INTERVIEW: Ozzy and Danny dish about 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars'
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/30/2007
Oswald Mendez and Danilo Jimenez finished fourth during The Amazing Race's second season, and unfortunately for them, the best friends didn't fair much better during the reality competition series' All-Stars' edition, as they once again just missed out on the Top 3.
On Monday, the best friends known as the Cha-Chas talked to Reality TV World about their feelings on karma; just how important it is to stay hydrated; and why they're actually rooting for cousins Charla Baklayan Faddoul and Mirna Hindoyan.
Reality TV World: So, are you guys big believers in karma now?
Oswald: Well, we used to believe in karma, but then we saw who made it to the final three and we realized that we were wrong (Danny laughs). Ugh.
Reality TV World: Were you nervous about the possiblity of missing that connecting flight in Tokyo, especially after seeing what missing a tight connection did to some of the other teams, most noticeably Uchenna and Joyce Agu?
Oswald: Well that's exactly what we had in mind. We had a 45 minute time to connect between the two flights, but to be honest with you, if we had not made that [connecting flight in Tokyo], we basically were going to stay in Tokyo and go check-in to a fabulous hotel because we would have been out of the race.
Reality TV World: How did it feel to receive the cold stares from the other teams when you did make the connection?
Oswald: It was amusing actually. More than... Danny: It was like going back to high school. It was like Mean Girls.
Reality TV World: Was scrubbing the B-52 during the twelfth leg's Detour as difficult as it seemed? How long did it actually take?
Oswald: It took about an hour to finish. It was difficult, but the great thing is that I had great biceps afterwards.
Reality TV World: How was it that you got so lost on the way to the U.S. Naval Base?
Danny: See that's where last night's episode was really messed up. There was another Route Marker, and that's how we got lost. Guam has got the two [U.S.] Air Force bases at one end of the island and the other. It's real simple to get to it. You can't really mess that up. Oswald: It's a direct line. Danny: Right, it's one road that takes you from one Air Force base to another. We had to go to a lookout post, and that's how we got lost. Oswald: So there was that other road marker that never made it on the air. All the teams got lost...
Reality TV World: Ozzy, you seemed to find the location of your lost officer pretty quickly during the twelfth leg's Roadblock, but then you couldn't actually find where he was hiding in the brush.
Oswald: It's interesting because that GPS device does have a small deviation. So it was about a 7-foot deviation... Is that the right word, deviation?
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Reality TV World: I think so. Yeah.
Oswald: So you know, when I actually got to the point where it said 0-minutes, 0-feet, and I looked up, there was no one there. That's the reason why I couldn't see the guy. But of course I didn't think of looking ahead, or behind. I was focusing on what was immediately next to me. the reason why I found him is because I said, "Okay. There must be something wrong with this thing." So I stood to the side and I looked at him and said, "Ugh. There he is."
Reality TV World: How long do you think you walked around in circles before you finally saw him?
Oswald: I mean, I got to him in about five minutes it took me to get to the officer. Then it took me about another 10 minutes to locate him, and to get to the [clearing], another 10 minutes. Maybe all in all, half-an-hour. Danny: The short version of that is: If you're ever in a resource mission, call out. Oswald: Come on! We didn't do that badly in that one in particular!
Reality TV World: Did you still think you had a chance of not being eliminated despite being the last team to leave the base?
Oswald: No. By that point, we knew we were going to be eliminated. That's why Danny was congratulating Charla and Mirna [after Charla completed the Roadblock ahead of them], because he knew.
Reality TV World: How far behind Charla and Mirna did you finish?
Oswald: 10 minutes.
Reality TV World: Most of the other eliminated teams that we've interviewed have had a pretty negative opinion of Charla and Mirna, yet when you were eliminated last night, you guys didn't hesitate to say that you were rooting for them to win. Can you two explain why your opinion of them seems to be so different from the opinions of the other racers?
Danny: Well... You take three evils, so you take the lesser one of them. And I guess [Charla and Mirna] are the lesser of the three evils [left in the race].
Reality TV World: Danny, you went as far as to say that you "sincerely feel" Charla and Mirna are "a class act." Do you still feel the same way after watching the race on TV all season?
Danny: What they did, they didn't do to me. They were always very classy to me. They always kept their word. They always shared information when we shared information with them. I find that to be honorable, in anybody. You know, I think that's admirable. Oswald: The one thing that we sort of see about Charla and Mirna is that they're cuckoo, they're insane. But they're true to themselves, versus the beauty queens [Dustin Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier] that are a little bit delusional about world peace and kindness. And you know, [Eric Sanchez and Danielle Turner] who... Danielle is sweet. Eric is just a homophobe.
Reality TV World: In hindsight, do you think selling your Yield to Dustin and Kandice for $45 was a good deal? How far can $45 typically go in The Amazing Race?
Danny: Forty-five dollars took me to the [eleventh leg's] Pit Stop. That's the key right there. I hope people understand that. Selling that Yield, was the difference between getting to the Pit Stop and not getting to it. Oswald: What people don't realize is sometimes you get $45 for one leg of the entire race. So...
