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Exclusive: Dessie Mitcheson and Kayla Fitzgerald talk 'The Amazing Race' (Part 2)


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/10/2018 

Dessie Mitcheson and Kayla Fitzgerald got eliminated from The Amazing Race's premiere episode when the CBS reality competition returned with its milestone 30th season.

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The "Ring Girls and Friends" became the first team eliminated from the around-the-world competition out of 11 teams after they arrived at the Race's first Pit Stop at Reykjavikurtjorn in Reykjavik, Iceland in last place.

Dessie and Kayla lost by only a matter of seconds in a footrace to the Pit Stop against "Friends and Goat Yoga Instructors" April Gould and Sarah Williams.

The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan greeted the girls at the lakeshore and delivered the bad news that they would not be able to continue racing.

In a recent exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Dessie and Kayla talked about their short-lived The Amazing Race experience and what went wrong during that first leg in Iceland. Below is the concluding portion of what they had to say.

Reality TV World: You mentioned you would have liked to work with Cody Nickson and Jessica Grad had you stayed in the Race longer. Did you envision yourselves possibly aligning with any other teams?

Dessie Mitcheson: Yeah. (Laughs) I feel like we eventually would have aligned ourselves with either the violinists [Trevor Wadleigh and Chris Marchant] or the eaters [Joey Chestnut and Tim Janus]. What do you think, Kay?

Kayla Fitzgerald: No definitely. We had already kind of been bonding with both of them from the get-go. So, yeah, even in Iceland in the airport, we were talking with the boys. And we were on the same flight, so we were aligning ourselves with them initially, and I think we definitely would have been with them the whole time we would have stuck around.

Reality TV World: Did you girls figure out whom your toughest competition was going to be? If you had stayed in the Race and there was a U-Turn early on, which team would you have targeted first and why?

Dessie Mitcheson: Oh man, I don't even think we would know! I mean, probably if there was a huge competitor behind us -- like Big Brother [Jessica and Cody] -- I don't think we would've been scared to U-Turn them (laughs) if we were in the back of the pack. 

Kayla Fitzgerald: Yeah, definitely not. But we also agreed that we weren't going to U-Turn anybody in the beginning. Like, if we would've been U-Turning people, it definitely would have been towards the end. We didn't want to play a dirty game, but we also weren't willing to put ourselves at risk.

Reality TV World: What did you think of Cedric Ceballos and Shawn Marion's time penalty that they received at the end of the leg? Cedric seemed to disagree with it because whatever he yelled out about O's and P's didn't actually help Shawn complete the task. Cedric wasn't even sure Shawn heard him say it. So do you think the time penalty was fair?

Dessie Mitcheson: I think, well, Cedric is a fan of the show, so he knows the rules just like Kayla and I. As a true fan of the show, you know you can't yell out anything like that whether you know the letters or not. So I think he did it coming from the right place, but that's just how the game works.

Kayla Fitzgerald: I agree with you, Dessie. So, Dessie was doing the Roadblock during that, but I was on the end of it, standing next to Cedric. And, you know, they come over and get on the ATVs and you can hear people talking or you talk to your teammates a little bit and encourage them and stuff.

So, he wants to say he didn't know that he said P's and O's, but everyone knows the saying is not, "Mind your P's and O's" -- it's "Mind your P's and Q's." And how ironic that there were actually P's and O's on the board!

Reality TV World: Did you two work out some sort of arrangement for the Roadblocks this season? Did you sort out your strengths and weaknesses, and who would be a better fit for certain tasks, or were you just planning to alternate back and forth?

Dessie Mitcheson: We definitely talked about our strengths and weaknesses, but when it came down to the first challenge, it was pretty easy! Because right away, it was like someone was going to be going over the river, and Kayla was like, "I'll do it," which is awesome because she's scared of heights.

And it worked out better because I'm a little bit bigger than her and could pull her in maybe a little bit better. And then the second Roadblock, Kayla just literally just looked at me and said, "You're doing it!" So I was like, "Okay!" (Laughs)

Kayla Fitzgerald: I just told her, like, "You're doing the next cool thing," and also, there wasn't really any indication for what the Roadblock was going to be... So we were like, "Alright, it's you!" (Laughs)

Reality TV World: What were your expectations going into the Race? I know you only got to run one leg, but how did being on the show differ from what you thought it'd be?

Kayla Fitzgerald: I think what people don't understand or even realize is that we did only run one leg, but it was a really long leg. A lot went into that, so I think that earlier and along the way, you learn and you kind of get acclimated to the Race itself, and it helps you get better as time goes on.

But going into it, I think we both knew it was going to be a challenging thing, but something that we were both up for. And being on it, it was an awesome experience. We wouldn't change it for the world, but it's a lot tougher than people like to think.

Looking at the TV it's easy to say, "Oh, I can do that," but really, when you're in it and your emotions are running and your adrenaline is pumping and you're tired and you haven't eaten, it really starts to take a toll on you. And that's what is difficult about it.

Dessie Mitcheson: Yeah, for sure. Everything that she said is exactly what I was going to say.

Reality TV World: Since your elimination from the show was so early, were you especially bummed about missing out on anything in particular? Was there something you were both looking forward to experiencing or accomplishing on the Race that you didn't get a chance to?

Dessie Mitcheson: I think Kayla and I both just really wanted to travel more and see different parts of the world, and we were both looking forward to maybe an animal challenge. So those are the things. And we don't want to eat gross stuff, but I think we both agree that we would've been really good at eating it. So, we're kind of bummed that we missed out on some things.

Reality TV World: How was the cod liver oil? (Laughs)

Kayla Fitzgerald: That was so bad! It was the worst thing ever. And I remember [Alex Rossi] being like, "That's not bad, I actually liked it." And I was like, "Are you serious?" I was burping that fish oil up for like 12 hours afterwards, and it was the worst thing ever. You have to keep in mind that we hadn't eaten anything and we had been racing for like two days, so it was disgusting.

Reality TV World: How were you two cast on The Amazing Race? Were you fans of the show and simply applied, or how did you end up on this season?

Dessie Mitcheson: Kayla and I both tried to get on the show in the past with family members, and [in 2017], I got an email from a casting director and she was like, "I love what you do. I need a girl group on The Amazing Race. Do you have a best friend that you would recommend?"

And of course, you know, Kayla and I do everything together, so I told Kayla about it right away, and she was like, "Heck yeah! Finally." So it kind of fell into our laps, and we went to the casting week and we lucked out and got picked!

Reality TV World: So if you got the chance to race again, it sounds like you would in a heartbeat. Is that right?

Dessie Mitcheson: I think we would. Right, kay?

Kayla Fitzgerald: Yeah! I would like redemption if that's possible. (Laughs)

Dessie Mitcheson: Yeah, I think The Amazing Race should have a losers' Amazing Race with all the teams who got kicked off first. (Laughs)

Kayla Fitzgerald: I agree! I mean, they did it with the winners!

Dessie Mitcheson: I think it'd be a great idea.

To read the first half of Reality TV World's exclusive The Amazing Race interview with Dessie Mitcheson and Kayla Fitzgerald, click here.


Dessie Mitcheson/Instagram

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