The Amazing Race: All-Stars eliminated Margie O'Donnell and Luke Adams during Sunday night's fifth episode of the CBS reality competition's 24th overall season and third all-stars edition.
The "Mother and Son" team became the fourth team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's fifth Pit Stop at Colombo Rowing Club in Colombo, Sri Lanka in last place. Margie and Luke got stuck on a flight that arrived in Sri Lanka many hours behind the rest of the pack.
Margie and Luke previously finished in third place on The Amazing Race's fourteenth season and eighth place on Season 18.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Margie talked about her third The Amazing Race experience. Below is the first half of Margie's interview. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion and also for Luke's perspective on things.
Reality TV World: You guys knew you were way behind the pack in last place once your flight landed, but you still seemed optimistic about things. So did you think there really was a chance another team could mess up so badly you could get ahead or did you basically just think, "I know we're out, but let's just enjoy the ride and have fun?"
Margie O'Donnell: You know, we pretty much knew we were going to be the last team to check in. I mean, we didn't get a flight out until 6AM. Our flight ended up being two hours delayed on top of that. (Laughs)
We had kind of resigned to the fact that, "Well, unless something catastrophic happens, like one of the other teams absolutely misses another flight," or you know, "somebody's Achilles' [tendon] breaks again," we were out.
So, you know, we just decided that we were going to have fun. I mean, how fortunate are we that we got to go Sri Lanka. I mean, that was pretty cool and we did a lot of traveling through Sri Lanka, so we just decided that we were just going to have fun. We were going to make the best of it and, you know, see what happens. But we pretty much felt like we were going to be eliminated. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Were you surprised to get eliminated at this point in the season? Did you envision yourselves being able to make it much further than you did?
Margie O'Donnell: Well, everybody had experience. So we felt like it was a pretty level playing field, but Luke and I felt like we were performing pretty well. In the first leg, we did well. We actually got third. It looked like we got fourth on TV but we got third. We got second on the second leg. We got fourth and then second, you know, we felt like we were performing really well.
And our plan this time was just to stay in it. We just really wanted to get to the end and race every leg, and that, we really, really wanted to. But we were realistic about it. I mean, there were strong [teams]. There were four male teams -- really, really alpha males. It was a tough -- it was a really, really competitive group. But we really thought we would stay in it longer than we did.
Reality TV World: You were shown mentioning you regret trying to get on the first flight standby. However, after watching how close Brendon Villegas and Rachel Reilly came to missing their connecting flight in Singapore after running like hell, do you think had you made the same choice you two probably would've missed it anyway or no?
Margie O'Donnell: Well, the problem came in when Brendon and Rachel went to the travel agency, and Luke and I attempted to, but we couldn't find it. The cab driver was just all over the place. We looked for about 45 minutes and we couldn't find the travel agency.
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So we wanted to get to the airport because we knew Brendon and Rachel were not too far behind us -- maybe an hour -- and we had already spent 45 minutes looking. So once we got to the airport, we found somebody that had a computer and they were helping us look at flights, so we knew that that flight was available but we couldn't buy that second leg's ticket at the airport.
We could only do that at the travel agency because the airport has something about -- they told us about the connection. It was too short. So if we had gotten to that travel agency, we probably would've done that. We would've done that too.
Reality TV World: We didn't see you and Luke doing much in the leg as far as tasks went and such. Did you actually do the Detour and Roadblock tasks? And if so, how did they go?
Margie O'Donnell: We didn't. We traveled to those places, but we were so far behind them, they couldn't keep all those people there. I guess that's why. But we didn't actually do the tasks. We got to those places, you know, we rode the bus and the train and all that stuff. We went the whole route but we did not do the tasks. So that was kind of disappointing.
Reality TV World: At the beginning of the season, some of your comments seemed to suggest you were worried about competing on the Race again because of your age and physical ability. Is doing The Amazing Race a third time actually something you personally truly wanted to do, or did Luke convince you to do it for him -- so he could have that experience again?
Margie O'Donnell: No, you know, CBS contacted me initially about if we wanted to do the Race. I didn't hesitate. I was like, "Yes!" Now, I have always been a runner -- not distance or anything -- but to keep myself physically fit. And I have kind of slacked off on that like the last year, but they asked and I said, "Absolutely. In a heartbeat." And then I had to get back in shape. (Laughs) That was hard.
But no, I didn't hesitate at all. I actually said I would do it before I even talked to Luke, because I knew he would. But no, I didn't hesitate for a second. It is the most fun you could have in your whole life, honestly, you have to experience it to really understand.
The first time we went on it, I was very, very hesitant because I wasn't really well-versed on what the show was about. I knew there were things that you had to do that were pretty extreme, and I was really, really worried about doing it. But this time, I knew whatever they have us do, we could muddle through it. So it was exciting. I was thrilled. I was just thrilled when they asked us again.
Reality TV World: Some viewers were left wondering this season whether you two ever felt at a disadvantage because of Luke's deafness. For example, some people assumed you both stuck with the martini-glass task in the bar during last week's episode because you weren't sure whether Luke could serve as a deejay. Also, when you both had to ride in the canoe earlier on, there was no way to communicate sitting one in front of the other. Could you address that for me?
Margie O'Donnell: Well, when we were on Season 14, CBS, you know, I think there was a lot of debate and consideration whether -- how they could work that with Luke. And it was all put out there that, "No concessions are going to be made, the cast is still what they are, you two are going to have to figure out how you're going to do this."
So we knew that going in, you know? Like the communication problem when we can't see each other, that's hard, but that's part of real life. I mean, we're in situations like that a lot. When that comes up, you just have to kind of work through it.
But the task where you had to mix the beat, we actually went up to [the booth] to try to see if Luke could feel the beat -- because, I mean, he has no measurable hearing, so we knew he wouldn't be able to hear any of it -- but sometimes he can feel vibrations.
So we thought maybe -- because that mixed drinks [task] was (laughs) incredibly hard. But he couldn't feel it, and that's where the frustration came out of Luke, is because everyone else had the option to change, but we didn't. And that was the frustration.
But you know what? We knew that going in, that [the producers] weren't going to make any concessions, and you know, we had to work it out and do it, like what played out before. So it was fine.
But that's where his frustration came from, not too much that we couldn't do the task -- because there's been plenty of tasks where we've taken a long time, like that rafting task, that one took forever -- but the frustration was that we didn't have the option to change. That's where his frustration came out of.
But you know, that's life. And there's lots of things in life that he's not going to be able to do, to participate in, just because he can't hear. He still goes to dance clubs because he can feel that stuff, and stuff like that, but it's just life.
Above is the first half of Margie's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion and also for Luke's perspective on things.