Reality TV World: Were you surprised Charla and Mirna would have given you money with no strings attached?
Danny: That's exactly why I said what I said. They are -- continue to be, I can't imagine they've changed -- this is how they were with us. We never had a problem with them.
Reality TV World: Why did the "Dragon" Detour give you so many problems?
Danny (sighing): I was tired. Oswald (laughing): He was tired. In all fairness, the problem with that Detour was that it actually was the easier one of the two. But the address was written in Portuguese, versus the other Detour, which had the address written in Chinese. Danny: And nobody speaks Portuguese in Macau.
Reality TV World: So why was it written in Portuguese?
Danny: Second language of the country yet nobody speaks it (laughing).
Reality TV World: Was the cab driver you had in Macau really as bad as he seemed? If so, why didn't you switch cabs?
Oswald: I swear, I think I was going to end up in a Macau prison.
Reality TV World: Do know how long it had been after Eric and Danielle's 30 minute "marked for elimination" penalty expired when you arrived at the Pit Stop?
Oswald: They were there when we got there, so not that far. Danny: Not that far. It was very close. Oswald: I would say maybe 10 minutes at the most.
Reality TV World: What was the exchange like between yourselves and Eric and Danielle?
Danny: There was no exchange. They treated us like we were still in high school. They wouldn't talk to us. It was kind of cute.
Reality TV World: During the tenth leg, why did you offer your standby reservation code for the Malaysian Air flight to Charla and Mirna?
Oswald: Well in that particular instance we gave them the code because they respected the [waiting line] order for the prior airline [China Air]. You know, it's hard to appease Mirna because she's always so uppity, and she actually respected our wishes not to torment the agent for China Air. So for that reason, because they respected our wishes and they were cooperative in allowing us to get our flight, we gave them our code.
Reality TV World: When you arrived in Hong Kong how did you receive a discounted rate on your taxi? Did you just haggle with the driver?
Oswald: No, it's actually in Hong Kong you are allowed to negotiate long-distance rides with taxi drivers.
Reality TV World: You also completed your second All-Stars Fast Forward during the tenth leg. Were you feeling confident in your chances of winning at that point?
Oswald: We were hopeful of winning the race from the very beginning. But yeah, at that point we were like, 'Yeah! We're psyched!' It was close to the end. We were hoping that we were going to be one of the Top 3, and it wasn't the case. So...
Reality TV World: Danny, what was your reasoning behind wanting to do the "Cookie Confection" Detour during the ninth leg?
Danny (laughing before the question was even finished): It was Oswald... You know anything to get my way because he always gets his. So I'm sorry, I just had to make a stand. Every once and a while I do that... Oswald: Even if it's wrong... Danny: Yeah. Because I believe it's right, which is the worst kind of a stance to take. Oswald: especially after I read to him specifically what this thing is saying... (both Oswald and Danny laugh)
Reality TV World: So Ozzy how confident were you about the rules of the Detour when you saw Danny leaving full boxes of cookies uneaten?
Oswald: I knew. But you know what? That's why he's my... Danny (finishing Ozzy's thought): That's why he's my best friend... Oswald: He wanted to do it. So I was like, "Okay." You know, what's more important? The $1 million or my best friend. Danny: And I guess I am.
Reality TV World: Danny, you seemed to have a really hard time collecting newspapers during the ninth leg's Roadblock. Do you think it had anything to do with the fact you were a guy and locals were more receptive to the women?
Danny: I don't know. I think that it had a lot to do with a lot of people weren't home. I did get some newspapers. It just... At some point, everybody's house got hit. And that's when I went to the gas station.
Reality TV World: How much did the newspaper you purchased at the gas station cost? Was it all of your money?
Danny: It was most of my money, if not all of it. It was about $70.
Reality TV World: Did you buy more than was needed?
Danny: Oh I bought more than I needed. I could have given it to another team... I could have made paper-mache (laughing). Oswald: We're going to do origami... (laughing) Danny: I'm Latin. By nature, I tend to overdo things. So when I get a task and go back up that hill, I was certain if I had to go back up that hill, it would be the last time I went back up that hill, because I had to push that bicycle up that hill.
Reality TV World: That's good reasoning.
Danny: I wanted to make sure I had enough newspapers.
Reality TV World: Did you enjoy working with Uchenna and Joyce during your first Fast Forward? They told us that they enjoyed working with you guys.
Danny and Oswald: We love them... Danny: They were so much fun. Oswald: Now they were our favorite team.
Reality TV World: Is that what led to your decision to give them the eighth leg's prize for finishing first?
Oswald: Yes. And because, you know, I think they need a little romantic getaway to put a spark back into their love life.
Reality TV World: How was your dhow ride to Zanzibar with Charla and Mirna during the sixth leg? Was Charla really as sick as she looked in the episode?
Oswald: She was worse... Danny: She was worse. Oswald: She was purple. Danny: The Teletubbie was purple. (both laughing)
Reality TV World: I'm sure you guys have been getting this question quite a bit. After completing the sixth leg's "Solve It" Detour challenge fairly quickly, what possibly could have made you stop for fruit?
