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Exclusive Interview with Mark and Michael Munoz of The Amazing Race

Posted on 04/20/2009 by Gina in The Amazing Race and Cast Interviews

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by Gina Scarpa


Mark and Michael Munoz will go down in Amazing Race history for a few reasons.  First, these brothers, at 4’9, are the shortest team ever to compete on the race.  Second, no team has ever incurred more penalties for breaking the rules.  On last night’s episode, a 2 hour penalty plus a Speed Bump task for coming in last place on the previous leg proved to be too much for them to overcome and they were eliminated from the race.  Today, they spoke to RealityWanted in an exclusive interview and weighed in on their competitors and the decisions they made that cost them the race.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Whose idea was it to try out for The Amazing Race?
A. Mark: I was approached by the casting directors.  For years, they had been looking to get two jockeys on the race.  When I called them back to talk about sending in my video with a friend of mine, I also suggested that I bring my brother on the race because I thought that was a neat storyline.  Both of my teams made it to the final picking and we ended up getting on.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What kind of preparation did you do, in advance, before going on the show?  Did you work out or study languages?
A. Mike: You can’t really study languages because you have no idea where you’re going.  As far as physical abilities, we’re stuntmen and we have to train anyway.  Languages - you can’t really be prepared with.  We speak a little Spanish. 


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Do you feel like, on this last leg, Tammy and Victor had a big advantage speaking the language in China?
A. Mark: After watching the episode, them speaking Chinese and being Chinese helped them just a little bit.  When you’re talking to a taxi driver in Mandarin and telling them they need to go somewhere in Cantonese, all it does is help the other teams who are going to follow them.  People all over the world don’t even know what’s going on around the corner.  Most people are lost in their own neighborhood! 


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: I don’t think I’ve ever seen teams be so impatient with the local people as I have this season.  Did Jaime and Cara’s behavior, in particular, surprise you and what do you think when you watch the episodes back?
A. Mike: That’s just how we were brought up.  We were taught to be very respectful of other people and cultures.  That’s just our upbringing.  I wasn’t surprised at all by Jaime or Cara, well, more one than the other.  Most people get very frustrated when they aren’t able to communicate.
A. Mark: I’ve traveled abroad before and as far as Jaime and Cara, they were just being themselves.  That’s just their personality.  They’re not the brightest star on the tree.  They tried to work a lot of stuff off of their looks. 


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: I know you guys missed it but care to weigh in on the throwdown between Jen, Kisha, Margie, and Luke at the mat on last night’s episode?
A. Mike: I would’ve loved to watch it!  We had no idea that was happening.  Not that we didn’t see it possibly coming between somebody because when you’re racing for a million bucks, you’re going to do what it takes to get ahead.
A. Mark: It is a race for a million dollars.  By this time, you kind of knew how everybody was gonna act and react.  Any advantage you can do without breaking the rules or the law, you’re gonna do whatever it takes.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Speaking of breaking the rules, you guys incurred a ton of penalties this season!  What do you think of it all, when you look back on it?
A. Mike: I tell you, we got a new record, don’t we?  [laughs]  It was all based on our reactions and the heat of the moment decisions.  We don’t want anybody going away mad at us or having not done the right thing, especially in countries where people are poor and doing what they can to make a living.  Mark and I come from a background of doing the right thing.  It’s just proper. 
A. Mark: As far as coming up short and giving the cab guys our stuff, sometimes it’s a moral choice more than right choice.  We weren’t looking for any advantage.  We were just trying to do the right thing.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Do you guys have a favorite leg of the race or favorite challenge this season?
A. Mark: I had a lot of favorites.  There were some really fun things because I’m a physical challenge kind of guy.  Running through the streets of Moscow in my underwear… that’s something you can never do again without getting arrested!
A. Mike: Switzerland is beautiful and that bungee jump…  man, what a kick!  We got to go to China with this beautiful landscape, even though it was our final leg.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: How has life been since the race?  Are you getting recognized when you’re out in public and what does the future hold for the two of you?
A. Mike: As far as the future, I love my job as a stuntman and I know Mark would tell you the same thing.  I just doubled Danny DeVito, I just finished a project, and it’s coming out in August.  I spend as much time with my family as possible.  They get a kick out of the fact that, when we go to Disneyland, I get recognized there.
A. Mark: I got recognized in the airport in Utah while on a project I just finished in Park City.  A couple big, burly college guys… not attacked me… but approached me and I signed their backpacks and got pictures with them.  As far as the future, I’m still an active, professional jockey and love my stunt career.  I’ve got an 18 year old ready to go away to college.  I just love life in general and I’ll just keep working!


The Amazing Race airs Sunday nights at 8pm ET on CBS.


(Image courtesy of CBS)

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