Exclusive: Margie O'Donnell talks 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/28/2014
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 concluding portion of Margie's interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Was watching Luke's meltdown on TV last week hard for you? I know you said he has a low frustration level, so did that make you a little nervous going into the season knowing how stressful the Race is from your two prior experiences?
Margie O'Donnell: Well, you know, I think every time we've been on the Race, Luke has had some frustrating event occur. He just feels a little differently than I do, and for him, he gets frustrated and then it's finished. But I don't know. (Laughs)
No, it didn't make me nervous. He's human, you know? We're all human. People get upset because he got upset on TV -- that's their problem, not ours. And I wasn't nervous about it. CBS has been very kind in our editing (laughs) to tell you the truth, so.
Reality TV World: In terms of the tasks and their level of difficulty, how did they compare this season to your first two times on the Race? It seemed like these tasks were more of an obstacle for Luke because he's deaf than ever before. Would you agree with that?
Margie O'Donnell: I think it was more -- I think it's just the nature of the show. I mean, if you're on the first time, it seems really hard. But if you're coming back for a second time, they're going to make it more challenging. So for the all-stars, they had to step it up. So we knew it would not be, you know, we knew it was going to be challenging -- more challenging than at least Season 14.
And it was. They were long legs. For us, the "Featherball" [hacky sack task], we were so bad at that. But for some people, that wasn't really a big challenge for them. So I don't know. It did feel like it was a more challenging season, but it was to be expected.
Reality TV World: Did you and Luke have a conversation before competing on the show? Maybe there were some things you thought you could improve on or change?
Margie O'Donnell: Yeah, Luke and I, both seasons before, we kind of just jumped into stuff and kept going, and then we were like, "We didn't really think this out. Let's take our time."
We would start to do something before we really had a plan or knew where we were going. That was our plan. It didn't work out so well, (laughs) because we still -- your adrenaline gets going and you jump into things and then it's like, "Oh boy, I should've done this a little differently."
But we did talk about being more patient with each other, especially him being more patient with me, because I have to get information and then I have to give the information to him. And he wants that information like as I'm saying it. He does have the ability to communicate with a whole bunch of different people and I don't have that ability.
I struggle one-on-one, just getting the information to him. And he's like, "What, what, what?!" He's like, "Hurry up! Tell me!," like if we're getting directions or with any questions that I ask. So that, for us, is a big challenge. And we tried to talk about being more patient -- him being more patient with me, getting information to him.
And another thing, we talked about this -- and again, we weren't very successful -- was him slowing down a little bit for me. Because he is such a fast runner and he is so fast, and he pulls me along, and (laughs) I pulled a hamstring.
I'm not a fast runner. I can run for a long time but I can't run fast. So one of the things we said was, "Be a little more cognizant of where I am and don't kill me on the run." So yeah, we had big plans but we didn't really stick to much of them.
Reality TV World: You said a struggle is giving information to Luke while running a leg. You need to understand it before you can explain it correctly obviously. So on that note, did you always feel like you two were on the same page or did that ever become an issue for you in that maybe he misunderstands something you're saying and then you're trying to do two completely different things.
Margie O'Donnell: There have been times, and I don't think it's so much that Luke misunderstands what I'm trying to tell him. It's how I interpret it. I'm trying to move so fast that I'm not signing correctly. So I might give him the wrong information, and so he's off thinking he's doing what I asked him to do.
And I'm looking at him going like, "Wait a minute. What are you doing?!" (Laughs) And so then we have to regroup and I say, "I'm sorry, this is what I meant to say..." My signing skills are good, I mean, they're okay. They're not excellent. Luke is not around all the time. He doesn't live with me; He hasn't lived with me for a long time.
So you have to really practice the skill to keep it up. Every time we go on the Race, he just graduated from college the first time. The second time, he had been away from home. And this time, I hadn't been practicing a whole lot. So it takes me a little while to get back in the groove of signing all the time. So yeah, it's not so much Luke misinterpreting, it's me giving the wrong information that causes the problem.
Reality TV World: Rachel Reilly and Brendon Villegas really helped Luke out during last week's episode at the bar challenge. And you were shown expressing how you initially thought Rachel was a crybaby but she pleasantly surprised you. Could you elaborate on that a little more? How did your opinion of her change and do you have any idea what might've contributed to that change?
Margie O'Donnell: My assumption on Rachel's personality was based on when I saw her on TV. I saw little bits of her on Big Brother, crying all the time. I saw her have meltdowns on the Race before. But I didn't know her. So, really, the only impression I had was, I think, the impression that most people in America had -- that she was a big crybaby. (Laughs)
One question that every single person I knew says, "Oh, what's she like in real life?!" But she really, honest to God, is -- I think she's really deep-down inside a very, very sweet person and well-meaning, you know what I mean? I think she has good intentions. She doesn't always come across that way, because she is a little bit whiney, (laughs) but she is so sweet.
She is absolutely so sweet and she's so head-over-heels in love with her husband it's just nice to see. But her and Brendon are just very, very nice people in real life. I kind of was disappointed in myself that I had made that assumption about her, like, "Oh gosh, she's going to be a pain in the neck," because she was really, really pleasant to be around.
Reality TV World: Which team do you think presented the most competition for you guys this season?
Margie O'Donnell: I think the team that Luke and I -- we didn't really know who was going to be on the Race until we got to LA right before the Race started. And when we saw [David O'Leary and Connor O'Leary], we were just like, "Oh man."
Because we know they were eliminated not because of their performance. They were eliminated because of the physical injury. And we knew that they just had the drive and the determination. I mean, all the teams, we were like, "Oh boy," because they all came back to redeem themselves, you know? (Laughs)
So we were a little nervous about them, and then of course, all the male teams we were nervous about -- the four male-male teams. But we felt like the legs that we participated in, we did pretty well in and we were pleased with our performance. So if we hadn't made that stupid mistake, I feel like we would still be in it.
Reality TV World: Would you ever want to do the Race a fourth time or was a third time the charm?
Margie O'Donnell: I would never say "no" to doing the Race. I mean, after they asked us a second time, it never even entered my mind that we would ever be asked to do it again.
Because no team had ever done three times before, so I didn't hesitate any time they asked, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It is the most fun you can have and you get to see the world. It's just, we feel so blessed that we were able to do that.
Above is the concluding portion of Margie's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half. Also, to begin reading our interview with Luke, click here.