Danny (shouting): Hydration! What part of dehydration don't you guys get! (Oswald is laughing) We were on a boat for five hours with out food... de-hy-dra-tion! Oswald: Actually no one has asked that question. But you know what? The one thing that I will tell you is that the most important element about the race is not coming in first, it's not coming in last.
Reality TV World: So you guys would you still make the same decision today?
Danny: Absolutely. Oswald: I mean, we didn't really... The point of being No. 1, it's only important when you're crossing the finish line. Danny: We had a huge lead. There were only two teams on that island at that point. I didn't care. I mean, I was dehydrated. I needed food, I needed substance in my body, otherwise I couldn't perform.
Reality TV World: You were the first to arrive at the glacier challenge during the fifth leg but were the last to leave. Why did you have such a hard time finding your beacon on the glacier?
Danny (laughing): Can you say GPS?
Reality TV World: That scene where you guys chased host Phil Keoghan around the fifth leg's Pit Stop was one of the funniest Pit Stop check-in's ever. Whose idea was it to go after Phil?
Danny: I think that's how Oswald and I operate. We just do things. It really wasn't an idea, really. I knew we... We both knew we wanted to hug him because we were filthy. [Phil's] always so nice and proud that he likes to go out there in his Prada shoes. It's always fun to play with him, and we do have a great relationship with him. Oswald: Yeah, he's fun.
Reality TV World: What was it like when Rob and Amber Mariano were eliminated at the end of the fourth leg.
Danny: You know that's interesting. I think Oswald and I were the only people that were there, that were not clapping, laughing or excited about it. We were shocked. I remember putting my hands to my face. You know, because we didn't expect it to be that. But I can't say I'm happy because I actually like them. I don't think they're bad people. Oswald: The thing is, we honestly -- and I can tell you this without any ulterior motive -- neither of us have seen Survivor. I never saw Rob and Amber, I never saw Amber on Survivor. Honestly, we watched The Amazing Race 3 because we were doing some commentary for Singapore. But after [Amazing Race 3], we didn't watch it anymore. Danny: You know what? The only thing I can tell you is that Rob's got a nice ass.
Reality TV World: I'm going to quote you on that.
Oswald: That was Danny not me... I don't want the Boston Massacre coming after me. Danny: He's got an ass that just won't stop. Oswald's got no ass compared to this boy.
Reality TV World: During the second leg of the race you seemed to form a loose alliance with Rob and Amber after taking some verbal jabs at them during the first leg. Was the alliance born out of the delayed flight in Ecuador or when Rob held the shuttle at the airport for you during the first leg? Was there a mutual respect there?
Danny: I think that Rob and Amber found a lot of respect for us because, you know, we were good to them and they were good to us. Again, that's the way that we always ran the race. And as a matter of fact in that boardroom [during the second leg's Roadblock], Oswald and Amber were working together. So yeah, there was definitely some type of... Not an alliance... Danny: A joint venture.
Reality TV World: Since it had been several years since your first race, what prompted you to join All-Stars?
Oswald: We're insane.
Reality TV World: It's as simple as that?
Oswald: It's as simple as that. We enjoy pain. We're masochists.
Reality TV World: How did it feel to be the only team representing Season Two?
Oswald: It feels gooooood that we're representing Season 2.
Reality TV World: Do you think you did a good job representing the season?
Oswald: I think we did a good job representing ourselves.
Reality TV World: As part of All-Stars' cast announcement, CBS said you guys "had a falling out several years ago, but have since mended their relationship." How did the "falling out" happen?
Danny: Oswald cheated on me... (laughing) Oswald: I cheated on Danny. I actually went shopping without him one day, and he got very upset (Danny's laughing). I bought outfits that clashed with his.
Reality TV World: Do you think competing in All-Stars strengthened that relationship?
Oswald: It didn't strengthen it, but it kind of like validated what we felt for each other.
Reality TV World: Was there anybody who you were surprised to see/not see in The Amazing Race: All-Stars?
Oswald: We actually kind of thought that maybe [The Amazing Race 2 runner-ups Tara Lynch and Will Steger] would be brought back because they were a good train wreck to watch. Danny (laughing): That's funny... What about [fellow The Amazing Race 2 contestants, brother and sister Blake and Paige MyCoskie]? The incest family. Come on! Does it get any better than that?
Reality TV World: Who did you consider your biggest competition and why?
Oswald: Joyce and Uchenna I guess... They won it before. They probably wanted to prove something to themselves.
Reality TV World: I think you answered this last night, but assuming you couldn't win, who did you want to see win? Is it Charla and Mirna?
Oswald: It remains to be them.
Reality TV World: Is there anybody you wouldn't want to see win?
Oswald: Eric and Danielle.
Reality TV World: How are things going for the Cha-Chas now?
Oswald: Well, we've since dropped the Cha-Cha name (laughing, with Danny). You know, we're both back to our fabulous lives, which we enjoy very much. We're back with our families, and really making our respective businesses prosper.