwards," said Turner.
In stark contrast to Turner and Sanchez are John Vito Pietanza and Jill Aquilino, who finished fifth on The Amazing Race's third season when they were romantically involved. They've since been split for the last two years, but Aquilino said the differences that caused the break-up shouldn't get in the way.
"We still always remained in contact and close," she said.
The duo of former lovers could have used some pointers from Teri and Ian Pollack, married parents that finished second during The Amazing Race's third season. They are still the oldest couple to ever finish in second place.
"I'm hoping that they react like they did during our first Race," said Ian of the competition. "'They're the old couple, they're chopped liver,' and we're going to run right over them."
Best friends Ozwald Mendez and Danilo Jimenez finished fourth on The Amazing Race 2, and know they have a reputation for being fun-loving partiers.
"We know how to live and we know where to go," said Jimenez. "We live well, but that's not all we are."