Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' eliminees Michael Ward and Scott Strazzullo talk (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/17/2014
The Amazing Race eliminated Michael Ward and Scott Strazzullo during Friday night's third broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 25th season.
The "Firefighters" from Boston, MA, became the third team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's third Pit Stop at St. Ninian's Isle in Aberdeen, Scotland, in last place.
Michael and Scott struggled with a task in which they needed to corral sheep. They then drove a while to the wrong location as they were heading to the Pit Stop.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Michael and Scott talked about their The Amazing Race experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Why did you find that sheep task so difficult? What went wrong?
Michael Ward: The problem was, those sheep we had were very uncooperative at that place. So, we had to walk them all down the middle. We would get nine out of 10 or whatever number of them were. If there were 15, maybe we got 14 out of 15, or whatever the number. But once we got them all, we had to go back and get them all through that white fence.
And until we got them through the fences, we couldn't get them into the cage. They were spry young bucks there. They weren't [doing it] for us. So, you know, eventually -- it was frustrating, and Scott was running on one foot on a very steep incline, and it didn't help. So the foot obviously slowed us down, but he was going to work through it.
Scott Strazzullo: Yeah, I think that we also, you know, with time, you get better vision. Mike said, "Hey, the food is in the tent. So let's take that food and put it where we want to take them, and then put them in the pen."
And that helped out. I will tell you right now, sheep are out of Mike and I's [comfort zone]. We live in the city, we hang out in the city. Sh-t, I haven't seen a sheep in my life! (Laughs) Honestly, they're odd creatures. They're very weird to me, you know what I mean? (Laughs) We didn't know 100% how to handle them. They were crazy!
Reality TV World: You two seemed to breeze through the torch Detour task unlike, say, Brooke Adams and Robbie E. Strauss. So after watching the pony task on TV, I'm sure it's safe to say you made the right choice there?
Scott Strazzullo: Oh, definitely.
Michael Ward: We knew we couldn't do the physical task. If we had a choice, we were going to avoid it because of our clear limitations. So, when we were in there, we were laughing and having fun.
Everyone thinks [Tim Tsao and Te Jay McGrath] started talking to the vikings. We were in there first. We were joking with those guys, we were having fun, we were having a lot of laughs. We were enjoying making and building.
At that point, other teams were falling apart and you didn't see them all. There were teams arguing, like, "We don't work as a team! We don't do this! We don't know how to do that!" I can only anticipate they're going to be breaking up somewhere or arguing in future episodes.
Scott Strazzullo: Oh yeah.
Michael Ward: Because they haven't been getting along as crisply and politely as you might see.
Scott Strazzullo: We always got along and we always encouraged each other. The penny nail thing, Mikey knows the nails' names and things like that. He had done building before. That was right up our alley.
That was one of those things where, you know, I think we were almost one of the first teams out of there, which helps us out tremendously, because it kept the tempo up all day for us and I know there were four or five teams behind us. We were still beating them to the next challenge. So it was one of those things where, if we hadn't picked that one, we would've been in even worse trouble.
Michael Ward: Sometimes a dog chases a cat and they don't know why. You should've seen those people. They were like cats and dogs. They were running in circles and they didn't know why they were running in circles. We were using our brains.
But we did this whole race for a greater good, and it wasn't about us. We wanted the adventure and we wanted the excitement and we've got "Type A" personalities, and we're very competitive in challenges. Even though we're friends with everybody, when the whistle goes off, it's war (laughs) and you've got to defeat the opposition. So, you know, there's no hard feelings toward anybody. We are good friends.
But we went there for good reasons. We went there to thank people for standing by us in Boston when things went bad here and we wanted to raise money for the Wounded Warriors. That's where most of our -- a substantial portion of any funds that we won were going. It wasn't about us.
It was about the greater good. We didn't really get a chance to show that. We kind of looked, kind of, honestly, we looked a little incompetent. But we're not and we have fun when we do things. Why not? Why not be good to people?
Scott Strazzullo: When you see a lot of bad things in life, you tend to have more of a sense of humor on a lot of things. That was really -- that's just us. That's how we are. I think some people said we were a little bit aloof and not taking things serious, but we tried our hardest and we got some things that were tough things to get over.
Those directions at the end were really tough to get over. It hurts to lose and it hurts anyone to lose, because nobody likes to lose. Everybody has prepared for a long time and you've gone through a lot to get to where we were.
Michael Ward: Mhmm.
Scott Strazzullo: And yeah, we were laughing because we were there and what can you do? You know?
Michael Ward: I know I was waiting for [Phil Keoghan] to bluff us. I was hoping there was another little task left to do as a penalty, but it wasn't meant to be, you know? We do want to thank America for standing with us.
Scott Strazzullo: Exactly.
Michael Ward: We had a message to deliver.
Scott Strazzullo: We're hoping that people maybe saw that message and will give more towards the vets and support the people that come back. They give us the chance in our country to go out and play and have these unbelievable games and ideas and be part of it.
Reality TV World: You said a lot of the teams were bickering already. Which ones seemed to be self-destructing the most?
Michael Ward: Well, they haven't shown what they haven't shown, so we're not going to discuss that. Let's just say, it's not all cherries and ice cream out there.
Scott Strazzullo: Oh no. Not at all.
Michael Ward: And we're kind of listening to these people complaining, like, "We don't work together!" For us, it's kind of second nature. We work together and it's second nature for us to be in problem-solving mode. We take it for granted because that's what we do. Not everyone is created equal, everyone has their forte in life.
And, you know, we've been blessed and we're fortunate to do what we do and we enjoy it. But we find bad situations and we find the good in people. We meet some wonderful people. But I guess some of these other teams aren't used to being together, aren't used to being under pressure, and there's been a lot of fractures. Let's just say that. I can only imagine what's going to come later.
Scott Strazzullo: They're not as smooth as they [appear]. They're not as smooth as the butter they're pretending to be.
Reality TV World: How were you two cast on The Amazing Race? Was it your first time applying for the show and are you longtime fans of the series?
Michael Ward: Yeah, I mean, I've watched the show. But I don't think we can talk about the production end of it.
Scott Strazzullo: I think it's a brilliant show and brilliant people produce it. Everyone across the board has been so nice to us and kind to us. And Mike and I have always been tuned into it. It's sometimes tough when we're working to watch a whole season through, so this was a great chance for us to catch up on so many episodes as we were training for it. It's really just a brilliant show. It's truly an amazing race.
Click here to read the first half of Michael and Scott's exclusive interview with Reality TV World.